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Welcome to
History at first hand
Let guide you through 2,000 years of British history. Through eyewitness accounts, research guides and links to the best history sites, we can help you travel back in time.

Join us in a virtual tour of history from the point of view of people who were there:
Read about the Christmas truce of 1914 , when British and German soldiers came out of the trenches to celebrate together.
Discover how the author Charles Dickens survived a train crash.
Find out what Charlotte Bronte thought of her visit to the Great Exhibition.
Or check out full list of eyewitness accounts of historical events.

We can also help you undertake your own history research. Use this site to contact local and family history groups in your area, or in the areas that interest you. Find out how to get to a local records office in England or in Scotland , and read our guide to making the most of your first visit. It even has a checklist of items to take with you or leave at home.

Mark Crail, site editor

Eyewitness history collections
All our best eyewitness accounts together in one place

Christmas through history

Eyewitnesses to 19th century British history

Eyewitness: 20th century
Tony Blair's first Cabinet meeting, 1997

Christmas on the home front, 1940s

Plymouth Blitz, 1941

The General Strike in Middlesbrough, 1926

Opening of Tutankhamun's tomb, 1922

A veteran of the SommeBattle of the Somme, 1916

Christmas truce, 1914

A nurse on the Western Front, 1914

Recruiting for war, 1914

Election of Britain's first black mayor, 1913

Captain Scott's last letter from the South Pole, 1912

Sinking of the RMS Titanic, 1912

Eyewitness: 19th century
A murderer is hanged at Lewes jail, 1881

Charles Dickens survives a train crash, 1865

On a London pub crawl with Karl Marx, 1850s

Charlotte BronteCharlotte Bronte visits the Great Exhibition, 1851

Police foil a Chartist uprising, 1848

Inside the offices of the Anti Corn Law League, 1843

Hanging as popular entertainment, mid-19th century

Children's work in a Warrington pin factory, 1842

London's climate and the English temperament, 1839

Charles Darwin and the voyage of the Beagle, 1831-36

Admiral Lord NelsonThe Peterloo Massacre, 1819

Battle of Waterloo, 1815

An operation without anaesthetic, 1811

The death of Nelson at Trafalgar, 1805

Eyewitness: 17th and 18th centuries
Edward Jenner discovers smallpox vaccination, 1796

Funeral of George II 1760

On board a slave ship, 1750s

Jacobite armies seize Manchester, 1745

Daniel Defoe visits Glasgow, 1707

Samuel Pepys' Christmas, 1662

Guy FawkesRestoration of Charles II, 1660

Battle of Marston Moor, 1642

Guy Fawkes confesses the gunpowder plot, 1605

Eyewitness: from Saxons to Tudors
Elizabeth I meets the French ambassador, 1597

Jousting - the Hundred Years War, 1382

Black Death in England, 1348

Scotland declares independence, 1320

Coronation of William the Conqueror, 1066

Battle of Maldon, 991

King Alfred defeats the Danes, 894-897

Christianity and bloodshed on the Isle of Wight, 686

Eyewitness: from Romans to Saxons
Arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain, 450

Boudicca revolts against Rome, 60-61

Rome overcomes British resistance, 50AD

Julius Caeasar conquers Britain and leaves, 54BC

Julius Caesar describes Britain, 54BC

Julius Caesar invades Britain, 54BC

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Eyewitness: Karl Marx's pub crawl

Read about the night Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and a fellow German exile hit the pubs of London's Tottenham Court Road.

Find out how the founder of Communism got into a brawl over musical tastes and ran from the police after smashing street lights on his way home.

Mytimemachine has the story in full.


Trade union history: union family trees,
A to z listing of 5,000 UK unions and more

Woman Worker union magazine

Everything about Chartism and the Chartists

Feargus O'Connor, Chartist leader

History guides and eyewitness accounts from mytimemachine


Tribune History

Tribune Cartoon Blog

Tribune Magazine

More about me

Tribune Cartoon Diary 



History research toolkit
Take your research further with our free guides
Local and family history groups: full UK list

Local records offices in England and Wales

Local records offices in Scotland

How to...
Make the most of your visit to a records office

Research your trade union ancestors

Find Chartist records in the National Archives

Further research: the best Chartist websites

History timelines
Find out what happened when

Scientific Thought
British Empire
Scottish History
Famous Economists
Albert Einstein
The Beatles
Industrial Revolution
Military History
Capital Punishment
Trade Unions
St Paul's Cathedral
Gunpowder Plot
Medieval History
History of the Universe
Royal Air Force
Mental Health
Cacao and Chocolate
Waste and Rubbish
The Future

Please note, most of these timelines are not hosted on
Mytimemachine history books
Order these and more to support and get the security of buying from Amazon UK.

Best of the history blogs's selection from the blogging world is a sister website to Chartist Ancestors and Trade Union Ancestors . It is a personal project, and while all reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained here is accurate, no liability is accepted for errors or omissions.

Contact the editor by email.