Posted in October 2015

‘Butcher’ Cumberland Entertains

The Duke of Cumberland, 2nd son of George II became infamous north of the border for his massacre of the survivors of the Battle of Culloden in 1745. He died the year after this incident in 1764. “On Saturday about 12 o’clock, his royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland entertained a company  with the following … Continue reading


Burned at the stake in Kent

This is from a book of old newspaper articles, News from the English Countryside 1750-1850. I’m tempted to put about half of them on the blog; there are some really great windows to our past, from a trial at Maidstone, Kent in July 1769: “On wednesday came on the trial of Susannah Lott, for the murder … Continue reading

Music to Destroy the Universe

Here’s an odd article from over a month back in the i newspaper by Emily Jupp: “Norwegian art-rock outfit Gazpacho have announced details of their new album Molok along with the bold claim that a code at the end of the CD could cause the destruction of the universe. I tried to talk it through with … Continue reading

Stifling Discusion

This is from yesterday’s i newspaper, by Simon Kelner, concerning the outrage on social media against comments made by veteran feminist Germaine Greer: “The veteran … gave her opinion about transgender people last week. “I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that procedure,” she explained, “All I’m saying that it … Continue reading

99 Homes

This latest film by Ramin Bahrani is disturbing from the opening scene when Denis Nash, played by Andrew Garfield,discovers he has just worked for a fortnight and will not be paid as a company has gone bankrupt. And things only get worse as that makes it impossible for him to pay for his house and … Continue reading

Are You Local?

This is something that is becoming something of an issue as more of us live away from our places of birth. When I first came to the UK I met a woman in a small village in Kent who had never been to London – too dangerous, and only a few trips to Tunbridge Wells … Continue reading

Colchester’s Problems

This is another small excerpt from Mark Girouard’s wonderful book the English Town: “Colchester was a thriving textile town, the centre of the East Anglian baize industry but by the early 18th century was financially embarrassed, its properties mortgaged to Daniel Defoe. It ceased to function in 1742 and until resuscitated by a public spirit of … Continue reading