From Town Criers to Newsprint: The Evolution of Early Newspapers in England

At the dawn of the 17th century, early newspapers began to replace oral news. 10.28.2012 Theory behind the Emergence of the Newspaper At the dawn of the 17th century, early newspapers began to replace oral news by manufacturing natural events to fit a single page. Bolter (2001) would refer to this shift in communication as[…]

An Overview of the History and Archaeology of the Antonine Wall

A section of the Antonine Wall at Rough Castle near Falkirk / Photo by Kim Traynor, Wikimedia Commons The Antonine Wall is an ancient and historical  monument originating as imperial Rome’s one-­‐‑time northwest frontier in modern Scotland. By Dr. Darrell Jesse Rohl Assistant Professor of History and Archaeology Calvin College Introduction The Antonine Wall is first,[…]

Hadrian’s Wall: From Coast to Foggy Coast

Chesters Roman Fort – View of the Barrack Blocks Securing the borders of the Roman Empire had become more important than expansion. By Heather Wake Location    [LEFT]: Chesters Roman Fort – Commanders House [RIGHT]: Chesters Roman Fort – Remains of the HQ Building Hadrian’s Wall stretched across the North of England from one coast to the[…]

‘High Style’: Kingship, Parliament, and the English Court, 1350-1405

In the second half of the fourteenth century, petitioners hoping to secure royal grace began addressing the king in an increasingly obsequious and ostentatious manner. By Dr. Gwilym Dodd Associate Professor of History University of Notthingham Abstract In the second half of the fourteenth century, petitioners hoping to secure royal grace began addressing the king[…]

The Turbulent 17th Century: Civil War, Regicide, the Restoration, and the Glorious Revolution

St George’s Day procession, with King James under a canopy attended by Knights of the Garter, chaplains, choirboys and others (ff. 43v–44r), Paintings of London in the friendship album of Michael van Meer, c. 1614-1615 / University of Edinburgh, Creative Commons The 17th century was a time of great political and social turmoil in England,[…]

The Men Killed under England’s Buggery Act in the 18th Century

Convictions under the Buggery Act 1533 were punishable by death / British Library, Public Domain Exploring three executions under the Buggery Act during the 1800s, looking at how they were reported in the media of the time.  By Steven Dryden Broadcast Recordings Curator British Library The Buggery Act of 1533, passed by Parliament during the[…]

Revealing the Secrets of the Burnt Magna Carta

A 1297 copy of the Magna Carta on display in the Members’ Hall of Parliament House, Canberra, Australia / Wikimedia Commons One of the four surviving 1215 Magna Carta manuscripts was burnt in the Ashburnham House fire of 1731. Then a failed restoration attempt in the 1830s rendered much of its text illegible. In the charter’s 800th anniversary[…]

The Medieval English King’s Escheator

Edinburgh Castle / Photo by Becks, Wikimedia Commons The escheator was the local official responsible for upholding the king’s rights as feudal lord. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The escheator was the local official responsible for ‘escheats’, that is broadly speaking for upholding the king’s rights as feudal lord, and[…]

The Victorian Supernatural

The Fashionable Science of Parlour Magic / British Library, Public Domain Challenging the idea of the 19th century as one of secularisation, exploring the popularity of mesmerism, spiritualism and ‘true’ ghost stories in the period. By Dr. Roger Luckhurst / 05.15.2014 Professor of Modern Literature Birkbeck College University of London The 19th century is routinely thought[…]

The Law of Inheritance in Medieval England

Allstedt Castle catching the early morning sun / Photo by Andreas Vogel, Wikimedia Commons The rules of common law inheritance, or primogeniture, were largely settled by the end of the thirteenth century. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Inquisition Post Mortems (IPMs) are documents concerned with the inheritance of land. That inheritance[…]

The Origins of Magna Carta

Professor David Carpenter and Professor Nicholas Vincent discuss the reign of King John, the grievances of the barons and the circumstances in which Magna Carta was created in 1215. Exploring the medieval context in which the historic agreement at Runnymede was created, examining King John’s Plantagenet heritage, his loss of French territory and his relationship[…]

The Impact of the Napoleonic Wars in Britain

The start of the 19th century was a time of hostility between France and England, marked by a series of wars. Throughout this period, England feared a French invasion led by Napoleon. Ruth Mather explores the impact of this fear on literature and on everyday life. By Dr. Ruth Mather Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Exeter[…]

The Impact of the French Revolution in Britain

1789 Engraving, James Gillray / Public Domain Considering how Britain’s intellectual, political and creative circles responded to the French Revolution. By Dr. Ruth Mather Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Exeter Intellectual debate A New Patriotic Song, from a collection of material relating to the fear of a French invasion: This ballad sheet from 1803 typically demonstrates publications[…]

Making Home in Britain: Asian Immigration and Assimilation in the 19th Century

British Library, Public Domain How early Asian settlers earned a living and made a home in Britain.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Susheila Nasta, Dr. Florian Stadtler, and Dr. Rozina Visram Nasta: Professor of English, The Open University Stadtler: Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures, University of Exeter Visram: Independent Scholar in Asian Studies Making a permanent home in Britain was not[…]

Forgotten Voyages of the Mid-20th Century Caribbean ‘Windrush Generation’

HMS Empire Windrush / Royal Navy official photographer, Wikimedia Commons Looking at some of the forgotten voyages that brought men, women and children from all over the Caribbean to Britain. By Naomi Oppenheim / 07.05.2018 AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Student British Library University College London ‘The S.S. Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury on 22 June 1948 with 492 Jamaican men[…]

A Right Royal Gift Book: ‘The Wedding at Windsor’, 1863

Engraved illustration from Harper’s Weekly newspaper of the wedding of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Alexandra of Denmark / Harper’s Weekly newspaper dated 11 April 1863, Wikimedia Commons Both the marriage of Edward VII and Alexandra – and the Princess’s landing at Gravesend and royal entry into London – were commemorated in a lavish volume[…]

Bagpipe Bandits: How the English Blew Scotland’s National Instrument First

This could come to blows. zoetnet, Creative Commons There’s something every Scot should know about those caterwauling pipes. By Dr. Vivien Williams / 02.25.2016 Research Assistant in Musicology University of Glasgow The Great Highland bagpipe is as central to Scottish identity as tartan and Robert Burns. Walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and you’ll hear that familiar wail,[…]

Rediscovering a ‘Lost’ Roman Frontier from the Air

Rewriting history from the air. William S Hanson Scrutinizing archives of aerial photography, we have been able to identify as Roman two more walls that will transform our understanding of the frontier of the Roman Empire in Eastern Europe.    By Dr. William S. Hanson and Dr. Ioana Oltean / 09.16.2013 Hanson: Professor of Roman Archaeology,[…]

While Elgin Marbles Debate Still Rages, a Market for Looted Antiquities Remains

Detail, Phidias(?), Parthenon Frieze, c. 438-32 B.C.E., pentelic marble (420 linear feet of the 525 that complete the frieze are in the British Museum) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA) The international art market that deals in ancient cultural objects casts a destructive shadow. By Dr. Simon Mackenzie / 02.14.2014 Professor of Criminology, Law and Society University[…]

Britannia, Druids and the Surprisingly Modern Origin of Myths

Sky Atlantic We think of the Druids as being embedded in British culture from the mists of ancient times. But what we think we know about Druids is of surprisingly modern provenance. By Dr. Matthew Kelly / 01.16.2018 Professor of Modern History Northumbria University, Newcastle The new TV series Britannia, which has won plaudits as heralding a new generation of British folk-horror, is clearly not intended to be strictly historical. Instead[…]

Alfred the Great May Not Have Been So Great

The Last Kingdom. BBC/Carnival/Des Wille New research suggests his military achievements might have been exaggerated. By Dr. Stuart Brookes / 03.17.2017 Senior Research Associate in Archaeology University College London The Last Kingdom – BBC’s historical drama set in the time of Alfred the Great’s war with the Vikings – has returned to our screens for a second[…]

6,000-Year-Old Monument Offers Tantalizing Glimpse of Britain’s Neolithic Civilization

Cat’s Brain long barrow is near the more famous Stonehenge (pictured) but predates it by hundreds of years. Shutterstock An archaeological dig at Cat’s Brain has unearthed a remarkable insight into life in Britain before Stonehenge. By Dr. James Leary / 11.20.2017 Director of Archaeology Field School University of Reading This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated[…]