The Right to be Wrong | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The “Torun portrait” of Nicolaus Copernicus (anonymous, c. 1580)

The “Torun portrait” of Nicolaus Copernicus (anonymous, c. 1580)

The headline annoyed me. I barely needed to read the story. In a few words, it not only managed to criticise, but to ridicule the speaker… who had voiced a personal opinion… thus passing judgement for the reader, without allowing them to think for themselves. I could not help wondering exactly how far this kind of covert manipulation and underground censorship of thought might…

Source: The Right to be Wrong | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Choosing the future | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

A few months ago, with what now appears to be an uncanny and uncomfortable prescience, we began a workshop in the Derbyshire village of Eyam. The village is one of those pretty places of old stone and cottage gardens… but it is best known for its response to the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1665.

Source: Choosing the future | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

“Theire Soe Admirable Herbe” How the English Found Cannabis

Not long after he arrived in Machilipatnam, Thomas Bowrey began to wonder what it was that the people of Machilipatnam were smoking.

Source: “Theire Soe Admirable Herbe “How the English Found Cannabis

When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? | News | The Guardian

slaveryOn 3 August 1835, somewhere in the City of London, two of Europe’s most famous bankers came to an agreement with the chancellor of the exchequer. Two years earlier, the British government had passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which outlawed slavery in most parts of the empire. Now it was taking out one of the largest loans in history, to finance the slave compensation package required by the 1833 act. Nathan Mayer Rothschild and his brother-in-law Moses Montefiore agreed to…

via When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? | News | The Guardian

Lady Mary Bankes and the Siege of Corfe Castle | W.U Hstry

‘Courage even above her sex’, this statement immortalised on a plaque as part of a eulogy for Lady Mary Bankes by her son Sir Ralph Bankes is located in St Martin’s Church in Ruislip,…

Source: Lady Mary Bankes and the Siege of Corfe Castle | W.U Hstry

Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

The remains of the Tudor palace at Greenwich

There is something special about the place where important events took place, no matter how long ago. Even where there are no remaining signs on the ground people still visit: perhaps the draw is that these sites make us use our imaginations so strongly.

It’s always surprising to find bits of the London that Shakespeare knew beneath…

Source: Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

A 17th Century cottage with an unusual past: the “Exorcist’s House” of King’s Lynn | Flickering Lamps

The fenland town of King’s Lynn has a long history, and unsurprisingly a few dark tales have been remembered and passed on through generations of townspeople over the years.  Once a thriving …

Source: A 17th Century cottage with an unusual past: the “Exorcist’s House” of King’s Lynn | Flickering Lamps

To His Son Benedict from the Tower of London by John Hoskyns

19th-century engraving of The Trusty Servant, from the 1579 painting by John Hoskins [sic]

The epigram attached to the Hoskyns family is ‘Imprison thy tongue or it will thee.’ In other words, keep your trap shut or you’ll end up in trouble! His descendants, which include the owner of this blog, still have similar problems because we tend to open our mouths when it would be prudent to keep our thoughts to ourselves. John Hoskyns was imprisoned at the same time as John Aubrey, who mentions him in Brief Lives.

1614
To His Son Benedict from the Tower of London by John Hoskyns 1614

Sweet Benedict, whilst thou art young,
And know’st not yet the use of tongue,
Keep it in thrall whilst thou art free:
Imprison it or it will thee.

John Hoskyns (1566-1638)

© Sarah Vernon

Improving the Nation

slack_imageIn his new book, The Invention of Improvement, Paul Slack sets out to do two things: first, to trace the ‘notion of improvement’ in seventeenth-century ‘public discourse’ (vii) in England; and seco…

Source: Improving the Nation

Remains of five archbishops found near Lambeth Palace | UK news | The Guardian

Builders find 30 lead coffins in crypt of former church next to archbishop of Canterbury’s official residence

Source: Remains of five archbishops found near Lambeth Palace | UK news | The Guardian

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

Stand and Deliver, Your Money or Your Life: Female Highwaymen of the Seventeenth Century – just history posts

The only known portrait of Katherine Ferrers believed to be from when she was 14 years old. WikiCommons

As yesterday [8 March] was International Women’s Day, I couldn’t resist writing a female-related post, and for this one I drew inspiration from a local legend in my area of the ‘Wicked Lady’. If you happen t…

Source: Stand and Deliver, Your Money or Your Life: Female Highwaymen of the Seventeenth Century – just history posts

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

A skeleton in the priest hole – House Historian

Priest hole in Havrington Hall, Worcestershire (Wikimedia/Quodvultdeus)

Yes, it’s true, I have researched a house where a skeleton was uncovered in an old priest hole! Certainly, one of the most unusual stories I’ve heard in researching the history of house…

Source: A skeleton in the priest hole – House Historian

Mystery of three 400-year-old secret letters found under floorboards of historic mansion – including a shopping list – Mirror Online

Three 400-year-old letters – including a shopping list – have been uncovered in a rare discovery under floorboards of an historic mansion.

The amazing hidden treasures, dating from 1603, 1622 and 1633, have unearthed secrets about Tudor mansion Knole House, and how it was run in the 17th century.

All three letters were found by…

Source: Mystery of three 400-year-old secret letters found under floorboards of historic mansion – including a shopping list – Mirror Online

The East India Company: How a trading corporation became an imperial ruler | History Extra

Officers of the East India Company being entertained by musicians and dancers, depicted in an Indian image from around 1820. (Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

Featured in BBC One’s new period drama Taboo as a company with huge influence and power – and one which is unafraid to further its interests by nefarious means – the East India Compa…

Source: The East India Company: How a trading corporation became an imperial ruler | History Extra

Two Nerdy History Girls: Before Refrigerators: The Ice House

Ice houses weren’t as rare in England as the excerpt fromAckermann’s Repository for June 1817 makes one believe. Neither were baths, for that matter. And London did have its share of both. In the 17th century, King Charles II had…

Source: Two Nerdy History Girls: Before Refrigerators: The Ice House