By Tim Lambert
The first census is held
Another Act of Union joins Ireland to England and Scotland
1805 The battle of Trafalgar
1807 The slave trade is abolished
1811 Prince George becomes Prince Regent as his father is insane
Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is shot by John Bellingham
Charles Dickens is born
1813 The Duke of Wellington defeats the French army at the Battle of Vitoria in Spain
The battle of Waterloo
Humphry Davy invents the miners safety lamp, which saves many lives
1817 Jane Austen dies
1818 Queen Charlotte dies
The Peterloo Massacre. Cavalry charge unarmed people holding a meeting on St Peter’s Fields at Manchester. Eleven people are killed.
Sir Stanford Raffles founds Singapore
1820 George III dies. George IV becomes king.
1821 John Constable paints The Haywain
1824 Lord Byron dies
1825 The world’s first public passenger railway opens (The Stockton and Darlington railway).
The Catholic Emancipation Act gives Catholics civil rights
Sir Robert Peel forms the first modern police force in England (hence their nicknames ‘bobbies’ or ‘peelers’)
1830 George IV dies. William IV becomes king.
The Great Reform Act is passed. Seats in parliament are distributed more fairly and the middle class is given the vote.
The writer Lewis Carroll is born
1833 Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire
Bull baiting is banned. This ‘sport’ consisted of chaining a bull to a post then using trained dogs to attack it.
1837 William IV dies. Victoria becomes queen.
The penny black stamp is introduced.
The writer Thomas Hardy is born.
Queen Victoria marries Albert
1842 A new law bans women and children from working underground in mines
1843 Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol
The first Christmas card goes on sale
A new law bans women and children from working more than 10 hours a day
Charlotte Bronte publishes Jane Eyre
1848 There are cholera epidemics in British towns. The Health Act is passed.
1851 The Great Exhibition is held in London
1854-1856 The Crimean War. Britain and France defeat the Russians.
1856 Henry Bessemer invents a way of converting pig iron to steel
1857-58 The Indian Mutiny takes place
1859 Darwin publishes The Origin of Species. It outlines his theory of evolution
1860 HMS Warrior, Britain’s first iron warship is launched
1861 Prince Albert dies
1863 The first (steam driven) underground train in London
Joseph Lister invents antiseptic surgery
Lewis Carroll publishes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
1867 The second Reform Act increases the number of people allowed to vote
First Trades Union Congress
The last public execution is carried out in England
1869 Richard Blackmore publishes Lorna Doone
Education Act to provide state education for all.
Charles Dickens dies
1871 The Bank Holiday Act is passed. (For most working-class people bank holidays are their only paid holidays).
The secret ballot is introduced
The second Public Health Act is passed.
1874 The writer G K Chesterton is born
A law bans the practice of sending small boys up chimneys to clean them. From now on you have to be over 21 to clean a chimney that way.
The third Public Health Act is passed. Conditions in towns and cities are slowly getting better. In the 1870s and 1880s networks of sewers are dug and water pipes are laid. Gaslight becomes common even in the poorest homes.
Captain Matthew Webb swims the English Channel
1884 The 3rd reform act gives more men the vote
1888 Girls who make matchboxes successfully strike
Gas workers successfully strike
London dockworkers successfully strike. For the first time, unskilled workers are forming successful trade unions.
1890 The first electric underground trains run in London