The Timeline

From the Family Tree Forum Reference Library
Time title.jpg

Our ancestors (like us) were shaped by the world they lived in and the sudden movement of a family, for example, from their birthplace to another part of the country could be explained by what was happening in the wider world.

We hope that this historical timeline will help you to put the personal life of your ancestors in context with the social and political situation of the time.

Related pages in The Reference Library

General History

Getting Started

The Classified Index


Eleventh Century

1000 Sweyn The Mark unit of currency West Saxon, Mercian and Danish Law governs England    
1002     Ethelred's massacre of the Danes    
1014 Ethelred II The Unready        
1016         The Danish Viking Canute (Cnut) son of Sweyn has victory at Ashington
1031         Canute's Scotland campaigns
1042 Edward The Confessor Edward's Court of Normandy French & Latin courtly languages    
1050     Westminster Abbey founded, building began    
1065 Harold II the last Saxon Edward dies 5 Jan Witan declare Harold king on 6 Jan      
1066 William I of Normandy The Conqueror 25 Dec Battle of Hastings Bayeux Tapestry attributed to Matilda of Flanders, William I's wife or to Bishop Odo   The Norman Conquest
1072     Building of Durham Castle commenced    
1075   Uprisings of Hereford, Norfolk and Northumberland quashed      
1077     First Cluniac House at Lewes (Benedictine Order)    
1079     Building of Winchester Cathedral commenced    
1083     Ely Cathedral commenced on former nunnery site    
1086   Domesday book completed     Henry, Holy Roman Emperor & German King born (last Salian dynasty)
1087 William II 26 Sep   Introduction of Feudalism   Normanization of England
1093   greatest scholar is Anselm of Beck      
1095   First Crusade      
1096   William Rufus embarks on First Crusade      
1097         Stephen born Blois France
1099         Ranierus becomes Pope Paschal II - fosters the First Crusade
1100 Henry I 5th Aug William Rufus killed while hunting Building of Durham Cathedral commenced    

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Twelfth Century

1105 Ronando Bandinelli born (becomes Pope Alexander II)
1119 Foundation of the Knights Templar Pope Calixtus II
1122 Pope Calixtus II - Concordant of Worms
1123 St Bartholomew's Hospital, London founded by Rahere David I becomes King of Scotland
1129 Cistercians (Order of St. Bernard) arrive from Cheaux France
1135 Stephen of Blois 25 Dec
1141 Matilda (Maud) Civil War
1147 Second Crusade
1150 Pope Alexander II named as cardinal
1154 Henry II Plantagenet 19 Dec
1162 Thomas Becket appointed Archbishop of Canterbury Fredrick I forced into exile by Pope Alexander II
1163 Building of Notre Dame in Paris begins
1164 Constitution of Clarendon
1166 Assize (possessory) of Clarendon
1170 Henry the Young King crowned by Archbishop of York
1172 Thomas Becket murdered at Canterbury Cathedral
1176 Assize (possessory) of Northampton
1179 Third Laterin Council by Pope Alexander III
1189 Richard I 3rd Sep Third Crusade
1199 John 27 May

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Thirteenth Century

1204 Fourth Crusade
1215 Signing of Magna Carta Fourth Laterin Council

Pope Innocent III

1216 Henry III 28 Oct Two regents, William the Marshal and Hubert de Burgh, rule as Henry is only 9
1217 Treaty of Lambeth
1218 Fifth Crusade
1219 Death of William the Marshal
1222 Hugh de Burgh supresses an insurrection at Oxford
1227 Henry takes full control of government of England. Hug de Burgh retained as principal adviser.
1232 Peter de Riveaux appointed Treasurer of England
1236 Henry marries Eleanor of Provence
1238 Simon de Monfort marries Henry's sister, Eleanor
1258 De Monfort leads the English barons to rebel
1258 Henry signs the Provisions of Oxford
1261 Henry repudiates the Provisions of Oxford
1264 Battle of Lewes
1265 Battle of Evesham The poet, writer and philospher Dante born in Florence Italy
1270 Seventh Crusade
1272 Edward I 20 Nov
1277 English conquest of Wales begins
1290 Death of Eleanor of Castile Jews expelled from England
1299 Edward marries Margaret of France Ottoman Empire begins

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Fourteenth Century

1307 Edward II 8th July
1308 Dante wrote The Divine Comedy between 1308 and 1321
1309 Papacy moves to Avignon
1314 Battle of Bannockburn
1315-17 Great Famine in Europe
1319 Battle of Mytton: Scots defeat English
1322 Battle of Boroughbridge: crown defeats rebels
1323 Truce between Robert Bruce and Edward II but warfare continues
1327 Edward III 25 Jan First manuscript reference to a cannon Death of Robert Bruce
1333 Battle of Halidon Hill
1336 First reference to a mounted gun aboard ship
1337 Guillaume de Machaut becomes canon at Rheims; composes "Messe de Notre Dame" during tenure
1338 Start of 100 Years War
1346 Battle of Crecy
1346 Battle Of Neville's Cross
1348 Black Death reaches Europe A third or more of the population died as a result of the Black Death
1356 Battle of Poitiers
1377 Richard II 22 June Papacy returns to Rome

Guillaume de Machaut dies

1380 Chaucer begins The Legend of Good Women
1381 The Peasants' Revolt
1382 Chaucer's: The Parlement of Foules first use of rhyme royal in English Literature
1385 Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
1387 Chaucer begins Canterbury Tales
1388 Battle of Otterburn
1399 Henry IV 30 Sep
1400 Owen Glendower revolts in Wales Chaucer dies, London, 25 Oct

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Fifteenth Century

1413 Henry V 21 March
1415 Battle of Agincourt
1422 Henry VI 1st Sep
1440 Eton College & Kings College Cambridge founded
1450 Jack Cade's rebellion
1454 Johannes Gutenberg uses movable type commercially
1455 Start of the Wars of the Roses
1455 First Battle of St Albans Johannes Gutenberg prints 42 Line Bible in Catholic Mainz, Germany
1461 Edward IV 4th Mar
1470 Henry VI
1471 Edward IV Battle of Barnet
1476 Caxton sets up first English printing press
1477 William Caxton (first English Printer) produces Book of Curtesye & Rhymes for the Goodly Chylde
1483 Edward V 9th April
1483 Richard III 26 June
1485 Battle of Bosworth Field Richard III dies in battle
1485 Henry VII Tudor 22 Aug
1486 Henry married Elizabeth of York, uniting the houses of York and Lancaster
1491 Perkin Warbeck claims to be Richard, Duke of York
1492 Christopher Columbus discovers America
1495 First dry dock built at Portsmouth
1496 First English blast furnace built in the Weald
1498 Toothbrush invented in China
1499 Perkin Warbeck hanged Amergo Vespucci (Italian) explores and describes American coast

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Sixteenth Century

1502 Death of Prince Arthur, heir to the throne
1503 Death of Elizabeth of York, Henry's wife
1509 Henry VIII 22 April Marriage of Henry and Catherine of Aragon
1513 Battle of Flodden Field
1515 Birth of Mary I
1529 Cardinal Wolsey accused of high treason
1532 Sir Thomas More gives up the Chancellorship
1533 Henry marries Ann Boleyn and is excommunicated by the Pope Birth of Elizabeth I
1534 Act of Supremacy passed
1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn Act of Union between Wales and England
1537 Jane Seymour dies
1538 Parish Registers started
1543 Robert Record writes The Ground of Arts, the first ever English mathematics textbook Six Books of Copernicus: The Revolutions (laws) of the Heavenly Orbs published in the year of his death
1546 First civil divorce in England
1547 Edward VI 28 Jan
1549 First Act of Uniformity passed, making Roman Catholic mass illegal The First Book of Common Prayer issued
1553 Jane 6th July
1553 Mary I 19 July
1554 Marriage of Mary to Philip of Spain 25 July Execution of Lady Jane Grey
1557 The Stationers Company controls English book publication
1558 Elizabeth I 17 Nov
1559 Second Act of Supremacy
1562 Sumptuary law restricts hose, ruffs and swords
1563 to 1564 Bubonic Plague in London
1564 William Shakespeare baptised 26 April in Statford-upon-Avon Warwickshire Galileo born
1568 Mary Queen of Scots flees to England and is imprisoned by Elizabeth
1577 Francis Drake circumnavigates the worldto 1580
1585 Roanoke (North America) first Englsih colony founded by Sir Thomas Raleigh
1586 Mary Queen of Scots sent for trial Famine in England - gave rise to Poor Law system
1587 Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
1588 Spanish Armada
1589 William Byrd Elizabethan Composer creates Cantione Sacrae Stocking Frame invented by William Lee
1590 First part of Edmund Spenser's The Fairie Queen published
1597 Tagliacozzi publishes his plastic surgery techiques
1598 Bishops' Transcripts introduced
1599 Richard Burbage, William Shakespeare & others build the Globe Theatre in London
1600 Heels on shoes became common in Europe East India Company founded

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Seventeenth Century

1601 Poor Law Act Relief granted to paupers only in their parish of legal settlement Orphans and paupers' children become apprentices (see Poor Law Act)
1603 James I Stuart 24 March
1605 Gunpowder Plot William Byrd Elizabethan composer creates Gradualia
1607 Ulster colonized by Protestant settlers Tidal wave and flood in Bristol Channel kills 2000 people Settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, USA
1608 John Milton (poet) born Quebec city founded
1609 Johannes Kepler publishes Astromia Nova, Kepler's first two Laws of Planetary Motion
1609 Galileo looks at the sky with a telescope
1610 Authorized Version of Bible
1612 Henry Prince of Wales died of typhoid 10 hanged at Lancaster for witchcraft
1613 Globe Theatre London burns down
1614 Globe Theatre rebuilt by June John Napier publishes book of logarithms New York founded by Dutch (New Amsterdam)
1616 Shakespeare dies 23 April at Statford-upon-Avon
1617 Napier's bones, a calculating tool, invented
1619 Francis Bacon made Lord Chancellor Kepler publishes Harmonices Mundi, his Third Law of Planetary Motion
1620 Francis Bacon publishes Novum Organum Pilgrim Fathers settle in New England
1624 Fire destroys much of Dunfermline
1625 Charles I 27 March
1627 England goes to war with France
1628 William Harvey publishes An Anatomical Study of the Motion of the Heart and of the Blood in Animals
1629 11 years rule without Parliament commences
1633 Milton's On the Morning of Christ's Nativity first poem in English
1634 First writs for Ship Money issued Smallpox epidemic
1635 Smallpox epidemic 18th Sept Emperor Ferdinand II declares War on France
1637 John Hampden tried for non-payment of Ship Money New Prayer Book introduced in Scotland
1639 First Bishops War against Scots
1640 Second Bishops war Battle of Newburn Ford Most of Gentry and Merchant classes literate
1641 Star Chamber and Court of High Commission abolished Protestation Returns required by Parliament
1641 Irish Rebellion
1642 to 1651 English Civil Wars
1642 Royalists victory at Powick Bridge 23 Sep Theatre banned (until 1660) Birth of Isaac Newton
1642 Royalist advantage after Battle of Edgehill 23 Oct
1643 Crown controls Cornwall after Battle of Braddock Down 19 Jan
1643 Battle of Hopton Heath 16 Mar
1643 Battle of Stratton 16 May
1643 Battle of Chalgrove 17 Jun
1643 Battle of Adwalton Manor 30 Jun
1643 Battle of Roundway Down 13 Jul
1643 Battle of Newbury 20 Sep
1643 Parliament win Battle of Winceby 11 Oct
1644 Battle of Nantwich 25 Jan
1644 Battle of Cheriton 29 Mar Globe Theatre destroyed by Puritans
1644 Battle of Cropredy Bridge 29 June
1644 Battle of Marston Moor 2 July Parliament bans Christmas (lasts until Restoration)
1647 George Fox's spiritual revelation that leads to founding Quakers
1648 Frondes civil wars in France
January 1649 Regicide of Charles I England declared a republic
1649 to 1660 Interregnum Possible gaps in Parish records
1649 Irish royalists defeated at Wexford and the Siege of Drogheda
1650 Scots royalists defeated at Dunbar First coffee-house opened in England Cape Town founded
1651 Scots royalists defeated at Worcester Charles II flees into exile
1652 to 1654 First Dutch War
1652 Pasqua Rosee opens London's first Coffee House
1653 Oliver Cromwell Great fire of Malborough
1655 Parliament dismissed. Country divided into 11 districts, each with a Major-General Jamaica captured from the Spanish
1657 Milton's Paradise Lost published
1658 Richard Cromwell Oliver Cromwell dies
1660 Charles II Royal Society formed Samuel Pepys begins diary
1661 The Corporation Act Malpighi discovers capillaries
1662 Poor Relief Act (Act of Settlement) The parish responsible for the relief of the poor
1662 Act of Uniformity Charles II marries Catherine of Braganza Book of Common Prayer (the current traditional C of E prayer book)
1662 The Quaker Act
1662 to 1689 Hearth Tax in England
1663 Mens' wigs become fashionable
1664 Conventicle Act
1665-67 2nd Dutch War The Oxford Gazette (later the London Gazette) first published The Convertide Act The Five Mile Act
1665 Five Mile Act Great Plague
1666 Great Fire of London Isaac Newton's annus mirabilis
1666 The Oxford Gazette becomes the London Gazette
1667 John Milton writes Paradise Lost
1668 Newton invents reflecting telescope Bombay granted to East India Company
1669 Christopher Wren appointed Surveyor General
1670 Secret Treaty of Dover Milton's The History of Britain
1672-74 3rd Dutch War
1673 Test Act
1674 John Milton (poet) dies
1675 John Flamsteed appointed first Astronomer Royal Royal Observatory established at Greenwich
1676 Great Fire of Southwark St Paul's Cathedral begun by Sir Christopher Wren
1677 Act for burying in Woollen
1678 Popish plot fabricated by Titus Oates Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
1679 Habeas Corpus Act
1680 William Dockwra establishes the penny post Anton van Leeuwenhoek refines the microscope and Royal Society accept his observations on single cell organisms
1681 Charles II offered sanctuary to the Huguenots
1682 Pennsylvania founded
1685 James II 6th Feb Battle of Sedgmoor Edict of Nantes revoked and many Huguenots settle in England Johann Sebastian Bach born

Georg Friedrich Handel born Halle Germany

1687 Newton publishes Principia
1688 The Glorious Revolution
1689 William III Prince of Orange and Mary II 13 Feb Battle of Killiecrankie Freedom of worship for Protestant dissenters
1690 First bicycle appears in France - the celerifere
1692 Glencoe Massacre Salem witch trials in Massachusetts
1693 National Debt founded Land tax first introduced
1694 Death of Mary II; William III rules alone 28 Dec Foundation of the Bank of England
1695 Press licensing abandoned in England (freedom of the press)
1696 Window Tax introduced
1697 St Paul's Cathedral opened
1698 Sir Isacc Newton calculates the speed of sound

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Eighteenth Century

1701 Act of Settlement Jethro Tull invents the seed drill
1702 Anne 08 March War of Spanish Succession starts The Daily Courant published - first daily newspaper
1703 The Great Storm of 1703
1704 Battle of Blenheim
1705 The Earl of Peterborough captures Barcelona Newcomen invents first practical steam engine
1706 Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Ramilles
1707 Act of Union
1708 Capture of Minorca Prince George of Denmark, Anne's husband, dies
1709 First piano built by Bartolommeo Cristofori in Florence
1713 The Treaty of Utrecht
1714 George I Elector of Hannover 01 August End of the War of Spanish Succession Mercury thermometer invented by Gabriel Fahrenheit
1715 Jacobite Rebellion defeated
1716 The Septennial Act (General Elections to be held every 7 years)
1718 Thomas Lombe's silk spinning patent
1719 Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe published
1720 South Sea Bubble burst
1721 Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister (Whig)
1722 Daniel Defoe 's A Journal of the Plague Year & Colonial Jack published
1726 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift published Death of Sophia Dorothea, wife of George I
1727 George II 11 June Death of Sir Isaac Newton
1733 Kay's flying shuttle
1736 Witchcraft finally abolished as a crime
1737 Death of Queen Caroline
1738 Methodism begins
1739 War of Jenkins Ear
1740 War of the Austrian Succession
1742 Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (Whig) Henry Fielding publishes Joseph Andrews Sheffield flatware (cutlery) developed by Thomas Boulsover
1743 Henry Pelham (Whig)
1744 John Newbery first to publish Children's Literature A Pretty Pocket Book
1745 2nd Jacobite rebellion
1746 Battle of Culloden
1747 James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon, discovers that citrus fruits prevent scurvy
1748 Tobias George Smollet publishes The Adventures of Roderick Random
1149 Fielding publishes Tom Jones Samuel Johnson published poem A Vanity of Human Wishes
1750 London earth tremors cause panic Samuel Johnson produces The Rambler essays (1750-52)
1751 Fielding publishes Amelia Tobias Smollet publishes The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle '
1752 Gregorian calendar introduced
1753 Foundation of the British Museum Marriage Act
1754 Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle (Whig)
1755 War with France Samuel Johnson published The Dictionary (English)
1756 William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire (Whig) Marine Society founded
1756 to 1763 Seven Years' War
1755 Black Hole of Calcutta
1757 Battle of Plassey William Blake born
1758 Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle (Whig)
1759 Georg Friedrich Handel dies
1760 George III 25 Oct
1762 John Stuart, Earl of Bute (Tory) Oliver Goldsmith's essay The Citizen of the World or Letters from a Chinese Philospher published
1763 George Grenville (Whig) August hailstorms ruin Sussex harvest
1764 Oliver Goldsmith publishes The Travellor
1765 Charles Watson-Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham (Whig) John Newbery prints A history of Goody Two Shoes; Mother Goose's Melody
1766 William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham (Whig) The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith published
1767 Augustus Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton (Whig)
1768 Royal Academy of Arts founded Spinning jenny
1770 Frederick North, Lord North (Tory) Cook charts New South Wales

Ludwig van Beethoven born in Bonn

1773 Boston Tea Party Oliver Goldsmith's play She Stoops to Conquer appears
1774 Discovery of oxygen by Joseph Priestley
1775 American War of Independence John Harrisson's chronometer finally given prize by Parliament James Watt develops improved steam engine
1776 Bridgewater canal completed American Declaration of Independence
1778 First iron bridge built
1778 Bramah's flushing watercloset patented
1779 to 1783 Siege of Gibraltar
1779 Crompton's Mule
1780 4th Anglo-Dutch war Gordon Riots in London
1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham (Whig)
1782 William FitzMaurice, Earl of Shelburne (Whig)
1783 William Bentinck, Duke of Portland (Tory) Britain recognises U.S. independence
1783 William Pitt the Younger (Tory)
1784 William Blake opens own print shop; Blake invents relief etching as a print/publishing form
1785 Separation of the Methodist Church from the Church of England Cartwright's Power Loom
1786 Beginning of gas lighting
1787 The Constitution (United States of America) declared
1788 Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) dies in Rome
1788 Captain Arthur Phillip's First Fleet in Sydney Cove
1789 French Revolution
1791 Publication of The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine The Board of Ordnance started mapping southern Britain
1793 War with France Joseph Preistley discovered nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
1794 William Blake writes and prints Songs of Innocence and Experience
1796 to 1808 Anglo-Spanish War
1796 Grand Junction (Union) Canal opens
1796 Jenner develops smallpox vaccine
1798 Nelson wins Battle of the Nile Beethoven writes Pathetique Beginning of Irish Immigration to Canada
1800 Sir Humphry Davy announces the anaesthetic properties of nitrous oxide Census Act

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Nineteenth Century

1801 Regents Canal opens Census 10th March (of limited use to family historians)
1801 Henry Addington (Tory) Earl of Mansfield's monument completed by John Flaxman First Ordnance Survey map published, the 1 inch map of Kent
1802 John Flaxman illustrates Dantes' The Divine Comedy
1804 William Pitt the Younger (Tory) World's first steam-hauled railway journey at Merthyr Tydfil,Wales
1805 Battle of Trafalgar
1806 William Grenville, Lord Grenville (Whig) State funeral of Lord Nelson Birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
1807 Abolition of Slavery Act
1807 William Bentinck, Duke of Portland (Tory)
1808 to 1814 Peninsular War
1809 Spencer Perceval (Tory) First 'free' settlers to NSW
1810 First curry house opens in England
1811 Prince George appointed Regent when his father's health deteriorates (porphyria) Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility published Census 27th May (of limited use to family historians)
1812-15 Anglo-American War
1812 Spencer Perceval PM assassinated First commercial European paddle steamer Rose's Act passed. Entry of baptisms, marriages and burials in Anglican churches standardised in bound volumes
1812 Robert Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool (Tory)
1813 Publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
1814 Publication of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
1815 Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo Emma by Jane Ausen published Leeds Liverpool canal completed
1816 Davy lamp improves mining safety Year without a summer following volcanic eruption
1816 René Laënnec invents the stethoscope
1816 The draisine (bicycle) appears in Germany
1817 Jane Austen's Persuasion and Northanger Abbey published postumously
1818 Nelson's monument completed by John Flaxman James Blundell, British obstetrician, performs the first successful human blood transfusion Death of Queen Charlotte
1818 Curride (bicycle) appears in England (known as the hobbyhorse)
1819 Peterloo Massacre Jacques Offenbach French Composer born
1820 George IV 29 Jan Failure of the Cato Street Conspiracy
1821 Census May 28th (of limited value to family historians)
1822 Birth of Louis Pasteur Caledonian Canal completed
1825 First railway, Stockton-Darlington
1826 Machine breaking & riots in Lancashire First steamship crosses Atlantic
1827 George Canning (Tory) Endoscope invented by Pierre Segalas
1827 Frederick Robinson, Viscount Goderich (Tory) Ludwig van Beethoven dies
1828 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (Tory)
1829 The Catholic Relief Act passed - Catholics permitted to becomes MPs Metropolitan Police established Stephenson's "Rocket" locomotive WA declared British possession
1830 William IV 26 June Charles Grey, Earl Grey (Whig ) Liverpool & Midlands Railway opens
1831 Census: 30th May (of limited use to family historians)
1831 to 1832 First Cholera Epidemic
1832 The Reform Bill of 1832
1833 Slavery Abolition Act
1834 Poor Law Amendment Act Tolpuddle Martyrs sentenced to transportation to Australia
1834 William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne (Whig)
1834 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (Tory)
1834 Sir Robert Peel (Tory)
1835 William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne (Whig)
1836 Sentence of Tolpuddle Martyrs remitted under public pressure Charles Dickens serializes The Pickwick Papers
1837 Victoria 20 June Electric Telegraph invented Civil Registration introduced
1837 Alfred Bird invents custard powder
1838 Chartism:The People's Petition Daguerrotype photographical process Public Record Office established
1839 to 1842 First Afghan War
1839 Foundation of the anti-Corn Law League Macmillan produces the self propelled hobbyhorse
1840 Charles Booth, Ship owner and Sociologist born
1840 Uniform Penny Post introduced Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
1841 Sir Robert Peel (Tory) Thomas Cook travel company founded London-Brighton railway completed Census: 6th June
1842 Income Tax Act Income tax re-introduced Invention of Kilner jar enables easier home preservation of fruit and vegetables
1843 Rebecca riots in Wales
1844 Nitrous oxide first used as an anesthetic by Dr. Horace Wells, American dentist
1844 Safety match invented in Sweden
1845 Start of the Irish Potato Famine RW Thompson (UK) patents the pneumatic tyre but no vehicles suitable to make it a commercial success! Emigration from Ireland rises steeply
1845 to 1872 New Zealand Colonial Wars
1846 Lord John Russell (Whig) Repeal of the Corn Laws Dickens publishes Dombey and Son (1846-48) Hans Christian Anderson's stories translated into English
1847 First use of chloroform in childbirth Greenwich Mean Time adopted across mainland Great Britain
1848 to 1849 2nd Cholera Epidemic
1848 1st Public Health Act Foundation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood First aircraft to fly under its own power in Chard, Somerset Influx of academic and middle class Europeans to London
1849 Dickens releases David Copperfield
1850 First Public Library Act First convicts arrive in Perth 'Scindian'
1851 The Great Exhibition Australian Gold Rush Census: 30th March
1852 Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby (Conservative) Foundation of the Museum of Manufactures (later the Victoria & Albert Museum)
1852 George Hamilton-Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen (Conservative) Dickens releases Bleak House 1852-1853
1853 3rd Cholera Epidemic
1853 Compulsory Vaccination Act Jacques Offenbach composes and performs Pepito Alexander Wood invents hypodermic syringe
1854 to 1856 The Crimean War Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War
1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak John Snow discovers cause of cholera
1854 Dickens publishes Hard Times
1855 Viscount Palmerston (Liberal) Dickens releases Little Dorrit Civil Registration introduced in Scotland
1856 Crinoline becomes popular Synthetic dyes invented
1856 Cage crinoline invented Bessemer converter enables large scale steel production
1856 First commercial production of condensed milk
1857 The Museum of Manufactures moved to South Kensington and became South Kensington Museum (later the Victoria and Albert Museum) Matrimonial Causes Act
1858 Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby (Conservative)
1858 Viscount Palmerston (Liberal) Secular Court of Probate created
1858 Jews permitted to become MPs
1859 Louis Pasteur paper published suggesting that microorganisms may cause many human and animal diseases Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species published
1861 Death of Prince Albert from typhoid Census: 7th April
1861 to 1865 American Civil War Lancashire Cotton Famine
1863 Formation of Football Association First underground railway opens in London
1864 First diagnosis of swine fever in Bristol Dickens serializes Our Mutual Friend until 1865
1864 First diagnosis of swine fever in Bristol
1865 to 1866 4th Cholera Epidemic
1865 Locomotives on Highways Act also known as the 'Red Flag Act' Great Cattle Plague to 1857
1865 John Russell, Earl Russell (Liberal) Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
1866 Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby (Conservative)
1867 Second Reform Act - number of voters doubled Joseph Lister publishes paper on Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery Suez canal opens. First commercially successful typewriter invented
1868 Benjamin Disraeli (Conservative) Lousia Alcott's Little Women published Last convicts transported to Western Australia
1868 William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal) Jacques Offenbach composes Orpheus of the Underworld Margarine invented in France by Hippolyte Mege-Mouriez
1870 Education Act makes primary education compulsory First Barnardo's Home opens
1870 Charles Dickens dies and The Mystery of Edwin Drood published postumously Germ theory of disease established by Robert Kock and Louis Pasteur
1871 Trade Unions legalized Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass and what Alice Found There published James Starling invents pennyfarthing bicycle ("highwheeler") Census: 2nd April
1871 Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, entrepreneur and philanthropist born
1872 2nd Public Health Act introduced Compulsory vaccination against smallpox introduced
1874 Benjamin Disraeli (Conservative) Bustles begin to be fashionable
1875 3rd and 4th Public Health Act introduced and were compulsory First electric dental drill patented by George Green
1876 New Central Committee of Nation Society for Women's Suffrage founded Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer published Both Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell file patents for the telephone
1877 First Lawn Tennis Championship at Wimbledon Edison invents phonograph
1878 Joseph Swan invents and patents the electric light bulb
1878 to 1880 Second Afghan War
1879 Zulu War First vaccine for Cholera introduced
1880 William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal) Jacques Offenbach composes The Tales of Hoffman
1880 to 1881 First Boer War Death of Jacques Offenbach
1881 Some women granted the vote in the Isle of Man First vaccine for anthrax introduced Census: 3rd April
1883 Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island published First electric railway opens in Brighton 20 May eruption of Krakatoa Cholera Epidemic in India
1884 Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published
1885 Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verse published Modern style chain driven bicycle invented Benz builds first motor car
1886 William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal) Coca Cola invented in USA by Dr John Stith Pemberton
1886 Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) R L Stevenson's Kidnapped Published
1887 Adolf Frick invents contact lenses Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee
1888 Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince and Other Tales published
1890 Antitoxins discovered by Emil von Behring who used them to develop tetanus and diphtheria vaccines
1891 Census: 5th April
1892 William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal)
1893 First Matabele War Marconi invents Wireless Telegraph
1894 Earl of Rosebery (Liberal)
1895 Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) Rontgen discovers X rays
1896 Second Matabele War First vaccine for typhoid fever
1897 First vaccine for plague Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
1898 Marie Curie (1867-1934) discovers radioactive substances
1899 Women gain the right to vote in Western Australia Museum of South Kensington becomes the Victoria and Albert Museum Bayer begin marketing Aspirin

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Twentieth Century

1900 Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit published
1901 Queen Victoria died 22nd Jan Satori Kato invents powdered instant coffee Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research opens in New York City
1901 Edward VII The existence of different human blood types discovered by Karl Landsteiner Australia granted dominion status
1901 Census 1st April
1902 Arthur Balfour (Conservative) Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Gloucester published Marmite first produced in Burton on Trent Anglo Japanese Alliance treaty, first signed on 30th January
1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright make the first manned flight
1903 Willem Einthoven invents electrocardiograph, King Camp Gillette invents the safety razor
1905 Henry Campbell-Bannerman (Liberal)
1906 Diagnostic test for syphilis introduced by German researcher August von Wasserman. San Francisco earthquake
1907 First mention of a brassiere in Vogue Skin test for TB introduced by Clemens Von Pirquet. New Zealand granted dominion status
1907 First successful human blood transfusion using Landsteiner's ABO blood typing technique
1908 Herbert H. Asquith (Liberal Coalition) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame published 4th Olympic Games held in London
1908 Women's Suffrage bill carried by 179 votes Triple Entente between Russia, France and Great Britain signed
1909 Old age pension introduced in Britain National Committee for Mental Hygiene founded to promote prevention and cure of mental diseases.
1909 Labour Exchange system introduced
1910 George V First large scale production of rayon
1911 National Insurance Act Census 2nd April
1912 Suffragette newspaper founded by the Pankhursts Sinking of the Titanic First Blackpool illuminations
1913 Senghenydd Colliery Disaster
1914 to 1918 World War One Sinking of the Lusitania
1914 Suffragettes suspended militancy and joined war effort
1915 Coalition government formed
1916 David Lloyd George (Liberal - Coalition Government)
1916 Battle of the Somme
1917 Russian Revolution
1918 Qualification of Women Act Influenza pandemic First opportunity for women to vote
1919 Third Afghan War (May-Aug) Ernest Rutherford splits the atom Lady Astor becomes the first woman MP
1919 Sex Disqualification Act Children's Book Week introduced in USA
1920 Married Women's Property Act Collapse of Farrow's Bank affects thousands of small investors
1921 Edward Mellanby discovers vitamin D
1922 Andrew Bonar Law (Conservative) BBC begins radio broadcasts
1923 Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) 26th April Marriage of Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth First vaccine for diphtheria Anglo Japanese Alliance treaty terminated
1923 Clarence Birdseye perfects technique for freezing food
1924 First Labour Government formed by James Ramsay MacDonald First Greenwich time signal broadcast Death of Lenin
1924 Stanley Baldwin (Conservative)
1925 The Guardianship of Infants Act
1926 General Strike in support of coalminers John Logie Baird makes the first public demonstration of television Formal Legal Adoption Commenced
1926 Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne published First vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough).
1927 Princess Elizabeth born April 21st First vaccine for tuberculosis
1927 First vaccine for tetanus
1928 Representation of the People Act House At Pooh Corner by A A Milne published Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
1929 James Ramsay MacDonald (Labour) The Wall Street Crash Start of the Great Depression
1930 Princess Margaret Rose born Jacob Schlick's electric razor introduced Discovery of the planet Pluto
1931 James Ramsay MacDonald (National Labour - National Government)
1932 BBC World Service begins
1933 Manfred Sakel discovers insulin shock therapy
1933 to 1945 Adolf Hitler, Chancellor and Head of state of Germany(Dictator)
1935 Stanley Baldwin (Conservative - National Government) Driving test introduced Bra cup sizes introduced in USA
1936 Edward VIII January to December Death of George V First vaccine for yellow fever Olympic Games Berlin Germany
1936 George VI (Windsor) Maiden voyage of the liner the Queen Mary World's first television service launched in Britain
1937 Neville Chamberlain (Conservative - National Government) First vaccine for typhus Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson
1939 to 1945 World War Two Dupont begin producing nylon
1940 Winston Churchill (Conservative - Coalition Government) Radar developed by British scientists
1943 Colossus, the first programmable computer, operational at Bletchley Park
1945 Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1945 Clement Attlee (Labour) First vaccine for influenza
1947 Notably severe winter in UK India and Pakistan granted independence
1948 The National Health Service comes into effect on the 5th of July 1948
1948 Berlin Blockade and Air Lift
1950 John Hopps invented the first cardiac pacemaker
1951 Winston Churchill (Conservative) Festival of Britain
1952 Elizabeth II USA tests the first hydrogen bomb Jonas Salk invented polio vaccine
1953 Paracetamol first marketed
1954 Rationing finally ends
1955 Sir Anthony Eden (Conservative) Contraceptive pill invented by Gregor Pincus
1956 Suez Crisis
1957 Harold Macmillan (Conservative) First space satellite launched
1959 to 1975 Vietnam War
1960 Cyprus gains independence from UK
1961 First manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin Creation of Berlin Wall
1962 First oral polio vaccine (as an alternative to the injected vaccine) U.S. Congress passes legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid.
1963 Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Conservative) Very severe winter
1963 Assassination of President John F Kennedy in the USA
1964 Harold Wilson (Labour) First vaccine for measles
1965 U.S. Congress passes law requiring label on cigarette packages: "Warning: Cigarette Smoking may be Hazardous to your Health."
1966 Decimal currency and dollars in Australia
1967 First vaccine for mumps. South African heart surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant.
1968 USSR invades Czechoslovakia Martin Luther King assassinated
1969 Apollo 11 moonlanding - 1st man on the moon
1970 Edward Heath (Conservative) First vaccine for rubella.
1971 Introduction of decimal currency
1973 CAT scan invented by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack
1974 Harold Wilson (Labour) First vaccine for chicken pox.
1976 James Callaghan (Labour)
1977 First vaccine for pneumonia
1978 First test-tube baby is born in the U.K.
1979 Margaret Thatcher (Conservative) ultrasound scan invented by Ian Donald
1980 W.H.O. (World Health Organization) announces smallpox is eradicated.
1981 First vaccine for hepatitis B. IBM Personal Computer released
1982 Falklands War
1983 HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is identified.
1984 Leprosy Vaccine made
1986 Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, Ukraine
1989 Tim Berners-Lee develops the World Wide Web Fall of the Berlin Wall
Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
1990 Nelson Mandela released from prison Reunification of Germany
1990 John Major (Conservative)
1991 Break-up of Soviet Union
1996 Written theory section of driving test introduced
1997 Tony Blair (Labour)

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Adding an event to the timeline

It will sometimes be necessary to make a value judgement into which column something will fit. If that column is already "full", then another row should be added.

The columns will remain the same width, and any long text will wrap onto extra lines automatically. It will also be vertically aligned.

Please keep the text as short as possible - if you feel that more information is needed, it is usually possible to add a hyperlink to a website such as Wikipedia!!

If there is a relevant page elsewhere in The Reference Library, please use an internal link.

Click on [edit]


You will see the code:


Adding an event

Count along the row and just type in the spaces - be careful to leave || in between each item.

| DATE || MONARCH || type in here || type in here || type in here || type in here

Adding a new row

Each row in the list needs:


| DATE || MONARCH || type in here || type in here || type in here || type in here

N.B. One | at the beginning of the line

N.B. Nothing at the end of the line

Adding hyperlinks

Timeline3.jpg [ Australian Gold Rush]

Timeline4.jpg [[Records Office Guide|Civil Registration introduced]]

Alternatively, members can post a thread in the Wiki Community Board, using the Timeline prefix, and someone will upload the details on your behalf.

For more information about wiki coding please see Minibad.jpg The Wiki Guide How to use The Wiki.

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