EH Whydale and Royston’s lost paintings

Picture this…. It’s 1937. The far-right is on the rise throughout Europe. In Paris, Picasso is painting a dying horse in his anti-war masterpiece Guernica, while Orwell is visiting the front-line of the Spanish Civil War taking notes. When he returns to his cottage (in the tiny Hertfordshire village of Wallington), Orwell will work these notes up… Continue reading EH Whydale and Royston’s lost paintings

The Black Watch Mutiny

Since the unsettling events in London of the previous week, Royston’s ever-alert exciseman, Jeremiah Berry, had been on the look out for strangers. Had it not been for his Scotish burr, Patrick MacGregor (alias Campbell/McAlpine) might well have slipped past Berry undetected. It was not to be. On 22 May 1743 the exciseman bundled his… Continue reading The Black Watch Mutiny

Revolting Royston (1): The Swing Riots

Revolution… On 28 August 1830 angry men smashed up a threshing machine in East Kent. It was not unknown for a disgruntled farm worker – worse for drink and in the gloom of night – to set fire to a farmer’s stacks of hay or straw to get his own back for some slight, but… Continue reading Revolting Royston (1): The Swing Riots