December 2013 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Festive Holiday Dates for the BNA Helpdesk

Please note that the BNA Helpdesk will close at 1pm on Christmas Eve, and will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – it will reopen at 9am on Friday 27th of December. For the New Year, the Helpdesk will close at 5pm on New Year’s Eve, and will be closed on New Year’s Day and also on the 2nd of January – it will reopen at 9am on Friday the 3rd of January. During this time we will

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‘Poetess Weds Lion Tamer’ – Reported in ‘The Dundee Courier’ on 6 January 1938

‘He was the first man to ride into a cage of nine lions and direct their performance from the back of a Somalian stallion…’ Oh, we think this will likely be our favourite newspaper headline for January. Let’s hope this poetess was an ailurophile, and that the lion tamer was a poetry lover! And we can’t help feeling that this is the sort of news story that sub-editors on newspapers dream about writing headlines for – the lucky sub-editor probably had

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Alfred Dreyfus – Degraded and Sentenced to Life Imprisonment on “Devil’s Island”, 5 January 1895

‘Tell all France that I am innocent’ – Alfred Dreyfus In Paris on 5 January 1895, Captain Alfred Dreyfus was stripped of his army rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on “Devil’s Island”. Here is a newspaper story published on 7 January 1895 entitled, ‘The Degradation of Dreyfus’, that reports on the utterly humiliating ceremony at the Ecole Militaire to strip Dreyfus of his rank and dignity. We’ve also included below a superb illustration of a front cover from ‘The

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General Tom Thumb – Born on 4 January 1838

General Tom Thumb (aka Charles Sherwood Stratton), the performer who achieved worldwide fame in P.T. Barnum’s circus, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on 4 January 1838. To celebrate the day, here is a fascinating profile of Tom Thumb, from a newspaper published in 1844. Carlisle Journal – Saturday 16 November 1844 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000363/18441116/007/0003

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The Siege at Sidney Street, London – 3 January 1911

The Siege of Sidney Street (aka the ‘Battle of Stepney’) took place in London on 3 January 1911. The siege resulted in the deaths of two supposed anarchists, Fritz Svaars and William Sokolow, as well as three policemen and a fireman. This newspaper report and accompanying photographs, published on 4 January 1911, provide a fascinating description of the siege, and the report also mentions Winston Churchill’s controversial attendance at the scene – he was Home Secretary at the time. Dundee

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Your BNA Family History Stories – Millers, Bakers, Blacksmiths and Firemen in Lincolnshire in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Introduction and background We love hearing about your discoveries in The Archive. Just recently, John Bland of the Lincolnshire Family History Society dropped us a line to tell us about his family history research in the BNA. John has been researching the millers and blacksmiths in his family (research that involves learning about major legislation such as the Enclosures and the Corn Laws) and, thanks to the BNA, has just learned that one of his ancestors also worked a fireman

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New Year’s Day Stories and Traditions – as Reported in 1886 and 1907

Happy New Year to all visitors to the BNA website! To celebrate New Year’s Day, here are historical newspaper stories that report on the traditions of the 1st of January as perceived in 1886 and 1907. You can also read our blog post entitled, ‘Origins, History and Traditions (Sensible and Daft!) of the New Year’. Aberdeen Evening Express – Friday 01 January 1886 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000444/18860101/001/0002 Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser –

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The Origins, History and Traditions of Hogmanay – as Reported in 1890

To celebrate Hogmanay, here’s a fascinating newspaper article from 1890 that explains the origins, history and traditions of Hogmanay. Huddersfield Chronicle – Thursday 02 January 1890 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000167/18900102/038/0004

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Rudyard Kipling – Born on 30 December 1865

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now called Mumbai) on 30 December 1865. To celebrate the day of his birth, here is a newspaper review of a lecture that Kipling gave to The Royal Geographic Society in 1914 on the subject of travel (one of Kipling’s specialist subjects) . Aberdeen Journal – Thursday 19 February 1914 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000576/19140219/110/0008 Hull Daily Mail – Wednesday 30 December 1931 Image ©

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Shipping News: The Launch of HMS Warrior – London, 29 December 1860

‘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’ – Charles Dickens HMS Warrior, the Royal Navy’s first ocean-going ironclad warship, was launched in London on 29 December 1860. Included below is a report of the launch that was published in the Liverpool Daily Post of 31 December 1860. Liverpool Daily Post – Monday 31 December 1860 Image © THE BRITISH

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