On 30 May 1593 the great playwright Christopher Marlowe was killed in an argument www.localhistories.org/marlowe
Saturday, 28 May 2016
Happy birthday Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, born 28 May 1738. He proposed that there should be a swift and humane method of executing people in France. The French Assembly agreed to his idea in 1791 and the first decapitating device was built. The first person to be executed by the new machine was Nicolas Jacques Pelletier in 1792. The guillotine was last used in France in 1977.
Monday, 23 May 2016
There were a number of great women, writers and scientists in the 18th century. Maria Kirch (1670-1720) was a great astronomer. Laura Bassi (1711-1778) became professor of anatomy at Bologna University in 1732. Maria Agnesi (1718-1799) was a famous mathematician and Emilie du Chatelet was a woman physicist and mathematician. Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was a famous astronomer. Catharine Macaulay was a famous historian. In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) published a book called A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In 1784 Elisabeth Thible became the first woman to travel in an untethered balloon
Friday, 20 May 2016
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Saxon women brewed beer. Another Saxon drink was mead, made from fermented honey. (Honey was very important to the Saxons as there was no sugar for sweetening food. Bees were kept in every village). Upper class Saxons sometimes drank wine. The women cooked in iron cauldrons over open fires or in pottery vessels. They also made butter and cheese. Saxons ate from wooden bowls.
Saxons were fond of meat and fish. However meat was a luxury and only the rich could eat it frequently. The ordinary people usually ate plain food such as bread, cheese and eggs. They ate not just chickens eggs but eggs from ducks, geese and wild birds. www.localhistories.org/food
Monday, 16 May 2016
Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cocoa tree, which is native to Central America. It grows large round fruits containing seeds or beans, which are used to make chocolate. However for centuries people drank chocolate rather than ate it. People in Central America drank chocolate as early as 1,500 BC. Much later the Mayans and the Aztecs drank chocolate. The Aztecs called it xocolatl from which are word chocolate is derived. After the Spanish conquered Central America they bought cocoa beans back to Europe. The beans were roasted and ground and used to make a drink with hot water. The Spanish added sugar to make it taste sweeter and they stirred it with a wooden stick to make it foamy. At first chocolate was drunk only in Spain but in the 17th century chocolate spread from Spain to the rest of Europe.