findmypast Launches their “100 in 100? Campaign

findmypast Launches their “100 in 100? Campaign

Findmypast have just launched their “100 in 100 campaign”. What does this mean? Well they say that “over the next 100 days we will release new records every week with millions of new names and showcasing some of our recently added collections. You will find record sets from all around the world, including BDM records, parish records, military records and many others besides.”See all stories on this topic

Society of Genealogists – special events

From the Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk) in London, news of two special forthcoming events:Monday 28 April, 11am – Getting the most from FindmyPast New SearchLike many home subscribers, the computers at the Society of Genealogists have just switched to the new style findmypast website. As the changes are quite significant the Society has arranged some special training in using the new style search functions etc. Paul Nixon, UK Data Strategy with DC Thompson Family History has agreed to See all stories on this topic

findmypast Launches their “100 in 100? Campaign

Findmypast have just launched their “100 in 100 campaign”. What does this mean? Well they say that “over the next 100 days we will release new records every week with millions of new names and showcasing some of our recently added collections. You will find record sets from all around the world, including BDM records, parish records, military records and many others besides.”See all stories on this topic

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Dutch BMD records access via Ancestry

Dutch BMD records access via Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has provided third party access to three new vital records databases for the Netherlands, which may be of interest if you have connections over the English Channel.Web: Leiden, Netherlands, Birth Index, 1670-1913http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70754Web: Leiden, Netherlands, Marriage Index, 1575-1934http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70755Web: Leiden, Netherlands, Death Index, 1811-1960http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70See all stories on this topic

PRONI adds lectures to YouTube channel

From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk), some welcome news of some newly added recorded lectures to its YouTube channel:PRONI is in the process of uploading recorded videos from the “Exploring Your Archives in Depth” workshops that were held in PRONI in January/February of this year.We are pleased to advise that the following lectures by Dr Annaleigh Margey and Valerie Adams have now been uploaded to the PRONI YouTube channel and are available by following the bSee all stories on this topic

Devon wills index extended on Origins

The National Wills Index on Origins (www.origins.net) has increased its Devon wills coverage from the originally released data set last October of some 132,540 entries from 1312-1891, to well over 300,000 records from 1164-1992. Alan Stewart has the full story on his Grow Your Own Family Tree blog at http://growyourownfamilytree.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/records-added-to-online-devon-will-index/.(With thanks to Alan)ChrisTime to find your inner Irish…! All the best online Irish genealogy resourSee all stories on this topic

findmypast Launches their “100 in 100? Campaign

Findmypast have just launched their “100 in 100 campaign”. What does this mean? Well they say that “over the next 100 days we will release new records every week with millions of new names and showcasing some of our recently added collections. You will find record sets from all around the world, including BDM records, parish records, military records and many others besides.”See all stories on this topic

findmypast Launches their “100 in 100? Campaign

Findmypast have just launched their “100 in 100 campaign”. What does this mean? Well they say that “over the next 100 days we will release new records every week with millions of new names and showcasing some of our recently added collections. You will find record sets from all around the world, including BDM records, parish records, military records and many others besides.”See all stories on this topic

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Here and Then: The British Newspaper Archive App

Here and Then: The British Newspaper Archive App

Here and Then is a brand new app making the British Newspaper Archive collection available to you on your iPhone, iPod Touch or Ipad. The Here and Then app allows you to view fascinating historic articles, images and adverts from The British Newspaper Archive through your mobile device for free.See all stories on this topic

Shropshire Archives – new opening hours

Shropshire Archives – new opening hours

Shropshire Archives has announced its new opening hours effective from April 16th, following recent financial cuts imposed on the service. The new hours:Sundays to Tuesdays: closedWednesdays: 10am to 4pmThursday: 10am to 4pmFridays: 10am to 4pmSaturdays (first in two): 10am to 2pmSaturdays (second in two): closedThis reduces the available open hours from 30 a week to just 20. An enquiry service will continue to run from Tuesdays to Friday. Full details are available at http://shropshire.gov.uk/nSee all stories on this topic

PRONI talk on Irish emigration & the Famine

PRONI talk on Irish emigration & the Famine

From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk):This is just a reminder that PRONI will host a special workshop-style talk tomorrow on Irish emigration and the Great Famine of 1845-52.PRONI’s very own Dr. Anne McVeigh will look at the state of the Irish population before the Famine, before moving on to address who exactly left these shores and why; from aristocrats and gentry, to cottiers and labourers. Dr. McVeigh will also provide guidance on key online resources for resSee all stories on this topic

Georgian London Rides Again!

Georgian London Rides Again!

As some of you will know, Posterous turned up its toes earlier this year, and it’s taken a while to get the blog back up and running in any format. Things are busier than ever, and we’re less than two months from Georgian London: Into the Streets, being on the shelves. 
So now that I’ve got the platform back and am starting to knock the issues on the head, it’s time to start bringing out all the material that simply wouldn’t fit into the book. Looking at everything from hernia corsSee all stories on this topic

Event: A Coffeehouse Tour
Dr Matthew Green is rather passionate…

Event: A Coffeehouse Tour
Dr Matthew Green is rather passionate about coffeehouses, and coffee history.  So passionate, in fact he wrote his PhD on the subject.  On Saturday, he’ll be leading a very unusual tour of the City seeking out Georgian London’s coffeehouses.  It starts at 2.30pm in St Michael’s Churchyard, Cornhill and lasts 90 minutes.  I don’t think I can reveal much more without giving the game away, but it’s ‘interactive’ and promises to be both interesting and See all stories on this topic

Independent: Book of a Lifetime

I wrote this for the Independent this weekend, on my choice for a Book of a Lifetime.
As a historian of eighteenth century London, it would be too predictable to choose Samuel Johnson’s great Dictionary of 1775 as my choice for a book with enduring impact. There’s no doubt that Johnson’s work had a pivotal role in defining our modern language, but in terms of cultural significance, there’s another book which is almost equally important: Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopaedia. 
In See all stories on this topic

Review: A Grim Almanac of Georgian London
The History Press were…

Review: A Grim Almanac of Georgian London
The History Press were kind enough to send me A Grim Almanac of Georgian London by Graham Jackson and Cate Ludlow.  Cate’s obsession with the darker side of history is evident in the large collection of horrific crimes and painful deaths she and Graham have put together in this excellent book.
Some of these tales were familiar, but there are plenty of new ones and I found myself reaching for a notebook and pen as I went along.  The book is well-produSee all stories on this topic

Party Pieces: Temporary Architecture of Celebration from the…

Party Pieces: Temporary Architecture of Celebration from the Restoration to the Regency
For reasons regarding image distribution (it’s a changing field at the moment) I won’t post the slides. However, if you are interested to see some images, open an additional window and google the words around where it says [SLIDE].
[[posterous-content:azEguxzvqhikusnwxhtm]]See all stories on this topic

Georgian London: Into the Streets

Georgian London: Into the Streets

Yes, it’s finally here. Georgian London: Into the Streets is now on the streets (via your preferred book purchasing method).

Publication day blogging is a bit like arriving at an exam and being given a blank sheet of paper and the last few weeks have been emotional, in more ways than one. I had this post prepared last week, but on the big day, just didn’t want to put it up. If you read it, you’ll know why. Here goes!
It’s been an incredible journey, from the first post on the blog in 20See all stories on this topic

What folly is this?: Animal Welfare in Georgian London
The cruel…

What folly is this?: Animal Welfare in Georgian London
The cruel treatment of animals is a sad constant even now, but dramatic changes during London’s Georgian period show the emergence of a modern sensibility towards animals and their welfare.
 
Bankside had long been the site of London’s bear-baiting venues.  The Elizabeth court were particularly keen on this cruel sport.  Bankside was a popular destination on Sundays where crowds of both rich and poor spectators gathered to place wageSee all stories on this topic

Saartjie Baartman, The Hottentot Venus

Throughout Georgian…

Saartjie Baartman, The Hottentot Venus

Throughout Georgian London there are many ‘freaks’, whose main source of income was displaying themselves: tall or strong women, tiny people, the prematurely aged (probably suffering from progeria), ‘mer-people’.  Sexual freaks such as bearded ladies or hermaphrodites were particularly popular.  Anything exotic or ‘other’ caused queues to form in the street outside the chosen venue of display.  All of these factors combined to make the exhibSee all stories on this topic

At the Harp and Hoboy: John Walsh, Music Publisher
Where has…

At the Harp and Hoboy: John Walsh, Music Publisher
Where has the time gone?  First there was Christmas, then these book thingys which seem to keep you very busy indeed.  Then, as some of you know I ended up in hospital this month for a brief, if unexpected engagement with a morphine drip.  Also, gas + air, useless or what?  So it’s been a rather topsy turvy month and I have neglected poor Georgian London.  However, no longer, as the blog will now be the recipient of the things which coulSee all stories on this topic

Ada Lovelace Day – Mrs Margaret Bryan, Astronomer of Blackheath

Mrs Margaret Bryan was born, it is thought, some time before 1760. She had two daughters, and was married to Mr Bryan. In her thirties, she opened a school for girls near Hyde Park Corner. But Margaret Bryan’s school had one remarkable difference: it was an academy for teaching girls mathematics and science.
In 1795 she moved the academy to Blackheath, where it flourished until 1806. In 1797 she published A Compendious System of Astronomy. In it, she excuses her temerity in writing on such See all stories on this topic

Islam’s medieval underworld

Islam’s medieval underworld

The year is—let us say—1170, and you are the leader of a city watch in medieval Persia. Patrolling the dangerous alleyways in the small hours of the morning, you and your men chance upon two or three shady-looking characters loitering outside the home of a wealthy merchant. Suspecting that you have stumbled across a gang […]See all stories on this topic

Preview: The last secret of the H.L. Hunley

Back with more strange history at last. I’ll be posting a link to this next week, but I’m too excited about this story not to preview it. It’s all completely original, the product of 28 years of on-and-off research, and it gets stranger and stranger the further you read: James McClintock designed the Confederate submarine H.L. […]See all stories on this topic

You what?

Like many WordPress bloggers, I find myself occasionally disconcerted by some of the search data that’s made available to help keep track of who is visiting this site and why. In part because it can be a bit of a stretch to work out how some of the wackier queries actually drive people to my […]See all stories on this topic

Stoney Jack and the Cheapside Hoard

It was only a small shop in an unfashionable part of London, but it had a most peculiar clientele. From Mondays to Fridays the place stayed locked, and its only visitors were schoolboys who came to gaze through the windows at the marvels crammed inside. But on Saturday afternoons the shop was opened by its […]See all stories on this topic

The secret plot to rescue Napoleon by submarine

Tom Johnson was one of those extraordinary characters that history throws up in times of crisis. Born in 1772 to Irish parents, he made the most of the opportunities that presented themselves and was earning his own living as a smuggler by the age of 12. At least twice, he made remarkable escapes from prison. […]See all stories on this topic

William Freeman: A West Indian Englishman At the turn of the…

William Freeman: A West Indian Englishman
At the turn of the…

William Freeman: A West Indian Englishman
At the turn of the eighteenth century, London was becoming increasingly diverse. International trade meant that foreigners were a common sight on the streets, although not all of them would be obvious, at least not at first.
William Freeman was born on St Kitt’s in the West Indies in 1645. His father was likely to have been a member of the Suffolk militia had gone out to the Caribbean to seek his fortune. William was raised with his brothers and sisSee all stories on this topic

On Heroes

This post is off topic for Georgian London, so I totally understand if you don’t read on from here!
The recent abuse suffered on Twitter by feminist Caroline Criado-Perez is abhorrent. Disgusting, vile, wrong. But I won’t be taking the #trolliday on August 4th, or campaigning for Twitter (the business, not the users) to ‘behave’ better, or boycotting the service. I’m not in favour of women being abused, obviously. But it’s just not as simple as that, is it. There’s too much shoutSee all stories on this topic

A Brief Guide for Speakers New To Addressing Blind and Deaf Groups

Recently I taught a week long course for blind students on London’s Georgian history and ordinary life during the period, including living life disabled. Whilst the majority of my students had become blind during their adult life, a significant number had been blind since childhood and were also deaf.
Whilst I had made preparations to have what I hoped would be interesting material available, including objects, eighteenth century books and textiles, I hadn’t quite taken on board various asSee all stories on this topic

The foundation of the Bank of England and the creation of our…

The foundation of the Bank of England and the creation of our National DebtLast night there was a lot of noise on Twitter about the national debt, and how one politician in particular appeared to regard it as a flexible credit system. Yet, the national debt is just that, and has been since 1694. This is a brief history of the foundation of the Bank of England and the subsequent creation of our national debt, and the symbolism of British money.
During the late seventeenth century banks were privaSee all stories on this topic

The Origins of St James's

St James’s Square has now been a bastion of London clubs and institutions for over a century. But at the time of the Restoration when Charles II, not wanting to live in the Whitehall that had witnessed his father’s miserable last years, chose St James’s palace as his residence, it was not such a desirable residence.
‘St James’s Palace, where the royal family now resides in the winter season, stands pleasantly upon the north side of the Park, and has several noble rooms in it, but it See all stories on this topic