Great Britain & Ireland – History 1500-1800


Great Britain & Ireland, History during the period 1500-1800. Selected online articles from newspapers and popular magazines, and selected podcast episodes, on history topics.

 

Go to Century Past History Resources for a directory of all pages.

‘Black Tudors’ reveals a surprising and overlooked chapter of history

Hidden in British archives and parish records are the identities of dozens of black people who lived in England during Tudor times.

Randy Dotinga, Christian Science Monitor 2017

6 times Edinburgh Castle was under siege

Having faced attacking forces no less than 23 times, Edinburgh Castle bears the extraordinary distinction as the most besieged place in Europe and has been rebuilt on numerous occasions.

David McLean, Edinburgh News 2017

Fresh Perspectives on the Levellers: Book Review

A convincing account of early modern political organisation gives voice to lesser-known figures

Ted Vallance, History Today 2017

7 weird and wonderful Georgian beauty treatments

In the 21st century, beauty is big business. But, as historical writer Catherine Curzon reveals, the beauty regimes of the Georgian era could put even the most bizarre modern fads to shame.

Catherine Curzon, History Extra 2016

A brief history of coffee: a drink for the devil

The second-most traded commodity in the world, behind only petroleum, coffee has become a mainstay of the modern diet. Here, Paul Chrystal, author of Coffee: A Drink For the Devil, charts its discovery and explores Britain’s love affair with the the’sinful’ beverage.

Paul Chrystal, History Extra 2016

A More for All Seasons

Scholar or zealot, every generation gets the Thomas More it needs. More’s reputation has ranged from saintly scholar to sex-crazed zealot, with Robert Bolt’s ‘A Man for All Seasons’ and Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ bringing each of these visions to life, albeit almost 60 years apart.

Joanne Paul, History Today 2016

Amusements of Old London: Clubs and Coffee-houses

The origin of the gentleman’s club can be traced to the introduction of “the bitter black drink called coffee, during the last years of William III. William B. Boulton, in ‘Amusements of Old London” (1901) points to ‘a humble establishment which was opened for the sale of coffee in St. Michael’s Alley, Cornhill, in the year 1652, as the parent of institutions of such superfine male fashion as White’s, the Turf, or the Marlborough Clubs of our day.’

Susanna’s Parlour

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in their own words: 5 fascinating letters from Tudor monarchs

When Henry VII and his successors put quill to paper, they left us a priceless insight into their desires, fears and motivations. Andrea Clarke tells the story of the five Tudor monarchs via their letters and diaries…

Andrea Clarke, History Extra 2017

Bed and Breakfast in Seventeenth Century England

In the seventeenth century, the coaching inn, sometimes called a coaching house or staging inn, was a vital hub of travel anywhere in England. Coaching inns were used to stable and feed the teams of horses necessary for stagecoaches and mail coaches. Travellers depended on the inns if they were going on a long journey.

Deborah Swift, English Historical Fiction Authors 2016

Chester UK Walking Tour – Video

A walking tour of Chester, located in the North West of England, in the County of Cheshire and on the border of North Wales.

David Mitchell, Tour Guides Travel Guides 2016

Christmas with Sam and Elizabeth

Ron White draws on the diaries of Samuel Pepys to paint a picture of the festive season in the 1660s.

Ron White, History Today 1997

Civil wars and Restoration England – Podcast

Harvard professor David Armitage explores how internal conflicts have changed through history and considers what lessons can be learned for the wars of today. Meanwhile, bestselling popular historian Ian Mortimer guides us through life in England following Charles II’s Restoration – a time of sweeping changes throughout society.

David Armitage, Ian Mortimer, History Extra 2017

Coffee, plague and the Great Fire: the pleasures and perils of Restoration London

What was life like for a 17th-century Londoner? Two of the greatest disasters in London’s history both occurred in the 1660s: plague and fire struck the city in successive years. Neither was a novelty.

Nick Rennison, History Extra 2016

Courtship and a Woman’s Responsibilities

Courtship preceded an engagement and was a period of time that allowed a man and woman to discover whether or not they were compatible. Because marriage was the goal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, courtship was important, and perspective mates attempted to put their best foot forward.

Geri Walton, Unique histories from the 18th and 19th centuries 2014

England’s Bath and York – Rick Steve’s Walking Tour – Video

In Bath, we visit the Georgian House and Roman baths, learn even more about this elegant spa town on a free town walk, drop in on the Fashion Museum and the Museum of Bath at Work, and the Bizarre Bath street-theater walk. In York, we visit the majestic York Minster, the slice-of-life Yorkshire Museum, and the National Railway Museum.

Rick Steves 2013

Enlightened Princesses review – royals who shaped modern Britain

An excellent book, edited by Joanna Marschner, considers the progressive initiatives of three 18th-century princesses.

Kathryn Hughes, Guardian 2017

Georgian London: Into the Streets

Tracy Borman applauds an ambitious exploration of everyday life in London during the 18th and 19th centuries

Tracy Borman, History Extra 2014

Paths of Glory

In the 18th century, the Royal Navy offered the quickest road to wealth

Paul Lay, History Today 2017

Where did the monks go after the dissolution of the monasteries?

Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in England created the issue of what to do with those being ‘expelled’ from their homes…

James Kelly, History Extra

Centaur or fop? How horsemanship made the Englishman a man

Equestrian skill and the ability to present oneself as a unified being with a mount was a central component, for many, of what it meant to be a man.

Monica Mattfeld, Aeon 2017

Everything you know about 17th-century London is wrong

It is an era popularised by Guy Fawkes, the plague and the Great Fire of London. But, as author Matt Brown explains, much of what we think we know about the 17th century is incorrect. Here he picks apart some of the myths and misconceptions about the period.

Matt Brown, History Extra 2016

Great Fire of London (September 1666) – Podcast

This account of the Great Fire of London is taken from the ‘Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Happy New Year, or End of the World? Early Modern Apocalypse Predictions

As with any time period, people who lived in the medieval and early modern period did not know for certain that we would be sitting here hundreds of years later, and so, too, were periodically consumed with the idea of an imminent apocalypse.

Just History Posts 2017

History of housekeeping, household antiques, domestic objects

Domestic life, household management – how people ran their homes and did the daily chores. Yesterday’s everyday objects are today’s antiques or museum pieces, making us curious about past ways of life. Old & Interesting takes a look at how these everyday things were used, how people managed their home life – and more.

Old & Interesting

Prize-Winning Animation Lets You Fly Through 17th Century London – Video

Six students from De Montfort University have created a stellar 3D representation of 17th century London, as it existed before The Great Fire of 1666. The three-minute video provides a realistic animation of Tudor London, and particularly a section called Pudding Lane where the fire started.

Pudding Lane Productions, Crytek Off The Map 2013

The Evolution of Conviviality – Podcast

From the birth of London’s coffee houses to the development of its Gentleman’s clubs. The first part of the podcast features Dr Matthew Green of Unreal City Audio relating how caffeine radically transformed the character of the city – and of its citizens.

Dr. Matthew Green

The Unhappy Mansion

Bedlam was a constant in art and literature throughout the 18th century. In it, madness was otherworldly, bestial, pitiable and female – a mirror for concerns about society.

Anna Jamieson, History Today 2017

Virtual Time Binoculars – Edinburgh 1544 – Video

The technology is the result of a collaboration between St Andrews historians, art historians, computer scientists and University spinout company Smart History. The result is an interactive tour of the capital as it appeared in 1544, just before the city was sacked and burned by an English army led by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford.

Smart History 2017

Directory at Century Past History Resources

 

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