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Frith's postcard dating list ± Historical value of money in UK ± Imperial measures ±

Glossary of Terms ± English monarchs and their dates ± Special days

Oct 23: The beginning of Creation, as calculated by James Ussher (1581 ±
1656), Archbishop of Armagh and believed until Victorian times
Mar 18: The beginning of Creation, as calculated by the Venerable Bede (673±
Birth of Confucius
Battle of Marathon
First recorded sighting of Halley's comet
Aug 27: Caesar's first British expedition (second in BC54)
Jan 10 (of the Roman calendar): Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling
the start of civil war
Caesar institutes the Julian calendar (came into force in BC45)
Jan 1: The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time
Mar 15: Caesar assassinated in Rome
Jan 16: The title Augustus bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian
Roman Conquest of Britain begun by Emperor Claudius ± Camulodunum
(Colchester) captured and becomes first Roman Base in England
Fosse Way built
Revolt of Boudicca (Boadicea)
Jun: Great fire of Rome, lasted 9 days (Nero fiddles, etc!)
Year of the four emperors in Rome: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian
Aug 24: Mount Vesuvius erupts
± the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae are buried in volcanic ash
Campaign of Agricola in southern Scotland
Battle of Mons Graupius, massive defeat of Caledonians by Roman forces
Roman Empire reaches its greatest extent under Trajan
Sep: Building of Hadrian's Wall begins (completed AD126)
Antonine Wall built in central Scotland (completed circa AD143)
Around this time, the Christian churches decided to express their divergence
from the Roman system by starting the year on a different date, 25th March
(this being the 'date of conception' of Christ in order for his birth to have been
on 25th December) ± see also 1582
Beginning of the 'decline of the Roman Empire' (Gibbon) ± Defeat of Romans
in Caledonia ± they retreat behind Hadrian's Wall
Campaign of Severus in southern Scotland
1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome
St Alban first Christian martyr in Britain [Bede implies some date between 303
and 313]
Emperor Constantine I decrees that Sunday is the day of rest in the Roman
Council of Nicaea establishes basic Christian dogma
St Ninian first to preach Christian religion in Scotland, arrives Solway Firth
Invasion of northern England by Picts and Scots
Probable end of Roman military occupation of Britain
'The Romans gathered all the gold-hords there were in Britain; some they hid in
the earth so that no man might find them, and some they took with them to
Gaul' ± Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
c400 ± c600
Migration and settlement of Angles, Jutes and Saxons
St Patrick begins mission to Ireland
Beginning of invasions by Jutes, Angles and Saxons ± Hengist and Horsa
'The Angles were invited here by king Vortigern, and they came to Britain in
three longships, landing at Ebbesfleet. [He] gave them territory in the southeast
of this land on the condition that they fight the Picts. This they did, and had
victory wherever they went. Then they sent to Angel and commanded more aid
« they soon sent hither a greater host to help the others. Then came the men of
three Germanic tribes: Old Saxons, Angles and Jutes. Of the Jutes come the
people of Kent and the Isle of Wight; of the Old Saxons come the East-Saxons,
South-Saxons and West-Saxons; of the Angles come the East Anglians, Middle
Anglians, Mercians and all Northumbrians. Their war-leaders were two
brothers, Hengist and Horsa « first of all they killed and drove away the king's
enemies, then later they turned on the king and the British [mid-450s],
destroying through fire and the sword's edge.' ± Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
Chinese observe Halley's comet
British check Anglo-Saxon advance at siege of Mount Badon (site unknown) ±
date uncertain: other sources say 520 and/or c.495, or simply 'some time in the
decade before or after 500'
Irish "Scots" arrived in western Scotland
(some say in 526, 532 or 534)
'Dennis the Short' (Dionysius Exiguous) calculates the date of the birth of
Christ ± concept of AD and BC dates begins
Death of King Arthur (some say 542) [Note: He is not mentioned in the Anglo-
Saxon Chronicles, and some think he never existed as a real person]
Bubonic plague devastates Europe (some postulate a significant impact from
space around this date)
Anglian settlement in south-east, Scotland
Columba arrives in Iona and founds the Celtic Christian Church (c565)
Birth of Mohammed (Muhammad)
Anglo-Saxon victory at Deorham marks resumption of their advance in
Death of Columba, later sanctified
St Augustine lands in Kent ± converts King Ethelbert ± introduces Roman
Christian Church to England ± later becomes first Archbishop of Canterbury
c.600 and for some centuries (some say from AD 500 to AD 850)
The period of the 'Heptarchy': the seven kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia,
Wessex, Sussex, Essex, East Anglia and Kent ± the 'top king' at any one time
was referred to 'Bretwalda' (overlord of the Britons)
Pope Gregory calls Ethelbert of Kent 'rex Anglorum'
St Paul's Cathedral in London founded
Death of St Augustine, and pope Gregory I
Feb 24: Death of Ethelbert of Kent ± succeeded by his son Eadbald, who was
not a Christian
Edwin becomes king of Northumbria (to 633) ± possibly founds Edinburgh? ±
[He overcame all Britain save Kent alone ± Anglo-Saxon Chronicles]
Muhammad's flight from Mecca marks the start of the Muslim calendar
Aug: Battle of Maserfield: Penda of Mercia defeats Oswald of Northumbria
Sutton Hoo ship-burial
Nov: Battle of Winwaed (in present-day Yorkshire): Oswiu of Northumbria
(brother of Oswald) defeats Penda of Mercia
Sep: Synod of Whitby: Divisions within the Northumbrian church led to the
Synod of Whitby, where Oswiu agreed to settle the Easter controversy by
adopting the Roman dating ± Roman Christianity triumphs over Celtic
Birth of the Venerable Bede, first English historian (d. 735)
First synod of clergy in England (at Hertford) ± Roman and Celtic churches
came to an agreement on the date to celebrate Easter
Cuthbert served as Bishop of Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne Gospels
Roman Christianity established in Pictland
First written version of Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf
Bede's Ecclesiastical History
Offa became ruler of Mercia (died Jul 796) and effectively ruled much of
Britain south of the Humber during the latter part of his reign
King Offa first divided a pound of silver into 240 silver pennies
First sighting of Viking ships off Dorset
First Viking raids (Lindisfarne and elsewhere)
Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the West by Pope Leo III
Book of Kells
Norsemen plunder Iona
Egbert King of Wessex and Mercia effectively first king of England (d. 839),
but see 937 ± see also general list of dates for Monarchs of England
Norse establish permanent base at Dublin
Kenneth I MacAlpin, king of Scots, becomes King of Picts ± start of Scottish
Danish army conquers north-eastern third of England
Jan 4: Battle of Reading ± Ethelred of Wessex defeated by a Danish invasion
Apr: Alfred (the Great) succeeds Ethelred; crowned king of Wessex
Curfew (couvre feu) introduced at Oxford by King Alfred to reduce fire risks
(why a French term this early in English history?)
Battle of Chippenham: Alfred defeated by Danes (shortly after Christmas 877)
but escapes and 'burns the cakes'; Battle of Egbert's Stone (Eddington?) in May:
Alfred (5±6,000 troops) defeats Danes, who retreat and are besieged in
Chippenham ± Danes/Vikings fail in attempt to conquer Wessex ± leader
Guthram baptised as Athelstan and accepted by Alfred as his Godson
Treaty of Wedmore: England divided between Alfred the Great of Wessex (the
south and west) and the 'Danelaw' under Guthram (the north and east)
Start of concept of 'Englishness' and growth of 'burghs' in England from this
Donald II, first King of Picts & Scots (d. in battle 900)
Beginning of  nglo-Saxon Chronicle marks revival of learning in England
Oct 26: Death of King Alfred the Great (some say 901); succeeded by Edward
(the Elder)
Edward of Wessex conquers southern half of Danelaw
Athelstan of Wessex defeats Scots, north Welsh and Norse at Brunanburgh ±
regarded by some as 'first king of all England' (but see 827)

Oct 27: Edmund I succeeds Athelstan as King of England
Edinburgh held by King of Alba
Jul 15: St Swithun's body moved from his outdoor grave to an indoor shrine in
the the Old Minster in Winchester against his expressed wishes ± legend says
this was accompanied by bad weather, from which the popular British weather
lore proverb comes, that if it rains on Saint Swithun's day, 15 July, it will rain
for 40 days and 40 nights
Edgar introduces a new coinage ± the royal portrait becomes a regular feature
on coins
Vikings renew assault on England
Hugh Capet crowned King of France, first of the Capetian dynasty which ruled
till the French Revolution
Aug 10: Battle of Maldon ± English, led by Bryhtnoth, defeated by a band of
raiding Vikings near Maldon, Essex ± celebrated by a poem
Nov 13: St Brice's Day massacre ± King Aethelred (Ethelred II, the 'Unready')
orders killing of all Danes in England
Sveyn I (Sweyn, Swein) of Denmark devastates England: Ethelred pays him
24,000 pounds of silver to stop
Vikings explore the North American coast
Apr 30: The brightest supernova in recorded history appears in the constellation
King Ethelred pays Sveyn another 36,000 pounds of silver
London Bridge torn down by Vikings with grappling irons ± (Olaf II
Haraldsson, later St Olaf, took part) ± possibly the origin of "London Bridge is
falling Down"
Apr 19: Murder by Danes of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Greenwich
after refusing to be ransomed (canonised 1078 to St Alphege)
King Aethelred pays Sveyn another 48,000 pounds of silver; but next year
Sveyn pushes him off the throne
Brian Boru leads the Irish to victory over the Norse at Clontarf
Canute (Knut, son of Sveyn) becomes king of Denmark, Norway and England
(d. 1035)
Canute divides England into four Earldoms: Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and
East Anglia
Battle of Carham: Malcolm defeats the Northumbrians adding Lothian to
Guido of Arezzo introduces first practical form of musical notation, enabling
melodies to be sung on sight
Strathclyde annexed by King of Scots becomes part of Scottish Kingdom
Death of Canute: the Danish empire splits up
Aug 15: Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findláich) murders Duncan (Donnchad
Mac Crínáin) and takes the throne of Scotland (d. 1057)
Lady Godiva, wife of earl of Mercia, rides naked through Coventry as a protest
against taxes ± [Now why couldn't Shakespeare have written about that
Edward the Confessor King of England (d. 1066)
First recorded use of moveable type, in China
Building of Westminster Abbey ± consecrated 28 Dec 1065, only a week
before Edward the Confessor's death and subsequent funeral (rebuilt 1245±
Jul: Supernova observed by Arabian and Chinese astronomers ± becomes the
Crab Nebula
The Great Schism, when Christianity divided into Western (Latin) and Eastern
(Greek) branches
Jan 6: Edward the Confessor dies ± Harold II (Godwinson) reigned for 9
Sep 25: Battle of Stamford Bridge: Harold II defeats Norwegian invasion
Sep 28: Invasion of England by Duke William of Normandy
Oct 14: Battle of Hastings
± Harold II dies
Dec 25: William crowned King of England at Westminster
Northern earls and a Scandanavian army seize York ± William replies with the
'Harrowing of the North' ± "He made no effort to control his fury and he
punished the innocent with the guilty. He ordered that crops and herds, tools
and food should be burned to ashes. More than 100,000 people perished of
[Orderic Vitalis]
King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland marries Margaret (later St Margaret)
King Malcolm III of Scotland submitted to William the Conqueror
Reconstruction of Canterbury Cathedral begins: The Saxon cathedral burned in
1067. Lanfranc, first Norman Archbishop, restored and enlarged its buildings
between 1067 and 1077. A new choir was consecrated in 1130 but burned in
1174, four years after Becket's murder. That was rebuilt by 1184, but the nave
wasn't finished until 1405. [others say completed 1495]
Norman conquest of England complete
Possible completion of the Bayeux Tapestry
Construction of Winchester Cathedral begins (consecrated in 1093 but not
completed until 1404.)
Building of Tower of London starts [others say 1067]
Completion of Domesday Book
May 9: Lincoln Cathedral consecrated
Nov 27: Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont
First crusade begins (to 1099)
Jun 3: Antioch falls to the Crusaders
Expedition of Magnus Barelegs to Scottish coasts
Jun 7: Siege of Jerusalem begins by the Crusaders
12th & 13th centuries
Climate: A medieval warm period called the 'Little Optimum'
Aug 2: William II found dead in the New Forest with an arrow through his lung
Aug 5: Henry I crowned in Westminster Abbey
First record of football in England
Synod of Westminster under Anselm forbids clergy to marry
Sep 28: Battle of Tinchebray ± Henry I defeats his older brother Robert
Curthose, Duke of Normandy ± England and Normandy remain under a single
ruler until 1204
Introduction in England of Pipe Rolls, recording exchequer payments
Military order of the Knights Templar founded
Nov 25: The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William
Adelin, the only legitimate son of Henry I of England ± his death caused a
succession crisis, culminating in 'The Anarchy' or 'The Nineteen Year Winter'
during the reign of Stephen (1135±1154)
First references in Scotland to Burghs and Sheriffs
Apr 27: David I becomes King of Scotland
Great age of abbey building in England: Tintern (1131), Rievaulx (1131),
Fountains (1132)
Dec 1: Death of Henry I; Stephen seizes the throne of England amid a
confusion of Matildas
Aug 22: 'Battle of The Standard' near Northallerton ± English forces repelled a
Scottish army
Portugal becomes independent from Spain
Transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture in Europe (freeing walls
from load-bearing functions, thus allowing larger windows); Linguistically,
also regarded as the start of the Middle English period (until c.1500)
Only year in which Matilda (or Maude, daughter of Henry I) was the
undisputed ruler of England
Jul 1: Battle of Wilton in Wiltshire
Normandy comes under Angevin control under Geoffrey of Anjou
Pope Eugene III calls for the Second Crusade (1147±49)
Jul: Seige of Damascus by the Crusaders fails
First recorded Mersey Ferry
Sep 7: Geoffrey of Anjou dies, succeeded by his son Henry Plantagenet, aged
May 18: Henry Plantagenet (to become King Henry II) marries Eleanor of
May 27: Malcolm IV becomes King of Scotland
Treaty of Wallingford between Stephen and Matilda in which her son Henry
Plantagenet would inherit the throne of England on Stephen's death
Oct 25: Death of King Stephen; Henry II becomes King of England ± he
already has Normandy, Anjou and Aquitaine, and is now the most powerful
man in Europe
Dec 4: Nicholas Breakspear (Adrian IV) becomes only English pope (b. circa
1100 at St Albans, d. 1 Sep 1159 at Anagni and buried in the Vatican)
Dec 19: Henry II crowned in Westminster Abbey
Papal bull issued by Adrian IV, the only Englishman to serve as Pope, gives the
King of England lordship over Ireland
Jul: Henry II of England invades Wales and is defeated at the Battle of Ewloe
by Owain Gwynedd
A new coinage introduced by Henry II (known as the Tealby penny) was struck
from 92.5% silver (Sterling)
Sep 7: Cardinals given the right to elect the Pope (prior to this the pope was
elected by the clergy and congregation of the church) ± Pope Alexander III
succeeds Pope Adrian IV as the 170th pope
Jun 3: Thomas Becket consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury ± Henry II
thought he would be 'his' man, but things turned out differently (see 1174)
Danegeld tax abolished
Letter of Prester John started spreading throughout Europe
Establishment of trial by jury
Dec 29: Murder of Thomas à Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
Pope decrees that Henry II of England is feudal lord of Ireland
Apr: Revolt begins against Henry II by his wife and sons
Jul 12: Henry II did penance for the death of Thomas à Becket, murdered by his
knights 3 years previously and already canonised; the following day in a
'seeming act of divine providence', the last supporters of the revolt against him
were surprised and captured at Alnwick
Treaty of Falaise signed ± William the Lion surrenders Scottish crown to King
Henry II of England
London Bridge construction in stone started (from tax on wool) ± completed
1209, replaced 1831
Dec 25: First Eisteddfod, at Cardigan Castle
The Leaning Tower of Pisa begins to lean as the third level is completed
Oct: Saladin recaptures Jerusalem ± served as the catalyst for the Third Crusade
The original Newgate Prison built in London
'Saladin Tithe' levied in England ± exemption for those who joined the Crusade
Jul 6: Henry II dies at the castle of Chinon in Anjou; Richard I 'Lionheart'
becomes king of England (d. 1199) ± acknowledges the independence of
Sep 1: Legal Memory dates from accession of Richard I ± before that is 'Time
Immemorial', see 1275
Mar: Jews of York massacred (150 in number)
Opening of the Third Crusade
'Early English' Gothic period in English architecture (till about 1280)
Dec 20: Richard I held for ransom on his way back from the Crusade by
Leopold V of Austria
Apr 6: Richard I dies having spent most of his reign abroad ± succeeded by his
brother John (to 1216)
Pope Innocent III initiates the Fourth Crusade (1202±1204)
Angers and Normandy are captured by Philip II of France
Jul 15: King John expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop Stephen
Winchester Pipe Rolls begin ± the financial accounts of the manors or estates
belonging to the Bishopric of Winchester ± written in medieval Latin until
1599, after that in English ± see example of translated contents
Jul: One of the early 'great fires of London'
Jun 15: Magna Carta sealed at Runnymede by King John
Oct 28: First Lord Mayor's Show in London
Nov 11: Fourth Lateran Council defined the doctrine of transubstantiation
Nov 6: 'Charter of the Forest' by Henry III established that all freemen owning
land within the forest enjoyed the rights of agistment (grazing cattle) and
pannage (grazing pigs)
Fifth Crusade (1217±1221)
Start of building current York Minster: Archbishop Walter de Gray started its
construction (with the transept) in 1220, working from the design of the
Norman cathedral of 1070. Its towers were finally completed in 1472.
Salisbury Cathedral: started (replacing the Norman cathedral at Old Sarum) by
Bishop Poore in 1220, consecrated in 1258, and its great spire finished in 1334
Introduction of a poll tax in England
King Alexander II of Scotland conquers Argyll
First recorded mention of the Royal Mint
Sixth Crusade (1228±1229)
Cambridge University organised and granted Royal Charter
Statute of Merton ± authorised manorial lords to enclose portions of commons
and wastes provided that sufficiant pasture remained for his tenants
Treaty of York signed by Henry III of England and Alexander II of Scotland ±
set the border between England and Scotland, which remains to this day except
round Berwick
Foundation of Bedlam (Bethlehem Hospital), London, by Simon Fitzmary
Charter granted to Oxford University by Henry III
Aug 15: Foundation stone of Cologne cathedral laid ± building not completed
until 1880
Seventh Crusade (1248±1254)
Royal Proclamations by Henry III are first government documents issued in
Decreed in England that in leap years, the leap day and the day before are to be
reckoned as one day for the purpose of calculating when a full year has passed
Dec 4: Treaty of Paris between Henry III and Louis IX of France ± Henry
agreed to renounce control of Normandy (except for the Channel Islands),
Maine, Anjou and Poitou, which had been lost under the reign of King John.
He was able to keep Gascony and parts of Aquitaine but only as a vassal to
Louis. In exchange, Louis withdrew his support for English rebels. Said to be
one of the indirect causes of the Hundred Years War
Chartres cathedral dedicated
Oct 2: Battle of Largs, Ayrshire ± King Alexander III said to have defeated
Norwegian invaders under King Haakon IV
First recorded reference to Justice of the Peace in England (but see 1285)
May 12-14: Battle of Lewes: Henry III captured by Simon de Montfort
Jan 20: First elected English parliament (De Montfort's Parliament) conducts its
first meeting, in the Palace of Westminster
Aug 4: Battle of Evesham: Simon de Montfort killed (death of chivalry? ± but
this also claimed for Crécy, see 1346)
Western Isles acquired by Scotland
Eighth Crusade (1270)
Ninth (and last) crusade (1271±72)
Nov 20: Edward I (who was away on the Crusade) declared king of England
following the death of his father Henry III on Nov 16
Aug 19: Edward I crowned on his return from the Crusades
Apr 22: First Statute of Westminster passed by the English parliament ± fixed
the reign of Richard I as the time limit for bringing certain types of action ± see
'Time Immemorial' 1189 (others say there was also the concept of 'before the
memory of man' being 113 years)
Scottish rule established on the Isle of Man
Edward I embarks on the conquest of Wales
A major re-coinage introduced new denominations. In addition to the penny,
the halfpenny and farthing were minted, and also a fourpenny piece called a
'groat' (from the French 'gross')
'Decorated' Gothic period in English architecture (till about 1370)
Climate: 1280±1311 peak of the medieval warm period
Dec 10: Llewellyn, last native Prince of Wales, killed
Annexation of Wales to England by Edward I ± Statute of Rhuddlan, 3 March
1284, created early counties in Wales (see 1536)
Statute of Winchester and Second Statute of Westminster ± first Justices of the
Peace installed in England? (but some say they derive from 1361, in the reign
of Edward III) ± among other things, authorised manorial lords to enclose
commons and wastes where the common rights belonged to tenants from other
Oct: Death of the 'maid of Norway,' heiress to the Scottish crown ± led to the
Wars of Scottish Independence 1296±1328
Jul 18: Jews expelled from England by Edward I
Dec: Death of Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I ± he had 12 'Eleanor crosses'
erected between Lincolnshire (where she died) and London (where she was
buried in Westminster Abbey)
Statute of 'Quia Emptores' ± prevented tenants from leasing their lands to others
and allowed the sale of freehold
Spectacles introduced in Italy
Competition for the Scottish Crown between some eleven "Competitors"
(including John Baliol, John Comyn and Robert Bruce the elder) all claiming
the right to succeed
Nov 17: King Edward I awards Scottish crown to John Baliol ('Toom Tabard',
or 'empty coat')
Oct 23: Signing of the "Auld Alliance" in Paris between Scotland and France ±
one of the world's oldest mutual defence treaties
Annexation of Scotland by England ± Scotland's Coronation Stone the "Stone
of Destiny" or "Stone of Scone" was removed to Westminster Abbey by the
English King Edward I, temporarily 'returned' to Scotland in 1950, and
permanently returned in 1996
Mar 30: Berwick-upon-Tweed sacked by Edward I
Apr 27: Battle of Dunbar: Scots defeated
Jul 10: John Baliol dethroned by Edward I
Beginning of uprising led by William Wallace (the Guardian of Scotland)
Sep 11: Battle of Stirling Bridge, defeat of English Army
Jul 22: Battle of Falkirk, Edward I defeats William Wallace ± early use of the
long bow by the English
Earliest western reference to manufacture of gunpowder
Feb 7: Son of Edward I created first Prince of Wales
Trial of William Wallace in London, execution at Smithfield
Mar 25: Robert the Bruce crowned King Robert I of Scots
Jun 19: Battle of Methven ± a 'fortunate defeat' for Bruce
Jul 7: Edward I dies ± succeeded by his son, Edward II
Nov 18: According to legend, William Tell shoots an apple off of his son's head
Ordinances laid on Edward II by the peerage and clergy of England to restrict
his power ± twenty-one signatories referred to as the Ordainers ± Thomas of
Lancaster their leader was executed in 1322
Knights Templars suppressed in France
Climate: Sequence of cold and wet summers ± harvests ruined
Jun 24: Battle of Bannockburn ± Scots under Robert the Bruce routed the
English led by Edward II ± resulted in Scottish independence
Edward II banned football in London (possibly to encourage people to practice
their archery instead)
Great European famine
± population of Britain had peaked at around 5 million before declining
Invention of escapement clocks, and first practical guns
Declaration of Arbroath; a statement of Scottish independence
First Scottish Parliament (at Cambuskenneth)
Deposition and regicide of King Edward II of England (in an apparently
unfortunate manner): Edward III rules for 50 years till 1377
Jan 24: Edward III marries Philippa of Hainault
May 1: Treaty of Northampton, formalised peace between England and
Jun 7: Death of Robert the Bruce; succeeded by infant David II of Scots
Climatic catastrophe in eastern Asia ± 7 million people drowned ± black rats
driven west (one theory says that this caused the Black Death in Europe ± but
see note 1349)
Edward III asserts his claim to the French throne ± 'Hundred Years War' begins
(to 1453)
Jun 24: Edward III personally commands the English fleet in their victory over
the French off Sluys (who were trying to blockade English export of wool to
Aug 26: Battle of Crecy (Crécy) ± military supremacy of the English longbow
established, and that of 'peasant' archers over knights on horseback
Oct 17: Battle of Neville's Cross; English capture King David II (held until
Jun 24: Order of the Garter founded by King Edward III of England ± motto
'Honi soit qui mal y pense'
 ('The Pestilence') reaches England (entered Europe in 1346/7;
lasted until 1351) ± this was the first return of plague to Europe for almost 400
years, but it reappeared more than once during the next three centuries ± some
estimate that where it struck, up to a quarter of the population perished ±
theories that it was spread by rat fleas have been questioned, as it seems to have
travelled too fast for that to have been the agent, and a bacterial disease
possibly from Africa is now suspected ± for an example of effect of the Black
Death on architecture, see Winchester Cathedral
Black Death first appears in Scotland
Aug 29: Battle of Winchelsea ± English naval fleet under King Edward III
defeats a Castilian fleet of 40 ships
Statute of Labourers ± attempt to regulate wages and prices at 1340 levels
following labour shortages caused by the Black Death ± it set a precedent that
distinguished between labourers who were "able in body" to work and those
who could not work for other reasons
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge founded
Giovanni Boccaccio ^he Decameron
Feb 10: St Scholastica's Day riot, Oxford ± armed clashes between locals and
students (Town versus Gown)
Sep 19: Battle of Poitiers: Black Prince (son of Edward III) captures the French
king, John II (the Good)
Oct: King David II of Scotland released by the English in return for a ransom
May 8: Treaty of Brétigny marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred
Years' War (1337±1453) ± ratified on Oct 24 at Calais ± by this treaty Edward
III and John II (still in captivity, though with many privileges) make peace, but
it only lasted for 9 years
The French franc introduced by John II
Edward, the Black Prince, marries his cousin Joan, the 'Fair Maid of Kent'
Second severe outbreak of of the Black Death
English becomes official language in English Parliament and Law Courts
Quarter Sessions established by statute
William Langland ·ision of Piers Ploughman
Charles V (the Wise) becomes King of France
Statues of Kilkenny belatedly forbid intermarriage of English and Irish ± Gaelic
culture unsuccessfully suppressed
Hundred Years War restarts
'Perpendicular' Gothic period in English architecture (till about 1550) ± great
East Window in Gloucester first example
Feb: Accession of Robert II, the first Stewart king of Scots
Naval battle off La Rochelle: Castilians defeat the English fleet ± tide begins to
turn against the English in Aquitaine
Truce in the Hundred Years War ± England lost most of her possessions in
Edward III dies, age 65: Richard II rules till deposed in 1399
May 22: Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of
John Wycliffe
Start of the Papal Schism (until 1417) when three men simultaneously claimed
to be the true pope
Jun 15: Wat Tyler killed at Smithfield, London, during Peasants' Revolt in
protest against poll tax of 1380
First translation of the Bible into English, by John Wycliffe
Winchester College founded by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester
May 21: Great earthquake in Kent [? can't find confirmation of this one]
± see 1580
Regular series of wills starts in Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Treaty of Windsor between Britain and Portugal ± "The British have an alliance
with Portugal unbroken since the year 1384, and which produced fruitful results
at a critical moment in the recent war." Iron Curtain Speech by Winston
Churchill, 1946
Chaucer (d. 1400) begins writing The Canterbury Tales
Aug 5: Battle of Otterburn, Northumberland (Chevy Chase)
June 15: Battle of Kosovo; The Ottoman Empire defeats Serbs and Bosnians
Wells Cathedral clock
Apr: Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court
of Richard II
Dick Whittington (d. 1423) first becomes Lord Mayor of London
Sep: Deposition of King Richard II; Henry IV establishes Lancastrian dynasty
Oct 25: Geoffrey Chaucer dies in London
Sep 16:
Owen Glendower declared Prince of Wales ± start of rebellion of against Henry IV
Average life expectancy had dropped to 38 years (had been 48 years in 1300)
This is the date at which the 'great vowel shift' (shortening of vowel sounds) in
the English language is regarded as starting
Jul 21: Battle of Shrewsbury: Henry IV defeats rebels
Jun 8: Execution of Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York and Thomas
Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk for insurrection against Henry IV
Foundation of the University of St Andrews
Mar 21: Henry V to the throne
Oct 25 (St Crispin's Day): Battle of Agincourt
Jun 24: First recorded meeting of theTynwald in the Isle of Man
Jul 27: Antipope Benedict XIII deposed, bringing to an end the Great Western
Aug 12: Henry V starts using English (rather than French) in his
Jan 19: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England
Dec 1: Henry V of England enters Paris
Infant Henry VI (9 months old) on throne of England
Winter: Much of Alnwick burnt by a Scottish raiding party (and again in later
Feb 12: Battle of the Herrings just north of Orleans
May 30: Death of Joan of Arc
Dec 16: Henry VI of England crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris
Climate: Britain snowbound for 6 of these 7 winters
University of Caen founded by John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
Sep 21: Treaty of Arras between Charles VII of France and Philip III of
Burgundy ends the English-Burgundy alliance
Assassination of King James I of Scots at Perth
Eton College founded by Henry VI
May 8: Jack Cade's Rebellion: Kentishmen revolt against Henry VI
University of Glasgow founded
End of Hundred Years' War (Battle of Castillon, Jul 17)
Feb 23: Johannes Gutenberg starts printing the bible, using movable type [some
say 1450, 1453 or 1454]
May 22: Battle of St Albans, first in Wars of the Roses (1455±87); Richard,
Duke of York, defeats and captures Henry VI
Fall of the Black Douglases in Scotland
Aug 24: Printing of Gutenberg Bible completed [some say 1454 or 1455]
First recorded mention of golf in Scotland
Aug 3: King James II of Scots killed by an exploding cannon at Kelso
Mar 29 (Palm Sunday): Battle of Towton ± probably the bloodiest battle ever
fought on English soil: Henry VI flees to Scotland; Edward, Duke of York,
crowned as Edward IV on 1st Aug ± see website
Irish living near English settlements made to take English surnames
Orkney and Shetland Islands acquired from Norway by Scotland (but
Wikepedia says 20th Feb 1472)
Oct 30: Henry VI (Lancastrian) restored to the throne
Apr 14: Yorkists defeat the Lancastrians at Barnet; Edward IV resumes the
May 4: Battle of Tewkesbury ± Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and
kills Edward, Prince of Wales
May 21: Henry VI murdered in the Tower of London
St Andrews made a bishopric
Aug 29: Treaty of Picquigny ends a brief war between France and England
Caxton sets up a printing press in Westminster
Edward IV bans cricket
Feb 18: George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence executed in the Tower of
London, by drowning in a butt of Malmsey wine?
Spanish Inquisition begins (did nobody really expect it?)
Murder of the princes (Edward V and his younger brother Richard of
Shrewsbury) in the Tower; their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester becomes
king (Richard III)
Introduction of bail for defendants in legal courts
English first used for parliamentary statutes
Aug 22: Battle of Bosworth Field; Richard III killed ± end of the War of the
Roses and beginning of the Tudor dynasty (Henry VII)
Formation of the Yeomen of the Guard
Jan 18: Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and sister
of Edward V
Boke of St Albans printed ± includes collective nouns for animals and people
May 24: Imposter Lambert Simnel crowned as "King Edward VI" at Dublin
Jun 16: Battle of Stoke Field ± Henry VII's final victory in War of the Roses
A pound coin (the 'sovereign') minted for the first time. A shilling coin was
minted for the first time a few years later
Nov 9: Peace of Etaples between Henry VII and Charles VIII of France ±
improvement in relations continued until the end of Henry's reign
Dec 5: Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the
island of Hispaniola (West Indies)
Papermaking introduced to Britain ± John Tate opens a paper mill at Stevenage
soon after this
Moors driven from Grenada
June 7: Treaty of Tordesillas ± Spain and Portugal divide the world between
them (along the great diameter 51°W and 129°E longditude) ± see 1529
Foundation of the University of Aberdeen (as King's College)
Jun 17: Battle of Deptford Bridge ± end of the Cornish rebellion against Henry
Jul 8: Vasco da Gama sets sail on first direct European voyage to India.
Parish registers instituted in Spain by Cardinal Ximenes
Cabot reaches North America
Nov 16: Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the throne, executed
May 28: Marriage of King James IV of Scots and Margaret Tudor
Leonardo da Vinci paints ©ona Lisa
Royal College of Surgeons founded in Edinburgh
Jan 22: First contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican
First printing press in Scotland set up in Edinburgh by Andrew Myllar
Apr: Suggestion put forward that the New World be named America in honour
of Amerigo Vespucci (on Martin Waldseemüller's world map)
Naturalisation papers start in England
Apr 22: Henry VIII becomes king of England (to 1547) at 17 years old
Jun 11: Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon
Admiralty founded in London
The "Auld Alliance" treaty with France ± all Scottish citizens became French
and vice versa
Nov 1: Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, exhibited to the
public for the first time
Aug 16: Battle of the Spurs ± English troops under Henry VIII defeat a French
force at Guinegate
Sep 9: Battle of Flodden, defeat of Scottish Army ± death of King James IV of
Machiavelli writes ^he Prince
Recording of Testaments (wills) begins in Scotland
Nov 15: Thomas Wolsley invested as Cardinal
Thomas More writes ctopia
Oct 31: Martin Luther fixes his 95 theses on church door at Wittenburg ±
regarded as start of the Reformation
Treaty of London, a non-aggression pact between the major European nations:
France, England, Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy, Spain, Burgundy and the
Netherlands ± sponsored by Cardinal Wolsey
Cortes conquers Mexico
Nov: Three ships under the command of Ferdinand Magellan negotiate the
Strait of Magellan, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Pacific
Apr 17: Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to
recant his teachings
May 17: Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, executed for treason
May 25: Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor issues the
Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw
Sep 6: The ·ictoria, one of the surviving ships of Ferdinand Magellan's
expedition, becomes the first ship known to circumnavigate the world
New Testament translated into English by William Tyndale
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School founded in Sutton Coldfield
St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle completed
Apr 22: Treaty of Zaragoza specified the anti-meridian of the Treaty of
Tordesillas (see 1494) which stated that everything west of 46° 37' was given to
Spain whereas everything east of 46° 37' was given to Portugal
Diet of Speyer: origin of the word Protestant
Feb 11: Henry VIII recognised as Supreme Head of the Church of England
Foundation of the Court of Session in Scotland
Jan 25: Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn secretly, wife #2 (she was crowned as
Queen on 1st June)
Mar 30: Thomas Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
May 23: Henry VIII's marriage with Catherine of Aragon officially declared
Jul 11: Henry VIII excommunicated by Pope Clement VII
Sep 17: Anne Boleyn gives birth to a daughter Elizabeth, to become Queen
Elizabeth I
Reformation of the Catholic Church in England church (Henry VIII)
Sir Thomas More executed
Dissolution of monasteries starts in England (to 1540)
Wales and England legally united by the Laws in Wales Act of 1535 ± further
Welsh counties established (see 1284)
May 19: Anne Boleyn executed
May 30: Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour, wife #3 (she was crowned as
Queen on 29th October)
Jul 18: The authority of the Pope is declared void in England
Oct 24: Jane Seymour dies from complications in giving birth to a son, the
future Edward VI
English and Welsh parish registers start
Henry VIII issues English Bible
Dec 17: Henry VIII excommunicated by Pope Paul III
Statute of Wills allows freehold land to be bequeathed
Jan 6: Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves, the 'Flanders Mare', wife #4
Feb 9: First recorded horse racing event in Britain, at Chester
Jul 9: Henry VIII divorces Anne of Cleves
Jul 28: Thomas Cromwell executed; Henry VIII marries Catherine Howard the
same day, wife #5
Henry VIII proclaimed king (rather than feudal lord) of Ireland
Feb 13: Catherine Howard executed
Nov 24: The Rout of Solway Moss
Dec 14: Death of King James V of Scots; his baby daughter Mary "Queen of
Scots" succeeds him, just 6 days old
Jul 12: Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr, wife #6, who survives him
Sep 9: Mary Stuart, at nine months old, is officially crowned "Queen of Scots"
in Stirling (spelling of the royal house changes from Stewart to Stuart)
Mary of Guise, Regent of Scotland
Henry's VIII's "Rough Wooing" of the Scottish Borders
Jul 20: ©ary Rose, flagship of Henry VIII, sinks in the Solent ± raised in 1982
Dec 13: Start of the Council of Trent (Trento, Italy) ± convened by the Catholic
Church three times, ending 4 Dec 1563, as a response to the Protestant
Trinity College, Cambridge founded by Henry VIII
Jan 16: Ivan the Terrible crowned Tsar of Russia at age 16
Jan 28: Death of Henry VIII (succeeded by Edward VI, aged 9, to 1553)
Feb 20: Coronation of Edward VI in Westminster Abbey
English replaced Latin in church services in England and Wales
Sep 10: Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, said to be the first 'modern' battle to be fought
in the British Isles
The injunction to keep parish registers is reiterated
Vagrants Act passed (able-bodied tramps can be detained as slaves)
Priests in England allowed to marry (about a third then did so)
± but see 1554
Jun 9: First Book of Common Prayer sanctioned by English Parliament
Wedding ring finger changed from right to left hand
First Act of Uniformity in England made Catholic Mass illegal
English Parliament declares enclosures legal
Climate: Referred to as the 'Little Ice Age' ± severe gales became more frequent
Walloon Protestants arrive as refugees from the Low Countries
Scotland: General Provincial Council orders each parish to keep a register of
baptisms and banns of marriage
Mar: An 'Act of Uniformity' imposes the Protestant prayerbook of 1552 in
Jul 6: Edward VI dies; Lady Jane Grey queen for a few days only
Jul 19: Mary Tudor ('Bloody Mary') comes to the throne
Brief Catholic restoration under Queen Mary Tudor ± married priests forced to
separate at least 30 miles from their wives
Feb 12: Lady Jane Grey beheaded
Michel Nostradamus publishes his prophecies
Mar 21: Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer burned at the stake in
Dec: The First Covenant signed in Scotland (foundation of the Presbyterian
Index librorum prohibitum (index of prohibited books) instituted by the Vatican
± repealed in 1966
Scottish parish registers start
Chancery Proceedings Indexes begin
Jan 7: French take Calais, last English possession in France
Apr 24: Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to François the Dauphin of France
in Paris
Nov 17: Queen Mary Tudor of England dies and is succeeded by her half-sister
Elizabeth ± Protestantism restored in England
Policy of Plantation begins
System of Counties adopted
Jan 15: Elizabeth crowned in Westminster Abbey by Owen Oglethorpe, the
Bishop of Carlisle
Apr 29: Acts of Supremacy passed in Parliament, ending papal jurisdiction over
England & Wales; established Church of England
John Knox returns from Continent ± strengthens case for Presbyterianism in
Tobacco introduced to Europe
Feb 27: Treaty of Berwick between Duc du Chatelherault (as governor of
Scotland) and the English, agreeing to act jointly to expel the French from
Establishment of Protestantism in Scotland ± commissary courts thrown into
confusion ± some records lost
Spire of St Paul's, highest in England, destroyed by fire
The first coins produced by machinery (known as a 'mill') rather than by hand,
but it was a slow process and did not replace hand struck coinage until new
machinery was introduced in 1663
Mar 1: Over 1,000 Huguenots massacred in Wassy-sur-Blaise ± start of the
First War of Religion in France (and see 1572)
Earliest English slave-trading expedition, under John Hawkins ± between
Guinea and the West Indies
Jul 28: The English surrender Le Havre to the French after a siege
Papal recusants heavily fined for non-attendance at Church
The Test Act excludes Roman Catholics from governmental office
Apr 26: Shakespeare baptised ± he is said to have been born on Apr 23, St
George's Day; he certainly died on Apr 23, 1616
Jul 29: Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, her
first cousin
Mar 9: Murder of David Riccio (or Rizzio) in Holyrood House
Feb 10: Murder of Darnley outside Holyrood House in an explosion
May 15: Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of
Jul 24: Mary Queen of Scots deposed and replaced by her 1 year old son James
Earliest date in the French Protestant and Walloon registers
May 13: Battle of Langside ± Mary's flight to England and her imprisonment
by Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I approved Sunday sports
Feb 25: Pope Pius V issued the papal bull 'Regnans in Excelsis' to
excommunicate Elizabeth I and her followers in the Church of England
Beginning of penal legislation against Catholics in England
Jan 23: Opening of the Royal Exchange in London, founded by Sir Thomas
Gresham ± this building destroyed in Great Fire of London 1666
Repeal of Act prohibiting lending of money on interest ± gradual change from
'subsistence economy' to 'cash economy' resulted
Presbyterianism introduced into England by Thomas Cartwright
Slaughter of Huguenots in Paris (massacre of St Bartholomew, started 24 Aug)
Colonial State Papers published ± continued to 1738
James Burbage opens first theatre in London
Act of Uniformity in matters of religion enforced
Apr 6: The 'Easter earthquake' or Dover Straits earthquake, largest in the
recorded history of England, mentioned by Shakespeare [Nurse: "¶Tis since the
earthquake now eleven years«´ (Romeo and Juliet, I.iii, line 22)] ± dozens of
ships sunk and a tsunami hit Calais; several London churches also damaged
Colonisation of Ireland
Congregational movement founded by Robert Browne about this time
Jan 16: English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism
Apr 4: Francis Drake knighted by Elizabeth I aboard the Golden Hind after
circumnavigating the world (see 1967)
English Levant Company founded
Gregorian calendar introduced to replace Julian calendar in some countries:
Spain and Portugal, France, Low Countries, part of Italy, Denmark. Pope
Gregory suppressed 10 days by altering 5 Oct to 15 Oct, thus making the
Spring equinox fall on 21 March 1583. Dates relating to the Julian calendar
were then referred to as 'Old Style', and those relating to the Gregorian calendar
as 'New Style'. See 1600 and 1751 for its adoption in Britain.
Aug: Sir Humphrey Gilbert attempts to establish English authority at St John's,
Foundation of Cambridge University Press by Thomas Thomas
University of Edinburgh founded
Jun 4: Sir Walter Raleigh establishes first English colony in the New World, on
Roanoke Island, Virginia (now in North Carolina) ± the so-called 'Lost Colony'
[but see 1583].
Foundation of Oxford University Press
Shakespeare started seriously to write about this time
Camden Britannia, first topographical survey of England
Feb 8: Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Fotheringay Castle, near
Apr 19: Sir Francis Drake sinks the Spanish fleet in Cadiz harbour
Aug 11: Raleigh's second expedition to New World lands in North Carolina ±
first child born in the New World of English parents was Virginia Dare (Aug
Introduction of potatoes to England
Jul 19: Spanish Armada sighted off the Lizard (had set sail from Lisbon in late
Jul 29: Defeat of Spanish Armada off Gravelines
Invention of shorthand by Dr Timothy Bright
Trinity College, Dublin, founded
A Congregational (or Independent) Church formed in London
Scotland: Presbyterian Church formally established ± all ministers equal ± no
bishops ± secular commissaries appointed by the Crown
British statute mile established by law
Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, leads Irish rebellion against English rule
Poor Law Act for erection of parish workhouses for the Poor ± Poor Rate
collection allowed
Bishop's transcripts of English and Welsh parish registers start ± parish records
were to be kept in 'great decent books of parchment' and copies or 'Bishop's
Transcripts' of new entries were to be sent each month to the diocesan centre
Edict of Nantes gives Huguenots toleration in France (but see 1685)
The early 1600s often known as the period of the 'Rebuilding of England'
Memoirs of Officers of the Royal Navy begin
Jan 1: Scotland adopts New Year beginning 1st January (previously 25th
March) - see 1752
Dec 31: British East India Company founded
Great English Poor Law Act passed
First use of fruit juice as a preventative for scurvy by James Lancaster
Mar 20: Dutch East India Company founded
Nov 8: Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public
Mar 24: Death of Elizabeth I: union of Scottish and English crowns ± under
King James VI of Scots and I of England (d. 1625)
Jul 25: Coronation ± James VI of Scotland is crowned first king of Great
Robert Cawdrey   ^able  lphabeticall ± first English dictionary
Nov 1: Shakespeare: Othello first presented
Nov 5: Gunpowder plot at Westminster (Guy Fawkes, etc)
Jan 31: Guy Fawkes and co-conspirators executed
Apr 12: Adoption of Union Flag as the flag of "Great Britain" (the term Union
Jack is used officially only when the Union Flag is flown from the Jack Mast of
a Royal Naval vessel)
The London Company chartered to colonise Virginia: the Susan Constant,
Godspeed, and Discovery leave England on 19th De
c taking 144 days to reach America
Episcopacy established in Scotland (against wishes of the Scots)
May 14: Jamestown, Virginia settled ± to become the first permanent British
colony in North America
Sep: Flight of the Earls from Ireland ± leading Ulster families go into exile
First use of telescope by Galileo ± he observed the moons of Jupiter two years
later in Jan 1610
James VI & I established the Episcopal Church in Scotland ± Prebyterians
persecuted and many of their records lost
Plantation of Ulster with English and Scottish colonists
Authorised (King James) Version of Bible in Britain
May 22: James VI & I created the title of baronet
Nov 1: Shakespeare: ^he ^empest first presented
Jun 29: The Globe Theatre in London burns during a performance of Henry the
(finally pulled down in 1644)
A copper farthing was produced, as a silver coin would be too small
Saturday Apr 23 (Gregorian calendar): Death of Miguel de Cervantes (of Don
Quixote fame) in Madrid
Tuesday Apr 23 (Julian calendar): Death of Shakespeare
Ben Jonson becomes first Poet Laureate
Register of Sasines (land leases) established in Scotland ± record of the transfer
of land and property
Sir Walter Raleigh beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I
Dec 4 (Nov 24 old style): Colonists from Berkeley Parish in England
disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God (considered by many to be the
first Thanksgiving in the Americas)
Dec 21 (Dec 16 old style): The Mayflower reaches America ± founds
Plymouth, New England (had initially set sail from Southampton on Aug 5)
Manufacture of coke (the fuel, not the drink!) patented by Dud Dudley
Chimneys to be made of brick and to be four and a half feet above the roof
Shakespeare's First Folio published
First English newspaper appeared Weekly News
Monopoly Act in England: patents protected
Edmund Gunter introduces the surveyor's chain (measurement of length)
The size of bricks standardised in England around this time
Mar 27: Death of King James VI & I
Carolean Age
Mar 1: Writs issued by Charles I that every county in England (not just seaport
towns) pay ship tax by this date
Mar 10: Parliament dissolved by King Charles I ± did not meet for another 11
Baroque Period (Art & Antiques)
Renaissance Period (Art & Antiques)
Jun: Galileo summoned by Inquisition for publishing in favour of Copernican
Letter Office of England & Scotland started
Flintlock small arms invented around this time (replaces matchlock)
L'Academie Française founded in France by Richelieu
Hackney Carriages in use by now in London
Scottish Prayer Book published
'Tulipomania' in Holland, leads to classic market collapse
Charles regarded protests against the prayerbook as treason ± forced Scots to
choose between their church and the King ± a "Covenant", swearing to resist
these changes to the death, was signed in Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh and
was accepted by hundreds of thousands of Scots (revival of Presbyterian
Act of Toleration in England established religious toleration
Dec 4 (Nov 24 old style): Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observation of a
transit of Venus
Nov 3: Charles I forced to recall Parliament (the 'Long Parliament') due to
Scottish invasion
Charles I's policies cause insurrection in Ulster and Civil War in England
Oct 23: 50,000 Irish killed in an uprising in Ulster
Charles I and the English Parliament acknowledge the Prebyterian Church in
The Civil War interrupted the keeping of parish registers
English theatres closed by Puritans (till 1660)
Aug 22: Charles I raises his standard at Nottingham ± First Civil War in
England (to 1649) ± first engagement at Edgehill (23 Oct) ± Scottish
Covenanters side with the English rebels who take power ± the Earl of
Montrose sided with King Charles, strife spilled into Scotland
Nov 13: Battle of Turnham Green ± Royalist forces withdraw in face of the
Parliamentarian army and fail to take London
Nov 24: Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania)
Dec 18: Abel Janszoon Tasman first European to set foot in New Zealand
Dec 13: Battle of Alton ± victory for Parliamentarians ± Sir Richard Bolle
killed in St Lawrence's church
Solemn League and Covenant signed in Scotland
Jun 29: Battle of Cropredy Bridge ± Royalists beat the Parliamentarian forces
Jul 2: Battle of Marston Moor, near York ± Parliamentarian forces beat the
Earliest Independent (Congregational) registers
Earliest Presbyterian registers
Montrose's Venture (Montrose executed in 1650)
Jun 14: Battle of Naseby: Parliament's New Model Army crushes the Royalist
Battle of Philiphaugh in Scotland
Inquisitions Post Mortem end
Scotland: Each county and burgh ordered to raise and maintain a number of
foot soldiers, according to population, to serve as militia ± population of
Scotland estimated at 420,000
Plague made its last appearance in Scotland
May 5: Charles I surrenders to the Scottish Army at Newark
Jun 20: Royalists sign articles of surrender at Oxford
Earliest Baptist registers survive from this year

Jan 30: Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück signed, ending the Eighty Years' War
between the Netherlands and Spain
Society of Friends (Quakers) founded by George Fox
First practical thermometers made
Jan 6: 'Rump' Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial
Jan 30: King Charles I executed (see 1660 for Regicides)
May 19: Commonwealth declared
Dec 20: Theatres banned by Cromwell
Christmas banned by Cromwell
Cromwell's Irish campaign starts
King Charles II proclaimed King of Scots and England in Scotland
Commonwealth Period ± Oliver Cromwell
Term 'Quaker' first used for Society of Friends
Coffee brought to England about this time
The second English Civil War
Sep 3: Battle of Worcester ± see Oak-apple Day 1664
Scottish prisoners transported to the British settlements in America
Commonwealth registers start
Apr 20: Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament
Dec 16: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of
England, Scotland and Ireland
Under the Act of Settlement Cromwell's opponents stripped of land (in
Isaak Walton ^he Compleat  ngler
Provincial probate courts abolished ± probates granted only in London
May 30: Formation of the Grenadier Guards, the most senior regiment of the
Infantry in the British Army
Post Office established by Act of Parliament [others say 1660]
A few Jews permitted to settle in England
Sep 3: Death of Oliver Cromwell
Huygens pendulum clock
Richard Cromwell (son of Oliver) Lord Protector
Feb 6: date of first known cheque to be drawn (some say 16th Feb)
Start of national meteorological Temperature records in the UK
Quaker-Scottish colony was established in East New Jersey
Restoration Period
Jan 1: Samuel Pepys starts his diary
May 29: Restoration of British monarchy (Charles II) ± 'Oak Apple Day' ±
theatres reopened
Commonwealth registers ended, Parish Registers resumed
Provincial Probate Courts re-established
Oct 17: Ten Regicides are executed at Charing Cross or Tyburn: Thomas
Harrison, John Jones, Adrian Scrope, John Carew, Thomas Scot and Gregory
Clement, who had signed the death warrant; the preacher Hugh Peters; Francis
Hacker and Daniel Axter, who commanded the soldiers at the trial and the
execution of the king; and John Cook the solicitor who directed the prosecution
[Encyclopedia Britannica]
Nov 28: Twelve men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John
Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the
Royal Society
Dec 8: First actress plays in London (Margaret Hughes as Desdemona)
Clarendon code restricts Puritans' religious freedom
Composition of light discovered by Newton
Honourable East India Company founded by British
First British in Japan
Scotland adopts Gregorian calendar
Jan 30: Oliver Cromwell ritually 'executed', having been dead for over two
Persecution of Non-conformists in England
Restoration of Episcopacy in Scotland
Board of Trade founded in London
Hand-struck postage stamps first used
Corporation Act prevents non-Anglicans from holding municipal office
Hearth Tax
± until 1689 (1690 in Scotland)
Poor Relief Act or "Act of Settlement" ± gave JPs the power to return any
wandering poor to the parish of origin (repealed 1834)
Aug 24: Act of Uniformity ± Acceptance of Book of Common Prayer required
± About 2,000 vicars and rectors driven from their parishes as nonconformists
(Presbyterians and Independents) ± Persecution of all non-conformists ±
Presbyterianism dis-established ± Episcopalian Church of England restored
Tea introduced to Britain
Earliest Roman Catholic registers
May 29: Oak Apple Day ± the birthday of Charles II and the day when he
entered London at the Restoration; commanded by Act of Parliament in 1664 to
be observed as a day of thanksgiving. A special service (expunged in 1859) was
inserted in the Book of Common Prayer and people wore sprigs of oak with
gilded oak-apples on that day. It commemorates Charles II's concealment with
Major Careless in the 'Royal Oak' at Boscobel, near Shifnal, Shropshire, after
his defeat at Worcester on 3 Sept 1651.
Aug 27: Nieuw Amsterdam becomes New York as 300 English soldiers under
Col. Mathias Nicolls take the town from the Dutch under orders from Charles
II. The town is renamed after the King's brother James, Duke of York
Great Plague of London (July-October) kills over 60,000
Nov 7: The London Gazette first published ± one of the official journals of
record of the United Kingdom government, and the oldest continuously
published newspaper in the United Kingdom
Five-mile Act restricts non-conformist ministers in Britain
Sep 2-6: Great Fire of London, after a drought beginning 27 June
Use of semaphore signalling pioneered by Lord Worcester
Act of Parliament ± burials to be in woollen
Newton formulated Laws of Gravity
Considerable religious unrest on Scotland (The Covenanters) ± Covenanters
Rising at St John's Town of Dalry
John Milton Paradise Lost
British East India Company obtains control of Bombay
Newton constructs reflecting telescope
May 31: Last entry in Pepys's diary (see 1825 for publication)
Earliest Lutheran registers survive from this year
Earliest Synagogue registers ± Bevis Marks
Dryden appointed Poet Laureate
May 2: Start of Hudson's Bay Company in Canada
May 26: King Charles II and King Louis XIV of France sign the Secret Treaty
of Dover
May 9: Thomas Blood caught stealing the Crown Jewels
High Court of Justiciary established in Scotland
War with Holland (to 1674) ± British Army increased to 10,000 men
First Test Act deprives British Catholics and Non-conformists of Public Office
Nov 8: John Milton dies in London
Nov 10: Treaty of Westminster ± Netherlands cedes New Netherlands (on the
eastern coast of North America) to Britain
Beginning of Whig party under Shaftsbury
Mar 4: John Flamsteed appointed first Astronomer Royal of England
Aug 10: Building of Royal Greenwich Observatory started
Rebuilding of St Paul's started by Wren (completed 1710)
Compton Census, named after its initiator Henry Compton, Bishop of London,
was intended to discover the number of Anglican conformists, Roman Catholic
recusants and Protestant dissenters in England and Wales from enquiries made
in individual parishes
Lee's "Collection of Names of Merchants in London" published
Extension of Test Act to peers
May 27: Habeas Corpus Act becomes law in England ± (later repealed from
time to time)
Jun 22: Battle of Bothwell Brig in Scotland ± Covenanter rebels routed
Tories first so named
Burial in Woollen more strictly enforced
William Dockwra(y) begins his London Penny Post
Dodo becomes extinct in Mauritius through over-hunting
Chinoiserie Period (Art & Antiques)
Second Test Act (against non-conformists) passed by Westminster Parliament
Oil lighting first used in London streets
Pennsylvania founded by William Penn
Library of Advocates founded in Edinburgh ± later National Library of
Halley observes the comet which bears his name
Jun 6: Ashmolean Museum opened at Oxford ± first museum in Britain
Climate: Coldest 'Frost fair' in London
Wild boar become extinct in Britain
Presbyterian settlement in Stuart's Town in South Carolina
Huguenot registers begin in London
Earl of Argyll's Invasion of Scotland
James the Second (1685-1689, died 1701) ± Monmouth rebellion and battle of
Sedgemoor ± British Army raised to 20,000 men
Judge Jeffreys and the Bloody Assizes ± 320 executed, 800 transported
Oct 18: Revocation of the Edict of Nantes ± drove thousands of Protestants
(Huguenots) from France ± many settled in England
Release of all prisoners held for their religious beliefs
Apr 4: James II issues the Declaration of Indulgence, suspending laws against
Catholics and non-conformists
Jul 5: Newton published his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia ©athematica ±
written in Latin
Sep 26: The Parthenon in Athens, used as a gunpowder magazine by the
Ottomans, exploded during an attack by the Venetians
Feb: Edward Lloyd's Coffee House opens ± later became Lloyd's of London
Nov: The Glorious Revolution: James II abdicates ± William of Orange lands at
Torbay on 5 Nov ± William III and Mary II, daughter of James II, jointly take
the throne 13 Feb 1689 ± (only William, however, has regal power)
British Army raised to 40,000
Bill of Rights limits the powers of the monarchy over parliament
Hearth Tax abolished
Mutiny Act
Mar 12: Deposed James VII & II flees to Ireland ± defeated at the Battle of the
Boyne (1 Jul 1690)
May 24: Toleration Act passed for Protestant non-conformists
Jul 27: Battle of Killiecrankie in Scotland ± Jacobites defeated Government
troops but at high cost
Siege of Londonderry (began Dec 1688; ended 28 Jul 1689)
Dec 16: Bill of Rights passed by Parliament, ending King's divine right to raise
taxes or wage war
Earliest Royal Dutch Chapel registers
Devonport naval dockyard established
Great Synagogue founded
Presbyterianism finally established in Scotland
May 20: England passes Act of Grace, forgiving Roman Catholic followers of
James II
Jul 1 (New Style, 12 Jul): Battle of the Boyne ± Jacobite forces defeated by
Earliest date in known German Lutheran registers
Feb 13: The massacre of Glencoe ± Clan Campbell sides with King William
and murders members of Clan McDonald
Land Tax introduced ± originally designed as an annual tax on personal estate,
public offices and land. For practical purposes, however, assessors tended to
avoid assessing items of wealth other than landed property so that it became
known as the Land Tax. Counties were assessed at a fixed sum and the parish
quotas were rarely altered. No systematic revaluation of properties was ever
made after 1698 so that assessments tended to reflect the initial late-
seventeenth century values. Its records in detail are usually available between
1780 and 1831.
French intention to invade England came to naught
Aug 4: Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Pierre Pérignon 's invention of
Some ^houghts Concerning Education published by John Locke
Climate: Oat harvest failed repeatedly in Scotland ± widespread starvation
National Debt came into effect in England
Stamp Duties introduced into Britain from Holland
Jul 27: Bank of England founded by William Paterson (a Scot)
Mary II death leaves William III as sole ruler
Triennial Act, new Parliamentary elections every three years
Scotland: Poll Tax imposed on all over sixteen, except the destitute and insane
Freedom of Press in England
Bank of Scotland founded
Act of Parliament imposes a fine on all who fail to inform the parish minister of
the birth of a child (repealed 1706, but see 1783)
Start of "Dissenters" lists in parish registers ± children born but not christened
in the parish church ± some were named "Papist" and others "Protestants"
Dec 31: Window Tax (replaced Hearth Tax; increased in 1747; abolished 1851
when it was replaced by House Duty)
Act of Parliament establishes Workhouses
Education Act passed by Scottish Parliament
Dec 2: Official opening of rebuilt St Paul's Cathedral
Jan 4: Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London destroyed by fire
Invention of steam engine by Capt Thomas Savery
Darien Expedition: a disastrous attempt to establish a Scots settlement in
Duties (taxes) on entries in parish registers ± repealed after five years
Nov 14: Eddystone Lighthouse (Henry Winstanley's) first lit; completed 10
days earlier (but see 1703)
Population in England and Scotland approx 7.5 million
Act of Settlement bars Catholics from the British throne
May 23: After being convicted of piracy and murdering William Moore,
Captain William Kidd hanged in London
Queen Anne Period (Art & Antiques)
Mar 8: Anne Stuart becomes Queen
Mar 11: First English daily newspaper The Daily Courant (till 1735)
War of Spanish Succession (1702-1713)
Repeal of Duties on entries in Parish Registers
Nov 24±Dec 2: Climate: Most violent storms of the millennium cause vast
damage across southern England ± about a third of Britain's merchant fleet lost,
and Eddystone lighthouse destroyed on 27 Nov (see 1755); it "produced so
deep an impression upon the people of the period that it was familiarly spoken
of as 'The Storm' throughout the whole of the eighteenth century"²Grant
Allen, in his notes to the 1900 edition of Gilbert White's 'Natural History of
Aug 4: British take Gibraltar
Aug 13: Battle of Blenheim
Penal Code enacted ± Catholics barred from voting, education and the military
Newton Optics, his theories of light and colour ± written in English
First workable steam pumping engine devised by Thomas Newcomen (some
say c1710 or 1711)
Isaac Newton knighted (for his work at the Royal Mint)
May 23: Battle of Ramillies
First evening newspaper ^he Evening Post issued in London
Jan 16: Union with Scotland ± Scots agree to send 16 peers and 45 MPs to
English Parliament in return for full trading privileges ± Scottish Parliament
meets for the last time in March
May 1: English and Scottish Parliaments united by an Act of the English
Parliament ± The Kingdom of Great Britain established ± largest free-trade area
in Europe at the time
Last use of veto by a British sovereign
First Jacobite rising in Scotland
Earliest Artillery Muster Rolls
Feb 2: Alexander Selkirk rescued from shipwreck on a desert island, inspiring
the book Robinson Crusoe (published in 1719) by Daniel Defoe
Second Eddystone lighthouse completed (see 1755)
First Copyright Act passed
Bad harvests throughout Europe ± bread riots in Britain
Tax on Apprentice Indentures
Aug 11: First race meeting at Ascot
Incorporation of South Sea Company, in London
Imposition of Soap Tax (abolished 1853)
Last trial for witchcraft in England (Jane Wenham)
Toleration Act passed ± first relief to non-Anglicans
Patronage Act ± patronage of ministers restored
Treaty of Utrecht concludes the War of the Spanish Succession ±
Newfoundland and Gibraltar ceded to Britain
By this year there are some 3,000 coffee houses in London
Aug 1: Queen Anne Stuart dies ± George I Hanover becomes king (1714-
Chancery Proceedings filed under Six Clerks.
Longitude Act: prize of £20,000 offered to the inventor of a workable method
of determining a ship's longitude (won by John Harrison in 1773 for his
Schism Act, prevents Dissenters from being schoolmasters in England.
Landholders forced to take the Oath of Allegiance and renounce Roman
Quarter Sessions Records from this date often mention Protestant dissenters
and Roman Catholic recusants.
Handel Water ©usic
Aug 1: Riot Act passed
Second Jacobite rebellion in Scotland, under the Old Pretender ('The Fifteen')
The Septennial Act of Britain leads to greater electoral corruption ± general
elections now to be held once every 7 years instead of every 3 (until 1911)
Climate: Thames frozen so solid that a spring tide lifted the ice bodily 13ft
without interrupting the frost fair
First Masonic Lodge opens in London
Value of the golden guinea fixed at 21 shillings
Third abortive Jacobite rising
Defoe Robinson Crusoe
South Sea Bubble, a stock-market crash on Exchange Alley ± government
assumes control of National Debt
Manufacturing towns start to increase in population ± rise of new wealth
Wallpaper becomes fashionable in England
Apr 2: Robert Walpole (Whig) becomes first Prime Minister (to 1742)
Bailey's Northern Directory
Last trial for witchcraft in Scotland [but Wikipedia gives 1727 as last execution
for witchcraft in Scotland]
Knatchbull's Act, poor laws
Excise tax levied for coffee, tea, and chocolate
The Waltham Black Acts add 50 capital offences to the penal code ± people
could be sentenced to death for theft and poaching ± repealed in 1827
The Workhouse Act or Test ± to get relief, a poor person has to enter
Rapid growth of gin drinking in England
Longman's founded (Britain's oldest publishing house)
Treaty of Hanover: France, Prussia, Britain v. Spain, Austria
First circulating library opened in Edinburgh
Invention of the chronometer by John Harrison
Swift Gulliver's ^ravels
Board of Manufacturers established in Scotland
Jun 11: George I dies ± George II Hanover becomes king
Methodists begin at Oxford
Nov 9: Treaty of Seville signed between Britain, France and Spain ± Britain
maintained control of Port Mahon and Gibraltar
Bach St ©atthew Passion
Irish famine
Rococo Period (Art & Antiques)
Invention of seed drill by Jethro Tull [others say 1701]
Invention of sextant by John Hadley
Jun 9: James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia
Dec 7: Covent Garden Opera House opens
Earliest Cavalry and Infantry Muster Rolls
Feb 12: James Oglethorpe founds Savannah, Georgia
Excise crisis: Sir Robert Walpole wanted to add excise tax to tobacco and wine
± Pulteney and Bolingbroke oppose the excise tax
Law forbidding the use of Latin in parish registers generally obeyed ± some
continued in Latin for a few years
John Kay invents the flying shuttle, revolutionised the weaving industry
Kent's Directory
Licensing Act restricts the number of London theatres and subjects plays to
censorship of the Lord Chamberlain (till 1950s)
Earliest Calvinistic Methodist registers
May 24: John Wesley has his conversion experience
Apr 7: Dick Turpin, highwayman, hanged at York
Oct 23: War of Jenkins' Ear starts: Robert Walpole reluctantly declares war on
Wesley and Whitefield commence great Methodist revival
Benjamin Ingham founded the Moravian Methodists or Inghamites ± Earliest
Moravian registers
Earliest Scotch Church registers
Handel ^he ©essiah (first performed in Dublin 13 Apr 1742)
England goes to war with Spain ± incited by William Pitt the Elder (Earl of
Chatham) for the sake of trade
Jun 16 (June 27 in Gregorian calendar): Battle of Dettingen ± last time a British
sovereign (George II) led troops in battle
Church of Scotland split over taking of Burgess' Oath ± Burghers and Anti-
First Methodist Conference
Tune God Save the King makes its appearance
Jacobite rebellion in Scotland ('The Forty-five')
Aug 19: Bonnie Prince Charlie (The Young Pretender) lands in the western
Highlands ± raises support among Episcopalian and Catholic clans ± The
Pretender's army invades Perth, Edinburgh, and England as far as Derby
Apr 16: Battle of Culloden ± last battle fought in Britain ± 5,000 Highlanders
routed by the Duke of Cumberland and 9,000 loyalists Scots ± Young Pretender
Charles flees to Continent, ending Jacobite hopes forever ± the wearing of the
kilt prohibited
Apr 9: Lord Lovat beheaded on Tower Hill aged 80, the last person to be
executed in this manner
Abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions in Scotland
Act for Pacification of the Highlands
Countess of Huntington's (Calvinistic) Methodist Connexion founded
Apr 27: First performance of Handel's ©usic for the Royal Fireworks (in Green
Park, London) ± to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ending the War of
the Austrian Succession
Gothic Revival Period (Art & Antiques)
Neo-Classical Period (Art & Antiques)
Feb/Mar: Series of earthquakes in London and the Home Counties cause panic
with predictions of an apocalypse
Nov 16: Original Westminster Bridge opened (replaced in 1862 due to
March: Chesterfield's Calendar Act passed ± royal assent to the bill was given
on 22 May 1751 ± decision to adopt Gregorian Calendar in 1752: "In and
throughout all his Majesty's Dominions and Countries in Europe, Asia, Africa,
and America, belonging or subject to the Crown of Great Britain, the said
Supputation, according to which the Year of our Lord beginneth on the 25th
Day of March, shall not be made use of from and after the last Day of
December 1751; and that the first Day of January next following the said last
Day of December shall be reckoned, taken, deemed and accounted to be the
first Day of the Year of our Lord 1752" ² i.e. 1752 started on 1 January, so
that 1751 was a short year.
Gin Act passed
Jan 1: Beginning of the year 1752 [Scotland had adopted January as the start of
the year in 1600, and some other countries in Europe had adopted the
Gregorian calendar as early as 1582]
Sep 3: Julian Calendar dropped and Gregorian Calendar adopted in England
and Scotland, making this Sep 14 ± "Give us back our 11 days!"
Benjamin Franklin invents a lightning conductor
Earliest Inghamite registers
May 1: Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date
of plant taxonomy
Private collection of Sir Hans Sloane forms the basis of the British Museum
Hardwicke Act (1753): Banns to be called, and Printed Marriage Register
forms to be used ± Quakers & Jews exempt
In the General Election, the Cow Inn at Haslemere, Surrey caused a national
scandal by subdividing the freehold to create eight votes instead of one
First British troops not belonging to the East India Company despatched to
First printed Annual Army Lists
Apr 15: Publication of Dictionary of the English Language by Dr Samuel
Period of canal construction began in Britain (till 1827)
Nov 1: Earthquake and tsunami destroys Lisbon ± up to 90,000 dead
Dec 2: Second Eddystone Lighthouse destroyed by fire (see 1759)
May 15: The Seven Years War with France (Pitt's trade war) begins
Jun: Black Hole of Calcutta ± 146 Britons imprisoned, most die according to
British sources
Mar 14: Admiral Byng shot at Portsmouth for failing to relieve Minorca ± or as
the French put it: "Les anglais tuent de temps à temps un amiral pour
encourager les autres"
India: The Nawab of Bengal tries to expel the British, but is defeated at the
battle of Plassey (Palashi, June 23) ± the East India Company forces are led by
Robert Clive
The foundation laid for the Empire of India
India stops being merely a commercial venture ± England begins dominating it
politically ± The East India Company retains its monopoly although it ceased to
Jan 15: British Museum opens to the public in London
Mar: First predicted return of Halley's comet
Sep 13: Gen James Woolfe killed at Quebec (Battle of the Plains of Abraham)
Oct 16: Third Eddystone Lighthouse (John Smeaton's) completed (see 1882)
Wesley builds 356 Methodist chapels
Dec 31: Guinness starts being brewed
Oct 25: George II dies ± George III Hanover, his grandson, becomes king
The date conventionally marks the start of the so-called "first Industrial
Carron Iron Works in operation in Scotland
May 5: First use of hangman's drop ± last nobleman to be executed (Laurence,
Earl Ferrers) at Tyburn
Beginning of intense Inclosure Acts in England
Jan 16: British capture Pondicherry, India from the French
Earliest Unitarian registers
France surrenders Canada and Florida
Cigars introduced into Britain from Cuba
Robert Lowth Short Introduction to English Grammar
Treaty of Paris ± gives back to France everything Pitt fought to obtain ±
(Newfoundland [fishing], Guadaloupe and Martininque [sugar], Dakar [gum]) ±
but English displaces French as the international language
Lloyd's Register of shipping first prepared
Practice of numbering houses introduced to London
James Hargeaves invents the Spinning Jenny (but destroyed 1768)
Mozart produces his first symphony at age eight
Mar 22: Stamp Act passed ± imposed a tax on publications and legal
documents in the American colonies (repealed the following year)
The potato becomes the most popular food in Europe
Start of 'composite' national records on rainfall in the UK
Dec 5: Christie's auction house founded in London by
James Christie
First iron railroads built for mines by John Wilkinson
Newcomen's steam pumping engine perfected by James Watt
Jan 9: Philip Astley starts his circus in London
Dec 6: The first edition of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" published in
Edinburgh by William Smellie
Sep 6: David Garrick organises first Shakespeare festival at Stratford-upon-
Arkwright invents water frame (textile production)
Capt James Cook maps the coast of New Zealand
Apr 28: Capt James Cook lands in Australia (Botany Bay) ² Aug 21: formally
claims Australia for Britain
Clyde Trust created to convert the River Clyde, then an insignificant river, into
a major thoroughfare for maritime communications
Right to report Parliamentary debates established in England
May 14: Judge Mansfield rules that there is no legal basis for slavery in
First Navy Lists published
First Travellers' Cheques issued by the London Credit Exchange Company
©orning Post first published (until 1937)
The East India Company governs Hindustan
Government prize for accurate determination of Longitude (first offered in
1714) won by John Harrison for his chronometer
Dec 16: Boston Tea Party
Waltz becomes fashionable in Vienna
First recorded cricket match (some say 1719, Londoners v Kentish Men ±
Wikipedia disagrees with both!)
Sep 13: Cook arrives on Easter Island
Apr 19: Battle of Lexington: first action in American War of Independence
Jul 4: American Declaration of Independence
Somerset House in London becomes the repository of records of population
Watt and Boulton produce their first commercial steam engine (see 1782)
Sep 7: First attack on a warship by a submarine ± David Bushnell's "Turtle"
attacked HMS Eagle in New York harbour. The attack was perhaps spectacular
(a charge did detonate beneath the ship), but was nevertheless unsuccessful.
"Turtle" was a one man affair, man-powered [Les Moore] (see 1864)
Samuel Miller of Southampton patents the circular saw.
Feb 14: Capt James Cook killed on Hawaii
Crompton's mule invented (textile production)
Marc Isambard Brunel opens the first steamdriven sawmill at Chatham
Dockyard in Kent
First iron bridge built, over the Severn by John Wilkinson
First Spinning Mills operational in Scotland
Sep 23: Naval engagement between Britain and USA off Flamborough Head
May 4: First Derby run at Epsom (some say 2nd June)
Jun 2±8: The Gordon Riots ± Parliament passes a Roman Catholic relief
measure ± for days, London is at the mercy of a mob and destruction is
Earliest Wesleyan registers
Male Servants Tax
The English Reform Movement ± until now, only landowners and tenants
(freeholders with 40 shillings per year or more) allowed to vote, and in open
poll books
Circular saw and Fountain pen invented
About this time the word 'Quiz' entered the language, said to have been
invented as a wager by Mr Daly, a Dublin theatre manager
Mar 13: Sir William Herschel discovers Uranus
Oct 19: Lord Cornwallis's army surrenders to George Washington; ends the
American War of Independence
Gilbert's Act establishes outdoor poor relief ± the way of life of the poor
beginning to alter due to industrialisation ± New factories in rapidly expanding
towns required a workforce that would adjust to new work patterns
James Watt patents his steam engine
Duty made payable on Parish Register entries (3d per entry) ± led to a fall in
± it was repealed 1794
Jun 4: Montgolfier brothers launch first hot-air balloon (unmanned), at
Annonay, France
Jul: Climate: hottest month on record until 1983; Gilbert White in his 'Natural
History of Selborne' says: "The summer of 1783 was an amazing and
portenteous one, and full of horrible phenomena; for, besides the alarming
meteors and tremendous thunder storms that affrighted and distressed the
different counties of this kingdom, the peculiar haze or smoky fog that
prevailed for many weeks in this island and in every part of Europe, and even
beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance unlike anything known
within the memory of man"²he put it down to volcanic activity. Apparently it
was caused by the eruption of Laki in Iceland which continued from 8th Jun
1783 to 7th February 1784
Sep 3: Treaty of Versailles (Britain/US)
Nov 3: Last public execution at Tyburn in London (John Austin, a
Nov 21: First untethered hot-air balloon flight with humans aboard, in Paris
Blake Poetical Sketches
Pitt's India Act ± the Crown (as opposed to officers of the East India Company)
has power to guide Indian politics
Wesley breaks with the Church of England
Aug 2: First mail coaches in England (4pm Bristol / 8am London)
First golf club founded at St Andrews
Invention of threshing machine by Andrew Meikle
Jan 1: John Walter publishes first edition of ^he ^imes (called ^he Daily
cniversal Register for 3 years)
Jan 7: Blanchard & Jeffries make first balloon crossing of the English Channel,
taking about 2½ hours to travel from England to France
Sunday School Society founded to educate poor children (by 1851, enrols more
than 2 million)
Aug 8: Mont Blanc climbed for the first time
Mozart ©arriage of Figaro
Earliest known Swedenborgian (Church of the New Jerusalem or Jerusalemite)
MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) established at Thomas Lord's ground in
Jan 26: First convicts (and free settlers) arrive in New South Wales (left
Portsmouth 13 May 1787) ² the 'First Fleet'; eleven ships commanded by
Captain Arthur Phillip
First steamboat demonstrated in Scotland [but see 1802]
Law passed requiring that chimney sweepers be a minimum of 8 years old (not
First slave carrying act, the Dolben Act of 1788, regulates the slave trade ±
stipulates more humane conditions on slave ships
King George III's mental illness occasions the Regency Crisis ± Edmund Burke
and Charles James Fox attack ministry of William Pitt ± trying to obtain full
regal powers for the Prince of Wales
Gibbon completes Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Apr 28: Mutiny on H©S Bounty ± Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors are set
adrift and the rebel crew ends up on Pitcairn Island
Jul 14: The French Revolution begins ± storming of the Bastille
Publication of Gilbert White's 'Natural History of Selborne'
Forth and Clyde Canal opened in Scotland
Sugar prices rise steeply
John Bell, printer, abandons the "long s" (the "s" that looks like an "f")
Establishment of the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain
Dec 4: First publication of ^he Observer ± world's oldest Sunday newspaper
Repression in Britain (restrictions on freedom of the press) ± Fox gets Libel
Act through Parliament, requiring a jury and not a judge to determine libel
Boyle's Street Directory published
Oct 1: Introduction of Money Orders in Britain
Coal-gas lighting invented by William Murdock, an Ayrshire Scot
Dec 1: King's Proclamation drawing out the British militia
Feb 11: Britain declares war on France (1793-1802)
Execution of Louis XVI ± Reign of Terror starts in France
Apr 15: £5 notes first issued by the Bank of England
Jun 26: Gilbert White, naturalist, dies at Selborne, Hampshire
Abolition of Parish Register duties
Mar 14: Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin (in America)
Jun 1: Battle of Glorious First of June
Oct 6: The prosecutor for Britain, Lord Justice Eyre, charges reformers with
High Treason ± he argued that, since reform of parliament would lead to
revolution and revolution to executing the King, the desire for reform
endangered the King's life and was therefore treasonous
Lindley Murray English Grammar
The Famine Year
Foundation of the Orange Order
Speenhamland Act proclaims that the Parish is responsible for bringing up the
labourer's wage to subsistence level ± towards the end of the eighteenth
century, the number of poor and unemployed increased dramatically ± price
increases during the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815) far outstripped wage rises ±
many small farmers were bankrupted by the move towards enclosures and
became landless labourers ± their wages were often pitifully low
Pitt and Grenville introduce "The Gagging Acts" or "Two Bills" (the Seditious
Meetings and Treasonable Practices Bills) ± outlawed the mass meeting and the
political lecture
Consumption of lime juice made compulsory in Royal Navy
France adopts the metric system
May 14: Dr Edward Jenner gave first vaccination for smallpox in England
Holden's Triennial Directory published
Pitt's "Reign of Terror": More treason trials ± leading radicals emigrate
Legacy Tax on sums over £20 excluding those to wives, children, parents and
Feb 14: Battle of Cape St Vincent
Feb 22: French invade Fishguard, Wales; last time UK invaded; all captured 2
days later
England in Crisis, Bank of England suspends cash payments
Feb 26: First £1 (and £2) notes issued by Bank of England
Apr-Jun: Mutinies in the British Navy at Spithead and Nore
Oct 22: Possibly the first parachute jump (by André-Jacques Garnerin
above Paris)
Tax on newspapers (including cheap, topical journals) increased to repress
radical publications
The first copper pennies were produced ('cartwheels') by application of steam
power to the coining press
Feb-Oct: The Irish Rebellion; 100,000 peasants revolt; approximately 25,000
die ± Irish Parliament abolished
Aug 1: Battle of the Nile (won by Nelson)
First planned human experiment with vaccination, to test theories of Edward
Malthus Essay on Population
Jan 9: Pitt brings in 10% income tax, as a wartime financial measure
Jul 12: 'Combination Laws' in Britain against political associations and
Foundation of Royal Military College Sandhurst by the Duke of York
Foundation of the Royal Institution of Great Britain
Post Office New Annual Directory
Jul 15: Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt, made possible the deciphering (in
1822) of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics
Perfect mammoth discovered preserved in ice in Siberia
Jul 2: Parliamentary union of Great Britain and Ireland
Malta became a British Dominion
Electric light first produced by Sir Humphrey Davy
Use of high pressure steam pioneered by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833)
Earliest Bible Christian registers
Royal College of Surgeons founded
Herschel discovers infra-red light
Volta makes first electrical battery
British trade accounts for about 27% of world trade
Jan 1: Union Jack official British flag ± The Kingdom of Ireland merged with
the Kingdom of Great Britain, adding St. Patrick's saltire to the Union Flag
Mar 10: First census puts the population of England and Wales at 9,168,000 ±
population of Britain nearly 11 million (75% rural)
Grand Union Canal opens in England
Surrey iron railway, on which horse-drawn trucks carry coal and farm produce
Richard Trevithick built the first self-propelled passenger carrying road loco
and ran it on Christmas Eve 1801
Elgin Marbles brought from Athens to London
Mar 25 ("4 Gerninal" on the French Revolutionary calendar): Treaty of Amiens
signed by Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands ± the "Peace of Amiens,"
as it was known, brought a temporary peace of 14 months during the
Napoleonic Wars ± one of its most important cultural effects was that travel
and correspondence across the English Channel became possible again
Charlotte Dundas on Clyde, first practical steamship, built by William
First British Factory Act
William Cobbett begins his weekly Political Register
Regular mail service started between England and India
Invention of paper-making machine (Fourdrinier brothers) ± others say
invented by Robert (another Frenchman) in 1798, and developed by the
Apr 30: Louisiana Purchase: Napoleon sells French possessions in America to
United States
May 12: Peace of Amiens ends ± resumption of war with France ± The
Napoleonic Wars (1803-18l5)
William Cobbett began unofficial publication of Parliamentary reports (taken
over by Hansard report in 1811)
First publication of Debrett's Peerage by John Debrett
Poaching made a Capital offence in England if capture resisted
Richard Trevithick built another steam carriage and ran it in London as the first
self-propelled vehicle in the capital and the first London bus
Jul 26: First public railway opens (Surrey Iron Railway, 9 miles from
Wandsworth to Croydon, horse-drawn)
Semaphore signalling perfected by Admiral Popham
Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges created in Scotland; Thomas
Telford begins construction
Feb 21: Richard Trevithick runs his railway engine on the Penydarren Railway
(9.5 miles from Pen-y-Darren to Abercynon in South Wales) ± this hauled a
train with 10 tons of iron and 70 passengers. It was commemorated by the
Royal Mint in 2004 in the form of a £2.00 coin. (See 1829
Mar 3: John Wedgwood (eldest son of the potter Josiah Wedgwood) founds
The Royal Horticultural Society
Mar 21: Code Napoleon adopted in France
Dec 2: Napoleon declares himself Emperor of the French
Dec 12: Spain declares war on Britain
Matthew Flinders recommends that the newly discovered country, New
Holland, be renamed "Australia"
Blake Jerusalem (later set to music by Parry)
Oct 21: Admiral Nelson's victory at Trafalgar
Nov 26: Official opening of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Dec 2: Battle of Austerlitz; Napoleon defeats Austrians and Russians
London docks opened
Jan 9: Nelson buried in St Paul's cathedral, London
Earliest Primitive Methodist registers
Napoleon attempts European economic blockade of Britain
Dartmoor Prison opened (built by French prisoners)
Carbon paper invented by Ralph Wedgwood
Mar 25: Parliament passes Act prohibiting slavery and the importation of slaves
from 1808 ± but does not prohibit colonial slavery
Jul 13: 'Hot Wednesday' ± temperature of 101°F in the shade recorded in
Gas lighting in London streets
Peninsular War (1808-1814)
Fourdrinier brothers set up first paper-making machine in England (at St Neots)
Trevithick operated a 'Catch-me-who-Can' demonstration railway with
carriages in London for which he charged fares of one shilling
Beginning of 'Luddite' troubles in England (see 1811)
Dec 22: Beethoven premieres his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth
Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy together in Vienna
Jan 16: Peninsular War ± Battle of La Coruña ± Sir John Moore killed: "Not a
drum was heard, not a funeral note «"
Feb 12: Birth of Charles Darwin
Sep 18: Royal Opera House opens in London
John Dickinson introduces the Cylinder Machine for making paper boards
Gay-Lussac: Law of Volumes of Gases
Bible Christians denomination formed by schism in Wesleyan Methodists
John McAdam begins road construction in England, giving his name to the
process of road metalling (see 1845)
Feb 1: Light first lit on Robert Stephenson's Inchcape (Bell) Rock lighthouse
off Scotland
Feb 5: Prince of Wales (future George IV) made Regent after George III
deemed insane
May 27: Second census of England & Wales
Nov: Luddite uprisings (machine breaking) in the Midlands against weaving
frames started ± went on until 1815 ± groups of workmen rebelled against the
increased mechanisation of textile production by destroying the new machinery
± government fears revolutionary conspiracy ± damaging property or taking
Luddite oaths become capital offences
Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility
May 11: Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, assassinated ± shot as he entered
the House of Commons by a bankrupt Liverpool broker, John Bellingham, who
was subsequently hanged
Jun 18: Start of American "War of 1812" (to 1814) against England and
Oct-Dec: Napoleon retreats from Moscow with catastrophic losses
Comet steamship launched in Scotland, operated on the River Clyde
'Policy for the Improvement of the Highlands' approved by British Parliament
May: Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, lead an expedition westwards from
Ireland: First recorded "12th of July" sectarian riots in Belfast
Rose's Act (1812) established a printed format for baptism & burial registers
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
"Year of the Burning" in Sutherland and Ross
Act of Burial in Woollen repealed
First Pigot's Commercial Directory printed
Jan 1: Invasion of France by Allies
Apr 6: Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba
Aug 13: Convention of London signed, a treaty between the UK and the Dutch
Aug 24: The British burn the White House
Nov 29: ^he ^imes first printed by a 'mechanical apparatus' (at 1,100 sheets per
Dec 2: Death of the Marquis de Sade, in an asylum
Dec 24: Treaty of Ghent signed ending the 1812 war between Britain and the
Sugar prices reach record heights
Mar 1: Napoleon escapes Elba; arrives in France
Jun 18: The Battle of Waterloo: Napoleon defeated and exiled to St. Helena
Corn Law passed with enormous benefit to landlords (see 1849)
Trial by Jury established in Scotland
Davy develops the safety lamp for miners
Nash Brighton Pavilion
Economic depression - rise in wheat prices
Income tax abolished
Excise tax payable on paper production (start of papermaking Mill numbers) ±
until 1861
For the first time British silver coins were produced with an intrinsic value
substantially below their face value ± the first official 'token' coinage
Climate: the 'year without a summer' ± followed a volcanic explosion of the
mountain Tambora in Indonesia the previous year, the biggest volcanic
explosion in 10,000 years
Cobbett's Register selling 40-60,000 copies per week
Large scale emigration to North America
Trans-Atlantic packet service begins
Johnstone's London Directory printed
March of the Manchester Blanketeers; Habeas Corpus suspended
Constable Flatford ©ill
Manchester cotton spinners' strike
Oct 20: 'Convention of 1818' signed between the United States and the United
Kingdom which, among other things, settled the US-Canada border on the 49th
parallel for most of its length
Mary Shelley Frankenstein
Feb 6: Stamford Raffles signs a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor
establishing Singapore as a new trading post for the British East India
May/Jun: Savannah first steamship to cross Atlantic, reaching Liverpool 20
June 1819 (26 days, mostly under sail)
Aug 16: Peterloo Massacre at Manchester ± a large, orderly group of 60,000
meets at St. Peter's Fields, Manchester ± demand Parliamentary Reform ±
mounted troops charge on the meeting, killing 11 people and and maiming
many others
Dec: Six Acts passed against radical political Unions ± prohibits assemblies
similar to St. Peter's Fields and imposes press censorship
Primitive bicycle, the Dandy Horse, becomes popular (see 1839)
Britain returns to gold standard
Keats Ode on a Grecian crn
Jan 29: Accession of George IV, previously Prince Regent
Cato Street Conspiracy ± plot to assissinate British cabinet
Aug 1: Regent's Canal in London opens
Aug 17: Trial of Queen Caroline to prove her infidelities so George IV can
divorce her ± George tries to secure a Bill of Pains and Penalties against her ±
Caroline is virtually acquitted because bill passed by such a small majority of
Nov 20: Whaling ship Essex attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific,
leading to the story of Moby Dick
Cobbett's Rural Rides begin to appear in his Political Register (to 1830)
Abolition of the Spanish Inquisition
May 5: Napoleon Bonaparte dies on St Helena
May 28: Third census of England & Wales
Faraday Principles of electro-magnetic rotation
Constable ^he Hay Wain
Populations: France 30.4M, German States 26M, Britain 20.8M, Italian States
18M, Austria 12M, the USA 9.6M
Jun 14: Charles Babbage proposes a difference engine in a paper to the Royal
Astronomical Society
Sep 27: Jean-François Champollion announces he has deciphered the Rosetta
Caledonian canal opened
Augustin Fresnel perfects lenses for lighthouses
Schubert cnfinished Symphony
New laws concerning marriage by licence ± 'very troublesome' according to
some: "the Act was repealed, all in a hurry, at the beginning of the next
Scottish testaments prior to 1823 transferred to S.R.O.
Peel begins penal reforms ± death penalty abolished for over 100 crimes
Dec 2: US President James Monroe delivers a speech establishing American
neutrality in future European conflicts (the 'Monroe Doctrine')
Rugby Football 'invented' at Rugby School
Rubberised waterproof material produced by MacIntosh
Monroe Doctrine: President James Monroe warns European powers not to
interfere in the American continent
Pitt's Combination Acts repealed (Trades Unions allowed)
Mar 4: Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) founded (called the
"National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck" until 1854)
May 10: National Gallery in London opens to the public
RSPCA established
Portland cement patented
Carnot Puissance motrice du feu
Beethoven Ninth Symphony
Horse-drawn buses in London (but see 1803 and 1829)
Sep 27: Stockton to Darlington Railway opens ± world's first service of
locomotive-hauled passenger trains
Hobhouse makes amendments to Acts to protect Child Labour in cotton
Publication of Pepys Diary
Jan 30: Telford's Menai Straits Bridge opened ± considered the world's first
modern suspension bridge
Feb 11: University College, London established under the name "London
University", as a secular alternative to the religious universities of Oxford and
Scotland's first commercial railway was opened, Edinburgh to Dalkeith
White's first Commercial Directory ± Hull
Royal Zoological Society established in London
Apr 1: Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine in America?
Ampere Electrodynamics
Mendelssohn ©idsummer Night's Dream, overture
Apr 7: First recorded sale of matches, from the store of John Walker of
Stockton-on-Tees under the name 'Sulphurata Hyper-Oxygenata Frict'
Hallam Constitutional History of England (one of the first historians to use
original documents in his research)
Ohm Ohm's Law (physics)
Apr 28: Repeal of Test and Corporation Acts ± had kept non-Anglicans
(Catholics and Dissenters) from holding public office and deprived them of
other rights
Oct 25: St Katharine Docks in London opened (designed by Thomas Telford)
O'Connell barred from the House of Commons as a Roman Catholic
Noah Webster  merican Dictionary of the English Language
Apr 4: Catholic Emancipation Act restores civil liberties to Roman Catholics
Earliest Irvingite registers
Jul 4: First London omnibuses (pulled by three horses) introduced by George
Shillibeer (but see 1825) ± route between Paddington and Bank of England
London Metropolitan police force formed, nicknamed Bobbies after Sir Robert
Jun 10: First Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race
Oct 6: George Stephenson's Rocket wins the Rainhill trials (it was the only one
to complete the trial!) ± was to haul the first 'commercial' passenger train (but
see 1804)
Lucifer matches first manufactured
Louis Braille invents his sytem of finger-reading for the blind
Rossini William ^ell, opera
Jun 26: George IV dies ± his brother, William IV, accedes to the throne
July: Revolution in France, fall of Charles X and the Bourbons ± Louis Philippe
(the Citizen King) on the throne
Uprisings and agitation across Europe: the Netherlands are split into Holland
and Belgium
Sep 15: George Stephenson's Liverpool & Manchester Railway opened by the
Duke of Wellington ± first mail carried by rail, and first death on the railway as
William Huskisson, a leading politician, is run over!
Nov: Agricultural 'Swing' Riots in southern England, repressed with many
Nov 22: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, becomes Prime Minister
Beerhouse Act liberalized regulations on the brewing and sale of beer by
individuals ± By this act it was possible for any householder assessed to the
poor rate to sell beer, ale and cider without a licence from local justices; in the
six months following its enaction, nearly 25,000 such excise licenses were
taken out ± The 1869 Wine and Beerhouse Act re-introduced stricter controls
Royal Geographical Society established in London
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Eclectic Period (Art & Antiques)
First Reform Bill introduced by Lord George Russell
A list of all parish registers dating prior to 1813 compiled
May 30: Fourth census of England & Wales
British Association for the Advancement of Science founded
Jun 1: James Clark Ross discovers the North Magnetic Pole
Aug 1: 'New' London Bridge opens (see 1968, replaced 1973) ± old bridge
(which had existed for over 600 years) then demolished
Aug 29: Faraday demonstrates electro-magnetic induction (the dynamo)
Dec 27: Darwin sails on H©S Beagle to survey coral formations
Jun 7: Reform Bill passed ± Representation of the People Act ± dramatic
effects for grossly underrepresented places like Scotland (the number of
Scottish people allowed to vote increased from 4,000 to 65,000 out of 2.5
million people) ± changed voting from an aristocratic privilege to a middle
class right, but by later standards not much was accomplished ± approximately
doubled the electorate to about 800,000 voters out of a total population in
Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales of around 24 million (1831 census), and
increasing by 1 million a year
Electoral Registers introduced
Electric telegraph invented by Morse
Tennyson Lady of Shalott
Jan: Britain invades the Falkland Islands
Aug 29: Factory Act forbids employment of children below age of 9
Education Grant Act ± grants to voluntary education societies in Britain
Real Property Limitation Act
± ends the device of using ficticious people in the sale of freehold property
Poor Law amendment, tightening up relief
Mar 18: 'Tolpuddle Martyrs' transported (to Australia) for Trades Union
May 1: Slavery abolished in British possessions
Dec 17: Dublin and Kingstown Railway opens in Ireland
Dec 23: Hansom Cab patented by Joseph Hansom
Babbage invents forerunner of the computer
Christmas becomes a national holiday
Earliest Universalist registers
Municipal Corporations Act ± major changes in England and Wales
Word 'socialism' first used
First surviving photograph taken by William Fox Talbot
First railway boom period starts in Britain ± construction of Great Western
Jun 18: William Cobbett dies
Dec 1: Hans Christian Andersen publishes his first book of fairy tales
Melbourne, Australia founded
Darwin studies the Galapagos Islands
First Potato famine in Ireland
Economic downturn that lasts until 1842
Tithe Commutation Act ± tithe maps created as a by-product over the next 15
years or so
Newspaper tax reduced from 4 pence to one penny
Feb 25: Samuel Colt patented the 'revolver'
Mar 6: The Alamo falls to Mexican troops ± death of Davy Crockett
Jul: Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Dec 27: Avalanche in Lewes, Sussex buries 15 people, 8 died
Mar 14: Wheatstone & Cooke send first British telegraph message (some say
25 Jul ± the electric telegraph was patented in May)
Jun 20: William IV dies ± accession of Queen Victoria (to 1901)
Jul 1: Compulsory registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths in England &
Wales ± Registration Districts were formed covering several parishes; initially
they had the same boundaries as the Poor Law boundaries set up in 1834
Jul 13: Queen Victoria moves into the first Buckingham Palace
Jul 20: Euston Railway station opens ± first in London
Pitman introduces his shorthand system
P&O Founded
Dickens Pickwick Papers
Jun 28: Coronation of Queen Victoria at Westminster Abbey
Chartists in Britain publish People's Charter demanding popular involvement
in politics ± huge demonstrations (estimated 100.000 Glasgow, 200,000
Birmingham, 300,000 West Yorkshire)
First ocean steamers to the U.S. ± SS Great Western 14½ days; SS Sirius 18
SS  rchimedes launched ± first successful screw-driven ship
Daguerre produces photographs using silver salts
The Chartist Movement ± a working-class movement for the extension of the
franchise ± 6-point charter: universal suffrage, secret ballot, annual elections,
payment of Members, no property qualification for MPs, equal electoral
Nov 4: The Newport Rising, to liberate Chartist prisoners ± the last large-scale
armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain
First Opium War between Britain and China (to 1842) ± Britain captures Hong
Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan refines the primitive bicycle,
adding a mechanical crank drive to the rear wheel, thus creating the first true
"bicycle" in the modern sense (see 1819)
Samuel Cunard establishes his Cunard Steamship Co.
John Herschel takes the first glass plate photograph
Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber
Daguerreotype photography process announced in France, developed by Louis
First: Grand National, Henley Regatta, Royal Agricultural Show
Jan 10: Uniform Penny Postage introduced nationally
Rowland Hill also introduces envelopes
Feb 6: Treaty of Waitangi signed ± Maori chiefs in New Zealand recognise
British sovereignty in return for tribes being guaranteed possession of their
Feb 10: Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Last convicts landed in NSW (some say 1842 or 1849, but these probably
landed elsewhere)
Chimney Sweeps Act in Britain
Population Act relating to taking of censuses in Britain
Britain has 24% of steam tonnage, and 24% of world trade
'Can-Can' becomes popular in France
Feb 10: Penny Red replaces Penny Black postage stamp
June 6: Fifth census of England & Wales ± First full census in Britain in which
all names were recorded
Population: Britain 18.5M, USA 17M, Ireland 8M
Whitworth standard screw threads proposed
Thomas Cook starts package tours
Jul 17: First issue of Punch
Mail steamship to India
Civil Registration in Channel Islands started
Second Chartist Petition presented to Parliament
Income Tax reintroduced in Britain
Government report 'The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population'
Depression: 60% of Bolton cotton mill workers and 36% of Bolton ironworkers
out of work
British Mines Act outlawing women and girls in the mines, and supervising
boy labour
Copyright Act
Mar 30: Ether used as an anaesthetic for the first time (by Dr Crawford Long in
British massacred in Khyber Pass
Aug 29: Treaty of Nanking ± End of First Opium War ± Britain gains Hong
Illustrated London News published
Start of Mudie's Lending Library, charging subscribers one guinea per year for
the right to borrow one volume of a novel at a time
Tennyson Poems establishes his fame
Doppler Effect stated
Turner Steamer in Snowstorm
First Christmas card in England
May 27: The Great Hall of Euston station opened in London
Jul 19: Brunel's 'Great Britain' launched
Disruption of the Church of Scotland ± 474 ministers signed the Deed of
Demission and formed the Free Church of Scotland (the "Wee Free")
Factory safety regulations enacted in Britain
First public telegraph line, from Paddington to Slough
Oct 1: News of the World first published
Ordnance Survey maps Epoch 1 ± date range 1843-1893 (see 1891)
Skiing becomes a sport
Joule defines mathematical equivalent of heat (ergs/calorie)
Dickens   Christmas Carol
Wagner Flying Dutchman
Tennyson ©orte d' rthur
Outdoor Relief Prohibition Order ± parish relief received only in a workhouse
Companies Act in Britain ± companies must register
Bank Charter Act, to regulate money supply in relation to gold in Britain
Railways Act ± Gladstone's concept of the 'Parliamentary Train' brought rail
travel to the masses
Factories Act 1844 ± working hours of women and children restricted
May 24: First Morse message transmitted in the USA (Baltimore to
Jun 6: YMCA founded in London by Sir George Williams
Jun 15: Charles Goodyear receives a patent for the vulcanization of rubber
Karl Marx and Engels begin their collaboration
Dumas ^he ^hree ©usketeers
Polka introduced to Britain
Excise tax on glass production repealed
'The Hungry Forties': Potato famine in Ireland (to 1848) ± generally accepted
that 1 million people died and a further 1 million people had to emigrate during
this period, leading to a population decline of around 20 to 25%
Temporary repeal of the Corn Laws
Mar 17: The rubber band patented by Stephen Perry
May 20: Franklin sets sail from London trying to find the Northwest passage
Kelly's Directories
Tarmac laid for first time (in Nottingham)
First voyage of 'Great Britain' ± to America
Royal Naval Biographical Dictionary published
May 17: The saxophone is patented by Adolphe Sax
Sep 10: The sewing machine is patented by
Elias Howe
Edward Lear First Book of Nonsense
Jan: An anaesthetic used for the first time in England (James Simpson used
ether to numb the pain of labour)
United Succession becomes the United Presbyterian Church
Ten Hours Act shortens factory work day to ten hours for women and children
European crop failure
US Mormons make Salt Lake City their centre
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre
Jan 24: Gold found at Sutter's Mill, California ± starts the California gold rush
Jan 29: Greenwich Mean Time adopted in Scotland
Jul 11: Waterloo railway station in London opens
General revolutionary movement throughout the European Continent ('Year of
Rotary press first introduced
First Public Health Act, establishes the Board of Health
Third Chartist Petition: mass arrests and failure of the movement
Lord Kelvin determines the temperature of absolute zero
First commercial production of chewing gum
Marx and Engels ^he Communist ©anifesto
JS Mill Principles of Political Economy
Macaulay History of England
Jan 31: Corn Laws abolished in UK (introduced by the Importation Act 1815,
amended at various times and repealed by the Importation Act 1846)
Apr 10: Safety pin patented by American inventor Walter Hunt
Civil Registration of Births in Isle of Man started
Florin (2 shilling coin) introduced as the first step to decimalisation ± which
finally occurred in 1971!
Dickens David Copperfield
Mar 18: American Express founded by Henry Wells & William Fargo
Sep 29: Catholic hierarchy restored on a regular pattern to England and Wales
Nov 19: Tennyson succeeds Wordsworth as Poet Laureate (and holds the
position until his death in 1892)
Dec 16: First immigrant ships arrived in New Zealand
Telegraph cable Dover to Calais [others say 1851]
Britain has 39.5% of world merchant shipping tonnage
Bunsen burner designed
Mar 30: Second full British Census ± improvements in data compared with the
May 1: Great exhibition of the works of industry of all nations ("Crystal
Palace" exhibition) opened in Hyde Park
Aug 22: First "America's Cup" (round the Isle of Wight) won by the yacht
 merica (after which the trophy was subsequently named)
Window Tax replaced by House Duty
Photography is popularised by introduction of "wet collodion" process
Singer produces first practical sewing machine (in USA)
Gold discovered in Australia
Verdi Rigoletto; Herman Melville ©oby-Dick
Feb 15: Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admits its first
May: Victoria and Albert Museum, first known as The Museum of
Manufactures, opens at Marlborough House ± transfers in September to
Somerset House, then to South Kensington in 1857
Manchester has its first Free Library
Land Survey of Britain completed
First voyage of 'Great Britain' to Australia
Tasmania ceases to be a convict settlement
US Express Co., Wells Fargo established in USA
Roget's ^hesaurus
Gladstone's first budget: wide range of duties abolished, and death duties
Vaccination against smallpox made compulsory in Britain
Reuters founded
Potato chips first prepared?
Mar 27: Britain declares war on Russia (Crimean War)
Jun: First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland
Sep 14: Allied armies land in Crimea
Sep 20: Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeat Russians in the
Oct 25: Battle of Balaklava in Crimea (charge of the Light Brigade)
Cigarettes introduced into Britain
^he ^imes offers £1,000 for the discovery of an alternative raw material for
paper (other than cotton and linen rags) ± wood not used in paper manufacture
until 1880s
Jan 1: Registration of births, marriages & deaths made compulsory in Scotland
First London pillar boxes
Stamp Duty abolished on newspapers ('tax on knowledge') ± many regional
newspapers founded from this year onwards
Daily ^elegraph founded, price 2d
London sewers modernised after fourth major outbreak of cholera
Florence Nightingale introduces hygiene into military hospitals in Crimea
Cellulose nitrate, first synthetic plastic material, invented by Alexander Parkes
Nov 17: Livingstone finds the Victoria Falls
Trollope ^he Warden
Longfellow ^he Song of Hiawatha
End of Crimean War
Jan 29: Victoria Cross created by Royal Warrant, backdated to 1854 to
recognise acts during the Crimean War (first award ceremony 26 June 1857)
Start of Second Opium War
(to 1860)
Discovery of Neanderthal skull
Bessemer's converter revolutionises steel industry
Hughes ^om Brown's Schooldays
Transatlantic cable starts to be laid (see 1866)
Oct 24: Sheffield FC founded ± claim to be the world's first football team
London postal districts introduced
European financial crisis
Dec 31: Ottawa declared capital of Canada
Indian Mutiny (
unrest started March 1857 ± peace treaty signed 8 July 1858)
Jan: Legally proved Wills start to be entered into an index (Eng & W) ± taken
out of ecclesiastical jurisdiction
Jan 31: 'Great Eastern' launched
Feb 11: First of 18 apparitions of "a Lady" to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes
East India Company dissolved
Summer: 'The great stink' ± smell of the River Thames forced Parliament to
stop work
Royal Opera House opens in Covent Garden, London
Offenbach Orpheus in the cnderworld
Peaceful picketing legalised in Britain
Apr 25: Work started on building the Suez canal (opened 17 Nov 1869)
May 4: Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge opened at Saltash giving rail link between
Devon and Cornwall
Jun 30: Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
Nov 24: Charles Darwin publishes ^he Origin of Species
First American oil well drilled (in Titusville, Pennsylvania)
Dickens   ^ale of ^wo Cities
Garibaldi's 'Red Shirts' conquer Sicily and Naples
Second Maori War in New Zealand (to 1870)
Aug 29: First tram service in Europe starts in Birkenhead
Sep: Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) visits United States
Oct 17: The Open Championship
(golf) begins
Oct 18: Convention of Peking ends the Second Opium War
Linoleum patented in England by Frederick Walton (some say in Dec 1863)
Royal Navy adopts ironclads
May 25: American Civil War begins
Apr 7: Third full British Census
Dec 14: Prince Albert dies
First horse-drawn trams in London
Tax on newsprint abolished
Emancipation of serfs in Russia
Populations: Russia 76M, USA 32M, Italy 25M , Britain 23M
Mrs Beeton Book of Household ©anagement
Jan 30: USS Monitor launched, first ironclad warship commissioned by the
United States Navy
Mar 9: Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia; first-ever naval battle between two
ironclad warships ± USS Monitor and CSS Virginia
Apr 20: First pasteurisation test completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude
Nov 4: Richard Gatling patents his machine gun
Dec 31: USS Monitor, one of the first ironclad warships, sank under tow in a
Lincoln issues first legal US paper money (Greenbacks)
Bismark becomes first minister in Prussia
Foucault measures the speed of light
Victor Hugo Les ©iserables
Football Association founded
Jan 10: First section of the London Underground Railway opens, between
Paddington and Farringdon Street
Opening of state institution for criminally insane at Broadmoor, England
Jul 3: Battle of Gettysburg
Manufacture (by Wilbrand) of TNT
Kingsley ^he Water Babies
Civil Registration in Ireland starts
Civil Registration of marriages in Isle of Man starts
Mar 11: The Great Sheffield Flood ± over 250 died when a new dam broke
while it was being filled for the first time
Aug 22: Red Cross established ± Twelve nations sign the First Geneva
Dec 8: Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon officially opened
A man-powered submarine "Hunley" and sank a Federal steam ship, USS
Housatonic, at the entrance to Charleston harbour in 1864 ± the first recorded
successful attack by a submarine on a surface ship [Les Moore]
Apr 14: End of American Civil War ± slavery abolished in USA; Abraham
Lincoln assassinated in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth [do these two
events really come together on this day??]
May 17: The International Telegraph Union established
Rockefeller forms Standard Oil (ESSO) in Ohio (some say 1870)
Jul 5: William Booth (1829-1912) founds Salvation Army, in London
Jul 14: First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of
whom died on the descent
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) becomes first woman doctor in
England [she later became the first woman mayor in England, in Aldeburgh
First concrete roads built in Britain
Locomotive Act (the 'Red Flag' Act) ± required all road locomotives to travel at
a maximum of 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in towns and have a crew of
three, one of whom should carry a red flag walking 60 yards ahead of each
vehicle (repealed 1896)
Mendel states his law of heredity
Lewis Carroll  lice in Wonderland
Tolstoy War and Peace
Jul 28: Atlantic cable first used ± five attempts had been made over a nine year
period (in 1857, two in 1858, 1865, and 1866) before lasting connections
finally achieved by the SS Great Eastern with the 1866 cable and the repaired
1865 cable
Oct 16: Girton College founded
Marquis of Queensbury rules accepted for boxing
Winchester repeating rifle comes into use in USA
Mar 30: USA buys Alaska from Russia ("Seward's Folly") ± formal transfer on
18 Oct
July 1: The British North America Act takes effect, creating the Canadian
Aug 24: Fanny Adams murdered in Alton
Nov 25: Alfred Nobel patents dynamite
Dec 2: Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the USA (in New York)
The Second Reform Bill ± vote given to town householders
Typewriter invented (but not commercially successful until 1873)
Lister uses carbolic antiseptic
Ibsen Peer Gynt
Strauss Blue Danube
Last British election for which Poll Books available
Last convicts landed in Australia (Western Australia)
Impressionist movement begins to emerge in art
Disestablishment of Irish Church
Imprisonment for debt abolished in Britain
May 10: Transcontinental railway completed in America
Nov 17: Suez Canal opens
Nov 23: Cutty Sark launched in Dumbarton
HJ Heinz Company founded in USA, with its '57 Varieties'
Ballbearings, celluloid, margarine, washing machine all invented
GPO takes over the privately-owned Telegraph Companies (nationalised)
Jun 1: Telegraph link to India first open for business
Sep: Unification of Italy completed
Oct 1: First British postcard ± halfpenny post
Board Schools start attempting to impose consistent spelling (Forster's Act?)
Dr Thomas Barnardo opens his first home for destitute children
Water closets come into wide use
Diamonds discovered in Kimberley, South Africa (some say 1866)
Britain possesses 43% of world's merchant steam tonnage
Art & Crafts Period (Art & Antiques)
Mar 27: First Rugby Football international, England v Scotland, played in
Mar 29: Opening of Royal Albert Hall
Apr 2: Fourth full British census
Jun 16: University Tests Act allows students to enter Oxford, Cambridge and
Durham universities without religious tests
Jun 29: Trades Unions legalised in Britain, but picketing made illegal
Bank Holidays Act
(see 1971)
Commissions in British armed forces no longer to be purchased
FA Cup introduced
Nov 10: Henry Morton Stanley finds Dr David Livingstone in Africa (in Ujiji
near Lake Tanganyika)
Gilbert and Sullivan begin a 20 year collaboration
Verdi  ida
Mar 16: First FA Cup ± Wanderers FC beat Royal Engineers AFC 1-0
at the Oval
Jul 18: Secret Ballot introduced in Britain (no further Poll Books produced)
Nov 30: First international football match, at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
between Scotland and England ± nil-all draw
Dec 4: American ship ©ary Celeste is found abandoned by the British brig Dei
Gratia in the Atlantic Ocean ± the ship was unmanned but under full sail ± she
was recovered and used again for another 12 years or so
Licensing hours introduced
Penalties introduced for failing to register births, marriages & deaths (Eng &
Penny-farthing bicycles in general use
Over 32,000 friendly societies in England
Mar 1: Remington & Sons start to manufacture the new Scholes and Glidden
typewriter (named Remington from 1876)
Glidden invents barbed wire
Jules Verne  round the World in 80 Days
Disraeli and the Tories come to power in Britain ± pass 11 major Acts of social
reform in next 2 years
First Trades Union MP is elected
Factory Act introduces 56-hour week
Apr 5: Birkenhead Park opened, said to be the first civic public park in the
world ± features of it later copied in Central Park, New York
Hardy Far from the ©adding Crowd
Verdi Requiem
Jan 1: Midland Railway abolishes Second Class passenger facilities, leaving
First Class and Third Class. Other British railway companies followed during
the rest of the year. (Third Class was renamed Second Class in 1956)
London's main sewage system completed
Aug 24: Captain Webb swims channel
Artisan's Dwellings Act
Climbing Boys Act passed
Peaceful picketing permitted again
Universal Postal Union established at Geneva
Britain takes 42% share in Suez Canal
Bizet Carmen
Feb 14: Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray each file a patent for the
telephone ± Bell awarded the rights
Feb 18: Direct telegraph link established between UK and New Zealand
Annual centralised list of Scottish Wills from now (and most from 1823 also)
Civil Registration of deaths in Isle of Man started
Plimsoll Line established for loading of ships
Dewey decimal classification for publishers introduced by Melvil Dewey
May 1: Victoria proclaimed Empress of India
Jun 25: Battle of Little Big Horn ± Custer's last stand; last major North
American Indian victory
Tchaikovsky Swan Lake
Mar 15: First cricket Test Match begins (between Australia and England in
Melbourne) ± Australia won by 45 runs
First tennis championships at Wimbledon
Edison invents microphone and phonograph
± demonstrated first sound recording on 6th Dec
Schiaperelli observes 'canals' on Mars
Feb 11: First weekly weather forecast published by the Meteorological Office
Edison & Swan invent electric lamp
Red Flag Act in Britain limits mechanical road vehicles to 4mph (see 1896)
CID established at New Scotland Yard
Gilbert and Sullivan H©S Pinafore
Jan 11: Start of Anglo-Zulu war
Jan 22: Battle of Rorke's Drift in the Anglo-Zulu Warr
Feb 27: Discovery of Saccharin announced (Fahlberg and Remsen)
Jun 1: First Tay Bridge completed (Thomas Bouch)
Sep 18: Blackpool illuminations switched on for first time
Dec 28 (Sunday): Tay Bridge Disaster ± bridge collapsed in storm taking train
with it ± enquiry revealed corners had been cut during construction to reduce
costs ± replacement bridge constructed in 1887
First telephone exchanges opened in London & Manchester
Church of Christ Scientist established at Boston
Ibsen Doll's House
Education Act: schooling compulsory for 5-10 year olds
The Burial Laws Amendment Act, 1880, Section 13 ± To be buried under this
Act normally means that the person buried was a non-conformist; the burial
service was performed by a Non-Conformist minister, but in a Church of
England church, as the burial was going to take place in the churchyard. Before
that time, non-conformists could not be buried in parish churchyards.
Aug 2: Greenwich Mean Time adopted throughout UK
Britain possesses half world's merchant steam tonnage
Mosquito found to be the carrier of malaria
Rodin ^he ^hinker
Apr 3: Fifth full British Census
Sep: Godalming in Surrey became the first town in England to have a public
electricity supply installed (but in 1884 it reverted to gas lighting until 1904)
Postal Orders introduced
First Boer War ± Transvaal independence recognised
Flogging abolished in Army and Royal Navy
Oct 26: Gunfight at OK Corral
May 6: Phoenix Park murders in Dublin
Aug 29: Australia defeat England by seven runs in a Test match at The Oval ±
Institution of 'the Ashes' in cricket
Standard Oil Co controls 95% of US oil refining capacity
Fourth Eddystone Lighthouse completed
TB bacillus discovered by Koch
Conan Doyle   Study in Scarlet, first appearance of Sherlock Holmes
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
May 24: Brooklyn Bridge, New York opens (crosses East River)
Aug 1: Parcel post starts in Britain
Oct 4: Foundation of the Boys' Brigade in Glasgow by William Smith
Foundation of the Primrose League, British Conservative organisation, by Lord
Randolph Churchill
Married Women's Property Act of 1882 becomes law
Ekman opens a wood pulp mill in England, for manufacture of paper (he had
opened one in Sweden in 1874)
Aug 27: Eruption of Krakatoa near Java ± 30,000 killed by tidal wave
Statue of Liberty presented to USA by France
Robert Louis Stevenson ^reasure Island
Jan 29: Appearance of the first 'fascicle' [from 'A' to 'ant'] ofOxford English
Dictionary (full Dictionary not completed until 1928)
The Third Reform Bill ± vote given to agricultural workers
May 31: John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes
Sep 22: Herman Hollerith patents his mechanical tabulating machine
Oct 13: Standard Meridian Conference ± Greenwich made prime meridian of
the world
Oct 14: George Eastman patents the first film in roll form to prove practicable;
in 1888 he perfected the Kodak camera
Bateman's Great Landowners published (relates to land values in 1882)
Fabergé produces the first of his jewelled Easter eggs for the Tsar
Art Noveau Period (Art & Antiques)
Jan 26: Fall of Khartoum, General Gordon killed
Mar: First UK cremation in modern times took place at Woking (see 1902)
Mar 14: First performance of ^he ©ikado
Jun 17: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbour (in 350 pieces on
board the French frigate Isère)
Sep 5: The first train runs through the Severn Tunnel
Sep 29: First electric tramcar used at Blackpool (some say first in Britain ran
March 1882 in East London)
Carl Benz builds the 'Motorwagen', a single-cylinder motor car
Gottlieb Daimler patents the world's first motorcycle
Secretary for Scotland appointed
Canadian Pacific Railway completed
Twain Huckleberry Finn
Gladstone's first Irish Home Rule Bill rejected, despite his famous three-hour
Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act ± created legal definitions of crofting parish
and crofter, granted security of tenure to crofters and produced the first Crofters
Jan 9: Severn Rail Tunnel opened, but full service only started in December ±
longest mainline railway tunnel within the UK until 2007
Jan 18: The Hockey Association formed in England
Jan 20: Mersey railway (under Mersey) opened by Prince of Wales
May: Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage later
named "Coca-Cola"
May 29: Putney Bridge opens in London
Sep 9: Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Hardy ^he ©ayor of Casterbridge
Millais Bubbles
May 9: Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show opens in London
Jun 8: Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his punch card calculator
Jun 21: Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee
Jul 13: Second Tay Bridge opened
Jul 26: The Unua Libro (First Book) was published describing the international
language Esperanto
Daimler produces a four-wheeled motor car
Kipling Plain ^ales
Haggard She
Mar 2: Convention of Constantinople guarantees free maritime passage through
Suez Canal in war and peace
Mar 22: English Football League formed
Jack the Ripper active in east London
during the latter half of the year
County Councils set up in Britain
Dunlop invents pneumatic tyre
First box camera ± George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak, and
receives a patent for his camera which uses roll film
First successful adding machine patented by William Seward Burroughs in the
Dec 23: Vincent van Gogh cuts off the lower part of his left ear
First known recording of classical music ± Handel's Israel in Egypt on wax
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherezade
Van Gogh Sunflowers
Mar 31: Eiffel Tower completed (to mark centenary of French Revolution)
May 14: Children's charity NSPCC launched in London
Jun 3: Canadian Pacific Railway completed from coast to coast
Jul 8: First issue of the Wall Street Journal published
Aug 14: London Dock Strike ± docker's won their "Docker's Tanner", 6 old
Sep 28: Length of a metre defined
Oct 6: Moulin Rouge cabaret opens in Paris
Celluloid film produced
Gilbert & Sullivan Gondoliers; Jerome K Jerome ^hree ©en in a Boat
Jan 25: Nellie Bly returns to New York having gone round the world in 72 days
using steamships and existing railroad systems
Mar 4: Forth railway bridge opens ± took six years to build
Nov 4: City & South London Railway opens ± London's first deep-level tube
railway and first major railway in the world to use electric traction
Mar 18: First telephone link between London & Paris
Apr 5: Sixth full British Census
Primary education made free and compulsory
May 4: Fictional date when Sherlock Holmes throws Moriarty over
Reichenbach Falls, then disappears for 3 years! (published in 1893)
Ordnance Survey maps Epoch 2 ± date range 1891-1912 (see 1904)
Aug 24: Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera
Jan 1: Ellis Island immigration station opens in New York (closed in 1954)
Electric oven invented
Shop Hours Act ± limit 74 hours per week for under-18s
May 20: Last broad-gauge train leaves Paddington for Plymouth
Oct 6: Alfred Lord Tennyson dies, aged 83, at his house  ldworth, near
Oct 31: Arthur Conan Doyle publishes the first  dventures of Sherlock Holmes
Dec 18: First performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet (in St
Keir Hardy founds Independent Labour Party
Henry Ford's first car
Feb 4: Official opening of Liverpool Overhead Railway by Marquis of
Jun 7: Gandhi's first act of civil disobedience (in South Africa)
Tchaikovsky 6th symphony (Pathétique), and suicide
Jan 1: Manchester Ship Canal opens
Local Government Act passed (start of civil parish councils, etc)
Picture postcard introduced in Britain
Mar 1: Blackpool Tower opens
May 21: Queen Victoria opens Manchester Ship Canal
Jun 23: International Olympic Committee founded at the initiative of Baron
Pierre de Coubertin
Jun 30: Tower Bridge first opens
Aug 2: Death duties first introduced in Britain
Dec 22: Alfred Dreyfus convicted of treason in France
Beatrice and Sidney Webb History of ^rade cnionism
Kipling Jungle Book
Shaw  rms and the ©an
Debussy L' pres-midi d'un Faune
Jan 12: The National Trust founded in England
London School of Economics (LSE) established
Mar 22: First public showing of film on screen in Paris by Lumières
Gugliemo Marconi invents wireless telegraphy ± message over a mile
Safety razor invented by King C Gillette
Jul 12: First recorded motor journey of any length (56 miles) in Britain
Oct 17: First people in Britain to be charged with motor offences ± John Henry
Knight and James Pullinger of Farnham, Surrey
May 24: Henry Irving becomes the first person from the theatre to be knighted
May 28: Oscar Wilde sent to prison
Nov: Röntgen discovers X-rays
Sir Henry Wood starts Promenade Concerts in London
HG Wells ^he ^ime ©achine
Chekov ^he Seagull
Mar 31: Zip fastener patented by Whitcomb L Judson
Apr 6±15: First modern Olympic Games held in Athens
May 4: Daily Mail first published
Jun 2: Guglielmo Marconi receives a British patent (later disputed) for the radio
Aug: Start of Klondyke Gold Rush in the Yukon
Repeal of the 1878 Red Flag Act ± removed the need for a crew of three, and
increased the speed limit to 14 mph (first London to Brighton run on14 Nov in
celebration, now an annual event)
Dec 14: Opening of the Underground Railway (the "shooglie") in Glasgow ±
remains the only underground in Scotland
Term psychoanalysis first comes into use
Puccini La Boheme
Richard Strauss  lso Sprach Zarathustra
Jun 22: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
Flora Thompson leaves 'Candleford Green'
Oct: Arthur Conan Doyle and family move into cndershaw at Hindhead ± it
had cost him just over £6,000 to build ± they threw a big fancy-dress party at
Christmas to celebrate, with 160 guests (including Jean Leckie who later
became his second wife)
Workmen's Compensation Act: employers liable for insurance of workforce
Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector
Bram StokerDracula
First photograph using artificial light
Mar 17: USS Holland launched, the first practical submarine
Jun 27: The first solo circumnavigation of the globe completed at Rhode island
by Joshua Slocum in Spray (started from Boston, Mass on Apr 24, 1895)
Zeppelin builds airship
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company founded
The Curies discover Radium
Oscar Wilde ^he Ballad of Reading Gaol
Henry James ^he ^urn of the Screw
Second Boer War
Oct 11: Start of Second Boer War
Nov 15: Winston Churchill captured by Boers
Board of Education established in Britain
Britain's first 'Garden City' laid out at Letchworth
Valdemar Poulsen invents the tape recorder
Johann Vaaler designs the paper clip
Mar 6: Aspirin first marketed by Bayer
Elgar Enigma ·ariations; Sibelius Finlandia
Sigmund Freud ^he Interpretation of Dreams
Jan 24: Spion Kop reached by British; massive losses by Lancashire Regiment
Feb 9: Davis Cup tennis competition established
Feb 27: Labour Party formed
Feb 28: Relief of Ladysmith after a siege of 118 days
May 17: Relief of Mafeking
June/July: Boxer rising in Peking
School leaving age in Britain raised to 14 years
Central Line opens in London: underground is electrified
Dec 10: Nobel prizes first awarded
Dec 14: Max Planck publishes his book on Quantum Mechanics
Escalator shown at Paris exhibition
Commonwealth of Australia founded
Jan 22: Queen Victoria dies ± Edward VII king
Feb 2: Queen Victoria's funeral ± interred beside Prince Albert in the Frogmore
Mausoleum at Windsor Great Park.
Mar 31: Seventh full British Census (available for inspection Jan 2002)
June: Denunciation of use of concentration camps by British in Boer War
Aug 30: Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner
Oct 2: Britain's first submarine launched
Dec 12: First successful radio transmission across the Atlantic, by Marconi ±
Morse code from Cornwall to Newfoundland
Ragtime introduced into American jazz
Trans-Siberian Railway opens
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2
Kipling Kim
Balfour's Education Act provides for secondary education
Cremation Act ± cremation can only take place at officially recognised
establishments, and with two death certificates issued
May 24: Empire Day (later Commonwealth Day) first celebrated
May 31: Treaty of Vereeniging ends Second Boer War
Aug 9: Coronation of Edward VII, following the end of the Boer War
Oct 24: Arthur Conan Doyle reluctantly accepts a knighthood
Marie Curie discovers radioactivity
USA acquires perpetual control of Panama Canal (not yet completed, see 1913)
Discovery by physicist Heaviside of atmospheric layer which aids conduction
of radio waves
^imes Literary Supplement appears for first time
Workers' Education Association (WEA) formed in Britain
Women's Social and Political Union formed in Britain by Emmeline Pankhurst
Jul 19: First ^our de France cycle race finishes
Dec 14: First flight of Wilbur & Orville Wright (some say 17th Dec)
Henry Ford sets up his motor company
Bertrand Russell Principles of ©athematics
Shaw ©an and Superman
Chekov ^he Cherry Orchard
Leeds University established
Apr 8: France and UK sign the Entente Cordiale
May 4: America takes over construction of the Panama Canal from the French
(completed 1914)
Jul 16: 'Bloomsday' in Dublin ± the day James Joyce uses for his novel clysses
Dec: Metropolitan Line in London goes electric
First successful caterpillar track is made
Ordnance Survey maps Epoch 3 ± date range 1904-1939 (see 1919)
Barrie Peter Pan (legend says he invented the name Wendy for this, but the
name exists in census records as early as 1880)
Puccini ©adame Butterfly
The title 'Prime Minister' noted in a royal warrant for the first time ± placed the
Prime Minister in order of precedence in Britain immediately after the
Archbishop of York
Aliens Act in Britain: Home Office controls immigration
Germany lays down the first Dreadnought battleship
Apr 11: Einstein publishes Special Theory of Relativity (see 1916)
Nov 28: Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith founds Sinn Féin
Dec 5: Part of the roof of Charing Cross station in London collapsed, killing 5
people ± the station remained closed until 19 March 1906
Dec 9: French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State
Picasso begins his 'Pink Period' in Paris
Lehar ^he ©erry Widow
Debussy La ©er
Free school meals for poor children
Feb 10: Launching of H©S Dreadnought, first turbine-driven battleship
Mar 15: Rolls-Royce Ltd registered
Apr 18: San Francisco earthquake and fire: Contemporary accounts reported
that 498 people lost their lives, though modern estimates put the number in the
several thousands. More than half the city's population of 400,000 were left
May 26: Vauxhall Bridge opened in London
Sep 12: Newport transporter bridge opened
Sep 20: Launching of Cunard's R©S ©auretania on the Tyne
Dec 15: Opening of the Piccadilly Line in London
Freud and Jung begin their association
Amundsen traverses the north-west passage
HW Fowler ^he King's English
School medical system begins
New Zealand becomes a Dominion
Jan 7: Selborne Memorandum, reviewing the situation in favour of a Union in
South Africa (see 1910)
Imperial College, London, is established
First airship flies over London
Jul: Leo Hendrik Baekeland patents Bakelite, the first plastic invented that held
its shape after being heated
Aug 1-9: Baden-Powell leads the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island
Nov 9: The Cullinan Diamond presented to Edward VII on his birthday
Pavlov begins his studies on conditioned reflexes
Lumiere develops a process for colour photography
Diaghilev begins to popularise ballet
First 'Cubist' exhibition in Paris
Mahler Symphony No.8
Coal Mines Regulation Act in Britain limits men to an eight hour day
Separate courts for juveniles established in Britain
Lord Baden-Powell starts the Boy Scout movement
Jun 30: The Tunguska event occurs near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in
Krasnoyarsk Krai, Siberia ± most likely caused by the air burst of a large
meteoroid or comet fragment
Jul1: SOS became effective as an international signal of distress (see 1909)
Aug 12: First 'Model T' Ford made
Grahame ^he Wind in the Willows
Jan 1: Old Age Pensions Act came into force
Jan 16: Ernest Shackleton's expedition finds the magnetic South Pole
Mar 15: Selfridges department store opens in London
Jul 25: Bleriot flies across the Channel (36 minutes, Calais to Dover)
Aug 11: First SOS signal sent (some say June 10 by Cunard liner Slavonia)
Beveridge Report prompts creation of labour Exchanges
Peary reaches the north pole
First commercial manufacture of Bakelite ± start of the plastic age
Constitutional crisis in Britain
Railway strike and coal strikes in Britain
May 6: Edward VII dies ± George V king
May 31: Union of South Africa formed ± Botha first Prime Minister
Dr Crippen caught by radio telegraphy; hanged 23 Nov at Pentonville
Madame Curie isolates radium
Halley's comet reappears
Tango becomes popular in North America and Europe
Stravinsky ^he Fire Bird
Parliament Act in Britain reduces the power of the House of Lords
British MPs receive a salary
Feb 18: First official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India
Apr 2 Census: Pop. E&W 36M, Scot 4.6M, NI 1.25M
May 15: Standard Oil in USA broken up into 33 companies
Jun 22: Coronation of George V
Jul 19: Opening of Royal Liver Building in Liverpool
Dec 12: Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India
Dec 14: National Insurance in Britain
Dec 14: Amundsen reaches the south pole
First British Official Secrets Act
Rutherford: theory of atomic structures
GK Chesterton ^he Innocence of Father Brown
Irving Berlin  lexander's Rag-time Band
Strikes by seamen, dock and transport workers
Irish Home Rule crisis grows in Britain
Jan 18: Captain Scott's last expedition ± he and his team reach the south pole on
Jan 18th; all die on the way back, their bodies found in November
Mar 1: Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane (in
Apr 14: The 'unsinkable' ^itanic sinks on maiden voyage ± loss of 1,513 lives
May 13: Royal Flying Corps (later the RAF) founded in Britain
Britain nationalises the telephone system
Daily Herald founded ± lasts until 1964
Discovery of the 'Piltdown Man' ± hoax, exposed in 1953
Jan 30: Third Irish Home Rule Bill rejected by House of Lords ± threat of civil
war in Ireland ± formation of Ulster Volunteers to oppose Home Rule
Suffragette demonstrations in London ± Mrs Pankhurst imprisoned
Jun 4: Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of the king's horse,
Anmer, at the Epsom Derby and dies
Trade Union Act in Britain establishes the right to use Union funds for political
Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley of Sheffield
Dec 21: Arthur Wynne's 'word-cross,' the first crossword puzzle, is published in
the New York World
Geiger invents his counter to measure radioactivity
Stravinsky ^he Rite of Spring
DH Lawrence Sons and Lovers
Shaw Pygmalion
First World War (the "Great War")
Jun 28: Archduke Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo
Aug 4: Britain declares war on Germany, citing Belgian neutrality as reason
Aug 5: British cableship ^elconia cut through all five of Germany's undersea
telegraph links to the outside world
Aug 6: Germany's Atlantic U-boat Campaign begins
Aug 15: Panama Canal opened, the Canal cement boat  ncon making the first
official transit (plans for a grand opening were cancelled due to the start of
Oct-Nov: Battle of Ypres ± beginning of trench warfare on western front
Nov 27: First policewoman goes on duty in Britain
Dec 16: German battleships bombard Hartlepool and Scarborough
Irish Home Rule Act provides for a separate Parliament in Ireland; the position
of Ulster to be decided after the War
James Joyce ^he Dubliners
Chaplin and De Mille make their first films
Burroughs ^arzan of the  pes
Vaughan Williams London Symphony
Jan 19: First Zeppelin air raid on England, over East Anglia ± four killed
Feb: Submarine blockade of Britain starts
Apr-May: Second Battle of Ypres ± poison gas used for first time
Apr 25: Gallipoli campaign starts (declared ANZAC Day in 1916)
May 7: R©S Lusitania sunk by German submarine off coast of Ireland ± 1,198
May 16: First meeting of a British WI (Women's Institute) took place in
Llanfairpwll (aka Llanfair PG), Anglesey
Junkers construct first fighter aeroplane
Coalition Government formed in Britain under Asquith
First automatic telephone exchange in Britain
Buchan ^he ^hirty-nine Steps
Feb-Dec: Battle of Verdun ± appalling losses on both sides, stalemate continues
Apr 24: Easter Rising in Ireland ± after the leaders are executed, public opinion
backs independence
May 21: First use of Daylight Saving Time in UK (although Sir Ernest
Shackleton, on Endurance ice-bound in the Weddell Sea, advanced the
expedition's time by one hour on Sunday 26th Sep 1915)
May 31-Jun 1: Battle of Jutland ± only major naval battle between the British
and German fleets
Jun 5: Sinking of H©S Hampshire and death of Kitchener
Sep 15: First use of tanks in battle, but of limited effect (Battle of the Somme 1
July±18 Nov: over 1 million casualties)
Aug 3: Sir Roger Casement hanged at Pentonville Prison for treason
Dec 7: Lloyd-George becomes British Prime Minister of the coalition
Compulsory military service introduced in Britain
Einstein General ^heory of Relativity
Kafka ©etamorphosis
Holst ^he Planets
Jazz sweeps through America
February revolution in Russia; Tsar Nicholas abdicates
USA declares war on Germany
Battle of Cambrai ± first use of massed tanks, but effect more psychological
than actual
Apr 16: Lenin returns to Russia after exile
Apr 17: USA declares war on Germany
May 26: George V changes surname from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor
(Royal proclamation on 17 July)
Jul-Nov: Battle of Passchendaele ± little gained by either side
Oct 17: Trans-Australian railway
line completed
Nov 2: Balfour Declaration: Britain will support a Jewish state in Palestine
Nov 7: 'October' Revolution in Russia ± Bolsheviks overthrow provisional
government; Lenin becomes Chief Commissar
Dec 6: Halifax (Nova Scotia) Explosion, one of the world's largest artificial
non-nuclear explosions to date: a ship loaded with wartime explosives blew up
after a collision, obliterating buildings and structures within two square
kilometres of the explosion
Dec 9: British forces capture Jerusalem
Ministry of Labour is established in Britain
Daniel Jones English Pronouncing Dictionary
Mar 8: Start of world-wide 'flu pandemic
Apr 1: Royal Air Force replaces The Royal Flying Corps
Jul-Aug: Second Battle of the Marne: last major German offensive
Oct 1: Arab forces under Lawrence of Arabia capture Damascus
Nov 11: Armistice signed
Vote for women over 30, men over 21 (except peers, lunatics and felons)
Dec: First woman elected to House of Commons, Countess Markiewicz as a
Sinn Féin member refused to take her seat
War of Independence in Ireland
Art Deco Period (Art & Antiques)
Britain adopts a 48-hour working week
Irish MPs meet as Dail Eirann
Jan 18: Bentley Motors founded
Jun 15: Alcock and Brown complete first nonstop flight across the Atlantic
Jun 28: Treaty of Versailles signed
Nov 28: First woman to sit in House of Commons (Viscountess Astor)
Sir Ernest Rutherford became the first person to transmute one element into
another when he converted nitrogen into oxygen through nuclear reaction
Ordnance Survey maps Epoch 4 ± date range 1919-1943 (see 1945)
Keynes ^he Economic Consequencies of War
Sassoon War Poems
HL Mencken ^he  merican Language
Jan 16: Prohibition starts in USA (lasts until Dec 1933)
Feb: First roadside petrol filling station in UK ± opened by the Automobile
Association at Aldermaston on the Bath Road
Nov 15: First General Assembly of the League of Nations (in Geneva)
Regular cross-channel air service starts
Oxford University admits women to degrees
Marconi opens a radio broadcasting station in Britain
Thompson patents his machine gun (Tommy gun)
DH Lawrence Women in Love
Jun 19 Census: Pop. E&W 37.9M, Scot 4.9M, NI 1.25M
Dec 6: Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in London, leading to the formation of the
Irish Free State and Northern Ireland
Irish Regiments of British Army disbanded
Railway Act in Britain amalgamates companies ± only four remained
Insulin discovery announced
First birth control clinic
Chaplin ^he Kid, first full-length film
Prokofiev ^he Love for ^hree Oranges
Fall of Lloyd-George coalition
Law of Property Act ± the manorial system effectively ended
Jun 1: Royal Ulster Constabulary founded
Oct: BBC established as a monopoly, and begins transmissions in November
(2LO in London on 14 Nov; 5IT in Birmingham and 2ZY in Manchester on 15
Dec 6: Irish Free State comes into existence
Einstein General ^heory of Relativity
TS Eliot ^he Waste Land
Joyce clysses published Feb 2 in Paris
Jan 1: The majority of the railway companies in Great Britain grouped into four
main companies, the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, LMSR ± lasted until
nationalisation in 1948
Feb 16: Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Tutankhamun
Mussolini becomes dictator of Italy
Apr 28: First Wembley cup final (West Ham 0, Bolton 2) ± "I'm Forever
Blowing Bubbles," popular song of the time, became the West Ham anthem
Jul 13: The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above
Sep 28: First publication of Radio ^imes
Nov: Massive inflation in Germany leads to collapse of the currency
Roads in Great Britain classified with A and B numbers
Hubble shows there are galaxies beyond the Milky Way
First American broadcasts heard in Britain
Dec 31: Chimes of Big Ben broadcast on radio for the first time
Freud ^he Ego and the Id
PG Wodehouse ^he Inimitable Jeeves
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Jan 4±Nov 4: First Labour government in Britain, headed by Ramsay
Jan 21: Death of Lenin; succeeded by Stalin
Jan 22: Ramsay MacDonald becomes the first Labour Prime Minister
Feb 5: Hourly Greenwich Time Signals from the Royal Greenwich Observatory
(the 'pips') were first broadcast by the BBC
Mar 31: British Imperial Airways begins operations (formed by merger of four
British airline companies ± became BOAC in 1940)
Forster   Passage to India
Britain returns to gold standard
Jul 18: Adolf Hitler publishes ©ein Kampf
Fitzgerald ^he Great Gatsby
Noel Coward Hay Fever
Charleston dance becomes fashionable
Apr 21: Princess Elizabeth born
May 3: General Strike begins, lasted until May 12 (mine workers for 6 months
Oct 31: Death of Harry Houdini
First public demonstration of television (TV) by John Logie Baird
Electricity (Supply) Act authorised the creation of the National Grid in the UK
(Initial grid completed 1933, fully established in 1938)

Adoption of children is legalised in Britain

May 9: Byrd claims to make a flight over north pole, later disputed (see 1929)
Dec 28: Highest recorded cricket innings (1,107 runs by Victoria v NSW at
Kodak produces 16mm movie film
Walt Disney arrives in Hollywood
HW Fowler Dictionary of ©odern English csage
Jan 7: First transatlantic telephone call ± New York City to London
Jan 22: First live broadcast in the world on radio of a football match (by BBC ±
Arsenal v Sheffield United at Highbury)
May 9: Canberra becomes Federal Capital of Australia (Government moved in
on this date; construction had begun in 1913)
May 1: First cooked meals on a scheduled flight introduced by Imperial
Airways from London to Paris
May 20-21: Lindbergh makes solo flight across the Atlantic, in 33½ hours
May 31: Last Ford Model T rolls off assembly line
Jul 24: The Menin Gate war memorial unveiled at Ypres
Parts of
the Diocese of Winchester split off to create the two new Diocese of Guildford and
Release of the first 'talkie' film (^he Jazz Singer)
Women over 21 get vote in Britain ± same qualification for both sexes
Apr 19: The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary is
published (see 1884)
Apr 26: Madame Tussauds opens in London
Teleprinters start to be used
Jul 14: First pylon erected for the National Grid
Sep 15: Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovers penicillin (results
published 1929)
Nov 1: Turkey adopts Roman alphabet
Nov 18: Walt Disney's 'Mickey Mouse' pictures begin
Dec 20: First chip shop opened in Guiseley by Harry Ramsden
± Britain's longest established restaurant chain
DH Lawrence Lady Chatterley's Lover
Ravel Bolero
Brecht and Weill ^he ^hreepenny Opera
Abolition of Poor Law system in Britain
Minimum age for a marriage in Britain (which had been 14 for a boy and 12 for
a girl) now 16 for both sexes, with parental consent (or a licence) needed for
anyone under 21
Feb 14: Screen debut of ©ickey ©ouse ± same day as St Valentine's Day
Oct 24: Wall Street crash on 'Black Thursday', followed on Oct 29 by 'Black
Tuesday, regarded as the start of the Great Depression' ± the Dow Jones Index
didn't recover to its pre-crash level until 1954
BBC begins experimental TV transmissions
Nov 29: Byrd definitely makes a flight over south pole
Einstein cnified Field ^heory
Hemingway   Farewell to  rms
Jan 31: 3M begins marketing Scotch Tape
Feb 1: ^he ^imes publishes its first crossword puzzle, compiled by Adrian Bell,
aged 28
Mar 6: Clarence Birdseye first marketed frozen peas
(Springfield, Mass)
First Nazis elected to the German Reichstag
Jul 30: Uruguay beats Argentina 4-2 to win the first Football World Cup
Oct 5: R101 airship disaster ± British abandons airship construction
Youth Hostel Association (YHA) founded in Britain
Nov 13: Discovery of dwarf planet Pluto by Tombaugh
Film  ll Quiet on the Western Front
Apr 14: Highway Code first issued
Apr 26 Census: Pop. E&W 40M, Scot 4.8M, NI 1.24M (but details destroyed
by fire during WW2)
May 1: Empire State Building completed in New York
Statute of Westminster: British Dominions become independent sovereign
Oct 21: National Government formed to deal with economic crisis ± Britain
comes off gold standard
Collapse of the German banking system; 3,000 banks there close
Unemployment in Germany reaches 5.66M
Great Hunger March of unemployed to London
Moseley founds British Union of Fascists
Roosevelt elected President of USA
Slump grows worse in USA; 5,000 banks close, unemployment rises
Cockroft and Walton accelerate particles to disintegrate an atomic nucleus
Mar 19: Sydney Harbour Bridge opened
May 20/21: Amelia Earhart first solo nonstop flight across Atlantic by a female
Jul 12: Lambeth Bridge in London opens
Oct 3: Iraq gains independence from Britain
Oct 3: ^he ^imes introduces Times New Roman typeface
Sir Thomas Beecham established the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Huxley Brave New World (see 1963)
Jan 30: Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany
Roosevelt launches his 'New Deal'
Oxford Union: "This House will in no circumstances fight for King and
Sep: Last pylon of the initial National Grid erected
Nov 12: First known photos of the 'Loch Ness Monster' taken
Dec 5: Prohibition ends in USA
ICI scientists discover polythene
Only 6 pennies minted in Britain this year
Hitler becoms Fuehrer of Germany
Mao Tse-tung's 'Long March' starts in China
Mar 26: Driving tests introduced in UK? (but see 1935)
Apr 4: 'Cats eyes' first used in the road
in UK
May 28: The Glyndebourne festival inaugurated
Jun 9: Cartoon character Donald Duck first appears
Jul 18: King George V opens Mersey Tunnel
Sep 26: R©S Queen ©ary launched
Nov 30: First time a steam locomotive goes at 100 mph ('Flying Scotsman')
Graves I, Claudius
Flying Down to Rio first Rogers/Astaire film
Feb 28: Nylon first produced by Gerard J. Berchet of Wallace Carothers'
research group at DuPont (there is no evidence to the widely-supposed story
that the name derives from New York-London)
Mar 12: Hore-Belisha introduces pedestrian crossings and speed limits for
built-up areas in Britain
London adopts a 'Green Belt' scheme
Jun 1: Voluntary driving tests introduced in UK (others say Mar 13, but see
also 1934)
Jul 30: Penguin paperbacks launched
Sep 3: Land speed record of 301.13 mph by Malcolm Campbell on Bonneville
Salt Flats
Oct 3: Italy invades Abyssinia
Dec 17: First flight of the Douglas DC-3 'Dakota' aircraft
Talking books started with the publication of Agatha Christie's ^he ©urder of
Roger  ckroyd and Joseph Conrad's ^yphoon
TS Eliot ©urder in the Cathedral
Jan 20: George V dies; Edward VIII king
May 5: First flight of a Spitfire
Jet engine first tested
May 27: R©S Queen ©ary makes maiden voyage
Jesse Owens wins 4 gold medals at Berlin Olympic Games
Jul 18: Spanish Civil War starts
Jul 24: 'Speaking clock' service starts in UK
Oct: Jarrow march to London
Nov 2: British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service,
world's first public TV transmission
Nov 30: Crystal Palace destroyed by fire
Dec 5: Edward VIII abdicates (announced Dec 10) ± popular carol that
Christmas: "Hark the Herald Angels sing, Mrs Simpson's got our King"
Duke of York becomes George VI
Chaplin film ©odern ^imes
Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf
Apr 12: Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an
Apr 26: German planes bomb Guernica in Spain
Apr 27: Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco
May 6: Zeppelin Hindenburg destroyed by fire in USA after lightning struck it
at the landing tower
May 12: Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
May 28: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco officially opened
May 28: Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister ± policy of appeasement
towards Hitler
Jun 3: Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson
Jul 5: Spam introduced into the market by Hormel Foods Corporation
Jul 7: Japanese forces invade China
Dec 4: ^he Dandy first published
Dec 21: Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opens ± first feature-
length animated cartoon
Alan Turing publishes outline of his 'Turing Machine'
'999' emergency telephone call facility starts in London
Billy Butlin opens his first holiday camp
Steinbeck Of ©ice and ©en; JRR Tolkien ^he Hobbit
Carl Orff Carmina Burana
Picasso Guernica
Mar 12: Germany invades and annexes Austria
Jul 3: 'Mallard' does 126 mph (203 km/h); still world record for a steam
Sep 27: Largest ocean liner ever built Queen Elizabeth launched on Clydebank
Sep 29: Chamberlain visits Hitler in Munich ± promises 'peace in our time'
Oct 30: Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of HG Wells's ^he War of the
Worlds, causing panic in the USA
Principle of paid holidays established in Britain
H©S Rodney first ship to be equipped with radar
First practical ball-point pen produced by Hungarian journalist, Lajos Biro
Second World War (the "Peoples War")
Germany annexes Czechoslovakia
Sep 1: Germany invades Poland
Sep 3: Britain and France declare war on Germany at 5pm
Sep 6: First air-raid on Britain
Sep 11: British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France
Oct 14: H©S Royal Oak sunk in Scapa Flow with loss of 810 lives
Dec 7: 'First flight' of Canadian troops sail for Britain ± 7,400 men on 5 ships
Dec 17:  dmiral Graf Spee scuttled outside Montevideo
Start of evacuation of women and children from London
Coldest winter in Britain since 1894, though this could not be publicised at the
Apr 1:BOAC starts operations, replacing Imperial and British Airways Ltd
May 11: National Government formed under Churchill
May 13: Germany invades France
May 15: Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in the United States
May 27-Jun 4: Evacuation of British Army at Dunkirk
Jun 25: Fall of France
Aug 21: Trotsky assassinated in Mexico on Stalin's orders
Sep 7: Germany launches bombing blitz on Britain, the first of 57 consecutive
nights of bombing
Sep 12: Prehistoric wall paintings found at Lascaux Caves in France
Sep 15: Battle of Britain: massive waves of German air attacks decisively
repulsed by the RAF ± Hitler postpones invasion of Britain
Nov 7: Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge collapses in USA four months after
its completion (famously filmed)
Nov 14: Coventry heavily bombed and the Cathedral almost completely
First successful helicopter flight?? (probably earlier)
Films: Fantasia, ^he Great Dictator
Hemingway For Whom the Bell ^olls
No census ± total British population estimated at 48.2M
May 10: Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland (to offer peace?)
May 27: 'Bismark' sunk
June 22: Germany invades Russia (Operation Barbarossa)
July 1: First Canadian armoured regiments arrive in Britain
Oct 31: Sculptures (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore
Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) on Mount Rushmore completed ± started in
Sunday Dec 7: Japan attackes US fleet at Pearl Harbour
Dec 8: USA enters the War
Dec: Canadian forces given operation role in defending south coast of England
Dec 24: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese
©anhattan Project of nuclear research begins in America
Britain introduces severe rationing
First British jet aircraft flies, based on work of Whittle
Bailey invents his portable military bridge
First use of antibiotics
Film Citizen Kane
May 30: Over 1,000 bombers raid Cologne
Jun 4: Battle of Midway
Aug 19: Abortive raid on Dieppe, largely by Canadian troops
Sep 6:
Germans defeated at Stalingrad
Oct 3: First successful launch of V2 rocket in Germany ± first man-made object
to reach space
Oct 3: The world was blessed with me!

Oct 23-Nov 4: Battle of El Alamein ± Montgomery defeats Rommel

Dec 2: Manhattan Project ± a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-
sustaining nuclear chain reaction
Invention of world's first programmable computer by Alan Turing in co-
operation with Max Neumann ± used to crack German codes
Beveridge Report Social Security and National Insurance
Gilbert Murray founds Oxfam
Film Bambi
May 16: 'Dam Buster' raids on Ruhr dams by RAF
Allies invade Italy ± Benito Mussolini resigns as Italian Dictator, 24 July
Round-the-clock bombing of Germany begins
Nov 30: Tehran Conference ± Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet
Antibiotic Streptomycin isolated by Waksman
Apr 6: PAYE income tax begins
Jun 4: Allies enter Rome
Jun 6: D-Day invasion of Normandy
Jun 12: First V1 flying bombs hit London
Sep 8: First V2 rocket bombs hit London
Sep 11: Allies enter Germany
Dec 16: Battle of the Bulge: German counter-offensive
Butler Education Act: Britain to provide secondary education for all children
Feb 4: Yalta Conference between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin
Mar 29: Last V1 flying bomb attack
Apr 25: Berlin surrounded by Russian troops
Apr 30: Hitler commits suicide
May 8: VE Day
May 9: Channel Islands liberated
Jun 26: UN Charter signed, in San Francisco
Jul 16: First ever atomic bomb exploded in a test in New Mexico (although
there were other forms of atomic device before that, such as the Pile at Stagg
Field, first critical on 2nd Dec 1942)
Jul 26: Labour win UK General Election ± Churchill out of office
Jul 29: BBC Light Programme starts
Aug 6: Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
Aug 9: Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
Aug 15: VJ Day
Sep 2: Japanese surrender was signed aboard USS ©issouri
Oct 24: United Nations Organisation comes into existence (charter ratified by
the five permanent members of the Security Council ± Republic of China,
France, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States ± and by a majority
of the other 46 signatories)
Nov 4: UNESCO founded
Dec 5: Loss of 'Flight 19' on a training exercise starts the Bermuda Triangle
Dec 27: World Bank established
Ordnance Survey maps Epoch 5 ± dates range from 1945
Orwell  nimal Farm
Britten Peter Grimes opera
Brecht ^he Caucasian Chalk Circle
Flora Thompson Lark Rise to Candleford
Jan 1: First civil flight from Heathrow Airport
Mar 1: Bank of England nationalised
Mar 5: Churchill uses the term 'Iron Curtain' in a speech in Missouri
Transition to National Health Service starts in Britain (came into being 5th July
Jul 25: US starts nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll ± hence the name adopted for the
garment which 'reveals the most potent forces of nature'!
Sep: First Cannes Film Festival held
Oct 7: Start of Dick Barton, Special  gent on BBC radio
± until March 1951
Oct 23: First session of new United Nations Organisation held, in Flushing
Meadow, New York
Alistair Cooke starts his regularLetter from  merica on BBC radio
± until 2004

Russell History of Western Philosophy

O'Neill ^he Iceman Cometh
Most severe winter in Britain for 53 years at start of the year ± heavy snow and
much flooding later
Jan 1: Coal Mines nationalised
Feb 7: First Dead Sea Scrolls found (discovered between 1947 and 1956 in
eleven caves)
Feb 23: International Organization for Standardization (ISO) founded
Mar 1: International Monetary Fund begins financial operations
Apr 1: School leaving age raised to 15 in Britain
Aug 14/15: India gains independence: sub-continent partitioned to form India
(Secular, Hindu majority) and Pakistan (Islamic)
First British nuclear reactor developed
Oct 14: Chuck Yeager first to break the sound barrier
Oct 26: British military occupation ends in Iraq
Nov 20: Marriage of Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth II) and Philip
Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey
Tennessee Williams   Streetcar Named Desire
Jan 1: British Railways nationalised
UN sanctions the creation of the State of Israel ± first Israel/Arab war
Jan 30: Gandhi assassinated in Delhi
Apr 3: Marshall Plan signed by President Truman for rebuilding the allied
countries of Europe (aid had started in 1947 and ended in 1951)
Policy of apartheid starts in South Africa
Jul 1: Berlin airlift starts (to 30 Sep 1949)
Jul 5: National Health Service (NHS) begins in Britain
Jul 29: London Olympics begin
Oct 12: First Morris Minor produced
British Citizenship Act : all Commonwealth citizens qualify for British
Transistor radio invented
Long-playing record (LP) invented by Goldmark
Kinsey Report in USA Sexual Behaviour in the Human ©ale
World Health Organisation (WHO) established as part of UN
200 inch reflecting telescope completed at Mount Palomar, California
(construction started in 1936)
'Steady State' theory of the Universe proposed by Bondi and Gold
Mailer ^he Naked and the Dead
Mar 15: Clothes rationing ends in Britain
Apr 4: Twelve nations sign The North Atlantic Treaty creating NATO
Apr 20: First Badminton Horse Trials held
May 12: Russians lift the Berlin blockade
Aug 29: Russians explode their first atomic bomb
Sep 30: Berlin airlift ends
De Haviland produces the Comet ± first jet airliner (see 1952)
Maiden flight of the Bristol Brabazon (broken up in 1953 for scrap)
Orwell 1984, (written in 1948, for which the title in an anagram)
Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman
Film ^he ^hird ©an
Mar 8: McCarthy begins Inquiry into Un-American Activities (Tydings
May 19: Points rationing ends in Britain
May 26: Petrol rationing ends in Britain
Jun 25: Korean War starts (to 27 Jul 1953)
Jun 28: England beaten 1-0 at soccer by the USA
in the World Cup
Jul 11: Andy Pandy first seen on BBC TV
Sep 9: Soap rationing ends in Britain
Oct 7: China invades Tibet
Dec 28: The Peak District becomes the Britain's first National Park
UN Building completed in New York (opened 9 Jan 1951)
Census: Pop. E&W 43.7M, Scot 5M. NI 1.37M
Jan 1: First episode of ^he  rchers broadcast
May 3: Festival of Britain and Royal Festival Hall open on South Bank,
May 28: First Goon Show broadcast
Oct 31: Zebra crossings introduced into law in Britain
Dec 20: Electricity first produced by nuclear power, from Experimental
Breeder Reactor I in Idaho (see 1962)
Salinger Catcher in the Rye
Britten Billy Budd
Feb 1: First TV detector van commissioned in Britain
Feb 6: George VI dies; Elizabeth II queen, returns from Kenya
Feb 21: Identity Cards abolished in Britain
Mar 17: Utility furniture and clothing scheme ends
Apr: Kingsway tram tunnel in London closes
May 2: First commercial jet airliner service launched, by BOACComet between
London and Johannesburg
Jul 5: Last tram runs in London (Woolwich to New Cross)
Aug 16: Lynmouth flood disaster
Sep 6: DH110 crashes at Farnborough Air Show, 26 killed
Sep 29: John Cobb killed in attempt on world water speed record on Loch Ness
Oct 5: End of tea rationing in Britain
Oct 3: Britain explodes her first atomic bomb, in Monte Bello Islands, Australia
Oct 8: Harrow & Wealdstone rail crash, 112 killed
Nov 1: The first H-bomb ever ('Mike') was exploded by the USA ± the
mushroom cloud was 8 miles across and 27 miles high. The canopy was 100
miles wide. Radioactive mud fell out of the sky followed by heavy rain. 80
million tons of earth was vaporised.
Nov 5: Eisenhower sweeps to power as US President
Nov 14: First regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express
Nov 25: Agatha Christie's ^he ©ousetrap opens in London
Dec 4: Great smog hits London
Contraceptive pill invented (see 1961)
Radioactive carbon used for dating prehistoric objects
Bonn Convention: Britain, France and USA end their occupation of West
Becket Waiting for Godot
Hemingway ^he Old ©an and the Sea
Steinbeck East of Eden
Jan 31/Feb 2: Said to be the biggest civil catastrophe in Britain in the 20th
century ± severe storm and high tides caused the loss of hundreds of lives ±-
effects travelled from the west coast of Scotland round to the south-east coast
of England [The Netherlands were even worse affected with over a thousand
Feb 5: Sweet rationing ends in Britain
Mar 5: Death of Stalin
Mar 26: Jonas Salk announces his polio vaccine
Apr 24: Winston Churchill knighted
Apr 25: Francis Crick and James D Watson publish the double helix structure
of DNA (see 1962)
May 29: Everest conquered by Hillary and Tensing
Jun 2: Coronation of Elizabeth II
Jul 27: End of the Korean War
Aug 12: USSR explodes Hydrogen Bomb
Sep 26: Sugar rationing ends in Britain (after nearly 14 years)
Nov 21: Piltdown Man skull declared a hoax by the Natural History Museum
Nov 25: Hungary becomes the first football team outside the British Isles to
beat England at home, winning 6-3 at Wembley Stadium
Dec 1: Playboy magazine first published ± Marilyn Monroe as centrefold
Dec 10: Pilkington Brothers patent the float glass process
Arthur Miller ^he Crucible
Apr 11: 'The most boring day in history'? ± according to a survey by by True
Knowledge, apparently nothing happened worthy of report!
May 6: First sub 4 minute mile (Roger Bannister, 3 mins 59.4 secs)
May 10: Bill Haley and the Comets release Rock  round the Clock
Jul 3: Food rationing officially ends in Britain
Jul 5: BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin
Sep 30: First atomic powered sumbmarine cSS Nautilus commissioned
First comprehensive school opens in London (Kidbrooke School in the London
Borough of Greenwich)
Routemaster bus starts operating in London [or was it 1956?] (see also 2005)
Nov: First transistor radios sold
Dylan Thomas cnder ©ilk Wood
Golding Lord of the Flies
Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot ^in Roof
British Top 20 begins
± first No.1 was Hold ©y Hand by Don Cornell
Royal Commission on Common Land started ± led to 1965 Common Land
Registration Act
Apr 7: Anthony Eden becomes Prime Minister
Apr 12: Anti-polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk declared safe and effective
to use (available to public 1 May 1956)
Jul 27: Allied occupation of Austria (after WW2) ends
Sep 22: Commercial TV starts in Britain ± first advert was for Gibbs SR
toothpaste ± BBC Radio kills off Grace Archer in retaliation
Dec 12: Christopher Cockerell patents the hovercraft
'Mole' self-grip wrench patented by Thomas Coughtrie of Mole & Sons
Nabokov Lolita
Pop music: Bill Haley Rock  round the Clock
Mar 1: Radiotelephony spelling alphabet introduced (Alpha, Bravo, etc)
Apr 17: Premium Bonds first launched ± first prizes drawn on 1 Jun 1957 (and
mine still hasn't won!)
May 24: The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland ±
won by the host nation
Jun 3: 3rd class travel abolished on British Railways (renamed 'Third Class' as
'Second Class', which had been abolished in 1875 leaving just First and Third
Sep 25: Submarine telephone cable under the Atlantic becomes operational
Oct 23: Hungarians protest against Soviet occupation (protest crushed on 4
Oct 31: Britain and France invade Suez
Nov 16: Suez canal blocked for a few months (see also 1957 & 1967)
Britain constructs world's first large-scale nuclear power station in Cumberland
Emergence of the  ngry Young ©en in English literature
Pop music: Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel
Jan 11: Harold Macmillan becomes Prime Minister
Feb 16: BBC TV started to broadcast Six-Five Special, breaking the 'Toddlers'
Truce' of no broadcasting 6-7pm
Mar 8: Suez canal reopened by the Egyptians (see 1956)
Mar 25: Treaty of Rome to create European Economic Community (EEC) of
six countries: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg
± became operational Jan 1958
Apr 26: First Sky at Night broadcast by BBC ± presented by Patrick Moore
May 14: Post-Suez petrol rationing ends
May 15: Britain explodes her first hydrogen bomb, at Christmas Island
Jun 1: Premium Bonds first prizes drawn
Sep 26: West Side Story opens in New York
Oct 4: Sputnik I launched by Soviet Union ± first artificial satellite
Nov 3: Sputnik 2 launched by Soviet Union ± carried a dog ('Laika')
Dec 4: Lewisham rail disaster ± 90 killed as two trains collide in thick fog and a
viaduct collapses on top of them
Queen's first Christmas TV broadcast

ë   typeface developed (in Switzerland)

Pop music: Elvis Presley  ll Shook cp
Jan 31: Launch of Explorer 1 ± first American satellite
Van Allen radiation belt round the earth confirmed by Explorer 1
Feb 6: Munich air disaster ± Manchester United team members killed
Feb 25: CND launched
Mar 17: USA launches its first satellite (Vanguard 1) ± space race with the
USSR begins
Easter: First anti-nuclear protest march to Aldermaston (emergence of CND)
May 13: Velcro trade mark registered
Jul 10: Britain's first parking meters installed, Mayfair, London
Jul 26: Charles created Prince of Wales
First life peerages awarded
Race riots in Britain, at Notting Hill and in Nottingham
Aug 3: cSS Nautilus travels under the polar ice cap
USA begins to produce Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)
Electronic computers begin to be used in research, industry and commerce
Stereophonic records come into use
Oct 5: Charles de Gaulle establishes Fifth Republic in France ± and is elected
President on 21 Dec
Oct 13: Michael Bond publishes the first Paddington Bear story
Oct 26: First commercial flight of Boeing 707 (NY to Paris)
Dec 5: Inauguration of Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) in Britain (completed
in 1979)
Dec 5: Preston by-pass opens ± UK's first stretch of motorway
^he Beatles pop group formed
Radio: Beyond Our Ken starts
Beckett Krapp's Last ^ape
Pasternak Dr Zhivago
Pop music: Jerry Lee Lewis Great Balls of Fire; Everly Brothers  ll I Have to
do is Dream
Jan 3: Alaska became the 49th state of the USA
Feb 3: 'The Day The Music Died' ± plane crash kills Buddy Holly, Ritchie
Valens, and The Big Bopper
Feb 17: Vanguard 2 satellite launched ± first to measure cloud-cover
Apr 25: St Lawrence Seaway opens
May 24: Empire Day becomes Commonwealth Day
Aug: BMC Mini car launched
Aug 21: Hawaii becomes 50th State of the USA
Sep 14: USSR crash-lands unmanned Lunik on the moon
Oct 3: Postcodes introduced in Britain
Nov 1: First section of M1 motorway opened
Charles de Gaulle becomes French President
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) established as an alternative to the
Leakey discovers 600,000 year-old human remains in Tanganyika
Films Some Like it Hot and La Dolce ·ita
Anouilh Becket
Pop music: Buddy Holly It Doesn't ©atter  ny ©ore; Cliff Richard Living
Doll; Adam Faith What Do You Want
'The Year that changed Jazz': Miles Davis Kind of Blue; Charles Mingus
©ingus  h cm; Dave Brubeck ^ime Out; Ornette Coleman ^he Shape of Jazz
to Come
Feb 3: Macmillan 'wind of change' speech in South Africa
Seventeen African colonies become independent this year
Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa
Mar 17: New £1 notes issued by Bank of England
Mar 18: Last steam locomotive of British Railways named
Jul 21: Francis Chichester arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II (took 40
days), winning the first single-handed transatlantic yacht race which he co-
founded (see 1967)
Aug 12: Echo I, the first (passive) communications satellite, launched
Aug: Russian Sputnik 5 orbits carrying two dogs, 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety
of plants on board ± all returned safely
Sep 12: MoT tests on motor vehicles introduced
Sep 29: Nikita Khrushchev disrupts the United Nations General Assembly with
a number of angry outbursts
Oct 1: H©S Dreadnought nuclear submarine launched
Nov 2: Penguin Books found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's
Lover case
Nov 19: First vertical flight of a Harrier jump-jet, at Dunsfold
Dec 9: First episode of Coronation Street broadcast ± on 17 Sept 2010 became
the world's longest-running TV soap opera currently in production
Dec 31: National Service ended
First lasers demonstrated
International Agreement to reserve Antarctica for scientific research (came into
force 23 June 1961)
Pinter ^he Caretaker
Film: Hitchcock Psycho
Pop music: Eddie Cochran ^hree Steps to Heaven; Shadows  pache; Beatles
first album Please Please ©e
Jan 1: Farthing ceases to be legal tender in UK
Jan 20: John F Kennedy becomes US President
Mar 8: First US Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch
Mar 13: Black & White £5 notes cease to be legal tender
Mar 14: New English Bible (New Testament) published
Apr 12: Yuri Gagarin first man in space ± followed shortly afterwards by Alan
Shepard on 5th May
Apr 23: Census: Pop. E&W 46M, Scot 5.1M, NI 1.4M
May 1: Betting shops legal in Britain
May 25: John F Kennedy announces his goal to put a "man on the moon"
before the end of the decade
Aug 13: Berlin Wall construction starts (wall existed until Nov 1989)
Oct 10: Volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha ± whole population evacuated
to Britain
Oral contraceptive launched
Joseph Heller Catch-22
Film West Side Story
Pop music: Helen Shapiro Walking Back to Happiness
Feb 20: John Glenn first American in orbit (3 circuits in Friendship 7)
Apr 26: US Ranger 4 crashes on the far side of the Moon without returning any
scientific data
May 25: Consecration of new Coventry Cathedral (old destroyed in WW2
blitz) ± Britten War Requiem
Jun 15: First nuclear generated electricity to supplied National Grid (from
Berkeley, Glos)
Jul 10: First TV transmission between US and Europe (Telstar) ± first live
broadcast on 23 Jul
Jul 20: First passenger-carrying hovercraft enters service, along the North
Wales Coast from Moreton to Rhyl ± but ends Sep 14.
Aug 5: Marilyn Monroe found dead
Aug 5: Nelson Mandela jailed
Aug 6: Jamaica gains full independence from the United Kingdom
Oct 24: Cuba missile crisis ± brink of nuclear war
Nov 28: Britain and France agree to construct Concorde (see 1969)
Dec 22: No frost-free nights in Britain till 5 Mar 1963
Britain passes Commonwealth Immigrants Act to control immigration
Nobel Prize awarded to Watson, Crick, and Wilkins for discovery of molecular
structure of DNA (see 1953)
Thalidomide withdrawn after it causes deformities in babies
Film Jules et Jim
Solzhenitsyn   Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Pop music: Beatles Love ©e Do
Jan: Cold weather forces cancellation of most football matches (only 4 English
First Division matches in the month) ± the first 'pools panel' created
Mar 27: Beeching Report on British Railways (the 'Beeching Axe')
Jun 5: Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigns in a sex scandal
Jun 16: Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space
Jun 20: The "red telephone" link established between Soviet Union and United
States following the Cuban Missile Crisis
Aug 1: Minimum prison age raised to 17
Aug 8: 'Great Train Robbery' on Glasgow to London mail train
Aug 28: Martin Luther King gives his I have a dream speech
Sep 17: Fylingdales (Yorks) early warning system operational
Sep 25: Denning Report on Profumo affair
Nov 18: Dartford Tunnel opens
Nov 22: President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Aldous Huxley died
the same day
Nov 23: First episode of Dr Who on BBC TV
France vetoes Britain's entry into EEC
Pop music: Beatles achieve international fame ² release of Please Please ©e,
From ©e to You, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Rachel Carson Silent Spring, on the effects of chemical pesticides on the
Film ^he Birds
Jan 1: First 'Top of the Pops' on BBC TV
Feb 7: The Beatles arrive on their first visit to the United States
Feb 25: Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) beats Sonny Liston
Apr 9: First Greater London Council (GLC) election
Apr 21: BBC2 TV starts
Jul 31: US Ranger 7 sends back 4,000 photos from the moon before impact
Aug 22: ©atch of the Day starts on BBC2
Sep 4: Forth road bridge opens
Sep 15: ^he Sun newspaper founded in Britain, replacing the Daily Herald
Oct 16: Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister
Oct 16: China explodes an atomic bomb

McLuhan cnderstanding ©edia

CP Snow Corridors of Power
Films Dr Strangelove and   Fistful of Dollars
Pop music: Beatles Can't Buy ©e Love,   Hard Day's Night, I Feel Fine;
Rolling Stones It's  ll Over Now, Little Red Rooster; Animals House of the
Rising Sun; Chuck Berry No Particular Place to Go
Jan 24: Winston Churchill dies age 90
Feb 7: First US raids against North Vietnam
Feb 25: I'll Never Find  nother You by The Seekers No.1 in UK
Mar 18: Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first man to 'walk' in space
Apr 6: Launch of Early Bird commercial communications satellite
Jul 16: Mont Blanc road tunnel opens (begun in 1957)
Aug 1: TV ban on cigarette advertising in Britain
Aug 5: Common Land Registration Act ± people who thought they still held
common rights had to register them
Aug 15: The Beatles play at Shea Stadium in New York City
Sep 21: Oil strike by BP in North Sea (or natural gas?)
Oct 8: Post Office Tower operational in London
Oct 28: Death penalty for murder suspended in Britain for five-year trial
period, then abolished 18 Dec 1969
Nov 11: Declaration of UDI in Rhodesia
Dec 22: 70mph speed limit on British roads
Britain enacts first Race Relations Act
Pop music: Beatles ^icket to Ride, Help!, Day ^ripper; Rolling Stones ^he Last
^ime; Kinks ^ired of Waiting for You; Byrds ©r ^ambourine ©an; Bob Dylan
Like a Rolling Stone
Feb 3: Soft landing on moon by unmanned Luna 9 ± followed by Surveyor 1
Feb 14:
Australia converts from £ to $
Mar 23: Archbishop of Canterbury meets Pope in Rome
May 3: ^he ^imes begins to print news on its front page in place of classified
May 16: Seamen's strike begins (ended 1 Jul)
Jul 30: World Cup won by England at Wembley (4-2 in extra time v West
Sep 8: First Severn road bridge opens
Oct 21: Aberfan disaster ± slag heap slip kills 144, incl. 116 children
Dec 1: First Christmas stamps issued in Britain
Eighteen new universities were created in Britain between 1961±1966
Pop music: Sinatra Strangers in the Night; Beach Boys Good ·ibrations
Jan 4: Donald Campbell dies attempting to break his world water speed record
on Conniston Water ± his body and Bluebird recovered in 2002
Jan 27: Three US astronauts killed in fire during Apollo launch pad test
Mar 18: Torrey Canyon oil tanker runs aground off Lands End ± first major oil
May 25: Celtic become the first British team to win the European Cup
May 28: Francis Chichester arrives in Plymouth after solo circumnavigation in
Gipsy ©oth I· (he was knighted 7th July at Greenwich by the queen using the
sword with which Elizabeth I had knighted Sir Francis Drake four centuries
earlier ± see 1581)
Jun 5-10: Six Day War in Middle East ± closes Suez Canal for 8 years (until
Jun 27: First withdrawal from a cash dispenser (ATM) in Britain ± at Enfield
branch of Barclays
Jul 1: First colour TV in Britain
Jul 13: Public Record Act ± records now closed for only 30 years (but the
census is still closed for 100 years)
Jul 18: Withdrawal from East of Suez by mid-70s announced
Aug 14: Offshore pirate radio stations declared illegal by the UK
Sep 3: Sweden changes rule of road to drive on right
Sep 20: QE2 launched on Clydebank
Sep 27: Queen ©ary arrives Southampton at end of her last transatlantic
Sep 30: BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 & 4 open ± first record played on Radio 1 was the
controversial Flowers in the Rain by 'The Move'
Oct 5: Introduction of majority verdicts in English courts
Oct 9: Che Guevara killed in Bolivia ± becomes a cult hero
Oct 18: Russian spacecraft ·enus I· became first successful probe to perform
in-place analysis of the environment of another planet
Dec 3: First human heart transplant (in South Africa by Christiaan Barnard)
Richard Leakey discovers ancient human fossil remains in the Omo River
valley in Ethiopia
McLuhan ^he ©edium is the ©essage
Film ^he Graduate
Stoppard Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Pop music: Monkees I'm a Believer; Beatles  ll You Need is Love, Sgt Pepper;
Procul Harem   Whiter Shade of Pale
Jan 30: Tet Offensive begins in Vietnam
Feb 18: British Standard Time introduced ± Summer Time became permanent
[which I remember thinking was a great idea!], but contrary arguments
prevailed and we reverted to GMT in October 1971 :±(
Apr 18: London Bridge sold (and eventually moved to Arizona) ± modern
London Bridge, built around it as it was demolished, was opened in Mar 1973
Apr 20: Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech on immigration
Apr 23: Issue of 5p and 10p decimal coins in Britain
May 10: Student riots in Paris
May 29: Manchester United first English club to win the European Cup
Jun 5: Robert F Kennedy shot ± dies next day
Jul 29: Pope encyclical condemns all artificial forms of birth control
Aug 11: Last steam passenger train service ran in Britain (Carlisle±Liverpool)
Aug: Soviets crush freedom movement in Czechoslovakia
Sep 15: Severe flooding in England
Sep 16: Two-tier postal rate starts in Britain
Sep 27: Hair opens in London
Oct 5: Beginning of disturbances in N Ireland
Commenwealth Immigration Act further restricts immigrants
Martin Luther King (Apr 4) and Robert Kennedy (Jun 6) both assassinated in
Christmas:  pollo 8 orbits the moon with a crew of 3 and returns to Earth
The term Pulsar first used for radio stars emitting regular pulses of energy
Film 2001
Pop music: Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash; Beatles Hey Jude; Status Quo
Pictures of ©atchstick ©en
Jan 30: The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in
Mar 2: Maiden flight of Concorde, at Toulouse
Mar 7: Victoria Line tube opens in London
Apr 17: Voting age lowered from 21 to 18
May 2: Maiden voyage of liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)
Jul 1: Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle
Jul 20/21:  pollo 11 ± First men land on the moon (Neil Armstrong & Buzz
Jul 31: Halfpenny ceases to be legal tender in Britain
Aug 8: Iconic photograph taken of The Beatles crossing the zebra crossing on
Abbey Road, London
Aug 14: Civil disturbances in Ulster ± Britain sends troops to support civil
Aug 15-18: Woodstock Music Festival in NY State attracts 300,000 fans
Sep 7: First episode of ©onty Python's Flying Circus recorded
Oct 14: 50p coin introduced in Britain (reduced in size 1998)
Nov 19:  pollo 12 ± second manned landing on the moon (Charles Conrad &
Alan Bean)
Dec 18: Death penalty for murder abolished in Britain (had already been
suspended since Oct 1965)
Open University established in Britain, teaching via radio and TV (first
students started Jan 1971)
Labour Government issues White Paper In Place of Strife ± attempts to reform
the Trades Union movement
Roth Portnoy's Complaint
Films Easy Rider and ©idnight Cowboy
Pop music: Marvin Gaye I Heard it on the Grapevine; Beatles  bbey Road
Mar 16: Publication of complete New English Bible
Apr 11:  pollo 13 launched ± oxygen tank explosion aborted the moon landing
mission two days later ± successfully returned to Earth on 17 Apr
Jun 17: Decimal postage stamps first issued for sale in Britain
Jun 19: Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister
Jul 30: Damages awarded to Thalidomide victims
Sep 19: First Glastonbury Festival held
Nov 20: Ten shilling note (50p after decimalisation) goes out of circulation in
Boeing 747 (Jumbo jet) goes into service
Film © SH
Pop music: Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over ^roubled Water
Jan 1: Divorce Reform Act (1969) comes into force
Jan 3: Open University starts
Feb 15: Decimalisation of coinage in UK and Republic of Ireland
Aug 9: Internment without trial introduced in N Ireland
Oct 28: Parliament votes to join Common Market (joined 1973)
Oct 28: UK launches its first (and only) satellite, Prospero
Nov 13: Mariner 9, becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet (Mars)
Banking and Financial Dealings Act ± replaced the Bank Holidays Act of 1871
Sunday becomes the seventh day in the week as UK adopts decision of the
International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) to call Monday the first day
'Greenpeace' founded
Rolls-Royce declared bankrupt
Film   Clockwork Orange
Pop music: Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven recorded in Headley Grange
Jan 30: 'Bloody Sunday' in Derry, Northern Ireland
Feb 9: Power workers crisis
May 22: Ceylon changes its name to Sri Lanka
May 28: Duke of Windsor (ex-King Edward VIII) dies in Paris
Oct 5: United Reformed Church founded out of Congregational and
Presbyterian Churches in E&W
Oct 10: John Betjeman becomes Poet Laureate
Dec 7: Last manned moon mission, Apollo 17, launched ± crew take the 'Blue
marble' photograph of earth
Britain imposes direct rule in Northern Ireland
Strict anti-hijack measures introduced internationally, especially at airports
Jan 1: Britain enters EEC Common Market (with Ireland and Denmark)
Jan 27: Vietnam ceasefire agreement signed
Mar 17: Modern London Bridge opened by the Queen
Apr 1: VAT introduced in Britain
Apr 3: First call made (in New York) on a portable cellular phone
May 14: Skylab launched
Sep 26: Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-
breaking time
Oct 6: Yom Kippur War precipitates world oil crisis
Oct 22: Sydney Opera House opens
Oct 14: Marriage of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster
Dec 31: Miners strike and oil crisis precipitate 'three-day week' (till 9 Mar
1974) to conserve power
Pop music: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the ©oon
Jun1: Flixborough disaster: explosion at chemical plant kills 28 people
Jun 26: First scanning of a barcoded product (a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy
Fruit gum at Marsh's Supermarket in Troy, Ohio)
Aug 8: President Nixon resigns over Watergate scandal
Nov 7: Lord Lucan disappears
Nov 21: Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA
Dec 5: Last episode of ©onty Python's Flying Circus broadcast on BBC
Several new 'counties' formed in Britain
US ©ariner satellite transmits detailed pictures of Venus and Mercury
India becomes the sixth nation to explode a nuclear device
Jan: First personal computer (Altair 8800) introduced (others say the Apple II
in 1977) [see 1981]
Feb 11: Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of Conservative party (in
Feb 28: Moorgate tube crash in London ± over 43 deaths, greatest loss of life
on the Underground in peacetime. The cause of the incident was never
conclusively determined
Mar 4: Charlie Chaplin knighted
Apr 30: End of Vietnam war
Jun 5: Suez canal reopens (after 8 years closure)
Jun 5: UK votes in a referendum to stay in the European Community
Jul 5: Arthur Ashe wins Wimbledon singles title
Jul 17: American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock in orbit
Oct 29: 'Yorkshire Ripper' commits his first murder
Nov 3: First North Sea oil comes ashore
Nov 20: General Franco dies in Spain; Juan Carlos declared King
Nov 29: The name 'Micro-soft' coined by Bill Gates (Microsoft' became a
Trademark the following year)
Dec 27: Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act come into force
Unemployment in Britain rises above 1M for first time since before WW2
Dutch Elm disease devastates trees across UK
Domestic video cassette recorders introduced
West Indies win the first cricket World Cup
Film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Pop music: Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here; Queen Night at the Opera
Jan 21: Concorde enters supersonic passenger service [see 2000]
Jan 31: ©amma ©ia by Abba No.1 in UK
Aug 6: Drought Act 1976 comes into force ² the long, hot summer
'Cod War' between Britain and Iceland
Deaths exceeded live births in E&W for first time since records began in 1837
James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister
Death of Mao Tse-tung
Apr 1: Apple Computer formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
Viking 1 & Viking 2 landed on Mars
National Theatre opens in London
Mar 23: Lib-Lab pact
Apr 2: Red Rum wins a third Grand National
May 25: George Lucas' film Star Wars released
Jun 1: Road speed limits: 70mph dual roads; 60mph single
Jun 5: Apple II, the first practical personal computer, goes on sale
Jun 7: Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in London
Jun 30: Virginia Wade wins the Ladies Singles title at Wimbledon
Aug 16: Elvis Presley dies
Astronomers observe rings round Uranus
Oct 26: Eradication of smallpox world-wide declared by WHO (certified in
Nov 22: Regular supersonic Concorde service betweeen London and NY
Pop music: Wings ©ull of Kintyre; rise of Punk bands such as 'The Sex Pistols'
Apr 8: Regular broadcast of proceedings in Parliament starts
May 1: First May Day holiday in Britain
Jul 25: World's first 'test tube' baby, Louise Browne born in Oldham
Oct 15: Pope John Paul II elected ± a Pole, and first non-Italian for 450 years ±
died 2 Apr 2005
Nov 30: Publication of ^he ^imes suspended ± industrial relations problems
(until 13 Nov 1979)
Film ^he Deer Hunter
Pop music: Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Jan 6: Y©C  by Village People reached No.1 in UK
Feb 1: Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran
Mar 1: 32.5% of Scots vote in favour of devolution (40% needed) ± Welsh vote
overwhelmingly against
Mar 30: Airey Neave killed by a car bomb at Westminster
Mar 31: Withdrawal of Royal Navy from Malta
Apr 30: Jubilee Line opens on London Underground system
May 4: Margaret Thatcher becomes first woman UK Prime Minister
Jul 1: Sony introduces the Walkman
Aug 27: Lord Mountbatten and 3 others killed in bomb blast off coast of Sligo,
Sep 18: ILEA votes to abolish corporal punishment in its schools
Oct: VisiCalc spreadsheet released
in USA
Nov 13: ^he ^imes returns to circulation
Dec 1: Lancaster House agreement to give Southern Rhodesia independence
(became Zimbabwe on 18 Apr 1980)
Dec 18: Sound barrier exceeded on land for first time
May 4: Death of President Tito of Yugoslavia
May 5: SAS storm Iranian Embassy in London to free hostages
Dec 8: John Lennon assassinated in New York
'Solidarity' formed by unions in Poland
'Stealth' bomber developed by USA
Film ^he Elephant ©an
Jan 10: Imagine by John Lennon No.1
in UK
Jan 25: Launch of SDP by 'Gang of Four' in Britain
Mar 29: First London marathon run
Apr 5: Census day in Britain
Apr 11: Brixton riots in South London ± 30 other British cities also experience
Apr 12: First US Space Shuttle (Columbia) launched
Apr 25: Worst April blizzards this century in Britain
Apr 27: First use of computer mouse (by Xerox PARC system)
June: First cases of AIDS recognised in California
Jul 17: Queen opens the Humber Estuary Bridge
Jul 29: Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (divorced 28 Aug
Aug 12: IBM launches its PC
² starts the general use of personal computers
Film Chariots of Fire
Jan 26: Unemployment reached 3 million in Britain (1 in 8 of working
Feb 5: Laker Airways collapses
Feb 19: DeLorean Car factory in Belfast goes into receivership
Mar 18: Argentinians raised flag in South Georgia
Apr 2: Argentina invades Falkland (Malvinas) Islands
Apr 5: Royal Navy fleet sails from Portsmouth for Falklands
May 2: British nuclear submarine H©S Conqueror sinks Argentine cruiser
General Belgrano
May 28: First land battle in Falklands (Goose Green)
May 29: Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope pray together in Canterbury
Jun 14: Ceasefire in Falklands
Jun 21: Birth of Prince William of Wales
Jul 20: IRA bombings in London (Hyde Park and Regents Park)
Sep 19: Smiley emoticon :-) said to have been used for the first time
Oct 11: ©ary Rose raised in the Solent (sank in 1545)
Oct 31: Thames Barrier raised for first time (some say first public
demonstration Nov 7)
Nov 2: Channel 4 TV station launched ± first programme 'Countdown'
Nov 4: Lorries up to 38 tonnes allowed on Britain's roads
Dec 12: Women's peace protest at Greenham Common (Cruise missiles arrived
14 Nov 1983)
First permanent artificial heart fitted in Salt Lake City
Film E^
Jan 17: Start of breakfast TV in Britain
Jan 25: Spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 released
Jan 31: Seat belt law comes into force
Apr 21: £1 coin into circulation in Britain
Oct 7: Plans to abolish GLC announced
Nov 26: Brinks Mat robbery: 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are
stolen from a vault at Heathrow Airport
First female Lord Mayor of London elected (Dame Mary Donaldson)
Pop music: Michael Jackson ^hriller
Jan 9: FTSE index exceeded 800
Jan 24: Apple Macintosh computer introduced in USA
Mar 6: Miners strike begins
Apr 17: Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher killed by gunfire from the Libyan
Embassy in London
Jun 22: Inaugural flight of Virgin Atlantic
Jul 9: York Minster struck by lightning ± the resulting fire damaged much of
the building but the "Rose Window" not affected
Oct 12: IRA bomb explodes at Tory conference hotel in Brighton ± 4 killed
Oct 24: Miners' strike ² High Court orders sequestration of NUM assets
Oct 31: Indira Gandhi assassinated
Dec 3: British Telecom privatised ± shares make massive gains on first day's
Dec 3: Bhopal disaster in India
Dec 15: Pop Music: Band Aid Do they know it's Christmas? reaches No.1
Dec 20: Summit Tunnel Fire near Todmorton
George Orwell got it wrong? (in his book '1984', written in 1948)
Mar 3: Miners agree to call off strike
Mar 11: Al Fayed buys Harrods
Mar 18: First episode of Neighbours in Australia
May 29: Heysel Stadium disaster in Brussels
Jun 14: Schengen Agreement on abolition of border controls agreed between
Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands ± not
implemented until 26 Mar 1995 when it also included Spain & Portugal ± by
2007 there are 30 states included
Jul 13: Live  id pop concert raises over £50M for famine relief
Sep 1: Wreck of ^itanic found (sank 1912)
Mar 31: GLC and 6 metropolitan councils abolished
Apr 26: Chernobyl nuclear accident ± radiation reached Britain on 2 May
May 7: Mannie Shinwell, veteran politician, dies aged 101
May 26: The European Community adopts the European flag
Jul 23: Prince Andrew, Duke of York marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster
Oct 27: 'Big Bang' (deregulation) of the London Stock Market
Oct 29: M25 ring round London completed
Dec 23: Safe landing of first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping
or refueling (took 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds)
Feb 2: Terry Waite kidnapped in Beirut (released 17 Nov 1991)
Mar 6: Car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes off Zeebrugge ± 188 die
Jul 1: Excavation begins on the Channel Tunnel (see 1990 & 1994)
Aug 19: Hungerford Massacre ± Michael Ryan kills sixteen people with a rifle
Oct 16: The 'Hurricane' sweeps southern England
Oct 19: 'Black Monday' in the City of London ± Stock Market crash
Nov 8: Enniskillen bombing at a Remembrance Day ceremony
Nov 18: King's Cross fire in London ± 31 people die
World population crossed the 5 billion mark
Feb 5: First 'Red Nose Day' in UK, raising money for charity
Mar 11: Bank of England £1 notes cease to be legal tender
Jul 6: Piper Alpha disaster
± North Sea oil platform destroyed by explosion and fire killing 167 men
Nov 15: Copyright, Designs and Patents Act ± reformulated the statutory basis
of copyright law (including performing rights) in the UK
Dec 12: Clapham Junction rail crash kills 35 and injures hundreds after two
collisions of three commuter trains
Dec 21: Lockerbie disaster ± Pan Am flight 103 explodes over Scotland
Order of the Garter opened to women
Jan 8: Kegworth air disaster ± a British Midland flight crashes into the M1
Feb 14: Fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie for ^he Satanic ·erses
Feb 14: The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System is placed into
Mar 2: EU decision to ban production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the
end of the century
Poll Tax implemented in Scotland
Jun 5: Tanks stopped in Tiananmen Square, Peking by unknown protester
Nov 9: Berlin Wall torn down
Nov 21: Proceedings of House of Commons first televised live
Second edition of Oxford English Dictionary published
Feb 11: Nelson Mandela released in South Africa
Mar 31: Riots in London against Poll Tax which had been implemented in
England & Wales
Apr 25: Hubble space telescope launched
Aug 2: Iraq invades Kuwait
Oct 3: German reunification
Nov 22: Margaret Thatcher resigns as Conservative party leader (and Prime
Minister) ² John Major elected
Dec 1: Channel Tunnel excavation teams meet in the middle
Poll Tax replaced (by Council Tax)
May 18: Helen Sharman is first British Astronaut in Space
Aug: Collapse of the Soviet Union
Sep 6: Leningrad renamed St Petersburg
Nov 5: Robert Maxwell drowns at sea
Internet begins
Feb 7: European Union formed by The Maastricht Treaty [see 1993]
Apr 22: Betty Boothroyd elected as first female Speaker of the House of
Aug 15: Football Premier League kicks off in England
Sep 16: 'Black Wednesday' as Pound leaves the ERM
Nov 20: Fire breaks out in Windsor Castle causing over £50 million worth of
Nov 24: The Queen describes this year as an  nnus Horribilis
Jul: Ratification of Maastricht Treaty, established the European Union (EU)
Betty Boothroyd first woman Speaker of the House of Commons (to 2000)
Elizabeth II becomes first British Monarch to pay Income Tax
Mar 12: Church of England ordains its first female priests
May 6: Channel Tunnel open to traffic
Nov 19: National Lottery starts
15 million people connected to the Internet by now
Feb 26: Nick Leeson brings down Barings
Jul 15: First item sold on Amazon.com
Sep: First Grayshott Literary Festival
Nov 16: The Queen Mother has a hip replacement operation at 95 years old
Nov 22: ^oy Story released ± first feature-length film created completely using
computer-generated imagery
Dec 7: Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter (launched from shuttle 18 Oct 1989)
Feb 9: IRA bomb explodes in London Docklands ± ends 17 month ceasefire
Mar 13: Dunblane massacre
Jun 15: IRA bomb explodes in Manchester
Jul 5: Scientists in Scotland clone a sheep (Dolly)
Aug 28: Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales are divorced
BSE beef scare in UK
Mar 30: Channel 5 TV begins in UK (launched by the Spice Girls)
Apr 1: Hale-Bopp comet at its brightest
May 1: 'New' Labour landslide victory in Britain (Tony Blair replaces John
Major as Prime Minister)
May 6: Announcement that Bank of England to be made independent of
Government control
May 11: First time a computer beats a master at chess (IBM's Deep Blue v
Garry Kasparov)
Jun 30: Publication of first Harry Potter novel Harry Potter and the
Philosopher's Stone
Jul 1: Hong Kong returned to China
Jul 4: Landing by American 'Pathfinder Rover' on Mars
Jul 19: IRA declares a ceasefire
Aug 31: Diana, Princess of Wales killed in car crash in Paris
Sep 25: Land speed record breaks sound barrier for first time ± Wing
Commander Andy Green in ^hrust SSC at Black Rock Desert, USA
Apr 10: Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland ± effectively
implemented in May 2007
Aug 14: Car bomb explodes in Omagh killing 29 people
Sep 27: Google search engine founded
Nov 20: First module of the International Space Station launched
Dec 19: US President Bill Clinton is impeached over Monica Lewinsky scandal
Film ^itanic wins 11 Oscars
Jan 1: European Monetary Union begins ± UK opts out ± by the end of the year
the Euro has approximately the same value as the US Dollar
Mar: First circumnavigation of the earth in a hot-air balloon (Bertrand Piccard
and Brian Jones)
Jul 1: The Scottish Parliament is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth ±
powers are officially transferred from the Scottish Office in London to the new
devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh
Aug 11: Total eclipse of the sun visible in Devon and Cornwall
Nov 11: Hereditary Peers no longer have right to sit in House of Lords
Dec: Separate parliaments created for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
(but not for England)
World population reaches 6 billion (estimate)
Jan 1: Millennium celebrations postponed due to widespread computer failures!
± only joking!! ± The year in Britain started with a 'flu bug rather than a
millennium bug
Millennium Dome at Greenwich got off to a bad start when Press and
celebratories were left queuing for tickets in the rain, and they never forgave it
± the project was dogged by problems all year and became the butt of jokes
Mar: London Eye opens, late but popular
Apr 22: The Big Number Change takes place in the UK ± new telephone
dialling codes assigned to Cardiff, Coventry, London, Northern Ireland,
Portsmouth and Southampton
May 4: Ken Livingstone elected first Mayor of London (not to be confused
with Lord Mayor of London!)
Jun 10: Millennium footbridge over the Thames opens, but wobbles and is
quickly declared dangerous and closed ± finally reopened Feb 2002
Jul 25: A chartered Air France Concorde crashes on take-off at Paris with loss
of all lives ± debris on the runway blamed for causing fuel to escape and catch
fire, and all Concordes grounded until 7 November 2001
Sep: 'People Power' emerged suddenly as protestors against high Road Fuel
Tax used mobile phones and the Internet to co-ordinate blockades on fuel
depots ± resulted in nationwide panic buying of fuel and service stations
running out across the country
Oct 17: Derailment at speed on the main London-North eastern line at Hatfield
caused by a broken rail ± Railtrack put restrictions on the rest of the network
while all other suspect locations were checked
Oct/Nov/Dec: Heavy rains cause worst flooding since records began (1850s) in
many parts of Britain
Nov 2: First crew arrive at the International Space Station.
Nov 14: New Prayer Book introduced in Anglican Church ± the way this year's
going, we need it!
Dec: US Presidential election goes to a penalty shoot out!
World population crossed the 6 billion mark
Jan 1: Real millennium celebrations begin!! ;-)
Jan 15: Wikipedia goes on-line
Feb: Outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease in UK ± lasted until October ± caused
postponement of local and general elections from May to June
Feb 15: First draft of the complete human genome published in Nature
Mar 23: ©ir space station successfully ditched in the Pacific
Apr 29: UK Census Day
May 12: FA Cup Final played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ± first time
away from Wembley since 1922
June 7: General Election ± Labour returned again with a large majority, the first
time they had succeeded in gaining a second term ± but turnout lowest since
Sep 1: New-style number plates on road vehicles in UK [eg. AB 51 ABC]
Sep 11: Terrorist attack on the United States ± commercial planes hi-jacked and
crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre (destroying it) and one
section of the Pentagon
Nov 7: Concorde flights resume after modifications to tyres and fuel tanks (see
Nov: I publish my first book by 'Print on Demand' method - see tips on self-
Dec 15: The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years, still leaning
UK Christmas stamps self-adhesive for the first time (self-adhesive 1st & 2nd
class definitives already on sale)
Jan 1: Twelve major countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Holland, Irish
Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Spain,
Portugal) and their dependents start using the Euro instead of their old national
currencies; the UK stays out ± the Euro worth 62½p at this time
Jan 2: UK 1901 census details available
Feb 22: Millennium Bridge over the Thames in London finally opens
Mar 30: The Queen Mother dies, aged 101 years
Jun 3&4: Two Bank Holidays declared in UK to celebrate the Queen's Golden
Jul 2: Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world
nonstop in a balloon
Feb 1: Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry, killing all seven
astronauts aboard
Feb 17: Start of Congestion Charge for traffic entering central London
Aug 10: Temperatures reach record high of 101 F (38.3 C) in Kent
Oct 24: Last commercial flight of Concorde
Nov 22: England wins Rugby World Cup in nail-biting final in Australia ± first
northern hemisphere team to do this
Dec 13: Saddam Hussein captured near his home town of Tikrit (executed 30
Dec 2006)
Dec 26: Queen ©ary 2 arrives in Southampton from the builder's yard in
Mar 29: Alistair Cooke dies at the age of 95 ± until four weeks previously, and
since 1946, he had broadcast his regular 'Letter from America' on BBC radio
Mar 29: Ireland becomes first country in the world to ban smoking in public
May 1: Enlargement of the European Union to include 25 members by the
entry of 10 new states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus.
Feb 16: Kyoto Protocol on climate change came into force
Feb 18: Ban on hunting with dogs came into force in England & Wales (had
already been a similar law for about two years in Scotland)
Apr 2: Death of Pope John Paul II, first non-Italian Pope for 450 years when
elected in 1978
Apr 19: Pope Benedict XVI elected ± first German Pope for about 1,000 years
Jul 6: London chosen as venue for the 2012 Olympic Games
Jul 7: Suicide bombers attack London for the first time
Jul 28: IRA declare an end to their 'armed struggle'
Sep 12: England regain the 'Ashes' after a gripping Test series (but are
whitewashed 5-0 in the return series in Australia 2007)
Nov 22: Angela Merkel becomes first female Chancellor of Germany
Nov 30: John Sentamu becomes Archbishop of York; the first black archbishop
in the Church of England
Dec 9: Last Routemaster bus runs on regular service in London (see 1954)
Dec 11: Explosions at the Buncefield Oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead
Dec 21: Same-sex civil partnerships begin
± famously, on this day, between Elton John and David Furnish
Mar 1: Welsh Assembly Building opened by the Queen
Mar 26: Prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places in Scotland
Apr 21: 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II
Aug 21: UK postage rates start to be measured by size as well as by weight
Aug 24: Redefinition of the word 'planet' excludes Pluto
Dec 30: Saddam Hussein executed
Jan 1: Further enlargement of the European Union to include Bulgaria and
Feb 19: Extension of Congestion Charge zone for London, westwards
May 8: A Northern Ireland Executive formed under the leadership of Ian
Paisley (DUP) and Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein)
Jun 27: Tony Blair resigns as Prime Minister after 10 years ± replaced by
Gordon Brown
Jul 1: Prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places in England (thus
completing cover of the entire UK)
Jul 21: Seventh and final Harry Potter book released
Oct 25: First commercial flight of Airbus A380 (Singapore to Sydney)
Nov 14: First rail service direct from St Pancras to France (replacing that from
Jan 21: Stock markets around the world plunge fueled by the 2007 subprime
mortgage crisis
Feb 22: Northern Rock the first bank in Europe to be taken into state control
Apr 22: Surgeons at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital perform the first
operations using bionic eyes, implanting them into two blind patients
Sep 19: Large Hadron Collider operations halted after 8 days due to a serious
fault between two superconducting bending magnets
Nov 4: Barack Obama elected the 44th President of the United States
Nov 11: RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her last voyage from Southampton
to Dubai to become a floating hotel
Dec 10: Sark holds its first fully democratic elections
Dec: Woolworths close all their UK stores
Jan 12: UK 1911 census details released early with one column of information
hidden from view. The full data is not due for release until 2012
Feb 2: During this week the heaviest snowfall in 18 years disrupts air and road
traffic and closes schools across much of the UK
Mar 5: Bank of England reduces interest rate to a record low of 0.5%
Jul 21: England beat Australia in a cricket Test Match at Lord's for the first
time in 75 years
Oct 1: Supreme Court replaces the Law Lords in Parliament as the last court of
appeal in UK in all matters other than criminal cases in Scotland
Dec 13: Circle Line on the London Underground system to include the spur to
Hammersmith; regular 'Javelin' high speed train service starts between St
Pancras and Ashford, Kent
Dec 19: Eurostar rail service through the Channel tunnel disrupted for some
days due to the wrong sort of snow in France!
Apr 15: Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland closes airspace over north-western
Europe for 6 days ± it was very peaceful!
Oct 13: In a blaze of publicity 33 miners successfully rescued from a deep
copper mine in Chile
Jan 7: England win the Ashes in Australia

½ ½   !"#$
!%"!& By the time the Gregorian
calendar was adopted in Britain, it was 11 days 'ahead' of the old Julian calendar it
replaced. Julian dates are termed 'Old Style' and Gregorian dates 'New Style'

Y March 25 (Old Style) ± Lady Day; first day of New Year from c150AD until
1751 ± one of the Quarter Days in England when rents become due. Became
April 6th (New Style), which is why our present Tax Year starts on this day! -
Note method of remembering English Quarter days: last digit is the same as the
number of letters in the month name [so March = 25, June = 24, September =
29] except for Christmas Day, which you just have to remember!
Y Fourth Sunday in Lent ± Mothering Sunday ± simnel cake eaten
Y Easter Sunday ± the first Sunday after the first Ecclesiastical Full Moon on or
after 21 March (the nominal Vernal Equinox) ² thus earliest date for Easter is
March 22 and latest is April 25.
Y Second Monday & Tuesday after Easter ± Hocktide ± money collected for
charitable purposes by men binding with cord any woman they met and
receiving payment for release ± women bound men on the next day.
Y May 15

± Whitsunday as a Quarter Day in Scotland (legislatively fixed at May 15 for

this purpose)

Y June 24 ± Midsummer's Day or St John's Day ± one of the Quarter Days in

Y July 15 ± St Swithun's Day
Y August 1 [Aug 13 from 1753 onwards] ± Lammas Day ± Fences removed from
common land which had been cultivated during the summer, and livestock
permitted to graze over it till re-seeded again. An old Quarter Day in Scotland.
Y Sept 29 ± Michaelmas Day ± one of the Quarter Days in England ± termination
date for men and women who had been hired as labourers and servants at the
fairs the year before.
Y Nov 11 ± Martinmas ± once a Quarter Day in Scotland.
Y Dec 13 ± St Lucy's Day ± the shortest day before the new calendar was
Y Dec 25 ± Christmas Day ± one of the Quarter Days in England ± the old pagan
feast of Saturnalia.
Y Jan 5 ± Twelfth Night.
Y Monday after Jan 6th ± Plough Monday ± marked return to work after
Christmas festivities.
Y Feb 2 ± Candlemas Day - one of the Quarter Days in Scotland.







It represents the combined efforts of a number of contributors, but none of us would

want you to think that it represents all the important events in British history, or have
you believe that everything you read here is necessarily accurate or undisputed.

Nor, I might add, do we imply that all the inventions, etc, listed here are British ones ±
but it can be useful, for example, to know whether your ancestor (or the character in
that historical novel which you're writing) could have been using a particular item at
the time they were living. At least, I think so.

X )
( )


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© ,

Y John Hitchcock ± Victorian London Research

Y Marina Alexander
Y Iain Kerr ± of Windsor, Berkshire
Y Hilary Brookes ± list as submitted to Yorksgen
Y Bryan Wetton ± Adelaide South Australia "A Southerner from the North"
Y John Owen Smith ± Home Page

... and many others ² my thanks to you all!

This site has been included by Glossarist.com in their Linguistics Dictionary page ± a
source for many definitions of technical, professional or specialist terms.

If you've liked this site, try the following:²

Y Headley village (example of a 
Y On-line Bookshop (local history books, etc)
Y Flora Thompson of 'Lark Rise to Candleford' fame (information site)
Y Swing Riots of 1830 (as they affected Selborne and Headley in Hampshire, and