Category 19th century

The first British Lawn Tennis Championship

It was on Monday 9th July 1877 that a Lawn Tennis championship took place for the first time at Worple Road, Wimbledon.  Records of the time record Worple Road, and the streets on the southern slopes of Wimbledon Hill, as ‘highly respectable‘. Until about 1875 ‘Walpole Lane’ as a map of the time named it, […]

1894 and disaster at a South Wales coal pit

A new colliery – the property of the Albion Steam Coal Company, Limited – was registered in Cardiff and began sinking operations in 1885 and completed them in 1887.  It was in the Taff Valley = a portion of the coalfield that was virgin until the colliery was opened. It was to the north of […]

The steamship Great Eastern takes it’s first voyage.

The steamship Great Eastern was built to carry 4,000 passengers from England to Australia without refueling.  However – for its first long distance journey it had been arranged that it would leave Southampton about 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, 16th June 1860 to cross the Atlantic to New York.  There were large crowds at Southampton […]

On the water for the first time – Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race

It was on Wednesday 10th June 1829 that the first Oxford University vs Cambridge University boat race took place.  It was rowed over a two and a quarter mile course from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge.  The Morning Post of 12th June 1829 reported: THE GRAND ROWING MATCH BETWEEN OXONIANS AND THE CANTABS: This match, […]

A different view of Briton’s Queen Victoria?

Tuesday 8th June 1841 provides us with a very different view to that normally presented of Queen Victoria. It begins when Viscount Melbourne wrote to the Queen from Windsor Castle: ‘Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your Majesty. He is quite well, and has nothing particular to relate to your Majesty, at least nothing […]

Tuesday 18th May 1830 – the birth of a mower

At some time before this day Edwin Budding, an engineer from Stroud, Gloucestershire, had watched a machine in a local cloth mill that used a cutting cylinder/bladed reel mounted on a bench to trim the irregular nap from the surface of woollen cloth and give a smooth finish. This gave him an idea – ‘could […]

Ragtime gets closer

Last week we started our story with a broad overview of ‘Ragtime’ from both sides of the Atlantic.  This week we’ll have a look at early British popular music. This music can be seen as originating in the 16th and 17th centuries and from this we can trace the arrival of printed musical copies which […]