Posted in April 2016

A Retriever Pays his Way

This is from the Scandal mongering IllustratedPolice News of 1892: A SAGACIOUIS RETRIEVER At the Lambeth Police court, Frederick Hampton, 45, fishmonger, and Emily his wife, residing at London rd, Croydon, were charged before Mr Biron with stealing and receiving a silk umbrella, value 7s 6d, the property of Louisa Squire. the complainant, on the … Continue reading

Unseen City

Unseen City

I stumbled upon this exhibition at London’s Guildhall, expecting it to be about -oh, I don’t know – underground tunnels or something, but it’s about The City, ie the rituals about London and its guilds that few of us ever hear about, but there are a lot of them – I knew of the Swan … Continue reading

Cure for Mysterious Male Illness

This is from the Illustrated Police News of November 1898: MEN WHO ARE WEAK Men who are weak, and tired of taking NAUSEOUS  and MYSTERIOUS Preparations to no GOOD PURPOSE ought to write to the Physician in confidence, and full particulars will be sent FREE As to how all cases of NERVOUS DEBILITY, LOSS OF … Continue reading


This is from the Illustrated Police News, 1898. It was claimed to be the most scandalous paper of its age. This article has certainly not aged well. A RICH TRADER PURCHASES THE BEAUTIFUL “SPARKLING EYES” The American papers publish an account of his recent travels in the Klondike country, written by Mr. Robert Stead Dun, … Continue reading

Tea and Abolition of Slavery

Tea and Abolition of Slavery

This may seem to be an odd link, but in the current BBC history magazine is an article on the Cutty Sark tea clipper now a tourist attraction at Greenwich. The 19th century passion for tea drinking in England led to competition between ships to get the annual tea crop to London first, hence improvements … Continue reading

Mothers and Fathers as Parents

There tends to be a general assumption that mothers are better at parenting; it makes sense, as they have carried the child, given birth to it, and generally breastfeed, so it seems reasonable that their bond, their commitment to the child, should be stronger than the father. But new research sheds some doubt on this. … Continue reading

Sahara Dust

Occasionally we get warnings of dust blowing in from the Sahara, often at the height of summer when people with sensitive lungs are warned to stay indoors. this suggests that the dust is an unusual arrival, but it seems this is not the case. This is from yesterday’s i paper by Jacob Adetunji: At this … Continue reading

Sutton House

Sutton House

This is a National Trust property and the oldest home in East London. It was built by the courtier Sir Ralph Sadleir in 1535. His wife was a cousin of Oliver Cromwell. Instead of tapestries or wallpaper, the walls were covered with panels carved into ‘linenfold’ shapes, all of which were different. Some were painted. … Continue reading

Dr Johnson on The Falkland Islands

Dr Samuel Johnson is famous for his Dictionary of English words, but he was a well informed writer and barrister, who also published Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Faulkland’s Islands. This is how he describes the first English visitors to this still disputed territory: He talks of Anson describing he islands, which inspired a … Continue reading