Queen Victoria was most definitely not amused on the seven occasions that an attempt was made on her life and the first would-be regicide was the baby-faced assassin Edward Oxford.
Oxford was born in Birmingham in 1822, the third child of Hannah Marklew and George Oxford. His father worked in the city’s jewellery trade as a gold chaser, but died when his son was aged seven. Read more ›››
In 1854, the vessel Bella disappeared at sea off South America. On board was Roger Charles Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne estates and baronetcy, who was declared dead – lost at sea.
And yet his mother never gave up hope that he might have survived. She placed advertisements in newspapers around the world seeking information about her son’s fate, and it seemed her faith was rewarded when she received news from Australia. Read more ›››
Titus OatesTitus Oates was one of the most odious figures from history – a self-serving liar, bully, coward and fantasist whose vindictive conspiracy theories brought death and vilification to countless Catholics.
Oates was born in 1649, the son of a Church of England clergyman and even as a child he was hard to like. He was sickly with a permanently runny nose and dribbling mouth and as he grew he developed an annoying manner of speech, somewhere between a bark and a whine. Read more ›››
Charles O’Hara was a British soldier who had the dubious distinction of surrendering to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
He was born in Lisbon 1740, the illegitimate son of General James O’Hara and his Portuguese mistress. He was educated at Westminster School, but joined the army as a cornet at the age of twelve. Before he was 16 he was commissioned as a lieutenant, just as Europe was about to enter another of its interminable wars. Read more ›››
You may not know the name Phoebe Ann Moses, but you will recognise her by her stage name – Annie Oakley, sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Her name is synonymous with the world’s view of life in the American west, but she is also the subject of one of the more intriguing ‘what ifs’ of history. Read more ›››
South Africa is rich in ostrich and has made people rich too, particularly in the town of Oudtshoorn that made pots of money in the 19th century from supplying ostrich feathers for fashionable European ladies.
These particular ostriches were living in the wild on the shores of the South Atlantic in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Read more ›››
Otterspool is a little over a mile from where I live and as you can see from my photo, it is a pretty, tranquil place. Or so it may seem.
What you don’t see is the busy A627 road behind me as I stood on the bridge over the River Goyt, where Otterspool Road becomes Dooley Lane.
The social enterprise company, H2oPE, has put forward plans for a community-owned micro-hydro plant to harness the power of the river waters. Read more ›››
It is safe to say there will be no rhymes this week because nothing rhymes with orange. Lozenge is about as near as you can get with an online rhyming dictionary.
Left is the Prince of Orange pub on Warrington Street and Wellington Road, Ashton, named after the man who was to become William III of England and William II of Scotland and who also gave his name to the College of William and Mary in present day Willamsburg, Virginia and briefly to New York which was renamed New Orange in 1673 after the Dutch recaptured the city. Read more ›››