‘Strangers in the land’?

‘Strangers in the land’?

Our current exhibition, ‘”Strangers in the land”? Impressions of India’ traces the history of the British in India from the early 17th century to the turn of the 20th.  Some always remained, in the words of the Governor of Madras in 1807, ‘strangers in the land’; others, like the free-thinker and theosophist Annie Besant, who […]

Prophesying Leicester City’s success in 1895?

Prophesying Leicester City’s success in 1895?

 In a previous blog post, I talked about the early days of Leicester Fosse Football Club. The Fosse, or ‘The Fossils’ as they were known to their supporters, eventually became Leicester City in 1920.  Some intriguing details of their early history can be found in The Wyvern, a Leicester-based Victorian periodical, for which the Special […]

The forerunners of Leicester City FC

The forerunners of Leicester City FC

My original intention to write a blog post to mark the 2016 Euros in June has been completely hijacked by Leicester City’s truly amazing performance in the Premier League this season – especially when I found that The Wyvern, a rare Leicester-based Victorian periodical published between 1891 and 1906, contains some fascinating details of the […]

Plate illustrating the delights of Sussex, including Brighton Pavilion.  From: SCM 06517, Reuben Ramble, pseud., Reuben Ramble’s Travels Through the Counties of England, (London, [1845?])

‘Bizarre and unintelligible’ or ‘unique and splendid’?

Prompted both by some research I am doing for an exhibition on the early history of the British in India and by a recent visit to the extraordinary Brighton Pavilion (in which, of course, the ‘Mogul’ style is very much in evidence) , I wanted to investigate some 19th century reactions to the building, as […]

Engraved portrait of John Evelyn by Francesco Bartolozzi.  From the Fairclough Collection, EP 36, Box 7, p. 590.

Frost Fairs on the Thames

‘The weather continuing intolerably severe,’ John Evelyn wrote on 1 January 1684, ‘streetes of booths were set upon the Thames; the aire was so very cold and thick’.*  This was by no means the first time the Thames had frozen over.  The bed of the river was much wider than today, so ice tended to […]

Engraved portrait of John Evelyn by W. H. Worthington, from an original painting by Walker.  From the Fairclough Collection, EP36, Box 3, p. 310.

John Evelyn and the war with the Dutch

On 27 October 1664, John Evelyn was appointed one of four Commissioners charged with the care of the sick and wounded and prisoners of the Dutch War. One of his core beliefs was that it was the obligation of a gentleman to participate directly in public life, to be ‘usefull to the publique’* and he […]

d)	A 1968 Leicester Student Union meeting to discuss the Vietnam War, from the Leicester Mercury Archive of photographs and cuttings.

Protesting against the Vietnam War in October 1965

Fifty years ago, in October 1965, mass demonstrations against the Vietnam War took place in the US and pacifist David J. Miller burnt his draft card, becoming the first person to be convicted and eventually imprisoned for doing so. For anyone interested in making a study of the protest movement, the Special Collections at Leicester […]

Engraved portrait of John Evelyn by Nanteuil, for which Evelyn sat on 13 June 1650, while visiting Paris. From the Fairclough Collection, EP36, Box 2, p. 245.

A first-hand account of the Great Fire of London

On 13 September 1666, only a few days after the Great Fire of London had finally been quenched, John Evelyn presented Charles II with a survey of the ruins, ‘for it was now no longer a Citty’*, and a design for the new London, drafted with extraordinary speed – but then Evelyn had long been […]

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