The Eighteenth Century The Nineteenth Century The Twentieth Century
1700 William III is on the throne (Mary II died in 1698) 1800 George III is King of England 1901 Queen Victoria dies and Edward VII comes to the throne
London's population is about 575,000 London has almost one million inhabitants 1900 London's population is around 6 million people
1701 The English, the Dutch and the Austrians sign the Treaty of the Grand Alliance to thwart the expansionist policies of Louis XIV 1803 First steam locomotive produced at Euston 1901 Birth of the Labour Party
1701 The Norwich Post newspaper commences publication, possibly the first in England 1805 Nelson defeats the French Fleet at Trafalgar 1903 The Womens Social & Political Union is formed
1702 Start of the War of the Spanish Succession 1820 George IV crowned king 1908 Olympic Games open at White City in London
1702 Queen Anne crowned 1828 "The Spectator" London weekly periodical founded 1911 National Insurance Act provides cover against sickness & unemployment
1707 Great Britain created by the Act of Union between England and Scotland 1829 Metropolitan Police founded 1912 "Titanic" sinks and 1,503 lives are lost
1713 Treaty of Utrecht ends a decade of war in Europe 1829 Lucifer matches manufactured & first typewriter patented 1912 The Royal Flying Corps established
1714 George 1 of the Hanover family comes to the throne 1830 William IV crowned King of England (1830-1837) 1913 Suffragette Emily Davidson is killed by the king's horse at the Derby
1720 The Mersey and Irwell Navigation & the Weaver Navigation Systems open 1830 Agricultural "Swing" Riots in southern England suppressed, many transported 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo, key event leading to WW I
1723 Poaching becomes a capital offence 1830 Stiff collars become part of mens' dress 1914 Britain declares war on Germany, fighting begins in France
1732 World-wide flu epidemic 1831 Liverpool & Manchester railway opened 1916 British fleet under Lord Jellicoe is badly damaged in the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea
1746 Battle of Culloden - Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated 1832 Electric telegraph invented by Morse 1916 Battle of the Somme, France
1747 Liverpool becomes Britain's busiest slave trading port ahead of Bristol 1832 First Reform Act extends right to vote to industrial towns but still primarily restricted to landed gentry 1918 General Foch launches the Allied offensive on the Western Front
1750 Scottish landowners evicting tenants in the Highland clearances 1833 Factory act restricts childrens' working hours & forbade employing children under 9 1918 Battle of Amiens in France
1752 Gregorian Calendar introduced 1834 Poor Law Amendement Act introduces Union Workhouses; poor relief system changed radically 1918 Germany signs the Armistice ending WW I
1757 First canal completed in Britain, the Sankey Brook Navigation 1834 Hansom cab patented by Joseph Hansom 1918 Massive Spanish flu epidemic kills 200,00 in Britain
1760 George III comes to the throne 1835 Christmas becomes a national holiday 1918 Limited number of women given the vote for the first time
1761 The Bridgewater Canal opens linking the coalfields to Manchester & Liverpool. 1835 Melbourne, Australia founded 1920 Women at Oxford are allowed to receive degrees
1768 James Cook sails on his first Pacific expedition 1836 First cricket match played in England 1922 Irish Civil War breaks out
1769 James Watt perfects the steam engine 1836 First potato famine in Ireland; start of an economic downturn in Britain lasting until 1842 1926 John Logie Baird gives the first public showing of television
1770's Luxury tax on non-essential items included paper, newspaper, windows, horses, dogs, wagons, leather, printed silk & linen, starch, soap & candles, salt, hops, barley for beer, wine, tea, coffee, sugar, molasses, spices & chocolate. 1837 Victoria became Queen of England 1926 General strike in Britain over pay conditions for miners
1771 Richard Arkwright opened the first cotton mill in Cromford, Derbyshire - effectively the start of the Industrial Revolution 1837 Euston, the first London railway station opened 1927 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) created
1773 Josiah Wedgewood sells Wedgewood china by "mail-order" with catalogues in English, French, German & Dutch 1838 First ocean steamers to the U.S. 1928 Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
1776 America declares independence from Britain 1839 English government started to fund elementary schools 1928 First "talkie" movie shown in Britain
1776 Debenhams department store opened for retail trading 1839 Bicycle invented 1928 All women over 21 get the vote
1778 Catholic Relief Act passed 1839 Chartist riots about electoral reform 1929 Wall Street crash sparks the Great Depression
1785 "The Times first printed, as the "Daily Universal Register" 1840 Penny postal system introduced 1935 The first Penguin paperback books go on sale
1788 First convict ships sent to Australia 1842 Railway from Manchester to London opened 1936 George V dies and Edward VIII succeeds him but abdicates to marry Wallace Simpson
1789 The French Revolution begins 1842 First mail steamship sails for India 1937 George VI is crowned king
1798 Start of the Napoleonic War 1842 The Polka dance becomes fashionable 1938 Germany occupies Austria
1798 The Irish Rebellion begins 1843 First telegraph line in service in UK 1939 Britain declares war on Germany
1844 Factory Act limits the working day to 12 hours for under 18's 1940 Germany occupies the Low Countries, France and the Channel Islands
1844 Outdoor Relief Prohibition Order - parish relief only received in workhouse 1940 Thousands of Allied troops are evacuated from France at Dunkirk
1845 Irish Potato Famine - mass starvation & emigration 1941 German troops drive the Allies out of the Eastern Mediterranean
1846 Anaesthetic used for first time in England 1942 The RAF commence bombing raids on German cities
1847 Ten Hours Act shortens working day for women and children to ten hours 1943 First Allied troops land in Europe as the invasion of Sicily begins
1848 Cholera epidemic led to Public Health Act 1944 Allied troops land in Normandy to liberate France
1851 Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park, London 1945 Victory in Europe Day and Victory over Japan days are celebrated marking end of WW II
1853 Start of Crimean War 1947 India gains independence from Britain
1854 Construction of London tube underground system commenced/td> 1948 Olympic Games open at Wembley Stadium
1854 Cigarettes introduced into Britain 1948 The National Health Service is established
1855 First iron Cunard steamer crosss the Atlantic in 9 1/2 days 1949 The Republic of Ireland is established
1855 Florence Nightingale introducs hygenic standards in military hospitals 1950 British troops are sent to Korea to support the US troops
1855 First synthetic plastic material, celluose nitrate invented 1952 Elizabeth II is crowned Queen when her father George VI dies
1857 Civil courts in England able to grant a divorce 1953 Watson & Crick publish their discovery of DNA structure
1857 London postal districts introduced 1955 Commercial TV begins broadcasting
1858 East India company dissolved 1956 The first nuclear power station opens in Britain
1860 British Open Golf championships began 1957 Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb
1861 Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband dies 1958 The Motorway System commences with the opening of the M6 Preston bypass
1861 Daily weather forecasts commence in Britain 1963 Man lands on the moon and Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon
1863 London's first Underground railway opened 1963 US President John F Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas
1865 American Civil War ends 1964 The first vaccine for measles introduced
1866 The transatlantic telegraph cable goes into operation 1965 The death penalty is abolished
1869 Suez Canal opened 1965 The comprehensive education system is established
1869 Sainsbury's opens for business in London 1967 The first vaccine for mumps introduced
1869 Celluloid, ball bearings, margarine and washing machines invented 1969 Maiden flight of the Concorde, world's first supersonic airliner
1870 Dr Barnado's first home for destitute children opened in East End of London 1971 Decimal currency introduced
1870 Board Schools start to try and impose consistent spelling 1971 The Northern Irish "troubles" begin
1870 Start of Franco-Prussian War 1973 Britain joins the EEC
1871 First British postcard, halfpenny post introduced 1978 Britain paralysed by violent strikes in several service industries
1871 Trade Unions legalised in Britain 1978 The world's first test tube baby born in Oldham, Lancs
1872 Secret Ballot introduced in Britain so Poll Books not kept 1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female prime minister
1872 Public Health Act established urban & rural sanitary authorities 1979 Lord Mountbatten killed by the IRA
1872 First women are admitted unofficially for Cambridge University exams (degrees not awarded until 1947) 1981 First vaccine developed for Hepatitis B
1872 Licensing hours were introduced 1982 Economic recession and high unemployment
1873 First National Ordnance Survey undertaken 1982 Argentina invades the British Falkland Islands
1874 Factory Act introduced 56 hour working week 1984 The IRA bomb the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton killing 5 people
1875 London's main sewerage system is completed 1986 Major national industries are privatised
1875 Submarine invented 1989 The World Wide Web invented
1876 Alexander Bell invented the telephone 1991 The Allies launch "Operation Desert Storm" to liberate Kuwait
1876 Edison invented the microphone and the phonograph 1992 The Channel Tunnel opens linking London & Paris by rail
1876 First tennis championships held at Wimbledon 1994 The first female priests are ordained by the Church of England
1878 Electric street lighting introduced in London, Edison & Swan invented electric lamp 1997 Scotland and Welsh people vote in two referenda to hold their own national assemblies
1879 London's first telephone exchange opened 1997 Princess Diana dies in a car crash
1879 Frozen meat from Australia sold in London 1997 Britain hands Hong Kong back to China
1880 Canned fruit and meat sold in English shops for first time 2000 The "dotcom bubble" bursts