1 portrait of Henry Purcell
by George Zobel, after John Closterman
mezzotint, circa 1850s-1870s
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Artistsback to top
Events of 1850back to top
Current affairsCardinal Wiseman, a Catholic priest who had exerted a strong influence on the Oxford movement, is made a Cardinal and leader of the Catholic church in England, thus restoring Roman Catholic hierarchy in England.
Art and scienceDeath of poet laureate William Wordsworth; his great autobiographical poem The Prelude is published posthumously, famously charting the growth of the poet's mind.
Tennyson's In Memoriam is also published. A poignant record of his grief over the death of his friend Arthur Hallam, the poem also movingly questions the strength of faith in an increasingly scientific age.