On this day on 3rd November

On this day in 1534 Parliament passes the first Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the Anglican Church, supplanting the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. In March 1534 Pope Clement VII announced that Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn was invalid. Henry reacted by declaring that the Pope no longer had authority in England. In November 1534, Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy. This gave Henry the title of the "Supreme head of the Church of England". A Treason Act was also passed that made it an offence to attempt by any means, including writing and speaking, to accuse the King and his heirs of heresy or tyranny. All subjects were ordered to take an oath accepting this.

Sir Thomas More and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, refused to take the oath and were imprisoned in the Tower of London. More was summoned before Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell at Lambeth Palace. More was happy to swear that the children of Anne Boleyn could succeed to the throne, but he could not declare on oath that all the previous Acts of Parliament had been valid. He could not deny the authority of the pope "without the jeoparding of my soul to perpetual damnation."

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

On this day in 1579 John Stubbs had his right hand cut off. Stubbs was educated at Trinity College. He graduated from Cambridge University on 31st January 1561 and the following year he entered Lincoln Inn. During this period he developed strong Puritan views. According to Natalie Mears he felt particularly strongly on "the eradication of such practices as the wearing of surplices and kneeling at communion". Stubbs was called to the bar on 2nd February 1572.

Christopher Hatton, a member of the Privy Council and was involved in negotiations about the possible marriage of Queen Elizabeth to the Duke of Alençon. Hatton was against the match "but joined with the rest of the council in a sullen acquiescence, offering to support the match if it pleased her." However, there was a great deal of opposition to the proposed marriage. As Elizabeth Jenkins has pointed out: "The English dislike of foreign rule, which had shown itself strongly on the marriage of Mary Tudor, was now indissolubly connected with a fear of Catholic persecution. The idea of a French Catholic husband for the Queen roused the abhorrence which, in the Puritans, reached almost to frenzy."

John Stubbs was totally opposed to the marriage and wrote a pamphlet, The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf, criticizing the proposed marriage. It accused certain evil "flatters" and "politics" of espousing the interests of the French court "where Machiavelli is their new testament and atheism their religion". He described the proposed union as a "contrary coupling" and an "immoral union" like that of a cleanly ox with an uncleanly ass". Stubbs accused the Alençon family of suffering from sexually transmitted diseases and that Elizabeth should consult her doctors who would tell her she was exposing herself to a frightful death. Stubbs also argued that, at forty-six, Elizabeth may not have children or may be endangered in childbirth.

On 27th September 1579 a royal proclamation was issued prohibiting the circulation of the book. On 13th October Stubbs, Hugh Singleton (the printer), and William Page (who had been involved in the distribution of the pamphlet) were arrested. Elizabeth wanted to be immediately executed by royal prerogative but eventually agreed to their trial for felony. The jury refused to convict, and they were then charged with conspiring to excite sedition. The use of this statute was criticized by Judge Robert Monson. He was imprisoned and removed from the bench when he refused to retract.

Stubbs, Singleton and Page were all found guilty of sedition and were sentenced to have their right hands cut off and to be imprisoned, though it appears that Singleton was pardoned because of his age: he was about eighty. The sentence was carried out at the market place in Westminster on 3rd November 1579, with surgeons present to prevent them bleeding to death. Stubbs made a speech on the scaffold where he asserted his loyalty and asked the crowd to pray that God would give him strength to endure the punishment.

John Stubbs having his right hand cut off.
John Stubbs having his right hand cut off.

On this day in 1771 Francis Place, was born in a debtor's prison in Drury Lane, where his father worked as a overseer. After a short period at school, Francis was apprenticed to a leather-breeches maker. At nineteen he married and settled into a small house near the Strand in London.

In 1793 Place became involved in a strike. Place was identified as one of the leaders of the strikers and after the dispute was over he found it impossible to find work as a leather-breeches maker. While out of work Place read about the trial of Thomas Hardy, John Horne Tooke, and John Thelwall, the three leaders of the the London Corresponding Society.

Place became convinced that the most important thing that working men needed was the vote and despite the persecution of its membership, he decided to join the group. With their leaders in prison, Place was offered and accepted the post of Chairman. He held the post until 1797 when he resigned in protest against the violent tactics of some members of the organisation.

While out of work Place educated himself by reading books on history, law and economics. In 1799 he opened his own tailor's shop at 16 Charing Cross Road. He used part of his premises as a library of radical books. People came to his shop to read and borrow books and pamphlets by people like Tom Paine and Joseph Priestley. Place's library soon became a meeting-place for reformers.

In 1807 Francis Place helped Sir Francis Burdett in his campaign to represent the Westminster constituency in the House of Commons. The two men became close friends and over the next couple of years Burdett introduced Place to other radical figures such as Robert Owen, Jeremy Bentham, and Joseph Hume.

Place also met Joseph Lancaster who convinced him of the importance of providing children with a non-sectarian education. Place played an active role in promoting Lancastrian schools as he believed it provided the best opportunity of "promoting the happiness of the rising generation". Place also hoped that these schools would help to eradicate what he believed was harming the progress of the working class: "drunkeness, lax morals, bad manners and over population".

Although Place fathered fifteen children, he was deeply concerned about the growth in the British population. In 1822 he wrote and published The Principles of Population. People were shocked to read in the book that Place advocated the use of contraceptives. Place was labelled a "bold bad man" and even some Radicals shunned him after the publication of this book.

Place also gave help to Radical politicians in the House of Commons. He collected data on issues such as the Combination Acts and parliamentary reform and then passed it on to Sir Francis Burdett, John Hobhouse and Joseph Hume so they could promote the cause in Parliament. Between 1822 and 1824 Place collected eight volumes of statistics that he believed indicated that the Combination Acts should be repealed. Place argued that the repeal of the Combination Acts would lead to the disappearance of trade unions. Place achieved victory in 1824 but he was shocked when he discovered that one of the consequences of this was a rapid growth in the trade union movement.

After the repeal of the Combination Acts in 1824 Place turned his attention to parliamentary reform. He played a prominent in the agitation that resulted in the 1832 Reform Act. Upset by the limited scope of the reform he joined with John Cleave, Henry Hetherington, and William Lovett to form the London Working Men's Association in 1836. Two years later he helped draft the People's Charter that instigated the Chartist movement.

Place was a Moral Force Chartist and argued strongly against the use of violence to obtain the vote. When Feargus O'Connor replaced William Lovett as the unofficial leader of the movement, Place ceased to be involved in Chartist activities. After 1840 Francis Place concentrated his energies on organizing the campaign against the Corn Laws. He also spent a considerable amount of time writing his autobiography and a history of the 1832 Reform Act.

Francis Place died at the Hammersmith home of his two unmarried daughters on 1st January, 1854.

Francis Place by Samuel Drummond (1833)
Francis Place by Samuel Drummond (1833)

On this day in 1858 Harriet Taylor Mill, English philosopher died. At the age of eighteen she married John Taylor, a wealthy businessman from Islington. In the next few years Harriet had two sons and one daughter, Helen Taylor. John and Harriet both became active in the Unitarian Church and developed radical views on politics. They became friendly with William Johnson Fox, a leading Unitarian minister and early supporter of women's rights.

Harriet Taylor moved in radical circles and in 1830 she met the philosopher John Stuart Mill. Taylor was attracted to Mill, the first man she had met who treated her as an intellectual equal. Mill was impressed with Taylor and asked her to read and comment on the latest book he was working on. Over the next few years they exchanged essays on issues such as marriage and women's rights. Those essays that have survived reveal that Taylor held more radical views than Mill on these subjects. She argued: "Public offices being open to them alike, all occupations would be divided between the sexes in their natural arrangements. Fathers would provide for their daughters in the same manner as their sons."

Taylor was attracted to the socialist philosophy that had been promoted by Robert Owen in books such as The Formation of Character (1813) and A New View of Society (1814). In her essays Taylor was especially critical of the degrading effect of women's economic dependence on men. Taylor thought this situation could only be changed by the radical reform of all marriage laws. Although Mill shared Taylor's belief in equal rights, he favoured laws that gave women equality rather than independence.

In 1833 Harriet negotiated a trial separation from her husband. She then spent six weeks with Mill in Paris. On their return Harriet moved to a house at Walton-on-Thames where John Start Mill visited her at weekends. Although Harriet Taylor and Mill claimed they were not having a sexual relationship, their behaviour scandalized their friends. As a result, the couple became socially isolated.

John Roebuck later argued: "My affection for Mill was so warm and so sincere that I was hurt by anything which brought ridicule upon him. I saw, or thought I saw, how mischievous might be this affair, and as we had become in all things like brothers, I determined, most unwisely, to speak to him on the subject. With this resolution I went to the India House next day, and then frankly told him what I thought might result from his connection with Mrs. Taylor. He received my warnings coldly, and after some time I took my leave, little thinking what effect my remonstrances had produced. The next day I again called at the India House. The moment I entered the room I saw that, as far he was concerned, our friendship was at an end. His manner was not merely cold, but repulsive; and I, seeing how matters were, left him. His part of our friendship was rooted out, nay, destroyed, but mine was untouched."

Except for a few articles in the Unitarian journal Monthly Repository, Taylor published little of her own work during her lifetime. However, Taylor read and commented on all the material produced by John Stuart Mill. In his autobiography, Mill claimed that Harriet was the joint author of most of the books and articles that were published under his name. He added, "when two persons have their thoughts and speculations completely in common it is of little consequence in respect of the question of originality, which of them holds the pen."

In 1848 John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy was published. Mill planned to include details of the role that Taylor had played in the production of the book, but when John Taylor heard about this he objected and references to his wife were removed. However, in his autobiography, Mill pointed out that the book was "a joint production with my wife".

John Taylor died of cancer on 3rd May, 1849. Still concerned about gossip and scandal, Harriet insisted that they wait two years before they got married. A few months after the wedding the Westminster Review published The Enfranchisement of Women. Although the article had been mainly written by Taylor, it appeared under John Stuart Mill's name. The same happened with the publication of an article in the Morning Chronicle (28th August, 1851) where they advocated new laws to protect women from violent husbands. A letter written by Mill in 1854 suggests that Harriet was reluctant to be described as joint author of Mill's books and articles. "I shall never be satisfied unless you allow our best book, the book which is to come, to have our two names on the title page. It ought to be so with everything I publish, for the better half of it all is yours".

John Stuart Mill had always favoured the secret ballot but Harriet disagreed and eventually changed her husband's views on the subject. Taylor feared that people would vote in their own self-interest rather than for the good of the community. She believed that if people voted in public, the exposure of their selfishness would shame them in voting for the candidate who put forward policies that were in the interests of the majority.

Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill both suffered from tuberculosis. While in Avignon, seeking treatment for this condition in November, 1858, Harriet died. Mill and Taylor had been working on a book The Subjection of Women at the time. Helen Taylor, Harriet's daughter, now helped Mill to finish the book. The two worked closely together for the next fifteen years. In his autobiography Mill wrote that "Whoever, either now or hereafter, may think of me and my work I have done, must never forget that it is the product not of one intellect and conscience but of three, the least considerable of whom, and above all the least original, is the one whose name is attached to it."

Harriet Taylor Mill
Harriet Taylor Mill

On this day in 1918 the German Revolution of 1918 begins when sailors take over the port in Kiel. By the evening Kiel was firmly in the hands of about 40,000 rebellious sailors, soldiers and workers. "News of the events in Keil soon travelled to other nearby ports. In the next 48 hours there were demonstrations and general strikes in Cuxhaven and Wilhelmshaven. Workers' and sailors' councils were elected and held effective power."

By the 8th November, workers councils took power in virtually every major town and city in Germany. This included Bremen, Cologne, Munich, Rostock, Leipzig, Dresden, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. Theodor Wolff, writing in the Berliner Tageblatt: "News is coming in from all over the country of the progress of the revolution. All the people who made such a show of their loyalty to the Kaiser are lying low. Not one is moving a finger in defence of the monarchy. Everywhere soldiers are quitting the barracks."

Armed workers and soldiers in Kiel (November, 1918)
Armed workers and soldiers in Kiel (November, 1918)

On this day in 1918, Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington, a United States Army officer who was one of the first two women to attain the rank of brigadier general, was born.

Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington
Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington

On this day in 1926 Annie Oakley died. She was born in Darke County, Ohio, on 13th August, 1860. When she was a child her father died. According to Kirstin Olsen his death left "behind a hungry family and a mortgaged farm". Olsen adds: "Oakley, legend has it, remedied both ills by shooting game. Her family ate what it could and paid off the mortgage by selling the rest." leaving behind a hungry family and a mortgaged farm.

In 1880 she defeated Frank Butler, a sideshow marksman, in Cincinnati. After marrying Butler she joined the Sells Brothers Circus where she developed a national reputation for carrying out amazing shooting feats. This included shooting the ashes off a cigarette in the mouth of her husband. Another trick included shooting through the pips of a playing card tossed in the air.

In 1885 she joined the famous Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. Less than five feet tall, she was billed as "Little Sure Shot", and was the organization's leading star for the next 17 years. Using a hand-mirror she could fire over her shoulder and hit a small target. Oakley was also just as accurate as a markswoman while riding on the back of a running horse. The historian Dan L. Thrapp has argued: "Some of her shooting feats were phenomenal; she was an especial success in Europe, performing before Royalty." This included Queen Victoria and she once shot a cigarette from the mouth of a German prince who later became Kaiser Wilhelm II.

In 1901 Oakley was badly injured in a railway crash. It left her temporarily paralyzed and she was forced to leave the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. She recovered and eventually resumed her career. During the First World War she gave demonstrations of her shooting skills to soldiers in the US Army. She also sent a letter to the Kaiser Wilhelm II, requesting a second shot.

Annie Oakley died in Greenville, Ohio, on 3rd November, 1926. Her husband died three weeks later and was buried beside Annie in the Brock Cemetery in Darke County.

Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley

On this day in 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt is re-elected President of the United States. When Roosevelt took office in 1933 the national deficit was nearly $3,000,000,000 and the unemployment-rate was 23.6%. His Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, and aides within the Treasury Department favored an approach that sought to balance the federal budget. But other advisers in the President's inner circle, including Harry Hopkins, Marriner Eccles and Henry Wallace, had accepted the recent theories of John Maynard Keynes, who argued that technically advanced economies would need permanent budget deficits or other measures (such as redistribution of income away from the wealthy) to stimulate consumption of goods and to maintain full employment. It was argued that it was the attempt to balance the budget that was causing the recession.

President Roosevelt was eventually convinced by these arguments and he recognized the need for increased government expenditures to put people back to work. An important part of his New Deal programme was increased spending on government expenditures for relief and work schemes. From 1933 to 1937, unemployment was reduced from 25% to 14%.

Roosevelt was much attacked by his political opponents for not concentrating on reducing the national deficit. However, as Roosevelt explained in a speech in 1936: "To balance our budget in 1933 or 1934 or 1935 would have been a crime against the American people. To do so we should either have had to make a capital levy that would have been confiscatory, or we should have had to set our face against human suffering with callous indifference. When Americans suffered, we refused to pass by on the other side. Humanity came first."

During the 1936 Presidential Election, Roosevelt was attacked for not keeping his promise to balance the budget. The National Labour Relations Act was unpopular with businessmen who felt that it favoured the trade unions. Some went as far as accusing Roosevelt of being a communist. However, the New Deal was extremely popular with the electorate and Roosevelt easily defeated the Republican Party candidate, Alfred M. Landon, by 27,751,612 votes to 16,681,913.

Cliff Berryman, Washington Evening Star (3rd August, 1920)
Clifford Berryman, New Deal Remedies (1935)

On this day in 1953, Vilma Santos, a Filipino actress and politician, was born. She served as governor of Batangas for three consecutive terms and as mayor of Lipa for also three consecutive terms.

Vilma Santos
Vilma Santos

On this day in 1957 Wilhelm Reich, psychotherapist, died. In 1923 the Social Democratic Party government in Vienna, inspired by the ideas of Victor Adler and the leadership of Jakob Reumann, began a massive home building programme by constructing 2,256 new residential homes for working-class families. The government instituted social, healthcare and educational reforms. These measures helped to raise their standard of living. This deepened the ties of workers towards the party and created a large pool of loyalists on whom the party could always depend. Otto Bauer, one of the people behind the project, claimed they were "creating a revolution of souls".

Sigmund Freud decided to give his support to this venture. He urged his followers to create "institutions or out-patients... where treatment shall be free". He hoped that one day these clinics would be state-funded: "The neuroses threaten public health no less than tuberculosis." The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society established the Ambulatorium, a free psychoanalytic clinic in Vienna. Those who worked at the clinic included Wilhelm Reich, Annie Reich, Eduard Hitschmann, Helene Deutsch, Siegfried Bernfeld, August Aichhorn, Wilhelm Hoffer and Grete Bibring.

Wilhelm Reich became deputy director of the Vienna Ambulatorium. In the next few years 1,445 men and women were treated in the Ambulatorium. The vast majority were working-class, with over 20% being unemployed. Reich claimed: "The consultation hours were jammed. There were industrial workers, office clerks, students, and farmers from the country. The influx was so great that we were at a loss to deal with it."

Reich began associating with left-leaning therapists such as Karen Horney, Ernst Simmel, Erich Fromm, Viktor Frankl, Edith Jacobson, Helene Deutsch, Frieda Reichmann, Edith Weigert and Otto Fenichel who began to take into consideration the social and political impact on the clinical situation. Together they explored ways of "finding a bridge between Marx and Freud". Elizabeth Ann Danto, described the group as being interested in providing "a challenge to conventional political codes, a social mission more than a medical discipline."

Wilhelm and Annie Reich with their two daughters, Eva and Lore
Official portrait of the staff of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Ambulatorium.
Eduard Hitschmann (director) is in the centre. On his left is Wilhelm Reich,
Grete Bibring, Richard Sterba and Annie Reich.

On this day in 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson was elected as U.S. president, winning 61% of the vote. A few months earlier Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. After a delay of over 100 years this act created federal law in support of the original purpose of the 14th Amendment, equal treatment under the laws for blacks and whites. This act outlawed racial discrimination in employment, voting, education and public accommodation. Johnson also encouraged the passing of the Anti-Poverty Act (1964) that provided $947.5 million dollars for job training centres, loans to poor students and low-income farmers, and basic education programs. When Johnson signed the 1965 Civil Rights Act he made a prophecy that he was “signing away the south for 50 years”. This proved accurate. In fact, the Democrats have never recovered the vote of the white racists in the Deep South.

Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson