On this day in British History: January 13th

The best-loved version of Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond

The best-loved version of Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond who was born on this day in 1926

1691 The death of George Fox, English founder of the religious group of the Society of Friends, (the Quakers). He was interred in the Nonconformists’ burying ground at Bunhill Fields in London, in the presence of thousands of mourners.

1832 The death of Thomas Lord, English professional cricketer and founder of Lord’s Cricket Ground in 1787. He is buried in the churchyard of St. John’s Church at West Meon in Hampshire.

1842 Dr. William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the British East India Company Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War is famous for being the only member of an army of 4,500 men and 12,000 civilians to survive a massacre after the army’s long retreat from Kabul. He safely reached the British sentry post at Jalalabad, Afghanistan ‘On This Day’. The episode was made the subject of a famous painting by the Victorian artist Lady Butler, who portrayed an exhausted Dr. Brydon approaching the gates of the Jalalabad fort perched on his dying horse. The painting is titled Remnants of an Army.

1893 The birth of a new political party in Britain when James Keir Hardie and others formed the Independent Labour Party. It was an action that worried the Liberals, who were afraid that the new party might, at some point in the future, win the working-class votes that they traditionally received. The last Independent Labour Party MP joined the Labour Party itself in 1948.

1908 Henry Farman, born in Paris and the son of an English newspaper correspondent, won the Deutsch-Archdeacon prize for the first heavier than air aircraft flight to cover a circuit of at least 1 Km. On 29th March he became the first to take passenger into the air, and on 30th October, Farman went on to make the first cross-country flight in Europe, flying from Châlons to Rheims (a distance of 27 kilometres in 20 minutes).

1926 The birth of Michael Bond, English children’s writer and creator of ‘Paddington Bear’. Whilst working as a BBC television cameraman Bond had his first book published, ‘A Bear Called Paddington’. It was the start of Bond’s most famous series of books, telling the tales of a bear from ‘Darkest Peru’, whose Aunt Lucy sent him to England, carrying a jar of marmalade. He also wrote the children’s books about the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, as well as the animated BBC TV series The Herbs.

Blimey! is your daily dose of British news and features for anglophiles everywhere! This article was carefully written by Tim Holt, a British blogger, photographer and actor based in the USA. Forever torn between two magnificent slices of sod.

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