Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best Tweets of 2011: strange rules and regulations

Here are some more of our favourite tweets of 2011 as found in MEMSO. Remember, access to MEMSO is available (discounted during the Holiday season) at http://www.tannerritchie.com/.

Today's theme: strange rules & regulations.

1611: Act abolishing rude & barbarous customs in Ireland, such as crying or howling at funerals; blowing milch cattle to make them give milk.
The West End of Canterbury Cathedral.
Once England's finest gothic urinal?

1536: Henry VIII orders all inhabitants of Galway to shave their 'over lips called crompeaulis' & grow their hair 'til it covers their ears'

1634: Despite a ban, urination @ west end of Canterbury Cathedral & defiling of churchyard 'with more filthy excrements' is still a problem.

Report from London 1618: Tobacco use widespread but banned from court as James I abhors it. Also a great selection of European wines but very expensive. As a result, hiccups held in high regard. Not rude to discharge them in your neighbour's face provided they be redolent of wine or choice of tobacco.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Best Tweets of 2011: Sports and recreation (sort of)

[Remember, all the information we post is from stories we find while using Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) and our ebooks available from $7.50 each right now at http://www.tannerritchie.com/]

In 1559 the total value of tennis balls imported into port of London was £1,699. A (rough) calculation of that at today's prices is $423,889.75, or $423,889, 15 shillings, or somewhere in the neighbourhood of 403,704 guineas. Prices in marks, merks and Harry Nobles available on request. Whichever way you calculate it, that seems like enough money to buy a huge number of tennis balls for a population in England and Wales of about 2.5 million.

King James V of Scotland in 1524, perhaps lacking a steady supply of Slazenger tennis balls, instead took part in the popular game of chucking eggs at Stirling castle in mock warfare. Hen-houses raided to supply ammunition.

Quote of the day from Lord Godolphin, 15/9/1704: 'A discreet clergyman is almost as rare as a black swan'. Australia discovered by Dutch in 1606, but apparently news of the large populations of black swans (and complete lack of discreet clergymen) in the antipodes had yet to reach Godolphin. The black swan was first described scientifically by English naturalist John Latham in 1790.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Best Tweets of 2011: Ailments

After yesterday's grizzly deaths, today we recap some of the more unusual ailments we've seen in MEMSO this year.

1677: Archbishop of Canterbury has stranguary (painful and frequent spasms of urination, wrenching out only small drops) PLUS hiccups. Baaaaad combo.

1688: Duchess of Monmouth is 'in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg ... likely to get shorter & shorter'. Hurt doing dancing tricks.

June 1669: Queen Catherine miscarries after 'being affrighted by an unfortunate accident with one of the King's [Charles II] tame foxes'. The fox followed Charles II into bedchamber at night undetected. In early hours of a.m., fox ran over sleeping Queen's face and into the bed.

29/9/16[42]: Oliver Cromwell's carriage overturns. His belly and thigh so bruised he can't move. The details kept secret due to dishonour of it. [He was driving!]

8/4/1528: Bishop of Lincoln can't perform his duty to Henry VIII this Easter as his limbs are too unwieldy. Shaky hands not ideal Communion

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Tweets of 2011: Deaths

We're celebrating the Christmas season by re-tweeting some of our best tweets from the last year (and we'll post them here too). To kick it off, here are the most gruesome and bizarre deaths we found in MEMSO this year.

1595: Sultan Murad III dies from epilepsy. On his death bed he ate solid meats, thick soups and other aphrodisiacs 'for he lay immersed in lust'.

18/8/1503: Controversial Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) dies. Ugliest and most monstrous corpse anyone had ever seen. No human form or likeness. His mouth foamed like a boiling kettle. Swollen body was as long as it was wide. His corpse was stuffed into coffin and jumped on in order to close the lid. Borgia's stomach was swollen and liquidized, and his face turned the colour of wine, mulberries and dirty rags, and began to peel off...

1/8/1714: Q Anne dies at 7pm. Suffered stroke on 30th of July, but death due to gout and ultimately erysipelas (skin infection). Her body was so swollen the coffin was extra large and entirely square.

Get all our Twitter updates during 2012 at http://twitter.com/tannerritchie/

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When Royal Grandparents Go Bad: George I

Caroline of Ansbach,
princess of Wales, in 1716
On 14 December 1717, George, prince of Wales and future George II, and his wife Caroline, the future queen, were turned out onto the streets of London without money, guards or coaches. They had been imprisoned for 4 days in St James's palace following an argument with George I at the christening of the prince and princess of Wales' new baby, which almost ended in a duel.

The king had chosen the Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of Newcastle, as one of the godparents, apparently according to the custom that the chamberlain took this role. The Prince of Wales, who disliked Newcastle, then shook his fist at the duke, and said '"You are a rascal, but I shall find you out!" The duke misheard, and thought that the prince had said "I shall fight you", in other words, challenged him to a duel.

The king and the baby's parents disagreed about the name the baby should take, as well as about who should be godparents. The king got his way, of course, with the baby being named 'George William' rather than 'Louis'. Moreover, he took possession of the new baby. The prince and princess were banished from court, Caroline fell sick with worry, and was forced into secret visits to her child.

By January, George I had begun to allow Caroline unrestricted access to her son, but in February the baby fell ill and died. Although a post-mortem showed a congenital heart defect as the cause of death, the prince and princess continued to believe that the forced separation was to blame.

The fallout from the dispute went far beyond just the royal family itself. Royal servants' families, who often had members serving both the king and the prince or princess, had to choose sides and leave their jobs, because it was impossible to have a family member in both households.

[Source: Calendar of the Stuart Papers, volume 5, pp. 277-278 http://tannerritchie.com/books/135/]

Thursday, December 1, 2011

TannerRitchie's Holiday and New Year Sale 2011!

 All downloads are $10 or less.
CD-ROMs 50% off.
Discounts on Short-Term Access to MEMSO!

It's that time of year again for TannerRitchie's biggest and most popular sale.

Nothing says Christmas
like a collection of monastic charters
(mead sold separately)

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at TannerRitchie we give you more than a day to take advantage of the huge savings on every book in our catalogue. Downloads are $10 CAD or less, and CD-ROMs are half price.

Alternatively, take advantage of our sale on Short-Term Subscriptions to MEMSO, and access our entire collection of books and manuscripts in our powerful online database.

Research has never been so easy with MEMSO's powerful search engine.  Conduct limitless searches and work with as many books and manuscripts as you want .... at the same time. You even get ebooks to keep*  So go on.  Try MEMSO for an hour, a couple of days, or longer.

Highlights of 2011

We've added hundreds of new titles and will be adding more during the sale - so be sure to visit tannerritchie.com regularly.

During 2011 we've added books to our most popular series, and also published fantastic collections of under-appreciated and underused sources.

Scottish and Genealogy

Scottish and genealogical titles are a perennial favourite at TannerRitchie. This year we added some important new series, such as Hew Scott's Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (the biographies of the ministers of the Scottish Church since the Reformation in 1560 to 1900, in English), and built on existing ones, such as William Fraser's Scottish family histories which cover the medieval period to the 19th century, and include those of Colquhoun, Grant, Elphinstone and Wemyss amongst others.

A wide variety of interesting documents and family papers were also published by the Abbotsford and Bannatyne Clubs.  So if you are interested in these, or Mary Queen of Scots, James VI and the Jacobites, be sure to take a look in our History Club Section. Many of these titles are hidden gems, such as Catalogues of Jewels, Dresses, Furniture, Books and Paintings of Mary Queen of Scots (Bannatyne). As always with TannerRitchie, there was a great deal of new and illuminating content for anybody interested in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots or the Jacobites.

Letters and Correspondence

If you're looking for colourful correspondence, few collections are better than Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Marquis of Bath (Historical Manuscripts Commission).  They are a mainstay for our tweets on Twitter, most notably because they include a high proportion of gossipy and personal correspondence for the period 1515-1795, including noteable writers of England's literary Golden Age such as Swift and Pope. The Original Letters of Prominent Literary Men from the Camden Society, provides great reading for the same reason.

Letters and papers from royals (Elizabeth, James VI and I and Charles I) and prominent political men and families also featured prominently this year. 

Savile, Plumpton, Trevelyan, Melros, Egerton, Dudley, and Verney are but a few collections we've added.

Medieval Britain and the Church

The Toronto Maple Leafs workout, circa 1500.
Shortly after they won the Stanley Cup.
The twin subjects of medieval Britain and the pre- and post-Reformation church have always been specialisms of TannerRitchie Publishing. This year we continued to build on core series such as the Exchequer Rolls, Calendar of Close Rolls and Calendar of the Patent Rolls, and published new collections from the Pipe Rolls and Rotuli Hundredorum. For the church, both Abbotsford and Bannatyne provide collections of ecclesiastical records.

Early Modern Britain

As well as many of the titles already mentioned relating to early modern Britain, we've continued to publish new titles to many of our most popular collections. Make sure you take a new look at Calendar of State Papers, Venice, Calendar of State Papers, Domestic and the Acts of the Privy Council of England, if you haven't checked out our titles for a while. We're excited to announce that we are also beginning to publish the  Journals of the House of Commons and the Journals of the House of Lords, with titles to appear over the next few weeks.  Needless to say, these will be a valuable addition to MEMSO, and a natural compliment to our already extensive collection of governmental works such as the House of Lords (HMC), Statutes of the Realm, Foedera, and Register of the Privy Council of Scotland.

There's so much more to say, but we'll leave the rest for you to explore.

So in closing, from all of us here at TannerRitchie Publishing we would like to wish all our clients, supporters and followers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
* excludes 1 hour MEMSO access