Category Archives: Early Modern History

20th December 1699: A new ‘New Year’

by Dr Andy Willimott Peter the Great’s reign was marked by an overriding desire to enforce reform on Russia, dragging it kicking and screaming in to line with many European practices. On 20 December 1699 (according to the Julian Calendar), … Continue reading

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16th December 1631: Vesuvius erupts again

by Prof Paul Davies Everyone knows the story of Mount Vesuvius and its destruction of Pompeii (79 CE), which remained hidden from the world until its rediscovery in the eighteenth century. Far less familiar is the volcano’s later eruption of … Continue reading

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Amsterdam Conference

by Dr Richard Blakemore At the end of June, I attended a conference in Amsterdam to mark the 350th anniversary of the Dutch navy’s raid on Chatham dockyard in 1667. The raid is most famous for the Dutch capture of … Continue reading

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Christmas 2016: Sugar and Spice and All Things…

by Dr Richard Blakemore [1] Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist of the mid-seventeenth century, enjoyed Christmas (as we learned in the third post of our Christmas 2016 series).  In 1661 he recorded spending a merry evening with friends; five years … Continue reading

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Christmas 2016: The History of the Humble Mince Pie

by Prof Helen Parish Some 400 million mince pies are consumed in the UK every year. A large number of them are left at the foot of chimneys around the world in anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus, but … Continue reading

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