Which topics and anniversaries will be important for Regency Enthusiasts in 2019? This year marks the 200th or 250th anniversary of the following political, scientific and literary events:
29. January – Sir Stamford Raffles lands on the island of Singapore. On February 6 a formal treaty, establishes a trading settlement in Singapore.
19. February – Captain William Smith in British merchant brig Williams sights Williams Point, the northeast extremity of Livingston Island in the South Shetlands, the first land discovered south of latitude 60° S.
20. March – Burlington Arcade, a covered shopping arcade, opens in London. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th-century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping centre. The Burlington Arcade was built “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public”. It was one of the London’s earliest arcades, built at a time when the arcade was a new form of retail shopping designed to serve the growing middle classes.
1. April – The New Monthly Magazine publishes John Polidori’s Gothic fiction The Vampyre, the first significant piece of prose vampire literature in English
14. April – The streets of Birmingham were lit by gas for the first time on 14 April 1819. The Birmingham Gas Light and Coke Company, formed by an Act of Parliament, obtained the business of Gosling in 1819
1. May – 250. anniversary of the birth of Arthur, Duke of Wellington
24. May – Birth of the Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, the future Queen Victoria. At the time of her birth, she as actually only fifth in line to the throne
1. July – The Great Comet of 1819, officially designated as C/1819 N1, also known as Comet Tralles, was an easily visible brilliant comet, approaching an apparent magnitude of 1–2, discovered July 1, 1819 by Johann Georg Tralles in Berlin, Germany. The comet was widely seen and noted by people who were not astronomers. Poet John Keats noted how he and his wife Fanny had stared at the comet
21. July – Explorer William Parry, sailing in the Arctic in a quest for the Northwest Passage through North America, guides the ships HMS Hecla and HMS Griper through an iceberg-laden passage that will later be named the Parry Channel.
24 July – A cabinet meeting discusses an investigative report of an adulterous affair, involving the wife of George, Prince of Wales, and her servant, Bartolomeo Pergami. The cabinet concludes that the trial of Caroline for adultery would be an embarrassment to the nation
15. August – 250. anniversary of the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte
16. August – Peterloo Massacre: The cavalry charges into a crowd of protesters in Manchester, UK
25. August – death of James Watt, Scottish inventor
14. September – 250. Anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt
October –Richard Carlile is convicted of blasphemy and is sentenced to three years in Dorchester Gaol with a fine of £1,500 for publishing The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine.
8. December – The novel ‘Ivanhoe’ by the (at the time anonymous) author Walter Scott was published first in Edinburgh