A Blupete Biography Page

Dates & Events During Leigh Hunt's Life
Leigh Hunt

  • October 19th: Leigh Hunt is born.

  • The outbreak of the French Revolution.

  • Leigh Hunt's first year at Christ Hospital.

  • January: Louis XVI is beheaded.
  • February 1st: War breaks out between France and England; it runs pretty much continually (the Napoleonic Wars) for the next 23 years.
  • Habeas Corpus suspended, and the Traitorous Correspondence Act was passed.
  • Godwin's Political Justice appears.

  • With Bonaparte having successfully invaded Italy, Spain coming in on the side of France, and Austria retiring from the war -- France was left without an enemy on the continent and England without an ally. England, fearing an invasion, withdrew her ships from the Mediterranean.

  • Coleridge with Wordsworth bring out Lyrical Ballads.
  • August: Nelson destroyed Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile.

  • Leigh Hunt, at age 15, takes his leave of Christ Hospital.

  • In 1802, the Treaty of Amiens is signed.
  • Brougham, Smith, Jeffrey and Horner establish the Edinburgh Review.

  • The peace between France and Great Britain lasted but a mere thirteen months. During those months, in seems, Britain went about the business thinking they had something more permanent reducing its armed forces: France on the other hand used the period to retrench.

  • Napoleon becomes emperor of France.
  • The Code Napoleon, that "Draconian work and leveller of all class distinctions" is promulgated in 1804.

  • The "Third Coalition" against France is formed: Russia and Austria throw in with Britain.
  • October 21st: Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. By this event, both the French and Spanish navies were annihilated, and, the danger of any invasion which all of England had anticipated, passed.
  • In December of 1805, the Battle of Austerlitz took place (Austerlitz is a place located in modern day Czechoslovakia). Napoleon decisively defeated the armies of Russia and Austria, each with its emperor at its head.
  • London, Morning Post, June 15th, 1805: "The shop of Lardner and Co., the corner of the Albany, Piccadilly, is illuminated every evening with Carbonated Hydrogen Gas, obtained from the decomposition of Coals. It produces a much more brilliant light than either oil or tallow, and proves, in a striking manner, the advantages to be derived from so valuable an application."
  • Byron enters Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • Leigh Hunt joined his brother in editing a newspaper called The News.

  • By a proclamation, dated Berlin, November 21st, 1806, Napoleon declares that the British Isles are in a state of blockade; further, that all letters going to, or coming from England, are not to be forwarded, and all those written in English are to be suppressed; and further, that trade in English goods is to be rigorously prohibited.
  • Great Britain abolishes the Slave Trade.

  • Robert Fulton's Clermont proves the practicality of steam power for river craft.

  • The Hunt brothers involved themselves in a new journalistic effort, a political weekly, the Examiner, the first number of which appeared January 3rd.

  • In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe.
  • John Murray founds the Quarterly Review, with William Gifford as its editor.
  • Leigh's father, Isaac Hunt, dies at age 57.
  • July 3rd: Leigh Hunt marries Marianne: she was 21 and he was 25.

  • George III ill; his son, the Duke of Wales (1762-1830) takes over as the Prince Regent; in 1820, on his father's death, he becomes George IV.
  • September, 10th: Thornton, Hunt's oldest son, was born.

  • January: The Hunt brothers were acquitted of seditious libel.
  • William Hazlitt lists the Questions of the Day: "Our colonial policy, prison discipline, the state of the Hulks, agricultural distress, commerce and manufactures, the Bullion question, the Catholic question, the Bourbons or the Inquisition, 'domestic treason, [and] foreign levy'" ("Mr. Brougham -- Sir F. Burdett.")
  • May: Prime Minister Perceval, assassinated.
  • Liverpool becomes the English Prime Minister.
  • On 18 June, 1812: President Madison and the American Congress declares war on Britain.
  • General election in Britain.
  • Byron Donkin builds (tin plate having been invented in 1810) the first canning factory in England, his principal orders come from the Royal Navy.

  • In England 13 "Luddites" are hung at the York Assizes.
  • February 3rd: The Hunt brothers are convicted of libeling the Prince Regent and are sent off to prison for two years.
  • News comes to England of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow; and, his struggle to retain hold of central Europe.
  • During forty days in May and June, the British troops drive the French armies over the Pyrenees and out of Spain; Napoleon's back is broken by the military and diplomatic actions of Wellington and Castlereagh.
  • Southey becomes Poet Laureate and is so until 1843.

  • April: Paris is captured and Bonaparte abdicates.

  • February 3rd: The prison terms of both Hunt brothers end.
  • March 1st, Napoleon returns from Elba and the "Hundred Days" begin.
  • June 18th, The Battle of Waterloo.
  • Unemployed ex-servicemen walk the streets.

  • Hunt's narrative poem, "The Story of Rimini," is published.
  • December 1st: Hunt writes in his Examiner on "Young Poets," including those now in his circle, Shelley and Keats.
  • The war against the Radical Press in England heats up; Habeas Corpus Act is suspended for a whole year as a result of the Spa Fields Riot on December 16th, 1816.

  • Cobbett flees to America.
  • Coleridge publishes Biographia Literaria.
  • Hunt publishes The Round Table, a collection of essays that he and William Hazlitt had written.
  • October: John Gibson Lockhart, then, but age 23, at Edinburgh, with his platform being Blackwood's Magazine, a Tory magazine, fulminates against "The Cockney School of Poetry."

  • Unrest in England, with the Northern and Midland radicals causing sporadic violence and attacks on mills.
  • March 10th: Shelley leaves for Italy.

  • "Peterloo": On August 16th, 1819, "an orderly and unarmed crowed of about 60,000 men, women and children" assemble in support of universal suffrage, in St. Peter's Fields, Manchester. They were there to hear the speaker, Radical Hunt (not, I think, related). The magistrates, in a move to arrest the speaker, order the cavalry in: "eleven persons, including two women, were killed or died of their injuries; over a hundred were wounded by sabres and several hundred more injured by horse-hoofs or crushed in the stampede."
  • September 28th: Marianne Hunt give birth to a sixth child, a boy
  • A Factory Bill prohibiting children under the age of nine to work in cotton mills is passed in 1819; this is the first of a series of parliamentary bills which were to be passed over the next forty years in a process of law reform which was first prompted by the writings of the legal philosopher, Jeremy Bentham.

  • January 29: George III dies, George IV (1762-1830) takes the throne, due to his father's derangement he had been the Prince Regent since 1810.
  • Thistlewood's planned insurrection in February of 1820; hung May 1st.
  • In June Caroline, George IV estranged wife, returns to England and the Caroline Crisis ensues; it "swallowed up every other topic from June to November."
  • September 30th: Keats, seriously ill, with his friend, the painter, Joseph Severn, sail from England arriving at Naples on the 21st October.
  • Benjamin West (1738-1820), the Neoclassical Painter, historical painter to the English court, died.

  • February: Keats dies in Italy.
  • The coronation of George IV takes place on July 19th.
  • Caroline dies on August 7th, 1821.
  • De Quincey published in the London Magazine his essay, Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
  • The trial of the Queen; the coronation; the death of Queen Caroline; the second expedition of Parry to the Polar discoveries; and the insurrections in Greece -- cover the columns of the periodicals.
  • November: The Hunt family make their first attempt to sail to Italy; but, due to stormy weather in the English Channel, the family is forced to go back ashore in England.

  • January: Shelley and Byron send money from Italy to Hunt, so, he and his family might be able to follow through on their plans to go to Italy.
  • May 13th: The Hunt family boards another sailing vessel; they finally touch at Genoa on June 15th; staying with the vessel, on the first of July the family arrives at Leghorn.
  • July 8th: Shelley dies in Italy as a result of a sailing accident.

  • July 17th: Byron, with Trelawny and others, depart for Greece.
  • April 19th: At the age of 36, Byron dies at Missolonghi, Greece.

  • September: Hunt and his family depart overland for Calais; on October 12th, the family in order to cross the Channel took a "steamboat" at Calais.

  • Hunt's young son, Swinburne, dies.

  • In London a exhibition specifically devoted to machinery is held.

  • Sir Robert Peel's police make their appearance in London; before this time public tranquillity was maintained by the military forces. With "Peelers" there now existed "an efficient civilian force, of non-partisan character, and armed only with staves.

  • June 22, George IV dies and William IV, the popular sailor king takes the throne.
  • Hazlitt dies.

  • The Reform Bill.
  • Bentham dies.
  • Scott dies.
  • Darwin sails on the Beagle.

  • Coleridge dies.
  • Lamb dies.

  • Hunt's The Book of Gems is published; in this work first appeared "Abou Ben Adhem."

  • Southey dies.
  • Wordsworth is appointed the poet laureate.

  • Hunt's Imagination and Fancy is published and which has been reprinted many times since. Its object was to present the public with some of the finest passages in English poetry, marked and commented upon. In this work Hunt sets out passages from Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Milton, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats: for these last two he saved his most sweet tributes.

  • The crown grants a yearly pension to Hunt of £200.
  • September 7th: Leigh Hunt's brother, John, dies.

  • Hunt comes out with his Autobiography.

  • Hunt's youngest son, Vincent, who lived with his father and who was Hunt's best companion in his later years, and of so much help, died.

  • Marianne Hunt, at age 69, dies.

  • August 28th: Leigh Hunt, at age 75, dies.

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