History

Who was Alexander “Sawney” Bean, the cannibal of Scotland? thumbnail

Who was Alexander “Sawney” Bean, the cannibal of Scotland?

There is no certainty that this story is completely true, but it could be at least partially true. In any case it is part of Scottish folklore and if you visit Edinburgh you will encounter this name. More than 1. 000 people were killed and cannibalized by the clan of 45 members of Alexander “Sawney” …

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Canaletto in London, the 1700's version of Photoshop thumbnail

Canaletto in London, the 1700’s version of Photoshop

It’s no coincidence that many Canaletto paintings can be found in places like the National Gallery in London or other galleries or houses in England. Canaletto spent most of his life working for affluent English clients. Canaletto spent years in London, which were crucial to his art, thanks to English patrons who allowed him to …

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Houndsditch in London, discover the macabre origin of its name thumbnail

Houndsditch in London, discover the macabre origin of its name

A street that is found near Liverpool Street Station in London. Try to imagine it as it once was. It is now a fairly anonymous street full of office buildings and coffee shops.  It existed in Roman times as well, but in the Middle Ages it was surrounded by a ditch that was originally built as part of the city defences but was later used to bury dead dogs. Apparently the ditch was the moat outside the Roman walls.  Photo: Basher Eyre / Houndsditch at dusk As a result, the place is known as Houndsditch.  It was not an urban legend; in fact, numerous dog skeletons were discovered during excavations in 1989. When you walk from Houndsditch to Bishopgate, you will notice areas of land with no buildings; these were the location of the plague’s mass graves. Dr. Thomas Barnardo discovered ten children on the side of the road holding each other warm in Houndsditch.  This event persuaded him to open the first of many orphanages in Stepney called Barnardo’s.  Back then, the street was teeming with small textile factories with deplorable working conditions.  When three police officers tried to intervene during a jewelry robbery in Houndsditch in 1910, a group of Latvian anarchists (yes, from Latvia) killed them. Houndsditch Warehouse was a major local department store that primarily sold clothing until 1986.  The warehouse, like those on nearby Petticoat Lane, was Jewish-owned and open on Sundays long before it became the norm elsewhere.

What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London? thumbnail

What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London?

Maybe you don’t know what that kind of gothic spire is in front of Charing Cross station in London. Don’t worry we explain everything here. Edward I was a king of England in the thirteenth century and was known for his lavish lifestyle. He loved to spend money and had a fondness for extravagant items such …

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Isabella Beeton – Author of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Possibly some people today may not have heard of Mrs Beeton, who in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was a household name. She was well known for Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1859 – 61, which contained everything a prosperous  Victorian housewife, would need to know for running the home.  The public …

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History of British surnames: the influence of the ancient Romans thumbnail

History of British surnames: the influence of the ancient Romans

You may never have thought about it, but the Roman occupation in part of today’s Great Britain has left much more than the ruins of villas. The Romans, in fact, brought the idea of ​​having different names together with the viaducts and the Hadrian’s Wall. In fact, all male citizens had two names, one and …

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