6 July 1960: Death of Aneurin Bevan, British Politician

Aneurin Bevan was born into an area of Wales where two-thirds of the male population worked underground in the mines. Throughout his career he championed the cause of the working classes and his service as Minister for Health gave the British universal healthcare through the National Health Service.

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16 March 1190: The Massacre of the Jews of York

On the night of 16 March 1190, the Jewish feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol, 150 men, women and children died at the royal castle at York, where Clifford’s Tower now stands. Many died following a mass-suicide and the rest at the hands of a mob waiting outside.

Jewish communities had been established in London in the

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4 March 1890: Opening of the Forth Rail Bridge

The Forth Rail Bridge, 1890

Before 1890 the only direct route between Queensferry and North Queensferry in the east of Scotland was the ferry across the Firth of Forth. The crossing was slow and often dangerous and the four ferries, Queen Margaret, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and Sir William Wallace, were

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25 February 1570: The Excommunication of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I c1575

Henry VIII’s decision to break the Church of England away from Rome set in motion a series of events that were central to the political and religious life of the Tudor era and beyond. Today marks the 440th anniversary of one of those events, the excommunication of Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth I.

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Kings and Queens of England: Edward the Confessor

Edward the Confessor

Often in the study of history a reputation must be stripped away to reveal the real historical figure (or as much as the evidence allows). This applies to the story of Edward the Confessor more than most. Far from being the saintly old man seen in the Bayeux tapestry, Edward was a

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Walking in the Wye Valley

Ye Olde Ferrie Inne From Yat Rock Viewpoint

A walk through any part of the Wye Valley is always a treat, but the area around Symonds Yat, where Herefordshire and Gloucestershire meet, is something special. With plenty of family activities, river cruises, canoeing, hotels and camping facilities, pubs and restaurants and miles of beautiful walks,

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Kings and Queens of England: Danes and Saxons

Cnut, King of England 1016-1035

The second part of my Kings and Queens of England series covers the years 1013 to 1042. This 29-year period saw six kings on the throne of England and a power struggle between the Saxons and Danes.

Part one ended in 1016 with the death of Æthelred II. In

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Kings and Queens of England: Early Saxons

The murder of Edward the Martyr

One of the first difficulties encountered when attempting to chronicle any period of history is where to start. Some may start a history of the monarchs of England with Alfred the Great, who drove back the Danes and secured his kingdom of Wessex. Others may choose to begin in

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