In placing before my readers in the following pages the results of my twenty-five years’ experience of Rat-catching, Ferreting, etc., I may say that I have always done my best to accomplish every task that I have undertaken, and I have in consequence received excellent testimonials from many corporations, railway companies, and merchants. I have not only made it my study to discover the different and the best methods of catching Rats, but I have also taken great interest in watching their ways and habits, and I come to the conclusion that there is no sure way of completely exterminating the Rodents, especially in large towns. If I have in this work referred more particularly to Rat-catching in Manchester that is only because my experience, although extending over a much wider area, has been chiefly in that city, but the methods I describe are equally applicable to all large towns.
posted by timshel
on Feb 8, 2012 -
The Anglo-Moroccan connection originates in the quarrels between the two half-sisters Queen Elizabeth i and Queen Mary i. Elizabeth suspected that Mary's husband, Philip ii of Spain, had designs on England, and she was consequently interested in an ally who could join in attacking Spain. On the Moroccan side, there was considerable enthusiasm for expelling the Spanish and Portuguese from the several Moroccan coastal cities they had conquered. The Moroccans also wanted naval support in case of further encroachment by the Ottoman Turks, who were eager to extend their empire west from Algiers into Morocco. It was for this last reason that the Moroccan sultan Ahmad al-Mansur was unwilling to collaborate with the Ottomans despite Ottoman consideration of an invasion of Spain: He preferred instead an alliance with the English.
An 'Extreamly Civile' Diplomacy
: a short history of early Anglo-Moroccan relations
via the always wonderful @bintbattuta
posted by timshel
on Jan 13, 2012 -
Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. John Dee
). This extraordinary
and brilliant man was a mathematician
, astrologer, astronomer
, navigator, map maker, alchemist, hermetic philosopher, and adviser
in matters practical and arcane
to Queen Elizabeth 1st
. History has
sometimes been unkind to him
because he embraced science and mysticism together
), believing both to be facets of the same universal thing. His unfortunate experiments in conjuring
angels with the
alchemist Edward Kelley
are probably to blame. Kelley asserted that the
angel Uriel had instructed him to swap or share wives with Dr. Dee. This, unsurprisingly, led to the end of their association. 16th century celestial wife-swapping
was going too far. However
, Dr. Dee was a true Renaissance man
and a gifted scholar
. You can visit his black obsidian magic Aztec mirror
at the British Museum.
posted by infini
on Jul 14, 2010 -
Educational gamesmaker Preloaded
has recently made two strategy games for English TV station Channel 4. 1066
is a mix of tactics, insult-typing, bowmanship, rhythm-game and narration by Ian Holm. Trafalgar Origins
is all Napoleonic high seas derringdo all the time, as you sail your English ship in real time against the damnable French and Spanish. Whether you want to hoist the sails or call your opponent a stench weasel, they are fun little games which have the added bonus of teaching you about British history. Both games can be played solo or multiplayer. [via Rock Paper Shotgun, where they like those games quite a lot]
posted by Kattullus
on May 5, 2010 -
The Soldier in later Medieval England
is a historical research project that seeks to 'challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453'. They've compiled impressive databases
of tens of thousands of service records. These are perhaps of interest only to specialists; but the general reader may enjoy the profiles
of individual military men: these run the gamut from regional non-entities like John Fort esquire of Llanstephan
("in many ways a humdrum figure" though once accused of harbouring a hostile Spaniard!) to more familiar figures such as rebel Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr
, who began his soldiering, as did many compatriots
, in the service of the English king. Between such extremes of high and low we find, for example, Reginald Cobham
, who made 6,500 florins ransoming a prisoner taken at Poitiers
and rests eternal in a splendid tomb; and various men loyal and rebel
who fought at the bloody Battle of Shrewsbury
posted by Abiezer
on Dec 5, 2009 -
is a new podcast by Lars Brownworth, best known for his podcast series 12 Byzantine Rulers
). Norman Centuries, as the name suggests, recounts the history of the Normans, those literal vikings who gained Normandy and then England, Sicily, Malta, Antioch and, well, a whole heck of a lot of other places too. They were a conquering bunch. First two episodes are out with more to follow. [iTunes link]
posted by Kattullus
on Oct 15, 2009 -
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 -
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
. Panoramic tour [Java required]
. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
posted by amyms
on Jul 10, 2008 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
'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 -
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
posted by plep
on Dec 12, 2003 -