Victorian – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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William Palmer the Rugeley Poisoner – A Very Victorian Morality Tale

‘No more thrilling a tale of guilt and crime, and scarcely one so eloquent in its lessons and cautions to those who are in danger of entering upon a life of unbridled passion, is to be found in all the history of poor humanity than this story of William Palmer.’ So reads an article in the Sheffield Independent, 17 September 1888, regarding one William Palmer, better known as the Rugeley Poisoner. William Palmer, a former doctor, was convicted in 1856 for the murder

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week on The Archive we have added 20,428 brand new pages, encompassing seven new titles, which cover England and Wales, as well as a brand new title from Jamaica, a first for the British Newspaper Archive. Register now and explore the Archive We have three new titles joining us this week from Yorkshire, strengthening our collection of newspapers from England’s largest county. We have two new titles from the West Yorkshire town of Batley, including the Batley Reporter and Guardian, which was a weekly title, and the Batley News. This latter title was also published on

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The ‘Dear Boss’ Letter: How Jack the Ripper Got His Name

On 27 September 1888, in the midst of a series of horrific murders in Whitechapel, the Central News Office in London received a letter, signed by ‘Jack the Ripper’. Known as the ‘Dear Boss’ letter because of the way it was addressed, the letter changed the way British newspapers reported the Ripper murders.   Read newspapers from 1888 Facsimiles of the ‘Dear Boss’ letter in the newspapers The name ‘Jack the Ripper’ reached the British press and general public on

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The Opening of the Metropolitan Railway – 10 January 1863

On 10 January 1863 the Metropolitan Railway was opened in London. An unprecedented feat of engineering, the Metropolitan Railway was the first underground railway in the world, forming the basis of the London underground and other global underground systems. In this special blog, we take a look at the historic first three days of the Metropolitan Railway’s existence, from its grand opening on Friday 10 January 1863, to the teething problems it encountered when it opened to the public on

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week sees 100,598 brand new pages joining The Archive, with updates to fourteen of our existing titles, as well as five new titles joining our collection. We are delighted to continue to augment our Scottish newspaper holdings, with four brand new Scottish titles added this week. This includes the Ayrshire Post, a weekly title which was founded in 1880 and covers south and east Ayrshire, and another weekly title, the Wishaw Press, which covers north Lanarkshire. Making up our trio of local Scottish titles

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Historic #gymspiration from the newspaper archive!

So you’re all set for your morning jog when suddenly you realise that it’s raining. It’s getting cold. You can’t find your trainers and you forgot to charge your iPod. Thinking of giving up and crawling back under the sheets for a few extra minutes in dreamland? Well stop right there! We’ve had a look in the newspapers for our favourite pictures of gymnasiums through the ages, guaranteed to get you back up and running!     But, as always, someone

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Meet the Content Lead of The British Newspaper Archive

Find out what goes on behind the scenes at The British Newspaper Archive in our series of Q&As with the team who work here. We sat down with Content Lead Amy Sell to find out who she is and what she does.   What does your job involve? I help people discover The British Newspaper Archive and understand how amazing the collection is by writing emails and blog posts, managing our Facebook page and Twitter feed and producing handy video

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19th-century medical fraudsters who got caught out

Caroline Rance, author of The Quack Doctor and What the Apothecary Ordered, got in touch to show us some of the shocking medical tales she’s unearthed. We’d love to hear about your own discoveries – email press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to tell us about them.   ************** Whatever you search for in The British Newspaper Archive, chances are the articles you find will be close to adverts promoting cures for every kind of disease. Some brands were sold in good faith and became

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6 terrible love tips from history’s lonely hearts

Lonely hearts columns aren’t a modern phenomenon. Search our historical newspapers and you’ll find numerous examples of ‘matrimonial advertisements’ from the 1800s and 1900s. The notices can often make for amusing reading. We’ve collected together a few of our favourites to provide you with some tips for finding love. You may or may not want to take the advice…   1) Be overly specific and insulting An American woman advertised for a husband in 1920, advising that he ‘can have

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11 unusual tales of terror from historical newspapers

What the giant monster might have looked like in 1877

The British Newspaper Archive is full of grisly stories about the unusual and the unexplained. We’ve selected some of the oddest tales, including a description of a monster with the head of a sea lion and a rumour that Germany was turning dead soldiers into explosives during the First World War. Let us know if you’ve found a story to rival these. You can comment below or post on our Facebook page. 1) 1877: A bizarre 70-foot beast A very strange creature

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