22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

In 1948, Britain needed a fresh influx of people to help rebuild the country after World War Two had battered Britain’s towns and cities. The arrival of British citizens from the Caribbean on 22 June 1948, at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on the Empire Windrush, was a defining moment in Britain’s post-war history. It signalled a welcoming of citizens of the British Empire to embark on … Continue reading 22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

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

Jack the Ripper: the Whitechapel Murderer

In the early hours of 31 August 1888, a killer came out of the shadows in the narrow streets of Whitechapel, London, and claimed the first of his five victims. On the 9 November 1888, after slaughtering his final victim he evaporated seemingly into thin air. Who was the notorious Jack the Ripper? With a list of suspects that seems to grow at least one … Continue reading Jack the Ripper: the Whitechapel Murderer

Guest Blog: a Post-War Childhood in Liverpool

A guest post from George Boyland. George is a regular contributor to The Guardian’s Readers’ Recommend music blog. During World War Two, frightened Luftwaffe pilots, seeing the flak over Manchester and Liverpool, would turn back and drop their bombs over the last city before the North Sea – Hull. That city had it bad. But, apart from the East End of London, nowhere had it … Continue reading Guest Blog: a Post-War Childhood in Liverpool

Hampton Court Palace: Cumberland Art Gallery

Hampton Court Palace is famous for being the former home of Henry VIII – it also houses the wonderful Cumberland Art Gallery that displays treasures from the Royal Collection. The gallery occupies the four remaining rooms of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the younger son of George II. Take a look at some of my favourite works of art housed therein, including a painting of … Continue reading Hampton Court Palace: Cumberland Art Gallery

Hampton Court Palace: a Glimpse of Tudor and Georgian Tapestries

For centuries tapestries were used as a decorative status symbol at royal courts. They were emblematic of the power and grandeur of the royal house and offered a luxury that few could afford. Tapestries were a sumptuous demonstration of status and their exorbitant price reflected the skill and materials needed, such as gilt and silk, to make such works of art. Easily transportable they would … Continue reading Hampton Court Palace: a Glimpse of Tudor and Georgian Tapestries

4 June 1738: the Birth of George III

A fellow blogger kindly reminded me that George III’s birthday fell on 4 June. He was born in 1738 at Norfolk House, 31 St James’ Square, Westminster, London, which was built in 1722 for the 8th Duke of Norfolk. You can read my earlier post Thoughts on George III, here. It’s a brief overview of all things George III. It was the first post in … Continue reading 4 June 1738: the Birth of George III

Tracing my Boyland and Gray Ancestors

I started this blog to share fascinating stories from history. Not least of those, are my family history posts. I have researched my family’s history on and off for three decades, with more off than on, and usually with an intense burst of activity after travelling to a specific archive or record office.  This blog is now two-years-old and this is its 94th article! So I … Continue reading Tracing my Boyland and Gray Ancestors

HistorianRuby is Two-Years-Old!

Saturday 2 June is my 2 year blogging anniversary! HistorianRuby has now published 93 articles! Have I favourites? Yes. You can’t help feeling more for the posts that you have put your heart and soul into for a period of research and I have many where I’ve immersed myself into the study of the topic and this passion is somehow conveyed in the writing. When … Continue reading HistorianRuby is Two-Years-Old!

Pictures of History: Thackray Medical Museum

Earlier this year I visited the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. This offers the public a wonderful mix of the history of medicine, medical innovations and of public sanitation in the Victorian era. It is the brainchild of Paul Thackray, grandson of Charles Frederick Thackray, the founder of Chas. F. Thackray Ltd of Leeds, a medical supply company that began trading as a pharmacy in … Continue reading Pictures of History: Thackray Medical Museum

Millicent Garrett Fawcett Lived Here

Yesterday on the top deck of a London bus my husband and I passed some time spotting blue plaques! If you are not familiar with them they are plaques that are placed on historic buildings usually indicating that a person of note lived or worked there. The blue plaque project is now run by English Heritage. It was started in 1866 and is thought to … Continue reading Millicent Garrett Fawcett Lived Here

24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, born Alexandrina Victoria, was born 199 years ago today. She was the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Edward was the fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. She became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. On 1 May 1876, Queen … Continue reading 24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria