Connect with us

History

Weird London: The Cock Lane’s ghost

Published

on

Cock Lane is near Smithfield Market and is where perhaps London’s most famous ghost was spotted. The reason for knowing this story that happened in the 18th century is that it caused quite a stir, at the inquiry one of the commission was the famous Samuel Johnson and the case was mentioned in many literary works, including those of Dickens. You can also find it in numerous drawings by William Hogarth.

The protagonists of the story were a local church employee named Richard Parsons who was also the landlord of the house with the ghosts, his 12-year-old daughter Elizabeth and the tenants of the house in question William and Fanny Kent. Richard Parsons had alcohol problems and struggled to support his family.

William Kent’s wife Elizabeth had died in childbirth and William began an affair with the deceased’s sister, Fanny. The law of the time did not allow the two to marry but in any case they went to London to live together. And they went to live on Cock Lane in Richard Parsons’ house. Note that William Kent was a money lender and had also made loans to his landlord.

In any case, there were immediately reports of strange apparitions and noises in that house. William Kent had to travel out of London for a few days and asked Elizabeth Parsons to keep Fanny company as she was pregnant. The two always heard strange noises and saw apparitions. 

Since the birth of the child was approaching Kent decided to take Fanny to give birth elsewhere but in the meantime the woman fell ill with what the doctor diagnosed as smallpox and died. As the apparitions continued Richard Parsons organized a séance and here appeared the spirit of Kent’s first wife Elizabeth who said she had been killed by her husband and Fanny’s spirit who claimed she had been poisoned with arsenic.

The case had immense publicity, had political and religious implications. There were many séances, commissions, inquiries, expert discussions and it was concluded that there was no ghost. It ended with William Kent denouncing Richard Parsons of conspiracy against him. In fact if the ghosts had been taken seriously, he would have been sentenced to murder and death. The court agreed with William Kent.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

History

What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London?

Published

on

What is that spire outside Charing Cross station in London? thumbnail
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 as jewellery and tapestries. His wife, Eleanor of Castile, died in 1290 advertisement Harby near Lincoln. Charing Cross is one of twelve crosses called Eleanor Cross that the king had built to mark where his wife’s funeral procession stopped.

The cross was destroyed in the year 1647 by the Puritans during the English Civil War. After the construction of Charing Cross station in 1865, a reproduction of Eleanor Cross was created and placed outside the station and not in its original place in Trafalgar Square where the equestrian sculpture dedicated to Carlo.

The reproduction was created by the architect EM Barry himself who built the railway station. He used uncommon images available from the original. at the top, there are eight images of Eleonora, 4 as a queen, with imperial symbols and 4 represented as a Christian. Below are curved angels and shields with royal weapons and those of Ponthieu, Castile and Leon, all copied from still extant Eleanor Crosses who were at Waltham Cross and Northampton.

Continue Reading

archeology

What is special about King Tut’s brooch?

Published

on

King Tutankhamun was the last of his family to rule Egypt 1334 – 1325 BC. He is famous because of the discovery of his treasure, together with his mummy, in his tomb, by Howard Carter in 1922. On the breastplate  of the mummy, there was a winger scarab broach, fashioned from yellow glass. 
 
Scarab beetles were worshipped in Egypt, as symbols of death and rebirth. They are active at night, finding their way by the distant rays of light from the Milky Way, rather than by bright stars. The scarab broach, belonging to King Tut, has itself an amazing connection to the cosmos.
 
It was discovered that the glass used, could not have been produced at the time of his death. Investigation revealed that it is desert glass, that originated in the Sahara desert. It is formed from  the impact of a comet that fell to Earth, twenty eight million years ago! The discovery of the remains of a comet, a black pebble, found during excavations in the desert, was an astronomical first. Only dust fragments of comets, had been  found before then.
 
So King Tut’s brooch is indeed a very special broach, as it was made from glass formed by the impact of a comet that fell to earth millions of years ago, an  archaeological as well as an astronomical first.

Continue Reading

Food

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

Published

on

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 then and in the years that followed,  visualized her as a matronly cook, but nothing could be further from the truth.
 
Isabella Mary Mayson was born  14th March 1836, in Milk Lane, London. Her father died when she was young and her mother remarried, Henry Dorling, who worked as a clerk at Epsom racecourse. The family had lodgings there,  and Isabella was able to see at first hand, the organisation involved in running  kitchens, that catered for large numbers of people.
 
 On 10th July 1856 Isabella married Samuel Beeton, a publisher of books and magazines, and she started writing articles on cookery, to be included in his publications. Isabella lived a surprisingly modern married  life, commuting with her husband into the London office by train from Pinner. She also made annual trips to Paris, enabling her to write articles on fashion. At the same time, in the short space of eight years,
by Maull & Polyblank, hand-tinted albumen print, 1857
Isabella had numerous miscarriages and still births, giving birth to four sons, only two of which, survived to adulthood. These experiences were excessive even at a time of high infant mortality rate. Isabella died  in 1865 at the age of twenty eight following the birth of her youngest son. 
 
Isabella ‘s publishing success, while facing these health difficulties , was therefore a tremendous achievement. Her famous book on Household Management contained over 1,112 pages, with many coloured illustrations and nine hundred recipes. She taste tested these recipes in her kitchen and in the severe winter of 1858, handed out a nourishing beef and vegetable broth, to poor families for a penny a quart.
 
 Nevertheless, her skill was not in cooking, but in collecting and editing material for the book. In later years, the two sons who survived to reach adulthood, heard some mockery of the  scale of the ingredients in some of the recipes. However Mrs Beeton was writing for very large Victorian families, who would require dishes made, for example with twelve eggs!
 
Samuel Beeton, Isabella’s widower, continued to promote the image of her as a matronly cook, in order to publicise the book, and that is the image of her that has persisted throughout history.

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Facebook

Trending

%d bloggers like this: