A History Lesson

If you've come to this page, you are probably expecting... well, exactly the same rubbish as you get everywhere else on this site. You won't be disappointed. Here's some detail about the history of this blog.

The Grim Reaper Writes was founded in 1381. It is widely believed to be not only the longest-running blog in the world, but also the only blog which has had one sole editor in its entire 629-year existence. Your Reaper was fed-up of waiting for the human race to get round to inventing newspapers and wanted to find a way to get his views out on a number of subjects. Plus work was also very slow following the end of the Black Death around 1379 - that was deliberately created and leashed by our industry to get us out of the Black Recession our industry was in beforehand, but we don’t tell anyone about that.

"I wish Sky would hurry up and
invent the newspaper review.
Heck, I wish Sky would hurry up
and invent Sky" - an infamous quote
Iain gave to the blog in 1452.
 Your Reaper is widely considered to be the very first blogger in existence, who has now been blogging for even longer than Iain Dale, who began his diary back in 1406. Although, of course, Tim Ireland has disputed this for the past 560 years and still believes he is the rightful holder of the title of world's longest blogger. And probably the most boring blogger title too.

The blog started out life in the form of various manuscripts, written on a daily basis in Thy Old English Style. Your Reaper aimed to update his blog at least three times a week, making it the most frequently updated blog of its time. At the time, the Grim Reaper Writes employed a numer of copywriters whose job it was to copy every pearl of wisdom the Reaper published and to distribute them to every pub in England.

Foreign readers who did not have access to an English pub were able to keep up with the blog by subscribing to receive 3 bottles full of the Reaper’s latest writings every year, thrown into the sea. The bottles were often branded with the letters RSS on them, so that they could be easily identified and therefore easily discarded when they noticed the Reaper's latest drivel had arrived. He is widely believed to have had a particularly large readership in the north of France around this time. Rumours that Louis XI of France read his blog were never proven, although widely circulated.

During this time, The Grim Reaper spoke widely about the issues of the day, such as the failure of Edward IV to get a grip on public spending - oh, how history repeats itself, eh? He also devoted a large number of blog posts complaining about people taking a shit into a bucket and then throwing it out of their window, what with flushing toilets not yet in existence. The Tudor years brought something of a renaissance to the blog. Historian David Starkey claims that The Grim Reaper was the first blogger to call Henry VIII a “lardy-arsed, womanising cunt”, although the legendary GrumpyOldTwat insists to this day that he was the first to feature him on the ...Is A Cunt website, founded in 1508.

Despite Henry's suspicions about The Reaper, they got on quite well. The blog even carried an exclusive interview with Thomas Wolsey – the Peter Mandelson of his time – in 1516. Although The Reaper considered himself at one point to be a Catholic, he was widely supportive of Henry's moves to break away from Rome and later, of the Acts of Union.

Anne of Cleves in the official painting
which was first unveiled through the
Reaper's blog.
Unfortunately, The Reaper went into Henry's black books when he published an exclusive interview with Anne of Cleves shortly after their marriage was annulled. She went on to publish a book accusing Henry VIII of assaulting his staff and smashing up mangles in what she called his “dark moods”.

Relations with the Tudors never recovered - indeed, Elizabeth I threatened to behead The Grim Reaper following accusations his blog commentators had been spreading rumours that she was a lesbian, due to the fact she had never been married. The Reaper was saved when it was pointed out to Her Majesty that blog comments had not yet been invented. That, and the fact that the Guido Fawkes blog didn’t come about until 1586.

After a quiet few decades, The Reaper decided to expand his blog empire in 1642. He began publishing his blog in the form of a daily newspaper. Although the publication proved very successful at the time, it was quietly scaled down a few years later during a bad period of Blogstipation. The blog was still available, albeit via a subscription. The experiment failed as readership figures plummeted, forcing The Reaper to start publishing his blog for free again. To this day, he believes this was the blog’s greatest mistake. If only those people at The Times would listen...

In 1762, The Grim Reaper was the first blogger to call for the abolition of slavery. This was a move which saw him blacklisted by numerous right-wing bloggers, who attempted to start a petition to have The Reaper sectioned. Boatang & Demetriou questioned the timing of the post, saying that the blog had been suffering from declining readership for the past 30 years - the Reaper replied by calling them "a pair of useless cunts who couldn't blog to save their lives.". The relationship between The Reaper and B&D remains strained to this day.

Following the abolition of slavery, the blog started running a Victoria watch column in 1838, a year after she took power. The Manchester Guardian denounced this move as sexist, stating that The Reaper would not start such a feature were a man in charge. To which the Reaper simply replied - "bollocks".

The Grim Reaper Writes was the only blog based on the frontline during World War 1. This did not always make him popular with the authorites, who threatened to charge him with treason for his disdainful oratory on Lord Kitchener. Kitchener himself wrote a complaint to The Reaper after he published a caption competition inviting people to mock his moustache. The Reaper's lack of popularity continued following a less than successful exclusive interview with Adolf Hitler in 1936, which he gave during the Olympics.

"That fucking Grim Reaper has been mocking my
moustache on his blog again, hasn't he?"
The interview somewhat backfired, leading to The Reaper being branded a traitor by many. Although he later compensated for it in the eyes of many by using an established technique of publishing a caption competition inviting people to mock his moustache. Something that Adolf Hitler didn't like, according to his friends in the bunker at the time. This trick has since been employed numerous times, particularly against Peter Mandelson. No, wait. ESPECIALLY against Peter Mandelson.

During the 1970s, The Grim Reaper Writes was available by ringing a premium-rate telephone number. This would basically consist of the user calling up and the latest freshly-shaved baboon we had just taken from the mental health hospital reading out random entries from the blog archives whilst under duress. The service never really kicked off. Neither did efforts to make the blog available via Filofax during the 1980s. To this day, The Reaper denies he was going through a Yuppie period at the time.

The blog was finally made available online - after numerous disputes with Heaven & Hell, who objected to some of the content in the archives - in 2010. To this day, the quality of the blog remains as dismally lacklustre as it always had done. Nice to know something hasn't changed in the past 630 years...