Britain & Ireland

What was it about industrialisation that led to the emergence of a woman’s movement in Victorian Britain? Why do we see so many people fighting for so many rights and liberties in this period and what are the origins of some of the issues we still campaign on today? This section includes our major series on Social and Political Change in the UK from 1800 to the present day. There are also articles and podcasts on the often violent relationship between England and Ireland during this period and England’s changing relationship with Scotland and Wales. Read more

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
  • Ancient Athenian inscriptions in public and private UK collections

    Article

    Peter Liddel introduces us to a rich source of historical information and encourages us to make some purposeful visits to museums. From the seventeenth to the mid nineteenth century, travellers from the UK explored the Mediterranean lands of ancient civilisations in search of trophies that demonstrated the achievements of the classical world. Highly...

    Click to view
  • The experience of Bilston in the cholera epidemic of 1831–32

    Article

    Alannah Tomkins introduces a well-chronicled early example of how a local community dealt with cholera. In September 1832 James Holmes, the governor of the workhouse at Bilston in Staffordshire wrote a letter to the salaried parish overseer of Uttoxeter. The initial impetus for the letter came from the two parishes’ shared interest...

    Click to view
  • History Abridged: The census

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). Most of us are aware that 2021 was a census...

    Click to view
  • My Favourite History Place: St James Church, Gerrards Cross

    Article

    Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, is a well-to-do town in the Chilterns and a wealthy commuter dormitory for London. It also harbours what might be one of the most remarkable, under-appreciated churches of the mid-nineteenth century. St James, the parish church, was built for the ‘unruled and unruly’ agricultural labourers and traders who inhabited...

    Click to view
  • Disease and healthcare on the Isle of Man

    Article

    Caroline Smith provides a perspective, past and present, of the experiences of epidemics on the Isle of Man.  In recent times health has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Epidemics and pandemics are not new, but the Covid-19 outbreak is probably the first to have such a noticeable effect...

    Click to view
  • The British Census

    Article

    The British Census, Simon Smith, Shire Publications, 2021, 64p, £8-99. ISBN 978-1-78442-457-2 This is timely and informative. Simon Smith has very carefully placed the British Census in the wider perspective of historical processes of collecting data about people’s lives over the centuries. The narrative is clear and well-organized, and there...

    Click to view
  • Florence Nightingale and epidemics

    Article

    Richard Bates reveals how the expertise of Florence Nightingale is just as relevant now as it was in her own life-time. Late in 2020, the Merriam-Webster dictionary chose ‘pandemic’ as its word of the year, writing that, ‘it’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period [i.e. Covid-19...

    Click to view
  • Real Lives: Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial: Edward George Keeling

    Article

    Trevor James introduces a victim of an earlier pandemic. As we explore churchyards and appreciate the range of memorials that are revealed, they convey a variety of emotions and other messages. Sometimes they still contain quite unexpected surprises.  The single Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial in the relatively remote rural Staffordshire village...

    Click to view
  • The Hornsey Enclosure Act 1813, David Frith

    Article

    The Hornsey Enclosure Act 1813, David Frith, Hornsey Historical Society, 2021, 92p [13 colour maps and 16 illustrations], £12-00, ISBN 978-0-906794-57-9. This publication by the Hornsey Historical Society may seem to be a very specialist work relating to a very specific location. Whilst that is strikingly self-evident, the reality is...

    Click to view
  • Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History

    Article

    Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History, [ed] Peter Furtado, Thames and Hudson, 2021, 335p, £20-00. ISBN 978-0-500-25258-1. This book is very timely in its arrival. Peter Furtado, the former Editor of History Today, has provided us with two approaches to the issue of Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic. In the...

    Click to view
  • Come Wind, Come Weather: Storm: Tempest and Other Natural Phenomena within Local Sources

    Article

    Come Wind, Come Weather: Storm: Tempest and Other Natural Phenomena within Local Sources, Trevor James, Lichfield Press, 2021, 116p. £10-00.  ISBN 978-0-905985-62-6  What a pleasure it is to review a book by that arch-reviewer, Dr Trevor James. This book follows closely on his previous one, England’s Saintly Landscapes, and confirms...

    Click to view
  • Film: Untold Stories of D-Day

    Article

    The HA has worked with film-maker,  historian and Legasee ambassador Martyn Cox on a series of webinars looking at untold stories from the Second World War. Many of these stories are taken for the oral histories provided in interviews given to Martyn on film.  In this filmed webinar, Martyn goes...

    Click to view
  • Monty’s school: the benign side of Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

    Article

    Field-Marshal Montgomery has a reputation as a strong-willed battle-hardened leader, with a touch of the impetuous. Few know of his charitable side and yet in his later years this side was just as important to his activities. In this article we find out a bit more of this often simplistically...

    Click to view
  • Why was it so important to see Dunkirk as a triumph rather than a disaster in 1940?

    Article

    Karin Doull investigates the perceptions of the outcome of the Dunkirk evacuation within the contextual framework of the time at which it occurred. In May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and a proportion of the French First Army group had withdrawn, under heavy fighting to the port of Dunkirk on the...

    Click to view
  • My Favourite History Place: The Chantry Chapel of St Mary on Wakefield Bridge

    Article

    Wakefield Bridge Chapel, by the River Calder, is thought by many to be the finest of four bridge chantries, the others being Bradford-on-Avon, Derby and Rotherham. The chapel at Wakefield was originally founded and endowed by the people of Wakefield and district between 1342 and 1359. In 1397 Edmund de Langley,...

    Click to view
  • This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe

    Article

    This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe, Robert Tombs, Allen Lane, 2021, 203 pp, £16.99. ISBN 978-0-241-48038-0  Robert Tombs is well-known for his works on French and English history and he has turned his hand to an admirably concise history of Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours from the...

    Click to view
  • Real Lives: Harry Daley

    Article

    Hardly any documentation exists about gay police officers who served before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality. An exception is Sergeant Harry Daley’s autobiography, This Small Cloud, published posthumously in 1986. Humorous, endearing and self-deprecatory, Daley acknowledged himself as a champion of the underdog and the oppressed. His...

    Click to view
  • Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

    Article

    Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool, Martin Hutchinson, The Lutterworth Press, 2020, 429 pp, £50.00, ISBN 978-0-7188-9563-1  A continuous period of almost 15 years as Prime Minister suggests that Liverpool possessed a large array of talents, yet the average student of modern British history knows much less about him and his characteristics than those...

    Click to view
  • Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians, Stephen Wade

    Article

    Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians, Stephen Wade, Pen and Sword, 2020, 176p, £14-99. ISBN 9781526778529 This is part of a very helpful series that has been produced by Pen and Sword. In this volume Stephen Wade guides us into a potentially unfamiliar area of family and...

    Click to view
  • Before Windrush: West Indians in Britain

    Article

    Before Windrush: West Indians in Britain, Asher and Martin Hoyles, Hansib, 2020, 144p, £9-99. ISBN 978-1-912662-29-6. This is a very significant book, being highly relevant to the politics and attitudes of our own times. Asher and Martin Hoyles explore the presence of West Indian people in Britain before the arrival...

    Click to view