Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He ascended to the throne at the age of 60 on the death of his mother in 1901 and reigned for 9 years.

The statue, which stands in Waterloo Place, was erected by his son, King George V in 1921 and is by Sir Bertram MacKennal, an Australian sculptor who also designed the likeness of George V that appeared on his coinage.

It is interesting that apart from the materials from which they were made the Roman doctor /surgeons instrument kit resembles that which was still in use up until relatively recent times

Probes, needles and sharp hooks

Probes, needles and sharp hooks

Scoops, probes and spoons

Scoops, probes and spoons





These examples all from the collection of the British Museum


This image of a doctor’s surgery is taken from a Greek vase made in Athens about 480 to 470 BCE. On the left the dwarf can be seen ushering the patients into the surgery, where people are waiting to be seen by a physician. In the centre a seated Physician is seen treating a patient’s arm. Another patient who was already been treated and has his arm bandaged looks on. The hare or rabbit held by the dwarf may be the patients payment to the physician for the treatment he is receiving.

This frieze can be seen in the British Museum and the vase in the Musee du Louvre in Paris

Born in 1782, he was brought up by his Uncle, the Earl of Derby, after his father died the same year. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1798.

He served at the siege of Malta (1800) and the capture of Alexandria (1807). He served on the staffs of Sir John Moore and Sir Arthur Wellesley during the Penninsula war from 1808-1815 rising to the rank of Lieutenant – Colonel. After a brief spell in the USA, he returned to France. In 1821 he was appointed Commander at the Royal engineers Depot at Chatham and in 1828 he became Garrison Engineer at Portsmouth. In 1838 he was promoted to Major-General and Knighted.

In 1845 he was appointed Inspector-General of Fortifications and worked on defences in Gibraltar and the Crimea as well as in the UK. In 1854 he became Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers, being promoted to the rank of General the following year. In 1865 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London and retired in 1868 with the rank of Field Marshall.

By Roger Fenton – Library of Congress, Public Domain,

He died in London in 1871 and was buried in Brompton Cemetry.


The Kingston Down brooch dates from between 600 to 625 A.D. This is one of the finest Anglo-Saxon brooches ever discovered and contains over 830 pieces of metal together with garnets, blue glass and Pearl inlay on a gold framework. It has been suggested that it may well have come from the same workshop as the finds discovered at Sutton Hoo in Essex. However despite it’s finery this was not just a display item and the wear pattern suggests it was quite regularly used and had been repaired a number of times. It was discovered at Kingston Down in Kent by Brian Fausett in 1771 and was offered the British Museum, following his death, in 1853. Amazingly, the British Museum declined the offer, apparently because at that time it had no interest in British history! A few years later it was purchased by Joseph Mayo and presented to Liverpool Museum where it can be seen today.

Today in 1902 Thomas Tally reportedly opened the first permanent movie theatre in the USA on S Main, Los Angeles. Although movies had been shown prior to this date, Tally had been operating in Los Angeles since 1896, this was the first time they had been shown in a building dedicated to showing movies.
Tally’s claim to the first dedicated movie theatre has been challenged as some researchers say records show that a dedicated movie theatre had existed in both New York and Buffalo since 1896.

Thomas Tally (1915)
By The Moving Picture World – The Moving Picture World, July 10, 1915 (page 263), Public Domain,

In 1912 he was the first exhibitor to show a colour film in Los Angeles. Tally was also involved in an early organisation distributing films between exhibitors in major American cities.

Colin Campbell was born, Colin MacIver, in Glasgow in October 1792. After school, his uncle Major John Campbell, arranged for him to go to Gosport Military Academy. It here that it is believed that it was wrongly assumed that the boy had the same name as his uncle and so he was enrolled as Colin Campbell.

He joined the 9th Regiment of Foot as an ensign on May 26th 1808 and was posted to the Iberian Peninsula where he fought at the battle of Vimeiro in August of that year. He was promoted Lieutenant in July 1809. His battalion was transferred to Gibraltar in 1810 and he took part in the battle of Barrosa, where he was commended for his bravery. He took part in a number of other battles during the Peninsula war before being promoted to Captain and transferred to the 60th (Royal American) Regiment. He was sent to Nova Scotia but soon returned to England.

Following the contraction of the army after the battle of Waterloo, Campbell joined the 21st North British Fusiliers in 1818. He travelled to the West Indies and whilst there took part in suppressing a slave revolt in Demerara. He returned to England in 1828 and after spending some time in Ireland became commanding officer of the 98th Foot and was sent to China. In December 1842 he was made a Colonel and appointed commandant of Hong Kong. 1847 saw him transfer to India where he was involved in a number of battles. But after a disagreement with the Governor-General regarding punitive raids he resigned his commission.

In 1854, with the outbreak of the Crimean war, Campbell accepted the command of the Highland Brigade. During the battle of Alma, Campbell and his ‘Thin Red Line’ of Highlanders turned back the Russian attack on Balaclava. He was knighted in 1855 and returned home in 1856.

The following year he returned to India and was appointed to the command of all British forces and led the relief of the siege of Lucknow. In 1858 he was created Baron Clyde of Clydesdale. In retirement, he was promoted to Field Marshall in 1863 and died the following year at his home near Chatham. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

This Statue by Carlo Marochetti in Waterloo Place was erected in 1867.

St Martin, Exeter

Posted: March 27, 2019 in Devon, History, Medieval History, UK

The site of an ancient church in the Cathedral Close, most of the current church dates to the 15th century. Its furnishings reflect the 17th and 18th-century low-church tradition.


Built in the mid 15th century to house 13 ‘poor men of good character’. In the 17th century, married couples were admitted and in the 18th century, the constitution was changed again restricting occupancy to single women or widows. The residents were moved to new accommodation in 1890, but the almshouses continued to be used as homes for the destitute until it was bombed in 1942.

Artists impression of the Almshouses

St Stephen, Exeter

Posted: March 25, 2019 in Devon, History, UK

This church on the High Street was founded in Anglo-Saxon times but has been remodelled over the centuries, the latest being in 2012 when the church interior was redesigned to enable it to function as a space for community activities as well as church services