Monday, 27 April 2020

Nichola de la Haye

In 1216 King John of England made a woman named Nichola (Nicola) de la Haye sheriff of Lincolnshire. Nicola was a female landowner. For more than 40 years she was also constable (person in charge of) Lincoln Cathedral. She defended the castle against a siege in 1191. She sounds like a formidable woman.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Famous writer Mary Wollstonecraft was born on 27 April 1759. She is known for her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

Sunday, 26 April 2020

The Croydon Poisonings

In 1928-29 three people were poisoned with arsenic in the south London suburb of Croydon. On the evening of 26 April, 1928 after a meal 59 year old Edmund Duff fell ill and he died the next day 27 April. His death was, at first, attributed to natural causes. Then on 14 February 1929, Edmund Duff's sister-in-law Valerie Sidney fell ill. She died on 16 February 1929. The last victim was Violet Sidney, Valerie's mother. She fell ill and died on 5 March 1929.

Violet Sidney was buried but soon people became suspicious and her body and that of her daughter Valerie were exhumed on 22 March 1929. Both contained arsenic. The body of Edmund Duff was later exhumed and was also found to contain arsenic. The police investigated but nobody was ever charged.

The case is still a mystery but it shows that as late as the 1920s if you poisoned someone there was a good chance the death would be attributed to natural causes. It makes you wonder how many people got away with poisoning unwanted relatives.


William Shakespeare was baptised on 26 April 1564. His actual date of birth is not certain but it was probably 23 April. (In those days the date of a child's baptism was recorded not the day of his birth).

Saturday, 25 April 2020

The Guillotine

On 25 April 1792 Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person in France to be guillotined. But beheading devices were used in other parts of Europe much earlier. A beheading device was recorded in Dublin in 1307.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Saturday, 18 April 2020


The first laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas on 18 April 1934

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsmouth on 9 April 1806. He was one of the greatest engineers of the 19th century.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Dick Turpin

Infamous highwayman Dick Turpin was hanged on 7 April 1770. Despite his image Turpin was a brutal thug.

Casino history

A history of online casinos