Nineteenth Century Timeline (1800 to 1899)
Britain Unlimited “Timelines” show the birth and deaths of the 250 famous British people covered in this site, together with the works they were associated with as well as other significant historical events of the time.
Era of King George the Third (1760-1820)
1801: The Union of Great Britain and Ireland is established.
First National Census based on Thomas Malthus’s theories.
Horatio Nelson is victorious at the Battle of Copenhagen on 2nd April.
Birth of Cardinal Newman on the 21st February.
1802: Factory Act limiting child labour is brought in. Birth of Edwin Landseer on the 7th March.
Humphry Davy publishes a paper entitled “An Account of a Method of Copying Paintings on Glass and Making Profiles, by the Agency of Light Upon Nitrates of Silver”.
J.M.W. Turner is elected a Member of the Royal Academy.
Thomas Wedgwood, the son of Josiah Wedgwood, successfully records “photographic” images on paper for the first time.
1803: John Dalton advanced his idea of atomic theory based upon study of atmospheric gases.
Richard Trevithick builds his London Road Locomotive which runs between Leather Lane and Paddington via Oxford Street.
Thomas Chatteron publishes “Collected Poems”.
1804: Death of Joseph Priestley on the 6th February.
William Wordsworth writes “Ode: Imitations of Immortality”.
Birth of Benjamin Disraeli on the 21st December.
The Royal Horticultural Society is first founded.
1806: Death of William Pitt the Younger on the 23rd January.
William Cobbett begins the “Record of Parliamentary Debate” which was later taken over by Luke Hansard and is now known simply as Hansard.
Birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the 9th April.
Duke of Wellington is elected as the Member of Parliament.
Birth of John Stuart Mill on the 20th May.
Death of George Stubbs on the 12th July.
William Hazlitt publishes “Free Thoughts on Public Affairs”.
Death of Charles James Fox on the 3rd September.
The Beaufort Scale of wind speeds is devised by Sir Francis Beaufort.
1807: Slavery is abolished in the British Empire.
Humphry Davy manufactures Potassium and Sodium.
1808: John Dalton publishes “A New System of Chemical Philosophy”
Humphry Davy discovers Magnesium, Calcium, Barium and Strontium.
Humphry Repton publishes “Designs for the Pavilion at Brighton”.
The Duke of Wellington is victorious at the Battle at Vimeiro on the 21 August.
1808-1814: The Peninsula War is fought in Spain with the Duke of Wellington as a major commander.
1809: Birth of Charles Darwin on the 12th February.
Birth of Edward Fitzgerald on the 31st March.
Death of Tom Paine on the 8th June.
Birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson on the 6th August.
Death of Matthew Boulton on the 17th August.
Birth of William Ewart Gladstone on the 29th December.
Lord Byron writes ‘”English Bards and Scotch Reviewers”.
The British army under Sir John Moore defeat the French at the Battle of Corunna in the Peninsular War.
1810: Birth of William Armstrong on the 26th November.
1811: Birth of William Makepeace Thackeray on the 18th July.
Luddite machine breaking riots in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire take place between March and the following January.
Jane Austen revises and publishes “Sense and Sensibility”.
Josiah Spode introduces the “Blue Rome” Plate.
1812: Birth of Charles Dickens on the 7th February. Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow.
Birth of Robert Browning on the 7th May.
Lord Byron publishes the first part of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.”
Birth of Edward Lear on the 12th May.
Wellington wins the Battle of Salamanca in Spain on 22nd July.
Sarah Siddons has her final stage performance as Lady Macbeth.
1812-1814: British-American War.
The Elgin Marbles are first brought to Britain from Athens.
1813: Birth of Henry Bessemer on the 19th January.
Percy Bysshe Shelley writes “Queen Mab”.
Birth of David Livingstone on the 19th March.
Jane Austen publishes “Pride and Prejudice”. Battle of Vittoria in Spain on the 21st June.
Elizabeth Fry appalled by a visit to Newgate Prison starts a career of prison reform.
Walter Scott refuses the title of Poet Laureate and recommends Robert Southey.
1814: Walter Scott publishes the novel “Waverley”.
Edmund Kean makes his debut at Drury Lane as Shylock “The Merchant of Venice”.
George Stephenson builds his first engine the eight-ton “Blucher”.
Establishment of Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Humphry Davy and George Stephenson independently invent a miners safety lamp.
1815: Birth of Anthony Trollope on the 24th April.
Battle of Waterloo on the 18th of June ends the Napoleonic Wars. The Duke of Wellington is victorious with the help of the Prussian General Blucher.
Richard Trevithick invents the screw propeller.
Birth of Grace Darling on the 24th November.
1816: Birth of Charlotte Bronte on the 21st April after her father is appointed perpetual curate at Haworth.
Death of Richard Brinsley Sheridan on the 7th July.
John Loudon McAdam writes “Remarks on the Present System of Road Making”.
Jane Austen publishes “Emma”.
Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron invent horror stories in Switzerland giving rise to Frankenstein.
Josiah Spode introduces the Blue Italian Plates.
1818: Death of Humphry Repton on the 24th March.
Elizabeth Fry is the first woman to speak to a Parliamentary Commission.
Birth of Emily Bronte on the 30th July.
Richard Trevithick creates the first steam boat.
1819: Birth of John Ruskin 8th February.
John Keats writes “Ode to the Nightingale”.
William Hazlitt ” writes “The Spirit of the Age”.
Walter Scott writes “Ivanhoe”.
The Peterloo Massacre takes place on the 16th August.
Death of James Watt on the 25th August.
Birth of George Eliot on the 22nd November.
Robert Owen’s campaigns finally get the Factory Act passed which said that it was illegal to employ children under nine years old.
Thomas Telford builds the bridge over the Menai Straits.
Era of King George the Fourth (1820-1830)
1820: Birth of Anne Bronte on the 17th January.
John Constable paints “The Haywain”.
John Keats writes “Eve of St. Agnes”.
Percy Bysshe Shelley writes “Prometheus Unbound”.
Thomas Malthus writes “Principles of Political Economy”.
William Blake writes “Jerusalem”.
Birth of Florence Nightingale on the 12th May.
The Cato Street Conspiracy plot to murder the Cabinet is uncovered.
1821: Death of John Keats on the 23rd February.
Thomas de Quincey writes “Confessions of an English Opium Eater”.
George Stephenson surveys the proposed railway from Stockton to Darlington.
Birth of Ford Maddox Brown on the 16th April.
The reproduction of sound is proved to be possible by Sir Charles Wheatstone.
1824: The National Gallery Founded.
Jeremy Bentham and James Mill found the “Westminster Quarterly Review”.
Thomas Telford designs St. Katherine’s Docks in London.
Birth of Wilkie Collins on the 8th January.
Death of Lord Byron on the 19th April.
Birth of William Kelvin on the 26th June.
1825: The first passenger train service in the world runs from Stockton to Darlington.
Birth of T.E. Huxley on the 4th May.
Birth of R.D. Blackmore on the 7th June.
Horse drawn buses operate for the first time in London.
1827: Birth of William Holman Hunt on the 2nd April.
Birth of Joseph Lister on the 5th April.
Death of Josiah Spode on the 16th July.
John Loudon McAdam is appointed Surveyor General of Metropolitan Roads in Great Britain.
Elizabeth Fry argues against capital punishment for women.
Death of William Blake on the 12th August.
1829: Birth of William Booth on the 12th April.
Death of Sir Humphry Davy on the 29th May.
Birth of John Everett Millais on the June.
Robert Peel passes the Metropolitan Police Act.
William Burke is hanged and William Hare goes free after the Burke and Hare body snatching crimes in Edinburgh.
Era of King William the Fourth (1830-1837)
1830: Formation of the Conservative Party from the Tories.
Death of William Hazlitt on the 18th September.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel is inspired to build railways at the Rainhill Trials when George Stephenson’s “Rocket” wins the battle of the locomotives.
William Cobbett publishes his “Rural Rides”.
Charles Lyell publishes “The Principles of Geology”.
1832: Alfred Lord Tennyson writes “The Lady of Shallot”.
Birth of Lewis Carroll on the 27th January.
Passing of the Great Reform Act.
Death of Walter Scott on the 21st September.
Death of Jeremy Bentham on the 6th June.
1833: Passing of the Slavery Abolition Act.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel is appointed engineer of the Great Western Railway Company uses the controversial 7-Foot Gauge. He begins building the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
Charles Lamb writes “Last Essays of Elia”.
Birth of George Gordon on the 28th January.
Death of Richard Trevithick on the 22nd April.
Death of Edmund Kean on the 15th May.
Death of William Wilberforce on the 29th July.
Birth of Edward Burne-Jones 28th August.
1834: Transportation of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Houses of parliament burn down.
Charles Babbage designs the Difference Engine, the first computer and publishes “Economy of Machines”.
Birth of William Morris on the 24th March.
Death of Samuel Taylor Coleridge on the 25th July.
Death of Thomas Telford on the 2nd September.
Death of Thomas Malthus on the 23rd December.
Death of Charles Lamb on the 27th December.
The Hansom cab is first patented.
1835: Death of William Cobbett on the 18th June.
Foundation of the British Geological Survey.
1836: Death of William Godwin on the 7th April.
Birth of W. S. Gilbert on the 18th November.
Death of John Loudon McAdam on the 26th November.
Charles Barry wins the commission to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Invention of the screw propeller by Sir Francis Smith.
Era of Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
1837: Death of John Constable on the 31st March.
Birth of Algernon Charles Swinburne on the 5th April.
The first telegraph message is sent between the new Camden Town and Euston stations.
The Queen lives in Buckingham Palace for the first time.
1838: Thomas Carlyle publishes “Sartor Resartus” in England.
Grace Darling rows out to save survivors from the sinking steamship “Forfarshire” on the 7th September.
The First Afghan War breaks out as Britain tries to stop Russian influence in the area.
The National Gallery opens for the first time.
1840: Death of Fanny Burney on the 6th January.
William Armstrong produces an improved hydraulic engine.
Charles Darwin writes “Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle”.
Elizabeth Fry opens a new school for nurses which was to inspire Florence Nightingale.
Birth of Thomas Hardy on the 2nd June.
The Penny Postal service is introduced with the advent of the Penny Black postage stamp.
1842: Birth of Arthur Sullivan on the 13th May.
Death of John Sell Cotman on the 24th July.
Death of Grace Darling on the 20th October.
William Armstrong invents an apparatus for producing electricity from steam.
Robert Peel introduces the Mines Act which forbids the employment of women and children underground.
The Treaty of Nanking ends the Opium ‘Wars with China.
1845: Death of Elizabeth Fry on the 12th October.
John Franklin begins his third attempt to find the North West Passage around Canada and dies in the process in 1847.
Irish potato famine.
1847: Birth of Alexander Graham Bell on the 3rd March.
Charlotte Bronte publishes “Jane Eyre”, Emily Bronte publishes “Wuthering Heights” and Anne Bronte publishes “Agnes Grey”.
William Makepeace Thackeray writes Vanity Fair.
1848: Birth of W. G. Grace on the 18th July.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel starts work on the Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash.
Death of Frederick Marryat on the 9th August.
Death of George Stephenson on the 12th August.
Formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
John Stuart Mill publishes “Principles of Political Economy”.
Death of Emily Bronte on the 19th December. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is formed.
1849: Death of Anne Bronte on the 28th May.
1850: Death of William Wordsworth on the 23rd April.
Birth of Robert Louis Stevenson on the 13th November.
Charles Dickens writes “David Copperfield”.
Alfred Lord Tennyson writes “In Memoriam” and becomes Poet Laureate.
Death of Robert Peel on the 2nd July.
Opening of the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits.
1851: William Kelvin forms the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
John Ruskin publishes the first volume of “The Stones of Venice”.
The Great Exhibition is held at The Crystal Palace.
Death of Mary Shelley on the 1st February.
Birth of Oliver Lodge on the 12th June.
Death of J.M.W. Turner on the 19th December .
1852: Completion of the new Houses of Parliament.
Death of the Duke of Wellington on the 14th September.
The first Music Halls appear as Charles Morton opens “The Canterbury” in London.
1854: Birth of Oscar Wilde on the 16th October.
William Holman Hunt paints “The Light of the World” and “The Awakening Conscience”.
Battle of Balaclava in the Crimea on the 25th October. Florence Nightingale goes to nurse the wounded.
1854-56: Crimean War.
1855: Death of Charlotte Bronte on the 31st March.
Ford Maddox Brown paints “The Last of England”.
Henry Bessemer patents his Bessemer process smelting cast iron.
James Clerk Maxwell publishes “On Faraday’s lines of Force”.
David Livingstone discovers the Victoria Falls in Africa.
1856: Birth of George Bernard Shaw on the 26th July.
Queen Victoria first awards the Victoria Cross medal for Valour.
1857-9: The Indian Mutiny.
1859: Birth of Jerome K. Jerome on the 2nd May.
Birth of Arthur Conan Doyle on the 22nd May.
Death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the 15th September.
Edward Fitzgerald publishes an anonymous copy of his translation of the “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”.
Charles Darwin completes “The Origin of Species”.
Florence Nightingale publishes “Notes on Nursing”.
Alfred Lord Tennyson writes “The Idylls of the King”.
John Stuart Mill publishes “On Liberty”.
Death of Thomas de Quincey on the 8th December.
1860: First Open Golf Championship, held at Prestwick.
Death of Charles Barry on the 12th May.
Wilkie Collins writes “The Woman in White.
George Eliot publishes “The Mill on the Floss”.
Thomas Henry Huxley defends Darwin’s “Origin of Species” in The Times.
Edward Lear works on his major oil painting “The Cedars of Lebanon”.
1861: Charles Dickens writes “Great Expectations”.
Death of Queen Victoria’s Consort Prince Albert.
Daily weather forecasts are first given.
1862: William Morris’s firm exhibit at the International Exhibition.
The Companies Act first introduces limited liability companies.
1863: Birth of David Lloyd George on the 17th January.
Formation of the Football Association.
Opening of the London Underground.
Death of William Makepeace Thackeray on the 24th December.
Charles Lyell writes the “Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man”.
John Stuart Mill publishes “Utilitarianism”.
1864: Death of Walter Savage Landor on the 17th September.
1866: Birth of Beatrix Potter on the 28th July.
George Cadbury’s company becomes the first to sell cocoa as a drink.
Algernon Swinburne publishes “Poems and Ballads”.
Birth of H. G. Wells on the 21st September.
Birth of Herbert Austin on the 8th November.
Robert Whitend invents the torpedo.
1867: Birth of Arnold Bennett on the 27th May.
Birth of John Galsworthy on the 14th August.
Benjamin Disraeli proposes new Reform Act which gives the vote to every male.
Death of Michael Faraday on the 25th August.
William Kelvin writes “The Treatise on Natural Philosophy”.
Edwin Landseer unveils the lions around the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
Joseph Lister introduces modern antiseptic surgery.
1869: R.D. Blackmore writes “Lorna Doone”.
Opening of the Suez Canal on the 17th November.
1872: First FA Cup final in football.
Birth of Bertrand Russell on the 18th May.
Birth of Aubrey Beardsley on the 21st August.
Birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams on the 12th October.
Secret Ballots are first introduced by the Ballot Act.
1873: Death of David Livingstone on the 1st May.
James Clerk Maxwell publishes “Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism”.
Death of John Stuart Mill on the 8th May. Death of Edwin Landseer on the 1st October.
1874: Birth of William Somerset Maugham on the 25th January.
Thomas Hardy writes “Far From the Madding Crowd”.
Birth of Ernest Shackleton on the 15th February.
Birth of Gustav Holst on the 21st September.
Birth of Winston Churchill on the 30th November.
1876: Adoption of the Plimsoll Line for shipping.
Alexander Graham Bell takes out a Patent on the telephone.
1877: First Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
General Charles Gordon is appointed as Governor of the Sudan.
Australia win the first ever cricket Test Match between England and Australia.
1879: The Zulu War. Birth of E. M. Forster on the 1st January.
Death of James Clerk Maxwell on the 5th November.
George Cadbury sets up the Bournville factory village.
W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan write “The Pirates of Penzance”.
James Clerk Maxwell writes “Electrical Researches of Henry Cavendish”.
John Henry Newman becomes a Cardinal.
1880: Birth of Dame Christabel Pankhurst on the 22nd September.
Death of George Eliot on the 22nd December.
W.G. Grace scores the first ever Test Century at cricket.
Greenwich Mean Time is adopted by the whole of Britain.
1880-1: First Boer War in South Africa.
1881: Death of Thomas Carlyle on the 5th February.
Oscar Wilde asked by Richard D’Oyly Carte to tour America.
Death of Benjamin Disraeli on the 19th April.
Birth of Alexander Fleming on the 6th August.
1882: Birth of A. A. Milne on the 18th January.
Birth of Virginia Woolf on the 25th January.
Death of Dante Gabriel Rossetti on the 9th April.
Death of Charles Darwin on the 19th April.
Death of Anthony Trollope on the 6th December.
The Married Women Act allows women to buy and sell their own property.
1883: Death of Edward Fitzgerald on the 14th July.
1884: William Morris becomes the leader of the Socialist League.
George Bernard Shaw joins the new Fabian Society, the forerunner of the Labour Party.
The Greenwich Meridian is adopted internationally as Zero Longitude or the Prime Meridian.
1888: Lewis Carroll publishes “Curiosa Mathematica”.
Death of Edward Lear on the 29th January.
Birth of John Logie Baird on the 13th August.
Birth of T.E. Lawrence on the 15th August.
Birth of T. S. Eliot on the 26th September.
Jack the Ripper commits his murders in Whitechapel, London.
The Football League is created.
1889: Completion of the Forth Railway Bridge near Edinburgh.
Birth of Paul Nash on the 11th May.
Death of Wilkie Collins on the 23rd September.
Gilbert and Sullivan first perform “The Gondoliers”.
Death of Robert Browning on the 12th December.
1890: Death of Cardinal Newman on the 11th August.
The Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland is opened.
1891:Birth of Stanley Spencer on the 30th June.
Arthur Conan Doyle publishes the first Sherlock Holmes stories.
William Morris founds The Kelmscott Press and refuses to become Poet Laureate.
Oscar Wilde writes “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
1892: Birth of J.R.R. Tolkien on the 3rd January.
Oscar Wilde writes “Lady Windermere’s Fan”.
Rudyard Kipling writes “Barrack Room Ballads”.
Death of Alfred Lord Tennyson on the 6th October.
Sir Alfred Gilbert designs “Eros” in Piccadilly Circus.
1893: Birth of Ivor Novello on the 15th January.
Birth of Wilfred Owen on the 18th March.
Death of Ford Maddox Brown on the 6th October.
Oliver Lodge discredited the ether theory opening the way for Einstein.
Formation of the Labour Party from a Fabian Society conference.
Beatrix Potter writes the first Peter Rabbit story.
1894: Birth of Aldous Huxley on the 26th July.
Rudyard Kipling writes “The Jungle Book”.
Death of Robert Louis Stevenson on the 3rd December.
Aubrey Beardsley becomes Art Editor and illustrator of “The Yellow Book”. His illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” achieve national notoriety.
Oliver Lodge becomes the first man to send a message via radio signals. He also invents the spark plug for motor cars. The first motor car is seen in London.
George Bernard Shaw writes “Arms and the Man”.
Birth of Ben Nicholson on the 12th April.
The first Marks and Spencer’s store opens in Manchester.
1895: First Promenade Concerts in London.
Death of T.E. Huxley on the 29th June.
Thomas Hardy writes “Jude the Obscure”.
Oscar Wilde writes “The Importance of Being Earnest” and sues the Marquess of Queensbury for criminal libel but is himself finally sent to jail.
H.G. Wells writes “The Time Machine”.
Foundation of the National Trust by Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley a friend of Beatrix Potter.
1895-6: The Jameson Raids in South Africa.
1896: Death of John Everett Millais on the 13th August.
Herbert Austin unveils the prototype of his second motor car at Crystal Palace.
Death of William Morris on the 3rd October.
Arnold Bennett becomes the Editor of “Woman” magazine.
1897: Opening of the Tate Gallery.
George Cadbury starts production of milk chocolate.
Oscar Wilde released from Reading Gaol.
Oliver Lodge writes “Signaling across Space without Wires”.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the Glasgow School of Art.
1898: Death of Lewis Carroll on the 14th January.
Death of Henry Bessemer on the 15th March.
Death of Aubrey Beardsley on the 16th March.
Oscar Wilde writes “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”.
H.G. Wells writes “The War of the Worlds”.
Death of William Ewart Gladstone on the 19th May.
Death of Edward Burne-Jones 17th June.
Birth of Henry Moore on the 30th July.
1899: Edward Elgar first performs “The Enigma Variations”.