Monthly Archives: April 2018

Queen Elizabeth – Francis Drake – and a place in Spain

There are times when history research can be extremely frustrating! For instance – the date for Francis Drake’s ‘singing of the King of Spain’s beard’ is quoted by some as Wednesday 19th April 1587 while others place it 10 days later on Saturday 29th April 1587. There is one thing that is clear though – […]

27th April every year is the feast day of St Zita.

Zita, also written Citha or Sitha, lived between 1218 & 1272. Born in Monsagrati, she was a serving maid of the Fatinelli household from the age of 12 to the end of her life. She was often misunderstood and criticized by them but won their respect through her preserving devotion. It was in the later […]

The Chernobyl Disaster of April 1986

26th April has been a key date in many events through history. For instance – William Shakespeare was baptized; Prince George, later King George VI of Britain married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and the US rocket Ranger IV landed on the moon but failed to send back pictures due to ‘a technical problem’. However, I have […]

A new century brings Ragtime to the fore

Ragtime became central to the development of jazz in both America and Britain around the turn of the century.  The term ‘ragtime’ comes from the syncopated or ‘ragged’ rhythm and had its origins in the African-American communities in cities such as St. Louis. One of the first pioneers and composers of ragtime was Ernest Hogan. […]

A great gardener dies

It was on Saturday 22nd April 1662 that John Tradescant the younger – arguably the most influential gardener of the first half of the 17th century – died. An East Anglian by birth he became a major force in the early 17th century gardens – described by many as a ‘painful industrious searcher and lover […]

Three stories from April 15th in days gone by

The first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site was finished it in 1092. In 1141 the timber roofing was destroyed in a fire.  It was rebuilt and expanded but in Monday 15th April 1185 the cathedral was mostly destroyed by an earthquake – one of the largest felt in the UK. The damage to the […]

Ragtime gets closer

Last week we started our story with a broad overview of ‘Ragtime’ from both sides of the Atlantic.  This week we’ll have a look at early British popular music. This music can be seen as originating in the 16th and 17th centuries and from this we can trace the arrival of printed musical copies which […]