INDEX of Volume 1

1) History Of Portsmouth - England, Its Famous People And Events

2) History of The Mary Rose 1509, HMS Victory 1759 and HMS Warrior 1859

3) Havant Market Town – England and It's History

4) Chichester Market Town – England and it's History

5) A to Z of English and Welsh Market Towns

6) The Victoria Cross – It's History

7) English Wine and It's History

8) History of The 17th Century Corkscrew – England

9) English Morris Dancing – History

10) History of the English Constitution AD 890 to Present day

11) English Kings and Queens from 774 AD to Present Day

12)The English Translated Magna Carta

13) List of British Royal Societies

14) History of British Police and Funny Art

15) England's Trial by Jury

16) English Tea Drinking Traditions – History

17) English Toby Jugs – History

18) English Cathedrals from 300 AD to Present Day

19) The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

20) My Favorite British Iconic Cars

21) History of The Hovercraft

22) The World's First Electric House – England 1878

23) English Speaking Countries

24) English Crop Circles – The History From 1115 AD

25) Halloween – It's English Celtic History

26) My Supernatural Experiences

27) English Witch Trials from 995 AD to 1701 AD and 1944

History Of Portsmouth - England, Its Famous People And Events

  The Spinnaker Tower

I was born in Portsmouth in 1961 ( Exactly a year to the day after my brother was born).

The history of Portsmouth is entwined with the history of Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth which extends almost two thousand years. The time when the Romans first recognized its strategic significance and built the fort "Portus Adurni", and now the home to 80% of the Royal Navy's surface fleet.

As so many Famous events and People were Born, Lived and worked in Portsmouth over the centuries I thought it would be a good idea to tell its story and some of the famous people's history.I shall be adding to this article and the many other articles that I have written with updates and Pictures - so please bookmark my site and return often.

Badminton Association

The first British Badminton Association was founded in Waverley Grove, Portsmouth in 1893.

Marc Bolan - T Rex

The last UK Concert by T-Rex and Marc Bolan was in 1977 at The Guildhall, Portsmouth. As an interesting addendum Marc Bolan's brother worked for many years as a Portsmouth Bus Conductor.

HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan

The Comic Opera HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan was set in and around Portsmouth and its Harbour.

Mrs Duncan – The Last Witch to be Tried as a Witch

The last person to be tried as a witch was a Mrs Helen Duncan, a Scotswoman who travelled the country holding seances, was one of Britain's best-known mediums, reputedly numbering Winston Churchill and George VI among her clients, when she was arrested in January 1944 by two naval officers at a seance in Portsmouth. The military authorities, secretly preparing for the D-day landings and then in a heightened state of paranoia, were alarmed by reports that she had disclosed - allegedly via contacts with the spirit world - the sinking of two British battleships long before they became public. The most serious disclosure came when she told the parents of a missing sailor that his ship, HMS Barham, had sunk. It was true, but news of the tragedy had been suppressed to preserve morale.

Desperate to silence the apparent leak of state secrets, the authorities charged Mrs Duncan with conspiracy, fraud, and with witchcraft under an act dating back to 1735 - the first such charge in over a century. At the trial, only the "black magic" allegations stuck, and she was jailed for nine months at Holloway women's prison in north London. Churchill, then prime minister, visited her in prison and denounced her conviction as "tomfoolery". In 1951, he repealed the 200-year-old act, but her conviction stood.

Wymering Manor House – The Most Haunted House in England.

As I am from Portsmouth, England I thought it may be of interest to write about the oldest house in Portsmouth and the most haunted house in England, called “Wymering Manor House” and dated from 1042 AD.

Although most of the current structure dates back to the 16th century, the manor goes back much further. Records show the first owner of Wymering Manor was King Edward the Confessor in 1042 and then after the Battle of Hastings it fell into the hands of King William the Conqueror until 1084. The house has been altered and renovated continually over the centuries, yet remarkably it has retained materials dating back to medieval and even ancient Roman times.

Having changed ownership many times over these hundreds of years, the property was eventually adopted by the Portsmouth City Council, then sold for a short time to a private organization for development into a hotel. When the development fell though, the property reverted to the council, which has again put it up for auction.

Once a country manor, the structure is now surrounded by modern houses. And when it was saved from demolition and used as a youth hostel, many areas of the building were "modernized" and have an unfortunate, institutional feel.

With this rich history it's no surprise perhaps that Wymering Manor should be haunted.

Below are some of the Ghosts that haunt Wymering Manor:

The Lady in the Violet Dress. When Mr. Thomas Parr lived at Wymering Manor, he awoke one night to the sight of an apparition standing at the foot of his bed. It was his cousin, who had died in 1917. Dressed in a full-length violet-coloured dress, the spirit spoke to him in a friendly and matter-of-fact manner, telling him of her recent religious experiences and about other deceased family members. Suddenly the ghost said, "Well, Tommy dear, I must leave you now as we are waiting to receive Aunt Em." In the morning, Parr received a telegram with the news that his Aunt Em had died during the night.

The Blue Room. An elderly relative of Thomas Parr, who was staying in the "Blue Room," was careful always to lock her door at night, as she feared break-ins by burglars. One morning she was surprised to find her door unlocked and open.

The Choir of Nuns. Mr. Leonard Metcalf, an occupant of the house who died in 1958, said he occasionally saw a choir of nuns crossing the manor's hall at midnight. They were chanting, he claimed, to the clear sound of music. His family never believed his story as they didn't know - and neither did Mr. Metcalf - that nuns from the Sisterhood of Saint Mary the Virgin visited the house in the mid-1800s.

The Panelled Room. The so-called "Panelled Room" may be the manor's most dreaded. The Panelled Room served as a bedroom in the manor's south east corner, and as Metcalf was using the washbasin one day, he was startled by the distinct feeling of a hand on his shoulder. He turned quickly to find no one there. Others have felt an oppressive air in this room, instilling a strong feeling to flee. When the building served as the youth hostel, its warden and wife expressed an unexplained fear of the room.

Other Paranormal occurrences reported at the manor include visitors who claim to have heard the whispers of children, spotted strange apparitions and seen items in the manor move of their own accord. Dramatic drops in temperature and accounts of unusual or intimidating 'spirit energies' have also been reported. Film and video footage has captured both orbs and other strange light anomalies.

Buckingham, George Villiers,1592 to 1628



1st duke of (vil'yurz, bŭk'ing-um) [key], English courtier and royal favourite.

While organizing a second campaign he was stabbed and killed at the high street, Old Portsmouth on August 23, 1628 by John Felton, an army officer who had been wounded in the earlier military adventure. Felton was hanged in November and Buckingham was buried in Westminster Abbey. His tomb bears a Latin inscription translating: "The Enigma of the World" and was also one of the most rewarded royal courtiers in all history.

The romantic aspects of the duke's career figure largely in Alexander Dumas's historical novel, The Three Musketeers. The Duke of Buckingham died leaving his wife Katherine Manners, their daughter Mary and son George, 1628.

Admiral Lord George Anson ( April 23rd. 1697 - 1762 )
George Anson, 1st Baron Anson was a British admiral and a wealthy aristocrat, noted for his circumnavigation of the globe.
Sailed around the world between 1740-1744 on HMS Centurion and brought back 500,000 pounds sterling value of Gold ( Equivalent in todays money 250 Million Pounds!!) as Booty from the Spanish in South America.

Jonas Hanway (1712-1786)
Born in Portsmouth & Pioneer of Umbrella.
English traveler and philanthropist, was born at Portsmouth in 1712.

He was the founder of the Magdalen Hospital and has the credit of being the first man who ventured to dare public reproach and ridicule by carrying an umbrella habitually in London. As he died in 1786, and he is said to have carried an umbrella for thirty years, the date of its first use by him may be set down at about 1750.

While still a child, his father, a victualer, died, and the family moved to London. In 1729 Jonas was apprenticed to a merchant in Lisbon. In 1 743, after he had been some time in business for himself in London, he became a partner with Mr Dingley, a merchant in St Petersburg, and in this way was led to travel in Russia and Persia. Leaving St Petersburg on the 10th of September 1743, and passing south by Moscow, Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan, he embarked on the Caspian on the 22nd of November, and arrived at Astrabad on the 18th of December. He was the first Londoner, it is said, to carry an umbrella and he lived to triumph over all the hackney coachmen who tried to hoot and hustle him down.

Lord Admiral Nelson ( 1758-1805 )


  HMS Victory in Dock without Sails                                                          Portsmouth Coaching Inn where Nelson and Lady Hamilton stayed prior to Trafalger 1805.

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British admiral famous for his participation in the Napoleonic Wars, most notably in the Battle of Trafalgar, a decisive British victory in the war, during which he lost his life.[1] Nelson was noted for his considerable ability to inspire and bring out the best in his men, to the point that it gained a name: "The Nelson Touch".
His actions during these wars meant that before and after his death he was revered like few military figures have been throughout British history.

During the 18th century, even though he had been married for some time, Nelson became famous for his love affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton, the wife of the British Ambassador to Naples and she became Nelson's mistress, returning to the United Kingdom to live openly with him, and eventually they had a daughter, Horatia. It was the public knowledge of this affair that induced the Navy to send Nelson back out to sea after he had been recalled. By his death in 1805 Nelson had become a national hero, and he was given a State Funeral. To this day his memory lives on in numerous monuments, the most notable of which is London's Nelson's Column, which stands in the centre of Trafalgar Square.

John Pounds (1766-1839)

John Pounds was born in Portsmouth on 17th June 1766. His father was a sawyer in the royal dockyard and when was twelve years old, his father arranged for him to be apprenticed as a shipwright. Three years later John fell into a dry dock and was crippled for life.

Unable to work as a shipwright, John became a shoemaker and by 1803 had his own shop in St. Mary Street, Portsmouth. While working in the shop, John began teaching local children how to read. His reputation as a teacher grew and he soon had over 40 pupils attending his lessons. Unlike other schools, John did not charge a fee for teaching the poor of Portsmouth. As well as reading and arithmetic, John gave lessons in cooking, carpentry and shoe making. John Pounds died in 1839.

Charles Dickens 1812 – 1870

  Birthplace of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth in Hampshire, the second of eight children to John Dickens (1786–1851), a clerk in the Navy Pay Office at Portsmouth, and his wife Elizabeth Dickens (née Barrow, 1789–1863). 

When he was five, the family moved to Chatham, Kent. In 1822, when he was ten, the family relocated to 16 Bayham Street, Camden Town in London.

Charles Dickens published over a dozen major novels, a large number of short stories (including a number of Christmas-themed stories), a handful of plays, and several nonfiction books. Dickens's novels were initially serialised in weekly and monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats.
The travelling shows were extremely popular and, after three tours of British Isles, Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States at a New York City theatre on 2 December 1867.

On 9 June 1870, he died at home at Gad's Hill Place after suffering a stroke, after a full, interesting and varied life. He was mourned by all his readers.

Jeremiah Chubb (1793-1860) and Charles Chubb (1779-1846)
Both brotherswere born, lived and worked in Portsmouth & are Famous Chubb Locksmiths.

The name of Chubb is famous in the lock world for the invention of the detector lock and for the production of high quality lever locks of outstanding security during a period of 140 years. The detector lock was patented in 1818 by Jeremiah Chubb of Portsmouth, England, who gained the reward offered by the Government for a lock which could not be opened by any but its own key. It is recorded that, after the appearance of this detector lock, a convict on board one of the prison ships at Portsmouth Dockyard, who was by profession a lockmaker, ad had been employed in London in making and repairing locks, asserted that he had picked with ease some of the best locks, and that he could pick Chubb's lock with equal facility. Improvements in the lock were subsequently made under various patents by Jeremiah Chubb and his brother Charles.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel ( 1806-1859 )


Famous photo of Isambard Kingdom Brunel       Plaque where His House used to be          Portsmouth monument to IKB

Brunel, perhaps, was the most prodigious Engineer of his time and many of his works, which challenged and inspired his colleagues during this period, have survived to our own time and some are still in use.

He was born in 1806, the son of a distinguished French engineer, Sir Marc Brunel, who had come to England at the time of the French Revolution. Unlike most engineers of the time, Isambard Brunel received a sound education and practical training - partly in France - before entering his father's office and taking full charge of the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe when he was only 20.

At the age of 26, he was appointed Engineer to the newly-formed Great Western Railway and acted with characteristic boldness and energy. His great civil engineering works on the line between London and Bristol, are used by today's high-speed trains and bear witness to his genius He eventually engineered over 1,200 miles of railway, including lines in Ireland, Italy and Bengal. Each of his three ships represented a major step forward in naval architecture.

Brunel's other works included docks, viaducts, tunnels and buildings and the remarkable prefabricated hospital, with its air-conditioning and drainage systems for use in the Crimean War. Inevitably, in such a prolific career, there were setbacks and disappointments such as the atmospheric railway but he readily admitted his mistakes. Indeed he himself suffered financially by supporting his ventures with his own money.

Brunel suffered several years of ill health, with kidney problems, before a stroke at the age of 53. Brunel was said to smoke up to 40 cigars a day and to sleep four hours each night.

George Meredith (1828-1909)
Famous Novelist & Poet who was born in Portsmouth.
Contributed poems to various periodicals; an associate of the Pre-Raphaelite group around Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Swinburne; published
the poem Modern Love 1862; author of several novels including Diana of the Crossways 1885, which first brought him popular acclaim.

George Vicat Cole (1833-1893)
George Vicat Cole (usually known as Vicat Cole) was an important landscape painter working in the mid-19th century. In keeping with the realist mood of that period, he painted naturalistic English landscape scenes, without attempting deeper meanings or looking for rustic ideals. His speciality was the effect of atmosphere and light.

Cole was born in Portsmouth, and trained in the studio of his father George Cole (1810-1883), an eminent painter of landscapes, animals and portraits who rose as far as the Vice-Presidency of the Society of British Artists. As a young man, Cole copied prints of works of Turner, Constable and Cox, and the paintings of these men had a strong influence on him.

Lionel William Wylie (1851-1931)

Famous Marine Artist who Lived and died in Portsmouth. Wylie was born into a family of artists in 1851. The rather bohemian family spent their summers on the coast of northern France. Wylie recalled the journey by steamer down the crowded Thames from London on their way to Boulogne. When he was about 12 he went to art school in London, and in 1866 he started at the Royal Academy School. In 1869 he won the Turner Gold Medal for landscape. In 1870 one of the first pictures he exhibited at the Royal Academy was London from the Monument, a panoramic view of the city and the river and he began working as an illustrator of maritime subjects for The Graphic magazine. He had to reproduce detail accurately in black and white, and this discipline probably influenced him when he began making etchings in the early 1880s. Wyllie's first known etching, made in 1884, is Toil, glitter, grime and wealth on a flowing tide. It was commissioned by the print publisher Robert Dunthorne. Wyllie's Thames pictures led him to be elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1889. By 1907, when he became a Royal Academician, he had moved to a house at the entrance of Portsmouth Harbour. He had largely turned to painting naval and historical subjects. Nevertheless, he continued to make prints of London and the Thames to the end of his life.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ( 1859-1930 )


Plaque where Arthur Conan Doyle used to have his surgery.

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Doyles were a prosperous Irish-Catholic family, who had a prominent position in the world of Art. Charles Altamont Doyle, Arthur's father, a chronic alcoholic, was the only member of his family, who apart from fathering a brilliant son, never accomplished anything of note. At the age of twenty-two, Charles had married Mary Foley, a vivacious and very well educated young woman of seventeen.

Mary Doyle had a passion for books and was a master storyteller. Her son Arthur wrote of his mother's gift of "sinking her voice to a horror-stricken whisper" when she reached the culminating point of a story. There was little money in the family and even less harmony on account of his father's excesses and erratic behavior. Arthur's touching description of his mother's beneficial influence is also poignantly described in his biography, "In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life."

After Arthur reached his ninth birthday, the wealthy members of the Doyle family offered to pay for his studies. He was in tears all the way to England, where for seven years he had to go to a Jesuit boarding school. Arthur loathed the bigotry surrounding his studies and rebelled at corporal punishment, which was prevalent and incredibly brutal in most English schools of that epoch.

During those grueling years, Arthur's only moments of happiness were when he wrote to his mother, a regular habit that lasted for the rest of her life, and also when he practiced sports, mainly cricket, at which he was very good.

The young medical student met a number of future authors who were also attending the university, such as for instance James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. But the man who most impressed and influenced him, was without a doubt, one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell. The good doctor was a master at observation, logic, deduction, and diagnosis. All these qualities were later to be found in the persona of the celebrated detective Sherlock Holmes.

A couple of years into his studies, Arthur decided to try his pen at writing a short story. Although the result called The Mystery of Sasassa Valley was very evocative of the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Bret Harte, his favorite authors at the time, it was accepted in an Edinburgh magazine called Chamber's Journal, which had published Thomas Hardy's first work.

Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle's first gainful employment after his graduation was as a medical officer on the steamer Mayumba, a battered old vessel navigating between Liverpool and the west coast of Africa. Unfortunately he found Africa as detestable as he had found the Arctic seductive, so he gave-up that position as soon as the boat landed back in England. Then came a short but quite dramatic stint with an unscrupulous doctor in Plymouth of which Conan Doyle gave a vivid account of forty years later in The Stark Munro Letters. After that debacle, and on the verge of bankruptcy, Conan Doyle left for Portsmouth, to open his first practice.

He rented a house but was only able to furnish the two rooms his patients would see. The rest of the house was almost bare and his practice was off to a rocky start. But he was compassionate and hard working, so that by the end of the third year, his practice started to earn him a comfortable income.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also became one of the first goalkeepers of Portsmouth Football club in the 1880s.

Arthur Conan Doyle died on Monday, July 7, 1930, surrounded by his family. His last words before departing for "the greatest and most glorious adventure of all," were addressed to his wife. He whispered, "You are wonderful."

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Who lived in Portsmouth and also attended School in Portsmouth.
Kipling's days of "strong light and darkness" in Bombay were to end when he was six years old. As was the custom in British India, he and his three-year-old sister, Alice ("Trix"), were taken to England—in their case to Southsea (Portsmouth), to be cared for by a couple that took in children of British nationals living in India. The two children would live with the couple, Captain and Mrs. Holloway, at their house, Lorne Lodge, for the next six years. In his autobiography, written some 65 years later, Kipling would recall this time with horror, and wonder ironically if the combination of cruelty and neglect he experienced there at the hands of Mrs. Holloway might not have hastened the onset of his literary life.
Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace and with much less success than before. He died of a hemorrhage from a perforated duodenal ulcer on 18 January 1936, two days before George V, at the age of 70.

Herbert George Wells (1866 – 1946), known as H.G. Wells


Saint Paul's Road, Southsea where HG Wells used to work at a Draper's Shop 1881-1883

Was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon and The Island of Doctor Moreau. He was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and produced works in many different genres, including contemporary novels, history, and social commentary. He was also an outspoken socialist. His later works become increasingly political and didactic, and only his early science fiction novels are widely read today. Both Wells and Jules Verne are sometimes referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction".

No longer able to support themselves financially, the family instead sought to place their boys as apprentices to various professions. From 1881 to 1883 Wells had an unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at the Southsea Drapery Emporium. His experiences were later used as inspiration for his novels The Wheels of Chance and Kipps, which describe the life of a draper's apprentice as well as being a critique of the world's distribution of wealth.

In 1883, Wells's employer dismissed him, claiming to be dissatisfied with him. The young man was reportedly not displeased with this ending to his apprenticeship. Later that year, he became an assistant teacher at Midhurst Grammar School, in West Sussex (teaching students such as A.A. Milne, until he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (later the Royal College of Science, now part of Imperial College London), studying biology under T. H. Huxley. As an alumnus, he later helped to set up the Royal College of Science Association, of which he became the first president in 1909.

Neville Shute (1899-1960)
Famous Author/Aero-Engineer who worked in Portsmouth.
Born in Somerset Road, Ealing, London, he was educated at the Dragon School, Shrewsbury School and Balliol College, Oxford. Shute's father, Arthur Hamilton Norway, was the head of the post office in Dublin in 1916 and Shute was commended for his role as a stretcher bearer during the Easter Rising. Shute attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich but because of his stammer was unable to take up a commission in the Royal Flying Corps, instead serving in World War I as a soldier in the Suffolk Regiment. An aeronautical engineer as well as a pilot, he began his engineering career with de Havilland Aircraft Company but, dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities for advancement, took a position in 1924 with Vickers Ltd., where he was involved with the development of airships. Shute worked as Chief Calculator (stress engineer) on the R100 Airship project for the subsidiary Airship Guarantee Company. In 1929, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Engineer of the R100 project under Sir Barnes Wallis.

Sir Walter Besant (14-08-1836 to 9-06-1901)

Famous Novelist/Scientist and historian from London. His sister-in-law was Annie Besant.
The son of a merchant, he was born at Portsmouth, Hampshire and attended school at St Paul's, Southsea, Stockwell Grammar, London and King's College London. In 1855, he was admitted as a pensioner to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1859 as 18th wrangler. After a year as Mathematical Master at Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lancashire and a year at Leamington College, he spent 6 years as professor of mathematics at the Royal College, Mauritius. A breakdown in health compelled him to resign, and he returned to England and settled in London in 1867. He took the duties of Secretary to the Palestine Exploration Fund, which he held 1868–85. In 1871, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn.

Besant was a Freemason, serving as Master Mason in the Marquis of Dalhousie Lodge, London from 1873. He conceived the idea of a Masonic research lodge, the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of which he was first treasurer from 1886.

Sir Alec Rose (13 July 1908 - 11 January 1991)

Was a nursery owner and fruit merchant in Portsmouth England who lived at 38 Osborne Road, Southsea who had a passion for amateur single-handed sailing, for which he was ultimately knighted on the beach at Southsea.

Alec Rose was born in Canterbury. During World War II he served in the British Navy as a diesel mechanic on a convoy escort, the HMS Leith. In 1964, Rose participated in the second single-handed transatlantic race, placing fourth across the line in his 36 foot cutter Lively Lady, originally built of paduak by Mr. Cambridge, the previous owner, in Calcutta.

Rose then modified the boat, including the addition of a mizzenmast, to sail single-handed around the world. He attempted to start this journey at2 approximately the same time as Francis Chichester sailing Gypsy Moth IV in 1966, but a series of misfortunes delayed Rose's departure until the following year. The journey was closely followed by the British and international press, and culminated in his successful return in Portsmouth on July 4, 1968, 354 days later, to cheering crowds of hundreds of thousands. The following day he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and nine days later he turned 60 years old. His voyages are detailed in his book "My Lively Lady."

On 17 December 1967, the then Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, drove with some family members to Port Phillip Heads, south of Melbourne, to view Rose complete this leg of his voyage. Holt then went for a swim at nearby Cheviot Beach, but the surf was rough, he disappeared from view, and was presumed to have drowned.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (b 1947),

When I was growing up in portsmouth in the 1960s and 1970s most people had heard of the Austrian bodybuilder - Arnold Schwarzenegger the actor and ex. Governor of California - who used to work out in a gym in Albert Road, Southsea with the owner Mr. Wilson who also helped train him win various Body Building Titles.

Henry Ayers (1821-1897)

Who was born in Portsmouth and was an early Premier of the colony of South Australia and the famous Ayers Rock was named after him.

Paul Jones (b 1942),

Was born in Portsmouth in 1942 and was the vocalist with Manfred Mann and latterley also a solo singer and radio presenter.

Brian Howe (born 22nd July 1953)

Brian Howe was the lead vocalist with bad Company and was born in Portsmouth in 1953.

Peter Sellers (8th September 1925 – 24th. July 1980)

The Famous international Comic Actor was born at 96 Castle Road in Southsea, Portsmouth in 1925, whose full name was Richard Henry which his parants always called him Peter after his elder stillborn brother.

Sir Francis Austen (1774 – 1865)

Sir Francis Austen was the brother of Jane Austen and Admiral of the fleet who lived and worked in Portsmouth.

Callaghan of Cardiff,Leonard James Callaghan,Baron and ex. British Prime Minister (1912-2005)

  Portsmouth Grammer School

Born in Portsmouth and schooled at Portsmouth Grammer School. He was first elected to Parliament as a Labour member in 1945. As chancellor of the exchequer (1964–67), he introduced extremely controversial taxation policies, including employment taxes; he resigned when he was forced to accept devaluation of the pound. Prime Minister Harold Wilson Wilson, Harold (James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx), 1916–95, British statesman. A graduate of Oxford, he became an economics lecturer there (1937) and a fellow of University College (1938).

Callaghan served as foreign secretary (1974–76). He succeeded Wilson when the latter resigned as prime minister in 1976. Callaghan was by nature a moderate man, but his government was plagued by inflation, unemployment, and its inability to restrain trade unions' wage demands, and foundered after a series of paralyzing labor strikes in the winter of 1978–79. In the elections later in 1979, the Labour party lost to the Conservatives, led by Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, Baroness, 1925–, British political leader.

Portsmouth Football Club ( Pompey )

Portsmouth F.C. was founded in the back garden of 12 High Street, Old Portsmouth on 5th  April 1898 with John Brickwood, owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery as chairman and Frank Brettell as the club's first manager. Portsmouth F.C. is an English football club based in the city of Portsmouth. The city and hence the club are nicknamed Pompey and sometimes called 'The Blues', with fans known across Europe. Pompey were early participants in the Southern League, One of their first Goalkeepers Pre -1898 was Arthur Conan Doyle the author of Sherlock Holmes.

The club joined the Southern League in 1898 and their first league match was played at Chatham Town on 2nd September 1899 (a 1–0 victory), followed three days later by the first match at Fratton Park, a friendly against local rivals Southampton, which was won 2–0, with goals from Dan Cunliffe (formerly with Liverpool) and Harold Clarke (formerly with Everton.

That first season was hugely successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, earning them the runner-up spot in the league. During 1910-11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager the team were promoted the following season.

The team play in the Football League Championship after being relegated from the Premier League after the 2009/10 season. Until then, Portsmouth had been a member of the Premier League for seven consecutive seasons.

Portsmouth's debut season in the English First Division was during the 1920's that alas, turned out to be a difficult one. However, despite disappointing league form the club fought off stiff competition to reach the FA Cup final closely losing out to Bolton Wanderers.

Having solidified their position in the top flight, the 1938-1939 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final. This time Portsmouth were successful beating Wolves in a convincing 4-1 win. The club had secured their first major trophy.

After the end of World War Two league football began again and Portsmouth quickly proved to the footballing masses that they were a team to be reckoned with, lifting the League title in 1949 season. The club then crowned this achievement by retaining the title the following year 1950 and becoming only one of five English teams to have won back to back championships since World War Two.

Portsmouth was the first club to hold a floodlit Football League match when they played Newcastle in 1956.

Finally under the management of Harry Redknapp Portsmouth were promoted into the Premier League and have held a solid place in the top flight since this date despite coming close to relegation a number of times.

Portsmouth went from strength to strength under the careful management of Harry Redknapp and a much-needed injection of cash. In the 2007-2008 season Portsmouth won the English F.A. Cup and qualified for the UEFA Cup qualification. They had proven themselves as a consistent and strong team.

Alas during the 2009-2010 season they had financial difficulties and were at the root of the Premier League because of there financial difficulties they were deducted 9 points due to going into Administration and subsequently relegated into the Championship league Division. They only bright part of the season was when they reached the F.A.Cup final in 2010 and lost to Chelsea.

The Mary Rose 1509, HMS Victory 1759 and HMS Warrior 1859 - History

I have decided to create this article about the history of some of the most famous British Warships which can still be found at Portsmouth Dockyard. The three famous ships are Henry VIII's flagship The Mary Rose, Nelson's HMS Victory and The World's first all Ironclad Warship, HMS Warrior.

The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose was built in Portsmouth in 1509. One of Henry VIII's 'great ships', Mary Rose was named after the king's favourite sister Mary and the Tudor emblem the Rose. Typical of the larger sailing ships of the fleet with high castles at the bow and stern, she was one of the first ships with gun ports cut out along the side of the hull for the firing of heavy guns.

Mary Rose had a long career and was frequently in battle against the French. On 10 August 1512 she was part of an English force that attacked the French fleet at Brest. Mary Rose crippled the enemy flagship, bringing down her mast and causing 300 casualties. This was possibly the first battle in the Channel when ships fired their heavy guns through gun ports.

The sinking of the Mary Rose is the event for which the ship is best known. On 19 July 1545 Mary Rose was part of an English fleet that sailed out of Portsmouth to engage the French. She fired a broadside at the enemy and was turning to fire the other broadside when water flooded into her open gun ports and the ship suddenly capsized in full view of Henry VIII watching from the shore. It is not certain what caused Mary Rose to capsize; she was overloaded with extra soldiers and may have been caught by a gust of wind, which made the ship heel over.

The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1968 and before her recovery divers carried out much preparation work. On 11 October 1982 the hull was lifted off the seabed and placed on a cradle before being raised by a giant floating crane. It was then towed back into Portsmouth harbour from where the ship had left on her last fateful journey 437 years before. Today the Mary Rose is preserved in No.3 dock in Portsmouth.

HMS Victory

  HMS Victory in Dock without Sails

Ordered by the Navy Board on June 6, 1759, HMS Victory was designed by Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Thomas Slade. Building commenced the following month at Chatham Dockyard under the watchful eye of Master Shipwright John Lock. On October 30, 1760, the name Victory was chosen for the new ship, perhaps in honour of Britain's "Annus Mirabilis" (Year of Victories) in 1759, during the Seven Years' War. The work was completed in 1765, under the supervision of Master Shipwright Edward Allen. Launched on May 7 of that year, the finished 100-gun ship cost a total of £63,176.

Service History:

After completing sea trials, Victory was placed in ordinary as the war had been concluded. It remained in this reserve role until May 1778, when it was first commissioned as the flagship of Admiral Augustus Keppel during the War of American Independence. Two months later, on July 27, Keppel's fleet encountered a French fleet off Ushant and gave battle. Though the First Battle of Ushant was inconclusive, it was Victory's baptism by fire. Two years later, in March 1780, the ship was placed in dry dock and its hull sheathed with copper to protect against shipworm.

Returning to sea, Victory served as Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt's flagship during his triumph at the Second Battle of Ushant on December 12, 1781, and later took part in Admiral Richard Howe's relief of Gibraltar in October 1782. With the war's conclusion, Victory underwent a £15,372 refit and had its armament increased. With the beginning of the War of the First Coalition in 1793, Victory became the flagship of the Mediterranean fleet under Admiral Lord Samuel Hood. After participating in the capture (and loss) of Toulon and Corsica, Victory returned to Chatham for a brief overhaul in 1794.

Returning to the Mediterranean the following year, Victory remained in the area until the British fleet was forced to withdraw to Portugal. In December 1796, Admiral John Jervis made Victory his flagship when he took command of the Mediterranean fleet. Two months later, he led the fleet to victory over the Spanish at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. Growing old, Victory returned to Chatham that fall to be surveyed and have its fate decided. Ruled unfit for service on December 8, 1797, orders were issued to convert Victory into a hospital ship.

With the loss of the first-rate HMS Impregnable in October 1799, Victory's conversion orders were countermanded and new ones issued to repair and restore the ship. Initially estimated at £23,500, the reconstruction project eventually cost £70,933 due to an ever increasingly list of defects in the hull. Completed in April 11, 1803, Victory sailed to rejoin the fleet. On May 16, 1803, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson hoisted his flag aboard Victory as the commander of the Mediterranean fleet. Serving as Nelson's flagship, Victory patrolled off Toulon as part of the British blockade of that port.

In May 1805, the French fleet under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve escaped from Toulon. After sailing east first, Nelson learned that the French were heading for the West Indies. Pursuing them across the Atlantic and back again, Nelson finally was able to bottle them up in the Spanish port of Cadiz. When Villeneuve departed Cadiz on October 19, Nelson was able to bring him to battle off Cape Trafalgar two days later. Splitting his force in two, Nelson drove his ships in two columns into the heart of the combined French-Spanish fleet.

Aggressively attacking, the British decimated Villeneuve's fleet, winning one of the greatest naval victories in history. During the battle Victory engaged Villeneuve's flagship, Bucentaure (80) and Redoutable (74). After inflicting heavy damage on Bucentaure, Victory duelled Redoutable with both ships suffering heavy casualties. During the fight, Nelson was shot through shoulder by a marine aboard Redoutable. Taken below, he died three hours later as his fleet was completing the victory. After the battle, the badly damaged Victory transported Nelson's body back to England.

Repaired after Trafalgar, Victory saw service as a flagship in the Baltic and off the coast of Spain. On December 20, 1812, the 47-year old warship was paid off for the last time at Portsmouth. Though the ship was refitted a final time after the war, it remained in ordinary and became the flagship for the Port Admiral in 1824. In 1889, the ship was fitted out for use as the Naval School of Telegraphy and later the Signals School. These remained on board until 1904, when they were moved HMS Hercules and then to the Royal Naval Barracks.

By 1921, Victory was in poor condition and a campaign was started to raise money for the ship's restoration. Moved to the oldest dry dock in the world, No. 2 Dock at Portsmouth, on January 12, 1922, Victory underwent a massive six-year restoration which returned the ship to its 1805 appearance. Victory saw its last wartime action in 1941, during World War II when it was hit by a Luftwaffe bomb which caused some hull damage. Under constant restoration, Victory is still in commission and is open to the public as a museum ship at Portsmouth.


Nation: Great Britain

Builder: Chatham Dockyard

Laid Down: July 23, 1759

Launched: May 7, 1765

Commissioned: May 1778

Decommissioned: November 7, 1812

Fate: Preserved as a museum ship at Portsmouth, England.


Ship Type: Ship of the Line (First Rate)

Displacement: 3,500 tons

Length: 227 ft., 6 in.

Beam: 51 ft., 10 in.

Draft: 28 ft. 9 in.

Complement: approx. 850

Speed: 8-10 knots

Armament (at Trafalgar):

Gun Deck: 30 x long 32-pdrs

Middle Gun Deck: 28 × long 24-pdrs

Upper Gun Deck: 30 × short 12-pdrs

Quarterdeck: 12 × short 12-pdrs

Forecastle: 2 × medium 12-pdrs, 2 × 68 pdr carronades

HMS Warrior

  HMS Warrior docked outside Portsmouth Dockyard

During the early decades of the 19th century the Royal Navy began add steam power to many of its ships and was slowly introducing new innovations, such as iron hulls, into some of its smaller vessels. In 1858, the Admiralty was stunned to learn that the French had commenced construction of a Wood Mixed iron warship named La Gloire. It was the desire of Emperor Napoleon III to replace all of France's warships with iron-hulled ironclads, however French industry lacked the capacity to produce the needed plate. As a result, La Gloire was initially built of wood then clad in iron armour.

Commissioned in August 1860, La Gloire became the world's first ocean-going ironclad warship. Sensing that their naval dominance was being threatened, the Royal Navy immediately commenced construction on a vessel superior to La Gloire. Conceived by Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake-Walker and designed by Isaac Watts, HMS Warrior was laid down at Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding on May 29, 1859. Incorporating a variety of new technologies, Warrior was to be a composite sail/steam armoured frigate. Built with an iron hull – the world's first fully iron built warship and Warrior's steam engines turned a large propeller.

Central to the ship's design was its armoured citadel. Built into the hull, the citadel contained Warrior's broadside guns and possessed 4.5" iron armour which was bolted onto 9" of teak. During construction, the design of the citadel was tested against the most modern guns of the day and none were able to penetrate its armour For further protection, innovative watertight bulkheads were added to the vessel. Though Warrior was designed to carry fewer guns than many other ships in the fleet, it compensated by mounting heavier weapons.

These included 26 68-pdr guns and 10 110-pdr breech-loading Armstrong rifles. Warrior was launched at Blackwall on December 29, 1860. A particularly cold day, the ship froze to the ways and required six tugs to pull it into the water. Commissioned on August 1, 1861, Warrior cost the Admiralty £357,291. Joining the fleet, Warrior served primarily in home waters as the only dry dock large enough to take it was in Britain. Arguably the most powerful warship afloat when it was commissioned, Warrior quickly intimidated rival nations and launched the competition to build bigger and stronger iron/steel battleships.

Upon first seeing Warrior's power the French naval attaché in London sent an urgent dispatch to his superiors in Paris stating, "Should this ship meet our fleet it will be as a black snake among rabbits!" Those in Britain were similarly impressed including Charles Dickens who wrote, "A black vicious ugly customer as ever I saw, whale-like in size, and with as terrible a row of incisor teeth as ever closed on a French frigate." A year after Warrior was commissioned it was joined by its sister ship, HMS Black Prince. During the 1860s, Warrior saw peaceful service, its gun battery upgraded between 1864 1867.

Warrior's routine was interrupted in 1868, following a collision with HMS Royal Oak. The following year it made one of its few trips away from Europe when it towed a floating dry dock to Bermuda. After undergoing a refit in 1871-1875, Warrior was placed in reserve status. A ground breaking vessel, the naval arms race that it helped inspire had quickly led to it becoming obsolete. From 1875-1883, Warrior performed summer training cruises to the Mediterranean and Baltic for reservists. Laid up in 1883, the ship remained available for active duty until 1900.

In 1904, Warrior was taken to Portsmouth and renamed Vernon III as part of the Royal Navy's torpedo training school. Providing steam and power for the neighbouring hulks that comprised the school, Warrior remained in this role until 1923. After attempts to sell the ship for scrap in the mid-1920s failed, it was converted for use a floating oil jetty at Pembroke, Wales. Designated Oil Hulk C77, Warrior humbly fulfilled this duty for half a century. In 1979, the ship was saved from the scrap yard by the Maritime Trust. Initially led by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Trust oversaw the eight-year restoration of the ship. Returned to its 1860s glory, Warrior entered its berth at Portsmouth on June 16, 1987, and began a new life as a museum ship.


Nation: Great Britain

Builder: Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

Laid Down: May 25, 1859

Launched: December 29, 1860

Commissioned: August 1, 1861

Decommissioned: May 31, 1883

Fate: Museum ship at Portsmouth, England


Type: Armoured Frigate

Displacement: 9,210 tons

Length: 418 ft.

Beam: 58 ft.

Draft: 27 ft.

Complement: 705

Power Plant: Penn Jet-Condensing, horizontal-trunk, single expansion steam engine

Speed: 13 knots (sail), 14.5 knots (steam), 17 knots (combined)


26 x 68-pdr. guns (muzzle-loading)

10 x 110-pdr. Armstrong guns (breech-loading)

4 x 40-pdr. Armstrong guns (breech-loading).

Havant Market Town – England and It's History

The history of Havant is entwined with the history of Portsmouth which extends almost two thousand years. Havant used to be famous for it's Parchment and Glove making during the lst 500 years.

Havant was once Hama's funta. Funta meant spring. A man named Hama once owned this area of Hampshire. Denvilles derives its name from the Saxon word Denn which meant woodland pasture for pigs. (The 'villes' was added much later). The Saxon word 'tun' meant farm or estate. Brockhampton was brook home farm. Lang is the Saxon word for long so Langstone was probably once a village by a long stone.

At the time of Domesday Book (1086) Havant was a village with a population of about 100. It would seem tiny to us but towns and villages were very small in those days. Havant had 2 mills, which ground grain to flour to make bread for the villagers. One mill was Southwest of the town. The other was probably in Langstone.

St Faith's Church in Havant dates from the 12th century although it was largely rebuilt in the 19th century.

In the Middle Ages Havant grew from a large village into a small market town. In 1200 Havant was given a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights). Among was the right to have a weekly market. From 1451 Havant also had an annual fairs. (In the Middle Ages fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year and would attract buyers and sellers from a wide area). Later (the exact date is unknown Havant had a second annual fair). However to us Havant would seem tiny. It probably only had a population of several hundred.

In the late Middle Ages and 16th century there was a wool industry in Havant but it declined in the 17th century. However there was an important industry tanning leather in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Havant had fellmongers (people who dealt in animal skins). Havant was also know for its glove making industry.

The little town of Havant was also known for parchment making. Parchment was made from the skins of sheep, goats or calves. It was used as a writing material instead of paper. Water was used to make parchment (the skins were soaked in it). The spring in Havant gave pure water, which made bright white parchment. So the parchment made in Havant was of a high quality.

For centuries Langstone was a small port. Even in the 19th century there was a coastal trade there. (In the past goods were often taken by ship along the coast from one part of the country to another instead of being transported overland). Langstone watermill was built in the 18th century to grind grain to flour.

Meanwhile Warblington Castle was built around 1525. However in 1643 during the civil war parliamentary soldiers destroyed most of it.

Then in 1761 Havant was severely damaged by a fire but it was soon rebuilt. In 1762 the road from Portsmouth to Chichester was turnpiked. (A turnpike road was privately owned and maintained and you had to pay to use it.) Stagecoaches travelling between the two towns stopped at Havant.

Nevertheless in 1801 Havant was a very small market town. It only had a population of 1,670. In 1801 Havant was smaller than Petersfield.

Havant grew steadily during the 19th century but in 1901 it still had a population of less than 4,000. Meanwhile in the 19th century the industry of parchment making continued to prosper in Havant. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was written on parchment made in Havant. However the parchment making industry in Havant ended in the 1930s. In the 19th century another industry in Havant was brewing.

As Havant grew in the 19th century its amenities improved. Hayling Bridge was first built in 1824. In 1847 Havant was connected to both Portsmouth and Chichester by railway. From 1867 a railway ran from Havant to Hayling Island. From 1859 Havant was connected to London by railway. Railway stations were built at Bedhampton (1906) and Warblington (1907), to serve those two rapidly growing areas.

From 1855 Havant had a supply of gas (for lighting). Havant gained its first police station in 1858. From 1870 Havant had a piped water supply. Also in 1870 Havant Town Hall was built.

In 1871 a fire brigade made up of volunteers was formed in Havant. However in 1871 the 2 annual fairs were abolished. Havant Park opened in 1889. In 1894 Havant became an urban district council.

Conditions in Havant continued to improve during the 20th century. A cinema opened in Havant in 1913. In 1970 the building became Havant library. (The library moved to the Meridian Centre in the 1990s).

By 1949 the population of Havant was about 8,000. In 1926 remains of a Roman villa were found south of Havant.

The War Memorial Hospital opened in 1929. Havant railway station was rebuilt in 1938. Park Road was also built in 1938.

Havant watermill, which stood for centuries just outside the town, closed in 1934. It was demolished in 1958.

Havant Churches

·       From 1951 Roman Catholic mass was celebrated in a Nissen hut.

·       A Catholic chapel was built in Dunsbury Way in 1955.

·       A Methodist church was built in Botley Drive in 1956.

·       The first Baptist Church in Leigh Park opened in 1957.

·       St Francis Church was built in 1963.

·       St Albans in Westleigh was built in 1966.

Building Projects

·       Market Parade shopping centre was built in 1961-62.

·       In 1963 the railway to Hayling Island closed.

·       Havant Police Station was built in 1964.

·       Havant By-pass was built in 1965.

·       A swimming pool was built in Havant in 1974 and Havant Arts Centre opened in 1978.

·       Meanwhile in 1974 Havant changed from being an Urban District Council to a Borough and gained a mayor. A Civic Centre opened in 1977.

·       Havant Museum opened in 1979.

·       Furthermore a hypermarket opened in Havant in 1980.

·       Then in 1982 a leisure centre opened in Havant.

·       Part of West Street was pedestrianised in 1983 and a private hospital was built in 1984.

·       The first shops moved into the Meridian Centre in 1991.

Parchment making in Havant ended in 1936. Glove making ended in 1960. However after 1945 new industries such as light engineering and plastics came to Havant. In the 1950s land in Brockhampton was set aside for industry. In the late 1950s an industrial estate was built at Westleigh. Kingscroft Industrial Centre opened in 1984.

Chichester Market Town – England and it's History

The history of Chichester is entwined with the history of the Roman Invasion of 43AD and extends back almost two thousand years. The time when the Roman first recognized its strategic significance and built the fort  and now the home to a thriving Market Town Shopping centre.

In 43 AD the Romans invaded Britain and about 44 AD they built a fort on the site of Chichester. It was by a source of water (the river Lavant) and close to a harbour so supplies could be brought by ship from France. Soon the Roman army moved on.

The king of the local Celtic tribe, Cogidnubus, co-operated with the Romans rather than resist them. The Romans left him as a puppet king of Sussex. After the Romans had left the fort Codignubus decided to take it over and make it into a town. The Romans called Chichester Noviomagus, which means new market place.

Roman Chichester was built on a grid pattern. The main streets formed a cross, which remains today as North, South, East and West Streets. In the centre of the town was the forum, a marketplace lined with shops and public buildings. People in Roman Chichester used cesspits and obtained their water from wells but in the streets there were drains for rainwater.

In the late 2nd century a ditch was dug around Roman Chichester and earth ramparts were erected with a wooden palisade on top. Early in the 3rd century stone walls were built. In the 4th century they were strengthened with bastions, semi-circular towers. A ballistae, a form of giant crossbow, could be mounted on one.

About 80 AD an amphitheatre was built beside Roman Chichester. It would have had tiers of wooden seats for about 800 people. On special occasions gladiators fought to the death but usually the entertainment consisted of cock fighting and bear baiting. (The animal was chained and dogs were trained to attack it).

Another pastime was going to the public baths, which stood near Chapel Street. In Roman times going to the baths was not just to get clean but was also a way to socialise, the Roman equivalent of going to the pub. In Roman Chichester there was also a temple to Neptune and Minerva at the junction of North Street and Lion Street.

In Roman Chichester rich people lived in houses with glass windows, mosaic floors, painted murals on their walls and even a form of central heating called a hypocaust. Of course, most people were very poor and had none of these things.

In Roman Chichester there were carpenters, blacksmiths, bronze smiths, potters and leatherworkers. There were also people who made combs and boxes from bone. In the 4th century Chichester declined along with the rest of Roman Britain. The last Roman soldiers left Britain in 407 AD.

In the late 5th or early 6th century the Saxons arrived. Chichester is named after a Saxon called Cissa. The Saxons called any group of Roman buildings a ceaster. They called this town Cissa's ceaster. It changed to Cisscester then finally to Chichester.

Nothing is known of what happened to Chichester till the late 9th century. At that time Alfred the Great created a network of fortified places across his kingdom where men could gather when the Danes attacked. Often he used old Roman towns or forts. Chichester was made a burgh.

The strategy worked. In 894 the Danes landed in West Sussex but men from Chichester and the surrounding area went out to meet them. They routed the Danes, killing several hundred men and capturing several ships. This was Chichester's finest hour.

However the burgh of Chichester was not just a stronghold. It was also a flourishing town with a weekly market. In the 10th century there was a mint in Chichester so by then it must have been an important community.

At the time of the Norman conquest Chichester probably had a population of less than 1,500 people. That seems very small to us but remember that most people lived in tiny villages of about 100-150 people. Any settlement with over 1,000 inhabitants was a fair sized town. By the 13th century Chichester had probably grown to about 2,500 people. Still very small by our standards but it would have been a lively place especially on market days.

The South-eastern part of Chichester belonged to the Archbishop of Chichester belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This area was called the Palantine. The word palantine means 'of the palace' because this area belonged to the 'palace' of the Archbishop. In time the name became corrupted to Pallant.

The Normans built a motte and bailey castle in Chichester in what is now Priory Park. This was a wooden fort on an artificial hill (a motte) surrounded by a ditch and rampart with a wooden palisade (a bailey). Later the castle may have been rebuilt in stone.

In 1075 the local bishop moved his bishopric from Selsey to Chichester, changing its history forever. Chichester cathedral was built after 1091 and it was consecrated in 1108. Unfortunately this building was severely damaged by fire in 1114 and it was rebuilt. Another fire devastated the cathedral in 1187 and it again had to be rebuilt. Chichester Cathedral originally had a bell tower but in the early 15th century this was moved to a separate tower called a campanile. The cathedral was given a spire to replace it.

There were weekly markets in Chichester but from 1108 the bishop was given the right to hold a fair. (A fair was like a market but was held annually and attracted buyers and sellers from all over Southern England). The fair was held for 8 days each October. It was called the Sole fair after a sloe tree, which grew in field by Northgate.

In 1125 King Stephen gave Chichester its first charter (a document confirming its rights and privileges). In the Middle Ages merchants were organised into bodies called guilds which looked after their interests. In Chichester the merchant's guild owned underground vaults where perishable goods could be stored in a cool environment. These vaults still exist.

In 1216 there was civil war and some barons invited a French prince to come and be king of England. His French soldiers occupied the castle. The French prince was eventually persuaded to go home and the castle was demolished.

In the 13th century it is recorded that wool was exported from Chichester (from Dell Quay). At that time wool was by far England's most important export. The king tried to control the trade by only allowing certain ports to export wool. These ports were called staples. In 1353 Chichester was made a staple port. It might seem surprising now but in the Middle Ages Chichester was one of England's most important ports. Chichester Harbour was deeper than it is today. (It has since silted up). Until 1800 ocean-going ships could sail up to Dell Quay.

There were many cloth workers in Chichester. After it was woven wool was cleaned and thickened. This was done by pounding it in a mixture of water and clay. The wool was pounded by wooden hammers worked by watermills. This was called fulling. The watermills were called fulling mills. There were several in Chichester on the Lavant. There were also weavers and dyers in the town.

There was also a needle making industry in Chichester in the Middle Ages. There were also the same craftsmen found in any town. These included brewers, bakers and butchers. Crooked S Lane was once called The Shambles and was full of slaughterhouses. To us it would seem very unhygienic. Butchers threw offal into the street.

Other craftsmen in Chichester included blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, wheelwrights, cobblers and other leather workers who made saddles and gloves. There was also a tanning industry in Chichester. Tree bark was soaked in fresh water to extract tannin to tan leather.

In the Middle Ages Chichester produced its only saint. Richard was Bishop of Chichester in 1245-1253. He is now patron saint of Sussex.

In the 13th century the friars arrived in England. The friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach and help the poor. In Chichester there were Dominican friars (called black friars because of the colour of their costumes). They lived in the South East of the town where St Johns church is today. They owned the land around the friary from the town wall up to where Baffins Road and Friary Lane are today.

From about 1230 Franciscan friars (known as grey friars) lived in buildings in St Martins Square. In 1269 they moved to the site of the castle. The site in St Martins Square was taken over by St Marys Hospital. This establishment previously existed in South Street. (In the Middle Ages the only hospitals were manned by monks who cared for the sick as best they could). There was also a leper hospital outside the Eastgate. Spitalfields Road is named after some fields it owned. (It was originally called Hospitalfield Lane). In 1497 the Prebendal School was founded (although a school attached to the cathedral had probably existed much earlier).

In 1501 Bishop Storey erected Chichester market cross. If you wanted to sell goods at the market you had to pay a toll. There were some poor peasants who only had a few eggs or a few vegetables to sell. The bishop said anyone could sell things at the market and not pay a toll provided they could stand under the cross.

In 1538 Hentu VIII closed the friaries in Chichester and sold their property. A mansion was built on the site of the black friary in East Street and the surrounding land became its gardens. The grey friary was demolished but its church survived and in 1541 it was sold to the corporation and made the guildhall.

During the 16th century Chichester declined in importance. The wool trade declined. The main exports became wheat and malt. Malt is used in brewing. It is made from barley. The barley was soaked in water then laid out to dry then baked. Malt from Chichester was 'exported' along the coast to other parts of England. Other industries in Chichester were brewing and tanning.

There is a story that when Queen Elizabeth visited Chichester she said: 'it is a little London' and one of the streets in the town has been called that ever since. It isn't true as Little London is shown on 15th century maps. It may have got its name because merchants from London lived and worked there.

In 1578 the streets of Chichester were paved for the first time by an Act of Parliament.

In 1588 the people of Chichester provided a small ship called The John to fight the Spanish Armada.

Also in 1588 two Catholic priests were tried for treason in Chichester. (Priests were regarded as foreign agents). Ralph Crockett and Edward James were hung drawn and quartered at a spot west of the town.

In 1625 a brewer named William Cawley built some almshouses for 12 'decayed' (impoverished) tradesmen.

In 1642 came civil war between king and parliament. At that Chichester was a town of about 3,000 people and their loyalties were divided. The bishop and most of the clergy supported the king while most of the merchants supported parliament. At first it was not clear which way Chichester would go. Then the local landowners, the gentry, decided the issue. A force of 600 men, 200 cavalry and 400 infantry rode into Chichester and took if for the king. There was no resistance.

However parliament quickly sent an army to besiege the town. They fired cannons from the North, then the West. Finally they fired them from the East. At that time there was a little suburb outside Eastgate, around St Pancras church, where people made needles. (This is why the road there is called the Needlemakers today). The defenders set the houses in the suburb on fire but the parliamentary soldiers set up a cannon on a church tower and fired over the wall. Chichester surrendered and remained in parliamentary hands for the rest of the war.

Most of the houses in Chichester in the early 17th century were made of wood with thatched roofs. However tiled roofs gradually replaced them. In 1687 a by-law banned thatched roofs because of the risk of fire. In the late 17th century people in Chichester began to build houses in brick. Westgate House was built in the 1690s. (It is sometimes incorrectly called Wren House. In fact Wren did not build it).

In the 18th century the population of Chichester was around 4,000. It started to rise towards the end of the period but was still less than 5,000 at the time of the first census in 1801.

By the 18th century Chichester had dwindled to being a quiet market town. In 1724 Daniel Defoe wrote that Chichester was: 'not a place of much trade, nor is it very populous'. This quiet little town was largely rebuilt during this century. Many houses were rebuilt in brick. The bricks were made using local clay. Brick making became an important local industry.

Among the houses built at this time was Dodo House, which was built in the Pallant for Henry Peckham, a wine merchant, in 1712. It gets its name because Peckham wanted ostriches carved on columns (ostriches appear on his family coat of arms). However the person who carved them had probably never seen an ostrich and they are said to look more like dodos.

In 1731 Council House was built in North Street. As it has a lion on its roof a nearby street became known as Lion Street. The old Guildhall then became a magistrates court.

To ease the flow of traffic into Chichester West, North and South gates were demolished in 1773. Eastgate was demolished in 1783. Travel to and from Chichester was made easier when turnpike roads were built. You had to pay to use them but at leas they were properly made up and were an improvement on dirt tracks. A turnpike road to London opened in 1748 and one to Portsmouth opened in 1762.

There were some improvements to Chichester during this era. In 1726 four clocks were added to the cross. Chichester gained its first theatre in 1764. It opened in an old warehouse in Theatre Street. In 1791 a purpose built theatre was erected there. In 1779 Chichester gained its first bank. Then in 1791 an Act of Parliament set up a body of men called the Paving Commissioners. They had power to pave and clean the streets and to remove 'nuisances' such as overhanging shop signs and bay windows that obstructed narrow alleys.

Chichester was a town of craftsmen working in their own workshops with an apprentice. There were carpenters, bricklayers and glaziers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, coopers, saddlers, tailors and shoemakers. There were also bakers, brewers and grocers and gunsmiths and clay pipe makers. On the other hand the old industry of needle making died out completely by the end of the century.

In 1750 a grocer named Mr. Shippam opened a warehouse in West Street. He sold cheese and meat to the navy in nearby Portsmouth. In 1782 he opened a shop in East Street.

In 1784 a new charity was formed in Chichester. A dispensary for sick poor people opened in Broyle Road. The poor were given free medicines.

In the very early years of the century, during the Napoleonic Wars, a barracks was built in Chichester. Although Chichester was a small town it grew in size in the 19th century simply because the population of Britain quadrupled. In the first years of the 19th century Somerstown was built outside the city walls. More building took place in the South East corner of the town. There was still a manor house with gardens till 1809 when the land was sold for building. The new area was called Newtown (today this is the name of a single street). St John's Church opened in 1813.

In the early 19th century the market in Chichester was becoming very congested. On market days West Street was full of livestock for sale. There were also people selling food. To ease the congestion it was decided to erect a building where people could sell things like butter, cheese and vegetables separately from the livestock market. In 1808 the Buttermarket was built for this purpose. At the same time railings were erected around the market cross. However having a market in East Street still caused a lot of congestion in the town and impeded traffic. Therefore, in 1871, a new cattle market opened outside the Eastgate.

In 1833 the Corn Market was built. In the late 19th century the front part of this building was used as a theatre and in the early 20th century as a cinema. Chichester gained gas light in the 1820s. Then, in 1826, the dispensary for poor sick people became Chichester Infirmary (forerunner of St Richard's Hospital). Graylingwell Hospital opened in 1897.

Chichester gained its first police force in 1836. The first police station was by the Eastgate. At first the town police force was separate from that of West Sussex but they joined together in 1889. In that year the police station moved to Southgate.

In Chichester drunks were put in the stocks. The last person to suffer this punishment was sentenced to 2 hours in 1852.

From 1875 Chichester had a piped water supply. However it was later than most other towns in building drains and sewers. Chichester had a reputation in the late 19th century as being an unhealthy and unsanitary place. Most people in the town used cesspits. Some used buckets, which they emptied into the Lavant. Yet many people in Chichester were reluctant to build a network of drains and sewers because of the expense. They were finally built in 1893-96. The worst area of Chichester was St Pancras. This was the poorest area and was full of poverty and overcrowding.

In 1846 Chichester was connected to Brighton by railway and in 1847 it was connected to Portsmouth. In 1881 a branch line to Midhurst opened. Then in 1897 a light railway to Selsey opened. There was also a canal from Portsmouth to Arundel, which was completed in 1855. However the canal was not a success and the last section, from Birdham to Chichester, closed in 1906.

In 1850 Bishop Otter Teacher Training College opened.

In 1861 the spire of Chichester Cathedral collapsed during a thunderstorm and had to be rebuilt.

In 1892 Shippams opened a meat paste factory at Eastgate.

By the beginning of the 20th century the population of Chichester had reached about 9,000. It rose to about 12,000 by the time of the First World War partly because Summersdale was built North of the town. By 1939 the population of Chichester had risen to about 16,000.

In 1909 Chichester gained electric street light. In 1910 Chichester gained its first cinema in West Street.

Chichester High School for Boys opened in 1908. The High School for Girls opened in 1910.

In 1913 the infirmary became The Royal Sussex Hospital. It moved to its present site in 1937.

In 1918 Priory Park, which was still private land, was given to the council for public use. In the 1920s the first council houses were built in Chichester. By 1939 481 of these had been built. A new police station was built in Kingsham in 1937. The same year Chichester by-pass opened.

During World War II there were 3 bombing raids on Chichester. Bombs were dropped on Basin Road in 1941, on Chapel Street and St Martins Street in 1943 and on Arndale and Green Roads in 1944. Furthermore in May 1944 after being badly damaged by enemy fire over France an American bomber crashed on the site of the old Roman amphitheatre. (The pilot and crew managed to bail out in time but could do nothing to prevent the plane crashing).

After 1946 the Whyke Estate was built and, in the early 1950s, Parklands estate was built.

In 1957 Chichester was twinned with Chartres. A new ring road was built in 1958-1966.

In the early 1960s the area called Somerstown was demolished and rebuilt, as many of its houses were substandard. Yet this was controversial, as Somerstown was a self-contained community with its own shops. The rebuilding broke up that community.

In 1962 Chichester peacheries closed and houses were built on the site. Houses were also built North of Bognor Road. By 1971 the population of Chichester had reached 21,000.

Chichester Festival Theatre opened in 1962. In 1963 Chichester Museum opened in an old corn store.

In 1961 a new railway station was built and in 1965 a new bus station. In 1964 a training centre for military police opened on the site of an old army barracks. In 1967 a new library opened. The same year a swimming pool opened outside Eastgate.

In the 1980s shopping arcades were built in Chichester, Northgate Arcade and Alsmhouse Arcade. Westgate Leisure Centre opened in 1987. In 1989 a new record office opened in Chichester. Chichester livestock market closed in 1990. A new Tourist Information Centre opened in 1993.

Today Chichester is a flourishing town and it is growing steadily. Today, in the 21st. Century the population of Chichester is 26,000.

A to Z of English and Welsh Market Towns

The Celts who lived in Britain before the Roman invasion of 43 AD could be said to have created the first towns. Celts in southern England lived in hill forts, which were quite large settlements. (Some probably had thousands of inhabitants). They were places of trade, where people bought and sold goods and also places were craftsmen worked. The Romans called them oppida.

From the 5th century Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded England. At first the invaders avoided living in towns. However as trade grew some towns grew up. London revived by the 7th century had a population of between 10 – 20,000 (although the Saxon town was, at first, outside the walls of the old Roman town). Southampton was founded at the end of the 7th century. Hereford was founded in the 8th century. Furthermore Ipswich grew up in the 8th century and York revived.

In the Middle Ages most towns were given a charter by the king or the lord of the manor. It was a document granting the townspeople certain rights. Usually it made the town independent and gave the people the right to form their own local government.

In 1348-49 British towns were devastated by the Black Death. However most of them recovered and continued to prosper. Another danger in medieval towns was fire and many suffered in severe conflagrations.

In the 18th century conditions in most towns improved (at least for the well off). Bodies of men called Improvement Commissioners or Paving Commissioners were formed with powers to pave, clean and light the streets (with oil lamps). Many towns also employed night watchmen. Most towns gained theatres and private libraries. However despite some improvements 18th century towns would seem dirty and crowded to us.

From the late 18th century the industrial revolution transformed Britain. Many villages or small market towns rapidly grew into industrial cities.

At the end of the 19th century transport in towns was improved. From c.1880 horse drawn trams ran in the streets of many towns. At the beginning of the 20th century they were replaced by electric trams.

Below is a List of all the Market Towns in England and Wales; with the Days of the Week when the market takes place Note: m. signifies Monday; t. Tuesday; w. Wednesday; th. Thursday; f. Friday; and s. Saturday.

Those Places printed with English* Letters, are Cities; those with italic Letters, Shire Towns.
[*Editor: Since Web Browsers vary in the fonts they have available, I have substituted
bold type to indicate Cities.

Abbotsbury in Dorsetshire, th.
Yorksh, w.
Monm. t.
Cardig. m.
Berks, m. f.
Bucks, s.
Suff. s.
Norf. s.
Linc. t.
Alfreten, Derbysh. m.
Northumb. s.
Hantsh. th.
Cumberl. s.
Chesh. t.
Westmorl. w.
Bucks. t.
Bedf. th.
Huntsf. s.
Westmorl. s.
Suff. w. s.
Derbysh. s.
Devon, s.
Ashby de la Zouch,
Leic. s.
Kent, s.
Warwic. t.
Norf. th.
Wilts, t.
Durh. th.
Warwic. t.
Autrey, Devo
n, t.
Somerset. th.
Devon, s.
Suff. s.

Bakewell, Derbysh. m.
Merionethsh. s.
Herts. th.
Bampton, Oxon, w.
Oxon, th.
Bangor, Carnarv. w.
Ess. w.
Herts, m.
Barnard Castle,
Durh. w.
Yorksh. w.
Devon, f.
Lincol. m.
Northumb. s.
Hant. w.
Bath, Somerset, w. s.
Suss. th.
Yorksh. s.
Bucks, Th.
Anglesey, w.
Suff, s.
Yorksh. t.
Bedford, Bedf. t. s.
Devon, t.
Dorset, t.
Hertf. m.
Yorksh. w. s.
Worcest, s.
Oxon, f.
Bedf. t.
Suff. w.
Ess. t.
Leicest. f.
Lincol. w.
Nottingh. th.
Warwic. th.
Bishops Castle,
Salop, f.
Lancash. m.
Dorset. s.
Cornw. s.
Derbysh. f.
Lancash. m.
Lincolnsh. w. s.
Leicest. w.
Lincolnsh. s.
Devon. th.
Northamp. w.
Ess. th.
Wilts, m.
Yorksh. th.
Hant. f.
Ess. w.
Cumberl. t.
Herefordsh. m.
Brecknock, Brecon, w. s.
Midd. t.
Ess. w.
Stafford. t.
Glamorg. s.
Salop, s.
Somerset. th.
Yorksh. s.
Dorset. s.
Lincoln, th.
Bristol, Somerset. w. s.
Kent, th.
Staff. t.
Worcest. t.
Somerset. s.
Norf. s.
Buckingham, Bucks, s.
Suff. th.
Brecon, m. s.
Linc, t.
Suff. th.
Hertf, m.
Oxon, s.
Linc. t.
Norf. s.
Linc. th.
Westmorl. t.

Caerfilly, Glamorgan, th.
Monm. th.
Flintsh. t.
Wilts, t.
Cambridge, Camb. s.
Cornw. f.
Gloc. w.
Canterbury, Kent, w. s.
Cardiff, Glamorg. w. s.
Cardigan, Cardig. s.
Carlisle, Cumberl. s.
Carmarthen, Carm. w. f.
Carnar. s.
Lancash. m.
Somers. t.
Norf. t.
Lincol. m.
Yorks. w.
Camb. t.
Dorsets. w.
Somerset. t.
Lancash. t.
Staff. s.
Ess. f.
Gloc. th.
Monm. s.
Bucks, w.
Chester, Ches. w. s.
Derbys. s?.
Chichester, Sus. w. s.
Devon, th.
Wilts, s.

Chipping Barton, London, s.

Chipping norton, Oxon, w.
Devon, s.
Salop, th.
Gloc. m. f.
Suff. f.
Salop, w.
Northampt. t.
Lancash. f.
Cumberl. m.
Ess. s.
Colchester, Ess. s.
Bucks, w.
Warwic. w.
Lancas. w.
Devon, s.
Ches. s.
Carnarvon. f.
Dorset. t.
Coventry, Warwic. f.
Glamorg. t.
Dorset. w.
Kent, s.
Kent, W.
Devon. s.
Wilts, s.
Brecon, th.
Norf. s.
Somerset. s.
Surry, s.
Suss. t.
Devon. th.

Dalton, Lancash, s.
Surry, th.
Durh. m.
Kent, s.
Devon, f.
Northampt. w.
Gloc. m.
Suff. f.
Oxon, s.
Denbigh, Denbigs. w.
Norf. f.
Wilts, th.
Lincolnsh. th.
Merio. f.
Norf. f.
Devon. w.
Merioneths. w.
Yorksh. s.
Dorchester, Dorset. s.
Kent, w. s.
Norf. s.
Salop, w.
Worcest. f.
Darbys. t.
Worcest. s.
Somerset. s.
Wilts, f.
Lincolnsh. s.
Ess. s.
Bedfords. w.
Somerset. f.
Suff. s.
Durham, Durh. s.
Gloc. th.

Eccleshal, Staff. f.
Midd. th.

Edgeware, London, s.
Cumberl. s.
Kent, m.
Salop, t.
Ely, Cambridgsh. s.
Midd. s.
Ess. th. f.
Dorset. t.
Worcest. m.
Surry, th.
Exeter, w. f.
Fairford, Glo
c. th.
Norf. th.
Cornw. th.
Hant. th.
Be?ks, t.
Kent, w. s.
Pembrokes. f.
Flint, Flintsh. tho' a Shire Town, hath no Market.
Lincolns. th.
Kent, th.
Cornw. s.
Suff. s.
Dorset. th.
Chesh. w.
Somerset. w.

Gainsborough, Lincolns. t.
Lancash. th.
Yorks. m.
Somerset. t.
Glocester, Gloc. w. s.
Surry, s

Gosport, Hampshire, w. s..
Cornw. s.
Lincolns. s.
Kent, w. s.
Lincolns. w.
Suss. th.
Surry, s.

Hadley, Suff. m.
Suff. t.
Yorks. th.
Leic. th.
Gloc. t.
Leic. t.
Merioneths. s.
Norf. w.
Hartford, Hartf. s.
Ess. t.
Lanc. w.
Suss. w. s.
Hartf. s.
Devon. f.
Haverford west,
Pemb. t. s.

Havant, Hampshire, t.
Ess. w.
Lancas. m.
Brecon, m.
Yorks. s.
Suss. th.
Cornw. s.
Oxon, th.
Warwic. m.
Hereford, Heref. w. f. s.
Norf. t.
Northumb. t.
Yorks. s.
North. s.
Hindon, Wilt
s, th.
Leicest. m.
Hertf. t.
Hertfords. th.
Lincolns. th.
Norf. s.
Devon, s.
Linc. s.
Ess. s.
Suff. s.
Devon. s.
Yorks. s.
Yorks. t. s.
Berks, w.
Huntington, Hunt. s.
Kent, s.
Wilts, w.

Ilchester, Somerset. w.
Berks, w.
Somerset, s.
Suff. w. f. s.
Cumberl. t.
Suff. f.
Bucks, f.

Kederminster, Worcest. th.
Westmorl. s.
Cumberl. s.
Northampt. f.
Somerset. th.
Carmarth. t.
Pembrokes. w.
Yorks. th.
Huntingt. f.
Devon. s.
Hant. t.
Kingston upon Thames,
Surry, s.
Heref. w.
Yorks. w.
Westm. f.
Lancash. t.
Kirk-Oswald, Cumberl. th.
Lancash. s.
Radnors. th.
Chesh. s.
Carnarvons. w.
Warwic. t.

Lanbeden, Cardigans. t.
Lancaster, Lancash. s.
Lanceston, Cornw. s. It is an antient Market-Town; and the Market, in King John's Days, was kept on Sundays; but for a Fine of 5 Marks, was altered to Thursday, and since is remov'd to Saturdays, as it now remains.
Landaff, Glamorg. tho' a City and Bishoprick, has no Market.
Carmart. t.
Carmarth. t.
Carmarth. th.
Somerset. s.
Carmar. w. s.
Denbighsh. t.
Glamorg. f.
Montgom. th.
Suff. t.
Carmarth. f.
Wilts, w.
Gloc. t.
Yorks. t. s.
Staffordsh. w.
Leicester, Leicest. s.
Bedfords. t.
Kent, t.
Heref. f.
Cornw. s.
Suff. w.
Lestwithiel, Corn
w. f.
Lancash. s.
Suss. s.
Lichfield, Staff. t. f.
Heref. t.
Lincoln, Lincolns. f.
Camb. th.
London, every Weekday at one place or other.
Cumberl. th.
Westmorl. th.
Leicest. th.
Cornw. s.
Salop, m.
Bedfords, m.
Leicest. th.
Dorset. f.
Hant. s.
Norf. t. s.

Macclesfield, Chesh. m.
Montgom. m.
Berks, w.
Kent, th.
Ess. s.
Kent, s.
Wilts, s.
Chesh. m.
Yorksh. s.
Lancash. s.
Ess. t.
Nottingh. th.
Cornw. th.
Wilts, s.
Bucks, s.
Gloc. t.
Yorks. t.
Dorset. t. f.
Leicest. t.
Suff. t.
Camb. f.
Wilts, t.
Suss. th.
Chesh. t.
partly in Devon, partly in Cornwal, s.
Suff. f.
Dorset, m.
Kent, s.
Dorset, th.
Monmouth, Monmouths. s.
Montgomery, Mongom. th.
Leicest. m.
Devon. s.
Morpeth, Northumb. w.

Namptwich, Chesh. s.
Pembrokes. w.
Glamorg. s.
Suff. w.
Carmarth. s.
Nottingh. w.
Anglesey, t.
Berks, th.
Newcastle, Northumb. t. s.
Staff. m.
Gloc. f.
Suff. th.
Gloc. f.
Hant. w. s.
Monm. s.
Pembrokes. s.
Salop, s.
Bucks, s.
Devon. w.
Montgom. t.
Suff. s.
Yorks. w.
Northampton, Northampt. s.
Somerset. t. s.
Kent, where a Market is only kept every Tuesday after Easter Tuesday till Whitsun Tuesday.
Chesh. f.
Norwich, Norf. w. f. s.
Nottingham, Notting. w. f. s.
Warwic. s.

Oakham, Rutland, s.
Devon. s.
Berks, t.
Hant. s.
Ess. s.
Suff. m.
Lancash. t.
Westmorl. w.
Salop, m.
Yorks. t.
Bucks, m.
Northampt. s.
Oxford, Oxon, w. s.

Packlington, Yorks. s.
Cornw. s.
Gloc. t.
Yorks. s.
Heref. t.
Pembroke, Pembrok. s.
Staff. t.
Cumb. t.
Glamorg. th.
Cornw. w. f. s.
Somerset. t.
Penzance, Corn
w. th.
Worcest. t.
Peterborough, North. s.
Hant. s.
Suss. s.
Somerset. th.
Devon. m. th.
Devon. s.
Yorks. s.
Monm. s.
Dorset. m. th.
Hant. th. s.
Bedfords. s.
Lanc. m.
Lanc. t.
Radnors. s.
Lanc. w. f. s.
Carnarvons. w.

Queenborough, Kent, th.

Radnor, Radnors. th.
Hants. w.
Lincolns. t.
Cumb. s.
Ess. s.
Reading, Berks, s.
Norf. s.
Notting. s.
Radnors. w.
Yorks. s.
Hunt. w.
Ripley, York
s. f.
Yorks. th.
Bucks, s.
Lanc. t.
Rochester, Kent, f.
Northam. th.

Romford, London, s.
Heref. th.
Yorks. m.
Northamp. m.
Warwic. s.
Staff. t.
Ess. w.
Kent, th.
Hant. s.
Denbighsh. m.
Suss. w. s.
Surry, t.

Salisbury, Wilts, t. s.
Cornw. s.
Chesh. th.
Kent, where a Market is kept for Bullocks, upon every Tuesday after Alhallows Day till Christmas.
Kent, w. s.
Suff. th.
Yorks. th.
Norf. m.
Selby, York
s. m.
Yorks. t.
Kent, s.
Dorset. s.
Yorks. t.
Bedfords. f.
Dorset. s.
Worcest. f.
Somerset. s.
Suss. s.
Shrewsbury, Salop, w. th. s.
Yorks. f.
Linc. m.
Yorks. f.
Snelsham, f.
Somerset. m.
Southampton, Hamp. t. f.
Devon. s.
Som. th.

Southsea, Hampshire, s.
Southwark, s.
Notting. s.
Suff. th.
Linc. t.
Linc. m.
St. Albans,
Hertf. s.
St. Asaph, Flintsh. s.
St. Columb,
Cornw. th.
St. David's, Pemb. but tho' a Bishoprick, hath no Market.
St. Edmundsbury,
Suff. w.
St. Ives,
Huntingt. w. f.

St. Mary Cray
St. Neots,
Huntingt. th.
Stafford, Staff. s.
Linc. m. f.
Midd. f.
Durh. t.
Lanc. m.
Steyning, Sus
s. w.
Hertf. f.
Chesh. s.
Yorks, s.
Staff. t.
Bucks, ?.
Hertf. t.
Stow, Glo
c. th.
Suff. th.
Somerset. t.
Warwic. th.
Cornw. t.
Gloc. f.
Worcest. f.
Dorset. th.
Gloc. th.
Suff. s.
Durh. f.
Warw. m.
Glamorg. w. s.
Norf. s.
Wilts. m.

Tadcaster, Yorks. th.
Oxf. t.
Staff. s.
Linc. f?.
Devon. s.
Somerset. w. s.
Worcest. t.
Pemb., w. s.
Kent, f.
Suss. s.
Gloc. w.
Gloc. s.
Ess. f.
Norf. s.
Gloc. s.
Northampt. ?.
Yorks. m.
Yorks. s.
Derbys. w.
Devon. t.
Northampt. t.
Devon. s.
Devon. s.
Cardigans. th.
Cornw. s.
Hert. f.
Kent, s.
Truro, Corn
w. w. s.
Kent, f.
Staff. t.
Nott. m.

Ulverstan, Rutlands. th.
Rutland. w.
Worcest. th.
Monm. m.
Staff. w.
Midd. th.

Wainfleet, Linc. s.
Yorks. th. f.
Ess. s.
Berks, t. f.
Staff. t.
Norf. t.
Norf. f.
Ess. t.
Leicest. th.
Berks, s.
Herts. t.
Dorset. s.
Lanc. s.
Wilts, s.
Warwick, s.
Glamorg. s.

Waterlooville, Hampshire, s.
Hertf. t.
Oxon, s.
Norf. w.
Montg. m.
North. w.
Somerset. th.
Wells, Somerset. w. s.
Salop, th.
Bucks, th.
Salop, m.
Heref. th.
Wilts. f.
Midd. every Day but Sunday.
Kent, w.
Yorks. th.
Dorset. t. f.
Yorks. s.
Salop, f.
Whitehaven, Cumberl. th.
Bucks, f.
Gloc. m.
Lanc. m. f.
Yorks. w. t.
Cumberl. t.
Wilts, w.
Dorset. t.
Somerset. w.
Gloc. s.
Winchester, Hant. w. s.
Norf. t.
Bucks, th.
Berks, s.
Derbys. t.
Camb. s.
Pemb. s.
Ess. s.
Oxf. th.
Som. t.
Bedf. f.
Staff. w.
Suff. w.
Oxf. t.
Kent, s.
Worcester, Worc. w. f. s.
Notting. w.
Norf. t.
Gloc. f.
Wilts, th.
Denbigs. m. th.
Somerset. t.
Kent, t.
Northumb. th.
Kent, th.
Norf. s.
Yorks. th.
Yexley, Huntingt. t.
Somerset. f.
York, Yorks. th. s.

English Counties and Shires - History

I hope the reader enjoys this article about English Counties and Shires

1066 AD - Lancashire wasn't formed when the Normans came over in 1066, whereas most of the other English counties were around by then.When people say "the old things are the best" they're obviously not thinking about Lancashire because it is one of the newest of all English counties – if you can handle something that's over eight centuries old being described as new! Lancashire wasn't formed when the Normans came over in 1066, whereas most of the other English counties were around by then.

The establishment of counties had begun by the 12th century, although many boundaries date from far earlier, incorporating Saxon and Celtic divisions. However, some borders did not assume their commonly recognised forms until considerably later, in some cases the 16th century. Because of their differing origins the counties varied considerably in size. The county boundaries were fairly static during the 16th century.

In most cases the counties or Shires in medieval times were administered by a Sheriff (originally "shire- reeve") on behalf of the monarch. Each shire was responsible for gathering taxes for the central government; for local defence; and for justice, through assize courts.

Southern England

In southern England the counties were mostly subdivisions of the Kingdom of Wessex, and in many areas represented annexed, previously independent, kingdoms or other tribal territories. Kent derives from the Kingdom of Kent, and Essex, Sussex and Middlesex come from the East Saxons, South Saxons and Middle Saxons. Norfolk and Suffolk were subdivisions representing the "North Folk" and "South Folk" of the Kingdom of East Anglia. Only one county on the south coast of England now usually takes the suffix "-shire", Hampshire, which is named after the former town of "Hamwic"  the site of which is now a part of the city of Southampton. A "lost" Saxon county was Winchcombeshire which lasted from 1007 to 1017 before being incorporated into Gloucestershire.

Dorset and Somerset derive their names from the saete or inhabitants of the areas around the towns of Dorchester and Somerton respectively; the names were first used by the Saxons in the 9th century. Devon and Cornwall were based on the pre-Saxon Celtic kingdoms known in Latin as Dumnonia and Cornubia.

The City of London was recognised as a county of itself separate from Middlesex by Henry I's charter of c.1131.A number of other boroughs in the area were constituted counties corporate by royal charter. Bristol developed as a major port in the medieval period, straddling both sides of the River Avon which formed the ancient boundary between Gloucestershire and Somerset. In 1373, Edward III decreed

that the said town of Bristol with its suburbs and their precinct, as the boundaries now exist, henceforward shall be separated and exempt in every way from the said counties of Gloucester and Somerset, on land and by water; that it shall be a county in itself and be called the county of Bristol for ever.

Similar arrangements were later applied to Norwich (1404), Southampton (1447), Canterbury (1471), Gloucester (1483), Exeter (1537), and Poole (1571).


When Wessex conquered Mercia in the 9th and 10th centuries, it subdivided the area into various shires of roughly equal size and tax-raising potential or hidage. These generally took the name of the main town (the county town) of the county, along with "-shire". Examples of these include Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. In some cases the original names have been worn down — for example, Cheshire was originally "Chestershire".

In the east Midlands, it is thought that county boundaries may represent a 9th century division of the Danelaw between units of the Danish army. Rutland was an anomalous territory or soke, associated with Nottinghamshire, but it eventually became considered the smallest county. Lincolnshire was the successor to the Kingdom of Lindsey, and took on the territories of Kesteven and Holland when Stamford became the only Danelaw borough to fail to become a county town.

Charters were granted constituting the boroughs or cities of Lincoln (1409), Nottingham (1448), Lichfield (1556) and Worcester (1622) as counties. The County of the City of Coventry was separated from Warwickshire in 1451, and included an extensive area of countryside surrounding the city.

The border with Wales was not set until the Laws in Wales Act 1535 — this remains the modern border. At the time of the Domesday Book, some parts of what later became Wales were accounted as parts of English counties; Monmouth, for example, was included in Herefordshire, and the ancient town of Ludlow, now in Shropshire, was also included in Herefordshire. Parts of the March of Wales which after the Norman conquest had been administered by Marcher Lords largely independently of the English monarch, were incorporated into the English counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in 1535.

Northern England

Much of Northumbria was also shired, the best known of these counties being Hallamshire and Cravenshire. The Normans did not use these divisions, and so they are not generally regarded as historic counties. The huge county of Yorkshire was a successor to the Viking Kingdom of York, and at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 it was considered to include what was to become northern Lancashire, as well as parts of Cumberland, and Westmorland. Most of the later Cumberland and Westmorland were under Scottish rule until 1092. After the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the harrying of the North, much of the North of England was left depopulated and was included in the returns for Cheshire and Yorkshire in the Domesday Book. However, there is some disagreement about the status of some of this land. The area in between the River Ribble and the River Mersey, referred to as "Inter Ripam et Mersam" in the Domesday Book,was included in the returns for Cheshire. Whether this meant that this land was actually part of Cheshire is however not clear. Additionally, the Domesday book included as part of Cheshire, areas that later became part of Wales, including the two hundreds of Atiscross and Exestan, and the southern part of Duddestan Hundred (as it was known as the time), which later became known as Maelor Saesneg, and (later still) "Flintshire Detached" (see Flintshire (historic). The Northeast, or Northumbria, land that later became County Durham and Northumberland, was left unrecorded.

Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire, County Durham and Northumberland were established as counties in the 12th century. Lancashire can be firmly dated to 1182. Part of the domain of the Bishops of Durham, Hexhamshire was split off and was considered an independent county until 1572, when it became part of Northumberland.

Charters granting separate county status to the cities and boroughs of Chester (1238/9), York (1396), Newcastle upon Tyne (1400) and Kingston-upon-Hull (with the surrounding area of Hullshire) (1440). In 1551 Berwick upon Tweed, on the border with Scotland, was created a county corporate.

English Counties and Some Towns and Cities.

1.    Bedfordshire (Bedford, Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Biggleswade, Sandy)
2. Berkshire (Reading, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Newbury, Windsor, Wokingham, Abingdon)
3. Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Slough, Buckingham, High Wycombe)
4. Cambridgeshire (Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely, March, Whittlesey, Chatteris, Linton)
5. Cheshire (Chester, Stockport, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Crewe)
6. Cornwall (Bodmin, Truro, Camborne, Redruth, St. Austell, Falmouth, Penzance, Newquay)
7. Cumberland (Carlisle, Whitehaven, Workington, Penrith, Keswick, Brampton)
8. Derbyshire (Derby, Chesterfield, Ilkeston, Swadlincote, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne)
9. Devon (Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, Paignton, Barnstaple, Tiverton, Newton Abbot, Tavistock)
10. Dorset (Dorchester, Poole, Weymouth, Sherborne, Wimborne Minster, Shaftesbury)
11. Durham (Durham, Sunderland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool, Gateshead, Washington)
12. Essex (Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford, Southend, Colcheter, Harlow, Brentwood, West Ham)
13. Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester, Tewkesbury)
14. Hampshire (Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Newport)
15. Herefordshire (Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Ledbury, Bromyard, Kington)
16. Hertfordshire (Hertford, Watford, St. Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Hatfield)
17. Huntingdonshire (Huntingdon, St. Ives, St. Neots, Ramsey, Yaxley)
18. Kent (Maidstone, Canterbury, Bromley, Rochester, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Greenwich)
19. Lancashire (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Bolton, Warrington, Barrow-in-Furness)
20. Leicestershire (Leicester, Loughborough, Hinckley, Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Lutterworth)
21. Lincolnshire (Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Boston, Grantham, Stamford, Skegness, Louth)
22. Middlesex (City of London, Harrow, Enfield, Staines, Ealing, Potters Bar, Westminster )
23. Norfolk (Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Dereham, Cromer, Hunstanton)
24. Northamptonshire (Northampton, Peterborough, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough)
25. Northumberland (Alnwick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Morpeth, Hexham, Berwick-upon-Tweed)
26. Nottinghamshire (Nottingham, Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Retford, Southwell)
27. Oxfordshire (Oxford, Banbury, Witney, Bicester, Henley-on-Thames, Carterton, Thame)
28. Rutland (Oakham, Uppingham. Cottesmore)
29. Shropshire (Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow)
30. Somerset (Taunton, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Wells, Glastonbury)
31. Staffordshire (Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Cannock, Lichfield)
32. Suffolk (Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Haverhill, Bungay)
33. Surrey (Guildford, Croydon, Woking, Sutton, Kingston-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Brixton)
34. Sussex (Chichester, Brighton, Worthing, Crawley, Hastings, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Horsham)
35. Warwickshire (Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon)
36. Westmorland (Appleby, Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Kirkby Lonsdale)
37. Wiltshire (Trowbridge, Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Warminster)
38. Worcestershire (Worcester, Dudley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Halesowen, Malvern, Evesham)
39. Yorkshire. Parts of Yorhire are divided into 'Ridings'.
North Riding (Northallerton, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Whitby)
East Riding (Beverley, Hull, Bridlington, Driffield, Hornsea, Filey)
West Riding (Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate)
York (within the Walls).

The Victoria Cross – It's History

The Victoria Cross is the highest gallenatry medal given to the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces. Mr. Charles Davis Lucas was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in 1857. The bravery of the soldiers is second to non and it's true what the Chinese call Britain "The Island of Hero's" which I think sums up what we British are all about.

The idea of the Victoria Cross had been suggested by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria and Lord Panmure, the new Secretary of State for War, continued to correspond with Prince Albert on the subject. Queen Victoria herself was actively involved in the proposals. On the original draft warrant it had already been decided that the award should carry her name. The Civil Service proposed that the award should be called 'the Military Order of Victoria', Prince Albert thought that this was rather long-winded and on making pencil alterations to the draft document scored through the word Order and suggested instead 'the Victoria Cross'. Queen Victoria showed a lot of interest especially in the design of the Cross. From the original drawings that were submitted to her, the Queen selected one that was closely modelled on an existing campaign medal, the army Gold Cross from the Peninsular War.

Queen Victoria suggested that the Cross should be 'a little smaller'. The Queen also made a significant alteration to the motto, scoring out 'for the brave' and replacing it with 'for valour', in case anyone should come to the conclusion that the only brave men in a battle were those who won the cross. Hancock's of Bruton Street, London, jewellers who had a high reputation for silver work received the commission from Lord Panmure for the new medal. It had already been decided that the new decoration would be made of base metal. The first proof that Queen Victoria received was not at all to her taste. 'The Cross looks very well in form, but the metal is ugly; it is copper and not bronze and will look very heavy on a red coat'.

An unknown person perhaps inspired by Queen Victoria's remarks made the suggestion that it would be fitting to take the bronze for the new medals from Russian guns captured in the Crimea. Two 18-pounders were placed at the disposal of an engineer who was sent off to Woolwich Barracks. The two 18-pounder guns were clearly of an antique design and were found to be inscribed with very un-Russian characters. Many years had passed before it was pointed out that the 'VC guns' were in fact Chinese and not Russian as was first thought, and may or may not have been anywhere near the Crimea. The dies which Hancock's used began to crack up, this was as a result of the Chinese gunmetal being so hard. It was therefore decided to cast the medals instead, this fortunately turned out to be a lucky chance as it resulted in higher relief and more depth in the moulding than would have been possible with a die-stamped medal.

It was not until the 29th January 1856 when a Royal Warrant was finally signed instituting the Victoria Cross. Queen Victoria had made it plain to Lord Panmure that she herself wished to bestow her new award on as many of the recipients as possible. The Queen decided that the 26th June 1857 was a suitable date and that a grand parade was to be laid on in Hyde Park and that she would 'herself' attend on horseback. Preparations for the great day were made, the final list of recipients being published in the London Gazette on the 22nd June 1857. Hancock's the jewellers had to work around the clock to engrave the names of the recipients on the Crosses. Those who were to receive the award from the Queen had somehow to be found and then rushed to London, together with detachments of the units in which they had served. Some of the recipients were not in uniform for the ceremony, this was as a result of them having left the services. Regardless, the Queen herself was well satisfied with the arrangements. Public interest in the ceremony on the 26th was intense. At an early hour crowds of well dressed sightseers swarmed into Hyde Park, where a vast amphitheatre of seats, capable of accomodating 12,000 persons had been erected. In the centre stood a simple table, on which were laid the bronze Maltese crosses, their red and blue ribbons being the only patches of colour that caught the eye. In front, a body of 4,000 troops, consisting of the corps d'elite of the army - Guards, Highlanders, Royal Marines, the Rifle Brigade, Enniskillens, and Hussars, Artillery and Engineers - was drawn up. Between them and the Royal Pavilion stood the small group of heroes-sixty-two in number-who were to be decorated. At 10 a.m. the Queen, the Prince Consort, Prince Frederick William of Prussia, and a brilliant train, rode into the Park. The Queen, mounted on a gallant and spirited roan, and wearing a scarlet jacket, black shirt, and plumed hat, rode up to the table, but did not dismount. One by one each hero was summoned to her presence, and bending from her saddle, her Majesty pinned the Cross on his breast with her own hands, whilst the Prince Consort saluted him with grave and respectful courtesy. As each soldier or sailor was decorated, the vast concourse of spectators cheered and clapped their hands. Whether he were an officer whose breast was already glittering with stars and orders, or a humble private or Jack Tar whose rough tunic carried no more resplendent embellishment than the ordinary war medal. But of all the cheers none were heartier than those which were given for a man who, when called out, stepped forward arrayed in what was then the grotesque and pacific garb of an ordinary policeman.

Since the Victoria Cross was created the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to the British Army and four to the Australian Army have been awarded since the start of the Korean War. The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park. Charles Davis Lucas was the first recipient.

English Wine and It's History

As an addendum to the history of English Wine I thought to mention that we English Invented Sparkling Champagne and Wine in the 1650's. Because of the leading English Technology in bottle making and cork making by Admiral Sir Robert Mansell in 1651 and the ability of the wine bottle's to withstand high pressure this led to the deliberate invention of sparkling wine.

At the time of the compilation of the Domesday Survey in the late eleventh century, vineyards were recorded in 46 places in southern England, from East Anglia through to modern-day Somerset. By the time King Henry VIIIth ascended the throne there were 139 sizeable vineyards in England and Wales - 11 of them owned by the Crown, 67 by noble families and 52 by the church.

It is not exactly clear why the number of vineyards declined subsequently. Some have put it down to an adverse change in the weather which made an uncertain enterprise even more problematic. Others have linked it with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Both these factors may have had some part to play but in all probability the decline was gradual (over several centuries) and for more complex reasons.

In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century there is evidence of various noblemen experimenting with growing grapes and making wine - such as the Hon. Charles Hamilton who grew vines at Painshill in Surrey (a garden which has in recent years been restored). Isolated enthusiasts, however, kept some of the art and science of vine-growing alive, in gardens both grand and humble in the south of the country, and in greenhouses too. Samuel Pepys records his consumption of wines from several vineyards around London.

In the late nineteenth century, the Marquess of Bute established a vineyard on a commercial scale at Castell Coch in South Wales - this is very well documented. The Marquess died in 1900 but in 1905 there were 63,000 vines at Castell Coch and Swanbridge superintended by the Marquess's 19 year old son who had succeeded him, but no wine making seems to have been carried out after the First World War.

The period from the end of the First World War to shortly after the end of the Second World War may well be the only time in two millennia that vines to make wine on a substantial scale were not grown in England or Wales. Doubtless, during that time, there were some vines being grown on a garden scale by amateur growers, but for more than 25 years there was a total cessation of viticulture and winemaking on a commercial basis.

After the Second World War, two men seem to have been the inspiration for the re-establishment of the English Wine industry. One was Ray Barrington Brock (who died only this year). He was a research chemist and set himself a private research mission to discover which varieties of grape would grow and ripen well in Britain. The other was Edward Hymans, a writer on garden matters who planted a vineyard and researched for a book he was writing on the history and practice of grape-vine cultivation in England.

The work of these two pioneers inspired others: Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones planted a vineyard at Hambledon, north of Portsmouth, in Hampshire. He initially planted 4,000 vines on a 1.5 acre site in 1952 and in 1955 the first English Wine to be made and sold commercially since the First World War went on sale.

The rest, as they say, is history. An ever-increasing number of pioneers followed these leads and especially during the 1960s, 70s and 80s there was a rapid increase in the number of English vineyards to a figure well over 400 by 2010. The total area under cultivation rose to more than 2,000 acres.

In recent years, English sparking wine has started to emerge as the UK wine style receiving the most attention. Theale Vineyard Sparkling Chardonnay 2003 beat off stiff competition from fine Champagnes and top sparkling wines to make it into the world's Top Ten Sparkling Wine at the world's only dedicated sparkling wine competition, French-based Effervescents du Monde (sparkling wines of the world) 2007.

History of The 17th Century Corkscrew – England


Cork was used already by the ancient Greeks and Romans as stopper for jars  in the 6th  century BC. But after the collapse of the Roman Empire the usage of cork seems to have ceased. In the early part of the 17th century cork re-appears as a wine bottle stopper  together with the use of glass bottles.


In the early days, before the corkscrew, a cord tied around the top of the cork was used to extract the cork.


In the 1700's us British invented the technology to bottle wine and use corkscrews.


The earliest references for corkscrews came from England in the early part of the 17th  century.


The heyday of corkscrews coincided with the great period of British manufacturing and invention in the middle of the 1800s.


The first Corkscrew registered patent was to the British Reverend Samuel Henshall (1765-1807) on August 24th 1795 with patent #2061. This was the first documented patent given for such a device.


Samuel Henshall, the son of a Cheshire grocer, was born in 1765. Educated first at Manchester Grammar School, he went up to Brasenose as a Somerset Scholar in 1782 and gained his MA in 1789 shortly before his ordination. Samuel Henshall was made a Fellow of the College but his academic career was not as illustrious as he had hoped: his dense scholarly works received a mixed reception and his bid, in 1800, to become Oxford's Professor of Anglo-Saxon was unsuccessful. He became a Curate of Christ Church, Spitalfields, and from 1802 until his death in 1807, he held the post of Rector of St. Mary's which, at that time, was one of the College's livings.

In May 1795, Samuel Henshall approached Matthew Boulton, the famous Birmingham entrepreneur, to arrange for the manufacture of the corkscrew which he invented. Samuel Henshall design included a concave ‘button', fixed between screw and shank, which prevented the screw penetrating too far into the bottle and simultaneously gripped the cork to break its seal with the neck of the bottle.

Samuel Henshall clearly took to the idea and stayed a fortnight with him while they developed the design. However, Samuel Henshall was not an ideal business partner: he was clearly having financial problems and did not put up his portion of the patent expenses. Boulton's legal advisor wrote in 1795: 'I doubt I shall not so easily extract £50 from the Parson, as he would a Cork from a Bottle.'

Within five years, there is evidence of further money woes as Samuel Henshall appeared in court three times being sued for the recovery of debts, the largest amount - some £420 - payable to a brewer. It is said that the remaining stock of corkscrews was buried with Samuel Henshall in the chancel of Bow Church, London.

English Morris Dancing – History

As an Englishman with an interest in English History I thought it would be of interest to tell the History of Morris Dancing which has a long recorded history in England, the earliest reference being from 1448.

By the early 16th century morris dancing had become a fixture of Church festivals. In mediaeval and Renaissance England, the churches brewed and sold ales, including wassail. These ales were sold for many occasions, both seasonal and sacramental - there were christening ales, bride's ales, clerk, wake and Whitsun ales - and were an important means of fund-raising for churches.

Later in the century the morris became attached to village fetes, and the May Day revels; Shakespeare says "as fit as a Morris for May Day" and "a Whitsun Morris Dance".

William Kemp danced a solo morris from London to Norwich in 1600. Morris Dancing was popular in Tudor times. However under Cromwell it fell out of favour and was actively discouraged by many Puritans. The ales were suppressed by the Puritan authorities in the seventeenth century and, when some reappeared in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, they usually had associated dancing.

By the mid 18th century in the South Midlands region, morris dancing was a fixture of the Whitsun ales. Morris Dancing was now in the hands of common folk who couldn't afford the fancy costumes of a couple centuries earlier, and they were resorting to ordinary clothing decorated with ribbons and flowers. There was a separate variety of morris, called bedlam morris, being done in a swath from the Welsh border counties through Warwickshire and Northamptonshire down to Buckinghamshire; the bedlam morris seems to have been mainly or exclusively done with sticks. Whether this ‘bedlam' morris had an alternative origin we cannot say.

During the nineteenth century Morris Dancing declined rapidly. New forms of entertainment, rapid social change and its association with an older unfashionable culture were all contributing factors.

For various reasons, church ales and Whitsun ales survived quite late in the south-west Midlands. Most of the Cotswold Morris tradition comes from this region and many of the Cotswold Morris sides gave dances to Cecil Sharp and other collectors which formed the basis for the dance revival in the early twentieth century. As well as the Cotswold dances other regional versions of the the morris also survived long enough to be collected. These included ‘Border Morris' from the Welsh border counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, North West from Lancashire and Cheshire, and Molly dancing from East Anglia. In the north of England long sword dancing was collected from Yorkshire and Rapper sword from the North East. It was widely believed that other regional varieties of the dance had been forgotten and lost. New evidence has recently been unearthed of ‘lost morris' in other areas of the country and that is what Rattlejag are all about.

History of the English Constitution AD 890 to Present day

AD 890 The Anglo Saxon Chronicles.

Originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great, approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language is Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries are essentially Middle English in tone.

AD 1086: The Domesday Book

Domesday is Englands most famous and earliest surviving public record. It is a highly detailed survey and valuation of all the land held by the King and his chief tenants, along with all the resources that went with the land in late 11th century England. The survey was a massive enterprise, and the record of that survey, Domesday Book, was a remarkable achievement. There is nothing like it in England until the censuses of the 19th century.

1215: Magna Carta

The 'great charter' is most famous for consolidating judicial rights, notably habeas corpus, the right not to be unlawfully imprisoned. However, it was also an important first step in removing power from the central authority - King John - and spreading it wider.

Its 61st clause, known as the Security Clause, declared that a council of 25 barons be created with the power to overrule the will of the King, by force if necessary.

This was repealed angrily by the King shortly afterwards, and mediaeval rulers largely ignored the document altogether, but it became an early foundation of England's - and later the United Kingdom's - unwritten constitution.

1376: The first Speaker of the House of Commons is appointed
An English Parliament had existed since late in the 13th century, and had been divided into two houses since 1341, with knights and burgesses sitting in what became known as the House of Commons while clergy and nobility sat in the House of Lords. However, its duties largely consisted of ratifying taxes for the Crown. In 1376, Thomas de la Mare was appointed to go to the King with complaints about taxation, and the Commons for the first time impeached some of the King's ministers. While de la Mare was imprisoned for his actions, the House created the position of Speaker to represent the Commons permanently. Above is Betty Boothroyd, the Speaker from 1992 to 2000.

English Petition of Right in 1628

Parliament passed the Petition of Right in 1628 in response to a number of perceived violations of the law by Charles I in the first years of his reign. In 1626, Charles had convened Parliament in an effort to obtain desperately needed funds for the continuation of his unsuccessful war with Spain. Unhappy with the prosecution of the war, however, Parliament swiftly began impeachment proceedings against Charles' favorite and principal counselor, the Duke of Buckingham. In order to protect Buckingham, Charles was forced to dissolve Parliament before it had voted any subsidies. Left without recourse to parliamentary taxation, Charles resorted to two forms of extra-parliamentary taxation to raise the funds he needed - a benevolence and a Forced Loan - that were of doubtful legality at best. He also began to billet soldiers in civilian homes, both as a cost-saving measure and as a means of punishing his political opponents.

Citing the Forced Loan's illegality, a number of gentlemen refused to pay, and many of them were imprisoned as a result. Ultimately, five of the imprisoned gentlemen - the so-called "Five Knights" (since they were all knights) petitioned the Court of Kings Bench for writs of habeas corpus to force the government to specify the reason for their imprisonment. Seeking to avoid a direct challenge of the legality of the Loan, Charles refused to charge the prisoners with a specific crime, instead declaring on the return to the writs that the knights were detained "per speciale mandatum domini regis" ("by special command of our lord the king"). In the resulting hearings before the King's Bench - the famous Five Knights case - counsel for the Knights argued that imprisonment by "special command" amounted to a fundamental violation of the principle of due process established by chapter twenty-nine of Magna Carta, which declared that imprisonment could only occur in accordance with the law of the land. The Five Knights' counsel claimed, therefore, that the king, upon receipt of a writ of habeas corpus, must return a specific cause of detention, the legality of which could be assessed by the courts. In contrast,Robert heath, the Attorney General, claimed that the king had a prerogative right to imprison by royal command for reasons of state, and these detentions could not be challenged by habeas corpus.

Faced with conflicting precedents, and, undoubtedly, political pressure, the Court decided to remit the Knights to prison while taking the case under advisement. Although equivocal, this decision was taken as a major victory for the king, and a significant blow to the opponents of his extra-legal policies. It was largely a desire to overturn immediately this ruling that would provide the primary impetus for the House of Commons decision to create the Petition of Right in the subsequent Parliament.

The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 is an Act of the Parliament of England passed during the reign of King Charles 11 to define and strengthen the ancient prerogative writ of habeas corpus, whereby persons unlawfully detained cannot be ordered to be prosecuted before a court of law.

The Act is often wrongly described as the origin of the writ of habeas corpus, which had existed for at least three centuries before. The Act of 1679 followed an earlier act of 1640 which established that the command of the King or the Privvy Council was no answer to a petition of habeas corpus. Further Habeas Corpus Acts were passed by the British Parliament in 1803, 1804, 1816 and 1862, but it is the Act of 1679 which is remembered as one of the most important statutes in English constitutional history. Though amended, it remains on the statute book to this day.

The Act came about because the Earl of Shaftsbury encouraged his friends in the Commons to introduce the Bill where it passed and was then sent up the Lords. Shaftesbury was the leading Exclusionist—those who wanted to exclude Charles II's brother James, Duke of York from the succession—and the Bill was a part of that struggle as they believed James would rule arbitrarily. The Lords decided to add many wrecking amendments to the Bill in an attempt to kill it; the Commons had no choice but to pass the Bill with the Lords' amendments because they learned that the King would soon end the current parliamentary session.

The Bill went back and forth between the two house, and then the Lords voted on whether to set up a conference on the Bill. If this motion was defeated the Bill would stay in the Commons and therefore have no chance of being passed. Each side—those voting for and against—appointed a teller who stood on each side of the door through which those Lords who had voted "aye" re-entered the House (the "nays" remained seated). One teller would count them aloud whilst the other teller listened and kept watch in order to know if the other teller was telling the truth. Shaftesbury's faction had voted for the motion, so they went out and re-entered the House. Gilbert Burnet, one of Shaftesbury's friends, recorded what then happened:

Lord Grey and Lord Norris were named to be the tellers: Lord Norris, being a man subject to vapours, was not at all times attentive to what he was doing: so, a very fat lord coming in, Lord Grey counted him as ten, as a jest at first: but seeing Lord Norris had not observed it, he went on with this misreckoning of ten: so it was reported that they that were for the Bill were in the majority, though indeed it went for the other side: and by this means the Bill passed.

The clerk recorded in the minutes of the Lords that the "ayes" had fifty-seven and the "nays" had fifty-five, a total of 112, but the same minutes also state that only 107 Lords had attended that sitting.

The King arrived shortly thereafter and gave Royal Assent before proroguing Parliament. The Act is now stored in the Parliamentary Archives.

1688: The Great Revolution
The Civil War a few years before had removed the monarchy, and then reinstated it in a weakened form, setting the stage for the attenuated 'constitutional monarchy' that we have today. But it was the arrival of William of Orange from Holland to take the throne from James II which led to the creation of the Bill of Rights, constitutionally preventing absolute rule by the Kings and Queens of Great Britain to this day, and leaving Parliament as the true seat of power in the country.

The English Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament in December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1688, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It enumerates certain rights to which subjects and permanent residents of a constitutional monarchy were thought to be entitled in the late 17th century, asserting subjects' right to petition the monarch, as well as to have arms in defence. It also sets out—or, in the view of its drafters, restates—certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in parliament.

Along with the 1701 Act of Settlement the Bill of Rights is still in effect, one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession to the throne of the United kingdom and—followingBritish Colonialism, the resultant doctrine of reception, and independence—to the thrones of those other Commonwealth realms, by willing deference to the act as a British statute or as a patriated part of the particular realm's constitution. Since the implementation of the statute of Statute of westminister in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards) the Bill of Rights cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm's own parliament, and then, by convention and as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms.

In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British Constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act applies in Scotland. The English Bill of Rights 1689 inspired in large part the United States Bill of Rights.

4 July 1776 American Declaration of Independence The American Congress formally declares the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain through the Declaration of Independence.

17 September 1787 Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is signed and then ratified the following year. It establishes the system of federal government that begins to operate from 1789.

15 December 1791 American Bill of Rights Based on the English Bill of Rights - The American Bill of Rights is added to the U.S. Constitution as the first ten amendments.

1832: The Reform Act
Democracy of sorts had existed in England for centuries - as far back as 1432, Henry VI passed statues declaring who was eligible to vote (male owners of land worth at least 40 shillings, or a freehold property - perhaps half a million people nationwide). However, the counties and boroughs that sent Members to Parliament were of wildly differing size. The county of Yorkshire had more than 20,000 people, and the borough of Westminster had around 12,000, but they only sent one representative to the Commons - as did, for example, Dunwich, which had 32 voters, or Gatton, which had seven.

The Reform Act increased enfranchisement to over a million, or about one in six of all adult males, by allowing men who rented property above a certain value to vote too. It also tore up the mediaeval boundaries of counties and boroughs, giving more equitable representation for the cities that had sprung up since the Industrial Revolution. A second Act, in 1837, enfranchised all male householders, regardless of value.

1913: Emily Davison's death
Campaigns for women's suffrage go as far back as 1817, when the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote Plan of Parliamentary Reform in the form of a Catechism. William Thompson and Anna Wheeler also published a pamphlet in 1825 on the subject. However, despite these green shoots of support, the 1832 Act for the first time explicitly limited suffrage to "male persons". It was not until 1861, when John Stuart Mill published The Subjection of Women, that the movement began to gain momentum.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing country to allow women to vote. In Britain, progress was slower, and in the early 20th century women took to direct and sometimes violent action; chaining themselves to railings, arson attacks, and even bombings. Many were imprisoned, and some went on hunger strike. Emily Davison died at the Epsom Derby in 1913, when she ran out in front of the King's horse, Anmer, clutching the banner of the Women's Social and Political Union. It was around this time that the originally derogatory word 'suffragette' was coined, in a Daily Mail article.

1918: The Representation of the People Act
World War I could not be said to have had many silver linings, but it gave British women - who had spent the last four years, in a country shorn of young men, keeping the war effort running in munition factories and farms - a newfound political confidence. The 1918 Act recognised that not only these women, but many soldiers who had supposedly fought for British democracy, were still unable to vote. It removed all property restrictions from male voters, and allowed women to vote for the first time - although not those under 30, and with property restrictions - and to stand for election. The first woman, Nancy Astor, was elected to Parliament just 18 months later, in Plymouth Sutton. Ten years later, the restrictions on women were lifted, allowing them to vote at 21 whether or not they held property.

10th  December 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1969: The Representation of the People Act
After one final loophole was closed in 1948 - weirdly, up until that point, some seven per cent of the electorate had two votes per person - voting in the United Kingdom reached essentially its modern state in 1969, when Harold Wilson's government dropped the voting age for all citizens from 21 to 18. Further acts in 1983, 1985 and 2000 changed the laws on prisoners and overseas voters (essentially, convicted criminals may not vote while in prison; expatriates can still vote in their last constituency for 15 years after they left the country, and holidaymakers can vote by postal ballot or proxy). In 2000, a hoary constitutional prejudice against "lunatics" was weakened when psychiatric hospitals were allowed to be designated as registration addresses.
2 October 2000 British Human Rights Act The British Human Rights Act 1998 came into force. This makes the European Convention on Human Rights enforceable in UK courts. ( As an Englishman this is one of the worst drafted Acts in the history of the British Constitution.)

English Kings and Queens from 774 AD to Present Day

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a list of English and British Kings and Queens.

774-796 Offa King of the Angles and not necessarily the Saxons.

802 - 839



839 - 856



856 - 860



860 - 866



866 - 871

Ethelred I

the unready

871 - 899

Alfred the Great

He who burnt cakes

899 - 924

Edward the Elder


924 - 939


May have been the son of his fathers mistress

939 - 946

Edmund I


946 - 955


955 - 959


Aged 13 when he became king

959 - 975


His wife was the first to be crowned Queen

975 - 979

Edward the Martyr


979 - 1013

Ethelred II the Unready


1013 - 1014


Installed by the nobility he was Canute's father

1014 - 1016

Ethelred II the Unready

Unready means No-counsel or Unwise

1016 - 1016

Edmund II Ironside

Only ruled for 6 months

1016 - 1035


Tried to hold back the tide

1035 - 1040

Harold Harefoot

He usurped Hardicanute and murdered the only other contender

1040 - 1042


Also King of Denmark he drunk himself to death

1042 - 1066

Edward the Confessor

Responsible for the building of Westminster Abbey

1066 - 1066

Harold II

Killed at Hastings - that he was shot in the eye is a myth

The Normans

1066 - 1087

William I the Conqueror

A comtemporary chronicle described him as a stern and violent man. The Bayeaux Tapestrey was created by weavers in Kent, England.

1087 - 1100

William II

Killed in hunting accident

1100 - 1135

Henry I

Died from eating too many Lampreys

1135 - 1154


Briefly usurped by Matilda

House of Plantagenet

1154 - 1189

Henry II

died in Battle

1189 - 1199

Richard I The Lion Heart

Famous for his crusades and for leaving John as his Regent

1199 - 1216


The King John of Robin Hood fame who was forces to sign Magna Carta

1216 - 1272

Henry III

Unsuccessfully tried to set aside the Magna Carta

1272 - 1307

Edward I

Conquerer of the Welsh and the King Edward of Braveheart fame

1307 - 1327

Edward II

Renounced throne and later murdered

1327 - 1377

Edward III

Created the Duchy of Cornwall to support the heir to the throne

1377 - 1399

Richard II


House of Lancaster

1399 - 1413

Henry IV

Died of Leprosy and epilepsy. His wife was later convicted of witchcraft

1413 - 1422

Henry V

Of Agincourt fame

1422 - 1461

Henry VI


House of York

1461 - 1470

Edward IV


House of Lancaster

1470 - 1471

Henry VI


House of York

1471 - 1483

Edward IV


1483 - 1483

Edward V

Murdered - One of the Princes in the Tower

1483 - 1485

Richard III

Killed in battle

House of Tudor

1485 - 1509

Henry VII

Won the crown at the Battle of Bosworth Field

1509 - 1547

Henry VIII

Of 6 wives fames. Formed the Protestant church

1547 - 1553

Edward VI

Tricked in to declaring Jane his heir.

1553 - 1553

Lady Jane Grey

Reigned for 9 days later executed

1553 - 1558

Mary I

Bloody Mary

1558 - 1603

Elizabeth I

Her reign is often described as the Golden Age

House of Stuart

1603 - 1625

James I

James VI of Scotland

1625 - 1649

Charles I



1649 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell

Lord Protector

1658 - 1660

Richard Cromwell

Lord Protector

House of Stuart

1660 - 1685

Charles II

A trouble reign that encompassed the Great Plague & the fire of London

1685 - 1688

James II


1689 - 1702

Williams III & Mary II

William of Orange.Joint Sovereigns Mary died 1694

1702 - 1714


The last monarch to veto an act of Parliament.

House of Hanover

1714 - 1727

George I

Sometimes known as German George

1727 - 1760

George II

The last King to fight with his troops

1760 - 1820

George III

Sometimes called Mad George. Lost the American Colonies

1820 - 1830

George IV

Prince Regent for part of his fathers reign.

1830 - 1837

William IV

Presided over the great Parlimentry Reform Act

1837 - 1901


The longest reigning monarch

House of Sax-Coburg-Gotha

1901 - 1910

Edward VII


House of Windsor

1910 - 1936

George V

1936 - 1936

Edward VIII


1836 - 1952

George V

1952 - present

Elizabeth II

The English Translated Magna Carta

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a document that we English class as part of of what we are about. The Chinese call England “The Island of Hero's” which I think sums up what we English are all about.


JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester, William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz Gerald, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and other loyal subjects:

(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.

TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs:

(2) If any earl, baron, or other person that holds lands directly of the Crown, for military service, shall die, and at his death his heir shall be of full age and owe a 'relief', the heir shall have his inheritance on payment of the ancient scale of 'relief'. That is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl shall pay £100 for the entire earl's barony, the heir or heirs of a knight 100s. at most for the entire knight's 'fee', and any man that owes less shall pay less, in accordance with the ancient usage of 'fees'

(3) But if the heir of such a person is under age and a ward, when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without 'relief' or fine.

(4) The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shall take from it only reasonable revenues, customary dues, and feudal services. He shall do this without destruction or damage to men or property. If we have given the guardianship of the land to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or damage, we will exact compensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be similarly answerable to us.

(5) For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, he shall maintain the houses, parks, fish preserves, ponds, mills, and everything else pertaining to it, from the revenues of the land itself. When the heir comes of age, he shall restore the whole land to him, stocked with plough teams and such implements of husbandry as the season demands and the revenues from the land can reasonably bear.

(6) Heirs may be given in marriage, but not to someone of lower social standing. Before a marriage takes place, it shall be made known to the heir's next-of-kin.

(7) At her husband's death, a widow may have her marriage portion and inheritance at once and without trouble. She shall pay nothing for her dower, marriage portion, or any inheritance that she and her husband held jointly on the day of his death. She may remain in her husband's house for forty days after his death, and within this period her dower shall be assigned to her.

(8) No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she wishes to remain without a husband. But she must give security that she will not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she may hold them of.

(9) Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rent in payment of a debt, so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge the debt. A debtor's sureties shall not be distrained upon so long as the debtor himself can discharge his debt. If, for lack of means, the debtor is unable to discharge his debt, his sureties shall be answerable for it. If they so desire, they may have the debtor's lands and rents until they have received satisfaction for the debt that they paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has settled his obligations to them.

(10) If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

(11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.

(12) No 'scutage' or 'aid' may be levied in our kingdom without its general consent, unless it is for the ransom of our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry our eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied. 'Aids' from the city of London are to be treated similarly.

(13) The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs.

(14) To obtain the general consent of the realm for the assessment of an 'aid' - except in the three cases specified above - or a 'scutage', we will cause the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned individually by letter. To those who hold lands directly of us we will cause a general summons to be issued, through the sheriffs and other officials, to come together on a fixed day (of which at least forty days notice shall be given) and at a fixed place. In all letters of summons, the cause of the summons will be stated. When a summons has been issued, the business appointed for the day shall go forward in accordance with the resolution of those present, even if not all those who were summoned have appeared.

(15) In future we will allow no one to levy an 'aid' from his free men, except to ransom his person, to make his eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry his eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied.

(16) No man shall be forced to perform more service for a knight's 'fee', or other free holding of land, than is due from it.

(17) Ordinary lawsuits shall not follow the royal court around, but shall be held in a fixed place.

(18) Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment shall be taken only in their proper county court. We ourselves, or in our absence abroad our chief justice, will send two justices to each county four times a year, and these justices, with four knights of the county elected by the county itself, shall hold the assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place where the court meets.

(19) If any assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, as many knights and freeholders shall afterwards remain behind, of those who have attended the court, as will suffice for the administration of justice, having regard to the volume of business to be done.

(20) For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a villein the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.

(21) Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.

(22) A fine imposed upon the lay property of a clerk in holy orders shall be assessed upon the same principles, without reference to the value of his ecclesiastical benefice.

(23) No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so.

(24) No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other royal officials are to hold lawsuits that should be held by the royal justices.

(25) Every county, hundred, wapentake, and riding shall remain at its ancient rent, without increase, except the royal demesne manors.

(26) If at the death of a man who holds a lay 'fee' of the Crown, a sheriff or royal official produces royal letters patent of summons for a debt due to the Crown, it shall be lawful for them to seize and list movable goods found in the lay 'fee' of the dead man to the value of the debt, as assessed by worthy men. Nothing shall be removed until the whole debt is paid, when the residue shall be given over to the executors to carry out the dead man’s will. If no debt is due to the Crown, all the movable goods shall be regarded as the property of the dead man, except the reasonable shares of his wife and children.

(27) If a free man dies intestate, his movable goods are to be distributed by his next-of-kin and friends, under the supervision of the Church. The rights of his debtors are to be preserved.

(28) No constable or other royal official shall take corn or other movable goods from any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily offers postponement of this.

(29) No constable may compel a knight to pay money for castle-guard if the knight is willing to undertake the guard in person, or with reasonable excuse to supply some other fit man to do it. A knight taken or sent on military service shall be excused from castle-guard for the period of this service.

(30) No sheriff, royal official, or other person shall take horses or carts for transport from any free man, without his consent.

(31) Neither we nor any royal official will take wood for our castle, or for any other purpose, without the consent of the owner.

(32) We will not keep the lands of people convicted of felony in our hand for longer than a year and a day, after which they shall be returned to the lords of the 'fees' concerned.

(33) All fish-weirs shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast.

(34) The writ called precipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in respect of any holding of land, if a free man could thereby be deprived of the right of trial in his own lord's court.

(35) There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.

(36) In future nothing shall be paid or accepted for the issue of a writ of inquisition of life or limbs. It shall be given gratis, and not refused.

(37) If a man holds land of the Crown by 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', and also holds land of someone else for knight's service, we will not have guardianship of his heir, nor of the land that belongs to the other person's 'fee', by virtue of the 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', unless the 'fee-farm' owes knight's service. We will not have the guardianship of a man's heir, or of land that he holds of someone else, by reason of any small property that he may hold of the Crown for a service of knives, arrows, or the like.

(38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

(39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

(41) All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade, free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful customs. This, however, does not apply in time of war to merchants from a country that is at war with us. Any such merchants found in our country at the outbreak of war shall be detained without injury to their persons or property, until we or our chief justice have discovered how our own merchants are being treated in the country at war with us. If our own merchants are safe they shall be safe too.

(42) In future it shall be lawful for any man to leave and return to our kingdom unharmed and without fear, by land or water, preserving his allegiance to us, except in time of war, for some short period, for the common benefit of the realm. People that have been imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the land, people from a country that is at war with us, and merchants - who shall be dealt with as stated above - are excepted from this provision.

(43) If a man holds lands of any 'escheat' such as the 'honour' of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other 'escheats' in our hand that are baronies, at his death his heir shall give us only the 'relief' and service that he would have made to the baron, had the barony been in the baron's hand. We will hold the 'escheat' in the same manner as the baron held it.

(44) People who live outside the forest need not in future appear before the royal justices of the forest in answer to general summonses, unless they are actually involved in proceedings or are sureties for someone who has been seized for a forest offence.

(45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.

(46) All barons who have founded abbeys, and have charters of English kings or ancient tenure as evidence of this, may have guardianship of them when there is no abbot, as is their due.

(47) All forests that have been created in our reign shall at once be disafforested. River-banks that have been enclosed in our reign shall be treated similarly.

(48) All evil customs relating to forests and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs and their servants, or river-banks and their wardens, are at once to be investigated in every county by twelve sworn knights of the county, and within forty days of their enquiry the evil customs are to be abolished completely and irrevocably. But we, or our chief justice if we are not in England, are first to be informed.

(49) We will at once return all hostages and charters delivered up to us by Englishmen as security for peace or for loyal service.

(50) We will remove completely from their offices the kinsmen of Gerard de Athée, and in future they shall hold no offices in England. The people in question are Engelard de Cigogné, Peter, Guy, and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers, with Geoffrey his nephew, and all their followers.

(51) As soon as peace is restored, we will remove from the kingdom all the foreign knights, bowmen, their attendants, and the mercenaries that have come to it, to its harm, with horses and arms.

(52) To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals, we will at once restore these. In cases of dispute the matter shall be resolved by the judgement of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace. In cases, however, where a man was deprived or dispossessed of something without the lawful judgement of his equals by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once render justice in full.

(53) We shall have similar respite in rendering justice in connexion with forests that are to be disafforested, or to remain forests, when these were first afforested by our father Henry or our brother Richard; with the guardianship of lands in another person's 'fee', when we have hitherto had this by virtue of a 'fee' held of us for knight's service by a third party; and with abbeys founded in another person's 'fee', in which the lord of the 'fee' claims to own a right. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice to complaints about these matters.

(54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband.

(55) All fines that have been given to us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all fines that we have exacted unjustly, shall be entirely remitted or the matter decided by a majority judgement of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace together with Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and such others as he wishes to bring with him. If the archbishop cannot be present, proceedings shall continue without him, provided that if any of the twenty-five barons has been involved in a similar suit himself, his judgement shall be set aside, and someone else chosen and sworn in his place, as a substitute for the single occasion, by the rest of the twenty-five.

(56) If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of lands, liberties, or anything else in England or in Wales, without the lawful judgement of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. A dispute on this point shall be determined in the Marches by the judgement of equals. English law shall apply to holdings of land in England, Welsh law to those in Wales, and the law of the Marches to those in the Marches. The Welsh shall treat us and ours in the same way.

(57) In cases where a Welshman was deprived or dispossessed of anything, without the lawful judgement of his equals, by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. But on our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice according to the laws of Wales and the said regions.

(58) We will at once return the son of Llywelyn, all Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as security for the peace.

(59) With regard to the return of the sisters and hostages of Alexander, king of Scotland, his liberties and his rights, we will treat him in the same way as our other barons of England, unless it appears from the charters that we hold from his father William, formerly king of Scotland, that he should be treated otherwise. This matter shall be resolved by the judgement of his equals in our court.

(60) All these customs and liberties that we have granted shall be observed in our kingdom in so far as concerns our own relations with our subjects. Let all men of our kingdom, whether clergy or laymen, observe them similarly in their relations with their own men.

(61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and grant to the barons the following security:

The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter.

If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us - or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice - to declare it and claim immediate redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chief justice, make no redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children, until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon. Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience to us.

Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.

If one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be duly sworn in as they were.

In the event of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or unable to appear.

The twenty-five barons shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.

We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.

(62) We have remitted and pardoned fully to all men any ill-will, hurt, or grudges that have arisen between us and our subjects, whether clergy or laymen, since the beginning of the dispute. We have in addition remitted fully, and for our own part have also pardoned, to all clergy and laymen any offences committed as a result of the said dispute between Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215) and the restoration of peace.

In addition we have caused letters patent to be made for the barons, bearing witness to this security and to the concessions set out above, over the seals of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, Henry archbishop of Dublin, the other bishops named above, and Master Pandulf.

(63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever.

Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness the above-mentioned people and many others.

Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215: the new regnal year began on 28 May).


As might be expected, the text of Magna Carta of 1215 bears many traces of haste, and is clearly the product of much bargaining and many hands. Most of its clauses deal with specific, and often long-standing, grievances rather than with general principles of law. Some of the grievances are self-explanatory: others can be understood only in the context of the feudal society in which they arose. Of a few clauses, the precise meaning is still a matter of argument.

In feudal society, the king's barons held their lands 'in fee' (feudum) from the king, for an oath to him of loyalty and obedience, and with the obligation to provide him with a fixed number of knights whenever these were required for military service. At first the barons provided the knights by dividing their estates (of which the largest and most important were known as 'honours') into smaller parcels described as 'knights' fees', which they distributed to tenants able to serve as knights. But by the time of King John it had become more convenient and usual for the obligation for service to be commuted for a cash payment known as 'scutage', and for the revenue so obtained to be used to maintain paid armies.

Besides military service, feudal custom allowed the king to make certain other exactions from his barons. In times of emergency, and on such special occasions as the marriage of his eldest daughter, he could demand from them a financial levy known as an 'aid' (auxilium).

When a baron died, he could demand a succession duty or relief (relevium) from the baron's heir. If there was no heir, or if the succession was disputed, the baron's lands could be forfeited or 'escheated' to the Crown. If the heir was under age, the king could assume the guardianship of his estates, and enjoy all the profits from them - even to the extent of despoliation - until the heir came of age.

The king had the right, if he chose, to sell such a guardianship to the highest bidder, and to sell the heir himself in marriage for such price as the value of his estates would command. The widows and daughters of barons might also be sold in marriage. With their own tenants, the barons could deal similarly.

The scope for extortion and abuse in this system, if it were not benevolently applied, was obviously great and had been the subject of complaint long before King John came to the throne. Abuses were, moreover, aggravated by the difficulty of obtaining redress for them, and in Magna Carta the provision of the means for obtaining a fair hearing of complaints, not only against the king and his agents but against lesser feudal lords, achieves corresponding importance.

About two-thirds of the clauses of Magna Carta of 1215 are concerned with matters such as these, and with the misuse of their powers by royal officials.

As regards other topics, the first clause, conceding the freedom of the Church, and in particular confirming its right to elect its own dignitaries without royal interference, reflects John's dispute with the Pope over Stephen Langton's election as archbishop of Canterbury. It does not appear in the 'Articles of the Barons', and its somewhat stilted phrasing seems in part to be attempting to justify its inclusion, none the less, in the charter itself. The clauses that deal with the royal forests  over which the king had special powers and jurisdiction, reflect the disquiet and anxieties that had arisen on account of a longstanding royal tendency to extend the forest boundaries, to the detriment of the holders of the lands affected.

Those that deal with debts reflect administrative problems created by the chronic scarcity of ready cash among the upper and middle classes, and their need to resort to money-lenders when this was required.

The clause promising the removal of fish-weirs was intended to facilitate the navigation of rivers.

A number of clauses deal with the special circumstances that surrounded the making of the charter, and are such as might be found in any treaty of peace. Others, such as those relating to the city of London and to merchants clearly represent concessions to special interests.

List of British Royal Societies

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda ( Suffragette and Headmistress ) traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a description and list of the various British Royal Socities.

This is a list of Royal Societies.

Royal Academy 1768

·       Royal Aeronautical Society 1866

·       Royal Anthropological Institute 1871

·       Royal Asiatic Society 1823

·       Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 1890 incorporated in Ontario, Canada (royal charter 1903)

·       Royal Astronomical Society 1831 formed from the Astronomical Society of London (founded 1820)

·       Royal Bath and West of England Society 1777

·       Royal Dublin Society 1731

·       Royal Geographical Society 1830

·       Royal Heraldry Society of Canada

·       Royal Historical Society 1868 University College London

·       Royal Horticultural Society 1804 and 1861

·       Royal Medical Society

·       Royal Numismatic Society 1836

·       Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain 1841 and 1988

·       Royal Scottish Geographical Society 1884

·       Royal Society 1660

·       Royal Society for Nature Conservation

·       Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

·       Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

·       Royal Society for the Promotion of Health aka Royal Society of Health 1904

·       Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 1904

·       Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 1849

·       Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce 1754 aka The RSA, Royal Society of Arts

·       Royal Society of Canada 1882

·       Royal Society of Chemistry 1980 formed from the Chemical Society (founded 1841), the Society for Analytical Chemistry (founded 1874), the Royal Institute of Chemistry (founded 1877) and the Faraday Society (founded 1903)

·       Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783

·       Royal Society of St. George 1894

·       Royal Society of Literature 1820

·       Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge 1660

·       Royal Society of Medicine 1805 formed from the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London

·       Royal Society of New South Wales 1821

·       Royal Society of New Zealand 1851

·       Royal Society of Queensland 1884

·       Royal Society of South Africa 1877

·       Royal Society of South Australia 1880

·       Royal Society of Tasmania 1844

·       Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

·       Royal Society of Victoria 1854

·       Royal Society of Western Australia 1914

·       Royal Statistical Society 1834

·       Royal West of England Academy.

History of British Police and Funny Art

As I am a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren and have many ancestors from London who were also members of various London Police Forces, I thought it may be of interest to write an article about British Policing's history.

I also have some funny Victorian British Bobbies on art prints please click here.

Policing in its present form has existed for about 150 years. The earliest form of policing in Britain predates the Norman Conquest. The Saxon frankpledge was a private, social obligation in which all adult males were responsible for the good behaviour of others. The people were expected to live peaceably and lawfully, keeping the King's peace.

This was more formally arranged with men between the ages of 12 and 60 organised into groups of 10 family units called tithings (also spelled tythings). These were headed by a tythingman. Each tything was grouped into 100, which in turn was headed by a hundredman. He acted as an administrator and judge. The hundredman reported to the King's deputy, the local shire reeve whose responsibility was it to keep order in the county.

In 1750 Henry Fielding, novelist and Chief Justice of Westminster, set up the Bow Street Runners, their numbers started with just six police officers, by the end of the 18th century their numbers had risen to approximately seventy.

Debate continued during the early part of the 19th century as to the importance of a police force in England. The Home Secretary of the time, Robert Peel, later Sir Robert Peel, sponsored the first successful bill for a salaried civilian police force. The Metropolitan Police Act 1829 was limited to the London area; however it excluded the City of London and provinces.

Policemen were to be easily recognised and dressed in uniform. Patrols would prevent crime and disorder. As the police were to be salaried, stipend or rewards were not permitted for the resolution of crime or the return of stolen property. Along with their regular duties, the new police force would continue some of the duties of the watchmen such as lighting lamps, calling time and fire detection.

As Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel main achievement was the reforming of the London Police force, the forerunners of the modern day British Police services. The nickname of the police officers were nicknamed "Peeler's" and named after the prime minister.

In Britain in 1812, 1818 and 1822 a number of committees had examined the policing of London. Based on their findings the home secretary Robert Peel passed the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, introducing a more rigorous and less discretionary approach to law enforcement. The new Metropolitan Police Service, founded on September 29th was depersonalized, bureaucratic and hierarchical with the new police constables (US = patrol officers) instructed to prevent crime and pursue offenders. However in contrast to the more paramilitary police of continental Europe the British police, partly to counter public fears and objections concerning armed enforcers, were initially clearly civilian and their armament was limited to the truncheon, a fear of spy systems and political control also kept 'plain clothes' and even detective work to a minimum. The force was independent of the local government, through its commissioner it was responsible direct to the Home Office. The new constables were nicknamed 'peelers' or 'bobbies' after the then home secretary, Sir Robert Peel.

Even within the Metropolitan Police districts created from 1829, there remained a number of police establishments outside the control of the Metropolitan Police. These were the Bow Street patrols; both mounted and on foot, latterly named the Bow Street Runners. Police constables attached to these offices were under the control of the magistrates. By 1839, with the exception of the Marine or River police and transport Police, all of these establishments were absorbed by the Metropolitan Police force. The City of London Police Force was set up in 1839 and to this day remains independent.

The first Detective Force was created by the Metropolitan Police Force in 1842 and eventually became the famous Scotland Yard.

Outside of the metropolitan area the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 and further legislation in 1839 and 1840 allowed counties to create their own constabulary. The first county force created was Wiltshire in 1839. Around thirty counties had done so before the County and Borough Police Act of 1856 made such forces mandatory and subject to central inspection. There were over 200 separate forces in England and Wales by 1860.

England's Trial by Jury

Many of my London relatives are Magistrates and this has made me a great fan of English and British Law history including the Jury Service and it's history.

A jury is a group of persons selected from the community that is charged with hearing a legal case and delivering a verdict on it. Juries are used in both civil and criminal cases, and they base their decisions on testimony and other evidence that is presented at trial.

The English King Ethelred the Unready set up an early legal system through the Wantage Code of Ethelred, one provision of which stated that the twelve leading minor nobles of each small district were required to swear that they would investigate crimes without a bias. These juries differed from the modern sort by being self-informing; instead of getting information through a trial, the jurors were required to investigate the case themselves.

In the 12th century, Henry II took a major step in developing the jury system. Henry II set up a system to resolve land disputes using juries. A jury of twelve free men were assigned to arbitrate in these disputes. Unlike the modern jury, these men were charged with uncovering the facts of the case on their own rather than listening to arguments in court. Henry II also introduced what is now known as the "Grand Jury" through his Assize of Clarendon. Under the assize, a jury of free men was charged with reporting any crimes that they knew of in their hundred to a "justice in eyre," a judge who moved between hundreds on a circuit. A criminal accused by this jury was given a trial by ordeal this sometimes involved tying up the miscreant and putting them in the river. If they floated they were innocent and if they sank they were guilty and killed.

The Church banned participation of clergy in trial by ordeal in 1215. Without the legitimacy of religion, trial by ordeal collapsed. The juries under the assizes began deciding guilt as well as providing accusations. The same year, trial by jury became a pretty explicit right in one of the most influential clauses of Magna Carta, signed by King John. Article 39 of the Magna Carta read: It is translated thus by Lysander Spooner in his Essay on the Trial by Jury: "No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or diseased of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgement of his peers, and or by the law of the land." Although it says and or by the law of the land, this in no manner can be interpreted as if it were enough to have a positive law, made by the king, to be able to proceed legally against a citizen. The law of the land was the consuetudinary law, based on the customs and consent of John's subjects, and since they did not have Parliament in those times, this meant that neither the king nor the barons could make a law without the consent of the people. According to some sources, in the time of Edward III, by the law of the land had been substituted by due process of law, which in those times was a trial by twelve peers.

During the mid-14th Century, it was forbidden that persons who had sat on the Presenting Jury (i.e., in modern parlance, the Grand Jury) to sit on the trial jury for that crime. 25 Edward III stat 5., c3 (1353). Medieval juries were self-informing, in that individuals were chosen as jurors because they either knew the parties and the facts, or they had the duty to discover them. This spared the government the cost of fact-finding.Over time, English juries became less self-informing and relied more on the trial itself for information on the case. Jurors remained free to investigate cases on their own until the 17th century. The Magna Carta being forgotten after a succession of benevolent reigns (or, more probably, reigns limited by the jury and the barons, and only under the rule of laws that the juries and barons found acceptable), the kings, through the royal judges, began to extend their control over the jury and the kingdom. In David Hume's History of England, he tells something of the powers that the kings had accumulated in the times after the Magna Carta, the prerogatives of the crown and the sources of great power with which these monarchs counted.

The case against William Penn and William Mead in the late seventeenth century illustrated the importance of the jury and its rise to power within the judicial system. Penn and Mead were religious dissenters who were given to preaching in public. Around this time, we British were so suspicious of King Charles II's Catholic leanings that they passed laws against preaching in public. Pennand Mead were arrested, and opponents of the king sought to have Penn and Mead prosecuted and imprisoned, which would have embarrassed the king. The court impaneled a jury and, after both sides presented their case, they retired todeliberate, knowing full well that they were expected to deliver verdicts of guilty. Around this time, the judge had a tremendous amount of power over jurors. A judge could keep jurors until they delivered a verdict desired by thejudge, and in some cases, a judge could lock the jury in a room and deprivethe jurors of food and water and other amenities until they delivered the desired verdict. Several members of the jury led by Edward Bushell, refused to deliver a unanimous guilty verdict. The jury was sent off to deliberate againand again, without food, drink, fire, or tobacco, but it still could not deliver a guilty verdict. It did absolve Mead, but the judge ruled that Mead could not be released because he was charged with conspiring with Penn. Penn, from his cage in the courtroom (Mead likewise was kept in a cage), bellowed that"[i]f not guilty be not a verdict, then you make of the jury and Magna Cartabut a mere nose of wax." The Lord Mayor of London threatened to cut Bushell's throat and the jury was sent away for another night without food or drink.The next morning, it returned with not guilty verdicts again, and the judge imposed a fine on each juror. The jurors refused to pay the fine and were sentto jail. Eight jurors eventually relented, but four did not, and they eventually brought their own case against the court from jail. In what became knownas Bushell's Case, the Court of Common Pleas declared that the punishment of the jurors was illegal and that no jury could be punished for its verdict. Penn and Mead, both of whom were sent to jail after the fiasco, were released when Penn's father paid their fines. The four jurors were released from jail after the decision in Bushell's Case, and their ultimate success helped to establish the power of the jury system in England.

English Tea Drinking Traditions – History

I have created this article about Tea as it's one of the Icons about us English.

While the Chinese drank green tea hundreds of years before Christ, the English developed their tea-drinking habit in the 17th century. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted permission for the charter of the British East India Company, establishing the trade in spice and silk that lead to the formal annexation of India and the establishment of the Raj. Initially, tea was a sideline but it became increasingly important and started to define us English.

Curiously, it was the London coffee houses that were responsible for introducing tea to England. One of the first coffee house merchants to offer tea was Thomas Garway, who owned an establishment in Exchange Alley. He sold both liquid and dry tea to the public as early as 1657. Three years later he issued a broadsheet advertising tea at £6 and £10 per pound (ouch!), touting its virtues at "making the body active and lusty", and "preserving perfect health until extreme old age".

In 1662 tea drinking became very popular when King Charles II's wife, Queen Catherine made tea very popular among the wealthier classes of society. Soon, tea replaced ale as the national drink, as everyone tried to mimic high society. Tea drinking remains as a popular activity in England up to this day, as the English are particularly known for their afternoon tea (taken in the late afternoon with scones, pastries and cakes capped by a cup or two of tea).

Tea gained popularity quickly in the coffee houses, and by 1700 over 500 coffee houses sold tea. This distressed the tavern owners, as tea cut their sales of ale and gin, and it was bad news for the government, who depended upon a steady stream of revenue from taxes on liquor sales. By 1750 tea had become the favourite drink of England's lower classes.

Twinings, the world-famous English tea company, celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2006 . Twinings was, in 1706, one of the first companies to introduce tea drinking to the English. That was the year Thomas Twining began selling tea from his new premises in London. Stephen Twining, who is a tenth generation member of the famous tea family and world renowned tea guru, is visited South Africa in September 2006 as part of the company's celebrations.

Tea became the focus of rebellion in 1773 when the English Government tried to establish a monopoly on all tea sold in the American colonies. Colonists resented this since it put local merchants at a disadvantage. The British government tried to tax the American colonists so as to pay for their defence. The result was the Boston Tea party, during which Americans tipped some 45 tonnes of English tea into the sea.

In 1864 the woman manager of the Aerated Bread Company began the custom of serving food and drink to her customers. Her best customers were serverd with tea. Soon everyone was asking for the same treatment. The concept of tea shops spread throughout Britain like wildfire, not in the least because tea shops provided a place where an unchaperoned woman could meet her friends and socialize without damage to her reputation.

Tea at the Ritz, London, England which opened in 1906, its tea room, the Palm Court has a history and legend all its own. It is perhaps here that the ritual of tea drinking in the English manner seems the most "civilized." The Palm Court, a long, narrow room adjacent to the hotel's main corridor, combines the English Edwardian charm with the elegance of the French Louis XVI architecture and design.

English Toby Jugs – History

I have created this article about Toby Jugs as they are an English icon.

A Toby Jug - also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Phillpot) - is a pottery jug in the form of a seated person, or the head of a recognizable person (often an English king). Typically the seated figure is a heavily-set, jovial man holding a mug of beer in one hand and a pipe of tobacco in the other and wearing 18th century attire: a long coat and a tricorn hat. The tricorn hat forms a pouring spout, often with a removable lid, and a handle is attached at the rear. Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs, although these should strictly be called "Character Jugs".

The original Toby Jug was produced by Ralph Wood in about 1761. Many other Toby Jug's were produced with a brown salt glaze, which was developed and popularised by the various members of the Wood Family and other Staffordshire potters in the 1770s. Similar designs were also produced by other potteries around England and eventually in other countries from around the 1800's.

The typical toby is a comic depiction of a short fat fellow, comfortably seated, with a jug on his knee and wearing a three-cornered hat . Sometimes he has a pipe as well as a jug, and sometimes his faithful dog is crouched at his feet. Ralph Wood Toby Jugs were of this sort, but he also produced his "Thin Man," "Gin Woman," "King Hal," and the "Hearty Good Fellow," the latter a smiling urbane figure with jug and pipe. Ralph's cousin, Enoch Wood, also made toby jugs, such as "Night Watchman," and a standing representation of Benjamin Franklin taking a pinch of snuff.

The Toby Jug was named after a notorious 18th century Yorkshire drinker, Henry Elwes, who was known as "Toby Fillpot" (or Phillpot). It was inspired by an old English drinking song, "The Brown Jug", which paid tribute to Toby Fillpot; the popular verses were first published in 1761.

Toby Jugs have many collectors Worldwide. They were brought back by Royal Doulton in the 19th century, who developed the idea into a range of character jugs. Today, their popularity shows no signs of declining and they have held their value at auction sales. Their appeal is wide reaching because Royal Doulton jugs are quite different both in their craftsmanship and their subject matter.

Royal Doulton have made Toby jugs in the traditional manner since 1815 but in the 1920's Harry Simeon added colour. This inspired Charles Noke, a Royal Doulton artist to rethink the Toby jug tradition. He pictured a more colorful and stylish jug based on the head and shoulders of a character rather than the full figure. He had in mind characters from English song, literature, history and legend, made to appeal to future generations. It took him almost ten years to be satisfied with the standards of design and production, but in 1934 the first character jug was launched. He chose as his subject John Barleycorn, a figure symbolizing whisky. John Barleycorn became such an instant success that Old Charley, the Night Watchman, Sairey Gamp, Parson Brown and Dick Turpin was added to the jug making. Two years later the first character jug modeled on a real person was made with Herry Fenton's John Peel, a trend which has continued to the present day.

English Cathedrals from 300 AD to Present Day

My local Portsmouth Cathedral was built and updated at various times between 1180 – 1991. Originally the nave was intended to be longer, in the traditional style of an English cathedral, but the changing needs of the diocese meant that the building was finally built with a foreshortened nave, the final west wall being located close to where the temporary structure had been. In 1991 the completed building, much smaller than the original plans envisaged in 1932 and was consecrated in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

A cathedral church is a Christian place of worship that is the chief, or 'mother' church of a diocese and is distinguished as such by being the location for the cathedra or bishop's seat. In the strictest sense, only those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy possess cathedrals. However the label 'cathedral' remains in common parlance for notable churches that were formerly part of an episcopal denomination, such as is the case with many former Scottish cathedrals, which are now within the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In addition, former cathedrals now in ruins retain their nominal status.

List of English Cathedrals

Aldershot Cathedral

Arundel Cathedral

Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham Orthodox Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral

Brentwood Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral

Chelmsford Cathedral

Chester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Clifton Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral

Derby Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Ely Cathedral 1109

Exeter Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral

Hereford Cathedral

Lancaster Cathedral

Leeds Cathedral

Leicester Orthodox Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

London Camden Town Cathedral NW1

London Cathedral NW1

London Orthodox Cathedral NW11

London Orthodox Cathedral SE5

London Orthodox Cathedral N22

London Orthodox Cathedral W2

London Cathedral W3

London Orthodox Cathedral SW7

London Orthodox Cathedral W4

London Cathedral W11

London Orthodox Cathedral W11

Lydd Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

Middlesbrough Cathedral

Morecambe Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Cathedral

Northampton Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

Nottingham Cathedral

Oxford Cathedral

Peel Cathedral

Peterborough Cathedral

Plymouth Cathedral

Portsmouth Cathedral

Putney Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

Salford Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Sheffield Cathedral

Shrewsbury Cathedral

Southwell Minster

Southwark Cathedral

Stamford Hill Cathedral

Stanley Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

St. George's Cathedral, Stevenage

Stoke-on-Trent Cathedral

Truro Cathedral

Wakefield Cathedral

Wells Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Windlesham Cathedral

Wolverhampton Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral

York Minster

The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam buses I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the English history of the earliest steam Cars and Busses.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwal (UK) an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the "Puffing Devil" as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle's principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry.

The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The "Puffing Dragon" was the world's first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London's Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 - 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick's vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not "run away with" the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses' feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.

My Favorite British Iconic Cars

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of British iconic Cars I thought it may be of interest to list some of the most popular British Car Icons which are instantly recognised Worldwide. I have decided to list the cars and descriptions about the Iconic Cars which may be of interest to the reader.

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

Rolls and Royce were in fact people before the history of Rolls-Royce as a company every began. Frederick Royce was a British electrical equipment manufacturer who built the first Royce cars in 1904. The three two-cylinder, 10-hp cars he built attracted the attention of Charles Rolls, a longtime car enthusiast from way back in 1894 and son of a baron. He owned a dealership in London, where he first encountered a Royce. He was so taken with the engineering that he partnered with the car's creator. Royce would built the cars, and Rolls would sell them. Like many manufacturers of the day, Rolls entered the first Rolls-Royces in races in order to promote them. These cars were similar to the first one built by Royce. Real fame came with the 1907 introduction of a 6-cylinder engine inside a silver-painted four-passenger chassis dubbed "The Silver Ghost." This car was driven 15,000 continuous miles with little wear, cementing the R-R reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, Rolls' passion for excitement ended in 1910, when his biplane (based on the Wright brothers' flyer) crashed and killed him almost instantly.

The Silver Ghost chassis, built in Derby, U.K., was toughened with armor so it could serve as a combat car in Flanders, Africa, Egypt, and with Lawrence of Arabia during WWI. In the Jazz Age that came after the war, people had money to spend on these reliable Rollers. There were Silver Ghosts built in Springfield, Mass., from 1920-1924, and a smaller 20-hp "Baby Roller" was introduced. Big cars were still popular, though, with the Phantoms I, II, and II all appearing in the 1920s. During WWII, the company built Rolls-Royce Merlin airplane engines in a facility in Crewe, U.K., rather than cars.

The Austin Mini ( 1959 )

Announced in 1959, and still manufactured 40 years later at the end of the century, Alec Issigonis's cheeky little Mini-Minor changed the face of motoring. The world's first car to combine front-wheel-drive and a transversely-mounted engine in a tiny ten-foot long package, was the most efficient and effective use of road space that had ever been seen. In so many ways, this must qualify as the ‘car of the century'.

In scheming up the car Issigonis and his team, which had already designed the Morris Minor, was given a difficult brief by the British Motor Corporation. In the aftermath of the Suez Crisis, and threatened world-wide petrol rationing, Issigonis was asked to provide a minimum-size, minimum-price four-seater package – all built around an existing BMC engine. Choosing front-wheel-drive and the A-series engine, he then minimised the size of the car by turning the engine sideways, and mounted the transmission under the engine. Tiny (10 in /254 mm) diameter road wheels, independent suspension by rubber cone springs, and a careful packaging of the cabin, all helped to provide one of the most amazing little cars of all time. So what if the driving position was cramped, and the steering wheel too vertical? This was a Mini, after all.

Although Issigonis insisted that he was only providing a super-small, super-economy saloon, almost by chance his Mini had superb handling, precise race-car-like steering and unmatched agility.

Even before more powerful versions were available, the Mini had started winning rallies, and showing well in saloon car racing: later, in Mini-Cooper S form, size-for-size it was unbeatable. Originally sold only as two-door saloons in near-identical ‘Austin' and ‘Morris' forms, Minis soon spawned derivatives. Not only would there be vans, estate cars and pick-ups, but plusher Riley and Wolseley types followed, as did the stark ‘topless' Mini-Moke machines.

Engines were eventually enlarged, tiny front-wheel disc brakes were added, the Mini-Cooper and Mini-Cooper S followed, and by the mid-1960s this was a car which had won the Monte Carlo Rally on several occasions. For years there was nothing a Mini could not do, for it appealed to everyone, and every social class, from royalty to the dustman, bought one. At peak, production in two factories (Longbridge and Cowley) exceeded 300,000 every year, BMC's only problem being that it was priced so keenly that profit margins were wafer thin.

Even the arrival of the larger Mini Metro in 1980 could not kill off the Mini, whose charm was unique. By the 1980s, with larger wheels, re-equipped interiors and wind-up windows, the Mini was a better car than ever, and, looking much the same, it was still selling steadily at the end of the 1990s: more than five million had already been made. Now in the 2000s, we have the New Mini, larger and heavier than before.

The Morgan ( 1946 ) 4 X 4

Although the original four-wheeler Morgan was shown in the mid-1930s, it was overshadowed by the company's older three-wheeler models until the end of the Second World War. From that point, while altering the original style only slightly as the years passed by, Morgan concentrated on their four-wheeler sports cars.

Morgans were first made by a family-owned business in 1910 (a situation which has never changed), and even the first cars employed a type of sliding-pillar independent front suspension which is still used to this day. Assembly was always by hand, always at a leisurely pace, and even in the post-war years it was a good week which saw more than ten complete cars leave the gates in Malvern Link.

The post-war 4/4 retained the simple ladder-style chassis and the rock-hard suspension for which the marque is noted, and still looked like its 1939 predecessor. It used to be said that the ride was so hard that if one drove over a penny in the road, a skilled driver would know whether ‘heads' or ‘tails' was uppermost. Although pre-war cars had been powered by Coventry-Climax, the post-war chassis was exclusively fitted with a specially-manufactured overhead-valve Standard 1,267 cc engine (which never appeared in Standard or Triumph models). Although this engine only produced 40 bhp, the Morgan was such a light car that it could reach 75 mph, while handling in a way that made all MG Midget owners jealous.

The style was what we must now call ‘traditional Morgan' – it was a low-slung two-seater with sweeping front wings, and free-standing headlamps, along with cutaway doors and the sort of weather protection which made one drive quickly for home in a shower, rather than stop to wrestle with its sticks and removable panels. Up front, there was a near-vertical radiator, flanked by free-standing headlamps, while the coil spring/vertical-pillar front suspension was easily visible from the nose. Most 4/4s were open-top two-seaters, though a more completely trimmed and equipped two-seater drop-head coupé (with wind-up windows in the doors) was also available. Bodies were framed from unprotected wood members, with steel or aluminium skin panels tacked into place, and were all manufactured in the Morgan factory.

Here was an old-style, no-compromise sports car made in modern times – a philosophy which Morgan has never abandoned. Requests for a more modern specification were politely shrugged off, waiting lists grew, and Morgan has been financially healthy ever since. Before the 4/4 was replaced by the altogether larger 2.1-litre Plus 4 of 1950, a grand total of 1,720 4/4s were sold.

Hand assembled, these low-slung two-seater sports cars had cutaway doors and a near vertical radiator which was flanked by free-standing headlamps. Most were open topped and had rock-hard suspension.

Aston Martin DB5 ( 1963 )

Fame comes in strange and unexpected ways. Although the Aston DB4 and DB5 models were already respected by the cognoscenti, the DB5 did not become world-famous until used as James Bond's personal transport in the film Goldfinger. Although not equipped with Bond's ejector seat, it appealed to millions, and the DB5's reputation was secure for ever. Technically, of course, Aston Martin had always been a marque of distinction.

Following the success of the DB2, DB2/4 and DB Mk III models of the 1950s, Aston Martin commissioned a totally new and larger series for the 1960s, beginning with the DB4 in 1958. Built around a simple steel platform chassis, it was clothed in a sleek light-alloy fastback body style by Superleggera Touring of Italy (but built at Newport Pagnell). The skin panels were fixed to a network of light tubing, a method patented by Superleggera. Power (and what power!) came from a magnificent new 3.7-litre twin-cam six-cylinder engine, which soon proved to be strong and reliable in motor racing. The DB4 came close to matching anything so far achieved by Ferrari. All this, allied to a close-coupled four-seater cabin, and high (traditionally British) standards of trim and equipment, made the expensive DB4 very desirable.

The DB5, which was launched in 1963, was a direct development of the DB4; it had a full 4-litre engine, a more rounded nose with recessed-headlamps, and many equipment improvements. Two varieties of engine – the most powerful with a claimed 314 bhp – were on offer, as were non-sporting options such as automatic transmission, which came a full decade before Ferrari stooped to such action.

It was such a complicated, mainly hand-built, machine that it had to sell at high prices. The saloon cost an eye-watering £4,175 in 1963 (there was also a convertible version, at £4,490) and because assembly was a lengthy and careful business, sales were limited to only ten cars a week. It was not for years, incidentally, that it became clear that even these prices did not cover costs, for Aston Martin was merely the industrial plaything of its owner, tractor magnate David Brown.

DB5s could safely reach 140 mph, with roadholding, steering and brakes to match, all the time producing the characteristic booming exhaust notes for which they became famous. Although they looked sinuous and dashing, they were heavy machines and there was no power-assisted steering on this model.

Clearly, this was a bespoke GT machine which would run and run, as the longer and more spacious DB6 which took over in 1965 would prove. In only two years, a total of 1,063 cars (123 convertibles, and 12 of them very special estate car types) were produced. Almost all have survived.

The DB5 became world-famous as James Bond's car in the film Goldfinger. Lacking the ejector seat, this mainly hand-built car appealed to millions. Although it was a heavy car to drive, as it lacked power-assisted steering, the DB5 had good roadholding.

The Jaguar E Type ( 1961 )

By almost any reckoning, Jaguar's original E-type was the sexiest motor car ever launched. It looked wonderful, it was extremely fast, and it was always sold at extremely attractive prices. For more than a decade, it was the sports car by which all other supercar manufacturers had to measure themselves.

Originally conceived in 1956 as a successor to the D-type racing sports car, the E-type was not to be used for that purpose. Re-engineered and re-developed, it became an outstanding road-going sports car, taking over from the last of the XK cars – the XK150 – in 1961. Like the D-type, its structure acknowledged all the best contemporary aerospace principles, utilising a multi-tubular front chassis frame which surrounded the engine and supported the front suspension and steering, and was bolted up to the bulkhead of the pressed steel monocoque centre and rear end.

Power came from the very latest version of the famous XK six-cylinder twin-cam engine, with three SU carburettors and no less than 265 bhp (according to American SAE ratings). It was matched by all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and a unique, wind-cheating body style. As with the C- and D-type racing cars, the E-type's shape had been designed by ex-aircraft industry specialist Malcolm Sayer, who combined great artistic flair for a line with the ability to calculate how the wind would flow over a car's contours. For practical purposes, the E-type's nose might have been too long, its cabin cramped, and its tail too high to hide all of the chassis components, but all this was forgiven by its remarkable aero-dynamic performance – and its enormous visual appeal.

Open and fastback two-seaters were available from the start, and although a 150 mph top speed was difficult for an ordinary private owner to achieve, this was a supercar in all respects, being faster than any other British road car of the period (and, for that matter, for many years to come). Much-modified types eventually won a series of motor races at just below world level, for they were really too heavy for this purpose. Only three years after launch, a 4.2-litre engine, allied to a new synchromesh gearbox, was adopted, and a longer wheelbase 2+2 coupé followed in 1966.

The E-type sold well all around the world, especially in the USA although new safety laws caused the car to lose its power edge, and its headlamp covers before the end of the 1960s. The Series II's performance did not match that of the original, and by 1971, the E-type was a somewhat emasculated car. A final Series III type was powered by Jaguar's new 5.3-litre V12 engine, and a top speed of 150 mph was once again within reach.

Drivers did not seem to mind the small cabin and less than perfect ventilation, but in the end it was more safety regulations and changes in fashion that caused this wonderful motoring icon to fade away. The last of 72,520 E-types was built in 1975, when it was replaced by an entirely different type of sporting Jaguar, the larger, heavier and not so beautiful XJ-S.

Considered to be the sexiest car ever launched, the E-type was a fast and outstanding sports car. Designed by an ex-aircraft specialist, it had a remarkable aerodynamic performance.

Land Rover 1948

Here is a classic case of the stop-gap project which soon outgrew its parent. Before the Land Rover appeared, Rover had been building a relatively small number of fine middle class cars. By the 1950s they were building many more Land Rover 4x4s, and the cars were very much a minor part of the business.

Immediately after the war, Rover found itself running a massive former ‘shadow factory' complex at Solihull, and needed to fill it. (A ‘shadow factory' was an aero-engine factory established during the rearmament of the 1930s.) Faced with material shortages, it could not build many private cars, and elected to fill the gaps with a newly-developed 4x4, which it would base unashamedly on the design of the already legendary Jeep from the USA.

Early Land Rovers shared the same 80 in/2,032 mm wheelbase as the Jeep, and the same basic four-wheel-drive layout. The Land Rover, however, was much more versatile than the Jeep, in that it was built in myriad different guises, shapes and derivatives, and it used aluminium body panels, which ensured that it was virtually rust-free. Apart from the fact that it was not very fast or powerful, (though time and further development would solve those problems) the Land Rover could tackle almost any job, climb almost any slope, and ford almost every stream, which made it invaluable for farmers, contractors, surveyors, explorers, armies, public service companies – in fact almost anyone with a need for four-wheel-drive traction, and the rugged construction which went with it.

It wasn't long before the original pick-up was joined by vans, estate cars, short and long wheelbases to choice, petrol and diesel engines. A long list of extras became available: winches, extra-large wheels and tyres, and liaison with specialist companies ensured that it could be turned it into an impromptu railway shunting vehicle, a portable cinema truck, an equipment hoist, and a whole lot more. Its short-travel leaf spring suspension gave it a shatteringly hard ride and the Land Rover engineers stated that this, at least, limited cross-country speeds to keep the chassis in one piece.

Later models grew larger, longer, and more powerful, but it would not be until the 1960s that the first six-cylinder type appeared, not until 1979 that the first V8 Land Rover was sold, and not until the early 1980s that coil spring suspension finally took over. Sales, however, just went on and on, with the millionth being produced in the mid 1970s. By the late 1990s, when the ‘Freelander' model appeared, 1.5 million Land Rovers had been manufactured, although by then it had been renamed ‘Defender' and

Bentley Continental R-Type 1952

After Rolls-Royce took over Bentley in 1931, it was more than 20 years before the new owners produced another truly sporty new model. But the wait was worthwhile. The R-type Continental of 1952–55 was a great car by any standards, which not only looked sensational, but was also extremely fast.

Even before 1939, Rolls-Royce had dabbled with super-streamlined prototypes (one of them being called a ‘Bentley Corniche'), but production cars had to wait until after the war. Using only slightly modified versions of the existing Bentley Mk VI saloon car's chassis, but with a superbly detailed two-door four-seater coupé designed by the coachbuilder, H.J. Mulliner, the company produced an extremely fast (115 mph), exclusive, and very expensive car, whose title told its own story.

The Continental certainly did not gain its high performance by being light, but by a combination of high (unstated) horsepower, and by the remarkable aerodynamic performance of the bulky, yet sleek shell. There was, of course, no way of taming the drag of the proud Bentley radiator grille, but the lines of the rest of the car were as wind-cheating as possible, the long tapering tail being a delight to the eyes. Like all the best 1930s Bentleys, it had two passenger doors, and a full four-seater package. Leather, carpet and wood abounded – for no concessions were made to ensure a high performance.

Here was an expensive grand tourer for the connoisseur and, by definition, it was likely to sell in small numbers. Put on sale in 1952 at £7,608 (at a time when Morris Minor prices, for instance, started at £582 ), it was ideal for the ‘sportsman' who liked to drive far and fast, wherever conditions allowed. It was produced in the traditional Bentley/Rolls-Royce style, for the engine was low-revving, the steering and most other controls quite heavy, and the fuel consumption ferocious – but the fit, finish and quality of every component (especially the interior trim) were of the very highest quality.

As ever, Rolls-Royce/Bentley never thought it necessary to reveal the power output of the big six-cylinder engine, whose overhead inlet/side exhaust valve layout was only shared with one other British make of car – the Rover of the period. Needing only to point out the easily provable performance of their cars, they let acceleration figures speak for themselves.

In a career of only three years, the R-type Continental needed little improvement, for the engine was a very powerful 4.5-litre u

Lotus Elite ( 1958 )

Right from the start, when he built his original special- bodied Austin Seven trials car, Colin Chapman showed signs of engineering genius. Setting up Lotus, he sold his first car kits in the early 1950s, and soon progressed to building advanced racing sports cars. The first true Lotus road car, however, was the very advanced Lotus Elite.

First shown in 1957, but not available until a year later, the new two-seater Elite coupé was irresistibly attractive. Even though Lotus was still a small company, Chapman had laid out a car which pushed technology to the limit. In particular, he decided to make the Elite without a separate chassis, using a fully-stressed fibreglass monocoque body which would only include steel sections for a few local reinforcements.

Not only was this amazing machine to be powered by a race-proved overhead-camshaft engine from Coventry-Climax, and had four-wheel independent suspension, but it was achingly beautiful, and was quite amazingly light in weight. No-one, it seems, was ever likely to confuse the Elite with any other car, for its tiny, smooth and always curving lines had no rivals. Looking back into history, its only real drawback was that the door windows could not be wound down, but had to be removed to provide better ventilation.

In engineering terms, though, ‘adding lightness' often adds cost too, and there was no doubt that the Elite was always going to be a costly car to make and sell. The fibreglass monocoque body shells proved to be difficult to make in numbers, major bought-in items like the Coventry-Climax engine were very expensive, and owners soon found that a great deal of maintenance and loving care was needed to keep the new sports car running.

Refinement was not then a word which Lotus understood and the Elite was a rather crudely equipped and finished machine at first; the interior environment was very noisy, for there was little attempt to insulate the drive line and suspension fixings from the monocoque, which acted like a fully matured sound box.

As the years passed, the Elite's specification changed, with the power of the engine gradually being pushed up to 100 bhp (which brought the top speed to more than 120 mph, quite amazing for a 1.2-litre car), a ZF gear-box adapted and (for Series II cars) a different type of rear suspension geometry specified.

Special Elites, particularly when prepared at the factory, were outstandingly successful class cars in GT racing, even appearing with honour in major events such as the Le Mans 24 Hour and Nurburgring Six Hour events. Years later Colin Chapman admitted that the Elite had never made profits for Lotus, which may explain why he was happy to phase it out in 1962, ahead of the arrival of the backbone chassised Elan. Nothing can ever detract from the gracious style and inventive engineering which went into the car. A total of 988 Elites were made.

Committed owners usually forgave the Elite for the car's failings, as here was a car which drove and handled like no other rival. Light by the standards of the day, it was not only fast, but remarkably economical too.

History of The Hovercraft

I thought it would be a good idea to tell the story of the invention of the Hovercraft in 1955.

The idea of using an air-cushion as a means or aid to acceleration and reduction in (hydrodynamic) drag was first explored by Sir John Thornycroft, a British engineer, who, in the 1870's built some experimental models on the basis of an air cushion system that would reduce the drag of water on boats and ships.

In 1877 he successfully patented the idea and his theory was that if a ship's hull was given a concave bottom, which could be filled - and replenished - with air, it would create significant additional lift. And so the air cushion effect was born.

Decades later scientists and inventors were still busy with his ideas but without any practical applications. With the coming of the airplane however, it was noticed that additional lift was obtained if the plane flew closer to land or water, creating a "funnel effect", a cushion of air.

The air lift that this funnel effect created differed with the type of wing and its height above ground. The effect was strongest if this height was between one half and one third of the (average) front-to-rear breadth of the wing. Also known as "chord".

The next two decades saw little interest in air cushion development.

The successful use of the air cushion effect was not lost on engineers after World War 2 was over and in the early 1950's British, American and Swiss engineers started to rethink Sir John Thornycroft's problem.

The Englishman Christopher Cockerell, commonly seen as the father of the hovercraft, being retired from the army, settled into boat building where he soon got captivated by Thornycroft's problem of reducing the hydrodynamic drag on the hull of a boat by using some kind of air cushion.

His theory was that, instead of using the plenum chamber - an empty box with an open bottom as Thornycroft had devised - air was instead pumped into a narrow tunnel circumnavigating the entire bottom, it would flow towards the center and form a more effective air cushion. This peripheral jet would cause the air to build up enough pressure to equal the weight of the craft and, as it would have nowhere to go, the pressure would force the craft up, clearing it off the ground altogether.

Cockerell successfully tested his theory and filed his first patent in 1955. The year after he formed a company called Hovercraft Ltd. He further envisioned and partially worked out other problems of the hovercraft principle that still have to be fully exploited by modern hovercraft builders. One of these was to re-use the air for greater overall efficiency.

Thinking that his air cushion vehicles would be eminently suitable as amphibious craft he approached the British Ministry of Supply, the government's defence equipment procurement authority with his findings. Soon after, in 1956, the air cushion vehicle was classified as "secret" and a construction contract was placed with a British aircraft and seaplane manufacturer. The result was the SR.N1 in 1959.

The first SR.N1 weighed four tons and could carry three men. Its maximum speed was 25 knots (1 knot = 1.15 miles or 1.85 kilometres per hour) on calm water. It had a 6-inch (15 cm) rubberized skirt to make it easier to contain the air cushion on uneven ground.

Significant wear and tear of the skirt through friction with the water at high speeds made it necessary to use more durable material and a rubber and plastic mixture was developed by 1963. The length of the skirt had also been extended to about 4 feet (1.2 m).

Early interest in hovercraft enjoyed a peak in the early 1960's as everyone jumped to take advantage of this amazing vehicle. However, by the end of the decade only the British had produced a range of feasible and practical craft.

The problems inherent of the air cushion vehicle, such as Cockerell and others had foreseen, regarding steering control, noise, salt and skirt erosion, caused many countries to abandon their hovercraft development programs in favour of other, more established multi-function vehicles or to use different vehicles specialised in each terrain or function.

Since the 1970's however, and especially over the last decade, a renewed interest in the hovercraft as (passenger) transport, military transport and weapons carrier and exploratory vehicle has taken ground, solving many of these problems in their development.

Technology in general made large steps forward during the past twentyfive years, enabling organisations and governments, as well as many enthusiasts at Hovercraft Clubs to enjoy the hovercraft vehicle in its many forms including the very popular Remote Control model size hovercraft!.

As far as hovercraft and their spinoff technology is concerned the future looks ever brighter.

The World's First Electric House – England 1878


One of the most important developments in the history of modern life took place in the north - the use of electric light. The most important figures were Sir William Armstrong and  the Sunderland-born Joseph Swan, inventor of the first practical light bulb, whose developments would result in the widespread use of electric light throughout the world. Newcastle was one of the first towns to be lit with electricity, Cragside in Northumberland was one of the first houses to be lit and a light bulb factory at Benwell, Newcastle was the first in the world. The region was witnessing the birth of modern times.


Lord Armstrong (1810-1900)

William George Armstrong was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1810. He was educated at Bishop Auckland Grammar School, before being articled to a firm of solicitors, Messrs Donkin and Stable. Having completed his training, in 1834 he became a junior partner in the firm.

He became involved with engineering through experimentation with hydraulic machinery in his leisure time. At the age of 36 he decided to give up the legal profession, and established a small engineering business in partnership with Mr. Donkin; his father, Alderman Armstrong; and Messrs Potter, Cruddas, and Lambert. They purchased a small plot of land at Elswick on which to erect their works.

At first, the main concern of the business was the hydraulic machinery that had so fascinated Armstrong. Later, during the Crimean War, the company began to look at the improvement of ordnance. Armstrong was appointed Director of Rifled Ordnance in 1859, and held this position until retiring in 1863.

In the same year, he purchased a large piece of land near Rothbury, Northumberland, an area in which he had spent much time as a boy. He began to build a house for himself in 1864, which was completed by 1866, though much added to from this date on. In 1866, he created an artificial lake. The head of water produced powered a hydraulic ram, which supplied water to the house and grounds. Armstrong soon developed a further four lakes, and began to use them to supply electric power to the house, as well as hydraulic lifts and a hydraulic spit in the kitchen. They also powered what Joseph Swan believed to be the first proper installation of electric lighting. He also bought Bamburgh Castle and restored it, intending it to be used as a convalescence home.

Armstrong received many honours during his life, including the Albert Medal of the Society of Arts for his inventions in hydraulic machinery, and the Bessemer gold medal of the Iron and Steel Institute for his services to the steel industry. He was Knighted in 1859 and created a Baron in 1887.

Lord Armstrong was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1861,1862,1869.

In 1878 Sir William Armstrong installs a small hydro electric plant on his estate for generating electric light in his picture gallery at Cragside, Northumberland using lakes in the grounds, Cragside is the first house in the world to be lit by electricity generated from water power.


Sir William Armstrong also installed Swan's light bulbs in his house at Cragside in 1880.

He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1881. He died in 1900.

Sir JOSEPH WILSON SWAN 1828 - 1914

Joseph Wilson Swan was born on Oct. 31, 1828, in Sunderland, and he served an apprenticeship with a pharmacist there. He later became a partner in Mawson's, a firm of manufacturing chemists in Newcastle. This company existed as Mawson Swan and Morgan until recently. He worked at the company premises at 13 Mosley Street. In 1860 Swan developed a primitive electric light bulb that used a filament of carbonised paper in an evacuated glass bulb. However, the lack of good vacuum and an adequate electric source resulted in a short lifetime for the bulb and an inefficient light.

In December 1878 Joseph Swan demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb to an audience at the Newcastle Chemical Society, but it burns out after only a few minutes.


In January 1879 Joseph Swan demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb during a lecture to an audience at the Athenaeum in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

On October 20th 1880 Joseph Swan once again demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb, this time at the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. In front of an eminent audience, he has 70 gas jets turned down and their light immediately replaced by just 20 electric bulbs.

Swan's light bulb design was substantially that used by Thomas Alva Edison in America nearly 20 years later. In 1880, after the improvement of vacuum techniques, Swan  produced a practical light bulb.

In 1881 a company is formed at Benwell, Newcastle for the manufacture of Joseph Swan's newly-patented electric lamps. It is thought to be the world's first light bulb factory. 

In 1883 while searching for a better carbon filament for his light bulb, Swan patented a process for squeezing nitro-cellulose through holes to form fibres. Swan was knighted in 1904. He died on May 27, 1914, in Warlingham, Surrey.

English Speaking Countries

Below is a short history of English with a list of Countries that speak English as the official language.

The English language has evolved over the centuries from various influences: from the Celts ( who were the original Britons ), the Germanic Tribes, Anglo Saxons and Scandinavians which invaded during the 3rd Century onwards. Our language is still evolving and as an example the English spoken by Australians is very similar to London Cockney. The Australians even have their own version of Cockney Rhyming slang.

It is amazing that from a small country in size but not in outlook we have given the world so much like Shakespeare and great Leaders like Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Marlborough who helped defeat various dictators like Cromwell, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler. If the dictators had been successful, they would have changed the world and all our freedoms for ever. This has given me the idea that it would be of interest to the reader on how many countries in the world use English as their official language.

A to Z of English Speaking Countries

Antigua and Barbuda
Marshall Islands
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
United States

English Crop Circles – The History From 1115 AD

As a fan of English History I thought readers may be interested in the history of English Crop Circles. Excluding some of the Modern day hoaxes many of the modern day Crop Circles have been seen to form below a bright light. One of the earliest writings on Crop Circles was In 1115 A.D., the Bishop of Winchester wrote of corn flattened by 'magical storms'.

One late summer's day in 1678, an English farmer and a poor mower were arguing over the cost of harvesting the farmer's oat field. Incensed at the mower's proposed price, the farmer swore that the Devil himself should harvest the crop and stomped off. That night, a strange, bright glow lit up the field and, the next morning, the farmer returned to find round circles where the crop had been 'neatly mowed by the Devil, or some infernal spirit'. Each crop stalk had apparently been placed with such 'exactness that it would have taken above an age for any man to perform what he did in that one night'. The event frightened the farmer enough that he subsequently decided to abandon any attempt at harvesting the strange circle.

This description from a woodcut known as the "Mowing Devil or 'Strange News out of Hartford-shire'" is now widely regarding as the first explicit report of a crop circle. Similar accounts have 'cropped up' throughout history leading credence to theories that the crop circle phenomenon is much more than a modern-day fad. While crop circles can occur in any weather, original theories on crop circle formation relate to swirling vortices of ionised air or some other type of natural process similar to ball lighting. Several scientific journals of the nineteenth-century also include references to storms and flattened circles. Another account from 1871 near Plummer's Hill, in High Wycombe, Bucks, describes two disc-shaped objects with flashing lights hovering over a site where the very next day a circle of bent, flattened grasses was discovered.

Tales of unusual light beams, even UFO's, are commonplace around crop circles. While some of these strange lights have been captured on film, perhaps more intriguing are the many oral accounts of crop circle activity from the days before airplanes or secret military technology. Between 1900 and 1910, one woman recalled having seen circles on her grandfather's land near Tilshead, Salisbury Plain. The wheat was apparently 'flattened so firmly that it could not lifted without springing back down.' Some crop circle researchers (know as 'cereologists' after the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres) have even wondered if the famous Salisbury Plain megalith, Stonehenge, was itself built to commemorate the spot where a crop circle once formed.

The area certainly has had its fair share of crop circles in recent years. In 1996, the 'Julia Set', a staggering 915 foot long formation with 151 circles, appeared near Stonehenge in broad daylight and within a forty-five minute period. No one had noticed a thing but when news of the miraculous crop circle broke, it attracted over ten thousand visitors within the following weeks.

So what exactly are these crop circles and why are they now such a prominent feature of the English countryside? No one really knows but enough research, however, has been carried out over the last two decades to establish these enigmatic patterns as one of the most awesome and tangible mysteries of our time. Crop circles, also know as agriglyphs and pictograms, have been reported in virtually every country around the globe and in all types of fields, in fact, similar, unexplained patterns have occurred in snow, ice, gravel and even Japanese rice paddies. Since the early 1980's over ten thousand crop circles have been documented with the vast majority appearing in England. The 'hot spot' of crop circle activity happens to be Wiltshire, perhaps because it is the home of ancient sacred sites and mystical monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury. During the warm summer months, researchers, enthusiasts, even the military, have gathered in the fields of this southern English county to study the intricate and mesmerizing designs of the crop circles. The formations now happen so frequently that special tour buses headed towards the latest crop circle have become a regular sight on the narrow, winding roads of Wiltshire hills.

Researchers are still baffled by what causes crop circle formations. While skeptics try to dismiss them as elaborate hoaxes, crop circles do exhibit a number of unusual characteristics. For one, they are often not simple circles but beautiful geometric patterns. These include crescent shapes, abstract designs, insect forms, vortex swirls like those in seashells or galaxies. Some represent complex examples of fractals, even mathematical theorems. In 1994, a 'Mayan lunar calendar design' appeared near the ancient Avebury stone circle. Its gradually changing circles were eerily reminiscent of the phases of our moon. In July of 2004, an exquisite 'Chakra' formation occurred in the Vale of Pewsey directly beneath one of the area's chalk White Horses.

Dowsers, and people particularly sensitive to the earth's energy levels, often detect unusual readings within crop circles. The patterns seem to fall on or near invisible energy pathways, or known 'ley lines' across the country. Interestingly, animals will sometimes avoid crop circles while flocks of birds purposely split up rather than fly directly over a formation. The plants stalks within crop circles are not trampled or crushed, a telltale characteristic of many man-made glyphs, but simply bent, leaving the plant undamaged. Microscopic analysis reveals that the plant's crystalline structure has been altered. One possible explanation seems to be some sort of intense burst of heat. What causes it, and whether the source is terrestrial or extra-terrestrial remains to be seen. Coincidentally, the few eyewitness accounts of crop circle formations that do exist describe a large 'ball of fire' lasting for only a few minutes. By morning, a crop circle has occurred in the exact same location. Shades of the 'Mowing Devil' brought up to the present day? Perhaps. One thing is certain... the mystery of the crop circles continues.

I believe that Crop Circles are 80% fraud and 20% real unknown natural causes – unless the reader knows differently.

Halloween – It's English Celtic History

As a fan of English Traditions has made me a great fan of English Traditions and British history and the English Celtic story of Halloween.

The festival of "All Hallows Eve" or the more ancient named "Samhain" celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic Briton's New Year". Halloween and other pagan festivals were celebrated by the Celtic Briton and Irish Tribes 2,000 years ago and over the centuries the festivals were renamed by the Catholic Church.

The ancient Celtic Britons believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you've gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.

Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English mists of time.

Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. When the English first arrived in Colonial America and the many other countries of the Commonwealth they brought with them the "All Hallows Eve" Celebration with the associated traditions ( Like Apple Dipping and Pumpkins ). During the following centuries we English had started to lose the traditions of Halloween ( Except by the Traditional Pagan followers ) until wartime Britain, when many American GI's based in England re-introduced the Halloween Celebrations to us British.

Halloween in the United States has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations. This larger American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Europe, to Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Biscuit Association, and other parts of East Asia.

As so many Famous events happened and were created in England and the rest of the British Isles over the centuries, I thought it would be a good idea to tell the various stories in my various articles of the many English and British historical Icons from the Anglo Saxon times to present day England's current history.

My Supernatural Experiences

During my life here in England I have had various supernatural experiences which may be of interest to readers. I believe I am slightly psychic and below are just some of my supernatural experiences.

The first story I would like to tell concerns my early life in Portsmouth in 1966 when I was suffering from German Measles. At one stage during my suffering I remember floating above my bed and looking down on my fevered body. At the time, I thought this was normal and when I mentioned it to my parents I was told not to be silly.

The second story concerns my reincarnation experience. Up to the age of 5 years I used to get cramps in my back. I had flashbacks every time I got a back twinge, that I was fighting in the first world war and went over the trenches and was in no-mans land when I was shot in the back. I believe in the heat of battle many soldiers were shot by mistake by there own side and I believe I was one of them. The strange thing about this story, even at my very young age, I new and assumed that I had been born before and I just took it as normal that I was shot in the first world war.

The third story concerns my life in Gosport when I was 13 years old. One day my step mother and her friend went to a house contents sale where my step mother brought a silver covered bible. About a week later our TV went on the blink and a repairman was called in to sort out the problem.

The doorbell rang and at the door stood the tv repairman. He refused to enter the house because he felt an evil presence and he described and asked if there was a bible with silver cross on the cover.

When he was told that, yes it was a recent acquisition, the repairman told my step mother to burn the bible to cleanse the evil presence. This she did and when the TV repairman returned he told her the evil had gone. Months later she read in the paper that the TV repairman had been sacked for scaring customers with his psychic abilities.

The fourth story concerns my Motorbike accident, in North End, Portsmouth on Boxing Day 1979.

It was a cold frosty morning when I entered Portsmouth from the motorway at Hilsea, Portsmouth.

I was riding along at 30 miles per hour with the roads crisp and clear when from a side road this woman car driver just zoomed out without looking. I pulled on the brakes and the the bike skidded on some black ice. It was like slow motion, as the bike went down on to the tarmac and skidded towards a parked car. I had the time to decide when to push the bike away and dive to miss the lamppost. Luckily, I was well protected by my leathers and only had slight scratches. The police and ambulance arrived and gave blood and found to be in shock. When my dad collected me from hospital I mentioned how like slow motion the accident was. Alas, dad didn't want to know about the weird slow- mo.

The fifth story I have had includes the strange experience I had when I lived in southsea, England in 1981 when I went out to buy a paper. I was walking along the road, daydreaming, when for no reason I stopped, turned round and found a lass of about 16 years, with her grandmother, on the other side of the road, looking at me as if she knew me and as our eyes met it was like I had known her all my life. Her mother looked at her and then at me. This all lasted about 5 seconds but seemed minutes. I shook my head and realised I had never met the lass before and carried on walking. I believe in my passed life I knew her and she knew me and our subconscious knew each other. I have also been walking along when I have felt an itch in my back and looked up at a window and seen someone staring down at me. This has happened numerous times, sometimes so high up it was impossible for me to see subconsciously.

The sixth story concerns my sponsored sleepover at Portchester Castle. The Castle started to be built in 500 AD. It is a well-preserved example of a mainly Roman fortification, which lies on the northern shore of Portsmouth Harbour, approximately 6 miles north west of Portsmouth city itself on the southern English coast. Though in modern times this is a relatively urban area, the fortification is the oldest building in the region, and formed the traditional hub around which the village of Portchester and surrounding area were built.

Nick, Richard and I decided to join a sponsored sleepover for the Young Conservatives and we joined about a dozen members of the young conservatives outside Portchester Castle at 10-30pm on Hallows Eve in 1994. The Castle Caretaker met us outside the gate with the keys to lock the castle after we entered. The caretaker warned us to beware of the ghosts of Roman Soldiers that sometimes appear near the moat walkover. Some of the lasses had brought tents which we helped to set up prior to our evening vigil. It was a cold crisp winter's night and we were able to use the church to warm ourselves during the course of the night. At midnight Richard, Nick and I decided to take a tour around the castle. I led from the front as I was the only person who had remembered to bring torch ( newly brought for the occasion ). Imagine the scene, it was a cold crisp winter's night, pitch dark, with the three of us trying to find our way round the keep. Finally we arrived at the Moat Walkover. I invited Richard and Nick to go fist over the walkover but alas, they were slightly nervous and consequently yours truly had to go across first. As I walked over the walkway with my arm outstretched and the torch lighting the way, Nick and Richard decided to join me. The strange thing was that as we reached the end of the moat walkover my torch went out. Both Nick and Richard shouted for me to stop playing about. I tried to explain that it wasn't me. We decided to hurry away as quickly as possible and rushed back to the church.

Suffice to say I changed the batteries and the torch still didn't work. It later transpired that the bulb had blown. Talking to other people about the blown bulb it transpires that where there is a haunting, for some reason, bulbs explode for no apparent reason.

The seventh story concerns my late grandmother's death. One night in 1999 I was in bed, sleeping heavily, when for some reason I awoke at 3-10 am. I tried to get back to sleep but with no joy. I must admit I felt there was something wrong but I couldn't put my finger on the wrongness. At around 4 am my mother rang to let me know that NAN had died in the night. The really spooky thing is my NAN was estimated to have died at around 3 am. I believe when people die they visit family and friends to say goodbye and some people are psychic enough when asleep to talk to them. When awake any memory of this event is forgotten except by a few who have inklings that something had happened. I believe I had that experience and I was visited by my NAN.

English Witch Trials from 995 AD to 1701 AD and 1944

My name is Paul Hussey and I was born in Portsmouth, England in 1961, the same day as my older brother but a year later. As a fan of Portsmouth History I thought readers may be interested in the story of Helen Duncan who became the last convicted witch in England and was arrested in Portsmouth in 1944 and the many other Witch Trials from our English History.

Mrs Duncan, a Scotswoman who travelled the country holding seances, was one of Britain's best-known mediums, reputedly numbering Winston Churchill and George VI among her clients, when she was arrested in January 1944 by two naval officers at a seance in Portsmouth. The military authorities, secretly preparing for the D-day landings and then in a heightened state of paranoia, were alarmed by reports that she had disclosed - allegedly via contacts with the spirit world - the sinking of two British battleships long before they became public. The most serious disclosure came when she told the parents of a missing sailor that his ship, HMS Barham, had sunk. It was true, but news of the tragedy had been suppressed to preserve morale. 

Desperate to silence the apparent leak of state secrets, the authorities charged Mrs Duncan with conspiracy, fraud, and with witchcraft under an act dating back to 1735 - the first such charge in over a century. At the trial, only the "black magic" allegations stuck, and she was jailed for nine months at Holloway women's prison in north London. Churchill, then prime minister, visited her in prison and denounced her conviction as "tomfoolery". In 1951, he repealed the 200-year-old act, but her conviction stood.

As an addendum to this story I thought it would be interesting to list some of the witch trial stories  from 995 AD to 1701.

  • 995 AD  London, A woman and her son were tried for driving stakes into an image of a man. She was taken and drowned at London Bridge, while the son escaped and became outlawed.

  • 1177  Eleanor of Aquitaine  Queen of England. Duchess of Aquitaine. Eleanor and four witches purportedly poisoned Rosamond Clifford.

  • 1222 England, Oxford A young man and two women were brought before the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton for crucifying the boy and displaying the stigmata.

  • 1222 England  A Jewish Necromancer was accused of wrapping a boy in the skin of a dead man for divination.

  • 1279 England, York  John de Kerneslawe killed a witch that had entered his house.  The local clergy had her body burned.

  • 1286 England, York Darel, Godfrey m A Cistercian monk of Rievaulx was reported to the Archbishop of York as a practitioner of Witchcraft.

  • 1289-90 England de Stratton, Adam m Chancellor of the Exchequer. Arrested and tried for embezzling, extortion, and sorcery.

  • 1301-3 England  Langton, Walter m Bishop of Coventry. Tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism and acquitted.

  • 1302 England, Exeter 1 Mody, John m Trial for defamation; Mody had called Reginald Kene's wife a 'wicked witch and thief'.

  • 1311 England, London  Investigation by Bishop Baldock of sorcery, enchantment, magic, divination, and invocation.

  • 1314/15 England Tannere, John m (Aka John Canne) Claimed to be the son of Edward I. Hanged for attempt to gain crown through diabolical aid; had served devil more than three years.

  • 1324 England, Coventry Nottingham, John of m (aka Master John) Died in custody of witchcraft.

  • 1325 English, Coventry Robert le Mareschal m He and his lodger Master John of Nottingham and 27 clients (The Burghers of Coventry) were charged before a secular court with employing him and another "necromancer" to use sorcery in an attempt on life of King Edward II, the Despensers, and several other officials.

  • 1325 England, Coventry Acquitted. Charged before a secular court with employing him and another "necromancer" to use sorcery in an attempt on life of King Edward II, the Despensers, and several other officials.

  • 1330 England Edmund Earl of Kent. Edward was condemned for obtaining important information from demon, through mediation of friar.

  • 1331 England, Southwark  A man tried by royal court for sorcery. along with with a client and his associate. The subjects claimed to have used image magic only to obtain friendship but the jury determined that intent was murder.

  • 1336 England Altefax, William m Pope Benedict XII wrote to the Bishop of Paris to have William Altefax, nigromanticus de Anglia and with him, his plates (Laminas) that he used in his magical operations.

  • 1337 England, Hatfield Man tried by manorial court for failure to deliver devil as arranged in commercial transaction; case dismissed.

  • 1366 England A certain carpenter died after final reconciliation to the Church, having lived for 15 years with a pact with the devil; There were no recorded judicial proceedings.

  • 1371 England, Southwark, Man tried by royal court for invocation; possessed book for experimenta and Saracen's head for enclosure of demon; disclaimed use of head; He was arrested for possessing a Grimoire, a skull and the head of a corpse, and was released on a promise to never again perform magical rituals.

  • 1376 England A Friar of St. Albans associated with Alice Perrers tried by ecclesiastical court for love magic and image magic directed at king Edward III. (n.b. Although Kieckhefer identifies the friar as Dominican, the monastary at St. Albans was Benedictine.)

  • 1382 England, London 1 Berewold, Robert m Pilloried for pretending to practice the "Art Magic".

  • 1382 England, London 1 Northamptone, William m Pilloried for pretending to practice the "Art Magic".

  • 1385 England, London 1 Brugges, John m Chaplain. One of 2 men tried by ecclesiastical court for magic. They were imprisoned by the Bishop of London "until the church was satisfied".

  • 1388 England, London 1 Tresilian, Sir Robert m Condemned by the Merciless Parliament for other reasons. He was also found to have been practicing invocation.

  • 1390 England, London 1 Berking, John m Arrested for soothsaying, he was sentenced to an hour in the pillory, two weeks' imprisonment, and banishment from the city.

  • 1401 England Lincolnshire 1 Smith, John m Tried for using divination to track a thief.

  • 1419 England 1 Joan of Navarre  The dowager Queen of England. Joan was accused by Henry V of attempting to kill him by sorcery. Joan, and a clerical accomplice are imprisoned.

  • 1419 England 1 Friar Randolph m Imprisoned.(Joan's Cleric).

  • 1426 England Plus unspecified number of associates accused of sorcery (illness and attempt at death), thus provoking inquiry at royal direction.

  • 1430 England, London Imprisoned for attempt on king's life through sorcery.

  • 1432 England, London 1 Jordemaine, Margery  "The Witch of Eye", a noted diviner. Arrested with two priests. Released on bail, and the charges dropped.

  • 1432-43 England A priest accused before the Court of Chancery that he had injured a man's body with sorcery.

  • 1435 England, Durham 1 ??? f Trial for defamation before ecclesiastical court; 3 men had accused woman of causing impotence through sorcery; woman absolved in an ecclesiastical court.

  • 1441 England  Cobham, Eleanor  (Duchess of Gloucester, Wife of Humphrey) Given penance by secular authorities for sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI. She had the help of Margery Jourdemaine, and two noted Oxford Scholars, one an astrologer, and the other a physician. They also wanted to ensure an heir. According to Wedek, a Treasury of Witchcraft, she was banished for life to the Isle of Man.

  • 1441 England 1 Southwell, Thomas m Tried for Treason, using sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI.

  • 1441  England, Smithfield 1 Jordemaine, Margery  "The Witch of Eye", a noted diviner. Burned by secular authorities for Treason.

  • 1441 England, London 1 Bolingbroke, Roger m Aka Roger Whiche.  A Clerk. Hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn by secular authorities for Treason, using sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI.

  • 1444 England, London Man placed on pillory by secular court for invocation, dealing with a 'wycckyd spyryte'.

  • 1446 England, Durham Tried as sorceresses; had allegedly obtained husbands for widows; allowed purgation.

  • 1447 or 1448 England, Durham Woman tried by ecclesiastical court as enchanter (incantatrix).

  • 1450 England, Durham Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery.

  • 1451 or 1452 England, Durham Tried by ecclesiastical court for magic.

  • 1452 England, Durham Trial in ecclesiastical court for defamation; one woman had accused another of sortilegium, and had spoken of a certain chaplain's profligate infatuation with her (suggestion of love magic?).

  • 1457 England, Hertford Man abjured of necromancy and heresy.

  • 1465 England, Norfolk Tried by royal court for invocation to find treasure.

  • 1466 England, Ely Man given public and private penance by bishop for invocation.

  • 1467 England Byg, William m Convicted of crystal gazing to locate thieves had to appear in public with a scroll on his head.

  • 1470 England Trial for defamation before royal court; a man had accused the Duchess of Bedford of image magic.

  • 1476 England, London  Trial for defamation in secular court; man had defamed neighbors in matters of sorcery.

  • 1480-1515c England Woman tried by Court of Chancery for sorcery.

  • 1480-1515c England, St David's 3 women (Tanglost and 2 others) tried by Court of Chancery for image magic.

  • 1480-1515c England, Southwark  Woman tried by Court of Chancery for image magic.

  • 1481 England, London Woman tried by commissary's court for love magic.

  • 1481 England, York Man tried by ecclesiastical court for incantation.

  • 1483, June England  Woodville, Elizabeth f Dowager Queen of England. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).

  • 1483, June England 1 Beaufort, Margaret Countess of Richmond, Henry VII's mother. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).

  • 1483, June England 1 Morton, Dr. John m Bishop of Ely. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).

  • 1490 England, London  Woman tried by commissary for image magic.

  • 1492 England, London Trial for fraudulent love magic; client sentenced to public penance by ecclesiastical court, and man claiming to serve as agent for magician ordered by court to restore goods given in payment.

  • 1493 England, London Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for weather magic, killing by incantation, divination, and other offenses.

  • 1496 (6/19) England, London Kendal, John m Pardoned. Grand Prior of the Order of St. John of Rhodes is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles, of attempt (framed at Rome) on lives of King Henry VII, his children, his mother, and certain of his agents and followers, through use of magical substances.

  • 1496 England, London Thonge, Sir John m Knight of the Order of St. John of Rhodes (and John Kendal's nephew) is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles.

  • 1496 England, London Horsey, William m Archdeacon of London is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles.

  • 1499 England, 'Belynges Parva' Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (killing); allowed purgation.

  • 1499 England, 'Rushbrok' Man tried by ecclesiastical court for pact with devil.

  • 1499 England, Winchester Man tried by ecclesiastical court for invocation.

  • 1521 England  Duke of Buckingham m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.

  • 1525 England  Acquitted for murder by use of a waxen figure.

  • 1532 England 1 Neville, Sir William m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.

  • 1522 England, Kent Barton, Elizabeth  Hanged? "The Maid of Kent" was tried for seeing The Virgin Mary at a Shrine, who purportedly cured her, and later visions that opposed the Marriage of Henry VIII. Barton had been put up to it by priests who wanted to build a shrine.

  • 1541 England  Lord Hungerford Beheaded for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.

  • 1544 England Cross, Elizabeth?  "The Girl in the hole in the wall"? Claimed clairvoyance.

  • 1546 England  Neville, Henry m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.

  • 1560 England 8 Men, including 2 in orders confessed to conjuration, and were released after swearing to abstain from such acts in the future.

  • 1562 England Douglas, Lady Margaret Countess of Lennox Tried for attempting to learn the Queen's lifespan by divination.

  • 1564 England, Essex, Clch Lowys, Elizabeth Assizes 7/21 (aka Howes), Elizabeth Convicted and sentenced to hang. She pleaded Pregnancy. In March 1565, she was found to be not pregnant, and the final disposition is unknown.

  • 1565 England, York More, Edward m Given Penance. Grandson of Thomas More.

  • 1565 England, Kent Byden, Joan f Hanged 1566 England, Chelmsford 1 Waterhouse, Agnes Hanged. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. A 63 year old widow, charged with witching William Fynee  First use of Spectral evidence?

  • 1566  England, Chelmsford Waterhouse, Joanf Acquitted. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Aged 18, she was accused of witching 12 year old Agnes Brown.

  • 1566 England, Chelmsford Francis, Elizabeth Jailed. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching the infant child of William Auger. She was sentenced to one year's imprisonment.

  • 1566 England, Dorset, Walsh, John – Hanged.

  • 1566  England, York Stabler, Richard m Dismissed on Bond. Physician.

  • 1566 England Chelmsford Francis Elizabeth f Jailed. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching Mary Cocke. She was sentenced to one year's inprisonment, and four appearances in the Pillory.

  • 1571 England, York  Carter, Peter  Dismissed on Bond.

  • 1571 England, York  More, Edward  Given Penance.  Grandson of Thomas More.

  • 1572 England, York, Wyerhorne, Roger – Hanged.

  • 1574 England, Barking  Arnold (fnu)  Hanged.

  • 1574 England, Agnes Bridges  and Rachael Pindar  counterfeited possession to accusse.

  • 1574 England  Chaundeler, Alice  Hanged.

  • 1579  Mother of Ellen Smith, Hanged  at Chelmsford.

  • 1575 England, Kent Mildred Nerrington accused an old woman of Witchcraft.

  • 1578 England, Dorset, Woman Hanged.

  • 1578 England, Essex Stanton, Margery  Found Guilty of bewitching a gelding 1578 England, York 1 Milner, Janet f Accused by Robert Singleton, he was made to apologize.

  • 1578 England, York  Webster, Margaret  - Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Abington  Stiles, Elizabeth  Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Abington  Dutten, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.

  • 1579 England, Abington  Devell, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Abington  Margaret, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Smith, Ellen  Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Nokes, Alice Hanged.

  • 1579  England, Stanton, Margery  Aquitted.

  • 1579  England, Chelmsford  Francis, Elizabeth  Hanged. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching Alice Poole.

  • 1579 England, Flintshire Elizabeth Orton counterfeited possession to accusse.

  • 1582 England, Kings Lynn  Gabley,  Executed.

  • 1582 England, Durham  Laws, Allison Sentenced to do penance.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Kempe, Ursula  Hanged after a trial held at Chelmsford. St. Osyth is sometimes referred to as St. Osees.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Bennet, Elizabeth, Hanged for Bewitching to Death. Betrayed by Ursula Kempe.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Newman, Alice Betrayed by Ursula Kempe. Convicted but reprieved.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Glascock, Alice Convicted but reprieved.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Turner, Joan  Convicted but reprieved. Returned to Prison for a year.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth 1 Hunt, Alice f Betrayed by Ursula Kempe and Margery Sammon. Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Sammon, Margery  Betrayed by Ursula Kempe and Alice Hunt. She was the daughter of a confirmed witch.  Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Pechey, Joan  Betrayed by Alice Hunt and confirmed by Margery Sammon.  Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Heard, Agnes  Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth Grevell, Margaret Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Ewstace, Elizabeth  Acquitted.

  • 1582 England, Essex, Walton  Robinson, Joan – Hanged.

  • 1583 England, Kent  Symons, Margaret – Hanged.

  • 1585 England, London  Hacket, Margaret  Hanged at Tyburn.

  • 1589  England, Chelmsford  Cony, Joan  Hanged within two hours after her sentencing. (aka Cunny) Unwed mother of Avice, and grandmother of her accuser.

  • 1592 England, Middlesex  Atkins, Mother.

  • 1593  England, Warboys, The three members of the Samuels family (Father, Mother, and Daughter) are Hanged based on the word of 5 hysterical girls. This may have helped provide some impetus on the passage of the 1604 Anti-Witchcraft Bill.  N.b. One of the accusations was that Lady Cromwell, grandmother of Oliver Cromwell was killed by witchcraft.

  • 1595  England, Brayneford  Calles, Helen, Executed.

  • 1595 England, Barnett  Newell, John  Executed.

  • 1596 England  Cockie, Isabel  Burnt at a cost of 105 s. 4 p.

  • 1597 England, Derby  Wright, Elizabeth  Alice Goodridge's mother. She was convicted, and her disposition is not known.

  • 1597 England, Derby 1 Goodridge, Alice  Aged 60, Convicted on the testimony of Thomas Darling "The Burton Boy" of Burton-upon-Trent. She was sentenced to a years imprisonment, and died in jail. Thomas Darling later retracted his evidence.

  • 1579 England, Nottingham William Somers, The Nottingham Boy, counterfeited possession to accuse various people at the insistence of John Darrell. Apparently in all cases, Darrell confessed the deception during the trials.

  • 1599 England, London Kerke, Anne  Hanged at Tyburn England.

  • 1599 England, Lancashire,  Johnson, Margaret  Charged with conversing with the Devil.

  • 1600 England, York  Cleane, Agnes.

  • 1603 England, Yorkshire  Pannel, Mary,Executed.

  • 1604 England, Berkshire  Pepwell, Agnes  Pepwell - Acquitted. Anne Gunter, a 14 year old girl, countefeiting a demonic possession. N.b. that this was also about the time that the harsher laws of James I against witchcraft were being enacted.

  • 1604 England, Berkshire  Pepwell, Mary  Acquitted. (See Agnes Pepwell).

  • 1604 England, Berkshire Gregory, Elizabeth  Acquitted. (See Agnes Pepwell).

  • 1606 England, Hertford  Harrisson, Joanna  Hanged.

  • 1606 England, Hertford  Harrison Daughter of Joanna Harrison. Hanged.

  • 1607 England, Derbyshire  "Several" Hanged.

  • 1612 England, York  Preston, Jennet  Acquitted.

  • 1612  England, Northampton  Barber, Mary  Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Northampton  Browne, Agnes  Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Northampton  Vaughan, Joan  Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Northampton  Bill, Arthur m Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Northampton  Jenkinson, Helen Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bierley, Ellen Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bierley, Jennet  Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Southworth, Jane  Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bullock, Jane  "Of Mossend Farm, Newchurch" – Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bullock, John m Son of Jane Bullock. Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Device, Alison Daughter of Elizabeth Device. Tried.  Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Device, Elizabeth  "Squintin' Lizzie". Daughter of "Mother Demdike". Tried. Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Device, James m Son of Elizabeth Device. Dimwitted. Tried. Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Device, Jennet Daughter of Elizabeth Device. 9 years old. Tried. Released.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster Grey, Alice f"Of Colne" Tried. Acquitted.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Hewitt, Katherine "Old Mouldheels". Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Lancaster 1 Howgate, Christopher m Son of "Mother Demdike".
    Tried. Released.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Nutter, Alice f "Of Roughlee" Hanged. She may have been simply a Catholic caught in the net.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Preston, Jennet  Hanged for causing the death of Thomas Lister of Westby Hall.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Pearson, Margaret Pilloried for a year.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Redfearne, Anne  Daughter of Anne Whittle. Interrogated & Confessed  Tried Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Robey, Isobel  "Of Widness" Hanged.

  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Southernes, Elizabeth  "Mother Demdike" "Of Malkin Tower". Interrogated, confessed. died in Prison.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Whittle, Anne  "Old Chattox" Interrogated on 2 Apr, Tried. Hanged.

  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Whittle, Bessie  "Old Chattox" Daughter of Anne Whittle. Tried, released.

  • 1613 England, Bedford  Sutton (mother)  Hanged. Beaten senseless and "Floated".

  • 1613 England, Bedford  Sutton, Mary (daughter)  Hanged.

  • 1614 England  Ellson, Richard m Richard Moore is tried for accusing Richard Ellson of Witchcraft.

  • 1615 England, Middlesex  Hunt, Joan  Hanged.

  • 1616 England, Kings Lynn  Smith, Mary  Hanged.

  • 1616 England, Middlesex Rutter, Elizabeth  Hanged.

  • 1616 England, Leicester Accused by John Smith, the Leicester Boy. Hanged.

  • 1616 England, Leicester  released,  died in jail. Accused by John Smith, the Leicester Boy.

  • 1616 England, Enfield  Berrye, Agnes  Hanged.

  • 1618 England, Lincoln  Flower, Joan  Died before trial.

  • 1618-9 England, Lincoln  Flower, Phillippa  Hanged.

  • 1618-9 England, Lincoln  Flower, Margaret  Hanged.

  • 1619 England, Leicester  Green, Ellen  Hanged

  • 1619 England, Leicester  Baker, Anne  Hanged.

  • 1619 England, Leicester  Willimot, Joan  Hanged.

  • 1620 England, Stafford  Clark, Jane Accused by "The Bilson Boy", William Perry. The charges were eventually dropped.

  • 1621 England, S. Perrot  Guppy, Joan Accused by Edmond Fairfax for bewitching his children. The evidence was insufficient, and they were released.

  • 1621 England, Yorkshire Fletcher, Elizabeth Accused with five others by Edmond Fairfax for bewitching his children. The evidence was insufficient, and they were released. Elizabeth Fletcher was the daughter of Mother Foster.

  • 1626 England  Bull, Edward  Denounced by Edward Dinham.

  • 1626 England Greedy, Joan denounced by Edward Dinham.

  • 1628 England, London  Lambe, Dr. John  Not Tried, but beaten to death by a mob at St. Paul's Cross after he fell from the Duke of Buckingham's favour.

  • 1630 England, Lancaster Utley, Hanged.

  • 1630 England, Sandwich, Hanged.

  • 1631 England, Taunton, Edward Bull, Hanged.

  • 1633 England, Lancaster, 17 convicted, but all later reprieved by the King (including Mary Spencer and Jennet Device).

  • 1634 England Three of the accused (by Edmund Robinson) died in prison before the swindle was revealed.

  • 1640 England, London, Dr  Lamb,  Stoned to death by a mob at St. Paul's Cross (and probably confused with 1628, although the date *is* given several times in Robbins).

  • 1643 England, Newbury Shot by parliamentary forces as she was walking along the surface of a river.

  • 1644  England  Wanderson, (wife 1)  Executed.

  • 1644  England  Wanderson, (wife 2)  Executed.

  • 1645  England, Chelmsford  19 were Hanged on evidence of  by the Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins (including the Manningtree Witches).

  • 1645 England, Chelmsford Clarke, Elizabeth a one legged old woman. Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins' 1st "Witch". Hanged, but not before betraying five others.

  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  West, Rebecca  Native of Colchester and daughter of an accused witch. She confessed to having married the Devil.

  • 1645  England, Chelmsford West, Anne  Native of Colchester and daughter of an accused witch.

  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  Mayers, Bridget  Wife of a Seaman, plead Not Guilty.

  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  5 were found Guilty, but reprieved.

  • 1645 England, Chelmsford 8 were remanded to the next session of the Assizes (4 were still in jail three years later, 4 (aged 88, 65, 60 and 40) died in prison before the sessions opened).

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Lowes, John  "of Branson". Hanged. A 70 year old parson.  Tried by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645  England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Cooper, Thomas Edward m Hanged. Tried by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Cooper, Mary  Hanged.Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Bacon, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Alderman, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Morris, Rebecca  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Fuller, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Clowes, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Sparham, Margery  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Fooley, Katherine  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Spinlow, Sarah  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Limstead, Jane Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Wright, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Smith, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Rivers, Jane  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, manners, Susan  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Skinner, Mary Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Leech, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham, Williford, Joan Hanged. By Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham,  Cariden, Joan  Hanged.

  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham, Holt, Jane Hanged.

  • 1646 England, Norfolk, Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co.

  • 1646 England, Suffolk, It is estimated that there were 124 people accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co., of whom 68 were hanged.

  • 1646 England, Bedford, Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co.

  • 1646 England, Cambridge Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1646 England, Northampton Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1646 England, Huntingdon Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.

  • 1648 England, Norwich, 2 Women Executed.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Palmer, John  Hanged. He named 14 accomplices.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Bychance, Mary Hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Widow Palmer Hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Norton. Hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, John (Sr) Hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, Joseph d.1684.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, Judith d.1692 .

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, John d.1688.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, Mary  d.1706.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, John (jr) – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, Mary  – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans,  Lamen, Joan – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Weston, Mrs Mayer – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Smith, Sarah – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Smith, Anne – hanged.

  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Knott, Elizabeth – hanged.

  • 1649 England, Newcastle 14  Hanged.

  • 1649 England, Newcastle Bulmer, Matthew Hanged.

  • 1649-1658 England, 3-4000 Purportedly killed during Cromwell's tenure.

  • 1650 England, London Allen, Joan Hanged.

  • 1651 England, London  Bodenham, Anne Hanged. "Dr. Lamb's Darling".

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Wright, Mildred Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Wilson, Anne Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Reade, Mary Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Ashby, Anne Hanged

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Martyn, Anne Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Browne, Mary Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Hynes, Elizabeth Hanged.

  • 1652 England, Durham, Adamson, Francis Executed.

  • 1652 England, Durham,  Powle,  Executed.

  • 1652 England, Worcester,  Huxley, Catherine Hanged.

  • 1652 England, London Peterson, Joan Hanged at Tyburn "The Witch of Wapping".

  • 1652 England, London Sawyer, Elizabeth  Hanged at Tyburn.

  • 1653 England, London  Newman, Elizabeth Executed at Whitechapel.

  • 1654 England, Ipswich Lakeland, Mother Burned (for the minor treason of murdering her husband).

  • 1655 England, Bury St Edmonds Boram, Hanged. Mother.

  • 1655 England, Bury St Edmonds, Boram,Hanged. Daughter.

  • 1658 England  Brooks, Jane  Hanged.

  • 1658-9 England, Norwich Oliver, Mary  Burned (for the minor treason of murdering her husband).

  • 1658 England, Salisbury, Orchard, Executed.

  • 1660 England, Cambridge, Young girl interrograted by the scholar Henry More. Outcome unknown, date unknown.

  • 1660 England, Home Circuit Neville, Joan Hanged.

  • 1663 England, Taunton Cox, Julian  Hanged.

  • 1664 England, Bury St Edmonds,  Cullender, Rose  Hanged. From Lowestoft, Suffolk.

  • 1664 England, Bury St Edmonds, Duny, Amy  Hanged. From Lowestoft, Suffolk.

  • 1664 England, Taunton  Style, Elizabeth  died in prison.

  • 1668 England, Norfolk Banister, Mary  Charges dropped.

  • 1674 England, Northhampton,  Foster, Anne  Hanged (For burning barns).

  • 1675 England, Chester, Baguley, Mary  Hanged.

  • 1682 England, Exeter,  Lloyd, Temperance Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.

  • 1682 England, Exeter,  Edwards, Susanna Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.

  • 1682 England, Exeter  Trembles, Mary  Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.

  • 1684 England, Exeter Molland, Alice  Hanged.

  • 1691 England, Frome, Somerset, Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt, on charges of bewitching Mary Hill, a young girl.Died before her trial.

  • 1693 England 1 Chambers,  "Widow"  Died in prison as a result of torture by "walking".

  • 1694 England, Ipswich,  Elnore, Margaret  Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt for having accepted familiars from her grandmother, herself hanged for witchcraft; having witch's marks on her body, and giving lice to her neighbors.

  • 1694 England, Bury St Edmonds, Munnings, "Mother"  Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death; or for casting a spell to cause the death of her landlord. She was also accused of having a familiar imp in the shape of a pole cat, and two black and white imps in the shape of balls of wool.

  • 1695 England, Launceston, Cornwall,  Guy, Mary Acquitted by Justice Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death.

  • 1696 England, Exeter, Horner, Elizabeth  Acquitted by Justice Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death.

  • 1701 England, Southwark  Moredike, Sarah Acquitted by Justice Holt, her accuser, Richard Hathaway, was jailed.

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The Chinese call Britain 'The Island of Hero's' which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.

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