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Samuel Pepys
Elizabeth I
London's Underworld
Fleet Marriages.
The Cries of London

It was a Sunday afternoon, wet and cheerless: and a duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a rainy Sunday in London.

-- Thomas De Quincey 1822

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December Week 1
Posted on Jun 10, 2002 - 06:35 AM by Bill McCann

This page provides daily updates on past events and anniversaries during the First week of December. The events included are those that either happened in London or had an effect, one way or another, on the lives of Londoners.

Daily updates on Events during the First week

Below are the events and anniversaries for this week both about London and Londoners and Outside London.

The archive for these pages has been arranged in a series of monthly Digests. To speed up navigation, these have been further divided into four weekly instalments. These pages are all comprehensively interlinked.

The Outside London section offers daily updates on a range of political, cultural, scientific and religious events and anniversaries in History and which had, in one way or another, an effect on London Life.

Each Section has its own background page which provides additional and in-depth information about many of the events and people in the daily listings. They are intended to both amuse and inform and can be found at Gazette Briefings and Historical Anecdotes .

Links to the anniversaries and events in the other weeks of the month are given in the following table whilst links to the other months of the year can be found at the bottom of the page.

Second WeekThird WeekFinal Week

London and Londoners


1135, Sunday December 1, Death of Henry I.
1135, Sunday December 1, Following the death of Henry I, a dispute over the succession broke out between Matilda, Henry's daughter and Stephen of Blois, his nephew.
1590, Tuesday December 1, Edmund Spenser's Books I to III of The Faerie Queene were entered on the Stationers Register in Paternoster Row.
1919, Monday December 1, Lady Nancy Astor took her seat as the first woman Member of Parliament.
1925, Tuesday December 1, The Locarno Pact, guaranteeing peace and stable frontiers in Europe, was signed in London.
1942, Tuesday December 1, The Beveridge Report on Social Security, which formed the basis of the welfare state in Britain, was issued.
1978, Friday December 1, Publication of the Times and Sunday Times newspapers was suspended for eleven months because of an industrial dispute.


1431, Sunday December 2, A royal licence permitted the monks at Charterhouse to draw water by pipes from a spring at the southern end of what is now Barnsbury Road, Islngton.
1697, Friday December 2, The first service was held in Wren's St Paul's Cathedral, which would not be fully complted until 1710.
1823, Tuesday December 2, The London Mechanics' Institute was founded at a meeting at the Crown and Anchor tavern on the Strand. One of the founders was George Birkbeck and the Institute eventually became the modern Birkbeck College.
1899, Saturday December 2, Birth of the conductor John Barbirolli.
1918, Monday December 2, At the General Election the first British women (over 30) were allowed to vote.


1514, Sunday December 3, Richard Hunne, accused Lollard, found murdered in his cell at St. Paul's.
1980, Wednesday December 3, Death of the fascist leader Oswald Mosley.


1293, Friday December 4, The mansion that became Bakewell Hall, Basinghall Street, was granted to John de Bauquell. From 1296 it was a major market for woollen cloths.
1307, Monday December 4, Edward II wrote a simultaneous letter to the kings of Portugal, Castile, Aragon and Naples to defend Templars against the charges being brought against them.
1732, Monday December 4, Death of the poet and dramatist John Gay.
1791, Sunday December 4, Britain's oldest Sunday paper, The Observer, was first published.
1869, Saturday December 4, The Graphic was launched. It ceased publication in 1932.
1882, Monday December 4, The Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand were opened.
1905, Friday December 4, Conservative prime minister Arthur Balfour resigned.
1961, Tuesday December 4, Birth control pills became available on the NHS.
1976, Saturday December 4, Death of the composer Benjamin Britten.


1536, Tuesday December 5, The "Pilgrimage of Grace" a rebellion against Henry VIII's closure of the monasteries, was brutally crushed.
1766, Friday December 5, James Christie, founder of the famous auctioneers, held his first sale in London.
1830, Sunday December 5, Birth of the poet Christina Georgina Rossetti.
1899, Tuesday December 5, Death of the businessman and philanthropist Henry Tate.
1905, Tuesday December 5, Part of Charing Cross station collapsed crushing the Avenue Theatre (now the Playhouse) below and killing six people.
1910, Monday December 5, The statue of the actor Henry Irving outside the National Portrait Gallery was unveiled.


1421, Saturday December 6, Birth of Henry VI.
1602, Monday December 6, Sir Robert Cecil, later 1st Earl of Salisbury, held a magnificent house-warming at his newly completed mansion on the Strand. Elizabeth I was the principal guest.
1608, Tuesday December 6, Birth of General George Monck.
1712, Saturday December 6, Addison and Steele published the last issue of The Spectator.
1732, Wednesday December 6, Birth of the administrator Warren Hastings.
1862, Saturday December 6, The first Smithfield Show was held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington.
1867, Friday December 6, An overheating stove started a fire that destroyed Her majesty's Theatre, Haymarket.
1882, Wednesday December 6, Death of the novelist Anthony Trollope.
1892, Tuesday December 6, Birth of the writer Osbert Sitwell.
1996, Friday December 6, Conservative MP John Gorst withdrew his support of the party, causing the Tories to lose their one-seat majority in the House of Commons.


1545, Monday December 7, The birth of Henry Darnley, future husband of Mary Queen of Scots.
1683, Friday December 7, Algernon Sydney, son of the second Earl of Leicester, was beheaded on Tower Hill for his alleged part in the Wye House plot.
1732, Thursday December 7, Opening of the original Covent Garden Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House).
1811, Saturday December 7, The first of two grisly murders on the Ratcliff Highway when the bodies of a lace-seller, Mr Marr, his wife and child and a shop boy were discovered by a maid. They had been killed with a chisel and a maul. The second murder of a publican, Williamson, his wife and a maid, a few days later caused widespread panic. After 40 false arrests a John Williams was charged but he committed suicide before his trial. His body was buried, with a stake through the heart, at a crossroads, the last occasion in London when the full procedure for burying a suicide was carried out.
1882, Thursday December 7, The Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square (now the Odeon cinema) was destroyed by fire.
1907, Saturday December 7, At London's National Sporting Club, Eugene Corri became the first referee to officiate from inside a boxing ring at the Tommy Burns v Gunner Moir fight.
1985, Saturday December 7, Death of the poet and author Robert Graves.

Outside London


1666, Saturday December 1, Death of the Irish historian and antiquary Sir James Ware.
1761, Saturday December 1, Birth of the wax-modeller Madame Tussaud.
1910, Thursday December 1, Birth of the ballet dancer Alicia Markova.
1964, Tuesday December 1, Death of the scientist and writer J B S Haldane.


1547, Friday December 2, The death of the Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez.
1549, Saturday December 2, The death of Margaret of Navarre, 1st Queen of Henry II of France.
1552, Friday December 2, The death of St. Francis Xavier co-founder of the Jesuit Order.
1594, Tuesday December 2, Death of the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerard Mercator.
1620, Saturday December 2, The Corrant out of Italy Germany etc. The first coranto, or newspaper, in English was published in Amsterdam.
1923, Sunday December 2, Birth of the Greek American (mezzo)soprano Maria Callas.
1985, Saturday December 2, Death of the poet Philip Larkin.
1990, Sunday December 2, Death of the composer Aaron Copland.


1596, Friday December 3, Birth of the Italian violin maker Niccol Amati.
1810, Monday December 3, The British captured Mauritius from the French.
1857, Thursday December 3, Birth of the novelist Joseph Conrad.
1883, Monday December 3, Birth of the composer Anton von Webern.
1894, Monday December 3, Death of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.


1154, Friday December 4, The only Englishman to become a pope, Nicholas Breakspear, was elected as Adrian IV.
1642, Sunday December 4, Death of Cardinal Richelieu. He was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin as first minister of France.
1795, Friday December 4, Birth of the author Thomas Carlyle.
1829, Wednesday December 4, Under British rule, suttee (whereby a widow commits suicide by joining her husband's funeral pyre) was made illegal in India.
1865, Monday December 4, Birth of the nurse Edith Cavell.
1991, Wednesday December 4, News correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest-held Western hostage in Lebanon (2,454 days in captivity), was freed by Islamic Jihad.


1560, Thursday December 5, Francis II, King of France and husband of Mary Queen of Scots, died of tubercular meningitis.
1940, Thursday December 5, Death of the violinist Jan Kubelik.
1946, Thursday December 5, Birth of the tenor Jos Carreras.
1958, Friday December 5, Britain's first motorway, the Preston by-pass, was opened by Prime Minister Macmillan.


1478, Sunday December 6, The birth of Count Castiglione, Italian envoy to Henry VII.
1921, Tuesday December 6, The Irish Free State was formally created, as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.


1431, Friday December 7, The 10 year old Henry VI of England was crowned King of France in Paris.
1598, Thursday December 7, Birth of the Italian artist Giovanni Bernini.
1817, Sunday December 7, Death of captain William Bligh.
1863, Monday December 7, Birth of the composer Pietro Mascagni.
1962, Friday December 7, Death of the soprano Kirsten Flagstad.

Links to the Monthly Digests


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