Social Victorians/Timeline/1881

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1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s Headlines 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890s Headlines 1910s 1920s-30s

January[edit | edit source]

"Some time before the last illness he [Disraeli] gathered round him one evening some friends, who may pardon the mention of their names, as a proof that he never permitted politics to interfere with friendships. The Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, Lord and Lady Granville, Lord and Lady Spencer, Lady Chesterfield, Lady Dudley, Lady Lonsdale, Lord and Lady Barrington, Lord and Lady Cadogan, Lord Bradford, Mr. Alfred de Rothschild. Sir Frederick Leighton, and Mr. Henry Manners dined with him." (Ewald, quoting Lady John Manners, p. 581, Col B, fn)

1 January, Thursday, New Year's Day[edit | edit source]

18 January 1881, Tuesday[edit | edit source]

"Tuesday, Jan. 18, will ever be memorable in meteorological annals for the Snow Hurricane with bleached London and England generally" (Penny Illustrated Paper, "Our Illustrations," "The Reign of Jack Frost," p. 4). The Queen was on the Isle of Wight, and "The roads to Ryde and Newport were blocked and impassable. The drifts near Osborne were ten and twelve feet deep. The steamers were unable to cross the Solent; and, as at one period of the day the telegraph-poles were blown down, all communication between the island and the mainland was cut off" (Penny Illustrated Paper, "Our Illustrations," "Royalty in the Snow and on the Ice," p. 4.)

In London itself, "By eight in the morning a full gale was blowing, accompanied by sleet, the wind appearing at different times to blow from different quarters. Snow descended to heavily that by eleven the roads and paths were impassable, and the scene generally was of the wildest possible description. The comparatively few persons in the streets had the greatest difficulty in making progress through the blinding snow, now ankle-deep; horses with heavily-laden vehicles could not move; the tram-cars in all parts of the metropolis had to temporarily cease running, and even on some of the railways the snow-drift occasioned by the gale lay so deep – in parts two feet and even three feet – that trains were brought to a stand-still. Added to all this, the force of the 'circular wind' brought additional dangers in the shape of tiles, chimney-pots, &c., from the housetops, and it is computed that at least sixty persons were admitted to the London hospitals, which, since the present severe weather has set in, have had more cases of broken limbs, dislocations, and wounds of various kinds attended within their walls than have been known for some time.

"In the City especially, now crossed and recrossed over the housetops by telegraphic wires in every direction, which swayed violently with each rapidly succeeding gust of wind, the danger to pedestrians was greatly increased. Our picture of St. Paul's-churchyard, as viewed from the top of Ludgate-hill, gives a fair idea of the fury of the storm. The snow continued during the whole of the day. Attempts were made in many parts of London to remove it, but they were all futile, and night witnessed the remarkable spectacle of a metropolis comparatively deserted, theatres and other places of amusement being half empty. At the doors of the West-End club-houses commissionaires and porters during the night were constantly blowing their whistles for cabs, but without response. Not until the Wednesday morning could any estimate of the damage be arrived at. The first fact which impressed itself upon business men was the absense of letters either from the Continent or the provinces, not a mail of any description getting through to London in time for the early morning deliveries, which a good portion did not arrive before the Thursday. The breakage of the telegraph wires in many places also causes a serious delay to messages." (p. 5)

19 January 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

Constance (de Rothschild) Battersea, in her Memoirs, says of the wedding between her cousin Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia, the sister of Mrs. Arthur Sassoon, <quote>Many were the messages of congratulation that poured in upon the bridegroom, amongst them a letter from Lord Beaconsfield, who wrote: "I have always been of opinion that there cannot be too many Rothschilds." The marriage took place in 1881, and the day proved a memorable one. It was the 19th of January, following upon a terrific snowstorm and blizzard, which prevented some of the guests from attending the wedding. Amongst those, however, who did was the Prince of Wales, who seemed much impressed with the Jewish marriage ceremony, and had his place, I remember, opposite the Ark between two of my cousins. From this happy marriage sprang three sons: Lionel, Evelyn, and Anthony — the second son, most charming and well-beloved, doomed, alas, to the great grief of his family, to fall in Palestine during the Great War, in November 1917!</quote> (, p. 48).

20 January 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

The Prince of Wales and Lord Beaconsfield ("Dizzy") dine with Lord Ronald Gower at Stafford House (Gower 5).

27 January 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

Lord Ronald Gower has luncheon at Kensington Palace, where William Morris, "poet and paper manufacturer," was one of the speakers (Gower 5).

February[edit | edit source]

5 February 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

Thomas Carlyle died.

18 February 1881, Friday[edit | edit source]

Bret Harte met the Van de Velde, dining at their house (accompanied by the Trübners?) (Gary Scharnhorst. Bret Harte: Opening the American Literary West.The Oklahoma Western Biographies. Vol. 17. Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 2000. Page 163).

21 February 1881, Monday[edit | edit source]

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says, "I came up [to London] for a lark, combined with G.F.S. Council, spent the whole day on the committee, dined with the old Duchess, and went to a charming party at Nora's" (Journals 346).

22 February 1881, Tuesday[edit | edit source]

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says, "Again spent most of the day at the G.F.S. Council, dined with Lord Leven, and went to parties at Polly Ridley’s and Mrs. Brand’s. I sat between Lord Reay and Sir Stafford Northcote, who was particularly pleasant" (Journals 346). The House of Lords was debating Ireland, and this party and her journal discussed those debates.

March[edit | edit source]

Thomas E. Kebbel "saw him [Disraeli] for the last time at a London party one evening in March, and he then seemed to be quite as strong and well as a man of his age could be expected to be" (154). (Kebbel, T. [Thomas] E. [Edward] Life of Lord Beaconsfield. International Statesmen Series. Ed., Lloyd C. Sanders. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1888. Google Books. Retrieved 12 February 2010.)

Disraeli's homeopathic physician, Dr. Joseph Kidd, says, “In the spring of 1881 he felt the cold most keenly, and seldom went out for a walk, his only exercise. Yet he could not deny himself the pleasure of going into society in the evening. He thought that with fur coats and shut carriage he might risk it. But on one of the worst nights in March he went out to dinner, and returning / home was caught for a minute by the deadly blast of the north-east wind laden with sleet. Bronchitis developed the next morning with distressing asthma, loss of appetite, fever, and congestion of the kidneys.” (68-69)

2 March 1881[edit | edit source]

Russian Emperor Alexander II was assassinated.

19 March 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

Disraeli dined with the Prince of Wales at Marlborough House (the last time Disraeli dined "from home"). ("Edward VII." Dictionary of National Biography. Ed., Sir Sidney Lee. Second Supplement, Vol. 1. London: Smith Elder, 1912. Page 533, Col. B.)

26 March 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

Disraeli "took a slight part in a political gathering held at his residence a week later" (Irving, Joseph. Annals of Our Time: A Diurnal of Events, Social and Political Home and Foreign: From February 24, 1871, to the Jubilee, June 20, 1887. London: Macmillan, 1889. Google Books. Retrieved 14 February 2010. [Google citation says Volume 2, but I don’t see it on the title page or anywhere around.]).

30 March 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

First notice to the Times that Disraeli was ill, which begins with this: "It has been known throughout the country that Lord Beaconsfield for some days past was suffering from an attack of asthma, caused by exposure to the prevalent east winds. During the time he had been attended by his medical advisor, Dr. Kidd, who, however, entertained no anxiety. The symptoms of Lord Beaconsfield's indisposition fluctuated to some extent, but it was not thought that he was suffering from anything beyond an ordinary cold, which a few days' confinement to the house would eradicate. Within the last few days, however, symptoms of a graver character manifested themselves, and Dr. Kidd became more concerned on his patient's behalf. He attended him more closely, paying him frequent visits in the course of each day. On Sunday night still graver symptoms appeared, causing the doctor to remain all night. It was found that, in addition to a severe asthmatical cough, Lord Beaconsfield was suffering from an attack of suppressed gout, and the object which Dr. Kidd had in view was to develop the gout, and so relieve the asthma. During Monday Lord Beaconsfield was suffering greatly, and towards evening reports reached the House of Commons and the political clubs of his illness." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Wednesday, March 30, 1881, p. 7. Issue 30155, Col. E. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

April 1881[edit | edit source]

1 April 1881, Friday[edit | edit source]

According to the Pall Mall Gazette,

Lord Beaconsfield passed a somewhat quieter night, and is said to be a little better to-day. Dr. Quain arrived at Curzon-street about half-past nine and after a consultation with Dr. Kidd had taken place, the following bulletin was issued at a quarter past ten o'clock: —

"Lord Beaconsfield has passed the night without any severe attack of spasms. His lordship is weak, but in other respects the symptoms have improved."

Dr. Quain, the Central News states, informed their reporter that his lordship has been able to take good nourishment; but though the case is more hopeful the patient will require continued and careful watching. The next bulletin will be issued at nine o'clock this evening, after the usual evening conference between Dr. Kidd and Dr. Quain. The Press Associate is able to state upon authority that, although there is much to contend with in the state of Lord Beaconsfield's health, his medical advisers are of opinion that the crisis has been passed, and that there is every hope for the recovery of the noble earl.

The inquiries to-day have already been very numerous. Among the earliest inquirers were the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Lytton, Sir Moses Montefiore, Mr. A. de Rothschild, Mr. Beresford-Hope, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, and the Duchess of Sutherland. Mr. Gladstone has also sent to inquire.

It is stated that yesterday Lord Beaconsfield was employed in correcting for Hansard his last speech in the House of Lords. In the course of the afternoon Dr. Kidd superintended the removal of his patient from one room to another, and the change did not seem in any way to cause him distress. Dr. Kidd remained with his lordship again last night, it being deemed necessary that some one should be hourly in attendance.

The Lancet says: — "The noble earl suffers from a lack of nerve power — as distinguished from cerebral energy — which is by no means uncommon in men of Lord Beacsonsfield's type. The intensity of his lordship's vital force has for may years been remarkable, but it has been mainly due to mental energy, called forth in response to mental stimuli. With an organism so energetic and thus vitalized, there must needs be a perpetual liability to the suppression or metastasis of diseases which require a somewhat high grade of local disturbance to reach their normal type; meanwhile there are necessarily great irritability and weakness. The difficulties attending the management of such a case are obviously great, and its vicissitudes many and various." (The Pall Mall Gazette 1 April 1881 Issue 5025; page 8)

2 April 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

According to the Pall Mall Gazette,

The improvement in Lord Beaconsfield's condition yesterday morning was not maintained all day. In the evening he was more feverish and restless, and effect possibly due to the occurrene of gout in the foot not previously affected. Dr. Kidd again remained with his patient during the night, and his report htis morning was more favourable. His lordship passed a quiet night and took more nourishment. Dr. Quain arrived about half-past nine o'clock this morning, and after a consultation had taken palce between Dr. Quain and Dr. Kidd, which lasted an hour and ten minutes, the following bulleting was issued:—

"10.40 A.M. — Lord Beaconsfield has had some quiet sleep during the night. The gout in the right foot is rather more developed. The spasms have been relieved, but otherwise the chest symptoms continue the same."

The anxiety felt as to Lord Beaconsifield's conditions, owing to the somewhat unfavourabloe bulletin of last night, was shown by the large number of inquiries this morning. The central News says that the medical gentlemen in attendance consider his lordship to be better than he wa slast night, but not so well as he was yesterday morning. Rest and quietness are essential to recovery, and strict injunctions have been given that no visitors are to be admitted. Dr.s Quain and Kidd again both saw his lordship after the issue of this morning's bulletin, and they then left Curzon-street.

The callers yesterday were as numerous as on Wednesday and Thursday. Prince Leopold and the Duke of Cambridge paid personal visits to the house, and special telgrams were, by request, sent to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

A telegram was received by Lord Barrington last evening from Lord Rowton to the effect that he was absolutely detained at Marseilles on account of his sister's illness, and that the doctors forbade him to leave her.

13 April 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

In its daily news item on the crisis in the health of Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, the Times reported that, after it inquired "shortly before midnight," and was told the following:

<quote>Lord Beaconsfield has passed a day of restlessness, followed at 7 o'clock this evening by an attack of difficult respiration. The attack, which created considerable anxiety for a short time, passed over and later on his lordship was able to take some food and rest.

It is difficult to suppress the anxiety which these repeated attacks give rise to — for, though the patient rallies from day to day, each successive attack leaves him less equal to resist their recurrence.</quote> ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Wednesday, April 13, 1881, p. 7. Issue 30167, Col. F. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

14 April 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

People continued to gather in Curzon Street, where Disraeli lived. As always, the Times also lists who notable inquired or visited. The Lancet and the British Medical Journal, which had been reporting on Disraeli's illness as well, are quoted. According to the Times report, the British Medical Journal says the following: "It is unnecessary to say that every variety of strong and digestible nourishment that can be suggested is at the command of his medical attendants; and it is a fact of the greatest interest and curiosity that from all parts of Europe, as well as of this country, different forms of food, wine, and other stimulants continue to be sent." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Thursday, April 14, 1881, p. 6. Issue 30168, Col. B. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

15 April 1881, Friday[edit | edit source]

Good Friday.

According to the daily story on Disraeli's illness in the Times, the usual physicians' report was issued at 10:15 a.m., and "Large numbers of persons, including members of the working classes, were assembled when this statement was published. A copy of it was forwarded to Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family." "The profound interest manifested by Her Majesty in the well-being of Lord Beaconsfield has been shared by Her Majesty's subjects of all degrees. The number of letters received offering suggestions or making inquiries of one kind or another would form a most curious volume, whilst the collection of articles of food or diet sent to Curzon-street would constitute a perfect cabinet of hygiene or physic." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Friday, April 15, 1881, p. 7. Issue 30169, Col. F. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

16 April 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

According to the daily story on Disraeli's illness in the Times, "favourable" reports on his condition were issued at 1:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., and then it quotes from the 10:15 a.m. report. The story ends with a report from the 11:30 p.m. reponse to inquiries: "Lord Beaconsfield has passed the day in a condition satisfactory to his physicians. He has taken nourishment at longer intervals and readily, on one occasion even expressing a desire to have it. His Lordship's progress must be slow under the most favourable circumstances; but there is nothing in the present aspect of the case to show that it will not be sure." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Saturday, April 16, 1881, p. 5. Issue 30170, Col. F. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

17 April 1881, Sunday[edit | edit source]

Easter Sunday.

18 April 1881, Monday[edit | edit source]

The Times reported "two bulletins" from Saturday that were "favourable" and that Dr. Kidd did not spend Saturday night at Disraeli's house in Curzon Street, for the first time in three weeks, but the story ends with this:

<quote>The following detailed account of Lord Beaconsfield's condition during the day was furnished to us in answer to our inquiries at 11 30 last night: —

Lord Beaconsfield has been more restless at intervals during the last 24 hours, and he has taken less nourishment. Rest and food being essential elements in the recovery of strength, deficiency in these effects must have an unfavourable effect. His Lordship consequently is found somewhat weaker, though in other respect unchanged to night. A failure of this kind, however slight, which would be immaterial in a younger person, naturally creates anxiety concerning the result in the case of one of advanced years who, like Lord Beaconsfield, as gone through so grave an illness. There is, however, happily, no material retrogression to-night.</quote> ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Monday, April 18, 1881, p. 9. Issue 30171, Col. F. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

19 April 1881, Tuesday[edit | edit source]

Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, died. The Times report, moved up to page 3 from its usual page 6 or so, reports the previous day's events like this: "Our readers will bear with deep concern that, with the return of the east wind, Lord Beaconsfield's condition has materially changed for the worse." "During the day a very large number of persons visited Curzon-street to read the bulletin posted in front of Lord Beaconsfield's house." There was a report at 9:00 p.m.: "Lord Beaconsfield's condition has not been satisfactory during the day. He has been free from urgent symptoms, and taken more nourishment, yet he rather loses strength." Here is the 11:30 report: "The improvement which occurred in Lord Beaconsfield's health during last week is not maintained to-day. He is free from urgent or distressing symptoms, and during the afternoon he has been able to take nourishment sufficiently well. Still, he rather loses than gains strength, and he sleeps heavily at intervals. The physicians see in those symptoms grounds for more grave anxiety as to the result than at any period during his lordship's illness." Then, the next paragraph, which concludes the story, says, "At 1 o'clock this morning Lord Beaconsfield's condition had not changed since the issue of the last bulletin. No improvement was perceptible. Lord Rowton remained in the house." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Tuesday, April 19, 1881, p. 3. Issue 30172, Col. E. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

“William Gladstone was at home in Flintshire, North Wales, when the news came early that morning [at 8:00 a.m.]. Benjamin Disraeli was dead. It was hardly unexpected, but Gladstone immediately recognized the implications for himself and the country. ‘It is a telling, touching event,’ he confided to his diary. ‘There is no more extraordinary man surviving in Englad, perhaps none in Europe. I must not say much, in the presence as it were of his Urn.’” (Aldous, Richard. The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs Disraeli. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. Google Books, retrieved 13 February 2010. Page 1.)

"The sad tidings of the great statesman's death did not become generally known in the metropolis until the forenoon of Easter Tuesday, and as the railway trains kept bringing in their carriages full of passengers, returning from their Easter holiday-making in all parts of the country, intense became the excitement at the various metropolitan stations, on their seeing posted up in large letters at the newspaper-stands, 'Death Of Lord Beaconsfield.' Crowds collected, and groups of people of all classes, in grave and often tearful converse, gathered there all throughout the day, evidently absorbed in the one great and mournful subject of so melancholy yet memorable an occasion. And it was much the same in every other place of public resort. The clubs of every character and complexion, political and social, were agitated all day long by the exciting topic. It was one that, in all directions, threw every other into the shade. And it may be said with considerable truth that, with very partial, and by no means very respectable exceptions, the public mind of London — as, indeed, it soon appeared, of every other part of the kingdom — was sincerely and deeply affected by the mournful event" (Kebbel 300). Baron Redesdale says, "day after day the blasts, charged with all the filth of the great city, blew fiercely and yet more fiercely, bringing poison to those parched lungs. On the 19th of April he died, choked by London" (Redesdale 676).

20 April 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

The article announcing Disraeli's death and summarizing his career appears to take up more than one entire page: 6 columns on one page and perhaps 1.25 on the next. Here is the main description of his Jewish heritage, and it begins the second paragraph of the article: "Lord Beaconsfield was of alien, although not obscure, extraction; he came of the separate people which, since it has been scattered from a land of its own, has been persecuted or ostracized by Christian intolerance. His family was ancient; allied, it is said, with that high Hebrew aristocracy of Spain that embraced individuals of the stamp of his own Sidonias, it traced its descent through merchant princes of Venice to a stem that had been transplanted from the East in very early days. But, like other privileges, such claims of blood came under the head of Jewish disabilities, and did less than nothing to help him in the struggle towards a position that seemed practically beyond his dreams. Now that he has pioneered the way for his people, blunting in 50 years the hard fighting the prejudices that every step imposed themselves to his own advance towards power; now that Jews sit as matter of right among the representatives of the country, legislating for interests in which they have a common concern with their fellows — it is difficult to measure the distance that then divided the young aspirant from the Premiership of England."

There is another discussion of his "Jewish descent" beginning at the bottom of Column C and continuing at the top of Column D: "We have remarked that, like a man of spirit and shrewdness, in his writings as in his speeches, [Col break] Disraeli boldly prided himself on his Jewish descent and the glories of his race. Jews rich in gifts as in gold are the mythical heroes of the Utopias in his fictions. But the most eloquent defence of his people against the prejudices of Christendom is to be found in that chapter of the 'Political Biography' which precedes the explanation of Lord George Bentinck's conduct with respect to the Jewish disabilities. In ingenious arguments, more sophistical than satisfactory, he seeks to demonstrate that these prejudices are neither historically true nor dogmatically sound, and urges characteristically that we owe the Jews a large debt of gratitude for becoming the instruments to carry out the great doctrine of the Atonement. That he felt more than natural sympathy, that he took a genuine pride in his people, there can be no doubt whatever, and as little that he had no bigoted prejudice against religious emancipation in the abstract. Yet, when Lord George Bentinck resigned the leadership of his party rather than countenance its intolerance on the question of Jewish disabilities; when he not only voted, but exerted himself, under great physical suffering, to address the House on behalf of the Jews, Mr. Disraeli took a different view of his duty. It is impossible not to suspect that here, as elsewhere, he sacrificed conscience and inclination alike to what he considered as the paramount claims of party." ("The Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Wednesday, April 20, 1881, p. 7. Issue 30173, Col. A. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

There is another article addressing his death directly. ("The Death of the Earl of Beaconsfield," The Times. Wednesday, April 20, 1881, p. 9. Issue 30173, Col. E. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

21 April 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

An article in the Times directly addresses the questions of the two funerals: "It is as yet undecided whether Lord Beaconsfield is to be buried in Westminster Abbey with a public funeral, or privately by the side of this wife in Hughenden churchyard. We stated yesterday that Mr. Gladstone, on receiving the sad news of Lord Beaconsfield's death, telegraphed at once to Lord Rowton and to the executors, Sir N. M. de Rothschild, M.P., and Sir Philip Rose, offering, on the part of the Government, a public funeral, and we are enabled this morning to give the continuation of the correspondence ...." The article quotes the will, providing for burial in Hughenden and a simple funeral, and says the Queen prefers he be buried in Westminster. It describes his lying in state in the room in which he died, though not on the couch on which he died, which has been removed from the room. There is a description of the moment of his death, when he seemed to the two men in the room to be about to rise to speak in Parliament. More stories from the foreign press are reported, as are descriptions of meetings in which people speak of Disraeli or of meetings that are cancelled. ("The Late Lord Beaconsfield," The Times. Thursday, April 21, 1881, p. 5. Issue 30174, Col. F [and continuing on to p. 6, Cols A-C]. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

22 April 1881, Friday[edit | edit source]

The Times reports that the Queen has decided because of Disraeli's will that the funeral will be in Hughenden and Disraeli interred beside his late wife. The Times also reports stories from Vienna and The Lancet. ("The Late Lord Beaconsfield," The Times. Friday, April 22, 1881, p. 5. Issue 30175, Col. F. Accessed online 7 February 2010. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985.)

23 April 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

Leonora Braham opens in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride (at the Opera Comique) to positive reviews.

26 April 1881, Tuesday[edit | edit source]

Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield's funeral.

30 April 1881, Saturday[edit | edit source]

Annual banquet for the Royal Academy. Gladstone attended: "Staring down at him was a magnificent four-foot oil portrait of Disraeli by the brilliant society artist Sir John Millais. The picture was a work in progress, which gave it an added poignancy. More to the point, it was an obvious partner for a portrait of Gladstone completed two years earlier. Gladstone had been painted in right profile. Now Disraeli, in left profile, would catch his eye in artistic perpetuity. / Speaker after speaker at the dinner referred to Millais’ painting, and to its pair. Gladstone, who often struggled with social off-the-cuff remarks, was not prepared to speak on Disraeli. When he rose, he astonished the audience by remarking coldly of the portrait that ‘it is, indeed an unfinished work. In this sense it was a premature death.’ / ‘Made my speech,’ Gladstone wrote in his diary when he returned home: ‘this year especially difficult.’” (Aldous 5) Also, Victoria went to Hughenden, to the vault where Disraeli was buried, to pay her respects.

Here is the ILN's version of it: "Last Saturday her Majesty and Princess Beatrice drove through Rayner's Park, the residence of Sir Philip Rose, to Hughenden church, where they were recieved by Lord Rowton and the Rev. Henry and Mrs. Blagden, who conducted them to the tomb of the late Earl of Beaconsfield, where they placed a wreath and cross of flowers. The Queen afterwards proceeded to Hughenden Manor, and drove back to Windsor through High Wycombe. Princess Louise of Lorne and the Duchess of Connaught arrived at the castle early in the evening; and the Duke of Connaught and Prince Leopold arrived after attending the royal Academy dinner" ("The Court." Illustrated London News, Saturday, May 07, 1881; pg. 450; Issue 2190).

May 1881[edit | edit source]

1 May 1881, Sunday[edit | edit source]

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says, "I went to Westminster Abbey, which was crowded with a dense congregation, listening with rapt interest to an intellectual treat — a dissertation by Dean Stanley on Lord Beaconsfield. He selected a curious text: Judg. Xvi. 30: 'So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.' All the way through he coupled him with Gladstone, calling them the Great Twin Brethren. And I sat on the altar steps, at the foot of one of the columns, with the statues of the mightier rivals, Pitt and Fox, facing me, and listening to a magnificent anthem on King David, composed by Handel and finished by Goss, which had never been performed since the death of Wellington. …" (Journals 347).

“At a packed Westminster Abbey, Gladstone attended Disraeli’s [5] /[6] memorial service. The dean, Arthur Stanley, who had attended the same prep school as Gladstone, gave the address. His text was Judges 16:30: ‘So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.’ In the middle of the peroration, the dean unexpectedly combined Disraeli with (the still very much alive) Gladstone. They were, observed Stanley while the prime minister flushed and squirmed, the ‘Great Twin Brothers’ of British political life.” (Aldous 5-6) "So vivid was the impression made on that young mind [of Frederick Bridges, the Permanent Deputy-Organist of Westminster Abbey 1875-1882] by the dirge 'Know ye not that a Prince and a great man is fallen this day in Israel?' that when, twenty-nine years later, he had to prepare the music for the memorial service of Lord Beaconsfield, he suggested this anthem to Dean Stanley. Upon being told for what occasion it had been composed, the Dean observed that the death of Lord Beaconsfield had made a greater impression on the public mind than the death of any great man since Wellington. It is also interesting to record that this most appropriate dirge was sung at the Dean's own funeral in the Abbey, July 25, 1881." ("Sir Frederick Bridge," 514 Col A)

4 May 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

In the 30 April 1881 issue of the Illustrated London News, the "Home News" column says that "Mr. Russell Lowell, the United States Minister, will take the chair at the next anniversary dinner of the Literary Fund, which is to held [sic] at Willis's Rooms next Wednesday," which is probably Wednesday, 4 May 1881 ("Home News." Illustrated London News. Saturday, April 30, 1881; pg. 427; Issue 2189). George Augustus Sala, in his 14 May 1881 column "Echoes of the Week," says this: "I went, on Wednesday, the Fourth of May, to the annual festival, at Willis's Rooms, of the Royal Literary Fund. The American Minister, the Hon. James Russell Lowell, was in the chair. There was a large gathering; and I was glad to notice, among the usual assemblage of Peers, members of Parliament, dignified clerics, medical men, and publishers, a fair springling of working men of letters. Professional literature was represented by Mr. Leslie Stephen, Mr. Justin M'Carthy, Mr. Edund Yates, Mr. Blanchard Jerrold, Mr. Fraser Rae, and a few others; but I should have liked to see a great man more 'live authors' present. The Royal Literary Fund is a most admirable charity, generously, sagaciously, and delicately administered; and it is entitled to the support of every literary man. If he be a prosperous one, to help his less for-fortunate [sic; pb at hyphen] brethren, through the medium of this quietly beneficent institution, becomes a bounden duty. [new paragraph] Mr. James Russell Lowell made several speeches, full of tranquil humour adn refined scholarship. This Excellency, it is true, fathered on Swift a droll anecdote about a charity sermon, which anecdone, I believe, was first narrated in connection with the Rev. Rowland Hill; and again, from his interesting enumeration of American writers Mr. Lowell, oddly enough, omitted the names of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe. Whether he mentioned Bret Harte, Mark Twain, adn George W. Curtis, I am not quite certain. If am rather deaf. Sir Garnet Wolseley made a capital speech, delievered with ringing emphasis; Mr. Justin M'Carthy returned thanks with equal elegance and eloquence for English Literature; but the finest oratorical display of the evening was unquestionably that made by Lord Coleridge. It was splendidly polished and sonorous, in matter and in manner alike unimpeachable; and to listen to it was a rich literary treat. [new paragraph] One of the noble speakers at the top table, in responding to the toast of the House of Peers, quoted the names of Lords Bacon, Bolingbroke, Derby, Macaulay, Lytton, adn Beaconsfield as exemplifying the close connection between literature and politics. The noble speaker might have added to his list Lord Shaftesbury of the 'Characteristics,' two Lord Strangfords — the translator of the Lusiad and the accomplished peer but lately among us: Lord Lyttelton, the historian; Lords Brougham, Campbell, Dorset, Roscommon, Stanhope, and Orford. For did not Horace Walpole die an Earl? Finally, the noble speaker might have known that there was never a 'Lord' Bacon. There was a wonderful genius by the name of Sir Francis Bacon, Baron Veralum adn Viscount St. Albans. Those who study with love and reverence his immortal works would blush to call him 'Lord' Bacon. They speak of him as 'Bacon,' or as he, with simple dignity, was wont to speak of himsef, 'Francis of Veralum.'" (Sala, George Augustus. "Echoes of the Week." Illustrated London News, Saturday, May 14, 1881; pg. 467; Issue 2191)

June 1881[edit | edit source]

1 June 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

Derby Day.

According to the Morning Post, <quote>The Marchioness of Salisbury's assembly. / Lady Mary Windsor Clive's dance. / The Hon. Mrs. Magniac's dance, instead of the 31st inst. / Mrs. Millais's dance. / Art exhibition at River House, Chelsea Embankment (by kind permission of the Hon. Mrs. John Dundas), in behalf of recreation rooms for working girls in the East of London, and the following day. / Derby Day.</quote> ("Arrangements for This Day." The Morning Post Wednesday, 1 June 1881: p. 5 [of 8], Col. 6B).

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says, "Went to Buckingham Palace to see Princess Christian, and with her and Lady Marian Alford to a Domestic Economy Congress meeting; brought her back to luncheon with Emmy Hamilton, Louisa Gordon, and Mr. Leveson, after which I drove with Nora and took her to a Derby tea at Mrs. Lloyd's. Iroquois, an American horse, won. We dined with Lady Lyveden, and went on to a pleasant party at Lady Salisbury's, where I was introduced to Sir Richard Temple, the author of India in 1880, and about the ugliest man whom I ever saw. But he is clever and agreeable, and I am pleased at the testimony he bears to the success of missions in India, which people are so ready to decry" (Journals 148).

15 June 1881, Wednesday[edit | edit source]

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says she and Sir Knightley "went to a party given by the Spencers at South Kensington Museum, where were all the world and his wife, including the King of the Sandwich Islands, who walked about arm in arm with the Princess of Wales. The courts were lighted with electric light, which has a peculiar and not very becoming effect" (Journals 348-49).

16 June 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

In her Journals, Lady Knightley says, "We had a most delightful drive to Wimbledon on Lord Tollemache's coach, taking with us Princess Mary's two nice boys. We came in for the Lords and Commons match, and had tea with 'my beautiful lady,' Lady Brownlow .... We met the Crown Prince of Germany to-night at Ishbel Aberdeen's, and Princess Frederica at Londonderry House. I was presented to her" (Journals 348-49).

July[edit | edit source]

14 July 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

Thursday afternoon, beginning about 2 p.m., Garden Party at Marlborough House for the Queen; Arthur Collins is listed as having been invited, as are Mrs. Ronalds, Arthur Sullivan, and a number other familiar names ( Ronald, Lord Gower says, "A garden party at Marlborough House. The Queen present, evidently suffering from the intense heat. I noticed Her Majesty talking much to John Bright" (8).

18 July 1881, Monday[edit | edit source]

Ronald, Lord Gower says, "I made the acquaintance, at a dinner at the Cardross's, of Howard Vincent, who, although but a little over thirty is already at the head of the detective force, and has published half a dozen books. He works all day, and dances half the night" (8).

19 July 1881, Tuesday[edit | edit source]

Ronald, Lord Gower says, "on waking, one heard the bells of the Abbey tolling, Dean Stanley having died during the night. He is a greater loss to the Queen than to the Church" (8).

Ronald, Lord Gower says, "To a fancy dress dance at Lowther Lodge that night. The dance, and Lord Houghton in a skull cap, were both successful and picturesque" (8).

August 1881[edit | edit source]

29 August 1881, Monday[edit | edit source]

Summer Bank Holiday.

September[edit | edit source]

October 1881[edit | edit source]

10 October 1881, Monday[edit | edit source]

"Savoy Theatre, erected for Mr. D'Oyly Carte by Mr. C. J. Phipps, opened 10 Oct. 1881" (Hayden's Dictionary 1104).

November[edit | edit source]

December 1881[edit | edit source]

15 December 1881, Thursday[edit | edit source]

The first performance was in the afternoon. The advertisement announcing the performance says this: <quote>THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET.— A MORNING PERFORMANCE (for which Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft have given the use of their theatre) will take place on Thursday next, December 15, commencing at 3 o'clock, in AID of the ROYAL GENERAL THEATRICAL FUND, under the patronage of their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales. Goldsmith's comedy of SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER will be played. Mrs. Langtry has kindly consented to take the part of Miss Hardcastle. Messrs. Lionel Brough, Kyrle Bellow, George Barrett, J. Maclean, M. R. Crauford, F. Barsby, A. Bishop, Lestocq, Raiemond, Haines, &c; Mesdames Sophie Larkin, Helen Cresswell, and Mary Brough have generously proffered their valuable services (by permission of their respective managers).</quote> "The Times may be Purchased in Paris,." Times [London, England] 9 Dec. 1881: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 May 2013.

The review, published on the 16th, says this: <quote>When we say that yesterday's representation was eminently successful, we are paying the highest compliment to the performers who principally contributed to this result. Foremost among these was Mrs. Langtry, who, it would be affectation to conceal, was the grand attraction of the piece — the attraction which brought together one of the most distinguished audiences that have recently assembled in a theatre. The house overflowed with rank, fashion, and celebrity, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, who are rarely absent when a praiseworthy purpose is to be forwarded or a kind action to be done. The proceeds of the representation, it will be remembered, were to go in aid of the funds of an excellent institution. High-raised as the general expectations might have been, they were not disappointed.</quote> "The Haymarket Theatre." Times [London, England] 16 Dec. 1881: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 May 2013..

Works Cited[edit | edit source]

  • Ewald, Alexander Charles. The Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, K.G., and His Times. Vol. 2. London: William Mackenzie, 1884. Google Books. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  • Hayden's Dictionary of Dates and Universal Information Relating to All Ages. Ed., Benjamin Vincent. 23rd Edition, Containing the History of the World to the End of 1903. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904. Page 1104. Google Books, retrieved 23 February 2010.
  • Irving, Joseph. Annals of Our Time: A Diurnal of Events, Social and Political Home and Foreign: From February 24, 1871, to the Jubilee, June 20, 1887. London: Macmillan, 1889. Google Books. Retrieved 14 February 2010. [Google citation says Volume 2, but I don’t see it on the title page or anywhere around.]
  • Kebbel, T. [Thomas] E. [Edward] Life of Lord Beaconsfield. International Statesmen Series. Ed., Lloyd C. Sanders. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1888. Google Books. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  • Knightly.
  • “Sir Frederick Bridge.” The Musical Times and Singing-Class Circular. Vol. XXXVIII. London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1897. JSTOR. Google Books, retrieved 14 February 2010. [Get page numbers: 513 or so -]
  • Redesdale, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, Baron. Memories. Vol. 2. 9th edition. London: Hutchinson, 1916. Google Books, retrieved 15 February 2010.