1601 CE and Later

Documents from St. Augustine, Florida shed light on life in the New World

The earliest documents relating to the city of St. Augustine, Florida (USA) are being digitized for preservation. The documents cover the time period from 1594 to 1763 CE.

1812 event seeking re-enactors

David J. Brunelle, Co-ordinator Historical Displays/Exhibits for Tall Ships 1812 in Midland and Penetanguishene Ontario is seeking re-enactors, artisans, entertainers, and historical displays for the event to be held August 24-25, 2013.

Politics of dance paper at Toronto library

A copy of a doctorial dissertation by Canadian scholar Emily Frances Winerock has been placed in the University of Toronto Research Repository. An abstract of the paper, Reformation and Revelry: The Practices and Politics of Dancing in Early Modern England, c.1550-c.1640, is available online.

Roman bricks and cat prints bring mystery to Fort Vancouver

A grad student visiting Fort Vancouver, Washington (USA) in 1982 noticed some bricks at the fort that didn't look like the others. Analysis later revealed that these bricks were made in Roman England.

Hoard of Children's Toys Discovered

A stash of "street toys", dated from 1570-1630, was unearthed in an old stairwell of the Market Harborough parish church, England.

Tolkien's tower bought for UK£1

Decades after J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, one of the "two towers" which may have inspired the writer in the second book, has been purchased with plans for restoration. (video)

Knights of Malta celebrate their 100th birthday at the Vatican

February 9, 2013, marked the 900th birthday of the founding of the Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic religious order noted for its charitable works. The group celebrated its birthday with a parade around St. Peter's Square and a visit with Pope Benedict XVI, who is himself a member of the Knights.

Pope tweets

Ancient meets modern when Pope Benedict XVI tweeked his first message last month - in Latin. Since that time, the Pope has amassed 2.5 million followers.

Cards fit for a king - or princess

A complete set of silver playng cards, created in Germany in 1616, was acquired through auction in 2010 by entrepreneur Selim Zilkha. Legend tells that the set was owned by a Portuguese princess who fled Napoleon in 1807. (photos)

I say, is that a sword you're carrying...

Fans of rapier combat and regency romance will appreciate a short film by Leo Burton. The Duel At Blood Creek is the winner of several short film awards. [OOP and PG13]

Website features playing cards through history

Want to know what a deck of cards looked like at Henry VIII's table? How about Salladin? The World of Playing Cards is the place to find out!

The power of the Renaissance woman

Lady Anne Clifford, a favorite in Queen Elizabeth I's court, was no shrinking violet, and was, in fact, one of the earliest feminists. Her 600,000-word manuscript, Great Books of Record, is set to be released in a new, complete edition.

Statutes of Iona impacted most aspects of Scottish life

In 1609, King James I for England tricked nine Scottish clan chiefs into captivity on the Island of Iona, where they were held until agreeing to submit to the Statutes of Iona, designed to break Scottish allegiance to their homeland and bolster British rule. Sarah Fraser of History Today has the story.

Hurrah for the pirate king!

Diver and shipwreck  hunter Todd Stevens thinks he has found a wreck worthy of Hollywood: The John, the craft of notorious privateer John Mucknell, known as the Pirate King of Scilly.

Hard tack and salt beef and beer, oh my!

Scientists from Oxford University have determined the diet of sailors aboard the Mary Rose, based on the study of 80 skeletons from the Royal Naval Hospital, as well as the shipwreck. Their report has been published in the American Journal of Phsyical Anthropology.

Handbag museum to open in Korea

The next time you are in Seoul, Korea, make sure to visit the Simone Handbag Museum, whick opens in the Gangnam District in August. The museum will feature mostly European purses from the 16th century through modern times.

New book on the Tudor minstrel to be released

On his blog Muhlberger's World History, Steve Muhlberger announces an upcoming book The Songs and Travel of a Tudor Minstrel by Andrew Taylor.

"All's Well" with Thomas Middleton

A pair of professors from Oxford University believe they have confirmed William Shakespeare's collaborator, at least for the comedy All's Well that Ends Well. They believe it is Thomas Middleton, who worked with the Bard on Timon of Athens.

Irish shipwreck the site of mystery and coconuts

A shipwreck found off the coast of Ireland carried an exotic cargo of Iberian pottery and coconuts. The coconuts, which likely sank in the late 16th or early 17th century, would mark the earliest known arrival of this fruit in Ireland.

What lies beneath Fort Pocahontas?

Beneath the earthwork of Fort Pocahontas in Virginia lies a treasure: Fort James, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Now archaeologists must make a painful decision: preserve a Civil War fort or discover the secrets of the 1607 settlement.

Danish ship information to go online

Records from more than 1.8 million ships that sailed through the Danish sound will go online in May 2012. The records date from the mid 15th century to 1857.

King James Bible featured at Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas

The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford are sponsoring the exibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence February 28 - July 29, 2012 at the Harry Ransom Center of the university of Texas in Austin.

Tudor costumes and weapons stolen from Northampton re-enactor

The education of school children in Northampton, England will be poorer after the theft of a van containing costumes and equipment belonging to re-enactor Steve Parish. Parish, who runs Past Alive, teaches children about English history.

English Brick Coloration: 1500-1650

A study of patterned bricks shows that not all English buildings were of one color. Exteriors and interiors used limewashes as well as different colors of bricks (or even glazed bricks!) to enliven the surface.

Bouncy Stonehenge is fun for Druids and kids alike

A giant inflatable replica of Stonehenge is making waves in Glasgow, Scotland. The attraction is part of the Glasgow International art festival.

Searchable Online Artefact Database

The extensive collection of paintings, engravings and artefacts in the Museum Boijmans Van Beunigen is now searchable online.

Exquisite 17th-Century Farmer's Library

Townend, home to the Brownes from the 1520s until 1943, maintains an exquisite collection of more than 170 books from the 1600s, with a few dating to the mid-1500s. What were those farmers reading?

From Electronica to Elizabethan

Damon Albarn, frontman of Blur and Gorillaz, is turning his attention to an even more arcane topic than animated musical monkeys: 16th century intellectural John Dee.

A brief history of prosthetics

This facinating photo gallery traces the history of artificial limbs from ancient Egypt though the Rennaisance and into modern times.

Vatican archive preserves missionary documents

A video from the series Rome Reports, posted on YouTube, describes objects contained in the Vatican's archive of documents and artifacts kept and sent by missionaries from 1622 until modern times. (video)