English Language and History .com is a collection of two-minute tales drawn from history, myth and fiction. Each tale is accompanied by word games testing grammar and expression, based on textbooks used in British schools from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Latest
A Selfish Liberty
Music: John Field
American anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass contrasts two kinds of ‘nationalist’.
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)

IT was not long after my seeing Mr O’Connell that his health broke down, and his career ended in death. I felt that a great champion of freedom had fallen, and that the cause of the American slave, not less than the cause of his country, had met with a great loss.

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Six Posts
The Obstinacy of Fowell Buxton
Music: John Field
Fatherless teenage tearaway Fowell Buxton was not a promising boy, but the Gurney family changed all that.

AT fifteen, Fowell Buxton was illiterate, idle and self-willed. Yet his mother always insisted, ‘You will see it will turn out well in the end’, and after he was befriended by the family of banker John Gurney, Fowell justified her faith.

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In the Nick of Time
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.

AN African boy named Thomas Lewis was snatched at night by two boatmen working for Robert Stapylton, a wealthy plantation-owner from Chelsea. Thomas was gagged with a stick, tied up, and put aboard a ship bound for Jamaica.

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The Case of Jonathan Strong
two-part story
Music: Charles Avison
Granville Sharp and his surgeon brother William rescued a young African man from the streets of London.

ONE day in 1767, Granville Sharp received a letter from a Jonathan Strong, saying he was in jail and needed help. Unable to put a face to the name, Sharp made enquiries at the jail but was told no such person existed. So he went to see for himself.

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How Britain Abolished Slavery
two-part story
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
The Church’s campaigns against slavery were boosted by competition for labour after the Black Death.

SLAVERY was part of everyday life in Britain both under the Romans and among the Celts, and following the Romans’ withdrawal in 410 the Anglo-Saxon newcomers continued to own and trade in slaves.

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The Bombardment of Algiers
Music: Ignaz Moscheles
For two centuries, human traffickers had stolen English men, women and children for the slave-markets of the Arab world.

WITHIN fifty years of victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, England’s navy was so neglected that Arab pirates from the Barbary coast were raiding Cornish villages and commandeering fishing-boats with impunity, abducting hundreds of men, women and children for slave-labour in docks and on farms, down mines and in homes across the Ottoman Empire.

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David Livingstone
two-part story
Music: Malcolm Arnold
The Scottish missionary and medic believed that slavery could better be eradicated by trade than by force.

IT was at a public meeting, on 1st June, 1840, that with the words ‘Christianity, commerce, civilisation’ Sir Thomas Buxton, an anti-slavery campaigner, awoke medical student David Livingstone to his lifelong calling: to destroy the slave trade by persuading Africa to trade in farm and factory goods rather than people.

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All Posts
Tagged Abolition of Slavery (14 posts)
page 1
1 A Selfish Liberty
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
American anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass contrasts two kinds of ‘nationalist’.
2 Douglass in Britain
Frederick Douglass, the American runaway slave turned Abolitionist, spent some of his happiest days in Britain.
3 Douglass’s Debt
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
British statesmen were among those who inspired the career of one of America’s greatest men, Frederick Douglass.
4 How Britain Abolished Slavery
The Church’s campaigns against slavery were boosted by competition for labour after the Black Death.
5 The Obstinacy of Fowell Buxton
Fatherless teenage tearaway Fowell Buxton was not a promising boy, but the Gurney family changed all that.
6 How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
Based on an article by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.
page 2
7 David Livingstone
The Scottish missionary and medic believed that slavery could better be eradicated by trade than by force.
8 The Bombardment of Algiers
For two centuries, human traffickers had stolen English men, women and children for the slave-markets of the Arab world.
9 The Case of Jonathan Strong
Granville Sharp and his surgeon brother William rescued a young African man from the streets of London.
10 The Anglo-Zanzibar War
It lasted barely forty minutes, but it brought slavery to an end in the little island territory.
11 Fashionable Freedom
By Thomas Clarkson
(1760-1846)
Josiah Wedgwood’s promotional gift made Abolitionism fashionable.
12 In the Nick of Time
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.
page 3
13 The Persistence of Thomas Clarkson
Today, the slave trade is a £150bn global business. Back in the late 18th century, it was making a lot of influential people very rich too, but some in England were determined to stop it.
14 Somersett’s Case
James Somersett’s new Christian family used every available means to keep him from slavery.
Authors
Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846)
1 post
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
2 posts
New Stories
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)
John Stuart Mill reminds us that governments and the courts must never be allowed to criminalise matters of belief or opinion.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens sketches for us the shyly ingratiating youth who gets himself in a tangle in the presence of Beauty.
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
New Puzzles
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Try writing complete sentences using these nouns as either the subject or the object of a verb.
Try writing complete sentences using these verbs in either the active or the passive voice.
Polyword ‘Mouse’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or London (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Puzzles
Do you know ‘current of cold air’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. fascinator’ (3 letters)?
An arithmetical puzzle based on the popular TV show.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FREE and finish with KICK.
Do you know ‘entertainer’ (7 letters), and ‘distant’ (3 letters)?
Do you know ‘bashful’ (3), and ‘an open area of shrubs and coarse grass’ (5)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
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History (360)
Fiction (78)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

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numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

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