September 2013 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Annie Besant, writer and campaigner for women’s rights – born on 1 October 1847

Annie Besant, a leading political activist and social justice campaigner in the 19th and 20th centuries, was born in Clapham, London, on 1 October 1847. To celebrate the day of her birth, here are two newspaper stories from the late Victorian era that offer an insight into her character and political beliefs. Yorkshire Gazette – Saturday 15 October 1892 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000266/18921015/029/0005 Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 07 December 1897 Image © THE BRITISH

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The Opening of the UK’s First Tram Service – Birkenhead, 30 September 1860

On 30 September 1860, the first tram service in the UK started operating at Birkenhead on Merseyside. The tram service was the idea of the (aptly named) George Francis Train, an American entrepreneur who was a pioneer of innovative transport systems. To mark that historic day, here is a newspaper story from october 1860 that reports on the opening of the Birkenhead tram service. Liverpool Daily Post – Tuesday 02 October 1860 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS

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‘Aged Beauties’: an appreciation of the beauty of older women, as reported in 1874

Here’a a very interesting and aesthetic newspaper article from 1874, which celebrates famous women aged over 30. Truly, even during the Victorian era, there was still life even after one had crossed the ‘turned 30’ and ‘the big 40’ demographic rubicons! Tamworth Herald – Saturday 19 December 1874 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000484/18741219/033/0003 The Graphic – Saturday 20 January 1877 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000057/18770120/012/0012

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The Death of Louis Pasteur – 28 September 1895

Louis Pasteur, the French chemist and microbiologist who gave his name to the pasteurisation process, died at Marnes-la-Coquette on 28 September 1895 – he was 72. Here is a newspaper obituary – published two days after his death – that pays tribute to his brilliant achievements. Edinburgh Evening News – Monday 30 September 1895 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000452/18950930/071/0004 Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Monday 30 September 1895 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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The Opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway – 27 September 1825

On 27 September 1825, George Stephenson opened the Stockton and Darlington Railway by driving the engine, ‘Locomotion’, between the two towns, and delivering a cargo of coal and flour. The train also carried 1,000 passengers, who, according to this newspaper report from 7 October 1825, ‘were highly delighted’ by the novel exhibition. Cambridge Chronicle and Journal – Friday 07 October 1825 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000420/18251007/017/0004

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The John Simpson episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – a newspaper report about the death of Samuel Franklin Cody, 7 August 1913

We very much enjoyed learning about John Simpson’s family tree in last night’s episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ In particular, we were amazed by the derring-do antics of John’s ‘adoptive’ great-grandfather, Samuel Franklin Cody. Tragically, Colonel Cody was killed in a flying accident on 7 August 1913. Included below is the newspaper report of the accident that was featured in last night’s programme, and which greatly moved John while he was reading it aloud. We’ve also included

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‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – John Simpson, BBC1, Wednesday 25 September, 21:00

‘Veteran BBC news reporter and world affairs editor John Simpson always thought his great grandfather was Samuel F. Cody, famous for being the first person to fly in Britain and a Wild West entertainer.’ Alas, tonight’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? is the last programme in the current series – so we’re looking forward to savouring this final show. In tonight’s programme, John Simpson will be exploring the story of how his great grandmother  left her husband

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Women munition workers in WW1 – an advert for work overalls and the opening of a hostel in Newcastle

‘Lady Parsons, in declaring the hostel open, wished it every success, and said it was an honour to open a home for the women engaged in munition works.’ We’re fascinated by all the newspaper reports about women munition workers during the First World War. In addition to all the news and personal stories, there are some terrific adverts for hiring workers (we always like to know how much money our ancestors were earning) and the clothes that they needed for

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The Launch of the Queen Mary – Clydebank, 26 September 1934

On 26 September 1934, RMS Queen Mary (aka ‘Hull Number 534’) was launched on the River Clyde by HM the Queen Mary.. The newspapers report that 250,000 people turned up to watch the launch, which took place at a rainy John Brown Shipyard in Clydebank. To mark the historic day, here are some photos of the ship’s launch and also a newspaper report about the launch. Dundee Courier – Thursday 27 September 1934 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy

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Henry Christian – the great-great grandson of Fletcher Christian (born 25.9.1764) visits San Francisco

Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers on HMS Bounty in 1789, was born in Eaglesfield (near Cockermouth) on 25 September 1764. As we’re always fascinated by people’s ancestry, here is a very interesting newspaper article from 1894 that reports on a visit to San Francisco by Fletcher Christian’s gg-grandson, Henry Christian. Read our blog post about Fletcher Christian which contains an early newspaper report (from March 1790) about the mutiny on HMS Bounty. Newcastle Courant – Saturday 28 April

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