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Peterloo Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 was a tipping moment in British history. The event that came to be called the Peterloo Massacre did not begin with the intention of being a pivotal point in history. On the 16th August 1819 tens of thousands of ordinary citizens of Manchester met in a place called St Peter’s…

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The Gordon Riots

The Gordon Riots of 1780. On the 6th June 1780, Lord George Gordon, a Whig Member of Parliament and strongly pro – American and head of the Protestant Association, presented a petition to Parliament demanding the repeal of the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, supported by a large crowd, estimated to be between 40,000 –…

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Sir Thomas Lipton

Sir Thomas Lipton

Sir Thomas Lipton, the very embodiment of the cliche, ‘Poor boy makes good’, was born in 1850 of working class Northern Irish parents in Glasgow. Lipton started work as n errand boy and became a millionaire through the vast chain of grocers shops that he had created and by 1908 he was one of the…

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Stale Bread Act 1801

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Reformers and Radicals

What did the act say? This was an Act imposed at a time of panicked desperation by a British Government trying to keep the lid on an explosive and fed up population. The bread shortage of the previous five years had not abated and so the Government, in its wisdom decided that the population would…

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The Khaki Election

Khaki Election 1900

The Khaki Election of 1900 In Britain any election called as a result of war either pre , during or post, is called a Khaki Election and there have been a number of these in the C20th. The Khaki election of 1900 was really a turning point in Britain for many reasons. Within the year…

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The Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio

Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio dissecting table

The Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio can be found in Europe’s oldest university, Bologna University in Italy which was founded in the C11th. The building that houses it, the Palace Archiginnasio, used to house the medical school and is a stunningly decorated building with a wonderful collection of wall memorials. The purpose of this visit…

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Hyde Park Riot 1866

Hyde Park Riots 1866
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Reform
This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series Reformers and Radicals

There is nothing new in Governments facing opposition to the passage of bills over which there has been much heated debate. During the 1860’s and following on the heals of the Chartists, there emerged in 1864, a Reform League. The Reform League wanted fundamental changes to the voting rights of ordinary working class men and…

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Transatlantic Wireless

transatlantic wireless

Transatlantic wireless from Cornwall to Newfoundland. From Poldhu in Cornwall UK to Signal Hill in Newfoundland the first wireless messages across 3,000 miles of ocean were transmitted in 1901. The person behind this amazing achievement was an Italian, Guglielmo Marconi whose early experiments in Bologna and Rome had been followed by further research in Britain.…

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Law Code of King Cnut

law code of king cnut
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Law and Democracy
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Legal Concepts

When King Cnut came to rule England in 1016 it was a place torn apart by successive Danish invasions and rival would be kings. It was important that if Cnut was going to be successful he would have to resort to some very harsh measures to quell his rivals. This he did by having the…

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Mathematical Society Spitalfields.

Mathematical Society Spitalfields

Like many of the ‘societies’ of its time the Mathematical Society of Spitalfields, founded in 1717, was run as a club where people of like minded interests could meet, discuss and debate the latest news, views and ideas of their chosen interest, in this case mathematics with a bit of physics thrown in for good…

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