Category Archives: HISTORY

The Prince and the Devil Dog

The Prince and the Devil Dog


The strange story of Prince Rupert’s dog began in 1638, when Rupert of the Rhine – the youthful nephew of Charles I of England – was captured at the battle  of Vlotho in Germany by Austrian Catholic forces. Some of the Austrian soldiers claimed that they had been unable to kill or wound the prince, despite having fired at him twice at point-blank range, and as a result the rumour began to spread that Rupert was invulnerable to bullets, or ‘shot-free’.

The King Richard II’s Tomb

The King Richard II’s Tomb

When Richard II’s first consort, Anne of Bohemia, died in June 1394, his grief knew no bounds. He decided that unlike any previous king and queen of England, they should both be buried in the same tomb, and that on it their gilded effigies should lie (in the words of the contract with the coppersmiths) “crowned, side by side and clasping their right hands and holding sceptres in their left hands”.

Anti-suffragette postcards

Anti-suffragette postcards

In these days on telephone, email, text, Facebook or Twitter, it is salutary to remember that in early 20th-century Britain the picture  postcard was one of the cheapest and most accessible forms of communication. Over 600m postcards were posted in 1904, rising to over a staggering 900m in 1913.

Punishing the poor

Punishing the poor

Poverty came close to being a crime in 16th and 17th  century England. Once the needy sought help from the monasteries but during the reign of Henry VIII most of these had been dissolved. City dwellers feared the influx of penniless beggars from the countryside who were considered idle, lawless and a threat to the public order of the towns. Given their lack of work and inability to support themselves, it was thought discontent might breed among the poor resulting in social unrest or even revolution.

Medieval Arms and Armoury

Medieval Arms and Armoury

European warriors of the early Middle Ages used both indigenous forms of military equipment and arms and armor derived from late Roman types. One of the most widely used types of helmet was the Spangenhelm. Body armor was usually either a short-sleeved mail shirt (byrnie), made up of interlocking iron rings, or a garment of overlapping scales of iron, bronze, or horn.