What Happened in May 1809

Historical Events

  • May 2 Dartmoor Prison in England opens to house French prisoners of war
  • May 5 Citizenship is denied to Jews of Aargau Canton, Switzerland
  • May 5 Mary Kies is 1st woman issued a US patent for weaving straw
  • May 17 Papal States annexed by France

Victory in Battle

May 21 Battle of Aspern-Essling: Austrian archduke Charles beats Napoleon and his army. Napoleon's first defeat in 10 years.


Famous Birthdays

  • May 6 William Walker, American composer (The Southern Harmony), born in Martin's Mills, Cross Keys, South Carolina (d. 1875)

Famous Deaths

  • May 8 Augustin Pajou, French sculptor (Bachante), dies at 78
  • May 17 Leopold Auenbrugger, Austrian physician (invented percussion as a diagnostic technique), dies at 86
  • May 30 Johan B Scheffer, portrait painter, dies at about 43
  • May 31 Ferdinand von Schill, Prussian officer who led rebellion against the French, dies at the Battle of Stralsund at 33
  • May 31 Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer of the classical period (The Creation; Trumpet Concerto), dies at 77
  • May 31 Jean Lannes, French marshal and friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, dies of his wounds from the Battle of Aspern-Essling at 40