Birth of Thomas Babbington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, poet, historian and A key figure in early 19th century literature and politics, Macaulay’s series of popular ballads Lays of Ancient Rome were required reading in schools for many years, while his History of England with its theme of human progress gave rise to the Whig interpretation of history. Macaulay served as Whig MP for Calne 1830-32, Leeds 1832-34 and Edinburgh 1839-47 & 1852-56 and was a member of several Whig governments in the 1830s and 40s as Secretary at War and Paymaster General. He was also involved in Indian administration and played a major part in drafting India’s penal code which remains in force today. Illness curtailed his parliamentary career and he resigned his seat in 1856 and was enobled as Baron Macaulay. He died in 1859.