British Battles, Wars and British Constitution

29/09/2012 12:43

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English Morris Dancing – History

The Victoria Cross – It's History

Sir Winston Churchill – War Leader, Artist and Writer

Famous English and British Battles and Wars 59 AD to Present

10 Turning Points that could have lost GB WW2

Sir Alexander Fleming – Discoverer of Penicillin

History of The Tank – An England Icon

The Unofficial Truce – Christmas 1914

Sir Francis Walsingham – Spymaster for Queen Elizabeth 1

MI6 and "C" – First Head of MI6 from 1911

P.M. Mrs Margaret Thatcher – The Iron lady

British Prime Ministers – First Lord of the Treasuries

England's House of Parliament - It's History

British Knighthoods – Iconic History

Women's Auxiliary Air force – History 1939 - 1949

Women's Timber Corps – 1942 History

Women's Land Army – History 1939 – 1950

Dads Army – The Funny TV Series

British Space Satellites – History

British Radar – It's History

History of The Hovercraft

The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

Sir George Cayley, First Manned Flight – 1849 England

The Battle Of Britain – 1940

The Spitfire – A British Icon

The First VTOL Harrier Jump Jet – A British Icon 1941

King Alfred the Great – The First English King

General Gordon of Khartoum – A British Icon

Battle of Trafalgar – 1805

Battle of Waterloo – 1815

Ghosts of RN Hospital Haslar

Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot 1605

The Union Jack – Iconic British Flag

Sir Francis Drake  1540 to 1596 – British Icon

Sir Walter Raleigh 1552 to 1618 – British Icon

The Greenwich Prime Meridian

Captain Cook – His Travels and Life

The First Fleet – Australia 1787 – View from England

The Mayflower and It's Passengers – A View from England

History of the English Constitution AD 890 to Present day

English Kings and Queens from 774 AD to Present Day

The English Translated Magna Carta

English Speaking Countries

List of British Royal Societies

History of British Police and Funny Art

England's Trial by Jury

Tower of London – London Icon

The Great Plague of London -1665

The longitude's Marine Chronometer by John Harrison (24 March 1693 – 24 March 1776)

The First Steam Locomotive – England 1804 and First Steam Engine 1653 – England

The Great and Good of Britain Buried at Westminster Abbey


English Morris Dancing – History

As an Englishman with an interest in English History I thought it would be of interest to tell the History of Morris Dancing which has a long recorded history in England, the earliest reference being from 1448.

By the early 16th century morris dancing had become a fixture of Church festivals. In mediaeval and Renaissance England, the churches brewed and sold ales, including wassail. These ales were sold for many occasions, both seasonal and sacramental - there were christening ales, bride's ales, clerk, wake and Whitsun ales - and were an important means of fund-raising for churches.

Later in the century the morris became attached to village fetes, and the May Day revels; Shakespeare says "as fit as a Morris for May Day" and "a Whitsun Morris Dance".

William Kemp danced a solo morris from London to Norwich in 1600. Morris Dancing was popular in Tudor times. However under Cromwell it fell out of favour and was actively discouraged by many Puritans. The ales were suppressed by the Puritan authorities in the seventeenth century and, when some reappeared in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, they usually had associated dancing.

By the mid 18th century in the South Midlands region, morris dancing was a fixture of the Whitsun ales. Morris Dancing was now in the hands of common folk who couldn't afford the fancy costumes of a couple centuries earlier, and they were resorting to ordinary clothing decorated with ribbons and flowers. There was a separate variety of morris, called bedlam morris, being done in a swath from the Welsh border counties through Warwickshire and Northamptonshire down to Buckinghamshire; the bedlam morris seems to have been mainly or exclusively done with sticks. Whether this ‘bedlam' morris had an alternative origin we cannot say.

During the nineteenth century Morris Dancing declined rapidly. New forms of entertainment, rapid social change and its association with an older unfashionable culture were all contributing factors.

For various reasons, church ales and Whitsun ales survived quite late in the south-west Midlands. Most of the Cotswold Morris tradition comes from this region and many of the Cotswold Morris sides gave dances to Cecil Sharp and other collectors which formed the basis for the dance revival in the early twentieth century. As well as the Cotswold dances other regional versions of the the morris also survived long enough to be collected. These included ‘Border Morris' from the Welsh border counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, North West from Lancashire and Cheshire, and Molly dancing from East Anglia. In the north of England long sword dancing was collected from Yorkshire and Rapper sword from the North East. It was widely believed that other regional varieties of the dance had been forgotten and lost. New evidence has recently been unearthed of ‘lost morris' in other areas of the country and that is what Rattlejag are all about.

The Victoria Cross – It's History

The Victoria Cross is the highest gallantry medal given to the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces. Mr. Charles Davis Lucas was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in 1857. The bravery of the soldiers is second to non and it's true what the Chinese call Britain "The Island of Hero's" which I think sums up what we British are all about.

The idea of the Victoria Cross had been suggested by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria and Lord Panmure, the new Secretary of State for War, continued to correspond with Prince Albert on the subject. Queen Victoria herself was actively involved in the proposals. On the original draft warrant it had already been decided that the award should carry her name.

The Civil Service proposed that the award should be called 'the Military Order of Victoria', Prince Albert thought that this was rather long-winded and on making pencil alterations to the draft document scored through the word Order and suggested instead 'the Victoria Cross'. Queen Victoria showed a lot of interest especially in the design of the Cross. From the original drawings that were submitted to her, the Queen selected one that was closely modelled on an existing campaign medal, the army Gold Cross from the Peninsular War.

Queen Victoria suggested that the Cross should be 'a little smaller'. The Queen also made a significant alteration to the motto, scoring out 'for the brave' and replacing it with 'for valour', in case anyone should come to the conclusion that the only brave men in a battle were those who won the cross. Hancock's of Bruton Street, London, jewellers who had a high reputation for silver work received the commission from Lord Panmure for the new medal. It had already been decided that the new decoration would be made of base metal. The first proof that Queen Victoria received was not at all to her taste. 'The Cross looks very well in form, but the metal is ugly; it is copper and not bronze and will look very heavy on a red coat'.

An unknown person perhaps inspired by Queen Victoria's remarks made the suggestion that it would be fitting to take the bronze for the new medals from Russian guns captured in the Crimea. Two 18-pounders were placed at the disposal of an engineer who was sent off to Woolwich Barracks. The two 18-pounder guns were clearly of an antique design and were found to be inscribed with very un-Russian characters. Many years had passed before it was pointed out that the 'VC guns' were in fact Chinese and not Russian as was first thought, and may or may not have been anywhere near the Crimea. The dies which Hancock's used began to crack up, this was as a result of the Chinese gunmetal being so hard. It was therefore decided to cast the medals instead, this fortunately turned out to be a lucky chance as it resulted in higher relief and more depth in the moulding than would have been possible with a die-stamped medal.

It was not until the 29th January 1856 when a Royal Warrant was finally signed instituting the Victoria Cross. Queen Victoria had made it plain to Lord Panmure that she herself wished to bestow her new award on as many of the recipients as possible. The Queen decided that the 26th June 1857 was a suitable date and that a grand parade was to be laid on in Hyde Park and that she would 'herself' attend on horseback. Preparations for the great day were made, the final list of recipients being published in the London Gazette on the 22nd June 1857.

Hancock's the jewellers had to work around the clock to engrave the names of the recipients on the Crosses. Those who were to receive the award from the Queen had somehow to be found and then rushed to London, together with detachments of the units in which they had served. Some of the recipients were not in uniform for the ceremony, this was as a result of them having left the services. Regardless, the Queen herself was well satisfied with the arrangements. Public interest in the ceremony on the 26th was intense.

At an early hour crowds of well dressed sightseers swarmed into Hyde Park, where a vast amphitheatre of seats, capable of accomodating 12,000 persons had been erected. In the centre stood a simple table, on which were laid the bronze Maltese crosses, their red and blue ribbons being the only patches of colour that caught the eye. In front, a body of 4,000 troops, consisting of the corps d'elite of the army - Guards, Highlanders, Royal Marines, the Rifle Brigade, Enniskillens, and Hussars, Artillery and Engineers - was drawn up.

Between them and the Royal Pavilion stood the small group of heroes-sixty-two in number-who were to be decorated. At 10 a.m. the Queen, the Prince Consort, Prince Frederick William of Prussia, and a brilliant train, rode into the Park. The Queen, mounted on a gallant and spirited roan, and wearing a scarlet jacket, black shirt, and plumed hat, rode up to the table, but did not dismount.

One by one each hero was summoned to her presence, and bending from her saddle, her Majesty pinned the Cross on his breast with her own hands, whilst the Prince Consort saluted him with grave and respectful courtesy. As each soldier or sailor was decorated, the vast concourse of spectators cheered and clapped their hands. Whether he were an officer whose breast was already glittering with stars and orders, or a humble private or Jack Tar whose rough tunic carried no more resplendent embellishment than the ordinary war medal. But of all the cheers none were heartier than those which were given for a man who, when called out, stepped forward arrayed in what was then the grotesque and pacific garb of an ordinary policeman.

Since the Victoria Cross was created the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to the British Army and four to the Australian Army have been awarded since the start of the Korean War. The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park. Charles Davis Lucas was the first recipient.

Sir Winston Churchill – War Leader, Artist and Writer

Sir Winston Churchill was one of Britain's greatest icons and is recognised worldwide as one of the greatest Leader and Politician of the 20th Century. I thought it would be interesting to write the story of this famous icon from his birth on November 30th 1874 at Blenheim Palace, a home given by Queen Anne to Churchill's ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough.  He is best known for his determination yet courageous leadership as Prime Minister for Great Britain when he led the British people from the brink of defeat during World War II.

He was the eldest son of Lord Randolph Churchill, a Tory Democrat (a British political party) who achieved early success as a rebel in his party. Later, after Randolph Churchill failed, he was cruelly described as "a man with a brilliant future behind him." His mother was Jenny Jerome, the beautiful and talented daughter of Leonard Jerome, a New York businessman. Winston idolized his mother, but his relations with his father, who died in 1895, were cold and distant. It is generally agreed that as a child Winston was not shown warmth and affection by his family.

As a child Churchill was sensitive and suffered from a minor speech impediment. He was educated following the norms of his class. He first went to preparatory school, then to Harrow in 1888 when he was twelve years old. Winston was not especially interested in studying Latin or mathematics and spent much time studying in the lowest level courses until he passed the tests and was able to advance. He received a good education in English, however, and won a prize for reading aloud a portion of Thomas Macaulay's (1800–1859) Lays of Ancient Rome (1842). After finishing at Harrow, Winston failed the entrance test for the Royal Military College at Sandhurst three times before finally passing and being allowed to attend the school. His academic record improved a great deal once he began at the college. When he graduated in 1894 he was eighth in his class.

Very early on Churchill demonstrated the physical courage and love of adventure and action that he kept throughout his political career. His first role was that of a soldier-journalist.

In 1895 he went to Cuba to write about the Spanish army for the Daily Graphic. In 1896 he was in India, and while on the North-West Frontier with the Malakand Field Force he began work on a novel, Savrola: A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania. The book was published in 1900.

More important, however, were Churchill's accounts of the military campaigns in which he participated. Savrola was followed by a book about the reconquest of the Sudan (1899), in which he had also taken part. As a journalist for the Morning Post,he went to Africa during the Boer War (1899–1902), where British forces fought against Dutch forces in South Africa. The most romantic of his adventures as a youth was his escape from a South African prison during this conflict and the “Wanted Dead Or Alive Poster” put up all over South Africa.

In 1899 Churchill lost in his first attempt at election to the House of Commons, one of two bodies controlling Parliament in England. This was to be the first of many defeats in elections, as Churchill lost more elections than any other political figure in recent British history. But in 1900 he entered the House of Commons, in which he served off and on until 1964.  Churchill's early years in politics were characterized by an interest in the radical reform (improvement) of social problems. The major intellectual achievement of this period of Churchill's life was his Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909). In this work he stated his belief in liberalism, or political views that stress civil rights and the use of government to promote social progress. Churchill was very active in the great reforming government of Lord Asquith between 1908 and 1912, and his work fighting unemployment was especially significant.

In 1912 Churchill became first lord of the Admiralty, the department of British government that controls the naval fleet. He switched his enthusiasm away from social reform to prepare Britain's fleet for a war that threatened Europe. While at the Admiralty Churchill suffered a major setback. He became committed to the view that the navy could best make an impact on the war in Europe (1914–18) by way of a swift strike through the Dardanelles, a key waterway in central Europe. This strategy proved unsuccessful, however, and Churchill lost his Admiralty post. In 1916 he was back in the army, serving for a time on the front lines in France.

Churchill soon re-entered political life. He was kept out of the Lloyd George War Cabinet by conservative hostility toward his style and philosophy. But by 1921 Churchill held a post as a colonial secretary. A clash with Turkish president Kemal Atatürk, however, did not help his reputation, and in 1922 he lost his seat in the House of Commons. The Conservative Party gained power for the first time since 1905, and Churchill began a long-term isolation, with few political allies.

In 1924 Churchill severed his ties with liberalism and became chancellor of the Exchequer (British treasury) in Stanley Baldwin's (1867–1947) government. Churchill raised controversy when he decided to put Britain back on the gold standard, a system where currency equals the value of a specified amount of gold. Although he held office under Baldwin, Churchill did not agree with his position either on defence or on imperialism, Britain's policy of ruling over its colonies. In 1931 he resigned from the conservative "shadow cabinet" in protest against its Indian policy.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, on 3 September 1939 the day Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was appointed First Lord of The Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, just as he had been during the first part of the First World War. When they were informed, the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: "Winston is back". In this job, he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called “Phoney War”, when the only noticeable action was at sea. Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the war. However, Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the successful German Invasion of Norway.

On 10 May 1940, hours before the German invasion of France by a lightning advance through the Low Countries, it became clear that, following failure in Norway, the country had no confidence in Chamberlain's prosecution of the war and so Chamberlain resigned. The commonly accepted version of events states that Lord Halifax turned down the post of prime minister because he believed he could not govern effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons. Although the prime minister does not traditionally advise the King on the formers successor, Chamberlain wanted someone who would command the support of all three major parties in the House of Commons.

A meeting between Chamberlain, Halifax, Churchill and David Margesson, the government Chief Whip, led to the recommendation of Churchill, and, as we are a constitutional monarch, King George VI asked Churchill to be prime minister and to form an all-party government. Churchill's first act was to write to Chamberlain to thank him for his support.

Churchill had been among the first to recognise the growing threat of Hitler long before the outset of the Second World War, and his warnings had gone largely unheeded. Although there was an element of British public and political sentiment favouring negotiated peace with a clearly ascendant Germany, among them the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax.

Churchill nonetheless refused to consider an armistice with Hitler's Germany. His use of rhetoric hardened public opinion against a peaceful resolution and prepared the British for a long war. Coining the general term for the upcoming battle, Churchill stated in his “Finest Hour” speech to the House of Commons on 18 June 1940, "I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin." By refusing an armistice with Germany, Churchill kept resistance alive in the British Empire and created the basis for the later Allied Counter-attacks of 1942–45, with Britain serving as a platform for the supply of Soviet union and the liberation of Western Europe.

In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, Churchill created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook, in charge of aircraft production. It was Beaverbrook's business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.

Churchill's speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled British. His first speech as prime minister was the famous "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”.

He followed that closely with two other equally famous ones, given just before the Battle of Britain. One included the words:

... we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

The other:

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”.

At the height of the Battle of Britain, his bracing survey of the situation included the memorable line “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” which engendered the enduring nickname “The Few” for the RAF fighter pilots who won it.

One of his most memorable war speeches came on 10 November 1942 at the Lord Mayor's Luncheon at Mansion House in London, in response to the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Churchill stated:

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”.

Without having much in the way of sustenance or good news to offer the British people, he took a risk in deliberately choosing to emphasise the dangers instead.

"Rhetorical power", wrote Churchill, "is neither wholly bestowed, nor wholly acquired, but cultivated."

As an Englishman I am proud we were able to stand alone from 1939 to the beginning of 1942 against Hitler, Stalin and the various Nazi quisling governments from continental Europe.

The final period of Churchill's career began with the British people rejecting him in the general election of 1945. In that election 393 Labour candidates were elected members of Parliament against 213 Conservatives and their allies. It was one of the most striking reversals of fortune in democratic history. It may perhaps be explained by the British voters' desire for social reform.

In 1951, the voters returned Churchill as prime minister. This was a belated thank you from the voters.

He resigned in April 1955 due to his age and health problems during his term in office. For many of the later years of his life, even his personal strength was not enough to resist the persistent cerebral arteriosclerosis, a brain disorder, from which he suffered. He died on January 24, 1965, and was given a state funeral.

Famous English and British Battles and Wars 59 AD to Present

Soldiers in the trenches of the First World War would often quote that they fought for each other. It makes us English a united culture, the envy of so many around the world. It is part of the English Enigma. It is why the English can laugh at themselves and celebrate defeats. It is their confidence and their very character.

As Portsmouth is a Military and Royal Navy city and was the main port of departure from the UK for most wars over the centuries. Below is a list of famous battles and wars:

Queen Boudecca and the Rebellion of 59 AD Boudicca was the wife of Prasutagus, who was head of the Iceni tribe in East England, in what is now Norfolk and Suffolk.After Prasutagus died in 59 AD the Romans arrived to take over half the kingdom and seize control. To humiliate the former rulers, the Romans beat Boudicca publicly, raped their two daughters, seized the wealth of many Iceni and sold much of the royal family into slavery.

Led by Boudicca, about 100,000 British attacked Camulodunum (now Colchester), where the Romans had their main centre of rule. With Suetonius and most of the Roman forces away, Camulodunum was not well-defended, and the Romans were driven out. The Procurator Decianus was forced to flee. Boudicca's army burned Camulodunum to the ground; only the Roman temple was left.

Immediately Boudicca's army turned to the largest city in the British Isles, Londinium (London). Suetonius strategically abandoned the city, and Boudicca's army burned Londinium and massacred the 25,000 inhabitants who had not fled. Archaeological evidence of a layer of burned ash shows the extent of the destruction.

List of Anglo – Welsh Wars from 446 AD to 598 AD This is a list of wars and battles between the English or England and the Welsh from the Adventus Saxonum in c.446AD to the late Middle Ages when they ceased.

The Battle of Mons Badonicus 490 - 517 AD The Battle of Mons Badonicus  (English Mount Badon, Welsh Mynydd Baddon) was a battle between a force of Britons and an Anglo – Saxon army, probably sometime between 490 and 517 AD. Though it is believed to have been a major political and military event, there is no certainty about its date or place.

Battle of Edington – 878 AD In the late 9th century the Danes had slowly but surely infiltrated the British Isles and pushed back the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants. They already held the north and east of the country. A temporary defeat at Ashdown had interrupted, but not stopped, the Danish advances. Under Guthrum, they pushed into Wessex from the south and east. They launched a winter attack on a surprised King Alfred at his court of Chippenham.

The Battle of Ethandun by King Alfred The Great 878 AD Alfred won a decisive victory in the ensuing Battle of Ethandun, which may have been fought near Westbury, Wiltshire. He then pursued the Danes to their stronghold at Chippenham and starved them into submission. One of the terms of the surrender was that Guthrum convert to Christianity; and three weeks later the Danish king and 29 of his chief men were baptised at Alfred's court at Aller, near Athelney, with Alfred receiving Guthrum as his spiritual son.

Battles of Brunanburh 937 AD was an Anglo-Saxon victory in 937 by the army of Æthelstan, King of Angle-Land, and his brother, Edmund, over the combined armies of Olaf III Guthfrithson, Norse-Gael King of Dublin, Constantine II, King of Scots, and Owen I, King of Strathclyde.

The Battle of Maldon AD 991Took place on the shores of the River Blackwater in Essex. There was a heroic stand by the Anglo-Saxons against the Viking invasion which ended in utter defeat for Brithnoth and his men. The battle's progress is related in a famous Anglo-Saxon poem, only part of which survives.

Battle of Fulford - 1066 AD and Battle of Stamford Bridge – 1066.The Battle of Fulford, on the outskirts of York, has been overshadowed by the other great battles of 1066 at Stamford Bridge and Hastings.

The Battle of Hastings 1066 AD The Battle of Hastings which took place on October 14th. 1066 is considered to be the decisive battle resulting in the Norman conquest of England. The battle took place at Senlac Hill, about eighteen miles from Hastings.

Battle of The Standard or The Battle of Northallerton 1138 AD The Battle of the Standard, sometimes called the Battle of Northallerton, in which English Forces repelled a Scottish Army which took place on 22 August 1138 on Cowton Moor near Northallerton in Yorkshire.

Lincoln (First Battle of Lincoln) – 1141 AD The contest between Stephen of Blois and his cousin Maud ( Matilda ) for the throne of England was a messy affair, with first one side and then the other side gaining the upper hand. A supporter of Maud's cause, Ranulf de Tailebois, seized control of Lincoln Castle and fortified it against attack. The citizens of Lincoln appealed to King Stephen for help.

Lincoln ( Second Battle of Lincoln ) - 1217 AD King John's conflict with his powerful barons was at the root of the conflict known as the Battle of Lincoln Fair. The king was forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215. Louis, Dauphin of France, sent troops to aide the baron's cause.

Battle of Lewes – 1264 AD The reign of Henry III was beset by conflict with the Barons. Henry's autocratic rule, his favouritism at Court towards unpopular French nobles, particularly his despised half brothers, his foreign policies, and his refusal to discuss or negotiate policy with his Barons led ultimately to the Barons War  of 1263 – 1267.

Battle of Evesham – 1265 ADThe Battle of Evesham in 1265 restored Henry III to the English throne where he stayed until his death in 1272. He was succeeded by his son Edward I who went on to conquer Wales and nearly Scotland. Monks recovered de Montfort's mutilated body and buried him at Evesham Abbey. Today his grave is marked by a stone on which an inscription commemorates his death.

Battle of Stirling Bridge – 1297 AD In 1297 a commoner by the name of William Wallace was starting to oppose the English rule by attacking small English garrisons. The word soon spread through out Scotland and in a short time Wallace soon had enough followers to defend Scotland. When Edward heard of Wallace and his followers, he decided to send a large English army to wipe out Wallace before he got too big. When the word got out that a large English army was heading for Stirling to meet Wallace, thousands of Scots came down from the Highlands to join Wallace and confront the advancing English army. They met at Stirling. The Scots heavily defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297) which brought most of Scotland back to the Scots.

Battle of Falkirk – 1298 AD Wallace was knighted in 1298 and became a Guardian of Scotland, Wallace's army then continued over the border to ravage the north of England, sacking many towns and causing mayhem before returning back to Scotland. This prompted Edward into invading Scotland again. Edward's army advanced back into Scotland in 1298, and met Wallace at Falkirk.

Battle of Bannockburn – 1314 AD By 1314, only Stirling Castle was held by the English, and was not long till the Scots took it back. In a last attempt to stay in control of Scotland, Edward II and a large army marched north to relieve the castle. But was met by the Scots led by Robert the Bruce just outside of Stirling at Bannockburn.

The Hundred years War 1337 to 1453 AD The Hundred Years' War (French: Guerre de Cent Ans) was a series of separate wars lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne, which was vacant with the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings.

The Battle of Crecy 1346 AD France, August 26, 1346: after a long march from Cherbourg to the town of Crécy, the invading English forces faced off against an overwhelmingly larger French and Genoese army. It was a battle royale that shook France and showed the lasting ability of the English to defeat overwhelming odds.

Battle of Stalling Down – 1405 ADOwain Glyndwr (variously called Glendower, Glyn Dwr, and Owain ap Gruffydd) was a noble Welshman and a descendent of Llewelyn the Last. For most of his life he lived - and fought - as an Englishman, but by 1400 his growing sense of Welsh patriotic pride - and a squabble over land with his English neighbour - led him to raise an insuurection against the English in Wales.

Battle of Agincourt 1415 AD On 11 August 1415, Henry V, the English king for two years, set sail for France with an army to substantiate his claim to the French Throne. His plan was to take Harfleur as a bridgehead before marching down the Seine to Paris and Bordeaux. There are a number of possible reasons for this campaign. It was an attempt not only to reclaim what Henry believed to be his lawful birthrights, the Duchy of Normandy and the French Throne, but also as a means of securing his reign by diverting attention from the problems at home. Moreover, it was not without provocation by the French who had raided the English coast. After a generation of defeats and setbacks, this English force held three main strengths. If properly deployed, the English archer was one of the most formidable fighting forces in Europe, the strength of Henry as a general and the disorder of the French leadership under the frequent insanity of a weak king.

List of Battles during War of The Roses: Yorkshire V Lancashire 1455 - 1487

1.  The first Battle of St. Albans 1455

2.  The Battle of Blore Heath 1459

3.  The Battle of Northampton 1460

4.  The Battle of Wakefield 1460

5.  The Battle of Mortimer's Cross 1461

6.  The Second Battle of St Albans – 1461 AD

7.  The Battle of Ferry Bridge – 1461 AD

8.  Battle of Towton – 1461 AD

9.  The Battle of Hedgeley Moor 1464 AD

10.                The Battle of Hexham 1464 AD

11.                The Battle of Edgecote Moor 1469 AD

12.                The Battle of Losecote Field 1470 AD

13.                Battle of Barnet – 1471 AD

14.                Battle of Tewkesbury – 1471 AD

15.                Battle of Bosworth – 1485 AD

16.                The Battle of Stoke – 1487 AD

Battle of Flodden – 1513 AD Even before the political significance of England's resounding thumping of the Scots at Flodden Field, where almost a third of the Scottish army were slaughtered in Northumbria, military historians have cause to note the Battle Of Flodden Field. The most disastrous battle in Scotland's history was a watershed for medieval combat, where the decisive thrust of the longbow, so favoured by England, began to cede, giving way to a new weapon more suited to lusty battle at close quarters.

The Spanish Armada 1588 AD The spectacular but unsuccessful attempt by King Philip II of Spain to invade Elizabethan England. The Armada is for the us English the classic foreign threat to our country.

The English Civil War 1641 – 1651 AD The English Civil War (1641–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The first (1642–46) and second (1648–49) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

Battle of Edgehill 1642 ADEdgehill was the first major set-piece battle of the Civil War. A clear victory for either side at this point could have meant a rapid end to the conflict. Instead a combination of the particular circumstances surrounding the battle and poor leadership of both armies saw the clash end indecisively. The war would drag on for four bloody years yet.

Battle of Marston Moor – 1644 ADMarston Moor has some claim to being the biggest battle ever fought on British soil, and it was certainly one of the most decisive in our history, tipping the scales in the Civil War very much the way of the Parliamentary cause.

Battle of Naseby 1645 AD The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English Civil War. On the 14th of June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

Battle of Worcester – 1651 AD in August 1651 Charles and his largely Scottish forces found themselves in Worcester, resting before either moving further south, or meeting Parliament's New Model Army in battle.

The Monmouth Rebellion 1685 AD The Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, was an attempt to overthrow James II, who had become King of England, King of Scots and King of Ireland at the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685. James II was unpopular because he was Roman Catholic and many people were opposed to a papist king. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II, claimed to be rightful heir to the throne and attempted to displace James II.The rebellion ended with the defeat of Monmouth's forces at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685. Monmouth was executed for treason on 15 July, and many of his supporters were executed or transported in the "Bloody Assizes" of Judge Jeffreys.

Battle of Sedgmoor - 1685 AD took place at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater in Somerset, England.It was the final battle of the Monmouth Rebellion and followed a series of skirmishes around south west England between the forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and the crown he was trying to take. The royalist forces prevailed and about 500 troops captured. Monmouth escaped from the battlefield but was later captured and taken to London for trial and execution.

The War of the Spanish Succession (the Duke of Marlborough) 1701-1714 AD Battle of Blenheim 1704 , Battle of Ramillies 1706

The War of the Austrian Succession 1742 to 1748 AD
Battles of: Dettingen 1743, Fontenoy, Roucoux and Lauffeldt.

The Jacobite Rebellion 1745 to 1746 AD
The Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars in the British Isles occurring between 1688 and 1746. The uprisings were aimed at returning James VII of Scotland and II of England, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne after he was deposed by Parliament during the Glorious Revolution. The series of conflicts takes its name from Jacobus, the Latin form of James. Battles of: Prestonpans, Falkirk and Battle of Culloden 1746.

The Seven Years War 1756 to 1763 AD
The Seven Years War was the first global conflict. It had two main fronts. The first, in Europe, was the hostility between Prussia and Austria, still simmering after the War of the Austrian Succession , which expanded through alliances to include all of Europe.

Battles of : Rossbach 1757, Minden 1759, Quebec 1759, Emsdorff 1760, Warburg 1760, Kloster Kamp 1760, Vellinghausen 1761 and Wilhelmstadt 1762.

The French and Indian War 1755 to 1763 AD
Braddock on the Monongahela, Ticonderoga 1758, Louisburg and Quebec 1759.

The American Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783 AD
Battles of: Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill, Quebec 1775 - 1776, Long Island, Harlem Heights, White Plains, Fort Washington, Trenton, Princeton, Ticonderoga 1777, Hubbardton, Bennington 1777, Brandywine Creek, Freeman's Farm, Paoli, Germantown, Saratoga, Monmouth 1778, Camden, King's Mountain, Cowpens, Jersey 1781, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown.

Battle of The Nile 1798 AD

The Battle of the Nile was Nelson's famous victory over the French fleet on 1st August 1798, leaving Napoleon stranded with his army in Egypt. It was fought in Aboukir bay near Alexandria, Egypt, on the 1st and 2nd of August 1798. The British fleet was under the command of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson and the French fleet under Admiral Paul D'Brueys.

Battle of Trafalgar 1805 AD
The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on the 21st of October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast, between the combined fleets of Spain and France and the Royal Navy. It was the last great sea action of the period and its significance to any invasion of England by the French and Spanish was ended and helped in the dominance of the Seas by us British for over 100 years.

The Napoleonic Wars 1802 to 1814 AD
Trafalgar and Quatre Bras.

The Peninsular War 1808 to 1814 AD
Vimeiro, Corunna, Douro, Talavera, Busaco, Barossa, Fuentes de Onoro, Albuera, Salamanca and Vitoria.

The War of 1812 AD between USA and GB On June 18, 1812, the United States stunned the world by declaring war on Great Britain. Supporting its allies in Spain and Portugal, Britain's army was on the Iberian Peninsula, involved in a struggle with Napoleon Bonaparte, who had marshaled the forces of Revolutionary France under his penumbra.

Despite losing the Thirteen Colonies to George Washington and the American revolutionaries twenty-five years earlier, England, like many on the European continent, did not take the United States that seriously. Despite the fact that most of Britain's supplies for the Napoleonic war came from America and Canada -from beef to feed the Duke of Wellington's army, to the oak trees essential to maintain Britain's majestic navy. Britain found itself faced with another war, a war they had assiduously tried to avoid.

The Battle of Waterloo AD 1815
The Battle of Waterloo took place near Waterloo, Belgium on June 18, 1815. In this battle, the forces of the French Empire under the leadership of Michael Ney and the Dictator Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by an Anglo-Allied Army commanded by the Duke of Wellington.

The First Afghan War 1839 to 1842 AD in which Britain suffered the humiliation of a British and Indian force massacred by Afghan tribesmen as they struggled to reach India from Kabul and saw an Army of Retribution exact revenge.
Battles: Ghuznee, Kabul and Gandamak, Jellalabad and Kabul 1842.

The Second Afghan War 1879 to 1882 AD which saw three British/Indian armies invade Afghanistan, fighting the battles of Ali Masjid and Peiwar Kotal, the death of the British envoy Cavagnari in the Billa Hissar citadel at Kabul and the second invasion of Afghanistan by General Roberts, leading to the battles of the Sherpur Cantonment (Kabul), Ahmed Khel, the disaster of Maiwand and the final victory of Kandahar, following Roberts' spectacular march from Kabul. Battles: Ali Masjid, Peiwar Kotal, Charasiab, Kabul 1879, Ahmed Khel, Maiwand, Kandahar.

The First Sikh Wars 1845-1846 AD The Sikhs fought First Anglo Sikh War with the British and lost Kashmir as they were defeated in the battle.

The Second Sikh War 1848-1849 AD
The Second Anglo-Sikh War fell out between the Sikh Empire and the British Empire. The war led to the subjugation of the Sikh kingdom and the annexation of Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the British East India Company.

The Crimean War 1854 to 1856 AD Everyone interested in history has an impression of the Crimean war, if only because of the famous battle of the Charge of the Light Brigade, mistakenly charging the Russian cannon at the battle of Baklava in the aftermath of the Heavy Brigade's triumph in breaking the Russian line. The latter passed into oblivion but the former took on immortality after Alfred Tennyson, doing a good day's work as Poet Laureate. The battles included: Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Sevastopol.

World War One 1914 – 1918 The start of World War 1 was caused by the assasination of Archduke Francis Ferdinandon on June 14th. 1914 and the alliances throughout Europe which led to the first World War.

World War Two 1939-1945 Europe : Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany 1933. He rearmed the country, in violation of a treaty signed after World War One, and soon began to threaten other European nations. After the invasion of Poland in 1939 Britain and France declared war on Germany and Italy declared war on Britain and France. At this time in 1939 the Soviet Union had a pact with Germany. After the fall of France, Britain and its Commonwealth stood alone for 18 monthe against Hitler and Stalin. Once Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Britain signed an accord with the Soviet Union against Hitler. The end of the war came shrotly after Hitler commited suicide at the end of April 1945.

World War Two 1941-1945 Japan In December 1941 The japenese bombed pearl Harbour and declared war on the USA. Hitler shortly afterwards declared war on the USA. This led to Britain to declare war on japan.

The Soviet Union joined Britain and its Commonwealth plus the USA in the war against Japan, and shortly after the soviets joining war against Japan the USA dropped a second Atom Bomb and shortly afterwards Tokyo surrendered within days, with V-J Day declared on 15 August 1945. On 2 September 1945 World War II ended when representatives of Japan signed the instruments of surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) in Tokyo Bay.

The Korean War 1950-1957 The first British units to arrive at Pusan on 28 August 1950 were the 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment and 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders under the 27th British Infantry Brigade.

The Suez Conflict 1956 AD In 1956, the Suez Canal became the focus of a major world conflict. The canal represents the only direct means of travel from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, making it vital to the flow of trade between Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. Normally, free passage was granted to all who used the canal, but Britain and France desired control of it, not only for commercial shipping, but also for colonial interests. The Egyptian government had just been taken over by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who felt the canal should be under Egyptian control. The United States and Britain had promised to give aid to Egypt in the construction of the Asw_n High Dam in the Nile. This aid was retracted however, and in retaliation Nasser nationalized the canal. He intended to use the funds raised from the operation of the canal to pay for the Dam.

The Falklands War 1982 AD The Falklands War started on Friday, 2 April 1982 with the Argentine invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982. The war lasted 74 days, and resulted in the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and three civilian Falklanders. It is the most recent conflict to be fought by the UK without any allied states and the only external Argentine war since the 1880s.

The First Iraq War 1990-1991 AD international conflict that was triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Iraq's leader, Ṣaddām Ḥussein, ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait with the apparent aim of acquiring that nation's large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraqi power in the region.

The Second Gulf War 2003 AD to 2008 Prior to the war, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their security and that of their coalition/regional allies. These were lies by Tony Blair and George W. Bush just to get the support of the UN and the populations of the Brits and Yanks.

The ongoing Afghan War 2001 to Present the War in Afghanistan is an ongoing coalition conflict which began on October 7, 2001, as the US military's Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) that was launched, along with the British military, in response to both the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. The UK has, since 2002, led its own military operation, Operation Herrick, as part of the same war in Afghanistan. The character of the war evolved from a violent struggle against Al-Qaeda and its Taliban supporters to a complex counterinsurgency effort.

10 Turning Points that could have lost GB WW2

I believe that during WW2 "Fate" seemed to be on the side of Great Britain. Ask yourselves What were the turning points of WW2 that could have meant defeat for GB and the whole of Europe becoming dominated by the Nazi's. Below is a list of turning points that I think could have gone either way. We English have always fought. It is part of our makeup, and provides much of our history. But what makes us so good at being Warriors is our ethos. The ability to stand side by side as ‘shoulder companions' in any conflict and fight for ‘each other'. The Nazi's during WW2 found this out and consequently lost. This is the reason for nearly 1,000 years why England has never been invaded.

1) Winston Churchill Boer War escape.

If Sir Winston Churchill had been caught by the Boers after he had escaped from prison, he would have been shot and he would not have been able to lead Great Britain during WW2. There were Dead or Alive posters posted all through South Africa concerning Winston Churchill's escape.

2) The Phony War

After the fall of France most of Mainland Europe were conquered and occupied by the Nazi's and during the following 18 months, Britain and its Commonwealth stood alone against Germany and its allies including the Soviets. If the Soviets had decided to join Germany by attacking GB then we may have lost the war.

3) British RADAR

Development work in 1937 led to "beamed radar" for airborne sets and for Coastal Defense (CD) radar that operated on 1.5 m wavelength. The CD system was also called the Chain Home Low (CHL). The CHL used a rotating antenna, which rotated at 1-2.3 rpm and had a range of 160 km with an azimuth accuracy of 1.5 degrees. The Navy used a similar set to the CHL. Called the type 281; it was tested on the HMS Dido in October of 1940 and the HMS Prince of Wales in January of 1941. Over 59 sets were produced during the war. This set could operated on a wavelength of 50 cm and it could locate ships up to a distance of 20 km. Without Radar during the Battle of Britain GB would have lost the battle and been invaded shortly afterwards.

4) Battle of Britain

Towards the end of the Battle of Britain, Britain begun slowly running out of aircraft and pilots. The Germans were targeting airfields and then suddenly changed direction and started to bomb London over a period of days. This gave the RAF time to repair the airfields and replace the damaged aircraft. The other result of losing the Battle of Britain would have been the Invasion of Britain by the Germans.

5) The Battle of Dunkirk

Dunkirk was a battle in the Secomnd World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 24 May to 4 June 1940.

In one of the most widely-debated decisions of the war, Adolf Hitler ordered his generals to halt for three days, giving the Allies time to organise an evacuation and build a defensive line. If Hitler had told his troops to continue to Dunkirk GB would have lost the War. Despite the Allies' gloomy estimates of the situation, with Britain discussing a conditional surrender to Germany,in the end over 338,000 Allied troops were rescued.

6) Japan's Declaring war on the USA

After the japanese declared war on the USA by bombing its Naval base at Pearl harbour, Hitler also made the mistake of declaring war on the USA. If Hitler hadn't declared war on the USA then the Americans may not have become British allies for years in the future.

7) Breaking of enigma code in 1940,

If the British hadn't cracked the ULTRA enigma code than the war would have lasted longer and maybe even had lost the war.

8) Using first computer "COLOSSUS" to break higher settings enigma code in 1943

Colossus was built for the code-breakers at Bletchley Park by Tommy Flowers and his team of post office engineers in 1943. Using standard post office equipment, Tommy Flowers developed a machine that could work at 5000 characters a second, four times faster than anything built before. He went on to develop Colossus Mark 2, which could work at five time faster than the original Colossus.

The computer was as big as a room - 5 metres long, 3 metres deep and 2.5 metres high - and weighed over a ton. Colossus worked by 'reading', through a photoelectric system, a teleprinter tape containing the letters of the coded message. It read5,000 letters a second.

All possible combinations of the coded message were checked with the cypher key generated by Colossus. A teleprinter typed out the results of Colossus's search, revealing the settings which had been used by the Germans to send their messages. Ten Colossus Mark 2s were eventually built. A complete Mark 2 Colossus machine has recently been rebuilt and is on display at Bletchley Park.

The information revealed by the code-breakers at Bletchley Park was called ULTRA. ULTRA was so secret that only those who needed to know about it - like the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill - were told of its existence. The use of this first computer helped in the organising of the D-DAy Landings. If we hadn't had Colossus's then the war could have lasted longer or been lost.

9) D-Day landing and deception of Landing Ground

Operation Overlord was the code name for the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (commonly known as D-Day). A 12,000-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving almost 7,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June; more than 3 million troops were in France by the end of August.

Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on D-Day itself came from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Free French forces and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also minor contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway. Other Allied nations participated in the naval and air forces. Once the beachheads were secured, a three-week military buildup occurred on the beaches before Operation Cobra, the operation to break out from the Normandy beachhead, began. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to expand the foothold on France, and concluded with the closing of the Falaise pocket on 24th August, the liberation of Paris on 25th August, and the German retreat across the Seine which was completed on 30th August 1944. If the D-Day landings had failed then we could possibly had lost the war and I as an Englishman would be speaking german.

10) V1 and V2 Rockets introduced to late to affect outcome of war and Allies destroying bases

The V1 and V2 Rockets were devised to cause major devastion. In 1943 intelligence of a new threat to Britain's cities began to emerge - missiles and rockets. The V1 missile, once launched, flew without a pilot until it ran out of fuel and came crashing down, blowing up. The V2 rocket was a long distance weapon that could travel at the speed of sound. If they had neen introduced at the start of the war then GB would have lost the war.
Sir Alexander Fleming – Discoverer of Penicillin

Britain's history is made up of very famous Scientists all through their history. This has made me decide to write about one of the most famous British Scientist – Sir Alexander Fleming the discoverer of Penicillin. The discovery of penicillin was more than a mere chance event.

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin is one of the most celebrated case of an accident in science. In the conventional story, a stray mould spore was borne through an open window and landed on an exposed bacterial culture, Fleming later noticed a clear zone where the bacteria had been killed, he immediately recognized the therapeutic significance of the event, and it was only a matter of time before penicillin became a miracle drug. Fleming himself often underscored the role of chance in his work. Despite the numerous honours and awards he received, he was fond of reminding others, "I did not invent penicillin. Nature did that. I only discovered it by accident."

There was even more "chance" to the story than is often told, however. In addition, the traditional account obscures a considerable amount of scientific work that identified the efficacy of penicillin as an antibacterial agent. Without several researchers, who aggressively pursued the potential in Fleming's initial observation, penicillin would probably not have become a "discovery" on this occasion. The fuller story suggests a more complex view of science--as guided both by the contingencies of circumstance and by the focused effort of researchers.

Renewed interest in the history of Fleming's work began quite a few years ago when a bacteriologist in London noted that the windows of Fleming's lab at St. Mary's Hospital were so constructed that they could not open. How could a stray mould spore have wandered in, even by chance? Second, he observed, spores of Penicillium will not germinate under the conditions described by Fleming. Someone else then observed that the particular species of Penicillium would not likely have been floating in the air of London. Though common bread mould is a variety of Penicillium, it was the much rarer P. notatum that produced Fleming's penicillin.

The most likely source of the mould, it now appears, was a mycology lab downstairs from Fleming. There were likely spores all over the building. Further, Fleming was never known for neatness in his lab. Open cultures would not have been uncommon. It almost seems inevitable, then, that the mould would contaminate one of his cultures sooner or later.

The conditions of contamination would also have been important. Fleming believed, based on his earlier work on lysozyme, that penicillin acted by lysing bacteria open. This would certainly have accounted for the watery appearance of the area on his culture where the bacteria were absent. In this case, the spore would merely have needed to land on the culture plate--and this is how Fleming reported his own chance observation. But we have since learned that penicillin acts by blocking the synthesis of chemicals used by bacteria to build cell walls. Penicillin does not kill bacteria outright. Rather, it prevents their effective reproduction. A spore landing on an existing culture would thus be unlikely to have any immediate observable effect. The mould would have had to establish itself first if it was to prevent the further growth of bacteria. Temperature conditions while Fleming was away from his lab on vacation may have allowed this, or Fleming may have inoculated a plate that was already mouldy. In either case, a stray mould spore alone would not have created what Fleming observed.

The circumstance whereby Fleming noticed the original culture also seems quite improbable. Fleming did not notice themould's effect while routine-ly examining his cultures, though he did inspect them when he returned from his one-month summer vacation in 1928. In fact, he had discarded the now famous culture and left it to soak in a tray of lysol. A former member of his lab stopped by to visit, however, and Fleming showed him several cultures. Among these he casually selected the critical culture from the top of the discarded stack, where it had escaped the liquid disinfectant. Only then was Fleming struck by the unusual pattern of growth. He was obviously impressed, though, because he showed the culture to numerous colleagues the rest of the day and went on to investigate some of the strange antibacterial properties he saw.

Fleming was certainly not the first scientist to have noticed the antibacterial effects of moulds. In 1871, Joseph Lister (noted for introducing antiseptic practice into surgery) had found that a mould in a sample of urine seemed to be inhibiting bacterial growth. In 1875 John Tyndall reported to the Royal Society in London that a species of Penicillium had caused some of his bacteria to burst. In 1877 Louis Pasteur and Jules Joubert observed that airborne micro-organisms could inhibit the growth of anthrax bacilli in urine that had been previously sterilized.

Most dramatically, Ernest Duchesne had completed a doctoral dissertation in 1897 on the evolutionary competition amongmicro-organisms, focusing on the interaction between E. coli and Penicillium glaucum . Duchesne reported how the mould had eliminated the bacteria in culture. He had also inoculated animals with both the mould and a lethal dose of typhoid bacilli, showing that the mould prevented the animals from contracting typhoid. He urged more research, but went into the army following his degree and died of tuberculosis before ever returning to research. Chance, here, worked against his discovery (or potential discovery?) bearing fruit.

Several other researchers--almost certainly unknown to Fleming--had noticed the effects of Penicillium moulds on bacteria. Fleming was not unique in this regard. But noticing a phenomena does not always mean that it will be followed up. The chance in Fleming's case may have been less the appearance of the mouldy culture itself than that Fleming had a habit of pursuing odd phenomena. Fleming pursued his observation.

Still, Fleming did not follow through on his own "discovery" in ways that we might expect, knowing the current role and importance of penicillin. Fleming originally observed the action of penicillin in 1928. Yet he did not initiate clinical trials. Nor did he strongly advocate the use of penicillin in treating humans until 1940. The events during this twelve-year hiatus are perhaps the most telling in the history of penicillin.

Fleming was certainly searching for antibacterial agents in 1928 and he investigated penicillin's potential. But he was not impressed. He found that penicillin was not toxic to animals and that it did not harm white blood cells (leukocytes), yet he also found that penicillin would not be absorbed if taken orally. Penicillin taken by injection, alternatively, was excreted in the urine in a matter of hours--well before it could have its effects. For Fleming, penicillin's therapeutic potential was limited, perhaps to topical antisepsis.

Fleming did continue to use and advocate penicillin in the years following his initial discovery. But he saw the value of penicillin primarily in the context of bacteriology. Penicillin suppressed the growth of certain bacterial species, allowing one to selectively culture certain others (such as those causing influenza, acne and whooping cough). In this role penicillin became a valuable tool in the manufacture of vaccines--a major task Fleming managed at St. Mary's Hospital. Production of penicillin continued on a weekly basis throughout the 1930s, but all for purifying bacterial cultures. The penicillin was crude--good enough for Fleming's purpose, but hardly strong enough to destroy a serious human infection. Meanwhile, Fleming had turned his research to another group of chemical bactericides, the sulphonamides.

The pursuit of penicillin in treating human infections was due ultimately to another lab, led by Howard Florey in Oxford. In 1938 Ernst Chain, an associate of Florey's, began a search for natural antibacterial agents, as part of an effort to under-stand their mechanisms more fully. He chose three to study, penicillin among them. Fleming's 1929 paper offered a thread of information that Chain could pick up, though with a quite different purpose in mind. By early 1939 Chain and Florey began to suspect the medical potential of penicillin. But they could not simply test it: penicillin was difficult to produce and to purify. Florey had difficulty finding funding. By that time, the war effort in Britain meant that extra funds were not available for exploring mere possibilities. Support eventually came in late 1939 from the Rockefeller Foundation in the U.S.

Florey shifted the resources of his department to the penicillin project. Before they could demonstrate the efficacy of penicillin, they had several technical challenges. They needed to improve extraction methods, refine an assay for determining the strength of their extracts, and scale up production. After five months of work--in May, 1940--they had enough of the brown powder to test on mice. The penicillin allowed several mice injected with lethal doses of virulent streptococci to survive. The potential of penicillin for treating infections then seemed demonstrably real. Florey and Chain repeated their tests as a double-check, and then went on to determine appropriate dosages and treatment duration, publishing their results in August.

But the research was hardly done. Would the results transfer to humans? To know, they had to scale up production yet again. Based on relative weight, a human would need roughly 3,000 times the penicillin used by a mouse. And commercial support was still not forthcoming. In the Oxford labs, flasks and biscuit tins used for the mould cultures gave way to hundreds of bedpan-like vessels stored on bookshelves. Purification turned from the laboratory to dairy equipment. Column chromatography allowed the group to isolate the relevant fractions and to concentrate their solutions. All this was in the service of a clinical test. --And after the first test in early 1941, they had to return to their methods to find a way to remove some impurities that had caused side effects. The tests eventually went quite well, but it had required two professors, five graduates and ten assistants working almost every day of the week for several months to produce enough penicillin to treat six patients.

Fleming took notice of the striking results. But he did not disturb his research agenda. He knew that the value of penicillin still lay in research on economical mass production. Thus, the research--and, in a sense, the discovery--was still not complete. Florey took his cause to America once again, where work began on the scale of breweries. One key technical assistant found a new medium for the mould cultures, increasing yields tenfold. Other drug companies in England were by now interested, but the scale of production was at first somewhat limited. After a second set of clinical trials in 1942-43, though, production began in earnest. In another half-year, industry could produce enough for treating 200 persons per month. Two years later, the U.S. was producing enough to treat a quarter-million patients per month.

Many scientists, Fleming among them, were confident that determining the chemical structure of penicillin would enable chemists to produce it synthetically and thus more economically. Once the structure was determined, however, synthesis proved to be at least as costly as extraction. The "failure" seems an exception in this tale otherwise graced by good fortune. But not all research ventures pay off as expected--chance works both ways in science.

Nobel Prize winner Peter Medawar once commented, "I was sorry that the traditional story of Fleming's discovery did not stand up to critical scrutiny because I should have liked to have believed it true; but even if it had been true, it would not have told us very much about the efficacy of luck." Here, Medawar referred to the substantial work that transforms a lucky event into a genuine discovery. There is more to science that what meets the eye. First, one must recognize and be ready to pursue the meaning of one's observations. Fleming had a habit of playing in the lab and of toying with oddities. He pursued a chance phenomenon that even his colleagues found insignificant, even without guessing its ultimate significance.

Further, the import of an observation is not always obvious. Chain and Florey recognized a therapeutic potential where Fleming saw it only vaguely. And they were willing to invest resources to pursue it. Fleming, Chain and Florey all shared in the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945. Their joint award reminds us that the discovery of penicillin was more than a mere chance event.

History of The Tank – An England Icon

As the Tank became an integral part of WW1 and helped in the defeat of Germany I thought I would tell the history of the Tank. If it wasn't for Sir Winston Churchill the Tank would probably have never seen the light of day.

The name tank first came about during World War I. The first armoured fighting vehicles were built in the United Kingdom by William Foster and Co. Ltd. of Lincoln. The development was cloaked in secrecy by making up a story that they were making mobile water cisterns (tanks) for use on the Eastern Front and the boxes were even labelled "with care to Petrograd" in the Cyrillic alphabet. Thus originated the name of tank for the new weapon. The naval background of the tank's development also explains such nautical tank terms as hatch, hull, bow, and ports.

The great secrecy surrounding tank development, coupled with the scepticism of infantry commanders, often meant that infantry had little training to cooperate with tanks. As a result, the infantry would become separated from the tanks, allowing the German infantry to defeat the two arms separately.

The Royal Navy, largely at Churchill's urging, sponsored experiments and tests of the vehicle as a type of "land ship" during 1915, and the tank at last became a reality.

Small, local attacks, beginning at Flers on the Somme on 15 September 1916, dissipated the initial surprise of the tank. Not until 20 November 1917, at Cambrai, did the British Tank Corps get the conditions it needed for success. around 400 tanks penetrated almost six miles on a 7-mile front in an attack at Cambrai. This was the first large-scale employment of tanks in combat. Unfortunately, success was not complete because the infantry failed to exploit and secure the tanks' gains.

The British scored another victory the following year, on 8 August 1918, with 600 tanks in the Amiens salient. General Eric von Ludendorff referred to that date as the "Black Day" of the German Army. The German response to the Cambrai assault was to develop its own armoured program.

Numerous sustained tank drives in the early tank actions showed the usefulness of tanks and by 1918 tanks were also accompanied by infantry and ground-attack aircraft and both of which worked to locate and suppress antitank defences.

The first appearnce of the tanks on the battlefield was at Flers-Courcelette on 15th  September 1916 during the Somme offensive, and the memorial to this event on the outskirts of Pozieres will be familiar to all who have visited the battlefields.

The Unofficial Truce – Christmas 1914

One of the interesting things about the first world war concerns the Unofficial truce between the British and German troops and the Football played between them in “No Man's Land”.

One of the most remarkable, and heavily mythologised, events concerns the 'Christmas Truce' of 1914, in which the soldiers of the Western Front laid down their arms on Christmas Day and met in No Man's Land, exchanging food and cigarettes, as well as playing football. The cessation of violence was entirely unofficial and there had been no prior discussion. Both sets of troops acted spontaneously from goodwill, not orders.

It began when British troops hearing their German counterparts singing Christmas carols and joined in.  Frank Richards, a private in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, told of how both sides erected signs wishing the other a 'Merry Christmas'. From these small starts some men crossed the lines with their hands up, and troops from the opposing side went to meet them. By the time officers realised what was happening the initial meetings had been made, and most commanders either turned a blind eye or happily joined in. 

The fraternisation lasted, in many areas, for the whole of Christmas day. Food and supplies were exchanged on a one to one basis, while in some areas men borrowed tools and equipment from the enemy, in order to quickly improve their own living conditions. Many games of football were played using whatever would suffice for a ball, while bodies that had become trapped within No Man's Land were buried.

Most modern re-tellings of the Truce finish with the soldiers returning to their trenches and then fighting again the next day, but in many areas the peace lasted much longer. Frank Richard's account explained how both sides refrained from shooting at each other the next day, until the British troops were relieved and they left the front line. In other areas the goodwill lasted for several weeks, bringing a halt to opportunistic sniping, before the bloody conflict once again resumed.

On January 1, 1915, the London Times published a letter from a major in the Medical Corps reporting that in his sector the British played a game against the Germans opposite and were beaten 3-2.

Kurt Zehmisch of the 134th Saxons recorded in his diary: 'The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvellously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.'

The Truce lasted all day; in places it ended that night, but on other sections of the line it held over Boxing Day and in some areas, a few days more.  In fact, there parts on the front where the absence of aggressive behaviour was conspicuous well into 1915.

Captain J C Dunn, the Medical Officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, whose unit had fraternised and received two barrels of beer from the Saxon troops opposite, recorded how hostilities re-started on his section of the front.

Dunn wrote: 'At 8.30 I fired three shots in the air and put up a flag with "Merry Christmas" on it, and I climbed on the parapet. He [the Germans] put up a sheet with "Thank you" on it, and the German Captain appeared on the parapet. We both bowed and saluted and got down into our respective trenches, and he fired two shots in the air, and the War was on again.'

The war was indeed on again, for the Truce had no hope of being maintained. Despite being wildly reported in Britain and to a lesser extent in Germany, the troops and the populations of both countries were still keen to prosecute the conflict.
Sir Francis Walsingham – Spymaster for Queen Elizabeth 1

Sir Francis Walsingham was one of England's greatest icons and is recognised worldwide as the greatest Spymaster of the 16th Century. I thought it would be interesting to write the story of this famous icon from his birth in 1532.

Francis Walsingham was born at the Walsingham family seat, Scadbury park near Chislehurst, Kent to William Walsingham and Joyce Denny. His father died the following year, and later, his mother married Sir John Carey a relative by marriage of Queen Anne Boleyn.

Walsingham was Principal Secretary to Elizabeth 1st of England from 1573 till 1590, and is popularly remembered as her “Spymaster”. Walsingham is frequently cited as one of the earliest practitioners of modern intelligence methods both for espionage and for domestic security. He oversaw operations which penetrated the heart of Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, and disrupted a range of plots against the queen, securing the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

Walsingham studied at Kings College, Cambridge from 1548 with many Protestants but as an undergraduate of high social status he did not sit for a degree. In 1550, he travelled abroad, returning two years later to enroll at Gray's Inn. Upon the death of  Edward VI and accession of Catholic Queen Mary, he fled to continue his studies as a law student at the University of Padua. Between April 1556 and November 1558, he visited Switzerland and cultivated contacts among the leading Protestant statesmen on the continent.

When Elizabeth I ascended to the throne in 1558, Walsingham returned to England and, through the support of Sir William Cecil, was elected to the House of Commons for Banbury in 1559 and then Lyme Regis in 1563.

After his return, Walsingham was appointed joint principal secretary ("of state": the phrase was not used at this time in England) with Sir thomas Smith, succeeding Sir William Cecil. Smith retired unexpectedly in 1576, leaving Walsingham in sole charge.

Elizabeth called him her "Moor", perhaps due to his complexion or a preference for sombre clothes. She put up with his blunt, often unwelcome, advice because she valued his competence and industry, his passion for her security, and his grasp of foreign affairs.

On 1 December 1577, Walsingham received a knoghthood. He spent the years between 1574 and 1578 consolidating his control of the routine business of the English state, foreign and domestic. This included the substantial rebuilding of Dover Harbour and the coordination of support for Martin Frobisher's attempts to discover the north west passage and exploit the mineral resources of Labrador. Walsingham was among the foremost promoters of the career of Sir Francis Drake and was a major shareholder in his 1578–1581 circumnavigation of the world. Walsingham's participation in this venture was calculated to promote the Protestant interest by provoking the Spanish and demonstrating the vulnerability of their Pacific possessions.

He was sent on special embassies to the Netherlands in 1578, and again in 1581 to the French Court, suggesting both the Queen's high confidence in his abilities, and also that she knew how to exploit his standing as a committed Protestant statesman to threaten the Catholic powers.

Between 1578 and 1581, Walsingham was at the forefront of debate on the attempt by a group at court to encourage the Queen to marry the Duke of Anjou, heir to the French throne. Walsingham passionately opposed the marriage, perhaps to the point of encouraging public opposition. Walsingham canvassed the variety of consequences of a Catholic French consort of a Queen now past the age of childbearing, and with no clear successor. He believed that it would serve England better to seek a military alliance with France against Spanish interests,and the debates in council raged around the viability of an independent England against the increasing threat posed by Spain, and by the forces of international Catholicism which were undermining the unity of the French state.

Walsingham advocated direct English intervention in the Low Countries, and eventually, after the deaths of both Anjou and William of Orange in 1584, English military intervention was agreed at the Treaty of Nonsuch in 1585.


In the realm of counter-espionage, Walsingham was behind the discovery of the Throckmorton and Babington Plots to overthrow Elizabeth I, return England to Catholicism and place Mary, Queen of Scots, on the throne.

In November 1583, after months of surveillance, Walsingham had Throckmorton arrested. He extracted, under torture, Throckmorton's confession — an admission that he had plotted against Elizabeth with the Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza and others. The plot, which may not have been known to Mary, called for a two-pronged invasion of England and Scotland along with a domestic uprising. Throckmorton was executed in 1584, and Mendoza was expelled from England.

Although Mary was not prosecuted, Walsingham became so concerned about her influence that he was determined to hold her responsible for any further conspiracies.

Babington's Plot was the result of that determination. Walsingham drew deeply on his spies among the English Catholic community, and abroad, on whose divisions he was adept at playing. The uncovery of the Babington plot, which is unusually well documented, is a compelling piece of counter-espionage, and stretched the policing resources of the Elizabethan state to the limits, with Walsingham's private secretaries carrying out surveillance in person. This led to Mary's execution in 1587, for which Walsingham had worked since before his advent to power. He was an active participant at her trial. He briefly experienced his share of the Queen's displeasure after the execution of Mary, which the queen claimed not to have sanctioned, due to Elizabeth's desire to distance herself from this action.

Prior to the attack of the Spanish Armada, he received a large number of dispatches from his agents from mercantile communities and foreign courts. Walsingham's recruitment of Anthony Standen in particular represented an intelligence triumph, and Standen's dispatches were deeply revealing. However the close security enforced by Philip II meant that Walsingham remained in the dark about the Spanish strategy and the planned destination of the Armada. This, plus his naturally bold spirit, lay behind his encouragement of the more aggressive strategies advocated by Drake in particular. The Cadiz raid in 1587 wrought havoc on Spanish logistics, and Walsingham would have repeated this the following year if more cautious counsels had not prevailed.

In foreign intelligence, the full range of Walsingham's network of "intelligencers" (of news as well as secrets) may never be known, but it was substantial. While foreign intelligence was part of the principal secretary's duties, Walsingham brought to it flair and ambition, and large sums of his own money. He also cast his net more widely than others had done hitherto, exploiting the insight into Spanish policy offered at the Italian courts; cultivating contacts in Constantinople and Aleppo, building complex connections with the Catholic exiles.

Among his minor spies may have been the playwright Christopher Marlowe, who seems to have been one of a stream of false converts whom Walsingham planted in foreign seminaries for gathering intelligence and insinuating counter-intelligence (citation needed). A more central figure was the cryptographer Thomas Phelippes, expert in deciphering letters, creating false handwriting and breaking and repairing seals without detection.

Walsingham was one of the small coterie who directed the Elizabethan state, overseeing foreign, domestic and religious policy. He worked to bring Scotland and England together. Overall, his foreign policy demonstrated a new understanding of the role of England as a maritime and Protestant power in an increasingly global economy. He was an innovator in exploration, colonization and the use of England's potential maritime power. He is also a convincing prototype of the modern bureaucrat.

Francis Walsingham died on 6 April 1590, leaving great debts, in part arising from his having underwritten the debts of his son-in-law and colleague, Sir Phillip Sidney. But the true state of his finances is undocumented and may have been less dismal than regularly alleged, and he pursued the Sidney estate for recompense, and had carried out major land transactions in his later years.

His daughter Frances received only £300 annuity. However, she married well, to the Earl of Essex and Walsingham's widow lived comfortably until her death. After his death, his friends reflected that poor bookkeeping had left him further in the crown's debt than was fair, and a compromise was eventually agreed upon with his heirs. His public papers were seized by the government and his private papers, which would have revealed much, not least about his finances, were lost. 

MI6 and "C" – First Head of MI6 from 1911

I have decided to create this article about the first head of MI6 as he's one of the Icons of Britain.

Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming (1 April 1859 – 14 June 1923) was the first director of what would become the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6. In this role he was particularly successful in building a post-imperial intelligence service.

Born into a middle-class family, Smith attended the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and, upon graduation, was commissioned a sub-lieutenant. He was posted to the HMS Bellerophon in 1878 and for the next seven years saw sea duty in the East Indies. However he increasingly suffered from severe seasickness, and in 1885 was placed on the retired list as "unfit for service".

He was recalled to duty into the foreign section of Naval Intelligence in 1898 and undertook many missions. He would travel through eastern Germany and the Balkans pretending to be a German businessman, even though he didn't speak any German. His work was so successful that he was recruited to the Secret Service Bureau as the director of the foreign section. During this period he married the extremely rich May Cumming, and as part of the marriage changed his name to Smith-Cumming.

In 1911 Cumming's became the new head of the Foreign Section, responsible for all operations outside Britain. Over the next few years he became known as 'C', after his habit of initialing papers he had read with a C written in green ink. This habit became a custom for later directors, although the C now stands for "Chief". Ian Fleming took these aspects for his "M", Sir Miles Messervy - using Cumming's other initial for the name and having M always write in green ink.

In 1914, he was involved in a serious road accident in France, in which his son was killed. Legend has it that in order to escape the car wreck he was forced to amputate his leg using a pen knife. Hospital records have shown however that while both his legs were broken, his left foot was only amputated the day after the accident. Later he often told all sorts of fantastic stories as to how he lost his leg, and would shock people by interrupting meetings in his office by suddenly stabbing his artificial leg with a knife, letter opener or fountain pen

Budgets were severely limited prior to World War 1 and Smith-Cumming came to rely heavily on Sidney Reiley (aka the Ace of Spies), a secret agent of dubious veracity based in Saint Petersburg. He described pre-1914 espionage as ‘capital sport', but was given few resources with which to pursue it. His early operations were directed almost entirely against Germany. Between 1909 and 1914 he recruited part-time ‘casual agents' in the shipping and arms business to keep track of naval construction in German shipyards and acquire other technical intelligence. He also had agents collecting German intelligence in Brussels, Rotterdam and St. Petersburg.

At the outbreak of war he was able to work with Vernon Kell and Sir Basil Thomson of the Special Branch to arrest twenty-two German spies in England. Eleven were executed, as was Sir Roger casement found guilty of treason in 1916. During the war, the offices were renamed: the Home Section became MI5 or Security service, while Smith-Cumming's Foreign Section became MI6 or the Secret Intelligence Service. Agents who worked for MI6 during the war included Augustus agar, Paul Dukes, John Buchan, Compton Mackenzie and W. Somerset Maugham. When SSB discovered that Lemon Juice made a good invisible ink his agents adopted the motto "Every man his own stylo".

With the outbreak of the First World War, Cumming's control of strategic intelligence gathering as head of the wartime MI1c was challenged by two rival networks run by general headquarters. Cumming eventually out-performed his rivals. His most important wartime network, 'La Dame Blanche', had by January 1918 over 400 agents reporting on German troop movements from occupied Belgium and northern France. Cumming was less successful in post-revolutionary Russia. Despite a series of colourful exploits, his agents obtained little Russian intelligence of value.

Secret Service budgets were once again severely cut after the end of WWI, and MI6 stations in Madrid, Lisbon, Zurich and Luxembourg were closed. Cumming succeeded, however, in gaining a monopoly of espionage and counter-intelligence outside Britain and the empire. He also established a network of SIS station commanders operating overseas under diplomatic cover.

To the end of his life Cumming retained an infectious, if sometimes eccentric, enthusiasm for the tradecraft and mystification of espionage, experimenting personally with disguises, mechanical gadgets, and secret inks in his own laboratory.

P.M. Mrs Margaret Thatcher – The Iron lady

In the last 100 years there have been two Great British Prime Minister's of the 20th. Century, Churchill is one of them and the other is Mrs. Thatcher. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born October 13, 1925. Home was, Margaret recalled, "practical, serious and intensely religious." During the 1970's the economy of Britain was dominated by the unions and a ridiculous tax rate of 90%.

When Mrs. Thatcher was elected in 1979 she inherited an economy and country which was in hock to the IMF, where inflation was 30%, where there was Power Cuts, Where Strikes had caused overflowing Rubbish Bins and where bodies were piled high and unburied in hospital Morturies.

The similarities to today is stark, where the British economy in 2010 is overdrawn by 155 Billion Pounds caused by Gordon Brown the ex Labour PM changing the Rules on oversight of the Banks from the Bank of England to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) which was so incompetent it missed all the warnings.

What the new government of 1979 had to do was cut back on spending and introduce new laws to curb the unions. One of the best bits of legislation was to outlaw Unions sending striking pickets to other strike actions by other unions and to maximise the number of strikers on a picket line to six. This allowed non strikers to go to work unmolested in law.

Because of the needed cuts the Tory party was quite low in the opinion polls in early 1982 when the dictatorship of Argentina decided to invade the Falkland Islands. This caused the Royal Navy to send a task force to recapture the Falklands and rescue the inhabitants. When the Islands had been retaken it was found that the Argentinians had changed the road signs and traffic flow from the Left to the Right side of the roads. Also, the Argentinians had raided the homes of the local inhabitants and stole goods and food and also killed some 3 Civilian's.

The Falkland Islands are a group of islands 300 miles east of Argentina. The two main islands are East Falkland and West Falkland. There are about 200 smaller islands that together form a total land area of approximately 4,700 square miles. The capital is Port Stanley. The Falkland Islands include the British territories of South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the Shag and Clerke rocks. The population of the islands in 2010 was about 3,000.

On June 20th the British formally declared an end to hostilities and established a Falkland Islands Protection Zone of 150 miles. This undeclared war lasted 72 days and claimed nearly 1000 casualties. The British took about 10,000 Argentine prisoners during the undeclared war while Argentina lost 655 men who were killed while Britain lost 236. Argentina's defeat discredited the military government and led to the return of democracy in Argentina in 1983.

Mrs. Thatcher was elected in 1979, 1983 and 1987 and ushered in a decade of painful reform, privatization, deregulation and tax cutting. At first inflation and unemployment rocketed, some businesses crumbled. But—"the lady's not for turning"—the prime minister brazened it out over three historic terms of office, wrenching the economy back off its knees. At least one widely popular measure was the sale of council houses, allowing by 1982 a half-million people to become homeowners (and possibly Tory voters) for the first time.

Less spectacular but truly far-reaching was Mrs. Thatcher's role in bringing about the end of the Cold War and contributing to the demise of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. As an individualist and free market advocate, she had an innate and frequently voiced distrust of communism. In Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, however, she found a man she "could do business with," and she helped to persuade President Ronald Reagan away from "evil Empire" rhetoric to do the same. The chemistry between Reagan and Thatcher made their alliance a high point of the special relationship between Britain and the United States in the 20th century. "She was warm, feminine, gracious and intelligent and it was evident from our first words that we were soul mates when it came to reducing government and expanding economic freedom," Reagan remarked.

She badly misjudged when she introduced the notorious poll tax despite advice against it; she openly clashed with her chancellor over monetary policy and with her foreign secretary on European policy. Both resigned, precipitating a party leadership battle, which concluded in Thatcher's resignation on November 28, 1990. She was cast back outside. For once the tears were public as she left 10 Downing St.

Elevated to the House of Lords, she styled herself Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in honor of her roots. She set up the Margaret Thatcher Foundation to continue to promote her ideas and undertook lecture tours; she was particularly gratified by her welcome in the United States, "the seat of radical modern conservative thinking and almost my second home."

Mrs. Thatcher was Prime Minister for 11 years, six months and 24 days (1979-90)

After a series of small strokes, doctors advised her in 2002 against public speaking.

In 2003 Denis, her constant companion, died; they had been married 52 years. More than any political knocks, it was a devastating loss.

In future history books she will be remembered for her invention of  Privatization and Thatcherism and also Sticking to her ideals and her down to earth honesty.

British Prime Ministers – First Lord of the Treasuries

Great Britain is famous for it's history, designers, inventors, fashion and music. It's amazing how many times British Prime Ministers helped in the defeat of dictators like Napoleon and Hitler. I have decided to write about who was Prime minister and when including the First Lord of The Treasury who which was the name and title of the early Prime Ministers.

My favourite PM's are Sir Winston Churchill who led the world to freedom from Hitler's tyranny and Margaret Thatcher who sorted out the militant unions and the Argentine dictator's.

First Lords of the Treasury:

Earl of Halifax From: 13th October 1714 To: 19th May 1715

Whig Earl of Carlisle 23rd May 1715 to 10th October 1715

Whig Robert Walpole 10th October 1715 to 12th April 1717

Whig Earl Stanhope 12th April 1717 to 21st March 1718

Whig Earl of Sunderland 21st March 1718 to 4th April 1721

Whig Sir Robert Walpole 4th April 1721 to 11th February 1742

18th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • Sir Robert Walpole 1721-42 Whig
  • Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington 1742-3 Whig
  • Henry Pelham 1743-54 Whig
  • Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle 1754-6 and 1757-62 Whig
  • William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire 1756-7 Whig
  • John Stuart, Earl of Bute 1762-3 Tory
  • George Grenville 1763-5 Whig
  • Charles Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham 1765-6 1782 Whig
  • The Earl of Chatham, William Pitt ‘The Elder’ 1766-8 Whig
  • Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton 1768-70 Whig
  • Lord North 1770-82 Tory
  • William Petty, Earl of Shelburne 1782-3 Whig
  • William Bentinck, Duke of Portland 1783 and 1807-9 Whig

19th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party


  • William Pitt ‘The Younger’ 1783-1801 and 1804-6 Tory
  • Henry Addington 1801-4 Tory
  • William Wyndam Grenville, Lord Grenville 1806-7 Whig
  • Spencer Perceval 1809-12 Tory
  • Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool 1812-27 Tory
  • George Canning 1827 Tory
  • Frederick Robinson, Viscount Goderich 1827-8 Tory
  • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington 1828-30 Tory
  • Earl Grey 1830-34 Whig
  • William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne 1834 and 1835-41 Whig
  • Sir Robert Peel 1834-5 and 1841-6 Tory
  • Earl Russell 1846-51 1865-6 Liberal
  • The Earl of Derby 1852, 1858-9 and 1866-8, Conservative
  • Earl of Aberdeen 1852-5 Tory
  • Viscount Palmerston 1855-8 and 1859-65 Liberal
  • Benjamin Disraeli 1868 and 1874-80 Conservative
  • William Ewart Gladstone 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-94 Liberal
  • Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury 1885-6, 1886-92 and 1895-1902 Conservative
  • The Earl of Rosebery 1894-5 Liberal

20th Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party


  • Arthur James Balfour 1902-5 Conservative
  • Henry Campbell-Bannerman 1905-8 Liberal
  • Herbert Henry Asquith 1908-16 Liberal
  • David Lloyd George 1916-22 Liberal
  • Andrew Bonar Law 1922-3 Conservative
  • Stanley Baldwin 1923, 1924-9, 1935-7 Conservative
  • James Ramsay MacDonald 1924 and 1929-35 Labour
  • Arthur Neville Chamberlain 1937-40 Conservative
  • Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill 1940-5 and 1951-5 Conservative
  • Clement Richard Attlee 1945-51 Labour
  • Anthony Eden 1955-7 Conservative
  • Harold Macmillan 1957-63 Conservative
  • Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-4 Conservative
  • Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-6 Labour
  • Edward Heath 1970-4 Conservative
  • James Callaghan 1976-9 Labour
  • Margaret Thatcher 1979-90 Conservative
  • John Major 1990-97 Conservative
  • Tony Blair 1997-2007 Labour

21st Century Prime Ministers, period of office and political party

  • Gordon Brown 2007-2010 Labour
  • David Cameron 2010-Present Conservative

England's House of Parliament - It's History

The Houses of Parliament is always called the "Mother of Parliaments", so I thought it would be of interest to write it's history.

The Houses of Parliament occupy the site of an ancient palace and in virtue of that fact still rank as a royal palace and are in the charge of the hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain (not to be confounded with the Lord Chamberlain of the Household). This ancient palace, altered and added to from time to time was the chief London residence of the sovereign from the reign of Edward the Confessor (or perhaps earlier) until Henry VIII seized Whitehall in 1529.

The English Parliament traces its origins to the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot. In 1066, William of Normandy brought a feudal system, by which he sought advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured the Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which slowly developed into a parliament. In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester summoned the first elected Parliament. The franchise in parliamentary elections for county constituencies was uniform throughout the country, extending to all those who owned the freehold of land to an annual rent of 40 shillings (Forty-shilling Freeholders).

In the boroughs, the franchise varied across the country; individual boroughs had varying arrangements. This set the scene for the so-called "Model Parliament" of 1295 adopted by Edward I. By the reign of Edward II, Parliament had been separated into two Houses: one including the nobility and higher clergy, the other including the knights and burgesses, and no law could be made, nor any tax levied, without the consent of both Houses as well as of the Sovereign.

In the Middle Ages and early modern period there were the four separate kingdoms of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and these developed separate parliaments.

In 1605 a chamber at its south end, was the scene of the Gunpowder Plot.

In 1512, the palace was very seriously damaged by fire and it was practically never rebuilt, though Henry VIII. added the cloisters and perhaps also the Star Chamber.

Henry VIII seized Whitehall in 1529.

The Laws in Wales Act of 1535–42 annexed Wales as part of England,

In 1547, the House of Commons, which had hitherto usually met in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey, transferred its sittings to St. Stephen's Chapel in the palace; and in 1800 the House of Lords removed to the old Court of Requests, a chamber then situated a little to the south of Westminster Hall.

When Elizabeth I was succeeded in 1603 by the Scottish King James VI (thus becoming James I of England), the countries both came under his rule but each retained its own Parliament.

James I's successor, Charles I, quarrelled with the English Parliament and, after he provoked the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, their dispute developed into the English Civil War. Charles was executed in 1649 and under Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England the House of Lords was abolished, and the House of Commons made subordinate to Cromwell. After Cromwell's death, the Restoration of 1660 restored the monarchy and the House of Lords.

Amidst fears of a Roman Catholic succession, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposed James II (James VII of Scotland) in favour of the joint rule of Mary II and William III, whose agreement to the English Bill of Rights introduced a constitutional monarchy, though the supremacy of the Crown remained. For the third time, a Convention Parliament, i.e., one not summoned by the king, was required to determine the succession.

The 1707 Acts of Union brought England and Scotland together under the Parliament of Great Britain

Old Palace Yard was an inner court of the palace, and down to 1800 the House of Lords assembled in a chamber at its south end.

The 1800 Act of Union included Ireland under the Parliament of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

In 1834, however, the entire palace was burned down, with the exception of Westminster Hall, the crypt of St. Stephen's Chapel, and part of the cloisters. Rooms were hastily repaired for the use of the two Houses, and the rebuilding of the whole was at once begun.

In 1847 The Lords removed to their present abode and the Commons to theirs in 1850.

The first woman-member of Parliament to take her seat, Viscountess Astor, was elected for Plymouth on November 15th, 1919; the first woman minister was Miss Margaret Bondfield, Undersecretary for Labour in 1924. Payment of members (£400 a year) was established by resolution in 1911.

In 1979 The country voted for the first woman Prime Minister "Margaret Thatcher" who was one of Britain's greatest Prime Minister's and whose party invented "Privatisation" which was taken up by the world. With the help of Ronald Reagan she also helped in destroying Communism and what it stood for. The Soviet Union called her "The Iron Lady" which tells you how impressed they were. As an Englishman I would call Mrs. Thatcher the greatest Prime Minister since Churchill.

British Knighthoods – Iconic History

British Knighthoods are recognised worldwide as one of the most romantic and chivalrous awards. Since the dawn of English History England has had Knights like King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. The British honour's system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom.

Although the Anglo Saxon Monarchs are known to have rewarded their loyal subjects with rings and other symbols of favour, it was the Norman's who introduced Knighthoods as part of their feudal government. The first English order of chivalry, the Order of The Garter was created in 1348 by King Edward III. Since then the system has evolved to address the changing need to recognise other forms of service to the United Kingdom.

The system consists of three types of award: Honours, Decorations and Medals:

Honours are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service.

Decorations tend to be used to recognise specific deeds.

Medals are used to recognise bravery, long and/or valuable service and/or good conduct.

Current orders of Chivalry

The Most Noble Order of The Garter which was Established in 1348 by King Edward III.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle which was Established in 1687 by King King James II.

The Most Honourable Order of The Bath which was Established in 1725 by King George I.

The Most Distinguished Order Of Saint Michael and Saint George was Established in 1818 by the Prince Regent.

The Distinguished Service Order was Established in 1886 by Queen Victoria.

The Royal Victorian Order was Established in 1896 by Queen Victoria.

The Order of merit was Established in 1902 by the King Edward VII.

The Imperial Service Order was Established in 1902 by King Edward VII.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was Established in 1917 by King George V.

The Order of the Companions of Honour was Established in 1886 by the Queen Victoria.

There are five ranks of hereditary peerage's: Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Until the mid 20th century, peerages were usually hereditary (bar legal peerages - see below) and, until the end of the 20th century, English, British and UK peerages (except, until very recent times, those for the time being held by women) carried the right to a seat in the House of Lords.

Hereditary peerages are now normally only given to members of the Royal Family. The most recent was the grant to the Queen's youngest son, the Earl of Wessex, on his marriage in 1999. No hereditary peerages were granted to commoners after the Labour Party came to power in 1964.

Margaret Thatcher tentatively reintroduced them by two grants to men with no sons in 1983, respectively the Speaker of the House of Commons George Thomas and the former Deputy Prime Minister William Whitelaw. Both these titles died with their holders. She followed this with an Earldom in 1984 for the former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan not long before his death, reviving a traditional honour for former Prime Ministers. Macmillan's grandson succeeded him on his death in 1986.

No hereditary peerages have been created since 1986 and Mrs. Thatcher's own title is a life peerage (see further explanation below). The concession of a baronetcy (i.e. hereditary knighthood), was granted to Margaret Thatcher's husband Denis following her resignation

Orders were created for particular reasons at particular times. In some cases these reasons have ceased to have any validity and orders have fallen into abeyance, primarily due to the decline of the British Empire during the twentieth century. Reforms of the system have sometimes made other changes. For example the British Empire Medal ceased to be awarded in the UK in 1993, as was the companion level award of the Imperial Service Order (although its medal is still used).

Women's Auxiliary Air force – History 1939 - 1949

During the war the women of Britain joined many organisations and various armed services, wheras before the war women had not been able to join the sevices. One of the Corps especially created for women was the "Women's Auxilliary Air Force". The Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) was formed in June 1939. The main reason for this service was to release men for combat posts.

A Womens Royal Air Force had existed from 1918 to 1920. The WAAF was created on 28th  June 1939, absorbing the forty-eight RAF companies of the Auxillary Territorial Service which had been formed since 1938. Conscription of women did not begin until 1941. It only applied to those between 20 and 30 years of age and they had the choice of the auxiliary services or factory work.

Women were accepted between the ages of 17 and 44.  By the year 1943 there were 180,000 women in the WAAF.The work done by the WAAF covered virtually every activity carried out by men including Intelligence Operations.

WAAFs did not serve as aircrew. The use of women pilots was limited to the Air Transport Axillary (ATA - which was civilian) which delivered aircraft to the various RAF bases.  Neither did they participate in active combat, though they were exposed to the same dangers as any on the "home front" working at military installations.

WAAF's  were also active in the following:

Parachute Packing

Manning of The Barrage Balloons

All types of Catering




Communications duties including wireless Telephonic and Telegraphic operations.

Intelligence Operations using Codes and Ciphers

Analysis of reconnaissance photographs Operation Rooms controlling Radar, Aircraft and Plotters.

Nurses belonged to Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service

Medical and Dental officers were commissioned into the Royal Air Force and held RAF ranks.

Alas, WAAFs were paid two-thirds of the pay of male counterparts in RAF ranks.

By the end of World War II, WAAF enrollment had declined and the effect of demobilisation was to take thousands out of the service. The remainder, now only several hundred strong, was renamed the Womens Royal Air Force on 1st  February 1949.

Nursing Orderlies of the WAAF flew on RAF transport planes to evacuate the wounded from the Normandy battlefields. They were dubbed Flying Nightingales by the press. The RAF Air Ambulance Unit flew under 46 Group Transport Command from RAF Down  Ampney, RAF Broadwell and RAF Blakehill Farm. RAF Dakota aircraft carried military supplies and ammunition so could not display the Red Cross.

Training for air ambulance nursing duties included instruction in the use of oxygen, injections, learning how to deal with certain types of injuries such as broken bones, missing limb cases, head injuries, burns and colostomies; and to learn the effects of air travel and altitude.

In October 2008 the seven nurses still living were presented with lifetime achievement awards by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Women's Land Army –  History 1939 – 1950

During the war the women of Britain joined many organisations and the various armed forces, wheras before the war women had not been able to join the sevices. One of the Corps especially created for women was the "Women's Land Army" where 80,000 women were enrolled to work on Farms all over the UK. The "Women's Land Army" (WLA) was a civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as "Land Girls".

The Women's Land Army was often referred to as "The Forgotten Army" and was actually originally formed in 1917 by Roland Prothero who was the then Minister for Agriculture.

The Board of Agriculture organised the Land Army during the Great War, starting activities in 1915. Towards the end of 1917 there were over 250,000 - 260,000 women working as farm labourers. 20,000 in the land army itself.

With 6 million men away to fight in the First World War we in Britain were struggling to find enough workforce. The government wanted women to get more involved in the production of food and do their part to support the war effort. This was the beginning of the Women’s Land Army. Many traditional farmers were against this, so the board of trade sent agricultural organisers to speak with farmers to encourage them to accept women’s work on the farms.

The First World War had seen food supplies dwindle and saw the creation of the Women's Land Army (WLA).

The WLA was reformed in June 1939 first asking for volunteers and later by conscription with numbers totalling 80,000 by 1944.

The women were called “Land Girls”, as they were affectionately known, replaced the men who had answered the call to war. They wore the same uniform as the “Women Timber Corps” ( Except with a different badge on their Beret's) and their living conditions were frequently primitive and for girls who had worked in shops, offices, hairdressing salons and restaurants, the work was pretty tiring.

The Women's Land Army was made up of girls from every walk of life. Posters of smiling girls bathing in glorious sunshine and open fields covered the fact that the WLA often presented raw recruits (many from industrial towns) with gruelling hard work and monotony. The majority of the Land Girls already lived in the countryside but more than a third came from London and the industrial cities of the north of England.

Homesickness was common as many of the girls had never been away from their parents for long periods. This was particularly true of girls that stayed in private billets. The girls that stayed in local hostels often told a different story and were more settled as they were grouped together. However despite all this there was a great sense of friendship amongst the girls.

The WLA lasted until its official disbandment on October 21, 1950. Looking back over the last 70 years it is always surprising how many stories there is still to tell concerning the British Struggle during the second world war and how the war affected every day life and person in the country. My generation who were born in the1950's and 1960's owe our parants and grandparants generation for todays freedoms and our grateful thanks.

Women's Timber Corps – 1942 History

During the war many women of Britain joined many organisations and the various armed forces, wheras before the war women had not been able to join the sevices. One of the Corps especially created for women was the "Women's Timber Corps" where 4,900 women were enrolled to felling, snedding, loading, crosscutting, driving tractors, trucks, working with horses, measuring and operating sawmills and manage forests all over the UK.

Originally the Women’s Timber Service had been set up during the first world war, but in April 1942 the Ministry of Supply (Home Grown Timber Department) inaugurated a new venture – the "Women's Timber Corps" (WTC), in England. The Scots quickly followed in May 1942, forming their own Women’s Timber Corps which was a part of the Women’s Land Army of Scotland. This was a new unit with its own identity and uniform.

Today if you talked of the Women's Timber Corps the most likely response is "Never heard of them". Yet their story is fascinating. The Women's Timber Corps replaced men in the forests and helped to produce timber vital to the war effort. These women were called “Lumber Jills” as they were affectionately known, who replaced the men who had answered the call to war. They wore the same uniform as the women Land army ( With a different badge on their Beret's) and their living conditions were frequently primitive and for girls who had worked in shops, offices, hairdressing salons and restaurants, the hardship was daunting.

Worst of all was the extreme physical effort required to lay-in, fell and cross-cut the timber; but the girls of the WTC set to with determination to produce pit-props for the mines, telegraph poles for communications, gun-stocks for the troops and even coffins for the casualties of war. There are tales of the social and practical aspects of living in crowded huts, as well as the more technical details of working with axe and saw. Training centres were set up throughout the UK.

The Women’s Timber Corps was disbanded in August 1946, with each girl handing back her uniform and receiving a letter from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who was then the patron of the WTC.

Looking back over the last 70 years it is always surprising how many stories there is still to tell concerning the British Struggle during the second world war and how the war affected every day life and person in the country. My generation who were born in the1950's and 1960's owe our parants and grandparants generation for todays freedom with our grateful thanks.

Dads Army – The Funny TV Series

Dad's Army is a British Sitcom by the BBC about the Home guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. Dads Army the TV Series is one of the funniest series you could watch with It's gentle humour and hilarious situations. As a fan of this British TV Icon I thought I would write the story of the TV series. If you enjoy British comedy can I recommend you get your hands on a DVD and watch an episode of Dad's Army.

Despite the first episode being shown in 1968 the Dad's Army TV Series remain's immensely popular in Britain and the rest of the world. Dad's Army was first shown on British TV on July 31, 1968. There were nine seriestotalling 80 episodes including three Christmas specials and an hour-long special. At its peak, the programme regularly gained audiences of 18.5 million. There were also four short specials broadcast as part of Christmas Night With The Stars in 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1972 plus a Film. It attracted a weekly audience of between 13 - 18 million and is regularly repeated Worldwide. There were also 67 radio shows produced which can also still be heard on BBC Radio 7.

The Home Guard consisted of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age, and as such the series starred several veterans of British film, television and stage, including Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley, Bill Pertwee, Edward Sinclair and John Laurie. Relative youngsters in the regular cast were Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn (who was made-up to play the elderly Jones), Frank Williams, James Beck (who died suddenly during production of the programme's sixth series, despite being one of the youngest cast members) Janet Davies, Wendy Richards and Colin Bean.

The series has had a profound influence on popular culture in the United Kingdom, with the series' catchphrases and characters well known. It is also credited with having highlighted a hitherto forgotten aspect of defence during the Second World War.

Originally intended to be called The Fighting TigersDad’s Army was based partly on co-writer and creator Jimmy Perry’s real-life experiences in the Local Defence Volunteers (later known as the Home Guard). Perry had been 17 years old when he joined the 10th  Hertfordshire Battalion and with a mother who did not like him being out at night and fearing he might catch cold, he bore more than a passing resemblance to the character of Frank Pike.

An elderly lance corporal in the outfit often referred to fighting under Kitchener against the “Fuzzy Wuzzies” and proved to be a perfect model for Jones. Other influences were the film Whiskey Galore! and the work of comedians such as Will hay whose film Oh, Mr. Porter! featured a pompous ass, an old man and a young man which gave him Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike. Another influence was the Lancastrian comedian Robb Wilton who portrayed a work-shy husband who joined the Home Guard in numerous comic sketches during WW2.

Perry wrote the first script and gave it to David Croft while working as a minor actor in the Croft-produced sitcom Hugh and I, originally intending the role of the spiv, Walker, to be his own. Croft was impressed and sent the script to Michael Mills, Head of Comedy at the BBC. After addressing initial concerns that the programme was making fun of the efforts of the Home Guard, the series was commissioned.

In his book, Dad's Army, Graham McCann explained that the show owes a lot to Michael Mills. It was he who renamed the show Dad's Army. He did not like Brightsea-on-Sea so the location was changed to Walmington-on-Sea. He was happy with the names for the characters Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike but not with other names and he made suggestions: Private Jim Duck became Frazer, Joe Fish became Joe Walker and Jim Jones became Jack Jones. He also suggested adding a Scot to the mix. Jimmy Perry had produced the original idea but was in need of an experienced man to see it through. Mills suggested David Croft and so the successful partnership began.

Characters·       Captain George Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe)—the pompous—if essentially brave and unerringly patriotic—local bank manager, Mainwaring appointed himself leader of his town’s contingent of Local Defence Volunteers.

·       Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier)—a diffident, upper-class bank clerk who would quietly question Mainwaring's judgement ("Do you think that's wise?"). Wilson served as a Captain in the First World Was.

·       Lance-Corporal Jack Jones (Clive Dunn)—born in 1870, Jones who was the local butcher, was an old campaigner who had joined up as a drummer boy aged 14 and participated, as a boy soldier, in the campaign of Kitchener in the Sudan between 1896 and 1898.

·       Private Joe Walker (James Beck)—“a black market spiv”, Walker was the only fit, able-bodied man of military age in Walmington-on-Sea’s Home Guard. His absence from the regular armed forces was due to a corned beef allergy.

·       Private Frank Pike (Ian Lavender)—a cosseted mother’s boy, constantly wearing a thick scarf with his uniform to prevent illness, and often the target of Mainwaring’s derision ("Stupid boy!"). His Uncle Arthur was his mother's boyfriend and unwritten father which Pike never clicked on. He also works under Mainwaring in his day-job as assistant bank clerk.

·       Private James Frazer (John Laurie)—a dour Scottish coffin maker and a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Defiant in the Royal Navy who served at the Battle of Jutland as a ship's cook.

·       Private Charles Godfrey (Arnold Ridley)—he is the platoon’s medical orderly.

·       ARP Warden William Hodges (Bill Pertwee)—the platoon’s major rival and nemesis.

·       Mrs. Mavies Pike (Janet Davies)—Pike’s mother and Sergeant Wilson’s lover.

·       Reverend Timothy Farthing (Frank Williams)—The effete vicar of St. Aldhelm’s Church, he shares his church hall and office with Mainwaring’s platoon.

·       Maurice Yeatman (Edward Sinclair)—Mr. Yeatman was the verger at St. Aldhelm’s Church and head of the Sea Scouts group, and was often hostile to the platoon.

·       Private Sponge (Colin Bean)—Private Sponge had the job of representing those members of the platoon not in Corporal Jones’ first section.

·       Private Cheeseman (Talfryn Thomas)—a Welshman who joined the Walmington-on-Sea platoon during the seventh series to compensate for the death of James Beck who played Private Walker.

In June 2010, a statue of Captain George Mainwaring was erected in the Norfolk town of Thetford where most of the TV series Dad's Army was filmed. The statue features Captain Mainwaring sitting to attention on a simple bench in Home Guard uniform, with his pace stick across his knees. The statue is mounted at the end of winding brick pathway with a Union Flag patterned arrow head to reflect the opening credits of the TV series, and the sculpture has been designed so that members of the public can sit alongside Captain Mainwaring for the purpose of having their photo taken.

Goodbye Forever to Dad's army, which was recorded for the last time at the BBC TV Centre in Shepard's Bush inJuly 1977 and broadcast in November 1977.

British Space Satellites – History
In the Autumn of 1945 an RAF electronics officer and member of the British Interplanetary Society, Arthur C. Clarke, wrote a short article in Wireless World that described the use of manned satellites in 24-hour orbits high above the world's land masses to distribute television programs. His article apparently had little lasting effect in spite of Clarke's repeating the story in his 1951/52 The Exploration of Space. Clarke's concept, outlined clearly (incidentally, it was unpatented) in the October 1945 edition of the British publication Wireless World and showed how geostationary satellites would work. Twenty years later the idea was tested by the Soviet Union. The first British Satellitte Ariel 1 was sent into space in 1962 from the USA.

Time Line


Oct 1945 - Clarke's concept, outlined clearly (incidentally, it was unpatented) in the October 1945 edition of the Britishpublication Wireless World, showed how geostationary satellites would work. Twenty years later the idea was tested by the Soviet Union and led to the ...Clarke's concept, outlined clearly (incidentally, it was unpatented) in the October 1945 edition of the British publication Wireless World, showed how geostationary satellites would work. Twenty years later the idea was tested by the Soviet Union and led to the more than one thousand geostationary satellites that now orbit our planet. A phone call, routed through satellite service, reaches its "uplink" point and is directed via microwave toward one of the geostationary.


Oct 7, 1957 - One British writer called the satellite a potential spy-in-thesky. Fears Satellite May BeLie a Spy in the Sky. Army Men Dispute ... past chairman of the British society said: . "This launching is a tremendous thing. It is one of the greatest scientific ad. vances in world history.


Aug 11, 1958 - A combined British and Australian operation to launch a satellite into space will be made soon at the Warmora Rocket Ranze in Central Australia ... The British government official said the Royal Society in London is now examin ing the probable value of a UK satellite program to ...


Jun 20, 1959 - Britain named today an eightman team of space experts to leave here soon for talks in Washington about putting British scientific instruments into orbit in an American earth satellite. The group, which will arrive in time to begin talks on June 25.


Dec 16, 1960 - WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (AP)-The first British space i satellite will be launched " in about one year" from a United States site and will be powered by an American Scout rocket, it was announced today.


Dec 7, 1961 - Britain plans ,to fire its first space satellite around ,the earth next spring aboard a United States Delta rocket,'the House of Lords was told tonight. Viscount Hailsham, Minister for Science, told the House "it is flattering to be told the Americans regard the payload of the first ...


Feb 1962 - A series of six British satellites launched by NASA. The first four were devoted to studying the ionosphere, the remaining two to X-ray astronomy and cosmic-ray studies. Ariel 1 was the first international satellite. It was named inFebruary 1962 for the ...A series of six British satellites launched by NASA. The first four were devoted to studying the ionosphere, the remaining two to X-ray astronomy and cosmic-ray studies. Ariel 1 was the first international satellite. It was named in February 1962 for the spirit of the air who was released by Prospero in Shakespeare's play The Tempest. The name "Ariel" – a traditional one in British aeronautics – was chosen by the UK Ministry of Science and endorsed by NAS


Mar 11, 1962 - WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI)-The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said today it would join with the British Ministry of Science this spring to launch the first international satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Britain is supplying the equipment for experiments to be ...

Mar 12, 1962 - CAPE CANAVERAL FlaAPNext assignment for ThorDelta America's proven and reliable space booster is to hoist Britain's first scientific satellite into orbit next month. The British payload UK1 for United Kingdom will probe the ionosphere a series of electrically charged layers in the atmosphers.

Jun 1, 1962 - Jun 1962 Orbiting of First British SatelliteRanger IV hits Far Side of Moon American and Soviet Space Developments .... alaser oroptical masersee below was beamed on the moon and reflected back to earth–the first time inhistory that man had illuminated the surface of another celestial.

Aug 3, 1962 - 2 (Reuters) Ariel, Britain's first earth satellite, has produced interesting and valuable information about the structure of the ionosphere and the higher atmosphere, Freeth, Parlia- ,mentary Secretary for Science, ;said today. Thesatellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla,, ...


Sep 2, 1962 - It was somewhat ironic that the Briotish Satellite Ariel should have been one of those knocked out. For it was from Britain that had come the strongest advance pro tests against the high altitude test on primarily scientific grounds — as contrasted with those from Communist sources and ...


Jun 7, 1963 - 3, the first all-british satellite, is to be built by the British Aircraft Corporation's guided weapons division at Stevenage, Herts. will be launched in about four years ... 3 will be the third in a series of joint british-american scientific research satellites.


Jan 15, 1964 - The space agency has already agreed to launch two British satellites, including one earlv this year, and a French satellite in 1965. i Both the British and French satellites will make various measurements of the ionosphere, the electrically charged layer in the upper atmosphere. ...


Nov 27, 1965 - It made France the third nation to launch a satellite with its own rocket. US rockets were used to launch Italian, Canadian and British satellites. The successful orbiting seemed certain to boost President Charles de Gaulle's stock in the Dec. 5 when he will be a candidate to succeed ...


Dec 29, 1966 - UK Satellite LONDON reutersThe British Government intends to proceed with plans to launch an allbritish satellite in years time The Daily Mail ... says the satellite weighing up to 200 pounds would be put into orbit from the Australia rocket range by a new British rocket Black Arrow It.


May 5, 1967 - UK-3 was launched from the Western Test Range in California by (NASA) On Friday, 5th May, 1967. Now that it is in orbit the satellite is known as Ariel III.


Nov 21, 1969 - CAPE KENNEDY, Fla. The— first British military communications satellite is to rocket into space today to link defense units in bases as far apart as England and Singapore. Perched atop a US Delta rocket, the 535-pound payload called skynet is to. into an egg-shaped orbit with a high ...


Oct 28, 1971 - On 28 October 1971, the Prospero satellite was blasted into orbit by a Black Arrow launch vehicle. It was the only time a British satellite has been launched on a British rocket. Future legacy Although many were saddened by the cancellation of Black Arrow ...On 28 October 1971, the Prospero satellite was blasted into orbit by a Black Arrow launch vehicle. It was the only time a British satellite has been launched on a British rocket. Future legacy Although many were saddened by the cancellation of Black Arrow, the legacy of the UK's space pioneers lives on. The technology of the rocket itself was reused in the European rocket programme - now flying as the Ariane series of launchers.


Jan 18, 1974 - satellite Skynet 2 soared into space Friday night, the first space launch in 1974 from Cape Canaveral and the 100th firing of a Delta, the rocket workhorse of the space . the 960 pound satellite on the first part of its journey to a stationary orbit over the Indian Ocean.


Jun 12, 1978 - ... ... a group of British engineers and physicists has just published a remarkable scientific document that is certain to go down in history ... The same British company which has won business worth many millions of dollars for giantspace dish satellite terminals has come in at the other end.


Oct 1, 1981 - This commemorative push button telephone in black & silver was made to mark the inauguration of British telecom on 1 October 1981. CONNECTED EARTH: GOONHILLY SATELLITE EARTH STATION.


May 19, 1982 - WASHINGTON The Soviet Union has launched a nuclear-powered radar satellite into low orbit over the South Atlantic that could aid Argentina in spying on British warships near the Falklands Islands, government sources say. The United States has nothing like the satellite, identified as ...


Aug 17, 1984 - satellites, fired into orbit with an American pay load, await a radio signal that will boost them to a higher orbit where the German craft ... wind The first release is planned in September British satellites are to ob serve from well outside the magnetic fields.


Jul 8, 1985 - The British are coming final ly They may be a few decades behind the Americans but that doesnt matter a bit really ac cording to a team of properly enthusiastic English astronauts who were in Huntington Beach on Friday to inspect McDonnell Douglas satellite launch equip ment ...


Jul 18, 1986 - Charlotte Observer, The : Complete full-text content of local and regional news, including community events, schools, politics, government policies, cultural activities, local companies, state industries, and people in the community. Paid advertisements are excluded.


Jul 16, 1987 - The order, from British Satellite Broadcasting Ltd., a London-based consortium, is believed to be the first firm agreement to launch commer cial ...


Aug 28, 1989 - A privately owned rocket fired a payload into orbit yesterday for the first time in the history of the space age. The 11-story Delta rocket, ... Hughes was hired by British Satellite Broadcasting to build two such satellites and have them launched into space under a $300 million contract.


Jan 1, 1990 - LEAD: A Titan 3 rocket carrying British and Japanese communications satellites roared into space tonight after nine postponements. ... About an hour after liftoff, the British satellite was released, officials said. The other satellite was to be released later.


Dec 9, 1995 - AG Rogers says that the only British satellite was launched by a Black Arrow in 1971Letters 4 November That is incorrect The first allBritish satellite was UK3 renamed Ariel 3 when in orbit launched by a NASA Scout rocket in May 1967.


Jun 19, 1997 - The deal with Primestar sees Murdoch selling ASkyB to the enemy, the cable companies -- the very same companies whose dominance of the American pay television market he originally intended to challenge with a US version of his successful British satellite business, BSkyB. ...


Oct 7, 1998 - Smaller lightweight satellites have been widely used in communications monitoring environmental changes and natural disasters and in scientific experiments in space The Tsinghua1 is 1.2 metres high and weighs 75 kg It will be the first of seven satellites forming a SinoBritish Treaty.


Apr 21, 1999 - Nehoda said that the Dnipro carried a British scientific satellite (?WoSAT-12) weighing 320 kg. He noted that the use of modernized SS-18 missiles, ... in December this year the Dnipro will launch into orbit a Ukranian microsatellite.


Nov 9, 2001 - As Nigeria warms up to join the league of space explorers next year, Minister of Science and Technology Prof Turner T. Isoun yesterday in Abuja commissioned the multi-million-naira annexe expected to house its earth station for its own satellite. The low earth orbit micro-satellite is built by Britain.

Feb 27, 2002 - Britain's armed forces are to be provided with a new satellite communications system under a private finance initiative programme worth about £2bn and creating or sustaining up to 1500 jobs across Britain, the Ministry of Defence announced yesterday. The British consortium Paradigm was ...


Sep 26, 2003 - KUN0078 4 GEN 0289 KUWAIT /KUNA-JRQ6 SCI-BRITISH-SATELLITES Three British-Built satellites for disasters monitoring to be launched tomorrow LONDON, Sep 26 (KUNA ) -- A rocket is due to launch tomorrow, carrying three British-built " International Rescue" satellites.


Jun 2, 2005 - LONDON — The satellite operator Inmarsat announced plans on Wednesday to raise $690 million in an initial public offering here this month. Inmarsat said it would sell 164.5 million shares at 215 pence to 245 pence each, giving the company a total market value of £1.1 billion, ..


Jan 18, 2006 - GUILDFORD, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 18, 2006) - The primary objective of the GIOVE-A satellite, launched on the 28th December 2005 was to secure frequencies with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) without which the operation of Europe's new satellite navigation system ...


Mar 12, 2007 - The British military's communications satellite has blasted off into space after a last-minute glitch delayed its launch by 24 hours. The Ariane rocket carryingSkynet 5A, part of a £3.6 billion British armed forces programme, had been set to take off from the European spaceport at ...


Dec 18, 2008 - BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European aircraft manufacturer EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) gained clearance from European Union antitrust regulators on Thursday to buy British satellite maker Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.


Feb 3, 2009 - By Jonathan Amos. Two British companies are involved in discussions about developing a low-cost rocket capable of putting small satellites in orbit. The idea is being promoted by SSTL, a firm in Guildford, Surrey, best known for its Earth observation spacecraft.

British Radar – It's HistoryI

 have decided to create this article about Radar which invention helped us British win the second world war.

In 1934 a large-scale Air Defence exercise was held to test the defences of Great Britain and mock raids were carried out on London. Even though the routes and targets were known in advance, well over half the bombers reached their targets without opposition. Prime Minister Baldwin's statement "The bomber will always get through" seemed true.

To give time for their guns to engage enemy aircraft as they came over, the Army was experimenting with the sound detection of aircraft by using massive concrete acoustic mirrors with microphones at their focal points.

Dr H.E. Wimperis, the first Director of Scientific Research for the Air Ministry, and his assistant Mr A.P. Rowe arranged for Air Marshall Dowding to visit the Army site on the Romney Marshes to see a demonstration. On the morning of the test the experiment was completely wrecked by a milk cart rattling by. Rowe was so concerned by this failure that he gathered up all the Air Ministry files on the subject of Air Defence. He was so appalled that he wrote formally to Wimperis to say that if we were involved in a major war we would loose it unless something new could be discovered to change the situation. He suggested that the best advisors obtainable should review the whole situation to see whether any new initiatives could be found. On 12th November Wimperis put this proposal to the Secretary of State and a Committee was set up under Henry Tizard.

In 1935 the British Air Ministry asked Robert Watson-Watt of the Radio Research Station whether a "death ray" was possible. He and colleague Arnold Wilkins quickly concluded that it was not feasible, but as a consequence suggested using radio for the detection of aircraft and this started the development of radar in Britain. The idea of using rays to kill or disable people or machines was very popular, so to start things off Wimperis got Professor Hill to estimate the radio energy needed to cause damage to humans. He sent this to Mr Watson-Watt, Superintendent of the Radio Research Station at Slough for his views on the possibility of developing a radio "Death Ray" to melt metal or incapacitate an aircraft pilot. Watson-Watt passed the letter to A.F. Wilkins who reported that there was no possibility of achieving these destructive effects at a distance but that energy reflected from aircraft should be detectable at useful ranges. This was reported to the first meeting of the Tizard Committee on 28th January and Rowe was instructed to get quantitative estimates for detection.

Wilkins made further calculations from which Watson-Watt wrote a memorandum proposing a system of radio-location using a pulse/echo technique. The Committee gave this a very favourable reception and Wimperis asked Dowding for £10,000 to investigate this new method of detection. Dowding, though very interested, said he must have a simple practical demonstration to show feasibility before committing scarce funds to the project.

For this demonstration Watson-Watt and Wilkins decided to make use of transmissions from the powerful BBC short-wave station at Daventry and measure the power reflected from a Heyford bomber flying up and down at various ranges. Detection was achieved at up to 8 miles and the £10,000 was granted.

A site at Orfordness was chosen to do the detection experiments over the sea. Aerials mounted on three pairs of 75ft wooden lattice masts were installed and detection ranges of 17 miles were obtained. These were rapidly increased to 40 miles by July. Work was done to show how map position and height might be determined and Watson-Watt submitted proposals for a chain of stations to be erected round the coast to provide warning of attack and to tell fighters where to engage the attackers. He suggested that a full-scale station should be built at once, to be followed, if successful, by a group of stations to cover the Thames Estuary and then by a final chain covering the South and East coasts. Construction of 5 stations was authorised and the one at Bawdsey was in operation by August 1936. The others followed shortly after. Plots were to be telephoned to a central operations room and combined with data from the Royal Observer Corps and the radio direction-finding system.

In February 1936 Bawdsey Manor became the centre for the expanding research team and Tizard inspired the RAF at Biggin Hill to investigate fighter control and interception techniques. Their results convinced him that effective interceptions could be obtained against mass raids by day, but not against dispersed attackers at night. He therefore pressed for equipment to go into fighters for them to find and engage targets when positioned within a few miles. Initial tests using a large television transmitter on the ground operating on a wavelength of 6 metres and a receiver in a Heyford Bomber with an aerial between its wheels gave detection ranges of over 10 miles. To get a transmitter into an aircraft and reduce the size of the aerial a much lower wavelength was required. Bowen installed a crude equipment operating at 1 metre in an Anson and in the autumn of 1937 aircraft were detected and also Naval ships several miles away in appalling weather.

From then on Air Interception (AI) and Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) equipments were developed. Further Air Defence Trials showed that better detection of low flying aircraft was needed and Chain Low (CHL) stations were evolved from Coastal Defence (CD) equipments which had been developed for the Army. Gun laying equipments (GL) were developed and also equipments to improve navigation (GEE) and bombing (OBOE) and (H2S).

Sep 1940 - The cavity magnetron was perhaps the single most important invention in the history of radar and played a major part in the Allies' victory. In the Tizard Mission during September 1940, it was given free to the US, together with several other inventions such as jet technology, so that we British could use American R&D and their production facilities.

The problem with us Brits giving away many of out Top Secret Gizmo's and inventions to the Americans was that our official secrets act lasted indefinately wheras the Americans did not have such laws holding them back and subsequently after WW2 the Americans decided to claim Computers and many other British Inventions (which were still secret) as their own. My goal is to rectify this situation and publish rights to many old and previously published wrongs. The first manned flight was in Brompton, England in 1849.

History of The Hovercraft

I thought it would be a good idea to tell the story of the invention of the Hovercraft in 1955.

The idea of using an air-cushion as a means or aid to acceleration and reduction in (hydrodynamic) drag was first explored by Sir John Thornycroft, a British engineer, who, in the 1870's built some experimental models on the basis of an air cushion system that would reduce the drag of water on boats and ships.

In 1877 he successfully patented the idea and his theory was that if a ship's hull was given a concave bottom, which could be filled - and replenished - with air, it would create significant additional lift. And so the air cushion effect was born.

Decades later scientists and inventors were still busy with his ideas but without any practical applications. With the coming of the airplane however, it was noticed that additional lift was obtained if the plane flew closer to land or water, creating a "funnel effect", a cushion of air.

The air lift that this funnel effect created differed with the type of wing and its height above ground. The effect was strongest if this height was between one half and one third of the (average) front-to-rear breadth of the wing. Also known as "chord".

The next two decades saw little interest in air cushion development.

The successful use of the air cushion effect was not lost on engineers after World War 2 was over and in the early 1950's British, American and Swiss engineers started to rethink Sir John Thornycroft's problem.

The Englishman Christopher Cockerell, commonly seen as the father of the hovercraft, being retired from the army, settled into boat building where he soon got captivated by Thornycroft's problem of reducing the hydrodynamic drag on the hull of a boat by using some kind of air cushion.

His theory was that, instead of using the plenum chamber - an empty box with an open bottom as Thornycroft had devised - air was instead pumped into a narrow tunnel circumnavigating the entire bottom, it would flow towards the center and form a more effective air cushion. This peripheral jet would cause the air to build up enough pressure to equal the weight of the craft and, as it would have nowhere to go, the pressure would force the craft up, clearing it off the ground altogether.

Cockerell successfully tested his theory and filed his first patent in 1955. The year after he formed a company called Hovercraft Ltd. He further envisioned and partially worked out other problems of the hovercraft principle that still have to be fully exploited by modern hovercraft builders. One of these was to re-use the air for greater overall efficiency.

Thinking that his air cushion vehicles would be eminently suitable as amphibious craft he approached the British Ministry of Supply, the government's defence equipment procurement authority with his findings. Soon after, in 1956, the air cushion vehicle was classified as "secret" and a construction contract was placed with a British aircraft and seaplane manufacturer. The result was the SR.N1 in 1959.

The first SR.N1 weighed four tons and could carry three men. Its maximum speed was 25 knots (1 knot = 1.15 miles or 1.85 kilometres per hour) on calm water. It had a 6-inch (15 cm) rubberized skirt to make it easier to contain the air cushion on uneven ground.

Significant wear and tear of the skirt through friction with the water at high speeds made it necessary to use more durable material and a rubber and plastic mixture was developed by 1963. The length of the skirt had also been extended to about 4 feet (1.2 m).

Early interest in hovercraft enjoyed a peak in the early 1960's as everyone jumped to take advantage of this amazing vehicle. However, by the end of the decade only the British had produced a range of feasible and practical craft.

The problems inherent of the air cushion vehicle, such as Cockerell and others had foreseen, regarding steering control, noise, salt and skirt erosion, caused many countries to abandon their hovercraft development programs in favour of other, more established multi-function vehicles or to use different vehicles specialised in each terrain or function.

Since the 1970's however, and especially over the last decade, a renewed interest in the hovercraft as (passenger) transport, military transport and weapons carrier and exploratory vehicle has taken ground, solving many of these problems in their development.

Technology in general made large steps forward during the past twentyfive years, enabling organisations and governments, as well as many enthusiasts at Hovercraft Clubs to enjoy the hovercraft vehicle in its many forms including the very popular Remote Control model size hovercraft!.

As far as hovercraft and their spinoff technology is concerned the future looks ever brighter

The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam buses I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the English history of the earliest steam Cars and Busses.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwal (UK) an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the "Puffing Devil" as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle's principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry.

The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The "Puffing Dragon" was the world's first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London's Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 - 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick's vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not "run away with" the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses' feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.

The First Manned Flight – England 1849 Britains history is made up of very famous engineers all through their history. This has made me decide to write about one of the the most famous English Engineers called the "Father of Aviation" Sir George Cayley who flew the first manned flight in Brompton, England in 1849.

Sir George Cayley, 6th Baronet (27 December 1773 – 15 December 1857)

was a prolific English Engineer, one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.

In 1799 he set forth concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. Often known as "the father of Aerodynamics", he was a pioneer of aeronautical engineering. Is called the "Father of Aviation" and designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft, he discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight — weight, lift, drag and thrust — which are in effect on any flight vehicle. Modern aeroplane design is based on those discoveries including cambered wings. He is credited with the first major breakthrough in heavier-than-air flight and he worked over half a century before the development of powered flight. He designed the first actual model of an aeroplane and also diagrammed the elements of vertical flight.

By 1804 Sir George Cayley had built his first model gliders which appeared similar to modern aircraft: a pair of large monoplane wings towards the front, with a smaller tailplane at the back comprising horizontal stabilisers and a vertical wing.

In 1809 Sir George Cayley was quoted as saying, "I feel perfectly confident that we shall be able to transport ourselves and families, and their goods and chattels, more securely by air than by water, and with a velocity of from 20 to 100 miles per hour."

By 1810 Sir George Cayley had published his now-classic three-part treatise "On Aerial Navigation" which stated that lift, propulsion and control were the three requisite elements to successful flight, apparently the first person to so realize and so state.

By 1816 Sir George Cayley had turned his attention to lighter-than-air machines and designed a streamlined airship with a semi-rigid structure. He also suggested using separate gas bags to limit an airship's lifting gas loss due to damage. In 1837 Cayley designed a streamlined airship to be powered by a steam engine.

1832 to 1835 Sir George Cayley had served for the whig party as member of parliament for Scarborough, and helped found the Royal Polytechnic Institution (now University of Westminster), serving as its chairman for many years. He was a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and was a distant cousin of the mathematician Arthur Cayley.

Around 1843 Sir George Cayley was the first to suggest the idea for a convertiplane, an idea which was published in a paper written that same year.

During some point prior to 1849 Sir George Cayley designed and built a biplane powered with "flappers" in which an unknown ten-year-old boy flew.

During 1853 Sir George Cayley with the continued assistance of his grandson George John Cayley and his resident engineer Thomas Vick, he developed a larger scale glider (also probably fitted with "flappers") which flew across Brompton Dale.

Later during 1853 the first adult aviator has been claimed to be either Cayley's coachman. One source (Gibbs-Smith) has suggested that it was John Appleby, a Cayley employee — however there is no definitive evidence to fully identify the pilot. The Plane Cayley built was a triplane glider (a glider with three horizontal wing structures) that carried his coachman 900 feet (275 meters) across Brompton Dale in the north of England before crashing. It was the first recorded flight by an adult in an aircraft.

An obscure entry in volume IX of the 8th Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1855 is the most contemporaneous account with any authority regarding the event. A 2007 biography of Cayley (Richard Dee's The Man Who Discovered Flight: George Cayley and the First Airplane) claims the first pilot was Cayley's grandson George John Cayley (1826-1878). Dee's book also reports the re-discovery of a series doodles from Cayley's school exercise book which suggest that Cayley's first designs concerning a lift-generating inclined plane may have been made as early as 1793.

A replica of the 1853 machine was flown at the original site in Brompton Dale in 1974 and in the mid 1980s by Derek Piggott. The glider is currently on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Another replica flew there in 2003, first piloted by Allan McWhirter and later by Richard Branson.

In 1857 Sir George Cayley died in Scarborough. There is a memorial to his life at Hull University at the Scarborough Campus.

The Battle Of Britain – 1940

One of the most Iconic years in British History was 1940 when The Battle Of Britain was fought against the Luftwaffe. The reader must remember our parents and grand parents were involved or lived through the war and during my growing up in the 1960's the war was a very big thing to British families and a lot of my teachers in the 1960's and 1970's were in the Army, Royal Navy or RAF during the Second World War.

The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date. From July 1940 until October 13th 1940 coastal shipping convoys and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth were the main targets; one month later the Luftwaffe shifted its attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure. The last true day of The Battle of Britain was on September 15th. 1940. The bombing raids of British cities continued until October 13th 1940.

As the battle progressed the Luftwaffe also targeted aircraft factories and ground infrastructure. Eventually theLuftwaffe resorted to attacking areas of political significance and using terror bombing tactics.

The failure of Germany to achieve its objectives of destroying Britain's air defences or forcing Britain to negotiate an armistice or an outright surrender is considered its first major defeat and one of the crucial turning points in the war.

While we British were using radar for air defence more effectively than the Germans realised, the Luftwaffe attempted to press its own offensive advantage with advanced radio navigation systems of which we British were initially not aware. One of these was knickebein ("crooked leg"); this system was used at night and for raids where precision was required. It was rarely used during the Battle of Britain.

Towards the end of the Battle of Britain, Britain begun slowly running out of aircraft and pilots. The Germans were targeting airfields and then suddenly changed direction and started to bomb London over a period of days. This gave the RAF time to repair the airfields and replace the damaged aircraft. If Germany had gained air superiority, Adolf Hitler would have launched operation Sea Lion, which was the amphibious and airborne invasion of Britain.

On 15th  September two massive waves of German attacks were decisively repulsed by the RAF, with every aircraft of 11 Group being used on that day. The total casualties on this critical day were 60 German and 26 RAF aircraft shot down. The German defeat caused Hitler to order, two days later, the postponement of preparations for the invasion of Britain. Henceforth, in the face of mounting losses in men, aircraft and the lack of adequate replacements, the Luftwaffe switched from daylight to night-time bombing.

If the Germans had invaded and beaten us Brits then the World would have been completely different and instead of English this article would have been in German and the continent of Europe would have been controlled by Germany ( Not like today then!!! ).

On 13th  October, Hitler again postponed the invasion "until the spring of 1941"; however, the invasion never happened, and October is regarded as the month regular bombing of Britain ended. It was not until Hitler's Directive 21 was ordered on 18 December 1940, that the threat of invasion finally dissipated.

The Royal Air Force roll of honour for the Battle of Britain recognises 595 non-British pilots (out of 2,936) as flying at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the RAF or Fleet Air Arm between 10 July and 31 October 1940. These included 145 Poles, 127 New Zealanders, 112 Canadians, 88 Czechoslovaks, 32 Australians, 28 Belgians, 25 South Africans, 13 French, 10 Irish, 7 Americans and one each from Jamaica, the British Mandate of Palestine and Southern Rhodesia.

Winston Churchill summed up the effect of the battle and the contribution of Fighter Command with the words, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”. Pilots who fought in the Battle have been known as The Few ever since.

Battle of Britain Day is commemorated in the United Kingdom on 15th  September. Within the Commonwealth, Battle of Britain Day is usually observed on the third Sunday in September. In some areas in the British Channel Islands, it is celebrated on the second Thursday in September.

The Spitfire – A British Icon

I have decided to create this article about The Spitfire as it's one of the Icons of The Battle of Britain. The designer and builder was R. J. Mitchell and his greatest legacy was the Spitfire single-seat fighter, designed between 1934 and 1936. It was a hybrid of many diverse technical developments. Using high-speed flight experience gained through the Schneider Trophy successes, influences from the German aircraft manufacturer, Junkers, and learning vital lessons from Supermarine's unsuccessful Type 224, the Spitfire was a masterpiece of practical engineering design that Mitchell would never see fly in combat.

The Spitfire designed by R. J. Mitchell came into being as a result of a new Air Ministry requirement for an interceptor fighter to respond to the growing threat of a modern Luftwaffe. The RAF interceptors of the day having a top speed of around 220mph, and a speed of 300 mph was considered vital to ensure interception of the new Luftwaffe aircraft under development.

R J Mitchell, Chief Designer at Supermarine had a reputation for designing high speed airplanes, having been the designer of the successful Schneider Trophy Seaplanes in the late 20's and early 30's. Mitchell's first attempt at a fighter was the Type 224 in 1933, driven by a Rolls Royce Goshawk steam cooled engine. This engine never realised its' full potential due to extreme unreliability of the steam cooling system. The 224 was both slow and underpowered, and was therefore never seriously considered as an interceptor by the Royal Air Force.

Mitchell then went back to the drawing board to design a better fighter using revolutionary techniques in airframe construction. He also had consultations with Henry Royce of Rolls Royce, who himself had ideas for a new V12 engine, which Rolls developed as a private venture, as the PV12, later called the Merlin. This powerful engine, of nearly 1000 hp in its' initial form, coupled with a state-of-the-art airframe promised much, and Mitchell worked on the design through the second half of 1935. The prototype at this stage, was simply called the F37/34, and first flew at Eastleigh airfield, near Southampton, on 5th March 1936. The chief test pilot of Vickers/Supermarine, Mutt Summers, took it up on its' first flight and allegedly said on landing "I don't want anything touched". Most people took this to mean that he believed the aircraft was perfect, although in reality he probably simply did not want any settings changed at that time. The aircraft however, even at that early stage, showed much promise as a fighter. Mitchell had calculated the top speed to be 350 mph, whereas trials showed its' top speed at 349 mph - Mitchell is said to have been satisfied with this!

Development went on during the rest of 1936 with Mitchell often turning up to watch his new creation fly, even though by this time he was very ill with cancer - which he succumbed to in June 1937 at the young age of 42. Subsequently, Joseph Smith became Chief Designer at Supermarine, and presided over the development of the prototype into a production airplane, by now called Spitfire, a name coined originally for the Type 224 by Sir Robert MacLean, MD of Vickers. It is said that prior to his death Mitchell expressed his dislike of the name, saying "It's just the sort of bloody silly name they would choose", and it was very nearly named the Shrew. Fortunately for posterity this view did not prevail.

Armament for the new fighter was originally set at four machine guns, set in the wings, but this was later increased to eight machine guns, to ensure a lethal weight of fire in a typical three second burst. The new type of construction employed in the Spitfire caused Supermarine numerous problems in mass production, especially the revolutionary new type of wing construction. Production of the rival Hurricane fighter was far greater due to its' simpler structure, and it was mid 1938 before the aircraft was starting to be produced in quantity for deliveries to the Royal Air Force.

The First VTOL Harrier Jump Jet – A British Icon 1941

I have decided to create this article about the first Vertical Take Off Aircraft – The Harrier Jump Jet, which is one of the Icons of Britain. In October 1960 the forerunner of the Harrier Jump jet made its first tethered flight there, which led to its maiden conventional flight in November of the same year.

Studies of "vertical take off or landing (VTOL)" aircraft began late in the Second World War, with Alan A. Griffiths the famous British Engineer had come up with the Vertical Take Off Aircraft idea in 1941.

Many nations began to work on flight-worthy VTOL machines after the war, though initially these aircraft were purely experimental in nature. In the UK, Rolls Royce began work on Britain's first VTOL aircraft, known by the bland name of "Thrust Measuring Rig (TMR)", apparently as a dodge to conceal the real nature of the project from those who might have thought it too far-fetched. It was designed to evaluate hovering flight using raw jet thrust, with no capability for serious horizontal flight.

The first of two TMRs was rolled out in 1953. It hardly looked like an aircraft at all, consisting only of a frame with four legs and twin Rolls Nene centrifugal-flow turbojet engines, arranged exhaust-to-exhaust with their exhausts tilted downward through the TMR's center of gravity. There were reaction jets -- "puffers" -- on arms out to each side, fed by exhaust bleed from the engines to provide maneuvering capability during a hover. The pilot sat perched on top, with little protection if the clumsy-looking thing decided to flip over. It was referred to as the "Flying Bedstead" due to its appearance; more or less the same nickname was applied to comparable VTOL evaluation rigs developed in other countries.

Initial tethered flights were performed in 1953 and 1954. The first free flight was made on 3 August 1954 with Rolls chief test pilot R.T. Shepherd at the controls. The Bedstead had an empty weight of 2,720 kilograms (6,000 pounds) and a loaded weight, with enough fuel for ten minutes of flight, of 3,400 kilograms (7,500 pounds). Since the twin Rolls Royce Nene engines only provided a total of 36.0 kN (3,675 kgp / 8,100 lbf) together and about 8% of that thrust was siphoned off for the puffers, the Bedstead had little margin of power. In addition, the throttle response of the old Nene engines was sluggish, making hovering difficult. All in all, the thing was apparently very hair-raising to fly.

After the first Flying Bedstead was moved to the Royal Aeronautical Establishment (RAE) it crashed, killing the pilot. The second Bedstead performed its first flight in late 1957, only to crash within a week. Its parts were used to repair the first Bedstead, which eventually ended up as a museum piece in the UK.

Nobody could have mistaken the ugly Bedstead for anything but a purely experimental lashup. As the Bedstead program was winding down, work was beginning on a new British VTOL machine that looked much more like a proper aircraft.

The basis for the effort was a new type of engine known as a "liftjet", the brainchild of Dr. Alan A. Griffiths, one of the pioneers of British jet technology and a major figure in the history of materials science. A liftjet was a small turbojet that was fitted vertically into a VTOL aircraft for straight-up lift, and was not generally used in forward flight. It were designed to be as compact as possible and to generate large amounts of thrust for a short time. It also had a sensitive throttle to permit fine control in hover.

Griffiths had come up with the idea in 1941, and in 1955 he had bench-tested one of the first liftjet engines, the Rolls Royce "RB.108". It weighed 122 kilograms (269 pounds) and could generate 9.0 kN (920 kgp / 2,030 lbf) thrust, not including 11% bleed to drive puffer thrusters. The British Ministry of Supply (MoS) issued a request for an experimental VTOL aircraft based on the RB.108 and several companies replied. The contract was awarded to Short Brothers of Belfast in August 1957, with funding provided for two machines, designated "SC.1".

In April 1966, the Marines operated a Hawker Siddeley Kestrel off the commando assault ship and were impressed with the aircraft. This then led to the Marines obtaining the Harrier AV-8A jump jet for use from their assault ships.

In 1969 the first flying prototype of what became known as the Harrier 'jump jet ,' entered service. Displayed directly below the airframe is a Rolls Royce Pegasus jet engine whose unique design coupled with the Harrier makes the VTOL feat possible. The Pegasus engine has 4 vectored thrust nozzles that can be swiveled to provide the vertical thrust necessary to counter the Harrier's weight while hovering.

There are four main versions of the Harrier family: Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Boeing/BAE Systems AV – 8B Harrier II and BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the firstgeneration version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier. The Sea Harrier is a naval strike/air defence fighter. The AV-8B and BAE Harrier II are the US and British variants respectively of the second generation Harrier aircraft.

Between 1969 and 2003, 824 Harrier variants were delivered. While manufacture of new Harriers concluded in 1997, the last remanufactured aircraft (Harrier II Plus configuration) was delivered in December 2003 which ended the Harrier production line.

King Alfred the Great – The First English King


King Alfred was the first king of a united Anglo-Saxons kingdom which gradually became what we now know as England. Alfred was born in 849 AD in the village of Wanting, now Wantage, Oxfordshire. He was the youngest son of King Aethewulf of Wessex by his first wife, Osburga. Alfred was the youngest of five sons and one daughter of King Aethelwulf. His father and brothers died defending their kingdom mostly from the Vikings. In 868 Alfred married Ealhswith, daughter of Aethelred Mucil and he came to power in 871 AD at the age of 22 and reigned for 28 years,


Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England. These were fortified market places ('borough' comes from the Old English burh, meaning fortress); by deliberate royal planning, settlers received plots and in return manned the defences in times of war. (Such plots in London under Alfred's rule in the 880s shaped the streetplan which still exists today between Cheapside and the Thames.)

This obligation required careful recording in what became known as 'the Burghal Hidage', which gave details of the building and manning of Wessex and Mercian burhs according to their size, the length of their ramparts and the number of men needed to garrison them.

It centred round Alfred's royal palace in Winchester, this network of burhs with strongpoints on the main river routes was such that no part of Wessex was more than 20 miles from the refuge of one of these settlements. Together with a navy of new fast ships built on Alfred's orders, southern England now had a defence in depth against Danish raiders.

His great victory at Edington in 878 secured the survival of Wessex, and the Treaty of Wedmore with the Danish king Guthrum in 886 established a boundary between the Danelaw, east of Watling Street, and the Saxons to the west.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that following his capture of London in 886 'all the English people submitted to him, except those who were in captivity to the Danes'. In some respects, therefore, Alfred could be considered the first king of England. A new landing in Kent encouraged a revolt of the East Anglian Danes, which was suppressed 884–86, and after the final foreign invasion was defeated 892–96, Alfred strengthened the navy to prevent fresh incursions.

During periods of peace Alfred reformed and improved his military organization. He divided his levies into two parts with one half at home and the other on active service, giving him a relief system he could call on to continue a campaign. He also began to build burhs (fortified strongpoints) throughout the kingdom to form the basis of an organized defensive system. Alfred's brother is credited as being the founder of the Royal Navy but Alfred upgraded and had built an armada of ships which were twice as large as the Danish Viking ships and were manned by Frisians and on several occasions successfully challenged the Danes at sea.

Alfred's concept of kingship extended beyond the administration of the tribal kingdom of Wessex into a broader context. A religiously devout and pragmatic man who learnt Latin in his late thirties, he recognised that the general deterioration in learning and religion caused by the Vikings' destruction of monasteries (the centres of the rudimentary education network) had serious implications for rulership. For example, the poor standards in Latin had led to a decline in the use of the charter as an instrument of royal government to disseminate the king's instructions and legislation.

In one of his prefaces, Alfred wrote 'so general was its [Latin] decay in England that there were very few on this side of the Humber who could understand their rituals in English or translate a letter from Latin into English ... so few that I cannot remember a single one south of the Thames when I came to the throne.'

To improve literacy, Alfred arranged, and took part in, the translation (by scholars from Mercia) from Latin into Anglo-Saxon of a handful of books he thought it 'most needful for men to know, and to bring it to pass ... if we have the peace, that all the youth now in England ... may be devoted to learning'.

These books covered history, philosophy and Gregory the Great's 'Pastoral Care' (a handbook for bishops), and copies of these books were sent to all the bishops of the kingdom. Alfred was patron of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (which was copied and supplemented up to 1154), a patriotic history of the English from the Wessex viewpoint designed to inspire its readers and celebrate Alfred and his monarchy.

Like other West Saxon kings, Alfred established a legal code; he assembled the laws of Offa and other predecessors, and of the kingdoms of Mercia and Kent, adding his own administrative regulations to form a definitive body of Anglo-Saxon law.

'I ... collected these together and ordered to be written many of them which our forefathers observed, those which I liked; and many of those which I did not like I rejected with the advice of my councillors ... For I dared not presume to set in writing at all many of my own, because it was unknown to me what would please those who should come after us ... Then I ... showed those to all my councillors, and they then said that they were all pleased to observe them' (Laws of Alfred, c.885-99).

By the 890s, Alfred's charters and coinage (which he had also reformed, extending its minting to the burhs he had founded) referred to him as 'king of the English', and Welsh kings sought alliances with him. Alfred died in 899, aged 50, and was buried in the old minster at Winchester, the burial place of the West Saxon royal family.

By stopping the Viking advance and consolidating his territorial gains, Alfred had started the process by which his successors eventually extended their power over the other Anglo-Saxon kings; the ultimate unification of Anglo-Saxon England was to be led by Wessex.

It is for his valiant defence of his kingdom against a stronger enemy, for securing peace with the Vikings and for his farsighted reforms in the reconstruction of Wessex and beyond, that Alfred - alone of all the English kings and queens - is known as 'Alfred the Great'.


Timeline for King Alfred the Great

Year Event





 Alfred becomes King of Wessex following the death of his brother Aethelred 


 London falls to Viking raiders 


 After persistent attacks by Vikings the monks of Lindesfarne travel through Northumbria and Galloway with the Lindesfarne Gospels. 


 Guthrum's Danish army invades Wessex, and Alfred takes refuge on the isle of Athelney. Alfred defeats Guthrum at the battle of Ethandune (Edington) in Wiltshire.  


 Treaty of Wedmore divides England into two. Guthrum accepts baptism as a Christian and agrees to leave Wessex and settle in East Anglia.  


 Alfred defeats the Danes at Rochester 


 Alfred imposes rules on South Wales 


 Alfred takes London from the Danes. Danelaw - the territory occupied by the Danes in East Anglia is recognised by Alfred 


 Guthrum dies. Alfred establishes a permanent army and navy 


 Anglo Saxon Chronicle, source of much early British History, begun 


 Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, completes his book The Life of Alfred the Great


 Northumbrian and East Angles swear allegiance to Alfred, but promptly break the truce attacking South West England.  


 Naval victory over the Danes in the Solent 


 Alfred dies and is buried at Winchester. His son Edward becomes king.


General Gordon of Khartoum – A British Icon


At school in 1960's England one of the heroic failures from British history was General Gordon who was murdered and decapitated by the Sudenese natives on 26th January 1885.

Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB (28th January 1833 – 26th January 1885), known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army Officer, of the Corps of Royal Engineers and an excellent administrator. He is remembered for his campaigns in China and his death in northern Africa.


Gordon was born in Woolwich, London, a son of Major-General Henry William Gordon (1786–1865) and Elizabeth (Enderby) Gordon (1792–1873). He was educated at Fullands School, Taunton, Somerset and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in 1852 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and completed his training at Chatham. In 1854 he was promoted to full Lieutenant.


From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World's Story: A History of the World in Story, Song and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914).


In I882 there arose in the Soudan, a province of Upper Egypt, one Mohammed Ahmed, who called himself the Mahdi or Messiah, and invited all true believers to join in a holy war against the Christians. Thousands of wild tribesmen flocked to his banner, and in the following year he annihilated an army of eleven thousand English and Egyptians that had attempted to subdue the revolt. Rather than send more soldiers to die in the deserts of the Upper Nile, England decided to abandon the province. But first the thousands of Europeans who had taken refuge in Khartoum and other towns of the Soudan must be rescued from their perilous position. In this crisis the Government turned to the one man who could effect the withdrawal if it was still possible, and in January, 1884, appointed General Gordon to superintend the evacuation of the Soudan.

GENERAL GORDON arrived at Khartoum on February 18th, and spent his time between that date and the investment on March 12, in sending down women and children, two thousand of whom were sent safely through to Egypt, in addition to six hundred soldiers. It was stated by Sir Evelyn Baring (English consul-general to Egypt) that there were fifteen thousand persons in Khartoum who ought to be brought back to Egypt---Europeans, civil servants, widows and orphans, and a garrison of one thousand men, one third of whom were disaffected. To get these people out of Khartoum was General Gordon's first duty, and the first condition of evacuation was the establishment of a stable government in the Soudan. The only man who could establish that government was Zebehr. Gordon demanded Zebehr with ever-increasing emphasis, and his request was decisively refused. He had then two alternatives---either to surrender absolutely to the Mahdi, or to hold on to Khartoum at all hazards. While Gordon was strengthening his position the Mahdi settled the question by suddenly assuming the offensive. The first step in this memorable siege was the daring march of four thousand Arabs to the Nile, by which, on March 12, they cut off the eight hundred men at Halfaya, a village

to the north of Khartoum, from the city. A steamer was sent down to reconnoiter, and the moment she reached the front of the Arab position a volley was fired into her, wounding an officer and a soldier. The steamer returned the fire, killing five.

Thus hostilities began. "Our only justification for assuming the offensive," wrote General Gordon on March 13, "is the extrication of the Halfaya garrison." The Arabs, however, did not give him the chance. They cut off three companies of his troops who had gone out to cut wood, capturing eight of their boats, and killing or dispersing one hundred to one hundred and fifty men. They intrenched themselves along the Nile, and kept up a heavy rifle-fire. Retreat for the garrison was obviously impossible when the Arab force covered the river, the only line of retreat, with their fire. Twelve hundred men rere put on board two grain-barges, towed by three steamers defended with boiler plates, and carrying mountain-guns protected by wooden mantlets; and, with the loss of only two killed, they succeeded in extricating the five hundred men left of the garrison of Halfaya, and capturing seventy camels and eighteen horses, with which they returned to Khartoum.

The Arabs, however, held Halfaya, and on March 16 Gordon tried to drive them away. Advancing from a stockaded position covering the north front of the town, two thousand troops advanced across the open in square, supported by the fire of the guns of two steamers. The Arabs were retreating, when Hassan and Seid Pashas, Gordon's black generals, rode into the wood and called back the enemy. The Egyptians, betrayed by their officers, broke and fled after firing a single volley, and were pursued to within a mile of the stockade, abandoning two mountain guns with their ammunition---"sixty horsemen defeated two thousand men"---and leaving two hundred of their number on the field. After this affair he was convinced that he could not take the offensive, but must remain quiet at Khartoum, and wait till the Nile rose. Six days later, the black pashas were tried by court-martial, found guilty, and shot.

A very determined attack upon one of the steamers coming up from Berber, at the Salboka Pass, was beaten off with great slaughter, Gordon's men firing no fewer than fifteen thousand rounds of Remington ammunition. Meanwhile, his efforts to negotiate with the Mahdi failed. "I will make you Sultan of Kordofan," he had said on arrival to the Mahdi. "I am the Mahdi," replied Mahomet Ahmet, by emissaries who were "exceedingly cheeky," keeping their hands upon their swords, and laying a filthy, patched dervish's coat before him. "Will you become a Mussulman?" Gordon flung the bundle across the room, canceled the Mahdi's sultanship, and the war was renewed. From that day to the day of the betrayal no day passed without bullets dropping into Khartoum.

Gordon now set to work in earnest to place Khartoum in a defensible position. Ten thousand of the Madhi's sympathizers left Khartoum and joined the enemy. The steamers kept up a skirmishing fight on both Niles. All the houses on the north side of Khartoum were loopholed. A sixteen-pounder Krupp was mounted on a barge, and wire was stretched across the front of the stockade. The houses on the northern bank of the Blue Nile were fortified and garrisoned by Bashi-Bazouks. Omdurman was held and fortified on the west and Buri on the east. On March 25, Gordon had to disarm and disband two hundred and fifty Bashi-Bazouks who refused to occupy stockaded houses in a village on the south bank of the Blue Nile. The rebels advanced on Hadji Ali, a village to the north of the Nile, and fired into the palace. They were shelled out of their position, but constantly returned to harass the garrison. They seemed to Gordon mere rag-tag and bob-tail, but he dared not go out to meet them, for fear of the town. Five hundred brave men could have cleared out the lot, but he had not a hundred. The fighting was confined to artillery fire on one side, and desultory rifle-shooting on the other. This went on till the end of March. The Arabs clustered more closely round the town.

On April 19, Gordon telegraphed that he had provisions for five months, and if he only had two thousand to three thousand Turkish troops he could soon settle the rebels. Unfortunately, he received not one fighting man. Shendy fell into the hands of the Mahdi. Berber followed, and then for months no word whatever reached this country from Khartoum.

On September 29, Mr. Power's telegram, dated July 31, was received by the "Times." From that we gathered a tolerably clear notion of the way in which the war went on. Anything more utterly absurd than the accusation that Gordon forced fighting on the Mahdi cannot be conceived. He acted uniformly on the defensive, merely trying to clear his road of an attacking force, and failing because he had no fighting men to take the offensive. He found himself in a trap, out of which he could not cut his way. If he had possessed a single regiment, the front of Khartoum might have been cleared with ease; but his impotence encouraged the Arabs, and they clustered round in ever-increasing numbers, until at last they crushed his resistance. After the middle of April the rebels began to attack the palace in force, having apparently established themselves on the north bank.

The loss of life was chiefly occasioned by the explosion of mines devised by General Gordon, and so placed as to explode when trodden on by the enemy. Of all his expedients these mines were the most successful and the least open to any accusation of offensive operations. The Arabs closed in all round towards the end of April, and General Gordon surrounded himself with a formidable triple barrier of land torpedoes, over which wire entanglement and a formidable chevaux-de-frise enabled the garrison to feel somewhat secure. On April 27, Valeh Bey surrendered at Mesalimeh, a disaster by which General Gordon lost one steamer, seventy shiploads of provisions, and two thousand rifles.

General Gordon was now entirely cut off from the outside world, and compelled to rely entirely upon his his own resources. He sent out Negroes to entice the slaves of the Arabs to come over, promising them freedom and rations. This he thought would frighten the Arabs more than bullets. On April 26, he made his first issue of paper-money to the extent of ,2500 redeemable in six months. By July 30, it had risen to ,26,000 besides the ,50,000 borrowed from merchants. On the same day he struck decorations for the defense of Khartoum---for officers in silver, silver-gilt and pewter for the private soldiers. These medals bear a crescent and a star, with words from the Koran, and the date, with an inscription,---"Siege of Khartoum,"---and a hand-grenade in the center. "School-children and women," he wrote, "also received medals; consequently, I am very popular with the black ladies of Khartoum."

The repeated attacks of the Mahdi's forces on Khartoum cost the Arabs many lives. On May 25, Colonel Stewart was slightly wounded in the arm, when working a mitrailleuse near the palace. All through May and June his steamers made foraging expeditions up and down the Nile, shelling the rebels when they showed in force, and bringing back much cattle to the city. On Midsummer Day, Mr. Cuzzi, formerly Gordon's agent at Berber, but now a prisoner of the Mahdi's, was sent to the wells to announce the capture of Berber. It was sad news for the three Englishmen alone in the midst of a hostile Soudan. Undaunted, they continued to stand at bay, rejoicing greatly that in one, Saati Bey, they had, at least, a brave and capable officer.

Saati had charge of the steamers, and for two months he had uninterrupted success, in spite of the twisted telegraph wires which the rebels stretched across the river. Unfortunately, on July 10, Saati, with Colonel Stewart and two hundred men, after burning Kalaka and three villages, attacked Gatarnulb. Eight Arab horsemen rode at the two hundred Egyptians. The two hundred fled at once, not caring to fire their Remingtons, and poor Saati was killed. Colonel Stewart narrowly escaped a similar fate.

After July 31, there is a sudden cessation of regular communications. Power's journal breaks off then, and we are left to more or less meager references in Gordon's dispatches. On August 23, he sent a characteristic message, in which he announces that, the Nile having risen, he has sent Colonel Stewart, Mr. Power, and the French consul to take Berber, occupy it for fifteen days, burn it, and then return to Khartoum. All the late messages from Gordon, except a long dispatch of November 4, which has never been published, were written on tissue paper no bigger than a postage-stamp, and either concealed in a quill thrust into the hair, or sewn in the waistband of the natives employed. Gordon seems to have been the most active in August and September, when the Nile was high. He had eight thousand men at Khartoum and Senaar. He sent Colonel Stewart and the troops with the steamers to recapture Berber. A steamer which bore a rough effigy of Gordon at the prow was said to be particularly dreaded by the rebels. OnAugust 26, he reported that he had provisions for five months, but in the forays made by his steamer on the Southern Niles he enormously replenished his

stores. On one of these raids he took with him six thousand men in thirty-four boats towed by nine steamers.

After his defeat before Omdurman, the Mahdi is said to have made a very remarkable prophecy. He retired into a cave for three days, and on his return he told his followers that Allah had revealed that for sixty days there would be a rest, and after that blood would flow like water. The Mahdi was right. Almost exactly sixty days after that prophecy there was fought the battle of Abu Klea.

Stewart had by this time been treacherously killed on his way down from Berber to Dongola. Gordon was all alone. The old men and women who had friends in the neighboring villages left the town. The uninhabited part was destroyed, the remainder was inclosed by a wall. In the center of Khartoum he had built himself a tower, from the roof of which he kept a sharp lookout with his field-glass in the daytime. At night he went the rounds of the fortifications, cheering his men and keeping them on the alert against attacks. Treachery was always his greatest dread. Many of the townsfolk sympathized with the Mahdi; he could not depend on all his troops, and he could only rely on one of his pashas, Mehmet Ali. He rejoiced exceedingly in the news of the approach of the British relieving force. He illuminated Khartoum and fired salutes in honor of the news, and he doubled his exertions to fill his granaries with grain.

On December 14, a letter was received by one of his friends in Cairo from General Gordon, saying, "Farewell. You will never hear from me again. I fear that there will be treachery in the garrison, and all will be over by Christmas." It was this melancholy warning that led Lord Wolseley to order the dash across the Desert. On December 16 came news that the Mahdi had again failed in his attack on Omdurman. Gordon had blown up the fort which he had built over against the town, and inflicted great loss on his assailants, who, however, invested the city closely on all sides. The Mahdi had returned to Omdurman, where he had concentrated his troops. Thence he sent fourteen thousand men to Berber to recruit the forces of Osman Digma, and it was these men, probably, that fought the English relief army at Abu Klea.

After this nothing was heard beyond the rumor that Omdurman was captured and two brief messages from Gordon, sent probably to hoodwink the enemy, by whom most of his letters were captured. The first, which arrived January 1, was as follows: "Khartoum all right.---C. G. Gordon. December 14, I884." The second was brought by the steamers which met General Stewart at Mentemneh on January 21st: "Khartoum all right; could hold out for years.---C. G. Gordon. December 29." On January 26, Faraz Pasha opened the gates of the city to the enemy, and one of the most famous sieges

in the world's history came to a close. It had lasted from March 12 to January 26---exactly three hundred and twenty days.

When Gordon awoke to find that, through the treachery of his Egyptian lieutenant, Khartoum was in the hands of the Mahdi, he set out with a few followers for the Austrian consulate. Recognized by a party of rebels, he was shot dead on the street and his head carried through the town at the end of a pike, amid the wild rejoicings of the Mahdi's followers. Two days later the English army of relief reached Khartoum.”

Gordon was killed on January 26th 1885, around dawn, fighting the warriors of the Mahdi. As recounted in Bernard M. Allen’s article “How Khartoum Fell” (1941), the Mahdi had given strict orders to his three Khalifas not to kill Gordon. However, the orders were not obeyed. Gordon died on the steps of a stairway in the northwestern corner of the palace, where he and his personal bodyguard, Agha Khalil Orphali, had been firing at the enemy. Orphali was knocked unconscious and did not see Gordon die. When he woke up again that afternoon, he found Gordon's body covered with flies and the head cut off. When Gordon's head was unwrapped at the Mahdi's feet, he ordered the head transfixed between the branches of a tree "....where all who passed it could look in disdain, children could throw stones at it and the hawks of the desert could sweep and circle above. After the reconquest of the Sudan, in 1898, several attempts were made to locate Gordon's remains, but in vain.

Many of Gordon's papers were saved and collected by two of his sisters, Helen Clark Gordon, who married Gordon's medical colleague in China, Dr. Moffit, and Mary, who married Gerald Henry Blunt. Gordon's papers, as well as some of his grandfather's (Samuel Enderby III), were accepted by the British Library around 1937.

Battle of Trafalgar - 1805


The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on the 21st of October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast, between the combined fleets of Spain and France and the Royal Navy as part of the Napoleonic Wars. During the battle one of the most recognised English icons was killed and will forever be remembered – Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson as one of the many saviours of England and Britain.


In 1805 Nelson left Portsmouth to prepare for his forthcoming battle with the French. The first French Empire, under the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte was the dominant military power on the European Continent. The British Royal Navy controlled the seas. During the course of the war we British imposed a naval blockade on france, which affected trade and kept the french from truly mobilising their own naval resources. Despite several successful evasions of the blockade by the french navy, it failed to inflict a major defeat upon us British. We brits were able to attack french interests at home and abroad with relative ease.

When the third coalition declared war on France after the short-lived Peace of Amiens, Napoleon was determined to invade Great Britain. To do so he needed to ensure that the royal navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla, which would require control of the English Channel.

The main French fleets were at Brest in Brittany and at Toulouse on the Mediterranean coast. Other ports on the French Atlantic coast harboured smaller squadrons. France and Spain were allied, so the Spanish fleet based in Cadiz and Ferrol was also available.

The British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers. By contrast, most of the best officers in the French navy had been either executed or dismissed from the service during the early part of the French Revolution. As a result, Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve was the most competent senior officer available to command Napoleon's Mediterranean fleet. However, Villeneuve had shown a distinct lack of enthusiasm for facing Nelson and the Royal Navy after the defeat at the Battle of the Nile.

Napoleon's naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cadiz to break through the blockade and join forces in the West indies. They would then return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from the blockade, and together clear the English Channel of Royal Navy ships, ensuring a safe passage for the invasion barges.

The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war. Twenty-seven British ships of the line and led by Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under Admiral Pierre Villeneuve of the south west coast of Spain, just west of cape Trafalgar.


It was also the last great sea action of the period and its significance to any invasion of England by the French and Spanish was ended and helped in the dominance of the Seas by us British for over 100 years. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost.


The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the past century and was achieved in part through Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy to facilitate signaling in battle and disengagement, and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, with decisive results.

Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming one of Britain's greatest war heroes. The commander of the joint French and Spanish forces, Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, was captured along with his ship Bucentaure and the Spanish admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet, and succumbed months later to wounds he sustained during the battle.

Only eleven ships escaped to Cádiz, and of those, only five were considered seaworthy. Under Captain Julien Cosmao, they set sail two days later and attempted to re-take some of the British prizes; they succeeded in recapturing two ships, and forced Collingwood to scuttle a number of his prizes. The four van ships which escaped with Dumanoir were taken on 4 November by Sir Richard Strachan at the Battle of Cape Ortegal.

When Rosily arrived in Cádiz, he found only five French ships, rather than the 18 he was expecting. The surviving ships remained bottled up in Cádiz until 1808, when Napoleon invaded Spain. The French ships were then seized by the Spanish Forces and put into service against France.

HMS Victory made her way to Gibraltar for repairs, carrying Nelson's body. She put into Rosia Bay, Gibraltar and after emergency repairs were carried out, returned to England. Many of the injured crew were brought ashore at Gibraltar and treated in the Naval Hospital. Men who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the battle are buried in or near the Trafalgar Cemetery at the south end of main street, Gibraltar.

British Ships at the Battle of Trafalgar

Ship No of Guns Commander Killed/

(Weather Column) Wounded

VICTORY 100 Capt Thomas Masterman HARDY 57/102

TEMERAIRE 98 Capt Eliab HARVEY 47/76

NEPTUNE 98 Capt Thomas Francis FREEMANTLE 10/34

LEVIATHAN 74 Capt Henry William BAYNTUN 4/22

BRITANNIA 100 Capt Charles BULLEN 10/42

CONQUEROR 74 Capt Israel PELLEW 3/9

AFRICA 64 Capt Henry DIGBY 18/44

AGAMEMNON 64 Capt Sir Edward BERRY 2/8

AJAX 74 Lieut John PILFORD 2/9

ORION 74 Capt Edward CODRINGTON 1/23

MINOTAUR 74 Capt Charles John Moore MANSFIELD 3/22

SPARTIATE 74 Capt Sir Francis LAFOREY 3/20

(Lee Column)


BELLEISLE 74 Capt William HARGOOD 33/93

MARS 74 Capt George DUFF 29/69

TONNANT 80 Capt Charles TYLER 26/50

BELLERPHON 74 Capt John COOKE 27/123

COLOSSUS 74 Capt James Nicoll MORRIS 40/160

ACHILLE 74 Capt Richard KING 13/59

DREADNOUGHT 98 Capt John CONN 7/26


REVENGE 74 Capt Robert MOORSOM 28/51

SWIFTSURE 74 Capt William Gordon RUTHERFORD 9/8

DEFIANCE 74 Capt Philip Charles DURHAM 17/53


DEFENCE 74 Capt George HOPE 7/29

PRINCE 98 Capt Richard GRINDALL 0/0


NAIAD 38 Capt Thomas DUNDAS

PHOEBE 36 Capt Hon. Thomas Bladen CAPELL

SIRIUS 36 Capt William PROWSE

PICKLE (Schooner) 10 Lieut John Richards La PENOTIERE

ENTREPRENANTE 8 Lieut Robert Benjamin YOUNG

The rightmost column above gives the numbers of killed and wounded in each

ship of the Fleet.

These figures have been extracted from "The Royal Navy - A History" by

Sir Wm Laird CLOWES Volume 5 page 131.

Battle of Waterloo - 1815


I once lived in an English town called Waterlooville which was named after the famous battle of Waterloo and as such I have decided to write about one of British History's greatest Icons the Duke of Wellington who saved Europe and helped in the creation of peace in Europe for nearly 100 years. The Battle of Waterloo took place near Waterloo, Belgium on June 18th 1815. In this battle, the forces of the French Empire under the leadership of Michael Ney and the Dictator Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by an Anglo-Allied Army commanded by the Duke of Wellington.


Napoleon’s final defeat, ending 23 years of recurrent warfare between France and the other powers of Europe. It was fought during the Hundred Days of Napoleon’s restoration, 3 miles (5 km) south of Waterloo village (which is 9 miles [14.5 km] south of Brussels), between Napoleon’s 72,000 troops and the combined forces of the Duke of Wellington Allied army of 68,000 (with British, Dutch, Belgian, and German units) and about 45,000 Prussians, the main force of Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher's command.


After defeating the Prussians at Ligny and holding Wellington at Quatre-Bras in secondary battles south of Waterloo on June 16th Napoleon’s marshals, Michel Ney and Emmanuel de Grouchy, failed to attack and annihilate either enemy while their armies were separated. Grouchy, with 33,000 men, nearly one-third of Napoleon’s total strength of 105,000, led a dilatory pursuit of Blücher.


On the 18th he was tied down at Wavre by 17,000 troops of Blücher’s rear guard, while Blücher’s main force escaped him, rejoined Wellington, and turned the tide of battle at Waterloo, 8 miles (13 km) to the southwest. At Waterloo, Napoleon made a major blunder in delaying the opening of his attack on Wellington from morning until midday, to allow the ground to dry; this delay gave Blücher’s troops exactly the time they needed to reach Waterloo and support Wellington. The four main French attacks against Wellington’s army prior to 6:00 pm on June 18th all failed in their object—to decisively weaken the Allied centre to permit a French breakthrough—because they all lacked coordination between infantry and cavalry.


Meanwhile, a secondary battle developed, in which the French were on the defensive against the 30,000 Prussian troops of Karl von Bülow’s corps of Blücher’s army. The Prussians arrived at Waterloo gradually and put pressure on Napoleon’s eastern flank. To prevent the Prussians from advancing into his rear, Napoleon was forced to shift a corps under Georges Mouton, Count de Lobau, and to move several Imperial Guard battalions from his main battle against Wellington.

Finally, at 6:00 pm, Ney employed his infantry, cavalry, and artillery in a coordinated attack and captured La haye Sainte, a farmhouse in the centre of the Allied line. The French artillery then began blasting holes in the Allied centre. The decisive hour had arrived: Wellington’s heavy losses left him vulnerable to any intensification of the French attack. But Ney’s request for infantry reinforcements was refused because Napoleon was preoccupied with the Prussian flank attack. Only after 7:00pm, with his flank secured, did he release several battalions of the Imperial Guard to Ney; but by then Wellington had reorganized his defenses, aided by the arrival of a Prussian corps under H.E.K. von Zieten. Ney led part of the guard and other units in the final assault on the Allies. The firepower of the Allied infantry shattered the tightly packed guard infantry. The repulse of the guard at 8:00 pm, followed in 15 minutes by the beginning of the general Allied advance and further Prussian attacks in the east, threw the French army into a panic; a disorganized retreat began.

The pursuit of the French was taken up by the Prussians. Napoleon lost 25,000 men killed and wounded and 9,000 captured. Wellington’s casualties were 15,000 and Blücher’s were about 8,000. Four days later Napoleon abdicated for the second time. The defeat of the Dictator Napoleon helped in the creation of peace in Europe for nearly 100 years.

Ghosts of Royal Naval Hospital Haslar

A  lot of poltergeist activity has been reported in the galley. According  to a clairvoyant who worked in the hospital there are three ghosts  occupying the kitchen area and many more around the hospital.

1)  Michael Connelly, an Irishman who apparently likes the cooking.   'Michael' apparently like to let the galley workers know that they are  there. It has been reported that all the files in the office have been  tipped on the floor several times by unexplained means and witnesses  have claimed that the taps have turned on by themselves. The radio has  apparently turned itself down.

2)  An angry  man called Derek who appears to have died from stab wounds.  'Derek' and The evening supervisor has reported that cutlery has been  thrown around and it has also been claimed by witnesses that the kettle  has switched itself on and that  doors have opened by themselves

3) A  woman called Margaret who haunts the spiral staircase. She is believed  to have tripped over something before the stairs were built and died as a  result. One of the Wardroom stewards claimed to have met 'Margaret' a  few years ago walking up the spiral staircase. She said she met an  elderly woman coming down and, thinking
she was lost the steward asked  her if she needed some help. However, the woman had vanished.

4) There  is also a spirit who inhabits the old Senior Rates Mess. Several people  have claimed that some parts of the galley are bitterly cold where the  rest of it is warm; another favourite trick of all the ghosts is leaving  puddles of water on the floor. Many members of the galley staff have  claimed to have heard tapping on the window of the chef's office, which  has encouraged them to leave for the public restaurant in a hurry.

5)  Several members of staff have reported seeing the figure of a man in  the corridor outside the galley. One claims to have seen a man look in  the door (she went to ask if he was lost but when she got there there  was nobody in sight).

6) Another  reports having seen the reflection of an older man in the window (he  turned around to ask if  the man was looking for something, again nobody  could be seen). Many people have complained that this corridor gets  bitterly cold even when all the windows are shut and the heaters are on.

7)  In F Block which used to be the lunatic asylum - the galley, which is  opposite, used to be the yard where those in the asylum had their  exercise and this area is claimed to be a 'psychic hotspot.

8) Outside  the Operating Theatre's Staff have claimed to experience a sensation of  being followed and most have reported a feeling of fear while being in  this area. Staff members have claimed to hear footsteps as they have  walked down the corridor and have admitted that they have quickened  their pace while walking alone along it. Most members of the nursing  staff choose to take the long route from B block to E Block in order to  avoid it.

A  clairvoyant has claimed that the spirit  residing in the corridor died  because of a botched operation - an emergency  procedure (as he was in  immense pain), probably to save him from a blood clot.

A hole was  drilled in his left temple to relieve the pressure but he died in  the  corridor. It is claimed that he can only rest once the operation is  repeated and the new patient dies. The original spirit is attempting to  guide
the other man's spirit back to his body. This is supposedly  because there was  nobody around to help him when he died.

9)  In the  Children's Ward A member of staff claims to have seen the ghost  of a little girl who runs around the top floor of D Block. A large  number of children were  killed in a fire in this part of the building,  but nothing specific is known about this tragedy. The area is now closed  as the paediatric department has  moved to another hospital.

10)  In the Cellar's where I  used to use to cut across the hospital (which  are now closed), but before that,  they were used as a short cut to the  X-Ray department. In the days before anaesthetic the cellars  accommodated the operating theatres and housed the  insane; it has been  reported that you can still hear screams and the rattling of chains.  During the Second World War the cellars were once again used as  operating theatres and as wards during the height of air raids. 

11)  In the Canada Block the money used to build this accommodation block  was raised by the 'Women of Canada' during the Great War. It has been  claimed that many spirits supposedly inhabit Canada Block along with  unexplained noises and lights turning on and off. The ghost that most have reported seeing is that of a nurse who hanged herself during the  First  World War. Just to add to this, Canada Block is also built in the  site of the original hospital graveyard.

12)  Near St. Lukes Church an MoD Police officer described a ghost he'd  witnessed while on a night patrol at St. Luke's church at Haslar  Hospital. He'd seen an elderly woman walking towards the church, but  when he returned less than a minute later, she had  disappeared. An hour  later, the hospital mortician told him about the body he'd  dealt with  earlier that day. The description matched that of the woman the  police  officer had seen.

With its history of pain and distress its not surprising that Haslar is haunted by distressed spirits.

Interesting Facts about RNH Haslar

a) In 1902 the hospital became known as the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar (abbreviated to RNH Haslar).

b) In the 1940s, RNH Haslar set up the  country’s first ’blood bank’ to help treat wounded soldiers from the Second
World War.

c) In 1966 the remit of the hospital expanded to serve all three services - the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

d) In 1996 the hospital again became known as the Royal Hospital Haslar.

e)  In 2001 the provision of acute healthcare within Royal Hospital Haslar  was transferred from the Defence
Secondary Care Agency to the NHS Trust.  The Royal Hospital was the last MOD-owned acute hospital in the UK. The  change from military control to the NHS, and the complete closure of  the hospital have been the subject of
considerable local controversy.

f) The  last military-run ward was ward E5, a planned orthopaedic surgery ward.  The ward encompasses 21 beds in small ’rooms’, and is run by the  military staff with some NHS colleagues; the ward manager is a serving  military officer. The ward is served by both military and NHS doctors;  the ancillary staff are non-military.

g) The ward E5  closed in 2009 along with the rest of the site and military staff will  move to new posts within MDHU Portsmouth or other units around the  country.

h)  To mark the handover of control to the civilian NHS trust, the military medical staff marched out of RH Haslar in 2007, exercising the unit’s  rights of the freedom of Gosport.

I) The staff consisted  of Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army led by a band of the Royal  Marines. The Gosport citizens are said to deeply saddened by the closure  of Haslar and there are campaigns to keep the hospital open. Gosport  politicians cite that that the UK is the only country in the Western  world not to have a dedicated Military hospital, run by and for its  military staff - who understand the needs and ideology of the service  person. At present, most casualties from conflicts return to Selly Oak  Hospital, Birmingham.

J) The grounds are said to contain the bodies of at least 20,000 service personnel.

In 2001 Haslar was designated a Grade II listed historic park.
Several of the buildings are listed.

Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot 1605

On every November 5th 1605 we in England and all over the World including New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, parts of the Canada and Caribbean and the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda celebrate the failed gunpowder plot by Guy Fawkes and his fellow catholics with a bonfire and the burning of an effigy called a "Guy" and the exploding of Fireworks. The failed plot involved the blowing up of the Houses of Parliament and the murder of the elite of England including the King James I, Princes, Lords and Parliamentarians.

As an addendum, Colonial America also celebrated November 5th until the war of Independence against Britain when George Washington Banned the celebration due to its British connections. This is a bit hypocritical since The Freemasons were founded in London, England yet he still supported and encouraged freemasonry to his friends after the war of independence ( Typical Politician ).

The plot involved 13 conspirators: Robert Catesby, Thomas Wintour, Robert Wintour, Guy fawkes, John Wright, Christopher Wright, Robert Keyes, Thomas Percy, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby, Francis Tresham and Thomas Bates.

The 13 conspirators planned to place a hoard of gunpowder in an undercroft directly underneath the House of Lords. The plotters believed it to be the perfect place to hide explosives, as the undercroft had gone unused for some time. As October came and the plot was finalised, concerns arose that there may be Catholics present in Parliament when the device was to explode.[4] On Saturday 26 October William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, Francis Tresham's brother-in-law, received an anonymous letter warning him not to attend Parliament. On Friday 1 November the King was shown the letter, and it was later decided that a search of the Houses of Parliament would be undertaken on Monday.

According to the King's account, searchers discovered a servant nearby a large pile of firewood in the undercroft on Monday 4 November. He informed the searchers that the firewood belonged to his master, Thomas Percy. The servant's true identity was Guy Fawkes. As the searches had so far failed to locate anything untoward the King demanded that a more thorough search must commence. Shortly after midnight a search party under the command of Thomas Knyvet discovered Fawkes in the undercroft. Fawkes, who identified himself as John Johnson, was placed under arrest, and his possessions searched. He was discovered to be carrying a pocket watch, matches, and torchwood. The search team then unearthed barrels of gunpowder hidden beneath the pile of firewood.

Fawkes, still using the alias John Johnson, claimed when interrogated that he had acted alone. "Johnson" was relocated to the Tower of London on 6 November, where he was to be tortured, after the King gave his consent for the torture to take place. On 7 November Fawkes confessed that he had not acted alone, and the full extent of the plot was unearthed.

The plotters were all executed, aside from Catesby and Percy, who had already been killed amidst their refusal to surrender, however the bodies were exhumed and their heads were added to the other conspirators and placed on spikes outside the Houses of Lords.

In January 1606 the Thanksgiving Act was passed, and commemorating the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot became an annual event. Early traditions soon began after the act was passed, such as the ringing of church bells and the lighting of bonfires, and fireworks were even included in some of the earliest celebrations. The act remained in place until 1859. Despite the repeal of the act taking place over 150 years ago, Guy Fawkes Night still remains a yearly custom throughout Britain. When I was at school all children were taught the following rhyme:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I see no reason Why the Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent To blow up the King and Parli'ment. Three-score barrels of powder below To prove old England's overthrow; By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*) With a dark lantern and burning match. Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring. Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King! And what should we do with him? Burn him!

The Union Jack – Iconic British Flag

The Union Jack is one of Britain's greatest icons and is recognised worldwide. I thought it would be interesting to write the history of this famous icon from its early beginnings.

When King James VI of Scotland ascended to the English throne, thereby becoming James I of England, the national flags of England and Scotland on land continued to be, respectively, the red St George's cross and the white St Andrew's cross. Confusion arose, however, as to what flag would be appropriate at sea. On 12 April 1606 a proclamation was issued:

"By the King: Whereas, some differences hath arisen between Our subjects of South and North Britaine travelling by Seas, about the bearing of their Flagges: For the avoiding of all contentions hereafter. We have, with the advice of our Kingdome of Great Britaine ordered: That from henceforth all our Subjects of this Isle and Kingdome of Great Britaine and all our members thereof, shall beare in their main-toppe the Red Cross commonly called St. George's Crosse and the White Crosse commonly called St. Andrew's Crosse joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds and sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects: and in their fore-toppe our Subjects of South Britaine shall weare the Red Crosse onely as they were wont, and our Subjects of North Britaine in their fore-toppe the White Crosse onely as they were accustomed. – 1606."

This is the first known reference to the Union Flag. Although the original design referred to has been lost, it is presumed that it was the flag which, with the addition of the St. Patrick's cross, It forms the basic design of the British Union Flag today. It is also interesting to note that the new flag was not universally popular nor accepted. The English were not overly pleased at the obscuring of the white field of the St George's flag. The Scots, with more justification, were upset at the fact that the red cross was laid over the white. The Scots proposed a number of alternative designs.

While the flag appears symmetric, the white lines above and below the diagonal red are different widths. On the side closest to the flagpole (or on the left when depicted on paper), the white lines above the diagonals are wider; on the side furthest from the flagpole (or on the right when depicted on paper), the converse is true. Thus, rotating the flag 180 degrees will have no change, but if mirrored the flag will be upside-down.

Placing the flag upside down is considered jese majeste and is offensive to some, However, it can be flown upside down as a distress signal. While this is rare, it was used by groups under siege during the Boer War and during campaigns in India in the late18th    century.

The Union Flag is flown from Government buildings at half-mast in the following situations:

·       from the announcement of the death of the Sovereign (an exception is made for Proclamation Day – the day the new Sovereign is proclaimed, when the Flag is flown at full staff from 11 am to sunset)

·       the day of the funeral of a member of the British Royal Family

·       the funeral of a foreign ruler

·       the funeral of a current or former Prime Minister

The Sovereign sometimes declares other days when the Union Flag is to fly at half-mast. Half-mast means the flag is flown two-thirds of the way up the flagpole with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole.

Individuals, companies, local authorities, hospitals, and schools are free to fly the flag whenever they choose. Planning permission is not required to fly the Union Flag from a flagpole.

The Union Flag can be flown by any individual or organisation in England, Scotland or Wales on any day of their choice. Legal regulations restrict the use of the Union Flag on Government buildings in Northern ireland. Long-standing restrictions on Government use of the flag elsewhere were abolished in July 2007.

Sir Francis Drake 1540 to 1596 – British Icon

Sir Francis Drake is one of Britain's greatest icons and is recognised worldwide as a great sailor, navigator and explorer. I thought it would be interesting to write the history of this famous icon from his early beginnings.

Francis Drake was the eldest son of a yeoman farmer and was born near Tavistock, Devonshire. His father later became a Calvinist lay preacher and raised his children as staunch Protestants. Young Drake received some education; he learned the rudiments of navigation and seaman-ship early and did some sailing near his home. The Drakes were related to the Hawkins family of Plymouth, well-to-do seamen and shipowners. The Hawkins connection got Drake a place on a 1566 slave-trading expedition to the Cape Verde Islands and the Spanish Main.

In 1567 John Hawkins made Drake an officer in a larger slave-trading expedition. Drake ultimately received command of one of Hawkins's ships, the Judith, and accompanied his relative to Africa, Rio de la Hacha, and Santa Marta, where Hawkins disposed of the slaves. The English were caught, however, in the harbor of San Juan de Ulúa by a Spanish fleet that opened fire without warning and destroyed most of their ships. Only Drake's Judith and Hawkins's small vessel escaped to England. Embittered by this, Drake resolved to devote his life to war against Spain.

Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain were not at war then, but grievances were steadily mounting. The Queen declined to offend Philip and would not allow Hawkins to go to sea again immediately, but she had no objections to a voyage by the obscure Drake.   

In 1569 Drake had married Mary Newman of Plymouth, but finding domesticity dull. He departed in 1570 for the Spanish Main with a small crew aboard the 25-ton Susan. He hoped to learn how the Spaniards arranged for shipping Peruvian treasure home, and he felt that the ports of Panama City and Nombre de Dios on the Isthmus of Panama were the key. His 1570 voyage was largely one of reconnaissance during which he made friends with the Cimaroons, who were escaped slaves dwelling out of Spanish reach on the Isthmus and stood ready to help him.

During a 1571 expedition he captured Nombre de Dios with Cimaroon help but lost it immediately when, wounded, he had to be carried to safety. After depredations off Cartagena, he intercepted a Spanish gold train near Nombre de Dios and returned to England with the bounty.

His arrival embarrassed the Queen, who still hoped for peace with Spain, and Drake evidently received a broad hint to leave the country temporarily. He is known to have served in Ireland with the Earl of Essex, who was trying to crush a rebellion in Ulster.

By 1576 relations with Spain had worsened, and Drake returned to England, where a new expedition was being planned in which Elizabeth had a financial share. Drake's main instructions were to sail through the Straits of Magellan and probe for the shores of Terra Australis Incognita, the great southern continent that many thought began with Tierra del Fuego. Drake received five ships, the largest being the Pelican (later named the Golden Hind), and a crew of about 160.

The fleet left Plymouth in December 1577 for the southern Atlantic, stopping at Port San Julián for the Southern Hemisphere winter. Ferdinand Magellan had once crushed a mutiny there, and Drake did the same. He tried and executed Thomas Doughty, an autocratic member of the expedition, who had intrigued against him in an attempt to forment a rebellion.

When Drake passed through the strait and entered the Pacific, only the Golden Hind remained; the other ships had been lost or had parted company. Contrary winds forced him southward and he perhaps sighted Cape Horn; in any event, he realized that the two oceans came together and that Terra Australis would not be found there. He traveled along the coasts of Chile and Peru, capturing and destroying Spanish ships but sparing Spanish lives.

Between Callao and Panama Drake took an unarmed treasure ship, bearing gold, emeralds, and all the silver the Golden Hind could carry. Knowing that Spaniards would try to waylay him in the strait, Drake bypassed Panama and, near Guatalco, Nicaragua, captured charts and directions to guide him across the Pacific. Perhaps seeking the Strait of Anian he sailed nearly 48 degrees north, and then descended to a point at or near Drake's Bay, in California, where he made friends with the Indians and overhauled the ship. He left a brass plate naming the country Nova Albion and claiming it for Elizabeth. (In 1936 a plate fitting the description was found near Drake's Bay.)

Drake then crossed the Pacific to the Moluccas and near there almost came to grief when the ship struck a reef. Skilled handling freed it, and his circumnavigation of the globe continued via the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope. Drake arrived in Plymouth in 1580, acclaimed by the public and his monarch. In April 1581 he was knighted on the deck of theGolden Hind.

Drake did not immediately go to sea again and in 1581 became mayor of Plymouth. After his wife died, he married a young aristocrat Elizabeth Sydenham. Drake, now a wealthy man, made the bride a substantial settlement. He had no children by either wife.

By 1585 Queen Elizabeth, after new provocations by Philip, felt ready to unleash Drake again. A large fleet was outfitted, including two of her own vessels. Drake, aboard his command ship, the Elizabeth Bonaventure, had instructions to release English vessels impounded by Philip, though Elizabeth certainly knew he would exceed orders.

Drake fulfilled the Queen's expectations. He sacked Vigo in Spanish Galicia and then sailed to Santo Domingo and Cartagena, capturing and holding both for ransom. He would have tried to cross the Isthmus and take Panama, a project he had cherished for years, but an epidemic so reduced his crews that he abandoned the idea. On the way to England he destroyed the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine, in Florida, and farther north, took home the last remaining settlers at Sir Walter Raleigh's unfortunate North Carolina colony.

The expedition, which reached Portsmouth in July 1586, had acquired little treasure but had inflicted great physical and moral damage on Spain, enormously raising English prestige in the bargain. Formal war was now inevitable, and Philip started plans to invade England. In February 1587 the Queen beheaded Mary of Scotland who had been connected with plots to dethrone or murder Elizabeth, to the outrage of Catholic Europe and many English Catholics. Philip began assembling his Armada in Portugal, which had been in his possession since 1580.

Elizabeth appointed Lord Charles Howard of Effingham commander of her fleet and gave Drake, Hawkins, and Martin Frobisher immediately subordinate posts. Drake advocated a strong preventive blow at Philip's unprepared Armada and received permission to strike. In April 1587 he recklessly sailed into Cadiz and destroyed or captured 37 enemy ships. He then occupied the Portuguese town of Sagres for a time and finally, in the Azores, seized a large Portuguese carrack bound homeward from Goa with a rich cargo.

The Cadiz raid damaged but did not cripple the Armada, which, under Alonso de Guzmán, Duke of Medina Sidonia sailed in May 1588. It was alleged that Lord Howard was a figurehead and that the "sea dogs" Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher won the victory in the July encounters. Recent evidence refutes this and shows Howard to have been in effective command. Drake took a conspicuous part in the channel fighting and captured a galleon, but he does not seem to have distinguished himself above other English commanders.

The Armada was defeated, and Drake's career thereafter proved anticlimactic. He met with his first formidable defeat in 1589, when he commanded the naval expedition sent to take Lisbon. He seemed to have lost some of his old daring, and his cautious refusal to ascend the Tagus River for a naval bombardment partly accounted for the failure. Drake did not go to sea again for 5 years. He concerned himself mainly with Plymouth matters. He sat in Parliament, but nothing of note marked his presence there.

In 1595 Queen Elizabeth thought she saw a chance of ending the war victoriously by cutting off the Spanish treasure supply from the Isthmus of Panama. For this she selected Hawkins, then 63, and Drake, in his 50s. The cautious Hawkins and the impetuous Drake could never work well together, and the Queen further complicated the situation by giving them equal authority; in effect, each commanded his own fleet. The Queen's order that they must be back in 6 months scarcely allowed time to capture Panama, and when they learned of a crippled Spanish treasure ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, they decided to go there. Through Drake's insistence on first going to the Canary Islands, their destination was revealed, and the Spaniards sent word ahead to Puerto Rico. Hawkins died as they reached the island, leaving Drake in sole command. The Spaniards had strengthened their San Juan defenses, and Drake failed to capture the city.

Ignoring the Queen's 6-month time limit, the aging Drake, still trying to repeat his earlier successes, made for the Isthmus to capture Nombre de Dios and then Panama. He easily took the former, not knowing that it had been superseded by Puerto Bello as the Caribbean terminus of the Plate fleets. His landing party, which soon realized it was following a path long out of use, was ambushed by Spaniards and forced to retreat.

Drake knew the expedition was a failure; he cruised aimlessly to Honduras and back and then fell ill of fever and dysentery. He died off Puerto Bello on Jan. 28th  1596, and was buried at sea. Sir Thomas Baskerville his second in command, took the expedition back home to England.

The English navigator Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was the first Englishman and the second person in the World to circumnavigate the globe. His daring exploits at sea helped to establish England's naval supremacy over Spain.

Sir Walter Raleigh 1552 to 1618 – British Icon

Sir Walter Raleigh is one of Britain's greatest icons and is recognised worldwide as an English aristocrat, great sailor, navigator, frontierman's, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy and explorer and is also largely known for popularising tobacco and potato's in England. I thought it would be interesting to write the history of this famous icon from his early cloudybeginnings. Walter Raleigh was born on his father’s estate at Hays Burton, England. Little is known about Raleigh's birth. Some historians believe Raleigh was born in 1552, while others guess as late as 1554. In 1578, he joined forces with his half-brother Humphrey Gilbert to organize an exploratory venture in North America. However, the ships were prevented from sailing by a series of storms and eventually the expedition was cancelled.

This failed effort was important to Raleigh because it had planted a seed within his mind - he was determined to establish English colonies in the New World. Raleigh’s reputation was enhanced by service at Munster during the Irish rebellion (1580). That contribution, coupled with immense personal charm, led to a close friendship with Elizabeth I and knighthood in 1585. Raleigh further increased his standing by helping to expose a plot by Catholic elements to depose the queen in favour of Mary, Queen of Scots. During the mid-1580s, Raleigh began efforts to establish permanent settlements in North America in an area he thoughtfully named Virginia, to honour his patroness the Virgin Queen.

The culmination of these labours was the ill-fated Lost Colony on Roanoke Island under a Royal Patent. With the looming threat of the Spanish Armada (1588), Raleigh played a leading role at court in planning for the island's defence. Records do not indicate that Raleigh participated in the fighting, however. With the crown nearly hamstrung by an empty treasury, Raleigh provided the government with a new warship, the Ark Royal, in exchange for an IOU. In 1591 he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, without the Queen's permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

Raleigh served briefly in Parliament in the 1590s, but his reputation was tarnished by his association with a group of poets known as the “school of night,” most of whom were widely known religious skeptics. An actual rupture with Elizabeth and imprisonment in the Tower of London occurred when the queen learned that Raleigh had secretly married one of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Throckmorton.

Following his release, Raleigh turned his attention In1594, to the "City of Gold" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of “El Dorado” in Guiana in South America. He explored portions of the Orinoco River and returned to England with only small amounts of gold.

Following the queen’s death in 1603, Raleigh’s enemies conspired against him and had him tried on charges of treason. Allegedly he had plotted against the accession of the new king, James I. A guilty verdict carried with it the death sentence, but James commuted the sentence to life imprisonment in the Tower of London.

Raleigh spent his confinement writing poetry, history, and tales of his adventures. In 1616, he managed to arrange release from prison in exchange for his promise to provide a huge ransom. He was to gather the treasure in Guiana and solemnly pledged that in doing so he would not disturb Spanish installations in the area.

The venture turned out to be an unmitigated failure. No gold was found. The group decided to attack a Spanish fort and Raleigh’s son was killed. He returned home in disgrace.

The Spanish ambassador protested Raleigh’s actions in Guiana and his earlier death sentence was reinstated. On October 29th 1618, he faced the executioner. As custom provided, he took the opportunity to examine the axe and is reported to have remarked, “This is a sharp medicine, but is a physician for all diseases.” His embalmed head was given to his wife, another customary practice, and she never let it out of her sight during the remaining 30 years of her life.

Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the most colourful figures of the Elizabethan Era and is important to World history because of his efforts to establish permanent settlements in America and his circumnavigation of the World.

The Greenwich Prime Meridian

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the Prime Meridian of the world. Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years and this has made me a great fan of English and British Icons including the history of GMT.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is commonly used in practice to refer to Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC) when this is viewed as a time zone, especially by bodies connected with the United Kingdom, such as the BBC World Service, the Royal Navy, the Met Office and others, although strictly UTC is an atomic time scale which only approximates GMT with a tolerance of 0.9 second. It is also used to refer to Universal Time (UT), which is a standard astronomical concept used in many technical fields and is referred to by the phrase Zulu Time.

In the UK, GMT is the official time only during winter; during summer British Summer time ( BST ) is used. GMT is substantially equivalent to Western European Time.

In 1884 the Prime Meridian was defined by the position of the large "Transit Circle" telescope in the Observatory's Meridian Building. The transit circle was built by Sir George Biddell Airy, the 7th Astronomer Royal, in 1850. The cross-hairs in the eyepiece of the Transit Circle precisely defined Longitude 0° for the world. As the earth's crust is moving very slightly all the time the exact position of the Prime Meridian is now moving very slightly too, but the original reference for the prime meridian of the world remains the Airy Transit Circle in the Royal Observatory, even if the exact location of the line may move to either side of Airy's meridian.

The line in Greenwich represents the Prime Meridian of the World - Longitude 0º. Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth - just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres.

The Greenwich Meridian was chosen as the Prime Meridian of the World in 1884. There were Forty-one delegates from 25 nations who met in Washington DC for the International Meridian Conference. By the end of the conference, Greenwich had won the prize of Longitude 0º by a vote of 22 to 1 against (San Domingo), with 2 abstentions ( France and Brazil – what a surprise the French was against us Brits.!! ). There were two main reasons for choosing Greenwich as the Prime meridian:

·       The first was the fact that the USA had already chosen Greenwich as the basis for its own national time zone system.

·       The second was that in the late 19th century, 72% of the world's commerce depended on sea-charts which used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian.

The decision, essentially, was based on the argument that by naming Greenwich as Longitude 0º, it would be advantageous to the largest number of people. Therefore the Prime Meridian at Greenwich became the centre of world time, and was the official starting point for the new Millennium.

In the future, when we Earthlings set out to explore the solar system GMT will still be used as the Point Of Earth time. As an example the Earth GMT will be called: E-GMT.


Captain Cook – His Travels and Life

I thought it would be of interest to write this article about one of England's greatest explorers scientist - Captain Cook and his explorations and discoveries.  

James Cook was born on 27th  October 1728 at Marton in Yorkshire. A self-educated son of a farm labourer, he first went to sea at the age of 19, working the East Coast coal trade.  

At 27 he enlisted in the Royal Navy and soon became boatswain on the 60-gun ship Eagle. Four years later he surveyed the St Lawrence River, Newfoundland, in preparation for the capture of Quebec, and for three summers he conducted further surveys of the St Lawrence and the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland coasts.

In 1768, Cook began the first of the three great Pacific voyages which would see him chart the whole ocean, from New Zealand to the Arctic, so accurately that his charts can still be used today. Cook spent over eight and a half years charting
previously unknown islands.

Cook's ship for his first Pacific voyage was H.M. Bark Endeavour. The aim of the voyage was to observe the passage of Venus over the disc of the Sun from Tahiti and then to search for a "Great Southern Continent" south of Tahiti. Endeavourleft Plymouth on 25th  August 1768, called at Madeira and Rio de Janeiro and, after rounding Cape Horn, reached Tahiti on 10th  April 1769. The transit of Venus was duly recorded on 3rd  June 1769 and Cook soon began the second part of the voyage. 

He searched for, and proved, that there was no continent to the south and west of Tahiti, discovered the east coast of New Zealand and charted its coasts, and discovered and charted the east coast of Australia. During this voyage Cook discovered and named Botany Bay (so called because of the many botanists on board Endeavour). But when Cook reached Batavia on 10th  October 1770, malaria and dysentery spread among the crew. A number died at Batavia and on the way back to the Cape. The expedition had been, however, a great success.

The second voyage began in 1772. Cook had been promoted to Commander and given two new ships, Resolution and Adventure to replace the dilapidated Endeavour. Cook took a copy of John Harrison's prize-winning marine chronometer, H4, made by Larcum Kendall, which, following a successful voyage, he called "my trusty friend the watch".

In January 1773, Cook became the first navigator to cross the Antarctic circle and soon proved that no continent existed in the Southern Ocean above polar latitudes. During this voyage, Cook landed at New Zealand, Tahiti, the Friendly Islands (Tonga), Easter Island, the Marquesas Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, the Isle of Pines and the South Sandwich Islands. Artist William Hodges, who accompanied the voyage, captured the beauty of the newly-discovered islands in his famous paintings.

The object of the third voyage was to search for a 'North-East or North-West Passage. from the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean'. From the start of the voyage there were problems. Cook's ships. Resolution and Discovery, had been badly refitted and defects occurred during the voyage. Cook's crew searched to the edge of the Arctic ice without finding a northern passage into the Atlantic, explored and charted the northern Pacific coasts and discovered the islands of the Sandwich Group in the North Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.

Upon going ashore at Hawaii, Cook was baffled by the great ceremony which greeted his arrival. He did not realise that he was being accepted as a Polynesian god, whose return to the island bringing gifts was prophesied in Polynesian legends. Priests and chiefs called upon the islanders to make contributions, putting a heavy strain on their resources. By the time the two ships sailed again on 4th  February 1779, their departure was hailed with relief. It was a tragic twist of fate that forced them to return two days later after Resolution had sprung her foremast. This time the natives were hostile.

On 14th  February 1779 a ship's boat was stolen by the islanders, forcing Cook ashore to bring a chief off the island as a hostage for its return. A large group of natives gathered with weapons to resist the arrest of their chief. Upon attack, Cook fired his musket but the shot bounced harmlessly off a warrior's armour. Cook was overwhelmed and stabbed to death.

In 2009 the native Hawaiians invited the descendants of Captain Cook back to Hawaii to apologise fro the killing of Captain Cook.

The First Fleet – Australia 1787 – View from England 

I thought as a born and bred Portsmouth chap I thought I would list the first fleet to Australia that left Portsmouth, England in 1787. Portsmouth is famous for its many famous events and people. Captain Arthur Philip R.N, set sail on May 13th  1787 from Portsmouth with 11 vessels and with about 1,487 people, including 778 convicts (192 women and 586 men).  This fleet could be classed as the most important expedition since “The Mayflower” from Plymouth, England. Capt. Arthur Philip R.N. was also commissioned as the first Governor of New South Wales. 

Captain Arthur Philip arrived in N.S.W. with 717 convicts of whom 180 were women, guarded by 191 marines under 19 officers. The ships arrived at Botany Bay between 18th and 20th  January 1788. HMS Supply arrived on 18 January, The AlexanderScarborough and Friendship arrived on 19th  January and the remaining ships on 20th  January 1788.

During the voyage there were seven births, while 69 people either died, were discharged, or deserted (61 males and 8 females). As no complete crew musters have survived for the six transports and three store ships, there may have been as many as 110 more seamen.  

This was one of the world's greatest sea voyages — eleven vessels carrying about 1,487 people and stores had travelled for 252 days for more than 15,000 miles (24,000 km) without losing a ship. Forty-eight people had died on the journey, a death rate of just over three per cent. Given the rigours of the voyage, the navigational problems, the poor condition and sea-faring inexperience of the convicts, the primitive medical knowledge, the lack of precautions against scurvy, the crammed and foul conditions of the ships, poor planning and inadequate equipment, this was a remarkable achievement.

      Embarked at Portsmouth    Landed at Port Jackson

Officials & Passengers      16       14

Ships' crews                      324           269

Marines                                   247      245

Marines wives & children   46            54

Convicts            (men)            579      543

Convicts (women)            193            189 Convicts'

Convicts (children)           14               18

Total 1,403 1,332

Below is a list of Named Convicts which may be of interest to the reader.

Convicts Name: Where sentenced   Term 

ABEL, Robert, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ABRAMS, Henry, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

ABRAHAMS, Esther, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

ABELL, Mary, alias Tilley, Worcester - - - 7 

ACRES, Thomas, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ADAMS, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ADAMS, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

AGLEY, Richard, Winchester - - - - - - - - 7 

ALLEN, John, Hertford  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ALLEN, William, Ormskirk - - - - - - - - - 7 

ALLEN, Charles, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ALLEN, Susannah, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

ALLEN, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 

ALLEN, Jamasun, alias Boddington, London - 7 

ALLEN, Mary, alias Conner, London  - - - - 7 

ANDERSON, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ANDERSON, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - 7 

ANDERSON, John, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ANDERSON, Fanny, Winchester  - - - - - - - 7 

ARCHER, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ARSCOTT, John, Bodmin  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ATKINSON, George, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

AULT, Sarah, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

AYNERS, John, alias Agnew, London  - - - - 7 

AYRES, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARTLETT, James, Winchester  - - - - - - - 7 

BARSBY, George, Winchester - - - - - - -  Life 

BARNETT, Henry, alias Barnard, alias 

           Burton, Warwick - - - - - - - - 7 

BAILS, Robert, Reading - - - - - - - - -  Life 

BARNES, Stephen, York  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BANNISTER, George, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

BARFERD, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARLAND, George, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BALDING, James, alias William, London  - - 7 

BASON, Elizabeth, wife of William 

           Bason, New Sarum  - - - - - - - 7 

BAYLEY, James, New Sarum - - - - - - - - - 7 

BAZLEY, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BAKER, Thomas, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARRETT, Thomas, Exeter  - - - - - - - -  Life 

BATLEY, Caten, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARSBY, Samuel, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BALL, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARRY, John, Bristol - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BARRET, Daniel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BARRER, Elizabeth  - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BALDWIN, Ruth, alias Bowyer, London  - - - 7 

BAKER, Martha, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7  

BELL, William, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BENEAR, Samuel, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BELLET, Jacob, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BEARDSLEY, Ann, Derby  - - - - - - - - - - 5 

BEST, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BECKFORD, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - 7 

BELLAMY, Thomas, Worcester - - - - - - - - 7 

BRID, James, Croydon - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BIRD, Samuel, Croydon  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BISHOP, Joseph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BINGHAM, John, alias Boughan - - - - - - - 

BINGHAM, Elizabeth, alias Mooring, London- 

BIRD, Elizabeth, alias Winifred, Maidstone 7 

BLACKHALL, William, Abingdon - - - - - - - 7 

BLUNT, William London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BLAKE, Francis, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BLATHERHORN, William, Exeter - - - - - -  Life 

BLOEDWORTH, James, Kingstone - - - - - - - 7 

BLANCHETT, Susannah, Kingston  - - - - - - 7 

BOND, Peter, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BOYLE, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BOGGIS, William  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BOND, William, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BOND, Mary, wife of John Bond, Wells - - - 7 

BOULTON, Rebecca, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - 7 

BONNER, Jane,  London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BOLTON, Mary, Shrewsbury - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, James, Hertford - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, William, Southwark  - - - - - - - - 7 

BRINDLEY, John, Warwick  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, Richard, Reading  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROUGH, William, Stafford  - - - - - - - - 7 

BRADLEY, James, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, Thomas, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRADBURY, William, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

BRYANT, Thomas, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - 7 

BRYANT, William, Launceston  - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, Thomas, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRADFORD, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRANNEGAN, James, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRUCE, Robert, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BROWN, William, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRYANT, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BREWER, William, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRICE, William, Bristol  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRAND, Curtis  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BRYANT, Michael  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BRAND, Lucy, alias Wood, London  - - - - - 7 

BRANHAM, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BRUCE, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

BURLEIGH, James, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BURN, Peter, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BURNE, James, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BUTLER, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

BUCKLEY, Joseph, Dorchester  - - - - - - - 7 

BURRIDGE, Samuel, Dorchester - - - - - - - 7 

BURN, Patrick  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BURN, Simon  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BUFLEY, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

BUNN, Margaret, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BURKITT, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

BURDO, Sarah, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CARVER, Joseph, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - 7 

CASTLE, James, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CAMPBELL, James, alias George, London  - - 7 

CAMPBELL, James, Guildford - - - - - - - - 7 

CARNEY, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CARTY, Francis, Bodmin - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CAREY, Ann, Taunton  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CARTER, Richard, alias Michael 

          Cartwright, Shrewsbury - - - - - 7 

CABLE, Henry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

CARROLL, Mary, wife of James Carroll, 

          London - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CESAR, John, Maidstone - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CHIELDS, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

CHADDICK, Thomas London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

CHURCH, William, Dorchester  - - - - - - - 7 

CHAAF, William, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CHINERY, Samuel, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

CHANIN, Edward, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLOUGH, Richard, Durham  - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLEMENTS, Thomas, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLARK, John, alias Hosier, London  - - - - 7 

CLARK, William, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLARKE, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLEAVER, Mary, Bristol - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CLEAR, George  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

CLARK, Elizabeth - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

CONNELLY, William, Bristol - - - - - - - - 7 

CORMICK, Edward, Hertford  - - - - - - - - 7 

CORDEN, James, Warwick - - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLLING, Joseph, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLE, William, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

COX, John Matthew, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

COLLIER, Richard, Kingstone  - - - - - - - 7 

CONNOLLY, William, Bodmin  - - - - - - - - 7 

CONELLY, Cornelius, Exeter - - - - - - - - 7 

COLMAN, Ishmael, Dorchester  - - - - - - - 7 

COFFIN, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLE, Elizabeth, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

CON, James, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

COPP, James, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

COOMBES, Ann, wife of Samuel Coombes, 

          Taunton  - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLE, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLLEY, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - -  14 

COOKE, Charlotte, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

COOPER, Mary, Worcester  - - - - - - - - - 7 

COLPITTS, Ann, Durham  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CROSS, John, New Sarum - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CROPPER, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CROSS, William, Coventry - - - - - - - - - 7 

CREAMER, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CREEK, Jane, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

CUNNINGHAM, Edward, London - - - - - - - - 7 

CULLEN, James Bryen, London  - - - - - - - 7 

CULLYHORN, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

CUDLIP, Jacob, alias Norris, Bodmin  - - - 7 

CUSS, John, alias Hunsboy, New Sarum - - - 7 

CUCKOW, William, - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DAVIS, Aaron, Bristol  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAY, Richard, Reading  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIES, Edward, Stafford - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAY, Samuel, Glocester - - - - - - - - -  14 

DAVIS, Samuel, Glocester - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIS, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DAVIS, James, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DANIELLS, Daniel, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

DALEY, James, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIDSON, John, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIS, William, Brecon - - - - - - - - -  Life 

DAVIS, Richard,  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DALEY, Ann, wife of Gore Daley, alias 

          Ann Warburton, Nether Knutsford- 7 

DARNELL, Margaret, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIS, Ann, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DALTON, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIDSON, Rebecca, wife of Robert 

          Davidson, London - - - - - - - - 7 

DAWSON, Margaret, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIS, Frances, Chelmsford - - - - - - -  14 

DAVIES, Sarah, Worcester - - - - - - - - - 7 

DAVIES, Mary, Shrewsbury - - - - - - - - - 7 

DENNISON, Michael, Poole - - - - - - - - - 7 

DENISON, Barnaby, Bristol  - - - - - - - - 7 

DELANY, Patrick  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DICKSON, Thomas, alias Ralph Raw, Durham - 7 

DISCALL, Timothy, Bodmin - - - - - - - - - 7 

DIXON, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DICKENSON, Mary, Southwark - - - - - - - - 7 

DOUGLAS, William, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - 7 

DOWLAND, Ferdinand, London - - - - - - - - 7 

DODDING, James, alias Doring,  - - - - - - 

DRING, William, Kingston upon Hull - - - - 7 

DUNNAGE, Joseph, London  - - - - - - - -  Life 

DUDGENS, Elizabeth - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DUNDASS, Jane, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DUTTON, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

DEYER, Leonard, Southwark  - - - - - - - - 7 

DYKES, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

EARLE, William, New Sarum  - - - - - - - - 7 

EAGLETON, William, alias Bones, Kingston - 7 

EATON, Mary, alias Shephard  - - - - - - - 

EARLY, Rachel, Reading - - - - - - - - - - 7 

EATON, Martha  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

ECCLES, Thomas, Guildford  - - - - - - -  Life 

EDMUNDS, William, Monmouth - - - - - - - - 7 

EDWARDS, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

EGGLESTON, George, Maidstone - - - - - - - 7 

ELLAM, Peter, Ormskirk - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ELLIOT, William, Croydon - - - - - - - - - 7 

ELLIOT, Joseph, Croydon  - - - - - - - - - 7 

ELAM, Deborah, Chester - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ENGLISH, Nicholas, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

EVERETT, John, Hertford  - - - - - - - - - 7 

EVERINGHAM, Matthew, London  - - - - - - - 7 

EVANS, Williams, Shrewsbury  - - - - - - - 7 

EVANS, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

FARRELL, Phillip, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

FARLEY, William, Bristol - - - - - - - - - 7 

FARMER, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 

FENTUM, Benjamin, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

FERGUSON, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

FILLESEY, Thomas, Bristol  - - - - - - - - 7 

FITZGERALD, Jane, alias Phillips, London - 7 

FIELD, William,  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

FINLOW, John, alias Hervey - - - - - - - - 

FIELD, Jane, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 

FITZGERALD, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - 7 

FLYN, Edward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

FLARTY, Phebe, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

FOWKES, Francis, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

FORRESTER, Robert, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

FOYLE, William, New Sarum  - - - - - - - - 7 

FOWLES, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

FOWNES, Margaret, Shrewsbury - - - - - - - 7 

FORBES, Ann, Kingston  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

FREEMAN, James, Hertford - - - - - - - - - 7 

FREEMAN, Robert, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

FRANCIS, William, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

FRANCISCO, George, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

FRY, George  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

FRYER, Catherine, alias Prior  - - - - - - 

FRASER, William, Manchester  - - - - - - - 7 

FRASER, Ellen, Manchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

FULLER, John, Manchester - - - - - - - - - 7 

GARDNER, Francis, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

GARTH, Edward, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GARLAND, Francis, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

GARTH, Susannah, alias Grath - - - - - - - 

GABEL, Mary, Southwark - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GASCOYGNE, Olive, Worcester  - - - - - - - 7 

GEARING, Thomas, Oxford  - - - - - - - -  Life 

GESS, George, Gloucester - - - - - - - - - 7 

GEORGE, Anne, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GLENTON, Thomas, Northallerton - - - - - - 7 

GLOSTER, William, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

GORDON, Daniel, Winchester - - - - - - - - 7 

GOODWIN, Edward, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

GOODWIN, Andrew, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

GOULD, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GRAY, Charles, Southwark - - - - - - - - - 7 

GRIFFITHS, Samuel, alias Briscow, alias 

          Butcher, Gloucester  - - - - - - 7 

GREENWELL, Nicholas, London  - - - - - - - 7 

GREEN, John, Reading - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GRIFFITHS, Thomas, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

GRANGER, Charles, Plymouth - - - - - - - - 7 

GRACE, James - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

GREEN, Hannah  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

GROVES, Mary, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GREEN, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GREEN, Ann, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

GREENWOOD, Mary (?), London  - - - - - - - 7 

GUNTER, William, Bristol - - - - - - - - - 7 

HANDFORD, John, Winchester - - - - - - - - 7 

HATCHER, John, Winchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

HATFIELD, William, Maidstone - - - - - - - 7 

HAWKES, Richard, Reading - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARRIS, William, Maidstone - - - - - - - - 7 

HATCH, John, Reading - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARTLEY, John, Oxford  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HART, John, Stafford - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HAINES, Joseph, Gloucester - - - - - - - - 7 

HATHAWAY, Henry, Gloucester  - - - - - - - 7 

HAYES, Dennis, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HALL, Samuel, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARBINE, Joseph, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARPER, Joshua, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HAYTON, George, alias Clayton, London  - - 7 

HARRISON, Joseph, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

HART, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARRIS, John, London - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

HAYES, John, Guildford - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HATTOM, Joseph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HARRIFON, Joseph - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HAMLIN, William, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HALL, Joseph, Exeter - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

HALL, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HADON, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HA?ES, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HANDY, Cooper  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HAYNES, William  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HERVEY, Elizabeth  - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HALL, Margaret - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HART, Frances  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HARRISON, Mary, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HEADING, James, Chelmsford - - - - - - -  Life 

HEADINGTON, Thomas, Abingdon - - - - - - - 7 

HERBERT, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HART, Catherine, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HERBERT , John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HANDLAND, Dorothy, alias Gray, London  - - 7 

HALL, Sarah, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HAMILTON, Maria, london  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARRISON, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HARWOOD, Ester, alias Howard, London - - - 7 

HAYWARD, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - 7 

HALL, Elizabeth, Newcastle - - - - - - - - 7 

HERBERT, Jane, alias Rose, alias Jenny 

          Russell, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

HENRY, Catherine, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

HILL, John, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

HINDLEY, William, alias Platt, Ormskirk  - 7 

HINDLE, Ottiwell, Preston  - - - - - - - - 7 

HILL, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HILL, Thomas, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HILT, William, Exeter  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

HILL, Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HIPSLEY, Eliabeth, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

HILL, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOLLISTER, Job, Bristol  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HAWELL, Thomas, Stafford - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOLMES, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOLLOWAY, James, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOWARD, Thomas, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOGG, William, London  - - - - - - - - -  14 

HOWARD, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HORTOP, James, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOLLAND, William, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

HOLMES, Susannah - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HOLLOGIN, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - 7 

HUGHES, Hugh, Southwark  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HUMPHREY, Edward, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

HUSBAND, William, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

HUGHES, John, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - 7 

HURLEY, Jeremiah, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

HUBBARD, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HUMPHREYS, Henry, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

HUGHES, Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HUDSON, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HUSSEY, James  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HUGHES, Frances Ann, Lancaster - - - - - - 7 

HUFFNELL, Susannah, Worcester  - - - - - - 7 

HUMPHRIES, Mary, - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

HYLIDS, Thomas, Guildford  - - - - - - - - 7 

IRVINE, John, alias Aderson, alias Law, 

          Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JACKSON, William, Durham - - - - - - - - - 7 

JACOBS, David, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JACOBS, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JACKSON, Hannah, Bristol - - - - - - - - - 7 

JAGET, Joseph, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JAMESON, James - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

JACKSON, Jane, alias Esther Roberts, 

          London - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JACKSON, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JEFFRIES, Robert, Devizes  - - - - - - - - 7 

JEFFERIES, John, Maidstone - - - - - - - - 7 

JENKINS, Robert, alias Brown, Maidstone  - 7 

JEPP, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JENKINS, William, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

INGRAM, Benjamin, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

INETT, Ann, Worcester  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Francis, Winchester - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Thomas, Warwick - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JOHNSON, Charles, Manchester - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Edward, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

JOSEPHS, Thomas, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

JOHNSON, William, Kingston - - - - - - - - 7 

JOHNS, Stephen, Launceston - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Margaret, Launceston  - - - - - -  14 

JOHNSON, Edward, Dorcester - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - -  14 

JONES, William, Shewsbury  - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Richard, Shewsbury  - - - - - - - - 7 

JONES, Thomas, Bristol - - - - - - - - -  14 

JOHNSON, Catherine, London - - - - - - - - 7 

JOHNSON, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

KELLY, Thomas, Pontefract  - - - - - - - - 7 

KELLAN, John, alias Keeling, London  - -  Life 

KENNEDY, Martha, Kingston  - - - - - - - - 7 

KIDNEY, Thomas, Bristol  - - - - - - - - - 7 

KILBY, William, Reading  - - - - - - - - - 7 

KING, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

KILPACK, David, London - - - - - - - - -  Life 

KIMBERLEY, Edward, Coventry  - - - - - - - 7 

KNOWLER, John, Maidstone - - - - - - - - - 7 

KNOWLAND, Andrew - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

LANKEY, David, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LANE, Richard, Winchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

LAWRELL, John, Bodmin  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LANE, William, Chelmsford  - - - - - - - - 7 

LARNE, James, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LAMBETH, John, Bristol - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LAVELL, Henry  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

LARA, Flora, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 

LAYCOCK, Caroline, London  - - - - - - - - 

LANGLEY, Jane, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LAWRENCE, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEMON, Isaac, Chelmsford - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEVY, Joseph, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEARY, John, Winchester  - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEGG, George, Dorchester - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEARY, Jeremiah, Bristol - - - - - - - -  14 

LEGROVE, Stephen - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

LEE, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEWIS, Sophia, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LEONARD, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - 7 

LEVY, Amelia, Southwark  - - - - - - - - - 7 

LIFT, George, London - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

LIMEBURNER, John, New Sarum  - - - - - - - 7 

LIMPUS, Thomas, Exeter - - - - - - - - -  Life 

LIGHTFOOT, Samuel, Exeter  - - - - - - - - 7 

LONGSTREET, Joseph, Marlborough  - - - - - 7 

LONG, Joseph, Gloucester - - - - - - - -  14 

LOCKLEY, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LONG, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

LOVE, Mary, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

LOCK, Elizabeth, Gloucester  - - - - - - - 7 

LUCAS, Nathaniel, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

LYNCH, Humphry, New Sarum  - - - - - - - - 7 

LYNCH, Ann, Bristol  - - - - - - - - - -  14 

LYDE, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MAY, Richard, New Sarun  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTIN, Stephen, Bristol - - - - - - - - - 7 

MANSFIELD, John, Chelmsford  - - - - - - - 7 

M'LEAN, Francis, Guildford - - - - - - - - 7 

M'LEAN, Thomas, Guildford  - - - - - - - - 7 

MATON, Thomas, Maidstone - - - - - - - - - 7 

M'DONNAUGH, James, Maidstone - - - - - - - 7 

MARINER, William, Oxford - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARROTT, John, Gloucester  - - - - - - - - 7 

M'LAUGHLIN, Charles, Durham  - - - - - - - 7 

MACINTIRE, John, Durham  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTIN, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

M'DONALD, Alexander, London  - - - - - - - 7 

MARNEY, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARSHALL, Joseph, London - - - - - - - -  14 

M'LEAN, Edward, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTIN, Abraham, New Sarum - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTIN, Thomas, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTYN, James, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

McCORMICK, Sarah, Manchester - - - - - - - 7 

McCORMACK, Mary, Liverpool - - - - - - - - 7 

MASON, Betty, Gloucester - - - - - - - -  14 

McGRAH, Redman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

McDEED, Richard  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

McNA MAR, William  - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MACKRIE, James - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MARRIOTT, Jane, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MATHER, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MATHER, Mather, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MASON, Susannah, alias Gibbs, London - - - 

McCABE, Eleanor, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARSHALL, Mary, London - - - - - - - - -  Life 

MARSHALL, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MARTIN, Ann, Southwark - - - - - - - - - - 

MEYNELL, John, alias William Radford, 

          Nottingham - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MESSIAH, Jacob - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MEECH, Jane, wife of William Meech, Exeter 7 

MILTON, Charles, Maidstone - - - - - - - - 7 

MIDGLEY, Samuel, Lancaster - - - - - - - - 7 

MIDDLETON, Richard, London - - - - - - - - 7 

MITCHELL, Nathaniel, Dorchester  - - - - - 7 

MILLS, Matthew - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MITCHCRAFT, Mary, Kingston - - - - - - - - 7 

MITCHELL, Mary, Kingston - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORRIS, Peter, Bristol - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MOWBRAY, John, Lincoln - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORGAN, Richard, Gloucester  - - - - - - - 7 

MORRISBY, John, London - - - - - - - - - - 7  

MOORE, William, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORLEY, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MOORIN, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORGAN, Robert, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MOBBS, Samuel, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORGAN, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MOULD, William, Guildford  - - - - - - - - 7 

MOLLANDS, John, Launceston - - - - - - - - 7 

MOYLE, Edward, Launceston  - - - - - - - - 7 

MOOD, Charles  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORTIMORE, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MORLEY, Joseph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MORTON, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MULLOCK, Jesse, New Sarum  - - - - - - - - 7 

MURPHY, William, Liverpool - - - - - - - - 7 

MUNROE, John, alias Nurse, London  - - - - 7 

MULLIS, Stephen, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - 7 

MURPHY, James  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

MUNRO, Lydia, Kingston - - - - - - - - -  14 

MULLENS, Hannah, London  - - - - - - - -  Life 

NEWLAND, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

NETTLETON, Robert, Kingston upon Hull  - - 7 

NEAL, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

NEAL, James, Bristol - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

NEEDHAM, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - 7 

NICHOLLS, John, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

NORTON, Phebe, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

NUNN, Robert,  London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

O'CRAFT, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

OGDEN, James, Manchester - - - - - - - - - 7 

OKEY, William, Gloucester  - - - - - - - - 7 

OLDFIELD, Thomas, Manchester - - - - - - - 7 

OLDFIELD, Isabella, Manchester - - - - - - 7 

OPLEY, Peter, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - 7 

ORFORD, Thomas, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

OSBORNE, Thomas, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

OSBORNE, Elizabeth, alias Jones, London  - 7 

OWLES, John, Croydon - - - - - - - - - - - 7  

OWEN, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

OWEN, Joseph, Shewsbury  - - - - - - - -  14 

PAGE, Paul, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PANE, William, Nottingham  - - - - - - - - 7 

PARRY, Edward, Stafford  - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARR, William, Liverpool - - - - - - - - - 7 

PALMER, John Henry, London - - - - - - - - 7 

PARKER, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARISH, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARTRIDGE, Richard, London - - - - - - -  Life 

PARRIS, Peter, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARKINSON, Jane, alias Partington, alias 

          Ann Marsden, Manchester  - - - - 7 

PARKER, Elizabeth, Gloucester  - - - - - - 7 

PARFLEY, Ann, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARKER, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PARTRIDGE, Sarah, alias Roberts, London  - 7 

PARRY, Sarah, London - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

PERROT, Edward Bearcroft, Bristol  - - - - 7 

PETRIE, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PEYTON, Samuel, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PERCIVAL, Richard, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

PETTITT, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PEAULET, James, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PEET, Charles, London  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

PECK, Joshua, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PERKINS, Edward, Plymouth  - - - - - - - - 7 

PETHERICK, John, Plymouth  - - - - - - - - 7 

PENNY, John  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PHILLIMORE, William, London  - - - - - - - 7 

PHILLIPS, Richard, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

PHILLIPS, Mary, Taunton  - - - - - - - - - 7 

PHYFIELD, Roger, alias Twyfield, 

          Shrewsbury - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PHYN, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PIGOTT, Samuel, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PINDER, Mary, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PIPKIN, Elizabeth, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

PILES, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

POPE, David, Southwark - - - - - - - - - - 7 

POWER, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PONTIE, John, London - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

POOLE, Jane, Wells - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

POWER, William - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

POWLEY, Elizabeth  - - - - - - - - - - - - 

POWELL, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PRICE, John, Southwark - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PRIOR, Thomas, Reading - - - - - - - - - - 7 

PRICE, James, Gloucester - - - - - - - - - 7 

PRITCHARD, Thomas  - - - - - - - - - - - - 

PUGH, Edward, Gloucester - - - - - - - - - 7 

RANDALL, John, Manchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

REYMOND, George, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

RAMFEY, John, Kingston - - - - - - - - - - 7 

REPEAT, Charles, Warwick - - - - - - - - - 7 

READ, William, Croydon - - - - - - - - - - 7 

REARDON, Bartholomew, Winchester - - - - - 7 

READ, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

RISDALE, Thomas, alias Crowder, Bristol-  Life 

RICHARD, James, East Grinstead - - - - - - 7  

RICHARDSON, James, Maidstone - - - - - - - 7 

RISBY, Edward, Gloucester  - - - - - - - - 7 

RICHARDSON, William, London  - - - - - - - 7 

RICHARDSON, Hardwicke, London  - - - - - - 7 

RICHARDSON, John, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

RICHARD, David, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

RICHARDSON, Samuel, London - - - - - - - - 7 

RICKSON, William, Chelmsford - - - - - - - 7 

RICHARDS, John, alias Williams, Winchester 7 

RICHARD, James, Launceston - - - - - - - - 7 

RICE, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROPE, Anthony, Chelmsford  - - - - - - - - 7 

ROGERS, Daniel, Croydon  - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROBINSON, George, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - 7 

ROGERS, Isaac, Gloucester  - - - - - - -  14 

ROBINSON, Thomas, Kingston upon Hull - - - 7 

ROBERTS, John, Liverpool - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROBINSON, George, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROMAIN, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROWE, John, Launceston - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROWE, William, Launceston  - - - - - - - - 7 

ROBERTS, William, Bodmin - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROBINSON, William, Exeter  - - - - - - - - 7 

ROACH, Henry, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

ROBINS, John, alias Major, Exeter  - - - - 7 

ROUS, Walton, alias Batley - - - - - - - - 

ROLT, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 

ROSSON, Isabella, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

RUSSEL, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

RUGLASS, John, London  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

RUSSLER, John, London  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

RUCE, James, Bodmin  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

RUTH, Robert, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

RYAN, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

SALTMARSH, William, Kingston - - - - - - - 7 

SANDERSON, Thomas, Lincoln - - - - - - - - 7 

SANDS, William, Lincoln  - - - - - - - - - 7 

SAMPSON, Peter, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SANDLIN, Ann, alias Lynes, alias 

          Pattens, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

SCATTERGOOD, Robert, Stafford  - - - - - - 7 

SCOTT, Elizabeth, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

SELSHIRE, Samuel, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

SEYMOUR, John, Sherborne - - - - - - - - - 7 

SHEARMAN, William, Reading - - - - - - - - 7 

SHAW, Joseph, Stafford - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SHEPHERD, Robert, Durham - - - - - - - - - 7 

SHARPE, George, Durham - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SHORE, William, Lancaster  - - - - - - - - 7 

SHORE, John  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

SHIERS, James, London  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

SILVERTHORN, John, New Sarum - - - - - - - 7 

SIDEWAY, Robert  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

SLATER, Sarah, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMALL, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMART, Richard, Gloucester - - - - - - - - 7 

SMART, Daniel, Gloucester  - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Thomas, Lancaster - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, William, Liverpool  - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Edward, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, William, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Thomas, alias Haynes, London  - - - 7 

SMITH, James, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, John, Guildford - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, William, Bodmin - - - - - - - - - - 1 

SMITH, Ann, wife of John Smith, Winchester 7 

SMITH, Hannah, Winchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, William, Dorchester - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Edward, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Ann, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Catherine, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Ann, London - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Catherine, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

SMITH, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

SNALEHAM, William, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

SPARKS, Henry  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

SPENCER, Daniel, Dorchester  - - - - - -  14 

SPENCER, John, alias Pearce  - - - - - - - 

SPENCE, Mary, Wigan  - - - - - - - - - - - 5 

SPRIGMORE, Charlotte, London - - - - - - - 7 

SPRINGHAM, Mary, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

SQUIRES, James, Kingston - - - - - - - - - 7 

STANLEY, William, New Sarum  - - - - - - - 7 

STRONG, James, Dorchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

STOW, James, Lincoln - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STONE, Martin, Warwick - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STOKEE, John, Durham - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STONE, Charles, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STONE, Henry, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STOGDELL, John, London - - - - - - - - -  14 

STUART, James, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

STANTON, Thomas, alias Ebden, Launceston - 7 

STEPHENS, John Morris, Dorchester  - - - - 7 

STEWART, Margaret, Exeter  - - - - - - - - 7 

STRECH, Thomas, Shrewsbury - - - - - - - - 7 

SUMMERS, John, Gloucester  - - - - - - - - 7 

TAYLOR, Joshua, Manchester - - - - - - - - 7 

TAYLOR, Henry  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

TAYLOR, Sarah, Kingston  - - - - - - - - - 7 

TENANT, Thomas Hilton, alias Phillip 

          Divine, Chelmsford - - - - - - - 7 

TEAGUE, Cornelius, Bodmin  - - - - - - - - 7 

TENCHALL, James, alias Tenninghill - - - - 

THACKERY, Elizabeth, Manchester  - - - - - 7 

THOMPSON, William, Durham  - - - - - - - - 7 

THOMAS, James, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

THOMPSON, James, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

THOMAS, James, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

THOMAS, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

THOMPSON, William, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

THOUDY, James  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

THOMAS, Elizabeth, Wigan - - - - - - - - - 7 

THORNTON, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

TUNMINS, Thomas, Warwick - - - - - - - - - 7 

TILLEY, Thomas, Stafford - - - - - - - - - 7 

TILL, Thomas, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

TODD, Nicholas, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

TROTTER, Joseph, Maidstone - - - - - - - - 7 

TRACE, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

TRIPPETT, Susannah, London - - - - - - - - 7 

TURNER, Ralph, Manchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

TUSO, Joseph, London - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

TURNER, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

TUCKER, Moses, Plymouth  - - - - - - - - - 7 

TURNER, Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

TURNER, John - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

TURNER, Mary, Worcester  - - - - - - - - - 7 

TWYNEHAM, William, Reading - - - - - - - - 7 

TWYFIELD, Ann, since said to be married 

          to William Dawley, a convict, 

          Shrewsbury - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

TYRRELL, William, Winchester - - - - - - - 7 

VANDELL, Edward, East Grinstead  - - - - - 7 

VINCENT, Henry, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

VICKERY, William, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

UNDERWOOD, James, New Sarum  - - - - - -  14 

USHER, John, Maidstone - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WATERHOUSE, William, Kingston  - - - - - - 7 

WATSAN, John, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WARD, John, Lowth  - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WALL, William, Oxford  - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WAGER, Benjamin, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WALSH, William, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WALKER, John, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WALBOURNE, James, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

WATSON, Thomas, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WARE, Charlotte  - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

WATKINS, Mary  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

WAINWRIGHT, Ellen, alias Esther Eccles, 

          Preston  - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WARD, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WADE, Mary, alias Cacklane, London - - -  14 

WELCH, James, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WELCH, John, Durham  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WEST, Benjamin, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WESTWOOD, John, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WELSH, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WELCH, John, London  - - - - - - - - - -  Life 

WESTLALE, Edward, Exeter - - - - - - - - - 7 

WADDICOMB, Richard, Exeter - - - - - - - - 7 

WHEELER, Samuel, Croydon - - - - - - - - - 7 

WHITAKER, George, Maidstone  - - - - - - - 7 

WHITING, William, Gloucester - - - - - - - 7 

WHITTON, Edward, Maidstone - - - - - - -  Life 

WHITE, James, Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WILCOCKS, Samuel, Dorcester  - - - - - - - 7 

WILTON, William, Bristol - - - - - - - - - 7 

WILSON, Charles, London  - - - - - - - -  Life 

WILSON, Peter, Manchester  - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, Charles, London  - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, James, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, John, alias Black Jack, 

          Maidstone  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, Robert, Launceston - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, John, alias Floyd, Bodmin  - - - 7 

WILDING, John, alias Warren, Bury  - - - - 7 

WICKHAM, Mary, New Sarum - - - - - - - -  14 

WILLIAMS, Peter, alias Flaggett, 

          alias Creamer, Exeter  - - - - - 7 

WILCOCKS, Richard, Exeter  - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, John, Exeter - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WISEHAMMER, John, Bristol  - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, Daniel, Preston  - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, Frances, Mold  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WILLIAMS, Mary, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WOOD, George, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WOODCOCK, Peter, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WOODHAM, Samuel, London  - - - - - - - -  Life 

WORSDELL, William, Launceston  - - - - - - 7 

WOOLCOT, John, Exeter  - - - - - - - - -  Life 

WOODCOCK, Francis, Shrewsbury  - - - - - - 7 

WOOD, Mark - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

WRIGHT, Thomas, Reading  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WRIGHT, Benjamin, London - - - - - - - - - 7 

WRIGHT, Joseph, London - - - - - - - - - - 7 

WRIGHT, William, London  - - - - - - - - - 7 

WRIGHT, James, Maidstone - - - - - - - - - 7 

WRIGHT, Ann, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

YARDSLEY, Thomas, Shrewsbury - - - - - - - 7 

YATES, Nancy, York - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

YOUNG, John, London  - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

YOUNG, Simon, London - - - - - - - - - - - 7 

YOUNGSON, Elizabeth, Lancaster - - - - - - 7 

YOUNGSON, George, Lancaster  - - - - - - - 7 

The above list of convicts was authored by a Barbara Turner in 1992.

The Mayflower and It's Passengers – A View from England  

I thought it would be of interest to write this article about the The Mayflower and it's voyage to the new world from Plymouth, England to Plymouth in the New World. One of the unusual things about the first colony was that the Turkeys that were eaten at the first Thanksgiving were taken to the colony from England. By 1776 there were 13 Colonies of the Commonwealth of America and to this day there are 4 Commonwealth States of America. 

The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England to Plymouth Massachusetts, Commonwealth of America (which would become the capital of Plymouth Colony), in 1620. There were 102 passengers and a crew of 25–30.

The vessel left England on September 6th 1620 (Old Style) September 16th  (New Style), and after a gruelling 66-day journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives, the ship dropped anchor inside the hook tip of Cape Cod Provincetown Harbour on November 11th / November 21st . The Mayflower was originally destined for the mouth of the Hudson River near present-day New York City, at the northern edge of England's Virginia colony, which itself was established with the 1607 Jamestown Settlement. However, the Mayflower went off course as the winter approached, and remained in Cape Cod Bay.

On March 21st / 31st , 1621, all surviving passengers, who had inhabited the ship during the winter, moved ashore at Plymouth, and on April 5th / 15th the Mayflower, a privately commissioned vessel, returned to England.

In 1623, a year after the death of captain Christopher Jones, the Mayflower was most likely dismantled for scrap lumber in Rotherhythe, London.

The Mayflower has a famous place in American history as a symbol of early European colonization of the future US. With their religion oppressed by the English Church and government, the small party of religious Puritan separatists who comprised about half of the passengers on the ship desired a life where they could practice their religion freely. This symbol of religious freedom resonates in US society and the story of the Mayflower is a staple of any American history textbook. Americans whose roots are traceable back to New England often believe themselves to be descended from Mayflowerpassengers.

The main record for the voyage of the Mayflower and the disposition of the Plymouth Colony comes from William Bradford who was a guiding force and later the governor of the colony.

To establish legal order and to quell increasing strife within the ranks, the settlers wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact after the ship dropped anchor at the tip of Cape Cod on November 11th / 21st in what is now Provincetown Harbour.

The settlers, upon initially setting anchor, explored the snow-covered area and discovered an empty Native American village. The curious settlers dug up some artificially made mounds, some of which stored corn while others were burial sites. Nathaniel Philbrick recounts that the settlers stole the corn and looted and desecrated the graves, sparking friction with the locals. Philbrick goes on to say that as they moved down the coast to what is now Eastham, they explored the area of Cape Cod for several weeks, looting and stealing native stores as they went. He then writes about how they decided to relocate to Plymouth after a difficult encounter with the local native Americans, the Nausets, at First Encounter Beach, in December 1620.

However, Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation records that they took "some" of the corn to show the others back at the boat, leaving the rest. Then, later they took what they needed from another store of grain, paying the locals back in six months, which they gladly received.

Also there was found more of their corn and of their beans of various colours; the corn and beans they brought away, purposing to give them full satisfaction when they should meet with any of them as, about some six months afterwards they did, to their good content.

During the winter the passengers remained on board the Mayflower, suffering an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. When it ended, there were only 53 passengers, just more than half, still alive. Likewise, half of the crew died as well. In spring, they built huts ashore, and on March 21st / 31st  1621, the surviving passengers left the Mayflower.


History of the English Constitution AD 890 to Present day

AD 890 The Anglo Saxon Chronicles.

Originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great, approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language is Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries are essentially Middle English in tone.

AD 1086: The Domesday Book

Domesday is Englands most famous and earliest surviving public record. It is a highly detailed survey and valuation of all the land held by the King and his chief tenants, along with all the resources that went with the land in late 11th century England. The survey was a massive enterprise, and the record of that survey, Domesday Book, was a remarkable achievement. There is nothing like it in England until the censuses of the 19th century.

1215: Magna Carta

The 'great charter' is most famous for consolidating judicial rights, notably habeas corpus, the right not to be unlawfully imprisoned. However, it was also an important first step in removing power from the central authority - King John - and spreading it wider.

Its 61st clause, known as the Security Clause, declared that a council of 25 barons be created with the power to overrule the will of the King, by force if necessary.

This was repealed angrily by the King shortly afterwards, and mediaeval rulers largely ignored the document altogether, but it became an early foundation of England's - and later the United Kingdom's - unwritten constitution.

1376: The first Speaker of the House of Commons is appointed.

An English Parliament had existed since late in the 13th century, and had been divided into two houses since 1341, with knights and burgesses sitting in what became known as the House of Commons while clergy and nobility sat in the House of Lords. However, its duties largely consisted of ratifying taxes for the Crown. In 1376, Thomas de la Mare was appointed to go to the King with complaints about taxation, and the Commons for the first time impeached some of the King's ministers. While de la Mare was imprisoned for his actions, the House created the position of Speaker to represent the Commons permanently. Above is Betty Boothroyd, the Speaker from 1992 to 2000.

English Petition of Right in 1628

Parliament passed the Petition of Right in 1628 in response to a number of perceived violations of the law by Charles I in the first years of his reign. In 1626, Charles had convened Parliament in an effort to obtain desperately needed funds for the continuation of his unsuccessful war with Spain. Unhappy with the prosecution of the war, however, Parliament swiftly began impeachment proceedings against Charles' favorite and principal counselor, the Duke of Buckingham. In order to protect Buckingham, Charles was forced to dissolve Parliament before it had voted any subsidies. Left without recourse to parliamentary taxation, Charles resorted to two forms of extra-parliamentary taxation to raise the funds he needed - a benevolence and a Forced Loan - that were of doubtful legality at best. He also began to billet soldiers in civilian homes, both as a cost-saving measure and as a means of punishing his political opponents.

Citing the Forced Loan's illegality, a number of gentlemen refused to pay, and many of them were imprisoned as a result. Ultimately, five of the imprisoned gentlemen - the so-called "Five Knights" (since they were all knights) petitioned the Court of Kings Bench for writs of habeas corpus to force the government to specify the reason for their imprisonment. Seeking to avoid a direct challenge of the legality of the Loan, Charles refused to charge the prisoners with a specific crime, instead declaring on the return to the writs that the knights were detained "per speciale mandatum domini regis" ("by special command of our lord the king"). In the resulting hearings before the King's Bench - the famous Five Knights case - counsel for the Knights argued that imprisonment by "special command" amounted to a fundamental violation of the principle of due process established by chapter twenty-nine of Magna Carta, which declared that imprisonment could only occur in accordance with the law of the land. The Five Knights' counsel claimed, therefore, that the king, upon receipt of a writ of habeas corpus, must return a specific cause of detention, the legality of which could be assessed by the courts. In contrast,Robert heath, the Attorney General, claimed that the king had a prerogative right to imprison by royal command for reasons of state, and these detentions could not be challenged by habeas corpus.

Faced with conflicting precedents, and, undoubtedly, political pressure, the Court decided to remit the Knights to prison while taking the case under advisement. Although equivocal, this decision was taken as a major victory for the king, and a significant blow to the opponents of his extra-legal policies. It was largely a desire to overturn immediately this ruling that would provide the primary impetus for the House of Commons decision to create the Petition of Right in the subsequent Parliament.

The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 is an Act of the Parliament of England passed during the reign of King Charles 11 to define and strengthen the ancient prerogative writ of habeas corpus, whereby persons unlawfully detained cannot be ordered to be prosecuted before a court of law.

The Act is often wrongly described as the origin of the writ of habeas corpus, which had existed for at least three centuries before. The Act of 1679 followed an earlier act of 1640 which established that the command of the King or the Privvy Council was no answer to a petition of habeas corpus. Further Habeas Corpus Acts were passed by the British Parliament in 1803, 1804, 1816 and 1862, but it is the Act of 1679 which is remembered as one of the most important statutes in English constitutional history. Though amended, it remains on the statute book to this day.

The Act came about because the Earl of Shaftsbury encouraged his friends in the Commons to introduce the Bill where it passed and was then sent up the Lords. Shaftesbury was the leading Exclusionist—those who wanted to exclude Charles II's brother James, Duke of York from the succession—and the Bill was a part of that struggle as they believed James would rule arbitrarily. The Lords decided to add many wrecking amendments to the Bill in an attempt to kill it; the Commons had no choice but to pass the Bill with the Lords' amendments because they learned that the King would soon end the current parliamentary session.

The Bill went back and forth between the two house, and then the Lords voted on whether to set up a conference on the Bill. If this motion was defeated the Bill would stay in the Commons and therefore have no chance of being passed. Each side—those voting for and against—appointed a teller who stood on each side of the door through which those Lords who had voted "aye" re-entered the House (the "nays" remained seated). One teller would count them aloud whilst the other teller listened and kept watch in order to know if the other teller was telling the truth. Shaftesbury's faction had voted for the motion, so they went out and re-entered the House. Gilbert Burnet, one of Shaftesbury's friends, recorded what then happened:

Lord Grey and Lord Norris were named to be the tellers: Lord Norris, being a man subject to vapours, was not at all times attentive to what he was doing: so, a very fat lord coming in, Lord Grey counted him as ten, as a jest at first: but seeing Lord Norris had not observed it, he went on with this misreckoning of ten: so it was reported that they that were for the Bill were in the majority, though indeed it went for the other side: and by this means the Bill passed.

The clerk recorded in the minutes of the Lords that the "ayes" had fifty-seven and the "nays" had fifty-five, a total of 112, but the same minutes also state that only 107 Lords had attended that sitting.

The King arrived shortly thereafter and gave Royal Assent before proroguing Parliament. The Act is now stored in the Parliamentary Archives.

1688: The Great Revolution
The Civil War a few years before had removed the monarchy, and then reinstated it in a weakened form, setting the stage for the attenuated 'constitutional monarchy' that we have today. But it was the arrival of William of Orange from Holland to take the throne from James II which led to the creation of the Bill of Rights, constitutionally preventing absolute rule by the Kings and Queens of Great Britain to this day, and leaving Parliament as the true seat of power in the country.

The English Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament in December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1688, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It enumerates certain rights to which subjects and permanent residents of a constitutional monarchy were thought to be entitled in the late 17th century, asserting subjects' right to petition the monarch, as well as to have arms in defence. It also sets out—or, in the view of its drafters, restates—certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in parliament.

Along with the 1701 Act of Settlement the Bill of Rights is still in effect, one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession to the throne of the United kingdom and—followingBritish Colonialism, the resultant doctrine of reception, and independence—to the thrones of those other Commonwealth realms, by willing deference to the act as a British statute or as a patriated part of the particular realm's constitution. Since the implementation of the statute of Statute of westminister in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards) the Bill of Rights cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm's own parliament, and then, by convention and as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms.

In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British Constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act applies in Scotland. The English Bill of Rights 1689 inspired in large part the United States Bill of Rights.

4 July 1776 American Declaration of Independence The American Congress formally declares the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain through the Declaration of Independence.

17 September 1787 Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is signed and then ratified the following year. It establishes the system of federal government that begins to operate from 1789.

15 December 1791 American Bill of Rights Based on the English Bill of Rights - The American Bill of Rights is added to the U.S. Constitution as the first ten amendments.

1832: The Reform Act
Democracy of sorts had existed in England for centuries - as far back as 1432, Henry VI passed statues declaring who was eligible to vote (male owners of land worth at least 40 shillings, or a freehold property - perhaps half a million people nationwide). However, the counties and boroughs that sent Members to Parliament were of wildly differing size. The county of Yorkshire had more than 20,000 people, and the borough of Westminster had around 12,000, but they only sent one representative to the Commons - as did, for example, Dunwich, which had 32 voters, or Gatton, which had seven.

The Reform Act increased enfranchisement to over a million, or about one in six of all adult males, by allowing men who rented property above a certain value to vote too. It also tore up the mediaeval boundaries of counties and boroughs, giving more equitable representation for the cities that had sprung up since the Industrial Revolution. A second Act, in 1837, enfranchised all male householders, regardless of value.

1913: Emily Davison's death
Campaigns for women's suffrage go as far back as 1817, when the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote Plan of Parliamentary Reform in the form of a Catechism. William Thompson and Anna Wheeler also published a pamphlet in 1825 on the subject. However, despite these green shoots of support, the 1832 Act for the first time explicitly limited suffrage to "male persons". It was not until 1861, when John Stuart Mill published The Subjection of Women, that the movement began to gain momentum.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing country to allow women to vote. In Britain, progress was slower, and in the early 20th century women took to direct and sometimes violent action; chaining themselves to railings, arson attacks, and even bombings. Many were imprisoned, and some went on hunger strike. Emily Davison died at the Epsom Derby in 1913, when she ran out in front of the King's horse, Anmer, clutching the banner of the Women's Social and Political Union. It was around this time that the originally derogatory word 'suffragette' was coined, in a Daily Mail article.

1918: The Representation of the People Act
World War I could not be said to have had many silver linings, but it gave British women - who had spent the last four years, in a country shorn of young men, keeping the war effort running in munition factories and farms - a newfound political confidence. The 1918 Act recognised that not only these women, but many soldiers who had supposedly fought for British democracy, were still unable to vote. It removed all property restrictions from male voters, and allowed women to vote for the first time - although not those under 30, and with property restrictions - and to stand for election. The first woman, Nancy Astor, was elected to Parliament just 18 months later, in Plymouth Sutton. Ten years later, the restrictions on women were lifted, allowing them to vote at 21 whether or not they held property.

10th  December 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1969: The Representation of the People Act
After one final loophole was closed in 1948 - weirdly, up until that point, some seven per cent of the electorate had two votes per person - voting in the United Kingdom reached essentially its modern state in 1969, when Harold Wilson's government dropped the voting age for all citizens from 21 to 18. Further acts in 1983, 1985 and 2000 changed the laws on prisoners and overseas voters (essentially, convicted criminals may not vote while in prison; expatriates can still vote in their last constituency for 15 years after they left the country, and holidaymakers can vote by postal ballot or proxy). In 2000, a hoary constitutional prejudice against "lunatics" was weakened when psychiatric hospitals were allowed to be designated as registration addresses. 2 October 2000 British Human Rights Act The British Human Rights Act 1998 came into force. This makes the European Convention on Human Rights enforceable in UK courts. ( As an Englishman this is one of the worst drafted Acts in the history of the British Constitution.)

English Kings and Queens from 774 AD to Present Day

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a list of English and British Kings and Queens.

774-796 Offa King of the Angles and not necessarily the Saxons.

802 - 839



839 - 856



856 - 860



860 - 866



866 - 871

Ethelred I

the unready

871 - 899

Alfred the Great

He who burnt cakes

899 - 924

Edward the Elder


924 - 939


May have been the son of his fathers mistress

939 - 946

Edmund I


946 - 955


955 - 959


Aged 13 when he became king

959 - 975


His wife was the first to be crowned Queen

975 - 979

Edward the Martyr


979 - 1013

Ethelred II the Unready


1013 - 1014


Installed by the nobility he was Canute's father

1014 - 1016

Ethelred II the Unready

Unready means No-counsel or Unwise

1016 - 1016

Edmund II Ironside

Only ruled for 6 months

1016 - 1035


Tried to hold back the tide

1035 - 1040

Harold Harefoot

He usurped Hardicanute and murdered the only other contender

1040 - 1042


Also King of Denmark he drunk himself to death

1042 - 1066

Edward the Confessor

Responsible for the building of Westminster Abbey

1066 - 1066

Harold II

Killed at Hastings - that he was shot in the eye is a myth

The Normans

1066 - 1087

William I the Conqueror

A comtemporary chronicle described him as a stern and violent man. The Bayeaux Tapestrey was created by weavers in Kent, England.

1087 - 1100

William II

Killed in hunting accident

1100 - 1135

Henry I

Died from eating too many Lampreys

1135 - 1154


Briefly usurped by Matilda

House of Plantagenet

1154 - 1189

Henry II

died in Battle

1189 - 1199

Richard I The Lion Heart

Famous for his crusades and for leaving John as his Regent

1199 - 1216


The King John of Robin Hood fame who was forces to sign Magna Carta

1216 - 1272

Henry III

Unsuccessfully tried to set aside the Magna Carta

1272 - 1307

Edward I

Conquerer of the Welsh and the King Edward of Braveheart fame

1307 - 1327

Edward II

Renounced throne and later murdered

1327 - 1377

Edward III

Created the Duchy of Cornwall to support the heir to the throne

1377 - 1399

Richard II


House of Lancaster

1399 - 1413

Henry IV

Died of Leprosy and epilepsy. His wife was later convicted of witchcraft

1413 - 1422

Henry V

Of Agincourt fame

1422 - 1461

Henry VI


House of York

1461 - 1470

Edward IV


House of Lancaster

1470 - 1471

Henry VI


House of York

1471 - 1483

Edward IV


1483 - 1483

Edward V

Murdered - One of the Princes in the Tower

1483 - 1485

Richard III

Killed in battle

House of Tudor

1485 - 1509

Henry VII

Won the crown at the Battle of Bosworth Field

1509 - 1547

Henry VIII

Of 6 wives fames. Formed the Protestant church

1547 - 1553

Edward VI

Tricked in to declaring Jane his heir.

1553 - 1553

Lady Jane Grey

Reigned for 9 days later executed

1553 - 1558

Mary I

Bloody Mary

1558 - 1603

Elizabeth I

Her reign is often described as the Golden Age

House of Stuart

1603 - 1625

James I

James VI of Scotland

1625 - 1649

Charles I



1649 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell

Lord Protector

1658 - 1660

Richard Cromwell

Lord Protector

House of Stuart

1660 - 1685

Charles II

A trouble reign that encompassed the Great Plague & the fire of London

1685 - 1688

James II


1689 - 1702

Williams III & Mary II

William of Orange.Joint Sovereigns Mary died 1694

1702 - 1714


The last monarch to veto an act of Parliament.

House of Hanover

1714 - 1727

George I

Sometimes known as German George

1727 - 1760

George II

The last King to fight with his troops

1760 - 1820

George III

Sometimes called Mad George. Lost the American Colonies

1820 - 1830

George IV

Prince Regent for part of his fathers reign.

1830 - 1837

William IV

Presided over the great Parlimentry Reform Act

1837 - 1901


The longest reigning monarch

House of Sax-Coburg-Gotha

1901 - 1910

Edward VII


House of Windsor

1910 - 1936

George V

1936 - 1936

Edward VIII


1836 - 1952

George V

1952 - present

Elizabeth II

The English Translated Magna Carta

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th. Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a document that we English class as part of of what we are about. The Chinese call England “The Island of Hero's” which I think sums up what we English are all about.


JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester, William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz Gerald, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and other loyal subjects:

(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.

TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs:

(2) If any earl, baron, or other person that holds lands directly of the Crown, for military service, shall die, and at his death his heir shall be of full age and owe a 'relief', the heir shall have his inheritance on payment of the ancient scale of 'relief'. That is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl shall pay £100 for the entire earl's barony, the heir or heirs of a knight 100s. at most for the entire knight's 'fee', and any man that owes less shall pay less, in accordance with the ancient usage of 'fees'

(3) But if the heir of such a person is under age and a ward, when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without 'relief' or fine.

(4) The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shall take from it only reasonable revenues, customary dues, and feudal services. He shall do this without destruction or damage to men or property. If we have given the guardianship of the land to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or damage, we will exact compensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be similarly answerable to us.

(5) For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, he shall maintain the houses, parks, fish preserves, ponds, mills, and everything else pertaining to it, from the revenues of the land itself. When the heir comes of age, he shall restore the whole land to him, stocked with plough teams and such implements of husbandry as the season demands and the revenues from the land can reasonably bear.

(6) Heirs may be given in marriage, but not to someone of lower social standing. Before a marriage takes place, it shall be made known to the heir's next-of-kin.

(7) At her husband's death, a widow may have her marriage portion and inheritance at once and without trouble. She shall pay nothing for her dower, marriage portion, or any inheritance that she and her husband held jointly on the day of his death. She may remain in her husband's house for forty days after his death, and within this period her dower shall be assigned to her.

(8) No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she wishes to remain without a husband. But she must give security that she will not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she may hold them of.

(9) Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rent in payment of a debt, so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge the debt. A debtor's sureties shall not be distrained upon so long as the debtor himself can discharge his debt. If, for lack of means, the debtor is unable to discharge his debt, his sureties shall be answerable for it. If they so desire, they may have the debtor's lands and rents until they have received satisfaction for the debt that they paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has settled his obligations to them.

(10) If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

(11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.

(12) No 'scutage' or 'aid' may be levied in our kingdom without its general consent, unless it is for the ransom of our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry our eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied. 'Aids' from the city of London are to be treated similarly.

(13) The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs.

(14) To obtain the general consent of the realm for the assessment of an 'aid' - except in the three cases specified above - or a 'scutage', we will cause the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned individually by letter. To those who hold lands directly of us we will cause a general summons to be issued, through the sheriffs and other officials, to come together on a fixed day (of which at least forty days notice shall be given) and at a fixed place. In all letters of summons, the cause of the summons will be stated. When a summons has been issued, the business appointed for the day shall go forward in accordance with the resolution of those present, even if not all those who were summoned have appeared.

(15) In future we will allow no one to levy an 'aid' from his free men, except to ransom his person, to make his eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry his eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied.

(16) No man shall be forced to perform more service for a knight's 'fee', or other free holding of land, than is due from it.

(17) Ordinary lawsuits shall not follow the royal court around, but shall be held in a fixed place.

(18) Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment shall be taken only in their proper county court. We ourselves, or in our absence abroad our chief justice, will send two justices to each county four times a year, and these justices, with four knights of the county elected by the county itself, shall hold the assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place where the court meets.

(19) If any assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, as many knights and freeholders shall afterwards remain behind, of those who have attended the court, as will suffice for the administration of justice, having regard to the volume of business to be done.

(20) For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a villein the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.

(21) Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.

(22) A fine imposed upon the lay property of a clerk in holy orders shall be assessed upon the same principles, without reference to the value of his ecclesiastical benefice.

(23) No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so.

(24) No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other royal officials are to hold lawsuits that should be held by the royal justices.

(25) Every county, hundred, wapentake, and riding shall remain at its ancient rent, without increase, except the royal demesne manors.

(26) If at the death of a man who holds a lay 'fee' of the Crown, a sheriff or royal official produces royal letters patent of summons for a debt due to the Crown, it shall be lawful for them to seize and list movable goods found in the lay 'fee' of the dead man to the value of the debt, as assessed by worthy men. Nothing shall be removed until the whole debt is paid, when the residue shall be given over to the executors to carry out the dead man’s will. If no debt is due to the Crown, all the movable goods shall be regarded as the property of the dead man, except the reasonable shares of his wife and children.

(27) If a free man dies intestate, his movable goods are to be distributed by his next-of-kin and friends, under the supervision of the Church. The rights of his debtors are to be preserved.

(28) No constable or other royal official shall take corn or other movable goods from any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily offers postponement of this.

(29) No constable may compel a knight to pay money for castle-guard if the knight is willing to undertake the guard in person, or with reasonable excuse to supply some other fit man to do it. A knight taken or sent on military service shall be excused from castle-guard for the period of this service.

(30) No sheriff, royal official, or other person shall take horses or carts for transport from any free man, without his consent.

(31) Neither we nor any royal official will take wood for our castle, or for any other purpose, without the consent of the owner.

(32) We will not keep the lands of people convicted of felony in our hand for longer than a year and a day, after which they shall be returned to the lords of the 'fees' concerned.

(33) All fish-weirs shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast.

(34) The writ called precipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in respect of any holding of land, if a free man could thereby be deprived of the right of trial in his own lord's court.

(35) There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.

(36) In future nothing shall be paid or accepted for the issue of a writ of inquisition of life or limbs. It shall be given gratis, and not refused.

(37) If a man holds land of the Crown by 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', and also holds land of someone else for knight's service, we will not have guardianship of his heir, nor of the land that belongs to the other person's 'fee', by virtue of the 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', unless the 'fee-farm' owes knight's service. We will not have the guardianship of a man's heir, or of land that he holds of someone else, by reason of any small property that he may hold of the Crown for a service of knives, arrows, or the like.

(38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

(39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

(41) All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade, free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful customs. This, however, does not apply in time of war to merchants from a country that is at war with us. Any such merchants found in our country at the outbreak of war shall be detained without injury to their persons or property, until we or our chief justice have discovered how our own merchants are being treated in the country at war with us. If our own merchants are safe they shall be safe too.

(42) In future it shall be lawful for any man to leave and return to our kingdom unharmed and without fear, by land or water, preserving his allegiance to us, except in time of war, for some short period, for the common benefit of the realm. People that have been imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the land, people from a country that is at war with us, and merchants - who shall be dealt with as stated above - are excepted from this provision.

(43) If a man holds lands of any 'escheat' such as the 'honour' of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other 'escheats' in our hand that are baronies, at his death his heir shall give us only the 'relief' and service that he would have made to the baron, had the barony been in the baron's hand. We will hold the 'escheat' in the same manner as the baron held it.

(44) People who live outside the forest need not in future appear before the royal justices of the forest in answer to general summonses, unless they are actually involved in proceedings or are sureties for someone who has been seized for a forest offence.

(45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.

(46) All barons who have founded abbeys, and have charters of English kings or ancient tenure as evidence of this, may have guardianship of them when there is no abbot, as is their due.

(47) All forests that have been created in our reign shall at once be disafforested. River-banks that have been enclosed in our reign shall be treated similarly.

(48) All evil customs relating to forests and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs and their servants, or river-banks and their wardens, are at once to be investigated in every county by twelve sworn knights of the county, and within forty days of their enquiry the evil customs are to be abolished completely and irrevocably. But we, or our chief justice if we are not in England, are first to be informed.

(49) We will at once return all hostages and charters delivered up to us by Englishmen as security for peace or for loyal service.

(50) We will remove completely from their offices the kinsmen of Gerard de Athée, and in future they shall hold no offices in England. The people in question are Engelard de Cigogné, Peter, Guy, and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers, with Geoffrey his nephew, and all their followers.

(51) As soon as peace is restored, we will remove from the kingdom all the foreign knights, bowmen, their attendants, and the mercenaries that have come to it, to its harm, with horses and arms.

(52) To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals, we will at once restore these. In cases of dispute the matter shall be resolved by the judgement of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace. In cases, however, where a man was deprived or dispossessed of something without the lawful judgement of his equals by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once render justice in full.

(53) We shall have similar respite in rendering justice in connexion with forests that are to be disafforested, or to remain forests, when these were first afforested by our father Henry or our brother Richard; with the guardianship of lands in another person's 'fee', when we have hitherto had this by virtue of a 'fee' held of us for knight's service by a third party; and with abbeys founded in another person's 'fee', in which the lord of the 'fee' claims to own a right. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice to complaints about these matters.

(54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband.

(55) All fines that have been given to us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all fines that we have exacted unjustly, shall be entirely remitted or the matter decided by a majority judgement of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace together with Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and such others as he wishes to bring with him. If the archbishop cannot be present, proceedings shall continue without him, provided that if any of the twenty-five barons has been involved in a similar suit himself, his judgement shall be set aside, and someone else chosen and sworn in his place, as a substitute for the single occasion, by the rest of the twenty-five.

(56) If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of lands, liberties, or anything else in England or in Wales, without the lawful judgement of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. A dispute on this point shall be determined in the Marches by the judgement of equals. English law shall apply to holdings of land in England, Welsh law to those in Wales, and the law of the Marches to those in the Marches. The Welsh shall treat us and ours in the same way.

(57) In cases where a Welshman was deprived or dispossessed of anything, without the lawful judgement of his equals, by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. But on our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice according to the laws of Wales and the said regions.

(58) We will at once return the son of Llywelyn, all Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as security for the peace.

(59) With regard to the return of the sisters and hostages of Alexander, king of Scotland, his liberties and his rights, we will treat him in the same way as our other barons of England, unless it appears from the charters that we hold from his father William, formerly king of Scotland, that he should be treated otherwise. This matter shall be resolved by the judgement of his equals in our court.

(60) All these customs and liberties that we have granted shall be observed in our kingdom in so far as concerns our own relations with our subjects. Let all men of our kingdom, whether clergy or laymen, observe them similarly in their relations with their own men.

(61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and grant to the barons the following security:

The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter.

If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us - or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice - to declare it and claim immediate redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chief justice, make no redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children, until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon. Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience to us.

Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.

If one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be duly sworn in as they were.

In the event of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or unable to appear.

The twenty-five barons shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.

We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.

(62) We have remitted and pardoned fully to all men any ill-will, hurt, or grudges that have arisen between us and our subjects, whether clergy or laymen, since the beginning of the dispute. We have in addition remitted fully, and for our own part have also pardoned, to all clergy and laymen any offences committed as a result of the said dispute between Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215) and the restoration of peace.

In addition we have caused letters patent to be made for the barons, bearing witness to this security and to the concessions set out above, over the seals of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, Henry archbishop of Dublin, the other bishops named above, and Master Pandulf.

(63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever.

Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness the above-mentioned people and many others.

Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215: the new regnal year began on 28 May).


As might be expected, the text of Magna Carta of 1215 bears many traces of haste, and is clearly the product of much bargaining and many hands. Most of its clauses deal with specific, and often long-standing, grievances rather than with general principles of law. Some of the grievances are self-explanatory: others can be understood only in the context of the feudal society in which they arose. Of a few clauses, the precise meaning is still a matter of argument.

In feudal society, the king's barons held their lands 'in fee' (feudum) from the king, for an oath to him of loyalty and obedience, and with the obligation to provide him with a fixed number of knights whenever these were required for military service. At first the barons provided the knights by dividing their estates (of which the largest and most important were known as 'honours') into smaller parcels described as 'knights' fees', which they distributed to tenants able to serve as knights. But by the time of King John it had become more convenient and usual for the obligation for service to be commuted for a cash payment known as 'scutage', and for the revenue so obtained to be used to maintain paid armies.

Besides military service, feudal custom allowed the king to make certain other exactions from his barons. In times of emergency, and on such special occasions as the marriage of his eldest daughter, he could demand from them a financial levy known as an 'aid' (auxilium).

When a baron died, he could demand a succession duty or relief (relevium) from the baron's heir. If there was no heir, or if the succession was disputed, the baron's lands could be forfeited or 'escheated' to the Crown. If the heir was under age, the king could assume the guardianship of his estates, and enjoy all the profits from them - even to the extent of despoliation - until the heir came of age.

The king had the right, if he chose, to sell such a guardianship to the highest bidder, and to sell the heir himself in marriage for such price as the value of his estates would command. The widows and daughters of barons might also be sold in marriage. With their own tenants, the barons could deal similarly.

The scope for extortion and abuse in this system, if it were not benevolently applied, was obviously great and had been the subject of complaint long before King John came to the throne. Abuses were, moreover, aggravated by the difficulty of obtaining redress for them, and in Magna Carta the provision of the means for obtaining a fair hearing of complaints, not only against the king and his agents but against lesser feudal lords, achieves corresponding importance.

About two-thirds of the clauses of Magna Carta of 1215 are concerned with matters such as these, and with the misuse of their powers by royal officials.

As regards other topics, the first clause, conceding the freedom of the Church, and in particular confirming its right to elect its own dignitaries without royal interference, reflects John's dispute with the Pope over Stephen Langton's election as archbishop of Canterbury. It does not appear in the 'Articles of the Barons', and its somewhat stilted phrasing seems in part to be attempting to justify its inclusion, none the less, in the charter itself. The clauses that deal with the royal forests  over which the king had special powers and jurisdiction, reflect the disquiet and anxieties that had arisen on account of a longstanding royal tendency to extend the forest boundaries, to the detriment of the holders of the lands affected.

Those that deal with debts reflect administrative problems created by the chronic scarcity of ready cash among the upper and middle classes, and their need to resort to money-lenders when this was required.

The clause promising the removal of fish-weirs was intended to facilitate the navigation of rivers.

A number of clauses deal with the special circumstances that surrounded the making of the charter, and are such as might be found in any treaty of peace. Others, such as those relating to the city of London and to merchants clearly represent concessions to special interests.

English Speaking Countries

Below is a short history of English with a list of Countries that speak English as the official language.

The English language has evolved over the centuries from various influences: from the Celts ( who were the original Britons ), the Germanic Tribes, Anglo Saxons and Scandinavians which invaded during the 3rd Century onwards. Our language is still evolving and as an example the English spoken by Australians is very similar to London Cockney. The Australians even have their own version of Cockney Rhyming slang.

It is amazing that from a small country in size but not in outlook we have given the world so much like Shakespeare and great Leaders like Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Marlborough who helped defeat various dictators like Cromwell, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler. If the dictators had been successful, they would have changed the world and all our freedoms for ever. This has given me the idea that it would be of interest to the reader on how many countries in the world use English as their official language.

A to Z of English Speaking Countries:

Antigua and Barbuda
Marshall Islands
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
United States

List of British Royal Societies

Many years ago in the 1920's my great Aunt Hilda ( Suffragette and Headmistress ) traced our family tree back to the Kings and Queens of England from the 7th Century. This basically means I am related to most of the British Royal Family going back 1500 years. This has made me a great fan of English and British History and below is a description and list of the various British Royal Socities.

This is a list of Royal Societies.

Royal Academy 1768

·       Royal Aeronautical Society 1866

·       Royal Anthropological Institute 1871

·       Royal Asiatic Society 1823

·       Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 1890 incorporated in Ontario, Canada (royal charter 1903)

·       Royal Astronomical Society 1831 formed from the Astronomical Society of London (founded 1820)

·       Royal Bath and West of England Society 1777

·       Royal Dublin Society 1731

·       Royal Geographical Society 1830

·       Royal Heraldry Society of Canada

·       Royal Historical Society 1868 University College London

·       Royal Horticultural Society 1804 and 1861

·       Royal Medical Society

·       Royal Numismatic Society 1836

·       Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain 1841 and 1988

·       Royal Scottish Geographical Society 1884

·       Royal Society 1660

·       Royal Society for Nature Conservation

·       Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

·       Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

·       Royal Society for the Promotion of Health aka Royal Society of Health 1904

·       Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 1904

·       Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 1849

·       Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce 1754 aka The RSA, Royal Society of Arts

·       Royal Society of Canada 1882

·       Royal Society of Chemistry 1980 formed from the Chemical Society (founded 1841), the Society for Analytical Chemistry (founded 1874), the Royal Institute of Chemistry (founded 1877) and the Faraday Society (founded 1903)

·       Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783

·       Royal Society of St. George 1894

·       Royal Society of Literature 1820

·       Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge 1660

·       Royal Society of Medicine 1805 formed from the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London

·       Royal Society of New South Wales 1821

·       Royal Society of New Zealand 1851

·       Royal Society of Queensland 1884

·       Royal Society of South Africa 1877

·       Royal Society of South Australia 1880

·       Royal Society of Tasmania 1844

·       Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

·       Royal Society of Victoria 1854

·       Royal Society of Western Australia 1914

·       Royal Statistical Society 1834

·       Royal West of England Academy.

History of British Police and Funny Art

As I am a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren and have many ancestors from London who were also members of various London Police Forces, I thought it may be of interest to write an article about British Policing's history.

I also have some funny Victorian British Bobbies on art prints please click here.

Policing in its present form has existed for about 150 years. The earliest form of policing in Britain predates the Norman Conquest. The Saxon frankpledge was a private, social obligation in which all adult males were responsible for the good behaviour of others. The people were expected to live peaceably and lawfully, keeping the King's peace.

This was more formally arranged with men between the ages of 12 and 60 organised into groups of 10 family units called tithings (also spelled tythings). These were headed by a tythingman. Each tything was grouped into 100, which in turn was headed by a hundredman. He acted as an administrator and judge. The hundredman reported to the King's deputy, the local shire reeve whose responsibility was it to keep order in the county.

In 1750 Henry Fielding, novelist and Chief Justice of Westminster, set up the Bow Street Runners, their numbers started with just six police officers, by the end of the 18th century their numbers had risen to approximately seventy.

Debate continued during the early part of the 19th century as to the importance of a police force in England. The Home Secretary of the time, Robert Peel, later Sir Robert Peel, sponsored the first successful bill for a salaried civilian police force. The Metropolitan Police Act 1829 was limited to the London area; however it excluded the City of London and provinces.

Policemen were to be easily recognised and dressed in uniform. Patrols would prevent crime and disorder. As the police were to be salaried, stipend or rewards were not permitted for the resolution of crime or the return of stolen property. Along with their regular duties, the new police force would continue some of the duties of the watchmen such as lighting lamps, calling time and fire detection.

As Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel main achievement was the reforming of the London Police force, the forerunners of the modern day British Police services. The nickname of the police officers were nicknamed "Peeler's" and named after the prime minister.

In Britain in 1812, 1818 and 1822 a number of committees had examined the policing of London. Based on their findings the home secretary Robert Peel passed the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, introducing a more rigorous and less discretionary approach to law enforcement. The new Metropolitan Police Service, founded on September 29th was depersonalized, bureaucratic and hierarchical with the new police constables (US = patrol officers) instructed to prevent crime and pursue offenders. However in contrast to the more paramilitary police of continental Europe the British police, partly to counter public fears and objections concerning armed enforcers, were initially clearly civilian and their armament was limited to the truncheon, a fear of spy systems and political control also kept 'plain clothes' and even detective work to a minimum. The force was independent of the local government, through its commissioner it was responsible direct to the Home Office. The new constables were nicknamed 'peelers' or 'bobbies' after the then home secretary, Sir Robert Peel.

Even within the Metropolitan Police districts created from 1829, there remained a number of police establishments outside the control of the Metropolitan Police. These were the Bow Street patrols; both mounted and on foot, latterly named the Bow Street Runners. Police constables attached to these offices were under the control of the magistrates. By 1839, with the exception of the Marine or River police and transport Police, all of these establishments were absorbed by the Metropolitan Police force. The City of London Police Force was set up in 1839 and to this day remains independent.

The first Detective Force was created by the Metropolitan Police Force in 1842 and eventually became the famous Scotland Yard.

Outside of the metropolitan area the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 and further legislation in 1839 and 1840 allowed counties to create their own constabulary. The first county force created was Wiltshire in 1839. Around thirty counties had done so before the County and Borough Police Act of 1856 made such forces mandatory and subject to central inspection. There were over 200 separate forces in England and Wales by 1860.

England's Trial by Jury

Many of my London relatives are Magistrates and this has made me a great fan of English and British Law history including the Jury Service and it's history.

A jury is a group of persons selected from the community that is charged with hearing a legal case and delivering a verdict on it. Juries are used in both civil and criminal cases, and they base their decisions on testimony and other evidence that is presented at trial.

The English King Ethelred the Unready set up an early legal system through the Wantage Code of Ethelred, one provision of which stated that the twelve leading minor nobles of each small district were required to swear that they would investigate crimes without a bias. These juries differed from the modern sort by being self-informing; instead of getting information through a trial, the jurors were required to investigate the case themselves.

In the 12th century, Henry II took a major step in developing the jury system. Henry II set up a system to resolve land disputes using juries. A jury of twelve free men were assigned to arbitrate in these disputes. Unlike the modern jury, these men were charged with uncovering the facts of the case on their own rather than listening to arguments in court. Henry II also introduced what is now known as the "Grand Jury" through his Assize of Clarendon. Under the assize, a jury of free men was charged with reporting any crimes that they knew of in their hundred to a "justice in eyre," a judge who moved between hundreds on a circuit. A criminal accused by this jury was given a trial by ordeal this sometimes involved tying up the miscreant and putting them in the river. If they floated they were innocent and if they sank they were guilty and killed.

The Church banned participation of clergy in trial by ordeal in 1215. Without the legitimacy of religion, trial by ordeal collapsed. The juries under the assizes began deciding guilt as well as providing accusations. The same year, trial by jury became a pretty explicit right in one of the most influential clauses of Magna Carta, signed by King John. Article 39 of the Magna Carta read: It is translated thus by Lysander Spooner in his Essay on the Trial by Jury: "No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or diseased of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgement of his peers, and or by the law of the land."

Although it says and or by the law of the land, this in no manner can be interpreted as if it were enough to have a positive law, made by the king, to be able to proceed legally against a citizen. The law of the land was the consuetudinary law, based on the customs and consent of John's subjects, and since they did not have Parliament in those times, this meant that neither the king nor the barons could make a law without the consent of the people. According to some sources, in the time of Edward III, by the law of the land had been substituted by due process of law, which in those times was a trial by twelve peers.

During the mid-14th Century, it was forbidden that persons who had sat on the Presenting Jury (i.e., in modern parlance, the Grand Jury) to sit on the trial jury for that crime. 25 Edward III stat 5., c3 (1353). Medieval juries were self-informing, in that individuals were chosen as jurors because they either knew the parties and the facts, or they had the duty to discover them. This spared the government the cost of fact-finding.Over time, English juries became less self-informing and relied more on the trial itself for information on the case. Jurors remained free to investigate cases on their own until the 17th century.

The Magna Carta being forgotten after a succession of benevolent reigns (or, more probably, reigns limited by the jury and the barons, and only under the rule of laws that the juries and barons found acceptable), the kings, through the royal judges, began to extend their control over the jury and the kingdom. In David Hume's History of England, he tells something of the powers that the kings had accumulated in the times after the Magna Carta, the prerogatives of the crown and the sources of great power with which these monarchs counted.

The case against William Penn and William Mead in the late seventeenth century illustrated the importance of the jury and its rise to power within the judicial system. Penn and Mead were religious dissenters who were given to preaching in public. Around this time, we British were so suspicious of King Charles II's Catholic leanings that they passed laws against preaching in public. Pennand Mead were arrested, and opponents of the king sought to have Penn and Mead prosecuted and imprisoned, which would have embarrassed the king.

The court impaneled a jury and, after both sides presented their case, they retired todeliberate, knowing full well that they were expected to deliver verdicts of guilty. Around this time, the judge had a tremendous amount of power over jurors. A judge could keep jurors until they delivered a verdict desired by thejudge, and in some cases, a judge could lock the jury in a room and deprivethe jurors of food and water and other amenities until they delivered the desired verdict. Several members of the jury led by Edward Bushell, refused to deliver a unanimous guilty verdict.

The jury was sent off to deliberate againand again, without food, drink, fire, or tobacco, but it still could not deliver a guilty verdict. It did absolve Mead, but the judge ruled that Mead could not be released because he was charged with conspiring with Penn. Penn, from his cage in the courtroom (Mead likewise was kept in a cage), bellowed that"[i]f not guilty be not a verdict, then you make of the jury and Magna Cartabut a mere nose of wax."

The Lord Mayor of London threatened to cut Bushell's throat and the jury was sent away for another night without food or drink.The next morning, it returned with not guilty verdicts again, and the judge imposed a fine on each juror. The jurors refused to pay the fine and were sentto jail. Eight jurors eventually relented, but four did not, and they eventually brought their own case against the court from jail. In what became knownas Bushell's Case, the Court of Common Pleas declared that the punishment of the jurors was illegal and that no jury could be punished for its verdict.

Penn and Mead, both of whom were sent to jail after the fiasco, were released when Penn's father paid their fines. The four jurors were released from jail after the decision in Bushell's Case, and their ultimate success helped to establish the power of the jury system in England.

Tower of London – London Icon

I have decided to create this article about The Tower of London as it's one of the Icons of London.

Her Majestys Royal Palace "The Tower of London" is a castle first founded back in 1066.

When it was built by William The Conquerer in 1078 it was the tallest building in the World. Over several centuries it has been expanded by the many kings and queens that have ruled England during the last 1,000 years. Today it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. During its long history the Tower of London has served many purposes which have ranged from a royal palace to a prison. Today It's a World heritage Site.

The tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. Although the Tower is popularly known today as a place of imprisonment, and was used as such from as early as 1100, that was not its primary purpose. Early in its history, the Tower was a grand palace, serving as a royal residence. The castle underwent several expansions, especially under Kings Richard The Lionheart, Henry III and Edward III, resulting in its current general layout in the 13th century. It was sometimes used as a refuge from the general populace in times of unrest.

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the Brtish Library in London. England.

Thomas B. Costain, writing in the middle of the 20th century, considered the story of Lord Hastings' summary execution to be the "smoking gun" that proved Morton deliberately falsified the record to make King Richard out to be a villain. Morton wrote in his History that at the lords' council meeting in the Tower of London on 13 Jun 1483, Richard suddenly called his men at arms into the room and had them arrest Hastings for treason and take him outside and chop his head off.

There is much to learn from the story of how the head of one of the most revered men in England, Sir Thomas More, ended up on the chopping block on London's Tower Hill in 1535. Few people in history have faced their trials and deaths as squarely, calmly, and with as much integrity as did More. More's road from his post as Lord Chancellor of England to the Tower of London owes its course to a Bible passage, a marriage of a long-dead prince, and the consuming desire of More.

The zenith of the castle's use as a prison came in the 16th and 17th centuries, when many political or religious figures, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I, were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". The Tower is also known as a place of torture and execution, although only seven people were executed within the Tower; executions more commonly took place on the notorious Tower Hill, north of the castle.

Throughout its history, the Tower of London has served variously as an Armoury, Prison, Treasury, Zoo, Royal Mint, Public Records Office and is home to the Crown Jewels. The Tower of London is reputedly the most haunted building in England. The ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn, beheaded in 1536 for treason against King Henry VIII, has allegedly been seen haunting the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, where she is buried, and walking around the White Tower carrying her head under her arm.

Other ghosts include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, Margarat Pole and the Princes in the Tower. In January 1816, a sentry on guard outside the Jewel House witnessed an inexplicable apparition of a bear advancing towards him, and reportedly died of fright a few days later. In October 1817, an even more inexplicable, tubular, glowing apparition was seen in the Jewel House by the Keeper of the Crown Jewels, Edmund Lenthal Swifte. The apparition hovered over the shoulder of his wife, leading her to exclaim: "Oh, Christ! it has seized me!" Other nameless and formless terrors have been reported, more recently, by night staff at the Tower.

The Great Plague of London -1665

I have created this article about London's Bubonic Plague of 1665 which killed over 15% of the population of London.

This was the worst outbreak of plague in England since the black death of 1348 and  London lost roughly 15% of its population. While 68,596 deaths were recorded in the city, the true number was probably over 100,000. Other parts of the country also suffered.

The earliest cases of disease occurred in the spring of 1665 in a parish outside the city walls called St Giles-in-the-Fields. The death rate began to rise during the hot summer months and peaked in September when 7,165 Londoners died in one week.

Rats carried the fleas that caused the plague. They were attracted by city streets filled with rubbish and waste, especially in the poorest areas.

Those who could, including most doctors, lawyers and merchants, fled the city. Charles II and his courtiers left in July for Hampton Court and then Oxford. Parliament was postponed and had to sit in October at Oxford, the increase of the plague being so dreadful. Court cases were also moved from Westminster to Oxford.

The Lord Mayor and aldermen (town councillors) remained to enforce the King's orders to try and stop the spread of the disease. The poorest people remained in London with the rats and those people who had got the plague. Watchmen locked and kept guard over infected houses. Parish officials provided food. Searchers looked for dead bodies and took them at night to plague pits for burial.

All trade with London and other plague towns was stopped. The Council of Scotland declared that the border with England would be closed. There were to be no fairs or trade with other countries. This meant many people lost their jobs - from servants to shoemakers to those who worked on the River Thames. How did Londoners react to this plague that devastated their lives?

The plague that hit London and England in 1665 was the bubonic plague and the classic symptoms associated with the Bubonic Plague were as follows:

"The first sign of the plague was that swellings appeared in the groin or the armpits. Some of the swellings became as large as an apple, sometimes they were the size of an egg. The deadly swellings then began to spread in all directions over the body. Then the disease changed. Black or red spots broke out, sometimes on the thigh or arm. These spots were large in some cases; in other they were almost like a rash."

A few days after being infected, a victim developed a rash and there was pain all over the body. The victim began to feel tired and lethargic but the pain made it difficult to sleep. The temperature of the body increased and this affected the brain and the nerves. Speech was affected and the victims became less and less intelligible. As the disease took more of a hold, the victim took on the physical appearance of a drunk with stumbling movement and gait. The victim then became delirious.

After about six days, the lymphatic glands became swollen and inflamed. In the groin, neck and armpit areas of the body this led to buboes – large and highly painful swellings. These buboes caused bleeding underneath the skin, which turned the buboes and surrounding areas blue/purple. In some cases, red spots appeared on the buboes as death approached.

The average time of death from the first symptom was between four to seven days. It is thought that between 50% and 75% of those who caught the disease died.

The Great Fire of London began on the night of September 2, 1666, as a small fire on Pudding Lane, in the bakeshop of Thomas Farynor, baker to King Charles II. At one o'clock in the morning, a servant woke to find the house aflame, and the baker and his family escaped, but a fear-struck maid perished in the blaze. This fire destroyed 80% of the Property was lost in the fire and this helped in the ending of the Plague.

The longitude's Marine Chronometer by John Harrison (24 March 1693 – 24 March 1776)

As I am a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren and I have a keen interest in English and British history especially English hero's like John Harrison I thought I would write this article.

John Harrison (24 March 1693 – 24 March 1776) was a self-educated English Clockmaker and Yorkshire Carpenter who invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought device in solving the problem of establishing the East-West position or Longitude of a ship at sea, thus revolutionising and extending the possibility of safe long distance sea travel in the Age of Sail. The problem was considered so intractable that the British Parliament offered a prize of £20,000 (comparable to £2.87million / €3.65million / $4.72million in modern currency) for the solution.

John Harrison was born in Foulby near Wakefield in West Yorkshire the first of five children in his family. His father worked as a carpenter at the nearby Nostell Priory estate. The house where he was born bears a blue plaque.

Around 1700, the family moved to the North Lincolnshire village of Barrow upon humber. Following his father's trade as a carpenter, Harrison built and repaired clocks in his spare time. Legend has it that at the age of six while in bed with smallpox he was given a watch to amuse himself, spending hours listening to it and studying its moving parts.

In 1730 Harrison created a description and drawings for a proposed marine clock to compete for the

Longitude Prize and went to London seeking financial assistance. He presented his ideas to Edmond Halley, the Astronomer Royal. Halley referred him to George Graham the country's foremost clockmaker. He must have been impressed by Harrison, for Graham personally loaned Harrison money to build a model of his marine clock.

It took Harrison five years to build Harrison Number One or H1. He demonstrated it to members of the Royal Society who spoke on his behalf to the Board of Longitude. The clock was the first proposal that the Board considered to be worthy of a sea trial. In 1736, Harrison sailed to Lisbon on HMS Centurion and returned on HMS Oxford. On their return, both the captain and the sailing master of the Orford praised the design. The master noted that his own calculations had placed the ship sixty miles east of its true landfall which had been correctly predicted by Harrison using H1.

This was not the transatlantic voyage demanded by the Board of Longitude, but the Board was impressed enough to grant Harrison £500 for further development. Harrison moved on to develop H2, a more compact and rugged version. In 1741, after three years of building and two of on-land testing, H2 was ready, but by then Britain was at war with Spain in the War of Austrian succession and the mechanism was deemed too important to risk falling into Spanish hands. In any event, Harrison suddenly abandoned all work on this second machine when he discovered a serious design flaw in the concept of the bar balances. He was granted another £500 by the Board while waiting for the war to end, which he used to work on H3. Harrison spent seventeen years working on this third 'sea clock' but despite every effort it seems not to have performed exactly as he would have wished. Despite this, it had proved a very valuable experiment. Certainly in this machine Harrison left the world two enduring legacies — the bimetallic strip and the caged roller bearing.

After steadfastly pursuing various methods during thirty years of experimentation, Harrison moved to London in the late 1750's where to his surprise he found that some of the watches made by Graham's successor Thomas Mudge kept time just as accurately as his huge sea clocks. Harrison then realized that a mere watch after all could be made accurate enough for the task and was a far more practical proposition for use as a marine timekeeper. He proceeded to redesign the concept of the watch as a timekeeping device, basing his design on sound scientific principles.

He had already in the early 1750's designed a precision watch for his own personal use, which was made for him by the watchmaker John Jefferys C. 1752 - 53. This watch incorporated a novel frictional rest escapement and was also probably the first to have both temperature compensation and a going fusee, enabling the watch to continue running whilst being wound. These features led to the very successful performance of this "Jefferys" watch and therefore Harrison incorporated them into the design of two new timekeepers which he proposed to build. These were in the form of a large watch and another of a smaller size but of similar pattern. However only the larger No. 1 (or "H4" as it sometimes called) watch appears ever to have been finished. (See the reference to "H6" below) Aided by some of London's finest workmen, he proceeded to design and make the world's first successful marine timekeeper that for the first time, allowed a navigator to accurately assess his ship's position in Longitude. Importantly, Harrison showed everyone that it could be done. This was to be Harrison's masterpiece — an instrument of beauty, resembling an oversized pocket watch from the period. It is engraved with Harrison's signature, marked Number 1 and dated 1759.

This first marine watch (or "Sea watch" as Harrison called it) is a 5.2" diameter watch in silver pair cases. The movement has a novel type of escapement which can be classed as a frictional rest type, and superficially resembles the verge escapement with which it is often incorrectly associated. The pallets of this escapement are both made of diamond, a considerable feat of manufacture at the time. The balance spring is a flat spiral but for technical reasons the balance itself was made much larger than in a conventional watch of the period. The movement also has centre seconds motion with a sweep seconds hand. The Third Wheel is equipped with internal teeth and has an elaborate bridge similar to the balance cocks of the period. It runs at 5 beats (ticks) per second, and is equipped with a tiny remontoire.

A balance-brake stops the watch half an hour before it is completely run down, in order that the remontoire does not run down also. Temperature compensation is in the form of a 'compensation curb' (or 'Thermometer Kirb' as Harrison put it). This takes the form of a bimetallic strip mounted on the regulator sector-rack, and carrying the curb pins at the free end. During development of No.1, Harrison abandoned the regulator, but left the regulator disc in place for æsthetic reasons, and the compensation.

H4 took six years to construct and Harrison, by then 68 years old, sent it on its transatlantic trial in the care of his son, William, in 1761. When HMS Deptford reached Jamaica the watch was 5 seconds slow, corresponding to an error in longitude of 1.25 minutes, or approximately one nautical mile. When the ship returned, Harrison waited for the £20,000 prize but the Board believed the accuracy was just luck and demanded another trial. The Harrisons were outraged and demanded their prize, a matter that eventually worked its way to Parliament, which offered £5,000 for the design. The Harrisons refused but were eventually obliged to make another trip to the Caribbean city of Bridgetown on the island of Barbados to settle the matter.

At the time of the trial, another method for measuring longitude was ready for testing: the Method of Lunar Distances. The moon moves fast enough, some twelve degrees a day, to easily measure the movement from day to day. By comparing the angle between the moon and the sun for the day one left for Britain, the "proper position" (how it would appear in Greenwich, England at that specific time) of the moon could be calculated. By comparing this with the angle of the moon over the horizon, the longitude could be calculated.

During Harrison's second trial of "H4" the Reverend Neville Maskelyne was asked to accompany HMS Tarter and test the Lunar Distances system. Once again "H4" proved almost astonishingly accurate, keeping time to within 39 seconds, corresponding to an error in the longitude of Bridgetown of less than 10 miles (16km). Maskelyne's measures were also fairly good, at 30 miles (48 km), but required considerable work and calculation in order to use. At a meeting of the Board in 1765 the results were presented, and once again they could not believe it was not just luck. Once again the matter reached Parliament, which offered £10,000 in advance and the other half once he turned over the design to other watchmakers to duplicate. In the meantime H4 would have to be turned over to the Astronomer Royal for long-term on-land testing.

Harrison began working on his H5 while the H4 testing was conducted, with H4 being effectively held hostage by the Board. After three years he had had enough; Harrison felt "extremely ill used by the gentlemen who I might have expected better treatment from" and decided to enlist the aid of King George III. He obtained an audience by the King, who was extremely annoyed with the Board. King George tested H5 himself at the palace and after ten weeks of daily observations between May and July in 1772, found it to be accurate to within one third of one second per day. King George then advised Harrison to petition Parliament for the full prize after threatening to appear in person to dress them down. In 1773, when he was 80 years old, Harrison received a monetary award in the amount of £8,750 from Parliament for his achievements, but he never received the official award (which was never awarded to anyone). He was to survive for just three more years.

In total, Harrison received £23,065 for his work on chronometers. He received £4,315 in increments from the Board of Longitude for his work, £10,000 as an interim payment for H4 in 1765 and £8,750 from Parliament in 1773. This gave him a reasonable income for most of his life (equivalent to roughly £45,000 per year in 2007, though all his costs, such as materials and subcontracting work to other horologists, had to come out of this). He became the equivalent of a multi-millionaire (in today's terms) in the final decade of his life.

James Cook used K1, a copy of H4, on his second and third voyages, having used the Lunar distance method on his first voyage. K1 was made by Larcum Kendall, who had been apprenticed to John Jeffreys. Cook's log is full of praise for the watch and the charts of the southern Pacific Ocean John Jeffrey's made with its use were remarkably accurate. K2 was on HMS Bounty was recovered from Pitcairn Island, and then passed through several hands before reaching the National Maritime Museum in London.

Harrison died on his eighty-third birthday and is buried in the graveyard of St. John's Church, Hampstead along with his second wife Elizabeth and their son William. His tomb was restored in 1879 by the Worshipful Company of Clockmaker's even though Harrison had never been a member of the Company.

Harrison's last home was in Red Lion Square in London, now a short walk from the Holborn Underground Station. There is a plaque dedicated to Harrison on the wall of Summit House in the south side of the square. A memorial tablet to Harrison was unveiled in Westminister Abbey on 24 March 2006 finally recognising him as a worthy companion to his friend George Graham and Thomas Tompion, "The Father of English Watchmaking", who are both buried in the Abbey. The memorial shows a meridian line (line of constant longitude) in two metals to highlight Harrison's most widespread invention, the bimetallic strip thermometer. The strip is engraved with its own longitude of 0 degrees, 7 minutes and 35 seconds West.

The Corpus Clock in Cambridge, unveiled in 2008, is an homage to Harrison's work. Harrison's grasshopper escapement — sculpted to resemble an actual grasshopper — is the clock's defining feature.

Captain James Cook took the first Chronometer on his voyage of discovery which forced the British government to give his reward.  Though the British Parliament rewarded John Harrison for his marine chronometer in 1773, his chronometers were not to become standard such as those by Thomas Earnshaw, suitable for general nautical use by the end of the 18th century. However, they remained very expensive and the lunar distance method continued to be used for some decades.

The First Steam Locomotive – England 1804 and First Steam Engine 1653 - England

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam Locomotives I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the history of the earliest steam locomotive. The first full scale working railway steam locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick in the United Kingdom on 21st  February 1804 when the world's first railway journey took place as Trevithick's unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren ironworks, near Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.

This is different from the first Steam Engine which was first invented in 1653 by Edward Somerset (1601 –  1667)  was an English nobleman.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwall, England an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the "Puffing Devil" as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle's principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry.

The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The "Puffing Dragon" was the world's first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London's Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 - 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick's vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not "run away with" the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses' feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.


The Great and Good of Britain Buried at Westminster Abbey


One of England's most famous burial sites is at Westminster Abbey where the Famous and Good of Britain are buried. I thought as a fan of history I would list all those buried at Westminster Abbey through the ages. Virtually every royal burial for the nearly 500 years between the deaths of Henry III in 1272 and George II in 1760 took place in Westminster Abbey. The two notable exceptions were Henry VIII and Charles I, both of whom were buried at Windsor Castle. (All monarchs from George III onwards have since been interred at Windsor.)


The Abbey is also the final resting-place for the great and the good of the nation. Many of Britain’s most celebrated statesmen, scientists, writers and composers are buried here, while others among the notability – such as Shakespeare and Churchill – have memorials in the Abbey, even though their remains lie elsewhere.

This is a selection of the names you might look out for on a visit to the Abbey, and where to find them:


The Nave

  • Clement Attlee (1883-1967) – Labour prime minister 1945-51, whose government oversaw the creation of the National Health Service and the disengagement from India.
  • Charles Darwin (1809-82) – naturalist, proponent of evolution, author of The Origin Of Species.
  • Ben Jonson (1572-1637) – dramatist, actor and Poet Laureate.
  • David Livingstone (1813-73) – explorer and medical missionary.
  • Isaac Newton (1643-1727) – physicist and mathematician.
  • Robert Stephenson (1803-59) – civil engineer, designer of railway bridges.


The North Transept

Buried here are three more of the great prime ministers:

  • William Pitt the Elder (1708-78).
  • His son, William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806).
  • William Gladstone (1809-98).


The South Transept

Here you'll find the famous Poets’ Corner, final home of…

  • Novelist Charles Dickens (1812-70), composer, George Handel (1685-1759), actor, Laurence Olivier (1907-89), poets Robert Browning (1812-89), Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400), John Dryden (1631-1700), Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), Samuel Johnson (1709-84), Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Edmund Spenser (1552-99) and Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92).


North Choir Aisle

Appropriately enough, two composers are buried here:

  • Henry Purcell (1659-95).
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).


Henry VII's Chapel


  • Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
  • Mary Queen of Scots (1542-87)
  • Here lies the father of the modern postal system, Rowland Hill (1795-1879).

Gone but not forgotten

  • Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) was originally buried in the Abbey, but his remains were exhumed on the orders of Charles II in 1661, and subjected to a posthumous hanging at Tyburn.
  • Admiral Robert Blake (1599-1657), parliamentarian and naval commander during Cromwell’s Commonwealth, was buried in the Abbey too, but was also exhumed after the Restoration.

Below is the A to Z of Famous Icons buried at Westminster Abbey:



  • Joseph Addison
  • Anne of Cleves
  • Clement Attlee


  • Aphra Behn
  • Lady Frances Brandon


  • Caroline of Ansbach
  • Charles Darwin
  • Geoffrey Chaucer



  • Charles Dickens


  • Edward the Confessor
  • Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany


  • Thomas Hardy


  • Samuel Johnson
  • Ben Johnson


  • Rudyard Kipling


  • Isaac Newton
  • Anne Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk


  • Laurence Olivier


  • Henry Purcell


  • The Unknown Warrior


The Chinese call Britain 'The Island of Hero's' which I think sums up what we British are all about.


We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.

Copyright ©  2012 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.