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Posts tagged History (406)
Nos 371 to 380
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Modern History
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.

THOMAS Clarkson was assured that all slaves were actually prisoners of war, and that if they were not sold into slavery they would be killed.

Of course, Clarkson knew that free people were being hunted down and enslaved. But he needed a witness to prove it.

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No. 371
Elias Parish Alvars
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
The Keeper of the Gate
A widow cast her precious icon into the sea rather than see it dishonoured by government agents, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

A WEALTHY widow from Nicaea near Constantinople kept an icon of Mary, a criminal offence at the time. Rather than see it harmed again - a soldier’s sword had already left a scar on its cheek - she set it afloat on the Aegean Sea.

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No. 372
Felix Mendelssohn
Lives of the Saints
St Nicholas of the Cats
A very unusual monastery with some very unusual protectors.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

THE monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats was founded on Cyprus by St Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, in the 4th century.

But the site on the Akrotiri peninsula was infested with venomous snakes, so much so that the local residents began to leave.

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No. 373
Mediaeval History
King Edward III (1327-1377)
Black Agnes Dunbar
When Edward III sent the Earl of Salisbury to take her absent husband’s castle, Agnes brushed his attack aside - literally.

IN 1338, King Edward III of England saw a chance to put his own man, Edward Balliol, on the Scottish throne.

So he sent the Earl of Salisbury to lay siege to Dunbar Castle on the Scottish border, while the Earl of Dunbar, Patrick, was away in France.

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No. 374
York Bowen
Plantagenet Era
King Richard II (1377-1399)
The Peasants’ Revolt
In 1381, fourteen-year-old King Richard II was faced with a popular uprising against excessive taxation and government meddling in the labour market.

AFTER the Black Death wiped out nearly three-quarters of England’s population in the 1340s, fit working men were scarce. Much to their disgust, wealthy landowners actually found themselves bidding against each other for a labourer’s favour.

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No. 375
Charles Avison
Plantagenet Era
King Edward III (1327-1377)
The Battle of Neville’s Cross
Ralph Neville spoiled David of Scotland’s alliance with France in the Hundred Years’ War

FOLLOWING a heavy defeat at the Battle of Crécy on the 26th of August, 1346, King Philip VI of France appealed to the Scottish King David II to honour the ‘Auld Alliance’, and help him by harassing England from the north.

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No. 376
Richard Jones
Cat Stories
The Tale of Dick Whittington
The 14th century Mayor of London owed his fortune (and his wife) to his cat.

WHEN Dick Whittington was a young boy, the merchant he worked for demanded that each of his employees invest something in his latest venture, a trade agreement with a wealthy African prince.

Dick had no money, so the merchant took Dick’s beloved cat and put it on board ship, bound for Africa.

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No. 377
Charles Avison
Mediaeval History
The Assassination of Thomas Becket
Four knights thought they were helping their King, but they could not have made a greater mistake.

THOMAS Becket was in exile in France, at a monastery in Pontigny, when he remarked to the Abbot, “I dreamt, last night, that I was put to death.”

“Do you think you are going to be a martyr?” smiled the Abbot. “You eat and drink too much for that!”

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No. 378
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Lives of the Saints
King Alfred the Great (871-899)
King Alfred and the Beggar
An everyday act of charity triggered off a series of extraordinary events.
Based on the ‘Historia de Sancto Cuthberto’
(11th century)

EARLY in his reign, King Alfred was driven out of the Kingdom of Wessex by the invading Danes.

With a handful of loyal men, he took refuge in a house in Glastonbury, which at that time was a hill completely surrounded by water.

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No. 379
Charles Avison
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
A Battle of Wills
Two strong and determined men refused to back down.
Based on ‘A Book of Golden Deeds’ by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

WHEN the Emperor came to the Sunday service that week (he was staying in Milan), Bishop Ambrose refused to let him in.

Theodosius reminded him that King David was a murderer and an adulterer, yet still attended the Temple in Jerusalem. 'If you have sinned like him’ replied Ambrose, ‘repent like him’.

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No. 380
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
One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.
What George Stephenson was to the railways of England, Sandford Fleming was to the railways of Canada.
Henry VII’s great-granddaughter Mary never grasped that even royalty must win the people’s respect.
Two frantic parents implore St Nicholas’s help in rescuing their baby boy.
Based on a short story by Amy Walton
(1845-1925)
Part One. Ruth Lorimer’s strangely comfortless life changes when she finds a scruffy little cat on the stairs, but not everyone is pleased.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Gable’
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 ‘a town like Bath’ (3 letters), and ‘deteriorate’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with COAL and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.