‘You do manage it so well that I cannot do better’: the working life of Elizabeth Jeake of Rye (1667-1736)
Murphy, Anne L.
This article contributes to the debate around early modern women’s work. It concerns not waged labour but rather the unpaid contributions made by women to both home and the business undertaken by their husband. It focuses on Elizabeth Jeake, the wife of Samuel Jeake, a merchant from the Sussex port of Rye. Through the letters exchanged between the family, it explores Elizabeth’s skilled work in support of her husband. This included giving instructions to contractors, gathering and disseminating business and investment information, negotiations with Samuel’s business partners and acquaintances, managing property and tenants, negotiating credit relationships and purchasing and selling commodities.