Posts Tagged With: English history

Book Review: Castle on the Rise

For more than 800 years, the relationship between England and Ireland was held in a tenuous balance. The English Parliament and Crown felt that Ireland could not and should not be independent of England:

Ireland is too great to be unconnected with us, and too near us to be dependent on a foreign state, and too little to be independent. ~C.T. Grenville, the Duke of Rutland, 3 December 1784.

However, many Irish citizens thought differently. Starting in 1534, the Irish began opposing English claims on their land and demanding sovereignty. Conflicts continued for more than 250 years.

Then, 14 years after the Duke of Rutland uttered his condescending words, the Irish Rebellion of 1798 erupted. Inspired by both the American Revolution and the French Revolution, the Society of United Irishmen, dedicated to the pursuit of a republican form of government in a separate and independent Ireland, took up arms against their English oppressors. The rebellion lasted from 24 May-12 October 1798. When all was said and done, approximately 30,000 Irish were dead.

Fast forward about 125 years to 1916. With England heavily engaged in World War I, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Irish Citizen Army, and Irish Volunteers rose up against English rule in Ireland, demanding an independent Irish Republic. Dubbed the Easter Rising because it occurred during Easter week (24–29 April 1916), it was the most significant Irish uprising since the rebellion of 1798. About 2,600 people were wounded, including at least 2,200 civilians, and more than half of the 485 people killed in the Easter Rising were civilians.

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Book Review: The Familiars

If I were to ask you about witches in history, I bet one of the first things that comes to mind is the Salem Witch Trials. Between February 1692 and May 1693, more than 200 people were accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Nineteen were found guilty and hanged (14 women and five men), one man was crushed to death for refusing to plead, and five others died in jail.

But have you ever heard of the Pendle Witch Trials? In the Summer of 1612, 70 years before Salem, in the remote region of Pendle Hill, Lancashire, England, a dozen people—Jane Bulcock, John Bulcock, Alizon Device, Elizabeth Device, James Device, Alice Gray, Katherine Hewitt, Alice Nutter, Jennet Preston, Anne Redferne, Elizabeth Southerns, and Anne Whittle—were accused of witchcraft. (Most were just herbalists, midwives, or just plain odd ducks.) Although Alice Gray was discharged without trial, the others were charged with the murders of ten people via witchcraft. Elizabeth Southerns died in prison, and Jennet Preston was convicted and hanged at York in July 1612. The remaining nine, along with accused witches from Salmesbury—Ellen Brierley, Jennet Brierley, and Jane Southworth, who were charged with child murder and cannibalism; Margaret Pearson, who was facing her third trial for witchcraft, this time for killing a horse; and Isobel Robey of Windle, who was accused of using witchcraft to cause sickness—were tried at Lancaster Assizes.  Margaret Pearson, a woman of some means, was sentenced to four days in the pillory, while the other Salmesbury accused were acquitted. However, the accused from Pendle did not fare as well. They were convicted and hanged in August 1612.
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Tristram Hull

On this day, 22 February 1667, Tristram Hull (my 11th great-grandfather) passed away.

Circa 1624, Tristram Hull was born in Northleigh, Devonshire, England to the Rev. Joseph Hull and his wife Joanne (Joane). He joined older siblings Joanna, born in 1620, and brother Joseph, born circa 1622.

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Book Review: A Stitch in Time

On 4 August 1914, England declared war on Germany, and the War to End All Wars commenced. Patriotism pervaded the country, prompted by fife and drum corps marching through the city streets. Between 4 August and 12 September, the military held massive voluntary recruitment efforts. A total of 478,893 men joined the army during those two months. It is during one of these patriotic parades that the novel, A Stitch in Time, by Beryl Kingston, begins.

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Book Review: We Shall See the Sky Sparkling

All families have black sheep in their lines—those people who flout society’s expectations and live life on their own terms. During my genealogical research, I have found several ancestors whom would be classified as black sheep; however, I doubt that any of our kin lived their lives with as much determination and passion as Susana Aikin’s heroine in her novel, We Shall See the Sun Sparkling.

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