On this day: the premiere of Handel’s Messiah

The Musick Hall in Fishacre Street, Dublin, where Messiah was first performed.

Musick Hall in Fishacre Street, where the first performance took place.

George Frideric Handel’s English-language oratorio, Messiah, premiered in Dublin, Ireland on the 13th of April, 1742.

Messiah was composed over a period of only twenty-four days. Handel worked on the music while in London, where he had been living for some years.

George Frideric Handel in 1733, by Balthasar Denner (1685–1749).

Handel in 1733

The premiere in Dublin came during a series of concerts Handel presented in Ireland, and the first performance used the cathedral choirs of St Patrick’s and Christ Church.

On this day: the theft of the Peacock Throne


On the 22nd of March, 1739 Nader Shah of Persia (Iran) sacked the Indian city of Delhi and stole the jewels of the famous Peacock Throne. The seat of the Mughal emperors who ruled the north of India, the throne was never seen again.

NaderShahPaintingNāder Šāh Afšār or Nadir Shah (Persian نادر شاه افشار‎‎; also known as Nāder Qoli Beg - نادر قلی بیگ or Tahmāsp Qoli Khān - تهماسپ قلی خان) Shah of Persia (1736–47).

Nader Shah

A replacement throne was made, and existed until a rebellion in 1857.

On this day: Jean Joseph Merlin was born in 1735

Belgian inventor and horologist Jean Joseph Merlin was born on the 17th of September, 1735.

An inventor of a wide range of things, one of his most unusual patents was for the world’s first pair of roller skates in 1760. Though they were little more than ice skates with wheels where the blades would usually go, it may well be one of his biggest contributions to society.

He also had an interest in automata, and his work took him to Paris and London.

Dying in 1803, here he is as painted by Thomas Gainsborough in 1782.

Belgian inventor and horologist Jean Joseph Merlin was born on the 17th of September, 1735.