Category Archives: History

Guernica and the barbarism of twentieth century Europe.

Today we mourn the dead of Guernica, killed in the first air raid which rained murder from the skies on a civilian population during the Spanish civil war. Guernica became a focus for outrage and shock at the way the new power of aerial bombardment could be used to destroy the buildings of towns and […]

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James Cook reminds us of the common feeling of the English speaking peoples.

Between the 19th and 28th April 1770, 238 years ago, Lieutenant James Cook was sailing off the Australian coast near Botany Bay. As Master of the barque Endeavour, he was sent by the Admiralty to chart the southern seas and discover what land lay there. He made his first landfall at what he named Botany […]

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Sweet William or the Butcher?

Today is the day of the battle of Culloden, the last serious battle fought on British soil, fought in 1746. On that day the claims of the House of Stuart to the throne of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England died. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army was badly defeated, losing 1250 dead and 550 prisoners […]

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348 years on, the declaration of Breda can still help us.

This day in 1660 the man who would be King Charles II issued a most important Statement at Breda in Holland. He explained how England’s wounds had “so many years together been kept bleeding”, and how they needed to be bound up. He wanted to bring an end to Royalist against Republican, Puritan against Anglican, […]

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Does anyone wish the Treaty of Rome happy birthday?

On this day 51 years ago 6 continental countries signed the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community in Rome. This document has bedevilled UK politics ever since. It was the subject of a referendum in 1975, when a Labour government asked the UK people if they wished to remain within the framework of this Treaty. […]

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A birthday present for the Bank of England?

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the nationalisation of the Bank of England. The Bank was originally established in 1694 to raise money for the government. It gained its first Royal Charter on 26 July 1694, and moved to its Threadneedle Street address in 1734. It gained a monopoly over note issue in 1844 and […]

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Identity cards and freedom

This day 56 years ago Parliament ended the ID card scheme introduced to the UK in 1939. It took a brave and clever Judge to kill it off. In June 1951 Lord Goddard ruled against the continuation of ID cards. In a famous judgement he said: “It is obvious that the police now, as a […]

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The treasures of the tomb

On this day in 1923 Howard Carter opened the sealed doorway into the burial chamber of Tutankhamun. He, Lord Carnarvon his patron, and Lady Herbert, Carnarvon’s daughter went into the tomb. They saw the fabulous mask and the sarcophagus of the one Pharaoh whose grave had not been plundered by earlier generations of grave robbers. […]

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Appeasement does not work

On February 9th 1933 The Oxford Union held one of its weekly debates. It was destined to become the most famous one ever held. The result sent a strong political message around the world which was an influence on the international politics of a generation. The debate’s motion was “This House will in no circumstances […]

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The defence of England

At 8 am this morning in 1587 at Fotheringay Castle a 44 year old woman was led out of her room to the Hall. She was dressed in black with a veil over her hair. Her Catholic beads were fixed to her belt and she held a crucifix in her hand. She had been in […]

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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