First Reference To Drinking Tea Found In England

A shopping list dating back to the 1600s has been found in a West Yorkshire archive. It was made to be given to an apothecary, who would collect the requested items and deliver them to Temple Newsam house near Leeds. Written December 8th, 1644, the list includes a request for 13 bottles of "china drink." Before this discovery the earliest reference to drinking tea in England was an entry in Samuel Pepys' diary from 1660.

Let's Learn About Mexico!

The birthplace of plant domestication in the Americas. The first New World country to gain independence from the Spanish Empire. The eleventh-largest country in the world, by population. Like the United States, Russia, and China, this is a country that any informed citizen should have at least a basic knowledge about.

Thank The Algonquian For Pecan Pie

Native Americans and First Nations people, who spoke a language of the Algonquian group, were the first to meet English explorers in North America. So many words from these languages entered English:

  • caribou (“snow-shoveler”)
  • chipmunk (“red squirrel”)
  • moccasin
  • moose
  • muskrat
  • opossum (“white dog”)
  • pecan (“nut”)
  • powwow (“to dream, to have a vision”)
  • raccoon, skunk (“to urinate” + “fox”)
  • woodchuck

What Was The Maratha Empire?

Sandwiched between the decline of one great empire, and the rise of another, the Maratha Empire lasted just under 150 years. Here’s the story of those 150 years.

What Is A Hobgoblin?

It means "an object that inspires superstitious dread or apprehension." Shakespeare's Puck, from his play A Midsummer Night's Dream, is described as a hobgoblin. "Puck" itself is associated with the mischevious and supernatural. The Welsh have the pwca, the Irish the púca, both potentially harmful or helpful depending on their whim. Early Anglo-Saxons named many places in southern England "puc" -- like Pucehole, Pucanwylle, and Pokshudde -- if they suspected it could be home to evil spirits.

A New Take On The Old Borgias

Modern historical research suggests that Pope Alexander IV -- the famous Borgia pope -- was not in fact the father of Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia, and Joffre Borgia. Which goes against centuries of received knowledge.

Spanish conquerors brought bullfighting to Mexico. Second only to Spain, Mexico now has the most bullfighting rings in the world. Mexico City's Plaza de Toros México -- which literally translates as "Plaza of the Bulls" -- is the largest bullring in the world.

This Puritan Had An Odd Phobia

John Bunyan, a popular Puritan preacher and author of "The Pilgrim's Progress," developed a fear that ringing church bells would "fall with a swing" and kill him. So he listened to their harmonies from further away. He started by standing at the steeple doorway, but he eventually moved out of the church entirely "for fear the steeple should fall on my head."

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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