In Tudor times widows were allowed to run their husbands' businesses and even train apprentices. Not all widows ran the business permanently - some only doing so for a year or so, while others remained in charge for several years. Within the period 1553 - 1640 seventy widows were left with the running of their late husbands' print shops and only twenty of them held on to them after 4 years, the rest having sold the shops. At that time widows represented one tenth of the publishing business.
Dionisia Holme from Beverley in Yorkshire, sustained her late husband's wool trading business for fifteen years and made a large profit out of it. Another, called Mrs Baynham, ran a business trading wool, wine and herrings as well as running a boarding house in Calais and acres of farmland.