19th April 2013 – Primrose Day

Celebration: Primrose Day

Mission: Visit Disraeli’s statue in Parliament Square with a primrose

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Status: Half-complete

Notes: D’Israeli is an artist popularly know for (amongst other things) the 2000AD comic strip Leviathan, featuring the demon Hastur:

Hastur

Sorry, wrong D’Israeli.  Benjamin D’Israeli was an Italian merchant who moved to the UK in 1748, no hang on; still the wrong D’Israeli…but let’s have a look a his similarly named grandson:

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Benjamin “1st Earl of Beaconsfield” Disraeli was a Conservative Prime Minister of the UK in 1868 and again between 1874-1880, with William Gladstone taking the position on behalf of the Liberals in between. Despite being Tories, his government was responsible for quite a few social reforms, including closing down slums & replacing them with council housing, enforced new dwellings to have running water & internal drainage, ensuring towns had pavements & streetlights, the banning of children under 10 from employment (and indeed compulsory education for children under 10) and 10-14 year olds only allowed to work half-days, and the legalisation of trade unions.

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Disraeli died on this day in 1881, almost a year after he left office, He was buddies with Queen Victoria, and she used to send him bunches of primroses, his favourite type of flower. She sent a primrose wreath for his funeral, and the tradition of leaving primroses at his grave and at his statue on the anniversary of his death continued from there – however, I went to Parliament Square to see the statue, but I was flowerless – as was the statue.

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