Archive for the ‘History’ Category


King William III and “the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat”

December 10th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Today I was passing through St James’s Square in central London and took the opportunity to check out a statute in the middle of the square’s gardens. It is an equestrian statute with some kind of lump underneath one of the horse’s hoofs. What’s it all about? You’ll find the explanation here.

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Please don’t confuse the Jacobites with the Jacobins

December 5th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just finished a six-week evening course at London’s City Literary Institute on the subject of “The Making Of The United Kingdom 1603-1801”. There was frequent reference to the Jacobites. These were people who remained loyal to the Stuart dynasty in exile, headed by the Catholic James, after the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689 which brought […]

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A review of the new bio-pic “Harriet”

November 30th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Araminta “Minty” Ross was born a slave in the American state of Maryland probably in 1822 but, when she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, she took the ‘free name’ of Harriet Tubman. As if her own escape was not remarkable enough, she subsequently made some 13 missions back south to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, […]

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Ever heard of the Darien Scheme? Maybe if you’re Scottish …

November 25th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’m doing a six-week evening class at London’s City Literary Institute entitled: “The Making Of The United Kingdom 1603-1801: Restoration, Revolution, and Political Unions”. Last week’s session – the fourth – included reference to something that I’d never heard of before: the Darien Scheme. This was a plan for the formation of a Scottish colony […]

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A review of the new blockbuster movie “Midway”

November 17th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

While “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (1970) and “Pearl Harbor” (2001) both portrayed the Japanese attack on the Americans in December 1941, “Midway” is an account of the American defeat of the Japanese in the battle of June 1942. Like “Tora!”, this new movie includes the Japanese point of view with use of Japanese dialogue and sub-titles. […]

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Once upon a time, Britain actually had a revolution …

November 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

… but it was a very British revolution. I’m doing a six-week evening class at London’s City Literary Institute entitled: “The Making Of The United Kingdom 1603-1801: Restoration, Revolution, and Political Unions”. This week’s session – the third – was all about the 1688-90 Revolution. It is known as the Glorious Revolution or the Bloodless […]

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A war to end no wars

November 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This evening, I was returning home in the dark when an elderly couple asked me for directions to a location on London’s South Bank and I took them to the place they were seeking to link up with their son. The husband told me that a short animation had been made about his wife’s grandfather […]

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How did Britain’s two-party system come about?

November 7th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’m doing a six-week evening class at London’s City Literary Institute entitled: “The Making Of The United Kingdom 1603-1801: Restoration, Revolution, and Political Unions”. This week’s session – the second – was all about the reign of King Charles II, a period which saw the emergence of the two-party system of politics in Britain. The […]

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Did you know that the Italians bombed Britain in the Second World War?

November 3rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I didn’t – even though I know a fair bit about World War Two and my mother was Italian. Check out this short video:

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Why the English civil war is a misnomer

November 1st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This week, I started a new six-week evening class at London’s City Literary Institute. The course – deliver by Dr Jamie McDougall – is entitled: “The Making Of The United Kingdom 1603-1801: Restoration, Revolution, and Political Unions”. I thought it would be a good time to understand how the UK was created when we are […]

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