The 1884 Colchester Earthquake | In Times Gone By…

The back of the Ship at Launch pub in Wivenhoe. On the 22nd of April, 1884 an earthquake hit Colchester, England. The disaster occurred at 9:18am. The earthquake measured 4.6 on the Richter scale…

Source: The 1884 Colchester Earthquake | In Times Gone By…

Authentic Victorian Christmas Pudding | Mimi Matthews

“In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered—flushed, but smiling proudly—with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.” A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843.

Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball, etching by John Leech from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843.

A 19th century Christmas feast would not be complete without a Christmas pudding. Comprised of dried fruit, suet, egg, flour, and other basic ingredients, it was a popular holiday dish in both the Regency and Victorian eras.  Naturally, there are many historical recipes available for such an old favorite, but when looking for the simplest, and the best, you need search no further than…

Source: Authentic Victorian Christmas Pudding | Mimi Matthews

Penny Dreadfuls, Juvenile Crime, and Late-Victorian Moral Panic

dick-turpin-penny-dreadful-1866-1868

Black Bess or The Knight of the Road, featuring Dick Turpin, 1866-1868.

The 1840s ushered in an era of luridly illustrated gothic tales which were marketed to a working-class Victorian audience.  These stories, told in installments and printed on inexpensive pulp paper, were originally only eight pages long and sold for just a penny – giving rise to the term “penny bloods” or “penny dreadfuls.”  With titles such as Varney the Vampire and Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, these types of publications were wildly popular, especially with young male readers, and it was not long before the Victorian public began to make a connection between various juvenile crimes and misdemeanors and the consumption of this (allegedly) depraved material.

By the 1880s, concern over penny dreadfuls leading children into lives of crime and vice sparked what theLongman Companion to Victorian Fiction describes as a “middle-class moral panic.”  Many urged that the publication and consumption of penny dreadfuls be…

Source: Penny Dreadfuls, Juvenile Crime, and Late-Victorian Moral Panic

On this day: The world’s first adhesive postage stamp in 1840

In Times Gone By...

On the 1st of May 1840, the world’s first adhesive stamp was issued in Great Britain.

Called the “Penny Black”, it featured a profile of Queen Victoria.

The stamp came into public use on the sixth of the month. This particular stamp was in production until February 1841.

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year and features a profile of the Queen Victoria.

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On this day: Queen Victoria died in 1901

In Times Gone By...

Death of Queen Victoria 22nd January 1901

On the 22nd of January, 1901, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland died at the age of eighty-one.

A woman who inherited the throne at eighteen, she reigned for sixty-three years and seven months and was Britain’s longest-serving monarch, as well as the world’s longest-serving female monarch.

Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.

Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.

She was buried in a white dress and her wedding veil, as she had left instructions for her funeral to be white. Her death marked the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the Edwardian Era.

799px-Queen_Victoria_Prince_Albert_and_their_nine_children

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