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Dreaming Murder in Parliament #6: The Bude Kirk Rumours October 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreaming Murder in Parliament #6: The Bude Kirk Rumours

Now consider this strange little annex, in Lang. One very curious circumstance in connection with the assassination of Mr. Perceval has never been noticed. A rumour or report of the deed reached Bude Kirk, a village near Annan, on the night of Sunday, May 10, a day before the crime was committed! This was stated […]

Dreaming Murder in Parliament #5: Andrew Lang Speaks! October 16, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreaming Murder in Parliament #5: Andrew Lang Speaks!

***Lots of great correspondence on this, but legal wrangles with builder mean still not time to put up. Will try tomorrow. My comment about three fold dreams were particularly misguided!*** Andrew Lang on the Perceval murder and Mr Williams’ dream, the single most cogent discussion we’ve found. The most commonly known of dreams prior to, […]

Child Sacrifice in Nineteenth-Century Italy October 15, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Child Sacrifice in Nineteenth-Century Italy

Sorry but a busy day today and still fighting the good fight against dishonest architects so just a strange report from 1858. Beach has not the slightest idea what to make of it. Really, it should all be pure fantasy and yet there is a lot circumstantial information: also the fact the child was English. […]

Twelve Best History Montages October 13, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Twelve Best History Montages

By history montage we refer to short length runs of images and film available on youtube often with attractive music in the background. They are typically put together by amateurs and their productions standards and their production values can be a little shaky. However, often late in the evening or when he wants his daughters […]

The Bird Whisperer! October 12, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Bird Whisperer!

Horse whisperers are there in fiction and film and perhaps in fact and Beach previously had fun with East Anglian horse whispering (with many reader’s emails elucidating). But what about bird whispering? What could you possibly do to calm a bird? This blogger would find it easier to relate to a reptile or an insect […]

Dreaming Murder in Parliament #3: The Earliest Account October 11, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreaming Murder in Parliament #3: The Earliest Account

This appeared in The Times 16 Aug 1828 ‘Remarkable Coincidences’. We have been able to find no earlier trace of the alleged dream of the murder of 1812. It is clearly valuable for its age  and seems to depend on the special knowledge of Mr Williams. However, serious discrepancies with the later account (next post) […]

Dreaming Murder in Parliament #2: The Event October 9, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreaming Murder in Parliament #2: The Event

Any study of the psychic dream that supposedly/allegedly accompanied the death of Spencer Percival in 1812 needs some background: most studies get straight to the dream and skip over the whos and whats of the assassination, which have some intriguing aspects in themselves. Spencer Perceval (1762-1812) was a Tory statesman who had served as Chancellor […]

Bread and Drowning October 8, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Bread and Drowning

People drown, almost by definition, in large bodies of water: very few people end their lives in baths or ponds or puddles. This means that there is the problem of how to find any missing bodies. Our ancestor pragmatically used magic to find these lost bodies and it is interesting just how late the magic […]

Dreaming Murder in Parliament #1: Arthur Speaks October 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreaming Murder in Parliament #1: Arthur Speaks

This case is a psychic classic that Beach has long wanted to look into. He thought he would begin with a well-written but uncritical account to show just how excited people can get. Cue Arthur Conan Doyle who claimed that this was ‘clear proof of psychic action… though there is some slight confusion about the […]

The Mystery of Hadrian’s Wall October 6, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
The Mystery of Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is one of the great Roman mysteries: though most archaeologists and classicists that trot obediently along it do not think of ‘the Wall’ in those terms. Consider the facts though. Hadrian builds HW in 122-c.126 as part of his efforts to retrench the Empire after Trajan’s expansionary policy in Dacia and Armenia. Hadrian […]

Jumping the Broomstick September 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Jumping the Broomstick

Here’s an account from the marches of Yorkshire and Lancashire. It involves a very unusual folk wedding in the late nineteeenth or the early twentieth century. One of the strangest sights that I ever saw in my early inn days was a ‘brush steyl’ wedding at an inn on the Stanedge Road. We had been […]

Fairy and Diary September 26, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Fairy and Diary

Just recently Beach came across an eighteenth-century diary with a strange fairy reference and wondered if any readers could help with trying to get to the bottom of it. First, we should say that the diary, by one Rev John Thomlinson, is full of highly elliptical references: it was definitely not for public consumption, but […]

The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794 September 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794

We haven’t done mermaids for a long time. Yet who can forget the submarine and the mermaids or the Queen of Cuba or the mermaid that ate boiled fish or for that matter Christopher Columbus and the mermaid and the mermaid killed in Exeter. Oh happy days… Anyway, from memories of the past to a new […]

African in Tenth-Century Britain September 22, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
African in Tenth-Century Britain

***Thanks to Borky for this lovely piece*** People and perhaps particularly kids are forever pulling things out of rivers. So the fact that, in July of this year, a couple of thirteen-year-olds dragged some human bones out of the Coln river in Gloucestershire is hardly a world-stopper.  Nor it is suprising that these bones turned […]

Spectacle in the Victorian Theatre September 14, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Spectacle in the Victorian Theatre

The Victorians had a wonderfully superficial streak, which somehow went beyond mere materialism and teetered on the sublime. There are few times where this comes out more than in their theatre spectaculars where content was sacrificed ruthlessly to effect and appearance. You want to put on Anthony and Cleopatra? Great, gut about seven of the […]

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