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FEATURE ARTICLES

Sir Thomas Lipton

Sir Thomas Lipton

Sir Thomas Lipton, the very embodiment of the cliche, ‘Poor boy makes good’, was born in 1850 of working class Northern Irish parents in Glasgow. Lipton started work as n errand boy and became a millionaire through the vast chain of grocers shops that he had created and by 1908 he was one of the…

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Stale Bread Act 1801

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Reformers and Radicals

What did the act say? This was an Act imposed at a time of panicked desperation by a British Government trying to keep the lid on an explosive and fed up population. The bread shortage of the previous five years had not abated and so the Government, in its wisdom decided that the population would…

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Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill, social reformer and one of the founders of the National Trust. Octavia Hill was born in 1838 into a family of social reformers, her grandfather was Thomas Southwood Smith a public health reformer and her father was a friend of Jeremy Bentham so from an early age she was exposed to the need…

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Anne Boleyn’s Execution Speech

When in 1532 Anne Boleyn finally gave in and slept with King Henry VIII and then in 1533 secretly married him, she as good as sealed her own death warrant. She was the first English Queen to be executed and her execution speech is a paradox of the journey which brought her to the block.…

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The Chronicles of Edward Hall

The Chronicles of Edward Hall are not something that many with an interest in the Tudor period may be aware of but Edward Hall was an astute observer of the period. He was born about 1496 in London and was educated at Eton and at King’s College Cambridge He entered Grays Inn and became a…

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The Framework Knitters 1821

Almost ten years on from the 1812 ‘Declaration of the Framework knitters’, conditions for the framework knitters of the counties of Nottingham, Derby and Leicester has not seen any sign of improving. The pay for these workers, of whom there were estimated to be about 15,000 in these three counties, was insufficient to keep them…

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Chimney Sweeps Act 1834

The Chimney Sweeps Act 1834 was enacted in an attempt to protect the children employed by the ‘sweeping’ masters from cruel exploitation. The act forbade the apprenticing of any boy under the age of 10 years and the employment of children under 14 in chimney sweeping unless they were apprenticed or on trial. There seemed…

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The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel.

The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel. Whilst searching through Medieval books and manuscripts for images of ‘witches’ and their symbols this book from 1565 emerged from the archives. It is an absurd collection of characters bound into a single volume, images only, except for a preface by the man who published it in 1565. The images…

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Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

A trip to the City of London is not complete without a visit to Leadenhall Market. Walking amongst the high rise office buildings in the City of London it is easy to miss the ancient market of Leadenhall. It can be found in the triangle made up of Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street…

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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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