Queen Elizabethshakes hands with Deputy First Minister  Martin McGuinness watched by First Minister Peter Robinson  in Belfast in 2012. A quarter of a century earlier, MP Jim Kilfedder sought her direct involvement in talks on the North’s future. Photograph: Paul Faith/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The crisis in unionism after the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement prompted the Northern Ireland Assembly speaker to write to prime minister Margaret Thatch(...)

There are few more poignant dates in history than November 11th – tomorrow as it happens. This year it marks the 96th anniversary of the ending of tha(...)

Cossack charge at Gumbinnen, August 20th, 1914: A depiction of an eastern front battle between the German and Russian armies at Gumbinnen, East Prussia, now Gusev in Russia. Photograph: Culture Club/Getty Images
Ill-placed family trust

It was a nice day, slightly lifting his spirits. Nicholas II lunched with his two younger daughters before setting out by carriage for the Winter Pala(...)

Thomas Hughes’s grave at Broomfield, Co Monaghan. Photograph: Carrickmacross Workhouse Cemetery

In the old cemetery at Broomfield, Co Monaghan, near where I grew up, is the grave of a man named Thomas Hughes. He died in 1942, and what I kn(...)

Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and the return of Downton Abbey. Fans of big house life – and they are legion – will have a field day(...)

An English auction house has described as “sensational” the diary kept by a British army officer during the Easter Rising that has come to ligh(...)