All Posts (679)
Nos 221 to 230
Cipriani Potter
Liberty and Prosperity
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Character Witness
A former convict gives his own account of his debt to Thomas Wright, the prisoner’s friend.

“FIVE years ago I was” owns a certain G. J. “in the New Bailey, convicted of felony and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. When I was discharged from prison, I could get no employment. I went to my old employer to ask him to take me again.

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No. 221
Cipriani Potter
Liberty and Prosperity
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Prisoner’s Friend
Thomas Wright never earned more than a foreman’s wage, but he helped hundreds of prisoners back into society.

WHEN Thomas Wright learnt that a fellow employee at the Manchester foundry where he worked was to be sacked just because he was an ex-convict, he put down £20 as a guarantee of the man’s good behaviour. But by the time Wright reached the man’s lodgings, bursting with good news, the poor fellow had packed up and fled.

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No. 222
Johann Baptist Cramer
Liberty and Prosperity
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Great Baby
Charles Dickens rails at the way Parliament and do-gooders treat the public like an irresponsible child.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THERE are two public bodies remarkable for knowing nothing of the people, and for perpetually interfering to put them right. The one is the House of Commons; the other the Monomaniacs. Between the Members and the Monomaniacs, the devoted People, quite unheard, get harried and worried to the last extremity.

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No. 223
2 two-part story
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
Lives of the Saints
Russian Empire (1721-1917)
The Bearded Foreigner
A Japanese swordsman confronts a Russian monk for... actually, he’s not really quite sure.

IN 1860, the Russian consul in Japan wrote home to St Petersburg asking for a missionary to come to Hakodate. The man they sent was a newly ordained priest-monk, Nicholas Kasatkin.

Nicholas spent fourteen hours a day mastering Japanese language and culture by listening to storytellers and Buddhist preachers on the streets of Hakodate.

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No. 224
Charles Villiers Stanford
Discovery and Invention
King William IV (1830-1837)
Ireland’s First Railway
The Dublin to Dun Laoghaire line opened in 1834, and proved a remarkable testimony to the speed of technological progress.

THE first railway in Ireland was the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, which opened on 9th October 1834 with a train of eight carriages drawn by the steam locomotive ‘Hibernia’, a 2-2-0 designed by Richard Roberts of Manchester.

The line was paid for by Dublin businessmen, keen to transport goods in bulk between the city and the port at Kingstown, better known today as Dun Laoghaire.

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No. 225
2 two-part story
Frank Bridge
Sport History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901) to King George V (1910-1936)
Ranji
A young Indian student from Cambridge was selected for England’s cricket team after public pressure.

IN June 1896, the British cricketing public were grumbling about the omission of a gifted Sussex batsmen from the first Test against Australia. The issue was eligibility, as he was an Indian national, K.S. Ranjitsinhji.

But George Trott, Australia’s big-hearted captain, rubber-stamped Ranjitsinhji’s appearance in the second Test, where ‘Ranji’ repaid him by battering his bowlers around Old Trafford.

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No. 226
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Cuthbert, the Bridle and the Book
One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.

IN about 882, the little band of monks who cared for St Cuthbert’s coffin boarded a ship at Workington, seeking refuge in Ireland from the Danish invasion. But three miles out a storm arose, washing their cherished, hand-painted copy of the Gospels overboard, and tossing their little ship ashore at Whithorn in Galloway.

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No. 227
John Field
Frederick Douglass
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
A Selfish Liberty
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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No. 228
2 two-part story
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Well Out Of It
Anne Elliot is mortified to hear Frederick Wentworth’s opinion of her, but manages to find comfort in his words.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

“CAPTAIN Wentworth is not very gallant by you, Anne, though he was so attentive to me. Henrietta asked him what he thought of you, when they went away, and he said, ‘You were so altered he should not have known you again.’”

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No. 229
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Sport History
Max Woosnam
Max fully deserves his reputation as England’s greatest all-round sportsman.

THE oddest of Max Woosnam’s many sporting achievements must be defeating Charlie Chaplin at table tennis, wielding only a butter knife. His more conventional sporting career began with cricket at Winchester College, and a century against the MCC for Public Schools.

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No. 230
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.

About our calendars

Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
Marko adopts drastic measures to get out of repaying the loan of a penny.
The inhuman cruelty of the Nawab of Bengal’s men brought swift retribution on their master.
Music by John Playford
(1623-1686)
In England’s brief but dismal experiment as a Republic, Playford saved traditional English dance music from destruction.
Lost for seventeen centuries, caught up in a war, and used as a pedestal for a plant pot, this is the world’s oldest surviving song.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf wonders at the mystery of the Bethlehem manger, where all the light of heaven was shining.

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 ‘Hide’
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 ‘snare’ (6 letters), and ‘better’ (3 letters)?
Change HIDE into AWAY, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.