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Posts tagged History (406)
Nos 111 to 120
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2 two-part story
Malcolm Arnold
Mediaeval History
King Stephen (1135-1154)
The Battle of the Standard
Scottish King David I hoped to exploit the unpopularity of the Normans by trading on his own English heritage.

ON the death of Henry I in 1135, his daughter Matilda was pushed aside by her more popular cousin Stephen, Duke of Normandy. Matilda’s uncle, King David of Scotland, volunteered to support her.

Aware that Northumberland had suffered cruelly under William the Conqueror’s ‘Harrying of the North’, David spun his campaign as a long overdue revolt against the Normans, and marched under the ancient White Dragon of Wessex.

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No. 111
Cipriani Potter
Discovery and Invention
King George IV (1820-1830)
The Rainhill Trials
To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.

IN 1829 George Stephenson, appointed to build England’s first purpose-built passenger line, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, wanted to prove to doubters that steam locomotives could handle the traffic better than cable-hauled or horse-drawn carriages.

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No. 112
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
The Great War
King George V (1910-1936)
Captain Charles Fryatt
A civilian ferry captain was court-martialled by the Germans for thumbing his nose at their U-Boats.

ON July 27th, 1916, Captain Charles Fryatt, a civilian, was brought before a German military court in Bruges.

Entered into evidence were two gold watches presented to the captain by his employers, the Great Central Railway and the Great Eastern. One commemorated the occasion on March 3rd, 1915, when under Fryatt’s command SS Wrexham escaped the clutches of a U-Boat in a breathless pursuit over forty nautical miles.

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No. 113
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
St Nicholas and the Empty Granary
The saintly Bishop helped the captain of a merchant ship to cut through the red tape, and save his town from starvation.

IN 333, Lycia suffered one of the worst famines anyone could remember. It was especially bad in Myra, where St Nicholas was bishop, and the granary at the port of Andriaca, built by the Emperor Hadrian, stood empty.

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No. 114
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
St Cuthbert and the Phantom Fire
The Northumbrian saint warned of an enemy who would stop at nothing to silence the good news.

CUTHBERT was once addressing a crowd gathered in the street of a small Northumbrian village, when he broke off in mid flow to say:

‘Whatever happens, never let yourselves be distracted by the devil’s trickery.’

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No. 115
George Frideric Handel
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
India’s First Railway
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.

AT 3.30pm on April 16th, 1853, as the band played ‘God Save the Queen’, fourteen railway carriages carrying four hundred VIPs jolted, and left Bombay for Thane. It was the opening day of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, India’s first passenger-carrying line, and ahead were twenty-one miles of 5'6" track, which the triple-headed train gobbled up in forty-five minutes.

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No. 116
Frank Bridge
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Britain’s Best Gift to India
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHEN Edmund Burke, in 1783, arraigned the British Government for their neglect of India, he said: “England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs... Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the ourang-outang or the tiger.” But that reproach no longer exists.

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No. 117
John Hebden
Modern History
The Battle of Flamborough Head
An American revolutionary harassed British commercial shipping off the Yorkshire coast, with mixed results.

IN September 1779, John Paul Jones, a commander in the American Continental Navy, led a makeshift flotilla of French ships around Scotland and down into the North Sea, harassing commercial shipping as far as Bridlington.

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No. 118
2 two-part story
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Discovery and Invention
King George V (1910-1936) to King George VI (1936-1952)
Alan Blumlein
Railway enthusiast, music lover, and the man who gave us stereo sound.

IN 1935 Alan Blumlein, an avid railway enthusiast, made a five-minute film of trains running through Hayes in Middlesex.

There was a serious purpose to Blumlein’s subject. A maddening feature of early talkies was that as actors moved around the screen, the sound of their voices and movements appeared rooted to one spot.

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No. 119
2 two-part story
Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov and Maxim Berezovsky
Lives of the Saints
Ottoman Empire (1453-1922)
St Ahmed
A Turkish official was itching to know the secret behind a Russian slave girl’s personal charm.

AHMED was a curator of the library in seventeenth-century Constantinople. He had two Russian slave women, one a beautiful young girl whom he kept at home, and the other an older lady he allowed to go to church.

When she returned, Ahmed noticed, the two women would be closeted together for a time, and afterwards a delightful fragrance would hang around the younger one.

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No. 120
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
Music by John Field
(1782-1837)
A Dubliner with a roving eye and a gift for melody, John Field challenged some of Europe’s finest pianists to demand more of themselves and their music.
The cruelty of the Ottoman Turks so shocked Europe that the tide of opinion turned against them.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A meditation on our instinctive love for the place in which we live.
The former Prime Minister threw his weight behind a national home for Jewish people in their historic lands.
How appropriate that the comic opera ‘Patience’ should introduce the world to the results of thirty years of labour.

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History (406)
Polywords (183)
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Doublets (34)
Railways (23)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Truly, Madly’
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 ‘perceptive’ (5 letters), and ‘English artist’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.