(Copyright 2004, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.  DO NOT REPRODUCE or distribute without permission.) 

For a more comprehensive list, including a Year by Year timeline, see our Research Guide.

Sept 1st. . .

1159--Adrian IV, the only English pope, died.

1557--Jacques Cartier, French explorer of North America, died.

1666--Frans Hals, Dutch portrait painter, died.

1715--Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, died.

1729--Sir Richard Steele, Irish-born essayist and founder of the Tatler magazine, died in Wales.

1830--Sarah J. Hales published a poem in Boston entitled 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'.

1854--Engelbert Humperdinck, German composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel, born.

1875--Edgar Rice Burroughs, US novelist and creator of Tarzan, born.

1866--'Gentleman Jim' Corbett, US heavyweight championship boxer, born.


Sept 2nd. . .

1645--Lady Alice Lisle was beheaded for harboring a Non-conformist minister.

1666--The Great Fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane. It would destroy 13,000 homes in four days.

1726--John Howard, English prison reformer, born.

1752--The Julian calendar was used in Britain and its Colonies for the last time, with the following day becoming September 14 in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, which other European countries used.

1834--Thomas Telford, Scottish engineer and canal and bridge builder, died.

1841--Hirobumi, Prince Ito, Japanese statesman and political reformer, born.

1850--Eugene Field, American poet, journalist and humorist, born.

1858--The song 'The Yellow Rose of Texas' was copyrighted in New York by an anonymous J.K..


Sept 3rd. . .

1189--Following the death of his father Henry II, Richard the Lionheart is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in London.

1650--Cromwell defeated the Scots at the Second battle of Dunbar.

1658--Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, died of pneumonia.

1728--Matthew Boulton, English engineer, born.

1752--The Gregorian Calendar was introduced into Britain. This day of September 3 on the Julian Calendar became 14 September.

1783--In Paris, Britain recognized U.S. independence with the signing of a treaty, ending the War of Independence.

1860--Edward Albert Filene, Boston merchant and philanthropist, born.

1883--Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Russian novelist and playwright, died.


Sept 4th. . .

1733--The first lioness in Britain died in the Tower of London of old age.

1736--Robert Raikes, English founder of the Sunday School movement, born.

1768--Vicomte Francois Rene de Chateaubriand, French writer and statesman and noted gourmet, born.

1824--Anton Bruckner, Austrian composer and organist, born.

1848--Richard Rogers Bowker, American editor, author and publisher and one of the founders of the American Library Association, born.

1870--The Emperor Napoleon III, Bonaparte's nephew, was deposed and the Third republic was proclaimed.

1871--New York municipal government at Tammany Hall was accused of widespread corruption.

1893--Beatrix Potter sent an illustrated note to the son of her governess, in which for the first time she introduced Peter Rabbit.


Sept 5th. . .

1569--Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Flemish painter, died.

1585--Cardinal Richelieu, French churchman and statesman, born.

1638--Louis XIV, King of France, called the Sun King because of his prestige and patronage, born.

1735--Johann Christian Bach, German composer and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, born.

1774--The First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.

1791--Giacomo Meyerbeer, German composer, born.

1800--French troops occupying Malta surrendered to the British.

1826--John Wisden, English cricketeer, born.

1831--Victorien Sardou, French playwright of Fedora, born.

1847--Jesse James, legendary American outlaw, born.


Sept 6th. . .

1522--The Vittoria sailed into San Lucar harbor in Spain after completing the first circumnavigation of the world. Only 17 surviving crew returned with only one of five ships.

1566--Suleiman I the Magnificent, Ottoman ruler, died.

1620--English emigrants numbering 101 set sail from Plymouth in the Mayflower to found the colony of Plymouth in New England.

1666--The Great Fire of London was finally extinguished.

1757--Marquis de Lafayette, French statesman and soldier, born.

1766--John Dalton, English chemist and physicist, born.

1852--The first free lending library in Britain opened in Manchester.

1876--John James Rickard Macleod, Scottish physiologist, born.

1879--The first British telephone exchange opened in Lombard Street, London.

1888--Joseph Kennedy, U.S. founder of the dynasty that gave America its first Catholic president, born.


Sept 7th. . .

1533--Elizabeth I, Queen of England, born to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

1548--Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife, died in childbirth.

1677--Stephen Hales, English botanist and inventor, born.

1726--Francois Andre Philidor, French composer of Tom Jones, born.

1735--Thomas Coutts, Scottish banker, born.

1812--Napoleon's forces defeated the Russians at the Battle of Borodino.

1815--John McDouall Stuart, Scottish explorer of Australia, born.

1838--The steamship Forfarshire struck rocks near the Longstone Lighthouse off Northumberland's coast. The lighthouse-keeper's daughter, Grace Darling, rowed a mile in the storm to rescue four men and a woman, becoming a British heroine and legend.

1860--Anna Mary Robertson 'Grandma' Moses, U.S. painter, born.


Sept 8th. . .

1157--Richard I, King of England known as the Lion Heart, born.

1474--Ludovico Ariosto, Italian epic and lyric poet, born.

1560--Amy Robsart, wife of the Earl of Leicester, died from a fall. It was suspected that she was pushed, for soon after, the earl became an active suitor to Queen Elizabeth.

1664--The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam surrendered to the British. The town would be renamed New York in 1669.

1784--Ann Lee, English-born leader of the Shakers, died.

1830--Frederic Mistral, French poet, born.

1841--Antonin Dvorak, Czech composer, born.

1853--George Bradshaw, English publisher of railway guides, died.

1886--Public diggings for gold were permitted in Witwatersrand, so thousands flocked to the town which was founded this day as Johannesburg.


Sept 9th. . .

1087--William the Conqueror died in France from injuries he sustained after a fall from his horse.

1513--James IV, King of Scotland, died at the Battle of Flodden Field.

1583--Sir Humphrey Gilbert, English explorer, drowned when his frigate Squirrel sank off the Azores.

1585--Cardinal de Richelieu, French statesman and Chief Minister, born.

1737--Luigi Galvani, Italian scientist who gave his name to 'galvanism', born.

1754--William Bligh, English captain of the Bounty, born.

1828--Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, Russian novelist, born.

1835--Modern local government came into being when the British Municipal Corporations Act came into force.

1850--California became the 31st state of the Union.


Sept 10th. . .

1608--Captain John Smith, English adventurer, was elected council president of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America.

1624--Thomas Sydenham, physician known as the 'English Hippocrates', born.

1727--Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Italian Rococo painter, born.

1753--Sir John Soane, English neo-classical architect who built the Bank of England, born.

1771--Mungo Park, Scottish surgeon and explorer, born.

1813--The Americans defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie.

1855--Robert Koldewey, German archeologist who discovered Babylon, born.

1894--London taxi driver George Smith became the first person to be convicted for drunken driving.


Sept 11th. . .

1297--Sir William Wallace defeated the army of Edward I at the battle of Stirling Bridge.

1524--Pierre de Ronsard, French poet, born.

1700--James Thompson, Scottish poet who wrote 'Rule Brittania', born.

1711--William Boyce, English composer, born.

1777--The British defeated the American troops under George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine Creek in the War of Independence.

1841--The London to Brighton commuter express train began regular service, taking just 105 minutes.

1862--O. Henry, U.S. short story writer of contrived stories with a twist in the tale, born.

1885--D. H. Lawrence, English coal miner's son and controversial novelist, born.


Sept 12th. . .

1733--Francois Couperin, French musician, died.

1812--Richard Marsh Hoe, U.S. inventor of the rotary printing press, born in England.

1814--Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British forces, and was inspired to write a poem, 'The Star Spangled Banner, which would become America's national anthem.

1818--Richard Jordan Gatling, U.S. inventor of the Gatling gun which he patented in 1862, born.

1852--Herbert Henry Asquith, British Liberal Prime Minister, born.

1869--Dr. Peter Mark Roget, compiler of his Thesaurus, died.

1878--Cleopatra's Needle, the obelisk of Thothmes III, was erected on London's Thames Embankment.

1880--H.L. Mencken, American journalist, born.

1888--Maurice Chevalier, French entertainer and actor, born.


Sept 13th. . .

490BC--The Greeks defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.

1735--Oliver Evans, U.S. inventor of high-pressure steam engines, born.

1759--General Wolfe, British commander, died in battle against the French on the Plains of Abraham.

1788--New York City became the federal capital of the U.S..

1806--Charles James Fox, English statesman who was about to introduce a bill abolishing slavery, died.

1819--Clara Schumann, German pianist, born.

1845--The Knickerbocker Club, the first baseball club, was founded in New York.

1857--Milton Snaveley Hershey, U.S. manufacturer who built the world's largest chocolate factory in 1903, born.

1894--J.B. Priestley, English novelist and playwright, born.


Sept 14th. . .

258AD--St. Cyprian, bishop of Cartage, was condemned to death and beheaded on orders of the emperor Valerian.

1321--Dante Alighieri, Italian poet of The Divine Comedy, was buried at Ravenna.

1752--The Gregorian Calendar, introduced into Britain on the 3rd, lost 11 days and became the 14th.

1759--The earliest dated board game, A Journey Through Europe, or The Play of Geography, was sold by its inventor, John Jeffreys from his house in Chapel Street.

1769--Baron von Humboldt, German scientist, born.

1812--Napoleon entered Moscow which was abandoned by the Russians following their scorched earth policy. A fire broke out later this day, destroying a large part of the city.

1851--James Fennimore Cooper, U.S. novelist of Last of the Mohicans, died.

1852--The Duke of Wellington, English commander and victor over Napoleon at Waterloo, died.

1867--Charles Dana Gibson, U.S. artist and creator of the 'Gibson' girl, born.


Sept 15th. . .

53AD--Trajan, Roman emperor who enlarged the empire, born in Spain.

1649--Titus Oates, English Anglican priest who invented a 'Popish Plot' to create an anti-Catholic backlash, born.

1789--James Fenimore Cooper, U.S. novelist of Last of the Mohicans, born.

1830--The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened. Also, William Huskinson became the first person killed by a train when he stepped out on to what appeared to be an empty track.

1857--William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President, born.

1859--Isambard Kingdom Brunel, British engineer, died.

1864--John Hanning Speke, discoverer of Lake Victoria, died.

1871--The Army and Navy Co-operative began their first mail order business to meet the needs of members overseas.

1890--Agatha Christie, English crime writer, born.


Sept 16th. . .

1387--Henry V, King of England, born in Wales.

1498--Thomas de Torquemada, Dominican monk who was the feared and hated Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, died.

1620--The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, bound for America.

1630--The village of Shawmut, Mass., changed its name to Boston.

1685--John Gay, English poet and playwright of The Beggar's Opera, born.

1736--Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist, died.

1810--Mexicans began a revolt against Spanish rule.

1824--Louis XVIII, King of France, died.

1847--The United Shakespeare Company bought the house in which Shakespeare was born at Stratford-Upon-Avon.

1857--The song 'Jingle Bells' was copyrighted under the title "one Horse Open Sleigh' by Jane Pierpont of Boston.

1861--The Post Office Savings Banks opened in Britain.

1875--James Cash Penney, department store founder, born.


Sept 17th. . .

1701--King James II of England, last Stuart monarch, died.

1730--Frederick William, Baron von Steuben, Prussian officer in American who reorganized the army, born.

1787--The U.S. Constitution was approved and signed.

1868-- The nation's six-year-old currency agency was officially christened as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on this day..

1877--William Henry Fox Talbot, English photographic pioneer, died.

1883--William Carlos Williams, U.S. poet and physician, born.


Sept 18th. . .

1634--Anne Hutchinson, the first female religious leader in the American colonies, arrives at the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1709--Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and author of his Dictionary, born.

1793--George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol in Washington D.C..

1820--In a race between horse and machine, Tom Thumb, the first steam locomotive built in America, loses to the horse in a nine-mile course from Riley's Tavern to Baltimore, Maryland.

1850--The second Fugitive Slave Law is passed by Congress.

1851--The New York Times was published for the first time.

1862--General McClellan held back General Lee's invasion of the North at Antietam in the American Civil War.

1866--One of the first 'private eyes', Nick Carter, appeared in the New York Weekly, in a story entitled The Odd Detective Pupil. Over 1,000 Nick Carter stories were published afterward.

1879--The Blackpool illuminations were switched on for the first time.


Sept 19th. . .

1356--The English, under Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers in the Hundred Years War.

1783--Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI watched the Montgolfier brothers achieve the first manned hot air balloon ascent.

1802--Lajos Kossuth, Hungarian patriot who proclaimed Hungarian independence of the Hapsburg rule, born.

1812--Meyer Amschel Rothschild, German founder of a banking dynasty, died.

1839--George Cadbury, Quaker and chocolate manufacturer, born.

1851--William Hesketh Lever, first Viscount Leverhulme and soap manufacturer, born.

1876--Melville Bissell, U.S. inventor, patented the carpet sweeper.

1881--James Abram Garfield, 20th U.S. president, died.

1888--The world's first beauty contest took place in Belgium.

1893--New Zealand granted women citizens the right to vote, the first nation to confer this right.


Sept 20th. . .

331BC--Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, joined battle with Darius for possession of the Persian empire.

1258--Salisbury cathedral was consecrated.

1519--Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Seville with his fleet of five ships in an attempt to circumnavigate the world.

1803--Robert Emmet, Irish patriot, hanged for his part in trying to seize Dublin Castle.

1842--Sir James Dewar, Scottish physicist and chemist who invented the vacuum flask, born.

1854--The Battle of Alma, fought by the British against the Russians in the Crimean War, produced six winners of the Victoria Cross.

1863--Jakob Grimm, German philologist and collector of folk tales with his brother Wilhelm, died.

1869--Sir George Robey, English comedian and music hall star, born.

1878--Upton Sinclair, U.S. author of 80 books, born.


Sept 21st. . .

19BC--Virgil, epic Roman poet, died.

1327--Edward II, deposed and imprisoned King of England, was murdered in the dungeon of Berkeley Castle.

1411--Richard Plantagenet, third Duke of York, born.

1452--Girolamo Savonarola, Italian preacher and church reformer, born.

1645--Louis Jolliet, French fur trader and explorer of the Mississippi with Marquette, born.

1745--Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army defeated the English at the Battle of Prestonpans in Scotland.

1756--John Loudon McAdam, Scottish roadmaking engineer and inventor of the macadam road surface, born.

1832--Sir Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist, died.

1866--H.G. Wells, English author whose work The Time Machine pioneered science fiction, born.


Sept 22nd. . .

1515--Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, born.

1735--Sir Robert Walpole became the first prime minister to occupy 10 Downing Street.

1776--Nathan Hale, American revolutionary, hanged by the British for spying.

1791--Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist, born.

1827--Joseph Smith, future founder of the Mormons, announced that he had received golden plates from an angel.

1828--Shaka, Zulu chief, assassinated by his two half-brothers to end his psychotic behavior.

1862--Lincoln issued the preliminary proclamation freeing the slaves.

1880--Dame Christabel Pankhurst, English suffragette, born.

1888--At the Electrical Conference in Paris, the terms 'ohm', 'volt' and 'ampere' were agreed.


Sept 23rd. . .

63BC--Gaius Octavius Caesar, first Roman emperor, born.

1779--In a naval battle during the American revolutionary Way, Scottish-born John Paul Jones scored a victory. It was during this encounter he uttered the phrase, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

1780--British agent John Andre was captured and hanged by the Americans during the Revolutionary War. He was carrying information that Benedict Arnold was about to betray his countrymen.

1803--Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) was victorious in his first major engagement at the battle of Assaye in India.

1819--Armand Hippolyte Louis, French physicist, born.

1846--Astronomer Johann Galle discovered the planet Neptune.

1865--Baroness Orczy, Hungarian novelist and playwright who created 'the Scarlet Pimpernel,' born.

1889--Wilkie Collins, English author of the first British detective story, The Woman in White, died.


Sept 24th. . .

1717--Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Orford and author of The Castle of Otranto, born.

1755-- John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, born.

1776--The St. Leger horse race was run for the first time at Doncaster.

1789-- President George Washington appointed six people to the first Supreme Court of the United States, with John Jay of New York serving as Chief Justice.

1842--Bramwell Bronte, brother of the Bronte sisters, died of drugs and drink. He was the model for the drunkard Hindley Earnshaw in Wuthering Weights.

1852--The first hydrogen-filled airship made its maiden flight at Versailles.

1896--F. Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. novelist of The Great Gatsby, born.


Sept 25th. . .

1680--Samuel Butler, English poet, writer and satirist, died.

1683--Jeanne Philippe Rameau, French composer, born.

1690--The first newspaper in the U.S., Publick Occurences, Both Foreign and Domestic, was published in Boston.

1818--The first blood transfusion using human blood took place at Guy's Hospital, London.

1843--Melvyn Reuben Bissell, U.S. inventor of the carpet sweeper, born.

1849--Johann Strauss the elder, Austrian composer, died.

1852--Field Marshal Sir John French, first Earl of Ypres, born.

1897--William Faulkner, U.S. novelist and Nobel Prize winner, born.

1897--Britain's first motor bus service started in Bradford.


Sept 26th. . .

1580--The Golden Hind sailed into Plymouth under Sir Francis Drake, having sailed around the world in 33 months.

1687--The Parthenon was severely damaged when a mortar bomb set off gunpowder supplies inside.

1769--The body of Honoretta Pratt was burned in an open grave at St. George's Burial ground, the first recorded cremation in Britain.

1820--Daniel Boone, U.S. frontiersman, died.

1833--Charles Bradlaugh, English social reformer and MP, born.

1861--Tom Morris won the first British Open at Prestwick.

1887--Emile Berliner was granted a patent for his Gramophone.

1888--T.S. Eliot, poet and critic, born in America.

1898--George Gershwin, U.S. composer who worked with lyricist brother Ira, born.


Sept 27th. . .

1540--The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuit Order, received its first written approval and charter from Pope Paul III.

1722--Samuel Adams, American revolutionary who helped plan the Boston Tea Party, born.

1792--George Cruikshank, English illustrator and caricaturist, born.

1825--The Stockton and Darlington Railway ran its first train on the 27-mile track, averaging 10 m.p.h, and inaugurating the world's first public railway system.

1840--Thomas Nast, American illustrator, painter and political cartoonist, born in Germany.

1862--Louis Botha, first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, born.

1879--Cyril Scott, English composer, born.

1888--The Central News Agency in London received a letter using the name 'Jack the Ripper' for the first time.


Sept 28th. . .

48BC--Pompey the Great, Roman statesman, was murdered in Egypt while seeking asylum.

1573--Caravaggio, Italian Baroque painter, born.

1745--A new patriotic song, 'God Save the King' was sung at Drury Lane in London, in response to a threat from the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie.

1769--'Gentleman John' Jackson, English pugilist who got boxing accepted as a legitimate sport, born.

1789--Richard Bright, English physician and discoverer of the kidney disorder 'Bright's Disease', born.

1803--Prosper Merimee, French playwright and author of Carmen, born.

1856--Kate Wiggin, American author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, born.

1891--Herman Melville, U.S. novelist of Moby Dick, died.

1894--Polish immigrant Simon Marks and Yorkshireman Tom Spencer opened their Penny Bazaar in Manchester.


Sept 29th. . .

106BC--Pompey the Great, Roman statesman, born.

1399--The first British monarch to abdicate, Richard II, was replaced by Henry IV.

1518--Tintoretto, Italian painter of The Ascension, born.

1547--Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish playwright and novelist of Don Quixote, born.

1725--Robert Clive, Baron Clive of Plassey, who defeated the Indian forces in Bengal, born.

1758--Horatio Nelson, Viscount, British naval commander, born.

1789--The U.S. War Department established a regular army.

1810--Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell, English novelist, born.

1829--London's reorganized police force, Scotland Yard, went on duty.

1885--The first electric street trams in Britain ran in Blackpool.


Sept 30th. . .

1630--John Billington, one of the signers of the Pilgrims' compact, becomes the first criminal executed in the American colonies when he is hanged for murder for fatally shooting fellow-colonist John Newcomin.

1772--James Brindley, English engineer and canal builder, died.

1788--Lord Raglan, British field marshal whose inexperience led to the disastrous 'Charge of the Light Brigade' in the Crimean War, born.

1791--The first performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute, took place in Vienna.

1832--Lord Roberts, British commander-in-chief of the British forces in the Boer War, born.

1852--Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer, born.

1882--Hans Geiger, German scientist who invented the Geiger counter, born.

1888--Jack the Ripper killed two women in London's East End in the early hours--Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.