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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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Defying Superstitions – London’s Thirteen Club

We have all fallen victim to superstitions.  I avoid walking under ladders, never open an umbrella indoors, and dread spilling salt at the table.  Even Napoleon was influenced by superstitions.  Once when he was separated from his beloved Josephine, a picture of her fell over and with haste Napoleon sent a message to Josephine to make sure she was well.  A look through the British Newspaper Archive proves that people of all walks of life have been touched by fear

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Thrilling elopement story found in 19th-century newspapers

  While researching A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England, author Sue Wilkes discovered an amazing romance which could have appeared in an Austen novel. We love hearing about what you’re finding in the newspapers. Tell us about your own discoveries in the comments section below.   **************   Heiress Augusta Nicholson, a most intrepid young lady, showed great ingenuity when she fell in love with handsome John Giles, a penniless comedian. Miss Nicholson was a ward of chancery and

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London cabbie George Smith arrested for drunk driving in 1897

The first person to be arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol was George Smith, a London cabdriver. Charged with drunk driving on 10 September 1897 This article from the Morning Post reported that at about 00:45 on Friday 10 September 1897, Smith’s vehicle ‘swerved from one side of the road to the other, and ran across the footway into 165 New Bond Street’. George Smith admitted that he’d had ‘two or three glasses of beer’ and

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Mrs Caudle: a 19th-century woman not to be crossed

Mrs Caudle first appeared as a character in Punch magazine in 1845. She was portrayed as the archetypal nagging wife, always telling her husband off for something.     The West Kent Guardian reveals the real Mrs Caudle This article from the West Kent Guardian reveals that the real-life Mrs Caudle was also a woman not to be messed with. The newspaper published the following court report on Saturday 26 July 1845.   West Kent Guardian – Saturday 26 July

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240,000 extra newspaper pages from 1752-1954

We’re pleased to report that The British Newspaper Archive added an extra 240,000 newspaper pages in June, so you’ve got plenty of new stories to explore this month.   Search the newspapers   New title: London’s Illustrated Times The additions include a brand new title, the Illustrated Times. Published in London, the newspaper reported on local, national and international news. Each edition featured a number of beautiful images, like the one shown below.   More newspapers to search from 1752-1954

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‘Cut your hair’: a court report in the Morning Post

Historical newspapers are full of reports about local criminal trials. These are a great resource for both historical research and genealogy. Not only can you track the sorts of crimes that were being committed and how people were punished, you might also find your ancestors’ names mentioned.   Search local court reports   The Morning Post and the long-haired Londoner Court reports can often make for rather amusing reading, containing the actual words, excuses and explanations of the people involved.

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Enter our competition to win a history book

You could win one of these fascinating history books on our Facebook page this week:     How to enter Comment on our Facebook post to let us know which book you’d like to win before 23:59 (GMT) on Monday 23 June 2014. We’ll contact three lucky winners the following day.   What you could win Alex Daley, Fighting Men of London: Voices from Inside the Ropes Gill Hoffs, The Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian

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The Obscenity Trial of Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’ – 16 November 1928

‘Give us also the right to our existence’ At Bow Street in London on 16 November 1928, Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’, found itself in the dock on a charge of obscenity. The powers-that-be had decided that they did not like the novel’s ‘unnatural offences’ – hence the decision to prosecute. The magistrate eventually decided that the book was obscene and ordered that it be destroyed. Here is a newspaper story that reports on this famous literary

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