Second Lieutenant Walter Tull was the first black British Army Infantry Officer. Walter was born in Folkestone on 28th April 1888. His father, the son of a slave, had arrived from Barbados in 1876. In 1895, when Walter was seven, his mother died and his father remarried only to die two years later. The stepmother was unable to cope with all six children and so Walter and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist -run orphanage in Bethnal Green.
When World War I broke out, he joined the Seventeenth (First Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and, during his military training, he was promoted three times. In November 1914, as Lance Sergeant, he was sent to Les Ciseaux but, in May 1915, he was sent home with post-traumatic stress disorder. Returning to France in September 1916, Walter fought in the Battle of the Somme between October and November. His courage and abilities encouraged his superior officers to recommend him as an Officer and, on 26th December, 1916, Walter went back to England to train as an Officer. There were military laws forbidding ‘any negro or person of colour’ being commissioned as an Officer. Despite this, Walter was promoted to Lieutenant in 1917 and became the first ever black Officer in the British Army, and the first black Officer to lead white men into battle. He was mentioned in Despatches for his ‘gallantry and coolness’ under fire by his commanding officer and he was recommended for the Military Cross, but never received it. Walter’s Battalion was transferred to the Somme and, on 25th March 1918, he was killed by machine gun fire while trying to help his men withdraw. Walter was such a popular man that several of his men risked their own lives in an attempt to retrieve his body under heavy fire, but they were unsuccessful due to the enemy soldiers’ advance. His body was never found and he is one of the many thousands from World War I who has no known grave.
The Events of the Merthyr Rising (1): 31 May - 2 June 1831
Gwyn A. Williams stated that with the beginning of the Merthyr Rising ‘the prehistory of the Welsh working class comes to an end. It’s history begins.’
31 May 1831
Lewis Lewis was a miner at the coal mines associated with the Penydarren ironworks. He was also know as Lewsyn yr Heliwr (Lewis the Hunter). From here on I shall refer to him as either Lewis or Lewsyn yr Heliwr. Like many other at Merthyr, Lewis has built up some debts which were to be collected by the bailiffs associated with the Court of Requests. However, Lewis and his neighbours were not willing to cooperate, refusing to allow the bailiffs to enter his home and take any of the goods he possessed. The Magistrate for Methyr, J. B. Brice was called to intervene. Eventually Lewis gave up a trunk as payment for his debts.
1 June 1831
A crowd gathered, marching through Merthyr calling for bread and cheese to be given to them. Bread and cheese would prove to be a catchy slogan to the rioters as the situation escalated over the coming days. They continued on to the ironworks of Rowland Fotherfill at Aberdare. Aberdare is just south of Merthyr. There the crowd demanded that wages be maintained.
Meanwhile at Hirawun, to the west of Merthyr, a second disturbance was occurring. Needless to say, Lewis was not too pleased about his trunk being taken as payment and he wanted his property back. A crowd gathered and led by Lewis marched to the house of a shopkeeper and taking the trunk back. Their next destination, Merthyr.
Above is a map of the area showing where Aderdare and Hirwaun are in relation to Merthyr Tydfil.
The crowd led by Lewis marched on to Merthyr. Along the way they decided to follow Lewis lead, attacking the homes of those who had claimed their confiscated property. Many of these homes would have belonged to shopkeepers, the goods seized being their payments of debts. As usually happens with many riots and rebellions, the first singled out are the middle men, the people seen to be the problem in the immediate circumstance rather than the people who call the shots and make this all happen.
They marched on to the house of Thomas Williams, a bailiff who collected debts on behalf of the shopkeepers and the Court of Requests. However, when his wife refused to give certain items to the crows, they ransacked the house entirely.
After the looting, the crowd marched on to the Court of Requests and attacked it and the officials within.
2 June 1831
The crowd that had marched to Merthyr had swelled with the workers from Cyfathfa and Hirwaun and set up outside Castle Inn. David J. V. Jones notes that like the food riots of the eighteenth century there were many women present and they were very vocal. In fact riots such as these are often made up of women, boys and young workers with older, more skilled workers or even middle class men acting as their leaders. Here the puddlers who had been sacked just before the rising began became their leaders. The area surronding Castle Inn was where many of the tradesmen of Merthyr lived. They were particularly centred around the house of Thomas Lewis, one of Merthyr’s hated moneylenders. He was responsible for getting many people into hard times. They forced him to sign a promise to return goods that had been seized.
By this time the crowd has created quite a stir, news spreading fast of the reclaiming of property. The Ironmasters began to realise the intensity of the situation and set up their headquarters and Castle Inn in order to plan and coordinate their response. This forced the local magistrate, J. B. Bruce out to try to diffuse the situation. As when it had started with Lewis reclaiming his property, this was a riot against the much hated Court of Requests. He tried to restore order, defending the works of the Court of Requests. But, of course, the crowd were not buying it. The first port of action was to enrol about 70 Special Constables. These were found amongst the ranks of the tradespeople, the middle men that the crowd had already turned their anger and resentment towards. They were a kind of voluntary police presence, like the special constables today, whose services were employed to keep the peace. While the Metropolitan Police Force had been established by Robert Peel in London, there was no formal police service like it nationally until later in the century. Instead, when unrest occurred military services were utilised. So Bruce sent word to the military authorities in Brecon to prepare their troops in case the situation escalated. This lack of a police force was coupled with a seemingly easy nation in which to keep the peace. Wales was very sparsely populated, with small settlements. The job of keeping the peace was given to the Justices of the Peace (JPS). However, this, much like the political system, was broken. It was built for a rural society which was quickly beginning to be in the days of the past. Places like Merthyr where the population was far more concentrated became far more difficult to police requiring the assistance of military services when the situation got out of hand.
However, Brecon isn’t exactly that close to Merthyr if an emergence situation broke out. Even today, Wales isn’t the most easily traversed nation, especially when concerning the more rural area. At this time there were no railways and an even poorer series of roads connecting Welsh towns and villages. Brecon is situated in the Brecon Beacons a series of hills that would have to be navigated in order to reach Merthyr. Below is a map of the areas, Merthyr situated at the bottom of the expanse of green which is the Beacons and Brecon almost near the top.
This was not the only time issue in their way. The military would be brought in my the JP contacting the Home Secretary by letter who would then, if they approved the request, would pass it on to the Secretary of State for War at the War Office. They would then issue a command to the officer in charge of the nearest garrison when the troops would then be dispatched to help dealt with a riot that had gotten out of hand.
The crowd still did not disperse. Instead the Riot Act had to be read by Anthony Hill the Ironmaster of Plymouth works, in both English and Welsh to ensure that everyone gathered knew and understood what the ramifications of their actions would be. The Riot Act was a piece of legislation that would be read out where a large crowd was “unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together” as the words of the act itself says. Officially this was in English, but the act would be translated into Welsh when read if necessary. This was read to inform people that they had a hour to disperse. After an hour, if there were still twelve people there then they were guilty of a capital offence. Strangely enough, only three people needed to be gathered together in order for it to be classed as a riot, but did not carry a death sentence unless there were twelve that remained after the Riot Act was read.
Pictured below is a portion of the riot act, including what would have been read to disperse a gathering.
Nevertheless, the crowd did not disperse. Instead they attacked the house of Thomas Lewis, the moneylender and drove the magistrate away.
The crowd only continued to grow and began to focus o the house of Joseph Coffin, the President of the Court of Requests. They demanded all the books of the court which they burned in the streets. This destroyed the evidence that they had debts to be paid or that their property had been taken in order to pay a debt. It was very reminiscent of the prelude to the French Revolution where the chateaux and records within them were destroyed during the Great Fear. With the fall of Charles X in France happen only the year before, tensions and anxieties were high amongst the ruling class of Britain. There was very little to say that the same could not happen here.
At the same time many workers marched around the ironworks persuading more of them to join their cause and strike. J. B. Bruce saw there was little to be done and the military could not just be on standby anymore. Rather they were necessary to restore order. 52 soldiers from the Royal Glamorgan Light Infantry were dispatched from Cardiff and a detachment of the 93rd Highlanders from Brecon were also sent.
Tomorrow, things would escalate far beyond what the authorities feared.
The Welbike was a British single-seat motorcycle produced by Excelsior Motor Company of Birmingham during World War II at the direction of Station IX at Welwyn, UK, for use by Special Operations Executive (SOE).
The original prototype was designed by SOE motor cycle enthusiast Harry Lester, from an idea developed by Lt. Colonel John Dolphin, the Commanding Officer of Station IX, the secret Inter-Services Military Research Establishment. Powered by a Villiers 98 cm3 (6.0 cu in) single-cylinder two-stroke petrol (gasoline) engine, the Welbike was designed to fit into a CLE Canister – the standard parachute airdrop container. The name Welbike comes from the custom that all the clandestine equipment devised at Station IX in Welwyn had names starting with Wel, e.g., Welrod. There was very limited space in the airborne equipment container, so the Welbike, which was carried in the container at an angle, had no suspension, no lights and just a single rear brake. The fuel tank was as small as possible and, because its bottom feed point was located lower than the carburetor, had to be pressurised occasionally by a hand pump built into the tank. The range on maximum capacity of 6.5 imperial pints of fuel was 90 miles (140 km) at about 30 mph (48 km/h).
The prototype was then sent to Excelsior Ltd for further development after initial testing. A number of pre-production “pilot” machines were built for further testing and experimental modifications at the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment at RAF Sherburn-in-Elmet near Leeds in September 1942, including dropping them from aircraft to land by parachute. The Villiers engine was found to be seriously underpowered when ridden by a fully equipped soldier, so it was retuned for maximum power. The simple design of the Welbike meant that it was easy and quick to produce and from 1942 went into full production for issue to airborne forces. By 1943 it was also being widely used by ground assault forces, including the Commandos and the Royal Marines Commando units, particularly for beach landings at Anzio and Normandy. The small size of the Welbike meant that it also proved very useful as a general airfield transport by the Royal Air Force.
There were three production versions of the Welbike. The first 1,200 were known as the Mark 1 and were really the developed version of the original prototype with tuned engines. 1,400 Mark 2 Series 1 Welbikes were produced and these had a range of minor modifications, including the addition of the rear mudguard. The final batch of 1,340 was the Mark 2 Series 2 and had “saddle” fuel tanks with a splash shielding between them and an improved filler cap, as the original design required the removal of the pressurisation pump. In combat situations, however, the Welbike could prove a liability as paratroops needed to get under cover as quickly as possible and had to find the Welbike containers before they could even start to assemble them. The difference in weight between a parachutist and a container meant that they often landed some distance apart, rather defeating the purpose, and some were captured by enemy forces or lost before they could even be used. Another problem for the Welbike was that, by the time it was in mass production, much larger gliders had been developed that could carry bigger and more powerful motorcycles.
Many of the later models never saw action and were disposed of at the end of the war, mostly exported to the U.S. where they were sold by a New York department store. The lack of a front brake meant that they could not legally be used on the road, however, so most were bought by farmers for off road use. There are surviving Welbikes in countries around the world including the UK, US (where many were sold surplus after World War II) Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Welbikes are quite rare and very few survive. Several surviving models are located at RAF Harrington Aviation Museum, Harrington, Northampton, UK, and the Imperial War Museum.
Plebeian: Henry VIII did nothing but have scandalous marriages and affairs. Ugh.
Intellectual: Henry VIII established centralized local government and released Britain from religious tyranny. His highest achievement being the redistribution of so much land in today’s market would be equal to £1 trillion. This paved the way for the prosperous commonwealth.
queen consorts + most pregnancies (requested by anonymous)
Margaret of Wessex (b. circa 1070 - d.1093) ♕ 8 pregnancies; all children lived to adulthood
Anabella Drummond (b. circa 1350 - d.1401) ♕ 7 pregnancies; 5 children lived to adulthood
Joan Beaufort (b. circa 1404 - d.1445) ♕ 8 pregnancies; 7 children lived to adulthood
Mary of Guelders (b.1434 - d.1463) ♕ 7 pregnancies; 6 children lived to adulthood Margaret Tudor (b.1489 - d.1541) ♕ 6 pregnancies; 1 child lived to adulthood
Anne of Denmark (b.1574 - d.1619) ♕ 10 pregnancies; 3 children lived to adulthood
Henrietta Maria of France (b.1609 - d.1669) ♕ 9 pregnancies; 5 children lived to adulthood
Mary of Modena (b.1658 - d.1718) ♕ 12 pregnancies; 2 children lived to adulthood
“The co-monarchy of Mary I and Philip II put England at the heart of early modern Europe. This positive reassessment of their joint reign counters a series of parochial, misogynist and anti-Catholic assumptions, correcting the many myths that have grown up around the marriage and explaining the reasons for its persistent marginalisation in the historiography of sixteenth-century England.”
In the last days of May and the first days of June 1831, Wales came close to revolution sparking in the growing industrial town of Merhyr Tydfil. The iron industry exploded in the town with the presence of everything necessary to make iron (iron ore, limestone, coal, water) in and around the area. The growing industry brought migrants from far and wide, people from as far as Russia coming to find work in the iron industry.
There were many different issues bubbling beneath the surface that built up and up for the workers of South Wales, some long term, some short term and all exasperated by the rapidly changing times with dramatic population growth, the circulation of ideas and other mass protests and riots that had occurred across Europe.
Above is an image of where Methyr is in relation to the county boundaries today. Below is a map of the historic counties of Wales. Merthyr is situated in the north eastern part of Glamorganshire.
Here are the historic county boundaries, Merthyr situated in the north eastern part of Glamorganshire.
The Industrial Revolution brought rapid change to Britain’s shores, one of the most significant being the changing patterns of living. Urban populations were growing rapidly through natural means and migration. People from across Wales moved from the countryside to the growing towns in order to find work in the new industrial landscape. But news of work quickly spreads with people from across Britain and Europe coming to find work in British Industry. Merthyr Tydfil was a prime example of this. The population boomed with the growth of industry.
Glamorganshire, where Merthyr Tydfil is, grew rapidly due to the growth of industry. The county gre from a population of 45,568 in 1801 to 157,418 in 1851. In the same time frame Merthyr itself had grown from 7,705 to 46,378. This population growth was unmatched elsewhere in the county. Swansea, another industrial town, also grew rapidly but no where near to the same extent, from 6,831 (only around 1000 under Merthyr population in 1801) to a measly 24,902 in 50 years.
Despite the massive shifting and growth of the population of Britain, very little had changed on the political landscape. People were flocking to industrial towns with the same representation as before. Wales had particularly poor representation meaning that Welsh demands and Welsh issues were often left unheard.
At this time the House of Commons had 658 MPs in all to represent the different countries and constituencies across Britain. At this time this included all of Ireland, the Act of Union bringing Ireland into the United Kingdom coming into place in 1800. As this is the case I do not forget Ireland when I say the UK, it’s just the historically correct terminology to use.
Out of these 658 MPs they were unevenly spread across the UK. To a certain extent this is understandable with England having a signficantly higher population than Wales, Scotland or Ireland.
England had 486 MPs
Ireland had 100 MPs
Scotland had 45 MPs
Wales had 27 MPs
Wales is a small county, both land wise and population wise, therefore, this may not seem all that disproportionate at first. The real dispartity comes when focusing on individual constituencies. Compared to Wales with its 27 MPs, Cornwall, one county in the south of England had 44 MPs. One county had 17 more MPs than an entire nation within the union.
But lets zoom in further to see these disparities even within Wales itself.
Radnorshire, a rural county with a population of 26,000 had one MP to represent them.
Glamorganshire, where Methyr Tydfil is situated, was a industrial county with a population of 127,000. 101,000 more people than Radnorshire, yet they still only have 1 MP to represent them. Merthyr Tydfil itself had almost the same population as Radnorshire at 23,000 people. Their only representation was the 1 MP that served the whole of the Glamorganshire area. Its abundantly clear that this was a failing system that needed to be changed.
However, the problems did not end there. The urbanised workers had begun to become politicised and wanted the franchise to be extended. At this time only around one tenth of the adult male population had the right to vote (around 500,000 out of a total population of 24 million). That is without taking into consideration the female or underage population. A very small minority of the population could actually vote, concentrated outside of the big urban areas that had sprung up over the past few decades of industrial growth.These problems had been recognised by some of those in politics, namely members of the Whigs who wished to change the franchise slightly. A Reform Bill was introduced to parliament but it failed to pass through the House of Commons. Due to this failure parliament was dissolved on 22 April 1831 leading to protests and riots breaking out throughout the industrial landscape.
The iron industry after the Napoleonic Wars was not stable, facing a series of depressions that caused protests, rioting and discontent throughout industrial areas. The Napoleonic Wars had initially caused a boom in the iron industry to keep up with demand for arms. However, with the end of the war in 1815, iron was no longer needed on such a scale. The most recent depression had begun in 1829.
Merthyr had four different iron works and iron masters:
Dowlais - John Josiah Guest
Plymouth - Anthony Hill
Cyfarthfa - William Crawshay Ii
Penydarren - Jeremiah Homfray
There were other iron works in and surrounding the area, but theses are the four main ones that employed the inhabitants of Methyr.
William Crawshay II was the current iron master at the Cyfarthfa works. He tried desperately to ensure that his workers could continue working through the depression to be well paid and provided for. He stockpiled the iron ready to sell for when the depression ended and prices rose. However, there was only so long that this could go on and wages had to be cut. The workers at Cyfathfa had it good compared to most industrial workers. They were some of the best paid in Merthyr if not the whole of South Wales at that time. But nobody takes to a wage cut well, even if they still remain some of the best paid. The decreased wages caused uproar among his workers. But the pay cut was only the beginning. Crawshay sacked 84 puddlers. These were the best paid and highly prized workers at any iron works. They were highly skilled workers, their craft almost a secret to those outside. Even the iron masters did not know the exact process they used. This made their jobs appear to be safe. If an iron master could afford to lose some puddlers then he could certainly afford to lose those lower down, the easily replaced workers. The workers panicked choosing to act before the iron masters did. They went on strike. We will return to this in a moment.
The Truck System
The Truck System had been a point of discontent for many workers long before the Merthyr Rising. It had caused riots and protests prior to this, and for good reason. For workers in the Truck System, they were not paid in conventional means with cash that could be used anywhere for food, rent, repairs, a pint at the end of a long day. Rather these workers were paid with token that were only redeemable at the company shop. It created a closed system that was easy to abuse. The iron masters owned everything that the workers would interact with. They could set the wages, the prices of food and rent etc. Iron masters would often increase the price of their products by up to 25% of the national average. But this was not the only concern of the workers. The iron masters had a monopoly over what the workers could buy. Often they were paying extortionate prices for lower quality items. The Truck System allowed for things to be taken out on credit, creating a vicious circle of debt. Workers were left in a loop of trying to pay off their debts, unable to move on from their circumstances in life. Once the debts got too high the shopkeepers would then prevent them from purchasing products until their debts had been paid. This was impossible for the workers to do on their own without the ‘aid’ of bailiffs.
Two of the main iron masters at Merthyr were Crawshay of Cyfarthfa iron works and Guest of Dowlais iron works. They were patriarchal employers who tried to do their best for their employees. Crawshay in particular refused to implement a truck system trying to avoid these issues. Guest on the other hand did use the truck system to pay his workers but did not abuse it to the extent mentioned above. These workers appeared to have it pretty good when compared to many of the other industrial labourers of South Wales.
The Court of Requests
The abuses of the Truck System led to workers ending up in debt which could not be paid. This is where the Court of Requests steps in, essentially bailiffs. They would seize goods worth the equivalent value of debts, creating a loop that entrapped workers also stuck in the Truck System. The depression in the iron industry led to many families going into debt, even those who were not involved in a form of truck system. Loans were sometimes taken out in order to makeup the shortfall creating a different vicious cycle. When poor families could not repay, the creditors turned to the Court of Requests to get their money back. Since 1809 the Court had allowed bailiffs to seize property. Many were forced to accept poor relief which was also based on an outdated Poor Law dating back to Elizabethan times.
These are the more long term causes of the riots, with some zooming in onto the immediate events. The next post will look at he more immediate sparks of the risings, some of which will cross over with what has been discussed here.
I drew this whilst waiting for my mum to cook some chicken. The chicken was nice, but I like my drawing, except it’s on lined paper and lined paper has lines and that can be annoying but that’s fine because you can still see.
That history has had both a king named William Rufus, and a man named William Rufus King? And that both of those men are thought to have been gay?
William II of England (lived 1056-1100) was the son of William the Conquerer. He was called William Rufus (“Rufus” meaning red in Latin) because of either his red hair or red cheeks. He died during a hunting trip when an arrow happened to enter his chest. He never married or fathered any children, which is why people think he might have been gay (or maybe ace, idk). Because he had no heirs, his younger brother Henry took the throne after him, becoming Henry I.
William R. King (lived 1786-1853) was the 13th vice president of the US. He was also very close with future president James Buchanan. The two men lived together for over a decade, which doesn’t sound very straight to me. Buchanan referred to their relationship as a “communion”, and they often attended official functions together. King died of tuberculosis after just 45 days of being the vice president (to Franklin Pierce, not Buchanan).
The coronation ceremonies lasted four long and lavish days. On the first day, Anne would be escorted by river to the Tower where she would remain for two nights. On the third day a road procession would take place from the Tower to Westminster and on the final day the coronation and great banquet at Westminster Hall.
- On Thursday 29 May, Anne Boleyn was received as queen of England by all the lords of England. And the mayor and aldermen, with all the guilds of the City of London, went to Greenwich in 50 elaborately decorated great barges, with also a barge of bachelors of the mayor’s guild richly hung with cloth of gold, to wait on her.
Flags and bunting overall, hung with gold foil that glistened in the sun and with little bells that tinkled; the vessels were packed with musicians of every kind.
And so all the lords with the mayor and all the guilds of London brought her by water from Greenwich to the Tower of London, and there the king’s grace received her as she landed, and then over a thousand guns were fired at the Tower, and others fireworks were fired at Limehouse, and on other ships lying in the Thames.
- On the second day, Anne, who was five months pregnant, rested, whilst one of the important ceremonies that attended coronations was carried out – the creation of new Knights of the Bath.
- Continuing the tradition, At 5 o’clock on the third day (Saturday 31st May 1533), the procession left the Tower en route for Westminster. Up to 300 people of varying degrees and importance made up the procession that made its way slowly past the waiting crowds.
The Lord Mayor and Corporation were responsible for welcoming the Queen and entertaining her as she was shown to the people.
Anne, dressed in “filmy white, with a coronet of gold” with an ermine mantle and her lustrous dark hair flowing loose to her waist, was carried through the streets on a litter of white satin with white cloth of gold inside and out, with hundreds of courtiers, ladies and officials in scarlet and violet velvet robes preceding and following her.
- Sunday 1 June 1533 was the crowning day of Anne Boleyn’s life in every sense: Anne entered Westminster Hall ready to be crowned Queen of England. She was dressed in “coronation robes of purple velvet, furred with ermine, with the gold coronet on her head which she had worn the day before”.
She prostrated herself before the High Altar, then, once more on her feet, received the Crown of St. Edward, the rod and the sceptre, from the Archbishop of Canterbury and cemented her spot in history.
She was now an anointed queen and no longer merely mortal. Set above all others and witnessed by God Himself - only death could remove her.
Source: The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (2004) by Eric Ives.
𝙌𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙑𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙖 𝙗𝙮 𝙃𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙫𝙤𝙣 𝘼𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡𝙞, 1890. She is wearing a black dress with white trimmings; a veil and diamond necklace and earrings; the Small Crown of 1870; the Family Order of Victoria and Albert and the star and ribbon of the Garter.
Provenance: Painted for Queen Victoria
The painting is currently in the Horn Corridor at Osborne House.
Given Tumblr apparently doesn’t know anything about British Prime Ministers that were in office before they were born, I thought I might start a bit of a series on terrible British Prime Ministers. I might call it “Worse Prime Ministers Than Theresa May”.
I’ve done a bit of googling, and interestingly, the Prime Ministers who tend to be ranked towards the bottom or as “worst” are often conservatives, with the exception of Gordon Brown.
Two fairly famous prime ministers who often end up near the bottom are:
-Neville Chamberlain, most famous for his policy of appeasement towards the Nazis and actually signing an international treaty saying it was fine that they invaded a bit of then Czeckoslovakia. Also opened talks with Italy when they were being internationally boycotted for invading Ethiopia. Chamberlain did finally stand up to the Nazis when they invaded Poland- there’s also a big debate about whether we could have won a war started in 1938. However, cosying up to fascists is never a good look.
-Antony Eden, most famous for being the PM during the Suez Crisis. In 1956, Israel invaded Egypt. The UK and France supported this because Egypt has nationalised the Suez Canal and provided military support, initially under cover of peacekeeping. Up until 1953, Egypt had been a British Protectorate, and the UK was not keen on the newly independent Egypt doing this. Whilst invading Egypt, Eden was simultaneously calling on the USSR to stop invading Hungary. The rest of the world was not impressed with the UK, and ultimately due to US/UN pressure, the invaders had to agree a ceasefire and withdraw. Eden also tried to have Nasser(President of Egypt at the time) assassinated and only didn’t pursue this because Egyptian forces had managed to capture most MI6 agents in the country. After this, Eden apparently had a breakdown and resigned as Prime Minister. Eden literally did not give a fuck about Egypt, at one stage he is quoted as saying “I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt”.
These are obviously simplifications of complicated issues, but the point is that we have always had terrible Prime Ministers- largely supplied by the Conservative Party. I suppose the only difference between then and now is that we have lost a lot of our influence as a “World Power” so instead of fucking up other countries, the current lot have to be content with fucking up the UK.
#UK politics#uk history #20th century history #WW2#British history #Worse Prime Ministers than Theresa May #stop chucking around the term worst #we have honestly had some awful PMs in this country #but a lot of people on tumblr apparently don't know the history of their own country #People did terrible things before you were alive too
So as you know, in American English lieutenant is pronounced loo-tenant, but in British English it’s pronounced left-tenant. Some people think the reason is because the lieutenant on a ship stood on the left, but according to my supervisor the reason was that v and u were interchangeable letters in early modern print, like I and j. So lieutenant was spelled lievtenant, which meant people pronounced it leave-tenant, which evolved into lev-tenant and then left-tenant.
so anyway. why don’t they actively teach kids about the boer war earlier. why are the british always painted as the heroes of war and peace in history classes until you’re nearly old enough to legally have sex. why was i never taught before today that the british invented concentration camps.
Why the British Suffragettes should be removed from their place in the history books as the ones who won the vote Or, why they should be replaced with the Suffragists
British political history of that time period shows that it was gaining the support of the population rather than the people that got the groups of voters to be more inclusive. The 1867 extension was a complicated mess brought about by a desire to one up one another and win more voters, the 1884/5 extension was also done to gain more voters and to win back credential, and the 1832 act was once again more caused by politicians than the people. In all these cases there was pressure from the people but it was at its lowest when the politicians moved for the acts to be passed and they seemed to be doing it for their own personal reasons and belief
The Suffragists fought long and hard, through letters to the politicians, to try and win their right to vote. When the extension was passed the Suffragists were the ones still appealing to the politicians for the extension, the Suffragettes had ceased fighting 4 years earlier, for a good cause but one that meant their possible impact on the right to vote was severely reduced
The Suffragettes were campaigning for a right for a select minority of women to have the right to vote. Even if you believe they achieved their goal, they themselves would have encouraged parliament to avoid giving the right to vote for all women. By saying they won all women the right to vote because that is what they believed in, you are making leaps in logic they would have been insulted by
Psychology tells us that those that are willing to suffer for their cause are more likely to achieve support then those who aren’t. It also tells us that terrorists, groups who cause others to suffer for their cause, are more likely to lose support and have people turn against them. The Suffragettes were terrorists, they committed violent actions in the name of politics, and opinions at the time said they were causing others to suffer more than themselves. They gained noterority but often to the detriment of their cause
As proof, frequently the Suffragettes lost women the right to vote rather than gained support. On several occasions there were attempts to pass acts which would allow women the right to vote, several had a large number of voters supporting their cause yet when it came time to actually put it into effect these voters decreased in number with many citing the violence of the Suffragettes as the reason
The Suffragettes, as an organisation, was one ruled by a single leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, who took the role because she wanted it and gave power to her daughter. Democracy would have been hard to find in the organisation itself and the actions of the organisation lost support of women of the era who disagreed with their methods. One of these was Pankhurst’s other daughter whose politics fell more in line with the Suffragists rather than the Suffragettes
In summary, the Suffragettes were notorious and definitely gained attention but this attention frequently lost them support, were it mattered, and hindered their cause. Whilst the Suffragists continually gained support both with the public and with the politicians, they were the ones still campaigning when the right to vote was actually achieved. Therefore, although the Suffragettes are more well known, people should avoid crediting them with the right to vote their efforts failed to achieve and the Universal right to vote they never campaigned for. The credit should go to the people who campaigned for Universal Suffrage and actually gained support were it mattered for that time period and that issue