In the News: Elizabethan Ring Found and Henry VIII Portrait Dated Using Dendrochronology

A Lost Elizabethan* Ring  An English metal detectorist literally struck gold when searching a Somerset field.  Last year he found a gold ring that has been dated to between 1550 and 1650. After being registered as treasure, it was examined by the British Museum and has since been offered for sale. However, with no museums wishing to purchase it, it will be auctioned next month. … Continue reading In the News: Elizabethan Ring Found and Henry VIII Portrait Dated Using Dendrochronology

Titanic Survivor Lawrence Beesley: the Day of the Disaster

Lawrence Beesley was a second-class passenger on the ill-fated Titanic, the White Star Line Liner that sank on its maiden voyage on 15 April 1912. A Cambridge-educated teacher, he had recently resigned his post as science master at Dulwich College, London. He was travelling to America for an extended holiday and had aimed to visit his brother who was residing in Canada. Within weeks of … Continue reading Titanic Survivor Lawrence Beesley: the Day of the Disaster

@HistorianRuby: Social Media Links

We all know that social media is increasingly important in many peoples lives. We check our stats, notifications, likes, follows and friend requests etc. and it’s no different for amateur and professional bloggers: we use social media to publicise our work. For public historians, it is crucial that they promote their latest TV programs, books and magazine articles using modern social media platforms to engage … Continue reading @HistorianRuby: Social Media Links

In the News: the Hot Summer Uncovers History

Hidden Archaeology Recently, the hot weather in Britain and Ireland has uncovered the remains of historic buildings hidden from view for hundreds of years. Marks on the parched grass delineate where buildings once sat and a race to plot each scorch mark then ensued before rain once again caused the finds to be hidden from view. Aerial investigators flew over Wales to record hitherto lost … Continue reading In the News: the Hot Summer Uncovers History

Gold Post Boxes: Commemorating Britain’s Sporting Heroes

British Olympic gold medal winners in 2012 got more than the gold medals that defined them as elite sportsmen and women. The gold medal winners for London 2012 were also commemorated with gold painted post boxes in their hometowns and a set of stamps. I bought two sets of stamps as mementoes of the historic games: those of Sir Andy Murray, who won his gold … Continue reading Gold Post Boxes: Commemorating Britain’s Sporting Heroes

This Week’s Second-hand Book Buys

There’s something about antique and second-hand bookshops that really appeal to me. I love the haphazard lines, the irregularity and the chance of finding a real gem of a book! I have filled what amounts to several bookshelves worth of books with acquisitions from such stores. Yesterday, on my travels, I came across a second-hand bookshop in Keswick and began exploring their history section. In … Continue reading This Week’s Second-hand Book Buys

What’s Featured: a Month in Review

I was forever playing around with my blog, not 100% happy with it, but also not hating it enough for change. However, when I removed my header image, my theme (Canard) was able to showcase ‘featured content’ in its stead! I had to go into the customiser and select a chosen tag in ‘Featured Content’, then the latest five posts that have had that tag … Continue reading What’s Featured: a Month in Review

Cesar Picton: an African in Georgian Britain

Cesar Picton was born in Senegal in 1755 but was taken to Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, as a boy in  November 1761. The castle belonged to Sir John Philipps, Baronet and MP for Pembrokeshire. Philipps described his journey to Norbiton, near Kingston upon Thames, where he had a home, with ‘a black boy from Senegal given to me by Captain Parr, a paraquet [parakeet] and a … Continue reading Cesar Picton: an African in Georgian Britain

29 July 1981: the Marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Frances Spencer, daughter of the eighth Earl Spencer on 29 July 1981 after a short engagement that had been announced on 24 February the same year. The marriage ceremony was held at St Paul’s Cathedral rather than the more traditional Westminster Abbey as it could hold more guests. Charles, a future King of Great Britain, … Continue reading 29 July 1981: the Marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

Gray Family History: a Brief Overview of the Mullins/Southwell Branch

Gray – maternal line My mother’s family, her parents and three older brothers, arrived in Liverpool in the mid-1920s. Her father was William James Gray (1885 – 1941) and her mother Anne Southwell (1899 – 1995), their marriage certificate states that my grandmother’s father was ‘unknown’. This is not strictly true: her birth certificate states that her father was John Mullins. However, I have been … Continue reading Gray Family History: a Brief Overview of the Mullins/Southwell Branch

Titanic Captain Edward John Smith Lived Here

On the night of 15 April 1912, Captain Edward John Smith died along with 1500 other people when RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. Edward John Smith was born on 27 January 1850. In 1875 he earned his master’s certificate, a qualification necessary for him to serve as a ship’s captain. In 1880 he became a junior officer with the … Continue reading Titanic Captain Edward John Smith Lived Here

Writing History: Some Hints and Tips

Family history – own it Are you writing about your family history? If so, then YOU own the story. In my experience, I’ve found this to be a stressless way of writing history. It’s always enjoyable to reminisce. When I write my family history posts the words nearly always flow very easily once I’ve settled on a topic and this is because it is my … Continue reading Writing History: Some Hints and Tips

William Marsden Lived Here

A blue plaque commemorating the founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals adorns a townhouse in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Marsden was born in Yorkshire in 1796 and after his apprenticeship to an apothecary moved to London. He studied surgery at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and qualified as a surgeon in 1827. He opened what became known as the Royal Free Hospital as sick people … Continue reading William Marsden Lived Here

Parliament Square: Protesting Trump in the Home of Democracy

I don’t pretend to be a political analyst. Indeed, I’m often apolitical because I just don’t want to do politics. Nevertheless, I can list several things I dislike about US President Donald Trump, but that can be said of several other political figures, too. However, in the western democratic world, we have the right of free speech and the right to protest peacefully. Enter the … Continue reading Parliament Square: Protesting Trump in the Home of Democracy

Oscar Wilde at the Old Bailey

25 March 1895 Oscar Wilde was largely the architect of his own downfall. He was jailed on 25 May 1895 after an investigation into his private life. Reacting to what amounted to being ‘outed’, Wilde brought a public prosecution against the Marquess of Queensbury. It was this court case that brought his lifestyle under criminal and public scrutiny. John Sholto Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry, was … Continue reading Oscar Wilde at the Old Bailey