Archives for: January 2008


Permalink 03:56:56 pm, by Email , 185 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, Book Reviews, British History

Henry's Six Wives

No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness -- and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevated a group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.

Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately examines the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy, and religion that were part of daily life for women at the Tudor Court. Weaving new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama surrounding Henry's six marriages, David Starkey reveals the central role that the queens played in determining policy. With an equally keen eye for romantic and political intrigue, he brilliantly recaptures the story of Henry's wives and the England they ruled.

And now you can grab a copy for as little as $2.40 US from our History Nook => featuring some of our fave pics, and cool items related to history. Enjoy!



Permalink 08:50:13 am, by Email , 32 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - "Tuesday Edition"

Lovely Older Building In Stratford Ontario. Taken This Past Weekend.

Happy Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.



Permalink 08:04:54 am, by Email , 186 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, British History, Museums And Historic Sites

Bog Man Is On The Move

The remains of Iron Age "bog body" Lindow Man as pictured above are leaving the British Museum to go on display in Manchester. Here is a snippet from the BBC:

The remains of an Iron Age man found in a peat bog are leaving the British Museum for the first time in 17 years.

Lindow Man was found in a Cheshire marsh in 1984, nearly 2,000 years after his horrific death.

Chemicals in the bog preserved the body and researchers found his throat was slit and he was garrotted, possibly as a sacrificial victim.

Lindow Man is being moved from London to the Manchester Museum, on long-term loan, and will be displayed from April.

He was found on Lindow Moss near Wilmslow and is the best preserved body of its era in the UK.

Study of the remains by scientists has improved knowledge of Iron Age activities and made it possible to see the face of a person from the prehistoric past.

Full BBC Article Here

I have always been fascinated by the "bog people" and hope to see Lindow Man in person in the not too distant future.



Permalink 11:19:22 am, by Email , 60 words   English (CA)
Categories: Interesting Lists

What is it?

According to The Book of Lists, what am I talking about below? (Answer in the comments section...)

(Prices as of 1977...)

Julius Caesar's is/was worth $2,000,000.00
William Shakespeare's is/was worth $1,500,000.00
Christopher Colombus' is/was worth $500,000.00
Joan of Arc's is/was worth $125,000.00
William the Conqueror's is/was worth $75,000.00
Charlemagne's is/was worth $75,000.00

Mine, currently, isn't worth much of anything... so far... :)



Permalink 02:16:29 pm, by Email , 89 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Health And Sciences

No I Am Not That Sick But.......

A poster issued by Alberta's provincial board of health alerting the public to the influenza epidemic. The poster gives information on the Spanish flu, and instructions on how to make a mask.

Just a quick note to say I am off battling a flu bug. I know ew! Will be back and blogging as soon as my tummy settles, and it stops feeling so damn cold in here.

Hope you are all feeling goodly, and if I don't have a chance to say it tomorrow, have a great weekend!



Permalink 12:11:48 am, by Email , 81 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, European History, Religion and Spirituality

Wordless Wednesday - "Tuesday Edition"

A man rides through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares in Spain. Horses are ridden through bonfires on the eve of the Festival of San Anton, the patron saint of animals.

As spectacular as the above image is, I sincerely hope that no harm comes to these beautiful animals because of this practise.

Source & Image Credit: BBC

Happy Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.



Olympic and Britannic

Real "Titanic" fans know that the ill fated ship was the largest and best appointed ship in the White Star fleet.

What some people don't know is that Titanic was one of three sisters...

There was RMS Brittanic and...

RMS Olympic.


Olympic's hull is almost completed and Titanic's is en route (just started) next to it in this photo... Thanks to Lost Liners for the image...

...and for the record, the oldest sister was Olympic!


Interestingly enough, Brittanic was lost also before her time... she struck a mine in WWI while acting as a hospital ship and sank with the loss of thirty lives. The loss of life would have been far worse, but thankfully, she had no patients on board when she went down.

Olympic had an interesting claim to fame as the only "civilian ship" (she was acting as a troop transport,) to sink a U-Boat when she rammed U-103. Her war service of transporting more than 200,000 soldiers earned her the nickname of Old Reliable... kind of shocking when you think of what happened to her middle sister, Titanic!

After the war, Olympic resumed acting as a transatlantic liner until the bottom fell out of the trade and in 1934, she was retired from service in favour of newer more economical vessels.

In 1935, the breaking up of Olympic was started... by 1937, even her hull was scrapped... and this ended the "Olympic-Class" liners...

Olympic, Titanic, and Brittanic.


Of note, Brittanic might have been destined to be "Gigantic"... but White Star changed their minds. Some period print-ads (before their launch) list "Brittanic" as "Gigantic"... but who know what might have been...


The "death tolls" of the three sisters are...

Olympic: 1 (someone jumped overboard on one cruise.)

Titanic: 1,496 (collision with iceberg) and 1 man was crushed to death on her launching...

Brittanic: 30 (on hitting the mine)


Titanic and her Sisters
Lost Liners



Permalink 03:54:48 pm, by Email , 73 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In Film & Television, History In The News, British History

New Lady Godiva Film

"Stunt rider Emily Cox rides her horse Legend through St Ann's Square in Manchester, as part of a promotion for a new film about the legendary naked ride of Lady Godiva in Coventry in the 11th Century."

I blogged a little bit about a modern day Lady Godiva as well as the legendary one last Spring, and some of the mythos surrounding this interesting character.

The lovely photo above is from the BBC.

Permalink 03:13:31 pm, by Email , 81 words   English (CA)
Categories: Americana, Heroic Women, Who Am I

Who Am I

I was born in Tuskegee Alabama in the year 1913. On December 1st 1955 when coming home from my job as a seamstress in a department store I refused to give up my seat to a white man while on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. I was arrested, and thrown in a jail. This started a 381 day bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped to inspire civil-rights activities around America.

Who Am I?

The answer is in the comments section.



Permalink 10:44:39 am, by Email , 423 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, History In The News, British History

A Lock Of A Tudor Queens Hair

This lock of hair reportedly beloning to English Queen Catherine Parr was recently auctioned off. Details of the auction are given in a BBC article. Here is a snippet:

An almost 500-year-old lock of hair thought to have come from one of Henry VIII's wives has sold for £2,160.

Its buyer, Charles Hudson, lives on the Wyke Manor estate in Worcestershire, which he said was once home to the hair's original owner, Catherine Parr.

The blonde hair, which is mounted in an oval frame, sold for almost 15 times the estimated price of £150.

Mr Hudson, 56, said he was "pleased to be able to bring it home". Catherine Parr outlived her Royal husband.

He added that Wyke Manor had been given to Catherine, Henry's sixth wife, as a present from her husband.

Mr Hudson said that after Catherine died, the estate passed to Anthony Babington, who was later executed for treason after plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth I.

The property then passed to Sir Walter Raleigh, who was also executed.

Full BBC Article Here

As a Tudor nut I would have paid far more ... that is if I had the cash to do so...sigh....

Catherine or in some accounts Katherine Parr was the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII. She was queen consort of England during 1543–1547, then dowager queen of England until her death due to complications of childbirth on September 5th 1548. She was 35 years of age.

An interesting story surrounds the discovery of Queen Catherine's body more than 200 years after her death.

In 1782, a gentleman by the name of John Locust discovered the coffin of Queen Catherine at the ruins of the Sudeley Castle chapel. He opened the coffin and observed that the body, after 234 years, was in a surprisingly good condition. Reportedly the flesh on one of her arms was still white and moist. After taking a few locks of her hair, he closed the coffin and returned it to the grave.

The coffin was opened a few more times in the next ten years and in 1792 some drunken men buried it upside down and in a rough way. When the coffin was officially reopened in 1817, nothing but a skeleton remained. Her remains were then moved to the tomb of Lord Chandos whose family owned the castle at that time. In later years the chapel was rebuilt by Sir John Scott and a proper altar-tomb was erected for Queen Catherine.

Perhaps that is where the lock of hair recently auctioned off came from?


Catherine Parr Wiki

BBC News Article



Permalink 09:26:18 am, by Email , 81 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Arts And Culture, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition

The Death of General Wolfe at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the Seven Years' War. The Death of General Wolfe is a well-known 1770 painting by artist Benjamin West depicting the final moments of James Wolfe during the 1759 Battle of Quebec. It is an oil on canvas of the Neoclassical era.

Source & Image Credit: Wiki

Happy Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 09:22:34 am, by Email , 75 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews

A Review Of Zenni Optical

Great Discovry:$ 8 Prescription Glasses From Zenni Optical I could not believe it until I visited the website for myself. These are stylish good quality frames at very good prices. I found that the Zenni Optical site has a large selection to choose from, and is very easy to use. They also carry bifocals, and other speciality products. Payments are secured, and I hope they start taking Paypal shorty. :)

Thanks to the sponsor of this post.



Permalink 11:32:40 am, by Email , 311 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Going From Here To There

Cunard Ships Historic Rendezvous

I would have loved to have been able to attend this historic event! Here is a snippet from CNN's coverage:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of New Yorkers turned out to watch the historic rendezvous of Cunard's three Queen ships -- the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 -- in the waters off Lower Manhattan.

The three grand ships with the trademark red-and-black smokestacks lined up in front of the Statue of Liberty while colorful fireworks lit up the winter darkness for the once-in-a-lifetime event Sunday night.

"This is amazing," said John Stella of Staten Island, part of the crowd watching the spectacle from the Manhattan waterfront. "You'll never see it like this again."

The QE2 is being decommissioned later this year and turned into a floating five-star hotel in the United Arab Emirates. The Queen Victoria was launched just last month. The two vessels sailed in tandem across the Atlantic to New York, then met up with the QM2, which homeports in Brooklyn.

On Monday, the Queen Victoria and the QE2 continued their world tour together. They were due to arrive in their next port of call, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Wednesday. This is the Queen Victoria's first trip around the world and the QE2's 26th and last.

The ships encountered rough seas on their trip from England to New York last week, including waves so high that they washed over the bow of the Queen Victoria. No one was injured, according to Cunard spokesman Brian O'Connor. The waves did not wash over the bow of the QE2, which is taller in front than the newer ships.

Full CNN Article Here

If you were there, and took some photos I would love to see them! It is sad to see an era come to an end, but at least QE2 will be open to the public for many years to come.

Permalink 11:04:03 am, by Email , 239 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews

Online Writing Tools

If you are a fellow writer or blogger you will definitely understand how at times it can be very handy to be able to utilise online writing tools in order to punch up your own articles, reports, school papers, blog entries etc.

One of the areas I always need help in within my own writing is finding the right word to use within certain sentences, and I often rely on a thesaurus. Today I had the opportunity to check out a new online thesaurus, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce it to you gentle readers as well. :)

The site is called TextMorph Jan. 08, and I found it to be very easy to use. Basically what you do is take a few words or a complete sentence, and put these into a box via copy/paste function. You then click a "morph it" button, and in the opposite box your sentence, words, etc will appear with drop down boxes, and alternate words that you can use in place of the ones you already have input into the site. You can preview what your new sentence, words, will look like, and play around with the site until you get it just right.

I found this writing tool to be handy, and you might too. Just click on the link I have added into this entry to check it out for yourself.

My thanks to my sponsor.



Permalink 05:40:03 pm, by Email , 235 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, History In The News

Drunken Vandals Ruin Robert Frost Cabin

I came across this news item, and it greatly saddened me as it would all who have enjoyed, and appreciated Robert Frost's poems. How disgusting is is a snippet from the CBC:

Vermont police are investigating what they suspect was an illicit drinking party at the former summer home of poet Robert Frost.

Intruders broke into Homer Noble Farm, where Frost spent his summers from 1939 until his death in 1963, either late Friday or early Saturday morning and ransacked the historic site, leaving empty beer bottles, cans and plastic cups strewn about, police said Monday.

Tables, chairs, windows, light fixtures and dishes were among the items smashed, destroyed or set ablaze as firewood inside the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's two-storey residence.

The vandals also discharged fire extinguishers and left vomit around the building, according to Sgt. Lee Hodsden.

Police have tracked down some minors whom they believe attended what appeared to be the underage drinking party held at the house.

However, no arrests have been made, Hodsden said.

A hiker discovered the damage Saturday afternoon and notified Middlebury College, which owns and maintains the site. The caretaker responsible for the site had last stopped at Homer Noble Farm Friday morning, police said.

Full CBC Article Here

We here in Canada have also had our fair share of historic sites either ruined or outright destroyed by idiotic youth who are obviously in need of some parenting. :-/



Permalink 12:57:10 pm, by Email , 344 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, History In The News

Elizabeth On Elizabeth

"Frankly, I do not myself feel at all like my Tudor forebear, who was blessed with neither husband nor children, who ruled as a despot and was never able to leave her native shores."

- QE II during her 1953 Christmas address

I have to admit I was rather shocked by the above quote. It is in my opinion a rather harsh, and completely inaccurate statement in regards to Elizabeth I.

Is it any wonder then that Tudor historian - mega star David Starkey had this to say about Her Majesty, "The Queen is uncultured and poorly educated." He says a lot more in this article that was featured last month in Pink News. Here is a snippet:

The openly gay historian Dr David Starkey has said the Queen is uninterested in her predecessors because she was poorly educated.

He told the Guardian: "I think she's got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture.
"You remember: 'Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver'."

He recounted an occasion where he showed Her Majesty around an exhibition he had curated about Elizabeth I at the National Maritime Museum in 2003, where he found her more-preoccupied with the late arrival of a her drink, a gin and Dubonnet than the works of art on display. He claims that her only comment was that one of the objects belonged to her

Dr Starkey said that reminded him of "a housewife" who had been left some possessions: "She'd looked after them, she'd put in place much better arrangements for their care, but again - I suppose it's this absence of any kind of, to be blunt, serious education."

He compared her to Elizabeth I, who also acceded the throne at 25, "was 20 times as well educated. And had either five or six languages".

Full Article Here

Wow! He might as well have called her an ignorant, Nazi! I think he did!

NO O.B.E for Starkey any time soon I think....better then what would have happened to him during Elizabeth I reign me thinks :p



Permalink 10:09:02 am, by Email , 65 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - "Tuesday Edition"

The above image is of the Kremlin towers in the 19th century. The Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I have always wanted to visit Moscow in order to see, and photograph the Kremlin.

Image Credit: Wiki

Happy Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 10:07:24 am, by Email , 76 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews

In The Spirit Of Christianity

In the spirit Of Christianity the Christian Faith Financial website aids those in financial trouble in finding services such as payday loans in order to help people find the right product or service for their needs. If you are in need of Christian financial assistance you can have a look at their easy to use site by surfing to Christian Faith, and find more information on how they can help you out. Best wishes!



Permalink 02:10:38 pm, by Email , 305 words   English (CA)
Categories: Murder & Mayhem, Folklore And Superstitions, European History, British History

If the corpse don't bleed, you must concede!

I'd like to think that the title of this entry is something a medieval Johnny Cochrane might say about this test of Jurisprudence.

Way back when in Scotland, a sheriff could try someone accused of murder within three days... and at his disposal to see justice done, he could use something called bierricht.

This is when the judge could force the accused to touch the corpse... if the corpse bled, you had your murderer!

We have OFFICIAL reports of a beggar named "Bell" who was hanged in 1685 after being found to make his victim's corpse bleed... and in 1687, Phillip Stanfield also was hanged of fresh blood emanated from his victim on his touch.

Of course, there was a snag in this tested form of absolute justice... and that is, if the corpse DID NOT bleed, it didn't necessarily mean that the accused was innocent!

I know, you're shocked.

Well, apparently in 1658, a certain Major Strangeways (what an appropriate name!) was required to touch the corpse of his murdered brother in law at a coroners inquest... and no blood!

Well, the case proceeded to trial anyway, but as Maj. Strangeways refused to plead guilty or not guilty, he was tortured with "pressing"... the gradual adding of weights onto a human body until the accused "pleads" their case... well, Maj. Strangeways didn't plead... in fact, he was crushed to death. This death was seen to ALSO prove his guilt! (Surely God would keep him from death from the pressing if he was truly innocent, right?) Either way, Strangeways' case tossed a spanner into the perfect and scientific way of determining the guilt of a murderer... bierricht.

Still, I'm sure an ancient Scots version of Johnny Cochrane would say...

If the corpse don't bleed, you must concede!



Source: The Strange Laws of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne



Permalink 07:48:05 pm, by Email , 94 words   English (CA)
Categories: Who Am I, Science And Technology

Who Am I

Most within my field consider me to be one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of our time. How cool is that!

My key areas of study are the astronomical bodies known as black holes, and my research that supports the big bang theory. Yes, I am brilliant!

In 1988 I wrote a best seller named A Brief History Of Time. I must use a wheelchair, and because of muscle disease I can barely move or speak, but that has never stopped me from achieving.

Who Am I?

The answer is in the comments section.



Permalink 11:30:38 am, by Email , 116 words   English (CA)
Categories: Holidays And Traditions

Happy Hogmanay 2008

Hogmanay party in Edinburgh

"The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic New Year's celebration of Samhain. In Europe, winter solstice evolved into the ancient celebration of Saturnalia, a great Roman winter festival, where people celebrated completely free of restraint and inhibition. The Vikings celebrated Yule, which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, or the "Daft Days" as they were sometimes called in Scotland. The winter festival went underground with the Protestant Reformation and ensuing years, but re-emerged near the end of the 17th century."

Wishing you all the best for 2008!!!

Source: Wiki Hogmanay

Image Credit BBC 2008


Pastime with Good Company

Pastyme With Good Companye

Welcome to the blog of amateur historians Matthew James Didier and Sue Darroch. Partners in life and in crime, we endeavor to entertain you with snippets from our combined historical research. Past time with good company indeed, as we shall introduce you to Kings and Knaves, Queens and Mistresses, Cons and Heroes, from our collective past......from events well known to those perhaps all but forgotten, we will do our best to bring you interesting historical factoids from around the globe. It is our belief that through understanding our past we will all gain a better perspective on our future.

Related Links

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Meet The History Buff

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Sticky Note For Historians

The History Nook - History Themed Items & Books At Great Prices

The Paranormal Blog

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Life in the Urban Zoo

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Demeter SRC - My Genealogy Website

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Life At The Edge

The Spicy Cauldron

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Musings of Khlari

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