Eighteenth century – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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A Look At Football In The Eighteenth Century

Bedford, November 1726 – On Wednesday the 23d Instant, a most obstinate and hard Match at Foot-ball was play’d near Great Harwood in this County, between 7 Men of the Village of Ranse, and the like Number of Great Harwood; which last had challenged the whole Kingdom to match them. The Contest was so great between them, that one of the Harwood’s Champions dropp’d down dead on the Spot, whose Brother being engaged on the same Side, would not leave

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The Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker – Shopping in the Eighteenth Century

On 2 April 1748 the Ipswich Journal reported on ‘the most terrible‘ fire which had broken out at a Mr. Elridge’s, a peruke maker, in Exchange Alley, London. Rumours soon spread that a boy had left a candle near some wig boxes, which had been set on fire, and then: The Flames [had] extended themselves into Cornhill, and burnt down the Houses of Mr. Walthoe, Mr. Strahan, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Brotherton, and Mr. Astley, Booksellers; Toca’s and the Rainbow Coffee-Houses, the Fleece

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‘Nothing Else But Cricket Matches All Summer’ – A Look at Cricket in the 1730s

Performing a search for cricket in our oldest British Newspaper Archive publications (the Archive’s earliest pages run from 1700) it is possible to discover the fascinating history of the enduringly popular sport. In this special blog we will look at cricket’s early association with royalty, its emergence as a gambling sport, and its inevitable explosion in popularity. Kentish Gazette | 23 June 1773 An early and passionate advocate for the sport was Prince Frederick of Wales, father of George III, who

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The Mysterious Affair of Elizabeth Canning

On the first day of January 1753 maidservant Elizabeth Canning disappeared. She returned to her mother’s house some twenty-eight days later, emaciated and bedraggled, claiming that she had been held in a room against her will. As the case went to court, and her captors were arrested, many came to disbelieve Elizabeth Canning’s tale, resulting in Canning herself going on trial for perjury. In 1754 the Manchester Mercury comments on the question of whether ‘Elizabeth Canning is or is not

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