Roger Vaughan's U.K. History Pages

Pages from:

The British Almanac of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge


From October, 1855, to November, 1856

Oct. 15. 1855.Prince Gortschakoff, Russian Commander in the Crimea, tells his army that he will not ‘voluntarily abandon the Country.’

19. Seven Frenchmen killed, and about 100 made prisoners in Madagascar, by the troops of the queen of that island.

25. The first anniversary of the battle of Balaklava celebrated by a cavalry review on the site of the battle.

Nov. 2. 1855. A Mr. Beauchamp, assistant to a land-agent, shot in King’s County, Ireland.

4. Thirty-four French refugees, among whom were Victor Hugo and his son, expelled from Jersey.

4. Large stores of corn destroyed by the gun-boats near the town of Gheisk, in the Sea of Azoff

6. Defeat of the Russians and passage of the Ingour, by the Turks, under Omar Pasha.

7. Permission given to the Bank of England to issue 475,000. additional notes.

9. An international copyright convention concluded with Prussia.

10. The Emperor of Russia visits his army near Sebastopol.

11. General Sir Wm.J. Codrington assumes the command of the British army in the Crimea.-An earthquake at Jeddo, in Japan, destroyed 100,000 houses and 57 temples. About 30,000 persons lost their lives.

13. Lord Dalhousie, Governor-General of India, appoints the 2nd December as a day of thanksgiving for the capture of Sebastopol.

22. Soiree in the City Hall, Glasgow, in favour of the war; Professor Nichol in the chair.

24. Death of Count Mole, formerly a leading political man under Louis Philippe-Mr. M. T. Babes appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the cabinet.

26. Capitulation of the fortress of Kars to General Mouravieff, after a gallant defence.-Arrival of General Sir James Simpson in London from the Crimea.-Opening of the Victoria Docks, near Bow.

27. Intelligence received of the death of Admiral Bruat on his voyage home from the Crimea.

28. The Queen visits the wounded Crimean soldiers in the hospital at Fort Pitt, Chatham.

29. Great meeting at Willis's Rooms to institute a Nightingale Fund.

30. Arrival of Victor Emannuel, King of Sardinia, on a visit to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

Dec. 1. 1855. The Queen and Prince Albert, with, the King of Sardinia review the troops at Woolwich.

3. Three men killed by an explosion at the rocket-manufactory in Woolwich Arsenal.

4. The King of Sardinia visits the corporation of London, and receives addresses in Guildhall.

5. The King of Sardinia made a Knight of the Garter.-Dr. Lushington pronounces judgment in the case of Westerton v, Liddell, condemning the decorations in the churches of St. Barnabas and St. Paul, Knightsbridge, and ordering their removal.

6. Departure of the King of Sardinia from Windsor Castle at five o'clock in the morning, accompanied to Folkestone by Prince Albert and the Duke of Cambridge-Trial of Vladimir Petcherine, a Redemptorist, for Bible-burning at Kingston, Dublin. The jury brought in a verdict of Not Guilty.

7. Trial of Mr. Joseph Smith Wooler on a charge of poisoning his wife. After a trial of several days, the jury acquitted him .-General meeting of Shareholders of Eastern Counties Railway, at which much dissatisfaction was expressed with the management of the chairman, Mr. Waddington.-An extensive strike of 'minders' and 'piecers' in the Manchester factories.

8. Attack of the Russians on the French advanced posts in the valley of Baidar, which, was repulsed with a loss to the Russians of 150 killed, wounded, and prisoners. The French had 2 men killed and 11 wounded.

10. Madam Jenny Lind Goldschmidt sings at Exeter Hall in the oratorio of the ' Creation.'

Chronicle of Occurrences. 213

13. Public meeting at the Court-House, Marylebone, in behalf of a memorial to the late Joseph Hume, M.P. -Extraordinary general meeting of Crystal Palace shareholders, at which there were great complaints of the management.

15. An inquest held at Rugeley on the body of John Parsons cook, when the jury returned a verdict 'That the deceased died of poison wilfully administered by William Palmer.'

16. Austria sends proposals for peace (which have been sanctioned by the allies) to St. Petersburg-Death of Dr. William Chambers, late physician to the Queen, aged 70.-A proposal to build in 10 years 100 churches in London, costing about 150,0001., receives subscriptions to the amount of about 60,0001.-Edward Murray, a British subject, released from a seven years' confinement in a Roman prison.

17. 'The Times' correspondent intimates that energetic measures were being adopted by the military authorities in the Crimea to diminish the prevalence of drunkenness in the army.

18. Mr. C. Dickens reads his 'Christmas Carol' at the Peterborough Corn Exchange; the proceeds, amounting to about 50., being for the Mechanics' Institution there.

19. Publication of a treaty between the Western Powers and the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway. -The Duke of Argyll, Postmaster-General, has given orders to open new Money-Order Offices in connection with the post-offices at the camp in the Crimea, in order to facilitate the transmission of small sums from the soldiers to their friends at home

22. The new Metropolitan Board of Works elect Mr. John Thwaites to be their chairman. The salary was fixed at a previous meeting at 1,500. a-year-Death, at Edinburgh, of Count Valerian Krasinski, one of the most distinguished of the Polish exiles.

24. The United States Congress adjourn over Christmas Day, without being able to get sufficient votes for any single candidate to give him the right to be elected Speaker.

29. Entry of the Imperial Guard into Paris, and their public reception by the Emperor.

31. The Metropolitan Commission of Sewers held its last meeting; Mr. R. Jebb in the chair.

Jan. 1. 1856. King George of Hanover, by a decree, abolishes trial by jury for political offences, and in trials on account of published writings, throughout his dominions.

2. The centre dock of Sebastopol blown up by the English engineers.

3. Arrival of Admiral Sir E. Lyons in London-A new General Omnibus Company started in London, which most of the omnibus proprietors have joined.

4. Presentation of the freedom of the City of Glasgow to the Earl of Elgin in the City Hall, in the presence of 2,500 persons.

10. Death of Mr. Serjeant Adams, assistant judge at Middlesex Sessions, in his 70th year.

12. The adjourned inquest on the body of Mrs. Palmer was closed by a verdict of wilful murder against her husband William Palmer.

15. The Earl of Albemarle addressed a meeting of agricultural labourers, at East Harling, on the subject of benefit clubs.

16. Mr. George Waugh, a solicitor in Bedford Bow, was shot as he was proceeding to his office by a client named Westron.

17. A despatch received from Sir Hamilton Seymour at Vienna; announces that the Russian Government accept the Austrian proposals as a basis for negotiation.-Mr. Joseph Haydon, author of 'The Dictionary of Dates,’ died after a lingering illness. A few days previously a pension of 25/-. a-year had been awarded to him by the Government;

19. Mr. Macaulay issues his farewell address to the electors of Edinburgh, announcing his retirement from parliamentary life.

2l. In a case, Padwick v. Palmer, in which the mother of William Palmer was sued on a bill for 2,000., William Palmer gave evidence that his mother’s signature was written by Mary Palmer, his late wife, at his dictation. The pursuer, on this evidence, withdrew his action.

22. The Duke of Cambridge, General Della Marmora, Sir R. Airey, Sir H. Jones, Sir E. Lyons, and Admiral Dundas, return to London from Paris, where they have been attending a council of war. Three persons killed at Dingwall, from eating monk’s-hood, or wolf-bane, by mistake for horse-radish, at dinner.

23. Adjourned inquest on the body of Walter Palmer closed by a verdict of wilful murder against his brother, William Palmer.

28. Festivities at Christchurch, Hants, in honour of Sir Edmund Lyons, on his visiting his native town.

31. Parliament opened by the Queen in person.

Feb. 1. 1856. At noon this day a protocol was signed at Vienna by the ministers of Russia, France, England, Austria, and Turkey, accepting the Austrian propositions as a basis of peace. Disputes of Mr. Murray, British minister at Tehran, with the Persian court, respecting a servant of the embassy named Mirza Hashim, in consequence of which Mr. Murray leaves Tehran for Baghdad. Accounts from India represent the Santal insurrection as suppressed. Faustin, Emperor of Hayti, has been repulsed by the troops of St. Domingo, on his invasion of the territory of that republic, His own subjects at Cape Haytian threaten revolution. Death of Prince Ivan Fidorowitch Paskiewitsch, Russian marshal, and lieutenant of the kingdom of Poland, in his 74th year. The United States Congress, adopting a role to meet the emergency, elected a Speaker, and proceeded to business. The President, after waiting a month, had published his message. Farewell banquet by the Directors of the East India Company to Lieut.-General P. Grant, Commander-in-chief at Madras, the first officer of the Company’s Service who has been raised to supreme military command. Despatch of Sir Wm. Codrington, announcing that the destruction of the Sebastopol docks is complete.

3. Collision in the Channel, off Folkestone, between the ‘Josephine Willis’ packet-ship, with emigrants for Auckland, New Zealand, and the iron screw steamer ‘Mangerton,’ causing a loss of about 90 lives, passengers and crew of the ‘ Josephine Willis.’

5. The ‘Gazette’ announces the institution of a new order of merit, of which the decoration is to be called ‘The Victoria Cross,’ for distinguished gallantry on the part of inferior officers or privates, both in the army and navy. - The Report of Sir John M’Neill and Colonel Tulloch, the Commissioners sent out by Lord Panmure to the Crimea to inquire into the state of the army, has been published, and in all essential, points justifies the statements of the correspondents of the press.

8. A public breakfast given to Dr. Sandwith, one of General Williams’s coadjutors in the defence of Kars, by his townsmen at Hull.

11. Fort Alexander, at Sebastopol, blown up by the French.

13. Grand banquet at the Mansion- House to Admiral Sir E. Lyons. Total destruction of the Pavilion Theatre by fire.

14. The total number of letters posted at the several metropolitan and provincial post-offices this day (Valentine’s day) was as follows

Passed through the General Post-office, St. Martin’s-le-Grand, 618,000; passed through the district office, St. Martin’s-le-Grand, 279,000.

16. Earthquake at California.

18. The Canadian parliament opened at Toronto by the Governor-General, whose speech was of an encouraging character.

19. The Queen inspected at Woolwich the trophies from Sebastopol. The Hon. and Rev. H. Montague Villiers appointed Bishop of Carlisle.

25. John Sadleir, M.P. for Sligo, was found dead near Primrose Hill. He had poisoned himself. Corrigan, who was under sentence of death for shooting his wife while he was intoxicated, has been reprieved. The Peace Conferences opened at Paris, at the Hotel of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The powers represented are France, Austria, Great Britain, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey. At a later date Prussia was admitted. Count Walewski is President of the Conference. The first resolution adopted was that an armistice should take place, to continue in force till March 3lst. A Board of general officers appointed by the British Government to inquire into the statements contained in the Report of the Crimean Commissioners.

29. A suspension of hostilities mutually agreed upon by the belligerent parties in the Crimea.

March 3. 1856. Opening of the French Senate by a speech from the Emperor, in which he gives expression to his hopes of peace.

4. The Kansas Free State Legislature constituted.

5. Covent Garden Theatre totally destroyed by fire, which broke out about five o’clock in the morning, near the close of a bal masque, which was intended as the close of a series of extraordinary performances held during two days.

10. Stormy discussions in the United States Senate on the state of diplomatic relations with Great Britain. An Industrial Exhibition opened in Jamaica with great success.

12, Annual General Meeting of the Royal Literary Fund; B. B. Cabbell, Esq., M.P,, in the chair. A motion for reforming the system of management, moved by Mr. C. W. Dilke, and supported by Mr. C. Dickens and Mr. J. Forster, was negatived by 51 to, 30.

13. Meeting of members of the theatrical profession and friends of the drama at Adelphi Theatre, to consider the propriety of endeavouring to obtain an interest in the distribution of the benefits of Dulwich College, the founder of which was an actor. Mr. C. Dickens presided.

14. Mr. A. Smart, a retired watchmaker, threw himself from the Whispering-gallery of St. Paul’s Cathedral into the nave, and was killed on the spot. Meeting of the Allied-Generals in the Crimea, to arrange the terms of the armistice. Terrible storm in the Black Sea, causing the destruction of several vessels.

16, The Empress of the French gives birth to a prince at a quarter to three o’clock in the morning, which event is announced to the public by a salvo of a hundred and one guns at six o’clock. The Emperor issues an amnesty in favour of upwards of a thousand political exiles.

Accounts from India announce the annexation of Oude.

20. Mr. Layard reinstated as Lord Rector of Mareschal College and University, Aberdeen. Madame Jenny Lind Goldschmidt and her husband hand 1872. to the Nightingale Fund, being the gross proceeds of a concert by them in Exeter Hall.

21. About 18,000 persons visit the Crystal Palace this day, being Good Friday.

April 2.1856. Proclamation of peace made to the allied armies in the Crimea by salutes of 101 guns.

4. Serious disturbances at Nablous, in Syria, between the Mohammedans and the Christians.

6. Insurrection at Valencia, in Spain.

7. The Crimean Board of Inquiry holds its first sitting today in the boardroom of Chelsea Hospital.

9. General O’Donnell receives charge of the ministry of Foreign Affairs at Madrid, in the absence of General de Zabala, who is appointed to that ministry.

10. At the Cavan Special Commission, a verdict of guilty is returned against a man named Murphy, for the murder of Miss Hinds, near Ballyconnell, on October 12th last.

11. The Emperor of Russia visits Moscow, and in addressing his nobles and functionaries, announces the cessation of war, and his intention to promote industrial improvement. The Senate of the United States refuses to admit the Free State Legislature of Kansas into the Union.

12. Grand banquet to the Members of the Congress at Paris. The Emperor proposed the following toast:- 'To the Union so happily established by the Sovereigns. May it be durable; and it will be so, if it reposes on truth, justice, and the true and legitimate interest of the peoples.’

13. The bands commence to play in Kensington Gardens on Sunday afternoon, from four so six o’clock, by order of Sir Benjamin Hall. Vauxhall railway-station destroyed by fire.

16. Last meeting of the plenipotentiaries is held this day at Paris.

17. Dinner at the Mansion House to Mr. Dallas, the new American minister. An Italian named Foschini kills one of his countrymen, and wounds two others, in a quarrel at a restaurant in Rupert-street, Haymarket.

23. Great naval review at Portsmouth, in the presence of the Queen, Prince Albert, the members of both Houses of Parliament, and a vast concourse of persons from all parts of the kingdom. The review included upwards of 300 sail of men-of-war, with an aggregate tonnage of upwards of 150,000; carrying 3800 guns, and manned by 40,000 seamen. At the commencement of the review, the fleet extended in an unbroken line of anchorage for about five miles.

24. Some commotion raised in the streets of London by a pretended declaration of peace, under cover of which an umbrella-maker advertises his wares.

26. The terms of the Treaty of Peace published in the newspapers.

29. The newspapers announce that ‘we understand it is definitely settled that the marriage of the Princess Royal with Prince William of Prussia will take place when Her Royal Highness shall have completed her seventeenth year.’ Official proclamation of peace at various places throughout the metropolis.

30. Dinner at the Mansion House to Lord Brougham and the Law Amendment Society.

May 2.1856. Arrival of Baron Brunnow in London, on a special mission from the Emperor of Russia to Queen Victoria.

3. An amnesty granted to political exiles, in virtue of which Frost, Williams, Jones, and Smith O'Brien will be allowed to return to England. The Brazilian Chambers opened by the Emperor Don Pedro II., in a speech in which he expressed his determination to put down attempts to revive the trade in slaves.

7, Mr. Dallas, the new American minister, speaks at the festival of the Literary Fund, the Duke of Cambridge in the chair. Count Cavour gives explanations in the Turin Chamber of Deputies, in reference to the steps taken by him to bring the state of Italy under the notice of the conference at Paris.

9. Visit of Queen Victoria to the Crystal Palace, to inaugurate the model of the Scutari Monument, and the Peace Trophy.

13. Arrival at Spithead of the ‘Tribune’ screw-frigate, with Lord Dalhousie on board.

14. A Court of Proprietors of the East India Company sanction the proposal of the Directors to allow Lord Dalhousie a pension of 5000. a-year, in consideration of his eminent services. The trial of William Palmer commenced to-day, at the Central Criminal Court, before Lord Chief Justice Campbell, Baron Alderson, and Mr. Justice Cresswell.

15. Mr. Charles Russell, late Chairman of the Great Western Railway Company, committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol.

Colonel Tulloch’s health had given way under the fatigue and anxiety attending his exertions at the Chelsea Board of Inquiry, and he was unable to attend any more of its sittings. In consequence of representations of the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, Lord Palmerston ordered the discontinuance of the Sunday bands in the parks.

19. Foundation-stone of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Hamble, on the Southampton Water, laid by Her Majesty.

20. At a meeting in Manchester, it was agreed to hold an Exhibition of the Art Treasures of the kingdom in Manchester, in 1857.

26. William Palmer convicted, after a trial of 11 days, of the wilful murder of J. P. Cook, and sentenced to death.

27. A warm discussion in the United States Senate, on the murderous attack by Senator Brooks, of South Carolina, on Senator Sumner, on account of a speech of Mr. Sumner’s against slavery. Civil war in Kansas between the Free-Soilers and the Pro-Slavery party.

29. Great demonstrations in celebration of peace. Magnificent fireworks were displayed at Hyde-Park, the Green-Park, Victoria-Park, and Primrose-Hill. A vast but orderly crowd promenaded the streets till past midnight, to view the illuminations and fireworks.

June 1.1856. Disastrous inundations in France. The Emperor of the French visits Lyons, to assist in relieving the sufferers.

2. The first stone of Wellington College laid by the Queen.

6. Major-General Codrington promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general.

13. Death at Hull of Major H. L. Thompson, C.B., one of the defenders of Kars. Public meeting at the Mansion House, to raise subscriptions for relief of the sufferers by the inundations in France. The subscriptions eventually amounted to about 43,000.

14. Execution of William Palmer at Stafford, in presence of about

50,000 persons. Baptism of the Imperial Prince at Notre Dame.

15. Arrival at Liverpool of Mr. Crampton, British minister at Washington.

16. Arrival of General Sir W. Williams at Dover.

July 9.1856. Public entry of the Guards into London, on their return from the Crimea.

12. The Allies evacuate the Crimea.

14. Coup d’Etat in Madrid. General O’Donnell dictator.

18. Display of the Great Fountains at the Crystal Palace, in presence of Her Majesty, and about 20,000 visitors. -The Sussex wing of the Royal Free hospital opened to-day.

19. Trial and conviction of William Dove, for the poisoning of his wife. Sentence of death was pronounced.

22. Earl Granville appointed ambassador-extraordinary, to attend the coronation of the Emperor of Russia.

23. The opposition to O’Donnell’s government in Spain is subdued by force of arms.

24. Sir Edmund Lyons raised to the peerage, as Baron Lyons of Christchurch, in the County of Southampton.

26. Sir William Williams appointed Commandant of Woolwich. Dr. Rae and his companions are declared to be entitled to the reward of 10,000. offered by Government to any party or parties who would first succeed in ascertaining the fate of Sir John Franklin’s expedition.

August 1. 1856. Arrival in London of General Codrington and suite from the Crimea. Great destruction of life and property at Salonica from fire, occasioned by an explosion of gunpowder. Admiral Sir C. Napier visits St. Petersburg and Cronstadt, and is courteously received.

9. Execution of Dove for the murder of his wife.

20. Arrival of the Queen of Oude and suite in England, to prosecute a claim against the East India Company.

25. Dinner to the Guards in the Music Hall at the Royal Surrey Gardens.

September 1. Sunday preaching in Victoria-Park prohibited by Sir B. Hall. The Queen and her household are at Balmoral. A sword presented to Lord Cardigan at a public breakfast at Leeds, Death of Sir Richard Westmacott, sculptor, aged 82.

4. Stoppage of the Royal British Bank. Great distress in Madeira from the ravages of cholera; many of the landed proprietors on the island have been reduced to poverty, owing to the failure of the vines since 1851. Presentation to Mr. Roebuck, M.P., at a public dinner of his constituents in Sheffield. The amount presented was 1100 guineas.

At an extra session of the United States Congress, the Army Appropriation Bill was passed withont the Kansas proviso, which means that the Pro-Slavery Party have gained a victory.

7. Coronation of Alexander II., Emperor of Russia, at Moscow. Great festivities in Moscow on the occasion. Disturbances in the canton or principality of Neufchatel, between the royalist, or Prussian party, and the federalist, or Swiss party.

8. Miss Nightingale reaches home. Her neighbours have made a small subscription to present her with a handsome writing-desk, with a silver plate bearing a suitable inscription.

11. A child near Weymouth is killed in consequence of ‘black drop’ (containing opium) being given instead of ‘black draught,’ by a boy in a chemist’s shop. Numerous cases of similar fatal results from carelessness on the part of persons selling drugs have recently occurred.

15. International Philanthropic Congress held at Brussels, continued till the 19th. A procession through the streets of London, and a meeting on Primrose Hill, to welcome John Frost on his return from banishment.

24. A testimonial presented by the Licensed Victuallers and their friends to the Hon. H. F. Berkeley, M.P., at Bristol, for his parliamentary exertions in favour of their interests. The testimonial amounted to upwards of 1000 guineas.

26. Six men suffocated in a spirit-vat at Worcester, from foul gas, while the vat was being cleaned out.

October 3. 1856. Mr. Crampton, late British minister at Washington, is made a K.C.B.

6. The Prince of Wales visits various places in the west of England, in company of his tutor Mr. Gibbs. The state of the money-market in Paris excites great uneasiness,

7. A British squadron, consisting of the ‘Conqueror’ and ‘Duke of Wellington,’ with two corvettes and a despatch steamer, is at Ajaccio, in Corsica. They are intended for Naples, if required, to protect British interests there.

13. An eclipse of the moon, nearly total. The state of the atmosphere was particularly favourable for observing the progress of the eclipse. Intelligence received that the Emperor of Japan has opened two ports in that empire (Nagasaki and Hakodadi) to commerce of all nations.

15. Earthquake in the Mediterranean, especially in the islands of Candia and Sicily; the shocks felt throughout Asia Minor, and as far west as Malta.

19. Eight persons killed, and about 30 persons seriously injured, in consequence of a false alarm of fire raised in the Music Hall of Surrey Gardens, when about 9,000 persons were in the hall attending a religious service conducted by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.

22. Annual Meeting of the United Kingdom Alliance for the Suppression of the Liquor Traffic, held in the New Free-Trade Hall, Manchester. Sir W. C. Trevelyan, bart., in the chair.

31. Grand Banquet to Crimean soldiers in the Corn-Exchange, Edinburgh. The Lord Provost in the chair.

November 1. 1856. A change of ministry has taken place at Constantinople. Redschid Pasha has been re-appointed the principal minister of the Porte, indicating a restoration of the influence of the British ambassador. Robson, a clerk of the Crystal Palace Company, sentenced to transportation for twenty years for forgery of the Company’s bonds. For surreptitiously selling them for his own advantage, he received an additional sentence of fourteen years’ transportation, but the terms are to run concurrently.

3. Collision on the London and North Western Railway. Numerous railway accidents have been reported of late.

11. Rumours of disagreement between the English and French Governments on the question of the delay of Russia to evacuate the Bessarabian territory. Austria, with consent of England and Turkey, continues, in consequence, the occupation of the principalities, and some English ships continue in the Turkish waters.

Note: some monetary symbols 'L' changed to . for clarity.


OCR scanned and corrected.

R.F.Vaughan 2002