Truth to tell and Sadly perhaps, not much has changed and the Epithet is probably as true today as it was then. Just as then, we still have troubles in identifying Butterflies viz. differentiating between [i] Green-Veined White, Large White and Small White Butterflies, [ii] Meadow Brown and Ringlet Butterflies and [iii] Essex and Small Skipper Butterflies.
We mention this because yesterday (Wednesday), we were sitting on the Train after visiting the Library and glancing through, An Illustrated Natural History of British Butterflies and Moths (E Newman, Published c. 1880). We came across the Pages covering the Skipper Butterflies. There were references to Large Skippers (seen locally) viz.
and Small Skippers (seen locally) viz.
but nothing about the Essex Skipper (also seen locally) viz.
The simple answer would appear to be that it has been a long-term Resident.
Our next Port of Call was, The Butterflies of the British Isles (R South, Published 1906), which includes a reference to the Essex Skipper. It would seem that a Mr Hawes collected three Specimens in Essex during 1888 and assumed they were varieties of the Small Skipper. It was not until 1889/1890 that the Essex Skipper was recognised as being a Species in its own right (the connection between Mr Hawes and the Butterfly being recognised as a Species in its own right is not clear).
WF Kirby, in Butterflies and Moths (Published 1913) refers to it as the Scarce Small Skipper.
But as far as we are concerned, it would make life so much easier it all wee-tiny brown Butterflies with either black (Essex or Scarce Small Skipper) or brown (Small Skipper) tips to their Antennae were still just Small Skippers!