Headlines from History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Mothering Sunday

Whilst Mothering Sunday is now commonly combined and celebrated with the secular holiday of Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland, its origin is religious in nature and separate from that of the American Mother’s Day. Starting in the 1700s, individuals would attend a special service on Laetare Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent) at their mother church (usually the church where an individual was baptised or their local parish church/closest cathedral). This activity was soon coined as going

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St Patrick’s Day through the years

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, we’ve dug into The British Newspaper Archive to find out how the day has been celebrated in different parts of the world over the last century. Interested in finding more examples of St Patrick’s Day celebrations? Register today and explore all of The British Newspaper Archive! Register for free today!  

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The last of the Romanovs

    On 15 March 1917, amid the chaos and fury of the Russian Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor of all Russia, abdicated from the throne and ended 300 years of Romanov rule.  Russians of all classes were on the streets of Petrograd (formerly known as St Petersburg), and Nicholas’ own military had joined the ranks of protestors.  How did this monarch fall and a dynasty end?  On the anniversary of Tsar Nicholas’ abdication, we will take a look through

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Shared passions in Sophie Raworth’s family

Last night, the final episode aired of this series of Who Do You Think You Are? It explored the ancestry of BBC anchor Sophie Raworth, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the discoveries of this series, particularly the passions and professions that have been shared throughout the generations of a family — oftentimes unknowingly! Sophie’s family was no exception to this pattern. Musical Motts An early discovery in last night’s episode was that Sophie has several ancestors who were involved in

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March scandals throughout history

At the dawn of a new month, let’s take a look through the newspapers at events that have occurred in the month of March throughout history. Events and stories that once shocked the world have, today, have been relegated to distant, vague recollections. Boston Massacre It would be an oversight indeed to speak of shocking and significant March events without first mentioning the Boston Massacre, which took place on 5 March 1770. This event is not without controversy depending on

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Sunetra Sarker explores her Indian heritage

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? took us to India and Bangladesh with Sunetra Sarker.  During the program, Sarker became familiar with her Indian ancestors and learned how the tragedies of war affected her family.  With the use of newspapers, Sarker was able to place her ancestors into the context of public events and gain a deeper understanding of the lives they led. At the beginning of the episode, Sunetra conveys a feeling most of us

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Tragedy and triumph in Warwick Davis’ family tree

  “I won’t be embarrassed by what I discover, bring it on! Let’s have an adventure.” – Warwick Davis In last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? we joined Warwick Davis, best known for his acting career, as he uncovered a few family secrets including bigamy and multiple marriages on his mother’s side of the family, as well as tragedy and another successful performer on his father’s side. Searching for a Local Pub Warwick wanted to find out

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Remembering the Fall of Singapore

  February 15, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore during the Second World War.  The event was one of the greatest British military defeats in history.  It meant the loss of a military stronghold to the Japanese as well as the capture of almost 100,000 men, women, and children as prisoners of war.  The event was covered extensively in the newspapers, from the initial invasion and evacuation of civilians to the surrender and questions that immediately

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Valentine’s Day Poems

Over the course of its history and in its present-day iteration, Valentine’s Day has been a day fit for the writing and sharing of romantic verse. The union of romantic love and Valentine’s Day has been advantageous for aspiring poets, and the newspapers have been quick to publish such verse over the years to honour St Valentine’s Day. In the pages of the newspapers, you can find numerous poems celebrating Valentine’s Day. Here is a sampling. Discover more poems and

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For the Love of Valentine’s Day

As we covered in our last blog post, the traditions and opinions surrounding the celebration of Valentine’s Day have evolved and changed over the years. But as we search through three hundred years of stories in The British Newspaper Archive, we see that the day has endured as one of celebration and, occasionally, scandal. In the newspapers, we can see a long tradition of celebrating this day, but we can also observe the emergence of a certain skepticism and cynicism

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