Among other things it is somewhat amusing to notice in passing through our streets, an almost endless variety of names, titles, characters, symbols, hieroglyphics, &c., with which numberless signs, doors, gates, and posts abound. One would suppose that it must have long taxed the ingenuity and patience of a nation of linguists to invent so many break-jaw-names, which many a daring nomenclator would hardly undertake to spell, much less to pronounce, and less still to write from the pronunciation of the owners.
England conquered Wales during the Middle Ages. The Normans, under William the Conqueror, took the eastern and southern regions in the twelfth century. William set up barons in these border areas, or “marches”, and gave them power that exceeded that of most other barons. This bred ambitions and a sense of autonomy among the Lords Marchers that would haunt the English crown for centuries. For good or ill, these barons played pivotal roles in the rebellions and politics of the medieval period.
Today Brittany is the northwestern province of France that pokes out into the sea. In the Middle Ages however, it was a duchy struggling to maintain its independence. Although bordering French territories, it had more in common with the nearby British Isles. England and Brittany shared a strong Celtic culture, the legends of King Arthur, and even the names of cities and places.
William Pitt was a fascinating personality; in some ways a more impressive minister than Winston Churchill. Pitt was considered a brilliant leader in wartime, but lacked patience for peacetime statesmanship. A minister empowered by the common man, he probably made a tactical error when he became the Earl of Chatham, an honor bestowed by King George III. The common man never quite forgave him for elevating himself above them.
Many of our ancestors were living in this fascinating period. It’s tumultuous on multiple fronts, multiple continents, in ways both micro and macro. 1787 marks a major milestone for the still fledgling United States: the signing of the Constitution. Uranus, Oberon, and Titan are discovered by Herschel. Mozart’s Don Giovanni is performed for the first time.
Maria Crook born December 19, 1833 in Harefield, Middlesex, England emigrated aged 16 to Western Australia in 1852 with her mother Patience, her brother Christopher, and sisters Ellen and Patience. They sailed on the ship ‘Mary’, Plymouth-Perth, under the authority of the Colonial Land & Emigration Commissioners (State Records of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, Lists of Emigrants by CL&EC ships 1851-1867)
President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. President Madison charged the British with violating the nation’s sovereignty by restricting American trade with Europe and by removing seamen from American merchant ships and forcing them to serve in the Royal Navy. The War of 1812, known to its critics as “Mr. Madison’s war,” was fought to a stalemate, but when it ended in 1815 the nation took pride from having stood up to the mighty British Empire.