Trivia Thursday: Hot Time in the Old Town

This Week’s Question: The Great Fire of London started on 2 September 1666 and went on to consume much of the city. Where did it begin? Last Week’s Question: Which weapon’s superiority over the crossbow was proven at the Battle of Crecy in 1346? Answer: The English longbow proved its military supremacy at the battle, which was fought as part of the Hundred Years’ War. The … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: Hot Time in the Old Town

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

If you come from a family with an official coat of arms (as opposed to one you got as a souvenir from the Renaissance Faire), chances are, you have the College of Arms to thank for it. The College, which is made up of heralds appointed by the British Sovereign, is responsible for matters of heraldry, granting coats of arms, recording pedigrees and carrying out … Continue reading Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

The Mill: Crime and Punishment

Esther-themill-5-2Previously on The Mill: Esther realized she’s getting screwed and needs to prove her age, so she’s heading to Liverpool to track down her baptism certificate, accompanied by new girl Lucy, who wants to track down her sister who is, unfortunately, dead.

Bellringer guy gets to ringing and everyone hauls out of bed. Well, everyone except Esther and Lucy, who’ve absconded already.

Timperley rushes up to the big house and tells Hannah about the escape, and that he knows where they’re headed. He gets on his cart and off he goes.

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One Last Battle

On 17 July 1453 the Battle of Castillon was fought between English and French forces near the town of Castillon-sur-Dordogne in Gascony. The battle marked the end of the not-so-aptly named Hundred Years’ War.

The war was less a war and more a collection of clashes and skirmishes that took place between 1337 and 1453, and they were primarily fought to determine who would wear the French crown. After the French captured Bordeaux in 1451, pretty much everyone thought the fighting was over, and indeed the English backed off for a few years, focusing on reinforcing Calais. But the people of Bordeaux weren’t happy at being forced to be French again, after years of being under English rule, so they sent King Henry VI a nice note, asking him to please recapture the province. Henry obligingly sent the Earl of Shrewsbury over with 3000 men, and the French were soon driven out of Bordeaux.

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Trivia Thursday: Royal Pedigree

This Week’s Question: Jane Seymour, who married Henry VIII on 30 May 1536, was descended from what other English king? Previous Question: What’s unusual about one of the ghosts said to haunt Athelhampton House in Dorchester? Answer:  It’s not human. In fact, it’s not even an animal native to the UK: one of the ghosts is said to be an ape. Sadly, I have no idea … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: Royal Pedigree

The Surgeon’s Photograph

On 21 April 1934, the Daily Mail published the Surgeon’s Photograph—the best-known image of the legendary Loch Ness Monster. It was later revealed to be a hoax, and I know we’re all shocked to hear that something that later turned out to be complete BS was first published the Daily Mail. The photo was allegedly taken by Dr Robert Wilson, a London gynaecologist, who refused … Continue reading The Surgeon’s Photograph

Trivia Thursday: History Buff

This Week’s Question: The man known as ‘the father of English local history and bibliography’ died on this day in 1552. What was his name? Last Week’s Question: What piece of Coronation paraphernalia was stolen (and subsequently returned) in 1950? Answer:  The Stone of Scone was taken from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve or Day 1950 by four Scottish students: Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson, and … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: History Buff

Peak Park

As spring seems to have finally arrived, I’m in an outdoorsy mood, so today we’re celebrating the Peak District, which became the United Kingdom’s first national park on 17 April 1951. The massive park covers 555 square miles of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and South and West Yorkshire and attracts an estimated 22 million visitors per year, making it the second most visited national … Continue reading Peak Park

A Gentleman and a Poet

Today is the four-hundred-sixty-third anniversary of the birth of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, courtier, poet, and, according to some, the actual author of Shakespeare’s plays. Even the ones performed after his death. He must have been a very literary ghost. De Vere was born on 12 April 1550 at his family’s ancestral pile, Hedingham Castle. His family could trace their roots back to … Continue reading A Gentleman and a Poet

Wordsworth, Wordsmith

Once again, it’s been a while since we celebrated a birthday here on the Armchair Anglophile, so let’s light a candle for one of the greatest British poets: William Wordsworth, who was born 7 April 1770 at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Cumberland. Little William received a thorough grounding in the great poets from an early age and was given the run of his father’s library. … Continue reading Wordsworth, Wordsmith