Monday, 19 November 2018

History of Toilets

19 November is World Toilet Day so hooray for the men who invented the modern toilet. In 1596 Sir John Harrington invented a flushing lavatory with a cistern but the idea failed to catch on. However in 1775 Alexander Cumming was granted a patent for a flushing lavatory. Joseph Bramah made a better design in 1778. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Friday, 12 October 2018

Edith Cavell

On 12 October 1915 a British nurse named Edith Cavell was shot for helping British soldiers to escape from German occupied Belgium.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Myths about old laws

I still sometimes hear that old chestnut that under an old law if a Welshman is within the walls of Chester after sunset its legal to kill him. Any such law was long ago superseded by laws about murder and manslaughter. Here are a few other myths about old laws. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Women's jobs in the Middle Ages

Its quite untrue that women in the past did not work. Women in the Middle Ages participated in many trades and businesses. 

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Today (19 September) is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Altogether now: Ah! Jim Lad! Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Monday, 27 August 2018

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The Romans arrive in Britain

On 26 August 55 BC Julius Caesar arrived in Britain but he did not stay. He returned briefly in 54 BC. The Romans returned in 43 AD. This time they stayed.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Battle of Bosworth

On 22 August 1485 a decisive battle in English history was fought. Henry Tudor won and subsequently he became King Henry VII.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Leon Trotsky died on this day

Leon Trotsky died on 21 August 1940 one day after being hit in the head with an ice pick. In the words of the Stranglers he got an ice pick that made his ears burn. 

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Washing in the Middle Ages

Its a persistent myth that people in the Middle Ages were very dirty. All the evidence suggests they tried to keep themselves clean.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Boys cleaning chimneys

On 7 August 1840 the British parliament voted to ban boys from cleaning chimneys by climbing up them. But the act was often ignored. In 1875 a new law said chimney sweeps had to register with the authorities and be given a certificate, which they would lose if they were found to be breaking the law.