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Penny Hampson

Wellington: Was his one failure the making of him?

May 27th, 2021

I thought I’d write a little bit about a real-life Regency hero, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852). From unpromising beginnings, Wellington rose to become one of the towering figures of the nineteenth century. His reputation for integrity and devotion to duty make him stand out in an age when these qualities were seldom […]

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Will You Take the High Road? A Tour of Scotland

March 22nd, 2021

Regular readers of my blog may recall my article about John Byng, Viscount Torrington, an 18th century diarist who wrote about his travels round Britain. Well, in the Gentleman’s Magazine, I discovered yet another chap who enjoyed touring the country. Amongst the ecletic mix of articles in the July 1812 edition, one in particular caught […]

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You’ve Got Mail: A look at the mail coach service

February 20th, 2021

I’ve written before about the various ways in which mail got delivered in the past, specifically the packet ships . Now I’m looking at the mail coach service and John Palmer (1742-1818), the mail coach pioneer. John Palmer was born in Bath to a family of wealthy brewers. As well as the brewery business, his […]

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Learning the Drill:The Good Soldier, Part 3

February 3rd, 2021

Here is my third and final post about Sir John Moore’s system of training. Today, I’m looking at drill. Drill was an important feature of a soldier’s training. Recruits were initially taught this on an individual basis, then as they progressed, they were taught in squads, then companies and battalions. Starting with close order drill, […]

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The Good Soldier: Sir John Moore’s System of Training

November 19th, 2020

As some background reading to my historical stories I’ve been looking at Sir John Moore’s System of Training. This book by Colonel J.F.C. Fuller D.S.O, published in 1924, outlines the methods of training established by Sir John Moore early in the 19th century. Sir John Moore (1761-1809) was a British Army general, renowned for his […]

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Learn How Not To Travel: Two Dangerous Trips

October 5th, 2020

I’ve been looking at my October 1812 edition of The Gentleman’s Magazine and discovered amongst the many news reports, accounts of two hair-raising events. On the 1st Oct it was reported that, at one o’clock in the afternoon, a Mr Sadler ascended in his balloon from Belvedere House, near Dublin. It must have been windy, […]

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A Stroll into the Past Along Great Pulteney Street

July 28th, 2020

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I enjoy visiting Bath. Rightly designated a Unesco world heritage site, it is one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in England. Bath’s popularity isn’t a modern phenomenon; the Romans quite liked it too, using it’s natural hot springs to create a fabulous bath complex. Today, however, I’m […]

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Fiction from Fact

July 5th, 2020

My upcoming book A Bachelor’s Pledge is a work of fiction but there are many elements of the story that actually occurred. I try to fit them in seamlessly, so that it is not too much like a history lesson for the reader. It is late 1810, and my hero, Phil Cullen, is instructed by […]

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Fancy a Ride Round Britain?

May 26th, 2020

Then let’s accompany Colonel John Byng, Viscount Torrington (1743-1813) on one of his tours. I’ve written about this chap before, but I thought now — when we are unable to travel — would be a good time to have another look at his diaries detailing his trips round the country. On Saturday 2nd July 1785 […]

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