|1863 or earlier
||Colonel Sir Arnold Burrowes Kemball, the British Consul-General in Baghdád, offered Bahá'u'lláh the protection of British citizenship and offered Him residence in India or anywhere of Bahá'u'lláh's choosing. [BBR183, 234; BBRSM65; GPB131]
Bahá'u'lláh declined the invitation, preferring to remain in Ottoman lands. [GBP131]
See BBR183, 508 for details on Kemball; see BBR160–1 for a picture.
||Baghdad; Iraq; India; Britain
||Colonel; Arnold Burrowes Kemball; British; Consul-General; Bahaullah, Life of
|1878. 12 Jul
||The British government took over the administration of Cyprus. [BBR306]
||History (general); British
|1914 1 Nov
||Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers.
Palestine was blockaded and Haifa was bombarded. [GPB304]
`Abdu'l-Bahá sent the Bahá'ís to the Druze village of Abú-Sinán for asylum. [AB411; DH124; GPB304, BWNS1297]
For `Abdu'l-Bahá in war time see CH188–228.`Abdu'l-Bahá had grown and stored corn in the years leading up to the war and was now able to feed not only local people but the British army. [AB415, 418; CH210; GPB304, 306]
Properties in the villages of Asfíyá and Dálíyá near Haifa were purchased by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and, at the request of Bahá'u'lláh, bestowed upon Díyá'u'lláh and Bahí'u'lláh. Land was also acquired in the villages of Samirih, Nughayb and 'Adasíyyih situated near the Jordan. 'Adasíyyih was the village occupied by Bahá'ís of Zoroastrian heritage that produced corn for the Master's household. The village of Nughayb is were the relatives of the Holy Family lived. [CH209-210]
||Palestine; Israel; Abu-Sinan; Haifa; Asfiya; Daliya; Samirih; Nughayb ; Adasiyyih
||World War I; War (general); Druze; Abdul-Baha, Life of; British; Charity and relief work; Social and economic development; History (General); - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Diyaullah; Bahiullah
||The British Bahá'ís alerted the Foreign Office about the importance of ensuring `Abdu'l-Bahá's safety in Haifa. [BBR332-5; CH219; GPB305-6]
CH219 says this was in the Spring but letters to the Foreign Office were dated Jan 1918.
For the actions of Lady Blomfield see BBR333, CH219-20, AB425-26 and ER169.
For the role of Major Wellesley Tudor Pole see BBR332-3; CH222-5; and ER168-70.
||British Foreign Office; Britain; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Lady Blomfield; Major Wellesley Tudor Pole; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
|1919 19 Aug
||The Anglo-Persian agreement was signed whereby Persia would get advisors for every department and give every concession to England. It effectively made Persia a British protectorate and eliminated the Russian influence that had been established by the earlier Anglo-Russian pact. The United States Government was much displeased, for this represented a breach of ‘open covenants openly arrived at’, one of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, and represented a continuation of the secret diplomacy of former times. The price of this agreement, according to one official, was £500,000 paid out to one prominent official, and £300,000 to another.
When the Persians discovered by what dubious means this Agreement was contrived, they arose in fury, there was a coup d’état with the backing of the Cossack Brigade, Siyyid Zia-ed-Din came to power (1921) and abrogated the Agreement. Then he himself would be overthrown, and replaced by Reza Khan of the Cossack Brigade as Minister of War and Commander in Chief. Thus an illiterate one-time army private, once a sentry at a hospital gate, would eventually (1925) become a powerful Shah.
|Iran; United Kingdom
||Anglo-Persian agreement; British history; History (general); Iran, General history
|1920 27 Apr
||`Abdu'l-Bahá was invested with the insignia of the Knighthood of the British Empire in a ceremony in Haifa. [AB443; BBRXXX, 343-5; CH214; DH149; GPB306]
For the document recommending `Abdu'l-Bahá for knighthood, see BBR344.
The knighthood was in recognition of `Abdu'l-Bahá's humanitarian work during the war for famine relief. [AB443]
He accepted the honour as a gift from a `just king'. [AB443]
He did not use the title. [AB443]
For Lady Blomfield's account see AB443-4 and CH214-15.
See SoW vol 13 No 11 p298.
||Haifa; Abu-Sinan; Palestine; Israel
||Abdul-Baha, Knighthood (KBE); Abdul-Baha, Life of; World War I; British; Charity and relief work; Social and economic development; Lady Blomfield; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
||National Spiritual Assemblies were elected in the British Isles, India and Germany. [GPB333]
The election of the British National Spiritual Assembly was by postal ballot. [ER228]
For the membership of the British National Spiritual Assembly see ER228 and SBR71.
See also ER223-31 for the election and functioning of the British National Spiritual Assembly.
||British Isles; United Kingdom; India; Germany
|1923 13 Oct
||The National Spiritual Assembly of Britain met for the first time, at the home of Ethel Rosenberg. [ER228; UD13, 163]
It became the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles in 1930 and the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom in 1972.
||United Kingdom; British Isles
||NSA; Ethel Rosenberg; NSA of UK
|1932 3 Oct
||The term of The Kingdom of Iraq under British Administration or "Mandatory Iraq" came to an end. It had been created in 1921 following the Iraqi Revolt in 1920 and enacted via the 1922 Anglo-Iraqi Treaty. The British chose Faisal I bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi as king of of Iraq and Syria. He fostered unity between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and tried to promote pan-Arabism with the goal of creating an Arab state in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Fertile Crescent. Faisal died in Switzerland while there for a medical examination at the age of 48, under what some consider to be suspicious circumstances. [Wikipedia]
Iraq was admitted to the League of Nations. [BW5p357]
||King Faisal; History (General); Mandatory Iraq; British Mandate
||Cora Oliver arrived in British Honduras (Belize) and was named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449]
||British Honduras (Belize); Belize
||Cora Oliver; Knights of Bahaullah
||Enoch Olinga arrived in Victoria (Limbé) and was named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the British Cameroons. [BW13:449]
The first Cameroonian to become a Bahá’í in British Cameroon was a youth, Jacob Tabot Awo.
The first Cameroonian adult to become a Bahá’í was Enoch Ngompek of the Bassa tribe.
The first Cameroonian woman to become a Bahá’í was Esther Obeu, the wife of David Tanyi.
||Victoria (Limbe); British Cameroon; Cameroon; Nigeria
||Enoch Olinga; Knights of Bahaullah; First Bahais by country or area
||Shirley Warde arrived in British Honduras (Belize) and was named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449]
||British Honduras (Belize); Belize
||Knights of Bahaullah; Shirley Warde
||Dr Malcolm King, an American pioneer in Jamaica, arrived in British Guiana and was named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449]
||Knights of Bahaullah; Malcolm King
||The arrival of Knight Mr. Enoch Olinga in British Cameroon. [BWNS291]
||British Cameroon; Africa
||Knights of Bahaullah; Enoch Olinga; BWNS
||The arrival of Knight Edward Tabe in British Togoland (now part of Ghana). [BWNS249]
||British Togoland (Ghana); Ghana
||Knights of Bahaullah; BWNS
||Edward Tabe and Albert Buapiah arrived in British Togoland and were named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450]
||British Togoland (Ghana); Ghana
||Knights of Bahaullah
||The first local spiritual assembly was formed in British Cameroons.
||Reginald Stone and Allan Delph became Bahá’ís in British Guiana, the first two people to accept the Faith in that country.
||British Guiana; Latin America
||First Bahais by country or area
||Fowzieh Sobhi arrived in British Somaliland from Egypt, the first Bahá’í to reside in the country.
||Christian and Elanzo Callwood, Norris Duport and Ethien Chinnery, the first people to become Bahá’ís on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, enrolled.
||Jost Van Dyke; British Virgin Islands
||First Bahais by country or area; Islands
||The first local assembly in the British Virgin Islands was formed on Tortola.
||Tortola; British Virgin Islands
|1986. 9 Mar
||The passing of Continental Board of Counsellor member Angus Welldon Cowan (b.12 September 1914 in Bishopton, Quebec) at his home in Invermere, BC. [BW19p703–70; BCNS]
The message from the Universal House of Justice Mess63-86p723.
See his biography Angus: From the Heart: The Life of Counsellor Angus Cowan by Patricia Verge, Springtide Publishing, Cochrane AB, 1999.
||Bishopton; Quebec; Invermere; British Columbia
||Angus Cowan; In Memoriam
|1989 3 Jul
||The passing of Bobbie Cowan in Invermere, BC. [AC297]
||Invermere; British Columbia; Canada
||Bobbie Cowan; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
||The founding of the Maxwell International Bahá'í School. It was a co-ed Bahá'í school located on Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, Canada. It offered day students and boarding students from many parts of the world instruction from grades 7-12. Its educational philosophy was based on the principles of the Bahá'í Faith. The school was opened in a ceremony with guest of honour Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum (Mary Maxwell, daughter of May and Sutherland) and wife of the Bahá'í Faith's Guardian, Shoghi Effendi). A tree was planted in dedication to the opening of the school. In the early 2006-2007 school year, the school board decided to drop "Bahá'í" from its name, changing it to "Maxwell International School".
The school closed on its 20th anniversary in 2008. [Wiki]
||Shawnigan Lake BC; British Columbia; Canada
||Maxwell International School; Bahai schools; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Maxwell International School
|1992 19 - 22 Jun
||Graduation ceremonies were held for the thirty-eight members of the first graduating class of the Maxwell International Bahá'í School. More than seven hundred participated in the ceremonies. ["Maxwell Eagle" Sep/Oct 1992 Vol IV no. 1 page 1]
||British Columbia; Canada
||Maxwell International School; Bahai schools
|1992 15 Sep
||Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum was officially invited to open the Exhibition of Bahá'í Manuscripts at the British Museum in London. [VV134]
||London; United Kingdom
||Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; British Museum and British Library
|1993 10 Apr
||The passing of Roger White, writer, editor and "poet laureate" of the Bahá'í community, in Richmond, British Columbia (b. in Toronto on 2 June 1929).
Served at the World Centre for some twenty years as a secretary and as manager of the publishing department when many important new volumes were published. Under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice, he was responsible for compiling and publishing volumes XIV to XIX of The Bahá'í World, as well as editing the invaluable compendium of volumes I to XII, published in 1981.
Published, at his own expense, a book of poetry called Summer Window for which he did the drawing on the front cover.
Another Song, Another Season (1979), The Witness of Pebbles (1981) and a tender and eloquent novel which presented a semi-fictionalized account of the early days of the Bahá'í Faith in Paris, A Sudden Music, was also published by George Ronald in 1983.
This was followed by a biographical tribute to the poet Emily Dickinson in the form of more than 100 poems: One Bird, One Cage, One Flight (Naturegraph, 1983).
A short, historical account of the martyrdom of 'Alí-Asghár of Yazd entitled The Shell and the Pearl was published by George Ronald in 1984.
Occasions of Grace (George Ronald, 1992) was published after he retired from service in Haifa in 1991 following a major heart surgery.
He returned to Canada and was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after.
His last two collected works of poetry were Notes Postmarked the Mountain of God (New Leaf, 1992) and The Language of There (New Leaf, 1992).
He also completed the text for Raghu Rai's photographic celebration of the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, Forever in Bloom. [Bahá'í Studies Review, Vol7, 1997]
See Bahá'í World 1994-95 pg249 for an article by Anne Boyles entitled "The Language of the Heart: Arts in the Bahá'í World Community" for mention of Roger White.
See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol. 26 no 1-2, 2016 p91 "Reflections on the Art of My Poetry" by John Hatcher. It is based on a telephone interview with him shortly before his passing.
For obituary see BW92-93p276
||Richmond; British Columbia; Canada
||Roger White; In Memoriam; John Hatcher; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; Lotus temple
||A Maoris teaching team visited British Columbia. The visit was reciprocated by The Journey of Teech-ma, the First Nations Travel Teaching Trip to the South Pacific. See entry for 24 March, 1997. [SDSC370]
||British Columbia; Canada; Australia; New Zealand
||First Nations; Maoris; Indigenous people; Travel teaching
|2004 11 Feb
||A member of the British Bahá'í community, Lois Hainsworth, received the award of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) at Buckingham Palace.
The announcement of the award for services to three organizations that promote the rights of women was made in the United Kingdom's New Year's Honours List. The citation refers to Mrs. Hainsworth's services to the Women's National Commission, the Bahá'í Office for the Advancement of Women, and UNIFEM UK. [BWNS273]
||Buckingham Palace; London; United Kingdom
||Lois Hainsworth; Order of the British Empire (MBE); Women; Awards; BWNS
|2017 6 Nov - 22 Jan
||An exhibition of Bahá'u'lláh’s writings opened at the John Addis Gallery in the British Museum.
One of the central themes was the power of the Word, which refers to divine revelation, a concept fundamental to the origins of all the world’s great faiths. The exhibition showed original handwriting of Bahá'u'lláh, as well as other archival items associated with His life such as His reed pens and examples of "revelation writing" by His scribe as he tried keep up with Bahá'u'lláh's dictation.
The exhibition, timed to commemorate the period of celebration of the 200th anniversary of His birth, was open to the public until the 22nd of January. [BWNS1220]
See the British Museum blog entitled Displaying the Bahá'í Faith: the pen is mightier than the sword.
||London; United Kingdom
||British Museum and British Library; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; Relics; Bahaullah, Writings of; Exhibitions; Reed pens; Reed (general); Calligraphy; Revelation writing; Mirza Aqa Jan; Tajalliyat (Effulgences); Kalimat-i-Maknunih (Hidden Words); Bahaullah, Pen portraits of; Portraits; Edward Granville Browne; Gifts
|2019. 2 Oct
||The British Library marked the bicentenary of the birth of the Báb with various initiatives alongside the launch of a new website, Discovering Sacred Texts. With the launch of this website there were companion exhibitions which featured examples of the Faith’s original texts.
The library displayed three rare and exquisite pieces in its Treasures Gallery: an original of the Báb’s own handwriting, in the shape of a five-pointed star; calligraphic exercises written by Bahá’u’lláh in His childhood; and an example of “Revelation Writing”, the form in which Bahá’u’lláh’s words were recorded at speed by His secretaries as they were revealed. These manuscripts were on display at the library for six months.
Coinciding with the launch of the site and the exhibition was the publication of an article by Moojan Momen, specially commissioned by the library for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb. Dr. Momen wrote about the three original works on display at the exhibition, set in the context of a brief historical account of the life of the Bab.
To further mark the bicentenary, the library invited actor and comedian Omid Djalili to stage his one-man show A Strange Bit of History written by Annabel Knight. The play recounts events surrounding the appearance of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This performance ran for four days. It was first performed at the 1993 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the Spirit of the Fringe Award. Over the next four years it was performed 109 times in 10 different countries.
||London; United Kingdom
||Annabel Knight; Omid Djalili; Moojan Momen; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; British Museum and British Library
|2019. 29 Oct
||The British Library published a blog to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb. It is a commentary on the Star Tablet of the Báb or the
||London; United Kingdom
||British Museum and British Library; Bab, Writings of; Talismans; Haykal and daira; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; Moojan Momen