People

James Lackington Revolutionized the Book Trade

James Lackington revolutionized the book trade because of his innovative book-selling practices. He was born in on 31 August 1746 in Wellington, Somerset to a shoemaker and was one of eleven children. His father had some money and young Lackington was lucky enough to attend a “Dame School,” but it lasted only a short time…

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The boy Jones Who Broke into Buckingham Palace

Edward Jones was nicknamed “the boy Jones” by newspapers and became notorious for breaking into Buckingham Palace multiple times between 1838 and 1841. His first break-in occurred in 1838 when he entered disguised as a chimney sweep having gained admission by squeezing through a hole in the March Arch at the principal entrance of the…

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George Cruikshank the Caricature Artist and Humorist

George Cruikshank, the caricature artist and humorist, was born in London on a Thursday on 27 September. His mother was Mary Macnaughten and his father, Isaac Cruikshank, a leading caricaturist of the late 1790s. Mary and Isaac had five children: two died in infancy and then there was artist Isaac Robert born in 1789, George…

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Jane Austen’s Novel Persuasion

The first draft of Jane Austen’s novel “Persuasion,” a romantic novel that examines human foibles and flaws, was completed on 18 July 1816. Apparently, however, according to her nephew and biographer, James Edward Austen-Leigh, she was unhappy: “[H]er performance did not satisfy her. She thought it tame and flat, and was desirous of producing something…

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Daring Escape of Jacobite Woman Lady Margaret Ogilvy

Jacobite woman Lady Margaret (Johnstone)* Ogilvy joined with her husband, David Ogilvy, 6th Earl of Airlie, in supporting the Jacobite movement that culminated in the rising of 1745 (the forty-five). She was the daughter of Sir James Johnston of Westerhall and Barbara Murray. Ogilvy was taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden, along with several other…

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Richard Hoodless, The 19th Century Horse Swimmer

There are all sort of heroes, but one unusual hero was a nineteenth century farmer named Richard Hoodless who was living near the Grainthorpe coast of Lincolnshire. When he was not farming, he was “said to devote himself to saving of mariners from drowning, ad this [was accomplished] without any of the usual apparatus for…

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Nicolas Steinberg and the Murder of a Georgian Family

John Nicolas (or Nicholas) Steinberg was a 40-year-old optician and a man considered to possess “inventive genius.” This was demonstrated by the fact that he received a patent for inventing a peculiarly constructed whip. But Steinberg’s peculiar whip would not be what he would become known for, rather he became known as a murderer. On…

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The Pirate, William Fly

William Fly was an English pirate with a short career and a short life. His life of piracy began in 1726 after he signed on to sail with Captain John Green to West Africa on the Elizabeth Snow. During the voyage Fly and Captain Green clashed several times, which then resulted in Fly conspiring with…

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The Bottle Conjuror of 1749

On 16 January 1749, at the New Theater in Haymarket, an anonymous person known as the “Bottle Conjuror” or “Bottle Conjurer” was set to perform a variety of amazing feats at six-thirty in the evening. He advertised that while wearing a mask he would be able to identify anyone who came to him and that…

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