British History

Sophia Duleep Singh, Part 2: Suffragette Princess

Sophia Duleep Singh's education was focused on turning her into a proper lady, in line with her status as a princess. But she also became deeply involved in the Women's Social and Political Union, a radical arm of the women's suffrage movement in Britain.

Sophia Duleep Singh, Part 1: Princess In Exile

A princess of the Sikh empire, Sophia Duleep Singh grew up in Great Britain, and was Queen Victoria's god daughter. But her childhood was not exactly a charmed one, and her family, caught between two worlds, experienced great upheaval and tragedy.

The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

We love to talk about shipwrecks, but Violet Jessop was a shipwreck survivor -- several times over. She traveled the world aboard some of the most famous ocean liners of all time.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

In 1781, British forces shifted their efforts in the American Revolutionary War to the southern states. Major General Nathaniel Greene and his troops went up against Charles Cornwallis in a battle that was won on a technicality.

Mary Ann Cotton

In the mid-1800s, Mary Ann Cotton is believed to have poisoned as many as 21 people with arsenic, many of them her own children. She left a trail of bodies behind her everywhere she went, but it was her cavalier remarks that finally drew suspicion.

Child Migrant Program

In the 19th and 20th centuries, 150,000 child migrants were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Many of these children ended up in far worse conditions than they left behind. Read the show notes here.

The St. Kitts Slave Revolt of 1834

Until the 1830s, the dominant industry on St. Kitts was sugar, and the majority of the people living there were enslaved Africans who kept that industry going. When the act that was supposed to free them fell short of doing so, the slaves rebelled.

Dazzle Camouflage

British Royal Navy lieutenant and artist Norman Wilkinson is usually credited with the idea of disruptive camouflage. But, another man, naturalist John Graham Kerr, claimed that he had the idea three years earlier. Read the show notes here.

The Battle of Mons and the Angels That Followed

The Battle of Mons was one of the earliest battles of World War I. In the months after the battle, stories spread that a supernatural presence had covered the British army, preventing it from being destroyed. Read the show notes here.

The Great London Smog

London is no stranger to smog, which is why when the Great London Smog descended in December of 1952, nobody quite realized anything unusual was going on. At its largest, it extended 30 kilometers around London, and it killed thousands of people. Read the show notes here.