Filed under Ireland

Making the Portugese Piggy in the Middle

Making the Portugese Piggy in the Middle

Following the execution of King Charles for treason, the king’s nephew Prince Rupert  became Lord High Admiral even though he was a soldier. He led a poorly equipped fleet crewed by English cavaliers and Irish adventurers but he had no safe port, so took to piracy. He sent Sir Arnold Delisle to the king of … Continue reading

Poetry, Science and Education

Poetry, Science and Education

One of the things I love about the 18th century history is that the population, especially the educated part of it, was so small, and most of them seem to have known each other. People with money tended to travel a lot, they socialised a lot, they had commercial and religious connections, and often married … Continue reading

On Temperance

On Temperance

Way back in the 19th century, the Temperance movement was one of the biggest and most influential of the many groups aiming to improve the mess that the industrial nation had become, with filthy, crowded cities and a population out of control. People advocating temperance often seem to be rather miserable, after all, where’s the … Continue reading

Clocks and Charity

Clocks and Charity

I love clocks and never seem to tire of learning how they were used. They  are generally seen as a means of controlling workers, but once in a while a story emerges from the mists of time which shows how clocks can be of benefit, in fact, as can be seen here, this clock may … Continue reading

Mr Henry Bridges’ Microcosm

Mr Henry Bridges’ Microcosm

Update: This book has been completely rewritten and will be released as ‘Mr Bridges’ Enlightenment Machine’ in various formats in early 2018. This is the strange story about a giant musical & astronomical clock that toured much of the western world between 1733 and its disappearance around 1775. I have spent years tracking this enormous … Continue reading

Blame it all on Henry

Blame it all on Henry

A lot of people think that religion is a bad thing, and to an extent I agree with them. But the beliefs are different to the practice, and I am constantly banging on about the importance of what Henry VIII did when he dissolved the monasteries. If you want to know how important these institutions … Continue reading

Ireland’s Greatest Invention

Ireland’s Greatest Invention

No, this is not a bad joke. Or even a good joke, but quite an amazing discovery I have just made. It is to do with Latin script. If you have ever seen the writing on an old Roman monument you may have noticed that it is a string of letters. They did not have … Continue reading