10 Things that happened this day in History – September 22nd

At Joan Allen we love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked the top 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swot up on your facts and take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?


1499 – Switzerland becomes an independent state at the Treaty of Basel.

1692 – Witchcraft breathes a sigh of relief as the last people are hanged for it in Britain’s North American colonies.

1761 – George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz are crowned as King and Queen of Great Britain.

1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published.

1896 – Queen Victoria becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history.

1910 – The Duke of York’s Picture House first opens in Brighton, and is now the oldest operating cinema in the UK.

1955 – ITV goes live for the first time in Britain.

1980 – Iraq invades Iran, starting off the Iraq-Iran War, which would last for 8 years.



1515 – Anne of Cleves, wife of Henry VIII

1791 – Famous scientist Michael Faraday

1915 – Dads Army actor Arthur Lowe

1958 – Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli

1970 – Former Arsenal footballer Emmanuel Petit



1774 – Pope Clement XIV

1776 – American civil war hero Nathan Hale

Are there any other big events from September 22 that you would like to add?

If you are into your history and metal detecting, make sure you share all of your latest finds on the Joan Allen Facebook page.

Joan Allen at the Tharbies Rally 2012


Written By Julian Evan-Hart

It was a great pleasure to once again be invited to attend what I consider to be one of the premier and unmissable metal detecting events of the year.

By this I mean the Sawbridgeworth area based series of rallies annually organised by RallyUK. This year the venue was Tharbies Farm, with camping and facilities situated in an cooling avenue of mature Lime trees.

Sadly I was not able to attend the entire event in fact it was only for a few hours that I was able to be there. However even this restricted snapshot of events allowed me to see that once again the rally was brewing up to be a most memorable event.

This time I chose not to do any detecting but to have a chat and meet some fellow detectorists as well as to have a look at the trade stalls.

The Dealer trade was once again represented by Dei Gratia who had a good selection of finds on display and for sale to prospective collectors. Dan from Treasure Hunting magazine was also present and also displayed a magnificent selection of his company`s published literary works. Superb publications which derive almost solely from metal detecting and then each quickly develops into a “bible of knowledge” for future generations.

The long established company and retailer of metal detectors Joan Allen also had a large stand here too. Ready with batteries, headphones and sound advice should any of those unexpected emergencies arise or when a newly-purchased machine presents an operational query.

I was pleased to see Mark and Luke of Joan Allen as well as having the privilege to meet other members of their team that I had as yet not met before.

I would just like to add what a polite, informative and highly trained customer orientated group they are at Joan Allen`s. It is evident from the onset that they all obviously get on very well together and this is reflected in their total professionalism towards this magnificent hobby we have.

Edging through the crowd I finally spotted Cliff, the stalwart principle organiser of these events, we shook hands and chatted as he steered me towards a finds display case. I didn’t expect it to be anywhere near full at this stage.

But what it did contain was already breathtaking considering people had only been detecting for a few hours. I could see a few Roman Denarii, a mediaeval seal matrix, some Roman bronzes and a delightful Celtic silver unit too. Clearly some very happy people were already present at this rally as several dreams had already come true, but there was more.

Part of a heraldic pendant hanger caught my attention, a large good condition Crotal bell and a well healthy selection of hammered silver was also to be seen. The good old Romans were also represented by a few of their Fibula brooches, by this stage that was most of the finds examined. Well perhaps that`s not quite true as I have not covered the detectorists delight otherwise known as Gold!!! Yes it was here already, in all its stunning glory superbly represented by two coins. One of these was a lovely quarter Noble lying there in its just found state but somewhat crumpled condition.

I must admit I like seeing hammered gold coinage looking like this, to me it has that fresh earthy appearance….and anyway let’s face it it’s not hard to straighten out gold eh? Then my eyes moved along until they settled upon it, crikey yet another amazing gold coin had been unearthed just a short-while before.

I was allowed by Cliff to carefully handle both these coins. This second example was without doubt one of the most stunning coin finds I have ever seen up close. For here was a huge gold coin over two hundred years old it was an 8 Escudo`s from the reign of the Portuguese King John V. Some coin books refer to this and similar issues as the “Doubloons of Piracy”. Since the coin was dated 1748 that gave off a pretty “Piratey Feeling” to me too.

Isn’t it incredible how these foreign issue coins turn up in Britain? As most detectorists are aware such issues have been allowed to circulate in Britain amongst the standard coins for over 2000 years and are good signs of trade links. In fact most examples are indeed located by metal detectorists and are thus able to be recorded be it a Roman Republican coin or a Venetian Soldino.

As we all also know when you are having a great time …it flies by, it did and soon it seemed I had to head homeward bound again. Of course there will be plenty of other finds that I sadly didn’t manage to be able to have a look at. Many of these will undoubtedly be seen on various websites. As always I would like to express my admiration and best wishes to everyone who attended whether they made significant finds or not. Hopefully I will be able to meet more of you at future RallyUK events. It was simply brilliant to see so many detectorists gathered together and all united in the one aim of locating, discovering and unearthing so much of our history and clearly greatly enjoying doing so in such a lovely rural environment.

On a personal note I would like to thank Mark and Luke from Joan Allen and Dan from Treasure Hunting magazine for all the assistance they have given me over the last year regarding a personal project. Had it not been for these three guys the project would quite simply never have been possible. This had been a dream of mine for years and now it’s completed. Exactly what this metal detecting based project is will be revealed to everyone very shortly…

See Julian photos from the Tharbies Rally on the Joan Allen Facebook page

Metal Detecting in Jordan: Part Two

Metal Detecting Jordan 1

If you are a regular visitor to the Joan Allen Facebook Page then you should be aware of Julian-Evan Hart and all of his latest finds.

Last month on the Joan Allen blog,  Jules showed off all of his top finds when he was detecting in the Middle East, many of them relics from the former Ottoman Empire.

Now we have Part 2 of his trip, where Julian showcases his latest finds, and everything from grenades to buttons. Here’s a selection of his finds:

In 2008 I took part in a metal detecting expedition deep into Jordan. One of our prime objectives was to establish and look at the boundaries of World War One period battle-sites.

Of course we found lots of various bullets and shrapnel and numerous coins. One thing we did find were some curious fractured spherical objects, which later discoveries and research proved to be pieces of Ottoman “Cricket Ball” grenades.

Basically these were cast iron globes moulded with weakening points packed full of black powder with a long hand lit fuse at the top.

Upon exploding the really just sort of fizzed and burst open in a puff of smoke as all the bits we found were halves and large sections. So it looked like they were more akin to the stuff of Walt Disney cartoons than an aggressive piece of military hardware.

Later we found several complete examples which despite their seemingly poor effect were nevertheless dealt with by the Jordanian Army.

The amazing thing about these objects is that when we discovered them they were very nearly 100 years old but in perfect condition. Some of the fuses still had copper alloy protector tips in place, which stopped them fraying and also I suppose prevented accidental lighting of the fuses.

Whilst checking out a battle site near Ma`an in Jordan I found this in the fine dessert sands. It is believed to be the back from an Ottoman soldier, perhaps an Officer`s pocket watch, but it is beautifully inscribed.

As with such personal objects, especially when they bear no name, a whole host of questions come to the forefront: Who was this man? Did he ever return home? Such questions sadly will never be answered, but at least in one tiny way whoever he was, he is now remembered.

Here we can see an Ottoman soldiers button lying amongst some pebbles high up on a Jordanian mountain. My Explorer detector just bleeped and I looked down and there it was. Due to the remoteness of the site its almost certain that this button lay exactly where it fell in the Summer of 1917.

When we hear the term “Allies” being used in relation to conflict most people think of the unity of the British, Americans and French of World War Two. But in general terms allies means any normally seperate groups of forces who combine normally under some type of agreement or treaty in times of conflict.

In World War One the Ottoman Empire and German Empire were allies, although the Germans always looked upon them as somewhat inferior.

On metal detecting an Ottoman tent enclosure out in Jordan archaeological evidence of this former alliance was perhaps not better illustrated than by these two finds and Ottoman button and a few feet away a German example.

Evidence of times long ago only capable of being found and shared with the use of a metal detector.

Searching the collapsed ruins of a train station we found some true “Turkish Delights”. It seems that the station took a direct artillery hit or was blown up by sabotage.

Inside had been wooden shelves lined up with grenades for defense and these had just been buried, and remained here for 90 or so years. So what does a nearly century old complete Ottoman grenade look like? Well here’s the answer…

This example of a delightful military (Naval) silver button is as yet unidentified. It had a German marking on its reverse but the crown is rather Jordanian in its style. It was a metal detecting find from an Ottoman encampment so may well be a variety of German manufactured button for the Jordanian market almost certainly an officer no doubt.

This is a short or perhaps trouser button recovered from the sands of Jordan on a WW1 British Army encampment.

I just love the simplicity of the manufacturers stamp. A tiny find no doubt but who once fastened this – did they survive Lawrence’s campaign, did they get back to Britain? Could the grand father etc of that person who just walked past me in the street have once touched this very button?

Answer’s to which I’m afraid we will never know, but surely fertile grounds for imaginations to run wild, and in my book that such a special development of the hobby of metal detecting.

If you want to see all of Julian’s top finds in Jordan and from the UK, then make sure you “Like” Joan Allen on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.