british-history:

The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, was opened on this day in British history, 18 September 1809. The first theatre had been destroyed by fire in December 1808 and the second theatre would suffer the same fate in 1856. The third iteration of the theatre is now known as the Royal Opera House and the original third construction still functions as the nucleus of the modern opera house.

british-history:

Today is the birthday of Dr. Samuel Johnson, an influential English writer and scholar, born on this day in British history, 18 September 1709. Johnson is most well remembered for his “Dictionary of the English Language,” published in 1755 after nine years of work. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson’s was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary.

archaeologicalnews:

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Richard III’s last moments were likely quick but terrifying, according to a new study of the death wounds of the last king of England to die in battle.

The last king of the Plantagenet dynasty faced his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field on Aug. 22, 1485, only two years after ascending the…

mapsontheweb:

Literary map of London

twogunsalute:

Characters from over 250 novels plotted in the parts of London they either called home or spent a lot of time. Designed by graphic artist Dex working with interior designer Anna Burles.

(via thepenultimaterolo)

The Battle of Brandywine Creek

11 September 1777

The British army defeated American troops at the Battle of Brandywine Creek, on this day in British history, 11 September 1777. The British troops under General Sir William Howe were able to break through the right flank of Major General George Washington’s formation. As the Americans retreated, Nathaniel Greene’s division held off the British long enough for Washington’s army to escape. The British victory at Brandywine was a major contributing factor to the downfall of Philadelphia only two weeks later.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Lake Erie

10 September 1813

American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie led to the first unqualified defeat of a British naval squadron, on this day in history, 10 September 1813. American Captain Oliver Hazard Perry led a squadron of nine ships against six ships of the British Royal Navy under Robert Barclay.

Although the battle lasted only a few hours, it was hotly contested. Perry’s flagship Lawrence was demolished into uselessness because of the heavy fire it sustained. Three-fourths of its crew were killed, but Perry managed to transfer to Niagara and sail directly into the British line, firing broadsides and forcing the British to surrender. At the battle’s end the British had lost 41 killed and 94 wounded while the Americans had lost 27 killed and 96 wounded.

Despite having won the battle on the Niagara, Perry received the British surrender on the deck of the recaptured Lawrence, forcing the British to see the terrible price his men had paid. After the battle, Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that read, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”

The strategic importance of the Battle of Lake Erie was quite disproportionate to its actual size and number of participants. American victory allowed them to control Lake Erie for the remainder of the war, which in turn allowed them to recapture Detroit.

Hi British History community, thanks so much for sharing/spreading history and helping our Tumblr page to grow! It’s awesome to see :)

I want to ask your help in spreading the word about a project that’s just now getting off the ground, a podcast I’m producing called The Maritime History Podcast. It’s available on iTunes and on several other Android friendly platforms, and the website should point you to the relevant places. Thanks so much history lovers! And for what it’s worth, we’ll eventually hone in on the maritime and naval history of Britain, so it will have some relation to British history eventually ;)

Website - http://maritimehistorypodcast.com

Tumblr - http://maritimehistorypodcast.tumblr.com

Coronation of Mary Queen of Scots

9 September 1543

Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scots on this day in British history, 9 September 1543. Mary had inherited the throne only six days after her birth when her father James V died. Mary was crowed queen when she was an infant, and until she reached adulthood Scotland was ruled by regents.

Richard I is Born

8 September 1157

Today is the birthday of King Richard I, born on this day in British history, 8 September 1157. He was also known as Richard Cœur de Lion because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. Richard sat on the throne for the last ten years of his life until his death at age 41 in 1199.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of the Chesapeake

5 September 1781

The Battle of the Chesapeake, a pivotal naval battle of the American Revolutionary War, took place on this day in maritime history, 5 September 1781. The battle itself took place at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay which connects with the York River and gives access to the city of Yorktown. Cornwallis and the British had planned to use their control of the water as a way to retreat from Yorktown, or possibly to land reinforcements.

However, on 5 September a French fleet led by Rear Admiral Francois Joseph Paul engaged a British Royal Navy fleet led by Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves. The battle itself was rather indecisive, the only lost ship being a British ship that was scuttled. Despite the seemingly minor outcome, the battle was a huge victory for the Americans because it prevented the British from reaching Yorktown by sea and allowed Washington’s army to force Cornwallis into surrender. Thus, The Battle of the Chesapeake, also called the Battle of the Capes, can be seen as a primary event in the chain that led to British defeat and American victory in the war.

Coronation of Richard I

3 September 1189

Richard I, or Richard Cœur de Lion, was crowned king of England in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, on this day in British history, 3 September 1189. Although Richard is a popular king in the modern view of history, his coronation was marked by a violent incident of anti-Semitism that was all too common in Medieval Europe.

Richard had banned all Jews and all women from attending his coronation, and when several Jewish leaders arrived at his court the next day to present gifts, several of Richard’s courtiers stripped and flogged them before throwing them out of the court. From there, a rumor spread among the common people that Richard had ordered all Jews to be killed. What followed can only be described as a massacre; many Jews were killed and many others were beaten, robbed, and had their homes burned. 

Richard had planned to leave London shortly after his coronation and, in a move to stabilize the situation, Richard ordered the execution of those responsible for the worst of the massacre. He distributed a royal writ demanding that the Jews be left alone. The edict was loosely enforced, however, and the following March there was further violence including a massacre at York.

"This country is at war with Germany."

Neville Chamberlain announces the beginning of the Second World War, 3rd September, 1939; seventy five years ago today.

The Great Fire of London

2 – 5 September 1666

The Great Fire of London began in a bakery on Pudding Lane, on this day in British history, 2 September 1666. The City of London was almost completely destroyed by the four day fire, but was subsequently reconstructed along the same street plan of the old city. Old St. Paul’s Cathedral was among the most famous of the destroyed structures, but it gave way to the modern St. Paul’s designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

The painting above depicts Ludgate in flames, with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. Oil painting by anonymous artist, ca. 1670.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Heligoland Bight - First Naval Battle of WWI
28 August 1914
The first naval battle of World War I, the Battle of Heligoland Bight, took place on this day in maritime history, 28 August 1914. The battle itself took place in the North Sea off Germany’s northwest coast. The British Royal Navy had originally planned to continue with its traditional strategy of close blockades on its enemy’s ports, but the advent of submarines and sea mines forced Britain to adopt a more cautious strategy going forward. Germany also expected Britain to pursue its traditional strategy and the German High Seas Fleet therefore remained mostly within German holdings, patrolling and waiting for the British attack.
Although neither side went on the offensive early in the war, Commodore Roger Keyes and Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt of the Royal Navy observed that German destroyers had adopted a regular pattern of patrols where each evening cruisers would escort out destroyers, which would patrol for British ships during the night before being met and escorted home each morning. The British planned to exploit this weakness by using submarines as a decoy to lure the German patrol out to sea and then cutting it off from escape. This plan became the British focal point in their preparation for the first attack and on the morning of 28 August 1914, that attack became the Battle of Heligoland Bight.
A British fleet of 31 destroyers, two cruisers, and eight submarines was dispatched to carry out the ambush on the German patrol, with long range support coming from an additional six light cruisers and five battlecruisers. In the end, the British plan was carried out much as it had been imagined, though last-minute reinforcements prevented what could have turned into defeat for the Royal Navy. Three German light cruisers and one destroyer were sunk. Three more light cruisers were damaged, 712 sailors killed, 530 injured and 336 taken prisoner.
The British victory in the first naval battle of WWI is seen as being of major import to the early course of the war. It was a morale booster for the Royal Navy while simultaneously turning the German High Seas Fleet into a more cautious, defensive fleet than it had previously been. Churchill remarked of the battle that “The results of this action were far-reaching. Henceforward, the weight of British Naval prestige lay heavy across all German sea enterprise … The German Navy was indeed “muzzled”. Except for furtive movements by individual submarines and minelayers, not a dog stirred from August till November.”
Both photos above show the German light cruiser SMS Mainz as it sinks during the battle.
maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Heligoland Bight - First Naval Battle of WWI
28 August 1914
The first naval battle of World War I, the Battle of Heligoland Bight, took place on this day in maritime history, 28 August 1914. The battle itself took place in the North Sea off Germany’s northwest coast. The British Royal Navy had originally planned to continue with its traditional strategy of close blockades on its enemy’s ports, but the advent of submarines and sea mines forced Britain to adopt a more cautious strategy going forward. Germany also expected Britain to pursue its traditional strategy and the German High Seas Fleet therefore remained mostly within German holdings, patrolling and waiting for the British attack.
Although neither side went on the offensive early in the war, Commodore Roger Keyes and Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt of the Royal Navy observed that German destroyers had adopted a regular pattern of patrols where each evening cruisers would escort out destroyers, which would patrol for British ships during the night before being met and escorted home each morning. The British planned to exploit this weakness by using submarines as a decoy to lure the German patrol out to sea and then cutting it off from escape. This plan became the British focal point in their preparation for the first attack and on the morning of 28 August 1914, that attack became the Battle of Heligoland Bight.
A British fleet of 31 destroyers, two cruisers, and eight submarines was dispatched to carry out the ambush on the German patrol, with long range support coming from an additional six light cruisers and five battlecruisers. In the end, the British plan was carried out much as it had been imagined, though last-minute reinforcements prevented what could have turned into defeat for the Royal Navy. Three German light cruisers and one destroyer were sunk. Three more light cruisers were damaged, 712 sailors killed, 530 injured and 336 taken prisoner.
The British victory in the first naval battle of WWI is seen as being of major import to the early course of the war. It was a morale booster for the Royal Navy while simultaneously turning the German High Seas Fleet into a more cautious, defensive fleet than it had previously been. Churchill remarked of the battle that “The results of this action were far-reaching. Henceforward, the weight of British Naval prestige lay heavy across all German sea enterprise … The German Navy was indeed “muzzled”. Except for furtive movements by individual submarines and minelayers, not a dog stirred from August till November.”
Both photos above show the German light cruiser SMS Mainz as it sinks during the battle.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Heligoland Bight - First Naval Battle of WWI

28 August 1914

The first naval battle of World War I, the Battle of Heligoland Bight, took place on this day in maritime history, 28 August 1914. The battle itself took place in the North Sea off Germany’s northwest coast. The British Royal Navy had originally planned to continue with its traditional strategy of close blockades on its enemy’s ports, but the advent of submarines and sea mines forced Britain to adopt a more cautious strategy going forward. Germany also expected Britain to pursue its traditional strategy and the German High Seas Fleet therefore remained mostly within German holdings, patrolling and waiting for the British attack.

Although neither side went on the offensive early in the war, Commodore Roger Keyes and Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt of the Royal Navy observed that German destroyers had adopted a regular pattern of patrols where each evening cruisers would escort out destroyers, which would patrol for British ships during the night before being met and escorted home each morning. The British planned to exploit this weakness by using submarines as a decoy to lure the German patrol out to sea and then cutting it off from escape. This plan became the British focal point in their preparation for the first attack and on the morning of 28 August 1914, that attack became the Battle of Heligoland Bight.

A British fleet of 31 destroyers, two cruisers, and eight submarines was dispatched to carry out the ambush on the German patrol, with long range support coming from an additional six light cruisers and five battlecruisers. In the end, the British plan was carried out much as it had been imagined, though last-minute reinforcements prevented what could have turned into defeat for the Royal Navy. Three German light cruisers and one destroyer were sunk. Three more light cruisers were damaged, 712 sailors killed, 530 injured and 336 taken prisoner.

The British victory in the first naval battle of WWI is seen as being of major import to the early course of the war. It was a morale booster for the Royal Navy while simultaneously turning the German High Seas Fleet into a more cautious, defensive fleet than it had previously been. Churchill remarked of the battle that “The results of this action were far-reaching. Henceforward, the weight of British Naval prestige lay heavy across all German sea enterprise … The German Navy was indeed “muzzled”. Except for furtive movements by individual submarines and minelayers, not a dog stirred from August till November.”

Both photos above show the German light cruiser SMS Mainz as it sinks during the battle.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Grand Port
27 August 1810
The naval Battle of Grand Port between frigate squadrons of the French Navy and the British Royal Navy concluded on this day in maritime history, 27 August 1810. It was the British Royal Navy’s worst defeat of the Napoleonic Wars. The two squadrons fought over control of the harbour of Grand Port on Isle de France, now called Mauritius. 
The British had seized control of a fortified position at the harbour’s entrance and sought to blockade the entrance to prevent the French gaining control of the harbour. When the French squadron under Guy-Victor Duperré arrived on 20 August, the British decided to conceal their presence, lure the French into the harbour, and then use their superior numbers to defeat the French at close range. Captain Nesbit Willoughby attempted to make a decoy of his ship, the Nereide, by flying a French tricolour and luring the French squadron in between the false ship and the hidden guns on Île de la Passe. When an accidental explosion put the hidden guns out of commission, the Nereide alone could not blockade the harbour and the French ships (save one) were able to enter the harbour.
After the French ships broke the British blockade they were able to take shelter in the protected anchorage of the harbour, accessible only by navigating a complex series of reefs and sandbanks. Because the French had a harbour pilot they passed without major incident, though their ships had suffered damage during the encounter at the harbour’s entrance. The British, on the other hand, were reckless in their attack and without the aid of a harbour pilot, two of their ships ran aground and were burned to prevent the French from capturing them. The other two ships were eventually captured by the French, and in the end, the British surrendered and every survivor of the Battle of Grand Port was taken prisoner.
The map above depicts the movements of the squadrons; the French ships are in blue and the British ships in red.
maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Grand Port
27 August 1810
The naval Battle of Grand Port between frigate squadrons of the French Navy and the British Royal Navy concluded on this day in maritime history, 27 August 1810. It was the British Royal Navy’s worst defeat of the Napoleonic Wars. The two squadrons fought over control of the harbour of Grand Port on Isle de France, now called Mauritius. 
The British had seized control of a fortified position at the harbour’s entrance and sought to blockade the entrance to prevent the French gaining control of the harbour. When the French squadron under Guy-Victor Duperré arrived on 20 August, the British decided to conceal their presence, lure the French into the harbour, and then use their superior numbers to defeat the French at close range. Captain Nesbit Willoughby attempted to make a decoy of his ship, the Nereide, by flying a French tricolour and luring the French squadron in between the false ship and the hidden guns on Île de la Passe. When an accidental explosion put the hidden guns out of commission, the Nereide alone could not blockade the harbour and the French ships (save one) were able to enter the harbour.
After the French ships broke the British blockade they were able to take shelter in the protected anchorage of the harbour, accessible only by navigating a complex series of reefs and sandbanks. Because the French had a harbour pilot they passed without major incident, though their ships had suffered damage during the encounter at the harbour’s entrance. The British, on the other hand, were reckless in their attack and without the aid of a harbour pilot, two of their ships ran aground and were burned to prevent the French from capturing them. The other two ships were eventually captured by the French, and in the end, the British surrendered and every survivor of the Battle of Grand Port was taken prisoner.
The map above depicts the movements of the squadrons; the French ships are in blue and the British ships in red.
maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Grand Port
27 August 1810
The naval Battle of Grand Port between frigate squadrons of the French Navy and the British Royal Navy concluded on this day in maritime history, 27 August 1810. It was the British Royal Navy’s worst defeat of the Napoleonic Wars. The two squadrons fought over control of the harbour of Grand Port on Isle de France, now called Mauritius. 
The British had seized control of a fortified position at the harbour’s entrance and sought to blockade the entrance to prevent the French gaining control of the harbour. When the French squadron under Guy-Victor Duperré arrived on 20 August, the British decided to conceal their presence, lure the French into the harbour, and then use their superior numbers to defeat the French at close range. Captain Nesbit Willoughby attempted to make a decoy of his ship, the Nereide, by flying a French tricolour and luring the French squadron in between the false ship and the hidden guns on Île de la Passe. When an accidental explosion put the hidden guns out of commission, the Nereide alone could not blockade the harbour and the French ships (save one) were able to enter the harbour.
After the French ships broke the British blockade they were able to take shelter in the protected anchorage of the harbour, accessible only by navigating a complex series of reefs and sandbanks. Because the French had a harbour pilot they passed without major incident, though their ships had suffered damage during the encounter at the harbour’s entrance. The British, on the other hand, were reckless in their attack and without the aid of a harbour pilot, two of their ships ran aground and were burned to prevent the French from capturing them. The other two ships were eventually captured by the French, and in the end, the British surrendered and every survivor of the Battle of Grand Port was taken prisoner.
The map above depicts the movements of the squadrons; the French ships are in blue and the British ships in red.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Grand Port

27 August 1810

The naval Battle of Grand Port between frigate squadrons of the French Navy and the British Royal Navy concluded on this day in maritime history, 27 August 1810. It was the British Royal Navy’s worst defeat of the Napoleonic Wars. The two squadrons fought over control of the harbour of Grand Port on Isle de France, now called Mauritius. 

The British had seized control of a fortified position at the harbour’s entrance and sought to blockade the entrance to prevent the French gaining control of the harbour. When the French squadron under Guy-Victor Duperré arrived on 20 August, the British decided to conceal their presence, lure the French into the harbour, and then use their superior numbers to defeat the French at close range. Captain Nesbit Willoughby attempted to make a decoy of his ship, the Nereide, by flying a French tricolour and luring the French squadron in between the false ship and the hidden guns on Île de la Passe. When an accidental explosion put the hidden guns out of commission, the Nereide alone could not blockade the harbour and the French ships (save one) were able to enter the harbour.

After the French ships broke the British blockade they were able to take shelter in the protected anchorage of the harbour, accessible only by navigating a complex series of reefs and sandbanks. Because the French had a harbour pilot they passed without major incident, though their ships had suffered damage during the encounter at the harbour’s entrance. The British, on the other hand, were reckless in their attack and without the aid of a harbour pilot, two of their ships ran aground and were burned to prevent the French from capturing them. The other two ships were eventually captured by the French, and in the end, the British surrendered and every survivor of the Battle of Grand Port was taken prisoner.

The map above depicts the movements of the squadrons; the French ships are in blue and the British ships in red.