Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

On 25 December 1952, Queen Elizabeth II made her first Christmas broadcast to the nation as sovereign on BBC radio. The tradition of the Christmas broadcast began in 1932 with the Queen’s grandfather, King George V. In 1952, at 15.07 p.m. the Queen broadcast from the study at Sandringham House, Norfolk. Families around Britain would listen to the Queen huddled around their radios, for some … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

It’s December! Season’s greetings! Christmas is coming and I thought I’d share some charming Christmas cards to begin the festivities. I’m going to attempt an historically themed #Blogmas – but we’ll see how that progresses throughout the month. Above is an English language Christmas card in the early art nouveau style – there is no reference to country of origin, however, it is included in … Continue reading Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

Pocahontas: the Native American Princess Buried in Gravesend, Kent

Pocahontas was born circa 1596, near Jamestown, Virginia, U.S.A. and died in March 1617 in Gravesend, Kent, England. Her story has fascinated for 400 years, but how many people know that she is buried in the Garden of England, as Kent is known? Pocahontas was buried in the chancel of the church of St George in 1617, the church was destroyed by fire in 1727 … Continue reading Pocahontas: the Native American Princess Buried in Gravesend, Kent

22 November 1963: the Assassination​ of JFK

It used to be said that everyone could say where they were when they heard the news that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was dead. It’s now 55 years since that shocking afternoon in Dallas, Texas, and there are obviously fewer people alive who can attest where they were that fateful afternoon. The President and his party, which included his wife Jackie, Governor John Connally and … Continue reading 22 November 1963: the Assassination​ of JFK

The Children of King George III and Queen Charlotte

King George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 8 September 1761 at the Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace. Charlotte gave birth to fifteen children, with thirteen surviving to adulthood. George and Charlotte’s remarkable fecundity was assisted by Charlotte’s youthful age on marriage (17), which extended her married fertile years, increasing the likelihood of pregnancy. She also did not gain from the contraceptive benefits of sole … Continue reading The Children of King George III and Queen Charlotte

World War One: when War Reunited a Family

In Killed by Enemy Action: a Family Tragedy I wrote about my uncle Joseph Boyland, who was machine-gunned walking along Scotland Road, Liverpool, in September 1940. That was a story about a family devastated by the consequences of war, yet a generation earlier war had brought the Boyland family together.  John Boyland, Joseph’s father, fought for the Liverpool King’s 5th Regiment during World War One. … Continue reading World War One: when War Reunited a Family

Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

On Tuesday 17 September 1940, Joseph Boyland, Joey to his brothers, was machine-gunned walking down Scotland Road, Liverpool. He died the following day at the city’s Royal Infirmary. Aged fourteen, he had left school and was about to ‘go to sea’. The Merchant Navy was a common occupation for young men in Liverpool at the time. The Liverpool Evening News briefly reported on 18 September … Continue reading Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

World War One ended at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War, as it was known then, was believed to be ‘the war to end all wars’. Of course, it wasn’t, and just twenty-one years later the world was at war once again. This weekend the world remembers and commemoration events large and small will ensure … Continue reading Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

Using Archives for Academic Research

In Digital Versus Physical Archives: a Personal Account I discussed my use of archives while researching my family history, describing how digital archives were the catalyst for my research in various archives in Britain and Ireland spanning several years.  With ten years’ archival research behind me, I decided to study for a history degree.  Those years were invaluable to me, as I headed into the archives … Continue reading Using Archives for Academic Research

Remember, Remember the Sixth of November: Commemorating Princess Charlotte 200 Years After her Death

Originally posted on HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany:
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales ‘Alas, that England’s hope – her greatest pride, Should thou in youthful loveliness have died!’ The Morning Post, 7 November 1817 Monday 6 November 2017 is the 200th anniversary of the death of Princess Charlotte, the granddaughter of King George III. She died at Claremont in Surrey after a protracted fifty-hour labour… Continue reading Remember, Remember the Sixth of November: Commemorating Princess Charlotte 200 Years After her Death

Emma Clarke, Born 1875: Britain’s First Black Female Footballer

As I noted in The ‘Black Boy’ of the Philanthropic Society, much of Britain’s black history is hidden from the historical record, not least because histories were generally recorded of rich, white men;  women and minorities are hard to locate unless they married into the aristocracy, did something extraordinary or found themselves in trouble with the law. It also relies on the person recording any … Continue reading Emma Clarke, Born 1875: Britain’s First Black Female Footballer

In the News: English Heritage – ‘Nominate Female Candidates for New Blue Plaques’

Only 14% of London’s blue plaques celebrate women.  English Heritage is trying to redress the balance. Since they began a campaign in 2016 more than half of the plaques awarded have celebrated women. However, they are seeking more nominations from the public. What a wonderful way to engage with public history! You can check out the selection criteria here. One of the rules states that … Continue reading In the News: English Heritage – ‘Nominate Female Candidates for New Blue Plaques’

Royal Memorabilia: Must Have Mementoes​ or Kitsch to Ignore?

A few years ago, I failed to buy a commemorative dish memorialising the death of Princess Charlotte in 1817. I’ve bemoaned my loss of this ever since. I’ve browsed for another on eBay and have almost been tempted to buy again. Some of the Princess Charlotte memorabilia is very pricey, that said it is 200-years-old! Love it or loathe it, royal memorabilia is big business. … Continue reading Royal Memorabilia: Must Have Mementoes​ or Kitsch to Ignore?