The Salvation Army was founded by Methodist lay preacher William Booth and his wife, Catherine, in response to the poverty and homelessness they encountered in the East End of London. Its mission was to bring spiritual and practical help to those in desperate need, with an emphasis on breaking the cycle of dependency, getting people back on their feet and restoring some dignity to their lives.
The 20th Yorkshire Family History Fair will be held on Saturday 27 June 2015 in The Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at The Racecourse in York. The fair is organised by family historians for family historians and this is one of the country’s largest family history shows, which thousands of people visit each year. With exhibitors coming from all over the UK and Ireland it has attracted numerous family history societies and companies to attend over the years, with lots of local history from the York area as well – and this year, it seems, will be no exception.
From 1841-1911 we can track down our Scottish family members in the regular decennial censuses using the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk). Prior to this there are many other irregular listings of people held within a variety of genealogical sources, though they are not necessarily so easily accessible online. Before considering these, however, it is first worth pointing out that the modern decennial census actually started in 1801, not 1841. From 1801 to 1831, local enumerators were merely required to provide statistics on their local populations, but in some cases full listings have survived, identifying the families by name, and from which the statistics were then subsequently drawn.
At time of writing, the ITV period television drama Mr Selfridge has aired and a fourth series been commissioned, to complete the story of one of the greatest retail magnates in British history. Selfridge’s flagship store in Oxford Street remains an impressive landmark today, an imposing edifice with elegant interiors and legendary window displays, but when American entrepreneur Gordon Selfridge opened his new dream emporium in 1909 he was flying in the face of tradition, for most department stores had much earlier origins, in the Georgian era.
In Northern Ontario, the unusually hot and dry conditions that had prevailed throughout the summer of 1922 continued unabated into the autumn. Concerned about the approaching ‘burning’ season, local fire rangers asked for their contracts to be extended beyond mid-September, but the government denied their request and the rangers left the Temiskaming area on 12 September as scheduled. Homesteaders in the area, no longer requiring permits to set the small fires they routinely used to help clear their small holdings, began to set controlled burns to remove brush and scrub from their properties. Used to the smell of smoke in the area in the fall, townspeople in Haileybury, Charlton and other rural communities went on about their daily business, unconcerned.
The Queen famously described the year 1992 as an <em>annus horribilis</em>. The monthly equivalent of 1992 may well have been May 1915. During that month, the Lusitania was sunk off the coast of Ireland with the loss of over 1,000 lives. At the same time the bloody Second Battle of Ypres was reaching its climax and the Gallipoli campaign was beginning to grind out thousands of casualties. Against this background, Britain’s most costly rail disaster took place. On 22 May 1915, a collision involving three trains on the main west coast line just north of the Scottish border resulted in over 200 deaths and an equal number of injuries. The vast majority of casualties were members of the Royal Scots Territorials en route for Gallipoli and, due to the accident’s timing in the midst of war, their sad fate has often been hidden in the footnotes of history.
As explained in last month’s Periodical, the word ‘umbrella’ derives from Latin umbra (‘shade’) and initially it was used as protection from the sun. Ancient sculptures from c11th century BC reveal sunshades being used in Egypt, India and the Middle East, and later they were adopted by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Probably inspired by the shady canopy of a tree, portable sunshades originally consisted of large fleshy leaves such as banana leaves or a converted tree branch. The word ‘parasol’, from Latin parare (to prepare) and sol (sun), also signified a sunshade, but an important distinction existed between the personal umbrella held by the user and the larger parasol carried over a person of distinction, by an attendant.
Warwickshire is a landlocked county in the centre of England, famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and George Eliot. Its county boundaries have seen various changes since 1889, notably the loss of the cities of Birmingham (see the June 2013 issue of the Periodical) and Coventry and the town of Solihull.
For over 800 years, Magna Carta has inspired those prepared to face torture, imprisonment and even death in the fight against tyranny. But the belief that the Great Charter gave us such freedoms as democracy, trial by jury and equality beneath the law has its roots in myth. Back in 1215, when King John was forced to issue Magna Carta, it was regarded as little more than a stalling tactic in the bloody conflict between monarch and barons.
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