Category 19th century

Robert James [Bob] Fitzsimmons – the fighting Englishman

It was on Wednesday 17th March 1897 that Englishman Robert James [Bob] Fitzsimmons became heavyweight champion of the world when he defeated ‘Gentleman’ Jim Corbett at Carson City in Nevada, U.S.A.  This venue was at the first open-air arena built especially for boxing and Bob won by knockout in the 14th round.  A reporter at […]

Two Kings and a Queen

It was on Wednesday, 19th January 1831 that Charles Greville, considered by many to be the greatest English diarist after Pepys, began musing about the health of England’s King who was also the King of Handover. King William IV had become England’s King on 26th June 1830 following the death of his elder brother King […]

A Straw Bear with History

Back in 1882 a local newspaper in the Peterborough area reported that, in the nearby Cambridgeshire community of Whittlesey, a bear .. “was taken around the town to entertain by his frantic and clumsy gestures the good folk who had on the previous day subscribed to the rustics, a spread of beer, tobacco and beef”. […]

Lord Byron in Italy

The ‘Life, Letters, and Journals of Lord Byron’ edited by Thomas Moore provides us with a fascinating view of the man in his travels.  It was Thursday 4th January 1821 and he was in the Papal State of Ravenna in Italy and records: “’A sudden thought strikes me.’  Let me begin a Journal once more.  […]

The ‘Smog’ has gone

On Tuesday 9th December 1952, after five days of living in a sulfurous hell, the people of London – and those who did not live in London but worked there – could relax as a brisk wind from the west swept the toxic clouds away eastward and out across the North Sea. When the fog […]

London’s Evening Standard of Saturday 19th October 1861 tells us:

The more I look at newspapers of the past, the more fascinating I find them. Take, for instance, page 5 of this Saturday’s London Evening Standard (some wording has been altered to make modern sense): Column 1 – This day’s Police report comes from Marlborough Street and reports a SALE-ROOM ROBBERY: Thomas John Jackson, an […]

It’s paper as we know it but …….

Ralph Wedgwood (1766–1837) was an English inventor and member of the Wedgwood family of potters – a member that is rarely mentioned in any situation.  He was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, the eldest son of Thomas Wedgwood and his wife Elizabeth and the cousin – and later business partner – of Josiah Wedgwood.   Funding £200 […]