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Leaders

Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestly
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Age of Reason and Enlightenment

Joseph Priestley radical dissenter and champion for the open and inquiring mind. Joseph Priestly was quite possibly one of the most important thinkers of the Enlightenment. His direct and open inquiry into both religious beliefs and ideas was also directed at science, politics and society. Who was Joseph Priestley? He was born on the 13th…

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Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton could be described as the father of the Industrial Revolution but his name is less well known than that of his partner James Watt. Matthew Boulton was born in Birmingham in 1728, the same year as Captain James Cook and into an age of enlightenment, reason and industrial revolution. His early years were…

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Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna the last Russian Tsarina was she ultimately responsible for the downfall and murder of the Romanov family? She was ostracized by the Russian court, its people and many in Europe, what part did this play in forcing her towards Rasputin?

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British Union of Fascists Riots

British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists rose to power under Oswald Mosley in the 1930’s, the riots that ensued in the streets of the East End have something to teach us about the rise of far right politics in today’s political climate.

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Laura Bassi Scientist

Laura Bassi

Laura Bassi was born in Bologna in 1711, the same year as St Paul’s Cathedral in London was completed. Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was a brilliant and erudite young woman, born into a heady atmosphere of early 18th century Bologna, a melting pot of ideas and fusion of like minded scholars, caught in the bosom…

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Rachel Wriothesley wife of Lord Russell

Rachel Wriothesley

Rachel Wriothesley played an interesting role in 17th Century intrigue but who was she? Rachel was born in 1636 in Titchfield Hampshire, the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley the 4th Earl of Southampton. The Wriothesley’s had an illustrious history, after the Reformation, the family grew more powerful and wealthier than ever before. Thomas Wriothesley, the 1st…

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Cult of the Virgin Mary

Cult of the Virgin Mary

The Cult of the Virgin Mary is seen by many as having its origins in the Medieval period but the mythologizing of Mary began with Pope Gregory I. It grew as the Crusaders returned to the west and shrines and icons to the Virgin Mary appeared in churches, on the wayside and in people’s homes.

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Margaret Pole Who Was She?

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Intriguing Women

Margaret Pole was an intriguing and complex character. One of the few survivors of the Plantagenet dynasty after the wars of the 15th Century she was executed under the orders of King Henry VIII in 1541, aged sixty seven years old. So what happened to cause this old lady to lose her head? First let’s…

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Katherine Swynford Mistress of John of Gaunt

Katherine Swynford
This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Intriguing Women

Katherine Swynford, the love of John of Gaunts life? Katherine Swynford, another one of those intriguing medieval woman to explore, she was a daughter of  Payne Roët of Guienne in France, who was born about 1310. He was a knight and herald from Hainaut who fought in the 100 years war and when King Edward III…

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