Tracing past family members who were in the entertainment business is often particularly frustrating. After all, singing, acting, dancing and making people laugh are all aspects of a sadly transient profession. Most performers have their short period of celebrity and success, and then disappear. In my collection of theatrical postcards, for instance, I have one of a comical trio, and the card is signed by all three. I have not been able to find any trace of their work anywhere.
‘This is a story of plain men, who fought because they hated war, who voluntarily sacrificed themselves for their country and their friends and in doing of it, lost not their humour, their standard of duty, nor their faith.’ – from the Editor’s Preface of The Story of the 25th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment 1914-1918
On the morning of 21 January 1870, many miners from coal pits around Worsborough near Barnsley were absent from work. This was not the only village in the locality where the workforce was sparse that morning. Around 7.15 am, while it was still dark, a crowd of 600–1,000 miners converged on Thorncliffe Colliery at Tankersley. What followed was an appalling incident in 19th-century British industrial history and a miscarriage of justice.
Travel and tourism go hand in hand – but they also go hand in hand with crime. In the 18th century, those travelling to places via carriage risked being stopped by one of the nation’s many highwaymen, having their valuables stolen while they were on rough lanes miles away from civilisation in some cases, and with no regular police forces to report the offences to. Once the rail network was established in the 19th century, thieves and other criminals had a new way of committing crime. Although more serious crimes were rare – the first murder on a railway in Britain took place in 1864, shocking press and public alike – the rail network easily gave individuals the opportunity to commit crimes such as theft. Some of these people simply took advantage of travelling by train themselves, being tempted by the goods of other passengers. Others were locals who targeted train stations; but some were employed by the rail companies themselves.
TheGenealogist has just released additional sets of colour tithe maps to join the previously available greyscale maps in their National Tithe Records collection. This release for Warwickshire is of high-resolution colour digitised maps which will provide the family historian with highly detailed maps, sourced from The National Archives as well as the Warwick County Record Office.
Drivers of the first horse-drawn omnibuses that appeared during the 1820s generally wore regular outdoor coats, hats and used rugs, while conductors, whose job was more physically active, favoured short jackets. Scarcely any horse-drawn bus crews adopted standardised uniform, but metal licence badges (PSV badges) were introduced in 1838, to identify them to police and the general public.
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.
Bethlem Hospital is the oldest mental institution in the world, but to many it is famous only as ‘Bedlam’, a chaotic madhouse that brutalised its patients. This book, now in paperback for the first time, explores the 800-year history of Bethlem and reveals fascinating details of its ambivalent relationship with London and Londoners, the life and times of the hospital’s more famous patients, and the rise of a powerful reform movement which forced the government to take the issue of Bedlam seriously. Paul Chambers brings the whole story of Bethlem Hospital to a new audience, charting its well-intended beginnings to its final disgrace and reform.
You can buy a printed version of the annual Discover Your Ancestors bookazine directly from the publishers, please see www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk and click on ‘Order print copies’ at the bottom.
Discover Your Ancestors Publishing,
PO BOX 163,
Put your research questions to an expert, watch a talk, speak to a local society, archive or genealogical supplier.
Special Offer! Buy tickets for £7.00 (£10.00 on the day)
Unable to make the next show? We also have shows planned for the following locations:
Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is published by Discover Your Ancestors Publishing, UK. All rights in the material belong to Discover Your Ancestors Publishing and may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without their prior written consent. The publisher makes every effort to ensure the magazine's contents are correct. All articles are copyright© of Discover Your Ancestors Publishing and unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. Please refer to full Terms and Conditions at www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk. The editors and publishers of this publication give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised.