73 posts tagged with england and history.
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The other kind of free trade

Smuggler's Britain tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers like Isaac Gulliver, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 9, 2008 - 7 comments

"A valley frozen in time."

In November 1943, the village of Tyneham in Dorset, England, received an unexpected letter from the War Department, informing residents that the area would soon be "cleared of all civilians" to make way for Army weapons training. A month later, the displaced villagers left a note on their church door: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly. Residents were told they would be allowed to reclaim their homes after the war, but that didn't happen, and Tyneham became a ghost village. Though most of the cottages have been damaged or fallen into disrepair, the church and school have been preserved and restored. Photo galleries 1, 2, 3, 4. Panoramic tour [Java required]. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
posted by amyms on Jul 10, 2008 - 20 comments

Cry "Havoc!"and let slip the cats of war

Cats in Wartime on land, at sea, and memorialized. (With discussion of some of the most famous-- like Simon and Oscar.) Also, What Cats Know About War, previously on metafilter. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Dec 7, 2007 - 13 comments

The Flatter the Landscape the Flatter the Accent

How The Edwardians Spoke :: BBC documentary via Google Video, about an hour [more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Oct 19, 2007 - 23 comments

In China, it is a common thing to stumble over the bodies of dead babies in the streets.

In the 19th century, English author Favell Mortimer wrote several books describing various countries to children. Apparently she didn't travel much. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 2, 2007 - 34 comments

Pre-Videogame Era Toys

Before there were videogames, growing up in England in the late 1960s though the 70's we had Action Transfers. The Letraset company branched off its division of hand set rub-on transfer fonts into full blown action scenes, with Cowboys & Indians, famous historical battles, Vikings, natural disasters & more. This collector has dozens of sets, scanned in high resolution & never used.
posted by jonson on Sep 30, 2007 - 50 comments

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and more...

The Internet Library of Early Journals :: A digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals
posted by anastasiav on May 31, 2007 - 23 comments

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Victorian Workhouses
I sometimes look up at the bit of blue sky
High over my head, with a tear in my eye.
Surrounded by walls that are too high to climb,
Confined like a felon without any crime...

posted by Miko on Sep 18, 2006 - 14 comments

Domesday Book

The Domesday Book is online. This book is "a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror to assess the extent of the land and resources being owned in England at the time, and the extent of the taxes he could raise. The information collected was recorded by hand in two huge books, in the space of around a year." You can browse it here. The site also has some background info both on England at the time and the book itself.
posted by marxchivist on Aug 17, 2006 - 20 comments

Hair and fat and everything nice.

London's 'flushers': "If you really thought about where you were going and what you were doing you'd either be shit scared or you wouldn't go there. We're shit shovellers. Some of the jobs I do a high percentage of the country would turn around and say: 'Poke that up yer arse mate as far as you can put it.'" The history of London's sewers. The craptacular sewerhistory.org. More entries in the Night Haunts series.
posted by OmieWise on Jul 13, 2006 - 14 comments

That's 2 shillings and sixpence in old money

Ever wondered what old amounts of money would be worth today? Or what you could buy with your current salary if you went back 200, 400, or 600 years? Now you can find out with a tool that converts English currency from 1270 onwards into today's prices. Based on Treasury records, it tells you that Mr Darcy's £10,000 a year would now be worth nearly £350,000, or that your house would only have to be worth the equivalent of £500 now to qualify for the vote after 1832.
posted by greycap on Jun 28, 2006 - 22 comments

Owzat!

You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 15, 2005 - 44 comments

The Williamson Tunnels

The Williamson Tunnels "The explanation most commonly offered [for the construction of the tunnels] is that having risen from humble beginnings, the rich retired merchant was touched by the poverty which pervaded the Edge Hill district and offered construction labour to the unemployed as a gesture of generosity"
posted by dhruva on Aug 2, 2005 - 10 comments

Tour of the English canal system

On the revival of a forgotten piece of infrastructure: Britain's massive canal system was constructed in the late 18th century to move goods throughout the country and provided an extensive logistical network for the industrial revolution. Since the rise of rail and truck transport, the canals were left to decay for generations. Today many are being restored, providing revenue for local communities and acting as a catalyst [PDF] for urban renewal.

One group of fun-lovin' Brits has been touring these man-made waterways since the 1970's and documenting their journeys in copious detail. The canals traverse every conceivable type of landscape, and evince some pretty amazing engineering.
posted by pieisexactlythree on Apr 22, 2005 - 14 comments

Never such innocence again

The Mitchell and Kenyon collection consists of 800 rolls of nitrate film documenting scenes of everyday life in England between 1900 and 1913. This extraordinary archive, now painstakingly restored by the British Film Institute, includes footage of trams, soup kitchens, factory gates, football matches, seaside holidays and much else besides. Here are some sample images and a short clip of workers at a Lancashire colliery, all astonishingly evocative and reminiscent (to me) of Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV: 'The crowns of hats, the sun / On moustachioed archaic faces / Grinning as if it were all / An August Bank Holiday lark .. Never such innocence, / Never before or since .. Never such innocence again.'
posted by verstegan on Jan 7, 2005 - 7 comments

Brief lives, big book

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is published today, in print and online: a biographical record of everyone who's ever been anyone in British history (50,000 individuals) and an astonishing feat of scholarly collaboration (10,000 contributors from all over the world). Access to the full database is fearfully expensive, but the official site gives you a good selection of sample entries, with a new one added every day; and a feature in today's Times gives you some more, beginning with Mary Toft, the woman who gave birth to rabbits.
posted by verstegan on Sep 23, 2004 - 11 comments

Reclaiming England's patron saint

Cry God for Harry! England and Saint George!
posted by nthdegx on Apr 23, 2004 - 7 comments

Tunnel Under Stonehenge?

Archaeologists are denouncing plans for a tunnel under Stonehenge. It's not the idea of the tunnel itself that is drawing fire, so much as the execution. The govt seems to be doing it on the cheap, in a way that won't solve the problem of the modern world intruding on the prehistoric megalith.
posted by Slagman on Mar 21, 2004 - 8 comments

The Workhouse

The Workhouse 'is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.'
posted by plep on Mar 3, 2004 - 3 comments

Johannes Matthaeus Koelz: A Life Divided

Johannes Matthaeus Koelz: A Life Divided. An artist who escaped to England from Nazi Germany. From the exhibition :-
'Koelz, a painter, was living in a small cottage in the Bavarian forest estate of Hohenbrunn. One morning he travelled to nearby Munich on a routine visit to police headquarters to renew his exit visa for a planned trip to Italy.'
'At some point during the following night Koelz instructed a young man from the local woodmill to take his major work - a triptych which had occupied him since the early 1930s and cut it into pieces. He left Hohenbrunn at dawn, arranging for his family to follow ... It was the first stop on a journey that would take them to England. '
'Meanwhile the state police had raided their home and interrogated family members left behind. They were searching for the painter and his triptych, a massive anti-war painting which not only questioned the horrors of war but also the rising power of the Nationalist Socialist Party and by implication, its leader, Adolf Hitler.'
'Thou Shalt Not Kill', Koelz's tryptych.
Timeline and artworks.
posted by plep on Dec 12, 2003 - 6 comments

Bawdy ballads of saints, sinners, cutpurses and sundry other folk

The Saint Turned Sinner, or the Dissenting Parson's Text Under the Quaker's Petticoats - the bawdy tale of "A Gospel Cushion thumper, who dearly loved a Bumper," from Blackletter Ballads, a small but fine collection of ballads with themes ranging from cutpurses to kings, all gleaned from 17th century broadsheets.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 4, 2003 - 4 comments

Staffordshire

Staffordshire Past Track. History and images of an English Midlands county : old photographs and online exhibitions on historic churches, celebrations, birth, death, serial killers and mining (and the 1984-85 strike).
Related sites :- the Museums of the Potteries, the area around Stoke-on-Trent which played a major role in the Industrial Revolution; thepotteries.org, including postcards and photographs; In Search of Agenoria, black and white photographs of the post-industrial Black Country landscape; A Miner's Son- more mining history in the Midlands (with more on the 1984-85 strike, possibly the most divisive political event in recent British history); save Bethesda Chapel, a historic Methodist chapel in Stoke; panoramic views and history of Lichfield Cathedral and other Staffordshire places.
posted by plep on Aug 25, 2003 - 4 comments

Gay Elizabethan Spy and Playwright found murdered!

Gay Elizabethan Spy and Playwright found murdered! Not one, but two Christopher Marlowe movies. Hollywood, thou art such a suppurating whore. Thanks to Pete for the link.
posted by Ezrael on Jun 19, 2000 - 9 comments

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