Headlines from History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Guest post: A remarkable Great War story revealed – with the help of The British Newspaper Archive by Paul Roberts

Albert Roberts

How The British Newspaper Archive played a key role in the completion of a new book about my great-great-grandfather who had 30 grandsons serving King and Country I found the picture by pure chance – on a village history website. It was of John Roberts, a man with a bushy beard and sideburns and wearing a bowler hat and a big smile. A caption below it was extraordinary. It said he had 30 grandsons serving in the Great War. I

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Headlines from History – November military events

American troops

In honour of Remembrance Day, during the month of November, The British Newspaper Archive will be focusing our attention on military in the newspapers.  Coming up this month we will feature blogs about our special military titles, researching military history, women and war, and wartime rationing and fashion, as well as a guest blog about a remarkable Great War discovery from The Archive.  To begin our military month, we are delving into the newspaper headlines through the years for the

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On this day, 31 October

Egon Schiele

While we overwhelmingly mark 31 October as simply the celebration of Halloween, we wanted to highlight some other events that have occurred on this day over the years. On this day One event that had an overwhelming and lasting impact took place on this day in 1517: Martin Luther posted on the door of Castle Church, Wittenberg, his 95 Theses. The ever-expanding United States admitted its 36th state on 31 October 1864: Nevada. One of the earliest transcontinental highways in

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Halloween in Communities

Halloween in communities How Halloween is viewed varies from place to place and its traditions are just as diverse. A sense of how Halloween is treated in a given place can be glimpsed in its portrayal in cinema, music, and literature. Treat yourself to a poem written on the topic by John Mayn, printed in 1805 in The Scots Magazine. A notice in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News mentioned a Halloween tradition practised in ‘olden times’ in Scotland.   Another Halloween tradition we

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Halloween in history

Black cat

Of witches and witchcraft As we kick off our Halloween celebrations and delve into the history, contained within the newspapers, of witches and witchcraft (and supernatural beings), it is imperative that we preface this — perhaps unnecessarily — with an important disclaimer and reminder: witches, in the sense of practitioners of malevolent powers to do evil works, never existed. Those persecuted during the sixteenth century and onward were, more often than not, local healers and midwives. In 1562, Queen Elizabeth

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Hauntings for Halloween

Haunted

With Halloween approaching, we wanted to see what we could find related to the topic of hauntings in The British Newspaper Archive. Of children and hauntings Often the origins of a haunting myth are rooted in death and loss. Sometimes the myth grows and morphs to such a point where its origin is indeterminate. Other times, the sad truth of its origin is unexpectedly revealed, as with the ‘grim discovery’ at a ‘haunted house’ in 1921, reported in The Scotsman.

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Eliza Ross – the forgotten female burker

Elizabeth Ross, the convicted burkeite

The British Newspaper Archive is proud to feature a guest blog by author Naomi Clifford.  In 2016, Naomi Clifford wrote The Disappearance of Maria Glenn, a story of crime and coercion about the abduction of a sugar plantation heiress.  This year, Clifford is back with a new book, Women and the Gallows 1797-1837: Unfortunate Wretches. Her research into the 131 women hanged in England and Wales involved extensive research in the British Newspaper Archive.  Eliza Ross is just one name featured in the new book to be published

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Fashion findings – autumn knitting

As autumn gets truly underway, the warm clothes come out and the knitting needles start clacking. Knitting has a long tradition. This versatile skill could be utilised at anytime — and often was. Printed in the Illustrated War News in 1914, a group of women were photographed knitting in a wine cellar during bombardments in Rheims. Womanly sympathy with the soldiers is taking the practical form on the Continent, and in our own country, of knitting “comforts” for them, but the

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Facing the past in Ruby Wax’s Family Tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Ruby Wax confronted the hidden past in her family tree.  The episode proved cathartic for Ruby who came to a better understanding of her parents’ lives, particularly her mother’s.  The personal revelations perfectly illustrated that it is one thing to know ‘history’ in general terms, it is quite another when that history has directly impacted your family. When family cannot or will not speak about events it is possible

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Take a look inside the ILN offices

The Illustrated London News, the world’s first illustrated newspaper, debuted in 1842.  Over the decades, the publishers expanded into the ‘great 8’ titles: Sketch, Sphere, Tatler, Graphic, Bystander, Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, and Britannia and Eve.  In 1928, the Illustrated London News published an illustration of the interior of their own offices at Inveresk House, ‘a hive of journalistic industry’. Discover more about the history of the Illustrated London News In the image, you can see the offices of the individual

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