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16 November 1953
The British National Service Act extended military conscription (of two years' service for all able-bodied young men) until 1958.
January-December 1844
William Makepeace Thackeray 's novelThe Luck of Barry Lyndon, by Fitz-Boodle appeared serially in Fraser's Magazine.
7 May 1855
Painter Joanna Mary Boyce 's Elgiva was hung at the Royal Academy exhibition; this was Boyce's first public exposure.
The last horse-drawn hackney carriage ceased operation in London, 308 years after the first were licensed, and many years after motor taxis had become predominant.
27 December 1943
As the Allied invasion of Italy progressed, Canadian troops seized Ortona after particularly fierce street fighting.
From 18 June 1836 to 1839
John Forster published Lives of Eminent British Statesmen in Lardner's Cyclopedia.
February 1876
Emma Paterson launched, as editor, the first issue of the Women's Union Journal, a monthly publication of the Women's Protective and Provident League , an organization founded by Paterson in London in July 1874...
September 1997
Following an election pledge by the British Labour Party , a referendum was held in Wales on the issue of Devolution for that country (a transfer of certain powers from central government to a Welsh...
St Mary's Hospital , London, chemically produced the drug heroin from morphine; it was later patented in the 1890s by the pharmaceutical company Bayer .
Three-quarter-length painting of Mary Ann Cavendish Bradshaw by Thomas Lawrence, 1806. She is depicted outdoors, in motion, wearing a pink gown and orange shawl, picking grapes with her face turned to the viewer and framed in unruly dark curls.

Mary Ann Cavendish Bradshaw

MACB was the author of two early nineteenth-century historical novels, and, in her prefatory material, of some incisive comments on novel-writing.
The Betting and Gaming Act (which came into force the following year) made off-course betting legal in Britain: betting shops sprang up, though their appearance was uninviting.
3 May 1606
An Act to Restrain Abuses of Players made a powerful bid to prevent swearing on stage.
25 February 1914
Ethel Moorhead , a Dundee suffragist renowned for daring acts of militancy, was released from Calton Gaol in Edinburgh after forcible feeding (the first of suffragists in Scotland) gave her double pneumonia.
17 July 1790
The first patent for a sewing machine was taken out, by Thomas Saint in London.
Søren Kierkegaard , existentialist philosopher, died.
Elie Metchnikoff was the first scientist to observe the phenonemon known as phagocytosis.
Sepia-toned photograph of Lady Ottoline Morrell, shown from the shoulders up. She is wearing a dark velvet dress with a layer of lace at the top and arms made of semi-sheer ribbed material. Her hair is jaw length, dark, and curly, and she is wearing pearl earrings and necklaces.

Lady Ottoline Morrell

LOM is best known as an early twentieth-century literary hostess who appears frequently in the memoirs, biographies, and fictions written by her guests. She aspired to be a writer herself, and she produced journals, letters...
Late January-March 1944
London suffered a kind of mini-blitz: a thousand Londoners died in February, though the worst single night was that of 14-15 March, with a hundred bombers over the capital.

Isabel Hill

IH is best known as a writer for annuals, to which she made at least thirty-four contributions of short stories and comic articles for both children and adults. She wrote six dramas, and also published...
May 1973
Two members of Edward Heath 's conservative government resigned over a scandal involving call-girls; one of them was the Lord Privy Seal.
At British lending libraries, more than twelve million readers borrowed nearly 300 million books, most of them classified as Fiction.
1 April 1983
Eighty thousand people (according to figures put out by CND) linked hands in a 14-mile chain joining Greenham Common air-force base to Burghfield air-force base by way of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston.
From 1670
Mrs Bellpine (nee La Marre) ran a fashionable boarding school for girls at Marylebone, London, which flourished until the mid 1700s.
9 April 1858
Queen Victoria signed the royal charter giving London University (then comprised of two schools, University College and King's College ) the revolutionary power of offering courses and degrees externally.
Gospel Temperance reached England, brought over from the United States to London by William Noble .
5 March 1936
The prototype of the British Spitfire, the fighter plane which became one of the most famous aircraft of World War II, made its first flight.
The first edition of the Biographia Britannica (a ground-breaking collection of national biography) appeared.
Andrew Bell , a Scottish Anglican clergyman, published An Experiment in Education, made at the Male Asylum of Madras. Suggesting a system by which a school or family may teach itself under the superintendence...
March 1841
The young Dionysius Lardner Boucicault 's London Assurance was staged at Covent Garden by Charles James Mathews and Madame Vestris .
About 1136
The obscure figure known as Geoffrey of Monmouth , who was probably Bishop of St Asaph (though many other roles have been assigned him), finished writing his History of the Kings of Britain, or...
October 1947
Detective Sergeant Alberta Mary Law was the first female recipient of the King's Police Medal.
The Religious Tract Society renamed its publishing imprint for books and magazines the Lutterworth Press .
1 June 1912
Frank Witty began The Eye-Opener, a weekly publication connected to the Men's Society for Women's Rights in London.
30 August 1709
The Tatler asserted that women were obsessed with their own beauty: this great evil proceeded from an unaccountable wild Method in the Education of the better half of the World, the Women.
From 15 September 1969
A woman in Britain could, for a fee of two pounds, send her urine sample to the Pharmacy and Professional Services Laboratory through any one of 11,000 chemists' shops to find out, by post and...
Siegfried Sassoon published War Poems, and became literary editor of the Daily Herald.
9 May 1918
Lytton Strachey published his irreverent biographies entitled Eminent Victorians. He claimed to be breaking with two traditions: that of admiration for the Victorians and that of reverential biography.
The Oxford University Reform Act first allowed Jews to matriculate and take degrees.
17 February 1958
CND, or the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament , was founded at a public meeting in London; it held its first march that spring, at the Easter weekend.
A War Office and Admiralty committee recommended a system of voluntary treatment for diseased prostitutes, rather than legislating their medical care.
14 October 1958
Alan Sillitoe , husband of Ruth Fainlight , had his first success with Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, a novel resulting from Robert Graves 's advice to write something honest about his native Nottingham.
By 13 June 1840
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his first collection of poetry, Voices of the Night.
6 February 1953
Singer Kathleen Ferrier collapsed during Gluck 's opera Orfeo at Covent Garden ; she never sang again, but died of cancer later this year.
A French observer, Hector France , noted that condoms were packaged with colour pictures of Prime Minister Gladstone and Queen Victoria and sold in Petticoat Lane, London.
By 1841
London and Glasgow were first brought within twenty-four hours travelling time by the development of railways and steamships.
May 1978
Virago Press issued its first Virago Modern Classics, a historically important series most though not all of which were novels.
By late April 1943
C. S. Lewis published Perelandra, the second of his science fiction trilogy, in which the hero, Elwin Ransom, travels to the planet Venus and tries to intervene in that planet's history.
The memoir of Robert Blincoe by John Brown was re-issued in book form under a new title, A Memoir of Robert Blincoe, an Orphan Boy; Sent From the Workhouse of St. Pancras, London, at...