All Posts (679)
Nos 151 to 160
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Crayke Abbey
The long-lost monastery at Crayke in North Yorkshire was home to two saints with different but equally valuable gifts.

WHEN St Cuthbert was consecrated bishop of Lindisfarne in 685, King Ecgfrith of Northumbria gave him an estate at Crayke, some twelve miles north of York, as a place to stay on his journeys to the capital. Cuthbert at once founded a monastery there, and appointed the first abbot.

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No. 151
Thomas Linley the Younger
Liberty and Prosperity
King George III (1760-1820)
Honourable Mr Fox
The colourful Foreign Secretary humbly accepted a lesson in manners from a local tradesman.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE story is told of a tradesman calling upon him one day for the payment of a promissory note which he presented. Fox was engaged at the time in counting out gold. The tradesman asked to be paid from the money before him. “No,” said Fox, “I owe this money to Sheridan; it is a debt of honour.”

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No. 152
Franz Joseph Haydn
Lives of the Saints
St Erkenwald, Light of London
The seventh-century Bishop of London helped kings and clergy to shine Christian light into the darkness of mere religion.

ERKENWALD was born into a family of royal blood in the Kingdom of Lindsey around 630, and used his inheritance to found a monastery for himself in Chertsey near London, and another for his sister Ethelburga in Barking.

In 674, King Sebbi of Essex was baptised, and Erkenwald’s part in this, together with the high reputation of his two monastic communities, led Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint Erkenwald as Bishop of London in 675.

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No. 153
2 two-part story
Camille Saint-Saens
Extracts from Literature
King George V (1910-1936)
Mr Ivery Gets Away
Richard Hannay tracks a German spy down to a French château, but Hannay’s sense of fair play gives his enemy a chance.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

‘HULLO, Mr Ivery,’ I said. ‘This is an odd place to meet again!’

In his amazement he fell back a step, while his hungry eyes took in my face. There was no mistake about the recognition. I saw something I had seen once before in him, and that was fear. Out went the light and he sprang for the door.

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No. 154
2 two-part story
Mikhail Glinka and Johann Strauss (Jr)
Discovery and Invention
King William IV (1830-1837) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Russia’s First Railway
Sixteen-year-old John Wesley Hackworth brought a locomotive over to St Petersburg, and Russia’s railway revolution was ready for the off.

IN 1836, sixteen-year-old John Wesley Hackworth arrived in the Russian capital, St Petersburg, bearing the heavy responsibility of delivering a steam locomotive, built by his father Timothy at Shildon in County Durham, to the Russian Empire’s first railway line.

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No. 155
2 two-part story
Ann Sheppard Mounsey and William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Ladies’ Diary
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.

THE ‘Ladies’ Diary’, published annually in London from 1704 to 1841, offered an almanack of useful dates, astronomical events, rhyming riddles and readers’ queries, such as

“I should be glad to know, what is the composition of the India rubber; and how and where it is made”.

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No. 156
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
John Dalton
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.

JOHN Dalton, a weaver’s boy, began his teaching career at fifteen, helping his elder brother to run a Quaker school in Kendal. He deepened his education by contributing maths problems to The Ladies’ Diary, and reading scientific works to Kendal’s distinguished natural philosopher John Gough, who was blind, in exchange for lessons in Latin and Greek.

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No. 157
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Undoubting Thomas
Abbot Elfric praised St Thomas for demanding hard evidence for the resurrection.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

THOMAS’S unbelief in Christ’s resurrection was not unforeseen, but happened in the foresight of God; for his touch made believers of us. His doubt did us more good than the other Apostles’ belief. For when that touch brought him to belief, it carried our doubt away.

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No. 158
Gustav Holst
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes
Eurystheus pits his cousin against a son of Ares and some man-eating horses.

ARES, the god of war, had a son named Diomedes, lord of the Bistones, a warrior-tribe that lived near Lake Vistonida in Thrace. Down by the sea Diomedes kept a string of savage mares, chained to bronze mangers in which he gave them man’s flesh to eat.

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No. 159
George Frideric Handel
Tales from the Bible
Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.

DAVID’s attempts at reconciliation with Saul, the King of Israel, had failed – if only they could have drawn swords together against the Philistines! – and though he had parted in affectionate comradeship from Jonathan, the king’s son, David would never see him again.

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No. 160
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 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.

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Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
Music by
Thomas Erskine, Earl of Kellie
An 18th century bon viveur and virtuoso violinist, Thomas Erskine is currently being ‘rediscovered’ by the classical music industry.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
To do one’s duty is to peep into the mystery of life, and taste reward from another world.
A Victorian artist and avid bird-watcher banished cats from his country cottage, but soon wished he hadn’t.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
One week into a Lenten retreat with the Bishop of Hexham, a boy’s miserable life is turned right around.
The British liberated the Ionian islands from Napoleon, then gave them fifty happy years and the game of cricket.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (416)
Polywords (185)
Georgian Era (113)
Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (24)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (18)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Dart’
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 ‘conscientious’ (7 letters), and ‘unreturned serve’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NOTE and finish with BOOK.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.