Six months ago when I started my blog, I didn’t think I’d have very much to write about. Yet this is my 200th post. Yes,As I could find absolutely nothing of interest on the subject of “200” to embroider upon, Hubby came up with the idea of events that occurred two hundred years ago, in 1814.
Surprise surprise, nothing specifically happened on my birthday that year, no famous person was born, got married or divorced, but Robert Treat Paine, a US judge who signed the Declaration of Independence, died at the age of 83.
1814 was a busy year for battles (the War of 1812 was still in full swing) , and according to the site I referred to (historyorb.com) , there were a total of 61 key events.
Here are a few that sparked my interest:
In February, Lord Byron’s “The Corsair” sold 10,000 copies on its first day of publication. For anyone interested in The Arts, the opera Il Corsaro by Guiseppe Verdi, the overture Le Corsaire by Hector Berlioz and the ballet Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam, were based on this particular work.
I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with all of them, and yet Byron is one of our British literary heroes.
Also in February, Norway’s Independence was proclaimed, and Beethoven’s 8th Symphony in F premiered.
In April, Napoleon abdicated unconditionally and was exiled to Elba.
For anyone a fan of cricket (I’m not) , on June 22nd the first match was played at the present Lords (MCC v Herefordshire)
On July 7th, Walter Scott’s “Waverley” was published. Regarded as the first historical novel in the western tradition, this apparently was published anonymously, being his first venture into prose fiction.
Again, this is something I am not familiar with, and think there must have been something seriously lacking in my literature education.
Now I wonder what George Stevenson would think of the UK’s HS2 rail project? After all, it was he who introduced the first steam train on July 25th 1814. As kids in the 60s, we would cross the bridge and breathe in that unique smell as the steam trains passed underneath. I miss that.
This picture is from Sciencemuseum.org
In 1814, the American Flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes (1795-1818) .
It was on September 14th that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner. This was published as a poem a week later on the 21st.Now for all you drinkers out there, please don’t cry but The London Beer Flood occurred in October. I found these figures staggering (excuse pun, but they are) :
The London Beer Flood happened on 16 October 1814 in the parish of St Giles, London.
At the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 imperial gallons (1,470,000L) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping teenage employee Eleanor Cooper under the rubble . Within minutes neighbouring George Street and New Street were swamped with alcohol, killing a mother and daughter who were taking tea, and surging through a room of people gathered for a wake.
There have also been reports in the media recently about plastic surgery (one woman is addicted to it and another wants to look like a Barbie Doll to name but two) , but did you know that the first such operation was performed in England on October 23rd 1814?
Back to steam again and on October 29th, “Demologos,” the 1st steam-powered warship, was launched.
And for my final selection,
on November 28th, The Times of London was printed for the first time by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer. This signalled the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.
Wow. Means of obtaining The News has definitely come a long way in 200 years.