If your newspaper research has taken you to the United Kingdom, you may have noticed 25 million new pages of UK content this year – with another 20 million coming over the next six months. We’ve partnered with trusted companies and publishers and have worked hard to preserve and digitize papers that chronicled historical events in British history – and perhaps your family history. We’ve added new titles to our archives and have updated some of our existing papers. Among the papers receiving updates are the Evening Standard and The Independent. These two papers, and others from the UK and worldwide, reported on the remarkable discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.
In 1903, English aristocrat George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and more commonly known as Lord Carnarvon, was fascinated with newly invented motor cars. He loved to race at top speed (a whopping 20 mph!) and frequently appeared before magistrates for reckless driving. While traveling in Germany, he was seriously injured in an auto accident. To aid in his recovery, doctors suggested Lord Carnarvon leave his beloved Highclere Castle (made famous in the popular television series Downton Abbey) and seek a warmer climate during England’s cold and damp winters. Lord and Lady Carnarvon began regular trips to Egypt and developed a love of Egyptian history and artifacts. While in Egypt, Lord Carnarvon met Howard Carter and discovered they both shared a love of Egyptology. Carnarvon financed Carter’s excavations, and the pair made several significant finds. Their discoveries came to a climax when on November 26, 1922, Carter unsealed the tomb of King Tutankhamun. The artifacts tantalized the world. A short time later, Lord Carnarvon died in Cairo after contracting an infection and developing pneumonia. Rumors circulated that his death resulted from the mummy’s curse, a superstition that anyone who entered an undisturbed tomb would suffer consequences.
In 1988, the sixth Earl of Carnarvon, son of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who helped discover King Tut’s tomb, died. His son, the seventh Earl of Carnarvon, grandson of Lord Carnarvon, who funded the original discovery, announced that he’d found 300 ancient Egyptian artifacts in hidden compartments at Highclere Castle. After his father’s death, he enlisted retired butler Robert Taylor to help compile an inventory at the castle. The butler, aware of the hidden treasure, directed Lord Carnarvon to two disguised cupboards and a sealed space between two rooms. The artifacts were displayed at the castle, and the public lined up to see the treasure.
Those tourist dollars brought financial relief to Highclere Castle, whose owners felt the pinch of steep inheritance taxes and the costs of maintaining a nearly 350-year-old mansion. The economic outlook further brightened when producers chose Highclere to film Downton Abbey, which became a global success.
You can learn more about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb and many other stories as you search our new and expanded collections of UK papers. Start searching Newspapers.com™ today.