Tag Archives: Modern history

The recruitment in English Civil War

The recruitment in English Civil War


In the middle of the 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 levels of society, sometimes even within the same family, took different sides on issues of principle, and fought for them to the death.

The Lost Prince: The colourful life of Henry Stuart in National Portrait Gallery/London

The Lost Prince: The colourful life of Henry Stuart in National Portrait Gallery/London

Today, few people have heard of Henry Stuart (1594-1612) – eldest son of King James VI and I, older brother to the future Charles I. But back in 1612 things were very different. In fact, when, in November of that year, Henry’s life was ended by typhoid fever (he was just 18), the entire nation was plunged into grief. At Henry’s lavish funeral procession, 2,000 official mourners were joined by thousands lining the streets “whose streaming eyes made knowen howe much inwardly their harts did bleed”.

William Herschel’s new planet

William Herschel’s new planet

After a drink-fuelled night discussing Homer, the medical student John Keats wrote his famous lines comparing his own wonderment with that of  “some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken.” Keats was referring to William Herschel, the astronomer who had enlarged the solar system with a seventh planet, now known as Uranus.

Victorian ladies and gentlemen: The art of etiquette

Victorian ladies and gentlemen: The art of etiquette

It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself.

William III Orange: The day when he was born

William III Orange: The day when he was born

The future William III of England was born on his mother’s nineteenth birthday in an atmosphere of profound funereal gloom. The baby’s father had died of smallpox only eight days before and the room in the Binnenhof, the inner court of the family’s house at The Hague, was draped in black. The young widow and her attendants were all in deep mourning and the bed and even the cradle were swathed in black.