Source of ‘Rising of the Apron’?

Chelsea Phillips wants to know if anyone who attended the Perceptions of Pregnancy conference can recall the source for the phrase ‘rising of the apron’ (or something similar), which was used at one of the sessions. If you know, post your answer below. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Source of ‘Rising of the Apron’?

  1. Hi Chelsea,

    I think I briefly mentioned it in my paper. After a hunt around, I’ve found it is in Sarah Jinner’s 1659 Almanack. This reference is discussed in the chapter ‘Construction and Experience of Maternity in Seventeenth-Century England’ in Patricia Crawford’s ‘Blood, Bodies and Families in Early Modern England’ (2004). I seem to remember that Laura Gowing discusses this phrase which was used often in court when referring to unmarried female servants that got pregnant. I think this is in her ‘Common Bodies’ but haven’t been able to find a specific chapter or page reference. Hope this helps! Was fantastic to meet you at the conference and hope your research is going well! Leah

  2. Cf also this song, which occurs in various versions both in England and US:

    I wish, I wish, but it’s all in vain
    I wish I were a maid again
    But a maid again I never shall be
    Till apples grow on an orange tree.

    When my apron strings hung low
    He followed me through frost and snow
    But now they reach up to my chin
    He passes by and he says nothing.

    Oh grief oh grief and I’ll tell you why
    That girl she has more gold than I
    More gold than I and beauty and fame
    But she like me must come the same.

    I wish my baby it was born
    And playing on its daddy’s knee
    And I to be in yon churchyard
    With the tall green grass growing over me.

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