England

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company (EIC) received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies pursuing trade with the East Indies. The Foundation Already 12 years before, the Spanish Armada was defeated and merchants turned to the Queen, asking for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean, which was granted. Some smaller companies formed, but several ships got lost…
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George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley (1773 – 1857) On December 27, 1773, English engineer and important pioneer of aeronautics Sir George Cayley was born. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. George Cayley was the son of the 5th baronet and inherited several estates himself. He started several engineering projects during his early years, like self-righting lifeboats or caterpillar tractors which he…
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The Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge On December 8, 1864, the Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was openend for the public. Although Brunel was not able to see the bridge in operation anymore during his lifetime, the Clifton Suspension bridge was the first major commision of the famous engineer of the Great Western Railroad and the then largest steamships in the world. In the…
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The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Spirit of Enlightenment

The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Spirit of Enlightenment

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 2nd edition, photo:wikipedia On December 6, 1768, the first volume of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was published in London as , ‘A Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, compiled upon a New Plan‘. The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still being produced today. The history of its 15 editions alone would be subject of an entire book. But although it might be the most popular encyclopaedia…
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C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

On November 29, 1898, English novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis aka C.S. Lewis was born. He was a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and is best known for his fictional work, especially The Chronicles of Narnia. Actually, since his childhood days, was was usually referred to as ‘Jack’ and not ‘Clive’. “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it…
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Martin Frobisher and the Northwest Passage

Martin Frobisher and the Northwest Passage

Martin Frobisher(ca 1539 – 1594) On November 22, 1594, English seaman and explorer Sir Martin Frobisher passed away. He is best known for his three voyages to the New World to look for the Northwest Passage. In 1544, Martin Frobisher went to sea the first time and was captured about ten years later by a Portugese crew. In the 1560s, he decided to undertake a journey searching for the Northwest Passage in…
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Henry Fielding – the Father of the English Novel

Henry Fielding – the Father of the English Novel

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) On October 8, 1754, famous English novelist, journalist and dramatist Henry Fielding passed away. He is best known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. Henry Fielding influenced the main tradition of the English novel through the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. One of his major contribution to the English novel was a sense of structure to its…
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The Rarest in the World – The Blue Mauritius

The Rarest in the World – The Blue Mauritius

Red and Blue Mauritius on famous Bordeaux Letter On September 21, 1847, the famous Mauritius “Post Office” stamps were issued by the British Colony Mauritius. They are among the rarest postage stamps in the world and a letter with both stamps on its cover is estimated to be worth more than 4 Million US$. In 1772, the very first postal service opened up at Mauritius. In Great Britain and Ireland, the first…
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The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth I in younger years(1533 – 1603) On September 7, 1533, queen regnant of England and Ireland Elizabeth I. was born. Also referred to as the ‘Virgin Queen’, the daughter of Henry VIII was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare, and for the seafaring…
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The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

Illustration of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter From Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, a major conflagration swept through the central parts of the English city of London, destroying the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. The social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were strongly encouraged by Charles II, who feared a…
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