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Charles Grey
Earl Grey

Charles Grey entered politics in 1786 as member of Parliament. Within 10 years he was First Lord of the Admiralty and then foreign secretary. As prime minister he oversaw passage of the Great Reform Bill of 1832 and the 1833 Act abolishing slavery within the British Empire which at the time included Jamaica, Bermuda, the islands of the West Indies, Gambia and the Gold Coast of Africa, Australia and holdings in North America, namely Canada, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New France and Cape Breton island.

It was while he was prime minister, that by act of law the East India Company lost its monopoly on China trade which was mostly in tea. Ironic that the name of the prime minister to King William IV is best known around the world for a blend of Indian and Sri Lankans tea delicately scented with the citrus flavour of bergamot. The recipe for "Earl Grey" is said to have been given by a Chinese man to a British soldier during the Opium War (1839-42) in gratitude for saving his live. Another version story has a Chinese mandarin friend of the Earl giving him the recipe.


1830- - France takes Algeria. Revolution in Paris. William IV, son of George III, ascends to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland. The King of France, Charles X, abdicates. Louis Philippe, takes the French throne. Tallyrand becomes his ambassador to London. Ecuador becomes independent. Joseph Smith and friends found the Mormons or Latter day Saints in New York. Botanist Robert Brown discovers the cell nucleus in plants. Men begin to wear stiff collars. Women's skirts become shorter. Large hats are the fashion.
1831- - Poland declares its independence, the revolt is crushed by Russian troops. Belgium is separated from the Netherlands. Cholera sweeps through Russia and central Europe to Scotland. Lord John Russel introduces a bill in Parliament to abolish "nomination boroughs." London Bridge opens. Charles Darwin sets sail as naturalist aboard H. M. S. Beagle, for South America, New Zealand and Australia. Chloroform is invented by Samuel Guthrie in America and Justus von Liebig in Germany, simultaneously. In America, the words to "My Country Tis of Thee" are written to the tune of "America" by Samuel Francis Smith. The song is one of several national anthems used before 1931. Slaves revolt in Virginia led by Nat Turner. William Lloyd Garrison publishes abolitionist paper "The Liberator" in Boston. Horse drawn buses appear in New York. Populations of Britain (13.9 million) and America (12.8 million) near parity.
1832 - Louisa May Alcott and Horatio Alger are born. Sir Walter Scott dies. Disraeli publishes his novel "Contarini Fleming," and Tennyson's his "Lady of Shalott." The Falkland Islands off the coast of Venezuela are occupied by Britain. Andrew Jackson is re-elected president of the United States running as a newly minted "Democratic."
1833- General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna is President of Mexico. Isabella II proclaimed Queen of Spain. President Jackson withdraws all government funds from the Bank of U.S. The Whig Party is founded in America. Slavery is abolished in the British Empire. Sir John Ross returns from Arctic expedition after discovering the magnetic North Pole. Charles Dickens writes "Sketches by Boz" published in "Monthly Magazine." The autobiography of Davy Crockett is a best seller. The German translation of Shakespeare's works, begun in 1794, is completed; the collaborative work of A.W. von Schlegal, Ludwig and Dorothea Tieck and W. von Baudissin.

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