Timeline Great Britain (E) 1860-1910
Return to home
1860 Feb 29,
George Bridgetower (b.1778), African-Polish violinist, died in
Peckham, south London. He was born in Biała, Poland, where his
father worked for Hieronimus Wincenty Radziwill. Bridgetower lived
in England for much of his life.
1860 Apr 17, English boxer Tom
Sayers (1826-1865) fought John Heenan (1833-1873) of the US for 37
rounds in an international bare-knuckle match at Farnborough,
Hampshire, that was called a draw. Heenan was later acclaimed as the
"World Boxing Champion."
1860 Apr, John Speke and James
Grant left England on an expedition to confirm Lake Victoria as the
source of the Nile.
(ON, 10/01, p.9)
1860 May 2, William Maddock
Bayliss, British physiologist, co-discoverer of hormones, was born.
1860 Jun 6, William R. Inge,
English theologian, Deacon St. Paul's Cathedral, was born.
1860 Jun 29, Thomas Addison
(67), English physician (A-Biermer Disease), died.
1860 Aug 30, The first British
tramway was inaugurated at Birkenhead by an American, George Francis
1860 Oct 7, During the 2nd
Opium War British troops on the outskirts of Beijing began to
plunder the gardens of Yuanmingyuan (the garden of perfection and
light), the imperial summer palace built by the Qing emperor
Qianlong in 1709. Lord Elgin’s cavalry soon set fire and let the
gardens burn for 3 days and nights.
1860 Oct 12, British and French
troops captured Beijing.
1860 Oct 17, The British Open
was 1st held at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The prize was a
red leather belt with a silver buckle. The belt was retired in 1872
and replaced with a silver claret jug.
1860 Walter Richard Sickert
(d.1942), English Impressionist painter, was born. In 2002 Patricia
Cornwell, crime writer, reported that he was Jack the Ripper.
(WSJ, 9/27/01, p.A16)(SSFC, 2/24/02, Par p.2)
1860 Henry Creswicke Rawlinson
(1810-1895), English diplomat and Assyriologist, authored “Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia,” the 1st book on deciphering Assyrian
(ON, 11/07, p.4)(http://tinyurl.com/34fg4f)
1860 Queen Victoria decreed
that men who chose to remain unmarried would not be welcome in Her
Majesty’s Rifle Corp. She held that "normal married life improves a
(SFEC, 12/15/96, Z1 p.5)
1860 In Britain William Ewart
Gladstone (1809-1898) began using a red box to deliver the
government's budget to the House of Commons. Most Chancellors of the
Exchequer continued to use it. PM Gordon Brown was an exception,
using a new red box during his years heading the Treasury
(1997-2007). The box was retired in 2010.
1860 Britain forswore most
import duties. Britain and France signed a free-trade treaty, which
drastically reduced the duty on French wines.
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.74)(Econ, 12/19/09, p.132)
1860 Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910) founded the Nightingale School and Home for Nurses in
London, the first secular institution in the world to train nurses.
(ON, 12/11, p.6)
1860 British printing firm
Thomas De La Rue received a contract to print banknotes for
(Econ, 4/8/17, p.58)
1860 English inventor Frederick
Walton made "linoleum" out of linseed oil.
(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D4)
1860s In Britain palace garden
parties were begun to extend royal hospitality to Brits from all
walks of life.
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A8)
1861 Feb 6, English Adm. Robert
Ritzroy issued the 1st storm warnings for ships.
1861 Feb 15, Alfred North
Whitehead (d.1947), English philosopher (Advocate of Ideas) and
mathematician: "We think in generalities, but we live in detail." "I
have always noticed that deeply and truly religious persons are fond
of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who aren’t." "It is more
important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true."
(AP, 4/11/97)(AP, 10/5/97)(AP, 9/8/98)(MC,
1861 Feb 20, Steeple of
Chichester Cathedral was blown down during a storm.
1861 Mar 23, London's 1st
tramcars, designed by Mr. Train of New York, began operating.
1861 May 9, The Banshee, a
British ship designed to run the American blockade on Confederate
ports, departed Nassau for Wilmington, NC. This was the first of its
many successful runs under the direction of Thomas E. Taylor, a
shipping clerk for the Anglo-Confederate Trading Company.
(ON, 8/09, p.11)
1861 May 13, Britain declared
its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1861 Nov 8, Union Captain
Charles Wilkes of the sloop San Jacinto seized Confederate
commissioners John Slidell and James M. Mason from the British mail
ship Trent. Lincoln's response to uproar: "One war at a time." The
Confederates were released. In 1977 Norman F. Ferris authored "The
Trent Affair: A Diplomatic Crisis."
(HN, 11/6/98)(ON, 1/01, p.7)(MC, 11/8/01)
1861 Nov 30, The British
Parliament sent to Queen Elizabeth an ultimatum for the United
States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were
seized on the British ship Trent.
1861 Dec 14, Prince Albert of
England, husband of Queen Victoria and one of the Union’s strongest
advocates, died in London. The book "Uncrowned King: The Life of
Prince Albert" was later written by Stanely Weintraub.
(WUD, 1994, p.34)(WSJ, 1/26/98, p.A16)(AP,
1861 Dec 20, Transports were
loaded with 8,000 troops in England. They were setting sail for
Canada so that troops would be available if the "Trent Affair" was
not settled without war.
1861 Dec 23, Lord Lyons, The
British minister to America presented a formal complaint to
secretary of state, William Seward, regarding the Trent affair.
1861 Sam Beeton and his wife
Isabella Mayson (1840-1868) published “Beeton’s Book of Household
Management.” Mayson was a columnist for the Englishwoman’s Domestic
Magazine.” Beeton had made his fortune publishing the British
edition of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” In 2005 Kathryn Hughes authored “The
Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton.”
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.93)
1861 The book "Great
Expectations" by Charles Dickens was published.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, DB p.43)
1861 Sir Francis Turner
Palgrave (1824-1897) edited “The Golden Treasury,” a 4-volume
anthology of the best songs and lyrical poems in the English
(WSJ, 1/20/07, p.P11)(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.W10)
1861 Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882), British novelist, authored his novel “Orley Farm,"
which told the story of an unjust will.
(WSJ, 2/24/07, p.P10)
1861 Britain passed a law for
drivers of horse-drawn carriages with a maximum penalty of two years
for wanton and furious driving.
1861 Britain passed a law
against soliciting for murder.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.53)
1861 Britain introduced the
Single Bottle Act allowing grocers to sell wine by the bottle.
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.132)
1861 The British firm
Butterfield & Swire began trading in Hong Kong and China.
(Econ, 6/30/07, SR p.13)
1861 Henry Gray (b.1827),
English anatomist and surgeon, died of smallpox. He had authored the
textbook “Gray’s Anatomy” (1858).
1862 May 15, The Confederate
cruiser Alabama ran aground near London.
1862 May 24, Westminster Bridge
opened across the Thames.
1862 Jun 24, U.S. intervention
saved the British and French at the Dagu forts in China.
1862 Jul 4, Charles Dodgson, an
Oxford mathematician whose penname of Lewis Carroll would make him
world famous, told little Alice Liddell on a boat trip the fairy
tale he had dreamed up for her called "Alice's Adventures
Underground." He later wrote it out for her and it became the
classic children's tale, "Alice in Wonderland."
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1862 Jul 17, James Glaisher
(52), British meteorologist, rose to some 22,000 over Wolverhampton
with balloonist Henry Tracy Coxwell in an attempt to set an altitude
record. They reached 24,000 feet in a 2nd attempt on Aug 18. On Sep
5 Glaisher passed out as they reached 29,000 feet. At a record 7
miles Coxwell managed to begin their descent.
(ON, 4/03, p.11)
1862 Aug 24, The C.S.S. Alabama
was commissioned at sea off Portugal's Azore Islands, beginning a
career that would see over 60 Union merchant vessels sunk or
destroyed by the Confederate raider. The ship was built in secret in
the in Liverpool shipyards, and a diplomatic crisis between the US
government and Britain ensued when the Union uncovered the ship’s
1862 The Naval and Military
Club, later known as the "In and Out" Club was founded by a party of
officers. In 1865 it moved to 94 Piccadilly. The club moved to No. 4
St. James Square after the Piccadilly address was sold to a group of
Kuwaitis following the Gulf War.
(WSJ, 8/23/00, p.A20)
1862 William Banting, a London
undertaker, was the first dieter on record. He went from 253 pounds
to 153 on lean meat, fish and fruit.
(SFEC, 2/14/99, Z1 p.8)
1862 Britain legislated a
Companies Act that defined the limited-liability joint stock
company, and removed the restriction that they be established by an
act of Parliament.
(WSJ, 5/7/03, p.D10)
1862 The East India House in
London, headquarters of the East India Company, was demolished.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.111)
1862 By this time 75% of
Britain’s cotton originated in India.
(Econ, 1/3/15, p.68)
1863 Jan 10, London's
Metropolitan, the world's first underground passenger railway,
opened to the public. The first stretch of rail had opened the day
before. It was nationalized in 1948. In 2004 Christian Wolmar
authored “The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground was
Built and How it Changed the City Forever.”
(AP, 1/10/98)(HN, 1/10/99)(Econ, 1/22/05,
1863 Jan 17, David Lloyd George
(d.1945), British Prime Minister, was born. First Earl Lloyd-George
of Dwyfor, English statesman: "It is always too late, or too little,
or both. And that is the road to disaster."
(AP, 8/13/97)(HN, 1/17/99)
1863 Mar 27, Sir Henry Royce,
Rolls Royce founder, was born.
1863 In northern England the
Stoke City Football Club was founded.
(Econ, 10/1/16, SR p.8)
1863 The sailing ship Star of
India was built as Euterpe, a full-rigged iron ship in Ramsey, Isle
of Man. In 1926, Star of India was sold to the Zoological Society of
San Diego, to be the centerpiece of a planned museum and aquarium.
The Great Depression and World War II caused that plan to be
canceled; it wasn't until 1957 that her restoration began.
1863 William Makepeace
Thackeray (b.1811), English novelist and satirist, died. His books,
which included "Vanity Fair," were published as monthly serials. In
2001 D.J. Taylor authored the biography "Thackeray: The Life of a
Literary Man." Thackeray was a chronicler of upward mobility.
(HN, 7/18/98)(WSJ, 11/12/01, p.A20)
1863 The Cayman Islands became
a British Caribbean territory.
1864 Jan 11, H. George
Selfridge, founder of the British store Selfridge and Co., Ltd., was
born. He was the first to say "the customer is always right."
1864 Jan 11, Charing Cross
Station opened in London.
1864 Mar 14, Samuel and
Florence Baker arrived at Lake Luta N’Zige and named it Lake Albert.
They soon found that the Nile entered the lake at a 130-foot
waterfall that they named Murchison Falls (Uganda) after the
president of the British Royal Geographical Society. In 2004 Pat
shipman authored “To the Heart of the Nile: Lady Florence Baker and
the Exploration of Central Africa.”
(ON, 10/01, p.12)(Econ, 4/24/04, p.87)
1864 Mar 18, The Dale Dike on
Humber River, England, crumbled drowning some 240.
1864 Mar 26, British
metalworkers in Scunthorpe charged their first blast furnace. Iron
ore mining in the area had begun in July 1860.
1864 Sep 5, British, French
& Dutch fleets attacked Japan in Shimonoseki Straits.
1864 Sep 15, British explorer
John Speke (b.1827) died in England by his gun own during in an
alleged hunting accident. In 2006 W.B. Carnochan authored “The Sad
Story of Burton, Speke, and the Nile; or Was John Hanning Speke a
1864 Oct 17, Elinor Glyn,
British novelist (3 Weeks), was born.
1864 Anthony Trollope’s novel
“Can You Forgive Her” began to appear in England in serial
form. It is the first of six novels in his "Palliser" series.
1864 Scottish servant John
Brown began to attend to Queen Victoria and drew the widowed queen
out of a severe depression. He remained with her until his death in
1883. The 1997 film "Mrs. Brown" suggested an affair between the
(SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.2)
1864 The T.G. Green & Co.
pottery opened in Church Gresley, Derbyshire, England.
(SFC, 9/30/98, Z1 p.3)
1864 In southern India a flood
surge wrecked the British naval fleet at the mouth of the Krishna
(Econ, 12/12/15, p.40)
1865 Feb 9, Mrs. [Beatrice]
Patrick Campbell, actress (Pygmalion), was born in England.
1865 Feb 23, England’s Reform
League was established to concentrate solely on manhood suffrage.
The Universal League for the Material Elevation of the Industrious
Classes became defunct.
1865 Mar 2, British newspaper
"Morning Chronicle" began publishing.
1865 Mar, Thomas Sutherland of
Scotland founded the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
(HSBC) to finance the growing trade between China and Europe.
It established the Shanghai branch on April 3, 1865.
1865 Apr 2, Richard Cobden
(b.1804), English manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman,
died. He had advocated for free trade and led the campaign against
Corn Laws, which were repealed in 1846.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cobden)(Econ, 10/1/16, SR
1865 Jul 2, William Booth
(1829-1912), British Methodist preacher, held his first meeting for
the Salvation Army in London.
1865 Jun 3, George V,
Saksen-Coburg [Windsor], King of Great Britain, was born.
1865 Jul 4, 1st edition of
"Alice in Wonderland" was published. English mathematician Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson is best known for writing the children’s book
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland under the pen name Lewis Carroll.
Born in 1832, also a skilled portrait photographer, Dodgson
pioneered in the art of photographing children.
(SFEM, 11/24/96, p.59)(HNQ, 6/12/98)(Maggio, 98)
1865 Jul 5, Great Britain
imposed world’s 1st maximum speed laws.
1865 Jul 25, Dr. James Barry
(b.1795), British military medical officer and senior inspector
general, died. It was soon revealed that Dr. Barry was likely a
female. In 2003 Rachel Holmes authored “Scanty Particulars: the
Scandalous Life and Astonishing Secret of Queen Victoria’s Most
Eminent Military Doctor.”
1865 Sep 23, Emmuska Orczy
(d.1947), baroness and writer, was born in Tarnaors, Hungary. Her
family moved to London in 1880. Her books included "The Scarlet
1865 Oct, Samuel and Florence
Baker arrived back in England following a 4 year exploratory trip in
Africa where they found and named Lake Albert and Murchison Falls.
(ON, 10/01, p.12)
1865 Nov 6, The Confederate
ship Shenandoah under Capt. James Waddell surrendered in Liverpool,
England, after attacking Yankee commercial shipping off the coast of
Alaska. It had sunk of captured 38 vessels, mostly New Bedford
whaleships. The surrender of the Shenandoah was the last act of the
US Civil War.
1865 Nov 8, Thomas Sayers
(b.1826), English bare-knuckle fighter, died. He was the first boxer
to be declared the World Heavyweight Champion.
1865 Dec 30, Rudyard Kipling
(d.1936), British author and poet, best known for "Jungle Book" and
"Soldiers Three," was born in Bombay, India. "There are only two
classes of mankind in the world -- doctors and patients."
(AP, 12/30/97)(HN, 12/30/98)(AP, 2/7/00)
1865 The Goathland RR Station
opened in Goathland, North Yorkshire.
(SSFC, 11/11/01, p.C10)
1865 The East London Railway
Company bought the Thames Tunnel. It later became part of the London
Underground subway system.
(ON, 4/06, p.9)
1865 A commercial treaty was
established between Britain and the German zollverein.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
started practicing as Britain’s first female doctor. She qualified
via the Society of Apothecaries when medical schools refused to
admit her. She and 5 other women began studying for a degree course
from Cambridge in 1869. Cambridge did not let women graduate with
degrees until 1948, and was the last English university to do so. In
2009 Jane Robinson authored “Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of
the First Women to Fight for an Education.”
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.73)
1865 Henry Bessemer, English
mechanical engineer, filed a patent to cast strips of steel
directly, rather than as large ingots to be reheated and shaped.
(Econ, 3/11/17, p.65)
1865 During the Orissa famine
in India the British political secretariat of the Bengal government
refused to import rice to the stricken areas because it was “a
breach of the laws of political economy.”
(WSJ, 2/23/06, p.D8)
1865 Robert Fitzroy (b.1805),
British sea captain, died. He commanded the H.M.S. Beagle and
co-authored a 4-volume account of the ship’s 1831-1836
circumnavigation. In 2004 John and Mary Gribbin authored the
(WSJ, 10/8/04, p.W8)
1865 Viscount Palmerston (80),
Britain's prime minister, died.
(PC, 1992, p.273)
1865-1866 Lord John Russel served as Prime
Minister of England for a 2nd time.
1866 Jan 11, Steamship London
sank in storm off Land's End England and 220 people died.
1866 Mar 19, The immigrant ship
Monarch of the Seas sank in Liverpool; 738 died.
1866 May 11, The Overend
Gurney, known as the 'bankers bank,' suspended payments and went
into liquidation owing £11 million to shareholders and the public.
Overend Gurney began collapsing in the early months of 1866. The
bank run on Overend Gurney was the last in the UK until 2007. The
Bank of England’s role as a lender of last resort helped to
establish sterling as an international currency.
9/22/07, p.16)(Econ, 1/31/15, p.62)
1866 Jun 20, Lord George ESMH
Carnarvon, Egyptologist (Tutankhamen), was born in England.
1866 Jun 29, England’s Reform
League, organized a demonstration in Trafalgar Square. Its size and
violence surprised everyone. A second meeting on 2 July was even
more heated. The Trafalgar Square meetings were followed by a giant
meeting held at Hyde Park on 23 July.
1866 Jul 21, A cholera-epidemic
killed hundreds in London.
1866 Jul 23, England’s Reform
League organized a giant meeting held at Hyde Park.
1866 Jul 28, Beatrix Potter
(d.1943), English author of children's stories (The Tale of Peter
Rabbit), was born.
1866 Sep 8, Siegfried Sassoon,
British author and poet famous for his anti-war writing about World
War I, was born. His work included "Counterattack."
(HN, 9/8/98)(MC, 9/8/01)
1866 Sep 21, H.G. Wells
(d.1946), English novelist and historian was born as Herbert George
Wells in Bromley, Kent, England. His work included the novel
"Marriage," "The Time Machine" (1895), "The Invisible Man" (1897)
and "The War of the Worlds" (1898).
1866 Nov 10, William Thompson
(1824-1907), Irish-born Scottish professor, was knighted by Queen
Victoria as Sir William Thompson. On his ennoblement in 1892 in
honor of his achievements in thermodynamics, and of his opposition
to Irish Home Rule, he adopted the title Baron Kelvin of Largs.
1866 Samuel Baker authored "The
Albert N’yanza, Great Basin of the Nile, and Explorations of the
(ON, 10/01, p.12)
1866 The West Pier at Brighton,
England, was built by Eugenius Birch. It was closed in 1975.
1866 In England Hyde Park was
trashed by citizens who were outraged that it could no longer be
used for public demonstrations or speech. The government relaxed
restrictions against free speech and orators began preaching at
Speakers Corner near the Marble Arch in Hyde Park. [see 1872]
(BS, 5/3/98, p.1R)(SFEM, 3/21/99, p.24)
1866 Henry Wickham (1846-1928)
ventured from Britain to South America hoping to shoot exotic birds
and ship home feathers for lady’s hats. This venture failed as the
birds exploded from the rifle shots. He returned to the Amazon
region and in 1876 gathered seeds of the Hevea brasiliensis tree,
which produced latex. Less than 4% of some 70,000 seeds germinated,
but this was enough to ship seedlings to Ceylon, India, Malaya and
Singapore and begin a global rubber plantation boom.
(WSJ, 2/27/08, p.D10)
1866 America abrogated a trade
agreement with Britain. Lord Elgin had negotiated a reciprocity
agreement with the British North American colonies in 1854.
(Econ, 11/26/16, p.18)
1866-1886 Dr. John Kirk, a Scottish botanist,
served as the British representative on the island of Zanzibar. He
made great effort to abolish the local slave trade. In 2011 Alastair
Hazell authored “The Last Slave Market: Dr John Kirk and the
Struggle to End the African slave Trade.
(Econ, 8/6/11, p.72)
1866-1947 Richard Le Gallienne, English poet and
essayist: "It is only on paper that one moralizes -- just where one
1867 Mar 5, An abortive Fenian
uprising against English rule took place in Ireland.
1867 Mar 29, The British
Parliament passed the North America Act (later known as the
Constitution Act) to create the Dominion of Canada.
(HN, 3/29/98)(AP, 3/29/07)
1867 Apr 1, Singapore,
Penang & Malacca became British crown colonies.
1867 May 20, British parliament
rejected John Stuart Mill’s law on women suffrage.
1867 May 26, Mary, queen of
Great Britain-North Ireland, was born.
1867 May 27, Arnold Bennett
(d.1931), English novelist, playwright and critic, was born. His
books included “Riceyman Steps” (1923) in which he probes the
unsettling and symbolic depths of a marriage that becomes too close.
1867 Jul 1, Canada became a
self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North
America Act took effect. The Dominion of Canada included New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A2)(AP, 7/1/97)(HN, 7/1/98)(MC,
1867 Aug 3, Stanley Earl
Baldwin, (C) British Prime Minister (1923-24, 1924-29,
1935-37), was born.
(HN, 8/3/98)(SC, 8/3/02)
1867 Aug 14, John Galsworthy
(d.1933), English novelist and dramatist (Forsyth Saga, Nobel 1932),
was born in England. He was reported to have thrown a brick through
a glass window in order to be arrested so that he could have time to
write. His play "Justice" was the result of this experience.
(WUD, 1994, p.581)(SFC, 12/5/98, p.E4)(MC,
1867 Aug 25, Michael Faraday
(b.1791), discoverer of electromagnetic induction (1831), died. In
2004 James Hamilton authored “A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday,
Giant of the Scientific Revolution.”
1867 Aug, The first recorded
race of two self powered road vehicles over a prescribed route was
between Ashton-under-Lyne and Old Trafford, a distance of eight
miles. It was won by Isaac Watt Boulton against Daniel Adamson, each
in steam cars of their own manufacture.
1867 Oct, Karl Marx
(1818-1883), London-based German philosopher, sociologist, economic
historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist, published Volume
1 of “Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Okonomie” (Capital:
Critique of Political Economy). The first English edition was
published in 1887. It is a critical analysis of capitalism as
political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the
capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the
socialist mode of production. Volumes II and III remained mere
manuscripts upon which Marx continued to work for the rest of his
life and were published posthumously by Engels.
1867 Dec 13, The Clerkenwell
bombing killed 12 people. It was an attempt to free Richard
O’Sullivan-Burke, a senior Fenian arms agent, and was the most
infamous action carried out by the Fenians in Britain.
1867 Walter Bagehot
(1826-1877), British economist, authored “The English Constitution.”
1867 The book “Progress of the
Working Class: 1832-1867” by J.M. Ludlow and Lloyd Jones was
published in London.
1867 Anthony Trollope authored
“Phineas Finn,” the 2nd of his 6 Palliser novels, which chronicled
political life in Victorian England.
(WSJ, 8/18/07, p.P14)
1867 The 2nd Earl of Pomfret
died. The family property, the Easton Neston estate, built around
1700 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, in Northamptonshire, England, passed to
Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh.
(SFC, 5/11/05, p.G6)
1867 The Vatican distrusted the
Oxford Movement atmosphere sufficiently to issue a decree forbidding
Catholics to attend Oxford University. This was not relaxed until
1867-1875 The Suez Canal Co. issued bonds for some
hundred million francs to keep afloat. The Khedive went bankrupt and
the British under Disraeli snapped up the Khedive's shares for £4
(WSJ, 7/10/03, p.D8)
1867-1931 Arnold Bennett, English poet, author
and critic: "Good taste is better than bad taste, but bad taste is
better than no taste at all."
1868 Feb 29, British Prime
Minister Benjamin Disraeli formed his first cabinet.
1868 Mar 5, A stapler was
patented in England by C.H. Gould.
1868 Apr 13, Tewodros II
(1818-1868), also known as Theodore II, committed suicide at Magdala
while under British siege. He was Emperor of Ethiopia from
1868 May 26, Michael Barrett,
Irish nationalist, was executed for his part in the 1867 Clerkenwell
bombing. This was the last British public execution.
1868 Jun 6, Robert F. Scott
(d.1912), British explorer, was born.
1868 Oct 16, Denmark ended its
involvement in India by selling the rights to the Nicobar Islands to
(SFC, 11/3/11, p.A2)
1868 The British Foreign Office
building on Whitehall street was completed.
(Econ, 6/25/16, p.51)
1868 The St Pancras station
opened in London. It was known as the “Cathedral of the Railways”
and for a time was the largest enclosed space in the world.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.71)
1868 The Anglican church began
to hold conferences for bishops. The conferences were then convened
every ten years.
(SFEC, 8/2/98, p.A23)
1868 A collection of photos by
Gustave Le Gray was donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
(WSJ, 3/24/98, p.A20)
1868 Britain’s first fully
diversified managed fund (mutual fund), appeared. Foreign &
Colonial was established to invest in foreign bonds.
(WSJ, 1/3/07, p.R6)(Econ, 3/17/12, p.85)
1868 Matthew Boulton obtained a
British patent on a design for ailerons as control surfaces.
(NPub, 2002, p.5)
1868 A new meat market opened
in London at the site of the old Smithfield livestock market. The
original Metropolitan Railway passed underneath allowing the market
to receive much of its meat by hydraulic lifts. The railways stopped
carrying meat after 1950.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.16)
1868 Judah P. Benjamin
(1811-1884), born a British subject in the Virgin Islands in 1811,
went on to become the first professed Jew elected to U.S. Senate,
from the state of Louisiana in 1852. He served the American
Confederacy as attorney general (1861) and then as secretary of war
(1861--2) and escaped to Britain. He wrote the Treatise on the Law
of Sale of Personal Property (1868), which at once became the
standard in the field. In 1872, he became a counsel to the queen.
Benjamin died in Paris.
1868 Ethiopia’s Prince
Alemayehu (7), son of Tewodros II, was placed on a ship to Britain
and enrolled in boarding school. He died aged 18 of suspected
pleurisy in the northern city of Leeds, after years of loneliness.
In 2007 Ethiopia called for the return of his remains.
1868-1926 Gertrude Bell, British adventuress,
advisor to kings, ally of Lawrence of Arabia. She wrote "The Desert
and the Sown" and spent much of her life in the Arab world whilst
spying for Britain in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Her 1996 biography by
Janet Wallach is: "Desert Queen, The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude
(SFEC, 9/15/96, BR p.5)(Hem., 5/97, p.99)
1868-1952 Norman Douglas, Scottish [British]
author: Justice is too good for some people and not good enough for
the rest. "You can tell the ideals of a nation by its
(AP, 11/3/97)(AP, 5/22/99)
1869 Mar 18, Neville
Chamberlin, British Prime Minister (1937-40), was born. He tried to
make peace "in our time" with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, but
instead made it easier for Hitler to take over continental Europe.
1869 Aug 17, Oxford beat
Harvard on the Thames River in the 1st international boat race.
1869 Sep 12 Peter M. Roget,
English physician and lexographer, died. In 2008 Joshua Kendall
authored “The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the
Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus” (1852).
1869 Nov 22, The Cutty Sark, a
British 3-masted clipper ship, was launched to win the tea race in
China. It later became the fastest ship on the Australia wool run.
1869 Francis Galton, British
psychologist, authored “Hereditary Genius,” in which he argued that
natural abilities are derived by inheritance.
1869 Thomas Henry Huxley,
English biologist, naturalist and writer, coined the term "agnostic"
after he got tired of being called an atheist.
(SFEC, 2/15/98, Z1 p.8)
1869 The grandparents of Alan
Sainsbury (1902-1998) founded a family grocery in London that grew
to become a supermarket empire.
(SFC, 10/27/98, p.B6)
1869-1876 The Midland Railway Company built the
70-mile Settle-Carlisle railway.
(Hem., 1/97, p.114)
1870 Feb 16, The clipper ship
Cutty Sark left London on its first voyage, proceeding around Cape
Hope to Shanghai 3 1/2 months later. The ship made only eight
voyages to China in the tea trade, as steam ships replaced sail on
the high seas.
1870 Jun 9, Charles Dickens
(58), writer, died in Gad’s Hill, England. His work included the
"Pictures from Italy" and “Oliver Twist.” In 2009 Michael Slater
authored “Charles Dickens.” In 2011 Claire Tomalin authored “Charles
Dickens: A Life.”
9/12/09, p.92)(SSFC, 11/27/11, p.F5)
1870 Aug 25, Richard
Seymour-Conway (b.1800), the Fourth Marquees of Hertford, died in
Paris. Richard Wallace (1818-1890), his illegitimate son, learned
that the nobleman was his father and inherited a priceless
collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and decorative
objects. Much of the collection was bequeathed to Britain following
the 1897 death of Wallace’s French wife.
(http://tinyurl.com/lpesbym)(Econ, 9/20/14, p.80)
1870 Sep 6, The last British
troops to serve in Austria were withdrawn.
1870 Oct 19, The British SS
Cambria left for the North Sea coast. 196 were killed.
1870 Oct 20, The Summer Palace
in Beijing, China, was burnt to the ground by a Franco-British
1870 Nov 29, Compulsory
education was proclaimed in England.
1870 Cecil Charles Windsor
Aldin, popular artist, was born in London. His "Fallowfield Hunt"
scenes were published in 1900 for home decoration. The Buffalo
Pottery Co. of NY used the prints on dishes from 1908-1909.
(SFC, 1/8/97, z-1 p.6)
1870 The 1st place golf prize
for the British Open in Scotland, a red leather belt with a silver
buckle, was retired.
1870 Britain’s Forfeiture Act
abolished the forfeiture of goods and land as a punishment for
treason and felony. It did not apply to Scotland. Section 2 has
remained in force, and states that anyone convicted of treason shall
be disqualified from holding public office and shall lose his right
to vote in elections (except in elections to local authorities).
1870 By this time the British
government had begun attempts to regulate firearms.
(WSJ, 8/6/02, p.D6)
1870 British PM William
Gladstone introduced the first excise duties to tax beer on its
(Econ, 12/24/16, p.62)
1870 The US surpassed Britain
about this time as the world’s largest economic power, but it was
not until about 1925 that the dollar overtook sterling in
(Econ, 1/22/11, p.98)
1870-1963 Herbert Samuel, English political
leader: "The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at
you. Smile, and it smiles, too."
1871 Jan 1, Sir Henry Durand
(b.1812), British lord of the frontier between India and
Afghanistan, died after an elephant he was riding reared and brained
him on a stone archway in Tonk (later Tank, Pakistan).
1871 Mar 29, Queen Victoria
opened Albert Hall in London.
1871 Sep 7, Cowper Phipps
Coles, English inventor (Steel warships), drowned.
1871 Oct 18, Charles Babbage
(b.1792), English mathematician and inventor of a calculating
machine, died. In 2001 Doron Swade authored “The Difference Engine:
Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer.”
(www.thocp.net/biographies/babbage_charles.html)(WSJ, 3/7/09, p.W8)
1871 Dec 27, World's 1st cat
show took place at the Crystal Palace, London.
1871 Thomas Moran of England
was the artist on a US government expedition to Yellowstone and
painted "Nearing Camp, Evening on the Upper Colorado River." The
painting sold for $2.2 million in 1999 to the municipal art gallery
in Bolton, Lancashire.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.B2)
1871 Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
published his "Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex."
1871 English author Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1989), aka Lewis Carroll, authored “Through
the Looking Glass,” as sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
1871 Belize was declared a
(SFC, 11/2/00, p.A12)
1871 Pepita, a celebrated
Spanish dancer, died. She had captivated British diplomat Lionel
Sackville, later the second Lord Sackville in 1852 and bore him
seven children, five of whom survived. In 2014 Robert Sackvile-West
authored “The Disinherited: A Story of Family, Love and Betrayal.”
(Econ, 4/26/14, p.82)
1871-1872 George Eliot (1819-1880), English writer
born as Mary Ann Evans, published her novel "Middlemarch" in 8
1871-1914 Robert Hugh Benson, English author and
clergyman: "You can love a person deeply and sincerely whom you do
not like. You can like a person passionately whom you do not love."
1872 Feb 6, Sir Thomas Phillips
(b.1792), English book collector, died. He had declared that he
wanted a copy of every book in the world.
1872 May 18, Bertrand Russell
(d.1970), English mathematician, philosopher and social reformer,
(WSJ, 9/27/96, p.A16)(AP, 1/7/99)(HN, 5/18/99)
1872 Jul 18, Britain introduced
the Ballot Act for voting by secret ballot. [see Aug. 15]
(AP, 7/18/97)(HN, 7/18/98)
1872 Aug 15, The first secret
ballot voting in England was conducted to re-elect Hugh Childers as
MP for Pontefract in a ministerial by-election following his
appointment as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. [see July 18]
1872 Aug 21, Aubrey Beardsley
(d.1898), English artist (Salome), was born in Brighton.
1872 Aug 24, Max Beerbohm
(d.1956), critic, caricaturist, writer, wit (Saturday Review), was
born in England. His work included "Nobody ever died of
(AP, 4/9/97)(MC, 8/24/02)
1872 Sep 14, Britain paid US
$15 million for damages during Civil War. The British government
paid £3 million in damages to the United States in compensation for
building the Confederate commerce-raider Alabama. The confederate
navy‘s Alabama was built at the Birkenhead shipyards. Despite its
official neutrality during the American Civil War, Britain allowed
the warship to leave port, and it subsequently played havoc with
Federal shipping. The U.S. claimed compensation, and a Court of
Arbitration at Geneva agreed, setting the amount at £3 million.
(HNQ, 9/2/00)(ON, 9/01, p.12)
1872 Oct 12, Ralph Vaughan
Williams, composer (Hugh the Drover), was born in Down Amp, England.
1872 Dec 3, George Smith,
Assyriologist at the British Museum, presented a lecture before the
Biblical Archeology Society in London, on Assyrian tablets that
described an ancient flood as part of an epic whose hero was named
(ON, 11/07, p.4)
1872 Dec 21, The HMS
Challenger, under Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth,
England, on a 4-year journey to survey the world’s oceans.
1872 C.P. Scott began editing
the Guardian in England and continued for almost 60 years. Scott was
a friend of Zionist Chaim Weizmann. In 2004 Daphna Baram authored
“Disenchantment: The Guardian and Israel.”
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.71)
1872 London’s Clerkenwell fire
station began operations. Its closure on Jan 9, 2014, marked the end
of Britain’s oldest operating fire station.
1872 The right of assembly was
established and the first lawful public meetings were held at the
Reformer's Tree in Hyde Park.
(SFEM, 3/21/99, p.24)
1873 Mar 24, Mary Ann Cotton
(b.1832), English serial killer, was tried and hanged. She was said
to have killed three of her four husbands, a lover, her mother and
11 of her 13 children.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ann_Cotton)(Econ, 1/7/17, p.34)
Apr 1, The British White Star steamship
Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia killing 547.
1873 May 1, David Livingstone
(60), British physician, explorer (Africa), died in Chitambo,
Zambia. His body passed through Zanzibar for a funeral in London in
Apr 18, 1874.
(MC, 5/1/02)(SSFC, 7/13/03, p.C9)
1873 May 8, John Stuart Mill
(b.1806), British philosopher and economist, died in Avignon,
France. He completed his autobiography just before death. Here he
wrote that happiness is the incidental by-product of pursuing some
other worthy goal.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stuart_Mill)(Econ, 4/21/12, p.84)
1883 Jun 2, Four gentlemen
departed London on velocipedes and spent the next 2 weeks bicycling
800 miles to John O’Grouts in Scotland.
(ON, 1/00, p.5)
1873 Sep 20, A financial panic
hit the US when the high-flying bond dealer, Jay Cooke, granted too
many loans to the railroads. Panic spread to Europe as London and
Paris markets crashed and the New York Stock Exchange closed for the
first time for 10 days.
(WSJ, 2/27/95, p.A-10)(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.C1)(WSJ,
1873 Walter Bagehot
(1826-1877), British economist, authored “Lombard Street: A
Description of the Money Market.” The 1st edition was dated Dec 31,
1873 British army officers
brought back from India the game of poona. They played it on the
country estate of the Duke of Beaufort. The estate was named
Badminton and thus poona became known as badminton.
(WSJ, 7/23/96, p.A6)
1873 Britain sent an agent,
Henry Wickham, to Brazil to get rubber seeds. The Seedlings were
cultivated in Kew Gardens and transplanted to Malaysia.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1873 In England the Brunner
Mond chemical firm began operating a few miles from Quarry Bank Mill
at Styal. In 2006 Brunner Mond was bought by India’s Tata Chemicals.
(Econ, 9/24/11, SR p.19)
1873 The British based Rio
Tinto Company was formed by investors to mine ancient copper
workings at Rio Tinto near Huelva in southern Spain. By 2003 the
company had mining interests in 40 countries and revenues of $11.8
1873 Hancock & Whittingham
made earthenware in Stoke, Staffordshire, England, and continued to
(SFC, 1/23/08, p.G5)
1873 The four Martin brothers
began making stoneware in London and continued to 1923. In 1885 they
introduced jugs modeled with human faces on each side.
(SFC, 12/19/06, p.G3)
1874 Feb 21, Benjamin Disraeli
replaced William Gladstone as English premier. Disraeli's 2nd
ministry continued to 1880.
(MC, 2/21/02)(PC, 1992, p.530)
1874 Apr 16, Dr. David
Livingstone's corpse arrived in Southampton.
1874 Apr 18, David Livingstone
was buried in Westminster Abbey.
1874 May 29, G.K. Chesterton
(d.1936), English poet-essayist, was born. "Every man is dangerous
who only cares for one thing."
(AP, 8/4/99)(HN, 5/29/01)
1874 Jul 12, Start of Sherlock
Holmes Adventure, "Gloria Scott."
1874 Nov 30, Sir Winston
Churchill, British statesman, was born at Blenheim Palace in
Oxfordshire, England. After attending the Royal Military College, he
served as a reporter and writer, and then in different positions in
Parliament as his political power grew. His most influential role
was as British prime minister during World War II from 1940 to 1945.
Churchill had been part of the Cabinet during World War I, but his
judgment was questioned and his political career ebbed. Up against
the threat of Adolf Hitler, however, Churchill committed himself to
defeating the Nazis and succeeded. Working together with President
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin, he managed to turn the tide
of the war in favor of the Allies. Churchill served again as prime
minister from 1951 to 1955. He died at his home in London in 1965.
(AP, 11/30/97)(HNPD, 11/30/98)(HN, 11/30/98)
1874 Edward Burne-Jones painted
"The Beguiling of Merlin."
(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.W10)
1874 The British East India
Company, having paid it final dividend in 1873, folded.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.111)
1874 David Stanley, British
journalist, crossed Africa from the east to the west across the
Congo River basin on a 999-day journey sponsored by London’s Daily
Telegraph. In 2004 Tim Butcher, also a journalist for the Daily
Telegraph, followed Stanley’s path on a trip that took 44 days. In
2008 Butcher authored “Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken
(WSJ, 10/31/08, p.A15)
1874-1948 Holbrook Jackson, British critic and
historian: "A mother never realizes that her children are no longer
1874-1965 W. Somerset Maugham English
author-dramatist: "The tragedy of love is indifference."
1875 Apr 1, Edgar Wallace,
novelist, playwright, journalist (Terror), was born in England.
1875 Apr 17, The game of
"snooker" was invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain.
1875 Aug 2, The world’s 1st
roller skating rink opened in London.
1875 Aug 9, Albert William
Ketelbey, composer (In a Monastery Garden), was born in Aston,
1875 Aug 25, Captain Matthew
Webb (1848-1883) became the first person to swim across the English
Channel, traveling from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in 21
hours and 45 min. Swimming the Channel entails about 35 miles of
swimming due to currents in waters that are 55 to 65 degrees
(AP, 8/25/97)(HN, 8/25/98)(ON, 2/05, p.12)
1875 Oct 12, Aleister [Edward
S] Crowley (d.1947), (75 pseudonyms), British occultist-American
mystic, was born.
(SSFC, 1/14/01, BR p.12)(MC, 10/12/01)
1875 William Ernest Henley,
English poet, wrote his poem "Invictus" at the end of his stay in an
infirmary for tuberculosis. The last 2 lines read "I am the master
of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
(SFC, 6/12/01, p.A12)
1875 Anthony Trollope authored
“The Way We Live Now,” a scathing satirical novel published in
London. It was regarded by many of Trollope's contemporaries as his
finest work. The story includes the description of a great railroad
stock swindle by Augustus Melmotte, a foreign-born financier with a
1876 Feb 16, George Macauley
Trevelyan (d.1962), English historian (Giuseppi Garibaldi), was
born: "’History repeats itself’ and ‘History never repeats itself’
are about equally true ... We never know enough about the infinitely
complex circumstances of any past event to prophesy the future by
(AP, 4/14/01)(MC, 2/16/02)
1876 Feb 18, A direct telegraph
link was established between Britain & New Zealand.
1876 Jun 21, The first gorilla
arrived in Britain.
1876 Aug 19, George Smith
(b.1840), British Assyriologist, died of dysentery in Syria. He was
on his way home from a 3rd trip to Mesopotamia. Smith had completed
the translation of the complete Epic of Gilgamesh in 1874.
1876 George Eliot (1819-1880),
Englishwoman writer, authored “Daniel Deronda,” the story of man who
discovers his Jewish origins.
(WSJ, 9/22/07, p.W6)
1876 William Morris
(1834-1896), English textile designer, published his epic poem about
Sigurd the Volsung.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris)(Econ, 3/4/17, p.68)
1876 Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882) authored “The Prime Minister,” the 5th of a sextet of
novels known as “The Pallisers.” It offered sharp insights on power,
sex, love and money.
(WSJ, 8/26/06, p.P8 )
1876 Queen Victoria added the
title of Empress of India.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)
1876 British Parliament passed
the Unseaworthy Ships Bill (Merchant Shipping Act). It was advocated
by Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), author of “Our Seaman.” The Act
required a series of lines to be painted on the ship to show the
maximum loading point. A salesman for the Liverpool Rubber Company
attached the Plimsoll name to a line of canvas shoes.
(www.victorianweb.org/history/plimsoll.html)(Econ, 7/8/06, p.79)
1876 James Murray agreed to
take over as editor of a new dictionary being compiled by England’s
Philological Society. In 1878 Oxford Univ. Press agreed to publish
the dictionary and Murray agreed to produce the work in 10 years.
(ON, 11/05, p.5)
1876 Charles Roberts reported
the statures of some 100,000 children drawn from the registers of
London military hospitals. It was one of the first statistical
inquiries into the economics of height.
(Econ, 4/5/08, p.82)
1877 Jan, Englishmen Sir
Erasmus Wilson donated money to bring the obelisk of Alexandria to
Britain. He hired civil engineer John Dixon to bring it to London.
Dixon designed an iron pontoon ship called the Cleopatra to carry
(ON, 6/20/11, p.9)
1877 Mar 24, Walter Bagehot
(b.1826), British economist and author of “The English Constitution”
(1867), died. He edited the Economist Magazine from 1861 until his
1877 Apr 10, The 1st human
cannonball act was performed in London.
1877 Jun 3, Frank Pocock,
British explorer, drowned in the Congo.
1877 Oct 14, A storm in the Bay
of Biscay caused the British pontoon ship Cleopatra, carrying
the obelisk of Alexandria, to tilt precariously in the sea. 6 seamen
from the tow ship Olga died as they tried to assist the men on the
(ON, 6/20/11, p.10)
1877 Aug 27, Charles Stewart
Rolls, British auto manufacturer (Rolls-Royce Ltd.), was born.
1877 Sep 11, James Jeans
(d.1946), English physicist, mathematician and astronomer, was born.
He was the first to propose that matter is continuously created
throughout the universe.
1877 Sep 17, William Henry Fox
Talbot (b.1800), British inventor, died. He pioneered instantaneous
photography and invented paper photography with the
negative-positive system now in use. Talbot produced the first book
with photographic illustrations, serialized as "The Pencil of
Nature," from 1844-1846. In 1980 Gail Buckland authored "Fox Talbot
and the Invention of Photography."
(AHD, 1971, p. 1312)(WSJ, 3/24/98, p.A20)(ON,
4/00, p.11)(SFC, 12/26/02, p.E9)
1877 Nov 17, Gilbert &
Sullivan's operetta "The Sorcerer," premiered (London).
1877 James McNeil Whistler
completed his interior room “Harmony in Blue and Gold” better known
as the Peacock Room. The 2-year project was his transformation of
the London dining room of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland. The
room was later transported to the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery. In
1998 Linda Merrill authored “The Peacock Room: A Cultural
(WSJ, 9/15/07, p.W16)
1877 The Grosvenor Gallery
opened in London as an alternative showplace for painters ignored by
the Royal Academy.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.D2)
1877 The London Metal Exchange
1877 In England the oldest
known calendar plate with a business advertisement was made by J.W.
Harrison of Liverpool.
(SFC, 12/15/98, Z1 p.6)
1877 Arthur Downes and Thomas
P. Blunt of Shrewsbury proved the bactericidal action of light.
Blunt was offered a British knighthood for his achievements in
research, but humbly declined. His partner in research, Arthur
Downes, accepted the title.
1877 A Hawaiian princess gave a
patch of land, smaller than a tennis court, on Kealakekua Bay,
Hawaii, to Britain as a memorial to Capt. James Cook.
(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.C4)
1878 Mar 3, Russia and the
Ottomans signed the Treaty of San Stefano, granting independence to
Serbia. With the Treaty of San Stefano (and subsequent negotiations
in Berlin) in the wake of the last Russo-Turkish War, the Ottoman
Empire lost its possession of numerous territories including
Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. The Russo-Turkish wars
dated to the 17th century, the Russians generally gaining territory
and influence over the declining Ottoman Empire. In the last war,
Russia and Serbia supported rebellions in the Balkans. In concluding
the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottomans released control of
Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, granted autonomy to Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and allowed an autonomous state of Bulgaria to be
placed under Russian control.
(HN, 3/3/99)(HNQ, 2/23/01)
1878 Mar 3, The Treaty of San
Stefano was signed after Russo-Turkish War. It assigned
Albanian-populated lands to Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia; but
Austria-Hungary and Britain blocked the treaty's implementation.
Albanian leaders meet in Prizren, Kosova, to form the League of
Prizren. The League initially advocated autonomy for Albania. At the
Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers overturned the Treaty of San
Stefano and divided Albanian lands among several states. The League
of Prizren began to organize resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's
provisions that affected Albanians.
1878 May 25, Gilbert &
Sullivan’s opera "HMS Pinafore" premiered in London.
1878 Jun 1, John Masefield
(d.1967), England’s 15th poet laureate, was born. "To most of us the
future seems unsure. But then it always has been; and we who have
seen great changes must have great hopes."
(AP, 1/1/00)(HN, 6/1/01)(MC, 6/1/02)
1878 Jun 4, The Ottoman Empire
turned over control of Cyprus to the British. The Congress of Berlin
leased Cyprus to Britain.
(AP, 6/4/08)(Econ, 10/23/10, SR p.10)
1878 Jun 23, Adm. George Back
(b.1796), English Arctic explorer, died in London.
1878 Jul 13, The Treaty of
Berlin was the final act of the Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13
July 1878), by which the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France,
Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Abdul
Hamid II revised the Treaty of San Stefano signed on 3 March the
same year. The Treaty of San Stefano had ended the Russo-Turkish War
of 1877-78. The Congress of Berlin divided the Balkans among
European powers. The Slavic converts to Islam in the Sandzak region
of southwestern Serbia were separated from their ethnic cousins in
(AP, 7/13/97)(HN, 7/13/98)(WSJ, 6/16/99, p.A20)
1878 Sep 21, The obelisk of
Alexandria was erected upright at a public park in London.
(ON, 6/20/11, p.10)
1878 Nov 25, In London a trial
opened to hear the suit of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
against critic John Ruskin for libel. After a 2-day hearing the jury
found Ruskin guilty and awarded Whistler one farthing, a quarter of
a penny. Whistler later authored “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”
(www.abcgallery.com/W/whistler/whistlerbio.html)(ON, 4/03, p.9)
1878 The English soccer club
Manchester United was formed as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by
the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire
Railway depot at Newton Heath.
1878 The New Wharf Pottery Co.
began operating in Burslem in the Staffordshire district of England.
It later became part of Wood & Son and from 1890-1894 used a
rope identification mark.
(SFC, 2/5/97, z-1 p.7)
1878 Henry and James Doulton
purchased a major interest in Pinder, Bourne & Co., a pottery in
Burslem, Staffordshire, England. In 1882 they changed the name to
Doulton & Co.
(SFC, 10/18/06, p.G3)
1878 The 1st electric street
lights were deployed alongside Holburn Viaduct in London, England.
(Econ, 12/1/07, p.79)
1878 In Afghanistan the new
Amir, Dost Mohammad’s son, signed a treaty of friendship with
Russia. British Gen’l. Frederick "Little Bobs" Roberts was sent with
an army to force Afghanistan into a treaty ceding foreign policy to
the British. The treaty was concluded but the British envoy was
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1879 Jan 1, E.M. [Edward
Morgan] Forster, English novelist famous for "A Passage to India"
and "A Room With a View," was born in London. His novels exemplified
his ideas about the conflict between the imaginative and the
earthy component of the human soul and character.
1879 Jan 11, The Zulu war
against British colonial rule in South Africa began. [see Jan 12]
1879 Jan 12, British-Zulu War
began as British troops under Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus
invaded Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal. [see
1879 Mar 2, Julia Martha Thomas
(55), a wealthy widow, was killed by her housekeeper Kate Webster
(29) very close to Park Road in well-to-do Richmond, England, but
her head was never found. Webster was tried and executed, but
Thomas’ head was never found until it was unearthed in October,
2010, by workmen building an extension at the home of David
Attenborough, the face of BBC natural history programs for more than
50 years. In 2011 the skull was formally recognized as that of Julia
1879 Mar 12, The British Zulu
War began. [see Jan 11]
1879 Mar 28, British mounted
troops under Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood went up Hlobane Mountain to
battle the Zulus—only to be surrounded by a 22,000-man impi (army).
Lieutenant Colonel Redvers Buller, received the Victoria Cross for
his gallantry during the difficult withdrawal of his troopers from
the mountain. Hlobane was the worst rout of British cavalry—and the
last Zulu victory—of the Anglo-Zulu War in South Africa.
(HN, 3/12/98)(HN, 3/28/99)
1879 Mar 29, Some 2,000 British
and Colonial troops of the 90th Light Infantry Regiment under the
command of Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood repulsed a major attack by
20,000 Zulu tribesmen at Khambula, Zululand. Jubilant over their
victory at Hlobane the day before, the Zulus prepared to finish off
the British at Khambula. This time, however, the outcome was
different as the Zulus vainly assaulted British foes who were dug in
and ready for them. The assault, depicted in "The Battle of
Khambula" by Angus McBride, ended in failure for the Zulus, leaving
them doubting for the first time their ability to win the Anglo-Zulu
(HN, 3/29/99)(MC, 3/29/02)
1879 Apr 29, Sir Thomas
Beecham, founder of London Philharmonic, was born.
1879 May 19, Lord Waldorf
Astor, British publisher, was born.
1879 May 19, Lady Nancy Astor
(Nancy Witcher Langhorne) was born. She was the first woman to sit
in the British House of Commons.
1879 May 25, W. Maxwell Aitken,
Lord Beaverbrook, Canada-English banker, was born.
1879 Aug 13, John N. Ireland,
English composer, pianist (Mai-Dun), was born.
1879 Oct 12, British troops
occupied Kabul, Afghanistan.
1879 Dec 30, Gilbert &
Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premiered in London.
1879 A cylindrical lump of
platinum-iridium alloy was cast in Hatton Garden, England, and then
dispatched to the Int’l. Bureau of weights and Measures (BIPM) in
Sevres, France, as the standard measure for one kilogram.
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.79)
1879 Gen’l. Roberts returned to
Kabul to hang some Afghans in punishment for the murder of a British
envoy. Roberts was besieged and another British force in southern
Afghanistan was almost annihilated. Roberts retreated in a march
from Kabul to Kandahar.
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1879 The Cyrus Cylinder was
discovered by the Assyro-British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam in the
foundations of the Esagila, the main temple of Babylon, and was
later placed in the British Museum in London. The cylinder was
created following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when
Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus and replaced him as
ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was later
considered as the world's first declaration of human rights.
1879-1949 Robert Lynd, British essayist: "Were I a
philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that
nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas
Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which
men become entirely alive."
1879-1963 Lord Beveridge, British economist:
"Scratch a pessimist, and you find often a defender of privilege."
1880 Mar 1, Lytton Strachey
(d.1932), English biographer, critic (Benson Medal 1923), was born.
"Uninterpreted truth is as useless as buried gold."
(AP, 3/25/00)(SC, 3/1/02)
1880 Apr 15, William Gladstone
became Prime Minister of England.
1880 Aug 1, Sir Frederick
Roberts freed the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from
1880 Nov 25, Leonard Sidney
Woolf (d.1969), English publisher, writer, was born.
1880 Dec 19, Frank Buckland
(b.1826), English surgeon, zoologist, popular author and natural
historian, died. In 2016 Richard Girling authored “The Man Who Ate
the Zoo: Frank Buckland, Forgotten Hero of Natural History.”
1880 Britain assigned all North
American Arctic islands to Canada, right up to Ellesmere Island.
From this vast swath of territory were created three provinces
(Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) and two territories (Yukon and
Nunavut), and two extensions each to Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba.
1880 A British effort to tunnel
under the Channel stopped after 1½ miles. The Chunnel was
completed in 1994.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1880 William Harry Grindley
started W.H. Grindley & Co. of Tunstall, Staffordshire, England,
for the manufacture of English china. The business continued until
(SFC, 12/19/07, p.G5)
1880 Britain’s exports of
manufactured goods accounted for 40% of the global total.
(Econ, 2/3/07, SR p.3)
1880s The Doulton factory in
Burslem produced traditional-style earthenware pieces.
(SFC, 2/4/98, Z1 p.6)
1880-1958 Dame Christabel Pankhurst, English
suffragist: "Never lose your temper with the press or the public is
a major rule of political life."
1881 Feb 5, Thomas Carlyle
(b.1795), Scottish essayist and historian, died in London.
1881 Feb 26, SS Ceylon began
its 1st round-the-world cruise from Liverpool.
1881 Mar 4, Fiction’s Sherlock
Holmes and Watson began "A Study in Scarlet", their 1st case
1881 Mar 4, South African
President Kruger accepted a cease-fire with the British in the First
Boer War (1880-1881 – aka Transvaal Revolt). [see Mar 23]
1881 Mar 23, Boers and Britain
signed a peace accord. This ended the 1st Boer war.
1881 May 24, Samuel Palmer
(b.1805), English painter and printmaker, died. He was a leading
light in a brotherhood of painters called the “Ancients,” for their
preference of archaic Gothic architecture. In 2011 Rachel
Campbell-Johnston authored “Mysterious Wisdom: the Life and Work of
1881 Apr 19, Benjamin Disraeli,
1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British PM (1868, 1874-1880), novelist,
1881 Apr 23, Gilbert &
Sullivan's opera "Patience" was produced in London.
1881 Aug 6, Alexander Fleming
(d.1955), British (Scottish) bacteriologist who co-discovered
penicillin in  1929, was born. He won the Nobel Prize in 1954.
(AHD, 1971, p.501)(WUD, 1994, p.542)(HN,
1881 Oct 15, Pelham Grenville
Wodehouse (d.1975), British writer and humorist, was born in
Guildford, Surrey, England. He produced 93 books and countless
articles and short stories. He was the creator of the two great
comic characters: Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves.
(Hem., 10/’95, p.109)(HN, 10/15/00)
1881 Dec 10, Viscount Alexander
of Tunis, British soldier, was born. He took his title from his part
in the Allied victories in North Africa.
1881 In London a court and
police station on Bow Street opened opposite the Royal Opera House
in Covent Garden. The Bow Street court closed in 2006.
(SFC, 7/14/06, p.A2)
1881-1958 Rose Macaulay, English poet and
essayist: "Work is a dull thing; you cannot get away from that. The
only agreeable existence is one of idleness, and that is not,
unfortunately, always compatible with continuing to exist at all."
1882 Jan 25, Virginia Woolf
(d.1941), English author, critic, was born. She was a member of the
intellectual circle known as the Bloomsbury Group and wrote "Mrs.
Dalloway" and "Orlando." "On the outskirts of every agony sits some
observant fellow who points." "I read the Book of Job last night, I
don’t think God comes out of it well." "The compensation of growing
old was simply this: that the passions remain as strong as ever, but
one has gained—at last! -- the power which adds the supreme flavor
to existence, the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it
round, slowly, in the light." In 1997 Panthea Reid published: "Art
and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf." In 1998 Mitchell Leaska
published: "Granite and Rainbow: The Life of Virginia Woolf."
(AP, 7/6/97)(IW 12/29/97)(AP, 1/18/98)(SFC,
5/25/98, p.E6)(HN, 1/25/99)
1882 Apr 18, Leopold Stokowski,
conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra), was born in London England.
1882 Apr 19, Charles R. Darwin
(b.1809), English naturalist (Origin of Species), died at Downe,
England, at age 73. In 1995 Janet Browne authored "Voyaging" the 1st
of her 3-part biography. In 2002 her 2nd volume "The Power of Place"
(MC, 4/19/02)(WBO, 2002)(FT, 12/14/02, p.IV)
1882 Aug 13, William Jevons
(b.1835), English economist, drowned while bathing near Hastings.
His book “The Theory of Political Economy” (1871) declared that
value depends entirely upon utility.
1882 Aug 29, Australia defeated
England in cricket for the first time. The following day an obituary
appeared in the Sporting Times addressed to the British team.
1882 Sep 13, British troops
defeated Egyptian forces in the Battle at Tel-el-Kebir.
1882 Sep 14, British General
Wolseley (d.1913) reached Cairo.
1882 Dec 6, Anthony Trollope
(b.1815), English writer, died. His autobiography "An
Autobiography," was published in 1883. He wrote harshly about his
mother and made her out to be a second-rate writer.
(WUD, 1994 p.1517)(WSJ, 12/11/98, p.W10)(WSJ,
6/9/00, p.W17)(MC, 12/6/01)
1882 Dec 28, Sir Arthur Stanley
Eddington, English astronomer who confirmed Einstein’s theory of
relativity, was born.
1882 The opera "Iolanthe" by
Gilbert and Sullivan opened in New York and London.
(SFC, 6/21/00, p.E4)
1882 In Egypt a military coup
against the Khedive furnished a pretext for a British invasion.
(WSJ, 7/10/03, p.D8)
1882 Parliament passed the
Electric Lights Act to regulate electric utilities.
(WSJ, 1/7/98, p.B1)
1882 In London euphoric
investors pushed up the stock prices of the first companies to issue
shares for companies with new patents for equipment to power
(WSJ, 1/7/98, p.B1)
1882 The Royal Worcester
pottery company in England began making the "Asthetic" or "Oscar
Wilde" teapots. They depicted a man on one side and a woman on the
other and were inspired by the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta
(SFC, 12/30/96, z-1 p.2)
1882 James Atkinson, British
engineer, invented the Atkinson cycle engine, an ultra-lean internal
1883 Jan 3, Clement
Attlee Britain’s prime minister [1945-1951; head of Labour Party,
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1883 Feb 17, A. Ashwell
patented a free toilet in London.
1883 Mar 14, Karl Marx (64),
German political philosopher (Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital),
died in London.
(AP, 3/14/97)(MC, 3/14/02)
1883 Jun 5, Economist John
Maynard Keynes (d.1946), economist, was born in Cambridge, England.
He developed theories on the causes of prolonged unemployment and
advised wide government expenditures as a counter measure to
deflation and depression. "I do not know which makes a man more
conservative -- to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the
(V.D.-H.K.p.253)(AP, 6/5/97)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
p.R20)(HN, 6/5/99)(AP, 7/29/99)
1883 Jul 4, Alan Brooke,
English general, was born.
1883 Jul 23, Lord Allanbrooke
(d.1963), English soldier, was born.
1883 Aug 29, Seismic sea waves,
created by Krakatoa eruption, created a rise in the English Channel
32 hrs after explosion.
1883 Sep 6, Lord Birkett,
England, judge (Nuremberg Trials), was born.
1883 Oct 17, A.S. Neill,
British headmaster (Summerhill), was born.
1883 Oct 18, The weather
station at the top of Ben Nevis, Scotland, the highest mountain in
Britain, was declared open.
1883 Nov 8, Arnold Edward
Trevor Bax, composer (Farewell My Youth), was born in London,
1883 Lord Frederick Leighton
(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.W10)
1883 In England production of
Bretby Art Pottery was begun by Tooth & Co. in South Derbyshire.
(SFC,10/22/97, Z1 p.7)
1883 In Britain Francis Galton
developed the questionnaire.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1883-1884 In Sudan British officered Egyptian
armies were defeated by the forces of El Mahdi, called Dervishes by
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1884 Jan 18, General Charles
("Chinese") Gordon departed London for Khartoum.
1884 Jan, Lord Garnet Wolseley,
adjutant-general of the British Army, asked Charles Gordon to come
out of retirement and lead an evacuation of 15,000 European and
Egyptian civilians from Khartoum, Sudan. Gordon agreed.
(ON, 4/02, p.9)
1884 Mar 13, Siege of Khartoum,
Sudan, began. Gen. Gordon ordered a counter-attack at Halfaya and
troops rescued some 500 from a Mahdist assault.
(ON, 4/02, p.10)(MC, 3/13/02)
1884 Apr 2, The London prison
for debtors closed.
1884 May 29, 1st steam cable
trams started in Highgate.
1884 Jun 5, Dame Ivy
Compton-Burnett, British author, was born.
1884 Jun 21, Field Marshal Sir
Claude Auchinleck, British general, was born. He revived the
flagging Eighth Army to go back on the offensive against the German
army under Rommel in the Middle East, but was later replaced.
1884 Aug 12, Frank Swinnerton,
novelist (Summer Storm, Sanctuary), was born in England.
1884 Oct 13, Greenwich was
established as the universal time meridian of longitude. 41
delegates from 25 nations met in Washington, D.C. for the
International Meridian Conference. This conference selected the
Greenwich Meridian as the official Prime Meridian due to its
popularity. However, France abstained from the vote and French maps
continued to use the Paris Meridian for several decades.
1884 Oct 22, General Charles
Gordon received a letter from Mahdi near Khartoum. British Gen’l.
Charles "Chinese" Gordon was sent to Khartoum to evacuate the
Egyptian garrison. Gordon decided to hold the city against El Mahdi.
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)(MC, 10/22/01)
1884 Dec, The steamship
Tongariro, equipped with one of the first refrigeration units, left
London with 282 bumblebee queens for Wellington. 48 survived the
journey and their offspring flourished on New Zealand’s South
Island. By 2009 one of the deported honeybee species had died out in
Britain and plans were underway to reintroduce the species.
(Econ, 9/19/09, p.67)
1884 In England part 1 of the
Oxford English Dictionary, compiled under the direction of James
Murray, was published. Consecutive volumes in alphabetical order of
the OED continued to 1928.
(ON, 11/05, p.6)(Econ, 10/29/16, p.78)
1884 Herbert Spencer
(1820-1903), English philosopher, authored his libertarian bible:
“The Man versus the State.”
(Econ, 3/19/11, SR p.18)
1884 Peacocks was founded in
Warrington, England, as a family-run business selling a wide range
of cheap goods. In 2012 the British clothing chain fell into
administration putting at risk almost 10,000 jobs.
1884 Horatio Phillips of
England designed a wing with a curved airfoil shape.
(NPub, 2002, p.5)
1884 The colony of Rugby,
Tennessee, had 350 residents. Thomas Hughes (1822-96), English
novelist, reformer, jurist, and author of "John Brown’s School
Days," had purchased 75,000 acres in rural Tennessee and founded the
colony of Rugby. It was a school for the younger children of
England’s wealthy families who were not eligible to inherit family
estates. It was meant to teach farming and other useful skills.
(WUD, 1994, p.691)
1884-1963 Phyllis Bottome, English author: "There
is nothing final about a mistake, except its being taken as final."
"Nothing ever really sets human nature free, but self-control."
(AP, 5/25/98)(AP, 3/299)
1885 Jan 2, Gen. Wolseley
received the last distress signal of Gen. Gordon in Khartoum.
1885 Jan 26, In Sudan General
"Chinese" Gordon (Charles George Gordon, 51), British gov-gen of
Sudan, was killed on the palace steps in the garrison at Khartoum by
the forces of Muhammad Ahmed, El Mahdi.
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)(HN, 1/26/99)(MC, 1/26/02)
1885 Jan 28, Gen’l. Garnet
Wolseley arrived at Khartoum to relieve Gen’l. Gordon, but arrived 2
days late. El Mahdi died soon thereafter but was succeeded by the
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1885 Feb 23, John Lee survived
three attempts to hang him in Exeter Prison, as the trap failed to
1885 Feb 25, Princess Alice of
Battenberg, later Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (d.1969),
was born at Windsor Castle.
1885 Feb 26, The General Act of
the Conference of Berlin was signed. The conference ushered in a
period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, which
eliminated or overrode most existing forms of African autonomy and
1885 Mar 14, Gilbert &
Sullivan's opera "Mikado," premiered in London.
(WSJ, 11/22/00, p.A20)(MC, 3/14/02)
1885 Apr 3, Harry St. John
Philby, [sheik Abdullah], British explorer, was born.
1885 May 29, Erwin F.
Finlay-Freundlich, British astronomer, was born.
1885 Jul 28, Moses Montefiore
(b.1784), Italy-born British financier, banker, philanthropist and
Sheriff of London (1837-1838) died. Abigail Green authored Moses
Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero.”
1885 Aug 15, Samuel
Coleridge-Taylor (d.1912), composer (Hiawatha's Wedding Feast), was
born in London, England.
1885 Sep 11, D.H. Laurence
(David Herbert Lawrence d.1930), English novelist, author of "Lady
Chatterley's Lover" and "Sons and Lovers," was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.812)(HN, 9/11/98)
1885 Frederic Leighton
(1830-1896), English painter and sculptor, created his sculpture
1885 Richard Burton, British
adventurer and linguist, published his translation of “The Thousand
and One Nights.” The 1835 Cairene manuscripts formed the cornerstone
of the canonical version of the fluid text.
(Econ, 5/15/10, p.54)
1885 Britain enacted a "gross
indecency" law. It was later used to persecute thousands of English
homosexuals, including playwright Oscar Wilde, who spent two years
in prison after a trial in 1895, and World War II code breaker Alan
Turing, who committed suicide after being convicted in 1952.
1885 Britain began maintaining
records of elections.
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.72)
1885 William Hesketh Lever
opened his 1st factory to make Sunlight Soap in Britain. In 2004
Adam Macqueen authored “The King of Sunlight: How William Lever
Cleaned Up the World.”
(Econ, 7/24/04, p.75)
1885 In England John Starley
introduced the safety bicycle. It had 2 wheels of the same
size and pedals attached to a chain to the rear wheel.
(Hem, 8/96, p.34)(Econ, 7/31/10, p.70)
1886 Feb 8, Two rival leftist
organizations, the London United Workmen's Committee and H.F.
Hyndman's revolutionary Social Democratic Federation, gave notice of
their intention to hold meetings simultaneously in Trafalgar Square.
A brief riot occurred and sometimes became referred to as Black
1886 Feb 15, Sax Rohmer, author
(Dr. Fu Manchu), was born in England.
1886 Feb 23, London Times
published the world's 1st classified ad.
1886 Mar 26, The 1st cremation
in England took place.
1886 Jun 25, Britain adopted
its Riot (Damages) Act, intended to provide compensation for losses
1886 Jul 23, Arthur Whitten
Brown, British aviator, was born.
1886 Jul 26, William Gladstone
was replaced by Lord Salisbury as prime minister of England.
1886 Aug 27, Eric Coates, viola
player, composer, was born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England.
1886 Nov 21, Harold G.
Nicolson, English diplomat and author (Good Behavior), was born.
1886 Dec 12, Edward Richard
Woodham (b.1831), English survivor of the Charge of the Light
Brigade (1854), died.
1886 Thomas Hardy, English
writer, authored "The Mayor of Casterbridge."
(SFC, 8/16/03, p.D1)
1886 London’s Soho district of
this year was the setting for Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel "The Secret
(SFC, 12/20/96, p.C12)
1886 The Clunies-Ross family
was granted the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, about 2,700
kilometers (1,680 miles) northwest of Perth, by Queen Victoria.
Captain John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish trader, had landed there in
1886 Arthur Wharton
(1865-1930), Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana)-born athlete, won the
British Amateur Athletics Association 100 yards sprint in a world
record time of exactly 10 seconds. He is believed to have been the
world's first black professional footballer.
1886-1967 Siegfried Sassoon, English poet and
novelist. He met Wilfred Owen in a sanatorium and published his
poetry after Owen died at the front.
(WUD, 1994, p.1270)
1887 Apr 5, British historian
Lord Acton wrote, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power
corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
1887 Apr 14, Start of Sherlock
Holmes adventure "Reigate Squires."
1887 Jun 21, Britain celebrated
the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.
1887 Aug 3, Rupert Brooke
(d.1915), English poet who mainly wrote about World War I, was born:
"Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night."
(AP, 2/20/98)(HN, 8/3/98)
1887 Sep 5, A gas lamp at
Theater Royal in Exeter started a fire killing about 200.
1887 Sep 26, Barnes Wallis,
British aeronautical engineer, was born. He invented the "Bouncing
Bombs" used to destroy German dams during World War II.
1887 Nov 17, Bernard Law
Montgomery, British Field Marshall who defeated Rommel in North
Africa and lead allied troops from D-day to the end of World War II,
1887 Nov 23, Boris Karloff
(d.1969), English actor most famous for his role as the monster in
the movie Frankenstein, was born in Dulwich, England.
(HN, 11/23/98)(MC, 11/23/01)
1887 Dec 1, Sherlock Holmes 1st
appeared in print: "Study in Scarlet." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s
first story about the detective he named Sherlock Holmes was
published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual. It wasn’t until a London
magazine called the Strand began publishing Doyle’s shorter
Holmes adventures in 1891 that the detective became a phenomenon.
Today hundreds of books, articles and movies have been devoted to
the great detective and his biographer, Dr. John Watson, at 221b
Baker Street, London.
(HNQ, 4/7/01)(ON, 3/06, p.11)
1887 Spitalfields opened as a
fruit and vegetable market in London. It was built over the site of
a medieval hospital and construction c2000 revealed some 6,000
bodies buried 30 feet deep.
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.T7)
1887 British paleontologist
Harry Seeley divided dinosaurs into two groups naming them
Saurischia (lizard-hipped) and Ornithischia (bird-hipped).
(Econ, 3/25/17, p.72)
1887-1964 Hesketh Pearson, British biographer:
"Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted."
1888 Jan 29, Edward Lear
(b.1812), English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet,
died in Italy. He is known mostly for his literary nonsense in
poetry and prose and especially his limericks.
1888 Mar 21, Arthur Pinero's
"Sweet Lavender," premiered in London.
1888 Apr 7, Start of Sherlock
Holmes adventure "Yellow Face."
1888 Apr 15, Matthew Arnold
(65), English poet, died.
1888 Jun 29, Professor
Frederick Treves performed the first appendectomy in England.
1888 Aug 6, Martha Turner was
murdered by an unknown assailant, believed to be Jack the Ripper, in
London, England. Between August and November 506 women were murdered
in London’s Whitechapel district. In 1994 Philip Sugden authored
“The Complete History of Jack the Ripper.”
(HN, 8/6/98)(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.W8)
1888 Aug 15, The British
soldier T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia for his
military exploits against the Turks in World War I, was born in
(AP, 8/15/97)(HN, 8/15/98)
1888 Aug 31, Mary Ann Nicholls,
a 42-year-old prostitute, was found murdered in London's East End.
She is generally regarded as the first of at least five murder
victims of "Jack the Ripper." [see Aug 6]
(AP, 8/31/99)(YN, 8/31/99)
1888 Sep 18, Start of Sherlock
Holmes adventure "Sign of Four."
1888 Sep 25, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Hound of Baskervilles."
1888 Sep 25, The Royal Court
Theatre, London, opened.
1888 Sep 30, "Jack the Ripper"
butchered 2 more women, Elizabeth Stride (45), aka Long Liz, on
Berner St. and Kate Eddowes (45). Donald Rumbelow later authored
"The Complete Jack the Ripper."
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.T7)
1888 Sep 30, Catherine Eddowes
became Jack the Ripper's fourth victim. In 2014 sleuth Russell
Edwards said that Jack has identified through DNA traces found on a
bloodied shawl from Eddowes. Edwards identified the killer as Aaron
Kosminski (1865-1919), a Jewish emigre from Poland, who worked as a
1888 Oct 29, Lord Salisbury
granted Cecil Rhodes a charter for the BSA Company.
1888 Oct 30, In London Jack the
Ripper murdered his last victim. [see Nov 3]
1888 Nov 3, In London Jack the
Ripper murdered his last victim. In 2002 Patricia Cornwell, crime
writer, reported that Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), English
Impressionist painter, was Jack the Ripper. [see Oct 30]
(WSJ, 9/27/01, p.A16)(MC, 11/3/01)(SSFC, 2/24/02,
1888 The Lever brothers,
William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) and James Darcy Lever (1854–1916),
began work on Port Sunlight in north-west England to accommodate,
socialize and Christianize workers for their soap factory.
(Econ, 2/27/15, p.56)
1888-1957 Joyce Cary, English author: "It is the
tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know -- and
the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything."
1889 Mar 27, John Bright
(b.1811), Quaker and British Radical and Liberal statesman, died. He
was associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn
Law League. In 2011 Bill Cash authored “John Bright: Statesman,
1889 Apr 8, Adrian Boult,
conductor, composer (BBC Sym Orch), was born in Chester, England.
1889 Apr 14, Arnold Toynbee
(d.1975), English historian, was born. He wrote the 12-volume "A
Study of History." "The history of almost every civilization
furnishes examples of geographical expansion coinciding with
deterioration in quality." "Of the 20 or so civilizations known to
modern Western historians, all except our own appear to be dead or
moribund, and, when we diagnose each case ... we invariably find
that the cause of death has been either War or Class or some
combination of the two."
(AP, 3/24/98)(AP, 8/24/98)(HN, 4/14/99)
1889 Apr 16, Charlie Chaplin
(d.1977), actor, was born. He was a British motion-picture
actor, producer, writer, director and composer and worked in America
from 1913-1952. In 1997 his biography "Charlie Chaplin and His
Times" by Kenneth S. Lynn was published.
(HFA, '96, p.28)(AHD, p.225)(WUB, 1994,
p.247)(WSJ, 3/7/97, p.A12)
1889 Jul, Queen Victoria
granted the royal charter to the British South Africa Company (BSAC)
1889 Sep 23, Wilkie Collins
(b.1824), English novelist and playwright, died. He wrote some 30
novels including are “The Woman in White” (1860), “No Name” (1862),
“Armadale” (1866) and “The Moonstone” (1868). In 2012 Peter Ackroyd
authored “Wilkie Collins.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkie_Collins)(Econ, 2/25/12, p.98)
1889 Dec 7, Gilbert and
Sullivan’s "Gondoliers," premiered in London.
1889 Dec 12, Robert Browning
(77), English poet (Ring & Book), died.
1889 British Lord Baden Powell
authored “Pigsticking: or Hoghunting: a Complete Account for
Sportsmen; and others.”
(Econ, 5/18/13, p.18)(http://tinyurl.com/nod8ams)
1889 J.J. Thomas (1840-1889)
authored “Froudacity,” an attack on the writings about the West
Indies of English historian J. Anthony Froude. The Trinidad-born,
self-educated black intellectual, wrote the work during a visit to
London where he died of TB.
1889 The British Royal Society
for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was founded.
1889 In the English League
First Division match, the 1st professional league soccer
championship, Preston North End won against the Aston Villa Football
Club. Preston went through its 22-game season without losing a
1889-1944 Philip Guedalla, British writer:
"History repeats itself; historians repeat each other."
1890 Jan 11, William Morris
(1834-1896), English artist, designer and socialist pioneer, began
presenting his novel “News From Nowhere.” It was first published in
serial form in the Commonweal journal beginning on this date.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris)(Econ 5/20/17, p.78)
1890 Jun 16, Stan Laurel
(d.1965), British-born entertainer, was born. He teamed up with
Oliver Hardy (Laurel & Hardy) to make over 100 comedy films.
(WUD, 1994 p.811)(HN, 6/16/01)
1890 Sep 15, Agatha Christie,
English writer of mystery novels, was born. Her books included
"Death on the Nile" and "And Then There Were None."
1890 Oct 19, Richard Francis
Burton (b.1821), explorer, British consul, translator, died. In 1893
Lady Burton published a biography of her late husband.
1890 Oct, Dr. William Penny
Brookes (81) met Baron Pierre de Coubertin (27) of France, widely
regarded as the founder of the modern Olympics, over several hours
at the Raven Hotel in Much Wenlock, England. The two spoke about de
Coubertin's wish to stage an international Olympic festival in
1890 Daisy Ashford (9) wrote a
novel for her ailing mother titled “The Young Visiters.” Discovered
29 years later, it was turned into a real book and became a British
(SFC, 11/1/04, p.E1)
1890 Arthur Conan Doyle’s 2nd
Sherlock Holmes novel, “The Sign of Four,” was published.
(ON, 3/06, p.11)
1890 Alfred Marshall published
his "Principles of Economics," considered the bible of British
economics. He stressed that the output and price of a good are
determined by supply as well as demand.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R20)
1890 In England Jenny Pipes,
convicted of being a scold, was sentenced to public humiliation and
underwent ducking in the Kenwater river by order of the Magistrates.
This was the last recorded use of the ducking stool, in which the
victim was strapped to a stool and plunged into water.
1890 James F. Wiltshaw and
brothers J.A. Robinson and W.H. Robinson founded their Wiltshaw
& Robinson pottery in Staffordshire, England. Their pieces were
marked “Carlton Ware,” which became the company’s name in 1958. In
1973 it began producing “Walking Ware.” In 1989 the company went
(SFC, 3/21/07, p.G2)
1890 Use of the brand name
Royal Enfield was licensed by the Crown. The Enfield Cycle Company
made motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines under
the name Royal Enfield out of its works based at Redditch,
Worcestershire. The legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in
the logo comprising the cannon, and the motto "Made like a gun".
1890 Britain ceded the island
of Heligoland to Germany in exchange for a free hand in the former
slave-trading sultanate of Zanzibar.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.69)
1890s Gen’l. Herbert Kitchener
led the British conquest of the Sudan. The "kit bag," another name
for a knapsack, was named after him.
(SFEC, 3/29/98, Z1 p.8)
1891 Feb 9, Ronald Colman, 1947
Academy Award actor (Tale of 2 Cities), was born in England.
1891 Mar 15, Joseph Bazalgette
(b.1819), English civil engineer, died. He built interceptor sewers
along the banks of the Thames and ended cholera outbreaks in London.
1891 Mar 17, The British
steamer Utopia sank off the coast of Gibraltar.
Apr 1, The London-Paris telephone connection opened.
1891 Apr 24, Start of Sherlock
Holmes adventure "Final Problem."
1891 Jul 31, Great Britain
declared territories in Southern Africa up to the Congo to be within
their sphere of influence.
1891 Aug 2, Arthur Edward
Drummond Bliss, composer (Olympians), was born in London.
1891 Arthur Conan Doyle’s
historical novel, “The White Company,” was published. It was about
the wartime adventures of a medieval band of English archers.
(ON, 3/06, p.11)
1891 William Morris
(1834-1896), English poet, designer, painter, decorator and author,
portrayed a vision of utopia in his novel entitled "News from
Nowhere." The book describes a utopian fantasy in which people
return to handicrafts. The ideas in the novel reflected the emphatic
socialist views Morris would further explore in "How I Became a
Socialist," published in 1896. A pioneer of the British socialist
movement, Morris was apprenticed to an architect and later founded a
manufacturing and decorating firm. He was of the Pre-Raphaelite
school with a taste for simplicity and beauty in art and literature.
1891 The magazine "The Strand"
was established and devoted itself to popular fiction and celebrity
interviews. Arthur Conan Doyle became an early contributor.
(WSJ, 4/12/99, p.A21)
1891 The Brownfields Guild
Pottery Society began business in Staffordshire, England, and
continued operations to 1900.
(SFC, 10/5/05, p.G3)
1891-1959 Stanley Spencer, English painter. He
lived and worked in the village of Cookham and experienced
visions of sexual and religious feelings that he translated into
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.B1,5)(SFC, 6/5/98, p.C1)
1892 Jan 3, J.R.R.
Tolkien writer (d.1973): Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, was born.
"All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)(AP, 1/5/99)
1892 Feb 22, "Lady Windermere's
Fan," a melodrama by Oscar Wilde, was first performed, at London's
St. James's Theater. It was about suspected infidelity.
(WSJ, 7/29/98, p.A13)(AP, 2/22/99)
1892 Mar 9, David Garnett,
novelist, editor (Lady into Fox), was born in England.
1892 Mar 10, Eva Turner,
British soprano, was born.
1892 Apr 13, Arthur ("Bomber")
Harris, Marshal of the RAF, was born in Cheltenham.
1892 Jul 4, James Keir Hardie
was 1st socialist chosen in British Lower house.
1892 Jul 18, Thomas Cook (83),
English tour director (Thomas Cook & Son), died.
1892 Oct 6, Alfred Tennyson
(b.1809), writer and poet laureate, died at 83.
1892 Dec 9, "Widowers' Houses,"
George Bernard Shaw's first play, opened at the Royalty Theater in
1892-1937 The Gilbert Islands (Kiribati Islands)
were amalgamated as British possessions.
(WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-1)
1892-1962 Vita Sackville-West, English poet and
author: "Summer makes a silence after spring."
1892-1969 Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, English
author: "There are different kinds of wrong. The people sinned
against are not always the best."
1893 Jan 13, Britain's
Independent Labour Party, a precursor to the current Labour Party,
had its 1st meeting. Scottish socialist Keir Hardie (1856-1915)
helped form the Independent Labour Party (ILP). In 1900 he helped
form the union-based Labour Representation Committee, soon renamed
the Labour Party, with which the ILP later merged.
1893 Jan 15, Fanny Kemble
(b.1809), actress and writer, died in London. Her work included
"Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation.” In 2000 Catherine
Clinton authored "Fanny Kimble’s Civil Wars" and edited "Fanny
Kemble’s Journals." In 2007 Deirdre David authored “Fanny Kemble: A
9/21/00, p.A24)(Econ, 6/23/07, p.95)
1893 Mar 18, Wilfred Owen
(d.1918), World War I English poet, was born. He was killed one week
before Armistice Day of WW I. His fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon
published Owen’s single slim volume of poetry.
(NH, 10/98, p.18)(HN, 3/18/01)
1893 Apr 3, Leslie Howard,
[Stainer], actor (Gone With the Wind), was born in London.
1893 Apr 19, The Oscar Wilde
play "A Woman of No Importance" opened at the Haymarket Theatre in
(WSJ, 9/16/98, p.A20)(AP, 4/19/03)
1893 Jun 13, Dorothy Leigh
Sayers (d.1957), English detective writer, creator of Lord Peter
Wimsey, was born. "The worst sin -- perhaps the only sin -- passion
can commit, is to be joyless."
(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 6/13/01)
1893 Sep 4, Beatrix Potter,
English author, first told the story of Peter Rabbit in the form of
a "picture letter" to Noel Moore, the son of Potter's former
governess. A 2nd illustrated letter the same month later became “The
Tale of Jeremy Fisher.” The “Tale of Peter Rabbit” was published in
(HN, 9/4/00)(AP, 9/4/04)(Econ, 1/6/07, p.67)
1893 Oct 6, Ford Madox Brown
(b.1821), English painter, died in London. In 2010 Angela Thirlwell
authored “Into the Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown.”
(Econ, 3/13/10, p.87)(http://tinyurl.com/yhpg5ut)
1893 Oct 7, In England the
Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “Utopia Limited-or the Flowers of
Progress” premiered and ran for 245 performances.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia,_Limited)(Econ, 1/3/15, p.20)
1893 Dec, Arthur Conan Doyle’s
Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventures of the Final Problem,”
appeared in The Strand Magazine. In it Holmes and his archenemy,
Prof. Moriarty, plunged to their death at the Reichenbach Falls.
(ON, 3/06, p.12)
1893 The Durand line, drawn by
British diplomat Sir Mortimer Durand, fixed the borders of
Afghanistan with British India, splitting Pushtun tribal areas and
leaving half of these Afghans in what is now Pakistan. The agreement
was first signed by Sir Mortimer Durand and Abdur Rahman Khan, the
ruler of Afghanistan.
p.44)(Econ, 8/18/07, p.34)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.18)
1893 The first electric bread
toasters were made in England about this time.
(SFC, 1/23/08, p.G4)
1893-1970 Vera Brittain, British author: "Politics
are usually the executive expression of human immaturity."
1894 Feb 10, Harold MacMillan,
British prime minister from 1957 to 1963, was born.
(HN, 2/10/97)(HN, 2/10/99)
1894 Mar 3, British PM William
Gladstone submitted his resignation to Queen Victoria, ending his
fourth and final premiership. Gladstone was later quoted as saying
this year: “Do not let me be told that one nation has no authority
over another. Every nation, and if need be every human being, has
authority on behalf of humanity and justice.”
(AP, 3/3/08)(Econ, 9/27/08, p.98)
1894 Apr 21, George Bernard
Shaw's "Arms & the Man," premiered in London.
1894 Apr 30, Giuseppe Farnara
and Francis Polti were convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison
for attempted terrorism in London.
(Econ, 5/3/08, p.65)
1894 Jun 23, Edward VIII [Duke
of Windsor], King of England, was born. He abdicated his throne for
American Wallis Simpson.
1894 Jul 25, Japanese forces
sank the British steamer Kowshing which was bringing Chinese
reinforcements to Korea.
1894 Jul 26, Aldous L. Huxley
(d.1963), author (Brave New World), was born in Surrey, England.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking
things for granted." "Parodies and caricatures are the most
penetrating of criticisms."
(AP, 7/13/97)(AP, 7/26/98)(MC, 7/26/02)
1894 Sep 10, London taxi driver
George ("Mac") Smith was 1st to be fined for drunk driving (no horse
to take him home).
1894 Sep 13, J.B. Priestley
(d.1984), British novelist and playwright, was born. "The weakness
of American civilization, and perhaps the chief reason why it
creates so much discontent, is that it is so curiously abstract. It
is a bloodless extrapolation of a satisfying life. ... You dine off
the advertiser's 'sizzling' and not the meat of the steak."
(AP, 9/13/98)(HN, 9/13/00)
1894 Oct 24, J. Anthony Froude
(b.1818), English historian, died. In 2005 Julia Markus authored “J.
Anthony Froude: The Last Undiscovered Great Victorian.”
1894 George Curzon authored
"Problems of the Far East."
(WSJ, 6/11/03, p.D10)
1894 The Tower Bridge over the
Thames was completed.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A17)
1894 In England the Manchester
Ship Canal opened in an effort to bypass Liverpool’s port with a
more direct water route from the Mersey to central Manchester.
(Econ, 4/19/14, p.49)
1894 In Britain William
Harcourt introduced the estate duty to replace 5 death duties.
1894 The British introduced the
Land Acquisition Act in India in order to build railroads and
canals. It obliged private owners to part with land required for a
(Econ, 8/30/08, p.63)
1895 Jan 13, J.R. Seeley
(b.1834), English essayist and historian, died. His essay Ecce Homo,
published anonymously in 1866, and afterwards acknowledged by him,
was widely read, and prompted many replies, being deemed an attack
1895 Feb 14, Oscar Wilde's
final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St.
James' Theatre in London.
1895 Mar 5, Henry Creswicke
Rawlinson (85), soldier and scholar, died in England. In 1835 he had
begun examining the ancient inscriptions on the rock of Behistun in
the Kurdish foothills of the Zagros mountain range and found that
they had been made to honor Darius the Great, Persian ruler in the
5th century BCE. He deciphered text from Old Akkadian cuneiform. In
2004 Lesley Adkins authored “Empires of the Plain: Henry Rawlinson
and the Lost Languages of Babylon.”
4/04, p.9)(WSJ, 12/21/04, p.D8)
1895 Mar 28, Major James
McCudden, the first RAF pilot to receive the Victoria Cross, was
1895 Apr 5, Playwright Oscar
Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of
Queensberry, who'd accused the writer of homosexual practices.
1895 Apr 13, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Adventure of Solitary Cyclist."
1895 Apr 29, Malcolm Sargent,
English conductor (Promenade Concerts), was born.
1895 May 25, Playwright Oscar
Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced
to two years in prison.
1895 Jul 14, William Leefe
Robinson, the first man to win the Victoria Cross for shooting down
a German Zeppelin, was born.
1895 Jul 24, Robert Graves
(d.1985), British poet and novelist (Goodbye to All That, I
Claudius), was born. "There's no money in poetry, but then there's
no poetry in money either."
(AP, 4/8/99)(HN, 7/24/02)(Econ, 8/17/13, p.71)
1895 Aug 5, Friedrich Engels
(b.1820), English socialist who collaborated with Karl Marx on “The
Communist Manifesto” (1848) and “Das Kapital” (1867), died. Engels
had edited the second and third volumes of Das Kapital after Marx's
death (1883). In 2009 Tristram Hunt authored “Marx’s General: The
Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels.”
1895 Aug 10, The 1st Queen's
Hall Promenade Concert featured Wagner's "Rienzi."
1895 Aug 20, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Adventure of Norwood Builder."
1895 Oct 31, Basil H. Liddell
Hart, English military historian and publicist, was born.
1895 Dec 14, Britain’s King
George VI (d.1952), was born. He rule from 1936-1952.
(HN, 12/14/98)(MC, 12/14/01)
1895 Oscar Wilde wrote his play
"An Ideal Husband."
(WSJ, 5/9/96, p.A-16)(WSJ, 9/16/98, p.A20)
1895 Britain’s National Trust
was founded by three Victorian philanthropists: Miss Octavia Hill,
Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.
1895 Winston Churchill was
garrisoned in Havana, Cuba, and began smoking cigars at age 22. On
leave for several months from his unit, the 4th Hussars, he reported
on the events for the Daily Graphic.
(SFEM, 12/15/96, p.15)(HNQ, 1/25/01)
1895 An musical event called
"The Last Night of the Proms," a musical tribute to British history,
was first held. It became an annual affair.
(WSJ, 7/19/01, p.A20)
1895 The British began shipping
thousands of Indians to east Africa to build a railway. Many settled
there to become station masters, artisans, clerks and shopkeepers.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.67)
1895-1956 Michael Arlen, English novelist: "Any
man should be happy who is allowed the patience of his wife, the
tolerance of his children and the affection of waiters."
1896 Mar 7, Gilbert and
Sullivan's last operetta "Grand Duke," premiered in London.
1896 May 9, The 1st horseless
carriage show in London featured 10 models.
1896 Aug 13, John Everett
Millais (67), English painter, died.
1896 Oct 3, William Morris
(b.1834), English artist and writer, died. “Have nothing in your
house that you do not know to be useful of believe to be beautiful.”
In 1995 Fiona MacCarthy authored the biography: “William Morris.”
p.50)(WSJ, 1/21/07, p.P9)
1896 Oct 11, Chinese agents
tricked Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), Chinese revolutionary, into
entering the Chinese Legation in London. They planned to ship him
secretly back to China where a reward for his arrest amounted to
half a million dollars. The story was made public by the London
press and the Legation was forced to release him. In 1911 Sun
Yat-sen played an important role in the overthrow of the Qing
dynasty and came to be revered as the “Father of Modern
(ON, 10/08, p.7)
1896 Nov 16, Oswald Mosley,
baron and British Nazi, was born.
1896 English poet A.E. Housman
(1859-1936) published "A Shropshire Lad," a collection of 63 poems.
He paid £30 towards the publication. By 1918 16,000 copies a year
were being sold in England and America. The 1997 play "The Invention
of Love," by Tom Stoppard was based on Housman’s life. In 2016 Peter
Parker authored “Housman Country: Into the Heart of England.”
(SFC, 7/7/96, Par, p.10)(WSJ, 10/27/97,
p.A20)(Econ, 7/9/16, p.72)
1896 George Bernard Shaw wrote
his comedy play "You Can Never Tell."
(WSJ, 6/24/98, p.A16)
1896 Arthur Conan Doyle
published 2 historical novels, “The Exploits of the Brigadier
Gerard” and “Rodney Stone.”
(ON, 3/06, p.12)
1896 The British decided to
conquer Sudan and sent Gen’l. Horatio Kitchener to lead the
expedition. Gen’l. Herbert Kitchener led the British conquest of the
Sudan. The "kit bag," another name for a knapsack, was named after
(SFEC, 3/29/98, Z1 p.8)(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1896 Winston Churchill and his
unit, the 4th Hussars, was sent to the Indian frontier where his
writings were later collected into "The Story of the Malakand Field
Force." His twin function as soldier and correspondent was repeated
in the service of Lord Kitchener’s Nile expeditionary force. He
resigned his commission to enter politics shortly thereafter,
meeting defeat at the polls, but finding employment reporting on the
war in South Africa.
(SFEM, 12/15/96, p.15)(HNQ, 1/25/01)
1896 Alfred Harmsworth, later
Lord Northcliffe, launched the Daily Mail newspaper.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.C6)
1896 Harrods Department Store
of London installed its 1st conveyer belt for foot traffic. Some
riders feinted and were revived with cognac.
(SFEC, 6/18/00, Z1 p.2)
1896 The London Trocodero
restaurant opened just off Picadilly Circus. After a long decline it
closed in 1965 and was gutted.
(Econ, 2/20/15, p.49)
1896 The Mountain Copper Co. of
Great Britain bought the Iron Mountain Mine in Northern California
and developed it into the only big copper producer on the Pacific
1896 A Catholic Chaplaincy was
established at Britain’s Oxford University.
1896-1951 Peter Cheyney, English author: "The line
of least resistance was always the most difficult line in the long
1897 Feb 6, Ebenezer C. Brewer,
British writer (Dictionary of Phrase & Fable), died.
1897 Feb, China’s Qing dynasty
ceded the Kokang region to British Burma under the Beijing
Convention. Kokang became part of Burma’s Shan state.
1897 Apr 30, Physicist Joseph
John Thompson described the electron as a particle of negative
charge whose motion constitutes electricity at a meeting of the
Royal Institution in London.
(SFC, 5/1/97, p.A7)
1897 May 18, A public reading
of Bram Stoker's new novel, "Dracula, or, The Un-dead," was staged
at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London, an event that roughly
coincided with the book's publication.
1897 Jun 12, Anthony Eden,
British prime minister from 1955 to 1957, was born. He helped
establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1897 Jun 19, Charles Cunningham
Boycott (b.Mar 12, 1832) English land agent in Ireland, died in
England. He was a faulty estate manager whose tenants "boycotted"
him into poverty; when the crops failed and the farmers went broke,
he unsympathetically gave them the choice of paying immediately or
being evicted. The farmers retaliated and his staff quit. His family
was isolated. This tactic gave us the word whose last name became
part of the English language.
1897 Jul 21, The Tate Gallery
opened in England.
1897 Jul 31, The commercial
treaty between Britain and the German zollverein (established in
1865) was denounced by Britain and pronounced to end in one year.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1897 Aug 31, General Kitchener
occupied Berber, North of Khartoum.
1897 Oct 22, The world's 1st
car dealer began business in London.
1897 Nov 15, Sacheverell
Sitwell, English poet and author (People's Palace), was born.
1897 Nov 19, The Great "City
Fire" in London.
1897 Britain celebrated a
Diamond Jubilee for Queen Victoria.
(SSFC, 5/18/03, p.M6)
1897 The suffragette movement
started in England as a peaceful protest. The movement turned
militant in 1903. Women in England won the right to vote in 1918.
(SFC, 8/23/06, p.G7)
1897 The Royal Pigeon Racing
Association formed in England. In 2004 it began drug testing among
its members for the use of steroids in their pigeons.
(WSJ, 11/11/04, p.A1)
1897 Isaac Pitman (b.1813),
inventor of Pitman shorthand, died in Britain.
(WSJ, 8/20/04, p.A1)
1897 Benin City, capital of Edo
state, Nigeria, was burned and ransacked by the British after the
Bini killed a British diplomatic mission. 16th century brass plaques
were looted from the royal palace and sold to the British Museum.
(SFC, 3/29/02, p.D8)
1898 Jan 14, Author Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson -- better known as "Alice in Wonderland"
creator Lewis Carroll -- died in Guildford, England. In 2008 Robin
Wilson authored “Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical
Mathematical Logical Life.”
(AP, 1/14/98)(Econ, 7/5/08, p.93)
1898 Mar 14, Henry Bessemer
(b.1813), English inventor and mechanical engineer, died. Bessemer
developed the first process for mass-producing steel inexpensively.
1898 Apr 8, British General
Horatio Kitchener defeated the Khalifa, leader of the dervishes in
Sudan, at the Battle of Atbara. Anglo-Egyptian forces crushed 6,000
(HN, 4/8/99)(MC, 4/8/02)
1898 Jun 17, Sir Edward
Burne-Jones (b.1833), British painter and member of the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, died. In 2011 Fiona MacCarthy authored
“The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian
1898 Jul 4, Gertrude Lawrence,
English actress, was born.
1898 Jul 8, Alec Waugh
(d.1981), novelist (Island in the Sun); brother of Evelyn, was born
in London. "If we knew where opinion ended and fact began, we should
have discovered, I suppose, the absolute."
(AP, 2/9/00)(MC, 7/8/02)
1898 Jul 12, Xenon, an inert
substance, was discovered in England by the Scottish chemist William
Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers.
1898 Jul 28, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Adventure of the Retired Colourman."
1898 Sep 1, Lord Kitchener's
army bombed Omdurman, Sudan. Lt. Winston Churchill approached
Omdurman, the rebel capital, as a scout in the cavalry along with
the rest of Gen. Kitchener's army of 25,000 men. [see Sep 2]
(ON, 10/99, p.2)(MC, 9/1/02)
1898 Sep 2, Anglo-Egyptian
lines under Gen’l. Kitchener were charged by 50,000 fanatical
Dervishes and were mowed down by howitzers, machine guns and rifles.
Lt. Winston Churchill led one of the last (and most useless) cavalry
charges in history.
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1898 H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
published the classic "War of the Worlds." It was about an invasion
of Earth by Martians.
(SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)
1898 British army officers
began using the new portable Roorkhee chair. It was named in honor
of the headquarters of the Indian Army corps of Engineers at
(SSFM, 4/1/01, p.46)
c1898 Edmund Dene Morel, a
London employee of the shipping line Elder Dempster, came to realize
that a wealth of rubber and ivory cargo was arriving from Congo in
exchange for military officers, firearms and ammunition. He deduced
that forced labor was being used by King Leopold II of Belgium to
extract native wealth.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.4)
1898 Charles Booth, shipping
magnate, led a project to color-code every street in London
according to its social make-up. Booth also logged the incidence of
poverty in London for the years 1898-1899.
(Econ, 5/6/06, p.57)(Econ, 6/30/12, SR p.8)
1898 In England chemists
William Ramsay and Morris Travers discovered a new gas that they
named neon. It had a natural orange-red glow.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A20)
1898 William Gladstone
(b.1809), former English prime minister, died. His biography,
"Gladstone," by Roy Jenkins was published in 1995.
(WSJ, 2/21/97, p.A12)
1898 John Henry Patterson (29),
a British army engineer, was commissioned to oversee the
construction of a bridge for the Uganda Railway in British East
Africa (later Kenya). His job was to build a bridge over the Tsavo
River and finish laying rails for 30 miles on either side of Tsavo,
a stop on the old slave caravan route. Male lions killed about 30
mainly Indian laborers. By the end of the year Patterson killed 2
man eating lions. In 1907 he published “The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.”
(ON, 10/20/11, p.7)(Econ., 2/28/15, p.39)
1898 Joseph Silver (d.1918), a
Polish-born Jew, arrived in Johannesburg fresh from a stint in Sing
Sing for burglary and a stay in London a decade earlier. Shortly
after arriving in Johannesburg, Silver set up a string of cafes,
cigar shops and police-protected brothels. Silver was executed as a
spy in Poland in 1918. In 2007 Charles van Onselen authored "The Fox
and The Flies: The World of Joseph Silver,” in which he suggested
that Silver was London’s “Jack the Ripper.”
1898-1963 C.S. Lewis, British author. His work
included "The Chronicles of Narnia." He chose a theistic view of
reality over a materialistic one and affirmed the mutual existence
of soul, god and nature. His autobiography was titled "Surprised by
Joy." His work included "The Abolition of Man," "Miracles" and "The
Problem of Pain." "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like
art. ... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival."
(AP, 12/20/97)(WSJ, 10/8/98, p.W13)(SFEC,
1899 Feb 18, Sir Arthur Bryant,
English historian, was born.
1899 Mar 27, The first
international radio transmission between England and France was
achieved by the Italian inventor G. Marconi.
1899 Jul 1, Charles Laughton,
actor (Mutiny on Bounty, Spartacus), was born in England.
1899 Jul 30, Gerald Moore,
English pianist (Am I Too Loud), was born.
1899 Aug 13, Movie director
Alfred Hitchcock was born in London.
(AP, 8/13/97)(HN, 8/13/98)
1899 Aug 27, C.S. Forester
(Cecil Scott Forester), novelist, was born in England. He authored
the "Horatio Hornblower" series.
(HN, 8/27/00)(MC, 8/27/02)
1899 Sep 8, The British
government sent an additional 10,000 troops to Natal South Africa.
1899 Sep 17, The 1st British
troops left Bombay for South Africa.
1899 Oct 11, South African
Boars, settlers from the Netherlands, declared war on Great Britain.
In the Boer War Dutch settlers of the South African Republic (the
Traansvaal) and Orange Free State refused to accept English rule in
1899 Oct 12, The Anglo-Boer War
began. [see Oct 11]
1899 Oct 14, Morning Post
reporter Winston Churchill departed for South Africa. Shortly after
his arrival he was caught in an ambush and taken prisoner in
Pretoria from whence he escaped. In 1999 his granddaughter Celia
Sandys authored "Churchill: Wanted Dead Or Alive."
(WSJ, 12/29/99, p.A12)(MC, 10/14/01)
1899 Oct 30, British Morning
Post reporter Winston Churchill reached Capetown.
1899 Oct 30, In South Africa
two battalions of British troops were cut off, surrounded and forced
to surrender to General Petrus Joubert's Boers at Nicholson's Nek.
1899 Oct, An int'l. tribunal in
Paris ruled on a border dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana
(Guyana). Britain received most of the claim for the Essequibo
region, close to 111,000 square miles. Venezuela was represented by
2 US judges and the chairman of the panel was Russian jurist
Frederic de Martens. Venezuela rejected this decision in the 1960s.
(SFC, 10/26/99, p.A12)(Econ, 9/29/07, p.44)
1899 Nov 11,
Stuart-Rubens-Boyd-Jones' "Floradora," premiered in London.
1899 Nov 15, Winston Churchill
(24), war correspondent for London’s Morning Post, was captured by
Boers in Natal, South Africa. He escaped prison in Pretoria on Dec
12 and after some days reached the English colony in Durban, Natal.
(ON, 12/08, p1)
1899 Nov 28, The British were
victorious over the Boers at Modder River.
1899 Dec 2, John Barbirolli,
English conductor (NY Philharmonic Orchestra), was born.
1899 Dec 15, In South Africa
the Boars defeated the British at the Battle of Colenso.
1899 Dec 16, Sir Noel Coward
(d.1973), the English actor, playwright and composer, was born in
London. "I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise."
1899 Harry Graham, English
versifier, authored "Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes."
(SFEC, 5/14/00, Z1 p.2)
1899 Musicologist Cecil Sharp
stumbled on a performance of Morris dancers at the Oxford Corn
Exchange. He wrote down the songs, annotated the dances and begat a
revival. Morris dancing had been banned as pagan by Oliver Cromwell
in the 17th century.
(WSJ, 5/17/04, p.A13)
1899 The Landmark Hotel was
built in London, England.
1899 A treaty between American,
Germany and Britain gave Western Samoa to the Germans and Eastern
Samoa to the Americans. In an Anglo-German treaty the UK renounced
its rights to the Samoan Islands
(HN, 1/16/99)(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.45)
1899 A telegraph cable
connecting Britain to Cape Town came ashore on Ascension Island.
(Econ, 12/18/10, p.160)
1899 Army officer W.J. Myers
(b.1858) died in the Boer War. His collection of Egyptian
antiquities was left to Eton College.
(WSJ, 10/3/00, p.A24)
1899-1902 The Anglo-Boer War. Winston Churchill
took part as a war correspondent for the Morning Post.
(WSJ, 12/29/99, p.A12)
1899-1905 Lord George Nathaniel Curzon served as
Viceroy of India.
(SSFM, 4/1/01, p.43)
1900 Feb 5, The United States
and Great Britain signed the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, giving the
United States the right to build a canal in Nicaragua but not to
1900 Feb 6, Battle at
Vaalkrans, South Africa (Boers vs. British army).
1900 Feb 8, General Buller was
beaten at Ladysmith; the British fled over the Tugela River. [need
1900 Feb 14, General Roberts
invaded South Africa’s Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
1900 Feb 15, The British
threatened to use natives in the Boer War fight.
1900 Feb 18, Battle at
Paardeberg (Boer War), 1,270 British killed or injured.
1900 Feb 28, After a 119-day
siege by the Boers, the English defenders of Ladysmith, under
General Sir George White were relieved.
1900 Feb, In London, England,
129 socialists and union members gathered to secure parliamentary
representation for the labor movement. Automatic donations to Labour
by union members dates back to this founding event.
(Econ, 7/13/13, p.50)
1900 Mar 11, British Prime
Minister Lord Salisbury (1830-1903) rejected the peace overtures
offered from Boer leader Paul Kruger.
(HN, 3/11/98)(WUD, 1994, p.1262)
1900 Mar 27, The London
Parliament passed the War Loan Act which gave 35 million pounds to
the Boer War cause.
1900 Apr 4, There was an
assassination attempt on Prince of Wales, King Edward VII.
1900 Apr 9, British forces
routed the Boers at Kroonstadt, South Africa.
1900 Apr 19, Richard Hughes,
English novelist and playwright (A High Wind in Jamaica), was born.
1900 Apr 24, Elizabeth Goudge,
English author, was born.
1900 May 18, Britain proclaimed
a protectorate over kingdom of Tonga.
1900 May 28, Britain annexed
the Orange Free State in South Africa.
1900 Jun 25, Lord Louis
Mountbatten of Burma, the last British viceroy of India, was born.
He survived World War II only to be killed by an IRA bomb.
1900 Jul 9, Queen Victoria
signed The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, uniting 6
separate colonies under a federal government, effective Jan 1, 1901.
1900 Aug 4, Elizabeth
Bowes-Lyon (d.2002), later known as the Queen Mum (mother of Queen
Elizabeth II), was born in Scotland as the daughter of Lord Glamis,
who became the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She later
became the wife of King George VI.
(SFC, 8/4/00, p.A18)(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A12)(WSJ,
8/10/00, p.A16)(MC, 8/4/02)
1900 Sep 9, James Hilton,
British novelist who authored "Lost Horizon" and "Goodbye Mr.
Chips," was born. In Lost Horizon he created the imaginary world of
1900 Oct 1, Oldham, England,
announced that Winston Churchill had won the election as the town's
second MP, beginning Churchill's long career in the House of
1900 Oct 3, Edward Elgar,
Cardinal John Henry Newman's oratorium, premiered in Birmingham.
1900 Oct 10, Fred Holland Day
exhibited his work at the London Exhibition under the auspices of
the Royal Photographic Society.
(Civilization, July-Aug. 1995, p.40-47)
1900 Nov 22, Sir Arthur
Sullivan (b.1842), English composer, died. His operas included
"H.M.S. Pinafore," "Iolanthe," "Patience," "The Pirates of
Penzance," "Princess Ida," "The Mikado," "Trial by Jury," and "The
Yeoman of the Guard."
(WSJ, 11/22/00, p.A20)
1900 Nov 30, The French
government denounced the British government and declared sympathy
for the Boers.
1900 Dec 16, V.S. Pritchett
(d.1997), English writer, was born in Ipswich. The first volume of
his autobiography was called "A Cab at the Door."
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A21)
1900 In Britain employees of
the Taff Vale Railway Co. in South Wales greased the tracks and cut
telegraph wires during a bitter strike. In 1901 the House of Lords
ruled that their union could be sued for damaging the company. The
shock to the union movement inspired the Labour Party and a 1906
Trade Disputes Act.
(Econ, 5/22/10, p.60)
1900 Kensal Rise library in the
London borough of Brent was opened by Mark Twain. In 2011 it faced
closure due to government cuts.
c1900 Charles Spearman, an English psychologist,
hypothesized the g factor as a measure of smartness based on
correlations on how people performed on tests of different mental
abilities. He invented a mathematical technique called factor
analysis to measure the factor dubbed g, for general. In 1998 Arthur
R. Jenson published "The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability."
(WSJ, 6/2/98, p.A20)
c1900 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote numerous
articles and pamphlets in defense of British concentration camps
during the Boer War, for which he was knighted.
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.E3)
1900 John Ruskin (b.1819),
Victorian art critic and social commentator, died. He was considered
in his time a colossus of esthetic, moral and social wisdom. In 1985
Tim Hilton authored "John Ruskin: The Early Years." In 2000 Tim
Hilton authored "John Ruskin: The Later Years."
(WSJ, 5/12/00, p.A24)
1900 Britain had 188 banks and
Canada had 35. Within 25 years half the banks in both countries had
(Econ, 11/10/12, p.78)
1900 American businessman
Charles Tyson Yerkes arrived in London, the world’s largest city
with 6.5 million inhabitants. Over the next five years he was
intrumental in expanding the London underground.
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.72)
1900 In London an estimated
300,000 horses pulled cabs and omnibuses as well as a variety of
transport wagons. NYC counted some 100,000 horses.
(Econ, 11/26/16, SR p.3)
1900-1902 Lord Herbert Horatio Kitchener created
concentration camps in South Africa where hundreds of thousands of
Boer women, children and old men were herded. An estimated 16,000
died in the camps.
(WSJ, 2/27/00, p.A24)
1901 Jan 1, The Commonwealth of
Australia became official as established in the July 9, 1900,
Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. 6 colonies became an
independent federation with Edmund Barton as the 1st prime minister.
Although independent it still recognized Britain’s royalty as
Australia’s head of state. The governor-general, a representative of
the queen nominated by the prime minister, was appointed by the
(AP, 1/1/98)(SFC, 2/3/98, p.A7)(SFC, 12/31/00,
1901 Jan 22, Queen Victoria
died at age 82. She was the monarch of Great Britain and Ireland and
Empress of India, and died after presiding over her vast empire for
nearly 64 years--the longest reign in British history. Born in 1819,
the only child of George III's fourth son, Victoria became queen in
1837. In 1840, she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
Although the match was a political one, the two were devoted to each
other, having nine children before Albert's death in 1861. Through
dynastic marriages, Victoria's descendants are connected to almost
all 20th-century Europe's royal houses. During Victoria's long reign
the monarchy lost much of its political power to Parliament, but she
was the beloved symbol of the Victorian Era--a golden age of British
history. In 2000 Christopher Hibbert authored "Queen Victoria: A
(AP, 1/22/98)(HNPD, 1/22/99)(WSJ, 12/29/00, p.W6)
1901 Jan 22, After 63 years
England stopped the sale of Queen Victoria postage stamps series
& began the King Edward VII series.
1901 Feb 23, Britain and
Germany agreed on a boundary between German East Africa [later
Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi] and Nyasaland [later Malawi].
(HN, 2/23/98)(WUD, 1994, p.593,990)
1901 Mar 23, The world learned
that Boers were starving to death in British concentration camps.
1901 Apr 15, The 1st British
motorized burial took place.
1901 Jun 1, John van Druten,
English playwright (I am a Camera), was born.
1901 Aug, Arthur Conan Doyle
published the 1st installment of his book "Hound of the
Baskervilles" in The Strand Magazine. It was later reported that he
had stolen the idea for the novel from his friend Bertram Fletcher
Robinson. A 1st edition copy with dust jacket sold at auction for
$131,541 in 1998.
(WSJ, 10/16/98, p.W14)(WSJ, 9/20/00, p.A24)(ON,
1901 Sep 15, Sir Howard Bailey,
British engineer, was born. He gave his name to a prefabricated
bridge used extensively during World War II.
1901 Sep 17, At the Battle at
Elands River Port, Boer Gen. Smuts destroyed the 17th Lancers unit .
1901 Oct 2, The 1st Royal Naval
submarine launched at Barrow.
1901 Oct 19, Edward Elgar's
"Pomp and Circumstance" March premiered in Liverpool.
1901 Nov 6, Kate Greenaway
(b.1846), English children’s book illustrator, died of breast
1901 Nov 18, The 2nd
Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was signed. The U.S. was given extensive
rights by Britain for building and operating a canal through Central
1901 Dec 11, Marconi sent his
1st transatlantic radio signal from Cornwall, England to
Newfoundland, Canada. The first transmission failed, but another the
next day succeeded.
1901 The earliest recorded use
for the term “Buggins's turn” is by Admiral Fisher, later First Sea
Lord, in a letter dated this year. Buggins' turn is a system
by which appointments or awards are made in rotation rather than by
1901 Winston Churchill
prophetically warned: "The wars of peoples will be more terrible
than those of kings."
(SFEC, 1/4/98, Par. p.6)
1901 A fingerprint system,
developed by Inspector Edward R. Henry of the London Police, was
(ON, 4/04, p.11)
1901 Edmund Dene Morel (28)
quit his London shipping line job and began a full time campaign to
expose the barbarities in the Congo under Leopold II. He started his
own publication, "The West African Mail," an illustrated weekly
journal in 1903 as a forum on West and Central African Questions.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.4)(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.7)
1901 English millionaire
William Knox D’Arcy arranged to pay £40,000 in cash and company
stock to the Shah of Tehran, Muzaffar al-Din, for the right to drill
for oil in western Persia. The deal included a pledge, should
commercial production begin, to pay the Persian government 16% of
annual profits until 1961.
(ON, 8/08, p.1)
1901 India’s population of
about 300 million was secured and governed by a British contingent
of some 154,000 including dependents. In 2005 David Gilmour authored
“The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj.”
(Econ, 11/12/05, p.89)
1901-1910 The Edwardian period named after Edward
(SSFM, 4/1/01, p.44)
1901-1953 Jan Struther, nee Joyce Anstruther,
English poet: "Private opinion creates public opinion... . That is
why private opinion, and private behavior, and private conversation
are so terrifyingly important."
1902 Mar 10, The Boers scored
their last victory over the British, capturing British General
Methuen and 200 men.
1902 cMar 19, Japan formed an
alliance with England.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 215)
1902 Mar 20, France and Russia
acknowledged the Anglo-Japanese alliance, but asserted their right
to protect their interests in China and Korea.
1902 Mar 22, Great Britain and
Persia agreed to link Europe and India by telegraph.
1902 Mar 29, William Walton,
composer (Troilus and Cressida, Wise Virgins), was born in England.
1902 Apr 10, South African
Boers accepted British terms of surrender.
1902 May 1, John Glover (85),
English chemist (production sulfuric acid), died.
1902 May 5, Bret Harte,
American writer (b.1836), died in England. In 2000 Axel Nissen
authored "Bret Harte: Prince and Pauper."
(WUD, 1994, p.648)(SFEC, 9/3/00, BR p.6)(MC,
1902 May 6, British SS Camorta
sank off Rangoon and 739 died.
1902 May 31, The Boer War ended
between the Boars of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty
of Vereeniging. This effectively ended a 3-year uprising by the
Boers, led by Commander Louis Botha. The combination of superior
fire power and a brutal war of attrition launched by Lord Kitchener
forced the Boers to give in. Kitchener burned the farms of Africans
and Boers alike and collected as many as a 100,000 women and
children in carelessly run and unhygienic concentration camps on the
open veldt. Britain annexed Transvaal.
(V.D.-H.K.p.289)(HN, 5/31/99)(SFC, 9/25/99,
1902 Jun 19, John E E Dalberg,
baron van Acton (69), English historian, died.
1902 Jan 31, A French soccer
team played in England for the first time: Paris lost, 4-0, to
(HC, 2003, p.64)
1902 Mar 26, British magnate
Cecil Rhodes (b.1853), Prime Minister of Cape Colony (1890-96),
died. In his last will and testament, he provided for the
establishment of the Rhodes Scholarship, the world's first
international study program. The first scholars were selected in
1903. In Rhodesia [later Zimbabwe] after Cecil John Rhodes died he
was buried in a tomb in the Matopos Hills. He had co-founded De
Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., and built great railways through
southern Africa. In 2008 Philip Ziegler authored “Legacy: Cecil
Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships.”
4/4/97)(SFC, 12/9/98, p.A25)(WSJ, 12/9/98, p.A1)(Econ, 5/10/08,
1902 Jul 1, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax."
1902 Aug 9, Edward VII was
crowned king of England following the death of his mother, Queen
(SFEM, 1/26/97, p.40)(AP, 8/9/98)
1902 Dec 13, The Committee of
Imperial Defense held its first meeting in London.
1902 The novel "The Four
Feathers" by A.E.W. Mason, was published. It was set mainly in
England and Ireland over the years 1882-1888 during England’s war in
the Sudan and went on to inspire 7 films.
1902 Arthur Conan Doyle was
knighted by King Edward VII for his work in South Africa as a
physician in a field hospital and his scholarly book about the Boer
(ON, 3/06, p.12)
1902 The Greenwich Foot Tunnel,
a passageway under the Thames that to the Royal Naval College, was
(SFEC, 10/17/98, p.T9)
1902 Ronald Ross (1857-1932),
an English physician, won the Nobel Prize for his work on malaria.
His story is part of the 1997 novel "The Calcutta Chromosome: A
Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery" by Amitav Ghosh. In 2003
Fiammetta Rocco authored "The Miraculous Fever Tree: Malaria and the
Quest for a Cure That Changed the World."
(WUD, 1994, p.1245)(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.8)(WSJ,
1902 The British enacted a law
that froze the number of Irish pubs at the existing level to help
(WSJ, 3/17/99, p.A1)
1902 Britain passed a law
against outdoor cremation.
1902-1932 Doulton pottery in Burslem produced
Doulton Burslem wares. They used a lion and crown as an insignia.
They made bone china from 1928-1957. China was stamped with a number
indicating year of manufacture with "1" representing the year 1928.
(SFC,12/17/97, Z1 p.16)
1903 Jan 7, Alan Napier, actor
(Alfred-Batman), was born in Birmingham, England.
1903 Jan 18, Berthold
Goldschmidt, German-British (opera) composer (Beatrice Cenci), was
1903 Jan 19, Guglielmo Marconi
broadcast the first transatlantic radio message from his station
(Marconi Beach) on Cape Cod. It was beamed to King Edward of England
from President Theodore Roosevelt. [see 1901]
(Hem, Dec. 94, p.44)
1903 Jan 24, U.S. Secretary of
State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert created a joint
commission to establish the Alaskan border.
1903 Mar 15, The British
complete the conquest of Nigeria, 500,000 square miles are now
controlled by the United Kingdom.
1903 Mar 29, A regular news
service began between New York and London on Marconi's wireless.
1903 Apr 15, John Williams,
actor (Niles-Family Affair, Dial M for Murder), was born in England.
1903 May 12, Lennox R.F.
Berkeley, British composer (Castaway), was born.
1903 May 26, Start of Sherlock
Holmes "Adventure of 3 Gables."
1903 May 29, Bob Hope (d.2003),
US comedian, was born as Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England.
(SFC, 5/28/97, p.D5)(AP, 5/29/05)
1903 May, In Britain the House
of Commons passed a resolution urging that Congo natives be governed
with humanity. Also the British consul in the Congo, Roger Casement,
was asked to travel to the interior and report on conditions there.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.8)
1903 Jun 25, George Orwell
(d.1950), English novelist, essayist and critic, was born in India
as Eric Arthur Blair. He took his pen name in 1932. His books
included "Animal Farm" (1945) and "1984" (1949), which attacked
totalitarianism. "Each generation imagines itself to be more
intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one
that comes after it."
1903 Jun 29, The British
government officially protested Belgian atrocities in the Congo.
Missionaries, such as William Sheppard of Virginia, had provided
information that soldiers of Leopold’s private army turned over the
right hand of villagers they had killed in order to account for
their used bullets. Leopold’s 19,000 man private army held hostage
the wives of workers to force men to work.
(HN, 6/29/98)(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.7,8)
1903 Jul 1, Amy Johnson,
English aviator, was born.
1903 Jul 2, Lord Alex
Douglas-Home, British PM (1963-64), was born.
1903 Jul 2, Olav V, King of
Norway (1957), was born in England.
1903 Aug 31, Bernard Lovell,
radio astronomer, founded Jodrell Bank, was born in England.
1903 Oct 10, Emmeline Pankhurst
(1858-1928), British suffragist, and her daughter Christabel (23)
founder the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).
1903 Oct 28, Evelyn Waugh
(d.1966), English novelist, was born in London. Waugh served in WWII
as a SAS Commando. He wrote "Decline and Fall" and "Brideshead
Revisited." "News is what a chap who doesn't care much about
anything wants to read. And it's only news until he's read it. After
that it's dead."
(AP, 3/29/99)(HN, 10/28/99)(MC, 10/28/01)
1903 Nov 2, The Daily Mirror of
London began operating as the first tabloid newspaper.
1903 Dec 4, Alfred Leslie Rowse
(d. 10/3/97), Shakespeare scholar and authority on Tudor England,
was born in St. Austell, England. He authored 90 volumes of history,
poetry and biography. His best seller was "A Cornish Childhood." He
asserted that the "Dark Lady" in Shakespeare’s sonnets was the
Italian poet Emilis Bassano Lanier.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.D10)(MC, 12/4/01)
1903 Dec 8, Herbert Spencer
(b.1820), English philosopher, died. He was later considered to be
the father of Social Darwinism. He is best known for coining the
phrase "survival of the fittest," which he did in “Principles of
1903 Dec 10, Mary Norton,
English children's author, was born. Her work included "Bedknobs and
1903 Dec 15, The British
Parliament placed a 15-year ban on whale fishing in Norway.
1903 Robert Erskine Childers
(1870-1922), British author, wrote his spy novel “The Riddle of the
Sands.” The Irish nationalist was executed by the authorities of the
nascent Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War.
1903 The Burlington Magazine, a
journal of art history, was founded in Britain. In 2003 Michael Levy
edited "The Burlington Magazine: A Centenary Anthology," with
articles by a roster of legendary art historians.
(WSJ, 5/29/03, p.D8)
1903 Princess Alice (18)
married the son of a Greek king
(SSFC, 4/7/02, p.M3)
1903 The Commonwealth
Naturalization Act excluded all non-Europeans from the right to
apply for naturalization, or from bringing spouses and children into
the country. Britain passed legislation restriction immigration.
1903 London gin distiller
George Gilbey began selling aristocrats do-it-yourself gadgets to
carbonate tap water.
(SFC, 7/9/11, p.D2)
1903 A skeleton of a man, 9,000
years old, was discovered in the underground caves at Cheddar, 130
miles west of London.
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.A8)
1903 English Col. Francis
Younghusband (1863-1942) marched off from Darjeeling, India, with
1,000 British and Indian soldiers, 7,000 mules and 4,000 yaks to
1903-1974 Cyril Connolly, British critic: "We fear
something before we hate it. A child who fears noises becomes a man
who hates noise."
1903-1990 Malcolm Muggeridge, British author and
commentator: "It is only believers in the Fall of Man who can really
appreciate how funny men are."
1903-1997 Dec 4, A.L. Rowse (d. 10/3/97),
Shakespeare scholar and authority on Tudor England, was born in St.
Austell, England. He authored 90 volumes of history, poetry and
biography. His best seller was "A Cornish Childhood." He asserted
that the "Dark Lady" in Shakespeare’s sonnets was the Italian poet
Emilis Bassano Lanier.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.D10)
1904 Jan 7, The Marconi
International Marine Communication Company, Limited, of London
announced that the telegraphed letters “C-Q-D” would serve as a
maritime distress call. It was later replaced by “S-O-S”.
1904 Jan 11, British troops
massacred 1,000 dervishes in Somaliland.
1904 Jan 18, Cary Grant
(d.1986), U.S. actor, was born in England. He was famous for his
roles in "Gunga Din," "Bringing Up Baby," "The Philadelphia Story"
and "North by Northwest."
(HN, 1/18/99)(MC, 1/18/02)
1904 Feb 19, Winston Churchill
spoke at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and said: “Large views
always triumph over small ideas.”
(http://tinyurl.com/jpb2gsu)(Econ, 4/9/15, p.58)
1904 Mar 22, The first color
photograph was published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.
1904 Apr 8, Britain and France
signed a series of agreements dubbed the entente cordial. It marked
the end of almost a century of intermittent conflict between the two
nations and their predecessor states. The Entente cordiale, along
with the Anglo-Russian Entente and the Franco-Russian Alliance,
later became part of the Triple Entente among the UK, France, and
1904 Apr 14, George Bernard
Shaw's "Candide," premiered in London.
1904 May 8, Eadweard J.
Muybridge (b.1830 as Edward Muggeridge), English photographer, died
in England. He had spent much of his life in the USA and is known
for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple
cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for
projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated
1904 May 10, Henry Morton
Stanley (b.1841 as John Rowlands), Welsh-born British explorer, died
in London. In 2007 Tim Jeal authored “Stanley: The Impossible Life
of Africa’s Greatest Explorer.”
1904 Sep 18, In East London
Jewish anarchists on Brick Lane pelted Ultra-Orthodox worshippers
with bacon sandwiches on Yom Kippur.
(http://tinyurl.com/3x7moee)(Econ, 3/5/11, p.17)
1904 Oct 22, Russian fleet
fired on a British fishing ship.
1904 Nov 1, George Bernard
Shaw's "John Bull's Other Island," premiered in London.
1904 Nov 28, Nancy Mitford,
English author (Love in a Cold Climate), was born. The eldest of 7
Mitford children was born to Lord and Lady Redesdale. In 2001 Mary
S. Lovell authored "The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family."
Jessica Mitford, author of "The American Way of Death" (1963) died
(SSFC, 1/6/02, p.M1)(MC, 11/28/01)
1904 Dec 27, Duke of York
Theatre opened in London with the 1st performance “Peter Pan: The
Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up,” a dream-play written by J.M. Barrie.
1904 Dec 28, The 1st daily
wireless weather forecasts were published in London.
1904 Oct 2, Graham Greene
(d.1991), British author, was born. His work included "The Power and
the Glory," "The Heart of the Matter" and "Ministry of Fear," which
was made into a 1940s movie by Fritz Lang. "I didn't invent the
world I write about- it's all true." In 2004 Norman sherry concluded
his 3-volume biography: “The Life of Graham Greene.”
(SFEC,10/26/97, DB p.44)(AP, 4/3/00)(HN,
10/2/00)(SFC, 10/2/04, p.E1)
1904 British writer Hector Hugh
Munro, aka Saki (1870-1916), authored his short story “Reginald on
Besetting Sins: The Woman Who Told the Truth.”
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.47)
1904 The London Symphony
Orchestra was formed.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.82)
1904 William and Gilbert Foyle
founded Foyle's bookstore. They began by selling their textbooks
after failing the entrance exam for the civil service.
(SFC, 6/11/99, p.D6)
1904 John William Strutt
(1842-1919), 3rd Baron Rayleigh and British physicist, won the Nobel
Prize in Physics for his investigations of the densities of the most
important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with
1904 In England the Grand Pier
opened at Weston-super-Mare on the northern Somerset coast and
stretched a quarter of a mile (400 meters) into the Bristol Channel.
The theatre pavilion on the Grand Pier was destroyed by fire in 1930
and rebuilt, opening three years later. In 2008 another fire
destroyed the pier.
1904 The Congo Reform
Association was born following the return of Roger Casement from the
Congo and his meeting with Edmund Morel.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.9)
1904 The British Rover Motor
Car Company was founded.
(SSFC, 11/22/09, p.H1)
1904 Christopher Dresser
(b.1834), English designer, died. In 1876 he became the 1st European
designer to visit Japan.
(WSJ, 4/6/04, p.D4)
1905 Jan 2, Sir Michael
Tippett, British composer, was born in London. His childhood was
divided among England, France and Italy. His work included the
oratorio "Vision of St. Augustine."
(SFC, 1/10/98, p.A19)
1905 Jan 18, Edward Henry
Corbould (b.1815), English artist, died.
1905 Mar 9, Rex Warner, English
poet, writer (Wild Goose Chase), was born.
1905 Apr 19, Tom Hopkinson,
British writer, was born.
1905 May 25, Binnie Barnes,
actress (Adventures of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim), was born in London.
1905 Jul 19, Boyd Neel,
conductor (Story of an Orch), was born in Blackheath, Kent
1905 Sep 30, British director
Michael Powell ("The Red Shoes") was born in Bekesbourne, Kent,
1905 Oct 13, Henry Irving
(b.1838), British actor, died in England. In 2008 Michael Holroyd
authored “A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen
Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Families.” Irving was the
first actor to be awarded a British knighthood (1895).
1905 Oct 15, Charles P. Snow
(d.1980), English novelist (Death Under Sail), was born. He pointed
out that the university’s separate worlds have ceased to talk to one
another. The "uni" in the university has become meaningless as the
institution, possessing more and more power as government funds were
pumped into it for research, turned into a loose confederation of
disconnected mini-states, instead of an organization devoted to the
joint search for knowledge and truth.
(V.D.-H.K.p.142)(HN, 10/15/00)(MC, 10/15/01)
1905 Nov 18, George Bernard
Shaw's "Major Barbara," premiered in London.
1905 Nov 19, 100 people drowned
in the English Channel as the steamer Hilda sank.
1905 Nov 22, British, Italian,
Russian, French and Austrian-Hungarian fleet attacked the Grecian
Isle of Lesbos.
1905 H.E. Marshall authored
“Our Island Story,” a history of Britain for children.
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.44)
1905 Gustav Holst, composer,
became music master at St. Paul’s Girls’ School. He added a posting
as director of music at Morley College in 1907.
(WSJ, 9/1/00, p.W2)
1905 Herbert Austin began
making cars at Longbridge near Birmingham, England. The site later
became the main factory of MG Rover.
(Econ, 3/11/06, p.53)
1906 Jan, Britain’s liberals
won a landslide victory. Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1936-1908) led
the Liberals to a massive election victory in the UK on a promised
program of reform.
1906 Feb 10, Britain's 1st
modern and largest battleship, the "HMS Dreadnought," was launched.
1906 Feb 15, British Labour
1906 Mar 10, London Underground
opened Bakerloo line from Baker Street to Waterloo Line.
1906 Mar 20, George B. Shaw's
"Captain Brassbound's Conversion," premiered in London.
1906 Mar 24, "Census of the
British Empire" showed England ruled 1/5 of the world.
1906 Mar 25, Alan John
Percivale Taylor (d.1990), English historian, was born. He pioneered
the presentation of the history lecture on British television.
1906 Mar 29, E. Power Biggs,
organist, composer (CBS), was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, England.
1906 Apr 24, William Joyce was
born. He was the British traitor, who during World War II gave
anti-British broadcasts known as 'Lord Haw-Haw.'
1906 May 29, T.H. White,
British writer (The Sword in the Stone), was born.
1906 Jul 7, In England Joseph
Chamberlain (1836-1914), British politician and statesman and the
former mayor of Birmingham (1873-1876), led an 80-car rally in the
city for 17 miles to celebrate his July 8, 70th birthday.
(http://tinyurl.com/z4b89k5)(Econ, 8/6/16, p.45)
1906 Aug 28, John Betjeman
(d.1984), poet laureate of England (1972-1984), was born.
1906 Oct 8, Karl Ludwig Nessler
first demonstrated a machine in London that put permanent waves in
hair. The client wore a dozen brass curlers, each weighing two
pounds, for the six-hour process.
1906 Nov 20, George Bernard
Shaw's "Doctor's Dilemma," premiered in London.
1906 Dec 30, Sir Carol Reed
(d.1976) British movie director ("The Third Man," "Our Man in
Havana," "Oliver!") was born in London.
1906 William Empson, English
critic and poet, was born. He wrote the book "Seven Types of
Ambiguity," in which he attempted to translate the new ideas of
physics into literary criticism.
(WUD, 1994, p.468)(SFEC, 8/17/97, Z1 p.3)
1906 H. Elves and A. Henry
published their classic work on dendrology: "The Trees and Shrubs of
Great Britain and Ireland."
(NH, 6/96, p.46)
1906 Edmund Morel wrote "Red
Rubber: the Story of the Rubber Slave Trade Flourishing on the Congo
in the year of Grace 1906."
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.9)
1906 Joseph Malaby Dent
(1849-1926), British bookbinder turned publisher, began Everyman’s
Library, a collection of low cost classic books.
1906 David Casement, a British
consul, was sent to Brazil, first as consul in Pará, then
transferred to Santos, and lastly promoted to consul-general in Rio
de Janeiro. When he was attached as a consular representative to a
commission investigating murderous rubber slavery by the
British-registered Peruvian Amazon Company, effectively controlled
by the archetypal rubber baron Julio Cesar Arana and his brother,
Casement had the occasion to do work among the Putumayo Indians of
Peru similar to that which he had done in the Congo.
1906 The Manchester engineer
Henry Royce and millionaire’s son Charles Rolls built the first
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.B1)
1906 In Britain a Trade
Disputes Act was passed. It aimed to protect striking workers from
retaliation through the courts [see 1900].
(Econ, 5/22/10, p.60)
1907 Jan 4, George Bernard
Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell" scene from "Man and Superman" premiered in
1907 Feb 13, English
suffragettes stormed the British Parliament and 60 women were
1907 Feb 21, Wystan Hugh Auden
(d.1973), English born American poet, critic and playwright, was
born. He wrote the libretto for Benjamin Britten’s first music
drama, "Paul Bunyan." He died in Austria after suffering from
Touraine-Solente-Gole in which the skin of the forehead, face,
scalp, hands, and feet becomes thick and furrowed. "Political
history is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of
study for the young. Children should acquire their heroes and
villains from fiction."
(HFA, '96, p.22)(AHD, 86)(WSJ, 2/12/96,
p.A-13)(WSJ, 1/8/98, p.A7)(AP, 4/15/98)
1907 Feb 22, The 1st cabs with
taxi meters began operating in London.
1907 Feb 26, Royal Oil and
Shell merged to form British Petroleum (BP).
1907 Mar 16 The British cruiser
Invincible, the world's largest, was completed at Glasgow shipyards.
1907 May 12, Leslie Charteris,
English-US detective writer (The Saint), was born.
1907 May 13, Daphne du Maurier
(d.1989), author (Rebecca), was born in England.
(HN, 5/13/01)(WSJ, 8/2/08, p.W4)
1907 May 22, Lord Laurence
Olivier, English actor, was born in Dorking, Surrey. He made
Shakespeare movies and was knighted in 1947.
(HN, 5/22/99)(AP, 5/22/07)
1907 May 28, Patrick Browne,
British Lord justice of appeal, was born.
1907 Jun 1, Frank A. Whittle,
England inventor (jet engine), was born. (MC, 6/1/02)
1907 Jul 15, The London
Electrobus Company began picking up passengers in the world’s
biggest trials of battery-powered buses. The service collapsed in
1909. It suffered from an investment scam led by Baron de Martigny,
a Canadian music-hall artist, the front man for Edward Lehwess, a
German lawyer and con-artist. In 1906 Lehwess had sold the company a
worthless patent that caused investors to demand the return of some
(Econ, 9/8/07, TQ p.10)
1907 Jun 27, Valerie Cossart
(d.1994), actress (The Hartmans), was born in London.
1907 Aug 31, England, Russia
and France formed their Triple Entente.
1907 Sep 7, The British liner
RMS Lusitania set out on its maiden voyage, from Liverpool, England,
to New York, arriving six days later. The Lusitania was sunk by a
German submarine in 1915.
1907 Dec 10, Rumor Godden,
English novelist (Black Narcissus), was born.
1907 Dec 18, Christopher Fry,
playwright (Ring Around the Moon), was born in Bristol, England.
1907 Dec 22, Actress Dame Peggy
Ashcroft was born in Croydon, England.
1907 The current Old Bailey
building was built. It stands on the site of the old Newgate Jail.
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T11)
1907 Britain urged the adoption
of Daylight Savings Time (DST) to conserve fuel and provide more
hours to train soldiers. British architect and golfer William Willet
authored a pamphlet deploring the waste of daylight.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)(WSJ, 3/31/05, p.D8)
1907 Britain and Russia carved
Iran into spheres of influence.
(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1907 The British forced the
abolition of slavery on the new Sultan of Zanzibar and Lamu Island
went into an economic decline.
(SSFC, 4/15/01, p.T7)
1907 Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910) became the first woman to receive the British Order of
(ON, 12/11, p.6)
1907 India’s Tata firm opened
an office in London to buy supplies for its Indian operations.
(Econ, 9/10/11, p.61)
1907-1934 HJ was a mark used by A.G. Harley Jones,
operator of the Royal Vienna Art Pottery in the Staffordshire
district of England at this time.
(SFC, 7/9/97, Z1 p.3)
1907-1989 Laurence Olivier, British actor: "I
take a simple view of living. It is keep your eyes open and get on
1908 Jan 18, Jacob Bronowsky,
British mathematician, cultural historian, was born.
1908 Jan 24, This is considered
the starting date of the Boy Scouts movement in England. Lt. General
Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, had achieved fame as a hero in the Boer
War and applied his methods of training British soldiers in South
Africa in woodcraft and survival methods to young English boys in
the early 1900s. The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910
and united with two previously existing organizations, the Sons of
Daniel Boone, founded by Daniel Beard in 1905 and Ideals of the
Woodcraft Indians, founded by Ernest Seton in 1902. The scout oath
to be “morally straight” was added in the American version.
(AP, 1/24/08)(HNQ, 11/12/01)(Econ, 6/1/13, p.28)
1908 Feb 14, Russia and Britain
threatened action in Macedonia if peace was not reached soon.
1908 Mar 2, An international
conference on arms reduction opened in London.
1908 Mar 5, Rex Harrison, actor
(My Fair Lady), was born in Lancashire, England.
1908 Mar 8, The House of
Commons, London, turned down the women's suffrage bill.
1908 Mar 20, Michael Redgrave
(d.1985), actor (Browning Version, Lady Vanishes), was born in
1908 Mar 25, Bridget D'Oyly
Carte, British theater and hotel director, was born.
1908 Mar 25, David Lean
(d.1991), British film director (Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence
of Arabia), was born in Croydon, England.
(HN, 3/25/01)(AP, 3/25/08)
1908 May 12, George Bernard
Shaw's "Getting Married," premiered in London.
1908 May 26, Robert Morley,
British character actor, was born in Semley, England.
1908 May 26, The first major
oil strike in the Middle East took place as engineers working for
British entrepreneur William Knox D'Arcy and led by George B.
Reynolds hit a gusher more than 1,100 feet below ground in
Masjid-i-Suleiman, Persia (Iran). The Concessions Syndicate Limited,
later the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., included the Burmah Oil Company of
Glasgow, Scotland, and the Persian oil project of William Knox
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)(AP,
5/26/08)(ON, 8/08, p.3)
1908 May 28, Ian Fleming
(d.1964), author of James Bond novels, was born in Mayfair, London.
He also wrote the children’s book "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1964).
1908 Jun 8, King Edward VII of
England visited Czar Nicholas II of Russia in an effort to improve
relations between the two countries.
1908 Aug 5, Miriam Rothschild,
English scientist and writer, was born.
1908 Aug 11, Britain's King
Edward VII met with Kaiser Wilhelm II to protest the growth of the
1908 Sep 3, James Barries "What
Every Woman Knows," premiered in London.
1908 Sep 12, Winston Churchill
married Clementine Hozier.
1908 Oct 13, Some 60 thousand
British suffragists led by Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the WSPU,
gathered in Parliament Square the rush the House of Commons. 24
women and 13 men were arrested.
(ON, 10/2010, p.8)
1908 Oct 16, The first airplane
flight in England was made at Farnsborough, by Samuel Cody, a U.S.
1908 Nov 20, Alistair Cooke
(d.2004), English journalist, who hosted "Masterpiece Theater," was
born in Salford, England.
(SFC, 3/31/04, p.A2)(AP, 11/20/08)
1908 Arnold Bennet, English
writer, published “the Old Wives’ Tale,“ later regarded as his
(WSJ, 8/22/08, p.W8)
1908 Kenneth Grahame wrote the
classic British children’s book "Wind in the Willows." It was made
into a movie in 1997.
(SFC, 1/9/98, p.D3)
1908 Thomas Hiram Holding,
Englishman, authored “The Camper’s Handbook.”
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.87)
1908 Helena Rubinstein,
following her success in Australia, moved to London and opened a
(SFEM, 8/23/98, p.29)
1908 The marathon of the
Olympic Games was changed from 24 to 26 miles so that the finish
line would fall in front of the Royal Box in England.
(SFEC, 1/9/00, Z1 p.2)
1908 The first advertising
lights came on at London’s Piccadilly Circus.
(Econ, 6/11/11, p.62)
1908 Oil was discovered in
Persia. The Anglo-Persian Oil Co. Struck oil in Iran.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1909 Feb 28, Stephen Spender
(d.1995), English poet, critic, was born.
(HN, 2/28/01)(Econ, 6/19/04, p.81)
1909 Mar 2, Great Britain,
France, Germany and Italy asked Serbia to set no territorial
1909 Mar 12, British Parliament
increased naval appropriations for Britain.
1909 Mar 23, British Lt.
Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.
1909 Apr 10, Algernon Charles
Swinburne (b.1837), English poet, died.
1909 May 15, James Mason, actor
(The Desert Fox, Lolita, Bloodline, Boys From Brazil), was born in
1909 May 18, George Meredith
(81), English poet, writer (Diana of Crossways), died.
1909 Jun 7, Jessica Tandy,
actress (Birds, Cocoon, Batteries Not Included), was born in London.
1909 Jul 25, French aviator
Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) made the first crossing of the English
Channel from Calais to the grounds of Dover Castle in a powered
aircraft, winning a £1,000 prize offered by the London Daily Mail.
Piloting his Type XI monoplane at an average of 39 miles per hour,
Blériot made the trip of 23.2 miles in just under 36 minutes.
(AP, 7/25/97)(HNPD, 7/25/98)(ON, 6/07, p.9)
1909 Jul, Imprisoned English
suffragette Marion Dunlop refused to eat. Prison officials, afraid
that she might die and become a martyr to her cause, released her.
Soon after, so many suffragettes had adopted the same tactics that
prison authorities began force-feeding the women. Mary Leigh told
her own story of being force-fed in the September 1909 edition of
The Suffragette. The hunger strike was one of the most formidable
weapons in the arsenal of suffragettes in Britain and America.
1909 Oct 4, The Cunard liner
"Lusitania" crossed the Atlantic in four days, 15 hours and 52
1909 Oct, Britain’s Secret
Service Bureau, the first incarnation of the Security Service, was
established in to combat Imperial Germany's espionage operations in
the United Kingdom. Captain Vernon G.W. Kell of the South
Staffordshire Regiment and Captain Mansfield Cumming of the Royal
Navy were nominated to head the new Bureau. In 1914 it came under
the branch known as MO5, which was subdivided into eight
sub-sections. Its chief, Major Vernon Kell, was given responsibility
for MO5(g). It was renamed as MI5 in January 1916 and was
incorporated into a new Directorate of Military Intelligence.
1909 Nov 11, J.M. Synge's
"Tinker's Wedding," premiered in London.
1909 Norman Angell (1872-1967),
English journalist, authored “Europe's Optical Illusion,” in which
he argued that war was going out of fashion due to the growing
integration of the global economy. In 1910 it was expanded and
retitled as “The Great Illusion.”
1909 Beatrix Potter
(1866-1943), English writer, authored the children’s novel “The Tale
of Ginger and Pickles.” The book tells the story of shopkeepers
Ginger, a tomcat, and Pickles, a terrier. Margaret Thatcher later
regarded it as the only business book worth reading.
1909 Selfridges, one of
London’s great department stores, was completed with a façade of 22
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.106)
1909 Woolworths was founded in
Liverpool. In 2008 it began a closing-down sale just before
Christmas after accountants Deloitte were appointed as
1909 The first roundabout, a
one-way gyratory for car management not to circumvent a monument,
was intoduced in England’s Letchworth Garden City. By 2013 there
were some 60,000 around the world.
(Econ, 10/5/13, p.16)
1909 In Britain Lloyd George’s
People’s Budget raised income taxes and inheritance taxes at the top
to fund basic pensions as well as unemployment and health insurance
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.8)
1909 Englishman Henry Frederick
Stanley Morgan (1981-1959) made his first 3-wheel car. In 1912 his
company became the Morgan Motor Company Ltd.
1909-1914 Alfred Colley Ltd. was a pottery
manufacturer in Staffordshire. They made a China pattern named
Lusitania after an ancient Roman province on the Iberian peninsula.
(SFC, 6/3/98, Z1 p.6)
1909-1917 T.S. Eliot wrote a number of bawdy poems
that were compiled and with extensive remarks in 1996 by Christopher
Ricks in "Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917."
(WSJ, 9/12/96, p.A14)
1910 Jan 3, British miners
struck for an 8 hour working day.
1910 Jan 20, Joy Adamson,
British author and naturalist, was born. He lived in Kenya and wrote
1910 Jan 21, A British-Russian
military intervention took place in Persia.
1910 Jan, Admiral John
Arbuthnot Fisher (69), First Sea Lord, retired.
(ON, 3/02, p.10)
1910 Feb 19, English premiere
of Richard Strauss' "Elektra."
1910 Feb 20, Julian Trevelyan,
English Surrealist painter, collage maker, was born.
1910 Feb 21, John Galsworthy's
"Justice," premiered in London.
1910 Feb 23, George Bernard
Shaw's "Misalliance," premiered in London.
1910 Apr 2, Boyd Alexander
(37), English explorer (Niger to the Nile), was murdered.
1910 May 10, The 1st aircraft
air display was held at Hendon, England.
1910 Apr 28, The first night
air flight was performed by Claude Grahame-White in England.
1910 May 6, Edward VII (68),
Britain's King (1901-1910), died and George V ascended to the
(AP, 5/6/97)(MC, 5/6/02)
1910 May 31, The Union of South
Africa was founded as a union within the British Empire. It combined
four British colonies: the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the
Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony. (The latter two were,
before the Second Boer War, independent republics known as the South
African Republic and the Orange Free State.) These colonies became
the four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal
Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province.
1988, p. 566)(AP, 5/31/97)
1910 Jun 2, Charles Stewart
Rolls, one of the founders of Rolls-Royce, becomes the first man to
fly an airplane nonstop across the English Channel both ways.
Tragically, he became Britain's first aircraft fatality the
following month when his biplane broke up in midair.
1910 Jun 15, The ship Terra
Nova departed Cardiff, Wales, on its expedition to the Ross Sea and
South Pole. Expedition leader Robert Falcon Scott joined the
ship in South Africa. Herbert Ponting (1870-1935) served as the
expedition photographer and cinematographer. In this role, he
captured some of the most enduring images of the Heroic Age of
1910 Aug 13, Florence
Nightingale (90), British nurse famous for her care of British
soldiers during the Crimean War, died. In 2004 Gillian Gill authored
“Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss
Florence Nightingale.” In 2008 Mark Bostridge authored Florence
Nightingale: The Making of an Icon.”
(HN, 8/13/98)(SSFC, 9/5/04, p.M3)(AP,
8/13/07)(WSJ, 10/21/08, p.A17)
1910 Sep 1, Jack Hawkins, actor
(Ben-Four Just Men) was born in London, England.
1910 Oct 18, M. Baudry was the
first to fly a dirigible across the English Channel--from La
Motte-Breil to Wormwood Scrubbs.
1910 Oct 28, Francis Bacon
(d.1992), English artist who painted expressionist portraits, was
born in Dublin to English parents. He had no formal training as an
artist. After earning a modest reputation in the 1920s as a
modernist interior designer, he began oil painting in 1929. He first
established himself as a major in 1944, when his now-famous triptych
Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion was exhibited
at London’s Tate Gallery. Birth year also given as 1909.
(HN, 10/28/98)(MIA, www,1999)(SFEC, 5/30/99, DB
1910 Dec 21, Explosion in coal
mine in Hulton, England, killed 344 mine workers.
1910 Dec, The 1996 book "On or
About December 1910: Early Bloomsbury and its Intimate World" by
Peter Stansky tells the story of the British Bloomsbury group of
writers and artists: Clive Bell, Thoby Stephen, Lytton Strachey,
Saxon Sydney-Turner, Leonard Woolf, Vanessa and Virginia Stephen.
(SFEC, 9/22/96, BR p.3)
1910 E.M. Forster (1879-1970)
wrote "Howard’s End," his next to last novel and good description of
the English class system.
9/22/96, BR p.3)(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.W8)
1910 Virginia Stephen (later
Woolf), Adrian Stephen, Duncan Grant, Horace Cole and others of the
Bloomsbury group dressed as the Abyssinian Emperor and his entourage
and infiltrated the British warship the Dreadnought making a mockery
of national defense.
(SFEC, 9/22/96, BR p.3)(SFEC, 6/22/97, BR p.8)
1910 Zeppelin scare stories
began to appear in the press in England.
1910 The Hearst Corp.
established The National Magazine Company Ltd. In the United
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1910 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(1883-1966), an Indian lawyer, was charged in London with conspiring
to wage war against the king and with providing weapons used to
assasinate a Briton in the Indian service. He was sentenced to two
life terms and sent back to India. He was free in 1921.
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.57)
1910-1914 In 1935 George Dangerfield authored “The
Strange Death of Liberal England.” It was an attempt to explain the
decline of the British Liberal Party during this period.
(Econ, 9/25/10, p.104)
1910-1939 In 2007 Katie Roiphe authored “Uncommon
Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.P9)
1910-1997 Dame C.V. Wedgwood, English historian:
"An educated man should know everything about something, and
something about everything."
Go to GB 1911