United Kingdom

18th Century Calcutta: Life for the British

Exactly what British life in 18th century Calcutta was like varied. It was often dependent upon a person’s job or status within the East India Company (EIC). Some Englishmen prospered significantly under the EIC and returned to Britain with great wealth, which allowed them to establish sprawling estates, create lucrative business, and gain political power.

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Elizabeth Ross: Convicted Burkeite and Murderess

Thirty-eight-year-old Elizabeth Ross was the common law wife of fifty-year-old Edward Cook, and therefore, sometimes called Mrs. Cook. The couple lived with their 12-year-old son Edward, known as Ned, in a one room apartment in Goodman’s Yard, where they had recently moved. As the couple knew 84-year-old Caroline Walsh they encouraged her to move nearby.…

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Twelve Popular History Posts for 2019

The year 2019 was a great year. My book, shown on the right, was published on Madame Tussaud through Pen and Sword. I also had some posts that were extremely popular with readers. Here are twelve of them from 2019 in case you missed them:

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Christmas Shopping: A Victorian Thought on It

The Victorian Era involved Christmas shopping during the holiday season, which in turn resulted in newspapers publishing all sorts of articles about shoppers and Christmas gifts. Here is one nineteenth-century person’s version from 1884 and presented here almost verbatim:

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British Social Life in India in the 18th Century

British social life in India during the 18th century was filled with numerous activities for those who worked for the East India Company (EIC). Among the British living in India were many well-to-do bachelors who were senior officials of the EIC. James Mackintosh wrote about them in his Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa 1771-81…

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Banyans: Garments that 18th Century Gentlemen Loved

Banyans were garments that became popular with gentlemen in the 18th century. They were oriental in style being influenced by Persian and Asian clothing and called morning gowns, robe de chambres, wrappers, or nightgowns. However, “by the year 1730 certainly, and possibly earlier, these Indian gowns had become known generally by the name banyan, banjan,…

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Princess Charlotte of Wales: A Most Unusual Princess

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales was the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick. Charlotte’s parents were cousins and her father married her mother to help resolve his enormous debts, but the marriage was disastrous. They were unsuited, each disliked the other, and George was in…

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Cremorne Gardens: Its History Between 1845 and 1877

Cremorne Gardens were popular pleasure gardens by the side of the River Thames in Chelsea, London, located between Chelsea Harbor and the end of the King’s Road that flourished between 1845 and 1877. The gardens began after the property was sold in 1845 to Thomas Bartlett Simpson. He owned the North & South American Coffee…

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Philadelphia Austen Hancock: Eliza de Feuillide’s Mother

Philadelphia Austen Hancock was born on 15 May 1730 to a not so successful surgeon in Tonbridge named William Austen and his wife Rebecca Walter née Hampson, who had been married before and had a son, William Hampson Walter. In addition, three other children were born to William and Rebecca: Hampson in 1728 (who died…

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Parliament Fire of 1834: The Night it Burned Down

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…

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