Category Archives: Politics & Law

Aspects of British Law and Politics

Regency Bicentennial:   Reintroduction of the Gold Sovereign

This coming Wednesday marks the bicentennial of the reintroduction of the gold sovereign coin into the coinage of Great Britain. This was part of the government’s effort to update and stabilize the national currency after the Napoleonic Wars. The last … Continue reading

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The Tax on Salt During the Regency

Nearly all creatures need salt, and it has great value as a food preservative, which is why that essential commodity has been taxed since ancient times. And Regency Britain was no exception, in large part, courtesy of the need to … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Britain Acquires the Elgin Marbles

Two hundred years ago today, an order was issued, by the authority of the British Parliament, to procure a warrant from the Prince Regent for the payment of £35,000. This sum was to be paid to Lord Elgin, for the … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Bonaparte Aboard the Bellerophon — Part Two

Last week, we left Napoleon Bonaparte and Captain Maitland on board the Bellerophon, anchored off Torbay in Plymouth Sound. While boatloads of people were ferried out to the vicinity of the ship to get a glimpse of the former French … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Bonaparte Aboard the Bellerophon — Part One

Rather ironically, Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last day and night in France on Friday, 14 July 1815, the twenty-sixth anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris. Known in France as Fête nationale (French National Day) or simply … Continue reading

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Sir Stamford Raffles:   When Doing Right Went Horribly Wrong

Last month, I wrote about the anniversary of the eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia. That natural disaster, the single most violent volcanic eruption on record, would eventually wreak havoc around the globe. But in the first weeks and months … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s King Lear Banned in the Regency

No one who lived in Great Britain during the Regency would have been able to attend a performance of the play considered by many to be William Shakespeare’s finest tragedy, King Lear. Curiously, even if they had been able to … Continue reading

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