Tag Archives: Modern history

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69


The Mormons have been described as the most systematic, organised, disciplined and successful pioneers in American history. For over 20 years they were one of the main forces driving the settlement of the America West. The Mormons were remarkable also in migrating as a whole community, unlike the individualists and opportunists who made up the majority of the settlers of the West.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s relatives after he lost power in France

Napoleon Bonaparte’s relatives after he lost power in France

What happened to Napoleon Bonaparte‘s relatives after he lost power in France? They could not stay in France but, perhaps surprisingly, they came to little harm – with the exception of Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Joachim-Napoléon Murat. Murat fled to Corsica after Napoleon’s fall. He was executed in Naples sin 1815. Famously, his last words were: “Soldiers! Do your duty! Straight to the heart but spare the face. Fire!”

Few leading figures in the English Civil War 1642-51

Few leading figures in the English Civil War 1642-51

In the middle of 17th century England experienced a great convulsion of political and military violence, which quickly spread to engulf Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This was a true civil war, in which men and women at all levelsof society, somethimes even withinthe same family, took different sides on issues of principle, and fought for them to the death. Here are some of the key figures on both sides, apart from King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.

First portrait of a criminal published in a British newspaper

First portrait of a criminal published in a British newspaper

On 27th June 1881, 64-years-old coin dealer Isaac Gold was brutally murdered on the 14:00 London to Brighton express train. At preston Park station the ticket collector noticed a man smothered with blood who,on inquiry, claimed he had been attacked by two passengers who had fled. There was no evidence against the man, Percy Mapleton, but he was arrested because police thought he might have attempted suicide (then a criminal offence). Adetective escorted him to his home in Surrey and waited patiently outsidewhile Mapleton went in to change his clothes. Meanwhile Gold’s body had been found beside the railway track, stabbed in the chest and shot in the neck.

Manpower for sea power

Manpower for sea power

Life at sea may not have been a particularly attractive prospect for a man in Georgian England, but it was always an option: The Royal Navy was constantly, chronically, in need of sailors. Its peacetime strength in 1792 was fifteen thousand men,but in five years it increased eightfold, and by 1813 the number stood at one hundred and fifty thousand- this in a nation whose population was only about 10 million. England’s navy may have been the envy of the world, but it was not at all uncommon for her warships to sail undermanned.