1500s

The Duel That Shocked France

King Henri III of France had a favourite group of young courtiers – his ‘mignons’ (or ‘cuties’, ‘sweeties’, or ‘‘darlings’) – known for dressing in an effeminate and eye-catching style. On 27th April, 1578, they  engaged in a bloody duel with a rival gang in a battle that came to be known as ‘The Duel […]

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RETRO

King Henri III of France had a favourite group of young courtiers – his ‘mignons’ (or ‘cuties’, ‘sweeties’, or ‘‘darlings’) – known for dressing in an effeminate and eye-catching style. On 27th April, 1578, they  engaged in a bloody duel with a rival gang in a battle that came to be known as ‘The Duel

Horseracing Hits Britain

Chester Racecourse hosted Britain’s first ever recorded horse-racing meet on 9th February, 1539. The winner received a set of silver bells to hang from their bridal. Mayor Henry Gee had come up with the idea as a replacement for the traditional Shrove Tuesday football match – which he’d banned for being too riotous and violent.

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RETRO

Chester Racecourse hosted Britain’s first ever recorded horse-racing meet on 9th February, 1539. The winner received a set of silver bells to hang from their bridal. Mayor Henry Gee had come up with the idea as a replacement for the traditional Shrove Tuesday football match – which he’d banned for being too riotous and violent.

Henry VIII’s Head Injury

Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life – weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive. Jousting was his

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RETRO

Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life – weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive. Jousting was his

England’s First Lottery

With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that

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RETRO

With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that

The Potato-Porting Polymath

Renaissance Man Thomas Harriot was noted for many things – devising the theory of refraction, creating mathematical symbols including ‘greater than’ and ‘lesser than’, and being the first person to draw the Moon through a telescope. But the contribution for which he’s most remembered is bringing back the potato to Britain – an event commonly

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RETRO

Renaissance Man Thomas Harriot was noted for many things – devising the theory of refraction, creating mathematical symbols including ‘greater than’ and ‘lesser than’, and being the first person to draw the Moon through a telescope. But the contribution for which he’s most remembered is bringing back the potato to Britain – an event commonly