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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year

Happy New Year everybody. I wrote a history of New Year www.localhistories.org/newyear 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Women's Education

Its a myth that in the past women were not educated. Some women were highly educated. It was more about class than gender. www.localhistories.org/womensedtime

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Boudicca

Boudicca was a hero in British history. In 60 AD the Iceni tribe of East Anglia rebelled. At first the Romans allowed them to keep their kings and have some autonomy. However in c. 50 AD the Romans were fighting in Wales and they were afraid the Iceni might stab them in the back. They ordered the Iceni to disarm, which provoked a rebellion. However the Romans easily crushed it. In the ensuing years the Romans alienated the Iceni by imposing heavy taxes. Then, when the king of the Iceni died he left his kingdom partly to his wife, Boudicca and partly to Emperor Nero Soon, however Nero wanted the kingdom all for himself. His men treated the Iceni very high-handedly and they provoked rebellion. This time a large part of the Roman army was fighting in Wales and the rebellion was, at first, successful. Led by Boudicca the Celts burned ColchesterSt Albans and London. However the Romans rushed forces to deal with the rebellion. Although the Romans were outnumbered their discipline and tactics gave them victory.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Scrooge

On 19 December 1843 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published. It gave us the immortal words 'bah humbug!' but it also made the phrase 'Merry Christmas' popular. It was uncommon before then. www.localhistories.org/christmas 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas food

Puddings used to be meat based (even Xmas pud!). Brussel sprouts were not popular in England till the 17th century. Turkey at Xmas was not common till the 19th century. www.localhistories.org/desserts 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to all our readers www.localhistories.org/christmas

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Smallpox

On 9 December 1979 the WHO declared smallpox to be eradicated. Smallpox was a terrible disease which killed millions of people every year. (It nearly killed out Queen Elizabeth I). Thank you Dr Edward Jenner who invented vaccination in 1796. www.localhistories.org/medicine

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Maria Mitchell

The first American woman to discover a comet was Maria Mitchell in 1847. In 1848 she became the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences www.localhistories.org/womentime 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel was a great woman astronomer of the 18th century and early 19th century.  www.localhistories.org/caroline 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Women Scientists

I wrote a timeline of women scientists. Its a myth that there have been women scientists only recently. There have been women scientists as long as there has been science. www.localhistories.org/womenscientists

Monday, 10 November 2014

Martin Luther

On 10 November 1483 Martin Luther, one of the great men of the 16th century was born

Friday, 31 October 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014

More women's rights

I also wrote a timeline of women's rights in the USA www.localhistories.org/womensrightstimeus

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Edgehill

On 23 October 1642 the first battle of the English Civil War was fought at Edgehill www.localhistories.org/englishcivilwar 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Queen Matilda

Matilda is sometimes called England's forgotten queen. She came the throne in 1135. However there was another claimant to the throne and they fought a long civil war till 1154. So Matilda never ruled over the whole of England. Nevertheless she deserves to remember as the first queen to reign in England. www.localhistories.org/normans 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mary Rose

On 11 October 1982 Henry VIII's warship the Mary Rose was raised from the sea bed near Portsmouth. www.localhistories.org/maryrose 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Monty Python

5 October 1969 was a great day in history. Monty Pythons Flying Circus was first broadcast.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Friday, 26 September 2014

New Zealand

Happy birthday New Zealand. It became a self governing dominion on 26 September 1907. www.localhistories.org/newzealand 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Queen Mary

I found a very interesting video about Queen Mary of England https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXL4WL9y9qg

Sunday, 14 September 2014

50 famous women in history

Its a myth that there were no powerful or influential women before the 19th century. To try and explode this myth I made a video of 50 famous women who were born before the 19th century. http://youtu.be/grmTVzb5PCc 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

St Bartholomew's Day Massacre

On 24 August, St Bartholomew's Day 1572 Catholics in France began murdering thousands of French Protestants. The massacre began in Paris and soon spread to other parts of France. When the Pope heard the news he ordered a Te Deum (hymn of praise) be sung.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bartholomew's_Day_massacre

Friday, 22 August 2014

Battle of Bosworth

On 22 August 1485 Henry Tudor won the battle of Bosworth. Richard III was killed and Henry became King Henry VII founding the Tudor dynasty in England. www.localhistories.org/henryvii

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Myths about the First World War

I found this very interesting article of myths about the First World War http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25776836

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

London Place Names

I wrote an article about the origin of place names in London. Unfortunately some of them are a mystery. www.localhistories.org/londonnames  

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Women's History Video

I made another video of facts about women's history http://youtu.be/BTTxjxKFb-M

Thursday, 31 July 2014

More Women's History

I made another video. More women's history http://youtu.be/ivRMg_H618w

Monday, 28 July 2014

Robespiere

On 28 July 1794 Maximilien Robespierre was guillotined. www.localhistories.org/frenchrevolution

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Madagascar

I wrote a little history of Madagascar www.localhistories.org/madagascar

Monday, 21 July 2014

Neil Armstrong

On 21 July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon. Well done Neil. www.localhistories.org/moon  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ruth Ellis

On 13 July 1955 Ruth Ellis was hanged. She was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. www.localhistories.org/capital

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Myths about old sayings

I made a video about myths about where old sayings come from. Unfortunately there are many of them. http://youtu.be/B97gnvDNv0U 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Thomas More

On 6 July 1535 Thomas More was beheaded. But don't spare any tears for him. From 1529 to 1532 More was chancellor of England and he persecuted Protestants. He was responsible for the deaths of several people. In 1530 a man named Thomas Hitton was burned at Maidstone. Thomas More called him 'the Devil's stinking martyr'.  www.localhistories.org/more 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Canada

Two dates in Canadian history. On 3 July 1608 Quebec was founded. On 3 July 1814 the Americans invaded Canada but they soon withdrew. www.localhistories.org/canada 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Portchester

I uploaded a new video about Portchester, near Portsmouth. Its famous for its Roman fort. http://youtu.be/kI8uTcq3Y3o

The Somme

On 1 July 1916 the battle of the Somme began during the First World War. On the first day 19,000 British soldiers were killed.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Little Big Horn

On 25 June 1876 the Native Americans won a great victory at the battle of Little Big Horn. www.localhistories.org/nativeamericans

Friday, 20 June 2014

Uruguay

I wrote a little history of Uruguay. Its a poor country and it has a tragic past but recently the economy has been growing strongly and there is reason to be optimistic for its future. www.localhistories.org/uruguay 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Peelers

On 19 June 1829 Robert Pool founded the first modern police force in London. They were called bobbies or peelers after him www.localhistories.org/police 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Magna Carta

On this day in 1215 King John sealed the Magna Carta. Its the foundation of all our freedoms so I think we should call this Magna Carta Day.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Last hanging

The last aristocrat to be hanged in England was Laurence Shirley, Earl Ferrers in 1760 www.localhistories.org/pun 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Monday, 9 June 2014

Charles Dickens

9 June 1870 was a sad day for Portsmouth. Our most famous son, Charles Dickens died. www.localhistories.org/dickens 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Luddites

A gentleman sent me an article about Luddites in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. www.localhistories.org/huddersfield1

Monday, 2 June 2014

Edmonton

The great Canadian city of Edmonton began as a trading post called Fort Edmonton, built in 1795. It was named after Edmonton in England, which was then a town north of London. However in the late 19th century the settlement began to spread outside the fort. Then in 1892 Edmonton was incorporated as a town and in 1904 it was incorporated as a city. Despite its small size Edmonton was chosen to be the capital of Alberta in 1905. www.localhistories.org/edmonton 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Chicago

I wrote a little history of Chicago. From being a tiny settlement in 1830 it has grown to be one of North America's largest cities. www.localhistories.org/chicago 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Copernicus

On 24 May 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus died. He is famous for his revolutionary theory that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way round. www.localhistories.org/copernicus  

Friday, 23 May 2014

World Turtle Day

Today (23 May) is World Turtle Day. It was begun by American Tortoise Rescue in 2000. I don't know anything about turtles or tortoises except that their shell was used for decoration.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Toilets in the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD sophisticated plumbing disappeared from Europe for centuries. In Saxon times toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. (For ordinary people that remained the case for centuries afterwards).

However in the Middle Ages monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage.

In castles the toilet was called a garderobe and it was simply a vertical shaft with a stone seat at the top. Some garderobes emptied into the moat.

In the Middle Ages wealthy people might use rags to wipe their behinds. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. www.localhistories.org/toilets 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Smallpox

On 14 May 1796 English doctor Edward Jenner carried out the first vaccination against smallpox on an 8 year old boy. Smallpox was a terrible disease. Queen Elizabeth I nearly died from it in 1562. Even if you survived smallpox it might leave you badly scarred. www.localhistories.org/medicine 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Jamestown



On this day in 1607 the first permanent English colony was founded in North America at Jamestown. www.localhistories.org/colonial 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Florence Nightingale

On 12 May 1820 Florence Nightingale was born. Everyone in Britain has heard of her. She was a famous nurse during the Crimean War 1854-56 and she helped to reform nursing in this country. However there was another nurse, a Jamaican called Mary Seacole who was equally famous in her own day. But she was almost entirely forgotten until recently, probably because she was black. www.localhistories.org/nightingale 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Crown Jewels

On 9 May 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood stole the English crown jewels. He is (so far) the only person to steal them. However he didn't get far before he was arrested. Yet King Charles II pardoned him. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Youtube Channel

This is my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpO50M3p6aGlnjAdOmHsnw 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Poison gas

On 22 April 1915 the Germans used poison gas (chlorine) on the western front for the first time. In 1917 they began using mustard gas. The allies also developed their own chemical weapons. www.localhistories.org/weaponshist 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Yuri Gagarin

On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova in 1963. The first American in space was John Glenn on 20 February 1962.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bananas

On 10 April 1633 bananas went on sale in England. People in England had already started to eat the new fruit or vegetable from the new world - pumpkins. Fruits like apricots, oranges and pomegrantes were already common in England - for those who could afford them. www.localhistories.org/fruits 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Women's Education

Its a myth that only men were educated in the past. Girls did not have the same opportunities as boys and they could not go to university but that does not mean they were never educated. Girls from rich families were usually educated at home by a tutor. They were often highly educated. Middle class girls were usually taught by their mothers but in 17th century England boarding schools opened for girls. Of course most boys had little or no education as it was expensive. www.localhistories.org/education 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Dick Turpin

On 7 April 1739 the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin was hanged. Like many famous robbers Turpin has become romanticized. Of course, in real life he was nothing like his romantic image and he was only 35 when he was hanged. Its strange how criminals often become heroes when they have been dead for a long time. www.localhistories.org/highwaymen 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Olympic Games revived

On 6 April 1896 the Olympic Games opened in Athens. It was a revival of the Ancient Greek Olympic Games and has been tremendously successful ever since. www.localhistories.org/games 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Fool

The earliest recorded April fools joke was in 1698 when people went to the Tower of London moat to see the lions being washed.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Charlotte Bronte

31 March 1855 was a sad day. The famous writer Charlotte Bronte died. She was only 38. Early death was common in those days, far more common than it is today but its a great shame because if she had lived another 30 years she could have written many more great works of literature. She did show that women could achieve great things even in the 19th century. www.localhistories.org/bronte 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The invention of panties

Roman women sometimes wore panties called subligaculum. However after the fall of Rome women did not usually wear panties until the end of the 18th century. Their only underwear was a long linen garment called a shift, which they wore under their dress.

In modern times women panties were invented again at the very end of the 18th century. (At first they were called drawers). In the 19th century panties came to below the knee.

Today we still say a pair of panties. That is because in the early 19th century women's underwear consisted to two separate legs joined at the waist. They really were a 'pair'.

At first panties were usually very plain but in the late 19th century they were sometimes decorated with lace and bands. In the 1860s some women began to wear colored drawers although white remained very common. In the 19th century panties were usually made of cotton though some women wore wool in the winter.
In the 19th century panties were sometimes called bloomers. A woman named Elizabeth Miller invented loose trousers to be worn by women. After 1849 Amelia Bloomer promoted the idea and they became known as bloomers after her. In time underwear became known as bloomers. The word lingerie is derived from the French word for linen, lin. However in the early 20th century lingerie came to mean pretty underwear. www.localhistories.org/panties 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Battle of Towton

On 29 March 1471 the battle of Towton was fought in England during a civil war. It was the worst battle in English history. Its believed that at least 20,000 men died and perhaps as many as 28,000. That was at a time when the whole population of England was about 2 and a half million. So about 1% of the population of England died in a battle in a single day. www.localhistories.org/middle 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Tudor Furniture

In Tudor Times furniture was more plentiful than in the Middle Ages but it was still basic. In a wealthy home it was usually made of oak and was heavy and massive. Tudor furniture was expected to last for generations. You expected to pass it on to your children and even your grandchildren. Comfortable beds became more and more common in the 16th century. In a middle class Tudor home a mattress was often stuffed with flock (a kind of rough wool).

Chairs were more common than in the Middle Ages but they were still expensive. Even in an upper class home children and servants sat on stools. The poor had to make do with stools and benches.

In the 15th century only a small minority of people could afford glass windows. In the 16th century they became much more common. However they were still expensive. If you moved house you took your glass windows with you! Windows were made of small pieces of glass held together by strips of lead. They were called lattice windows. However the poor still had to make do with strips of linen soaked in linseed oil. www.localhistories.org/tudor  

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Underwear

Today we still say a pair of  panties. That is because in the early 19th century women's underwear consisted to two separate legs joined at the waist. They really were a 'pair'. www.localhistories.org/underwear 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Ivan the Terrible

 In 1565 Ivan the Terrible formed a private army called the Oprichnina. They were completely loyal to him and they killed anyone suspected of being the Czar's enemy. In 1570 The Oprichniks sacked Novgorod because Ivan believed the Novgorodians were collaborating with his enemies the Poles. The Oprichniks massacred the inhabitants, killing thousands. The Metropolitan of Moscow denounced Ivan's cruelty and as a result he was strangled.

Ivan also devised horrific methods of torturing and killing anyone he suspected of being an enemy. Ivan even killed his own son and heir by hitting him with an iron tipped staff. Ivan finally died in 1584. www.localhistories.org/russia 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Victorian Women

Women in Britain gradually gained more rights during the 19th century.
In 1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) became the first British woman doctor. Elizabeth also became the first woman in Britain to become mayor of a town (Aldeburgh) in 1908. The first woman in Britain to qualify as a dentist was Lilian Lindsay in 1895. The first woman to qualify as an architect in Britain was Ethel Charles in 1898.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Women's rights

In the Ancient World women's rights varied from one civilization to another. In Ancient Egypt women had virtually the same rights as men. They could own property and they could sign contracts. A famous woman Pharaoh called Hatshepsut once ruled Egypt. www.localhistories.org/womensrights 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Honduras

I wrote a little history of Honduras. Its still a very poor country with a long way to go to eliminate poverty. www.localhistories.org/honduras 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Renaissance Italy

In the late 14th and 15th centuries a great cultural change came over Italy. It is called the Renaissance, which means 'rebirth'. In the Middle Ages education was mostly controlled by the church for the church. In the late 14th century there were an increasing number of secular educated men in Italy. There was also an increasing interest in the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. At the time Greek scholars (from the Byzantine Empire) came to Italy.

The Renaissance benefited from the printing press, which was introduced into Venice by 1470. Furthermore rich Italians patronised the arts.

Meanwhile Italian trade and commerce prospered. The city-states flourished. In the 15th century Florence was ruled by the Medicis, a family of bankers. (Florence was a republic ruled by an oligarchy but the Medicis managed to control it). The greatest Medicis were Cosimo who ruled from 1434 to 1464 and Lorenzo the Magnificent who ruled from 1469 to 1492. www.localhistories.org/italy 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Life boats

A man named Lionel Lukin was a pioneer of the lifeboat. Its difficult to say who invented the lifeboat because several men had a similar idea around the same time. Nevertheless Lukin patented his idea in 1785.His invention has saved countless lives. Thank you Mr Lukin. www.localhistories.org/transport 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Canada

However Canada finally gained democratic government in 1867 when Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were federated as the Dominion of Canada. Canada then had a strong central government, which ruled from Ottawa, the new capital. The first prime minister of Canada was Sir John Macdonald.
Manitoba was made a province in 1870. British Columbia joined the confederation in 1871. Alberta and Saskatchewan joined in 1905. www.localhistories.org/canada

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

18th Century Towns

During the 18th century towns in Britain grew larger. Nevertheless most towns still had populations of less than 10,000. However in the late 18th century new industrial towns in the Midland and the North of England mushroomed. Meanwhile the population of London grew to nearly 1 million by the end of the century. Other towns were much smaller. The population of Liverpool was about 77,000 in 1800. Birmingham had about 73,000 people and Manchester had about 70,000. Bristol had a population of about 68,000. Sheffield was smaller with 31,000 people and Leeds had about 30,000 people. Leicester had a population of about 17,000 in 1800. In the south Portsmouth had a population of about 32,000 in 1800 while Exeter had about 20,000 people. www.localhistories.org/18thcent 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Life in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages chimneys were a luxury. As time passed they became more common but only a small minority could afford them. Certainly no peasant could afford one.

About 1180 for the first time since the Romans rich people had panes of glass in the windows. At first glass was very expensive and only rich people could afford it but by the late 13th and early 14th centuries the middle classes began to have glass in some of their windows. Those people who could not afford glass could use thin strips of horn or pieces of linen soaked in tallow or resin which were translucent. www.localhistories.org/middle



Friday, 31 January 2014

Edmonton, Canada

I wrote a history of Edmonton, Canada. Like other Canadian cities it began as a fort but in 1905 it became the capital of Alberta and since then it has mushroomed. www.localhistories.org/edmonton 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Toronto, Canada

I wrote a brief history of Toronto. It started as a fort in the 18th century and grew into a great Canadian city. www.localhistories.org/toronto 

Friday, 10 January 2014

History of Venezuela

I wrote a little history of Venezuela. Its a troubled country but hopefully things will get better in future. www.localhistories.org/venezuela