Events

British Hairdressers’ Academy First Hairdressing Contest and Ball of 1866

The British Hairdressers’ Academy first hairdressing contest and ball of 1866 was scheduled after the academy was established on 2 November 1865 at 71 Davies Street. That is when British hairdressers unanimously passed a resolution to extend membership to any coiffeur (now more commonly called a hairdresser or hairstylist) of any nation. Employers were admitted…

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Firsts Related to Ballooning

In the late 1700 and early 1800s, there were a number of firsts related to ballooning, and all of these first caused the public to embrace what was called “balloonmania.” Clothing was printed with balloon images and fashions were styled au ballon that included rounded skirts and huge puffed-sleeved dresses. Hair was also coiffed à…

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Winter of 1813-1814: The Great London Fog and Frost

During the winter of 1813-1814, a thick fog rolled into London. It was followed by a terrible frost and one of the coldest periods on record occurred from January to March. One newspaper reported it was “the heaviest mist and thickest fog ever remembered … [which] produced the thickest and most beautiful hoar frost that…

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“The Monsters” or the “Vere Street Gang” Homosexuals

Police received a tip about the “rendezvous of a society of miscreants of a detestable description.”[1] These rendezvous involved homosexuals and had been occurring for six months at the White Swan. Based on tips, police raided a public house on Sunday, 8 July 1810 that was located on Vere-street. When officers searched it, they netted…

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Victorian Event of the Season: 1897 Devonshire Costume Ball

The Devonshire Costume Ball was held 2 July 1897. Some people claimed the ball offered “unparalleled splendor” and others lauded it as one of the most elite events of the year. In fact, no expense was spared as it was considered one of the “great fancy-dress balls of the Victorian Era, competing in beauty, brilliancy,…

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Historical Custom: The Flitch of Bacon Custom

Historical customs have long existed. For instance, in Scotland there has been a long tradition of wearing kilts, and the custom continued despite efforts to weaken Scottish support for the restoration of the James II of England by passing the Dress Act of 1746 that forbade “Highland Dress.” Another long-time custom is Lent — forty…

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Burial Fraud Involving Higgins and Devereux

Burial societies existed in England in the 1800s. They operated by voluntary subscriptions and were established to pay for burial expenses or to give money to a member when the member’s husband, wife, or child died. Unfortunately, sometimes burial fraud was committed in relation to these societies, which was the case in Ireland when Charles…

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Cato Street Conspiracy

The Cato Street Conspiracy was a plot in 1820 to murder all of the British cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool. It involved a group of discontent conspirators who were unhappy about various circumstances. These circumstances included the economy and the Peterloo Massacre (an event where approximately 80,000 people gathered to demand reform…

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The Duel of Lord Camelford and Captain Best

Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford, was considered a notorious character, “a desperate ‘bruiser’ and duelist.” He was also a scrapper and was known to fight with his friends, which is exactly what happened when he and his “bosom friend,” Captain Best, ended up in a duel in 1804. Both men were considered fashionable young men…

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Vincenzo Lunardi – The Daredevil Aeronaut

Vincenzo (Vincent) Lunardi, known as the “daredevil aeronaut,” followed in the Montgolfier’s footsteps and gained fame as the first aerial traveler in England. He was also the person that initiated a ballooning frenzy because Lunardi, unlike the Montgolfier brothers, was not rich, and to offset the costs of his ballooning, it became a matter of…

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