My family proudly told of my Scottish great-great-grandmother who had 16 children. They all lived to adulthood except a boy, who died after he was kicked on the head by a horse.

I was also told that after the last child was born the mother would put on a ‘mutch’ (a cotton cap), sit by the fireplace (in the cold Scottish Highlands), and leave her oldest daughters to raise the youngest children. I suppose by then the mother would have been in her late thirties; her life expectancy in 1900 was only 47 years!

Picture: Raphael Tuck  “Oilette  –  Scottish Life and Character Series”