Posted in October 2016

Respect For Naval Veterans

Few people sign up for the military as an easy means to wealth, but here’s a small piece showing how poorly the press felt retired naval officers were treated. This is from The Kentish Gazette, probably read by a lot of past and present military, of June 1772:  At a meeting of the officers who … Continue reading

The Richest Man in All Christendom?

Most people assume slavery was the basis of most fortunes in Britain’s 18th century, but descendants of the original settlers also featured. Here’s a couple of pieces from May 1771’s Kentish Gazette: Wm Baker, Esq; one of the Sheriffs of this city, &c. was married at Spring Garden Chapel, to Miss Juliana Penn, daughter of … Continue reading

A Wily Yorkshire Miller

In the days before modern policing, people had to make do. This miller served up his own justice and probably taught the thieves a lesson about messing with him. This is from a letter in The Kentish Gazette of May 1771 Letter from York A few nights ago a gang of 9 thieves beset the … Continue reading

The Mound

Originally posted on Adrian Tinniswood:
Icarus Like so many of the burial grounds in Erris, the graveyard at Doohoma looks out to sea. The square two-acre plot lies on a quiet hillside a mile out of the village, close to the strand, walled and gated and neatly kept. Tarmac paths encircle the perimeter. There are…

Five Fascinating Facts about Samuel Pepys

Five Fascinating Facts about Samuel Pepys

More than a diarist Interesting Literature Curious facts about the diarist Samuel Pepys 1. Samuel Pepys’ celebrated diary was only deciphered in the early nineteenth century, over a century after his death. The diary wasn’t written in code but in a form of shorthand called tachygraphy. It took a reverend several years to decipher the diary … Continue reading

A Chinese Artist at the Royal Academy, 1771

Once in a while I find mentions of exotic visitors to Britain who were honoured. I have no idea what this Mr … did, but he seems to have impressed the RA. This is from March 1771, The Leeds Intelligencer Yesterday Mr Chitqua, the celebrated Chinese Artist, embarked at Gravesend, on board the Grenvile East Indiaman, … Continue reading

Street Art, Cardiff

Street Art, Cardiff

The annual Made in Roath festival is again upon us in Cardiff, and some fences have been decorated by a bunch of cross stitchers. I love them because the y make you stop and look at your local environment. Sometimes you have a brief encounter with others who have likewise paused to look and admire … Continue reading

Art and History Uniting Communities

Art and History Uniting Communities

In the midst of despair at the divisiveness and hostility between many Britons, I offer some thoughts from our Georgian past. This is one of my favourite quotes, so apologies to anyone who has read it before. It comes from Highways & Byways in Somerset by Edward Hutton, on the importance of the city of … Continue reading