Tag Archives: Modern history

Robert Owen’s social experiment at New Lanark

Robert Owen’s social experiment at New Lanark


One of the Scotland’s great social reformers was a Welshman, Robert Owen, born in 1771. He would have been saddened that such misery still exists. Twenty miles south-east of Glasgow, further up the Clyde, where the river is not the broad, shipbuilding estuary of the great city but a tumbling stream hurtling through narrow, tree-lined gorges, is the scene of the great experiment to make the world a better place.

The time of Maori

The time of Maori

So far as we know, the original inhabitants of New Zealand were a dark-skinned race called Maoris, a people lithe and handsome of body, though generally plain of features: open, frank and happy in youth, grave and often melancholy in their older years. They numbered forty thousand in the North Island, where the warmth of the climate suited them, but in the South Island there were only two thousand. They were divided into tribes, who fought fiercely with one another; cooked and ate the bodies of the slain, and carried off the vanquished to be slaves.

Sweet and incomparable Josephine

Sweet and incomparable Josephine

The love of Bonaparte’s life was an enchanting Creole – the term then used for all white West indians – with a shady past. Born in 1763 to a minor aristocrat and sugar planter on Martinique, Marie-Joséphe-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie had arrived in France at the age of seventeen to enter an arranged marriage with Alexandre de Beauharnais.

The Great Exhibition opened

The Great Exhibition opened

The world’s first international exhibition of industry was opened on the 1st May 1851 by Her Majesty Queen Victoria. It was originally planned that this inauguration would be a private ceremony because the Queen had been attacked in June of the previous year by Robert Pate, and was wary of public attention.

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’.