The V&A’s extensive article includes many hints about what might be in woman’s pockets.
Sharon Burnston, on the Historic New England site, points out that “Pockets thus represent the kind of dilemma that objects of material culture can present to scholars. Much is known about how and when these items were made, but evidence of how they were used remains fragmentary and tantalizing.”
Fragmentary and tantalizing indeed!
Another scholar posits that “Pockets empowered women in many ways: they allowed them to carry possessions around with them for practical and personal uses, and gave them rights of ownership and privacy. I argue that decorative pockets also heightened women’s self-esteem by making them to feel more attractive – and that they esteemed their pockets in return.”
As we can see from this diagram from the Workwoman’s Guide, pockets could take many shapes, and the extant evidence bears this out. There are oblong pockets, and more rectangular pockets, rounder pockets, longer and shorter and wider pockets. One suited one’s self, and cut one’s pattern to one’s cloth.
The identification of pockets with self, with intimacy and privacy, is explored in Women’s Pockets and the Construction of Privacy in the Long Eighteenth Century, by Ariane Fennetaux.
Fennetaux’ article and the V&A page on pockets were particularly useful in enumerating more specific kinds of items that might be carried in an 18th century woman’s pocket.
A pair of silver buttons
A pair of buckles
A pen knife
A silver spoon
A pair of scissors
Nutmeg and grater
An orange or an apple
Pen or pencil
When Pamela runs away, she takes with her, in her pocket, two handkerchiefs, two caps and five or six shillings.
Of all the listed things, what might Bridget have carried? Some of the things she carried would be needed, but others would be wanted.