Slave Trade Revisited
1760 The birth of Thomas Clarkson, a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. He helped found The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade and helped achieve passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which ended British trade in slaves. In his later years Clarkson campaigned for the abolition of slavery worldwide.
Irish Act of Union
1800 The Irish Parliament passed the Act of Union with England. The Act included joining Ireland to Great Britain to form a single kingdom, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Sewer King
1819 The birth of Sir Joseph William Bazalgette, English civil engineer. As chief engineer of London’s Metropolitan Board of Works he created a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, whilst also beginning the cleansing of the River Thames.
The Little Demon
1866 The birth of Jimmy Ross, Scottish footballer nicknamed ‘The Little Demon’. When the Football League implemented a maximum wage of £4 per week for professional football players and full-time players like Ross could earn up to £10 a week, the prospect of a reduced wage was a serious threat to their livelihood. In order to curb this threat, Ross and other top players of the time formed the Association Footballers’ Union.
Happy Birthday, Morris
1913 The first Morris Oxford car left the converted Military Academy at Cowley, Oxfordshire. It was William Morris’s first factory.
The First Service Women
1917 The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded. They were Britain’s first official service women.
Doctor in the House
1921 Dirk Bogarde, English actor and author was born.
Who’s Afraid for Virginia Woolf?
1941 English novelist Virginia Woolf, suffering from depression, filled her overcoat pocket with stones and walked into the River Ouse near her home in Sussex and drowned herself. Her body was not found until 18th April.
The Last of V2
1945 Germany dropped its last V2 bomb on Britain.
Peter the Great
2004 The death of Sir Peter Ustinov, English actor, writer, dramatist, filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter!