Spring of Water Rises: A history of Orpington before 1900

I recently moved to Orpington, part of the London Borough of Bromley, on the border of London and Kent. Despite only becoming part of London in 1965, Orpington has a long and interesting history which has meant my original idea for this blog post has changed several times. Therefore this post only covers the history … More Spring of Water Rises: A history of Orpington before 1900

Chocolate and the Quakers: Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry

The nineteenth century saw the rise of the three famous cocoa refining companies: Cadbury; J. S. Fry & Sons and Rowntree. What were unique about these companies were their Quaker roots. All three were run during this period by Quaker families although by the twentieth century these companies moved out of Quaker control. So why … More Chocolate and the Quakers: Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry

Incest and Royalty: The Reasons and the Effects

Jokes about inbreeding and incest are common in discussions about royalty, for non-historians such jokes can actually be some of the basis of their knowledge about royalty. However why royalty decided to choose incestuous unions and what the effects of such unions are less considered. This is despite incest and inbreeding being apparent across the … More Incest and Royalty: The Reasons and the Effects

A Brief Overview of Indian Migration and Diaspora in Africa

The Indian diaspora in Africa has seen a number of fluctuating migrations in the last two centuries. The majority of Indians came to Africa as indentured servants to the British. The use of indentured servants became particularly popular in the 19th century after the abolition of slavery, as the next cheapest form of labour. 32,000 … More A Brief Overview of Indian Migration and Diaspora in Africa

The Bulldagger of the Harlem Renaissance, The Gay Emperor, The Bisexual Pirate and the Blonde Bombshell

This month in the UK is LGBT history month and in its honour I have decided to look at a figure from each group in the acronym. Lesbian – Gladys Bentley Born in 1907, Bentley left home at 16 for New York where she soon ended up in Harlem. Harlem had become known as the … More The Bulldagger of the Harlem Renaissance, The Gay Emperor, The Bisexual Pirate and the Blonde Bombshell