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Sat Jan 14, 2012, 09:43 PM

Found a cool site called Fascinating History [View all]

It is a blog with various bits of history odds and ends.

Here is a sample:

Window Tax and Other Weird London Laws

* In 1766 The House and Window Duties Act was passed by Parliament. This meant that every house in England and Scotland had to pay a certain amount of tax per window. (In Scotland though, houses with less than five windows weren't taxed). The more windows you had, the higher the tax, so many people decided to have many of them bricked up. This can still be seen on the walls of old town-houses in Central London.
* If you struck someone in 1543 and their blood was shed your hand had to be chopped off.
* Charles II decreed that six ravens ought to be kept in the Tower of London at all times. Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower the Kingdom will fall. To this day there is such a person as the Raven Master, and his chief responsibility is to clip the wings of the ravens so tehy can't fly away.
* Every October, the solicitor to the City of London pays rent for land that the Corporation of London rented in Shropshire. The problem is, this was about 700 years ago and this land is not relevant today. To solve this problem, the ritualists of the City decided that rent ought to be paid in the form of a blunt billhook and a very sharp axe. Then, the said solicitor proceeds to cut through some wood with the billhook. However, he is supposed to fail with this task so that he can then cut through the wood with the aforementioned axe.


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