Ripples From The French Revolution In Tewksbury

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy (White House speech, 1962) First published in the Tewkesbury Historical Society "Bulletin 23", Mar 2014 and in "The Local Historian", Jan 2014 (journal of the British Association for Local History) The advent of the French Revolution in 1789 polarised opinion in England. Some saw it as positive: Charles Fox described the storming of the Bastille as “How much the greatest event it is that ever […]

A Map of the Parish of Bitton 1842

The Parish of Bitton 1842
This is a map of the Parish of Bitton from 1842. Cock Road can be see just to the right of Hanham. Note that the original is marked 1842 however, the map shows the Midland Branch Line (now the Bristol-Bath cycle track) which was not opened until 1869. See the Avon Valley Railway website for more details. A full version of The History of The Parish of Bitton in the County of Glousceter. by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe can be found on Archive.org.

Map of kingswood and the Parish of Bitton 1750

Kingswood and the parish of Bitton 1750
This map from 1750 is of the 'Liberties' around Kingswood and the parish of Bitton. The dotted line running out through Warmly is the London Road (now the A420). The Cock Road, not marked, is just above where “Gee Moor” is written in “Mr Bond’s Liberty”. The houses are labelled with many of the family names that are associated with the Cock Road Gang. It contains many of the family names which are associated with the Cock Road Gang such as (with various spellings) Britton, Wilmot, Ilses, Bryant, […]

Map of Kingswood 1610

Map of Kingswood 1610, Gloucestershire. PlateVIIII from The History of the Parish of Bitton, in the County of Gloucester by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe (William Pollard, Bristol: 1881)‡. Found in Bristol Central Reference Library.
Home to the notorious Kingswood Miners and infamous Cock Road Gang this is what Kingswood, North of Bristol, looked like in 1610. 'London Waye' is now the A420 and Bath Waye is the A431. A full version of The History of The Parish of Bitton in the County of Glousceter. by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe can be found on Archive.org.

Some Hidden Histories of the British State Revealed in 2013

Republican mural drawing attention to the complex web of organisations involved in the counter-insurgency campaign in Northern Ireland
In ten years we'll leak the truth By then it's only so much paper According to the U.S. punk band the Dead Kennedys it takes about 10 years before our 'democracies' decide to "leak the truth" about activities of secret arms of the state. In the current world of social media and the information highway there seems to be a perception that no secret is safe and that "it will get out somehow". This suggests the cosy idea that somehow the internet is leading us to a more open society with rapid […]

Bliss Mill Strikers

Bliss Mill Front Cover
Bliss Tweed Mill: Prosecuted Strikers/Supporters, 1914 CN = Chipping Norton Name Address Age Started Work at Bliss Mill Occupation Sentence Re-engaged Walter Bowen 1 Finsbury Place, CN 25 Baker (his father, John, was a striker) Bound over 12 months John Bowen re-engaged 06/11/1916 Annie Cooper 16 Spring Street, CN 50 About 1888 Machine Feeder 14 days No Charles A Dixon 4 London Road, CN 21 About 1905 Yarn Store Hand Bound over 12 months No John (Jack) Gee 3 Kimberly Place, West Street, CN 29 […]

The Crimes of Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang”

In the Forest of Dean towards the end of the nineteenth century the ‘Blakeney Outrages’ of the 1890s led to Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang” being accused of acts of poisoning, maiming, stealing, poaching, midnight raids, dynamiting, arson and murder. However, their story cannot be understood without placing their actions in the historical context of the struggle for the customary right to common which in the past involved the use of direct action and political violence. A consideration of […]

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