The centuries-long conflict between poachers and gamekeepers is well established, although the two roles probably did not acquire their modern titles until the 17th century. In 1670, Charles II passed a law enabling all lords of manors to authorise the appointment of one or more gamekeepers who ‘may take and seize all such guns, bows, dogs, nets, or other engines for taking or killing conies, hares, pheasants, partridges or other game within such manors from any person prohibited to use the same by said Act’. The term ‘coney’ is an old word for rabbit, still used regionally in some parts of the UK.
At Christmas time the British dinner table isn’t complete without the ubiquitous Christmas cracker laid at each and every place. The tradition is one that we have to be thankful to our Victorian ancestors for, as crackers were invented by Tom Smith, a name that may still be familiar to revellers today.
To talk of a Tory today is to speak exclusively of the UK Conservative Party, the right-wing party of some of Britain’s most successful prime ministers such as Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Sir Winston Churchill, and the party which dominated the 19th and 20th centuries more than any other. But in fact the Conservatives developed from a party or movement that was officially known as the Tories until 1834 and which can be traced back as far as the English Civil War.
Each day, thousands of men and women who risk their lives to make our country safer often go unrecognised. We might have ancestors who died decades ago serving their country but whose stories were never told. The availability of service records and medal rolls provides a means for family history researchers to learn more about their forebears who served in the armed forces. My great-great-uncle, Charles Phillip Madell, who served in the Boer War, World War I and as a military policeman in New Zealand, was one of those whose service was largely forgotten.
TheGenealogist is releasing the first part of an exciting new record set; The Lloyd George Domesday Survey – a major new release that will reveal where an ancestor lived in 1910. This unique combination of maps and residential data, held by The National Archives, can precisely locate your ancestor’s house on large scale (five feet to the mile), hand-annotated maps of London that plot the exact property.
In Roman times Lincoln was a significant hilltop fortress, called Lindum Colonia, ‘Lin’ referring at the time to what is now the Brayford Pool, a lake formed by a widening of the River Witham. The Romans used this as a port, which they connected to the River Trent by means of the Foss Dyke, the latter effectively being the country’s oldest canal. The city was also served by two major Roman roads, the Fosse Way and Ermine Street.
The records of the Courts of Equity, which dealt with cases of fairness rather than law, are among the most detailed, extensive and revealing of all the legal documents historians can consult, yet they are often neglected. Susan Moore's expert introduction to them opens up this fascinating source to researchers who may not be familiar with them and don’t know how to take advantage of them. As she traces the purpose, history and organization of the Courts of Equity from around 1500 to 1876, she demonstrates how varied their role was and how valuable their archives are for us today. She covers the Courts of Chancery, Exchequer, Star Chamber, Requests, Palatinates and Duchy of Lancaster in clear detail. Her work shows researchers why their records are worth searching, how to search them and how many jewels of information can be found in them. This introduction will be appreciated by local, social and family historians who are coming to these records for the first time and by those who already know of the records but have found them daunting.
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