Life Among the Thugee

The existence of large bodies of men having no other means of subsistence than those afforded by plunder, is, in all countries, too common to excite surprise; and, unhappily, organized bands of assassins are not peculiar to India! The associations of murderers known by the name of Thugs present, however, so many remarkable points of character and manners, that curiosity may reasonably be excited to inquire into the history, and ascertain the feelings, opinions, and motives of persons differing, in many respects, so widely even from all other followers of their own horrible occupation. In different parts of India, these ruffians assume, and have been designated by, various names, derived either from the mode by which they dispatch their victims-from the purpose for which they destroy life, or from the arts by which they inveigle their prey to destruction. In the more northern parts of India, these murderers are called Thugs, the name by which they are most generally known among Europeans. This term signifies It “deceiver.” In some provinces to the southward, according to Dr. Sherwood, they have obtained the name of Phansigars, or It stranglers,” from the Hindostanee word phanai, a It noose.” By the same authority it is stated, that in the Tamul language they are called Ari Tulucar, or Mussulman It noosers”; in Canarese, Tanti Calleru, implying” thieves who use a wire or catgut noose”; and in Telagu, Warlu Wahndlu, or Warlu Vayshay Wahndloo, meaning people who use the noose.”

It is remarkable, that, after an intercourse with India of nearly two centuries, and the exercise of sovereignty over a large part of the country for no inconsiderable period, the English should have been ignorant. of the existence and habits of a body so dangerous to the public peace. This, however, seems to have been the case: and it may be regarded as affording a strong proof, how little progress was made by the Europeans, during a long series of years, in knowledge of the people among whom they resided, and over whom they exercised the functions of rulers. There is reason to conclude, that the British Government knew nothing of the Thugs until shortly after after the conquest of Seringapatam, in 1799, when about a hundred were apprehended in the vicinity of Bangalore. They did not engage general attention; nor would it appear that they were suspected to belong to a distinct class of hereditary murderers and plunderers, settled in various parts of India, and alike remarkable for the singularity of their practice and the extent of their depredations. In the year 1807, between Chittoor and Arcot, several Thugs were apprehended, belonging to a gang which had just returned laden with booty from an expedition to Travancore; and information was then obtained, which ultimately led to the developement of the habits, artifices, and combinations of these atrocious delinquents.

The Thugs that invested the south of India some years ago were settled in Mysore, on the borders of that province and the Carnatic, in the Balaghat districts ceded to the Company by the Nizam in 1800; and they were particularly numerous in the Poliums of Chittoor. The sequestered part of the country which comprehended these Poliums maintained little intercourse with the neighbouring districts, abounding in hills and fast­nesses; and, being immediately subject to several Polygars, afforded the Thugs a convenient and, sure retreat. The protection of the Polygars was extended to them in common with other classes of robbers, in consideration of a settled contribution, or, which was more frequent, of sharing in the fmits of their rapacity.

It is impossible that such criminals as the Thugs, living by systematic plans of depredation, could long remain in the same place in safety, unless their practices were encouraged or connived at by persons in authority. Hence, after the establishment of the Company’s Government over the Carnatic and the districts ceded by the Nizam, and the consequent extinction of the power and influence of the Polygars, some of whom had succeeded in rendering themselves virtually independent of the former government, many of these murderers changed their abodes, and assumed other names: others, who remained, endeavoured to shelter. themselves by subterfuge and dissimulation.

While they lived under the protection of Polygars and other petty local authorities, and among people whose habits were in some respects analogous to their own, it was unnecessary to conceal that they subsisted by depredation. They and their families lived peaceably with their neighbours, whom they never attempted to molest. Between them there subsisted a reciprocation of interest, in the purchase and disposal of the plunder which the Thugs brought with them, on returning from their expeditions. Conscience in the East is neither very delicate nor very enlightened; and if any scruples arose, the countervailing profit would, more and more than balance them.  The Thugs at all times engaged in the tillage of land, even under the native chiefs, when they had settled habitations. They either sowed the lands, or prepared them for seed, during the season that they remained at home; and left the care of them to their women and children, in their absence. This peaceful pursuit afforded them a screen, on the extension of the English Government, and, while pursuing their criminal practices, enabled them to appear dependent on honest and laudable industry.

According to Dr. Sherwood, who wrote in 1816, and whose acquaintance with Thuggee appears to have been founded principally upon observations made in the territories subject to the Presidency of Fort St. George, a gang consisted of from ten to fifty, or sometimes a greater number. Captain Sleeman states, that the gangs have often contained two or three hundred; but, in such instances, they commonly follow each other in small parties of ten or twenty, upon roads parallel to each other, being prepared to concentrate, on any point, when necessary. Different parties frequently act in concert, apprising one another of the approach of travellers whose destruction promises a valuable booty. They assume the appearance of ordinary inoffensive travellers: sometimes they pretend to be traders; and, if enriched by former spoliations, travel on horseback, with tents, and pass for wealthy merchants, or other persons of consequence. Sometimes they commence their route in more humble characters; but acquiring, in their rapacious progress, horses and bullocks, these at once furnish them with the means of transporting the remainder of their plunder, and of making pretensions to higher degrees of wealth and station.

Thugs are accustomed to wait at choultries, on the high roads, or near towns where travellers rest. They arrive at such places, and enter towns and villages, in straggling parties of three or four persons, appearing to meet by accident, and to have no previous acquaintance. On such occa­sions, some of the gang are employed as emissaries, to collect infonnation, and especially to learn if any persons with property in their possession are about to undertake a journey. They are often accompanied by children of ten years of age and upwards; who, while they perform menial offices, are gradually initiated into the horrid practices of Thuggee, and contribute to prevent suspicion of their real character. Skilled in the arts of deception, they enter into conversation, and insinuate themselves by obsequious attentions into the confidence of travellers of all descriptions, to learn from them whence they came, whither and for what purpose they are journeying, and of what property they are possessed. When, after obtaining such information as they deem requisite, the Thugs determine to attack a traveller, they usually propose to him, under the specious plea of mutual safety or for the sake of society to travel together; or else they follow him at a little distance, and, when a fit opportunity appears for effecting their purpose one of the gang suddenly throws a rope or sash round the neck of the unfortunate victim while the rest contribute, in various ways to aid the murderous work.

Intrepidity does not appear to be a charac­teristic of the Thugs; and, in truth it is a quality not to be looked for in assassins by profession. A superiority in physical force is generally regarded as an indispensable preliminary to success. Two Thugs, at the least, are thought necessary for the murder of one man; and more commonly three are engaged. Some Thugs pride themselves upon being able to strangle a man single handed; and this is esteemed a most honourable distinction. To ascribe to a Thug this power, is the highest compliment that can be paid him. A single Thug who had succeeded in pulling a man from his horse, and strangling him, conferred a distinction
upon his family which ennobled it in the eyes of their fellows for many generations. Such a man was Buckshee, and a few others; but the majority of the Thugs are, and ever have been, firm adherents of the maxim, that “discretion is the better part of valour.”

Some variations have existed in the manner of perpetrating the murders; but the following seems to be the most general. While travelling along, one of the gang suddenly throws the rope or cloth round the neck of the devoted individual, and retains hold of one end; the other end being seized by an accomplice. The instrument of death, crossed behind the neck, is then drawn very tight, the two Thugs who hold it pressing the head of the victim forwards: a third villain, who is in readiness behind the traveller, seizes him by the legs, and he is thus thrown on the ground. In this situation there is little opportunity of resistance. The operation of the noose is aided by kicks
inflicted in the manner most likely to produce vital injury, and the sufferer is thus quickly dispatched.

The best precautions are taken to guard against discovery or surprise. Before the perpetration of the murder, some of the gang are sent in advance, and some left in rear of the place, to keep watch, to prevent intrusion, and to give warning, if occasion requires, to those engaged in the act. Should any persons unexpectedly appear on the ground before the murdered body is buried, some artifice is practised to prevent discovery; such as, covering the body with a cloth, while loud lamentations are made, professedly on account of the sickness or death of one of their comrades; or one of the watchers will fall down, apparently writhing with with pain, in order to excite the pity of the intruding travellers, and to detain them from the scene of murder.

Such are the perseverance and caution of the Thugs, that, in the absence of a convenient opportunity, they have been known to travel in company with persons whom they have devoted to destruction, for several days before they executed their intention. If circumstances favour them, they generally commit the murder in a jungle, or in an unfrequented part of the country, and near a sandy place or dry water-course. Particular tracts are chosen, in every part of India, where they may exercise their horrid profession with the greatest convenience and security. Much frequented roads, passing through extensive jungles, where the ground is soft for the grave, or the jungle thick to cover them, and where the local authorities took no notice of the bodies, were favourite spots. The Thugs speak of such places with the same affection and enthusiasm as other men would of the most delightful scenes of their early life.

In these chosen spots, a hole, three or four feet in depth, usually forms the grave of the unhappy traveller, who is placed in it with his face downwards. The barbarous character of the Thugs is displayed in their treatment of the wretched remains of the murdered persons. Though death brings a termination of suffering, it does not put an end to to the outrages of the murderers. Long and deep ‘gashes are made in various parts of the bodies: sometimes the limbs are disjointed, and the figure distorted into unusual positions. These outrages arise from various motives. Their intention generally is, to expedite the decomposition of the body, and to prevent its inflation, which, by causing fissures in the superincumbent sand, might attract jackals, and thus lead to the discovery of the corpse. Sometimes, however, these deeds have been the result of disappointment, and the emanations of a petty and unmanly revenge. When the amount of plunder is less than had been expected, the villains have frequently vented their displeasure in wanton indignities on the unconscious remains of the dead.

If, when a murder is perpetrated, a convenient place for interring the body be not near, or if the Thugs be apprehensive of discovery, it is either tied in a sack, and carried to some spot where it is not likely to be found, or is put into a well. In Oude, where the fields are almost all irrigated from wells, the bodies were generally thrown into them; and when the cultivators discovered these relics of crime, they hardly ever thought it worth while to ask how they came there, so accustomed were they to find them. In Bengal and Behar, where the most frequented roads pass along or frequently across rivers, the bodies are cast into those rivers. If none of these expedients be advisable, a shallow hole is dug, in which the corpse is buried, till a fit place for interring it can be discovered; when it is removed, and cut in the manner already mentioned. If compelled to perform the interment under, circumstances which subject them to the risk of observation, the Thugs put up a screen on the wall for a tent, and bury the body within the enclosure; pretending, if inquiries are made, that their women are within the screen. If the traveller had a dog, it is killed, lest the affection of the animal should cause the discovery of the body of his murdered master. The office of mangling the dead body is usually assigned to a particular person of the gang. The Thugs are always provided with knives and pickaxes, which they conceal from observation.

It will thus be seen, that the system of the Thugs is well devised to secure that concealment so necessary to the continued success of their horrid practices. The mode of destroying their victims, and of disposing of their remains, almost preclude the possibility of rescue or escape, of witnesses to the deed, of noise or cries for help, of effusion of blood, and, indeed, of any trace of the crime. An impenetrable veil of darkness is thrown over their atrocities.

It has been supposed, that formerly a long string with a running noose was used by the Thugs for seizing travellers, and that they robbed on horseback. These practices do not at present, however, appear to be common. They sometimes use a short rope, With a loop at one end: but a turban, or sash, are more usually employed, as these answer the atrocious purpose in view as well as a regularly-prepared noose, and have the additional recommendation of exciting no suspicion. When a waist-cloth or sash is used, it is previously doubled to the length of two feet, or two feet and a half: a knot is formed at the double extremity, and a slip-knot tied about eighteen inches from it. In regulating the distance of the two knots, so that the intervening space, when tightly twisted, may be adapted to embrace the neck, the Thug who prepares the instrument ties it upon his own knee. The two knots give a firm hold of the cloth, and prevent its slipping through the hands in the act of applying it. After the person attacked has been brought to the ground, the slip-knot is loosed by the Thug who has hold of that part of the cloth: and he makes another fold of it round the neck; upon which placing his foot, he draws the cloth tight, in a manner similar to that— to use the expression of a Thug informer— “of packing a bundle of straw.” If, which scarcely ever happens, a traveller escape from the persons attempting to strangle him, he incurs the hazard of being dispatched by one of the parties on watch. These men have swords, and will endeavour to cut down any man who escapes from the stranglers. Should he finally escape, or should any other circumstance occur to excite alarm or apprehensions of being seized, the gang immediately disperses, having previously agreed to re-assemble, at an appointed time, at some distant place.


Top of Pg.

Same Day Shipping on in-stock orders

Get Started in Leather Crafting

Fed Policy Success Equals Tax Payers Job Insecurity

The low level of work stoppages of recent years also attests to concern about job security.

Testimony of Chairman Alan Greenspan The Federal Reserve’s semiannual monetary policy report Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate February 26, 1997

Iappreciate the opportunity to appear before this Committee [...] Read more →

Art Fraud

A la Russie, aux ânes et aux autres – by Chagall – 1911

Marc Chagall is one of the most forged artists on the planet. Mark Rothko fakes also abound. According to available news reports, the art market is littered with forgeries of their work. Some are even thought to be [...] Read more →

Cocktails and Canapés

From The How and When, An Authoritative reference reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco. The Marco name is of a Chicago family that were involved in all aspects of the liquor business and ran Marco’s Bar [...] Read more →

Tobacco as Medicine

The first published illustration of Nicotiana tabacum by Pena and De L’Obel, 1570–1571 (shrpium adversana nova: London).

Tobacco can be used for medicinal purposes, however, the ongoing American war on smoking has all but obscured this important aspect of ancient plant.

Tobacco is considered to be an indigenous plant of [...] Read more →

The Legacy of Felix de Weldon

Felix Weihs de Weldon, age 96, died broke in the year 2003 after successive bankruptcies and accumulating $4 million dollars worth of debt. Most of the debt was related to the high cost of love for a wife living with Alzheimer’s. Health care costs to maintain his first wife, Margot, ran $500 per [...] Read more →

Sir Peter Francis Bourgeois and the Dulwich Picture Gallery

Noel Desenfans and Sir Francis Bourgeois, circa 1805 by Paul Sandby, watercolour on paper

The Dulwich Picture Gallery was England’s first purpose-built art gallery and considered by some to be England’s first national gallery. Founded by the bequest of Sir Peter Francis Bourgois, dandy, the gallery was built to display his vast [...] Read more →

A History of the Use of Arsenicals in Man

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

Life Among the Thugee

The existence of large bodies of men having no other means of subsistence than those afforded by plunder, is, in all countries, too common to excite surprise; and, unhappily, organized bands of assassins are not peculiar to India! The associations of murderers known by the name of Thugs present, however, [...] Read more →

Indian Modes of Hunting – Setting Fox Traps

Aug. 13, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 125

Game Bag and Gun.

Indian Modes of Hunting. III.—Foxes.

The fox as a rule is a most wily animal, and numerous are the stories of his cunning toward the Indian hunter with his steel traps.

What’s the Matter?

A rhetorical question? Genuine concern?

In this essay we are examining another form of matter otherwise known as national literary matters, the three most important of which being the Matter of Rome, Matter of France, and the Matter of England.

Our focus shall be on the Matter of England or [...] Read more →

The Standard Navy Cutter and a Whale Boat Design

Dec. 24, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 513-514

The Standard Navy Boats.

Above we find,

The accompanying illustrations show further details of the standard navy boats, the lines of which appeared last week. In all of these boats, as stated previously, the quality of speed has been given [...] Read more →

U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act – Full Text

WIPO HQ Geneva


TITLE I – PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION OFFICE Chapter Section 1. Organization and Publications . 1 2. Legal Provisions as to the Plant Variety Protection Office . 21 3. Plant Variety Protection Fees . 31


Furniture Polishing Cream

Furniture Polishing Cream.

Animal oil soap…………………….1 onuce Solution of potassium hydroxide…. .5 ounces Beeswax……………………………1 pound Oil of turpentine…………………..3 pints Water, enough to make……………..5 pints

Dissolve the soap in the lye with the aid of heat; add this solution all at once to the warm solution of the wax in the oil. Beat [...] Read more →

The American Museum in Britain – From Florida to Bath

Hernando de Soto (c1496-1542) Spanish explorer and his men torturing natives of Florida in his determination to find gold. Hand-coloured engraving. John Judkyn Memorial Collection, Freshford Manor, Bath

The print above depicts Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his band of conquistadors torturing Florida natives in order to extract information on where [...] Read more →

Fruits of the Empire: Licorice Root and Juice

Liquorice, the roots of Glycirrhiza Glabra, a perennial plant, a native of the south of Europe, but cultivated to some extent in England, particularly at Mitcham, in Surrey.

Its root, which is its only valuable part, is long, fibrous, of a yellow colour, and when fresh, very juicy. [...] Read more →

Palermo Wine

Take to every quart of water one pound of Malaga raisins, rub and cut the raisins small, and put them to the water, and let them stand ten days, stirring once or twice a day. You may boil the water an hour before you put it to the raisins, and let it [...] Read more →

What is the Meaning of the Term Thorough-bred Fox-hound

Reprint from the Sportsman Cabinet and Town & Country Magazine, Vol.1, Number 1, November 1832.

MR. Editor,

Will you allow me to inquire, through the medium of your pages, the correct meaning of the term thorough-bred fox-hound? I am very well aware, that the expression is in common [...] Read more →

King James Bible – Knights Templar Edition

Full Cover, rear, spine, and front

Published by Piranesi Press in collaboration with Country House Essays, this beautiful paperback version of the King James Bible is now available for $79.95 at Barnes and

This is a limited Edition of 500 copies Worldwide. Click here to view other classic books [...] Read more →

Slaughter in Bombay

From Allen’s Indian Mail, December 3rd, 1851


On the evening of November 15th, the little village of Mahim was the scene of a murder, perhaps the most determined which has ever stained the annals of Bombay. Three men were massacred in cold blood, in a house used [...] Read more →

The Flying Saucers are Real by Donald Keyhoe

It was a strange assignment. I picked up the telegram from desk and read it a third time.

NEW YORK, N.Y., MAY 9, 1949


History of the Cabildo in New Orleans

Cabildo circa 1936

The Cabildo houses a rare copy of Audubon’s Bird’s of America, a book now valued at $10 million+.

Should one desire to visit the Cabildo, click here to gain free entry with a lowcost New Orleans Pass.

Home Top of [...] Read more →

Of the Room and Furniture

Crewe Hall Dining Room


THE transient tenure that most of us have in our dwellings, and the absorbing nature of the struggle that most of us have to make to win the necessary provisions of life, prevent our encouraging the manufacture of well-wrought furniture.

We mean to outgrow [...] Read more →

The Apparatus of the Stock Market


The components of any given market place include both physical structures set up to accommodate trading, and participants to include buyers, sellers, brokers, agents, barkers, pushers, auctioneers, agencies, and propaganda outlets, and banking or transaction exchange facilities.

Markets are generally set up by sellers as it is in their [...] Read more →

How to Distinguish Fishes


Sept. 3, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 188-189

How to Distinguish Fishes.

BY FRED MATHER. The average angler knows by sight all the fish which he captures, but ask him to describe one and he is puzzled, and will get off on the color of the fish, which is [...] Read more →

The Hoochie Coochie Hex

From Dr. Marvel’s 1929 book entitled Hoodoo for the Common Man, we find his infamous Hoochie Coochie Hex.

What follows is a verbatim transcription of the text:

The Hoochie Coochie Hex should not be used in conjunction with any other Hexes. This can lead to [...] Read more →

A Crock of Squirrel


4 young squirrels – quartered Salt & Pepper 1 large bunch of fresh coriander 2 large cloves of garlic 2 tbsp. salted sweet cream cow butter ¼ cup of brandy 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar 6 fresh apricots 4 strips of bacon 1 large package of Monterrey [...] Read more →

Public Attitudes Towards Speculation

Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.


THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an overwhelming majority [...] Read more →

Clover Wine

Add 3 quarts clover blossoms* to 4 quarts of boiling water removed from heat at point of boil. Let stand for three days. At the end of the third day, drain the juice into another container leaving the blossoms. Add three quarts of fresh water and the peel of one lemon to the blossoms [...] Read more →

Of Decorated Furniture

DECORATED or “sumptuous” furniture is not merely furniture that is expensive to buy, but that which has been elaborated with much thought, knowledge, and skill. Such furniture cannot be cheap, certainly, but the real cost of it is sometimes borne by the artist who produces rather than by the man who may [...] Read more →

A History of Fowling – Ravens and Jays

From A History of Fowling, Being an Account of the Many Curios Devices by Which Wild Birds are, or Have Been, Captured in Different Parts of the World by Rev. H.A. MacPherson, M.A.

THE RAVEN (Corvus corax) is generally accredited with a large endowment of mother wit. Its warning [...] Read more →

Money Saving Recipe for Gold Leaf Sizing

Artisans world-wide spend a fortune on commercial brand oil-based gold leaf sizing. The most popular brands include Luco, Dux, and L.A. Gold Leaf. Pricing for quart size containers range from $35 to $55 depending upon retailer pricing.

Fast drying sizing sets up in 2-4 hours depending upon environmental conditions, humidity [...] Read more →

King Arthur Legends, Myths, and Maidens

King Arthur, Legends, Myths & Maidens is a massive book of Arthurian legends. This limited edition paperback was just released on Barnes and Noble at a price of $139.00. Although is may seem a bit on the high side, it may prove to be well worth its price as there are only [...] Read more →

The Real Time Piece Gentleman and the Digital Watch Vault

Paul Thorpe, Brighton, U.K.

The YouTube watch collecting world is rather tight-knit and small, but growing, as watches became a highly coveted commodity during the recent world-wide pandemic and fueled an explosion of online watch channels.

There is one name many know, The Time Piece Gentleman. This name for me [...] Read more →

Cup of Tea? To be or not to be

Twinings London – photo by Elisa.rolle

Is the tea in your cup genuine?

The fact is, had one been living in the early 19th Century, one might occasionally encounter a counterfeit cup of tea. Food adulterations to include added poisonings and suspect substitutions were a common problem in Europe at [...] Read more →

Some Notes on American Ship Worms

July 9, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 25

Some Notes on American Ship-Worms.

[Read before the American Fishes Congress at Tampa.]

While we wish to preserve and protect most of the products of our waters, these creatures we would gladly obliterate from the realm of living things. For [...] Read more →

Sea and River Fishing

An angler with a costly pole Surmounted with a silver reel, Carven in quaint poetic scroll- Jointed and tipped with finest steel— With yellow flies, Whose scarlet eyes And jasper wings are fair to see, Hies to the stream Whose bubbles beam Down murmuring eddies wild and free. And casts the line with sportsman’s [...] Read more →

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Officers and men of the 13th Light Dragoons, British Army, Crimea. Rostrum photograph of photographer’s original print, uncropped and without color correction. Survivors of the Charge.

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the [...] Read more →

The Master of Hounds

Photo Caption: The Marquis of Zetland, KC, PC – otherwise known as Lawrence Dundas Son of: John Charles Dundas and: Margaret Matilda Talbot born: Friday 16 August 1844 died: Monday 11 March 1929 at Aske Hall Occupation: M.P. for Richmond Viceroy of Ireland Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord – in – Waiting [...] Read more →

Books Condemned to be Burnt








WHEN did books first come to be burnt in England by the common hangman, and what was [...] Read more →

Chinese 9 Course Dinner

The following recipes form the most popular items in a nine-course dinner program:


Soak one pound bird’s nest in cold water overnight. Drain the cold water and cook in boiling water. Drain again. Do this twice. Clean the bird’s nest. Be sure [...] Read more →

Popular Mechanics Archive

Click here to access the Internet Archive of old Popular Mechanics Magazines – 1902-2016

Click here to view old Popular Mechanics Magazine Covers

Home Top of Pg. Read more →

Abingdon, Berkshire in the Year of 1880

St.Helen’s on the Thames, photo by Momit


From a Dictionary of the Thames from Oxford to the Nore. 1880 by Charles Dickens

Abingdon, Berkshire, on the right bank, from London 103 3/4miles, from Oxford 7 3/4 miles. A station on the Great Western Railway, from Paddington 60 miles. The time occupied [...] Read more →

Copper Kills Covid-19 and the Sun is Your Friend

The element copper effectively kills viruses and bacteria.

Therefore it would reason and I will assert and not only assert but lay claim to the patents for copper mesh stints to be inserted in the arteries of patients presenting with severe cases of Covid-19 with a slow release dosage of [...] Read more →

The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle


Man looks at severed hand and foot….for refusing to climb a tree to cut rubber for King Leopold

Click here to read The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

Victim of King Leopold of Belgium

Click on the link below for faster download.

The [...] Read more →

Chantry Chapels

William Wyggeston’s chantry house, built around 1511, in Leicester: The building housed two priests, who served at a chantry chapel in the nearby St Mary de Castro church. It was sold as a private dwelling after the dissolution of the chantries.

A Privately Built Chapel

Chantry, chapel, generally within [...] Read more →

The Preparation of Marketable Vinegar

It is unnecessary to point out that low-grade fruit may often be used to advantage in the preparation of vinegar. This has always been true in the case of apples and may be true with other fruit, especially grapes. The use of grapes for wine making is an outlet which [...] Read more →

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Home Top of [...] Read more →

The First Christian Man Cremated in America

Laurens’ portrait as painted during his time spent imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was kept for over a year after being captured at sea while serving as the United States minister to the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War.

The first Christian white man to be cremated in America was [...] Read more →

Arsenic and Old Lace

What is follows is an historical article that appeared in The Hartford Courant in 1916 about the arsenic murders carried out by Mrs. Archer-Gilligan. This story is the basis for the 1944 Hollywood film “Arsenic and Old Lace” starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane and directed by Frank Capra. The [...] Read more →

Watch Fraud on eBay


EBay has had a problem with fraudulent sellers since its inception back in 1995. Some aspects of the platform have improved with algorithms and automation, but others such as customer service and fraud have gotten worse. Small sellers have definitely been hurt by eBay’s [...] Read more →

Historic authenticity of the Spanish SAN FELIPE of 1690

San Felipe Model

Reprinted from with the kind permission of Dr. Michael Czytko

The SAN FELIPE is one of the most favoured ships among the ship model builders. The model is elegant, very beautifully designed, and makes a decorative piece of art to be displayed at home or in the [...] Read more →

JP Morgan’s Digital Currency Patent Application

J.P. Morgan Patent #8,452,703

Method and system for processing internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.


Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account [...] Read more →

Why Beauty Matters

Roger Scruton by Peter Helm

This is one of those videos that the so-called intellectual left would rather not be seen by the general public as it makes a laughing stock of the idiots running the artworld, a multi-billion dollar business.

or Click here to watch

[...] Read more →

How to Make Money – Insurance

Life insurance certificate issued by the Yorkshire Fire & Life Insurance Company to Samuel Holt, Liverpool, England, 1851. On display at the British Museum in London. Donated by the ifs School of Finance. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)

From How to Make Money; and How to Keep it, Or, Capital and Labor [...] Read more →

Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Choosing Poultry

To Choose Poultry.

When fresh, the eyes should be clear and not sunken, the feet limp and pliable, stiff dry feet being a sure indication that the bird has not been recently killed; the flesh should be firm and thick and if the bird is plucked there should be no [...] Read more →

Proper Wines to Serve with Food

Foie gras with Sauternes, Photo by Laurent Espitallier

As an Appetizer

Pale dry Sherry, with or without bitters, chilled or not. Plain or mixed Vermouth, with or without bitters. A dry cocktail.

With Oysters, Clams or Caviar

A dry flinty wine such as Chablis, Moselle, Champagne. Home Top of [...] Read more →

Why Beauty Matters – Sir Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters (2009) from Mirza Akdeniz on Vimeo.

Click here for another site on which to view this video.

Sadly, Sir Roger Scruton passed away a few days ago—January 12th, 2020. Heaven has gained a great philosopher.

Home Top of [...] Read more →

Making Apple Cider Vinegar

The greatest cause of failure in vinegar making is carelessness on the part of the operator. Intelligent separation should be made of the process into its various steps from the beginning to end.


The apples should be clean and ripe. If not clean, undesirable fermentations [...] Read more →

Commercial Tuna Salad Recipe

Tom Oates, aka Nabokov at en.wikipedia

No two commercial tuna salads are prepared by exactly the same formula, but they do not show the wide variety characteristic of herring salad. The recipe given here is typical. It is offered, however, only as a guide. The same recipe with minor variations to suit [...] Read more →

Artist Methods

Como dome facade – Pliny the Elder – Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Work in Progress…


Every substance may be considered as a varnish, which, when applied to the surface of a solid body, gives it a permanent lustre. Drying oil, thickened by exposure to the sun’s heat or [...] Read more →

A General Process for Making Wine

A General Process for Making Wine.

Gathering the Fruit Picking the Fruit Bruising the Fruit Vatting the Fruit Vinous Fermentation Drawing the Must Pressing the Must Casking the Must Spirituous Fermentation Racking the Wine Bottling and Corking the Wine Drinking the Wine


It is of considerable consequence [...] Read more →

Something about Caius College, Cambridge

Gate of Honour, Caius Court, Gonville & Caius

Gonville & Caius College, known as Caius and pronounced keys was founded in 1348 by Edmund Gonville, the Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk. The first name was thus Goville Hall and it was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. [...] Read more →

CIA 1950s Unevaluated UFO Intelligence



INROMATION FROM FOREIGN DOCUMENT OR RADIO BROADCASTS COUNTRY: Non-Orbit SUBJECT: Military – Air – Scientific – Aeronautics HOW PUBLISHED: Newspapers WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated DATE PUBLISHED: 12 Dec 1953 – 12 Jan 1954 LANGUAGE: Various SOURCE: As indicated REPORT NO. 00-W-30357 DATE OF INFORMATION: 1953-1954 DATE DIST. 27 [...] Read more →

Gold and Economic Freedom

by Alan Greenspan, 1967

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense-perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument [...] Read more →

Here’s Many a Year to You

” Here’s many a year to you ! Sportsmen who’ve ridden life straight. Here’s all good cheer to you ! Luck to you early and late.

Here’s to the best of you ! You with the blood and the nerve. Here’s to the rest of you ! What of a weak moment’s swerve ? [...] Read more →

Sir Joshua Reynolds – Notes from Rome

“The Leda, in the Colonna palace, by Correggio, is dead-coloured white and black, with ultramarine in the shadow ; and over that is scumbled, thinly and smooth, a warmer tint,—I believe caput mortuum. The lights are mellow ; the shadows blueish, but mellow. The picture is painted on panel, in [...] Read more →

The Intaglio Processes for Audubon’s Birds of America

Notes on the intaglio processes of the most expensive book on birds available for sale in the world today.

The Audubon prints in “The Birds of America” were all made from copper plates utilizing four of the so called “intaglio” processes, engraving, etching, aquatint, and drypoint. Intaglio [...] Read more →

Shooting in Wet Weather


Reprint from The Sportsman’s Cabinet and Town and Country Magazine, Vol I. Dec. 1832, Pg. 94-95

To the Editor of the Cabinet.


Possessing that anxious feeling so common among shooters on the near approach of the 12th of August, I honestly confess I was not able [...] Read more →

The Fowling Piece – Part I

THE FOWLING PIECE, from the Shooter’s Guide by B. Thomas – 1811.

I AM perfectly aware that a large volume might be written on this subject; but, as my intention is to give only such information and instruction as is necessary for the sportsman, I shall forbear introducing any extraneous [...] Read more →

Fortune, Independence, and Competence

THE answer to the question, What is fortune has never been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily made. What may be a fortune for one bears but small proportion to the colossal possessions of another. The scores or hundreds of thousands admired and envied as a fortune in most of our communities [...] Read more →

Cleaning Watch Chains

To Clean Watch Chains.

Gold or silver watch chains can be cleaned with a very excellent result, no matter whether they may be matt or polished, by laying them for a few seconds in pure aqua ammonia; they are then rinsed in alcohol, and finally. shaken in clean sawdust, free from sand. [...] Read more →

Traditional JuJutsu Health, Strength and Combat Tricks

Jujitsu training 1920 in Japanese agricultural school.



In the writer’s opinion it becomes necessary to make at this point some suggestions relative to a very important part of the training in jiu-jitsu. [...] Read more →

Horn Measurement

Jul. 23, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 65

Horn Measurements.

Editor Forest and Stream: “Record head.” How shamefully this term is being abused, especially in the past three years; or since the giant moose from Alaska made his appearance in public and placed all former records (so far as [...] Read more →

Chinese Duck Cooking – A Few Recipes

Chen Lin, Water fowl, in Cahill, James. Ge jiang shan se (Hills Beyond a River: Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279-1368, Taiwan edition). Taipei: Shitou chubanshe fen youxian gongsi, 1994. pl. 4:13, p. 180. Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. scroll, light colors on paper, 35.7 x 47.5 cm


Birth of United Fruit Company

From Conquest of the Tropics by Frederick Upham Adams

Chapter VI – Birth of the United Fruit Company

Only those who have lived in the tropic and are familiar with the hazards which confront the cultivation and marketing of its fruits can readily understand [...] Read more →

Mocking Bird Food

Mocking Bird Food.

Hemp seed……….2 pounds Rape seed………. .1 pound Crackers………….1 pound Rice…………….1/4 pound Corn meal………1/4 pound Lard oil…………1/4 pound


Home Top of Pg. Read more →

The Billesden Coplow Run

*note – Billesdon and Billesden have both been used to name the hunt.


[From “Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq”]

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of February, 1800, when Mr. Meynell hunted Leicestershire, and has since been [...] Read more →

Catholic Religious Orders

Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the mendicant Order of Friars Minor, as painted by El Greco.

Catholic religious order

Catholic religious orders are one of two types of religious institutes (‘Religious Institutes’, cf. canons 573–746), the major form of consecrated life in the Roman Catholic Church. They are organizations of laity [...] Read more →

Tuna and Tarpon

July, 16, l898 Forest and Stream Pg. 48

Tuna and Tarpon.

New York, July 1.—Editor Forest and Stream: If any angler still denies the justice of my claim, as made in my article in your issue of July 2, that “the tuna is the grandest game [...] Read more →

A Survey of Palestine – 1945-1946

This massive volume gives one a real visual sense of what it was like running a highly efficient colonial operation in the early 20rh Century. It will also go a long way to help anyone wishing to understand modern political intrigue in the Middle-East.

Click here to read A Survey of Palestine [...] Read more →

Protecting Rare Books: How to Build a Silverfish Trap

Silverfish damage to book – photo by Micha L. Rieser

The beauty of hunting silverfish is that they are not the most clever of creatures in the insect kingdom.

Simply take a small clean glass jar and wrap it in masking tape. The masking tape gives the silverfish something to [...] Read more →

A Cure for Distemper in Dogs


The following cure was found written on a front flyleaf in an 1811 3rd Ed. copy of The Sportsman’s Guide or Sportsman’s Companion: Containing Every Possible Instruction for the Juvenille Shooter, Together with Information Necessary for the Experienced Sportsman by B. Thomas.



Vaccinate your dogs when young [...] Read more →

Vitruvius Ten Books on Architecture


The Ten Books on Architecture




English Fig Wine

Take the large blue figs when pretty ripe, and steep them in white wine, having made some slits in them, that they may swell and gather in the substance of the wine.

Then slice some other figs and let them simmer over a fire in water until they are reduced [...] Read more →

Peach Brandy


2 gallons + 3 quarts boiled water 3 qts. peaches, extremely ripe 3 lemons, cut into sections 2 sm. pkgs. yeast 10 lbs. sugar 4 lbs. dark raisins

Place peaches, lemons and sugar in crock. Dissolve yeast in water (must NOT be to hot). Stir thoroughly. Stir daily for 7 days. Keep [...] Read more →

Looking for a Gift for the Book Collector in the Family?

Buying a book for a serious collector with refined tastes can be a daunting task.

However, there is one company that publishes some of the finest reproduction books in the world, books that most collectors wouldn’t mind having in their collection no matter their general preference or specialty.

Wine Making

Wine Making

Grapes are the world’s leading fruit crop and the eighth most important food crop in the world, exceeded only by the principal cereals and starchytubers. Though substantial quantities are used for fresh fruit, raisins, juice and preserves, most of the world’s annual production of about 60 million [...] Read more →

Method of Restoration for Ancient Bronzes and other Alloys

Cannone nel castello di Haut-Koenigsbourg, photo by Gita Colmar

Without any preliminary cleaning the bronze object to be treated is hung as cathode into the 2 per cent. caustic soda solution and a low amperage direct current is applied. The object is suspended with soft copper wires and is completely immersed into [...] Read more →

King William III on Horseback by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Reprint from The Royal Collection Trust website:

Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his [...] Read more →