Monday, 24 October 2016

HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior Britain's first iron warship launched in 1860. Photo by Bea Mendyk


On 24 October 1945 the Norwegian traitor Vidkun Qusiling who ran a puppet government under the Nazis was hanged. For a time quisling was a synonym for traitor but that seems to have died out. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Famous Poisoners

I recently wrote an article about arsenic. Here is an article about famous poisoners who did not use arsenic but some other poison instead

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Alaska passed from Russia to the USA on 18 October 1867.Happy Alaska Day. 

Timothy Evans

On 18 October 1966 the queen granted Timothy Evans a royal pardon. Evans was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and child in 1950.He was hanged. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Catherine Parr

I wrote a brief biography of Catherine Parr. She is famous as the 6th wife of Henry VIII and she was an erudite and capable woman. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Shark Arm Case

I wrote about a famous case in Sydney, Australia in 1935 when a captured shark regurgitated a human arm  

Saturday, 8 October 2016


Chicago was devastated by a fire in 1871. The Chicago fire began on the evening of 8 October in a barn. According to legend it was caused by a cow knocking over a lamp. At any rate the fire spread through Downtown Chicago where houses were made of wood and it burned until 10 October. About 100,000 people, about one third of the population were made homeless and about 300 people were killed.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Bess of Hardwick

I wrote about Bess of Hardwick. She was a very rich woman in 16th century England. She is famous for her great house Hardwick Hall.

Friday, 30 September 2016

John Billington

On 30 September 1630 John Billington became the first person in the North American colonies to be hanged for murder.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Monday, 19 September 2016

Tudor Food

I made a Youtube video about 16th century English food

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Queen Elizabeth I

You often hear that the last words of Elizabeth I were 'All my possessions for a moment of time' In fact there is no evidence she ever said that and nobody knows what her last words were. I found this interesting quiz of myths about Elizabeth I. See how many you can get right! 

Friday, 9 September 2016


I wrote a history of arsenic. It was often used to dispose of unwanted relatives or to obtain life insurance money

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Polly Nichols

On 31 August 1888 Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols was murdered. She is widely believed to have been the first victim of Jack the Ripper. 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Women in the Middle Ages

I wrote about women in the Middle Ages. There were many strong and capable women in the Middle Ages. In that era women had to work hard just to survive.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Leon Trotsky

On 20 August 1940 Leon Trotsky got an ice pick that made his ears burn. He died the next day.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Friday, 12 August 2016

Monday, 8 August 2016

Tycho Brahe

On 8 August 1576 work began on building an observatory for Tycho Brahe the great Danish astronomer

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


On 27 July 1921 Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolated insulin at the University of Toronto

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Mary Rose

On 19 July 1545 Henry VIII's warship the Mary Rose sank near Portsmouth. But it was raised from the sea bed in 1982. It is now a popular museum. 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Women Scientists

This is my youtube about some early women scientists

Jane Austen

On 18 July 1817 the great English woman writer Jane Austen died. she was only 41

Sunday, 3 July 2016


Happy birthday Quebec. Samuel de Champlain founded the city on 3 July 1608.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


According to legend coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herd called Kaldi. He noticed that goats who ate certain beans became very lively. Coffee was drunk in Yemen by the 15th century. By the 16th century coffee had spread to Persia (Iran) and Turkey. There were many coffee houses where people could drink and also socialize.

Coffee reached Europe in the late 16th century through trade. Coffee was introduced into Italy first. (Today coffee is still a very popular drink among the Italians). Coffee really became popular in Europe in the 17th century. In the 1600s coffee houses opened across Europe. The first coffee house in England opened in Oxford in 1651 and by the late 17th century there were many coffeehouses in English towns where merchants and professional men met to drink cups of coffee, read newspapers and chat.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Catherine Macaulay

Catherine Macaulay was a famous woman historian of the 18th century. Catherine was born into a wealthy family in Kent, England on 2 April 1731. She was privately educated. On 18 June 1760 she married Dr George Macaulay. Catherine wrote a great work called The History of England. It was in 8 volumes. The first volume was published in 1763 and the last in 1768. Catherine also wrote a book called Letters on Education in 1790. She argued for co-education of boys and girls. She also opposed slavery and capital punishment. Catherine died on 22 June 1791.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Magna Carta

On 15 June 1215 King John sealed Magna Carta. But we can never take our freedoms for granted. We must always be vigilant.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Friday, 10 June 2016


On 10 June 1692 the first person convicted of witchcraft was hanged at Salem, Massachusetts. It all began when young girls began accusing people of 'bewitching' them. Both men and women were hanged for witchcraft and a man named Giles Corey was pressed to death.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Emily Davison

On 4 June 1913 British suffragette Emily Davison was killed when she ran onto a racetrack to grab the bridle of the king's horse. Its a myth that she deliberately threw herself under the horse. And her behavior was condemned by many as irresponsible. Queen Mary, wife of King George V wrote to the jockey saying she hoped he was not too badly injured by the 'abominable conduct of a brutal lunatic woman'.