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Margaret Nicholson: Her Attack on George III in 1786

By Geri Walton | April 3, 2020

In 1786, Margaret Nicholson assaulted King George III in a futile half-hearted attempt to kill him. She had been born in Stockton-on-Tees to a barber named George Nicholson in 1750, a year after Princesse de Lamballe was born. At the age of 12 Nicholson became a maid and then worked in various notable households that…

William Morgan: The Disappearance of an Anti-Mason

By Geri Walton | March 30, 2020

William Morgan was a resident of Batavia, New York. He was also a bricklayer and stonemason and was married with a wife and two children. In addition, Morgan was friends with David C. Miller, a local newspaper publisher, who was attempting to keep his paper afloat. Because Morgan was indigent, he hit on a plan…

Duke of Wellington Anecdotes: Stories From His Life

By Geri Walton | March 27, 2020

There are numerous Duke of Wellington anecdotes about the man named Arthur Wellesley who was born into an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family on 1 May 1769. His parents were Garret Colley Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington and Anne Wesley, daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon, for whom the Duke was named. However, although it seems…

Horace Vernet: French Painter of the 1800s

By Geri Walton | March 23, 2020

Horace Vernet was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist subjects. He came from three generations of Vernets who were associated prominently with art. For instance, his great-grand father had a reputation as an artist far beyond where he lived. His grandfather, Claude Joseph Vernet, went to Rome to study landscape designers and maritime…

Left-Handers of the 1700s and 1800s: The Famous and Infamous

By Geri Walton | March 20, 2020

There are many famous and infamous left-handers of the 1700s and 1800s. However, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries being left-handed was often viewed as a defect. For example, in The Maternal Physician published in 1818 by American Mary Palmer Tyler, a thirty-five-year-old matron who published one of the first childcare manuals, talked about the…

Laudanum: An 18th and 19th Century Wonder Drug

By Geri Walton | March 16, 2020

Laudanum is a tincture of opium and was considered a wonder drug in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries. Reddish-brown and extremely bitter, it contained almost all opium alkaloids, including morphine and codeine and was therefore used to treat many conditions. However, it was primarily used as a pain medication and cough suppressant.

Harry T Hayward: Socialite, Arsonist, and Murderer

By Geri Walton | March 13, 2020

Harry T Hayward may have been a socialite, but he was also an arsonist and murderer. From a phrenologist’s point of view he was deemed at the time to be a “man of low type, the lower face being especially heavy, while the rear top head presents the gable conformation characteristics of the criminal class.”[1]…

Madame Récamier’s Bedroom: A Masterpiece

By Geri Walton | March 9, 2020

Everyone wanted to see Madame Récamier’s bedroom at her house located in the Chaussée d’Antin that had once belonged to Jacques Necker, minister to Louis XVI. The Récamiers purchased the house in 1798 through Necker’s daughter, Madame de Staël, who was selling the home for him. After they purchased it the Récamiers had the house…

Draughts or Checkers in the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | March 6, 2020

Draughts or checkers was a strategy board game played for fun and for its relaxing benefits in the 1700 and 1800s. The game had been around for a long time and involved two players moving diagonally with their game pieces and capturing opponent pieces by jumping them. Because it was easy to learn and play,…

Consuelo Vanderbilt: Marriage to the Duke of Marlborough

By Geri Walton | March 2, 2020

Consuelo Vanderbilt was a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family, a family of Dutch origin who gained prominence during the Gilded Age because of her great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt, who had great success with shipping and railroads and built an empire. Consuelo was named in honor of her godmother, Consuelo Yzanaga, a half Cuban,…