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RichardB

Randini

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Extract :

THREE years ago, John Lindley was wandering around the Museum of Buxton in Derbyshire, when he came across a display of items belonging to one Randolph Douglas, a former steelworker, locksmith, caver, collector of ephemera, miniaturist, curator, magician and escapologist, who died in 1956.

Born in 1895 and growing up in Endcliffe, Sheffield, Douglas, the son of silversmith, worked for years at Hadfields steelworks before joining the Army and going to war in 1916. In the intervening years, the young boy became fixated by the vaudeville-style magic acts, illusionists and escapologists that were so much part of the entertainment of the day.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/features/Th...ed-a.4376172.jp

Oh, and Houdini's memtioned in there as well.

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from the Star December 2009

http://www.thestar.co.uk/features/SMITH-OF...TAR-.5880159.jp

Extract :

THREE years ago, John Lindley was wandering around the Museum of Buxton in Derbyshire, when he came across a display of items belonging to one Randolph Douglas, a former steelworker, locksmith, caver, collector of ephemera, miniaturist, curator, magician and escapologist, who died in 1956.

Born in 1895 and growing up in Endcliffe, Sheffield, Douglas, the son of silversmith, worked for years at Hadfields steelworks before joining the Army and going to war in 1916. In the intervening years, the young boy became fixated by the vaudeville-style magic acts, illusionists and escapologists that were so much part of the entertainment of the day.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/features/Th...ed-a.4376172.jp

Oh, and Houdini's memtioned in there as well.

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Great stuff Dunsby, Thanks.

What is the Locksmiths on Shalesmoor called, near Bowling Green Street, sure they were supposed to have supplied "stuff" for Houdini ...

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Short article on here about Randini from Radio 4 programme and Houdini's debt to Randini for the Upside Down straightjacket trick!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00v7y3b/Making_History_12_10_2010/

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Short article on here about Randini from Radio 4 programme and Houdini's debt to Randini for the Upside Down straightjacket trick!

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ory_12_10_2010/

12/10/2010

Listen:

Listen now (30 minutes)

Availability:

Available to listen.

Last broadcast yesterday, 15:00 on BBC Radio 4.

Synopsis

It caused two wars and untold misery to those that became addicted to it but it also helped underpin the finances of Britain's activities in India. That's the surprising view of Dr Jim Mills of the University of Strathclyde who joined Vanessa and Dr David Vessey from the University of Sheffield to talk about the 1895 Royal Commission on the Opium Trade.

It was Making History listener Anthony Wilson who encouraged Making History to explore this topic as his grandfather was the radical Liberal politician Henry Wilson who published his own minority report after the Commission failed to stamp out what he, and many others, felt was a morally unacceptable trade. But, was opium as badly misused as those like Wilson thought and what did India think of the trade?

A listener's family research takes us to Dorset just after the Napoleonic Wars where it appears that a large number of Catholics fled overseas from the area around Lulworth which was, and still is, home to one of our long-established Catholic families - the Welds. But, why did they leave, were they persecuted or was there another reason for this mass flight?

Could it be true that a Sheffield teenager gave Harry Houdini his most famous trick and why have so few people heard of Randini?

You can send us questions or an outline of your own research.

Email: making.history@bbc.co.uk

Write to Making History. BBC Radio 4. PO Box 3096. Brighton BN1 1PL

Join the conversation on our Facebook page or find out more from the Radio 4 website at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/makinghistory

Presenter: Vanessa Collingridge

Producer: Nick Patrick

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Britain and the Opium Trade

Making History listener Anthony Wilson contacted the programme to try and find out more about the circumstances surrounding the 1895 Royal Commission on the Opium Trade which his grandfather, Henry Wilson, contributed to. Henry was a radical Liberal politician from Sheffield and was MP for Holmfirth.

British involvement with opium is often discussed in relation to the two Anglo Chinese, or opium, wars (1839-42 and 1856-1860). Both wars were basically fought over Britain’s (and other foreign powers) demands for access of trade to China.

Opium and tea were at the root of the problem. Britain wanted tea and Chinese had an appetite for silver so, because Britain was on the gold standard, it had to buy silver from Europe and Mexico to trade with China.

To counter this drain on resources it encouraged the pedalling of opium from India instead of silver from elsewhere. Indeed Dr Jim Mills at the University of Strathclyde argues that about a one third of British income from India was from the opium trade.

Opponents of the opium trade were most concerned about its impact in China, but the 1895 Royal Commission on Opium turned out to be one of the great Victorian inquiries into our relationship with India. It came at the end of several decades in which there had been growing disquiet about the opium trade. In 1874 a Quaker Led Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade had been formed in London and in 1891 they scored a real victory when the House of Commons backed an anti-opium measure.

The terms of the 1895 Commission were laid out in 1982:

1. Whether poppy growing and sale of opium should be prohibited, except for medical purposes in British India and the Indian states?

2. Whether existing agreements with the Indian States could be changed?

3. What would be the cost to the finances of India of prohibition?

4. Whether any measure short of total prohibition would be possible?

5. What was the effect of opium use on "the moral and physical condition of the people"?

6. And, finally, what was the opinion of the people of India about possible prohibition and would they be willing to accept the costs involved?

The findings of the Royal Commission on Opium actually reflected the economic importance of opium to India and didn’t support opponents who were worried about the health implications of the trade. However, Henry Wilson was so angered by its findings that he wrote a minority report.

Dr Jim Mills

Useful Link: Henry Wilson’s papers

Henry Wilson’s papers can be seen at the University of Sheffield Library

Henry Wilson’s papers

Useful Link: Opium and the British Indian Empire

Lecture by John Richards."Opium and the British Indian Empire: The Royal Commission of 1895." Cambridge, England. May 23, 2001.

Opium and the British Indian Empire: The Royal Commission of 1895

Chevalier O’Gorman

Mary Casteleyn of the Irish Genealogical Research Society contacted the programme after our item on the Chevalier D’Eon. She pointed out that the Chevalier d'Eon was the brother-in-law of an equally colourful Irishman called the Chevalier O'Gorman.

O'Gorman married d'Eon's sister and managed the d'Eon wine estate at Tonnerre in Burgundy. He was energetic is promoting and marketing the wine to such people as Lord Inchiquin, in Ireland and Benjamin Franklin, who was one of his best customers and whose wine bill amounted to over £2000 in 1778.

O'Gorman was not supposed to have treated his wife well and his relations with his brother-in-law were not that good, although he seemed to be fully in control of the business whilst d'Eon was away in Russia and England, dressed as a woman, in the secret service of the French King.

The Chevalier O'Gorman also made money by returning to Ireland to research Irish pedigrees, for a price, for the exiled Jacobite Irish in France, who needed proof of their nobility to be accepted at court or to enter the French army, or to marry well within French aristocratic families.

The O'Gorman charged well for these pedigrees, sometimes over £1000. He produced pedigrees for famous families such as the O'Connell's of Derrynane, Kerry - this is the family of the Daniel O'Connell, the liberator, who uncle, also Daniel was in the French army.

O'Gorman was a good scholar with a knowledge of Latin and Greek, speaking Irish, English and French but he also had the reputation of not delivering what he promised and for keeping pedigrees and documents sent to him by the various Irish families he was trying to help.

Despite his high connections, he died in poverty in Dromahilly, county Clare in 1809.

Irish Genealogical Research Society

Randini – the story of the teenager who gave Houdini one of his best known tricks

Houdini: the Man Who Could Escape From Anything Or Anywhere; the Man Who Could Walk Through Walls and Cheat Death. But, the stunt that helped to make him a legend- escaping from a strait jacket whilst suspended hundreds of feet in the air wasn't invented by him. That honour belonged to a long forgotten Sheffield schoolboy called Randolph Douglas who modelled himself on the escape artist, collecting every picture and news item until one day he met his hero and there began a friendship that lasted to the end of his life.

Making History spoke to Ann Beedham the author of Randini: The man who helped Houdini And Professor Eddie Dawes.

Reading

Title: Randini: The man who helped Houdini.

Author: Ann Beedham

Publisher: www.youbooks.co.uk

Date: 2009.

ISBN: 9781905278299

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RANDINI :blink:

Sounds more like an Italian sex maniac than an escapologist :unsure:

lol

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RANDINI :blink:

Sounds more like an Italian sex maniac than an escapologist :unsure:

lol

Randini, the head of Alfredo Garcia (medium rare) and some chips and Hendersons please ...

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