In eighteenth-century Britain, warrants of arrest typically outlined the crime by which a suspected individual was to lose their liberty. These legal proceedings usually required the signature(s) of a judge or collection of legal overseers. In Admiral John Byng’s arrest warrant, though three signatures directed a marshal to apprehend him, something vital was missing: (more…)

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In mid-December of 1756, armed colliers in Wales seized barges on the River Wye near Lidbrook and damaged a nearby mill. For the next three days, numerous barges filled with wheat, barley, peas, and flour were seized up and down the Wye. Barge owners appealed to the rioters without success. When Nailers from nearby Ross-on-Wye joined with the collier-driven mobs, they came upon a scheme to (more…)

The Pope in the mid-eighteenth century had nothing on Empress Maria Theresa.[1] The outcome of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) ensured that she would rule the Holy Roman Empire for the next three decades. Britain helped, but that alliance meant little to the queen when the next war came around. Catholicism began to drive the empress’ foreign policies forward. When tensions renewed between Great Britain and France, Empress Maria Theresa began to rework (more…)

With over 260-million views on YouTube, Donald Glover’s (aka Childish Gambino) “This is America” actually repeats history. By that I mean to state that Glover is using song and wit to tell a story.[1]  As a cultural historian, I appreciated Glover’s approach to satirize deep-seeded problems in American society. But the expression of topics in musical form is nothing new. (more…)

The practice of “spinning” a story, or aiming for a particular narrative (during my lifetime), had grown exponentially to the point where I tossed out my television back in 2003. Yep, no cable, no satellite, and I’m proud of my (more…)

Emails crossing the Atlantic indicate I am to be an author. Routledge, a “Global publisher of quality academic books…” based out of London, gave me the good news late today. Now I don’t know what else to type. A soon to be “author” and I’m at a loss for words. Ha!

Oh, wait – I do have one word: (more…)

Last week I found myself growing ever more addicted to the research on Admiral John Byng’s trial. I have notes on this trial dating back to 2009. I have not seen some of my own research regarding Byng’s court-martial since 2014, the year I turned in my dissertation. Back then, I turned in four chapters none of which approached (more…)