Monday, 30 December 2019

Women's Boxing

Women's boxing has a long history. It was popular in England in the 18th century. https://allthatsinteresting.com/womens-boxing-history

Washing in the Middle Ages

I keep coming across the tired old myth that people in the Middle Ages had no idea of cleanliness. Here we go: In the Middle Ages there were bathhouses in many towns where people could pay to have a bath. Furthermore in Northern Europe in the Middle Ages people took sweat baths.
In the 14th century, Edward III installed a bathroom in the Palace of Westminster. Other people made do with wooden tubs in their bedrooms.
Furthermore in the Middle Ages, there was an important soap making industry in England (although many people made their own soap at home). In the Middle Ages, people used combs and tweezers. They also used toothpicks and mouthwashes.
In the Middle Ages in monasteries streams provided clean water. Dirty water was used to clean toilets, which were in a separate room. Monks also had a room called a laver where they washed their hands before meals. www.localhistories.org/washing.html 

History of Panties

In the 19th century, panties were sometimes called bloomers. A woman named Elizabeth Miller invented loose trousers to be worn by women. After 1849 Amelia Bloomer promoted the idea and they became known as bloomers after her. In time underwear became known as bloomers. www.localhistories.org/panties.html 

History of Russia

The 1905 revolution in Russia began when Father George Gapon led a peaceful march on Sunday 22 January 1905. The marchers wanted higher pay and a 10-hour working day. They marched through St Petersburg to the Winter Palace. However, the palace guard opened fire killing hundreds of people. Following 'bloody Sunday' there were riots by peasants and Russia was hit by a wave of strikes. There were also mutinies in the army and navy. Finally, in October 1905, Russia was paralyzed by a general strike. Nicholas II was forced to give in and agreed to form a representative assembly called a Duma. www.localhistories.org/russia.html 

History of Germany

William I was proclaimed emperor of Germany on 18 January 1871. In the late 19th century Germany industrialized rapidly. By the end of the century, it rivaled Britain as an industrial power. www.localhistories.org/germany.html 

Whitehorse

The town of Whitehorse was founded after gold was found in Yukon in 1896. In 1897 many people were camping in the area and soon the tents were replaced by permanent buildings. Its believed the town takes its names from nearby rapids because they reminded people of the manes of white horses. www.localhistories.org/whitehorse.html 

Saturday, 28 December 2019

William the Conqueror

On 25 December 1066 William the Conqueror was crowned king of England www.localhistories.org/william.html 

Woodrow Wilson

US president Woodrow Wilson was born on 28 December 1856 www.localhistories.org/wilson.html

King John

King John was born on 24 December 1167. He sealed Magna Carta. He also founded the port of Liverpool. www.localhistories.org/kingjohn.html 

Monday, 23 December 2019

Sex Disqualification Act 1919

On 23 December 1919 the Sex Disqualification Act became law in Britain. Women were allowed to become vets, lawyers and chartered accountants. They were also allowed to be magistrates and members of juries. www.localhistories.org/womensjobs.html 

Christmas cake

People used to eat a cake on 12th Night (6 January). In the late 19th century they began eating it on Christmas Day instead and it became known as Christmas cake. www.localhistories.org/biscuits.html 

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Crosswords

Happy birthday crossword. The first crossword puzzle was published on 21 December 1913 in the New York World. It was written by an Englishman called Arthur Wynne. Well done Arthur. www.localhistories.org/pastimes.html

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Boiling alive

In England a law of 1531 allowed poisoners to be boiled alive. In 1532 a cook called Richard Roose was boiled alive and in 1542 a woman called Margaret Davy was boiled alive. However, the law was repealed in 1547. www.localhistories.org/pun.html

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Bowler hat

Happy birthday bowler hat (also known as a Derby). On 17 December 1849 Edward Coke collected the first one from his hat makers Thomas and William Bowler. www.localhistories.org/hats.html

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Tycho Brahe

The great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was born on 14 December 1546. The Ancient Greeks said the Heavens are unchanging. But in 1572 Tycho saw a nova (exploding star). Some people said it must be an atmospheric phenomena but Tycho proved by careful calculations that it was in outer space. So the Heavens DID change. People also thought that comets were in the atmosphere but in 1577 Tycho proved that a comet was further away than the Moon. Sadly Tycho died before the telescope was invented. (I am sure he would have loved to look through one). But his careful observations helped later astronomers. www.localhistories.org/brahe.html 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

History of Christmas

Father Christmas and Santa Claus were originally two different figures. In England, Father Christmas was a man dressed in green (representing the return of Spring) who was supposed to visit families and feast with them at Christmas. (He did not bring gifts). However in the 19th century in England Father Christmas merged with the Dutch Santa Claus. He is supposed to be based on St Nicholas a Christian bishop who lived in Turkey in the 4th century AD. According to tradition, St Nicholas gave generous gifts to the poor. www.localhistories.org/christmas.html  

Friday, 6 December 2019

Fareham History

Halifax Nova Scotia

On 6 December 1917 disaster struck Halifax, Nova Scotia. A Norwegian ship collided with a French munitions ship called the Mont Blanc. The Mont Blanc caught fire then exploded killing more than 1,800 people and wrecking many buildings. www.localhistories.or/halifax.html 

Finnish Independence

Its Independence Day in Finland (Finland became independent of Russia on 6 December 1917). Happy Finnish Independence Day. www.localhistories.org/finland.html 

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Women in the 16th Century

Famous Women in History

National Repeal Day

Today is National Repeal Day. On 5 December 1933, the 21st amendment was ratified ending prohibition in the USA Hooray!

Gosport History

Tea adulteration

In the 18th century, it was common to adulterate tea by adding leaves from other plants. Laws against adulterating tea were passed in 1724, 1730 and 1776. www.localhistories.or/tea.html 

Food adulteration

In the 19th century adulteration of food was common. Cheap substances were added to food and drink e.g. water was added to milk. Food adulteration could literally be lethal. Calcium sulfate was added to peppermints. In 1858 a sweet maker in Bradford sent somebody to obtain some from a druggist. However, by mistake, the druggist's assistant picked up some arsenic thinking it was calcium sulfate. The arsenic was added to the sweets. As a result, 200 people became seriously ill and 20 died. In Britain, food adulteration was eventually controlled by the Sale of Food and Drugs Act 1875 and the Food Adulteration Act 1899. 

Wickham Hampshire

The History of Women's Jobs

The Incas

The Incas ruled a great empire in South America - but only for a short time. At its peak, the Incas Empire lasted less than a century before it was destroyed by the Spaniards.
In about 1300 the Incas founded their capital city of Cuzco. They were only a small tribe but they came to rule a vast empire including most of Peru and parts of Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, and northwest Argentina. The expansion began in 1438 under their ruler Pachakuti and continued under his successors. www.localhistories.org/inca.html 

The History of Women's Rights

Waterlooville History

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

The Origin of English Surnames

A History of Poverty

Rowlands Castle

Buriton Hampshire

Food in 16th Century England

Petersfield History

Portsmouth History

A History of Women's Education

Baffins

A walk near Portchester Castle

Southampton History

Women in the 18th Century

Hilsea

Old Southampton

Jack the Ripper

I came across yet another documentary claiming to reveal the 'true identity' of Jack the Ripper. Every few years you get a new book claiming to reveal his 'true identity'. It has become quite an industry. I think I should write a book revealing the 'true identity' of Jack the Ripper. Yes - it was Queen Victoria. She went out at night dressed as a man and killed prostitutes. 

Seriously, I think 'Jack the Ripper' was a nobody. He lived locally. He did a mundane job and if you passed him in the street or saw him in a pub you wouldn't give him a second glance. There is a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Ark of the Covenant is placed in a box in a warehouse with a huge number of other boxes and is forgotten. I think Jack the Ripper's real name is written down somewhere in official records along with thousands of other men who lived in 19th century London and it has been completely forgotten.

History of Biscuits

The word biscuit is derived from the Latin words bis cotus, meaning twice baked. The idea of making biscuits goes back to the Romans. However, biscuits, as we know them, were developed in the Middle Ages. www.localhistories.org/biscuits.html 

The Aztecs

The ancestors of the Aztecs settled on a marshy island in Lake Texcoco in either 1325 or 1345. According to legend, the Aztecs settled at a place where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its mouth. They took this as a sign from their god that they should settle there. The Aztecs called the place Tenochtitlan, which means the place of the cactus. At first, they were unimportant people but in the 15th century the Aztecs gradually built up a large empire. www.localhistories.org/aztec.html 

History of Slavery

In the distant past, people often slaughtered their enemies but sometimes they were taken prisoner and used as slaves. In the Ancient World, slavery was common. The Ancient Egyptians kept slaves. So did the Greeks and the Romans. Some Roman slaves were household slaves who worked in their master's homes. Others worked on farms and some were skilled craftsmen. Slaves who lived in mines probably had the harshest and most unpleasant lives. (Their lives were often short too). www.localhistories.org/slavery.html  

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

History of Bras

However, Mary Phelps Jacob invented the modern bra in 1913. She used two handkerchiefs joined by ribbons. She patented her invention in 1914. Her garment was called a brassiere but in the late 1920s, the word was shortened to bra. Cup sizes were invented in 1932. www.localhistories.org/bra.html 

History of Germany

About 55 BC Julius Caesar conquered the Roman province of Gaul. He made the Rhine the frontier of the new province. It was a natural defensive barrier. Later the Romans also chose the Danube as a frontier. They also created a ditch and earth bank with a wooden palisade on top from the Rhine to the Danube. In 9 AD the people who lived beyond the Rhine inflicted a crushing defeat on the Roman army in a battle at the Teutoburg Forest. The Romans lost about 20,000 men and their leader committed suicide. The battle ensured that the Romans never conquered Germany beyond the Rhine. However, the Romans occupied southern and western Germany. They founded a number of towns which still survive (Augsburg, Cologne, Mainz, Regensburg, and Trier). www.localhistories.org/germany.html  

History of Vegetables

Turnips are native to Asia. They were grown by the Romans and during the Middle Ages turnips were a staple food of poor people in Europe. In the 18th century Charles 'Turnip' Townshend pioneered growing turnips to feed cattle. www.localhistories.org/vegetables.html  

History of Fruit

Strawberries grew wild in Europe and eastern North America. They were grown by the Romans and were a popular fruit in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, strawberries became widely cultivated in the USA. Nobody knows why they are called strawberries. They may once have been called strewn berries because the berries are strewn on the plant. Or the name may come from the old word strew, which meant to spread because runners spread from the plant. www.localhistories.org/fruits.html 

History of Toilets

In the Middle Ages toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. However, in the Middle Ages, monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage. www.localhistories.org/toilets.html 

History of Knickers

Knickers are called knickers because of an illustration in a novel called History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker who was, supposedly a Dutchman living in New York (it was actually written by Washington Irving). In Britain, the illustrations for the book showed a Dutchman wearing long, loose-fitting garments on his lower body. When men wore loose trousers for playing sports they were sometimes called knickerbockers. However, in Britain women's underwear were soon called knickerbockers too. In the late 19th century the word was shortened to knickers. www.localhistories.org/knickers.html 

History of Christmas

Christmas is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus although there is no evidence he was born on that day. It was declared his birthday in 440 AD. In England Christmas was originally called Yule. The old Saxon word Yule meant mid-winter. However when the Saxons were converted to Christianity the word Yule came to mean Jesus' birthday. The word Christmas (Christ mass) was not used until the 11th century. www.localhistories.org/christmas.html