Tag Archives: historical miscellany

Historical Miscellany #39 – Damn’d Eyes [1766]

Image: A field in Worcestershire From Adams Weekly Courant, 25 March 1766, taken from The Gloucester Journal “We have an account of a very extraordinary instance of Divine vengeance that happened about a week ago at Chalford in this county. One Richard Parsons, a young man of that place, was playing at cards, and he […]

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Historical Miscellany #38 – An Essay on Blockheads [1802]

(Image: “Punch Cures the Gout” by James Gillray) (The following essay we copy with much approbation from the New York Evening Post) A blockhead is neither an ideot, nor madman. He is one who goes on through the broad road of life with the rest of mankind carrying a load of follies at his back, […]

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Historical Miscellany #36 – A Roast Dinner Cooked on the Ice over the River Exe [1855]

(From The Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, and General Advertiser, 23 February 1855) A singular occurrence in gastronomic science was tried on Tuesday week, on the ice in the centre of the River Exe, at St Thomas. The severity of the frost having coated the surface of the river with a thick crust of ice, […]

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Historical Miscellany #35 – The Sensations of a Drowning Man, 1847

Francis Beaufort: The Sensations of a Drowning Man (Link)

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Historically Miscellany #34 The Death of Anticipation [1743]

Here’s my first HM from Gladstone’s Library. The communication revolution of the last century or so has allowed us to discover news almost instantaneously, and so I’ve picked out the letter below from Horace Walpole, the long-serving, Whig prime minister as an example of something that could never be written today. It took three weeks […]

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Historical Miscellany #33 – First description of a pineapple [1647]

I took a break from my weather books in the British Library on Wednesday and spent twenty minutes with Johnson’s The Gardiner’s Monthly from 1847 – a stern and scrupulous Victorian production. It included this early (apparently the first recorded) description of a pineapple: Annana pineas, the pinia, or pine thistle is a plant having […]

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