History of Great Britain to the death of Queen Victoria
Page last modified 26/1/2021
See also Ireland
See also Economy & Prices
See also Royal Family Britain from 1760
“As for Britain, it is set in the Sea of Darkness. It is a considerable island, whose shape is that of the head of an ostrich, and where there are flourishing towns, high mountains, great rivers and plains. This country is most fertile; its inhabitants are brave, active and enterprising, but all is in the grip of perpetual winter." Muhammad Al Idrisi, 12th century Arab
Colour key: Note The following time periods may also include preliminary events and aftermath.
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Anglo-French conflict 1100s
King John (1199-1216)
Hundred Years War 1340-1453
Peasants Revolt 1381
Wars of the Roses (1452-85)
King Henry VII 1485 - 1509
Civil War events (1628-51)
Anti Charles II / James II plots 1683-5
Wool and sheep
Briton-Welsh defeats, post Rome
4/2/1901, Queen Victoria was buried at Windsor, next to Albert.
22/1/1901. Queen Victoria died, at of a cerebral haemorrhage Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, aged 81; the longest reigning and longest lived monarch of Britain. Accession of King Edward VII to the British throne. His coronation was on 9/8/1902. King Edward VII was born on 9/11/1840, and was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Crowned at 60 years of age, he proved a popular monarch who gave his name to the Edwardian era. He was made Prince of Wales by his mother when only one month old. His free and easy social life made him a prominent figure in society and he was involved in several scandals. His coronation was elaborate and was a departure from the rather dour image of the monarchy in the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign. Edward VII is remembered as a popular man who tried to ensure peace in Europe, touring European capitals in a diplomatic role. An estimated 500,000 watched the funeral. procession of Queen Victoria as it travelled through the silent streets of London, on 2/2/1901. The funeral took place at Windsor.
31/12/1900, At Stonehenge, Stone No. 21 and its lintel fell down.
17/10/1900, Lord Salisbury’s Tory government was re-elected, in the British General Election. Tory popularity was high after the Boer War victory.
See South Africa for events of Boer War
26/8/1900, General Sir John Adye died aged 81.
25/6/1900, Earl Louis Mountbatten, military commander and last Viceroy of India, was born at Frogmore House, Windsor.
26/3/1900, Dudley Ryder, English politician, died.
27/2/1900, The British Labour Party was formed by the Trades Unions, along with the Fabians. Ramsay MacDonald was its secretary; he later became its leader and Prime Minister.
18/2/1900, Joseph Cowen, British politician, died.
17/12/1899, Sir Gerald Graham, British General, died (born 27/6/1831).
24/5/1899, William Esher, English Judge, died (born 13/8/1817).
21/2/1899, Sir George Bowen, British colonial governor, died in Brighton (born 8/9/1811).
17/2/1899, Thomas Bridgett, English priest, died (born 20/1/1829).
31/1/1899, Charles Berry, English cleric, died (born in Leigh, Lancashire 14/12/1852).
23/1/1899, Lord Denning, British Judge and Master of the Rolls, was born.
17/8/1898, Sir William Fraser, English politician, died (born 10/2/1826).
19/5/1898, William Ewart Gladstone, born 29/12/1809, four times Liberal Prime Minister, died at Hawarden Castle, north Wales, aged 88.
30/1/1898, Chichester Carlingford, British statesman, died (born 1/1823).
15/11/1897, British Labour leader Aneurin Bevan was born in Tredegar, Wales. He was one of 13 children, son of a miner.
28/10/1897, Hercules Rosmead, British colonial administrator, died (born 19/12/1824).
23/9/1893, Thomas Hawkesley, English engineer, died (born 12/7/1807).
21/5/1897, Sir Augustus Franks, English antiquary, died (20/3/1826).
12/6/1897, Anthony Eden, Conservative Prime Minister, was born at Windlestone Hall, Bishop Auckland, Durham. He later became the Earl of Avon.
30/12/1896, Evan Herber Evans, Welsh non-conformist preacher, died (born 5/7/1836).
27/12/1896, Sir John Brown, Sheffield armour plate manufacturer, died (born 6/12/1816).
11/10/1896, Edward Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, died in Ireland (born in Birmingham 14/7/1829).
8/1/1896, Baron Colin Blackburn, British judge, died (born 1813).
1895, The National Trust was founded, to ‘preserve lands and buildings of historic interest or natural beauty for public access and benefit’.
29/12/1895. Leander Starr Jameson, an agent of the British South Africa Company, invaded the Boer Republic of Transvaal with 470 men. On 2/1/1896 Jameson surrendered At Doorn Kop after a defeat at Krugersdorp. On 3/1/1896 Kaiser William II sent a telegram to Paul Kruger congratulating him on the defeat of Jameson. This caused outrage in Britain, which saw the telegram as an attempt by Germany to expand its influence in Africa. Britain mocked the German Navy, saying it would be ‘child’s play’ for the British Navy to wipe it out. Wilhelm I now decided on a course of massive expansion of the German Navy, seeing Britain no longer as an ally but a potential threat.
30/3/1895, Frederick Alcester, British Admiral, died (born 12/4/1821).
28/3/1895, Sir Patrick Grant, British Field Marshal, died (born 11/9/1804).
25/2/1895, Henry Aberdare, British statesman and educationalist (born 16/4/1815) died in London).
15/5/1895, Joseph Whitaker, who founded Whitaker’s Almanac in 1869, died.
31/3/1895, Sir George Chesney, British General, died (born 30/4/1830).
3/3/1895, Sir Geoffrey Hornby, British Admiral, died (born 20/2/1825).
24/1/1895, Lord Randolph Churchill, founder of the British Conservative Party, died.
1894, The Trafford Park industrial estate, Manchester, opened. By 1939 it was the largest in the country, with 200 works on 1,200 acres employing 50,000 people.
9/10/1894, Henry Grey, British statesman, died (born 28/12/1802).
18/9/1894,The Blackpool Tower opened. It is a 500 foot high replica of the Eiffel Tower.
5/9/1894, Sir Edward Inglefield, British Admiral, died (born 27/3/1820).
1/9/1894, The first use of postcards with adhesive stamps in Britain.
14/6/1894, John Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of England, died (born 3/12/1820).
7/9/1893, (1) The Featherstone Massacre. In Yorkshire, striking miners campaigning for a living wage were fired upon; soldiers killed 2 and wounded 16.
(2) Leslie Hore-Belisha, British Liberal politician, was born in Devonport.
30/1/1893, Charles Bradlaugh, English politician, died (born in Hoxton, London 26/9/1833).
14/1/1893, The UK Labour Party was founded in Bradford, W Yorks.
18/8/1892. In Britain, William Ewart Gladstone formed his fourth Liberal Government after his election defeat of the Conservatives under Lord Salisbury.
11/8/1892, (1) The Marquess of Salisbury left office as Prime Minister.
(2) Hugh McDaimid, Scottish poet and founder of the Scottish Nationalist Party, was born.
18/7/1892, Pioneer travel agent Thomas Cook died.
15/7/1892, Thomas Cooper, Chartist, died (born 20/3/1805).
4/7/1892, James Kier Hardie, standing in the General Election at Holytown, Lanarkshire, became the first Socialist to win a seat in the British Parliament. He was MP for the London docklands area of West Ham. He was elected as an independent socialist but planned to form a Labour party to represent the workers. See 14/1/1893.
28/6/1892, Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, British politician, died.
9/5/1892, George Bramwell, English judge, died (born in London 12/6/1808).
13/4/1892, Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris, RAF Marshal was born. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, and was appointed Commander in Chief of the RAF Bomber Command in 1942. From 1942 on he developed and applied the technique of “saturation bombing” to Axis occupied cities, totally demolishing them.
2/3/1892, Sir John Coode, British engineer, died (born 11/11/1816).
10/12/1891, Earl Alexander, British Army Commander in North Africa, and Italy in World War II, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland.
8/10/1891, The first street collection for charity took place in Britain. It was on the streets of Manchester and Salford, for Lifeboat Day.
6/10/1891, Death of W H Smith, the bookseller.
25/9/1891, The foundation of Blackpool Tower was laid.
2/6/1891, Sir John Hawkshaw, British engineer, died (born 1811).
6/7/1890, Sir Edwin Chadwick, British reformer, died.
21/11/1889, Frederic Blachford, British politician, died (born in London 31/1/1811)
31/5/1889, Britain passed the Naval Defence Act in response to the growing naval power of both Russia and France.
24/4/1889, Sir Stafford Cripps, the Labour Chancellor who introduced austerity measures in Britain after the Second World War, was born.
27/3/1889, John Bright, British statesman, died (born 16/11/1811).
12/1/1889, Churchill Babington, English archaeologist, died in Suffolk (born in Roecliffe, 11/3/1821).
28/12/1888, Charles Eversley, Speaker of the British House of Commons, died (born 22/2/1794).
6/8/1888, Elected County Councils were established in Britain through the local Government Act.
9/7/1888, Simon Marks, British retailer, was born in Leeds.
1887, Victoria Park, 16 acres was laid out in Salisbury.
12/1/1887, Stafford Iddesleigh, British statesman, died (born 27/10/1818).
9/1/1887, William Ballantine, famous English lawyer, died in Margate (born in London 3/1/1812).
23/4/1866, Charles Glenelg, British politician, died (born 26/10/1778).
6/4/1886, William Forster, British statesman, died (born 11/7/1818).
15/2/1886, Edward Cardwell, English politician, died (born 24/7/1813).
1/2/1886, William Gladstone resumed office as Prime Minister.
28/1/1886, The Marquess of Salisbury left office as Prime Minister.
3/1/1886, Sheldon Amos, English jurist, died in Alexandria, Egypt (born 1835).
19/11/1885, William Benjamin Carpenter, English naturalist, died (born 29/11/1813).
22/10/1885, James Fraser, English Bishop, died (born 18/8/1818). He did much to secure the provision of churches for the rapidly-growing population of Manchester, exceeding even the efforts of his predecessor, James Lee, who had consecrated 130 Manchester churches.
30/9/1885, Sir John Glover, British Naval Captain, died (born 1829).
23/6/1885, The Marquess of Salisbury took up post as Prime Minister.
9/6/1885, William Gladstone left office as Prime Minister.
18/4/1885, Joseph Blakesley, English cleric, died (born in London 6/3/1808).
2/4/1885, Sir James Alexander, British soldier, died.
1884, The Fabian Society was founded. Named after the Roman General Fabius Maximus Cunctator (The Delayer), noted for his cautious military tactics, the Fabians adopted a gradualist approach to socialist reform. The movement was closely associated with the founding of the British Labour Party.
20/12/1884, William Lindsay Alexander, Scottish church scholar (born 24/8/1808 in Leith) died in Edinburgh.
6/12/1884, The Franchise Act, or Third Parliamentary Reform Act was passed, giving almost all adult males the vote. However domestic servants, bachelors living with their parents, and those of no fixed address were still voteless. This measure increased the electoral roll by some 2 million, four times the number added in 1832.
6/11/1884, Henry Fawcett, English politician, died (born 25/8/1833).
25/8/1884, Odo Ampthill, British diplomat, died in Potsdam (born 20/2/1829 in Florence).
15/7/1884, Henry Cowley, British diplomat, died in London.
29/5/1884, Sir Henry Frere, British colonial administrator, died (born 29/3/1815).
24/5/1884, Henry Edwards, Welsh divine, died (born 6/9/1837).
6/5/1884, Judah Benjamin, British lawyer, died in Paris (born in St Thomas, West Indies, 11/8/1811).
26/2/1884, Charles Badham, English scholar, died 26/2/1884 in Sydney, Australia (born 18/7/1813 in Ludlow, Shropshire).
1/2/1884,The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary, A – Ant, was published.
4/10/1883, Sir William Alexander Smith founded the Boys Brigade in Glasgow.
3/10/1883, Burnham Beeches was dedicated to public use for all time.
1/8/1883, Inland parcel post began in Britain.
21/3/1883, Sir George Jessel, English Judge, died (born 13/2/1824).
19/11/1882, Dudley Ryder, English politician, died (born 19/5/1798).
24/4/1882, Lord Dowding, British Air Force Commander who won the Battle of Britain, was born in Moffat, Scotland.
18/4/1882, Sir Henry Cole, English civil servant, died (born 15/7/1808).
14/9/1881, Richard Airey, British General (born 1803) died in Leatherhead.
26/7/1881, George Borrow, English traveller, died (born in East Dereham, Norfolk 5/7/1803).
10/7/1881, William Hatherley, Lord Chancellor of Britain, died (born 29/11/1801).
19/4/1881, Benjamin Disraeli, British Conservative Prime Minister, died. He was buried at Hughenden, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Robert Gascoyne Cecil, Lord Salisbury, was chosen to replace him as leader of the Conservative Party.
7/3/1881, Ernest Bevin, Labour Party politician, was born in Winsford, Somerset.
22/12/1880, George Elliot died.
28/11/1880, Mark Firth, British steel maker and philanthropist, died (born 25/4/1819).
20/11/1880, Sir Alexander Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice of England, died (born 24/12/1802).
15/4/1880, In Britain the Liberals won the General Election. Prime Minister William Gladstone took over from Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield.
28/1/1880, Sir William Erle, English lawyer, died (born 1/10/1793).
18/9/1879, Blackpool’s first annual illuminations were switched on.
23/4/1879, First Royal Shakespeare Theatre opened in Stratford on Avon (replaced by a new one on 23/4/1932).
14/12/1878, Mary Alice Maud, 3rd child of Queen Victoria, died (born 25/4/1843 in Buckingham Palace).
5/10/1878, Frederic Chelmsford, Lord Chancellor of England, died (born 15/4/1794).
13/9/1877, Manchester Town Hall opened.
23/8/1877, Britain passed the Merchandise Act, obliging exporters to indicate the place of manufacture of their goods.
13/8/1877, Birkenhead, near Liverpool, became a borough; John Laird was the first Mayor.
20/9/1876, Sir Titus Salt, born 20/9/1803, died.
3/8/1876, Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister in the 1920s and 30s, was born.
7/5/1876, Samuel Courtauld, British industrialist and arts patron, was born in Braintree, Essex.
11/2/1876, Sir John Coleridge, English Judge, died (born 1790).
26/8/1875, John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, British administrator, and author, was born.
25/8/1875, Matthew Webb, 27, from Shropshire, became the first person to swim the English Channel. He took 21 hours 45 minutes, using the breast-stroke, from Admiralty Pier, Dover, to Calais.
8/7/1875, John Cairnes, British political economist, died (born 1823).
26/12/1874, Boxing Day was first recognised as a Bank Holiday in the UK.
30/11/1874, Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
6/7/1874, Fox Dalhousie, British statesman, died (born 22/4/1801).
5/4/1874, Birkenhead Park, the first publically-funded park in Britain and model for Central Park, New York, opened.
24/2/1874, Thomas Binney, English cleric, died (born 1798).
17/2/1874, William Gladstone left office as Prime Minister.
1/11/1873, Sir William Bovill, English judge, died in Kingston, Surrey (born in Barking, London 26/5/1814).
6/9/1873, Austin Reed, men’s outfitter, was born in Newbury, Berkshire.
9/5/1873, Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was born at Swaffham, Norfolk.
8/5/1873, The English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill died.
29/4/1873, James Hope-Scott, English barrister, died (born 15/7/1812).
30/3/1873, Sir Richard Church, British military officer, born 1784, died.
1872, Hastings Pier opened.
18/7/1872, Britain passed the Ballot Act, providing for secret ballots at elections.
13/4/1872, Samuel Bamford, British politician, died in Harpurhey (born in Miston, Lancashire, 28/2/1788).
22/12/1871, Edward Ellenborough, English politician, died (born 8.9.1790).
24/10/1871, The Aurora Borealis was seen as far south as southern England.
7/10/1871, Sir John Burgoyne, British Field-Marshal, died (born 1782).
18/6/1871, The Test Act allowed students at Oxford and Cambridge universities to gain degrees and fellowships without subscribing to any particular religion.
29/5/1871, Whit Monday, became the first Bank Holiday in Britain.
25/5/1871, The House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act, creating public holidays on Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Christmas Day. Monday
17/1/1871, David Earl Beatty, British Admiral and Fleet Commander in World War One, was born in Nantwich, Cheshire.
12/1/1871, Henry Alford, English scholar (born 7/10/1810 in London) died in Canterbury,
4/8/1870. The British Red Cross was founded by Lord Wantage.
27/6/1870, George Clarendon, British statesman, died (born 12/1/1800).
9/1/1870, Sir George Evans, British soldier, died (born 1787).
18/3/1869, Neville Chamberlain, British Conservative Prime Minister 1937 to 1940 was born in Birmingham.
2/3/1869, Hugh Gough, British Field Marshal, died (born 3/11/1779).
23/1/1869, William Ewart, English politician, died (born 1/5/1798).
10/12/1868. The first edition of Whitakers Almanack was published.
9/12/1868. Following a Liberal General Election victory, William Ewart Gladstone formed the next UK government, defeating Disraeli. This was the first of Gladstone’s four terms of office as Prime Minister.
8/11/1868, Viscount Lee of Fareham, who gave the Buckinghamshire country house Chequers to the nation in 1921, was born.
26/7/1868, Robert Cranworth, Lord Chancellor of England, died in London.
12/7/1868, The Scottish Reform Act was passed.
7/5/1868, Henry Brougham, Lord Chancellor of England, died (born 19/9/1778)
28/3/1868. The Earl of Cardigan, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade (25/10/1854) to disaster at Balaclava, in the Crimean War, died. He is best remembered for the woollen garment named after him.
17/2/1868. Ill health caused the resignation of the Conservative Prime Minister Lord Derby. He was succeeded by Benjamin Disraeli on 29/2/1868.
12/11/1867, The Conservative Party held their first Annual Parry Conference, in a London pub, the Freemasons in Great Queen Street.
15/8/1867. By a Parliamentary Reform Act, one million more voters were added to the UK electorate, mostly urban ratepayers. Those who owned house and paid rates, or lodgers paying more than £10 a year rent, could now vote. The enfranchised population of the UK now stood at 7.9%.
3/8/1867, Stanley Baldwin, British Conservative and three times Prime Minister between 1923 and 1937, was born at Bewdley, Worcestershire, the only son of a wealthy industrialist and member of parliament. The author Rudyard Kipling was Baldwin's cousin on his mother's side of the family
1866, Britain passed the Metropolitan Commons Act, prohibiting any further enclosure (for private housing development) of urban commons lands. This Act was largely the result of disputes over development of common lands around London, Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon and Epping Forest in particular. The rapid expansion of Britain’s towns and cities put great pressure on common lands. In London the Lord of Hampstead Manor in the early 19th century, Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, had fought a legal battle from 1829 onwards to be allowed to build on Hampstead Heath. After the passage of the Metropolitan Commons Act, and the death of Sir Wilson in 1868, his heir withdrew from the legal fight. The Metropolitan Board of Works then bought the rights to Hampstead Heath for £45,000 (Sir Wilson had been asking for £400,000) and Hampstead Heath became public property.
12/10/1866. Ramsay MacDonald, who in 1924 became Britain’s first Labour Prime Minister, was born in Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland.
6/10/1866, George Cotton, English educationalist, died (born 20/10/1813).
11/5/1866, London was hit by a financial panic, ‘Black Friday’.
18/10/1865. Lord Palmerston died, two days short of his 81st birthday. He was staying at his wife’s house, Brockett Hall in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, when struck by fever. He was Secretary for War, Foreign Secretary, and then Prime Minister during a time when Britain was the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. When he was born, on 20/10/1784, Britain had a population of 9 million, 80% of whom worked in agriculture. When he died, Britain had a population of 29 million, 60% of whom worked in manufacturing.
22/9/1865, George Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, died.
21/2/1865, Stapleton Cotton Combermere, British Field-Marshal, (born 14/11/1773) died at Clifton.
5/12/1864, Easter Sunday; George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle, died (born 18/4/1802).
17/6/1864, William Cureton, British orientalist, born 1808, died.
11/3/1864, The Dale Dyke Dam in Yorkshire burst, flooding Sheffield from the Bradfield Reservoir and killing 240 people
1/2/1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark. Although the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was pro-German, the British Prince Edward, the future King Edward VII – who had only months earlier married Alexandra of Denmark – was shocked; they supported Denmark. The Second Schleswig War began. This event ensured that under King Edward VII’s reign, British foreign policy was pro-Danish, anti-German, and Britain formed a triple entente with France and Russia against Germany.
16/10/1863, Sir Austin Chamberlain, British politician, was born in Birmingham.
14/8/1863, Colin Clyde, British soldier, died (born 20/10/1792).
29/7/1863, Sir Cresswell, English judge, died of heart disease.
27/5/1863, Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane at Crowthorne, Berkshire was opened.
17/1/1863, David Lloyd George, British Liberal Prime Minister 1916-22, was born in Manchester.
29/5/1862, Henry Buckle, English historian, died (born 24/11/1821).
9/11/1861, Sir Howard Douglas, British General, died (born 1776).
25/10/1861, Sir James Graham, British statesman, died (born 1/6/1792).
13/10/1861, Sir William Cubitt, British engineer, died (born 1785).
2/8/1861, Sidney Herbert of Lea, English politician, died (born 1810).
19/6/1861, Earl Haig, British military commander in WWI, was born.
23/4/1861, Viscount Allenby, British World War One Army Commander, was born in Brackenhurst, Nottinghamshire.
See India for British colonisation of India
23/6/1861, John Campbell, Lord Chancellor of England (born 17/9/1779) died.
3/2/1861, Edwin Cannan, British economist, was born.
1/2/1861, Baron Henry Sinclair Horne, British soldier, was born.
19/12/1860, James Dalhousie, British statesman, died (born 22/4/1812).
14/12/1860, George Aberdeen, British statesman, died (born 28/1/1784).
30/10/1860, Thomas Dundonald, British Admiral, died (born 14/12/1775).
25/2/1860, James William Ashley, English economist, was born in London.
20/2/1860, Henry Drummond, English politician, died (born 5/12/1786).
5/12/1859, Admiral Jellicoe, British naval commander, was born in Southampton, son of a sea captain.
28/6/1859, The first dog show in the UK took place at Newcastle on Tyne Town Hall, with 60 entries split between two classes, Pointers and Setters.
18/6/1859, Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister.
15/2/1859, Frederick William Hervey, Fifth Earl of Bristol, died (born 2/10/1769).
21/2/1859, (1) Viscount Palmerston left office as Prime Minister.
(2) George Lansbury, British Labour politician and party leader, was born near Lowestoft, Suffolk.
11/1/1859, George Curzon, English statesman, was born.
24/11/1858, A legal case in Dorset caused the UK Parliament to standardise time to GMT across the country. A judge in a land case in Dorset ruled against a man who had failed to turn up for a 10,00 am case, at 10.06. Two minutes later he turned up and claimed he was on time, by the station clock of his home town, Carlisle in Cumbria. At that time all towns set their clocks by their own, local, noon, meaning accurate rail timetables were problematic. By 1850 the rail companies all used London time, adding to confusion as provincial clocks often had two minute hands, one for local time, one for London time. The case was re-tried, and in 1880 Parliament ordered the entire country keep Greenwich Mean Time.
16/9/1858, Andrew Bonar Law, UK Prime Minister, was born.
17/4/1858, James Dunfermline, British statesman, died (born 7/11/1776).
12/1/1858, Robert Crewe, English statesman, was born.
1/1/1858, John Britton, English antiquary died (born 7/7/1771).
19/8/1857, Edgar D’Abernon, British diplomat, was born.
5/8/1857, Charles Blomfield, English cleric, died (born in Bury St Edmunds 29/5/1786).
18/2/1857, Francis Ellesmere, English politician, died (born 1/1/1800).
11/1/1857. Birth of Henry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Britain’s first large department store. Also on this day was born the champion jockey Fred Archer.
1856, An Army Staff College was set up at Sandhurst.
15/8/1856, Kier Hardie, Labour leader, was born near Holytown, Lanarkshire. He helped found the Labour Party.
30/7/1856, Viscount Richard Burdon Haldane (British Army) was born.
18/4/1856, Aldershot Camp was publically inaugurated by Queen Victoria.
29/1/1856. Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military decoration. Awarded for conspicuous bravery or great devotion to duty. The award was backdated to 1854 to cover the Crimean War; on 26/6/1856 62 men were given the Victoria Cross for deeds during this war. The VC has been awarded 1,354 times since then, to 2002, but has only been given posthumously since 1920. It has been awarded only 11 times since 1945, the last 2 being in the Falklands War of 1982. The medal is made of metal from Russian guns captured in the Crimean War.
12/1/1856, Henry Goulburn, English statesman, died (born 19/3/1784).
20/12/1855, Thomas Cubitt, English builder, died (born 25/2/1788).
18/9/1855, Robert Horton, British divine, was born.
20/2/1855, Joseph Hume, British politician, died (born 22/1/1777).
9/2/1855, Mysterious hoof-prints appeared in the snow in Devon, as if a two legged creature had walked 100 miles over fields, walls, and roof-tops. No explanation was ever found.
6/2/1855, The Whig/Liberal Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister. He succeeded Lord Aberdeen, who resigned on 20/1/1855.
For Crimean War see Russia 1850s
1854, The UK Govermnent purchased a large tract of moorland known as Aldershot Heath, to set up Aldershot Camp. This was to enable military practices in a large enough area to allow for brigade and divison manoeuvres in peacetime, since this had not been done since the Napoleonic Wars with France.
26/9/1854, Thomas Denman, English Judge, died (born 23/7/1779).
21/6/1854, The first Victoria Cross was awarded, to Charles Lucas, a 20-year-old Irishman who threw an unexploded Russian bomb overboard, whilst on HMS Hecla at Bomarsund in the Baltic.
26/4/1854, Henry Cockburn, Scottish Judge, died (born26/10/1779)..
9/1/1854, Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill, was born.
8/1/1854, William Beresford, British General, died in Kent (born 2/10/1768).
17/8/1853, Sir Frederick Adam, British General, died (born 1781).
1/4/1853, Manchester, UK, was constituted a city.
14/12/1852, Charles Berry, English cleric, was born in Leigh, Lancashire (died 31/1/1899).
26/10/1852, Henry Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, died.
13/10/1852, Birth of Lilly Langtry, actress and mistress to King Edward VII.
14/9/1852, The Duke of Wellington, victor at Waterloo, died at Walmer Castle, Kent, aged 83, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
19/1/1852, Robert Adamson, Scottish philosopher (died 5/2/1902) was born.
1851, Saltaire Village, near Shipley, Yorkshire, was opened by Sir Titus Salt as model housing for his workers The solid stone houses were served by a wash-house, hospital, library, concert hall, gym and science laboratory.
24/7/1851, In Britain the Window Tax was abolished.
8/7/1851, Sir Arthur John Evans, British archaeologist who excavated Knossos on Crete, was born.
29/4/1851, Charles Cottenham, Lord Chancellor of England, died (born 29/4/1781).
28/4/1851, Sir Edward Codrington , British Admiral, died (born 1770).
8/2/1851, Nicholas Bexley, English politician, died in Foots Cray, Kent (born in London 29/4/1766).
8/7/1850, Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, died (born 24/2/1774).
24/6/1850, Lord Kitchener, British army commander and Secretary of State for War in 1914, was born near Ballylongford, County Kerry, Eire.
19/4/1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other’s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.
29/12/1849, William Cunningham, English economist, was born.
16/5/1849, Victor Bruce, 9th earl of Elgin, was born.
13/2/1849, Lord Randolph Churchill, British Conservative politician and father of Winston Churchill, was born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
31/1/1849, Britain’s Corn Laws were abolished.
1848, Manchester prohibited the construction of back-to-back housing. However such accommodation was still being constructed in Leeds until after 1900.
29/11/1848, Charles Buller, MP for Liskeard, died (born 6/8/1806).
23/11/1848, Sir John Barrow, British politician died (born near Ulverstone, Lancashire, 19/6/1764).
21/9/1848, Lord William Bentinck, British politician, died in Welbeck (born 27/2/1802).
25/7/1848, Arthur James Balfour, British Conservative and Prime Minister, was born in East Lothian, Scotland.
13/5/1848, Alexander Baring, British financier and politician, died (born 27/10/1774)
19/1/1848, Matthew Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel, was born in Dawley, Shropshire, the son of a doctor.
1847, The British Army replaced service for life by a minimum ten-year term.
21/12/1847, John Chard, British soldier, was born (died 1/11/1897).
15/2/1846, Sir William Clinton, British soldier, died (born 1769).
21/7/1845, Charles Canterbury, British politician, died (born 29/1/1780).
17/7/1845, Charles Grey, English statesman, died (born 13/3/1764).
28/6/1845, Sir William Follett, English lawyer, died (2/12/1798).
16/5/1845, Charles Chubb, English locksmith and safe-maker, died.
13/5/1845, Alexander Baring Ashburton, English baron and financier, died.
19/2/1845, Sir Thomas Buxton, English philanthropist, died (born 1/4/1786).
6/8/1844, Albert Ernst Albert, 4th child of Queen Victoria (died 30/7/1900) was born at Windsor Castle.
7/4/1844, James Scarlett Abinger, British statesman (born 13/12/1796) died.
8/2/1844, Samuel Barnett, English social reformer, was born in Bristol.
23/1/1844, Sir Francis Burdett, English politician, died (born 25/1/1770).
14/11/1843, Sir William Anson, English jurist, was born in Walberton, Sussex.
16/6/1843, William Cathcart, English soldier, died (born 17/9/1755).
25/4/1843, Mary Alice Maud, 3rd child of Queen Victoria, was born in Buckingham Palace (died 14/12/1878).
1842, The first public laundry opened, in Manchester. It was not a place for the respectable.
22/12/1842, Richard Everard Webster Alverstone, Lord Chief Justice of England from 1900, was born.
10/12/1842, Rowland Hill, British General, died (born 11/8/1772).
2/9/1842, John Ireland, English cleric, died (born 8/9/1761).
3/3/1842, Frederick Burnaby, English soldier, was born (died at the Battle of Abu Klea, 17/1/1885).
1841, Norfolk Park, Sheffield, was laid out as a public park.
14/11/1841, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, died (born 20/7/1766).
28/8/1841, The Conservative leader Sir Robert Peel succeeded the Whig, Lord William Melbourne, as Prime Minister. Under Peel’s second term in office, he intended to reduce import duties to promote free trade.
4/7/1841, Sir Pierre Cavagnari, British military administrator, was born (died 3/9/1879).
8/6/1841, John Elias, Welsh nonconformist preacher and reformer, died (born 2/5/1774).
26/2/1841, Evelyn Baring, British statesman, was born.
15/2/1841, Sir Edward Clarke, British politician, was born.
28/1/1841, Henry Stanley, British explorer and journalist, was born at Denbigh, north Wales, as John Rowlands.
25/1/1841, John Fisher, British Admiral, was born.
2/1/1841, Sir Philip Broke, British Rear-Admiral, died (born 9/9/1776).
22/10/1840, Henry Holland, British statesman, died (born 21/11/1773).
8/10/1840, John Camden, English politician, born 1759, died.
30/3/1840, Beau Brummel, Regency Dandy, died at Caen in a pauper’s lunatic asylum. He had fled Britain to escape gambling debts.
20/9/1839, Sir Thomas Hardy, British Vice-Admiral, died (born 5/4/1769).
19/7/1938, Christmas Evans, Welsh non-conformist preacher, died (born 25/12/1766)
13/1/1838, John Eldon, Lord High Chancellor of England, died (born 4/6/1751).
2/11/1837, Farrer Herschell, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 1/3/1899).
6/9/1837, Henry Edwards, Welsh divine, was born (died 24/5/1884).
1/7/1837, The first Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages was begun in England and Wales. The first entry was for the birth of a baby girl, Mary Ann Aaaron, born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.
9/2/1837, Alfred Ainger, English writer (died 8/2/1904) was born.
27/12/1836, A landslide at Lewes, Sussex, swallowed up houses and killed 8 people.
See Economy & Prices for more events related to Chartist Movement
16/10/1836, John Clifford, British politician, was born.
7/9/1836, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, English Prime Minister, was born (died 5/4/1908).
17/8/1836, Registration of all births, marriages, and deaths in Britain was required under the Registration Act.
5/7/1836, Evan Herber Evans, Welsh non-conformist preacher, was born (died 30/12/1896).
29/11/1835, Sir William Inglis, British soldier, died (born 1764).
9/9/1835, The Municipal Corporation Act in Britain reformed city and town government in line with the major population shifts brought on by the Industrial Revolution. The old ruling oligarchies of borough councils were replaced by elected councils, elected by all rate paying householders of three year’s standing. Tory lawyers, Anglican clergy, and the aristocracy lost power to small shopkeepers, businessmen, Non-conformists, and better off members of the working class. This paved the way for public improvements like street widening, public utilities such as gas and water, and a municipal fire service.
18/6/1835, William Cobbett, journalist and reformer, died.
15/2/1835, Henry Hunt, English politician, died (born 6/11/1773).
1/1/1835, Charles Bowen, English Judge, was born in Gloucestershire (died 10/4/1894).
30/4/1834, John Avebury, English politician, was born in London.
22/4/1834, Saint Helena became a British colony.
12/1/1834, William Grenville, British statesman, was born (died 12/1/1834).
10/1/1834, John Acton, British historian, (died 19/6/1902) was born in Naples, Italy.
26/9/1833, Charles Bradlaugh, English politician, was born in Hoxton, London (died 30/1/1893).
30/8/1833, Horace Davy of Fernhurst, English Judge, was born (died 20/2/1907).
25/8/1833, Henry Fawcett, English politician, was born (died 6/11/1884).
23/7/1833, Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devon, was born (died 24/3/1908).
19/4/1833, James Gambier, British Admiral, died (born 13/10/1756),
29/1/1833, The Reform Parliament of Great Britain opened.
23/1/1833, Edward Exmouth, English Admiral, died (born 19/4/1757).
30/9/1832, Lord Roberts, British military leader, was born in Cawnpore, India.
6/6/1832, Jeremy Bentham died.
4/6/1832, The Representation of the People Act received Royal Assent. It introduced electoral reform in Britain. Smaller property owners were given the vote (tenant farmers paying £50 or more a year in rent), extending the electorate to 20% of adult males, twice as many as before. However the ballot was till not secret, until 18/7/1872. Landlords often evicted tenants who failed to vote for the candisate the landlord supported. Furhtermore, 56 ‘rotten boroughs’ with a total population of 2,000 were abolished, and some rural areas lost one of their two MPs. New constituencies were created in the expanding industrial towns of Manchester, Birmingham, and elsewhere. There was resistance in the House of Lords from 21 bishops.
31/10/1831, Riots in Bristol raised fears of revolution breaking out across Britain. Four of the rioters were executed.
10/10/1831, Three days of rioting in Derby (8-10 October) following the defeat in the House of Lords of the Reform Bill. This Bill, which passed its Third reading in the Commons in September 1831, would have enlarged the electorate. Further riots in Bristol, 29-31 October. In April 1832 a second Reform Bill was passed by the House of Lords.
10/8/1831, George Goschen, British statesman, was born (7/2/1907).
8/1830, The Swing Revolt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_Riots got underway in Kent, spreading rapidly to other counties in the South East. ‘Captain Swing’ was the pseudonym used by the rebels when they threatened the destruction of machinery unless wages were raised or tithe payments cut. Impoverished agricultural workers destroyed 387 threshing machines and 26 other agricultural machines across 22 counties between now and September 1832. Machinery worth £20,000 was destroyed, and a further £100,000 damage done through arson. See Luddites 3/1811. Agricultural wages were raised, at least temporarily, and the spread of labour-saving threshing machines was curbed. However the Swing Revolt resulted in the execution of 19 labourers and the transportation to Australia of nearly 500 more.
30/4/1830, Sir George Chesney, British General, was born (died 31/3/1895).
11/12/1829, Sir Henry Clinton, British soldier, died (born 1771).
18/8/1829, Sir David Baird, British General, died (born 12/1757).
8/5/1829, Charles Colchester, British politician, died (born 1757).
13/4/1829. The Catholic Emancipation Act became law. Catholics were allowed to hold every public office except those of Regent, Lord Chancellor, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. This was a concession reluctantly granted by the British Conservative government of the Duke of Wellington, following Catholic agitation in Ireland by Daniel O’Connell and the Catholic Association.
11/4/1829, Alexander Buchan, Scottish meteorologist, was born.
20/2/1829, Odo Ampthill, British diplomat, was born in Florence (died 25/8/1884 in Potsdam).
20/1/1829, Thomas Bridgett, English priest, was born (died 17/2/1899).
6/12/1828, Sir William Hoste, British Naval Captain, died (26/8/1780).
30/10/1828, Henry James of Hereford, English lawyer, was born.
1/6/1828, Frank Hastings, British naval officer and supporter of Greek independence, was killed in battle.
26/1/1828, The Duke of Wellington became Tory Prime Minister.
25/1/1828. The Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel formed a Conservative government.
4/11/1827, Sir Edward Fry, English Judge, was born.
14/10/1827, Sir William Harcourt, English statesman, was born (died 1/10/1904).
13/8/1827, The first giraffe arrived in Britain.
8/8/1827, George Canning, British Prime Minister, died.
16/7/1827, Pottery expert Josiah Spode died.
25/6/1827, Hugh Childers, British politician, was born (died 29/1/1896).
17/2/1827, The Earl of Liverpool left post as Prime Minister, paralysed by a stroke.
17/1/1827, The Duke of Wellington was appointed Commander in Chief of the British Army.
10/11/1826, Joseph Arch, English politician and founder of the National Agricultural labourers Union, was born in Barlford, Warwickshire.
3/9/1826, Sir Harry Calvert, British General, died
10/2/1826, Sir William Fraser, English politician, was born (died 17/8/1898).
21/6/1826, Frederick Dufferin, British statesman, was born (died 12/2/1902).
20/3/1826, Sir Augustus Franks, English antiquary, was born (died 212/5/1897).
3/9/1825, Hardinge Halsbury, English Lord Chancellor, was born.
24/6/1825. William Henry Smith, English newsagent and bookseller, was born. He joined his father’s news agency business and took full control in 1846, building the biggest chain of newsagents in Britain.
24/2/1825, Thomas Bowdler died, aged 71. He was notorious for prudishly editing text he considered unsuitable, giving rise to the term ‘bowdlerising’.
20/2/1825, Sir Geoffrey Hornby, British Admiral, was born (died 3/3/1895).
1824, The UK Government standardised official weights and measures across Britain.
27/7/1824, Sir Andrew Clarke, British military administrator, was born (died 29/3/1902).
22/3/1824, The British Government agreed to spend £57,000 to purchase 38 paintings to establish a national collection.
1/3/1824, Sir Donald Martin Stewart, British Field-Marshal, was born (died 26/3/1900).
13/2/1824, Sir George Jessel, English Judge, was born (died 21/3/1883).
25/11/1823, Brighton’s Chain Pier was opened.
17/11/1823, Thomas Erskine, Lord Chancellor of England, died (born 10/1/1750).
31/10/1823, Charles Grant, British politician, died (born 16/4/1746).
29/12/1822, John Campbell, Gaelic scholar (died 17/2/1885) was born.
11/8/1822, Sir Samuel Auchmuty, British General, died (born 1756).
14/2/1822, The increasing popularity of Valentines Cards forced the Post Office to employ extra sorters. See 14/2/1477.
24/11/1821, Henry Buckle, English historian, was born (died 29/5/1862).
2/11/1821, Sir George Bowen, British colonial governor, was born (died in Brighton 21/2/1899).
7/8/1821, Caroline, Queen of King George IV of Britain, died (born 17/5/1768).
12/4/1821, Frederick Alcester, British Admiral, was born (died 30/3/1895).
11/3/1821, Churchill Babington, English archaeologist, was born in Roecliffe, Leicestershire (died 12/1/1889 in Suffolk).
3/12/1820, John Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of England, was born (died 14/6/1894).
19/6/1820, Sir Joseph Banks, English botanist who accompanied Cook on his voyage round the world in The Endeavour, died aged 77.
27/3/1820, Sir Edward Inglefield, British Admiral, was born (died 5/9/1894).
28/1/1820, Montague Bernard, English lawyer, was born on Gloucestershire (died 1882).
10/1/1820, Sir Neville Chamberlain, British Field-Marshal, was born (died 18/2/1902).
10/11/1819, Arthur Hobhouse, English Judge, was born (died 6/12/1904).
1/11/1819, Sir John Miller Adye, British General, was born in Sevenoaks, Kent (died 26/8/1900).
16/8/1819, At St Peters Fields, or Peterloo, Manchester, a meeting demanding parliamentary reforms was dispersed by the military. There was a crowd of 60,000 present to hear the speech of the pugnacious reformer Henry Hunt, who also demanded an end to the Corn Laws. 11 demonstrators were killed and 600 injured by the Manchester Yeomanry. After this the UK government issued the Six Laws, in 1819, banning any gathering of over 50 people, and any flag-bearing procession, authorising the arrest of anyone carrying a firearm, and imposing a tax on newspapers.
5/7/1819, Sir William Cornwallis, British Admiral, died (born 20/2/1744).
24/6/1819, Thomas Farrer, English civil servant, was born (died 11/10/1899).
25/4/1819, Mark Firth, British steel maker and philanthropist, was born (died 28/11/1880).
26/3/1819, George William Frederick Charles, Duke of Cambridge, was born (died 17/3/1904).
23/12/1818, Sir Philip Francis, English politician, died (born 22/10/1740).
13/12/1818, Edward Ellenborough, English Judge, died (born 16/11/1750).
27/10/1818, Stafford Iddesleigh, British statesman, was born (died 12/1/1887).
13/10/1818, Henry Allon, English non-conformist preacher, was born in Welton near Hull (died March 1892).
4/9/1818, Richard Congreve, English Positivist, was born (died5/7/1899).
31/8/1818, Sir Robert Calder, British Admiral, died (born 2/7/1745).
18/8/1818, James Fraser, English Bishop, was born (died 22/10/1885). He did much to secure the provision of churches for the rapidly-growing population of Manchester, exceeding even the efforts of his predecessor, James Lee, who had consecrated 130 Manchester churches.
11/7/1818, William Forster, British statesman, was born (died 6/4/1886).
1/7/1818, Sir Thomas Bernard, English social reformer, died (born in Lincoln 27/4/1750).
11/6/1818, Alexander Bain, Scottish educationalist, was born in Aberdeen (died in Aberdeen 18/9/1903).
14/9/1817, Henry Brampton, English judge, was born in Hitchin (died in London 6/10/1907).
13/8/1817, William Esher, English Judge, was born (died 24/5/1899).
14/4/1817, Sir John Duckworth, British Admiral, died (born 28/2/1748).
10/3/1817, Several hundred Manchester weavers set out from St Peters Fields, Manchester, to march
to Westminster, demanding Parliamentary Reform. They were called the Blanketeers, as they carried blankets to keep
warm at night. Troops stopped most of them at Stockport but some reached Derbyshire, and one made it as far as London.
This march later inspired the Jarrow March.
8/2/1817, Francis Horner, British economist, died (born 12/8/1778).
6/12/1816, Sir John Brown, Sheffield armour plate manufacturer, was born (died 27/12/1896).
11/11/1816, Sir John Coode, British engineer, was born (died 2/3/1892).
24/8/1816, Tristan da Cunha, four islands in the south Atlantic, were annexed and garrisoned by the UK.
12/5/1816, Edmund Beckett, 1st Baron Grimthorpe, was born (died 29/4/1905).
4/2/1816, Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire, was born (died 4/2/1816).
27/1/1816, Samuel Hood, British Admiral, died (born 12/2/1724)
31/7/1815, Lady Harriet (Christian Acland) died (born 3/1/1750).
27/6/1816, Samuel 1st Viscount Hood, British Admiral whose military successes included defeating the French off Dominica in 1782 and the capture of Toulon in the French Revolutionary Wars, died.
11/5/1815, Granville George, 2nd earl, British politician, was born (died 31/3/1891).
16/4/1815, Henry Aberdare, British statesman and educationalist (died 25/2/1895) was born in Aberdare, Glamorganshire.
29/3/1815, Sir Henry Frere, British colonial administrator, was born (died 29/5/1884).
15/1/1815, Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, died in poverty in Calais.
1814, Sheerness Naval Dockyard opened.
15/11/1814, Sir William Inglis, British soldier, was born (died 27/9/1862).
5/10/1814, Thomas Charles, Welsh educationalist, died (born 14/10/1755).
1/10/1814, Gathorne Cranbrook, British statesman, was born (died 30/10/1906).
12/7/1814, William Howe, British General, died (born 1729).
28/5/1814, William Eden Auckland, English statesman, died.
21/4/1814, Angela Burdett-Coutts, English philanthropist, was born (died 30/12/1906).
26/5/1814, Sir William Bovill, English judge, was born in Barking, London (died in Kingston, Surry, 1/11/1873).
2/5/1814, Alexander Bridport, British Admiral, died.
29/10/1813, William Benjamin Carpenter, English naturalist, was born (died 19/11/1885).
20/10/1813, George Cotton, English educationalist, was born (died 6/10/1866).
24/7/1813, Edward Cardwell, English politician, was born (died 15/2/1886).
18/7/1813, Charles Badham, English scholar, was born in Ludlow, Shropshire (died 26/2/1884 in Sydney, Australia).
11/2/1813, George Grenville, First Marquess of Bath, died (born 17/6/1753).
27/11/1812, Roundell Palmer, Earl of Selborne, Britain, was born.
13/10/1812, Sir Isaac Brock, British soldier and administrator, died at the Battle of Queenston Heights, North America (born 6/120/1769).
15/7/1812, James Hope-Scott, English barrister, was born (died 29/4/1873).
7/6/1812, The Earl of Liverpool took up post as Prime Minister.
11/5/1812, Spencer Perceval became the only British Prime Minister so far to be assassinated as he entered the House of Commons, by a bankrupt broker, Francis Bellingham, who blamed the Government for his woes.
22/4/1812, James Dalhousie, British statesman, was born (died 19/12/1860).
12/4/1812, 150 masked Luddites attacked Cartwright’s Mill, between Leeds and Huddersfield. The mill owner5 had been forewarned and had prepared defences, including vats of acid. 40 Luddites were injured in the affray and 2 subsequently died. It took some time to discover the identity of the attackers but a trial was eventually held at York Assizes in January 1813, at which 8 were sentenced to death.
14/4/1812, Sir George Grey, British statesman, was born (died 20/9/1898).
19/1/1812, Robert Crauford, British major-General, died (born 5/5/1764).
8/1/1812, Two British regiments were called out to control outbreaks of Luddite rioting.
3/1/1812, William Ballantine, famous English lawyer, was born in London (died 9/1/1887 in Margate).
16/11/1811, John Bright, British statesman, was born (died 27/3/1889).
11/8/1811, Judah Benjamin, British lawyer, was born in St Thomas, West Indies (died in Paris 6/5/1884).
3/1811, The Luddite movement, distressed textiles workers smashing machinery, began in Nottinghamshire and spread across the Midlands and Yorkshire. Britain had lost access to continental markets because of the Napoleonic Wars, and this was exacerbated by the collapse of the American market in 1811. The machine breakers took up the name ‘Ned Lud’, and used large sledgehammers, nicknamed ‘Enoch’, to smash their way into textiles mills. Between March 1811 and February 1812 the Luddites destroyed some 1,000 frames, valued at £6,000 to £10,000, In February 1812 Parliament made frame-breaking a capital offence. See also wages of textiles workers (decline 1805-31). See Swing Revolt 8/1830.
31/1/1811, Frederic Blachford, British politician, was born in London (died 21/11/1889)
7/10/1810, Henry Alford, English scholar (died 12/1/1871 in Canterbury) was born in London.
7/3/1810, Cuthbert Collingwood, British naval commander, died (born 26/7/1750).
28/2/1810, Sir Robert Rawlinson, English engineer was born (died 31/5/1898).
29/12/1809, William Ewart Gladstone, four times Liberal Prime Minister, was born in Liverpool. He was the son of a wealthy Scottish merchant.
18/12/1809, Alexander Adam, Scottish teacher and antiquarian (born 24/6/1741), died.
20/10/1809, Sir Alexander Ball, British rear-admiral and Governor of Malta, died (born 1759).
24/5/1809, Dartmoor Prison was opened to house French prisoners of war. From 1850 it was used for British convicts.
12/2/1809, Charles Darwin was born. His father, Robert Darwin, was a doctor and financier, and his mother, Susannah Darwin, was the daughter of pottery magnate Josiah Wedgewood.
22/11/1808, Pioneer travel agent Thomas Cook was born in Melbourne, Derbyshire. He died in 1892.
15/10/1808, James Anderson, Scottish economist (born 1739) died.
22/7/1808, Sir James Grant, English General, was born (died 7/3/1875).
24/8/1808, William Lindsay Alexander, Scottish church scholar (died 20/12/1884 in Edinburgh) was born in Leith.
21/8/1808, British troops under Wellington defeated the French under General Junot. This was at the Battle of Vimiero, during the Peninsular War. The Peninsular War absorbed some 300,000 of Napoleon’s best troops, and was ended when Napoleon heard reports that Austria, backed by Britain, was arming against him.
15/7/1808, Sir Henry Cole, English civil servant, was born (died 18/4/1882).
12/6/1808, George Bramwell, English judge, was born in London (died 9/5/1892).
6/3/1808, Joseph Blakesley, English cleric, was born in London (died 18/4/1885).
2/9/1807, Britain bombarded and destroyed the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, to prevent its use by France or Russia.
12/7/1807, Thomas Hawkesley, English engineer, was born (died 23/9/1893).
24/10/1806, Thomas Braidwood, English teacher of the deaf and dumb, died in Hackney (born 1715).
20/5/1806, John Stuart Mill, English philosopher and economist, was born.
21/3/1806, The foundation stone of Dartmoor Prison in Devon was laid. See 24/5/1809.
23/1/1806, William Pitt the Younger, twice Prime Minister (the first when only 24), died at Putney aged 47. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Napoleon was still strong in Europe. Prussia, who had been reluctant to join the Allies, now had to live with French domination of the puppet state of the Confederation of the Rhine.
9/1/1806, The funeral and burial of Admiral Lord Nelson at St Paul’s Cathedral.
12/12/1805, John Almon, political pamphleteer, died (born 17/12/1737 in Liverpool).
21/10/1805, Battle of Trafalgar. Death of Nelson. Nelson blockaded the combined fleets of France and Spain in Cadiz. The French Admiral, Villeneuve, attempted to break out, but British ships sank or captured most of the French and Spanish ships. The French had planned to link up with the Spanish fleet in the West Indies and so lure the British into giving chase across the Atlantic. However Nelson guessed at the French tactics and the Admiralty was warned. A British fleet under Calder found the French fleet off Cape Finistere and they put into Spanish harbours. The French fleet later emerged to sail, not for Britain, but to return to the Mediterranean. The French were intercepted off Cape Trafalgar, and destroyed in the Battle of Trafalgar.
See also France-Germany for events connected to Napoleon
5/10/1805, Charles Cornwallis, British soldier, died (born 31/12/1738).
2/10/1805, William Cunningham, Scottish theologian, was born (died 14/12/1861).
5/7/1805, Robert Fitzroy, English Vice-Admiral, was born (died 30/4/1865).
20/3/1805, Thomas Cooper, Chartist, was born (died 15/7/1892).
11/9/1804, Sir Patrick Grant, British Field Marshal, was born (died 28/3/1895).
17/6/1804, Henry Cowley, English diplomat, was born (died 15/7/1884).
3/6/1804, Richard Cobden, British politician and economist, was born in Heyshott, near Midhurst, Sussex, the son of a farmer.
10/5/1804, William Pitt the Younger resumed office as Prime Minister.
4/8/1804, Adam Duncan, British naval commander, died (born 1/71731).
10/3/1804, Thomas Camelford, English politician (born 1737) was killed in a duel.
7/3/1804, John Wedgwood, son of the famous Midland pottery manufacturer, and uncle to Charles Darwin, founded the Royal Horticultural Society. John’s mother’s garden inspired his interest in plants and in 1801 he wrote to William Forsyth, gardener to George III, suggesting the formation of a horticultural society. Forsyth passed the idea on to the Royal Society President, Sir Joseph Banks, and the society was founded three years later. The inaugural meeting was at the London booksellers, Mr Hatchard, at 187 Piccadilly. In 2003 the Royal Horticultural Society had over 300,000 members who have access to over 80 gardens in the UK. It organises the Chelsea Flower Show, runs courses at Wisley in Surrey, and organises over 1,000 lectures and talks annually.
8/7/1803, Frederick Augustus Hervey, Fourth Earl of Bristol, died (born 1/8/1730).
5/7/1803, George Borrow, English traveller, was born in East Dereham, Norfolk (died 26/7/1881).
6/4/1803, Sir William Hamilton, British diplomat, died (born 13/12/1730).
21/2/1803, Edward Despard, conspirator against King George III, was executed.
28/12/1802, Henry Grey, British statesman, was born (died 9/10/1894).
24/12/1802, Sir Alexander Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice of England, was born (died 20/11/1880).
5/12/1802, James Baird, Scottish ironmaster, was born in Kirkwood, Lanarkshire (died in Ayrshire 20/6/1876).
20/7/1802, Isaac Barre, British soldier and politician, died (born 1726).
10/7/1802, Robert Chambers, Scottish bookseller and publisher, was born in Peebles.
18/4/1802, Easter Sunday; George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle, was born (died 5/12/1864).
27/2/1802, Lord William Bentinck, British politician, was born (died in Welbeck 21/9/1848).
29/11/1801, William Hatherley, Lord Chancellor of Britain, was born (died 10/7/1881).
17/10/1801, George Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, was born.
29/6/1801, The figures from Britain’s first census were published. Britain’s population was set at 8,872,000.
22/4/1801, Fox Dalhousie, British statesman, was born (died 6/7/1874).
14/3/1801, William Pitt the Younger left office as Prime Minister.
10/3/1801, Britain’s first census was held.
1/1/1801, The Act of Union between Britain and Ireland came into force. Irish MPs could sit at Westminster. However some smaller Irish boroughs were disenfranchised so as to limit the number of Irish MPs to 100,
27/12/1800, Hugh Blair, Scottish cleric, died (born in Edinburgh 7/4/1718).
25/12/1800, Britain’s first Christmas Tree was erected at Windsor by Queen Charlotte.
12/1/1800, George Clarendon, British statesman, was born (died 27/6/1870).
7/10/1799, 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.
1/7/1799, Sir James Eyre, English Judge, died (born 1734).
29/3/1799, Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was born (died 23/10/1869).
2/12/1798, Sir William Follett, English lawyer, was born (died 28/6/1845).
1/5/1798, William Ewart, English politician, was born (died 23/1/1869).
1797, Following Britain’s naval mutinies, the Mutiny Act was passed making it a treasonable offence to incite disaffection amongst the armed forces. Meanwhile the army and navy received pay rises.
16/10/1797, James Cardigan, English lieutenant general (died 28/3/1868) was born.
3/8/1797, Jeffrey Amherst Amherst, British soldier (born 1717), died in Kent.
9/7/1797, Edmund Burke, British politician and orator, died.
30/6/1797, 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.
17/4/1797, 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, 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.
20/2/1797, Nelson was made a Knight of the Bath and promoted to Rear Admiral for his action in the Battle of Cape St Vincent.
13/12/1796, James Scarlett Abinger, British statesman (died 7/4/1844) was born in Jamaica.
19/11/1796, Thomas Bath, English politician, died (born 13/9/1734).
16/7/1796, William Hamilton, English statesman, died (born 28/1/1729).
23/12/1795, Sir Henry Clinton, British General, died.
9/7/1795, Henry Conway, English statesman, died (born 1721).
1/6/1794, The Battle of the Glorious 1st June. The British fleet under Lord Howe defeated the French under Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, 700km west of Ushant.
12/5/1794, Sir George Cathcart, English soldier, was born (died at the Battle of Inkerman 5/11/1854).
18/4/1794, Charles Camden, Lord Chancellor of England (born 1714) died.
15/4/1794, Frederic Chelmsford, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 5/10/1878).
1/11/1793, 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.
7/10/1793, Wills Downshire, English politician, died (born 30/5/1718).
1/10/1793, Sir William Erle, English lawyer, was born (died 28/1/1880).
1/2/1793, Britain declared war on France. The British economy entered a depression.
1792, In Britain, a barracks building programme began to house troops in ports and major industrial centres. Often the least affluent areas of town were chosen to site the barracks, in the event of urban riots breaking out there.
20/10/1792, Colin Clyde, British soldier, was born (died 14/8/1863).
18/8/1792, Earl Lord John Russell, British statesman, was born.
4/6/1792, John Burgoyne, English General, died (born 1722).
12/4/1792, John Durham, English statesman, was born (died 28/7/1840).
10/3/1792, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, died (born 25/5/1713).
17/6/1791, Selina Huntingdon, English religious leader, died (born 24/8/1707).
5/6/1791, Sir Frederick Haldimand, British General, died (born 11/8/1718).
18/3/1791, Edward Hatherton, English politician, was born (died 4/5/1863).
3/1/1791, George Rennie, English civil engineer, was born in Surrey.
18/12/1790, Robert Cranworth, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 26/7/1868).
8/12/1790, Richard Carlile, English radical, was born (died 10/2/1843).
8/9/1790, Edward Ellenborough, English politician, was born (died 22/12/1871).
5/3/1790, Flora Mac Donald, the Scottish Jacobite heroine who helped Prince Charles Edward (The Younger Pretender) to escape from the island of Benbecula, died.
3/3/1790, John Austin, English jurist, was born.
22/2/1790, French soldiers landed at Fishguard, Wales, but were soon captured.
2/4/1789, John Mackenzie, Scottish Jacobite, died (born 1727).
26/2/1789, Eaton Hodgkinson, British engineer, was born (died 18/6/1861).
1/1/1789, Fletcher Grantley, English politician, died (born 23/6/1716).
1788, Cheltenham became famous as a spa town with the six-week visit of King George III. The spa waters had first been commercially exploited by Captain Henry Skillicorne (born 1678, died 1763) in 1738, though some locals had drunk the water before then.
28/2/1788, Samuel Bamford, British politician, was born in Miston, Lancashire (died in Harpurhey 13/4/1872.
25/2/1788, Thomas Cubitt, English builder, was born (died 20/12/1855).
31/1/1788, 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.
3/1787, Horatio Nelson married Nisbet, at Nevis in the Caribbean. He was frustrated at being put on half pay and out of service for the next five years.
5/12/1786, Henry Drummond, English politician, was born (died 20/2/1860).
20/7/1786, Thomas Robinson, 2nd baron Grantham, died (born 30/11/1738).
29/5/1786, Charles Blomfield, English cleric, was born in Bury St Edmunds (died 5/8/1857).
16/4/1786, Easter Sunday. Birth of Sir John Franklin, English Rear Admiral.
10/4/1786, John Byron, British Vice-Admiral, died (born 8/11/1723).
1/4/1786, Sir Thomas Buxton, English philanthropist, was born (died 19/2/1845).
1784, A window tax was introduced in Britain. To save money, many householders bricked up some of their wondows.
13/12/1784, 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.
30/5/1784, Sir William Brown, financier, was born (died 1864).
19/3/1784, Henry Goulburn, English statesman, was born (died 12/1/1856).
28/1/1784, George Aberdeen, British statesman, was born in Edinburgh.
7/12/1783, William Pitt the Younger became the youngest Prime Minister of Britain, aged 24.
6/10/1783, Thomas Attwood, English political reformer, was born in Halesowen, Worcestershire (died in Great Malvern, 6/3/1856).
18/8/1783, John Dunning Ashburton, English lawyer, died in Exmouth (born 18/10/1731 in Ashburton, Devon).
28/4/1783, Sir Eyre Coote, British soldier, died (born 1726).
24/2/1783, The British Parliament voted to discontinue the American War.
1/1/1783, Britain’s oldest Chamber of Commerce was established, in Glasgow.
20/3/1782, Lord North left office as Prime Minister.
17/10/1781, Edward Hawke, British Admiral, died (born 1705).
19/9/1781, Tobias Furneaux, English navigator, died (born 21/8/1735).
29/4/1781, Charles Cottenham, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 29/4/1851).
26/8/1780, Sir William Hoste, British Naval Captain, was born (died 6/12/1828).
2/6/1780, 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.
14/2/1780, Sir William Blackstone, English jurist, died (born in London 10/7/1723).
29/1/1780, Charles Canterbury, British politician, was born (died 21/7/1845).
23/12/1779, Augustus John Hervey, Third Earl of Bristol, died (born 19/5/1724).
3/11/1779, Hugh Gough, British Field Marshal, was born (died 2/3/1869).
26/10/1779, Henry Cockburn, Scottish Judge, was born (died 26/4/1854).
17/9/1779, John Campbell, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 23/6/1861).
23/7/1779, Thomas Denman, English Judge, was born (died 26/9/1854).
6/1779, Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was appointed captain of the Hinchinbrooke.
26/10/1778, Charles Glenelg, British politician, was born (died 23/4/1886).
19/9/1778, Henry Brougham, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 7/5/1868).
12/8/1778, Francis Horner, British economist, was born (died 8/2/1817).
1777, Dolly Pentreath, the last known person to speak the Cornish language only, and no English, died.
9/7/1777, Henry Hallam, English historian, was born.
22/1/1777, Joseph Hume, British politician, was born (died 20/2/1855).
7/11/1776, James Dunfermline, British statesman, was born (died 17/4/1858).
14/12/1775, Thomas Dundonald, British Admiral, was born (died 30/10/1860).
6/2/1775, William Dowdeswell, English politician, died (born 1721).
27/10/1774, Alexander Baring, British financier and politician, was born (died 13/5/1848)
1/7/1774, Henry Holland, British statesman, died (born 28/9/1705).
2/5/1774, John Elias, Welsh nonconformist preacher and reformer, was born (died 8/6/1841).
24/2/1774, Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, was born (died 8/7/1850).
1773, An Assay Office was established in Sheffield due to the amount of silver cutlery being manufactured there.
21/11/1773, Henry Holland, British statesman, was born (died 22/10/1840).
14/11/1773, Stapleton Combermere, British Field Marshal, was born (died 21/2/1865).
6/11/1773, Henry Hunt, English politician, was born (died 15/2/1835).
24/3/1773, Philip Stanhope, British Earl and politician, died (born 22/9/1694).
11/8/1772, Rowland Hill, British General, was born (died 10/12/1842).
7/7/1771, John Britton, English antiquary, was born (died1/1/1857).
8/6/1771, George Halifax, Englush statesman, died (born 1716).
13/11/1770, George Grenville, British statesman, died (born 14/10/1712).
18/10/1770, John Granby, British soldier, died (born 1721).
30/9/1770, Thomas Grantham, English politician, died.
22/8/1770, Sir Jahleel Brenton, British Admiral, was born.
11/4/1770, George Canning, British statesman, was born.
11/3/1770, William Huskisson, Eng;ish statesman, was born (killed by a locomotive engne 1830).
25/1/1770, Sir Francis Burdett, English politician, was born (died 23/1/1844).
13/12/1769, James Abinger, English judge, was born (died 1844).
2/10/1769, Frederick William Hervey, Fifth Earl of Bristol, was born (died 15/2/1859).
18/6/1769, 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.
29/4/1769, The Duke of Wellington was born in Dublin, as Arthur Wellesley.
5/4/1769, Sir Thomas Hardy, British Vice-Admiral, was born (died 20/9/1839).
2/10/1768, William Beresford, British General, was born (died in Kent 8/1/1854).
17/5/1768, Henry Anglesey, British Field-Marshal, was born (died 29/4/1854).
25/12/1766, Christmas Evans, Welsh non-conformist preacher, born (died 19/7/1838)
28/9/1766, George Cromarty, 3rd earl, Jacobite, died.
20/7/1766, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, was born (died 14/11/1841).
29/4/1766, Nicholas Bexley, English politician, was born in London (died in Foots Cray, Kent, 8/2/1851).
1/1/1766, James Stuart, the Old Pretender, and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie, died in Rome.
1765, The Cyfarthfa iron works at Merthy Tydfil was set up.
31/10/1765, William Cumberland, British soldier, died (born 15/4/1721).
7/5/1765, 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, Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, was born in Ness, Cheshire.
19/6/1764, Sir John Barrow, British politician was born near Ulverstone, Lancashire (died 23/11/1848).
5/5/1764, Robert Crauford, British Major-General, was born (died 19/1/1812).
13/3/1764, Charles Grey, English statesman, was born (died 17/7/1845).
6/3/1764, Philip Hardiwicke, English Lord Chancellor, died (born 1/21/1690).
10/2/1763, 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.
22/1/1763, John Granville, Emglish statesman, died (born 22/4/1690).
22/12/1762, Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl Harrowby, was born (died 26/12/1847).
16/1/1756. 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. However it was also alarming to Russia, who saw the Treaty as a potential Anglo-Prussian alliance against them. See 1/5/1756.
14/10/1755, Thomas Charles, Welsh educationalist, was born (died 5/10/1814).
17/9/1755, William Cathcart, English soldier, was born (died 16/6/1843).
14/6/1755, Dr Johnson’s dictionary went on sale at £4 10s for the two volumes.
15/4/1755, Dr Samuel’s dictionary was published, after nine years of work. It contained 40,000 words.
11/7/1754, Thomas Bowdler, whose expurgation of vulgarities in literary works gave the word ‘bowdlerise’, was born.
18/3/1754, Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, died.
6/3/1754, Henry Pelham left office as Prime Minister.
4/12/1753, Sir Charles Douglas, British Admiral, was born (died 2/1789).
17/6/1753, George Grenville, First Marquess of Bath, was born (died 11/2/1813).
3/4/1753, Samuel Johnson began the second volume of his dictionary.
27/3/1753, Andrew Bell, British divine and educationalist, was born in St Andrews (died in Cheltenham 27/1/1832).
6/11/1752, Ralph Erskine, Scottish divine, died (born 18/3/1685).
16/1/1752, Francis Blomefield, English historian, died in London (born in Fersfield, Norfolk 23/7/1705).
26/12/1751, George Gordon, English naval lieutenant, was born (died 1/11/1793).
4/6/1751, John Eldon, Lord High Chancellor of England, was born (died 13/1/1838).
2/6/1751, John Bampton, English scholar, died aged 61.
26/9/1750, Lord Collingwood, British naval officer, Nelson’s second in command at Trafalgar, was born in Newcastle on Tyne.
23/8/1750, 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.
27/4/1750, Sir Thomas Bernard, English social reformer, was born in Lincoln (died 1/7/1818).
10/1/1750, Thomas Erskine, Lord Chancellor of England, was born (died 17/11/1823).
3/1/1750, Lady Harriet (Christian Acland) was born (died 31/7/1815).
24/1/1749, Charles Fox, British statesman was born (died 13/6/1806).
4/1/1749, Charles James Fox, British statesman, was born.
28/2/1748, Sir John Duckworth, British Admiral, was born (died 14/4/1817).
10/12/1747, Duncan Forbes, Scottish statesman, died (born 10/11/1685).
9/4/1747, 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.
1/11/1746, Henry Erskine, Lord Advocate of Scotland, was born (died 8/10/1817).
20/9/1746, Prince Charles Edward escaped capture by dressing as a girl and sailing to France on the ship L’Heureux.
18/8/1746, Two rebellious Scottish Jacobite Lords, the Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmeniro, were beheaded at the Tower of London.
1/8/1746, 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.
16/4/1746, 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.
18/3/1746, George Harris, British General, was born (died 5/1829).
17/1/1746, At the Battle of Falkirk, Charles and the Jacobites defeated the English under General Hawley. This was the last Jacobite success.
8/1/1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.
18/12/1745, Battle of Clifton Moor. The Jacobites won a victory over the English at Penrith.
4/12/1745, 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, Charles led his 5,000-strong army into England hoping, in vain, for popular support. Not gaining this, he returned to Scotland.
21/9/1745. Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stuart) and his Jacobite army defeated the English under Sir John Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans.
11/9/1745. The Jacobites under the Young Pretender occupied Edinburgh, with 2,000 men.
19/8/1745, To claim the English throne, Prince Charles raised his father’s flag at Glenfinnan, after travelling from France.
25/7/1745, 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.
2/7/1745, Sir Robert Calder, British Admiral, was born (died 31/8/1818).
11/5/1745, 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. 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.
20/2/1744, Sir William Cornwallis, British Admiral, was born (died 5/7/1819).
27/8/1743, Henry Pelham took up office as Prime Minister.
16/6/1743, 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 the Austrian Succession.
17/6/1742, Nathan Bailey, English lexicographer, died. His work formed the basis for Dr Johnson’s famous writing.
8/2/1742, Sir Robert Walpole left office as Prime Minister.
13/2/1741, In the House of Commons, Sir Robert Walpole first used the phrase ‘Balance of Power’ to describe Britain’s approach to foreign policy.
1740, In Sheffield, Thomas Boulsover developed a method of plating a copper ingot with silver; this could then be rolled into ‘Sheffield Plate’ items.
22/10/1740, Sir Philip Francis, English politician, was born (died 23/12/1818).
1/8/1740, 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.
2/7/1740, Thomas Baker, English antiquary, died (born in Lanchester, Durham, 14/9/1656).
31/12/1738, Charles Cornwallis, British soldier, was born (died 5/10/1805).
30/11/1738, Thomas Robinson, 2nd baron Grantham, was born (died 20/7/1786).
17/12/1737, John Almon, political pamphleteer, was born in Liverpool (died 12/12/1805)
20/11/1737, Caroline, wife of King George II of Britain, died (born 1/3/1683).
22/9/1735, 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.
21/8/1735, Tobias Furneaux, English navigator, was born (died 19/9/1781).
28/12/1734, 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.
14/12/1734, John Barrington, English lawyer, died (born 1678).
13/7/1734, Thomas Bath, English politician, was born (died 19/11/1796).
20/5/1732, Thomas Boston, Scottish cleric, died (born in Duns 17/6/1676).
18/10/1731, John Dunning Ashburton, English lawyer, was born in Ashburton, Devon (died 18/8/1783 in Exmouth).
1/7/1731, Adam Duncan, British naval commander, was born (died 4/8/1804).
13/12/1730, Sir William Hamilton, British diplomat, was born (died 6/4/1803).
1/8/1730, Frederick Augustus Hervey, Fourth Earl of Bristol, was born (died 8/7/1803).
4/6/1730, King George III of Britain was born. His mental health was unstable, and his mishandling of the American colonies led to their independence.
3/9/1729, 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.
28/1/1729, William Hamilton, English statesman, was born (died 16/7/1796).
3/4/1728, James Anderson, Scottish historian, died (born 5/8/1662 in Edinburgh).
11/10/1727, Coronation of King George II.
23/7/1727, Simon Harcourt, Lord Chancellor of England, died (born 23/7/1727).
22/6/1727, 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.
2/1/1727, 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.
8/3/1726, Richard Howe, British Admiral, was born (died 5/8/1799)
29/9/1725, 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.
19/5/1724, Augustus John Hervey, Third Earl of Bristol, was born (died 23/12/1779).
12/2/1724, Samuel Hood, British Admiral, was born (died 27/1/1816)
8/11/1723, John Byron, British Vice-Admiral, was born (died 10/4/1786).
10/10/1723, William Cowper, Lord Chancellor of England, died.
4/8/1723, William Fleetwood, English cleric, died (born 1/1/1656).
10/7/1723, Sir William Blackstone, English jurist, was born in London (died 14/2/1780).
17/5/1723, 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.
16/6/1722, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, British General famous for his victories in the Spanish War of Succession, died at Windsor aged 72.
1/1/1722, 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.
18/9/1721, Nathaniel Crew, Bishop of Durham, died (born 31/1/1633).
31/8/1721, George William Hervey, Second Earl of Bristol, was born.
15/4/1721, William Cumberland, British soldier, was born (died 31/10/1765).
3/4/1721, 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.
16/3/1721, James Craggs, English politician, died (born 10/6/1657).
16/2/1721, James Craggs the younger, English politician, died (born 9/4/1686).
31/12/1720, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward Stuart, was born in Rome, the elder son of James, the ‘Old Pretender’.
18/8/1720, Laurence Ferrers, 4th Earl, was born (died 5/5/1760).
20/4/1720, George Aberdeen, Scottish lawyer and statesman (born 3/10/1637) died.
11/8/1718, Admiral Byng destroyed the Spanish fleet off Cape Passaro.
2/8/1718, 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.
30/5/1718, Wills Downshire, English politician, was born (died 7/10/1793).
7/4/1718, Hugh Blair, Scottish cleric, was born in Edinburgh (died 27/12/1800).
1717, The first copper smelting works was set up in the Tawe Valley, Swansea, area. By 1860 the previously wooded rural valley was smelting over 50% of all copper imported into the UK.
15/1/1717, William Babington, English politician, was born (died 1/2/1793).
28/10/1716, Sir Stephen Fox, English statesman, died (born 27/3/1627).
23/6/1716, Fletcher Grantley, English politician, was born (died 1/1/1789).
24/2/1716, 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.
28/12/1715, William Carstairs, Scottish statesman, died (born 11/2/1649).
22/12/1715. 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, 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.
6/9/1715, The Earl of Mar raised the Stuart Standard at Braemar, starting the Jacobite Rebellion.
19/5/1715, Charles Montague, English statesman, died (born 16/4/1661).
20/10/1714, Coronation of King George I.
18/9/1714, George I landed in England.
17/8/1714, George Cromarty, Scottish statesman, died (born 1630).
1/8/1714. 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, The pro-Hanoverian Duke of Shrewsbury was appointed Lord Treasurer.
25/5/1713, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, was born (died 10/3/1793).
29/1/1713, Britain and The Netherlands signed a second Barrier Treaty, modifying the terms of the first such Treaty (see 29/10/1709). The number of ‘barrier towns’ to be fortified by Britain against France was reduced.
14/10/1712, George Grenville, British statesman, was born (died 13/11/1770).
12/7/1712, Richard Cromwell, second Lord Protector, son of Oliver Cromwell, died.
19/8/1711, Edward Boscawen, English Admiral, was born (died near Guildford 10/7/1761).
14/12/1710, Henry Aldrich, English theologian, died in Oxford.
10/4/1710, 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.
5/3/1710, Sir John Holt, lord Chief Justice of England, died (born 30/12/1642).
31/10/1709, Henry Clarendon, English statesman, died (born 2/6/1628).
29/10/1709, Britain and The Netherlands signed the Barrier Treaty. The Netherlands guaranteed to support the Protestant Hanoverian succession in Britain, and Britain guaranteed to maintain a ‘barrier’ of towns in southern Netherlands against possible French aggression.
9/10/1709, Barbara Cleveland, mistress to King Charles II of England, died (born 1641).
21/6/1708, John Belhaven, British politician, died in London (born 5/7/1656).
24/8/1707, Selina Huntingdon, English religious leader, was born (died 17/6/1791).
18/8/1707, William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire, died (born 25/1/1640).
24/7/1707, Britain captured Gibraltar from Spain.
1/5/1707, 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.
31/12/1705, Catherine of Braganza, queen consort of King Charles II of England, died (born 1638).
28/9/1705, Henry Holland, British statesman, was born (died 1/7/1774).
23/7/1705, Francis Blomefield, English historian, was born in Fersfield, Norfolk (died in London 16/1/1752).
12/7/1705, 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.
27/12/1703, The Methuen Treaty was signed.
12//9/1703, 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.
6/5/1703, John Murray, 1st Earl of Atholl, died (born 2/5/1631).
4/11/1702, John Benbow, English Admiral, died (born 1653 in Shrewsbury).
23/4/1702, The coronation of Queen Anne.
8/3/1702, 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.
4/8/1701, Thomas Blackwell, Scottish classical scholar, was born in Aberdeen (died 8/3/1735).
12/6/1701, 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.
30/7/1700, 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.
20/9/1697, 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.
23/4/1697, George Anson, British Admiral, was born in Shugborough, Staffordshire (died 6/6/1762).
9/4/1697, William Craven, Lord Mayor of London, died (born 6/1608).
28/1/1697, Sir John Fenwick, Jacobite conspirator against King William, was executed.
10/4/1696, England’s Navigation Act forbade the Colonies in America from exporting directly to Ireland or Scotland.
18/3/1696, Robert Charnock, conspirator to kill King William III of England near Turnham Green London, and restore a Stuart monarchy, was hanged.
28/12/1694. Queen Mary II died from smallpox (born 1662), leaving William III to reign alone.
26/12/1694, Charles, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline, died.
22/9/1694, Philip Stanhope, British Earl and politician, was born (died 24/3/12773).
11/4/1694, The Dukedom of Bedford was created.
4/10/1692, Charles Fleetwood, English politician, died
18/5/1692, Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, died (born 23/5/1617).
13/2/1692. 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.
29/10/1691, William Hulme, English philanthropist, died.
1/12/1690, Philip Hardiwicke, English Lord Chancellor, was born (died 6/3/1764).
30/6/1690. 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.
22/4/1690, John Granville, Emglish statesman, was born (died 22/1/1763).
27/7/1689. 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. 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 were specifically excluded from this relief.
18/4/1689, 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.
11/4/1689, 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.
13/2/1689. 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, 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, Judge Jeffreys took refuge from a mob in the Tower of London.
5/11/1688, 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 40,000 troops in 463 ships but they were not necessary. James prepared to fight him, but was unsettled by defections in his army. The English population welcomed William. They almost missed Torbay, due to poor navigation, and the next port was Plymouth, strongly guarded by James II’s garrison. However the wind turned and Wiliam’s fleet was able to make landfall at Torbay as planned. James later fled to France.
30/6/1688, William of Orange was invited to England.
10/6/1688, 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.
13/11/1687. 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.
16/4/1687, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham died (born 30/1/1628).
14/4/1687. 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.
23/6/1686, Sir William Coventry, English statesman, died.
26/4/1686, Arthur Anglesey, British statesman, died in Blechingdon, Oxfordshire (born 10/7/1614 in Dublin).
9/4/1686, James Craggs the younger, English politician, was born (died 16/2/1721).
10/2/1686, Sir William Dugdale, English historian, died (born 12/9/1605). In 1641 he was commissioned by Sir Christopher Hatton (who foresaw the destruction of the Civil War) to make exact drafts of the monuments at all of England’s major cathedrals.
19/8/1685. 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, 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. 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, 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. James II became King of England. See 13/2/1689.
7/2/1685; Charles II, James II’s brother, died after suffering an apoplectic fit on 2/2/1685, see 6/6/1685.
2/1/1685, Sir Harbottle Grimston, English politician, died (born 27/1/1603).
10/1/1684, The Dukedom of St Albans was created.
10/11/1683, George II, King of England, was born in Hanover, Germany, the only son of George I.
21/7/1683, 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.
6/6/1683. Elias Ashmole opened the first public museum, the Ashmolean, in Broad Street, Oxford. Exhibits included stuffed animals and a dodo.
1/3/1683, Caroline, wife of King George II of Britain, was born (died 20/11/1737).
2/12/1682, The Dukedom of Beaufort was created.
29/11/1682, Prince Rupert, commander of the Royalist troops in the English Civil war, died.
20/8/1680, William Bledloe, English adventurer, died in Bristol (born in Chepstow 20/4/1650).
22/6/1679, The Battle of Bothwell Bridge. The Duke of Monmouth defeated the Scottish Covenanters, who had rebelled against the policies of John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale.
1/6/1679, At the Battle of Drumclog, Scottish Covenanters defeated a small government force.
27/5/1679. 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, In England the Habeas Corpus Parliament, or First Exclusion Parliament, assembled for the first time.
24/1/1679, King Charles II of England dissolved the Cavalier Parliament.
18/1/1679, John Hervey, courtier to Catherine, wife of King Charles II, died.
12/10/1678, Sir Edmund Godfrey, English politician, was murdered (born 23/12/1621).
12/8/1678, Titus Oates’ Popish plot was revealed to King Charles II.
18/2/1678, John Bunyan, 50-year old Baptist, published his book Pilgrim’s Progress.
4/11/1677, King William II married his cousin Princess Mary (future Queen Mary II of England), the eldest daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde.
20/3/1677, George Digby, First Earl of Bristol, died.
25/12/1676, Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England, died (born 1/11/1609)
26/8/1676, Sir Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister, was born at Houghton Hall, Norfolk.
28/11/1675, William Denbigh, English Civil War soldier, died.
11/9/1675, The Dukedom of Grafton was created.
9/8/1675, The Dukedom of Richmond (Lennox & Gordon) was created.
9/12/1674, Edward Clarendon, British statesman, died (born 18/2/1609).
18/10/1674, Richard (Beau) Nash, Master of Ceremonies at Bath, who established the city as a centre of fashion, was born.
18/4/1674, John Graunt, English statistician, died in London
23/3/1674, Henry Cromwell, 4th son of Oliver Cromwell, died (born 20/1/1628).
19/2/1674, The Treaty of Westminster ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
17/3/1672, 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.
12/11/1671, Thomas Fairfax, general and leader of the Parliamentary side in the Civil War, died in Nunappleton, Yorkshire.
7/12/1670, John Aislabie, English politician, was born in York (died 1742).
1/6/1670, 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’.
16/12/1669, Nathaniel Fiennes, English politician, died
2/5/1668, Treaty of Aix la Chapelle.
13/1/1668. 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.
30/8/1667, 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. 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. 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.
15/10/1666. King Charles II, according to Pepys, wore the first waistcoat this day.
31/8/1666, Maria Henrietta, wife of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of Framce, died (born 25/11/1609).
27/8/1665, John Hervey, First Earl of Bristol, was born.
6/2/1665, 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.
28/10/1664, The Admiral’s Regiment was formed, later known as the Royal Marines.
11/9/1664, John Hutchinson, English Purtian soldier, died (born 1615).
20/4/1663, The Dukedom of Buccleuch was created.
2/1/1663, William Christian, Manx politician, died (born 14/4/1608).
22/9/1662, John Biddle, English preacher, died in a London prison (born in Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire 14/1/1615).
20/5/1662, King Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza, starting a fruitful alliance with Portugal.
30/4/1662, Mary II of England was born.
7/1/1661, Sir Arthur Hesilridge, English Parliamentarian, died
23/4/1661, The coronation of King Charles II.
19/4/1661, Postmarks were introduced in Britain by the Post Office.
16/4/1661, Charles Montagu, founder of the Bank of England, was born.
30/1/1661, The body of Oliver Cromwell (died 3/9/1658) was exhumed, hanged and beheaded, and reburied at Tyburn.
6/1/1661, The Royal Horse Guards Regiment was formed, by Royal Warrant.
27/11/1660, John Finch, English Judge, died (born 17/9/1584).
12/11/1660. 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.
13/10/1660, Thomas Harrison, Civil War Parliamentarian who opposed the Absolutist rule of Cromwell,was executed.
1/10/1660. 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.
11/6/1660, John Colepeper, English politician, died.
29/5/1660, King Charles II entered London; he landed at Dover on 26/5/1660.
26/5/1660. 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, King Charles II sailed from Scheveningen, to return to England, ending his exile. See 16/3/1660.
25/4/1660, The English Parliament voted for the restoration of the Monarchy, see 26/5/1660.
16/4/1660, Sir Hans Sloane, physician and collector, was born.
28/3/1660, George I, first Hanoverian king of England, was born at Osnabruck Castle in Hanover.
16/3/1660, 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, The Rump (Long) Parliament, recalled on 7/5/1659, was rejoined by surviving MPs that had been purged on 6/12/1648.
24/5/1659, Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector.
7/5/1659, The Long (Rump) Parliament was recalled (see 20/4/1653). It called for Cromwell’s resignation.
22/4/1659, Richard Cromwell dissolved the English Parliament, at the request of the Army.
3/9/1658, 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.
10/6/1657, James Craggs, English politician, was born (died 16/3/1721).
27/5/1657, 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.
17/9/1656, (-105,412) Cromwell’s Third Parliament convened.
14/9/1656, Thomas Baker, English antiquary, was born in Lanchester, Durham (died 2/7/1740).
5/7/1656, John Belhaven, British politician, was born (died in London 31/6/1708).
30/5/1656, The Grenadier Guards, the senior regiment of the British Army, was formed.
1/1/1656, William Fleetwood, English cleric, was born (died 4/8/1723).
12/9/1654, Cromwell ordered the exclusion of Members of Parliament that were hostile to him.
3/9/1654, In the English Parliament, the Republican, Vance, questioned the pre-eminence of Cromwell.
16/4/1654, 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.
16/12/1653, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, effectively an uncrowned King. He ruled for over four years.
13/12/1653, The Barebones Parliament ended.
4/7/1653, The Barebones Parliament began sitting.
20/4/1653, 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.
16/1/1653, John Digby Bristol, British diplomat, died in Paris.
8/7/1652, The First Anglo-Dutch war began.
19/6/1652, Francis Cottington, English Lord Treasurer, died (born 1578).
26/11/1651, Henry Ireton, English Parliamentary General, died (born 3/11/1611).
15/10/1651, James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, died (born 31/1/1607).
6/10/1651. 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. 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Cromwell’s army took Perth.
1/1/1651, Charles II was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace. He then marched south into England (see 5/8/1651).
19/12/1650, Cromwell’s army took Edinburgh Castle.
4/11/1650, William III, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was born in The Hague, Holland, son of William II of Orange.
31/10/1650, John Bradshaw, English politician, died (born 1602).
3/9/1650, The Battle of Dunbar; Cromwell’s army marched into Scotland and defeated a Scottish Royalist Persbyterian 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, Charles II landed in Scotland and was proclaimed King.
26/5/1650, The Duke of Marlborough, British general, was born as John Churchill in Ashe, Devon.
20/4/1650, William Bledloe, English adventurer, was born in Chepstow (died in Bristol 20/8.1680)
See Ireland for Cromwell’s activities in Ireland
15/9/1649, Birth of Titus Gates, English Anglican priest who successfully stirred up anti-Catholic sentiments by creating a ‘Popish plot’.
5/1649, The Levellers were defeated at Burford, Oxfordshire. The Levellers, led by John Lilburne (ca, 1614-1657), Richard Overton (ca. 1631-1664) and William Walwyn (1600-1680), were a radical political movement calling for all but the very poorest to be enfranchised, religious toleration, the end of the monarchy and the abolition of the House of Lords. They were supported by ‘agitators; from the Parliamentarian ranks.
10/5/1649, Isaac Dorislaus, Anglo-Dutch lawyer and diplomatist, was murdered by English Royalist refugees in The Hague. Born 1595 in Alkmaar, Holland, he moved to England in ca. 1627 and helped prepare treason charges against King Charles I.
9/3/1649, James Hamilton, English Civil war Royalist, was executed (born 19/6/1609).
9/4/1649, The Duke of Monmouth, son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter, was born in Rotterdam.
16/3/1649. 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, King Charles I’s son, 18 years old, was proclaimed Charles II.
30/1/1649. 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, At the week-long trial of Charles I, no defence witnesses were called.
6/12/1648, 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 voted for Cromwell’s purge. They then discussed the fate of King Charles, who Cromwell was holding prisoner on the Isle of Wight. The Presbyterian faction had tried to make a deal with the King, and Cromwell’s swift solution was unexpected. The remaining MPswere dubbed the Rump Parliament.
17/8/1648. Cromwell’s army victorious at the Battle of Preston, against a small and poorly-trained force of Scottish soldiers under the Duke of Hamilton.
14/3/1648, Fairfax of Cameron, British Parliamentary General, died
15/1/1648, The British parliament renounced allegiance to the King and voted to have no further communication with him. This was because of his secret treaty with Scotland.
24/12/1647, The British Parliament presented Charles I with four Bills to sign. One gave Parliament control of the army for 20 years, another required all declarations of Parliament so far to be recalled, a third excluded all peers created by Charles I from sitting in the Lords, and the last allowed the two Houses to adjourn at their own pleasure.
11/11/1647, Charles I fled from Hampton Court to the Isle of Wight. He was arrested and detained in Carisbrooke Castle. He signed a secret treaty with the Scottish, who promised to restore him by force.
4/6/1647, At Holmby House in Northamptonshire, Charles I was seized by the Army, and taken to Hampton Court
30/1/1647, The Scottish agreed to hand over Charles I to the English Army for the sum of £400,000.
14/9/1646, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, died (born 1591).
5/5/1646, Charles I surrendered to the Scots at Newark, ending the military phase of the Civil War.
3/2/1646, Chester fell to Parliamentarian forces.
14/10/1645, Battle of Basing House, near Basingstoke, Charles could not risk fighting here in case Parliamentarian forces cut him off from Oxford, sohe retreated back towards Newbury.
13/9/1645, The Battle of Philiphaugh, at which Montrose’s army, supporting Charles I, was routed by General Leslie’s forces. Montrose escaped to the Continent.
23/7/1645, The Royalist town of Bridgewater fell to the Parliamentarians.
2/7/1645, At the Battle of Alford, Royalists beat the Covenanters.
1640, Oliver Cromwell was elected MP for Cambridge. He supported Parliament’s greivances against King Charles I.
3/11/1640, In Britain, the Long Parliament assembled. It lasted until 1660, due to the Civil War.
13/4/1640. In order to raise money for a war against Scotland, Charles I convened Parliament for the first time since 1629. This ‘short parliament’ was dissolved on 4/5/1640 after refusing to give the King any money.
25/1/1640, William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire, was born (died 18/8/1707).
14/1/1640, Thomas Coventry, Lord Keeper of England, died (born 1578).
8/1/1639, Henry, son of Charles I, was born.
2/6/1638, Henry Clarendon, English statesman, was born (died 31/10/1709)
2/11/1636, Edward Colston, English philanthropist, was born (died 1721).
9/10/1636, King Charles I issued a third writ for ship money
4/8/1635, King Charles I issued a second writ for ship money (see 11/2/1628), again the writ was resisted.
3/9/1634, Sir Edward Coke, English lawyer, died (born 1/2/1552).
14/10/1633, James II was born at St James Palace, the second son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria.
16/5/1633, Charles I was crowned King of Scotland at Edinburgh.
31/1/1633, Nathaniel Crew, Bishop of Durham, was born (died 18/9/1721).
27/11/1632, Sir John Eliot, English politician, died (born 1592).
15/2/1632, Dudley Dorchester, English statesman, died (born 10/3/1573).
4/11/1631, Mary, daughter of Charles I, was born.
23/5/1631, John Buckeridge, Bishop of Ely from 1628, died.
2/5/1631, John Murray, 1st Earl of Atholl, was born (died 6/5/1703).
29/5/1630, King Charles II was born.
10/3/1629, King Charles I of England dissolved Parliament, starting the Eleven Years Tyranny.
28/11/1628, John Felton, assassin of the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was hanged.
23/8/1628, The Duke of Buckingham, courtier and royal favourite of James I, was assassinated in Portsmouth
11/2/1628, King Charles I demanded ‘ship money’ of £173,000 to secure Britain against French invasion. Ship money could be levied by The Crown without Parliamentary consent, although it was of dubious legality., However on this occasion the demands caused serious unrest but Charles I was determined to rule without parliamentary consent. See 4/8/1635.
30/1/1628, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham was born (died 16/4/1687).
20/1/1628, Henry, fourth son of Cromwell, was born.
27/3/1627, Sir Stephen Fox, English statesman, was born (died 28/10.1716).
4/10/1626, Richard Cromwell, third son of Oliver Cromwell, was born.
11/5/1625. Charles I married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France.
27/3/1625. Charles I became king.
5/3/1625, King James I, the ‘wisest fool in Christendom’ died suddenly at Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire.. He had been born in Edinburgh Castle on 19/6/1566, and was originally King James IV of Scotland. As King James I of England he was the first Stuart King.
16/6/1622, Alexander Dunfermline, 1st Earl of Sefton, died.
17/4/1622, Sir Richard Hawkins, British seaman, died.
8/2/1622, In England, King James I disbanded the Parliament.
23/12/1621, Sir Edmund Godfrey, English politician, was born (died 12/10/1678).
3/5/1621, The Lord Chancellor, Sir Francis Bacon, was charged with accepting bribes to grant monopolies, and impeached.
29/10/1618. Sir Walter Raleigh, 54, English seafarer and once a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I - he named Virginia after her – was beheaded at Whitehall after being falsely accused of treason. The execution was to appease Spain. Elizabeth was possessive towards Raleigh and when she found he had married she sent him and his wife to The Tower of London. However Raleigh bought their release and went adventuring overseas, plundering Spanish possessions. His aggression towards Spain led the new monarch, James I, to believe Raleigh was plotting to overthrow him. However again Raleigh escaped in 1616 when the death sentence was lifted at the last minute, without, however, an official pardon. It was now re-invoked when Raleigh returned empty-handed from a gold-seeking expedition in Guiana, and at this time a Spanish settlement had been burnt by Raleigh’s men.
7/1/1618, Francis Bacon, lawyer philosopher and writer, became Lord Chancellor of England.
23/5/1617, Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian and founder of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, was born in Lichfield (died 18/5/1692).
15/3/1617, Thomas Brackley, English Lord Chancellor, died.
6/10/1616, Henry Airay, English Puritan divine, died.
14/1/1615, John Biddle, English preacher, was born in Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire (died 22/9/1662 in a London prison).
1614, Sheffield now had 182 Master Cutlers. In 1624 the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was established.
10/7/1614, Arthur Anglesey, British statesman, was born in Dublin (died 26/4/1686 in Blechingdon, Oxfordshire).
9/7/1614, Thomas Grey, English statesman, died.
7/6/1614, In England, the Addled Parliament was dissolved by James I without having passed a single Bill since it first sat on 5/4/1614, hence its name.
5/4/1614, The ‘Addled Parliament’ began sitting. It was dissolved on 7/6/1614 without passing a single Bill, hence its name.
2/1/1614, Luisa de Carvajal, Catholic missionary in England, died (born 2/1/1568).
7/8/1613, Sir Thomas Fleming, English Judge, died (born 4/1544).
24/5/1612, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I, died.
17/1/1612, Thomas Fairfax, commander of the Parliamentary Army during the Civil War, was born in Denton, Yorkshire.
22/5/1611, King James I created the title ‘Baronet’.
3/11/1611, Henry Ireton, English Parliamentary General, was born (died 26/11/1651).
2/11/1610, Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury (born in Farnworth, Lancashire, 1544) died in Lambeth Palace.
8/7/1610, Richard Deane, English Major General, was born (died 1653).
25/11/1609, Maria Henrietta, wife of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of Framce, was born (died 31/8/1666).
1/11/1609, Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England, was born (died 25/12/1676).
18/2/1609, Edward Clarendon, British statesman, was born (died 9/12/1674).
13/11/1608, John Desborough, English politician, was born (died 1680).
14/7/1608, George Goring, English Royalist soldier, was born (died 1657).
14/4/1608, William Christian, Manx politician, was born (died 2/1/1663).
31/1/1607, James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, was born (died 15/10/1651).
19/6/1606, James Hamilton, English Civil war Royalist, was born (executed 9/3/1649).
12/4/1606, The Union Jack was adopted as the flag of England, Wales, and Scotland.
31/1/1606, Guy Fawkes and co-conspirators were executed.
5/11/1605, Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder (see 11/12/1604). His trial was at Westminster Hall on 27/1/1606. This was part of a Catholic plot to overthrow the Protestant English monarchy BUT see 11/12/1604. However the gunpowder barrels were discovered in the cellars of Parliament before they were detonated. Lord Monteagle, a Catholic peer, had received a letter warning him to stay away from the State Opening of Parliament and hinting at an explosion. Monteagle and the Lord Chamberlain investigated the cellars below the House of Lords and discovered a man piling wood, who gave his name as Guy Fawkes, and claimed that the wood belonged to his master, Lord Percy. They let him go but after further investigating the wood pile they found 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath. Guy Fawkes, a 36-year-old Yorkshireman, was arrested when he returned at midnight to make final preparations for the explosion. Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn, and quartered on 31/1/1606. Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Winter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates, other conspirators, were hung, drawn, and quartered on 30/1/1606.
12/9/1605, Sir William Dugdale, English historian, was born (died 10/2/1686). In 1641 he was commissioned by Sir Christopher Hatton (who foresaw the destruction of the Civil War) to make exact drafts of the monuments at all of England’s major cathedrals.
11/12/1604, Guy Fawkes began digging a tunnel from a house he had rented near the Houses of Parliament (see 5/11/1605). His plan was to reach the cellars under the House and fill it with gunpowder to blow it up. They reached the foundations of the House by Christmas 1604, but then the opening of Parliament was unexpectedly postponed, from 7/2/1605, first to 3/10/1605 and then to 5/11/1605. This was lucky for Guy Fawkes because the foundations, 12 foot thick, were difficult to dig through, and then the coal merchant who had been renting the House cellars gave up his lease. Allegedly a roaring noise above the tunnelers first alarmed them, then alerted them to the vacated rent, the noise being due to the removal of the coal stored there. The conspirators quickly took up the rent themselves. However some historians have doubted elements of this story, such as the tunnel being dug under a busy part of London; it is possible that the entire episode was in fact a Protestant scheme to discredit English Catholics.
In 2005, at the Spadeadam military research centre in Cumbria, a mock-up of the 1605 Houses of Parliament, with the approximately 1 tonne of gunpowder in the 36 barrels, was created and set off. The force of the explosion would have destroyed Parliament, demolishing 7 foot thick stone walls.
18/8/1604, The Treaty of London was signed ending the Anglo-Spanish War.
2/4/1604, A convention was established in the UK Parliament by Speaker Phelips that a motion cannot be repeatedly brought back before the House when it has been defeated and has not been substantially changed. This little-known convention became significant in March 2019 when Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May faced the possibility that Speaker Bercow would not allow her to submit her Brexit Plan for a third time to the Commons without substantive changes.
14/1/1604, The Hampton Court Conference began.
30/11/1603, William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, died (born 24/5/1544).
17/11/1603, Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.
25/7/1603, Coronation of King James I of England.
24/3/1603. Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace aged 69; her funeral was on 28/3/1603. She ruled as Queen for nearly 45 years. See 13/1/1559. This was the Union of the Scottish and English crowns. The Scottish King James VI, who then became King James I of Britain, succeeded her. The Act of Union between England and Scotland was on 1/5/1707.
27/1/1603, Sir Harbottle Grimston, English politician, was born (died 2/1/1865).
30/11/1601, Queen Elizabeth I made her last address to Parliament, see 24/3/1603.
25/2/1601, Robert, Earl of Essex, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, was executed.
19/11/1600. Charles I, who believed in the Divine Right of Kings to rule but who was beheaded after losing the Civil War, was born in Fife. He was the second son of King James I and Anne of Denmark.
25/4/1599. Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon. He became Lord Protector of England, Britain’s first and only dictator.
4/8/1598, William Cecil, Baron Burghley, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, died.
23/7/1596, Henry Hunsdon, English soldier, died.
12/11/1595, Sir John Hawkins, Briotish Admiral, died (born 1532)
22/11/1594, English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher died this day in Plymouth.
14/10/1593, Arthur Grey, English statesman, died (born 1536).
6/4/1593, John Greenwood, English religious activist, was hanged.
6/4/1590, Sir Francis Walsingham, diplomat and creator of Elizabeth I’s secret service, died.
15/9/1588, The remnants of the Spanish Armada limped back into Spanish ports.
4/9/1588. The death of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
8/8/1588, Queen Elizabeth I reviewed her troops at Tilbury.
8/2/1587. Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, after nearly 19 years in prison. She had been implicated in a Catholic plot to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. The leader of the plot, Anthony Babington, had planned to free Mary, and rally support amongst English Roman Catholics for a Spanish invasion force. Mary married the French Dauphin in her teens and was Queen of France for a year until he died. Her second marriage was to Lord Darnley. After Darnley’s murder, in which Mary may have been implicated, she married the Earl of Bothwell. Mary was defeated in battle in Scotland and fled to England, but her cousin Elizabeth I had her imprisoned. Elizabeth had been reluctant to execute Mary, because this might bring reprisals from Catholic Europe, and might legitimate her own execution at some future point; however Francis Walsingham persuaded Elizabeth to order the execution.
20/9/1586, Chidiock Tichborne, one of the conspirators in the Catholic Babington Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I, was executed at the Tower of London.
10/8/1585, Elizabeth I of England signed the Treaty of Nonsuch, promising 64,000 foot soldiers, 1,000 cavalry, and 600,000 florins a year to support Protestant rebels in The Netherlands against Spain. Although Elizabeth disliked involvement in foreign European wars, the Spanish presence in The Netherlands was too close to England to ignore. King Philip II of Spain, who had laid siege to Antwerp in 1584, saw this Treaty as a declaration of war.
1584, A copper smelting works was set up at Neath, south Wales, an early forerunner of industrialisation there.
16/10/1584, John Feckenham, English ecclesiastic, died.
17/9/1584, John Finch, English Judge, was born (died 27/11/1660).
29/3/1584, Fairfax of Cameron, British Parliamentary General, was born (died 14/3/`1648).
6/7/1583, Edmund Grindal, English Archbishop, died.
1/12/1581. The Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion was hanged at Tyburn, for distributing an anti-Anglican pamphlet in Oxford.
22/7/1581, Richard Cox, Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely, died.
4/4/1581. Queen Elizabeth I knighted Francis Drake on his ship The Golden Hind at Deptford, London, after he completed his circumnavigation of the world. See 26/9/1580. En route, Drake had captured and plundered several Spanish galleons; Spain demanded that Elizabeth I hang Drake for piracy, but Drake was a hero in England.
16/5/1578, Sir Everard Digby, Gunpowder Plot conspirator, was born (executed 31/1/1606).
11/6/1573, In Britain, a Puritan pamphlet calling for the abolition of episcopacy was suppressed by Parliament.
10/3/1573, Dudley Dorchester, English statesman, was born (died 15/2/1632).
24/11/1572. John Knox, father of the Scottish reformation, died in Edinburgh. He had returned to Scotland after the rebellion against the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots.
24/10/1572, Edward Stanley 3rd Earl of Derby died (born 1508).
6/4/1571, John Hamilton, Scottish political activist, was hanged.
25/2/1570. Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V who declared her a usurper.
20/2/1570, The Northern Rebellion ended. In November 1569 the Catholic Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland had started the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I, motivated by the flight of (Catholic) Mary Queen of Scots to England, also by the arrest of Thomas Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, in October 1569. In November 1569 Northumberland had seized Durham Cathedral to celebrate Catholic Mass. The Earls now marched south to fight Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, at York. However their elevated social position, and religious fervour, failed to inspire enough foot soldiers to follow them and their march petered out. After a battle at Naworth, Cumbria, this day, 20/2/1570, the Earls fled to Scotland. Government reprisals against Catholics were harsh and Protestantism became more firmly established in England.
5/9/1569, Edmond Bonner, Bishop of London, died in the Marshalsea Prison.
2/1/1568, Luisa de Carvajal, Catholic missionary in England, was born (died 2/1/1614).
19/11/1566, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was born (died 25/2/1601).
4/9/1566, Queen Elizabeth I visited Oxford, to consolidate her acceptance by the University and Town as Supreme Head of the Church.
13/7/1566, Sir Thomas Hoby, English diplomat, died (born 1530).
17/3/1565, Alexander Ales, Scottish clergyman, died in Leipzig (born 23/4/1500 in Edinburgh).
1/6/1563, Robert Cecil, English statesman, was born.
5/3/1563, Sir John Coke, English politician, was born (died 8/9/1644).
20/9/1562, The Treaty of Hampton Court was signed.
10/11/1559, Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the Charter of the Stationer’s company.
8/5/1559, The Act of Uniformity was signed by Queen Elizabeth I. This enshrined the monarch as head of the Church in England, ensuring the supremacy of Protestantism under Queen Elizabeth I.
17/4/1559, The Act of Supremacy was partly re-enacted in England.
14/12/1558, Funeral of Queen Mary of England.
17/11/1558. Queen Mary of England (Bloody Mary), daughter of Henry VIII, died in St James Palace London at the age of 42. Born in 1516 to Catharine of Aragon, she outmanoeuvred Lord Dudley’s attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, on the death of her half-brother King Edward VI. Mary’s marriage to Philip II of Spain dragged England into the war between France and Spain, and caused the loss to England of Calais, an English outpost since the reign of Edward III. Under her five-year reign Catholicism was restored and Protestants persecuted. On Mary’s death, her half-sister Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I.
24/4/1558, Mary Queen of Scots, aged 16, married the Dauphin of France.
7/1/1558. Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was taken by the French under the Duke of Guise. The English had captured Calais in 1346 after a year besieging it.
16/7/1557, Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII, died.
19/6/1556, King James I of England, son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, the first Stuart King of England and Ireland, also King James VI of Scotland, was born.
21/3/1556, Thomas Cranmer, first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, was burnt at the stake in Oxford as a heretic and a traitor, under the Catholic rule of Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary. He had been deprived of his office on 11/12/1555. He had assisted in having the marriage of Mary’s parents, King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, annulled.
16/10/1555. Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, British Protestant martyrs and Oxford reformers, were burnt at the stake for heresy.
30/11/1554, Cardinal Pole pardoned England for its Protestant heresy and welcomed the country back into the Roman Catholic Church.
25/7/1554. Mary I, Bloody Mary, married Philip II of Spain, son and heir of Charles V, in Winchester. This was her second marriage; the first had been when, aged three, she was married to the King of France, then nine months old. Catholicism returned to England. See 17/11/1558.
20/7/1554, Philip II of Spain arrived in Southampton, having crossed the Channel during a terrible storm.
19/5/1554, Queen Elizabeth was released from the Tower of London.
10/5/1554, Thomas Goodrich, English ecclesiastic, died.
18/3/1554, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for alleged complicity in a plot against Mary led by Sir Thomas Wyatt; she was released on 19/5/1554.
11/2/1554, Lady Jane Grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were executed on Tower Green, Tower of London, for high treason; she was aged 16. Lady Grey became Queen on 10/7/1553 but was deposed nine days later by her cousin Mary Tudor who then became Queen of England. The Protestant King Edward VI had proclaimed Jane Queen above her half sister Mary because that kept England away from Catholic Spain. Mary delayed executing Jane but changed her mind when Jane’s father attempted a revolution.
20/12/1553, In England, Protestant Church services were ruled illegal.
1/10/1553, Mary Tudor was crowned Queen of England.
19/7/1553. Lady Jane Grey, a Protestant, was deposed, aged 16, after a reign of only nine days. She was sent to the Tower of London and beheaded on 12/2/1554. Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), a Catholic, half sister of Edward IV, was proclaimed Queen, but died on 17/11/1558.
10/7/1553. Following the death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England.
21/5/1553, Lady Jane Grey was forced to marry Lord Guildford Dudley; Dudley had ambitions to be King of England.
1/2/1552, Sir Edward Coke, English lawyer, was born (died 3/9/1634).
2/5/1551, William Camden, English historian (died 1623) was born.
7/12/1549, Robert Kent, rebel leader, was hanged.
9/8/1549. England declared war on France.
12/7/1549, Robert Kett, with 16,000 men, camped on Mousehold Heath outside Norwich and demanded an audience with Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, who was Protector of England during the minority years of King Edward VI. Kett’s demands concerned rising rents, rising food prices and the increase in sheep farming (which demanded enclosure whereas crop farming did not). Somerset ordered Kett’s mob to disperse, with a pardon for any crimes committed up to that point; Kett refused. Somerset now ordered William Parr, Marquis of Northampton, to defeat Kett. Parr marched into Norwich with 1,800 men, unopposed, but a surprise night attack by Kett’s men routed Parr’s force. Parr retreated to London and Kett was unable to follow, as his men had no wish to extend the dispute out of their native Norfolk. Somerset now ordered John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, south from Scotland, with 6,000 foot soldiers and 1,500 cavalry. Dudley surrounded Kett in Norwich, and the two leaders began negotiations. However some of Kett’s hotheads opened a fight with Dudley; Kett’s men were massacred with nearly 50 hanged.
20/6/1549, Kett’s Rebellion against enclosure of common land began when a group of men led by Robert Kett, a smallholder and tanner, tore down the new hedges and fences at Attleborough near Norwich. Copycat mobs sprang up all across Suffolk and Norfolk. In particular they resented the enclosure activities of landowner Edward Flowerdew.
9/6/1549. The Church of England adopted the Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Thomas Cranmer. In Devon, where the abolition of the chantries had caused economic hardship, there was considerable opposition.
20/3/1549. Death of Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England. He married King Henry VIII’s widow, Catherine Parr. When she died, he planned to marry Queen Elizabeth I, but was arrested for treason and executed.
5/9/1548, Catherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII, died in childbirth. By then she was the wife of Lord Seymour, at Sudeley castle, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
20/2/1547, King Edward VI, aged 9, crowned as King at Westminster Abbey.
28/1/1547. King Henry VIII, born 28/6/1491, died aged 56, probably of kidney and liver failure.. King Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII, by Jane Seymour, born 12/10/1537 and now aged 9, ascended the throne on 20/2/1547. However he died on 9/7/1553 at the age of 15. He was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey, see 19/7/1553.
19/1/1547, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was beheaded at the Tower of London for treason.
16/7/1546, Protestant martyr Anne Askew was burnt at the stake.
7/12/1545, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, was born.
19/7/1545, The Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII’s battle fleet, keeled over and sank in the Solent with the loss of 700 lives. It was raised on 11/10/1982 and taken to Portsmouth Dockyard.
2/3/1545, Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, was born in Exeter (died in London 28/1/1613).
14/9/1544, Henry VIII of England captured Boulogne. On 7/6/1546 the English and French signed the Peace of Ardres. This said Boulogne was to remain in English hands for another eight years.
24/5/1544, William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, was born (died 30/11/1603).
12/7/1543, King Henry VIII married his sixth wife, Katherine Parr.
13/2/1542, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded. She stood accused of adultery. Her last words were ‘I die a queen but I would rather have died the wife of Culpepper’.
30/7/1540, Thomas Abel, English priest, was executed for denying the Royal supremacy in the Church.
28/7/1540, Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor to Henry VIII, was beheaded on Tower Hill for promoting the King’s failed marriage to Anne of Cleves. (See 6/1/1540). On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. She was beheaded on 13/2/1542.
9/7/1540, Henry VIII divorced his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
23/3/1540, The Crown seized Waltham Abbey. It was the last of the great monasteries to be seized by Henry VIII, bringing to an end a four-year campaign that had seen some 550 church properties, with their gold and jewels, pass to the King. The total income from these properties was around £132,000 a year and Henry VIII gave some of this to his supporters.
6/1/1540, King Henry VIII’s ill-fated marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves (see 28/7/1540). Anne was born on 22/9/1515; her father was leader of the German Protestants and so Anne was regarded as a suitable wife for Henry VIII by Cromwell. However she had no looks, spoke only her own language, and had no dowry. Her only recommendations were her proficiency in needlework and her meek and mild temper. The marriage contract was signed on 24/9/1539; she landed at Deal on 27/12/1539, and Henry VIII met her at Rochester on 1/1/1540. On 2/1/1540 Henry VIII openly said about her looks, “She is no better than a Flanders mare”. On the wedding morning, 6/1/1540, he said nothing would have persuaded him to marry her but the fear of driving the Duke of Cleves into the arms of the Holy Roman Emperor. Soon after Henry regretted identifying so closely with the German Protestants. Henry then declared the marriage non-consummated and so null and void, on 9/7/1540. Anne lived the rest of her life happily in retirement in England, dying on 28/7/1557; she was buried at Westminster Abbey.
4/9/1539, King Henry VIII contracted to marry Anne of Cleves.
8/5/1538, Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford, died.
24/10/1537, Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII,died, of the all-too-common childbed fever.
12/10/1537, Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, was born at Hampton Court Palace, London. He succeeded his father at the age of 9 but died aged 15. Henry intended him to marry Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland. In 1543 the Treaty of Greenwich provided for this marriage when Edward reached the age of 10; however the Scottish Parliament rejected this Treaty.
25/8/1537, The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was founded.
20/6/1537, Thomas Darcy, English soldier died (born 1467).
1536, The Dissolution of the smaller monasteries, the 374 houses with income under £200,000 a year, began. In 1538 the Dissolution of the 186 ‘Great and solemn monasteries’ began, continuing until this process was complete in 1540.
1536, The Act of Union with Wales, passed by King Henry VIII.
1536, German-born painter Hans Holbein became Court Painter to King Henry VIII.
16/10/1536, York was occupied by rebels against the takeover of the Church by King Henry VIII. This was the Pilgrimage of Grace (see also Christian, buildings). Much of northern England, from Lincolnshire to north Yorkshire, was in uproar at this takeover, the valuation of Church property, the suppression of smaller monasteries, and the cancellation of some Saints day holidays. Led by Robert Aske, rebels seized northern towns. Henry VIII made peace with the rebels and issued a pardon, only to go back on this on a pretext in January 1537 and execute the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, including Aske.
30/5/1536. King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third wife, in the Queen’s Chapel, Whitehall, eleven days after the execution of Anne Boleyn.
19/5/1536. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded at Tower Green, in the Tower of London, aged 29. She was accused of adultery – Henry VIII was already flirting with his third wife Jane. Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and lost her right of succession to the English throne.
2/5/1536, Anne Boleyn was charged with incest and adultery, and taken to the Tower of London.
7/1/1536, Catharine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Palace, Huntingdonshire. She was the first of Henry VIII’s six wives, and the mother of Queen Mary I.
1535, Hurst Castle was built by King Henry VIII, to guard the south-western approaches to the Solent.
6/7/1535. Sir Thomas Moore was beheaded in London, for refusing to accept Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. Thomas More was born in 1477 in London. He published Utopia in 1515 which described a pagan, communist, city state in which the institutions and policies are governed entirely by reason. His ideas contrasted with the self-interest and greed for power seen in Europe’s Christian states.
15/1/1535, The Act of Supremacy was passed in England. This made King Henry VIII head of the Church.
7/9/1533. Queen Elizabeth I was born at Greenwich Palace in London, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was recognised as heir to the English throne ahead of her half sister Mary, daughter of Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon. See 19/5/1536.
21/1/1535, Henry VIII appointed Cromwell as vice-regent in spiritual or vicar-general. Cromwell now set about assessing the value of England’s monasteries.
See also History of Christianity
1534, Henry VIII banned the keeping of flocks of over 2,000 sheep. This was a measure to reduce the eviction of tenants by landlords.
11/7/1533. Henry VIII was excommunicated by Pope Clement VII.
23/5/1533, The marriage of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon was annulled.
25/1/1533. King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were secretly married by the Bishop of Lichfield, and became the future parents of Queen Elizabeth I.. Anne Boleyn was crowned at Westminster on 1/6/1533, shortly after Thomas Cranmer (who was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury on 30/3/1533) had declared Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void. On 23/5/1533 Henry VIII actually divorced Catherine of Aragon, resulting in a break between England and the Church of Rome.
1/9/1532, Lady Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke by her fiancé, King Henry VIII.
16/5/1532, Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England. This was in protest at King Henry VIII’s break with Rome.
18/1/1532, English Parliament banned payment by English church to Rome.
11/2/1531, King Henry VIII was recognised as official head of the Church of England.
29/11/1530. Cardinal Wolsey died after being arrested as a traitor. He died at Market Harborough whilst being taken from York to London.
17/10/1529, Henry VIII of England dismissed Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor, replacing him with Thomas Moore.
21/6/1529, John Skelton, tutor to the King Henry VIII as a boy, died.
5/10/1528, Richard Fox, Emglish statesman, died.
25/9/1525, Steven Borough, English navigator, was born in Northam, Devon (died 12/7/1584).
23/4/1523, Henry Clifford, supporter of King Henry VII of England, died.
13/9/1521, William Burghley, English statesman, was born (died 4/8/1598).
15/8/1521, King Henry VIII of England and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Treaty of Bruges against France, in contrast to the Anglo-French friendship at the Field of the Cloth of Gold (6/6/1520). This Treaty involved English forces in long campaigns in northern Europe.
13/9/1520, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1st, was born in Bourne Lincolnshire.
6/6/1520. Henry VIII and Francis I of France met in a glittering ceremony at The Field Of The Cloth Of Gold near Calais. However see 15/8/1521.
18/2/1516, Queen Mary I, Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), was born at Greenwich Palace, the daughter of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. She was known as Bloody Mary due to her relentless persecution of the Protestants.
15/11/1515, Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.
22/9/1515, Anne of Cleves, one of King Henry VIII’s wives, was born.
9/10/1514, Louis XII, King of France, married Mary Tudor.
15/9/1514, Thomas Wolsey was appointed Archbishop of York.
16/8/1513, The Battle of the Spurs. King Henry VIII defeated the French.
24/6/1509, King Henry VIII of England was crowned.
11/6/1509. King Henry VIII, aged 18, married his sister in law, the Spanish princess Catharine of Aragon, aged 24. She was the first of his six wives.
2/4/1502, Arthur, eldest son of King Henry VII, died after an illness.
23/4/1500, Alexander Ales, Scottish clergyman, was born in Edinburgh (died 17/3/1565 in Leipzig).
23/11/1499. Perkin Warbeck was executed at the Tower of London. He was a Flemish impostor, the son of a boatman from Tournai, claiming to be Richard of York, son of Edward II, whom he closely resembled. Initially treated leniently after his attempt on the throne (see 31/7/1495), he then attempted to escape the Royal Palace and team up with another usurper, Edward Earl of Warwick.
3/7/1495, The Pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, landed at Deal, Kent, with 150 men. He hoped to gather enough supporters to overthrow King Henry VII. However his force was routed and he went on to Ireland, where he was again unsuccessful at besieging the pro-Henry town of Waterford. Warbeck then fled to Scotland. See 23/11/1499.
28/6/1491. Henry VIII, best known for his six wives and religious split from Rome, was born at Greenwich. He was the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
2/7/1489. Thomas Cranmer, Henry VIII’s first reformed Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire. He produced the Book of Common Prayer in 1549.
16/6/1487, The Battle of Stoke Field. The rebellion of the Pretender Lambert Simnel to the English throne, led by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell, was crushed by troops loyal to Henry VII.
24/5/1487, Lambert Simnel was crowned ‘King Edward VI of England’ in Christchurch cathedral. He claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, and challenged Henry VII for the throne of England. He was actually the son of a carpenter from Oxford who went to France and won the backing of one of Warwick’s aunts, who had never actually met the real Warwick. He then went to Ireland where he was welcomed, and from where he planned to invade England.
19/9/1486, King Henry VII’s son Arthur was born.
18/1/1486, In England, the houses of York and Lancaster were united by the marriage of King Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV.
16/12/1485, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, was born, the fourth daughter of Ferdinand Isabella.
30/10/1485. (1) Coronation of King Henry VII. aged 28.
(2) King Henry VII established the Yeoman of the Guard.
22/8/1485. Battle of Bosworth Field, 12 miles west of Leicester. The two sides met at White Moor, on the slopes of Ambien Hill, some two miles from the market town of Market Bosworth. Richard had a force twice the size of Henry’s, but the Stanleys, the Earl of Derby and his brother, defected to Henry’s side. King Richard III, (White Rose, Yorkist) the last Plantagenet king, born 2/10/1452 at Fotheringay, was killed as he tried to reach the usurper to the English throne, Henry Tudor, (Red Rose, Lancastrian) now Henry VII.
Henry, exiled to France, had landed at Milford Haven on 7/8/1485 and reached Shrewsbury on 15/8/1485, gathering only moderate support along the way. He then passed through Newport (Shropshire), Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, and reached Atherstone on the borders of Leicestershire on 20/81485. Here he linked up with the Stanley brothers, both anti-Yorkist. The night of the 21st, Henry encamped at White Moors, south west of what was to be the battlefield. Richard and his army halted three miles away on high ground at Sutton Cheney. Both sides attempted to occupy Ambien Hill, midway between the two armies. The Stanleys moved against the Yorkist flanks , and the Yorkist Duke of Northumberland, at the rear, failed to intervene. Richard was unhorsed and killed, and the Yorkist army melted away, unpursued.
7/8/1485, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) landed at Milford Haven, Wales.
1/8/1485, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) set sail from France for Wales. He had been advised by Rhys ap Thomas (a powerful Welsh landowner), wrongly as it turned out, that the whole of Wales would rise up in his favour.
21/6/1485, King Richard III, anticipating a challenge for his rulership, issued a proclamation against ‘Henry Tydder and other rebels.
17/8/1483. The date on which the two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, are believed to have been murdered by their uncle and successor, Richard III, in the Tower of London. See 9/4/1483.
6/7/1483. The coronation of King Richard III.
28/6/1483, The Dukedom of Norfolk was created.
26/6/1483, Richard III became King of England.
9/4/1483. King Edward IV died at Windsor. During his second reign he re-established peace after the Wars of the Roses, but his heir, Edward V, was only aged 12. See 17/8/1483.
25/8/1482, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, died.
7/2/1478, Sir Thomas Moore, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, was born in London, the son of a judge. He was executed for refusing to deny the authority of the Pope.
14/2/1477. A man in Norfolk received the world’s first known Valentine. Margery Brews sent her fiancée John Poston a letter saying ‘To my right welbelovyd Voluntyne’. She explained that she had asked her mother to put pressure on her father to increase her dowry but also said that if he loved her, she would marry him anyway. The Romans, around 600 BC, celebrated a February festival with romantic games and dancing. When the Roman Empire was converted to Christianity, the festival was linked to the martyrdom of St Valentine on 14 February, ca. 270 AD, by the Roman Emperor Claudius. Another possible origin is the medieval belief that birds traditionally pair off on 14 February. Oliver Cromwell’s government banned St Valentine’s day but it was restored when Charles II came to the throne in 1660. See 14/2/1822.
21/5/1471. King Henry VI died, in the Tower of London. He was probably murdered, and was succeeded by Edward IV.
4/5/1471. The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Margaret of Anjou at the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrians were attempting to cross the River Severn to join with Welsh troops under Jasper Tudor. The death of Margaret’s son, Prince Edward, as he fled the battlefield extinguished the House of Lancaster.
14/4/1471, Yorkists under King Edward IV defeated the Earl of Warwick’s Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet.
2/11/1470, Edward V, King of England, was born.
9/10/1470. Lancastrian King Henry VI was restored to the English throne after having been deposed nine years earlier. The power behind the throne here was held by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, a former Yorkist who abandoned the cause when his protégé, Edward IV, strong-willed, secretly married the woman he wanted to, the young widow Elizabeth Woodville, rather than undertake an arranged marriage to a French Princess. Henry VI, a weak character, was accustomed to abdication of political responsibilities so an alliance with power-hungry Warwick suited them both. However Henry VI’s weak reign was blamed for the wars that had split England for the previous 15 years, and the loss of English lands in France, and Henry’s days seemed numbered.
26/7/1469, Battle of Edgecote, Northamptonshire, Wars of the Roses
12/8/1464, John Capgrave, English historian, born 21/4/1393, died.
25/4/1464, At Hedgeley Moor, near Alnwick, Northumberland, the Lancastrians in northern England were defeated.
28/6/1461, Coronation of Yorkist King Edward IV.
29/3/1461, The Battle of Towton (North Yorkshire) took place, during the Wars of the Roses, in a snowstorm. It was the bloodiest battle ever on British soil; over 28,000 died. The Lancastrians were heavily defeated and the position of King Edward IV was secured.
5/3/1461, Henry VI was deposed as King of England. Edward IV (Duke of York) succeeded him.
17/2/1461, The Second Battle of Barnet. Margaret of Anjou’s Lancastrian forces defeated the Yorkist Earl of Warwick. Warwick, defending the Yorkists in London, was taken by surprise and fled in disarray, failing to take King Henry VI with him.
3/2/1461, At Mortimer’s Cross, Richard’s son, Edward, Earl of March, defeated the Lancastrian forces.
30/12/1460, The Battle of Wakefield. A superior Lancastrian force caught Yorkists, foraging, by surprise, and the Duke of York was killed. This would have ended the Yorkist cause but for the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, 3/2/1461.
10/7/1460. The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and captured King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton.
23/9/1459, (-) The Battle of Blore Heath, during the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists under Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, defeated the Lancastrians under Lord Audley. Salisbury was now able to join forces with the Yorkists at Ludlow.
28/1/1457, Henry VII born at Pembroke Castle. The start of the Tudor dynasty. He was the son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and of Margaret Beaufort.
22/5/1455. The First Battle of Barnet. In the Wars of the Roses, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Yorkist, fought his way into the Lancastrian camp because Henry VI had refused Richard of York’s demand that Simon Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, be imprisoned. The Yorkists won, killing their principal enemies, Somerset, Northumberland and Clifford.
17/7/1453. The end of the Hundred Years War, when the French defeated the English at Castillon. Now only Calais remained in English hands; in 1449 England occupied nearly a third of France. By now England was pre-occpied with the Wars of the Roses.
2/10/1452, Richard III, King of England, was born.
3/2/1452, The Duke of York accused the Beaufort family, who backed the Lancastrian King Henry VI, of incompetence and ineptitude and of thereby losing the English territories in France.
20/8/1451, The French captured Bayonne, the last English stronghold in Guyenne.
30/6/1451, French troops under the Comte de Dunois invaded Guyenne and captured Bordeaux.
12/8/1450, Cherbourg, the last English territory in Normandy, surrendered to the French.
12/7/1450, Cade had been promised a free pardon and had disbanded his army. However he was then hunted down by Government forces and killed this day.
6/7/1450, Caen surrendered to the French.
4/7/1450, Jack Cade entered London. Henry VI had left London for Kenilworth, allowing Cade’s men to enter the caoital and execute unpopular courtiers. However Cade proved unable to maintain discipline amongst his followers and Londoners turned against him.
27/6/1450. Jack Cade, an Irish born physician, led an insurrection march of 40,000 through Kent to London to protest against the high taxes of King Henry VI. The English Government was unpopular after its defeat in the Hundred Years War. Meanwhile Henry VI’s courtiers blamed the Men of Kent for the murder of William de la Pole in May 1450 and wanted reprisals, sparking the Kentish rebellion. Pole had been involved in the disastrous English military campaign in France that culminated with the loss of Normandy to the French; Parliament had him sent to The Tower on charges of treason. King Henry VI, to save Pole from a trial with a foregone conclusion, declared him innocent but banished him from England for five years. As Pole left Dover, his ship was intercepted, and Pole was forcibly dragged into a small boat and beheaded.
15/4/1450, The Battle of Formigny. Fought near Caen, the French defeated an English force sent to halt King Charles VII’s reconquest of Normandy.
29/10/1449, The French recaptured Rouen from the English.
11/12/1444, The earliest mention of the Welsh town of Bridgend, in a legal document, as Bruggen Eynde. The older
market town of Kenfig had been abandoned due to coastal flooding and encroachment by sand dunes, and a bridge over the River Ogmore was constructed to the new town site.
28/4/1442, King Edward IV was born in Rouen, son of Richard, Duke of York.
3/1/1437, Catherine of Valois, Queen of King Henry V of England, died (born 27/10/1401).
16/12/1431. The Bishop of Winchester, Henry Beaufort, crowned King Henry VI King of France.
23/3/1430, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, was born.
6/11/1429, The coronation of King Henry VI of England.
22/11/1428, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was born.
17/8/1424, Battle of Verneuil. John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, defeated a French force, consolidating English conquest of Normandy.
31/8/1422. King Henry V died in Vincennes, France, struck down by dysentery.. Aged 35, he was just about to take the crown of both France and England; his son, Henry VI, was just 9 months old, and English power in France looked uncertain again.
For Hundred Years War events see also France
6/12/1421, Henry VI was born in Windsor Castle, the only child of Henry V and Catherine Valois. Catherine Valois, daughter of Charles IV and Isabella of France, had married Henry V on 2/6/1420.
20/8/1421, Richard Clifford, Bishop of Worcester, died.
1/12/1420, Henry V made a triumphal entry into Paris, see 25/10/1415 and 21/5/1420.
21/5/1420, Under the Treaty of Troyes, King Henry V of England became ruler of France also, following his victory at Agincourt. Henry V married Catherine de Valois and when Charles de Valois dies Henry would inherit the throne, so long as Henry and Catherine produce a male heir. Under French Salic Law, a woman could not rule France.
19/1/1419, In the Hundred Years' War, Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England, which took Normandy under the control of England.
14/12/1417, Sir John Oldcastle, prototype of Shakespeare’s Falstaff, was hanged.
24/6/1417, The Isle of Man held its first known Tynwald Day; the annual meeting of its parliament (Tynwald) which has continued every year until the present.
25/10/1415. Battle of Agincourt, 20 miles inland from Boulogne. The English forces, after the capture by the French of Harfleur, had set out to march to Calais through Picardy. Their crossing of the River Somme was delayed by torrential rains and the French set out to block their passage. The French troops set up at the northern end of a defile of open ground between the woods of Agincourt and Tramercourt. The English were short of food and supplies and hunger might have eventually forced their surrender. The French outnumbered the English three to one.
However King Henry V was able to use his archers, in the restricted space of the battlefield, to mow down the French cavalry and so win the battle. Thick mud, from the rains, restricted the movement of the French cavalry. The English victory gave Henry the finances and reputation to continue the war. Four years later the whole of Normandy was under British control, and in 1420 the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry as heir to the French throne, see 1/12/1420.
14/2/1400, Richard II was killed whilst being held at Pontefract Castle, to prevent further rebellions by his followers.
13/10/1399, Coronation of Henry IV, first Lancastrian King of England.
11/10/1399. The Order of the Bath was instituted.
30/9/1399. King Richard II, born 6/1/1367, was deposed. Unpopular, he had dispossessed many of the nobility. He was crowned, aged 10, on 22/6/1377. He surrendered to Bolingbroke without a fight; Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. Henry IV was born at Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, on 3/4/1366. He reigned from 1399 to 1413. See 20/3/1413.
4/7/1399, Henry of Lancaster, Henry IV, landed at Ravenspur, Yorkshire.
3/2/1399, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III and father of Henry IV, died (born 24/6/1340).
20/12/1387, The Battle of Radcot Bridge. An army raised by Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, to assist Richard II, was attacked as it crossed the Thames. De Vere escaped and fled the country.
16/9/1387, King Henry V was born at Monmouth Castle, the eldest of six children of Henry IV. He defeated the French at Agincourt.
24/3/1387, In the Hundred Years War, at the Battle of Margate: The English defeated an invading French and Castilian naval force.
1378, A Sheffield-made knife (‘thwitle’)was famous across the UK.
16/7/1377, Coronation of Richard II, King of England.
22/6/1377. The 10 year old King Richard II inherited the English throne from his grandfather, Edward III. Effective power was with the Royal Council. He was deposed 22 years later on 30/9/1399.
21/6/1377, King Edward III of England died aged 64. He was succeeded by his 10-year-old grandson, Richard, who ruled until 1399.
8/6/1376. Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III of England, died of illness contracted whilst foighting in Spain. His death left King Edward II with no mature heir to the English throne.
29/4/1376, Sir Peter de la Mare took office as first Speaker of the House of Commons.
7/4/1374, King Edward III appointed the Church reformer, John Wycliffe, to the rectory of Lutterworth.
4/12/1370, Battle of Pontvallain, Hundred Years War. The French won by avoiding a set-piece battle where English archers would have the advantage, instead harrying the English raiding parties as they headed back south, unprepared for battle.
1/1/1370, Sir John Chandos, English military commander, died.
30/6/1399, Henry IV, exiled to France by King Richard II for treason, landed at Ravenspur, Humberside, to retake the English throne.
3/4/1367, In the Hundred Years War, the English under the Black Prince defeated a Spanish and French army at the Battle of Navarrete. The Spanish Kingdom of Castile was in civil war, between rival claimants for the throne, Pedro and his brother Enrique. The French under Bertrand du Guesclin and the English under Edward the Black Prince intervened, backing Enrique and Pedro respectively. The French and English met at Najera (Navarrete), where English longbowmen massacred the French cavalry. Pedro gained the throne but never repaid the English for the expense of their army. The heavy French footsoldier casualties brought some relief to the countryside, with fewer unemployed soldiers roaming and plundering it.
26/6/1396, King Richard II of England married Isabella of France, daughter of King Charles VI of France. This was intended to effect a reconciliation between the two countries in the Hundred Years War. However Richard was later dethroned by Henry of Lancaster (Henry IV), and Anglo-French hsotilities resumed.
2/4/1367, Henry IV, the first Lancastrian King of England, was born in Bolingbroke castle, Lincolnshire, the son of John O’Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Duchess Blanche.
6/1/1367, King Richard II was born at Bordeaux, France. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince and the grandson of King Edward III.
For Hundred Years War events see also France
29/9/1364, Battle of Auray. Although officially at peace after the Treaty of Bretigny, England and France continued to fight over control of Brittany. French military commander Bertrand du Guesclin faced English commander John Chandos. The English-backed claimant Jean de Montfort was contending with Charles du Blois for the Dukedom of Brittany. In the fighting for the city of Auray, Charles du Blois was killed; however after de Montfort was installed as Duke of Brittany he changed allegiance and swore fealty to the King of France. The English gained nothing.
24/10/1360, (-) (Britain, France) The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. Under its terms, King John II of France, who had been captured at Poitiers, would be released for a ransom of 3 million Ecus. Calais, Guines, Ponthieu and all of Aquitaine would be ceded to Edward III of England. In return Edward, who had besieged Rheims (December 1359 – January 1360) but failed to capture it, promised to renounce claims to the French Crown when John renounced sovereignty over Aquitaine. In fact these renunciations never took place and the Hundred Years War resumed 1369.
19/9/1356. The English, led by Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under King John II, at the Battle of Poitiers, western France, in the Hundred Years War. Edward III had been raiding in northern France and was making his way back south when he learnt that te French were making to intercept him. Laden with baggage, the English moved more slowly and the French met them 5 km east of Poitiers. The English found a site with restricted access for the French knights, and English archers took down many French knights. King John himself was captured, and only released when a huge ransom was paid in 1360.
7/1/1355, Thomas Gloucester was born (died 1397).
29/8/1350, The English under King Edward III defeated a Spanish fleet off Winchelsea. The Spanish had been fighting as allies of the French in the Hundred Years War.
26/8/1349, Thomas Bradwardine, English Archbishop, died in Lambeth.
10/8/1348, The first investiture ceremony of the Order of the Garter, at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle. King Edward III revived the notion of King Arthur’s Round Table, and had the Round Tower at Windsor built to house a replica version of the Table. In 1344 Edward III began holding knightly tournaments and feasts around this Table. Following British successes in the Hundred Years War against France, Edward III instituted the Order oif the Garter, with Windsor as the new Camelot.
19/1/1348. Edward III established the Order of the Garter.
17/10/1346, The Battle of Neville’s Cross. An attempted Scottish invasion of England was routed, west of Durham. Whilst the English King Edward III was occupied with the siege of Calais, King David II of Scotland invaded England in support of his French ally. However his army was heavily defeated by English archers, and David was wounded and captured. Held for 11 years, Scotland had to raise taxes to pay a heavy ransom for his release.
26/8/1346. The Battle of Crecy took place, 32 miles south of Boulogne. The outnumbered army of Edward III, aided by his son Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under Philip IV, who fled,, leaving over 1,500 French dead. On 3/8/1347 the English captured Calais after nearly a year’s siege, which began on 3/9/1346. This battle, during the Hundred Years War, was the first time the English had used longbows in continental warfare. The crossbow assault at Crecy decimated the French-Geonese archers and the French knights behind, attempting an attack through the Genoese, caused a troops jam into which the English longbowmen continued to fire. The French retreated; Edward decided against pursuing the survivors but marched on north to attack Calais.
For Hundred Years War events see also France
12/7/1346, An English invasion force landed unopposed at St Vaast, western Normandy, with the aim of capturing Paris. This force was defeated by a superior French army and the English attempted a retreat back to England, marching west 60 miles in four days. However the French followed their march just to the south, denying the Seine Valley to the English. The English needed a port to evacuate their forces. The English now had to cross the lower Somme between Amiens and the sea, but this tract was tidal, full of treacherous marches, passable only along narrow causeways for a few hours a day at low tide. Crossing points to the north of the Somme were guarded by the French. The English attempted to force a crossing of the Somme at Crecy.
25/10/1340. Geoffrey Chaucer, writer, was born. He died on his birthday in 1400.
24/6/1340. The English fleet, under Edward III (see 21/9/1327) defeated the French fleet at Sluys. The French fleet was virtually destroyed, giving Edward III control of the sea. However both the French and English rulers were short of money and unable to pay their troops; so Edward III, and Philip VI of France, settled at the Treaty of Esplechin.
The dispute between England and France had links to the Flemish weavers who rebelled but were defeated on 24/8/1328 by the new Philip VI of France. Also Philip VI supported the Scots under David Bruce against the English, see 21/9/1327. In 1336 Edward III renewed his claim to the French throne. In 1338 Edward III cut wool exports to Flanders, forcing up wool prices and causing economic hardship to the weavers there. Edward then lifted the wool embargo, and encouraged the weavers to rebel again against Philip VI, to secure the unification and independence of Flanders.
17/3/1337, Edward, the Black Prince, was made the first Duke of Cornwall, by his father King Edward III.
15/6/1330, Edward, the Black Prince, was born.
21/9/1327. Edward II was murdered with a red-hot poker at Berkeley castle in Gloucestershire, to ensure his son Edward III, aged 15, could ascend the English throne under Isabella’s Regency.. Edward II’s fate was sealed in 1326 when his wife Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer landed with a band of foreign mercenaries and marched on London. Isabella found widespread support amongst the barons, among whom Edward had caused dissension by granting some lands and lordships, but not others. Edward was also resented after his defeat by Robert the Bruce in Scotland. See 21/6/1314, and 24/6/1340.
In 1330 Edward III took real power, sending his mother Isabella into a monastery. He executed her lover, Roger Mortimer. See 24/6 1340.
25/1/1327, Edward III became King of England.
7/1/1327, King Edward II of England was deposed.
16/3/1322, The Battle of Boroughbridge. Forces loyal to the rebel, Thomas of Lancaster, were defeated at the crossing of the River Ure by an army loyal to King Edward II, led by Andrew Barclay. Edward then ordered the execution of more than 20 of the rebel leaders, an act that shocked contemporaries by its severity.
13/11/1312. Edward III, King of England from 1327, was born in Windsor Castle, son of Edward II.
19/6/1312, Piers Gaveston was beheaded at Deddington on the orders of the Duke of Warwick.
19/5/1312, After a 2-week siege of Scarborough Castle, Piers Gaveston, close associate of King Edward II, was taken prisoner.
1310, King Edward II granted a market charter to the town of Knaresborough. However a market had already been operating here from 1240.
25/2/1308, Coronation of Edward II of England.
17/11/1307. William Tell is reputed to have shot an apple off his son’s head this day.
7/7/1307. King Edward I of England died in his way north to invade Scotland and was succeeded by his son Edward II.
25/3/1306. (-) Robert The Bruce, Eight Earl of Carrick, was crowned King of Scotland (Robert I) at Scone. See 21/6/1314.
29/5/1303, Treaty of Paris restored Gascony to the English.
26/1/1302, Godfrey Giffard, Bishop of Worcester, died.
7/2/1301, The first Prince of Wales was created, Edward of Caernarfon, who later became King Edward II.
1300, England now had about 18 million sheep.
1/4/1299, Kings Towne on the River Hull (Kingston upon Hull) was granted city status by Royal Charter of King Edward I of England.
1298, King Edward I financed the £750,000 cost of his war against France by a £2 tax on sacks of wool.
7/12/1295, Gilbert Gloucester, supporter of King Edward I, died (born 2/9/1243).
11/6/1292, Roger Bacon, scholar, died at Oxford.
28/11/1290, Eleanor of Castile, Queen of England, died at Harby, near Clipstone.
28/8/1297, Edward I of England unsuccessfully invaded Flanders.
20/1/1288, Newcastle Emlyn Castle in Wales was recaptured by English forces, bringing Rhys ap Maredudd's revolt to an end.
8/6/1287, Rhys ap Maredudd revolted in Wales; the revolt was not suppressed until 1288.
25/4/1284, Edward II was born at Caernarfon Castle, third son of Edward I.
11/12/1282, At the Battle of Orewin Bridge in mid-Wales, Llewellyn the Last was killed and the Welsh suffered their final decisive defeat at the hands of the English. King Edward I took Llewellyn’s head to London on a stake as proof of English triumph in Wales. Wales had held out against the Norman English for over 200 years thanks to its remote terrain, enabling the Welsh to simply vanish whenever the English Armies went in, and its atrocious weather, deterring these armies. The Welsh also made alliances with England’s natural enemies, the Scots and the French. From this time on, the Prince of Wales has always been the eldest son of the ruling monarch of England.
20/7/1280, Neath, Wales, held its first fair (St Margaret’s Day), granted by Charter. The local abbey had extensive sheep pasturage so there was a large trade in wool.
12/11/1276, King Edward II began a decisive campaign to subdue the Welsh. He marched into Wales with 15,000 troops and nearly 1,000 cavalry. Most Welsh Lords, suspecting he would win, offered little resistance.
22/4/1275, The first Statute of Westminster was passed by the English Parliament, establishing a series of laws in its 51 clauses, including equal treatment of rich and poor, free and fair elections, and definition of bailable and non-bailable offenses.
19/8/1274, Coronation of King Edward I.
1267, Cambridge, England, was granted a Royal Charter.
4/8/1265. Simon De Montfort, who had promoted the power of the barons against King Henry III, was defeated and killed at the Battle of Evesham. Royalist forces won, led by the future King Edward I. This was during the Second Barons War. The last Montfortian resistance ceased in 1268.
20/1/1265. England’s first Parliament met in Westminster Hall, summoned by Simon De Montfort, Earl of Leicester. De Montfort was the brother-in-law of King Henry III.
14/5/1264, The Battle of Lewes of the Second Barons' War was fought between Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and King Henry III of England in Sussex. By the end of the battle, de Montfort's forces had captured both King Henry and his son, future King Edward I, making de Montfort the "uncrowned king of England" for 15 months before Edward escaped captivity and regained the throne.
11/5/1264, Henry III marched through Kent, captured Tunbridge Castle, forcing the Cinque Port rebels to submit. He rested at Lewes.
24/4/1264, After his victory at Northampton, Henry III moved south to deal with De Montfort in London. De Montfort had been besieging Rochester Castle, a southern Royalist stronghold, bit now abandoned the siege to return to protect London.
5/4/1264, Henry III attacked Simon de Montfort’s forces at Northampton Castle and defeated them, forcing all De Montfort’s forces in the east Midlands to surrender. De Montfort himself was in London, his other main base of support. The dispute between Henry and de Montfort had been arbitrated in January 1264 by King Louis IX at Amiens, the Mise of Amiens (Mise = settlement); however de Montfort refused to accept this result.
23/1/1264, The Mise of Amiens. An arbitration between Henry III of England and the Barons, with Louis IX of France as arbiter. The decision was in Henry’s favour, although he was to respect established Baronial freedoms. De Montfort rejected the decision.
15/7/1262, Richard Earl of Gloucester died (born 4/8/1222).
12/6/1261, King Henry III of England obtained a papal bull releasing him from his oath to maintain the Provisions of Oxford (1258), setting the stage for the Second Barons' War (1263–1268).
1259, The first historical record of mining in England. King Henry III granted the freemen of Newcastle on Tyne a licence to dig for coals.
4/12/1259, Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.
17/6/1259, Edward I, King of England, was born.
20/5/1259, Britain and France signed the Treaty of Abbeville, whereby Britain relinquished claims to French territories.
14/12/1251, King Henry III of England granted the town of Bolton, Lancashire, a charter to hold a fair.
14/12/1247. Robin Hood is said to have died on this day, aged 87.
2/9/1243, Gilbert Gloucester, supporter of King Edward I, was born (died 7/12/1295).
26/3/1242, William Albermarle, English baron, died.
24/1/1236, King Henry III of England married Eleanor of Provence.
4/8/1222, Richard Earl of Gloucester was born (died 15/7/1262).
8/6/1042, Harthacanute, King of Denmark and England, died.
17/3/1040, Harold Harefoot, King of England, was born.
12/11/1035. Death of the Danish King of England, Canute (Cnut), aged 40. His kingdom disintegrated. Harold I, Cnut’s son by Aelgifu of Northampton, became Regent of England whilst his half-brother delayed in Denmark. England split into the old political pattern of Northumbria and Mercia against Wessex.
6/1/1017, Cnut was crowned King of England in London.
30/11/1016, King Edmund was murdered and Cnut became King of England.
18/10/1016, The Danes under Canute defeated the Saxons under Aethelread the Unready (un-Reded, or without counsel, because he did not listen to his advisers) at the Battle of Assandun (now Ashingdon, Essex)
23/4/1016, Ethelred died and was succeeded by his son Edmund II, Ironside. Edmund and Cnut fought for the throne. Edmund agreed to keep Wessex and leave Cnut ruling over the rest of England.
25/12/1013, The Danish King, Swein Forkbeard, invaded England and was declared its King. However he died 5 weeks later.
2/12/1001. The Danes in England were massacred on the orders of King Aethelred, after his policy of buying them off had failed to halt the Dane’s raids. In revenge Sweyn returned in 1002 and ravaged Exeter in 1003 and Norwich and Thetford in 1004. After a lull in 1005 Danish attacks on English towns resumes and Aethelred bought them off for a larger sum than ever, £36,000, in 1007. But in 1010 the Danes were bough off again, for £48,000 this time. In the 1010s the Danes made efforts to gain political control of the English Kingdom of northern and western England. Aethelred, called the Unready as he was without rede or counsel, had been a weak, improvident, and self-indulgent monarch, and he died in London on 23/4/1016. His wife Emma subsequently married Canute, and died in retirement at Winchester on 6/3/1052 after not her son (Hardicanute) but Harold Harefoot had become king of England.
8/991, Battle of Maldon. The Danes under Olaf Tryggvason attempted a landing at Maldon, Essex, but were pinned down on the causeway from Northey Island to the mainland, where battle was impossible. They requested to be aloowed to progress onto the mainland where proper battle could take place, and for some reason Aerhelred II allowed them to,perhaops out of a sense of fair play or possibly he was confident he could defeat them. In the event the Danes won, allowing them to conquer first essex then much of the rest of England.
See also Christianity
18/3/978, King Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe castle, and succeeded by Ethelred II (The Unready).
975, Edgar, younger son of Edmund I, King of Mercia and Northumbria 957-75, and King of all England 959-75, died (born 943).
970, Teignmouth Devon, was burned by the Danes.
965, England invaded the Celtic Kingdon of Gwynedd.
1/10/959, King Eadwig of England died, and was succeeded by his brother Edgar, who effectively completed the unification of England when Northumbria finally submittted to his rule.
945, Scotland took the Lake District area from England.
942, Hywel Dda, King of Deheubarth, annexed Gwyedd to become the ruler of most of Wales.
27/10/939, King Athelstan of Mercia died. Son of Edward the Elder, grandson of Alfred the Great, he was elected King of Wessex and Mercia on his father’s death in 924. He invaded Northumbria, thereby becoming the first King of all England in 937.
937, The Battle of Brunanburh. This probably took place at Bromborough, on The Wirral. Aethelstan had inherited the thrones of Mercia from his aunt and of Wessex from his father, making him the first true king of all England. In 934 Aethelstan, as part of a border campaign to secure his northern frontier, attacked Scotland and the Welsh Kingdom of Strathclyde (comprising the modern Strathclyde region plus the Lake District). In 937 King Constantine III of Scotland and Owain map Dynfwal, King of Strathclyde, allied with Olaf (Anlaf) Gothfrithson, the Viking King of Dublin, and attacked the Kingdom of England. Aethelstan and his brother Eadmund marched to meet them in battle. Athelstan won a notable victory at Brunanburh; five northern kings and seven Irish-Viking earls were killed. This was the first victory by an English as opposed to an Anglo Saxon King.
17/7/924, King Edward the Elder of England died and was succeeded by his son Aethlstan.
918, Death of Aethelflaed, eldest daughter of Alfred the Great and Queen of Mercia. Mercia was now fully incorporated into Wessex by King Edward the Elder.
911, Tamworth was burnt by the Danes.
13/12/902, The Anglo-Saxon men of Kent defeated the Vikings of East Anglia at the Battle of the Holme
8/1/900, Coronation of Edward the Elder.
26/10/899. Death of King Alfred the Great (born 849), succeeded by Edward the Elder. Born in 849, he was sent at the age of 5 to be confirmed by Pope Leo IV. At this time Alfred had three elder brothers and so was by no means guaranteed to be the future King of Wessex. Alfred’s two eldest brothers, Aethelbald and Aethelbert, had short reigns. The third brother, Aethelred, became king in 866. In 868 Aethelrerd and Alfred made an unsuccessful attempt to throw the Danes out of Mercia. In 870 numerous battles were fought by Aethelred against the Danes; a Danish defeat at Englefield, Berkshire, on 31/112/870 was followed by a Danish victory at Reading on 4/1/871. The Danes lost again at the Battle of Ashdown, near Compton Beauchamp, Shrivenham, on 8/1/871, but defeated the English on 22/1/871 at Basing, and repeated the Danish victory at Marton, Wiltshire, on 22/3/871. Aethelred, Alfred’s older brother, died in April 871, and while Alfred was busy with the funeral the Danes won another victory, and defeated his army once more at Wilton in May 871.
From then until 876 the Danes were occupied fighting elsewhere in England but in 876 they returned to Wessex to occupy Wareham and in 877 managed to take Exeter. Here the Danes were blockaded by Alfred, and a Danish relief fleet was scattered by storms. Hence the Danes submitted and withdrew to Mercia. In early January 878 the Danes suddenly attacked King Alfred’s Christmas celebrations at Chippenham; most were killed but Alfred and a few men escaped to the fort at Athelney, from where he made preparations for attacks on the Danes. By May 878 Alfred was ready and he moved out of Athelney, joined by armed soldiers from Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. The Danes also moved out of their camp at Chippenham and the two armies met at Edington in Wiltshire.The result was a decisive victory for Alfred; the Danes surrendered, and Guthrum, the Danish King, and 29 of his chief men, submitted to baptism as Christians. By the Peace of Wedmore, 878, the Danes were cleared from all of Wessex and from Mercia west of Watling Street. There were no more Danish attacks on England until 884 or 885 when a Danish landing in Kent was successfully repelled; this nevertheless encouraged an uprising by East Anglian Danes. Alfred then managed to capture London from the Danes. After a further period of peace, the Danes on the continent found their position becoming more precarious and in 892 or 893, attempted to colonise, with their women and children, areas of Kent and the Thames estuary.
890, Death of Guthrum, Danish King of East Anglia from 880. In 871 he led a major Viking omvasion of Britain, seizing much of the east coast. He attacked Wessex in 878, with initial success, driving Alfred into hiding in Wedmore. However by May 878 Alfred had recovered and defeated Guthrum at the Battle of Edlington. Guthrum agreed to become a Christian, and to leave Wessex and return to his Kingdom of East Anglia.
23/4/871, King Ethelred of Wessex died in battle against the Danes; he was succeeded by King Alfred.
22/3/871, Battle of Marton (Wiltshire), between the Danes and Wessex.
22/1/871, Battle of Basing, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex was defeated.
8/1/871, Battle of Ashdown, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex defeated the Danes.
4/1/871, Battle of Reading, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex was defeated.
31/12/870, Battle of Englefirld (Berkshire), between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex defeated the Danes.
20/11/870, The Danes murdered Edmund, King of East Anglia, when he refused to become their subject. He was succeeded by Oswald, last English King of East Anglia. The Danes moved south west and camped at Reading, ready to invade Wessex.
3/6/859. Edgar, King of All England, was crowned on Whit Sunday by Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Saxon Abbey on the site of the present Bath Abbey.
13/6/858, Ethelwulf, King of Wessex, died and was succeeded by his son Ethelbald, who had been his co-ruler for three years and who married his stepmother Judith.
851, Canterbury Cathedral sacked by the Danes; rebuilt ca. 950.
849, King Alfred was born, in Wantage.
844, Rhodri Mawr became the first Prince of all Wales.
815, King Egbert of Wessex defeated the Britons of Cornwall.
29/7/796. Death of King Offa of Mercia. His kingdom covered much of England south of a line from the Humber to Preston, and he had subdued the only other kingdom south of this line, Wessex, (Hampshire to Cornwall) in 777. on 17/12/796 Offa’s son and successor Egfrith died and was succeeded by Cenwulf.
793, Monastery at Lindisfarne looted by the Danes.
789, First Viking raids on Britain.
757, Accession of Offa, King of Mercia, after he had defeated the usurper, Beornred.
25/5/735. Death of the historian Bede at Jarrow monastery, aged 63.
9/5/729, Osric, King of Northumbria, died and was succeeded by Ceolwulf.
709, A violent storm separated the Channel island of Jethou from Herm.
20/5/685, Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria, died.
4/7/673, Egbert I, King of Kent, died.
15/2/670, Death of King Oswy of Bernicia (northern England). Born ca. 612, son of King Aedilfrith of Bernicia,, he became king in 642. He attempted to gain control of the neighbouring Kingdom of Deira.
654, Death of Penda, King of Mercia.
643, Death of Cynegils, King of the West Saxons. He had succeeded his uncle, Ceowulf, as King in 611.
642, Oswald, King of Northumbria from 634, died in battle against King Penda of Mercia.
20/1/640, Eadbald, King of Kent, died and was succeeded by his son Earconberht.
617, Death of Ethelfrid, king of Northumbria; killed in battle against Raedwald of East Anglia,
616, Death of Ethelbert, king of Kent, who was converted to Christianity by Augustine in 597.
587, Death of St David, patron saint of Wales.
See also Christianity for early Church conversion work in Britain
577, Battle of Deorham (Dryham, Gloucestershire). The (Saxon) Kingdom of Wessex defeated the Welsh (Britons), pushing the Britons back into separate regions in Wales and Cornwall.
573, Battle of Ardderyd; Cumbria was incorporated in the Kingdom of Strathclyde.
571, The Saxons captured Aylesbury from the Britons.
560, Kentish King Eormenric died and was succeeded by his son, who ruled until 616 as Ethelbert I.
514, The history of Wessex began, when a band of Saxons, calling themselves the Gewissas, landed at Southampton. Under King Cerdic (519-34) the Kingdom of Wessex formed from an alliance of the Gewissas and Jutes, becoming known as the West Saxons. Under King Cynric (534-60) Wessex expanded from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to encompass Salisbury Plain and up to the Thames, where the East Saxons held their ground. Under King Ceawlin (560-92) Wessex defeated the Jutes of Kent, and then pushed northwards from the Thames and up the Severn Valley as far as Uriconium (The Wrekin, Shropshire), where, however, he was defeated at Faddiley by Mercian forces. Mercia then expanded southwatds to the Thames Valley. Meanwhile Wessex bevame Christian in 635, and under King Cenwealh (643-72) it expended its territory west from the River Axe to the River Parrett. Further westwards expansion was achieved under King Ine (688-726) . Underr King Cuthred (741-54) Wessex pushed the Mercians back north, although in 779 King Offa of Mercia (757 – July 796) again pushed Wessex back south to the Thames. Under King Egbert (802-839) Wessex defeated Mercia in 829 (under King Wiglaf, who was temporarily forced into exile). Although Wiglaf returned in 830 and Mercian power was reasserted, Egbert had captured London and was now known as Bretwald, Lord of all Britain. Wessex eventually came to dominate all of England.
457, The Battle of Crayford; the Britons were defeated by Hengest, and gave up Kent to the Jutes.
436, No Roman troops were now left in Britain.
429, Saxons, Jutes and Angles displaced the Picts and Scots from southern England.
410, The last Roman legions left Britain, to protect Italy from Germanic invasions.
383, Roman legions began to leave Britain, forever, see 410.
360, The first Saxon invasion of Britain.
See also Roman Empire
285 AD, Carausius, Roman Commander of the British Fleet, proclaimed himself independent Emperor of Britain.
127, Hadrian’s Wall, Britain, was completed (work began in 122).
330 BCE, The Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia (now Marseilles) reached Britain.
450 BCE, Major migration of Celtic peoples into the British Isles.
2800 BCE, Building of Stonehenge commenced.
6,500 BCE, Separation of Britain from mainland Europe, as sea levels rose.
See also Christianity for early Church conversion work in Britain
See also Roman Empire