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A Panorama on Slavery and Henry “Box” Brown

Henry “Box” Brown was a Virginia slave who mailed himself to freedom in 1849. Afterwards he made a living lecturing on slavery. His tours occurred in America and later England using a moving panorama* on slavery…. This content is for All Access members only.Login Join Now...

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Pomeranians and Their Popularity in the 19th Century

Pomeranians became popular in the 19th century because of Queen Victoria but the dogs were originally introduced in England in the late 1700s by Queen Charlotte, Queen-consort to King George III. She had two with her when she arrived and the dogs, Phoebe and Mercury, were depicted in paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough.* However, it……...

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Execution of Mary Pearcey: The Hampstead Murderess

The execution of Mary Pearcey happened on 23 December 1890 at the Newgate Gaol after she was convicted and sentenced for the killing of Phoebe Hogg and her 18-month-old daughter, also named Phoebe. (You can learn more about these murders in this post, Mary Pearcey and the Hampstead Murders). Pearcey was to be executed under……...

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Contemporary Police Jack the Ripper Suspects

An unidentified assailant nicknamed Jack the Ripper committed a series of murders in the East End of London. (The murders began in 1888 on 31 August, when Mary Ann Nichols was found with her throat slashed in the impoverished Whitechapel district. Three more women were found with their throats cut in September (Annie Chapman* on……...

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Bicycling in the Victorian Era and Lady Riders

Bicycling in the Victorian Era was a popular pastime with men and women everywhere owning bicycles. However, it was women who found cycling a freeing experience and in fact, America’s devoted feminist and social reformer, Susan B. Anthony, coined the bicycle the “freedom machine.” The president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Frances Willard, thought……...

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A Hanging Known as English Open-air Entertainment

The following article (part of a much larger article) starts off with a visitor planning to attend the Lewes Fair but instead finds himself at a hanging in Lewes. The article was first published in Dicken’s Household Words on 8 May 1852 and then appeared in the Leicestershire Mercury and General Advertiser for the Midland……...

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Jack the Ripper: Contemporary Press and Public Suspects

An unidentified assailant nicknamed Jack the Ripper committed a series of murders in 1888 from August to November in the East End of London. Since that time the identity of the killer has been widely debated and over 100 Jack the Ripper suspects have been named. Despite all the suggestions, experts have not found any……...

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Cat Superstitions in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

There are many cat superstitions, much more so than dog superstitions. In fact, superstitions surrounding cats have existed for a long time. One example is Ancient Egypt where cat sacrifices were made to the gods during the Hellenistic period and where mummified remains of cats have been discovered. Cat superstitions were also known to have……...

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William Marwood: British Hangman from 1874 to 1883

William Marwood was born in 1818 in the village of Goulceby. He was the fifth of ten children born to William and Elizabeth Marwood and became a cobbler like his father. However, he harbored a deep desire to be an executioner and eventually did becoming the chief executioner for London and Middlesex from 1874 until……...

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