Historical events from 1 January 1600 to 31 December 1799
(-9999) = Day count to end of World War Two in Europe (day zero =Tuesday)
16/12/1799, Monday (-53,103)
15/12/1799. Sunday (-53,104) France declared a new constitution.
14/12/1799. Saturday (-53,105) George Washington, 1st president of the USA from 1789 to 1797, died in Mount Vernon, on the south bank of the Potomac in Virginia, aged 67. See 30/4/1789.
9/11/1799. Saturday (-53,140) After a coup, Corsican General Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Consul, with Sieyes and Ducis. He made his name at the defeat of the British fleet at the revolt of Toulon, 1793.
9/10/1799, Wednesday (-53,171) Napoleon returned to France.
7/10/1799. Monday (-53,173) The bell was salvaged from the Lutine, which sank off the island of Vlieland, off the coast of Holland. It was presented to Lloyds of London. Known as the Lutine Bell, it has been rung ever since to mark a marine disaster.
2/10/1799, Wednesday (-53,178) The Duke of York captured Alkmaar, in the Netherlands.
25/9/1799, Wednesday (-53,185) Napoleon gained victory at Zurich.
18/9/1799, Wednesday (-53,192) Napoleon gained victory at Alkmaar, Holland.
29/8/1799, Thursday (-53,212) Pope Pius VI died.
23/8/1799. Friday (-53,218) Leaving the French Army under Kleber, Napoleon left to return to France.
15/8/1799, Thursday (-53,226) Napoleon was defeated at Novi.
25/7/1799. Thursday (-53,247) Napoleon gained victory over the Turks at Aboukir.
19/7/1799. Friday (-53,253) The Rosetta Stone was found near the town of Rosetta on the Nile, bearing Greek, Hieroglyphic, and Demotic (ancient Egyptian) scripts.
12/7/1799. Friday (-53,260) Britain passed the Combination Acts, outlawing any association of two or more people for the purpose of obtaining wage increases or better conditions at work. The Act was prompted by fears of revolution after France. However in 1802 Parliament banned child apprentices from working more than a 12 hour day. Many pauper children from London were being sent to textile factories in the north of England to work long hours. Sir Robert Peel, the Bill’s proposer, objected that this practice allowed exploitation of children, far from their parents.
7/6/1799, Friday (-53,295) Battle of Zurich. Napoleon defeated a Russian army.
6/6/1799, Thursday (-53,296) Alexander Pushkin Russian writer, was born
20/5/1799. Monday (-53,313) Honore de Balzac born.
10/5/1799. Friday (-53,323) Napoleon withdrew from attacking Acre after an 8th unsuccessful assault.
4/5/1799, Saturday (-53,329) The British conquered Seringapatam, capital of Mysore in southern India.
9/2/1799, Saturday (-53,413) The US navy clashed with French forces.
21/1/1799. Monday (-53,432) Edward Jenner introduced the smallpox vaccination. In the 18th century, smallpox took over from the bubonic plague as the major killer disease. Edward Jenner worked as a doctor in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. By observing local milkmaids, Jenner tested the generally held belief that cowpox sufferers were immune to smallpox. In 1796 he experimented by scraping pus from a cowpox sore on the arm of a milkmaid and inserting it into two cuts on the arm of a young boy. On 1/7/1796 he did the same with pus from a smallpox sore. The boy caught cowpox but not smallpox. After doing this to 23 other people, Jenner called this method ‘vaccination’, meaning ‘from a cow’. Jenner published his findings in 1798 and despite scepticism from doctors, vaccination became widely accepted. Even members of the Royal Family were vaccinated. Vaccination became free for all infants in 1840 and compulsory in Britain in 1853. In 1980 the World Health Organisation declared smallpox had been eradicated throughout the world.
9/1/1799. Wednesday (-53,444) Income tax introduced to Britain for the first time, by Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, at 2 shillings in the pound for incomes over £200 per annum, and a reduced rate for incomes between £60 and £200. The tax was to pay for the Napoleonic War. In Florence in 1451 an income tax, the Catastrato, had been implemented but degenerated into a means of political blackmail and was repealed upon the overthrow of the Medicis in 1492. The income tax in Britain was repealed in 1802 after the Peace of Amiens, but reimposed in 1803, repealed in 1816, and reintroduced in 1842 in peacetime at 7d in the £. Since then the rate in the UK has varied between 2d in the £ in 1875 and 10s in the £ in 1941.
29/12/1798, Saturday (-53,455) Formation of the Second Coalition against France; Britain, Austria, Russia, Naples and Portugal.
4/12/1798. Tuesday (-53,480) (1) Luigi Galvani, Italian scientist who researched animal electricity, died.
(2) Income tax was proposed to the UK Parliament by William Pitt the Younger. See 9/1/1799.
17/11/1798, Saturday (-53,497) Irish nationalist leader Wolfe Tone committed suicide whilst in jail awaiting execution.
9/9/1798. Sunday (-53,566) The Ottoman Empire declared war on France because of its occupation of Egypt.
6/8/1798. Monday (-53,600) Unaware that the Irish rebels had been defeated, a French force set sail to help them against the British. On 15/9/1798 the French in Ireland surrendered to General Cornwallis at Ballymuck.
1/8/1798. Wednesday (-53,605) At the Battle of the Nile, at Aboukir Bay, Admiral Nelson, on the ship Vanguard, destroyed 11 out of 13 French battleships which were the convoy that took Napoleon to Egypt. The French commander was Brueys, aboard the ship L’Orient. The crew were mostly ashore getting water, leaving no one to man the 120 French guns. This effectively trapped the French Army in Egypt. Five French ships with 5,000 men were sunk, 2 ships were captured, and 2 ships managed to escape from Nelson. On 10/2/1799 Napoleon left Egypt for Syria, occupying Gaza on 24/2/1799. On 7/3/1799 Napoleon captured Jaffa, where his soldiers massacred over 2,0000 Albanian prisoners. On 17/5/1799 Napoleon lifted the siege of Acre after failing to capture it.
23/7/1798. Monday (-53,614) An uprising by the people of Cairo against the French occupiers was brutally repressed on 22/10/1798. The French captured Suez on 7/12/1798. However a British expeditionary force arrived in Egypt on 6/3/1801. The battle of Alexandria was fought on 11/3/1801, just outside the actual town. After this British victory the British advanced on the town which surrendered on 31/8. See 11/6/1882.
21/7/1798, Saturday (-53,616) At the Battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon, soon after his invasion of Egypt, defeated an army of some 60,000 Mamelukes.
2/7/1798. Monday (-53,635) The French invaded Egypt, see 31/8/1801.
21/6/1798, Thursday (-53,646) Over 15,000 British troops attacked Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy, County Wexford.
17/6/1797, Sunday (-53,650) Agha Mohammad Khan, Shah of Persia, died.
14/6/1798. Thursday (-53,653) A clergyman first produced whisky distilled from maize. The Reverend Elijah Craig called the liquor Bourbon because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
11/6/1798. Monday (-53,656) Malta surrendered to Napoleon Bonaparte. On 2/9/1798 the Maltese revolted against French occupation, forcing the French troops to take refuge in the citadel of Valetta.
7/6/1798, Thursday (-53,660) The Battle of Antrim. Irish rebels, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, attacked the British in the town of Antrim, led by Henry Joy McCracken. The British succeeded in beating the attackers off, but the British County-Governor, Lord O’Neill, was fatally injured.
4/6/1798. Monday (-53,663) Casanova, Italian adventurer, lover, and romancer, died at his Castle of Waldstein, Bohemia.
23/5/1798. Wednesday (-53,675) Believing that a French invasion of Britain was imminent, Irish nationalists rebelled against British rule. The rebels enjoyed initial success in Wexford but were suppressed by British forces.
19/5/1798. Saturday (-53,679) Napoleon left France for Egypt.
10/5/1798, Thursday (-53,688) George Vancouver, British explorer who surveyed the Pacific coast of America, died.
26/4/1798, Thursday (-53,702) The painter Eugene Delacroix was born near Paris.
10/4/1798, Tuesday (-53,718)
11/3/1798, Sunday (-53,748)
11/2/1798, Sunday (-53,776) French troops captured Rome.
19/1/1798, Friday (-53,799) Auguste Comte, French philosopher and founder of modern sociology, was born in Montpellier.
16/11/1797, Thursday (-53,863) Death of the Prussian King Frederick William II, aged 53. He was succeeded by Frederick William III.
4/11/1797, Saturday (-53,875) US Congress agreed to pay an annual ‘anti-piracy’ tribute to Tripoli.
22/10/1797. Sunday (-53,888) Andre-Jacques Garnerin, 28, made a parachute descent, from 2,230 feet, from a hot air balloon. He jumped over the Parc Monceau, Paris. This was not the first parachute jump, but Garnerin had improved the device so as to enable descents from a greater height then ever before.
17/10/1797. Tuesday (-53,893) Napoleon made peace with Austria at Campo-Formio. Austria to cede the Belgian provinces to France in return for Venice, Dalmatia and Istria.
11/10/1797, Wednesday (-53,899) At the naval Battle of Camperdown, off the Dutch coast, the British beat the Dutch, who had been a threat to British naval supremacy.
4/9/1797, Monday (-53,936) A French army coup halted the plans of British backed Royalists in Paris.
30/8/1797, Wednesday (-53,941) Mary Shelley, English novelist, best known as the author of Frankenstein, was born in London.
11/8/1797, Friday (-53,960) A secret Home Office report suspected Coleridge and the Wordsworths of being enemy agents, because of their wandering around the countryside with campstools and making detailed sketches of the landscape.
9/7/1797, Sunday (-53,993) Edmund Burke, British politician and orator, died.
30/6/1797, Friday (-54,002) The naval mutiny at The Nore, led by Richard Parker, was put down. It had started as a protest against poor food and low pay.
26/6/1797. Monday (-54,006) Charles Newbold patented the cast iron plough.
25/6/1797. Sunday (-54,007) Admiral Nelson was wounded in the right arm by grapeshot, during the Battle of Santa Cruz, off Tenerife. He had the arm amputated that afternoon.
15/5/1797, Monday (-54,048)
18/4/1797¸ Tuesday (-54,075) Napoleon signed preliminaries of peace with Austria.
17/4/1797. Monday (-54,076) Britain’s first prisoner of war camp opened at Norman Cross Depot, near Stilton, Huntingdonshire. Prior to this, PoWs had been confined in civil prisons, floating hulks, or fortresses, but by 1796 the number of French PoWs was so large other accommodation had to be found.
16/4/1797. Sunday (-54,077) The British navy mutinied at Spithead, near Portsmouth, over poor pay, bad food, and arduous blockade duty. On 2/5/1797 the mutiny spread to the North Sea fleet.
13/4/1797, Thursday (-54,080) Napoleon captured Leoben on his advance from Italy into Austria.
22/3/1797, Wednesday (-54,102) (1) Napoleon captured Gorizia, in an advance from Italy into Austria..
(2) Wilhelm I, Emperor of Germany, was born.
2/3/1797, Thursday (-54,122) Horatio Walpole, British politician, died in London. He never married.
26/2/1797. Sunday (-54,126) The Bank of England first issued £1 notes; copper pennies were also first minted this day.
19/2/1797, Sunday (-54,133) Napoleon captured Tolentino, Italy, where he signed a treaty with the Papacy (The Peace of Tolentino).
18/2/1797, Saturday (-54,134) The British captured the island of Trinidad from Spain. Spain had been forced to ally with France by Napoleon, making her at war with Britain. The British fleet blocked the Spanish fleet of Don Apodaca in the harbour of Port of Spain; the Spanish decided to scuttle (burn) their ships rather than face annihilation and capture by the British.
14/2/1797. Tuesday (-54,138) Horatio Nelson and Admiral Jervis defeated the Spanish fleet off Cape St Vincent, south west Portugal.
12/2/1797, Sunday (-54,140) The last invasion of Britain. The Irish-American General William Tate landed at Fishguard, Pembrokeshire with 1,400 French troops, who soon surrendered.
9/2/1797, Thursday (-54,143) Napoleon captured Ancona, Italy.
4/2/1797, Saturday (-54,148) Major earthquake hit Riobamba, Ecuador.
2/2/1797, Thursday (-54,150) Napoleon captured Mantua, Italy.
1/2/1797, Wednesday (-54,151) Napoleon captured Bologna, Italy.
31/1/1797, Tuesday (-54,152) Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born near Vienna. He was the son of a schoolteacher.
20/1/1797, Friday (-54,163)
15/1/1797, Sunday (-54,168) The top hat first appeared in London, worn by James Hetherington. He was fined £50 for wearing this attire, and causing a breach of the peace.
14/1/1797, Saturday (-54,169) Battle of Rivoli. Napoleon’s first decisive victory over the Austrians.
15/12/1796, Thursday (-54,199) A French fleet under General Hoche sailed from Brest to invade Ireland. However a storm dispersed the fleet off Kerry and the invasion was called off.
6/11/1796. Sunday (-54,238) Death of Czarina Katherine the Great of Russia. She died at Czarskoye Selo (The Czar’s Village) near St Petersburg, aged 67. She had been Empress of Russia since 1762. She was succeeded by her 42-year old son, Paul I.
5/10/1796. Wednesday (-54,270) Spain declared war on Britain by signing the Treaty of San Il Defonso, allying it with Revolutionary France. The Treaty was engineered by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, lover of King Charles IV’s wife Maria Luisa. De Godoy was opposed to monarchist Britain. Many ordinary Spanish opposed the Treaty, which diminished Spain as an imperial power and weakened her influence in The Americas.
17/9/1796, Saturday (-54,288) George Washington gave his farewell address as president of the USA.
21/7/1796. Thursday (-54,346) Robert Burns, Scottish poet, died aged 37 in Dumfries, and was buried there. He was born on 25/1/1759, the eldest son of a poor peasant farmer, about 2 miles from Ayr, at Alloway.
6/7/1796, Wednesday (-54,361) Nicholas, Tsar of Russia, was born.
30/6/1796, Thursday (-54,367) Napoleon marched into central Italy, taking Florence this day.
23/6/1796, Thursday (-54,374) Pope Pius VI signed an armistice with Napoleon.
21/6/1796. Tuesday (-54,376) The Scottish explorer Mungo Park reached the River Niger.
3/6/1796, Friday (-54,394) Napoleon advanced to Verona, thereby securing all of Austrian Lombardy.
1/6/1796. Wednesday (-54,396) Tennessee became the 16th state of the USA.
17/5/1796, Tuesday (-54,411) Napoleon advanced to Brescia.
15/5/1796, Sunday (-54,413) Napoleon occupied Milan.
14/5/1796. Saturday (-54,414) Dr Edward Jenner, born 17/5/1749, from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, carried out his first human vaccination. He infected an eight year old, James Phipps, with cowpox, or ‘vaccinia’ disease, having once heard a dairymaid claim that she would never catch smallpox because she had been infected by cowpox. Then on July 1st he deliberately exposed the boy to smallpox; he proved resistant to the disease.
10/5/1796, Tuesday (-54,418) Napoleon won the Battle of Lodi.
28/4/1796, Thursday (-54,430) Napoleon reached an armistice with Sardinia.
13/4/1796, Wednesday (-54,445) Napoleon won the Battle of Millesimo.
10/3/1796. Thursday (-54,479) Napoleon gained victory at the Battle of Lodi.
9/3/1796. Wednesday (-54,480) Napoleon married Josephine de Beautharnais.
2/3/1796. Wednesday (-54,487) Napoleon was appointed Commander in Chief of the Army of Italy and The Alps.
31/12/1795, Thursday (-54,549) Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 lease on a brewery at St James Gate, Dublin, for an annual rent of £45.
4/12/1795, Friday (-54,576) Birth of Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian.
3/12/1795. Thursday (-54,577) Sir Rowland Hill, who pioneered the postal service, was born in Kidderminster.
2/11/1795, Monday (-54,608) James Polk, American Democrat and 11th President, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
31/10/1795, Saturday (-54,610) John Keats, English romantic poet, was born in London, the son of an innkeeper.
26/10/1795. Monday (-54,615) Napoleon was appointed General of the Army of the Interior.
24/10/1795, Saturday (-54,617) King Stanislaus II of Poland, aged 63, abdicated.
5/10/1795. Monday (-54,636) Napoleon participated in defeating a Royalist uprising in Paris. He became Commander of the Army of the Interior.
1/10/1795, Thursday (-54,640) Belgium was incorporated in the French Republic.
16/9/1795, Wednesday (-54,655) In June 1795 a British fleet with 4,000 soldiers arrived off the Dutch Cape Colony (South Africa) to prevent the French from taking the territory. This day the British soldiers landed at Muizenberg, and the Dutch soldiers, under Governor Sluysken, largely fled without a fight. Sluyksen managed to negotiate a truce with the British, but was soon evicted from power by settlers in the interior who resisted his rule.
22/7/1795, Wednesday (-54,711) The Second Treaty of Basle. Spain ceded the Dominican Republic to France.
15/7/1795. Wednesday (-54,718) The Marsellaise was officially adopted as the French National Anthem. It had been written by the French Army Captain Rouget de Lisle in 1792, whilst he was stationed at Strasbourg.
23/6/1795, Tuesday (-54,740) Off the port of Lorient, NW France, a British fleet under Lord Bridport defeated the French under Villaret-Joyeuse.
23/5/1795, Saturday (-54,771) (1) In Paris troops suppressed a riot caused by food shortages. See 1/4/1795.
(2) Birth of the architect Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament in London.
22/5/1795, Friday (-54,772) The Scottish explorer Mungo Park set sail on his first voyage to Africa,
19/5/1795, Tuesday (-54,775) James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Dr Johnson, died in London, aged 54.
28/4/1795, Tuesday (-54,796) Birth of Charles Sturt, English explorer of Australia.
23/4/1795, Thursday (-54,801) Warren Hastings was acquitted of high treason.
5/4/1795, Sunday (-54,819) Frederick William of Prussia signed a peace treaty with France (First Treaty of Basle), to leave himself free to deal with his eastern frontier. The west bank of the Rhine was given to France.
1/4/1795, Wednesday (-54,823) Martial law was declared in Paris as food shortages sparked riots. See 23/5/1795.
28/3/1795, Saturday (-54,827) The Duchy of Courland was incorporated into the State of Russia.
3/1/1795, Saturday (-54,911) Josiah Wedgwood, English potter and creator of blue jasper ware, died in Staffordshire.
2/1/1795, Friday (-54,912) The French captured the Dutch fleet as it stood frozen into the River Texel. William V escaped to England as the French established a Batavian Republic.
9/11/1794, Sunday (-54,966) Russian forces entered Warsaw, ending the Polish rebellion.
27/10/1794, Monday (-54,979) Birth of Robert Lister, Scottish doctor who performed the first operation using anaesthetic.
10/10/1794, Friday (-54,996) (Poland, Russia) The Polish army, 7,000 men under Tadeusz Kosciusko was heavily defeated by the Russians, 16,000 men, at Maciejowice, and its leader taken prisoner. Kosciusko was released by Czar Paul in 1796, and died on 15/10/1817 when his horse fell over a precipice.
20/8/1794, Wednesday (-55,047) Napoleon was released, see 10/8/1794.
10/8/1794, Sunday (-55,057) In France, Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly arrested because of his connections with the Jacobins, a radical political group.
28/7/1794, Monday (-55,070) Maximillien Robespierre, 36, French leader of the Jacobins during the French Revolution, was guillotined in Paris. Anti-Jacobin sentiment rose. Robespierre’s zeal for use of the guillotine made even his former friends uneasy. See 27/7/1793.
23/7/1794, Wednesday (-55,075) The village of Ratcliff, just east of London, was badly damaged by a fire. 455 of the 1,150 houses were burnt, along with 36 warehouses, when a pitch kettle at a boat builders boiled over. Ships were also burnt; they could not be moved as the tide was out; saltpetre in a barge blew up, raining fire on other boats.
17/7/1794, Thursday (-55,081) The Paris Commune, set up in 1791, was suppressed.
12/7/1794. Saturday (-55,086) Admiral Nelson lost his right eye at the siege of the French garrison at Calvi in Corsica.
26/6/1794, Thursday (-55,102) The French defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus. Balloon reconnaissance of the enemy was used by the French, from a tethered balloon, for the first time.
1/6/1794, Sunday (-55,127) The Battle of the Glorious 1st June.
8/5/1794. Thursday (-55,151) The chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who discovered the composition of water, was executed in Paris.
5/4/1794, Saturday (-55,184) George Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader, was guillotined for treason, nine months after his dismissal from the Committee of Public Safety which was ruling France.
2/4/1794, Wednesday (-55,187) The French military formed a company of Aerostiers for military observation from tethered hot air balloons.
27/3/1794. Thursday (-55,193) The US Navy was officially created. Before this day the American Congress had only fitted out civilian ships for hostilities as required, but now it was decided a permanent navy was necessary.
21/2/1794, Friday (-55,227) Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican revolutionary who freed his country from Spanish rule, was born.
4/2/1794. Tuesday (-55,244) France issued a decree abolishing slavery in its colonies. However Mauritius ignored this decree.
16/1/1794, Thursday (-55,263) Edward Gibbon, English historian and author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, died.
18/12/1793. Wednesday (-55,292) The British withdrew from Toulon and Napoleon was appointed General de Brigade.
6/12/1793, Friday (-55,304) Madame du Barry, last mistress of King Louis XV of France, was guillotined by the Revolutionary Council.
8/11/1793, Friday (-55,332) In Paris, the Revolutionary Government allowed the public to view the Royal art collection for the first time.
1/11/1793, Friday (-55,339) Lord George Gordon, British anti-Catholic agitator and leader of the Gordon Riots in 1780, died in Newgate Prison, London. He had been convicted of libelling Marie Antoinette.
16/10/1793. Wednesday (-55,355) Marie Antoinette, born 2/11/1755, the Queen of France as wife of Louis XVI, was convicted of treason and guillotined in Paris. See 21/7/1793. Aged 38, she had been held in prison for over a year; since August in solitary confinement.
8/10/1793, Tuesday (-55,363) John Hancock, US politician, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, died.
18/9/1793, Wednesday (-55,383) The cornerstone of the north section of the Capitol Building, Washington DC, was laid by President Washington.
23/8/1793. Friday (-55,409) France introduced the first national conscription, claiming all unmarried men aged 18 to 25.
1/8/1793, Thursday (-55,431) The kilogram was introduced in France as the first metric weight.
27/7/1793, Saturday (-55,436) Maximilian Robespierre, Jacobin leader, became a member of the Committee of Public Safety, established to guard against an attack on France by neighbouring countries after the execution of King Louis XVI. See 28/7/1794.
20/7/1793, Saturday (-55,443) Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, a machine for separating cotton fibre from seeds.
17/7/1793, Wednesday (-55,446) Charlotte Corday was guillotined for the murder of Jean Paul Marat, see 13/7/1793.
13/7/1793, Saturday (-55,450) Jean Paul Marat, French Revolutionary, was stabbed to death by a Girondist (right-wing) supporter, Charlotte Corday. Marat’s zeal for execution of royalty and government ministers had made him many enemies.
11/6/1793. Tuesday (-55,482) Napoleon had to leave Corsica with his family and went to Toulon.
31/5/1793. Friday (-55,493) The Reign of Terror, in which thousands went to the guillotine, in the French Revolution, began.
24/5/1793. Friday (-55,500) The British recaptured the archipelago of St Pierre et Miquelon, off Canada, which was a severe blow to the French cod fishing fleet.
22/4/1793, Monday (-55,532) US President Washington issued a Declaration of Neutrality in the Napoleonic War. Hamilton wanted him to support the British but Jefferson wanted him to support the French.
15/4/1793. Monday (-55,539) The Bank of England first issued £5 notes.
5/4/1793, Friday (-55,549) William Thornton’s plans for the building of the Capitol, Washington DC, were accepted.
25/3/1793. Monday (-55,560) By the Treaty of London, Russia joined the coalition against France.
20/3/1793, Wednesday (-55,565) An army of peasant Royalists defeated the Republicans in the Vendee region of France. See14/3/1793.
18/3/1793, Monday (-55,567) Austrian forces defeated a French Revolutionary Army at the Battle of Neerwinden.
14/3/1793. Thursday (-55,571) A force of counter-revolutionaries in western France was trying to restore the monarchy. See 20/3/1793.
7/3/1793. Thursday (-55,578) France declared war on Austria, and also on Spain on 7/3/1793.
2/3/1793, Saturday (-55,583) Sam Houston, American soldier and first President of Texas, was born.
1/2/1793. Friday (-55,612) Britain declared war on France. The British economy entered a depression.
23/1/1793, Wednesday (-55,621) Prussia signed a treaty with Russia. Poland was partitioned, with Prussia obtaining Danzig, Thorn, Posen, and most of Great Poland. Russia received Minsk, Pinsk, and the frontier on the Zbrucz. Austria received promises of help in re-conquering Belgium, as well as some Polish territories.
21/1/1793. Monday (-55,623) (1) The county of Nice was annexed to France. Monaco was annexed to France on 14/2/1792.
(2) Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution, Paris, convicted of treason. The executioner was called Sanson. His trial had ended with the death sentence on 19/1/1793. See 16/10/1793.
9/1/1793, Wednesday (-55,635) Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first ascent in a balloon in America, near Woodbury, New Jersey.
18/12/1792, Tuesday (-55,657) Thomas Paine was tried in absentia for publishing The Rights of Man.
5/12/1792. Wednesday (-55,670) George Washington was re-elected President of the USA.
19/11/1792, Monday (-55,686) The new French Republican Government offered to help any other nation that wished to overthrow its monarchy; Britain saw this as provocative.
6/11/1792, Tuesday (-55,699) (Benelux, France) The French under General Dumouriez decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jenappes, Belgium. As a result of this battle, the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) were annexed by revolutionary France.
28/10/1792, Sunday (-55,708) John Smeaton, English civil engineer who designed the third Eddystone Lighthouse, died.
27/10/1792, Saturday (-55,709) France invaded the Spanish Netherlands.
13/10/1792, Saturday (-55,723) The cornerstone of the US President’s official residence, The White House in Washington DC, designed by James Hoban, was laid.
1/10/1792, Monday (-55,735) Money Orders came into use in Britain.
30/9/1792, Sunday (-55,736) French troops took Speyer, in the Rhineland.
29/9/1792, Saturday (-55,737) The Theatre Royal, Dumfries, was founded.
25/9/1792, Tuesday (-55,741)
22/9/1792, Saturday (-55,744) This day was declared the beginning of Year One of the New French Republic. A new ‘Revolutionary Calendar’ was introduced, consisting of 12 30-day months divided into 3 10-day weeks. The months were given names corresponding to the prevailing weather or harvest conditions. An extra 5 days (6 in leap years) were added as holidays at the end of each year. This calendar ran in France until it was abolished in 1805 by Napoleon I.
21/9/1792. Friday (-55,745) France formally abolished the monarchy and declared itself a Republic.
20/9/1792, Thursday (-55,746) The Battle of Valmy. The Prussians failed to successfully attack the French, in wet marshy conditions, and retreated; the French considered it a victory.
17/9/1792, Monday (-55,749) The French Crown jewels were stolen in Paris.
22/8/1792, Wednesday (-55,775) French forces landed in Ireland.
20/8/1792, Monday (-55,777) The Prussian army took Verdun.
19/8/1792, Sunday (-55,778) The French Revolutionary Tribunals were set up.
10/8/1792, Friday (-55,787) The French mob invaded the Palace of Versailles. The French Royal Family was imprisoned. Napoleon participated in the assault on the Tuileries Palace.
5/8/1792 , Sunday (-55,792) Lord North, British Conservative and Prime Minister from 1770-82, died. His indecision led to Britain’s loss of its North American colonies.
4/8/1792, Saturday (-55,793) (1) John Burgoyne, British General who had to surrender at Saratoga in 1777 in the War of American Independence to American General Gates, died.
(2) Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Warnham.
3/8/1792, Friday (-55,794) Sir Richard Arkwright, English inventor who developed a mechanical cotton spinning process, died.
14/7/1792. Saturday (-55,814) The Prussians threatened to invade France to restore the French monarchy. However an attempted Prussian invasion of France failed.
1/6/1792, Friday (-55,857) Kentucky became the 15th State of the Union.
18/5/1792. Friday (-55,871) Russian troops invaded Poland.
17/5/1792, Thursday (-55,872) 24 merchants met in Wall Street, New York, to set up the New York Stock Exchange.
13/5/1792, Sunday (-55,876) Pope Pius IX was born.
25/4/1792. Wednesday (-55,894) The guillotine was first erected in Paris, at the Place de la Greve. It was first used to behead a highwayman called Pelletier. The guillotine had been designed to make executions more humane but swiftly became a symbol of the tyranny of the French Revolution. Beheading took less than half a second. In fact a version of the guillotine was in use in Ireland as early as 1307. During the French Revolution an estimated 40,000 people were guillotined. The last public execution in France was on 17/6/1939 and the guillotine was last officially used in France on 10/9/1977. See 20/3/1792.
24/4/1792. Tuesday (-55,895) Claude Rouget de l’Isle composed the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise.
20/4/1792. Friday (-55,899) France declared war on Austria. Austria was allied with Prussia but there was disunity between the two commanders. In 1793 England and Holland joined in against France, which was attempting to annex Belgium, an Austrian possession. Ultimately Austria received Bavaria as a compensation for Belgium going to France.
2/4/1792. Monday (-55,917) The Mint of the United States was established at Philadelphia, then the national capital. The US mint struck its first silver dollars.
29/3/1792, Thursday (-55,921) King Gustavus III of Sweden died, aged 46. He was succeeded by his son, 13-year old Gustavus IV.
20/3/1792, Tuesday (-55,930) The French legislature approved the use of the guillotine, see 25/4/1792.
16/3/1792, Friday (-55,934) (1) Tippoo Sahib, Indian Sultan who was resisting the advance of the British East India Company into Mysore, surrendered. Tippoo had studied British military tactics and so was able to resist General Charles Cornwallis for longer than other Indian rulers.
(2) Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was shot at a masked ball; he died on 29/3/1792.
11/3/1792, Sunday (-55,939) Hundreds of freed African slaves gathered beneath a 300-year-old cotton tree to celebrate the founding of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The tree had begun growing about the time slave shipments first began out of Africa.
7/3/1792. Wednesday (-55,943) Sir John Herschel, the astronomer who mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere, was born in Slough.
1/3/1792, Thursday (-55,949) Leopold III, Holy Roman Emperor, died unexpectedly, aged 44. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Francis, last of the Holy Roman Emperors.
29/2/1792, Wednesday (-55,950) Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer, was born in Pesano, on the Adriatic coast. He was the son of an itinerant horn player.
23/2/1792, Thursday (-55,956) Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, died in London.
7/2/1792, Tuesday (-55,972) Austria and Prussia signed a military alliance against France.
24/1/1792. Tuesday (-55,986) In Paris, five days of looting ended in a riot as the cost of living soared.
9/1/1792, Monday (-56,001) Russia and Turkey signed the Peace of Jassy.
8/1/1792. Sunday (-56,002) The Ottoman Turks bowed to the inevitable and accepted Catherine the Great’s Russian sovereignty over Georgia. Britain feared further Russian expansion in the Black Sea as this could threaten British Mediterranean interests.
15/12/1791, Thursday (-56,026) The US Bill of Rights was ratified by all the states, Virginia being the last State to sign.
5/12/1791, Monday (-56,036) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, died of typhus in Vienna and was buried in the common ground of St Mark’s churchyard.
4/12/1791. Sunday (-56,037) The Observer, the oldest Sunday newspaper in the UK, was first published.
21/11/1791. Monday (-56,050) The French navigator, Eteinne Marchand, set a new record for crossing the Pacific Ocean, completing the voyage in 60 days.
14/10/1791, Friday (-56,088) In Belfast, the Society of United Irishmen was set up to demand rights for Catholics.
27/9/1791. Tuesday (-56,105) France granted citizenship to its Jews.
22/9/1791, Thursday (-56,110) The chemist and physicist Michael Faraday was born at Newington Butts, London. He was the son of a blacksmith.
9/9/1791. Friday (-56,123) French Royalists took control of Arles and barricaded themselves inside the town.
4/9/1791, Sunday (-56,128) King Louis XVI was forced to approve the new French constitution, making him a mere civil servant.
27/8/1791, Saturday (-56,136) European monarchs backed King Louis XVI against the Revolution.
12/8/1791, Friday (-56,151) African slaves in Santo Domingo, in the east of the island of Hispaniola, rebelled against plantation owners.
16/7/1791, Saturday (-56,178) Louis XVI was suspended from office until he agreed to ratify the new French Constitution.
5/7/1791. Tuesday (-56,189) The first British Ambassador to the US, George Hammonds, was appointed.
21/6/1791, Tuesday (-52,203) (1) The French royal family attempted to flee Paris in disguise but were forced to return after being arrested at Varennes. The King, disguised as a valet, intended to meet supporters at Pont de Sommeville but they were delayed and the villagers got suspicious of the soldiers, who had to hide in the woods and got lost. The King pressed on to Varennes, 142 miles from Paris, where he was recognised by a horseman sent by Lafayette, head of the National Guard, to look for him. Louis’ powers were suspended by the Assembly on 25/6/1791. However Louis’ brother, the Count of Provence, did succeed in fleeing Paris for Brussels.
(2) The Ordnance Survey, Britain’s mapping service, was created. On this day a payment of £373, 14 shillings was made to Jesse Ramsden for the construction of a ‘great theodolite’, 3 feet in diameter and weighing 200 pounds (90 kilogrammes) for the purpose of making precise military maps of Britain. The need for this had been foreseen in 1763 by William Roy, amidst fears of invasion from France and a lack of reliable maps for the military. By 1784 UK-France relations had improved and cross-Channel efforts were being made to establish the longitude and latitude of Greenwich and Paris. In 1800 the first cartographical unit of the British Army, the Corps of Royal Military Draughtsmen, was formed, based at the Tower of London.
26/5/1791, Thursday (-56,229) The French Assembly forced Louis XVI to hand over the State and Crown assets.
3/5/1791, Tuesday (-56,252) Poles, seeking the rebirth of their country, declared a parliamentary constitution in Warsaw.
27/4/1791, Wednesday (-56,258) Samuel Morse, inventor of the Morse Code, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
23/4/1791, Saturday (-56,262) James Buchanan, Democrat and 15th US President, was born in Stony Batter near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the son of a farmer.
18/4/1791. Monday (-56,267) National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris. On 26/4/1791 Louis XVI was forced to hand over all the assets of the Crown to the State.
13/4/1791. Wednesday (-56,272) Pope Pius VI threatened to suspend all priests in France who have sworn allegiance to the State (see 13/1/1791) unless they recanted within 40 days.
19/3/1791, Saturday (-56,297) French and English speaking settlers in Canada were granted equal rights.
4/3/1791. Friday (-56,312) Vermont became the 14th state of the USA.
2/3/1791. Wednesday (-56,314) (1) The worlds first optical telegraph, or semaphore machine, was unveiled in Paris.
(2) John Wesley, founder of Methodism, died in London aged 87. He was born on 17/6/1703 at Epworth Rectory. His brother Charles Wesley, a hymn writer and preacher, was born on 18/12/1707 and died in 1788.
13/1/1791. Thursday (-56,362) The French Assembly introduced a universal tax on rent and property values. The requirement for French priests to swear allegiance to the State stirred up rebellion amongst the clergy.
21/12/1790, Tuesday (-56,385) American industrialist Samuel Slater opened the first cotton mill in the USA. The mill had 250 spindles and was powered by water, using a child labour force. Slater had been apprenticed to William Arkwright, from whom he learnt the textiles trade.
16/12/1790, Thursday (-56,390) Leopold I, King of the Belgians, was born.
28/10/1790, Thursday (-56,439) The Nootka Sound Convention, between Britain and Spain. Spain, claiming the entire Pacific coastline of North America, had seized four British ships at Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, Canada. Britain disputed the Spanish claim because Spain had not actually settled the coastline it claimed; at the Convention, Spain backed down, opening up the area to British settlement.
27/10/1790. Wednesday (-56,440) France adopted the decimal system of weights and measures.
6/10/1769, Wednesday (-56,461) Jacob Schweppe, a German born Swiss chemist, perfected the process for making artificial mineral water.
7/8/1790, Saturday (-56,521) Alexander McGillivray, chief of the Muskogian Indians, signed a treaty of peace and friendship with President Washington.
1/8/1790. Sunday (-56,527) The first census in the USA revealed a population of nearly 4 million.
28/7/1790, Wednesday (-56,531) The Forth and Clyde Canal opened.
22/7/1790, Thursday (-56,537) In France, the clergy were removed from the control of Rome, and Church property was nationalised.
17/7/1790, Saturday (-56,542) (1) The economist Adam Smith, who wrote The Wealth of Nations, died in Edinburgh aged 67.
(2) The sewing machine was patented by Thomas Saint, a cabinet maker of Greenhill Rents, St Sepulchre parish, London.
16/7/1790, Friday (-56,543) Washington DC was established as the seat of US Federal government.
11/7/1790, Sunday (-56,548) William Wordsworth and his friend Robert Jones set off on a walking tour of France and Switzerland.
19/6/1790. Saturday (-56,570) The French Assembly passed a law abolishing the hereditary nobility.
15/6/1790, Tuesday (-56,574) French Protestant militia massacred 300 Roman Catholics.
5/6/1790, Thursday (-56,584) Burning at the stake was officially abolished as a form of capital punishment in Britain; see 18/3/1789.
29/5/1790, Saturday (-56,591) Rhode Island became the 13th State of the Union; it is the smallest State in the USA.
8/5/1790, Saturday (-56,612) France began the process of metrication when its National Assembly approved Talleyrand’s proposal for a unified system of weights and measures.
3/5/1790, Monday (-56,617) Port Louis in Tobago was destroyed by fire.
17/4/1790. Saturday (-56,633) Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia, aged 84. He invented the life-saving lightning conductor. He was determined to pursue Puritan aims to the benefit of the common good. He also helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
10/4/1790, Saturday (-56,640) The US Congress inaugurated the American patent system.
29/3/1790, Monday (-56,652) John Tyler, American Whig and 10th President, was born in Greenway, Virginia.
8/3/1790, Monday (-56,673) The Revolutionary French Government, despite its motto of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, voted to keep slavery in its colonies.
5/3/1790, Friday (-56,676) Flora Mac Donald, the Scottish Jacobite heroine who helped Prince Charles Edward (The Younger Pretender) to escape from the island of Benbecula, died.
22/2/1790, Monday (-56,687) French soldiers landed at Fishguard, Wales, but were soon captured.
20/2/1790, Saturday (-56,689) Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, died. His reforms had provoked rebellion in Belgium and Hungary.
1/2/1790, Monday (-56,708) The US Supreme Court held its first meeting
30/1/1790. Saturday (-56,710) The world’s first purpose-built lifeboat was successfully tested at South Shields, Tyneside, England. The boat, ‘The Original’, went on to give 40 years service.
23/1/1790, Saturday (-56,717) Fletcher Christian and other mutineers burned The Bounty and settled on Pitcairn Island.
21/1/1790, Thursday (-56,719) (Morals, France) In Paris, Dr Joseph Ignace Guillotin demonstrated to the National Assembly of Paris a new machine for ‘humane’ executions using a heavy blade falling on the victim’s neck.
20/1/1790, Wednesday (-56,720) John Howard, prison reformer, died.
8/1/1790, Friday (-56,732) George Washington gave the first State of the Union Address.
26/11/1789. Thursday (-56,775) Thanksgiving was celebrated across America for the first time. In 1621 the native Americans had taught early Plymouth settlers how to tap the maple trees for sap and how to plant the Indian corn. The harvest was very successful and the Pilgrims found they had enough food to see them through the winter. The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving to be shared by all colonists and invited the Indians to join them for three days. During the American Revolution of the late 1770s, a Day of National Thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress and was celebrated nationwide in 1789. Since then each President has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday in November as the holiday.
21/11/1789, Saturday (-56,780) North Carolina became the 12th State of the Union.
18/11/1789, Wednesday (-56,783) Louis Daguerre, French artist and pioneer of photography, was born near Paris.
21/10/1789, Wednesday (-56,811) Martial law was imposed in Paris after a baker was killed by the mob, accused of hoarding bread.
5/10/1789, Monday (-56,827) Parisian women, frustrated by bread shortages, marched on Versailles to demand the King move to Paris, where he could be monitored more closely.
2/9/1789, Tuesday (-56,861) The US Department of the Treasury was established.
27/8/1789, Thursday (-56,866) The new French regime (French National Assembly) drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen.
26/8/1789. Wednesday (-56,867) Miners in the Pyrenees protested against their working conditions.
4/8/1789, Tuesday (-56,889) The feudal system was abolished in France. Peasants attacked their landlords.
27/7/1789, Monday (-56,897) Thomas Jefferson was made head of the new US Department of Foreign Affairs.
22/7/1789, Wednesday (-56,902) A revolutionary mob murdered the Bailiff of Paris.
14/7/1789. Tuesday (-56,910) Fall of the Bastille, Paris. It was stormed by the citizens of Paris and burned to the ground, at the start of the French Revolution. From 16/7/1789 the French nobility began to flee France. The Bastille had been built in 1369, and designed by Hugues Aubriot (died 1383). At dawn on the 14/7/1789 the mob had stormed Les Invalides, hoping to find arms to repulse an expected attack by soldiers loyal to King Louis XVI. They found 32,000 rifles but no ammunition; a rumour spread that the ammunition was at the Bastille. The Bastille was guarded by 80 soldiers deemed unfit for front-line duties, reinforced by 30 Swiss Guards, and with cannon. Neither the prison governor nor the army showed much will to fight the mob. Seven prisoners within were released.
12/7/1789, Sunday (-56,912) Fires burnt in Paris after two days of rioting.
11/7/1789, Saturday (-56,913) The Marquis de Lafayette presented the Declaration of Human Rights to the French National Assembly.
30/6/1789, Tuesday (-56,924) The revolutionary mob in Paris attacked the Abbaye prison.
20/6/1789, Saturday (-56,934) The French Revolution began. See 5/5/1798. The Third Estate, excluded from Versailles, formed a new assembly at a tennis court nearby, to oppose the dominance of the aristocracy.
18/6/1789, Thursday (-56,936) Austrian troops occupied Brussels.
17/6/1789, Wednesday (-56,937) In France, the Third Estate constituted itself as the French National Assembly. The Third Estate was the commoners, after the Clergy and the Nobility. These last two Estates, under 3% of the population, owned 40% of the land. They were also exempt from taxes, placing an undue tax burden on the middle classes.
14/6/1789, Sunday (-56,940) Captain Bligh, cast adrift from The Bounty with 18 men, arrived at Timor, near Java, having sailed his small boat for 3,618 miles.
4/6/1789, Thursday (-56,950) The Dauphin Louis, heir to King Louis XVI, died aged 7.
12/5/1789, Tuesday (-56,973) William Wilberforce made his first speech with the House of Commons.
5/5/1789, Tuesday (-56,980) The French King opened the States General Assembly at Versailles. The French middle class wanted to break down the monopoly of power and wealth held by the aristocracy. The French King felt insecure because of the unpopularity of his Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette, the bankruptcy of the French Treasury, and the increasingly democratic mood of the French Army following on from the American Declaration of Independence. See 20/6/1789.
France had also suffered humiliation in the Seven Years War (1756-630, losing to Britain; France had lost her North American colonies, and bad harvests in 1788 and 1789 had almost doubled the price of bread.
30/4/1789. Thursday (-56,985) General George Washington inaugurated as first president of the United States, on the balcony of New York City’s federal Hall. John Adams was installed as Vice-President (see 7/1/1789 and 17/3/1776). The United States was federated on 4/3/1789.
28/4/1789. Tuesday (-56,987) (1) 300 workers at the Reveillon wallpaper factory were killed when troops opened fire on rioters there. The protest was over proposed pay cuts. France had been in financial crisis for months now, the state overburdened by an expensive aristocracy and clergy. On 22/5/1789 the nobility joined with the clergy in giving up their financial privileges.
(2) The Mutiny on The Bounty. The ship’s captain, Captain Bligh, and 17 others were set adrift in an open boat near The Friendly Isles; they eventually reached Timor, Java, on 14/6/1789. Captain Bligh, born 1754, died on 7/12/1817 in London . His severe discipline on board had provoked the mutiny. The mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island.
7/4/1791, Tuesday (-57,008) Selim III (1761-1808) became Sultan of Ottoman Turkey.
18/3/1789, Wednesday (-57,028) Catherine (Christian) Murphy (Bowman) became the last person in Britain to be executed by burning at the stake (see 5/5/1790). She had been convicted of ‘coining’ (forgery), which was punished severely as a form of treason.
12/3/1789, Thursday (-57,034) The United States Post Office was established.
4/3/1789, Wednesday (-57,042) The Constitution of the United States came into force. The first US Congress was held in New York with 59 members, each representing a district of some 30,000 people.
7/1/1789. Wednesday (-57,098) The first national elections were held in the USA, and George Washington was elected President.
14/12/1788, Sunday (-57,122) Charles IV (1748-1819) became King of Spain.
1/10/1788, Wednesday (-57,196) William Brodie was hanged in Edinburgh. His career inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
30/9/1788, Tuesday (-57,197) Lord Raglan, the Field Marshall responsible for the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, was born at Badminton, Gloucestershire.
13/9/1788. Saturday (-57,214) New York became the Federal capital of the new United States of America.
22/8/1788, Friday (-57,236) The British settlement of Sierra Leone was founded, for the purpose of providing a home for freed slaves and homeless Africans from England.
2/8/1788. Saturday (-57,256) The painter Thomas Gainsborough, born 14/5/1727, died.
26/7/1788. Saturday (-57,263) New York became the 11th state of the Union.
10/7/1788. Saturday (-57,279) Mozart completed his Jupiter Symphony. Born on 27/1/1756, Mozart died on 5/12/1791 from typhus and was buried in a pauper’s grave with several other paupers.
25/6/1788, Wednesday (-57,294) Virginia became the 10th State of the Union.
21/6/1788, Saturday (-57,298) (1) The American Constitution legally came into force, after ratification by a ninth State..
(2) King Gustavus III of Sweden invaded Russian Finland, without declaring war first.
(3) New Hampshire became the 9th State of the Union.
23/5/1788, Friday (-57,327) South Carolina became the 8th State of the Union.
11/5/1778, Sunday (-57,339) William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister, Earl of Chatham, died at Hayes, Middlesex.
3/5/1788. Saturday (-57,347) The first evening newspaper, the Star and Evening Advertiser, was published in London.
28/4/1788, Monday (-57,352) Maryland became the 7th State of the Union.
29/3/1788. Saturday (-57,382) The evangelist Charles Wesley, younger brother of John Wesley, died. He wrote over 5,000 hymns.
21/3/1788. Friday (-57,390) A major fire destroyed nearly all of New Orleans, USA.
6/2/1788, Wednesday (-57,434) Massachusetts became the 6th State of the Union.
5/2/1788, Tuesday (-57,435) Sir Robert Peel, British Tory Prime Minister and founder of the Metropolitan Police Force, was born at Bury in Lancashire, the son of a cotton millionaire.
31/1/1788, Thursday (-57,440) Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), the Young Pretender and leader of the Jacobite Rebellion, aimed at deposing King George II, died in exile in Rome.
26/1/1788, Saturday (-57,445) The first batch of British convicts arrived at Sydney Cove, Australia. They came aboard the HMS Endeavour, captained by Arthur Phillip; 570 men and 160 women were the survivors of a 36-week voyage from England on which the pox had killed 48 of the prisoners. Captain Phillip was to administer the penal colony. See 18/1/1788.
22/1/1788, Tuesday (-57,449) George Gordon, or Lord Byron, was born in London.
18/1/1788. Friday (-57,453) A penal settlement was established at Botany Bay, Australia. The first convicts arrived on 26/1/1788. The option of sending its prisoners to America was no longer open to Britain.
9/1/1788, Wednesday (-57,462) Connecticut became the 5th state of the Union.
2/1/1788, Wednesday (-57,469) Georgia became the 4th State of the Union.
18/12/1787, Tuesday (-57,484) New Jersey became the 3rd State of the Union.
17/12/1787, Monday (-57,485) HMS Bounty, commended by William Bligh, set sail from for the South Seas.
12/12/1787, Wednesday (-57,490) Pennsylvania became the 2nd State of the Union.
7/12/1787, Friday (-57,495) Delaware, the Diamond or First State, achieved Statehood.
29/11/1787. Thursday (-57,503) Louis XVI of France promulgated an Edict of Tolerance, allowing civil status to Protestants.
21/11/1787. Wednesday (-57,511) Sir Samuel Cunard, Canadian ship owner, was born in Nova Scotia. He came to Britain in 1838 and, with two partners, established what came to be known as the Cunard Line.
30/10/1787, Tuesday (-57,533) William Wilberforce first met with the London Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
17/9/1787, Monday (-57,576) The constitution of the United States of America was signed.
10/8/1787. Friday (-57,614) Mozart completed his famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
27/7/1787, Friday (-57,628) The Theatre Royal, Margate, was founded.
25/5/1787. Friday (-57,691) The Philadelphia Convention, headed by George Washington, began drawing up the USA Constitution. On 17/9/1787 the Constitution was agreed by 39 out of 42 delegates.
22/5/1787, Tuesday (-57,694) The London Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded by Thomas Clarkson.
13/5/1787, Sunday (-57,703) A fleet of 11 ships consisting of 2 two men 3 stores ships, and 6 convict transporters with some 730 convicts set sail from England for Australia under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. The journey lasted until January 1788. The convicts disembarked at Sydney Cove, minus 40 who had died on the voyage.
16/3/1787, Friday (-57,761) Georg Simon Ohm, German scientist, was born in Bavaria. In 1827 he discovered the laws of electric current.
22/2/1787, Thursday (-57,783) France was nearly bankrupt, with a national debt of UK£ 800 million.
25/1/1787, Thursday (-57,811) An abortive attempt to seize the US arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts.
9/9/1786. Saturday (-57,949) George Washington called for the abolition of slavery.
25/8/1786, Friday (-57,964) Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, was born.
17/8/1786. Thursday (-57,972) Frederick the Great, military leader and King of Prussia since 1740, died in Potsdam, aged 74. Under his rule Prussia grew from under 46,000 square miles to over 71,000 square miles, and its population rose from 2.2 million to 5.8 million. Prussia had a standing army of 200,000, well armed and disciplined. Britain often gave financial aid to Prussia, in its wars against France and Austria.
8/8/1786, Tuesday (-57,981) Mont Blanc, 4,807 metres high, was conquered by a local man, Dr Michel Gabriel Paccard of Chamonix, along with his porter Jacques Balmat.
24/2/1786, Friday (-58,146) Wilhelm Grimm, German collector of fairy tales along with his brother Jacob, was born in Hanau.
2/11/1785, Wednesday (-58,260) The first unsinkable lifeboat was patented by Lionel Lukin, a London coachbuilder.
23/5/1785, Monday (58,423) Benjamin Franklin announced his invention of bifocals.
9/5/1785. Monday (-58,437) Joseph Bramah patented the beer pump handle.
27/3/1785, Sunday (-58,480) King Louis XVII of France was born.
19/1/1785, Wednesday (-58,547) The first balloon ascent in Ireland was made, from Ranelagh Gardens, Dublin.
7/1/1785. Friday (-58,559) Jean-Pierre Blanchard, and his sponsor, the American Dr John Jefferies, made the first hot air balloon crossing of the English Channel from Dover to Calais.
4/1/1785, Tuesday (-58,562) Jacob Grimm, older of the two German brothers famous for fairy tales, was born in Hanau.
1/1/1785. Saturday (-58,565) The Daily Universal Register was first published by John Walter. It was renamed The Times in 1788.
13/12/1784. Monday (-58,584) Samuel Johnson, born 18/9/1709, died. Aged 75, he had lived in near-poverty for many years but from 1762 was granted a Crown Pension of £3,000 a year. He is best remembered for his comprehensive dictionary, which took him eight years to complete.
24/11/1784, Wednesday (-58,603) Zachary Taylor, American Whig and 12th President, was born in Orange County, Virginia.
20/10/1784, Wednesday (-58,638) Lord Palmerston was born at 20, Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster as Henry John Temple.
17/10/1784. Sunday (-58,641) Napoleon, aged 15, entered the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He graduated a year later, coming 42nd out of 58.
14/10/1784, Thursday (-58,644) Ferdinand VII, King of Spain, was born.
21/9/1784. Tuesday (-58,667) The first successful daily American newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, appeared.
15/9/1784, Wednesday (-58,673) The first hydrogen balloon ascent from London was made.
8/9/1784, Wednesday (-58,680) Ann Lee, religious leader and founder of the US sect of the Shakers, died.
13/8/1784, Friday (-58,706) The East India Act put the Company under a board of control to manage its revenue and administration.
2/8/1784. Monday (-58,717) The first specially constructed mail coach ran in Britain, from Bristol. to London.
20/5/1784, Thursday (-58,791) Peace of Versailles, between England and Holland.
3/4/1784, Saturday (-58,838) The British Parliament passed the India Act, to make the British East India Company more accountable.
28/2/1784. Saturday (-58,873) John Wesley signed the Deed of Declaration of the Wesleyan faith.
19/12/1783, Friday (-58,944) William Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister.
9/12/1783, Tuesday (-58,954) The first executions at London’s Newgate Prison.
1/12/1783, Monday (-58,962) Jacques Charles flew a 28-foot diameter hydrogen balloon made of silk, coated with rubber to make it airtight. It flew 27 miles from its start in Paris.
25/11/1783. Tuesday (-58,968) British troops evacuated from New York.
21/11/1783. Friday (-58,972) Man’s first free flight was made by Jean De Rosier and the Marquis D’Arlandes in the hot air balloon, the Montgolfier They travelled five miles in 25 minutes, reaching a height of 500 feet before landing safely near the Luxembourg Wood. On 4/6/1783 they had constructed an unmanned prototype, based on the ideas of the 14th century Augustinian monk, Albert of Saxony, and the 17th century priest, Francesco de Luna. On 17/10/1783 Pilatre de Rozier rose 84 feet in a hot air balloon before it reached the end of its tether. On 1/12/1783 the Montgolfier’s rivals Charles, and Robert ascended in a hydrogen balloon. On 27/8/1783 Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles, a member of the French Academy of Science, had launched a prototype hydrogen balloon.
7/11/1783. Friday (-58,986) The last hanging was held at Tyburn, west London. John Austin, convicted of forgery, was executed. An estimated 50,000 had been executed at Tyburn.
15/10/1783, Wednesday (-59,009) Francois Pilatre de Rozier made the world’s manned first flight, in a tethered balloon.
17/9/1783, Wednesday (-59,037) In France, King Louis XVI watched as two French papermakers, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier, sent a large hot air balloon into the sky with a sheep, a rooster and a duck on board. The balloon reached 1500 feet and landed a mile away; the rooster was killed but the sheep and duck survived unharmed.
2/9/1783 Tuesday (-59,052) Britain recognised the United States by signing the Treaty of Paris, thus ending the American War of Independence. By this treaty northern Florida was ceded by Britain to the USA but on the same day Britain had signed the Treaty of Versailles, ceding west Florida to Spain. This caused controversy for some year until the Treaty of Madrid in 1795 in which Spain ceded lands east of the Mississippi to the USA. The Spanish also regained Minorca from the British, and France got Senegal and Tobago from Britain. However in Senegal the British retained the Gambia river valley. Britain also paid a war indemnity of £10 million.
Britain had sent a force of 60,000 men to fight a much larger population on their own ground, when Holland, France and Spain had sided with the opposition.
27/8/1783, Wednesday (-59,058) Jacques Cesar Charles, a rival hot air balloon maker to Montgolfier who preferred hydrogen to hot air, launched his balloon. It drifted 15 miles from Paris to Gonesse where it was hacked to pieces by frightened peasants; it expired with much hissing.
24/7/1783, Thursday (-59,092) Simon Bolivar, South American revolutionary and liberator of South America from Spanish colonial rule, was born in Caracas, capital of Venezuela.
25/6/1783, Wednesday (-59,121) Lavoisier announced that water was the combustion product of oxygen and hydrogen.
8/6/1783, Sunday (-59,138) The Laki Volcano in Iceland erupted; the world’s largest volcanic eruption. One fifth of Iceland’s inhabitants, over 10,000 people, died as a 28km long fissure opened up, from which lava covered an area of 570 square kilometres. Some 12-15 cubic kilometres of lava were ejected. Deaths were from poisonous gases then from famine and disease as three quarters of Iceland’s livestock also perished.
5/6/1783, Thursday (-59,141) The Montgolfier Brothers flew the first hot air balloon. Unmanned, it ascended to 2,000 metres and remained there for ten minutes.
23/5/1783, Friday (-59,154) James Otis, US patriot (born 5/2/1725), died from a lightning strike.
22/5/1783, Thursday (-59,155) William Sturgeon, English scientist who made the first practical electromagnet, was born in Whittington, Lancashire.
11/5/1783, Sunday (-59,166) The first British-loyalist refugees from the newly-independent United States of America arrived at the estuary of the St John’s River, Canada, having set sail from New York on 16/4/1783. They founded the city of St Johns.
3/5/1783. Saturday (-59,174) Katherine II of Russia, who was thought of as an enlightened monarch by Europeans, officially introduced serfdom in the Ukraine.
19/4/1783, Saturday (-59,188) US Congress officially proclaimed victory in the War of Independence.
3/4/1783, Thursday (-59,204) Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle, was born.
24/2/1783, Monday (-59,242) The British Parliament voted to discontinue the American War.
6/2/1783. Thursday (-59,260) (1) English landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown died. Kew Gardens and Blenheim Palace are examples of his work.
(2) The siege of Gibraltar ended.
5/12/1782, Thursday (-59,323) Martin van Buren, US Democrat and 8th President, was born in Kinderhook, New York State, the son of a farmer.
10/11/1782. Sunday (-59,348) The Americans massacred the British-backed Shawnee Indians. 1,000 Kentucky riflemen fired unremittingly on them, and destroyed their food stockpiles.
27/10/1782. Sunday (-59,362) Birth of the Italian composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini, in Genoa.
29/8/1782, Thursday (-59,421) At Spithead, a prime ship of the British Navy, the Royal George, sank with the loss of 900 lives. Launched in 1756, she was one of only 3 100-gun ships in the navy. An enquiry began as to whether she sank due to rotten timbers or due to her being heeled over so far that water entered her lower gunports.
24/8/1782, Saturday (-59,426) David Tyrie, having been found guilty of spying for the French, became the last person in Britain to be executed by hanging, drawing and quartering, at Portsmouth.
10/6/1782, Monday (-59,501) The Grand Theatre, Lancaster, was founded.
21/4/1782, Sunday (-59,551) Friedrich Froebel, German educational pioneer who established the first Kindegartens, was born in Oberweissbach.
12/4/1782, Friday (-59,560) Admiral Rodney defeated a French fleet off the West Indies in the Battle of the Saints; named after the nearby Saints islands. This was during the War of American Independence.
6/4/1782, Saturday (-59,566) Chao P’ya Chakri founded the Chakri Dynasty in Siam, ruling as King Rama I. He made Bangkok the capital.
20/3/1782, Wednesday (-59,583) Lord North left office as Prime Minister.
17/3/1782, Sunday (-59,586) The Swiss physicist Edward Bernoulli died.
27/2/1782. Wednesday (-59,604) The UK Parliament rejected Lord North’s appeal to continue the American War. Lord North resigned on 19/3/1782 and was replaced by Lord Rockingham.
5/2/1782, Tuesday (-59,626) Spain captured Minorca from Britain.
29/11/1781, Thursday (-59,694) The slave ship Zong sighted land in the West Indies (see 6/9/1781). Collingwood, the ship’s Master, told his officers there was insufficient water for them and all the slaves on board. Dysentery had also plagued the ship on its voyage from Liverpool, killing 60 slaves and 7 crew. Collingwood said if the slaves died of thirst the ship’s owners would bear the loss but if they were thrown overboard the loss would be covered under insurance as a legal jettison. The weakest 132 slaves were picked out; 54 were thrown overboard that day, 42 the next day, and a further 26 were handcuffed and thrown overboard a few days later. A further ten jumped overboard before they were thrown. On 22/12/1781 the Zong docked at Kingston, Jamaica; the remaining slaves were sold and Collingwood returned to England, and claimed £30 each for the 132 ‘jettisoned’ slaves. The insurers refused to pay, and the first trial ruled in favour of Collingwood, saying ‘it was the same as if horses had been thrown overboard’. The insurers appealed to the Court of Exchequer and Lord Mansfield, judge, ruled otherwise. He said that although the law supported Collingwood, a higher principle applied; distinguishing between ‘law’ and justice’ he ruled in this ‘shocking case’ against Collingwood. Mansfield’s ruling was the first in an English Court that a slave was not simply merchandise.
1/11/1781. Thursday (-59,722) Austria abolished serfdom, and gave all citizens the right of marriage, free movement, and instruction in any handicraft. This initially applied to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; to Galicia soon after, and to Hungary in 1785. Landowners had certain rights remaining, such as corvee, but these were reduced by later laws.
19/10/1781. Friday (-59,735) British forces under Lord Cornwallis, 7,000 soldiers, surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. This was a combined force of Americans and their French allies. This ended the American War of Independence.
6/9/1781, Thursday (-59,778) The slave ship Zong left Liverpool, with Luke Collingwood as its Master, with 400 slaves and 17 crew, see 29/11/1781.
5/9/1781, Wednesday (-59,779) Battle of Chesapeake Bay, USA, between British and French fleets. The British were defeated by De Grasse Tilly, facilitating a siege of British forces at Yorktown.
4/9/1781. Tuesday (-59,780) In California, the Spanish founded a tiny village near San Gabriel. They called it Los Angeles.
30/8/1781, Thursday (-59,785) A French fleet commanded by De Grasse Tilly arrived in Chesapeake Bay.
6/7/1781, Friday (-59,840) General Cornwallis defeated General Lafayette at Jamestown Road, Virginia.
1/7/1781, Sunday (-59,845) In India, British troops defeated Haidar Ali at Porto Novo.
9/6/1781, Saturday (-59,867) George Stephenson, inventor of The Rocket, was born in Wylam on Tyne, near Newcastle. He was the son of a colliery engine-keeper.
6/6/1781. Wednesday (-59,870) Dutch Boer settlers in South Africa massacred black Xhosa tribesmen for the third time in three years. Dutch settlers were expanding eastwards, and successfully enslaving or driving away the Khoisan tribes, but the Xhosa put up more resistance.
13/3/1781. Tuesday (-59,955) Astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. He called it Georgium Sidus (George’s Star) in honour of King George III.
1/3/1781, Thursday (-59,967) The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were ratified by all US States.
16/2/1781, Friday (-59,980) Rene Laennec, French doctor who invented and named the stethoscope, was born in Quimper, Brittany.
3/2/1781. Saturday (-59,993) Having declared war on the Dutch (see 20/11/1780), the British captured from the Dutch the island of St Eustatius.
5/1/1781, Friday (-60,022) John Burke, British genealogist who founded Burkes Peerage (first published 1826) was born.
1/1/1781. Monday (-60,026) The first wholly iron bridge in the world was opened at Ironbridge, Shropshire, consisting of a 100 foot span across the Severn. In 1755 an iron bridge had been planned across the Rhone at Lyons but owing to the high cost only one span was made of iron; the others of wood.
23/12/1780. Saturday (-60,035) France was suffering a deepening financial crisis, in part caused by the costs of supporting the Americans against Britain.
29/11/1780. Wednesday (-60,059) Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, died in Vienna.
20/11/1780. Monday (-60,068) Britain declared war on Holland, one of the members of the League of Armed Neutrality. This League had been set up on 28/2/1780 by Czarina Catherine II of Russia, after complaints that the British navy was attacking other country’s ships indiscriminately whether they were involved in the American War on Independence or not.
7/10/1780, Saturday (-60,112) Battle of Kings Mountain. A force of 900 from North Carolina defeated 900 pro-British militia.
2/10/1780, Monday (-60,117) John Andre (see 23/9/1780) was executed as a spy.
23/9/1780, Saturday (-60,126) During the War of American Independence, British agent John Andre, carrying information that Benedict Arnold was about to surrender West Point, was captured by American forces.
16/8/1780, Wednesday (-60,164) Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
2/6/1780, Friday (-60,239) The Gordon Riots, anti-Catholic ‘No Popery’ demonstrations named after Lord George Gordon, broke out in London. Lord Gordon had called his supporters to St Georges Fields and led them to protest against removal of some restrictions on Roman Catholics under the Catholic Relief Act of 1778.
1/6/1780, Thursday (-60,240) Karl von Clausewitz, military strategist, was born, in Burg, near Magdeburg, Prussia.
21/5/1780. Sunday (-60,251) Elizabeth Fry, prison reformer, was born in Norwich. She was the daughter of a Quaker banker, John Gurney.
12/5/1780. Friday (-60,260) Charleston, in South Carolina, surrendered with 5,000 American troops to the British under Major Benjamin Lincoln.
4/5/1780. Thursday (-60,268) The first Derby horse race was run, at Epsom.
2/5/1780. Tuesday (-60,270) Louis XVI sent 6,000 men to New England to reinforce the American forces against the British. On 11/5/1780 the Americans began negotiating with Spain to get support; France had been pressurising Spain to support the Americans.
28/4/1780, Friday (-60,274) The first advertisement for an abortion clinic appeared on the back page of London’s Morning Post. The address was 23, Fleet Street, London
26/3/1780. Sunday (-60,307) The first Sunday newspaper in Britain was published; the British Gazette and Sunday Monitor.
16/1/1780. Sunday (-60,377) British troops under Admiral Rodney defeated the Spanish, destroying all but four ships of their fleet, at Cape St Vincent. This temporarily lifted the siege of Gibraltar.
18/12/1779, Saturday (-60,406) Joseph Grimaldi, English clown who invented the white face make up for clowns, was born.
9/10/1779. Saturday (-60,476) The first Luddite riots began in Manchester against the introduction of machinery for spinning cotton.
23/9/1779. Thursday (-60,492) American privateers on the Bonhomme Richard, captained by John Paul Jones, captured the British warship, the Serapis, after a great battle off the English coast at Flamborough Head, Yorkshire. This was during the war of the American Revolution.
10/8/1779. Tuesday (-60,536) Louis XVI freed the last remaining serfs on royal land.
1/8/1779, Sunday (-60,545) Francis Scott Kay, US poet who wrote The Star Spangled Banner, which became the official US national anthem in 1931, was born in Carroll County, Maryland.
16/6/1779, Wednesday (-60,591) The siege of Gibraltar began.
15/5/1779. Saturday (-60,623) Napoleon, aged 9, entered the Military School at Brienne.
13/5/1779, Thursday (-60,625) At the Peace of Teschen, Austria made peace with Frederick of Prussia. Austria received a small part of Bavaria, the Innvertiel, and renounced all claims to the Bavarian inheritance.
12/4/1779. Monday (-60,656) A secret treaty was signed at Aranjuez, whereby Spain agreed to help France in supporting the American rebels against the British. See 16/1/1780.
14/2/1779. Sunday (-60,713) Explorer Captain James Cook, born 27/10/1728, stabbed to death at Keelakekeua Bay by natives of Owyhee, the modern Hawaii. See 28/4/1770, 18/1/1778.
5/2/1779. Friday (-60,722) American troops recaptured the fort at Vincennes from the British.
20/1/1779, Wednesday (-60,738) David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
18/1/1779, Monday (-60,740) Peter Mark Roget, author of Roget’s Thesaurus, was born.
29/12/1778. Tuesday (-60,760) The British captured Savannah, the capital of Georgia.
17/12/1778, Thursday (-60,772) Sir Humphrey Davy, inventor of the miner’s safety lamp, was born in Penzance (died 1829). He was the son of a woodcarver. He also discovered the elements sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium, potassium and strontium by passing electricity through molten metal compounds.
6/12/1778, Sunday (-60,783) Joseph Gay-Lussac, French scientist, was born in St Leonard.
1/11/1778, Sunday (-60,818) Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, was born.
3/8/1778. Monday (-60,908) La Scala opera house in Milan opened, the work of Guiseppe Piermarini.
1/8/1778. Saturday (-60,910) The first savings bank opened, in Hamburg.
27/7/1778, Monday (--60,915) The Battle of Ushant, between Britain and France.
10/7/1778. Friday (-60,932) In support of the American rebels, France declared war on Britain. In December 1778 Louis XIV issued a loan of 80 million livres; France ran up a large deficit supporting the American rebels.
2/7/1778. Thursday (-60,940) Jean Jacques Rousseau, the French political philosopher born in Geneva on 28/6/1712, died insane in Ermenonville.
28/6/1778. Sunday (-60,944) The British were defeated by George Washington at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey.
7/6/1778. Sunday (-60,965) Beau Brummel was born in London, as George Bryan Brummell. Although he became a leader of fashion and a friend of the Prince Regent, he died destitute in France, aged 64, through gambling and extravagance.
30/5/1778. Saturday (-60,973) The writer and philosopher Voltaire died aged 84. His real name was Francois Marie Arouet.
11/5/1778. Monday (-60,992) The statesman William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham, died at Hayes, Middlesex.
22/4/1778, Wednesday (-61,011) James Hargreaves, inventor of the ‘spinning jenny’ in 1764, died in Nottingham.
5/3/1778, Thursday (-61,059) Thomas Arne, English composer, died in London.
6/2/1778, Friday (-61,086) France recognised the independence of the United States.
22/1/1778, Thursday (-61,101) Lord Byron, English romantic poet, was born in London
18/1/1778. Sunday (-61,105) Captain James Cook discovered Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands. Having sailed from the Cape of Good Hope in 1776, Cook’s plan was to sail through the Bering Straits and attempt to find a north-east route between Europe and the Pacific from the eastern side. See 14/2/1779.
10/1/1778, Saturday (-61,113) Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who devised the modern system of naming and classifying plants, died in Uppsala.
23/12/1777. Tuesday (-61,131) (1) Tsar Alexander I, who defeated Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, was born.
(2) A plot to overthrow General Washington was discovered and its leader executed.
17/12/1777. Wednesday (-61,137) Louis XIV recognised the independence of the American colonies. On 6/2/1778 France signed a trade agreement with the United States and entered the war against Britain. This was the result of negotiations by Benjamin Franklin, who was effectively the permanent American ambassador at Versailles.
17/10/1777. Friday (-61,198) At the Battle of Saratoga, American troops under General Horatio Gates defeated British troops under John Burgoyne, during the War of American Independence. The British Army surrendered and signed a Convention that they were to be disarmed and sent back to Britain. This major defeat made Britain evacuate all bases but New York and Rhode Island, and concentrate on gaining support in the southern States. France was encouraged by Saratoga to back the Americans, and their alliance with them in February 1778 escalated a colonial dispute into a clash of European Empires.
4/10/1777. Saturday (-61,211) George Washington was defeated by the British at Germanstown. George Washington’s attack was foiled by fog, throwing the attacking columns into confusion.
26/9/1777. Friday (-61,219) British troops launched a major offensive and captured Philadelphia.
11/9/1777, Thursday (-61,234) At the Battle of Brandywine Creek, British troops under General Howe defeated American forces under George Washington; however they failed to follow up this success.
16/8/1777, Saturday (-61,260) The Battle of Bennington, Vermont. Britain defeated by Captain Stark.
8/7/1777, Tuesday (-61,299) Vermont became the first US State to adopt a constitution banning slavery
14/6/1777, Saturday (-61,323) The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the flag of the USA.
20/5/1777. Tuesday (-61,348) The world’s first iron boat was launched into the River Foss near York. She was a 12’ long pleasure craft capable of carrying 15 persons.
30/4/1777, Wednesday (-61,368) Carl Friedrich Gauss, scientist, was born. His father, Gerhard Gauss, was a labourer and bricklayer, and his mother, Dorothea Gauss, was a maid.
24/2/1777, Monday (-61,433) Joseph I, King of Portugal, died.
13/2/1777. Thursday (-61,444) In Paris, the Marquis de Sade was arrested, and later condemned to death. However he escaped from prison before the execution.
3/1/1777. Friday (-61,485) George Washington defeated the British under Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton, in the War of American Independence.
31/12/1776. Tuesday (-61,488) The American, Benjamin Franklin, arrived in Paris to negotiate French aid for the American rebels.
26/12/1776, Thursday (-61,493) The Battle of Trenton. Major victory for Washington, who took 1,000 prisoners.
16/11/1776, Saturday (-61,533) British forces captured Fort Washington.
28/10/1776, Monday (-61,552) Battle of White Plains; General Howe defeated General Washington.
3/10/1776. Thursday (-61,577) The American Congress borrowed 5 million dollars to halt the rapid depreciation of paper currency, which was being printed to finance the revolution. Fighting against the British continued.
24/9/1776. Tuesday (-61,586) The oldest of the classic horse races, the St Leger, was first run at Doncaster.
22/9/1776, Sunday (-61,588) The US patriot Nathan Hale was found hanged in New York City by the British, for being a spy during the American Revolutionary War.
21/9/1776, Saturday (-61,589) The British captured Nathan Hale, 21-year old US Army Captain, who had been spying on the British in Long Island. He also started numerous fires in New York to create confusion amongst the British.
15/9/1776, Sunday (-61,595) The British under General Howe occupied New York, and narrowly missed capturing General Washington.
9/9/1776. Monday (-61,601) American Congress changed the name of the United Colonies to the United States.
6/9/1776, Friday (-61,604) The US pioneered the use of the submarine for military purposes. David Bushnell’s Connecticut Turtle, a pear-shaped 2 metre long wooden vessel dived under British ships in New York Harbour in an attempt to bore holes with an augur and plant explosives, However the British ships had copper bottoms and the attempt was futile.
27/8/1776, Tuesday (-61,614) The Battle of Long Island. General Howe’s army, 20,000 regular soldiers, defeated 8,000 colonials under General Israel Putnam.
2/8/1776. Friday (-61,639) Formal signing of America’s Declaration of Independence. See 4/7/1776.
11/7/1776. Thursday (-61,661) Explorer Captain James Cook set sail from Plymouth on his third and last voyage of discovery. He was looking for a passage around the north west side of America from the Pacific side.
4/7/1776. Thursday (-61,668) The American Declaration of Independence. See 2/8/1776. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson between 11/6/1776 and 28/6/1776 and became America’s most cherished symbol of liberty. Its political philosophy voiced the ideas of individual liberty and justified to the world the breaking of ties between the old colony and Britain. The Liberty Bell was cast to signal the Independence of the USA and was rung from the tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, calling citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell has cracked and is no longer rung but remains a tourist attraction. Firework displays on 4 July symbolise the Revolutionary war that began in 1776.
29/6/1776, Saturday (-61,673) San Francisco (Spanish for "Saint Francis") was founded, when colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named after St. Francis of Assisi a few miles away.
28/6/1776, Friday (-61,674) The British were repulsed at Charleston.
11/6/1776. Tuesday (-61,691) John Constable, landscape painter, was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk, the son of a landowner and miller.
15/5/1776, Wednesday (-61,718) Virginia declared independence from the British Empire and adopted George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was then included in a new constitution.
24/3/1776, Sunday (-61,770) John Harrison, watchmaker and inventor of the chronometer, died in London.
17/3/1776. Sunday (-61,777) George Washington forced British troops to withdraw from Boston, Massachusetts – see 5/3/1770, 16/12/1773, and 30/4/1789.
10/1/1776, Wednesday (-61,844) George Birkbeck, Professor of natural philosophy, was born in Settle, North Yorkshire. He gave unpaid lectures to working class men, and founded the London Mechanics Institute, now known as Birkbeck College, in 1824.
31/12/1775, Sunday (-61,854) An American attack on Quebec failed.
16/12/1775. Saturday (-61,869) Jane Austen was born at Steventon in Hampshire, the seventh child of eight born to a rector.
10/11/1775. Friday (-61,905) The US Marine Corps was founded.
18/10/1775, Wednesday (-61,928) The British bombarded Falmouth, now called Portland, Maine.
13/10/1775, Friday (-61,933) The Continental Congress established an American Navy, ‘Two swift sailing vessels’.
23/8/1775. Wednesday (-61,984) George III rejected an offer of peace, saying the Americans were in open rebellion against the Crown.
6/8/1775, Sunday (+62,001) Daniel O’Connell, who fought against the 1801 Act of Union between Ireland and Great Britain, was born in County Kerry. See 15/5/1847.
26/6/1775. Monday (-62,042) George Washington of Virginia arrived at Boston to take command of the American Army.
17/6/1775. Saturday (-62,051) British troops under Lord Howe defeated the rebel American colonists at Bunker Hill, near Boston, but suffered heavy losses themselves. The battle was actually fought on nearby Breeds Hill.
14/6/1775, Wednesday (-62,054) In the USA, the Second Continental Congress authorised the enlistment of ten companies of citizen soldiers; the beginning of the US Army.
12/6/1775. Monday (-62,056) General Gage imposed martial law, declared all armed colonists traitors, and offered pardons to those who swore allegiance to the Crown.
20/5/1775. Saturday (-62,079) Charlotte in North Carolina was the first place to declare Independence from Britain, the Mecklenburg Declaration.
10/5/1775, Wednesday (-62,089) Fort Ticonderooga was captured from the British by the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont.
23/4/1775, Sunday (-62,106) The painter Joseph Mallory William Turner was born at Covent Garden, London. He was the son of a barber.
19/4/1775, Wednesday (-62,110) The Battle of Lexington, the opening engagement of the War of American Independence took place. The British were marching to destroy a colonist’s arms depot near Concorde, Boston but were intercepted at Lexington. The colonists avoided a set battle with the British but harried them, guerrilla-style, from the cover of hills and trees. The British were forced to retreat.
18/4/1775, Tuesday (-62,111) Paul Revere and William Dawes rode through the night from Charlestown to Lexington to warn the Massachusetts colonists of the arrival of British forces at the start of the War of American Independence.
14/4/1775. Friday (-62,115) Benjamin Franklin and Dr Benjamin Rush formed the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held In Bondage – the first colonial anti-slavery group.
11/4/1775, Tuesday (-62,118) Birth of James Parkinson, the physician who identified Parkinson’s Disease.
22/3/1775. Wednesday (-62,138) Statesman Edmund Burke urged the House of Commons to adopt a policy of reconciliation with the Americans. However on 13/4/1775 Lord North extended the scope of the Restraining Act from New England to cover South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The Act forbade trade with any other country except Britain and Ireland and was bitterly resented by the Americans. On 14/4/1775 General Gage was ordered to implement the Coercive Acts and halt the colonial military build-up.
15/2/1775, Wednesday (-62,173) After a long conclave, Pope Pius VI (250th Pope) acceded. Formerly Cardinal Gianangelo Braschi, died 1799.
10/2/1775, Friday (-62,178) Charles Lamb, English writer, was born in The Temple, London, son of a clerk.
9/2/1775. Thursday (-62,179) The UK Parliament declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion. On 21/2/1775 Massachusetts voted to buy military equipment for 15,000 men.
22/1/1775, Sunday (-62,197) Andre Ampere French mathematician and scientist, and founder of the science of electromagnetics, was born in Lyons, son of a wealthy merchant.
6/12/1774. Tuesday (-62,244) Austria introduced the world’s first state education system.
22/11/1774, Tuesday (-62,258) Robert Clive, English soldier and Governor of India, died from an overdose of opium, shortly after being vindicated of improper behaviour regarding the East India Company.
26/10/1774. Wednesday (-62,285) A meeting of colonial leaders at Philadelphia criticised British influence in America and affirmed the American’s right to ‘life, liberty, and property’. Colonists began to step up their boycott of British goods, tarred and feathered traders and burnt their homes, and began to raise militias for a war against Britain.
10/10/1774, Monday (-62,301) The Battle of Point Pleasant. Shawnee Indians were defeated when they attacked frontiersmen on the Ohio River.
22/9/1774, Thursday (-62,319) Pope Clement XIV (249th Pope) died.
5/9/1774, Monday (-62,336) America’s first Continental Congress was convened, at Philadelphia.
1/8/1774, Monday (-62,371) British chemist Sir Joseph Priestly announced he had discovered oxygen.
16/7/1774. Saturday (-62,387) The Russians and Turks signed the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainardji, ending their six-year war. Moldavia and Wallachia were returned to Turkey and the Crimea became independent. Russia gained control of much of the northern Black Sea coast. The Sultan was allowed to remain spiritual leader of the Crimean Moslems; however Russia gained the right to build and protect an orthodox church in Istanbul. This gave Russia a pretext to intervene in Turkish internal affairs.
22/6/1774, Wednesday (-62,411) The Quebec Act received Royal Assent.
13/6/1774, Monday (-62,420) Rhode Island became the first US State to ban the importation of slaves, and to free those already in the State.
2/6/1774. Thursday (-62,431) The UK Parliament reactivated the Quartering Act (passed 24/3/1765), requiring that all British colonialists provide housing for British troops.
27/5/1774, Friday (-62,437) American community leaders met unofficially in a tavern and decided upon the need for annual inter-colonial congresses.
20/5/1774. Friday (-62,444) Because of the Boston Tea Party incident, London passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonies. Boston port is closed down and the powers of the Massachusetts legislature is reduced. The British Parliament passed the Boston Port Act, prohibiting the use by any ships, of the port of Boston, USA. This simply served to inflame the passions of American colonists against the British further in cities from Pennsylvania to New York.
10/5/1774. Tuesday (-62,454) King Louis XV of France died, aged 64, of smallpox. He had reigned for 58 years. He was succeeded by his 19-year old grandson, Louis XVI.
16/3/1774, Wednesday (-62,509) Matthew Flinders, English explorer who gave his name to the Flinders River and mountain range in Australia, was born.
30/1/1774, Sunday (-62,554) Captain Cook turned his ship back at 71 degrees south, 105 degrees west, due to heavy mist, having failed to sight any land of the ‘southern continent’. In fact he was just 75 miles off the coastline of Antarctica.
16/12/1773. Thursday (-62,599) The Boston Tea Party. See 28/10/1767, 5/3/1770 and 17/3/1776. American colonial rebels, dressed as American Indians, boarded three British tea ships anchored in Boston Harbour, opened 342 tea chests worth UK£ 9,000, and threw their contents overboard. The colonists vowed not to pay the British-imposed tax of 3 pence a pound on tea. This tax was intended to capitalise on a ‘tea mountain’ which had built up in London and threatened to bankrupt the East India Company. The East India Company faced financial problems because British demand for Indian goods exceeded Indian demand for British goods, so there was an outflow of British gold bullion, perceived to be against British interests (mercantilism). The East India Company failed to make money, whereas it had been hoped that the Company would be able to contribute to British public funds. Therefore the East India Company was given permission to export tea directly to the American colonists. In 1765 the Stamp Act was imposed by Britain to help pay for the costs of the Seven Years War; this was rejected by the American colonists. Repealed, this was replaced by the Townshend Acts, imposing duties on a range of goods including tea, lead, glass, paper and paint. In 1770 the Townshend Acts were in turn repealed, except for the Tea Tax.
6/10/1773, Wednesday (-62,670) Louis Philippe, King of France, was born.
21/7/1773, Wednesday (-62,747) The Pope dissolved the Society of Jesus. This was the result of pressure from Spain and France, where the Jesuits had been found too unbending and zealous.
9/2/1773, Tuesday (-62,909) William Henry Harrison, American Whig and 9th President, was born in Berkeley in Charles City County, Virginia.
17/1/1773. Sunday (-62,932) Captain Cook’s ship Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
1/11/1772, Sunday (-63,009) The French chemist Lavoisier announced that sulphur and phosphorus, when burned, gained weight because they had ‘absorbed air’; similarly metallic lead prepared from litharge lost weight because it had ‘lost air’. The nature of this ‘air’ was found to be oxygen in 1774 by Joseph Priestley.
21/10/1772, Wednesday (-63,020) The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was born at Ottery St Mary in Devon. He was the son of a vicar.
30/9/1772, Wednesday (-63,041) James Brindley, who built the Bridgewater, Grand Trunk (Grand Union), and Manchester Canals, died at Turnhurst in Staffordshire.
19/8/1772, Wednesday (-63,083) Gustavus III of Sweden re-established an absolute monarchy, as he removed the Riksdag’s power to legislate. However he also liberalised, abolishing torture and proclaiming the freedom of the press and of religious worship.
5/8/1772. Wednesday (-63,097) Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland. Poland lost about a third of its land and half its population. Frederick II of Prussia wanted the wedge of territory known as West Prussia separating Brandenburg from East Prussia. Catherine of Russia saw a weak Poland as an opportunity for Russian expansion. To appease Austrian concerns about an expansionist Russia, Austria was given the Polish land of Silesia.
9/6/1772, Tuesday (-63,154) The British schooner Gaspee was set on fire and destroyed by American colonists after it had run aground near Providence, Rhode Island. The schooner had been stationed to prevent a profitable smuggling trade in the region. A British investigation failed to find the culprits.
8/6/1772, Monday (-63,155) Robert Stevenson, engineer, was born.
30/4/1772, Thursday (-63,194) The first dial weighing machine was patented by John Clais in London.
19/4/1772, Sunday (-63,205) The economist David Ricardo was born.
13/4/1772, Monday (-63,211) Warren Hastings was appointed Governor of Bengal.
10/9/1771. Tuesday (-63,427) Birth of the surgeon and west African explorer Mungo Park, at Foulshiels near Selkirk. He charted the course of the River Niger.
17/8/1771. Saturday (-63,451) The Birmingham scientist Joseph Priestley discovered that oxygen is released from growing plants.
15/8/1771, Thursday (-63,453) The novelist Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh.
13/4/1771. Saturday (-63,577) Engineer and railway pioneer Richard Trevithick was born, at Illogan near Redruth, Cornwall.
13/3/1771, Wednesday (-63,608)
10/2/1771, Sunday (-63,639) Adolphus Frederick of Sweden died, aged 60, in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his 25-year old son, Gustavus III.
16/12/1770, Sunday (-63,695) Beethoven, German composer, was born in Bonn, the son of an undistinguished tenor.
14/11/1770, Wednesday (-63,727) The British explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile, at Lake Tana.
15/9/1770, Saturday (-63,787) (see 15/5/1768), Corsica formally submitted to French rule.
28/4/1770. Saturday (-63,927) Captain Cook went ashore in Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia, and claimed the land for Britain. See 14/2/1779. A penal colony was established there in 1788 but later moved to near Sydney.
20/4/1770. Friday (-63,935) (1) The first tracked vehicle was patented by Richard Lovell Edgeworth. It worked similarly to modern tanks. The idea was to overcome traction problems caused by rough or soggy ground. Far ahead of its time, the vehicle never caught on.
(2) Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay, Australia. His ship, The Endeavour, had sailed from Plymouth, England, on 26 August 1768. They originally named the bay Stingray Bay, and found it to be rich in biodiversity.
12/4/1770. Thursday (-63,943) The British Parliament repealed all the taxes on the colonies imposed by Charles Townshend except the tea tax.
7/4/1770. Saturday (-63,948) William Wordsworth was born, at Cockermouth, Cumberland. He was the son of an attorney.
5/3/1770. Monday (-63,981) British troops opened fire on a crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, killing five. A crowd had gathered to harass a sentinel on King (now State) street, and he called for help; the troops he called upon fired, killing several men. This incident, later called the Boston Massacre, contributes to the unpopularity of the British regime in America in the years before the American Revolution (see 24/3/1765). Previously, local sailors and workers had harassed British troops quartered in Boston, and the troops were ordered to open fire. See 16/12/1773 and 17/3/1776.
23/2/1770, Friday (-63,991) Izalco Volcano, El Salvador, began an eruption that lasted for several decades.
28/1/1770, Sunday (-64,017) Lord North, Earl of Guildford, became Prime Minister in Britain. To conciliate the American colonists he abolished all import duties, except the one on tea. This was to establish the British right to tax Americans, see 12/4/1770.
19/1/1770. Friday (-64,026) The Battle of Golden Hill. A group on New Yorkers called the Sons of Liberty engage British troops in pitched battle over British demands for compliance with the Quartering Act.
11/12/1769, Monday (-64,065) In London, venetian blinds were patented by Edward Beran.
7/10/1769, Saturday (-64,130) Captain Cook reached New Zealand.
25/9/1769, Monday (-64,142) The first recorded cremation in Britain. The body of Honoretta Pratt was burnt in her open grave at St Georges Burial Ground, London.
14/9/1769, Thursday (-64,153) Birth of Baron von Humboldt, German scientist who explored Central and South America, and founded the science of ecology.
15/8/1769. Tuesday (-64,183) Napoleon, Emperor of France 1804-15, was born in Ajaccio, Corsica; he died on 5/5/1821. He was the son of a lawyer. See 18/6/1815. Had he been born the previous year he would not have been French, but Genoese, see 15/5/1768.
18/6/1769, Sunday (-64,241) Viscount Castlereagh, British Foreign Secretary who played a key role in the reconstruction of Europe after the fall of Napoleon, at the Congress of Vienna, was born.
26/5/1769. Friday (-64,264) John Kay, Sir Richard Arkwright’s assistant, patented the Flying Shuttle to operate on Arkwright’s spinning frame. Arkwright was born at Preston, Lancashire, on 23/12/1732, the youngest of 13 children to a poor family. He became a barber in Bolton in around 1750. In 1767 he gave up this business to build a spinning frame. This was an improvement on Hargreave’s Spinning Jenny since it could spin threads of any degree of hardness or fineness, unlike the spinning jenny which could not spin any but fine thread. Now 20 or 30 threads could be spun with no more labour than was previously required to spin one thread.
19/5/1769, Friday (-64,271) Pope Clement XII (248th Pope) died. Pope Clement XIV (249th Pope), formerly Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli, acceded, died 1774.
29/4/1769, Saturday (-64,291) The Duke of Wellington was born in Dublin, as Arthur Wellesley.
25/4/1769, Tuesday (-64,295) Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, British engineer, was born in Hacqueville near Rouen, France.
20/4/1769, Thursday (-64,300) Pontiac, native American leader, died.
10/1/1769, Tuesday (-64,400) Michel Ney, French Army marshal, the most famous of Napoleon’s marshals, was born in Saarlouis, son of a cooper.
10/12/1768. Saturday (-64,431) The Royal Academy of Arts, London, was founded. Joshua Reynolds was the first President.
5/11/1768. Saturday (-64,466) William Johnson, the Northern Indian Commissioner, signed a treaty with the Iriquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement.
1/10/1768. Saturday (-64,501) Lord Hillsborough, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, sent two regiments to Boston to quell unrest caused by the Stamp Acts.
25/8/1768. Thursday (-64,538) Captain Cook set sail from England on board The Endeavour on his first voyage to explore the Antipodes. His 368-ton ship was 98 feet long by 29 feet wide. His mission was first to visit Tahiti to observe a transit of Venus on 3/6/1769, then to discover the theoretical ‘southern continent’ which was supposed to exist by the Classical Greeks ‘to counterbalance the northern continents’. Such a continent would provide useful colonial opportunities for Britain at a time when its North American colonies were becoming restive. After Tahiti, Cook sailed south and south west down to latitude 40 degrees south; finding no land he turned west and discovered New Zealand, whose coast he charted in six months. This exercise proved New Zealand was not the peninsula of the ‘southern continent’. By now it was March 1769 and the southern summer was ending; to return eastwards meant encountering bad weather in the Pacific. Cook therefore sailed west and encountered the east coast of Australia. Although the Dutch had visited Australia in the 17th century this part of the continent was devoid of European settlement; Cook therefore claimed the entire east coast of Australia for Britain as New South Wales. Cook then sailed along the northern coast of Australia, confirming it was a separate land from New Guinea, and returned to England in 1771.
15/5/1768. Sunday (-64,640) By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchased the island of Corsica from Genoa. Some Corsicans wanted total independence, but see 15/9/1770.
20/4/1768. Wednesday (-64,665) The painter Canaletto died in Venice. Born there in 1697, Canaletto painted many scenes of Venice before moving to England in 1746 to paint the country houses there.
12/2/1768, Friday (-64,733) Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
17/1/1768, Sunday (-64,759) Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Napoleon and King of Naples and Spain, was born on Corsica.
28/10/1767. Wednesday (-64,840) Boston led a revival of the boycott of British goods. See 16/12/1773.
11/7/1767, Saturday (-64,949) John Quincy Adams, 6th American President, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, son of John Adams, 2nd President.
25/3/1767, Wednesday (-65,057) Joachim Murat, king of Naples, was born.
15/3/1767, Sunday (-65,067) Andrew Jackson, American Democrat and 7th President from 1828 to retirement in 1837, was born in the Waxhaws district of South Carolina, son of Irish immigrants.
29/12/1766, Monday (-65,143) Charles Macintosh, inventor of waterproof fabrics, was born in Glasgow.
5/12/1766. Friday (-65,167) Christies auctioneers held their first sale.
2/11/1766, Sunday (-65,200) Joseph Radetsky, Austrian Field Marshal, was born in Trebnitz, near Tabor.
6/9/1766, Saturday (-65,257) John Dalton, English chemist was born in Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth, Cumbria, the son of a Quaker weaver.
30/5/1766, Friday (-65,356) The oldest theatre still in use in Britain, the ‘Royal;’ in Bristol, was opened.
4/3/1766. Tuesday (-65,443) Parliament repealed the Stamp Act which caused bitter disputes in the colonies, especially North America.. See 24/3/1765.
17/2/1766, Monday (-65,458) The economist Thomas Malthus was born.
14/1/1766, Tuesday (-65,492) Christian VII (1749-1808) became King of Denmark.
1/1/1766, Wednesday (-65,505) James Stuart, the Old Pretender, and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie, died in Rome.
8/12/1765, Sunday (-65,529) Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, which made cotton-growing much more profitable, was born in Westborough, Massachusetts.
14/11/1765, Thursday (-65,553) Robert Fulton, US engineer who invented the first commercially successful steamboat, was born to Irish parents in Pennsylvania.
18/9/1765, Wednesday (-65,610) Pope Gregory XVI was born.
26/8/1765. Monday (-65,633) A major riot broke out in Boston, USA against the Stamp Act. Rioters attacked the house of Thomas Hutchinson, the lieutenant –governor, and burned the house, including the library. Thus many irreplaceable sources of Massachusetts history were lost.
21/8/1765, Wednesday (-65,638) King William IV, known as the ‘Sailor King’ because he joined the Royal Navy at 13, was born in Buckingham Palace. He was the third son of King George III and Queen Charlotte.
18/8/1765, Sunday (-65,641) Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
12/8/1765. Monday (-65,647) Robert Clive received revenue authority over Bengal from the Mogul emperor. The disintegration of the Mogul Empire created opportunities for the British, French, and Indian princes. See 12/8/1756.
15/5/1765, Wednesday (-65,736) James Watt invented the condenser, effectively trebling the energy output of the existing Newcomen steam pumps. The earlier Newcomen engine pumped steam into a cylinder, forcing back a piston; the cylinder was then sprayed with cool water, condensing the steam and creating a vacuum that pulled the piston back. Alternately heating and cooling the cylinder was inefficient. Watt’s idea was to attach a separate chamber off the main cylinder into which the steam could be allowed to enter, and cooled there by water, again creating the vacuum that pulled the piston back again. The main cylinder could be kept hot, saving considerable energy. The energy content of Britain’s coal reserves was effectively trebled.
7/5/1765. Tuesday (-65,744) HMS Victory was launched. She is now in dry dock in Portsmouth. Nelson was on board when killed by a musket shot.
26/4/1765, Friday (-65,755) Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, was born in Ness, Cheshire.
24/3/1765. Sunday (-65,788) Britain passed the Quartering Act (see 2/6/1774) requiring the colonies to provide food and shelter for British soldiers and their horses. In 1765 the passage of the Stamp Act, to raise revenue for British troops in North America (fighting the French), caused widespread riots and protests in British colonies and the boycott of British luxury goods was stepped up. The British Treasury had a major deficit following the wars in North America with the Indians and the French. The Stamp Act raised revenue by requiring stamps to be fixed to items like newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents such as deeds and licences, and to other items such as playing cards. See 4/3/1766 and 5/3/1770. William Pitt was amongst those in Parliament opposing the Stamp Act, warning that trade with the colonies would suffer.
7/3/1765, Thursday (-65,795) Joseph Niepce, French doctor who produced the first photograph from nature using a camera obscura, pewter plates, and an 8 hour exposure, was born.
11/2/1765. Monday (-65,829) English wig-makers petitioned George III for financial relief as the male fashion of wearing wigs came to an end.
26/11/1764, Monday (-65,906) The Jesuits were suppressed in France.
27/10/1764 Saturday (-65,936) The painter and engraver William Hogarth died in London, aged 67. He was buried in Chiswick churchyard. He also pushed for legislation to protect the intellectual property of artists, the so-called ‘Hogarth Act’ of 1753.
23/10/1764, Tuesday (-65,940) The British won the Battle of Buxar, Bengal.
5/7/1764, Thursday (-66,050) Ivan II, Tsar of Russia, was murdered.
30/5/1764, Wednesday (-66,086) The Theatre Royal, Bristol, was founded.
3/5/1764, Thursday (-66,113) The British won the Battle of Patna, Bengal.
25/4/1764. Wednesday (-66,121) The lawyer James Otis denounced ‘taxation without representation’ and called on the colonies to unite against Britain’s new tax measures. In August 1764 Boston merchants began to boycott luxury goods from Britain. See 5/4/1764 and 24/3/1765.
15/4/1764, Sunday (-66,131) Madame de Pompadour, French courtier and mistress of Louis XV, died in Versailles.
5/4/1764. Thursday (-66,141) Parliament in London passed a Sugar Act, specifically aimed at extracting revenue from the colonies. On 19/4/1764 London also passed the Currency Act, forbidding the colonies from printing paper money. See 25/4/1764.
15/2/1764, Wednesday (-66,191) The city of St Louis, Missouri, was founded as a trading post between Europeans and Indians.
5/10/1763, Death of King August III of Poland, also Grand Duke of Lithuania. Born 17/10/1696, he acceded to the throne in 1734.
23/6/1763, Monday (-66,428) Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, was born on the French island of Martinique as Marie Rose Tascher de la Pagerie. Her marriage to Napoleon was dissolved when she failed to produce an heir.
7/5/1763. Saturday (-66,475) Four Indian tribes united to lay siege to the British stronghold of Fort Detroit. However the British had forewarning of the plan by the Delaware, Chippawa, Shawnee, and Ottawa tribes and had strengthened their fortifications. The Indians were concerned at the loss of their fur trade to the British, and wanted a return to the old Indian customs. In November 1763 the Indians lifted the siege after failing to gain French support.
31/3/1763, Thursday (-66,512) Abraham Darby (Junior), ironmaster, died.
9/3/1763, Wednesday (-66,534) William Cobbett, English political journalist, was born in Farnham, Surrey, the son of a farmer.
23/2/1763, Wednesday (-66,548) Start of the Berbice Slave uprising in Guyana. At this time there were 3,833 Black slaves in the Berbice River area and only 346 White people, many of them women and children. The rebellion spread and it took the arrival of European gunboats on 13/5/1763 to quell the revolt. The Europeans suffered from dysentery but the Africans were disunited.
15/2/1763, Tuesday (-66,556) Austria, seeing hope for a decisive victory over Prussia recede with peace between Russia and Prussia, made peace with Prussia at Hubertsberg this day. Frederick evacuated Saxony but retained Silesia. Austria had failed to destroy Prussia before Prussian power was consolidated.
10/2/1763. Thursday (-66,561) (Britain, France-Germany, East Europe) The end of the Seven Years War. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal, as well as becoming pre-eminent in India; Britain therefore became the world’s major colonising power. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, which set Prussia on the road to also becoming a major European power.
26/1/1763, Wednesday (-66,576) Charles XIV, King of Sweden, was born.
25/12/1762, Saturday (-66,608) Barings Bank was founded in London, UK.
3/11/1762, Wednesday (-66,660) Britain concluded a peace with France at Fontainbleau. See 10/2/1763.
1/11/1762, Monday (-66,662) Spencer Perceval, British Prime Minister from 1809 who was assassinated in the House of Commons, was born.
29/10/1762, Friday (-66,665) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Freiburg. The war was making Austria bankrupt and Austria was questioning whether the war was worth it for the recovery of one province. Austria and Prussia agreed on an armistice on 24/11/1762 for the winter of 1762/3.
5/10/1762, Tuesday (-66,689) The British captured Manila, Philippines, from Spain,
25/8/1762, Wednesday (-66,730) The city of Almeida was captured by Spain, from Portugal. Portugal was allied with Britain in a war against Spain.
16/8/1762, Monday (-66,739) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Reichenbach.
13/8/1762, Friday (-66,742) The British captured Havana, Cuba, from the Spanish.
12/8/1762, Thursday (-66,743) King George IV was born in St James Palace, London. He was the eldest son of George III. His lavish lifestyle and cruelty towards his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, undermined popular support for the monarchy.
21/7/1762, Wednesday (-66,765) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Burkersdorf.
17/7/1762, Saturday (-66,769) Peter III, Tsar of Russia, was murdered. He was about to divorce his wife of 17 years, Catherine; she struck first, with the help of her lover Orlov, by rallying the support of the army and church, and had herself proclaimed Empress.
3/2/1762, Wednesday (-66,933) The English dandy and gambler Richard ‘Beau’ Nash died.
5/1/1762, Tuesday (-66,962) Elizabeth I of Russia died; her successor Tsar Peter III made peace with Prussia. This was fortunate for Frederick of Prussia because after the end of the Pitt Ministry in England, the English were moving towards making peace with France and therefore no longer giving financial support to Prussia. See 15/2/1763 and 5/10/1761.
16/12/1761, Wednesday (-66,982) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Russians under Pyotr Aleksandrovitch Rumyantsev captured the Prussian port and fort of Kolberg. It had been a bad year for Frederick of Prussia, with French forces making progress eastwards in south western Germany, and the Austrians under Laudon capturing Schweidnitz on 1/10/1761, ensuring they could over-winter in Silesia. Frederick had failed to prevent the Russian Army, 50,000 strong, joining up with the 72,000-strong Austrian Army on 23/8/1761. Frederick’s biggest concern was that since the change of monarch and the resignation of Pitt in Britain, he could no longer rely on British support. Without a major change of fortune, Prussia faced certain defeat in 1762.
20/11/1761, Friday (-67,008) Pope Pius VIII was born.
5/10/1761, Monday (-67,052) In Britain, Pitt resigned, because Britain would not declare war on Spain; France was trying to bring Spain into its war on Prussia and Britain, with France allied to Austria and Russia. Britain virtually abandoned support for Prussia.
22/9/1761, Tuesday (-67,067) Coronation of King George III, see 26/10/1760.
17/7/1761, Friday (-67,134) The Bridgewater Canal, from Worsley to Manchester, built by James Brindley, was opened.
14/1/1761, Wednesday (-67,318) At the Battle of Panipat, north of Delhi, the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani defeated the Marathas Indians. Although Durrani weakened Mughal power he was unable to fill the resultant power vacuum, thereby opening the way for British dominance of India.
3/11/1760 Monday (-67,390) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick of Prussia won the Battle of Torgau against the Austrians but failed to follow up this success and achieve his objective of capturing Dresden.
26/10/1760. Sunday (-67,398) Accession of George III. His coronation was on 22/9/1761. He was the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Augusta. George III became one of the longest reigning monarchs in Britain. He saw the emergence of Britain as a leading European power after the Seven Year’s War as well as the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. He had a devoted wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who bore him 15 children. But George III faced problems at home, fighting with Parliament to recover Royal Prerogative, and having Revolutionary France for a neighbour. He also had the debilitating disease porphyria. He died deaf, mad, and blind at Windsor Castle on 29/1/1820, leaving a legacy of social unrest and an outmoded constitution.
25/10/1760, Saturday (-67,399) (Britain, France-Germany, East Europe) George II died suddenly at 8am, in Kensington, London, aged 76. His successor George III was inclined to concentrate on British, not Hanoverian, interests, and disliked William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had promoted the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Without British help, Prussia could not continue fighting.
8/9/1760. Monday (-67,446) The French surrendered Montreal to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst. This completed the British conquest of Canada. Britain had declared war in France in 1756 as part of the Seven Years War; Amherst won in Canada in 1758 when he took the French fortress at Louisbourg, opening up the way to Montreal.
22/8/1760, Friday (-67,463) Pope Leo XII born.
5/5/1760. Monday (-67,572) The first hanging by hangman’s drop at Tyburn, London. Earl Ferrers was executed for murdering his valet.
22/4/1760. Tuesday (-67,585) The first pair of roller skates were seen.
21/4/1760, Monday (-67,586) Britain’s first art exhibition opened. The Annual Exhibition of United Artists was held at the premises of the Society of Arts on The Strand, London.
20/11/1759, Tuesday (-67,739) Naval battle at Quiberon Bay, France. Admiral Hawke’s British first fleet destroyed the French invasion fleet under Admiral Conflans, during the Seven Years War. The French had planned to invade Britain with a fleet of flat-bottomed boats carrying some 20,000 soldiers. However the British navy kept this invasion fleet bottled up in its home base of Brest, France. In November 1759 a gale forced the British Navy to return to Torbay, Devon; when the gale died down the French quickly escaped from Brest with 19 battleships. The British navy went looking for the French, as they spotted them another storm approached from the west. The French sought refuge in Quiberon Bay, assuming that the numerous reefs and rocks would deter the British from following. However the British did follow into the Bay. Many French battleships were run aground, wrecked or captured. The French lost 14 battleships and 2,500 men killed; the British lost 2 ships and 400 men. The French navy was broken, leaving Britain in commend of the seas.
9/11/1759, Friday (-67,750) Edward Hawke withdrew from blockading Brest (19/8/1759); the French fleet set sail, to be defeated by the British at Quiberon Bay (20/11/1759)
16/10/1759, Tuesday (-67,774) The Eddystone Lighthouse, designed by Smeaton, was officially opened.
8/10/1759. Monday (-67,782) The Eddystone Lighthouse was completed.
(2) The earliest dated English board game, A Journey Through Europe, or The Play of Geography, invented by John Jeffries, was sold by him at his London home.
13/9/1759. Thursday (-67,807) General James Wolfe killed in the siege of Quebec; in a fight on the Plains of Abraham near the city, although the British won the siege. See 26/7/1758 and 10/2/1763. The French commander, Louis Montcalm, was also killed, dying of his wounds on 14/9/1759. The British won the surrender of Quebec on 18/9/1759.
24/8/1759. Friday (-67,827) William Wilberforce, anti-slavery campaigner, was born in Hull, the son of a merchant. He was the third of four children.
19/8/1759, Sunday (-67,832) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Battle of Lagos. Choiseul had managed to extricate France from much of its commitment to support Austria, so the French could commit more resources to fighting Britain. Choiseul planned an invasion, with landings from London to Scotland. To transport this invasion the French Mediterranean fleet was ordered to sail from Toulon to join the Atlantic fleet at Brest. On its way northwards past Portugal, the French fleet was attacked by Admiral Edward Boscawen off Lagos, Portugal, and scattered. Meanwhile Edward Hawke was blockading the French port of Brest (see 9/11/1759).
12/8/1759, Sunday (-67,839) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick, who had been unable to prevent the Austrians under Daun and the Russians under Saltykov joining forces, was heavily defeated by them at Kunersdorf. Frederick lost 18,000 men in six hours. The Russians did not capitalise on this victory, but Daun then marched on Dresden.
10/8/1759, Friday (-67,841) Ferdinand VI, King of Spain, died.
1/8/1759, Wednesday (-67,850) (France-Germany, East Europe) At the Battle of Minden (Seven Years War), six British-Allied army regiments defeated a larger French force, in north-west Germany.
24/7/1759, Tuesday (-67,858) In Canada, the British captured Fort Niagara from the French.
(2) Work began on the Royal Navy’s 104 gun battleship HMS Victory at Chatham, Kent, built with the wood of 2,200 oak trees.
9/7/1759, Monday (-67,873) (France-Germany, East Europe) The French, under the Duc de Broglie, took Minden on the River Weser.
28/5/1759, Monday (-67,915) William Pitt the Younger, British Tory Prime Minister, was born at Hayes, near Bromley, Kent. He became Britain’s youngest Prime Minister at age 24.
20/5/1759, Sunday (-67,923) William Thornton, US architect who designed the Capitol at Washington, was born.
27/4/1759, Friday (-67,946) Birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, English writer, political radical and feminist.
14/4/1759. Saturday (-67,959) George Frederick Handel, German composer, died, aged 74, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was born in Halle, Saxony, on 23/2/1685. He settled in England and became court composer to George II.
13/4/1759, Friday (-67,960) (France-Germany, East Europe) Ferdinand of Brunswick, who had enjoyed success against the French in southwest Germany, was defeated at Bergen, near Frankfurt am Main, by the Duc de Broglie.
25/1/1759, Thursday (-68,038) Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born at Alloway, near Ayr, Ayrshire, son of a poor farmer.
16/1/1759. Tuesday (-68,047) British Museum, London, opened to the public, in premises formerly known as Montague House. Funded by a lottery that raised UK£ 300,000, the museum contained a collection of books, manuscripts and natural objects amassed by Sir Hans Sloane, also collections by Edward and Robert Harley and Sir Robert Bruce Cotton.
25/11/1758, Saturday (-68,099) The British captured Fort Duquesne (later, Pittsburgh) from the French.
5/11/1758, Sunday (-68,119) Hans Egede, the Apostle of Greenland, died. Born in Norway in 1686, he was appointed pastor of Vagen, Norway, in 1707. He desired to convert the descendants of the Norse in Greenland and departed for there in 1721. Finding the Norse to be extinct, he set about converting the Inuit. The death of his wife Getrude Rask in 1736 caused him to leave Greenland. In 1740 he became superintendent of the Greenland Mission in Copenhagen.
16/10/1758, Monday (-68,139) Birth of Noah Webster, lexicographer who produced the first American dictionary.
14/10/1758, Saturday (-68,141) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Austrians under Daun launched an unexpected counter-attack against the Prussians at Hochkirk; Prussian losses were 9,500 against 7,500 for the Austrians. Daun began an advance on Dresden, but fell back to Pirna when he heard of Frederick’s march on Lusatia. However the Austrian victory at Hochkirk raised French morale; they had been inclined to abandon the war against Prussia.
29/9/1758, Friday (-68,156) Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe rectory, Norfolk. He was the son of a clergyman, one of 11 children. He died in battle in 1805.
25/8/1758, Friday (-68,191) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick of Prussia moved around Fermor’s east flank and his 36,000 men attacked the Russians at Zorndorf (Sarbinowo). Prussian losses were 13,500, against Russian casualties of 42,000 (21,000 killed). Frederick now left Christoph von Dohna to pursue the defeated Russians; Frederick moved south to assist his brother, Prince Henry, against the Austrians under Daun at Dresden.
20/8/1758, Sunday (-68,196) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick’s forces arrived at Frankfurt on Oder, ready to attack the Russians besieging Kustrin.
15/8/1758, Tuesday (-68,201) (France-Germany, East Europe) Russian forces under Fermor began a siege of the Prussians at Kustrin.
26/7/1758. Wednesday (-68,221) A British force authorised by William Pitt to attack the French in North America had its first success with the capture of Louisburg. See 13/9/1759 and 10/2/1763.
23/6/1758, Friday (-68,254) (France-Germany, East Europe) Emmerlich’s Anglo-Hanoverian army, 40,000-strong, defeated 70,000 men under the Comte de Clermont at Krefeld. This victory enabled Emmerlich to hold all of northern Germany against France, despite French victories further south in Hesse and Thuringia.
9/6/1758, Friday (-68,268) The first line sanctioned by Parliament opened in Britain. This was the Leeds to Middleton line.
2/6/1758, Friday (-68,275) A British war fleet anchored in Gabarus Bay, off Canada, to fight the French.
28/5/1758, Sunday (-68,280) Amherst, Wolfe, and Lawrence arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, see 19/2/1758.
6/5/1758, Saturday (-68,302) Birth of Maximillien Robespierre, French revolutionary who instituted the Reign of Terror, and was eventually guillotined himself.
3/5/1758, Wednesday (-68,305) Pope Benedict XIV (247th Pope) died. Pope Clement XIII (248th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Carlo della Torre Rezzonico, died 1769.
28/4/1758, Friday (-68,310) James Monroe, American Republican and 5th President, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
27/3/1758, Monday (-68,342) (France-Germany, East Europe) An Anglo-Hanoverian force under Ferdinand of Brunswick crossed the Rhine at Emmerlich, near the Dutch frontier (see 23/6/1758).
19/2/1758, Sunday (-68,378) The British General Amherst, recalled from Germany by Pitt, sailed this day from Portsmouth with Brigadier-General Lawrence and Brigadier James Wolfe, for Canada, to pursue the war against the French. See 28/5/1758.
22/1/1758, Saturday (-68,406) (France-Germany, East Europe) William Fermor, Scottish emigrant to Russia who had taken the place of Apraksin (see 30/8/1757) in September 1757, took the East Prussian capital, Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) from Prussia. However a spring thaw melted the snow and made the roads impassable, temporarily immobilising Fermor.
5/12/1757, Monday (-68,454) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick of Prussia, now confronted by an Austrian army which had invaded Silesia and seized Breslau, defeated them this day at Leuthen and recovered Breslau, capital of Silesia. Frederick’s 43,000 men attacked the 72,000 Austrians under Charles of Lorraine with a sudden cavalry charge followed by a heavy artillery bombardment. Frederick’s losses amounted to 6,000, against 22,000 lost by Charles, including 12,000 taken prisoner. Meanwhile the Swedes, who had invaded Prussian Pomerania in September 1757 (without Russian approval), were also forced back into Swedish Pomerania, where they held against the Prussians at Stralsund. With the Russians under Apraksin also having retreated (see 30/8/1757), the war began to turn in Prussia’s favour.
28/11/1757, Monday (-68,461) The poet, artist, and visionary William Blake was born in London.
22/11/1757, Tuesday (-68,467) In Silesia, Austria took Breslau (Wroclaw) from Prussia.
11/11/1757, Friday (-68,478) In Silesia, Austria took Schweidnitz (Swidnica) from Prussia.
5/11/1757, Saturday (-68,484) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick, faced by a French Army advancing from Thuringia towards Berlin, won a major victory against them at Rossbach. 21,000 Prussian troops faced 41,000 French and allied men but the cautious tactics of the French commander Soubise were at odds with his more aggressive ally Saxe-Hildburghausen, and the Prussian cavalry forces were more mobile, under the leadership of Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz. In two hours fighting, the Prussian lost 550 men against allied losses of 7,000. Encouraged by this victory the British repudiated Klosterzeven (see 26/7/1757) and sent troops to reinforce the Hanoverians.
9/10/1757, Sunday (-68,511) Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
7/9/1757, Wednesday (-68,543) (France-Germany, East Europe) Prussian forces under Fredrick Francis of Brunswick-Bevern were defeated at Moys (Zgorzelec) in Silesia by the Austrians.
6/9/1757, Tuesday (-68,544) Marquis de Lafayette, Frenchman who fought with the American colonists for independence from Britain and was a key figure in the French Revolution, was born.
30/8/1757, Tuesday (-68,551) (France-Germany, East Europe) A Russian army of 90,000, having crossed Poland and entered Prussia, heavily defeated the Prussians under Hans von Lehwaldt at Gross-Jagersdorf, west of Gumbinnen. Unexpectedly the Russian commander, Apraksin, then withdrew. The health of the Russian Empress Elizabeth, who hated Prussia, was becoming uncertain and her successor, the future Peter III, liked Frederick and opposed the fight against Prussia. Therefore Apraksin risked the displeasure of his future master if he continued his aggression in Prussia.
9/8/1757, Tuesday (-68,572) Thomas Telford, road, canal, and bridge engineer, was born at Westerkirk, near Langholm, the son of a shepherd.
26/7/1757, Tuesday (-68,586) (France-Germany, East Europe) A French Army of 100,000 defeated the Hanoverian, Prussian and British allied forces under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of King George II of England. This was at Hastenbeck, south west of Hanover. On 8/9/1757 the French forced Cumberland to sign the Convention of Klosterzeven, which stipulated the disbandment of Cumberland’s forces in Germany.
23/7/1757. Saturday (-68,589) The composer Scarlatti died, aged 71.
23/6/1757. Thursday (-68,619) The Battle of Plassey took place in Bengal. The British victory of Robert Clive over the Nawab of Bengal laid the foundations for the British Empire in India.
22/6/1757, Wednesday (-68,620) George Vancouver, English naval captain who surveyed the Pacific coast of North America, was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
18/6/1757, Saturday (-68,624) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick, ruler of Prussia, sought to turn back an advancing Austrian army, 50,000 strong under von Daun, but was heavily defeated at Kolin this day. Frederick had to give up Bohemia and raise the siege of Prague.
6/5/1757, Friday (-68,667) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Battle of Prague. Frederick’s Prussian Army of 64,000 routed an Austrian Army of 66,000 under Browne and Prince Charles of Lorraine. This defeat came before the Austrians could be reinforced by more troops under Leopold Joseph, Graf von Daun. 14,000 Austrians were killed, 16,000 escaped to join von Daun, and the rest fled into Prague itself where they were besieged by Frederick.
1/5/1757, Sunday (-68,672) (France-Germany, East Europe) Austria and France signed the Second Treaty of Versailles, allying themselves for an offensive against Prussia. Under this Treaty, Austria would regain Silesia (from Prussia) but would cede the Austrian Netherlands (to be divided between King Louis XV of France and his Spanish Bourbon cousin Philip Duke of Parma). Philip’s Italian possessions would revert to Austrian rule. France would garrison 105,000 of its troops in Prussia, in addition to supplying 30,000 men to the Austrian Army (increased from an earlier figure of 24,000). France would provide an annual subsidy to Austria of 12,000,000 livres. Meanwhile on 11/1/1757 France had concluded a secret treaty with Russia whereby France agreed to help Russia in the event of any attack on Russia by Turkey (contravening a long-standing detente between France and Turkey). In return for this Russia would supply 80,000 men against Prussia. Allparties swore not to make separate peaces with Prussia, which was to be partitioned between the Allies.
18/4/1757, Monday (-68,685) Frederick of Prussia left his winter quarters and marched on Prague. See 16/10/1757.
23/3/1757, Wednesday (-68,711) The British won the Battle of Chandernagore, Bengal.
14/3/1757, Monday (-68,720) Admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad on the Monarque at Portsmouth, for his failure to relieve the island of Minorca, under attack by the French, at the start of the Seven Years War. In fact his fleet was probably inadequate for the task; having failed to prevent a French landing on Minorca, he took advice to leave the British garrison to its fate.
2/1/1757. Sunday (-68,791) Clive of India captured Calcutta after it had been seized by the Nawab of Bengal. The Nawab had imprisoned 146 British in the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta, see 20/6/1756. This brought Bengal, with all its wealth, under British control.
16/10/1756, Saturday (-68,869) (1) (France-Germany, East Europe) The army of Saxony capitulated to Frederick of Prussia at the fortress of Pirma. See 18/4/1857. Most of the Saxon Army joined with Prussia.
(2) Noah Webster, American lexicographer who wrote Webster’s Dictionary, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut.
1/10/1756, Friday (-68,884) (France-Germany, East Europe) The Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague). The Prussians defeated the Austrians. Russia would have marched to help Austria against Prussia, but this would entail Russian troops crossing Poland. Although France would nominally have welcomed this, as it would relieve the French from helping Austria, and Poland was allied to France, in secret the French would not welcome any Russian influence upon Poland.
21/9/1756, Tuesday (-68,894). John Mac Adam, Scottish surveyor who pioneered the uses of tar-macadam for road surfacing, was born in Ayr.
10/9/1756, Friday (-68,905) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick entered the Saxon capital, Dresden, with his army of7 0,000. The Saxon Army, 20,000, fell back to Pirna to the south east. Prussia assured Poland of it’s good intentions but was not believed; Poland was also friendly with France. Meanwhile an Austrian army under Ulysses von Browne, of 32,000 men, was moving from Bohemia to unite with the Saxons. To counter this threat, Frederick moved into Bohemia, towards Lobositz (see 1/10/1756).
29/8/1756. Sunday (-68,917) (France-Germany, East Europe) Frederick II of Prussia invaded Saxony, setting off a European war. Britain was allied with Prussia and Hanover, against Austria, Saxony and France, see 16/1/1756, and 1/7/1756. Austria wanted to regain its province of Silesia, taken by Frederick II of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Frederick , believing in attacking first, invaded Saxony to detach it from the Franco-Austrian alliance.
20/6/1756. Sunday (-68,987) Night of the Black Hole of Calcutta. See 2/1/1757, and 12/8/1765. A total of 147 people were confined in what came to be known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. The remaining European defenders of Calcutta in the Seven Years War in India were shut away in a local lock up for petty offenders, following the capture of Calcutta by the Nawab Siraj Ul Dawlah of Bengal. The Black Hole was a room 18 feet long by 14 foot 10 inches wide, with only two small windows. According to the British leader John Z Holwell, only 23 of the 147 imprisoned survived, but this figure may be inaccurate. Instead of the suspected slaughter, the Nawab may have been guilty of negligence.
27/5/1756, Thursday (-69,011) Maximillian I, King of Bavaria, was born.
18/5/1756, Tuesday (-69,020) Britain declared war on France.
1/5/1756, Saturday (-69,037) Alarmed by the Convention of Westminster, (see 16/1/1756), the French concluded a defensive treaty with Austria, who was under threat from the Prussians. The Russians were also concerned at the Anglo-Prussian alliance and sought closer ties with Austria and France.
27/1/1756, Tuesday (-69,132) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, was born in Salzburg, the son of a musician.
16/1/1756. Friday (-69,143) George II secured an agreement, the Convention of Westminster, by which Frederick of Prussia guaranteed to help England if Hanover was attacked, and England promised to help Prussia if Silesia was attacked. This guaranteed the neutrality of the Prussian states under Frederick II in the escalating Anglo-French dispute. See 1/5/1756.
17/11/1755, Monday (-69,203) Louis XVIII, King of France after the fall of Napoleon, was born in Versailles.
2/11/1755, Sunday (-69,218) Marie Antoinette, Austrian princess and Queen Consort of Louis XVI of France, was born in Vienna.
1/11/1755. Saturday (-69,219) An earthquake reduced two thirds of Lisbon to rubble, killing 60,000 people. Lisbon had been a great city with a population of about a quarter of a million. The quake has been estimated at Richter 9, and caused cracks as wide as 5 metres in the ground to open. Further destruction was caused when a 6 metre high tsunami struck, drowning many who had sought refuge on ships in the harbour. Fire then destroyed many more buildings. Striking on All Saints Day, the quake caused many to be sceptical of God’s existence, and the event spurred research into natural causes for disasters rather than Acts of God, laying the foundations for the Enlightenment.
4/10/1755, Saturday (-69,247)
9/7/1755, Wednesday (-69,334) General Braddock’s troops were attacked by a joint force of French and Indians near Fort Duquesne.
8/7/1755. Tuesday (-69,335) Britain and France broke off diplomatic relations as their dispute over North America deepened.
7/7/1855, Monday (-69,336) Earthquake in northern Persia killed 40,000 people.
14/6/1755, Saturday (-69,359) Dr Johnson’s dictionary went on sale at £4 10s for the two volumes.
6/6/1755, Friday (-69,367) Nathan Hale, American revolutionary who was hanged for spying on the British, was born.
15/4/1755. Tuesday (-69,419) Dr Samuel’s dictionary was published, after nine years of work. It contained 40,000 words.
12/1/1755. Sunday (-69,512) The first Russian university, at Moscow, opened.
11/1/1755, Saturday (-69,513) Alexander Hamilton, US statesman and founder of the newly independent post-Revolution Government, was born on Nevis, British West Indies.
8/10/1754. Tuesday (-69,608) Henry Fielding died, aged 47. He is famous as the author of the novel Tom Jones but he also, as a Justice of the peace, organised the detective force that became Scotland Yard.
1/10/1754, Tuesday (-69,615) Paul I, Tsar of Russia, was born.
9/9/1754, Monday (-69,637) William Bligh, captain of The Bounty, at the time of the mutiny, was born in Plymouth.
23/8/1754, Friday (-69,654) Louis XVI, King of France, was born at Versailles, the only son of Louis XV.
21/8/1754, Wednesday (-69,656) William Murdock, inventor of coal-gas lighting in 1792, was born at Auchinlek, Ayrshire.
11/7/1754, Thursday (-69,697) Thomas Bowdler, whose expurgation of vulgarities in literary works gave the word ‘bowdlerise’, was born.
10/7/1754, Wednesday (-69,698) Benjamin Franklin called for a Union of the British colonies in America, so as to co-ordinate defence against the French; the so-called Albany Plan.
3/7/1754. Wednesday (-69,705) British forces under George Washington were defeated by the French near Fort Necessity in the Ohio Valley.
18/3/1754, Monday (-69,812) Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, died.
6/3/1754, Wednesday (-69,824) Henry Pelham left office as Prime Minister.
2/2/1754, Saturday (-69,856) Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, French foreign minister to Louis XVIII and Napoleon Bonaparte, and ambassador to Britain, was born.
3/12/1753, Monday (-69,917) Samuel Crompton, inventor of the Spinning Mule which revolutionised the textiles industry, was born at Firwood, near Bolton. He was the son of a farmer.
10/9/1753. Monday (-70,001) Birth of the architect Sir John Soane. He was born at Goring, near Reading, the son of a mason, and in 1788 he became architect and surveyor to the Bank of England. The new exterior he created for the Bank was regarded as his most famous work. In 1806 he became Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy; he was knighted in 1831. His home at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which he designed, was the setting for his art and antiques collection. He lived there alone after his wife died in 1815; it is now the John Soane Museum. He also designed the Dulwich College Picture Gallery in south London.
4/4/1753. Wednesday (-70,160) The date of the end of the tax year, which had been Lady Day, 25 March, was altered to this date. This was due to the 11 days cropped from the year 1752 as the calendar was altered to the Gregorian Calendar. See 3/9/1752 and 5/4/1800.
3/4/1753, Tuesday (-70,161) Samuel Johnson began the second volume of his dictionary.
11/1/1753. Thursday (-70,243) Death at age 93 of the collector Sir Hans Sloane. Born in County Down, Ireland in 1660, Sloane studied in London and France before finally settling in London as a physician. He was famous for his collection of plants, antiquities, cons, and some 50,000 books and 3,650 manuscripts that were to form the nucleus of the British Museum collection after his death. In Jamaica in 1685-6 he had collected a herbarium of 800 species. The Birmingham chocolate manufacturers, the Cadbury family, owe Sloane a debt for while in Jamaica he came across a cocoa drink favoured by the locals which Sloane found nauseous. However if mixed with milk it became more palatable. He brought this back to England where it was used by the Cadbury family.
3/9/1752=14/9/1752. Thursday (-70,362) The date changed this day to 14/9/1752 with the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar. See 5/4/1753. See also 5/10/1582, start of Gregorian calendar. Crowds of people protested, believing their lives had been ‘shortened’ by 11 days (days 3-13 September 1752 inclusive did not exist). The old calendar had a leap year every 4th year, and therefore was 365.25 days long. However the calendar had now got out of step with the real year. The new calendar omitted leap years every century, unless the year was divisible by 400.
31/7/1752. Friday (-70,396) The oldest zoo in the world (as in 2002) opened, in Vienna.
15/6/1752, Monday (-70,442) Benjamin Franklin demonstrated electricity, by flying a kite in a thunderstorm.
23/3/1752, Monday (-70,526) Canada’s first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, went on sale.
1/1/1752, Wednesday (-70,608) Officially the first ‘new year’ to fall on 1st January; previously the new year had begun on 25th March.
5/11/1751. Tuesday (-70,665) British forces defeated the French in the battle for control of southern India at Arcot.
30/10/1751, Wednesday (-70,671) The dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin. He was the son of a teacher of elocution.
22/10/1751, Tuesday (-70,679) The Dutch Stadtholder, William IV, died aged 40. He was succeeded by his 3-year old son William V.
16/3/1751, Saturday (-70,899) James Madison, American Republican and 4th President, was born in Port Conway, Virginia, the first of 12 children.
26/9/1750, Wednesday (-71,070) Lord Collingwood, British naval officer, Nelson’s second in command at Trafalgar, was born in Newcastle on Tyne.
23/8/1750, Thursday (-71,104) An earth tremor was felt in Spalding. On 2/3/1750 an earth tremor had been felt in London, and on 2/4/1750 another tremor was felt in Warrington.
31/7/1750, Tuesday (-71,127) Joao V of Portugal died aged 61, after reigning for 44 years. He was succeeded by his son, 35, Jose Manuel.
28/7/1750. Saturday (-71,130) The composer Johann Sebastian Bach died, almost blind, of apoplexy. He was born on 21/3/1685 in Eisenach, Germany. He fathered 20 children, and also composed 300 cantatas, two oratorios, the St John and St Matthew Passions, and Mass in B Minor.
28/8/1749, Monday (-71.464) Johann Goethe, German poet and novelist, author of Faust, was born in Frankfurt Am main, son of a lawyer.
9/7/1749, Sunday (-71,514) The British founded the naval settlement of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as an answer to the French base of Louisburg.
19/5/1749, Friday (-71,565) King George II of Britain granted the Ohio Company a charter of land on the Ohio River.
17/5/1749, Wednesday (-71,567) Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination, was born at Berkeley vicarage, Gloucestershire.
3/1/1749, Tuesday (-71,701) Benning Wentworth issued the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the founding of the State of Vermont.
18/10/1748, Tuesday (-71,778) Peace treaty (Treaty of Aix La Chapelle) signed to end the war of the Austrian Succession.
24/4/1748, Sunday (-71,955) A congress assembled at Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) with a view to ending the war of the Austrian Succession, see 18/10/1748).
13/4/1748, Wednesday (-71,966) Joseph Bramah, inventor, was born.
28/3/1748, Monday (-71,982) A fire in the City of London caused over £1 million damage.
15/2/1748, Monday (-72,024) Jeremy Bentham was born. He developed the philosophical doctrine of Utilitarianism.
22/11/1747, Sunday (-72,109) Prince William IV of Orange became Stadtholder of all the United Provinces (Holland).
25/10/1747, Sunday (-72,137) The Second Battle of Cape Finisterre, in the War of the Austrian Succession.
2/7/1747, Thursday (-72,252) Battle of Lauffeld.
16/6/1747, Tuesday (-72,268) The Battle of Piacenza.
14/5/1747, Thursday (-72,301) The First Battle of Cape Finisterre, in the War of the Austrian Succession.
5/5/1747, Tuesday (-72,310) The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II was born.
9/4/1747, Monday (-72,336) The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat was executed by beheading at the Tower of London for High Treason. He was the last person to be executed this way in Britain. Only persons of high rank were beheaded; lesser persons were hanged. After this date, all were hanged. Hanging, drawing, and quartering for treason was not abolished until 1870.
11/2/1747, Wednesday (-72,393) A combined force of French and American Indians under Captain Coulon de Villiers attacked the British at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.
31/1/1747, Saturday (-72,404) The first venereal disease clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.
28/10/1746, Tuesday (-72,499) An earthquake destroyed the towns of Lima and Callao in Peru.
22/10/1746, Wednesday (-72,505) The College of New Jersey was founded. It later became Princeton University, in 1896.
20/9/1746, Saturday (-72,537) Prince Charles Edward escaped capture by dressing as a girl and sailing to France on the ship L’Heureux.
18/8/1746, Monday (-72,570) Two rebellious Scottish Jacobite Lords, the earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmeniro, were beheaded at the Tower of London.
1/8/1746, Friday (-72,587) England passed the Dress Act, banning the wearing of Scottish Highland Dress, including the kilt, from 1/8/1747. This was an attempt to suppress Scottish Highland culture.
25/7.1746, Friday (-72,594) The French won a major naval victory at Negapatam, allowing them to capture Madras.
9/7/1746, Wednesday (-72,610) Philip V, King of Spain, died, insane, aged 62. He reigned for 46 years. He was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand VI.
16/4/1746. Wednesday (-72,694) Bonnie Prince Charlie and his 5,000 Jacobite soldiers were decisively defeated at Culloden, near Inverness, by the Duke of Cumberland and an army of 9,000 regulars. Fought on flat ground, the battle gave the advantage to Cumberland’s latest artillery. This ended the Jacobite Rebellion and the hopes of the Stuart dynasty of any return to power in Britain. On 27/6/1746 Charles escaped over the sea to Skye, disguised as the Irish maid Betty Burke, with Flora MacDonald. In Scotland, the Highlanders were disarmed and forbidden to wear their tartan kilts. The hereditary jurisdiction of the Highland Chiefs over their clans was abolished. This was the last battle fought in Britain.
6/4/1746, Sunday (-72,704) Christian VI of Denmark died aged 47. He was succeeded by his son, 23, Frederick V.
30/3/1746,Sunday (-72,711) Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter, was born in Fuendetodos, near Saragosa, son of a master gilder.
24/1/1746, Friday (-72,776) Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was born.
17/1/1746, Friday (-72,783) At the Battle of Falkirk, Charles and the Jacobites defeated the English under General Hawley, see 16/4/1746. This was the last Jacobite success.
8/1/1746, Wednesday (-72,792) Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.
25/12/1745, Wednesday (-72,806) The Peace of Dresden concluded the Second Silesian War. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, and recognised Francis as ruler of Austria.
18/12/1745, Wednesday (-72,813) Battle of Clifton Moor. The Jacobites won a victory over the English at Penrith.
15/12/1745, Sunday (-72,816) Frederick invaded Bohemia, and occupied most of Saxony. On this day his chief general, Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, defeated the Austrians and Saxons at Kesselsdorf, near Dresden.
4/12/1745, Wednesday (-72,827) Marching south, Charles’s forces reached Derby. However they were faced there by the superior forces of General Wade and William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The Jacobite army retreated, to be finally defeated at Culloden (16/4/1746).
31/10/1745, Thursday (-72,861) Charles led his 5,000-strong army into England hoping, in vain, for popular support. Not gaining this, he returned to Scotland.
19/10/1745, Saturday (-72,873) The satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, died aged 77.
28/9/1745. Saturday (-72,894) The National Anthem God save the King was first played at the Drury lane Theatre, London.
21/9/1745. Saturday (-72,901) Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stuart) and his Jacobite army defeated the English under Sir John Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans.
11/9/1745. Wednesday (-72,911) The Jacobites under the Young Pretender occupied Edinburgh, with 2,000 men.
19/8/1745, Monday (-72,934) To claim the English throne, Prince Charles raised his father’s flag at Glenfinnan, after travelling from France.
26/7/1745. Friday (-72,958) The first recorded women’s cricket match took place at Gosden Common near Guildford. Hambledon Village played nearby Bramley.
25/7/1745, Thursday (-72,959) (Britain) Prince Charles (Edward Stuart), the Young Pretender, landed in Scotland. He proclaimed his father as King James VIII of Scotland and James III of England. Highland clans rose in support of him.
4/6/1745, Tuesday (-73,010) The Austrians attacked Silesia, allied with troops from Saxony, but were defeated by Prussia at Hohenfriedburg.
11/5/1745, Saturday (-73,034) (Benelux, Britain, France)The Battle of Fontenoy took place in Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Marshal de Saxe won a French victory over British and Allied forces during the War of the Austrian Succession. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British, Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the French. Cumberland’s army was beaten back with casualties of 7,000 and forced to retreat during the night towards Brussels. The British suffered further setbacks in Flanders and as troops were called back to fight the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart. The British made peace with France at Aix la Chapelle in 1748.
18/3/1745, Monday (-73,088) Sir Robert Walpole, British Whig Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742 died in London. He had been created the Earl of Orford.
18/2/1745, Monday (-73,116) Alessandro Volta, Italian scientist, was born in Como.
20/1/1745. Sunday (-73,145) Death of Frederick II of Prussia.
1/8/1744, Wednesday (-73,317) The Chevalier de Lamarck, naturalist, was born.
24/5/1744, Thursday (-73,386) The Baltic Exchange in London was founded, as the marketplace where marine cargo rates were fixed. On this day the Daily Post announced that a coffee house in Threadneedle Street was changing its name from the Maryland Coffee House to the Virginia and Baltick Coffee House, and would act as an exchange point for news and post for sea captains engaged in North Atlantic cargo.
25/4/1744, Wednesday (-73,415) Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer who devised the Centigrade temperature scale in 1742, died.
14/2/1744, Tuesday (-73,486) (Science) Joseph Hadley, optician who invented the reflecting octant, ancestor of the sextant, died in East Barnet in Hertfordshire.
27/8/1743, Saturday (-73,657) Henry Pelham took up office as Prime Minister.
26/8/1743, Friday (-73,658) Antoine Lavoisier, French founder of modern chemistry, was born in Paris.
19/8/1743, Friday (-73,665) Comtesse du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV, was born in Vancouleurs as Marie Jeanne Becu, daughter of a dressmaker.
16/8/1743, Tuesday (-73,668) The earliest prize-ring code of boxing was drawn up in England by champion fighter Jack Boughton.
27/6/1743, Monday (-73,718) The Battle of Dettingen.
16/6/1743, Thursday (-73,729) The last battle in which a British monarch commanded an army on the battlefield. George II defeated the French at the Battle of Dettingen, in Bavaria, during the War of Austrian Succession.
24/4/1743. Sunday (-73,782) Edward Cartwright, inventor of the power loom in 1785, was born at Marnham, Nottinghamshire.
13/4/1743, Wednesday (-73,793) Thomas Jefferson, 3rd American President, was born in Shadwell, Virginia, son of a civil engineer.
23/2/1743, Wednesday (-73,842) Meyer Rothschild, founder of the banking dynasty, was born in Germany.
28/7/1742, Wednesday (-74,052) Maria Theresa of Austria made peace with Prussia; ceding control of all of Silesia to Prussia.
11/7/1742, Sunday (-74,069) A Papal Bull condemned Jesuit tolerance of Confucianism in China.
11/6/1742, Friday (-74,099) The Peace of Breslau concluded the First Silesian War. Austria ceded most of Silesia along with Glatz to Prussia, retaining only the principalities of Troppau and Teschen. In return Frederick promised his neutrality.
28/5/1742. Friday (-74,113) The first indoor swimming pool in England opened in London. The entrance fee was one guinea.
17/5/1742, Monday (-74,124) The Prussian cavalry defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Chotusitz.
13/4/1742, Tuesday (-74,158) The performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin marked the climax of his popularity.
8/2/1742, Monday (-74,222) Sir Robert Walpole left office as Prime Minister.
14/1/1742. Thursday (-74,247) The Astronomer-Royal Edmond Halley died at Greenwich aged 85.
19/12/1741, Saturday (-74,273) Vitus Bering, Danish born explorer of Russia, who gave his name to the Bering Strait and Bering Sea, died of scurvy on Bering Island after being shipwrecked. On earlier expeditions he had mapped the Bering Strait and much of the coast of Siberia.
28/7/1741, Tuesday (-74,417) Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer, notably of The Four Seasons, died in Vienna.
10/4/1741, Friday (-74,526) The German Emperor crossed the Silesian frontier, advanced as far as Breslau, and this day defeated an Austrian Army near Mollwitz. This was during the War of the Austrian Succession.
13/3/1741, Friday (-74,554) Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
9/3/1741, Monday (-74,558) British Admiral Edward Vernon began an assault on the Spanish city of Cartagena, in modern-day Colombia.
21/2/1741, Saturday (-74,574) The agricultural pioneer Jethro Tull, who invented the seed drill around 1701, died near Hungerford, Berkshire, aged 67. He was inspired to develop the seed drill by the pipes of the church organ he played on Sundays. He also pioneered crop rotation, developing a new hoe for planting turnips between the grain crops; turnips meant winter feed, so more manure, so more fertile soil that didn’t need a whole year fallow to recover.
13/2/1741, Friday (-74,582) In the House of Commons, Sir Robert Walpole first used the phrase ‘Balance of Power’ to describe Britain’s approach to foreign policy.
8/2/1741. Sunday (-74,587) Neisse and Brieg still held out but the Prussians stormed and occupied Glogau on 9/3/1741. At the Battle of Mollwitz, 10/4/1741, the Prussians narrowly won the day. Europe realised that Prussia was now a major military power and France sent an envoy, Marshal Belleisle, to negotiate an alliance with Frederick. The ‘Silesian adventure’ now became the War of the Austrian Succession. France supported the Elector of Bavaria. Sweden was supposed to stop Russia attacking Prussia but on 3/9/1742 the Swedes were heavily defeated by the Russians at Wilmanstrand, and Sweden capitulated in 1742 at Helsingfors, the Swedish capital. At the Peace of Dresden, 25/12/1745 Frederick recognised the Elector of Bavaria as ruler of Austria in return for his acquiring Silesia. The war of the Austrian Succession ended on 18/10/1748 with the Peace of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).
16/12/1740. Tuesday (-74,641) Without a declaration of war. Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia, an Austrian province. He occupied Silesia quite easily, besieging the few towns of Glogau, Breig, and Neisse still held by the Austrians. In February 1741 Austria prepared to reconquer Silesia.
28/10/1740. Tuesday (-74,690) James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Samuel Johnson, was born.
20/10/1740, Monday (-74,698) (Germany, Austria) Emperor Charles VI died unexpectedly. Maria Theresa, aged 23, became ruler of Austria. Frederick II of Prussia, taking advantage of Austria having a young female ruler, prepared to invade the wealthy Austrian province of Silesia. Meanwhile Bavaria and Saxony also had claims on Austrian lands (their claims supported by France), and Spain wanted the Italian provinces of Austria. Hungary supported Austria.
26/8/1740. Tuesday (-74,753) Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, pioneer balloonist, was born in Annonay, France. He and his brother got the idea for hot air balloons by filling paper bags with smoke from a fire and watching them rise to the ceiling.
14/8/1740, Thursday (-74,765) Pope Pius X was born.
1/8/1740, Friday (-74,778) Rule Britannia, written by Scotsman James Thomson, with music by Londoner Thomas Arne, was heard for the first time, at the Prince of Wales’ country home at Cliveden.
2/6/1740, Monday (-74,838) Birth of Marquis de Sade, French writer who was imprisoned in the Bastille for his sexual perversions.
31/5/1740, Saturday (-74,840) Frederick William I of Prussia died aged 51. He had made his country into a significant military power with a standing army of 83,000 men. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Frederick II, who then occupied part of Silesia, starting a war with Austria.
28/5/1740, Wednesday (-74,843) Mahmud I, ruler of Turkey, agreed to respect Christian rights in the Holy Land.
8/2/1740. Friday (-74,953) The great frost of London ended. It had begun on 24/12/1739.
19/10/1739. Friday (-75,065) The War of Jenkins Ear began. In 1738 Captain Jenkins alleged that whilst in the Caribbean his ship had been boarded by the Spanish, one of whom had cut off one of his ears. In October 1739 Lord Anson was despatched with a naval squadron to wreak revenge. The real cause of the war between England and Spain was a border dispute over Florida.
17/10/1739, Wednesday (-75,067) The Foundling Hospital (now Coram), the UK’s first dedicated children’s charity, was created by a Royal Charter of King George II.
7/4/1739. Saturday (-75,260) The infamous robber Dick Turpin was hanged at York for murder, sheep-stealing, smuggling, and holding up stage coaches. He was buried in York as ‘John Palmer’.
20/3/1739, Tuesday (-75,278) Persian ruler Nadir Shah sacked the Indian city of Delhi. The collapse of the Moghul Empire created a large power vacuum in India. The Afghans invaded from the north-west, Marathas invaded from the west, and local warlords carved out small independent states, perpetually fighting each other. In the middle of this chaos, Britain was able to take over.
15/11/1738, Wednesday (-75,403) Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus in 1781, was born in Hanover, Germany.
4/6/1738, Sunday (-75,567) King George III, grandson of George II, was born in lodgings in St James Square, London.
28/5/1738, Sunday (-75,574) Dr Joseph Guillotin, inventor of the Guillotine, was born.
24/5/1738, Wednesday (-75,578) During a reading of Martin Luther’s preface to the Bible Book of Romans, John Wesley had a religious inspiration that led him to found the Methodist Church.
6/5/1738, Saturday (-75,596) Robespierre, French revolutionary, was born in Arras.
28/4/1738. Friday (-75,604) Pope Clement XII condemned freemasonry.
18/12/1737, Sunday (-75,735) Antonio Stradivari, famous Italian violin maker, died in Cremona, Lombardy.
17/10/1737, Monday (-75,797) A cyclone caused a 12-metre tidal surge at Kolkata, killing 300,000.
11/10/1737, Tuesday (-75,803) An earthquake killed 300,000 in Calcutta.
9/9/1737, Friday (-75,835) Luigi Galvani, Italian scientist and anatomist, was born in Bologna.
27/4/1737, Wednesday (-75,970) Thomas Gibbon, historian and writer of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was born at Putney, London.
16/9/1736, Thursday (-76,193) The German scientist Gabriel Fahrenheit, who devised a scale of temperature, died.
21/5/1736, Friday (-76,311) The Duke of Bridgewater, canal pioneer, was born.
19/1/1736, Monday (-76,434) The Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt was born in Greenock.
17/1/1736, Saturday (-76,436) The German architect Matthaus Poppelman died, aged 74.
30/10/1735, Thursday (-76,515) John Adams, American Federalist and 2nd President, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of a farmer.
8/10/1735, Wednesday (-76,537) Qianlong succeeded Yongzheng as Emperor of China.
5/10/1735, Sunday (-76,540) The War of the Polish Succession ended with the Treaty of Vienna. The Elector of Saxony was accepted as King Frederick Augustus III of Poland.
22/9/1735. Monday (-76,553) Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister to move into 10 Downing Street. The office of ‘Prime Minister’ was not officially recognised, and some considered it unconstitutional. However Walpole had widespread support of both the King and Parliament. Walpole was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and at age 24 inherited a country estate, which gave him the means of self-sufficiency to enter politics. In 1701 he became the Whig member for castle rising in Norfolk. An excellent speaker, he rose rapidly within the party. In 1717 he resigned amid in-party fighting, returning as Paymaster General in 1720.
14/9/1735, Sunday (-76,561) Robert Raikes, who founded the Sunday School system in 1780, was born in Gloucester, son of a printer.
1/1/1735, Wednesday (-76,817) Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot who was famous for his ride from Charlestown to Lexington to warn of the British advance on Concord, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
28/12/1734, Saturday (-76,821) Rob Roy, Scottish outlaw (real name Robert McGregor, nicknamed ‘Roy’, Gaelic for ‘red’ because of his ruddy complexion and red hair, died at his home in the Scottish Highlands. Born in 1671, he became famous for his sword-fighting skills and was chosen as head of the MacGregor clan in 1693. His business was selling Scottish black cattle to England; he was declared an outlaw in 1712 after defaulting on a business debt owed to the Duke of Montrose. He then gathered a group of armed followers and harassed the estates and tenants of the Duke of Montrose. In 1722 he surrendered to the English authorities and was imprisoned. He was nearly transported, but was pardoned and allowed to return home. He was also noted for his generosity to the poor, at the expense of the wealthy.
2/11/1734, Saturday (-76,877) Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, was born.
19/9/1734, Thursday (-76,921) The Battle of Luzzara.
29/6/1734, Saturday (-77,003) The Battle of Parma.
2/6/1734, Sunday (-77,030) Danzig fell to the Russians after an 8-month siege. Stanislas managed to escape to Prussia.
25/5/1734, Saturday (-77,038) The Battle of Bitonto.
23/5/1734, Thursday (-77,040) Franz Anton Mesmer, Austrian doctor and founder of Mesmerism, was born near Constance. He was the son of a gamekeeper.
4/9/1733, Tuesday (-77,301) The first lioness to be kept in Britain died of old age.
29/5/1733, Canadians given the right to have Indians as slaves, and buy and sell them.
13/3/1733, Tuesday (-77,476) Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen in 1774, was born in Leeds, the son of a cloth merchant.
1/2/1733, Thursday (-77,516) Augustus II of Poland died aged 62, precipitating the War of the Polish Succession. Austria and Russia demanded the succession of Augustus’s only legitimate son, the 36-year old Elector of Saxony, However France persuaded the Polish nobility to restore Stanislas Leszczynski. Russia invaded Poland, forcing Leszczynski to flee to Danzig.
23/12/1732. Saturday (-77,556) Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame, was born at Preston, the last of 13 children.
7/12/1732. Thursday (-77,572) The Covent Garden Theatre, London, opened.
6/12/1732, Wednesday (-77,573) Warren Hastings, British ambassador and first Governor-General of India, was born in Churchill, Oxfordshire.
9/6/1732, King George II of Britain granted a Charter for the establishment of the State of Georgia.
13/4/1732, Thursday (-77,810) Birth of Frederick North, Earl of Guildford, who introduced the Tea Act that led to the Boston Tea Party
31/3/1732, Friday (-77,823) Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born in Rohrau, son of a wheelwright.
22/2/1732, Tuesday (-77,861) George Washington, soldier and Federal President, was born in Wakefield, Westmoreland County, Virginia.
10/10/1731, Sunday (-77,996) Henry Cavendish, who discovered hydrogen, was born in Nice, France.
16/7/1731, Friday (-78,082) At the Treaty of Vienna, between Britain, Spain, Austria, and Holland, the Ostend East India Company, Britain’s main trading rival in cotton and spices, was dissolved.
27/4/1731, Tuesday (-78,162)
26/4/1731, Monday (-78,163) Daniel Defoe, English author who wrote Robinson Crusoe, died.
27/1/1731, Wednesday (-78,252) Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian harpsichord maker, who designed the first piano in 1710, died in Florence.
26/1/1731, Tuesday (-78,253)
26/12/1730, Saturday (-78,284)
26/11/1730, Thursday (-78,314)
26/10/1730, Monday (-78,345)
13/10/1730, Tuesday (-78,358)
12/10/1730, Monday (-78,359) Frederick IV of Denmark died, the day after his 59th birthday, at Odense. He had reigned for 31 years, and lost some territory in Germany He was succeeded by his 31-year old son, Christian VI, who ruled until 1746.
20/9/1730, Sunday (-78,381) Mahmud I succeeded Ahmed III as Ottoman Sultan.
17/9/1730, Thursday (-78,384) The Ottoman Grand Vizier was strangled in a revolt by the Janissaries. Sultan Ahmed III was forced to abdicate.
12/9/1730, Saturday (-78,389)
12/8/1730, Wednesday (-78,420)
12/7/1730, Sunday (-78,451) Josiah Wedgewood was born at Burslem, Staffordshire.
12/6/1730, Friday (-78,481)
4/6/1730, Thursday (-78,489) King George III of Britain was born. His mental health was unstable, and his mishandling of the American colonies led to their independence.
5/5/1730, Tuesday (-78,519)
5/4/1730, Sunday (-78,549)
5/3/1730, Thursday (-78,580)
3/2/1730, Tuesday (-78,610) The London Daily Advertiser published the first ever Stock Exchange quotations.
30/1/1730, Friday (-78,614) Peter II, Tsar of Russia, died of smallpox aged 14. This day he was to have married Catherine, second daughter of Alexis Dolgoruki.
28/11/1729, Friday (-78,677) In Louisiana, Natchez Indians massacred over 200 White settlers after the colonists tried to appropriate the Indians traditional burial grounds.
9/11/1729. Sunday (-78,696) Spain signed the Treaty of Seville, renouncing its right to Gibraltar in favour of the British. See 11/4/1713.
3/9/1729, Wednesday (-78,763) (Britain) The Treaty of Hanover was signed between Britain, France and Prussia. It was to counterbalance the Treaty of Vienna, between Spain and Austria, which treaty had broken the Quadruple Alliance. The Vienna treaty was intended to restore the Stuarts to the English throne and to compel Britain to return Gibraltar and Minorca to Spain. The Treaty of Hanover was a mutual defence pact, in case any signatory was attacked.
5/8/1729, Tuesday (-78,792) Thomas Newcomen, who invented the first atmospheric steam engine in 1705, died in London.
30/7/1729, Wednesday (-78,798) The city of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, was founded.
2/5/1729, Friday (-78,887) Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Germany. She became ruler of Russia in 1762 in a coup in which her husband Peter III was assassinated.
21/3/1729, Friday (-78,929) John Law, financier, died.
12/1/1729, Sunday (-78,997) The statesman Edmund Burke was born in Dublin.
28/10/1728, Monday (-79,073) The naval officer and explorer Captain James Cook was born at Marton, Cleveland, Yorkshire. He was the son of a farmer. His voyages in the ship Endeavour led to the discovery of Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.
3/9/1728, Tuesday (-79,128) Birth of Matthew Boulton, who invented the steam modern engine along with James Watt.
14/8/1728, Danish explorer Vitus Bering discovered that the Bering Strait was the easternmost limit of Siberia.
21/2/1728, Wednesday (-79,323) Peter III, Tsar of Russia and grandson of Peter the Great, was born in Kiel.
17/10/1727, Tuesday (-79,450) John Wilkes, British political reformist who called for a free press, was born in Clerkenwell, London, the son of a distiller.
11/10/1727, Wednesday (-79,456) Coronation of King George II.
11/6/1727, Sunday (-79,578) King George I, the first Hanoverian King, died of apoplexy, aged 67, in Osnabruck castle where he was born, on route to Hanover. His son, 44-year old George II, succeeded him.
10/6/1727, Saturday (-79,579) King George I died of apoplexy on his way to Hanover, in the room where he was born at Osnabruck Castle. He was succeeded by his 44 year-old son, George II.
16/5/1727, Tuesday (-79,604) Katherine I of Russia died aged 44. She was succeeded by her 12-year-old son Peter, who reigned until 1730.
14/5/1727. Sunday (-79,606) Artist Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the son of a cloth merchant.
20/3/1727. Monday (-79,661) Sir Isaac Newton, born 5/1/1642, died in London aged 84. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
2/1/1727, Monday (-79,738) General James Wolfe was born at Westerham, Kent. Wolfe, son of a general, was to command the British army at the capture of Quebec from the French.
2/9/1726. Friday (-79,860) Birth of prison reformer John Howard. English campaigner for better conditions for prisoners and wages for gaolers.
20/6/1726, (-) The first municipal fire brigade was established, at Beverley, Yorkshire.
26/3/1726. Saturday (-80,020) Sir John Vanbrugh, English playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard, and many other stately homes, died of quinsy.
12/1/1726, Wednesday (-80,093) Edmund Burke, British politician and orator, was born in Dublin.
29/9/1725, Wednesday (-80,198) Robert Clive, British soldier and politician, was born in Styche, near Market Drayton, Shropshire. He was the so of a lawyer, the eldest of 13 children.
2/4/1725. Friday (-80,378) Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer, gambler, secret agent, and ‘world’s greatest lover’, was born in Venice.
8/2/1725. Monday (-80,431) Katherine I became Empress of Russia on the death of her husband Peter the Great.
28/1/1725. Thursday (-80,442) Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia from 1682, died in St Petersburg. Aged 53, he had established Russia as a major European power.
16/11/1724. Monday (-80,515) The highwayman Jack Sheppard was hanged at Tyburn in front of a crowd of 200,000.
22/4/1724, Wednesday (-80,723) Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia, the son of a saddler.
7/3/1724, Saturday (-80,769) Pope Innocent XIII died.
16/7/1723, Tuesday (-81,004) Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, was born at Plympton Earls, Devon.
5/6/1723, Wednesday (-81,045) The economist and philosopher Adam Smith was born at Kirkcaldy. He was the son of a customs officer.
17/5/1723, Friday (-81,064) Christopher Layer was hung, drawn and quartered for treason, for a plot to kill King George I and restore the Catholic Stuart dynasty. James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II, would have become James III. In England the military was reinforced and put on standby against a possible Catholic invasion of the country; this was paid for by a £100,000 tax (£313 million in 2015 prices) on Catholic estates. This was the Atterbury plot, named after Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, who was exiled for his part in it.
25/2/1723. Monday (-81,145) Sir Christopher Wren, born 20/10/1632 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, died aged 91, in London. His works included St Paul’s Cathedral (see 22/6/1675) and Chelsea Hospital. He was buried in the crypt of St Pauls Cathedral.
25/12/1722, Tuesday (-81,207) After this date, under Britain’s Calico Act 1721, it became illegal for anyone to use or wear calico, an Indian-made fabric, in Great Britain. This removed a source of competition for UK textile producers.
27/9/1722, Thursday (-81,296) Birth of Samuel Adams, American revolutionary who was involved in the Boston Tea Party. He died on 2/10/1803.
16/6/1722, Saturday (-81,399) John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, British General famous for his victories in the Spanish War of Succession, died at Windsor aged 72.
5/4/1722, The explorer Jakob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
1/1/1722, Monday (-81,565) So-called ‘blacking’ was becoming a problem for British landowners. Large deer parks established by the landed gentry were excluding commoners from their traditional grazing lands where they could also gather peat and firewood. The commoners would black their faces and raid these parks. In response to this Parliament passed the Black Act in May 1723, making it a hanging offence to black one’s face and carry weapons, many other offenders were transported under this Act. The Black Act was not repealed until 1824.
29/12/1721, Friday (-81,568) Madame de Pompadour, French Mistress of Louis XV of France, was born in Paris as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.
30/8/1721, Wednesday (-81,689) Conclusion of the Peace of Nystad. Peter the Great obtained Swedish lands including Estonia, and an outlet to the Baltic and the West.
9/8/1721. Wednesday (-81,710) Prisoners in Newgate Gaol were offered a pardon if they agreed to be inoculated to test Dr Charles Maitland’s theories on the subject. Seven men volunteered, and all survived to live in freedom.
8/7/1721, Saturday (-81,742) Elihu Yale, American philanthropist and benefactor of Yale University, named after him in New Haven, died.
3/4/1721, Monday (-81,838) Sir Robert Walpole was appointed First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, effectively making him Britain’s first Prime Minister. He held this office until 12/2/1742.
31/12/1720, Saturday (-81,931) Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward Stuart, was born in Rome, the elder son of James, the ‘Old Pretender’.
29/12/1720, Thursday (-81,933) The Haymarket Theatre, London, was founded.
24/7/1720. Sunday (-82,091) Financial crisis hit Paris as the South Sea Bubble collapsed.
4/4/1720, Monday (-82,202) In return for a loan of £7 million to finance war against France, the House of Lords passed the South Sea Bill, granting the South Sea Company a monopoly on trade with South America.
17/2/1720, Wednesday (-82,249) (Spain) By the Treaty of the Hague, the Allies forced King Philip V of Spain to renounce his claim on Sicily; also Victor Amadeus II of Savoy gave up Sicily to Austria in exchange for Sardinia (see 2/8/1718).
31/12/1719, Thursday (-82,297) John Flamsteed, first Astronomer-Royal, for whom Charles II built the Greenwich Royal Observatory, died. His catalogue of stars for ship’s navigators was still incomplete after 40 year’s of work.
17/6/1719, Wednesday (-82,494) Joseph Addison died. A Whig essayist and poet, he had been co-founder of The Spectator
25/4/1719. Saturday (-82,547) Daniel Defoe’s novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was published in London.
23/1/1719, Friday (-82,639) The Principality of Liechtenstein was constituted.
11/12/1718, Thursday (-82,682) Charles XII, King of Sweden, was killed.
22/11/1718, Saturday (-82,701) Edward Teach, English pirate known as ‘blackbeard’, was killed off the coast of North Carolina.
15/8/1717, Friday (-82,800) Britain’s first road engineer, John Metcalfe, was born in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.
11/8/1718, Monday (-82,804) (Britain, Spain) Admiral Byng destroyed the Spanish fleet off Cape Passaro.
2/8/1718, Saturday (-82,813) (Britain, France, Spain) A Quadruple Alliance was formed between Britain, France, Holland, and Austria, against Spain, after Spain seized Sardinia and Sicily, threatening another European war. Under the Treaty of Utrecht (11/4/1713) Sardinia had been assigned to Austria and Sicily to Savoy (see also 17/2/1720). However King Philip V of Spain, influenced by his wife Elizabeth Farnese of Parma and her advisor Giulio Alberoni, seized these islands. Admiral Byng was sent to defend Sicily, with Austrian troops. In a sea battle off Cape Passaro, he totally destroyed the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile French troops occupied northern Spain. The purpose of the Quadruple Alliance were, to maintain the terms of the Peace of Utrecht, for Spain to renounce any claim to the French throne, and to guarantee the Protestant succession in Britain. The four powers would also assist each other if any were attacked. Spain initially backed a Jacobite invasion of Britain, but after the dismissal of Cardinal Alberoni in December 1719 Spain changed policy and joined the Alliance, which provided a forum to discuss territorial disputes in Europe.
30/7/1718, Wednesday (-82,816) William Penn, English Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania State in the USA, died aged 73.
21/7/1718, Monday (-82,825) The Peace of Passarowitz ended the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. The position of the two Empires was stabilised in the Balkans until well into the nineteenth century.
17/5/1718, Saturday (-82,890) The French founded New Orleans, Louisiana.
15/5/1718, Thursday (-82,892) The machine gun was patented by a London lawyer, James Puckle.
27/12/1717, Friday (-83,031) Pope Pius VI was born.
24/9/1717, Tuesday (-83,125) Horatio Walpole, British politician, was born in London.
22/8/1717. Thursday (-83,158) Austrian forces took Belgrade from the Ottoman Turks.
4/8/1717. Sunday (-83,176) A treaty of friendship was signed between France and Russia.
17/7/1717. Wednesday (-83,194) George I, Hanoverian King of England, held a public concert on the Thames for Handel to conduct his hour-long Water Music. The King liked it so much he asked for two complete encores.
24/6/1717. Monday (-83,217) The Grand Lodge of the English Freemasons, London’s first Freemason Lodge, was formed.
13/5/1717, Monday (-83,259) Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, was born in Vienna.
20/3/1717, Wednesday (-83,313) Abraham Derby (senior), first ironmaster to use coke to smelt iron, died at Worcester.
2/3/1717. Saturday (-83,331) First ballet performed in England, The Loves of Mars and Venus , at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.
19/2/1717, Tuesday (-83,342) David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, was born in Hereford, son of an army captain.
26/12/1716. Wednesday (-83,397) Thomas Gray, the poet best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, was born in London, the son of a money broker.
28/7/1716, Saturday (-83,548) The last hangings for witchcraft in England; Mary Hicks and her 9-year-old daughter Elizabeth were executed at Huntingdon. The last hanging for witchcraft in Scotland was of Janet Horne, in Dornoch in 1727.
24/2/1716, Friday (-83,703) The leaders of the Jacobite uprising I November 1715 captured at Preston were executed. Some escaped to France. The Pretender himself also escaped. The aim of the rebels was to overthrow the Hanoverian dynasty ands restore the Stuarts to the throne.
14/1/1716. Saturday (-83,744) Westminster Hospital founded.
24/12/1715, Saturday (-83,765) Swedish troops occupied Norway.
22/12/1715. Thursday (-83,767) James Stuart, the ‘Old Pretender’, son of King James II, deposed Roman Catholic King of England, landed at Peterhead after his exile in France. However he was forced to leave on 5/2/1716 for France again with the Earl of Mar, as the Jacobite Army, defeated, dispersed.
13/11/1715, Sunday (-83,806) A Royalist army defeated the Jacobites at Preston, Lancashire. On this day Mar also failed to dislodge the Royalists under Argyll from Sheriffmuir, north of Stirling.
18/10/1715, Tuesday (-83,832) Peter II, Tsar of Russia, was born.
6/9/1715, Tuesday (-83,874) The Earl of Mar raised the Stuart Standard at Braemar, starting the Jacobite Rebellion.
1/9/1715. Thursday (-83,879) King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’ died at Versailles, of gangrene of the leg, after reigning for 73 years, the longest in European history, aged 77. He famously said ‘L’etat, c’est moi’. The five-year-old Louis XV succeeded him, and reigned for almost 59 years; the regency was in the hands of Philip of Orleans, aged 41.
1/8/1715, Monday (-83,910) Doggett’s Coat and badge race first run on the Thames. The race was created by Thomas Doggett, an Irish actor and stage manager at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, who was grateful to an apprentice Thames waterman who rowed him home on a windy night when older ferrymen had refused.
20/10/1714, Wednesday (-84,195) Coronation of King George I.
18/9/1714, Saturday (-84,227) George I landed in England.
6/8/1714, Friday (-84,270) Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic; Russia defeated Sweden.
1/8/1714. Sunday (-84,275) Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, died childless. King George I, Elector of Hanover, Prince George Louis, son of the Electress Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of James I, became King under the 1701 Act of Settlement. Unfortunately he spoke no English.
30/7/1714, Friday (-84,277) The pro-Hanoverian Duke of Shrewsbury was appointed Lord Treasurer.
8/6/1714, Tuesday (-84,329) Sophia, Electress of Hanover, died.
8/3/1714, Monday (-84,421) C P E Bach, composer, born.
23/9/1713, Wednesday (-84,587) Ferdinand VI, King of Spain, was born.
13/8/1713, Thursday (-84,618) Frederick William consolidated the Prussian State by an ordinance reducing the power and autonomy of Prussian nobles.
11/4/1713. Saturday (-84,752) France in the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar and Newfoundland to Britain. This Treaty established terms of peace with Louis XIV, and ended the War of the Spanish Succession. The Treaty also preserved the balance of power in Europe by preventing either Bourbon France or Hapsburg Austria from dominating the territories of the Spanish Succession. Philip V became King of Spain but had to renounce all claims to the French throne. Britain also gained Minorca and Gibraltar. Sicily went to the Duke of Savoy and Prussia gained Upper Gelderland, Neuchatel, and Valengin. European powers were exhausted by a war that had dragged on for 12 years.
25/2/1713, Wednesday (-84,797) Frederick I, first King of Prussia, died aged 55. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Frederick Wilhelm I.
24/7/1712, Thursday (-85,013) Battle of Denain.
12/7/1712, Saturday (-85,025) Richard Cromwell, second Lord Protector, son of Oliver Cromwell, died.
28/6/1712, Saturday (-85,039) Jean Jacques Rousseau, French writer and philosopher, was born in Geneva.
7/6/1712, Saturday (-85,060) Philadelphia banned the import of slaves.
6/4/1712, Sunday (-85,122) Slave revolt in New York
24/1/1712, Thursday (-85,195) Frederick the Great, Prussian king and military leader, was born.
17/8/1711. Friday (-85,355) Ascot became ‘Royal’ after the attendance of Queen Anne at the horse races.
11/8/1711, Saturday (-85,361) The first Royal Ascot horse race took place, attended by Queen Anne.
30/4/1711, Monday (-85,464) The Peace of Szatmar effected a reconciliation between the absolutist Hapsburg Austrian monarchy and the Hungarians.
17/4/1711, Tuesday (-85,477) Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
12/3/1711, Monday (-85,513) Abraham Darby, iron worker, was born.
1/3/1711. Thursday (-85,524) The Spectator was first published.
10/12/1710, Sunday (-85,605) The Battle of Villaviciosa.
10/4/1710. Monday (-85,849) The Copyright Act came into effect in Britain. This allowed authors to hold exclusive rights to their work for up to 50 years after their death.
12/3/1710, Sunday (-85,878) Thomas Arne, composer of Rule Britannia, was born in London, the son of an upholsterer.
28/2/1710, Tuesday (-85,890) Sweden defeated a force of 14,000 Danes at the Battle of Helsingborg.
15/2/1710, Wednesday (-85,903) The French King Louis XV was born. His weak and indecisive rule set the scene for the French Revolution.
18/9/1709. Sunday (-86,053) Samuel Johnson, poet and lexicographer, was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, son of a bookseller.
11/9/1709, Sunday (-86,060) At the Battle of Malplaquet in northern France, near Mons, The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene won a costly victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. 100,000 Austrian, British, Dutch and German soldiers were intending to besiege the French at Mons but were met by a French force of 90,000. In an attack on the French the Allies lost 24,000 men; the French lost 12,000. The French then withdrew but Allied losses prevented further exploitation of this victory.
31/8/1709, Wednesday (-86,071) Battle of Malplaquet began.
8/8/1709, Monday (-86,094) Father de Gusmao demonstrated a model hot air balloon indoors in the palace of King John V of Portugal. It rose 12 foot and threatened the expensive curtains with its firebox. Servants shot the contraption down. Most balloon demonstrations after that took place outdoors.
8/7/1709, Friday (-86,125) (Sweden, Russia) The Battle of Poltava (in modern day eastern Ukraine). Peter the Great of Russia destroyed the Swedish army. Hanover and Denmark joined with Russia in attacking the Swedish Empire.
2/2/1709, Wednesday (-86,281) The Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, was rescued after being marooned for four months on an island off Chile.
8/12/1708, Wednesday (-86,337) Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
15/11/1708. Monday (-86,360) Birth of William Pitt the Elder, at Westminster.
9/10/1708, Saturday (-86,397) Battle of Lesnaya; Russia defeated Sweden.
12/7/1708. Monday (-86,486) The French were defeated at Oudenarde in western Belgium, by Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy. Marlborough also captured Lille after a four-month siege. This was during the War of the Spanish Succession.
4/7/1708, Sunday (-86,494) Battle of Holovsin; Sweden beat Russia.
2/7/1708, Friday (-86,496) Battle of Kliszow; Sweden beat Russia.
30/6/1708, Wednesday (-86,498) Battle of Oudenarde began.
23/5/1707, Friday (-86,902) Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist who established principles for classifying living organisms, was born as Carl Linne, the son of the parish clergyman of Rashult.
1/5/1707. Thursday (-86,924) Act of Union between England and Scotland. The Union of the English and Scottish crowns was on 24/3/1603, when James VI of Scotland also became King of England. Scotland failed economically, and England put pressure for Union on the Scottish Parliament. Scottish aristocrats were offered compensation and voted for Union. Coinage, taxation, sovereignty, and parliament became one, but Scotland retained its own legal and religious system. The Union Jack was adopted as the National Flag.
25/4/1707, Friday (-86,930) The Battle of Alamanza, fought during the War of the Spanish Succession. The British and the Dutch together defeated the French.
20/2/1707, Thursday (-86,994) The Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb died aged 88, his empire crumbling around him. He seized the throne at Agra from his father Shah Jehan 49 years earlier, killing two of his brothers and jailing the third to secure his succession. He moved the capital to Delhi, and enjoyed stable rule until his third son backed a rebellion by the Rajputs, Hindu warriors of Rajasthan. His military ventures bankrupted his kingdom, causing his subjects starvation through excessive taxation, and he caused resentment by destroying hundreds of Hindu temples.
3/11/1706, Sunday (-87,103) A severe earthquake hit Abruzzi, Italy, destroying the town and killing 15,000 of its inhabitants.
23/5/1706, Thursday (-87,267) (Benelux, France, Spain)The Battle of Ramillies, between Louvain and Namur in Belgium. Allied British and Dutch armies under Marlborough intercepted a French offensive. 15,000 French and 5,000 Allied soldiers died. The result of Ramillies was that Brussels, Antwerp and most of the Spanish Netherlands surrendered. By the end of 1706 the French held only Namur and Mons in The Netherlands.
27/2/1706, Wednesday (-87,352) John Evelyn, whose diary covered the last 65 years of his life, died aged 86 at Wotton, near Dorking, Surrey.
17/1/1706. Sunday (-87,393) Benjamin Franklin, American scientist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the 15th of 17 children.
17/12/1705, Monday (-87,424)
17/11/1705, Saturday (-87,454)
4/10/1705, Thursday (-87,498) Lord Peterborough captured Barcelona.
12/7/1705, Thursday (-87,582) Death of Anglican priest Titus Gates, the anti-Catholic conspirator who alleged the existence of a plot to assassinate King Charles II and place his Catholic brother James on the throne, thus causing the execution of 35 suspects and the exclusion of Catholics from the British Parliament.
5/5/1705, Saturday (-87,650) The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I died at Vienna, aged 54, after a 47 year reign. He was succeeded by his son, who ruled until 1711 as Josef I.
13/8/1704. Sunday (-87,915) The Battle of Blenheim took place, in Germany, where Anglo-Austrian forces under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, 52,000 men, defeated the French and Bavarian armies, 56,000 men, in the War of the Spanish Succession. The French and their allies, the Bavarians, had encamped on the west bank of the Nebel, a small stream running into the left bank of the Danube, about a mile or two from the Danube itself. Marlborough and Eugene had also encamped on another tributary of the Danube, five miles eastwards of the French/Bavarian forces. Early in the morning of the 13 August Marlborough’s forces began moving towards the French, and caught them by surprise at 7.am.
With the defeat of the two French armies under Tallard and Marsin, the sun began to set on a decade-long tradition of French military triumph. Vienna was saved from capture by the French.
9/8/1704, Wednesday (-87,919) The Russians under Tsar Peter I took Narva, (seaport, now in Estonia) by force from Sweden. Narva remained a Russian port until Estonia independence in 1918.
24/7/1704, Monday (-87,935) Admiral Sir George Rooke and Sir Cloudesley Shovel captured Gibraltar from the Spanish, during the War of the Spanish Succession. Gibraltar was formally ceded to the UK by the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713.
24/4/1704, Monday (-88,026) The first regular newspaper in British North America, the Boston News Letter, was published.
30/12/1703, Thursday (-38,142) In Japan, an earthquake and the resultant fires killed 200,000 people in Edo.
27/12/1703, Monday (-88,145) The Methuen Treaty was signed.
26/11/1703. Friday (-88,176) The first Eddystone Lighthouse was swept away in the Great Storm, which killed over 8,000 across Britain.
12//9/1703, Sunday (-88,251) (Benelux, Britain, France-Germany, Spain) The Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand was proclaimed King of Spain, War of the Spanish Succession began. France had already, in 1701, begun to occupy key fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands, following the death of the Spanish monarch Charles II on 2/10./1700, with no heir.
23/8/1703, Monday (-88,271) Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III was deposed.
12/7/1703, Monday (-88,313)
17/6/1703. Thursday (-88,338) The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire. He was the 15th child of a rector who fathered 19 children.
4/6/1703, Friday (-88,351) Samuel Pepys was buried at St Olaves church in Hart Street, London.
27/5/1703. Thursday (-88,359) Tsar Peter the Great founded St Petersburg and proclaimed it the new capital of Russia.
26/5/1703. Wednesday (-88,360) Samuel Pepys died at Clapham, London, aged 70. He became an MP in 1679. His diaries ran from 1660 to 1669, when he stopped due to failing eyesight.
13/4/1703, Tuesday (-88,403) Battle of Pultusk; Sweden defeated Russia.
3/3/1703, Wednesday (-88,444) The scientist Robert Hooke died.
14/2/1703, Sunday (-88,461) An earthquake hit Norcia, Italy.
2/2/1703, Tuesday (-88,473) An earthquake hit the town of L’Aquila, Italy.
18/7/1702, Saturday (-88,672) Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia beat Sweden.
23/4/1702, Thursday (-88,758) The coronation of Queen Anne.
11/3/1702, Wednesday (-88,801) E Mallet published The Daily Courant, the first successful daily newspaper in Britain. It was printed as a single sheet.
8/3/1702, Sunday (-88,804) King William III died when his horse, Sorrel, stumbled on a molehill in the grounds of Hampton Court Park. He had no children, and the Crown passed to Queen Anne. second daughter of James II, who was born on 6/2/1665 in London, and brought up as a strict Protestant. By the time Anne became Queen she had already had 17 children, and seen them all die in childhood. She died on 1/8/1714, and was succeeded by King George I.
7/1/1702, Wednesday (-88,864) Battle of Errestfer; Russia defeated Sweden.
8/12/1701, Monday (-88.894)
27/11/1701, Thursday (-88,905) Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer who devised the Centigrade scale of temperature in 1742, was born in Uppsala.
28/10/1701, Tuesday (-88,935)
9/10/1701. Thursday (-88,954) Yale College in the USA received its Charter.
17/9/1701, Wednesday (-88,976) The deposed King of England, James II, died of a stroke at 5 St Germain, France. His son, James Edward, the ‘Old Pretender’, was proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ireland by King Louis XIV.
18/8/1701, Monday (-89,006)
24/7/1701, Thursday (-89,031) Antione Cadillac founded the French colonial settlement of Fort Pontcahrtain, later Detroit, to control the route between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
22/7/1701, Tuesday (-89,033)
6/7/1701, Sunday (-89,049)
12/6/1701. Thursday (-89,073) The Act of Settlement was passed in London. It settled the Royal accession on the Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover and barred Roman Catholics from the English throne.
23/5/1701, Friday (-89,093) William Kidd, pirate, was hanged, aged 56, see 8/5/1701.
8/5/1701. Thursday (-89,108) The Scottish pirate Captain William Kidd went on trial at the Old Bailey for piracy. He was hanged on 23/5/1701, at Execution Dock, London. He had to be hanged three times because the rope broke twice.
20/11/1700, Wednesday (-89,277) Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva.
2/10/1700, Wednesday (-89,326) The Spanish monarch, Charles II, died, aged 39, with no heir. England, Austria and Holland were alarmed that Charles had named Philip, Duke of Anjou, as his successor; these nations had agreed that Joseph Ferdinand, Prince of Bavaria, should get the Spanish Crown. Spanish territory would be ceded to buy off the rival French and Austrian claimants to the throne, Philip the second grandson of King Louis XIV and Archduke Charles, second son of the Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I. However Ferdinand predeceased the Spanish King, leaving Charles, who was physically and mentally handicapped, susceptible to the influences of the French Court. War seemed inevitable, see 12/9/1703.
27/9/1700, Friday (-89,331) Pope Innocent XII died.
30/7/1700, Tuesday (-89,390) William, Duke of Gloucester, died aged 11. He was the only surviving child of Queen Mary, so the succession to the English throne passed to the Electress Sophia of Hanover.
13/6/1700, Thursday (-89,437) Peter the Great concluded a peace with Turkey.
1/5/1700, Wednesday (-89,480) John Dryden, Poet Laureate for over 20 years, died in London.
1/1/1700, Monday (-89,601)
20/12/1699, Wednesday (-89,613) Peter the Great changed New Year’s day in Russia from September 1 to January 1.
22/9/1699, Friday (-89,702) Citizens of Rotterdam went on strike over the high price of butter.
14/6/1699, Wednesday (-89,802) Thomas Savery demonstrated his first steam engine to the Royal Society.
1/5/1699, Friday (-89,846) Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville founded the first European settlement on the Mississippi at Fort Maurepas, now Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
4/3/1699, Saturday (-89,904) The Jews were expelled from Lubeck, Germany.
26/1/1699, Thursday (-89,941) Prince Eugene (see 29/8/1697), having invaded Serbia and Bosnia, forced the Turks to conclude the Peace of Carlowitz. This restored the entire Kingdom of Hungary, with the exception of the Banat of Temesvar, to Austria from Turkey. This was the start of the rise to power of the Hapsburg Dynasty.
14/1/1699, Saturday (-89,953) Massachusetts held a day of mourning for having wrongly persecuted witches.
16/11/1698, Wednesday (-90,012) A congress began in Sremski Karlovici to discuss an end to the war between The Ottoman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.
5/9/1698, Monday (-90,084) Tsar Peter I of Russia imposed a tax on beards in an effort to move his country from Asiatic to European customs.
14/7/1698, Thursday (-90,137) The first settlers left Scotland for an ill-fated scheme to colonise Panama; the Darien scheme.
2/7/1698, Saturday (-90,149) Thomas Savery patented an early steam engine. This engine could be used to pump water out of mines, an increasing problem as miners went ever deeper.
2/5/1698, Monday (-90,210)
2/3/1698, Wednesday (-90,271)
2/2/1698, Wednesday (-90,299)
4/1/1698, Tuesday (-90,328) The Palace of Whitehall, London, was destroyed by fire.
1/1/1698, Saturday (-90,331) The Abenaki tribe and the Massachusetts colonists signed a treaty ending the conflict in New England.
14/12/1697, Tuesday (-90,349) Charles XII was crowned King of Sweden, aged 15.
5/12/1697. Sunday (-90,358) The first Sunday service was held in Sir Christopher Wren’s new St Paul’s Cathedral (consecrated 2/12/1697), London; the foundation stone had been laid on 22/6/1675.
10/11/1697, Wednesday (-90,383) The painter William Hogarth was born at Smithfield, London, the son of a teacher.
27/10/1697, Wednesday (-90,397) Lightning struck Athlone Castle, Ireland, igniting 260 barrels of gunpowder along with other munitions. The resultant fire destroyed the town of Athlone, although only 8 people were killed.
18/10/1697. Monday (-90,406) Birth of the painter Canaletto. He was born in Venice, as Giovanni Antonio Canal, and was trained by his father who was a scene painter. As a youth Canaletto went to Rome to study under the classical painter Pannini. He returned to Venice to become the most famous painter of Venetian views of the 18th century. His patron was Joseph Smith who served as English consul in Venice; as a result Canaletto’s work became popular with English travellers and he cane to England in 1746, staying there for most of the next 10 years. He painted his four views of Warwick castle, the two largest of which are (2001) in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
20/9/1697, Monday (-90,434) (Benelux, Britain) The Treaty of Ryswick ended the Nine Years War. This Treaty led to the Barrier Treaties (1709-15) between Britain and the Netherlands, with the idea that Britain would assist The Netherlands to maintain a line of fortresses against any future French attacks. These fortresses included Ypres, Lille, Tournai, Valenciennes and Namur. In return the Dutch promised to send 6,000 troops to help Britain resist a Jacobite uprising, which they did supply in 1715.
11/9/1697, Saturday (-90,443) At the Battle of Zenta, Prince Eugene of Savoy, leading an Austrian army, defeated the Ottomans under Mustafa II, see 26/1/1699.
7/5/1697, Friday (-90,570) The Royal Castle, Tree Kronor (Three Crowns) in Sweden burnt down, destroying a large part of the Royal Library.
5/4/1697, Monday (-90,602) Death of King Charles XI of Sweden, aged 40, after a 37-year reign. He was succeeded by his 14-year-old son, Charles XII, who ruled until 1718, see 14/12/1697.
5/2/1697, Friday (-90,661)
5/12/1696, Saturday (-90,723)
5/10/1696, Monday (-90,784)
22/8/1696, Saturday (-90,828) Forces of Venice and Turkey fought near Molino.
18/7/1696, Saturday (-90,863) The Fleet of Tsar Peter I of Russia occupied Azov, at the mouth of the River Don.
30/6/1696. Tuesday (-90,881) Greenwich Hospital founded.
17/6/1696, Wednesday (-90,894) John III Sobieski, King of Poland, died aged 72, after a 20-year reign. In 1697 Poland chose the Elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus, aged 27, to succeed him. He was crowned in September 1697 and ruled as Augustus II until his death in 1733.
16/4/1696, Thursday (-90,956) Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, Venetian painter, was born.
10/4/1696, Friday (-90,962) England’s Navigation Act forbade the Colonies in America from exporting directly to Ireland or Scotland.
29/1/1696, Wednesday (-91,034) Ivan V, Tsar of Russia, died. Peter the Great became Tsar. He decreed that all Russians should be clean – shaven, or pay a beard tax.
31/12/1695. Tuesday (-91,063) A window tax was imposed in Britain, resulting in many being blocked up.
21/11/1695, Thursday (-91,103) Henry Purcell, English composer, died in London from tuberculosis.
21/9/1695, Saturday (-91,164)
21/7/1695, Sunday (-91,226)
8/6/1695, Saturday (-91,269) Christiaan Huygens, the Dutch scientist who invented the pendulum clock, died.
8/4/1695, Monday (-91,330)
8/2/1695, Friday (-91,389)
28/12/1694. Saturday (-91,431) Queen Mary II died from smallpox, leaving William III to reign alone.
21/11/1694, Wednesday (-91,468) Voltaire, French philosopher and writer, was born in Paris as Jean Francois-Marie Arouet.
21/9/1964, Friday (-91,529)
27/7/1694. Friday (-91,585) The Bank of England was founded, by Montagu, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with government backing. Its remit was to carry out all the monetary business of the government and to obtain interest on the government’s money.
11/5/1964, Friday (-91,662)
11/4/1694, Wednesday (-91,692) The Dukedom of Bedford was created.
27/3/1964, Tuesday (-91,707)
6/2/1694, Tuesday (-91,756) Portuguese forces in Brazil captured Macaco, the past stronghold of the Palmares, after a siege of 42 days. The Palmares were Africans, Mocambos, who had fled from the Brazilian plantations and established their own de-facto independent state in eastern Brazil in the early 1600s. The name Palmares derives from the palm trees of the area which provided food and shelter.
27/1/1964, Saturday (-91,766)
27/12/1693, Wednesday (-91,797)
1/11/1693, Wednesday (-91,853) The Bank of Scotland was founded.
11/10/1693, Wednesday (-91,874) Charleroi surrendered to the French.
11/8/1693, Thursday (-91,935)
27/6/1693. Tuesday (-91,980) The Ladies Mercury, the first magazine for women, was published.
22/5/1693, Monday (-92,016) The town of Heidelberg was captured by the French; Heidelberg Castle surrendered on 23/5/1693.
20/3/1693, Monday (-92,079)
11/1/1693, Wednesday (-92,147) Mount Etna erupted; a large earthquake affected Sicily and Malta.
11/11/1962, Friday (-92,208)
11/9/1962, Sunday (-92,269)
10/8/1962, Wednesday (-92,301)
10/6/1692. Friday (-92,362) The first of the Salem Witches was hanged. She was Bridget Bishop, one of 150 respectable citizens accused of witchcraft by a hysterical band of young girls in the isolated Puritan town in Massachusetts.
19/5/1692, Thursday (-92,384) At the battle of La Hogue, the British and Dutch destroyed a French fleet off Cap de la
Hague. The French fleet under Colbert was severely reduced, ending French hopes of invading England.
1/3/1692, Tuesday (-92,463) In the US, the Salem witch hunt began
13/2/1692. Saturday (-92,480) Massacre at Glencoe. 40 members of the MacDonald clan were massacred by the Campbells. This massacre was on the orders of William III, because of their Jacobite sympathies of the MacDonalds and their delay in swearing an oath of allegiance. On 27/8/1691 a proclamation was issued offering indemnity to all who took the oath of allegiance before 1/1/1692. All Scottish chiefs took the oath except MacIan, chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, who postponed the submission until 31/12/1691. He then could not take the oath until 6/1/1692 because there was no magistrate at Fort William. This irregularity gave Breadalbane (John Campbell, First Earl of Breadalbane) the excuse to destroy the clan that had for generations plundered the lands of himself and his neighbours. The Macdonalds were in fact giving hospitality to their murderers when they rose up and killed them. Breadalbane managed to prevent most of the evidence against him from being presented; he was imprisoned for a short time in Edinburgh Castle on the grounds of earlier negotiations with the Highland chiefs, but was released when it was known he was acting with the knowledge of King William.
30/12/1691, Wednesday (-92,525) Robert Boyle, scientist, died. He formulated Boyle’s Laws on gases.
3/10/1691, Saturday (-92,613) The surrender of Limerick. Irish soldiers were allowed to depart for France; 11,000 did so.
12/7/1691, Sunday (-92,696) King William III won a decisive victory over the Jacobites at Aughrim, Ireland. The Jacobite army under Charles Chalmont, Marquis de St Ruth, had initial success in the battle until Chalmont was killed, his forces lost morale and fled. 7,000 Jacobite soldiers were killed. By the end of 1691 all Jacobite resistance to William in Ireland had ceased.
26/5/1691. Tuesday (-92,743) James Lesler was executed for treason in New York. He had led an uprising against the English in favour of James II.
13/1/1691, Tuesday (-92,876) George Fox, English religious leader who founded the Society of Friends (often known as the Quakers) died in London.
8/10/1690. Wednesday (-92,973) Belgrade was retaken by the Ottoman Turks.
24/8/1690, Sunday (-93,018) The port of Calcutta was founded by Job Charnock of the English East India Company.
9/8/1690, Saturday (-93,033) The siege of Limerick began.
11/7/1690. Friday (-93,062) William of Orange defeated the Jacobites under the deposed Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne. The River Boyne was the only defensive barrier between Belfast and Dublin, and James II’s forces were well dug in on rising ground there. James II’s forces lost 1,600 men; William’s, only a third of that number. William won, and James fled to Waterford and then on to France.
30/6/1690. Monday (-93,073) The Battle of Beachy Head. An allied force of 37 British ships and 22 Dutch ships was at anchor off Beachy head whilst a French fleet of 70 ships waited off to the south-west, waiting to co-operate with an anticipated Catholic Jacobite uprising in England. The English commander, Torrington, wished to retire to the mouth of the Thames till he could be reinforced, but the Council of Regency ordered him to remain where he was, and fight if he could secure an advantageous position. Torrington took this as an order to fight the French and bore down on them; however with inferior numbers, there were gaps between the British ships. The Anglo-Dutch fleets began to suffer heavy losses from French fire. But the tide turned from flood to ebb during the engagement, and whilst the Anglo-Dutch ships dropped anchor, the French did not, and were carried away westwards on the current. Some of the most damaged British ships were abandoned in Pevensey Bay. Torrington was tried for his conduct but acquitted.
1/6/1690, Sunday (-93,102) At Fleurus, Belgium, a French Army fought an allied Spanish and Dutch army. The French won.
1/4/1690, Tuesday (-93,163)
1/2/1690, Saturday (-93,222)
1/12/1689, Sunday (-93,284)
14/11/1689, Thursday (-93,301)
22/10/1689, Tuesday (-93,324) John V, King of Portugal, was born.
7/9/1689, Saturday (-93,369) China signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia. This was the first treaty signed by China with another country as opposed to a vassal state. The Treaty settled border disputes in the Amur region.
12/8/1689, Monday (-93,395) Pope Innocent XI died.
1/8/1689. Thursday (-93,406) The Irish-French army of James II failed to take the besieged city of Londonderry, whose inhabitants reaffirmed their loyalty to William and Mary.
27/7/1689. Saturday (-93,411) The Scottish Jacobites, supporters of the deposed James II, won the Battle of Killiecrankie, near Pitlochry, against the English under William III. However the Jacobite leader John Graham, Earl of Dundee, was killed.
24/5/1689. Friday (-93,475) The English Parliament passed the Act of Toleration exempting dissenting Protestants from certain legal penalties so long as they have sworn oaths of allegiance to the Crown. Catholics are specifically excluded from this relief.
19/4/1689, Friday (-93,510) Queen Christina of Sweden died; she had abdicated in 1654.
18/4/1689, Thursday (-93,511) Judge Jeffreys died in The Tower of London, aged 44, before he could be tried. A Protestant, he had been hired by King James II to set up a court to deal with the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. He was the Lord Chancellor who was notorious for the harshness of his sentences at the ‘Bloody Assizes’. 300 of Monmouth’s peasant followers were sentenced to hang and a further 800 sent to forced labour in Barbados . After the trials, Jeffreys was made Lord Chancellor by James II, a position he held until the Glorious Revolution of 1688. See 19/8/1685.
16/4/1689, Tuesday (-93,513) Death of Aphra Benn, British novelist and early feminist.
11/4/1689, Thursday (-93,518) The coronation of King William III and Queen Mary as joint sovereigns (see 13/2/1689). The Bishop of London performed the service, as the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to participate.
3/4/1689. Wednesday (-93,526) After landing in Ireland with money and troops supplied by Louis XIV, James II is acknowledged as King of England by an Irish parliament in Dublin. England declared war on France on 17/5/1689.
13/2/1689. Wednesday (-93,575) William and Mary ascended the English throne. Mary was the daughter of James II; William was born in The Hague. This ended the ‘Glorious Revolution’ (see 6/6/1685 and 6/7/1685); James II fled to France on 22/12/1688. They were crowned by the Bishop of London, because the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to do this (see 11/4/1689). James II’s support for the Catholic cause had made him unpopular.
22/1/1689, Tuesday (-93,597) The Convention Parliament agreed that Charles II had abdicated by fleeing to France (on 22/12/1688) and that the throne was vacant, for William and Mary to accede.
12/12/1688, Wednesday (-93,638) Judge Jeffreys took refuge from a mob in the Tower of London.
26/11/1688. Monday (-93,654) Louis XIV declared war on The Netherlands.
5/11/1688, Monday (-93,675) William of Orange landed at Torbay, having been invited by Whig and Tory leaders to save Britain from Catholicism on 30/6/1688; William accepted this invitation on 5/11/1688. See 30/6/1688. William had some 20,000 troops; James prepared to fight him, but was unsettled by defections in his army. James later fled to France.
31/8/1688. Friday (-93,741) John Bunyan religious writer, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, died at the house of a friend in Holborn, London. See 12/11/1660.
11/7/1688, Wednesday (-93,792) Narai, King of Siam, died.
30/6/1688, Saturday (-93,803) William of Orange was invited to England.
10/6/1688, Sunday (-93,823) A son (James Stuart, the ’Old Pretender’) was born to James II, opening up the possibility of a line of Catholic Kings to rule England. He was James II’s only son; his mother was Mary of Modena.
10/4/1688, Tuesday (-93,884)
12/2/1688, Sunday (-93,942)
31/12/1687, Saturday (-93,985) The first boatload of Huguenots sailed from Holland to settle in South Africa. They took vines to start a wine industry in the new colony.
13/11/1687. Sunday (-94,033) Nell Gywnne, actress, died, aged in London aged 37. The mistress of Charles II, who had borne him two sons, was perhaps the best known orange seller of all time.
26/9/1687. Monday (-94,081) The Parthenon and the Propylea were destroyed when the Venetians bombarded Athens. The Venetian army was besieging the Turks when a mortar bomb fired by the Venetians set off Turkish gunpowder stored in the Acropolis.
26/7/1687, Tuesday (-94,143)
26/5/1687, Thursday (-94,204)
14/4/1687. Thursday (-94,246) Having failed to persuade Parliament to repeal the 1673 Test Act (forbidding a Catholic from being the monarch of England), James II issued a Declaration of Indulgence. This granted toleration to Catholics and to non-conformists.
14/2/1687, Monday (-94,305)
14/12/1686, Tuesday (-94,367)
18/11/1686, Thursday (-94,394) King Louis XIV of France underwent a successful operation for haemorrhoids. The surgeon, Charles Francois, had specially-designed tools for the operation, and had practised on dozens of peasants and prisoners, some of whom died.
14/10/1686, Thursday (-94,428)
14/8/1686, Wednesday (-94,489)
6/7/1686. Tuesday (-94,528) The Austrians took Buda from the Ottoman Turks and annexed Hungary.
24/5/1686. Monday (-94,571) Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, the German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer, was born in Danzig.
24/3/1686, Wednesday (-94,632)
24/1/1686, Sunday (-94,691)
24/11/1685, Tuesday (-94,752)
18/10/1685. Sunday (-94,789) Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes which had been issued by Henry IV of France and had given Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. The laity were also forbidden to emigrate; Louis XIV was concerned about the drain of skilled Huguenot merchants and craftsmen, many of whom had fled to England.
19/8/1685. Wednesday (-94,849) Judge Jeffreys began sentencing people to death at what became known as the Bloody Assizes. This followed the Monmouth Rebellion, see 6/7/1685.
15/7/1685, Wednesday (-94,884) The Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter, was executed on Tower Green, London, for leading a Protestant rebellion on the accession of King James II.
6/7/1685. Monday (-94,893) James II’s troops defeated the Duke of Monmouth at Sedgemoor, Somerset, the last battle fought on English soil. Monmouth’s troops had attempted a night attack late on 5/7/1685 but the King’s troops under John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, successfully counterattacked at dawn. The rebel Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of King Charles II, was executed on 15/7/1685. See 13/2/1689.
11/6/1685, Thursday (-94,918) An abortive rebellion against King James II, by the same faction as promoted the Rye House Plot of 1683 (21/7). Monmouth, having been expelled from Holland upon the accession of James II, landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, and issued a proclamation claiming the throne of England. He gathered a small army of 3-4,000, mainly of middle social class status, and managed to capture Taunton before being defeated by pro-Royal troops at Sedgemoor on 6/7/1683.
6/6/1685. Saturday (-94,923) James II became King of England. See 13/2/1689.
6/4/1685, Monday (-94,984)
21/3/1685, Saturday (-95,000) Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, was born in Eisenach, Thuringia.
23/2/1685, Monday (-95,026) George Frederick Handel, German composer, was born in Halle, the son of a barber-surgeon.
7/2/1685; Saturday (-95,042) Charles II, James II’s brother, died after suffering an apoplectic fit on 2/2/1685, see 6/6/1685.
10/12/1684, Wednesday (-95,101) Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s Laws of Gravity was read in a paper to The Royal Society by Edmund Halley.
10/10/1684, Friday (-95,162)
10/8/1684, Sunday (-95,223)
24/7/1684, Thursday (-95,240) Rene-Robert Cavelier sailed from France with a large expedition, to establish a French colony on the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
24/5/1684, Saturday (-95,301)
15/4/1684, Tuesday (-95,340) Katherine I of Russia was born.
24/3/1684, Monday (-95,362)
4/2/1684, Monday (-95,411) The River Thames suddenly thawed, drowning many of the people shopping at the Frost Fair set up on the river.
10/1/1684, Thursday (-95,436) The Dukedom of St Albans was created.
9/1/1684. Wednesday (-95,437) During a deep freeze, the River Thames at London froze over and puppet shows and shopping stalls were set up on the ice.
19/12/1683, Wednesday (-95,458) Philip V, King of Spain, was born.
15/12/1683, Saturday (-95,462) Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, died at Winchester aged 90.
10/11/1683, Saturday (-95,497) George II, King of England, was born in Hanover, Germany, the only son of George I.
17/9/1683, Monday (-95,551) The Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society to report his discovery of bacteria.
11/9/1683. Tuesday (-95,557) (East Europe, Greece-Turkey), The conquering armies of Islam under Vizier Kara Mustafa were defeated at the gates of Vienna. The Turks had been besieging Vienna since July 1683. Relief came under Poland’s King John III (see 1/4/1683) and Charles, Duke of Normandy. The Ottoman Sultan ordered Mustafa to commit suicide.
7/9/1683, Friday (-95,561) German reinforcements arrived outside the besieged city of Vienna.
31/7/1683, Tuesday (-95,599) Invading Turkish forces reached the gates of Vienna. If Vienna fell, Germany would be open to a Turkish invasion.
21/7/1683, Saturday (-95,609) Algernon Sidney and William Russell were executed for their part on the Rye House Plot. Along with the Earl of Wessex (who cheated the executioner by committing suicide in gaol), they planned to ambush King Charles II and the Duke of York (future James II) on their return from Newmarket to London at a narrow point at Rye House, near Hoddesdon, and assassinate them. The plot failed because the monarch left Newmarket early. The Government took advantage of the plot to implicate others whose loyalty to Charles II was questionable.
23/6/1683, Saturday (-95,637) William Penn signed a treaty of peace and friendship with chiefs of the Lenapi Indian tribe, at Shakamaxon.
6/6/1683. Wednesday (-95,654) Elias Ashmole opened the first public museum, the Ashmolean, in Broad Street, Oxford. Exhibits included stuffed animals and a dodo.
3/6/1683, Sunday (-95,657) Sadlers Wells Theatre, London, was founded.
30/4/1683, Monday (-95,691) France, Brandenburg-Prussia, and Denmark agreed that Sweden should be expelled from German territories.
5/2/1683, Monday (-95,775)
2/12/1682, Saturday (-95,840) The Dukedom of Beaufort was created.
27/10/1682, Friday (-95,876) Philadelphia, USA, was founded by William Penn.
5/10/1682, Thursday (-95,898)
1/8/1682, Tuesday (-95,963)
12/7/1682, Wednesday (-95,983) Death of Jean Picard, astronomer who first calculated the circumference of the Earth.
28/6/1682. Wednesday (-95,997) Dom Perignon, a blind Benedictine cellarman at Hautevilliers Abbey, invented Champagne.
17/6/1682, Saturday (-96,008) Charles XII, King of Sweden, was born.
6/5/1682. Saturday (-96,050) King Louis XIV arrived at his new chateau of Versailles.
27/4/1682, Thursday (-96,059) Theodore III, Tsar of Russia, died.
9/4/1682, Sunday (-96,077) The explorer de La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi and claimed it for Louis XIV of France, naming the area Louisiana.
11/3/1682. Saturday (-96,106) Charles II founded the Chelsea Hospital for old soldiers (Chelsea Pensioners).It was designed by Wren, and opened in 1692.
10/1/1682, Tuesday (-96,166)
10/11/1681, Friday (-96,227)
28/9/1681. Wednesday (-96,270) Louis XIV’s army captured the previously independent city of Strasbourg. The French now controlled all of Alsace, except Mulhouse.
26/7/1681, Tuesday (-96,334)
24/5/1681, Tuesday (-96,397)
4/3/1681, Friday (-96,478) King Charles II granted the Quaker, William Penn, 38 years old, a Royal Charter for territory in North America, to be called Pennsylvania. In return Penn waived a debt of £16,000 owed by the Crown to his estate.
4/1/1681, Tuesday (-96,537)
28/11/1680, Sunday (-96,574) The Italian sculptor Giovanni Bernini died.
4/11/1680, Thursday (-96,598)
4/9/1680, Saturday (-96,659)
23/8/1680, Monday (-96,671) Captain Blood, the famous Irish adventurer, died. He had attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London on 9/5/1671.
24/6/1680, Thursday (-96,731)
24/4/1680, Saturday (-96,792)
24/2/1680, Tuesday (-96,852)
24/12/1679, Wednesday (-96,914)
27/11/1679, Thursday (-96,941) A major fire in Boston, Massachusetts, burnt all the warehouses, all the ships in the dockyards, and 80 houses.
27/9/1679, Saturday (-97,002)
27/7/1679, Sunday (-97,064)
22/6/1679, Sunday (-97,099) The Battle of Bothwell Bridge. The Duke of Monmouth defeated the Covenanters.
1/6/1679, Sunday (-97,120) At the Battle of Drumclog, Scottish Covenanters defeated a small government force.
27/5/1679. Tuesday (-97,125) The Habeas Corpus Act, stating that nobody could be held in prison without a trial, was passed. The rights of a prisoner were mentioned as early as the 14th century in England, but it was Lord Shaftesbury who suggested such an Act on the statute books. Charles I believed himself to be above Parliament so the Act was passed to counter his rulings. This enabled political prisoners of the King to demand a trial, and to obtain bail if prison was not justified. Habeas Corpus can only be suspended in times of war or a terrorist threat.
6/3/1679, Thursday (-97,207) In England the Habeas Corpus Parliament, or First Exclusion Parliament, assembled for the first time.
5/2/1679, Wednesday (-97,236) (France) The Third Treaty of Nijmegen ended seven years of war in Europe.
24/1/1679, Friday (-97,248) King Charles II of England dissolved the Cavalier Parliament.
24/11/1678, Sunday (-97,311)
24/9/1678, Tuesday (-97,370)
12/8/1678, Monday (-97,413) Titus Oates’ Popish plot was revealed to King Charles II.
26/7/1678, Friday (-97,430) The Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I was born.
25/5/1678, Saturday (-97,492)
4/3/1678. Monday (-97,574) Birth of the Venetian composer and violinist Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.
18/2/1678, Monday (-97,588) John Bunyan, 50-year old Baptist, published his book Pilgrim’s Progress.
3/1/1678, Wednesday (-97,634)
16/11/1677, Friday (-97,682) French troops occupied Freiberg.
4/11/1677, Sunday (-97,694) King William II married his cousin Princess Mary (future Queen Mary II of England), the eldest daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde.
30/10/1677, Tuesday (-97,699) French troops in West Africa captured Dutch ports on the River Senegal and took Goree, near Cape Verde.
4/9/1677, Tuesday (-97,755)
31/7/1667, Tuesday (-97,790) The Peace of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Just before this Peace was concluded, in June 1667 Michiel de Ruyter had successfully raided Chatham Docks, and this raid improved terms for the Dutch. They still lost their North American colonies to England (New Amsterdam becoming New York), but they retained Suriname in South America and England gave up its claim on the Moluccas Islands in the East Indies.
14/7/1677, Saturday (-97,807) At the Battle of Landskrona, Sweden defeated Denmark.
31/5/1677, Thursday (-97,851) Danish ships defeated a Swedish naval force.
29/5/1677, Tuesday (-97,853) The Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Indians.
11/4/1677, Wednesday (-97,901) The Battle of Cassel; Philippe I f Orleans defeated William of Orange.
21/2/1677, Wednesday (-97,950) Benedict Spinoza, Jewish philosopher, died.
4/12/1676, Monday (-98,031) The Swedish town of Lund was defended in the Battle of Lund, one of the bloodiest battles fought in Scandinavia.
10/10/1676, Tuesday (-98,084)
10/9/1676, Sunday (-98,114)
26/8/1676, Saturday (-98,119) Sir Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister, was born at Houghton Hall, Norfolk.
12/8/1676, Saturday (-98,143) King Philip, American Indian Chief, was killed. The Indian War in New England ended.
12/6/1676, Monday (-98,204)
12/4/1676, Wednesday (-98,265)
12/2/1676, Saturday (-98,325)
29/12/1675. Wednesday (-98,370) The English Parliament ordered the closure of all coffee houses, believing they were centres from which malicious rumours about the government originated.
15/12/1675. Wednesday (-98,384) Jan Vermeer died.
15/11/1675, Monday (-98,414)
11/11/1675, Thursday (-98,418) (Medical, Food) Death of Thomas Willis, physician to King Charles II and to the Duke of York. He was the first to notice an increase in what we now know as diabetes amongst his more affluent clients – he called it ‘the pissing evil’. He also noted the very sweet nature of this urine. The wealthy in England were raising their consumption of sugar, now being imported from the Caribbean, both in desserts and in tea.
15/10.1675, Friday (-98,445)
11/9/1675, Saturday (-98,479) The Dukedom of Grafton was created.
10/8/1675. Tuesday (-98,511) King Charles II established Greenwich Observatory. Its foundation stone was laid this day.
9/8/1675, Monday (-98,512) The Dukedom of Richmond (Lennox & Gordon) was created.
21/6/1675. Monday (-98,561) The foundation stone of Sir Christopher Wren’s new St Paul’s Cathedral, London, was laid. The new place of worship faced the old church that burned down in the Great Fire of London, (see 2/9/1666). The first Sunday service there was held on 5/12/1697.
21/4/1675, Wednesday (-98,622)
4/3/1675, Thursday (-98,670) Charles II appointed John Flamsteed as the first Astronomer-Royal.
3/2/1675, Wednesday (-98,699)
5/1/1675, Tuesday (-98,728) French forces inflicted a heavy defeat on the German Army at Turckheim, forcing them to abandon an invasion of France and withdraw back across the Rhine.
3/12/1674, Thursday (-98,761)
10/11/1674. Tuesday (-98,784) All Dutch-held areas of New York were returned to Britain under the Treaty of Westminster. During the third Anglo-Dutch war, the Dutch had captured New York on 9/8/1672.
8/11/1674. Sunday (-98,786) The poet John Milton died at the age of 65. His best known work was Paradise Lost. He was born in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and studied at Christ College, Cambridge, from 1652-53, writing poetry in English, Latin, and Italian. He served as secretary for Cromwell’s government and pamphleteered for civil and religious liberty. After the monarchy was restored, Milton was arrested as a supporter of the Commonwealth but soon released. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained were published in 1667 and 1671, after he went blind in 1652.
3/11/1674, Tuesday (-98,791)
18/10/1674, Sunday (-98,807) Richard (Beau) Nash, Master of Ceremonies at Bath, who established the city as a centre of fashion, was born.
3/10/1674, Saturday (-98,822)
3/9/1674, Thursday (-98,852)
13/8/1674, Thursday (-98,873)
2/8/1674, Sunday (-98,884) Philippe II, Regent of France, was born.
13/7/1674, Monday (-98,904)
13/6/1674. Saturday (-98,934) Philip Carteret, the governor of New Jersey, launched a campaign to enforce the payment of quitrents; rents charged on land initially granted free to settlers from Europe. The colony had rebelled against this taxation. In 1673 London had enacted the Plantation Duty Act, imposing duties on any ship carrying certain products, such as sugar, cotton, or tobacco, between colonial ports.
13/5/1674, Wednesday (-98,965)
13/4/1674, Monday (-98,995)
19/3/1674, Thursday (-99,020)
19/2/1674, Thursday (-99,048)
19/1/1674, Monday (-99,079)
19/12/1673, Friday (-99,110)
19/10/1673, Sunday (-99,171)
19/8/1673, Tuesday (-99,232)
19/6/1673, Thursday (-99,293)
17/5/1673, Saturday (-99,326) Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, discovered the Mississippi River.
15/3/1673, Saturday (-99,389) The painter Salvator Rosa died in Rome, aged 57.
16/1/1673, Thursday (-99,447)
1/1/1673. Wednesday (-99,462) A regular postal service was set up between New York and Boston. The mounted service used a special ‘post road’ along which men and horses are posted at intervals.
1/11/1672, Friday (-99,523)
27/9/1672, Friday (-99,558) In Britain, The Royal African Company was granted a monopoly of the African slave trade. A healthy slave could be bought in America for under £20, but the trade was still very profitable.
1/9/1672, Sunday (-99,584)
20/8/1672, Tuesday (-99,596) Johan de Witt, Dutch politician, was born.
1/7/1672, Monday (-99,646) England’s Royal Africa Company was formed this year to replace the Royal Adventurers of England set up by King Charles II. It was to supply Britain’s colonies with 3,000 slaves a year for a price of £17 each, or one ton of sugar, each slave. At this time slaves could be purchased in Africa for £3 each.
30/5/1672. Thursday (-99,678) Peter the Great of Russia was born in Moscow. He was the son of Tsar Alexei.
1/5/1672, Wednesday (-99,707) Birth of Joseph Addison, English writer and Whig who co-founded The Spectator in 1711.
17/3/1672, Sunday (-99,752) The third Anglo-Dutch war began, because Charles II was bound under the secret provisions of the Treaty of Dover to support Louis XIV. The Treaty of Dover, 1670, was concluded between Charles II and Louis XIV of France, following negotiations begun back in 1668. However the weaker Dutch fleet held back the English, who were facing difficulties in financing this war. In 1673 the English Parliament agreed to raise taxes to fund the conflict in return for the passing of the Test Act. This Act required all holding civil or military office to accept the Church of England sacrament and reject the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. The subsequent resignation of the Duke of York (the future James II) and others betrayed the presence of Catholics in the English high office. Meanwhile in August 1672 a revolution in the Netherlands brought William of Orange (future King William III) to power. In August / September 1673 Spain, Austria and Brandenburg, and in January 1674 Denmark, all declared war on France. The Dutch encouraged the belief amongst the English that the war constituted a betrayal of Protestant interests by Catholics in high office. In 1674 England concluded a separate peace with The Netherlands, the Treaty of Westminster.
17/1/1672, Wednesday (-99,812)
12/11/1671, Sunday (-99,878) Thomas Fairfax, general and leader of the Parliamentary side in the Civil War, died in Nunappleton, Yorkshire.
12/9/1671, Tuesday (-99,939)
13/8/1671, Sunday (-99,969)
13/7/1671, Thursday (-100,000)
9/5/1671. Tuesday (-100,065) Irish adventurer Captain James Thomas Blood made an unsuccessful attempt, dressed as a clergyman, to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. See 24/8/1680.
21/4/1671, Friday (-100,083) John Law, financier, was born.
20/2/1671, Monday (-100,143)
20/12/1670, Tuesday (-100,205)
20/10/1670, Thursday (-100,266)
20/8/1670, Saturday (-100,327)
20/6/1670, Monday (-100,388)
1/6/1670, Wednesday (-100,407) Two Treaties of Dover – one public, one secret – were made by Charles II with Louis XIV. Charles II secretly agreed to declare his conversion to Catholicism and subsequently to restore it to Britain. Charles II did not announce his conversion, to the annoyance of Louis XIV. The public Treaty committed Britain and France to declare war on Holland – if this war was successful, Britain would receive Zeeland and the port of Ostend. Britain would assist Louis XIV’s claim on the Spanish throne. The private Treaty, known only to Charles II and a select few of his government ministers, stated that Charles would re-establish Catholicism in Britain in return for £150,000 from France and the use of 6,000 French troops to cope with any ‘internal resistance’.
2/5/1670, Monday (-100,437) Charles II chartered the Hudson Bay Company.
2/4/1670, Saturday (-100,467)
2/3/1670, Thursday (-100,498)
9/2/1670, (-100,519) Frederick III, King of Denmark, died.
4/10/1669. (-100,647) The Dutch painter Rembrandt died in solitude and poverty, aged 63, in Amsterdam, having survived both his wife and his mistress. He gradually went bankrupt after his wealthy wife died in 1642, although in his 30s he earned large sums of money from painting portraits of the elite in Amsterdam. He left a legacy of 600 paintings, 1500 drawings and 350 etchings.
28/9/1669, (-100,653) London’s Royal Exchange Building was completed.
27/9/1669. (-100,654) Candia, the capital of Crete, was captured by the Ottoman Turks from the Venetians after a 21 year siege. Spain, Britain, France, the Pope, Tuscany, and Malta, had all supplied troops to the Venetians but to no avail. Towards the end the Ottoman Turks intensified the blockade and disagreements broke out between the allies leading to the withdrawal of some of the Europeans.
27/7/1669, Tuesday (-100,716)
31/5/1669. Monday (-100,773) Samuel Pepys, naval administrator and politician, made the last entry in his diary which began on 1/1/1660.
18/4/1669. (-100,816) Aurangzeb, the Moghul Emperor of India, ordered that all recently constructed Hindu temples should be demolished.
11/3/1669, (-100,854) Mount Etna, Sicily, erupted, killing 20,000.
2/5/1668, (-101,167) (Britain, France) Treaty of Aix la Chapelle.
13/4/1668. (-101,186) John Dryden was appointed the first Poet Laureate. He kept this office until 1689.
13/1/1668. (-101,277) (Britain, France) The Triple Alliance was formed between England, Holland, and Sweden to defend The Netherlands from the ambitions of the French King, Louis XIV, who was pursuing a claim based on his wife’s rights as Spanish Infanta. This was the War of Devolution which was ended on 2/5/1668 by the Peace of Aix la Chapelle.
30/11/1667. (-101,321) Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, was born in Dublin.
25/11/1667, (-101,326) Earthquake at Samakhi, Azerbaijan.
23/10/1667, (-101,359) The foundation stone of London’s Royal Exchange was laid by King Charles II.
18/10/1667, (-101,364) Brooklyn received its Town Charter under Mathias Nichols, Governor of the New Netherlands, as ‘Brueckelen’.
23/9/1667. (-101,389) A law passed in Williamsburg, America, prevented slaves from gaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.
30/8/1667, Friday (-101,413) King Charles II dismissed the Lord Chancellor Edward Hyde over the humiliating terms imposed on Britain by Holland in the Treaty of Breda.
31/7/1667. (-101,443) (Britain, France) The Peace of Breda ended the war between England and the Netherlands (Second Anglo-Dutch War) .Trade laws were modified in favour of the Dutch, who also gained Surinam but recognised British possession of New York. See 18/6/1667 and 2/2/1665. The English sought peace with the Dutch in order to curb the growing military power of (Catholic) France. In the ‘War of Devolution’ France had already seized the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comte; Holland and England now sought to mediate in this war between France and Spain. The other principal Protestant power in Europe, Sweden, then joined with (Protestant) Holland and Britain in a Triple Alliance (formalised by the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, 2/5/1668). However (Catholic) King Charles II regretted this Triple Alliance against France and began negotiations with Louis XIV that led to the Treaties of Dover (1/6/1670).
18/6/1667. (-101,486) The Dutch humiliated the English by breaking through a defensive chain in the Thames Estuary at Chatham and sailing up The Thames to burn or capture English ships. The English flagship Royal Charles was captured and carried off. See 31/7/1667.
12/6/1667. (-101,492) The first blood transfusion was made at Montpellier University. A 15 year old boy was given 9 oz. of blood from a lamb – surprisingly he recovered from this, and the fever he had been suffering. It was likely that blood clotting, of the sheep’s blood, had prevented much from actually entering the boy’s own bloodstream.
9/4/1667, (-101,556) The world’s first art exhibition opened at the Palais Royale in Paris, organised by the Academie de Peinture et de Sculpture. It closed on 23/4/1667.
31/1/1667, (-101,624) After eight years war between Russia and Poland, the Treaty of Andruszow between them divided up Ukraine between them, along the Dneiper River.
15/10/1666. (-101,732) King Charles II, according to Pepys, wore the first waistcoat this day.
19/9/1666, (-101,758) Several plans for the reconstruction of London were drawn up or in progress. The first was by Christopher Wren (11/9); John Evelyn’s was complete on 13/9, and Robert Hooke’s was finished on 19/9. Plans, according to a Royal proclamation of 13/9, must include wider streets, replacement of wooden buildings by brick and stone, and a quayside along the Thames. However questions of accurate compensation precluded many of the concepts for wide boulevards. Instead, the Rebuilding Act of 1667 set standards and heights for new buildings according to the width of the street they were in.
6/9/1666, Thursday (-101,771) The Great Fire of London ended – see 2/9/1666.
2/9/1666. Sunday (-101,775) The Great Fire of London began on a Sunday morning at the house and shop of Thomas Farynor (Farriner), baker to King Charles II, in Pudding Lane. Farynor allegedly forgot to put out the fire in his oven, which spread to nearby stacked firewood. Farynor and his family escaped their burning house by climbing out of a window and along roof tops. Their maid was too scared to climb along the rooftops, and became the fire’s first victim. The fire rapidly spread. It burns for 4 days. In all, 436 acres were burned, destroying 87 churches and over 13,000 houses. However only nine lives were lost. The fire also helped end the Great Plague.
22/1/1666, (-101,998) Shah Jahan died, aged 74, in the fort where his son Aurangzeb had imprisoned him with his harem for the previous eight years. Shah Jahan had built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal and Shah Jahan was buried beside her. Aurangzeb had fought and killed his brothers to attain the throne, as Shah Jahan had done in 1628.
12/1/1665, (-102,008) French mathematician Pierre de Fermat (born 1601) died.
28/9/1665. Thursday (-102,114) London was in the grip of The Plague; 7,000 died in the last week alone. In July 1665, deaths averaged 200 a week. People were fleeing the city; graveyards were full, and corpses were thrown into Plague Pits.
17/9/1665, (-102,125) Philip IV, King of Spain, died, aged 60. He was succeeded by his son, Charles II.
7/6/1665, (-102,227) The Plague was first reported in London. It was a very hot day. 70,000 people would die of the Plague by October. Plague forced Parliament to meet in Oxford.
3/6/1665, (-102,231) The Duke of York defeated a Dutch fleet off Lowestoft. The Dutch admiral was killed in the battle, and 16 of his ships sunk.
6/2/1665, (-102,348) Queen Anne was born at St James Palace, the second daughter of James II by his first wife, Anne Hyde. She was the last Stuart monarch of Britain.
2/2/1665. (-102,352) The British captured Manhattan Island from the Dutch, almost 40 years after the Dutch bought it from the Indians for beads in 1626. The Dutch colony was ruled by Peter Stuyvesant under strict Puritanical principles. The British renamed it ‘New York’ after King Charles II’s brother the Duke of York. See 31/7/1667. British rule was more relaxed.
28/10/1664, (-102,449) The Admiral’s Regiment was formed, later known as the Royal Marines.
1/8/1664. (-102,537) The Ottoman Turkish advance into Austria was halted by Hapsburg (Austrian) defences at the Battle of St Gotthard.
12/3/1664, (-102,679) New Jersey became a colony of England.
12/11/1663, Thursday (-102,800)
7/5/1663, (-102,989) The first Drury Lane Theatre, London, opened.
20/4/1663, (-103,006) The Dukedom of Buccleuch was created.
24/3/1663, (-103,033) King Charles II of England granted Carolina (from Virginia down to Florida) to eight of his courtiers, who had helped him regain the throne.
22/12/1662. (-103,125) The first catamaran was built at Dublin for Sir William Petty, a founder member of the Royal Society. The vessel weighed 30 tons and carried 5 guns; it had a crew of 30 men. In January 1663 it won the first open yacht race and in July 1663 beat the Dublin Packet in a sea going race. King Charles II, a keen yachtsman, considered the catamaran a joke but declined a racing challenge from Sir Petty.
27/10/1662. (-103,181) King Charles II sold Dunkirk to the French King Louis XIV (Treaty of Dunkirk) for 2.5 million livres.
19/8/1662, (-103,250) Blaise Pascal, French philosopher and mathematician, inventor of the first digital calculator, died in Paris.
15/7/1662, (-103,285) The Royal Society received a royal charter.
20/5/1662, (-103,341) King Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza, starting a fruitful alliance with Portugal.
30/4/1662, (-103,361) Mary II of England was born.
1/4/1662, (-103,390) King Charles II of Britain granted Royal Patronage to the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge. The group of scientists and naturalists had been meeting since 1645.
18/3/1662. (-103,404) The world’s first bus service began, in Paris. Eight seater horse drawn vehicles ran every 8 minutes, and were at first used by the aristocracy, who left their carriages at the terminus, for the novelty factor. However by the summer of 1662 the nobility had returned to their carriages and the less wealthy walked to save the fare. The bus service managed to stay going till the 1680s. Bus services did not restart anywhere until a Parisian service began in 1819. The word ‘omnibus’ was coined in Nantes in 1823, as people of all sorts were using the service there. See 4/7/1829.
16/7/1661, Tuesday (-103,649) The first banknotes in Europe were issued, by the Bank of Stockholm.
23/4/1661, (-103,733) The coronation of King Charles II.
19/4/1661, (-103,737) Postmarks were introduced in Britain by the Post Office.
9/3/1661, (-103,778) With the death of the French Regent, Cardinal Mazario, the personal rule of King Louis XIV of France began.
5/2/1661, (-103,810) Emperor Kangxi began his reign in China; he ruled for over 61 years.
30/1/1661, (-103,816) The body of Oliver Cromwell (died 3/9/1658) was exhumed, hanged and beheaded, and reburied at Tyburn.
8/12/1660, (-103,869) The first (unnamed) actress appeared on the English stage.
28/11/1660, (-103,879) The Royal Society was founded in England.
12/11/1660. (-103,895) John Bunyan, 32, author of Pilgrim’s progress, was arrested for preaching without a licence, and not in a parish church. He was put in Bedford gaol.
1/10/1660. (-103,937) The English reinforced the Navigation Act by insisting that certain colonial goods were only to be shipped to Britain. This was directed against the Dutch but caused resentment in the British colonies.
30/6/1660, (-104,030) William Oughtred, English mathematician who invented the slide rule in 1622, died in Albury, Surrey.
9/6/1660, (-104,051) King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’, married Maria Theresa of Spain.
29/5/1660, (-104,062) King Charles II entered London; he landed at Dover on 26/5/1660.
26/5/1660. (-104,065) The British monarchy was restored with Charles II, born 29/5/1630, as king. He was crowned on 23/4/1661, ending an exile of nearly nine years. On 29/5/1660, his 30th birthday, Charles II rode into London to scenes of great rejoicing. Everyone was glad to see the end of the kill-joy Puritan regime that had banned Christmas, maypoles, and theatre; a regime that had run out of steam after Cromwell died. The bodies of Cromwell and his chief associates were dragged from Westminster Abbey and buried beneath Tyburn Gallows. Other regicides were executed.
23/5/1660, (-104,068) King Charles II sailed from Scheveningen, to return to England, ending his exile. See 16/3/1660.
3/5/1660, (-104,088) At the Peace of Oliva (near Danzig), Frederick William ceded Eastern Pomerania to Sweden.
25/4/1660, (-104,096) The English Parliament voted for the restoration of the Monarchy, see 26/5/1660.
16/4/1660, (-104,105) Sir Hans Sloane, physician and collector, was born.
28/3/1660, (-104,124) George I, first Hanoverian king of England, was born at Osnabruck Castle in Hanover.
16/3/1660. (-104,136) England’s Long Parliament was dissolved after sitting for 20 years (with a break, 1653-59), throughout the Civil War. This was an important step towards the restoration of the monarchy and the House of Lords. See 23/5/1660.
21/2/1660, (-104,160) The Rump (Long) Parliament, recalled on 7/5/1659, was rejoined by surviving MPs that had been purged on 6/12/1648.
12/2/1660, (-104,169) Charles X of Sweden died, aged37. He was succeeded by his 4-year old son, Charles XI. Also this day the Treaty of Copenhagen ended hostilities between Sweden and Denmark. The Danes ceded the province of Scania, southern tip of Scandinavia, to Sweden.
1/1/1660, (-104,211) Samuel Pepys began his Diary. This was discontinued on 31/5/1669.
7/11/1659. (-104,266) The war between France and Spain ended. Spain’s treasury was empty and England had joined on the side of the French.
22/10/1659. (-104,282) The explorer Abel Tasman died.
24/5/1659, (-104,433) Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector.
7/5/1659, (-104,450) The Long (Rump) Parliament was recalled (see 20/4/1653). It called for Cromwell’s resignation.
5/5/1659, (-104,452) Saint Helena was occupied by Captain John Dutton of the East India Company.
22/4/1659. (-104,465) (1) Richard Cromwell dissolved the English Parliament, at the request of the Army.
(2) (Price) The first cheque was drawn. It was for £10, on a London bank. This first cheque, written on 16/2/1659 by Nicholas Vanacker, made out almost exactly like a modern cheque, was sold at Sotheby’s in December 1976 for £1,000.
3/10/1658, (-104,666) Myles Sundish, leader of the Pilgrim Fathers, died.
3/9/1658. (-104,696) Oliver Cromwell died of pneumonia. A Puritan, he was aged 60 and had ruled England for 5 years. His son Richard succeeded him as Protector. However Richard lacked the authority of his father.
1/7/1658, (-104,760) (Road, Price) The stage coach fare from London to Salisbury (2 days journey) was 20 shillings. From London to Exeter cost 40 shillings (4 days), and from London to Durham cost 55 shillings (no set journey time).
14/6/1658, (-104,777) The Battle of the Dunes was fought near Dunkirk. The French defeated the Spanish.
4/6/1658, (-104,787) A British force defeated the Spanish at The Dunes and captured Dunkirk.
3/2/1658, Wednesday (-104,908)
3/8/1657, Monday (-105,092)
11//7/1657, (-105,115) Frederick I, King of Prussia, was born.
16/6/1657, (-105,150) The first mention of chocolate in Britain, in the Public Advertiser. The foodstuff was then used either as a drink or as a paste for brewing a tasty but rather greasy beverage, as the ground beans were rich in cocoa butter. At that time it was being sold by a Frenchman in Bishopsgate, London. The first factory to produce chocolate bars opened at Vevey, Switzerland, in 1819; the bars were used as emergency rations. In 1842 John Cadbury introduced ‘French Eating Chocolate’, the first chocolate bar for pleasurable eating. Cadbury also introduced the first chocolate boxes to Britain, in 1866. Their first assortment included almond, lemon, orange and raspberry flavoured centres. Also in 1866 Cadbury introduced the first modern cocoa powder, with all the greasy butter removed, for an improved chocolate drink.
3/6/1657, (-105,153) William Harvey, anatomist and physician, died near Saffron Walden, Essex. He discovered and demonstrated the circulation of the blood.
27/5/1657, (-105,160) Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell refused an offer to make him King of England. To have accepted the Crown would have lost him the loyalty of the anti-Royalist Army.
9/5/1657, (-105,178) Pilgrim Father William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth County in Massachusetts, died.
2/4/1657, (-105,215) The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III died aged 48. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Leopold I.
2/2/1657, Monday (-105,274)
19/1/1657, (-105,288) The Japanese city of Edo was destroyed in a huge fire; over 100,000 people died.
8/11/1656. (-105,360) Astronomer Edmund Halley, who discovered Halley’s comet, was born in London. He was the first to realise that comets do not appear at random, but have predictable orbits.
6/11/1656, (-105,362) Joao V of Portugal died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 13-year old son, Alfonso VI.
17/9/1656, (-105,412) Cromwell’s Third Parliament convened.
28/7/1656, (-105,463) The Battle of Warsaw began (ended 30/7/1656).
27/7/1656, (-105,464) Jewish religious authorities in Amsterdam excommunicated 24 year student Benedict Spinoza for maintaining that the Bible did not support the idea of an immortal soul, or that God has no body, or that angels exist. The secular authorities also banished Spinoza from Amsterdam for a short period. The Jewish community was concerned as Jews still did not have full citizenship rights in Amsterdam.
25/6/1656, Wednesday (-105,496) The Treaty of Marienburg was concluded between Sweden and Brandenburg-Prussia. The Poles under John Casimir had expelled the Swedes, and under this Treaty Brandenburg-Prussia was promised part of the spoils should Poland be defeated by Sweden.
30/5/1656, (-105,522) The Grenadier Guards, the senior regiment of the British Army, was formed.
24/4/1656, (-105,558) The Jews petitioned Cromwell to be allowed to live and trade in England. This was permitted, although they were denied legal toleration by the Puritan clergy of England.
1/12/1655, (-105,703) Samuel Pepys married Elizabeth St Michael in St Margarets, Westminster.
15/10/1655, Monday (-105,750) The Jews of Lublin, Poland, were massacred.
2/10/1655, Tuesday (-105,763)
13/5/1655, (-105,905) Pope Innocent XIII was born.
10/5/1655. (-105,908) The English captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Christopher Columbus had arrived in Jamaica in 1494, and claimed the island in the name of the King and Queen of Spain. However Europeans did not occupy the island until 1509. 146 years later the English forces arrived at Passage Fort in Kingston harbour. Commanded by Admiral Penn and General Venables they marched on Spanish Town. They had been sent by Oliver Cromwell to capture Hispaniola but failed so went to Jamaica instead. After surrendering, the Spanish were given a few days to leave Jamaica. Most went to Cuba, but a few secretly went to the north side of Jamaica.
2/5/1655, (-105,916) Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian who invented the first piano, was born in Padua.
25/3/1655, (-105,954) Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, was discovered by Christiaan Huygens.
7/1/1655, (-106,031) Pope Innocent X died.
15/12/1654. (-106,054) A meteorological office in Tuscany began daily temperature readings.
30/10/1654, (-106,100) The Japanese Emperor Go-Komyo died (born 1633).
12/9/1654, (-106,148) Cromwell ordered the exclusion of Members of Parliament that were hostile to him.
3/9/1654, (-106,157) In the English Parliament, the Republican, Vance, questioned the pre-eminence of Cromwell.
16/6/1654, (-106,236) Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus (Charles X). There had been discontent at her luxurious lifestyle and failure to produce an heir. She had sold off large amounts of Crown Property to support the 500 nobles she had created . She fled disguised in men’s clothes as ‘Count Dohna’, to settle in Rome.
13/5/1654. (-106,270) The Battle of the Dardanelles took place. The Venetian navy defeated Turkish forces.
3/5/1654. (-106,280) The first toll bridge in America was licensed to Richard Thurley at Newbury River. There was a charge for animals but not for people.
16/4/1654. (-106,297) The Peace of Westminster ended the First Anglo-Dutch war between England and The Netherlands, but the Navigation Act which led to the war was retained. See 6/10/1651.
18/1/1654. (-106,385) The Ukraine came under Russian domination.
16/12/1653. (-106,418) Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, effectively an uncrowned King. He ruled for over four years.
13/12/1653, (-106,421) The Barebones Parliament ended.
9/8/1653, (-106,547) Marten Harpertszoon Tromp, the Dutch Admiral who fought against Spain and England, was killed in battle against England off the Dutch coast.
4/7/1653, (-106,583) The Barebones Parliament began sitting.
8/6/1653. (-106,609) A Peasant’s Revolt, the latest in a series of them, was put down in Switzerland.
20/4/1653, (-106,658) Cromwell dissolved the Long Parliament (Rump Parliament) due to its slowness in implementing Cromwellian reforms. It was recalled on 7/5/1659, after Cromwell’s death.
20/2/1653. (-106,717) Admiral Robert Blake defeated the Dutch under Martin Van Tramp off Portsmouth.
21/10/1652, (-106,839) The exiled boy-King, Louis XIV, returned from exile to Paris.
2/10/1652, (-106,858) In Paris, the middle class disputed with the Fronde, and allowed Louis XIV to enter the city.
8/7/1652, (-106,946) The First Anglo-Dutch war began.
21/6/1652. (-106,961) The great architect, Inigo Jones, died. He had designed the Queen’s House at Greenwich and the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall. He also laid out Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Covent Garden.
8/4/1652. (-107,035) The first permanent European settlement in Africa was founded by the Dutchman Jan Van Riebeck, at Table Bay. For decades earlier, since the 1500s, ships, mostly Dutch and English, had anchored here to refit their vessels for the voyage to the east. In 1620 two Englishmen, officers of the East India Company, took it upon their own initiative to posses Table Bay in the name of King James, for fear that the Dutch would claim the area and charge English ships to refit there. But London did not approve of their action and it had no effect. The Portuguese influence was declining and they were not in a position to resist the Dutch. The English seized St Helena island as a halfway house to the east. France took colonies in Madagascar and elsewhere. The Dutch settlement was the beginning of the Boer, farmer, settlers.
7/4/1652, (-107,036) In France, the Battle of Bleneau; Conde defeated Marshall Turenne, who had defected back to the Royalist side. Both armies marched to Paris to negotiate. In July 1652 the Duchesse de Montpensier persuaded the Parisians to open the city gates to the Fronde (anti-Royalist) army, and the Bastille’s guns were turned on Turenne’s Royalists. See 2/10/1652.
29/3/1652, (-107,045) ‘Black Monday’ – a total eclipse of the Sun in Britain caused anxiety.
14/10/1651. (-107,212) Massachusetts passed laws forbidding the poor to wear excessively luxurious dress.
6/10/1651. (-107,220) The English issued a commercial challenge to the Dutch by passing the Navigation Act; this prohibited the import of goods into England from America, Asia, or Africa in any except British or colonial ships; with a crew at least half-English. This was a challenge to Amsterdam’s status as Europe’s leading port. This was an attempt to revive the English economy, depressed by three years of plague and bad harvests. In 1652 England declared war on The Netherlands (First Anglo-Dutch War) after an incident where a Dutch fleet refused to be searched by the British. See 15/4/1654, and 1/10/1660.
3/9/1651. (-107,253) Oliver Cromwell’s army defeated the Royalist army at Worcester. Charles II, destitute and friendless, spent the night in an oak tree at Boscobel to evade capture, and fled to France on 17/10/1651.
Cromwell’s troops hauled twenty large boats upstream to make a pontoon bridge, crossing the Severn into the Royalist side. The battle concluded with fighting inside Worcester itself. Some 3,000 Royalist forces were killed, and 10,000 taken prisoner, many of whom were transported to New England as slaves. The Parliamentarian forces lost only 200 men. This was the final battle for the Royalist cause.
28/8/1651, (-107,259) The Parliamentarians captured Upton bridge, 10 miles south of Worcester. The Royalist General Massey was badly wounded. Cromwell’s forces occupied the west bank of the Severn with 11,000 troops, so cutting off any support for Charles II from Wales, and aiming to attack Worcester from the south.
25/8/1651, (-107,262) A force of Lancashire Royalists raised the Earl of Derby was crushed by Colonel Robert Lilburne at Wigan. Cromwell returned to England via the east coast from Scotland; harassing Charles II’s rearguard. Cromwell marched on Worcester with a force of around 28,000 regular troops plus a further 3,000 militiamen who were against the Scots. Lilburne blockaded Charles route back into Scotland. Charles hoped to draw extra forces from Wales and the south-west.
22/8/1651, (-107,265) Charles II occupied the loyal Royalist city of Worcester, but his army numbered less than 16,000 troops. See 25/8/1651.
5/8/1651, (-107,282) King Charles II began a march south into England, crossing the border from Scotland this day. His plan was to march through the traditionally Royalist regions of Lancashire and the Welsh border, picking up troops along the way. However the English Royalists and Presbyterians failed to join him, due to anti-Scots propaganda from the Cromwellian camp. See 22/8/1651.
2//8/1651, (-107,285) Cromwell’s army took Perth.
1/1/1651, (-107,498) Charles II was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace. He then marched south into England (see 5/8/1651).
19/12/1650. (-107,511 ) Cromwell’s army took Edinburgh Castle.
4/11/1650, (-107,556) William III, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was born in The Hague, Holland, son of William II of Orange.
30/10/1650, (-107,561) ‘Quakers’, the more common name for the Religious Society of Friends, came into being during a court case at which George Fox, the founder, told magistrates to “quake and tremble at the word of the Lord”.
3/9/1650, (-107,618) The Battle of Dunbar; Cromwell’s army marched into Scotland and defeated a Scottish Royalist Presbyterian army under David Leslie twice its size. This battle, along with Worcester (3/9/1651), put an end to Charles I’s Royalist cause.
24/6/1650, (-107,689) Charles II landed in Scotland and was proclaimed King.
26/5/1650, (-107,718) The Duke of Marlborough, British general, was born as John Churchill in Ashe, Devon.
14/5/1650, (-107,730) The UK Parliament voted in favour of the death penalty for adultery but this was never implemented.
2/2/1650, (-107,831) Nell Gwynne, mistress of King Charles II, was born Eleanor Gwynne, the daughter of a fishwife. Originally an orange-seller, she became an actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
14/1/1650, (-107,850) In France, Cardinal Mazarin ordered the arrest of Conde and his associates. However in early 1651 the French Parliament dismissed Mazarin and released Conde. Mazarin left France.
11/1/1650. (-107,853) Death of Rene Descartes (born 31/3/1596), founder of French philosophy.
15/9/1649, (-107,971) Birth of Titus Gates, English Anglican priest who successfully stirred up anti-Catholic sentiments by creating a ‘Popish plot’.
12/9/1649, (-107,974) The sack of Drogheda by soldiers under Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s 16,000 troops put to death 2,000 Irish rebels to deter further insurrection. Another massacre was perpetrated at Wexford soon after. The Irish rebellion had begun in 1641.
12/8/1649. (-108,005) Britain’s first employment agency, the Office of Entries, was set up in King Street, London, by newspaper proprietor Henry Walker. He was running a paper called Perfect Occurrences in which he advertised jobs. His agency charged 4d to both employer and employee. See 4/7/1631.
9/4/1649, (-108,130) The Duke of Monmouth, son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter, was born in Rotterdam.
5/4/1649, (-108,134) Death of John Winthrop, first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company.
16/3/1649. (-108,154) Oliver Cromwell, (born 25/4/1599 in Huntingdon, died 3/9/1658) declared England to be a republic, and abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords.
9/2/1649, King Charles I was buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
5/2/1649, (-108,559) King Charles I’s son, 18 years old, was proclaimed Charles II.
30/1/1649. (-108,199) Charles I, convicted of treason on 29/1/1649 (see 22/8/1642), was beheaded outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall. He stepped on to the scaffold at 2pm. Four years had passed since the decisive Royalist defeat at Naseby (14/6/1645). Since then Charles I had sought the support of the Irish and the Roman Catholics and even the Pope, all in vain. The Scots, too, were sceptical of his promises to re-establish Presbyterianism and handed him over to the English. The executioner, Richard Brandon, received £30 for a job well done. Charles I’s funeral and burial was in St George’s Chapel on 9/2/1649.
20/1/1649 - 27/1/1649, (-108,211) At the week-long trial of Charles I, no defence witnesses were called.
6/12/1648, (-108,254) Pride’s purge of Parliament. Oliver Cromwell’s troops surrounded Parliament and refused to admit the 200 Presbyterian MPs, purging the whole of the majority that was opposing Cromwell’s Independents. The remaining 50 MPs, all Independents, then