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Timeline of main events

 

Victorian Britain Timeline

1837

William IV died and his niece Victoria became Queen at the age of 18

1837 Houses of Parliament built
1838
The first photograph taken, by Louis Daguerre in France and William Henry Fox-Talbot in Britain.
1839 - 1842
Britain defeated China in the Opium War and made China sign the Treaty of Nanking. Britain was given Hong Kong.
1840
February 6 - Britain claims New Zealand as a colony to head off proposed French settlements.
1840
The first postage stamps (Penny Post) came into use
1840
Queen Victoria married Prince Albert
1841
The Great Western Railway from Bristol to London was completed offering a journey of only four hours.
1842
The Mines Act stopped children under 10 from working in the mines.
1842
Assassination attempt on Queen Victoria by John Francis
1843
Britain claims the former Boer republic of Natal as a British colony.
1843
Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol. It sold out completely in 6 days.
1844
The Factory Act stops children between 8 and 13 working more than 6.5 hours a day.
1845 - 1849
Ireland suffered the Great Potato Famine when entire crops of potatoes, the staple Irish food, were ruined. The famine was a consequence of the appearance of blight, the potato fungus. About 800,000 people died as a result of the famine. A large number of people migrated to Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
1844-1845
8,000km of railway track built across Britain

1850s

The first post boxes were built
1850 Workhouses opened to try to help the poorest people who had no money. In return for their labour, the workers were given a bed and basic food.
1851 The Great Exhibition opened at Crystal Palace by Prince Albert.
Census showed just over half of Britain's population (of 20 million) lived in towns
1851 The first free public library opened in Winchester.
1851 London is now Britain's largest city, with 2.4 million
1851 Ice Cream is invented by Jacob Fussell, in the USA
1852
The first public flushing toilet opens in London
1854 -1856
The Crimean War fought by Britain and France against Russia
1854
A cholera epidemic led to demands for a clean water supply and proper sewage systems in the big cities
1856 Britain defeated Russia in the Crimean War
1856 Police forces now in every town
1858

The British Parliament passed the Government of India Act, ending the rule of the East India company and bringing India under British rule.

November 1 - Queen Victoria is crowned Empress of India.

1861 Death of Prince Albert from Typhoid
1863 The first underground railway is opened in London.
The foundation of the Football Association
1864
A law bans boys under 10 from working as chimney sweeps.

1868

The last public hanging

1869

The first Sainsbury's shop open in Dury Lane, London
1870
Schools provided for 5 - 10 year olds
1871
Queen Victoria opens the Albert Hall
1871
Bank Holiday Act introduced, allowing banks to close a few days a year
1872
First FA Cup Final
1875
Captain Matthew Webb became the first man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours.
1876
Queen Victoria was crowned the Empress of India

 1876

Scotsman Alexander Bell invented the telephone
Primary education was made compulsory
1877
The world's first recording of the human voice was heard when the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison, recited 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' and played it back
1878
The first public electric lighting in London, replacing the old gas lamps, which had to be lit by hand every evening.
1880
The Education Act makes compulsory schooling for all children between 5 and 10.
1881
London's Natural History Museum opened
1883
January - Britain takes complete control of Egypt.
1883
First electric railway
1887
Britain establishes the colony of Nigeria in Africa.

1887

The invention of the gramophone
1891 Free education for every child aged 5-13
1896 The speed limit for horseless carriages in Britain was raised from 4 m.p.h. to 14 m.p.h.
1901

Queen Victoria died. Her son, Edward VII, became King.
Population of Britain 40 million

See our timeline of Kings and Queens of England
 
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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy Barrow left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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