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Napoleon Bonaparte Portraits: Important Historical Moments

By Geri Walton | October 18, 2019

There are many Napoleon Bonaparte portraits that provide important historical moments in his life. Yet, it is somewhat surprising that any portraits of Napoleon exist as he almost never willingly sat for any painter. In fact, he was notorious for disliking to sit and even believed that portraits should demonstrate his character rather than capture…

Parliament Fire of 1834: The Night it Burned Down

By Geri Walton | October 14, 2019

The same year that Madame Tussaud established her Chamber of Horrors, was the same year that the parliament fire of 16 October 1834 began. Apparently, the Exchequer needed to dispose of an obsolete accounting system that had not been used since 1826. The system relied on elongated tally sticks described as follows: “[A tally is…

Joachim Murat: The Flamboyant “Dandy King”

By Geri Walton | October 11, 2019

Joachim Murat was a handsome successful man who became King of Naples despite beginning his life in a humble way. He was born in Guyenne, France, on 25 March 1767 and was the eleventh child of Pierre Murat-Jordy (an affluent innkeeper and postmaster) and Jeanne Loubières. His parents wanted him to serve in a church…

Edward Austen Knight and His Fairy Tale Life

By Geri Walton | October 7, 2019

Edward Austen Knight’s fairy tale life began after Thomas Knight II* and his wife, Catherine Knatchbull of Chilham in Kent, adopted him. “Neddy,” as Edward was affectionately called, was the son of George and Cassandra Austen and born on 7 October 1768. He was their third son and described as a sweet, lovable, easy-going blond-headed…

Rutherford Birchard Hayes: America’s 19th President

By Geri Walton | October 4, 2019

Rutherford Birchard Hayes is considered the first of the five presidents to be elected during the Gilded Age, a period that involved serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding and generally recognized as existing from the 1870s to 1900. Hayes won the presidency in 1877. His victory was highly unusual as he was…

Hetty Green: The Witch of Wall Street

By Geri Walton | September 30, 2019

Born on 21 November 1834, Hetty Green was nicknamed the “Witch of Wall Street” probably because of her miserly and frugal ways, her severe Quaker dress, and the stiff competition she brought against her male counterparts. Henrietta “Hetty” Howland Robinson was the daughter of Edward Mott Robinson and his wife Abby Slocum Howland. She born…

Rotten Row Accidents in Hyde Park in the 1800s

By Geri Walton | September 27, 2019

How Rotten Row acquired its name seems to be shrouded in controversy what is not controversial is the fact that it became a popular meeting spot for London’s upper classes, who in the eighteenth century frequented it on weekends on horseback. In addition, the adjacent South Carriage Drive also soon began to be used by…

John Paul Jones: Pirate, Sailor, and Hero

By Geri Walton | September 23, 2019

John Paul Jones was the son of John Paul Sr. and Jean McDuff. He was born on 6 July 1747 at the estate of Arbigland near Kirkbean on the southwest coast of Scotland and was christened John Paul, but later added Jones as his surname. At the age of 13 Jones began his maritime career…

Celia Holloway: Murdered by Her Husband John Holloway

By Geri Walton | September 20, 2019

Celia Holloway met her future husband John William Holloway, as he was christened, at the coastal town of Brighton on England’s southern coast located some 47 miles south of London. Brighton was a hot spot from about the 1730s onward for improving or curing one’s health by drinking or bathing in seawater. Those who patronized…

Inspector Thomas Byrnes: 19th-century American Policeman

By Geri Walton | September 16, 2019

Inspector Thomas Byrnes was an Irish-born American police officer who served as head of the New York City Police Department from 1880 until 1895. He was born in Dublin, Ireland on 15 June 1842 to James and Rose Byrnes, and he immigrated to the United States while he was a child. He had a limited…