The death penalty has long been a part of our history. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, women were prosecuted for witchcraft and subsequently executed. In October 1660, after Charles II had returned to the throne, he exacted revenge on some of those who had sought the death of his father, Charles I, by executing them for high treason. Four individuals were hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross, in front of a crowd that included diarist Samuel Pepys, who had gone out for that specific purpose. Pepys had previously seen Charles I beheaded, and saw his attendance at the latter event as his ‘chance...to see the first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King’.
‘The Man of the Moment’ ran The Graphic’s attention-grabbing headline on Saturday 9 December 1922. Accompanied by a full-page front cover image of ‘the man’ everyone was talking about, the newspaper was keen to point out that he wasn’t just the man of the moment, but he’d also been an important figure in his own lifetime – over 3000 years previously.
To find out as much as we can about an ancestor drives most family historians to keep researching. We often find ourselves compelled to look further into the person’s life and it may have begun when we came across them in a record. Another trigger point for many of us is a physical family heirloom such as a medal, a certificate or an old photograph. Some of us may be collectors and have acquired an interesting medal or set of medals and are fired up to discover more about the individual who had earned the award or awards.
The story of Burton’s began in 1900, when Lithuanian Jew Meshe David Osinsky (1885–1952) moved to Britain to escape the Russian pogroms, changing his name to Montague Burton. The years following his arrival are hazy: some sources state that he settled in Leeds, others that he worked as a Manchester peddler. Either way, he established a small shop in Holywell Street, Chesterfield in 1903/4, selling men’s ready-made clothing purchased from a wholesaler. Shortly he opened a second Chesterfield shop, then a third in neighbouring Mansfield, capitalising on the thriving market for affordable, mass-produced, off-the-peg men’s suits.
TheGenealogist has launched fully searchable copies of The Times, to join its ever growing Newspapers and Magazines Collection. This release sees 3,129 editions from the 1870s decade join the many other newspaper publications already available to search on TheGenealogist. Keep a look out for further decades to be released in the coming months of this famous name-rich newspaper of record.
For two years this column has been examining how humans have utilised natural materials in everyday life, from primitive animal pelts to homespun linen and fine silks. For millennia, the only woven textiles known to man derived from animal and vegetable fibres – wool, linen, cotton and silk. Different grades suited all pockets and purposes, while mixed fabrics such as linsey-woolsey (linen and wool) and challis (silk and wool) extended their repertoire. Imagine, then, the appearance of totally new materials in the early 1900s: man-made/artificial textiles with strange, scientific names, developed in a laboratory.
The historic county of Buckinghamshire has been in existence since it was a subdivision of the kingdom of Mercia in the 10th century. It was formed out of about 200 communities that jointly funded a castle in Buckingham, to defend against invading Danes. Aylesbury is known from archaeological digs to date back at least as far as 1500 BC and the Icknield Way, which crosses the county, is pre-Roman in origin. The Roman Watling Street and Akeman Street both cross the county and were important trade routes linking London with other parts of Roman Britain.</p> <p>The sheer wealth in the county was worthy of note when the Domesday Survey was taken in 1086. Many ancient hunts became the king’s property (including Bernwood Forest, Whaddon Chase and Princes Risborough) as did all the wild swans of England – swans were bred for the king in the county.
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