United Kingdom

Strange and Terrible Deaths in the 1800s

There were many strange and terrible deaths in the 1800s and among them is a story from 1879 about a poor woman roasted alive in her carriage. It all began when Mrs. Honora Lacy left her home in Chester County. She was traveling to Wilmington, Delaware to buy a large quantity of cotton, straw, and…

Read More

May Day 1876 and the Coach from Oxford to London

A new stagecoach commenced running between Oxford and London in 1876, which was the same year that Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a story set in the 1840s about a boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The Oxford and London stagecoach’s first journey was not as…

Read More

The Dangers of Eating Buns: A Delicious Delicacy

Although there were dangers in the Victorian Era and Georgian Era, some people claimed there were dangers in eating buns, at least that was what some newspapers thought in the mid-nineteenth century. These delicacies were delicious treats that people loved for breakfast or for afternoon tea. However, on 31 December 1859, an article previously published…

Read More

Elopement of Richard Brinsley Sheridan with Marcia Maria Grant

In 1835, English newspapers reported on the scandalous elopement of the future Whig politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Marcia Maria Grant, daughter of Lieutenant General John Colquohoun Grant. The elopement happened on 15 May 1835, around the same time that Madame Tussaud was busying establishing her wax museum on Baker Street in London and many…

Read More

Edwin Landseer: British Painter of Animals

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, known as Edwin Landseer, was a British artist well known for his animal portraits of horses, dogs, and stags. He was born in London to John Landseer (an engraver) and Jane Potts on 7 March 1802. It was reported that the young Landseer could draw animals from childhood and that he…

Read More

Justice John Byles: Some of His Interesting Court Cases

Justice John Byles studied law in Britain in the 1820s and 30s and became a member of the Inner Temple, a professional body that provides legal training, selection, and regulation of its members. The Inner Temple was also one of the four inns of the court and to be called to practice as a barrister…

Read More

Ether: Early Anesthesia and Its First Uses

By the late 1830s, public gatherings referred to as “ether frolics” were being held by wandering lecturers. These gatherings involved audience members inhaling diethyl ether, who then entertained audience members by demonstrating the mind-altering properties of these agents. The idea of “ether frolics” originated with Humphry Davy, who had experimented with an ether like substance…

Read More

Catherine Wilson: British Poisoner and Serial Killer

Catherine Wilson was a nineteenth-century nurse who poisoned her victims after encouraging them to change their wills in her favor. Although she was only convicted of one murder, it was generally thought at the time that she killed at least six other victims. Moreover, the sentencing judge, Justice John Barnard Byles, alleged that her counsel…

Read More

The Largest Slave Auction in U.S. History

The story of America’s largest slave auction involves Pierce Mease who was born to Sarah Butler. Her father was Pierce Butler, an Irish-American, South Carolina rice planter, slaveholder, politician, an officer in the American Revolutionary War. He also served as a state legislator, member of Congress of the confederation, 1787 Constitutional delegate, and member of…

Read More