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William Brodie: Double Life of an 18th Century Man

By Geri Walton | August 9, 2021

Deacon Brodie was born William Brodie and appeared to be a respectable Scotsman. He was a cabinet-maker, Edinburgh city councilor, and deacon of the trades guild. However, it was revealed in 1788 that he had been maintaining a secret life as a housebreaker and thief and that he was doing so because he found it…

Samuel Willey Family Tragedy and Mount Willey

By Geri Walton | August 2, 2021

The Samuel Willey family tragedy that resulted in the deaths of the Willey family and the naming of Mount Willey began after Willey moved his family into the area known as Crawford Notch. It was a major pass through the White Mountains of New Hampshire in Grafton County with the high point of the Notch…

Lydia Sherman: The Derby Poisoner and Serial Killer

By Geri Walton | July 26, 2021

Lydia Sherman was born under the surname Danbury on 24 December 1824 in Burlington, New Jersey. Within a year of her birth her mother died. When her father remarried, Sherman chose to live with her uncle, John Claygay, a New Brunswick, New Jersey farmer, because she did not like her stepmother.

Louis Philippe I: King of the French From 1830 to 1848

By Geri Walton | July 19, 2021

Born on 6 October 1773, Louis Philippe became King of the French from 1830 to 1848. He was the son of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans and Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon (sister-in-law to the Princesse de Lamballe). The younger Louis Philippe inherited the title of the Duke de Chartres and was known for…

Ned Buntline: American Publisher Edward Zane Carroll Judson

By Geri Walton | July 12, 2021

Ned Buntline was the pseudonym of Edward Zane Carroll Judson Sr. who was born on 20 March 1821 in Harpersfield, New York. At the age of five he moved with his parents to Bethany, Pennsylvania, and then at thirteen ran away from home and became a soldier. The next year he shipped out on a…

Spiritualism: A Religious Movement of the 1800s

By Geri Walton | July 5, 2021

Spiritualism was a religious movement that first appeared in the 1840s. It happened in upstate New York in what was called the “Burned-over District” where the religious revivals and new religious movements created such spiritual fervor it seemed to set the area on fire. This area also embraced an environment where many people thought direct…

English Wedding: An Extravagant One in 1853

By Geri Walton | June 28, 2021

Details from an English wedding in “high life” happened in the ancient parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham in Lancashire in 1853 at the parish church, St Mary the Virgin. The extravagant wedding, which was “Old English” in style took place between 26-year-old Dudley Clarke Fitzgerald de Ros, 23rd Baron de Ros (equerry to the Prince Consort) and…

Peter Williamson aka “Indian Peter” of the 18th-Century

By Geri Walton | June 21, 2021

Peter Williamson, also known as “Indian Peter,” was a Scottish memoirist who was part showman, part entrepreneur and inventor. He was born to James Williamson in Hirnlay near Aboyne and he described his parents as “respectable” though not rich.

Belvoir Castle Fire on 26 October 1816

By Geri Walton | June 14, 2021

The Belvoir Castle fire happened on 26 October 1816. This castle, which was really a manor, was first built after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and was in Leicestershire, England west of the town of Grantham and north-east of Melton Mowbray. It was situated at the extreme northerly corner of the county of Leicestershire and…

Hyde Park: Interesting Incidents in the 1700s

By Geri Walton | June 7, 2021

Hyde Park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 and opened to the public in 1637 where it quickly became popular. Major improvements to the park happened in the early eighteenth century under the direction of Queen Caroline. It was also during the eighteenth century that several noteworthy things happened at the park, among which…