Today in Orlando
This is a small sample drawn from within and beyond the lives and careers of writers. Look again tomorrow! Read more about The Orlando Project chronology.
19 May 1662
The Act of Uniformity made use of the revised Book of Common Prayer compulsory in England and Wales; it came into use within three months.
It also decreed that the whole population was obliged to attend both Morning and Evening Prayer every Sunday, or be fined, and that clergymen finding fault with the new prayer book were to suffer various penalties, culminating in life imprisonment. This Act caused 2,000 clergy to leave the Church of England, founding the tradition of Dissent.
19 May 1685
The new monarch, James II, summoned his first parliament for this date.
19 May 1711
Joseph Addison, in a famous Spectator essay in praise of trade and the Royal Exchange, described Englishwomen as clad in exotic clothes, like spoils or tribute from all over the world.
19 May 1720
A New Miscellany, edited by Anthony Hammond, included work by Pope, Prior, William Bond, George Sewell, Susanna Centlivre, Delarivier Manley, Eliza Haywood, Martha Fowke, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
19 May 1757
Sarah Fielding published by subscription The Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia, printed by Samuel Richardson as by the Author of David Simple.
19 May 1761
A new parliament was called for this date, following elections, as was obligatory on the accession of a new monarch.
19 May 1772
Sarah Scott published anonymously, through Edward and Charles Dilly, her last work, another historical one: The Life of Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné.
19 May 1774
Thomas Gage, now governor of Massachusetts, reported that a town meeting at Boston had called for a boycott of trade with Britain and the West Indies.
The aim was to force repeal of the Boston Port Act.
19 May 1794
Anna Brownell Murphy (later Anna Brownell Jameson) was born in Dublin; she was the eldest of five daughters.
19 May 1845-1848
John Franklin made his final, unsuccessful attempt to discover the North-West Passage.
Having left Britain in May, Franklin entered Baffin Bay in July 1845 but was not heard of after 26 July. His expedition records were found in 1859, but the bodies of his team were not discovered until long afterwards.
Franklin’s first wife, who had died on 22 February 1825, was the writer Eleanor Anne Porden.
19 May 1849
A fourth assassination attempt on Queen Victoria was made by an Irishman using a homemade gun.
Charles Kingsley published his novel Westward Ho!; Or, The Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight . . . in the Reign of Her Most Glorious Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Inspired by the Crimean War, Kingsley produced an avowedly bloodthirsty romance in three volumes. Among other adventures, the hero embarks upon an expedition around the world with Sir Francis Drake. The title-page suggests the novel is an ancient document “Rendered into English” by Kingsley.
19 May 1855
Cecil Frances Alexander gave birth to her second son, Cecil John Francis Alexander.
19 May 1864
Nathaniel Hawthorne, novelist, died at Pemigewasset House, Plymouth, New Hampshire, USA.
19 May 1870
The Home Government Association was founded at the Bilton Hotel in Dublin.
The association was described as an odd mix of “Liberal and Conservative with a tang of Unionism and Orangeism,” which despite broadening its membership base in the year after this, failed to inspire the rural and Catholic populations.
In the following three years, the association presented candidates in 14 by-elections, and won nine seats; progress was deemed distressingly slow.
19 May 1891
Mary Anne Duffus Hardy died at 124 Portsdown Road (the address of the flat in Portsdown Mansions), Maida Vale, London.
19 May 1900
The UK declared a protectorate over the Tonga Islands.
19 May 1900
An international convention was held with the object of securing the conservation of wild animals in Africa.
The convention applied to the area from 20 degrees N to the Zambezi and north of German South West Africa.
19 May 1906
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, newly-elected Prime Minister, received a deputation of suffragists.
The deputation included 350 persons representing twenty-five women’s organizations as well as parliamentary supporters of women’s suffrage. Some of these organizations included the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Women’s Liberal Federation, the British Women’s Temperance Association, the Women’s Industrial Council, and the Women’s Cooperative Guild. Individual members of the deputation included Isabella Ford, Ethel Snowden, Emily Davies, and Members of Parliament Keir Hardie, Sir Charles McLaren, Philip Snowden, and Henry York Stanger.
19 May 1906
Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and her colleagues from the WSPU, including the Pankhursts and Kenney, presented their arguments for female enfranchisement to Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.
19 May 1908
A campaign to establish a National Theatre began with a mass meeting at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
Harley Granville-Barker and William Archer had printed a private document, A National Theatre Scheme and Estimate, in 1904. After this mass meetings took place to decide upon a national theatre and its purpose. The Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Committee formed, with the intention of keeping Shakespeare’s plays in repertory and of reviving English classic drama.
19 May 1911
Gertrude Bell met T. E. Lawrence for the first time, along with the archaeologists Campbell Thompson and Leonard Woolley.
19 May 1913
The Times reported that Flora Annie Steel had had goods distrained because she refused to pay the rates (local taxes) on her Welsh cottage on grounds of no taxation without representation.
19 May 1917
The Russian Women’s Battalion was formed by Maria Bochkareva to join the fighting.
After suffering some heavy initial losses, the Battalion was defeated attempting to defend the Winter Palace from the Bolsheviks.
19 May 1919
Vita Sackville-West’s parents separated and her mother left Knole House.
19 May 1920
The House of Commons passed a resolution stating that women should have equal access to employment and receive equal pay.
The equal access claim was qualified with the provision that “the claims of ex-servicemen are first of all considered.”
19 May 1924
The BBC radio made the first broadcast of the song of a nightingale.
It came from a Surrey wood, and was accompanied by Beatrice Harrison on the cello.
19 May 1930
The South African Women’s Enfranchisement Act extended Parliamentary and Provincial franchise to all white women.
19 May 1930
The novella The Virgin and the Gipsy was published by D. H. Lawrence in a limited edition at Florence; the London and New York editions followed later in the year.
19 May 1940
Winston Churchill made his first BBC radio broadcast as wartime coalition Prime Minister.
At about the same time the Ministry of Information, where Mary Agnes Hamilton was working, was asked to produce a leaflet to break the news to the nation if the worst should happen, announcing “the transfer of the British Government to Ottawa” in the case of successful German invasion.
19 May 1941
The Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo Road, London, was bombed.
19 May 1941
Ivy Compton-Burnett published Parents and Children, a novel she had written partly at Chedworth in Gloucestershire (as a refugee from London).
19 May 1960
Ivy Compton-Burnett was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds University.
19 May 1984
Sir John Betjeman, the Poet Laureate, died at his home at Trebetherick in Cornwall.
19 May 1988
Sylvia Kantaris published jointly with Philip Gross The Air Mines of Mistila, a volume of poems in the form of a correspondence, with illustrations by Kim Lewis.
19 May 1998
Medbh McGuckian’s next volume of poetry, Shelmalier, came out from her Irish publisher, Gallery Press, in paperback, and from Wake Forest University Press in the United States in both clothbound and paperback format.