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Posts tagged History (407)
Nos 1 to 10
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Gustav Holst
Lives of the Saints
For Theophany
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
Abbot Elfric unpacks the meaning of the gifts of the Three Wise Men.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

THESE three astrologers came and offered him symbolic gifts. Gold symbolised that he is true King; frankincense that he is true God; and myrrh that, though he now lives immortal evermore, he was mortal then.

Some heretics believed he was God, but not that he reigned anywhere: they offered frankincense to Christ spiritually, but would not offer gold.

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No. 1
Thomas Linley the Younger
Liberty and Prosperity
Big Spenders
Adam Smith warns that politicians are the last people who should lecture the public about how to run their affairs.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

GREAT nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue is, in most countries, employed in maintaining unproductive hands.

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No. 2
Charles Avison
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820)
Spinning Jenny
James Hargreaves’s historic invention was not without its critics when it first appeared.

IN the 1760s, John Kay’s new ‘flying shuttle’ looms allowed Colchester’s weavers to double their output. More cloth at lower prices promised full order-books and new jobs across the textile industry, but spinning was still a laborious handicraft, and could not supply enough yarn. The looms fell silent, and unemployed weavers smashed them, sending Kay in fear to Paris.

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No. 3
2 two-part story
Anonymous and John Dowland
Tudor Era
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
The Ridolfi Plot
The Pope and the King of Spain decide that the time has come to rid England of her troublesome Queen, Elizabeth I.

IN 1568, King Philip II of Spain borrowed £400,000 from Genoa to fund his government of the Spanish Netherlands, and help the Governor, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba, to reinvigorate the Inquisition there.

But as Philip’s ships entered the Channel, French Huguenots came to the aid of their Dutch neighbours and drove the ships to port in England. Elizabeth impounded Philip’s gold for her Treasury, the latest in a series of provocations by the English Queen.

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No. 4
Thomas Morley
Tudor Era
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Asylum Christi
Samuel Smiles explains how Tudor England was transformed from sleepy backwater to hive of industry.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE religious persecutions of Philip II of Spain and of Charles IX of France shortly supplied England with the population of which she stood in need — active, industrious, intelligent artisans. Philip set up the Inquisition in Flanders, and the Duchess of Parma, writing to Philip II in 1567, informed him that in a few days above 100,000 men had already left the country with their money and goods, and that more were following every day.

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No. 5
Muzio Clementi
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820)
Not for Sale
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)

SCIENCE for its progression requires patronage, - but it must be a patronage bestowed, a patronage received, with dignity. It must be preserved independent. It can bear no fetters, not even fetters of gold, and least of all those fetters in which ignorance or selfishness may attempt to shackle it.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
‘Please Respect our Traditions’
Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens took his wartime protest straight to the top.

DIMITRIS Papandreou was elected Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens in 1938. At that time, Greece was under a state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas, whose Fascist sympathies Damaskinos emphatically did not share. The appointment was blocked, and Damaskinos was kept under house arrest in Salamina until the Germans came in 1941.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Ernest Walker
Modern History
King Edward VII (1901-1910) to King George V (1910-1936)
Srinivasa Ramanujan
A maths prodigy from Madras became so wrapped up in his sums that he forgot to pass his examinations.

SUCH was Srinivasa Ramanujan’s passion for numbers that at eleven, two college maths students who lodged with his family in Kumbakonam, near Madras, could no longer satisfy his burning curiosity. At sixteen, he borrowed a book with thousands of problems in Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Calculus, and worked out solutions for them all.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
The Great Bengal Famine
The Governor of Bengal accused the East India Company of turning a crisis into a humanitarian catastrophe.

IN 1769, farming in Bengal was already in a weakened state after years of harassment by Maratha raiding parties, burning crops and destroying villages. Then heavy monsoon rains and a subsequent drought caused two rice harvests to fail.

Governor John Cartier could have done little about that. But in 1772, his successor Warren Hastings conducted an inquiry, and concluded that the Company had nonetheless gravely exacerbated the crisis.

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No. 9
Thomas Linley the Younger
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
An Avoidable Tragedy
Adam Smith argued that the Bengal Famine of 1769 would have been much less of a tragedy under a free trade policy.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

IN rice countries, where the crop not only requires a very moist soil, but where, in a certain period of its growing, it must be laid under water, the effects of a drought are much more dismal. Even in such countries, however, the drought is, perhaps, scarce ever so universal as necessarily to occasion a famine, if the government would allow a free trade.

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No. 10
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf takes us to the threshold of God’s holy city, and gives us a choice.
By William Wordsworth
(1770-1850)
A poem about the blessing of fond memories.
Based on the ‘Historia de Sancto Cuthberto’
(11th century)
An everyday act of charity triggered off a series of extraordinary events.
Shortly after Askold and Dir founded Kiev in 862, they launched a brazen but ill-fated assault on the capital of the Roman Empire.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (407)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Nest’
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 Newcastle (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 Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘princes and princesses, kings and queens’ (7 letters), and ‘jump up and down on one foot’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SPIT and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.