Category 19th century

Queen Victoria, Manchester and a Ship Canal

It was in October 1851that Manchester first welcomed Queen Victoria to the region – the first monarch for 150 or so years – and both Manchester and Salford went to great lengths to host a memorable event. The escort for the royal party included a Guard of Honour of the Yeoman Cavalry who accompanied them […]

A Day in the Workhouse

Britain’s Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was passed by Parliament and was designed to reduce the cost of looking after the poor as it stopped money going to poor people except in exceptional circumstances. Now if people wanted help they had to go into a workhouse to get it. The new Poor Law ensured […]

It happened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

It was during the playing of the national anthem at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on the evening of Thursday 15th May 1800 that James Hadfield fired a pistol at King George III who was standing in the royal box.  Hadfield missed and was grabbed at once by the guards. He immediately claimed that he had fired over the king’s […]

A Snippet from 11th May

How often have you had your own thoughts on the actions and performance of parliamentarians at large and ministers in particular?  Fortunately this particular story has never been repeated! It was on this day – Monday 11th May 1812 – that Spencer Perceval, the Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was shot dead in […]

A Snippet from 6th May 2017 ref this day in 1840!

It was on Wednesday 6th May 1840 that Great Britain issued the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, resulting from reforms by Rowland Hill to simplify and reduce postage costs. It was called ‘The Penny Black’ and the design showed Queen Victoria, without a country name.  It laid the foundations for British stamps. Just in case […]

London Bridge has moved away

Many bridges crossed the River Thames by the end of the 18th century, it was apparent that London Bridge — by then over 600 years old — needed to be replaced. It was narrow and decrepit, and blocked river traffic. As a result, in 1799, a competition for designs to replace the bridge was held. […]

A writer’s first novel begins

The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens’ first novel.  It began ‘life’ in monthly instalments – and the first instalment was published on this day – March 30th 1836.  On this same day the publishers – the firm of Chapman and Hall – had also started a series of amusing stories dealing with “Cockney sporting scenes”.  These […]