What's all this then?

My name is Victoria Stiles and I'm an Early Career Historian currently doing whatever odd research / consulting / outreach / tutoring jobs come my way. I blog here about some of the interesting texts I've found.
My research focusses on books about Britain and the British Empire which were in circulation in Nazi Germany but you'll also find a smattering of school textbooks, witchcraft beliefs, bog drainage, bemused travellers and weird illustrations that caught my eye.
Translations from German are my own. Comments are currently unmoderated and are mostly spam for leather jackets anyway.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cuttings - Lancaster - June 1811

Two stories of military misconduct from the Lancaster Gazette, June 1811. The best thing about these for me is the presence of the words "sennight", "grazier" and "whither". Every day's a school day. Bear in mind that these events take place in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars.

On Friday sennight, a court-martial was held at Boston, on a private in the Local Militia assembled there, named Bilton, for having absented himself from duty, and behaving insolently to his officers - The Court sentenced him, for these offences, to the months imprisonment in the county gaol, - the first and last fortnights of the time in solitary confinement: and the man was accordingly taken under guard to Lincoln on Saturday, and delivered into custody at the castle.

A Lieutenant in the above regiment resigned his commission on Monday, rather than undergo a court-martial on his conduct for appearing in town to be married, at a time when he was availing himself of the excuse of illness for not joining the regiment this year. He is a considerable grazier at Pinchbeck; and when on the point of leading his intended bride into Boston church, was arrested by order of the Colonel, and taken into the field of exercise; whither, in a short time, the lady (albeit, not remarkable for modesty) followed, and demanded her gentleman; and it was with difficulty she could be scared away.

The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Cuttings - Wrexham, April 1894 - Part III

Final clippings from the Wrexham Daily Advertiser, with the loose connecting theme of "cures which are clearly bonkers".

Extract from "Our Ladies' Column - By one of themselves", April 28, 1894

"I had a paper sent to me from Cannes the other day by a doctor who is resting there on his return from the Medial Congress at ROme, and in it I find that both the "Lancet" and the "British Medical Journal" have submitted this "Champagne sans sucre" to exhaustive analysis, and they both declare that it supplies a long-felt want to the medical profession, who hitherto have been afraid to prescribe champagne to their patients because of the sugar ordinarily contained in it, but that this "Laurent Perrier sugarless Champagne" removes the objection, and in addition it is assisted in its reviving effect by the introduction of a proportion of coca leaf extract. Of course, all champagne is a rather costly and luxurious beverage, but taken in moderation, and by those thos are exhausted through illness or overwork, I do not think it will be found to be an extravagant remedy, and it certainly is a pleasant one. All these restorative luxuries I mention for the benefit of my readers, though I hope they may not require them."

Advertisement from the front page of the same edition:

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cuttings - Wrexham, 1894 - Part II

Following Monday's revelations of a FRAUDULENT NUN in Glasgow, the editor respectfully submits to her readers' attention further extracts from The Wrexham Advertiser and North Wales News.

April 14

"Professor Fleming, the great authority upon electric lighting, is lecturing on the subject at the Royal Institute. He points out that in 1879 a Select Committee of the House of Commons reported that there was no reasonable scientific grounds for believing that the electric light would ever be a practical success. There are now 260 miles of mains in London, and quite 400 miles in the provincial towns."

LOCAL NEWS, April 07

"THE PHONOGRAPH - We invite our readers' attention to the phonograph which is at present on exhibition in the Blossoms Hotel Yard, Charles-street. Mr Garner, the proprietor, has a fine instrument, and the records are of a very superior kind. We have listened to several and can testify that they are exceptionally good. Mr Garner takes most of his own records, and has one of a cornet solo by Mr Lloyd, of the Blossoms Hotel. The proprietor takes more than an ordinary interest in the instrument, and his conversation concerning it shows he thoroughly understands it. No one who has an opportunity should fail to hear this marvellous invention."

FOOTBALL, April 21

"STOCKPORT COUNTY V. NANTWICH. - At Stockport, on Saturday. The home team, who were assisted by a stiff breeze, completely overplayed the visitors in the first half, and goals were obtained by Leigh, Smith, Hewitt, and Upton. At half-time Stockport led by four goals to none. After the interval McCoombe put on another point for Stockport. Nantwich then played up much better, but were unable to score, and retired beaten by five goals to none."

Monday, 20 June 2011

Cuttings - Wrexham, 1894 - Part 1

From the "General News" section of the four April editions of The Wrexham Advertiser and North Wales News, 1894. I'll post cuttings from "Arts and Science", "Local News" and "Football" on Wednesday, followed by advertisements and other bits on Friday. If I get some positive feedback, hopefully I'll make this a regular thing.

April 7th

"Alexander Douglas, alias Donaldson, was sentenced to four years' penal servitude at the Old Bailey, on Monday, for bigamously marrying Annie Crump, a young woman living at Birmingham, who advertised for a husband, and from whom he obtained a number of goods and £80 which she had saved. The prisoner, who is an ex-convict, pleaded in extenuation that his victim had shown great indiscretion, but the judge remarked that the prisoner in making this statement aggravated the offence."

April 14th

"On Sunday afternoon, Mr John Hutton, twenty-three years of age, Great Orton, near Carlisle, went for a ride on his bicycle and returned after a couple of hours' spin. On dismounting he fell dead. He had been suffering from influenza, and was under orders not to do any cycling for a month or two."

"It is announced from Berlin that in spite of the prohibition of the police, experiments have been made indoors with the bullet-proof coat invented by the German tailor Herr Dowe, who himself wore the coat and was shot at. The bullet-resisting property of the garment is said to have been proved. Herr Dowe sustained no injury."

April 24th

"The Bishop of Manchester, writing to the author of a pamphlet entitled, "A Few Plain Words to the Bishop," says that he "lives as plainly as any working man," works harder and more hours than nine out of ten of the working men, and yet is compelled by the expenses incidental to his office to spend £1,000 a year more than his official income."

April 28th

"At Glasgow, on Monday. Sarah McCormick pleaded guilty to falsely representing herself to be a converted nun from Lanark Convent, and inducing the public to pay to hear her recite alleged shocking revelations of convent life. She was sentenced to seven days' imprisonment. A charge against "General" Evans, of the Gospel Army, of aiding in the deception, was dismissed."
(Also appeared in the Birmingham Daily Post Tuesday, April 24, 1894)