Main Historical Events

 

 

< The 20th Century... The UK History... The UK Menu...

> National Anthems...

 

55-54 BC

Expeditions of Julius Ceasar.

AD 43

Invasion of Britain by Emperor Claudius.

c.50

Foundation of London.

61

Revolt of Boudicca (Boadicea) against the Romans.

122

Construction of Hydrian’s Wall begun, from the Tyne to the Solway Firth.

409

End of Roman rule in Britain.

c.450

Jutes settle in Kent.

c.477

Saxons settle in Sussex, Wessex, and Essex.

c.495

Angles settle in Norfolk and Suffolk (East Anglia).

597

Saint Augustine’s mission arrives in Kent from Rome.

793-795

Danish raids on Lindisfarne, Jarrow and Iona.

843

Kenneth MacAlpine engages in first stage of Scottish unification.

867

Northumbria falls to the Danes.

870

East Anglia falls to the Danes.

871

Alfred becomes king of Wessex.

878

Pence of Edington determines the boundary between the Saxon and Danish-controlled sectors of England.

919

Norse kingdom of York is founded by Raegnald.

1016

Cnut becomes king of England.

1017

Cnut divides England into four earldoms.

1035

Death of Cnut.

1066

Duke William of Normandy defeats and kills King Harold and becomes king of England.

1086

Domesday survey.

1087

Death of William the Conqueror; accession of his son William II Rufus.

1100

Death of William II; accession of Henry I.

1106

Henry I takes Normandy.

1135

Death of Henry I; accession of Stephen.

1139-1153

Civil war in England.

1154

Accession of Henry II.

1169-1172

English conquest of Ireland begins.

1170

Murder of Archbishop Thomas à Becket.

1189

Death of Henry II; accession of Richard I.

1199

Death of Richard I; accession of John.

1215

Magna Carta; civil war in England.

1216

Death of John; accession of Henry III.

1259

Treaty of Paris between England and France.

1265

Battle of Evesham; death of Simon de Montfort.

1267

Henry recognizes Llywelyn ap Gruffydd as Prince of Wales.

1272

Death of Henry III; accession of Edward I.

1284

Wales brought under English control.

1291

Edward I asserts his overlordship over Scotland.

1294

War with France begins.

1296

Edward I invades Scotland.

1307

Death of Edward I; accession of Edward II.

1314

Scottish victory at Bannockburn under Robert Bruce.

1315-1316

Great famine.

1321-1322

Civil war in England.

1337

The Hundred Years’ War begins.

1346

English victory over Crecy.

1347

English capture of Calais.

1348

First occurrence of the ‘Black Death’ (plague) in England.

1356

English victory at Poitiers.

1361

Second major occurrence of the Black Death.

1381

The Peasants’ Revolt.

1382

Condemnation of John Wycliffe’s works.

1394-1395

Richard II’s expedition to Ireland.

1396

Anglo-French treaty.

1412

St Andrews University founded in Scotland.

1415

English victory at Agincourt.

1419-1420

English conquest of Normandy.

1420

Anglo-French treaty of Troyes.

1449-1450

French overrunning of Normady.

1477

William Caxton’s first printed book in England.

1483

Death of Richard II at Bosworth; accession of Henry VII.

1509

Accession of Henry VIII.

1512

War with France and Scotland.

1528

War with Spain.

1533

Henry VIII marries Ann Boleyn; birth of Princess Elizabeth.

1534

Act of Supremacy; the King becomes Supreme Head of the English Church.

1535

Execution of Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher.

1536-1543

Wales joins England under one administration.

1536

Dissolution of the Monasteries; union of England and Wales.

1543

War with France.

1547

Death of Henry VIII; accession of 10-year-old Edward VI.

1549

First Book of Common Prayer.

1555

Persecution of Protestants begins under Mary Tudor.

1570

Papal bull excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I.

1580

Sir Francis drake becomes the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world.

1587

War with Spain.

1588

Defeat of the Spanish Armada.

1603

James VI of Scotland succeeds to the throne as James I of England.

1605

Gunpowder Plot of Guy Fawkes.

1607

Settlement of Virginia in North America.

1609

Rebellion of the Northern Earls in Ireland; beginnings of the Planting of Ulster by Scotts and English Protestants.

1611

Publications of Authorized Version of the Bible.

1620

Pilgrim Fathers sail to New England.

1624-1630

War with Spain.

1626-1629

War with France.

1629

Charles I dissolves Parliament.

1640

Long Parliament summoned.

1642-1649

Civil War between Royalists (‘Cavaliers’) and Parliamentarians (‘Roundheads’).

1646

Presbyterian Church established in Scotland.

1649

Trial and execution of Charles I; England becomes a Republic (‘Commonwealth’).

1649-1653

The ‘Rump’ Parliament.

1649-1650

Oliver Cromwell ‘pacifies’ Ireland.

1650-1652

Oliver Cromwell conquers Scotland.

1653

Cromwell dissolves the ‘Rump’ Parliament and becomes Lord Protector.

1655-1660

War with Spain.

1658

Cromwell dies and is succeeded by his son Richard.

1659

Richard is overthrown by the army.

1660

Charles II is restored.

1662

The Royal Society is established.

1665

The Great Plague.

1666

The Great Fire of London.

1679-1681

The emergence of Whig and Tory parties.

1688

‘Glorious Revolution’: William of Orange invades; James II escapes to France; accession of William III.

1689

Bill of Rights settles succession to the throne and declares illegal various grievances.

1690

James II defeated by William III in Ireland (Battle of the Boyne).

1694

Bank of England is founded.

1701

The War of Spanish Succession begins.

1702

British capture Gibraltar from spain.

1704

Malborough defeats the French at the Battle of Blenheim.

1707

Union of England and Scotland.

1713

Peace Treaty of Utrecht concludes the War of Spanish Succession.

1715

Jacobite rebellion in Scotland under Earl of Mar.

1720

South Sea Bubble: many investors ruined after speculation in the stock of the South Sea Company.

1721

Walpole ministry.

1738

John Wesley begins the Methodist movement.

1745

Prince Charles Edward leads a second Jacobite rising in Scotland and is finally defeated at Culloden.

1756

Seven Years’ War: Britain allied with Frederick the Great of Prussia against France, Austria and Russia.

1757

Battle of Plassey: British victory of Bengal over the French in India.

1759

Capture of Quebec: British victory over the French in Canada.

c.1760s-1830s

Industrial Revolution.

1763

Peace of Paris concludes Seven Years’ War.

1769

James Watt’s steam engine patented.

1773

Boston Tea Party: American colonists protest against the East India Company’s monopoly of tea exports to America.

1776

Declaration of American Independence; Adam Smith publishes Wealth of Nations.

1783

Peace of Versailles recognizes independence of American colonies.

1796

Vaccination against smallpox introduced.

1801

Union with Ireland.

1802

Prime minister Peel introduces first factory legislation.

1803

War with France.

1805

Battle of Trafalgar: Nelson defeats the French and Spanish fleets.

1811

‘Luddite’ disturbances in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

1813

East India Company’s monopoly abolished.

1815

Battle of Waterloo: defeat of Napoleon. Congress of Vienna; peace in Europe. Corn Law passed setting the price of corn at 80s. per quarter.

1819

Peterloo massacre in Manchester.

1825

Stockton-Darlington railway opened. Trade Union legalized.

1828

Nonconformists allowed to hold public offices.

1829

Roman Catholics are given vote and allowed to hold public offices; organization of the police force by Robert Peele.

1832

First Reform Act extends franchise and restructures representation in Parliament.

1833

First government grant for education.

1834

Slavery is abolished in the British Empire. Parish workhouses instituted.

1837

Accession of Queen Victoria.

1838

People’s Charter demands fundamental political reform.

1840

Penny post is instituted.

1844

Rochdale Co-operative Society is founded. Royal Commission on Health of Towns. Potato famine begins in Ireland.

1844-1845

Railway mania. 5,000 miles of tract laid.

1846

Corn Law abolished.

1847

Chloroform is first used as an anaesthetic.

1848

Chartism finally collapses. Public Health Act.

1851

Great Exhibition is held in London at the Crystal Palace.

1854

Working Men’s College founded in London. The Crimean War, in which Britain and France are engaged with Russia, and with Florence Nightingale comes to public prominence.

1856

Bessemer’s new, and cheaper, steel making process is introduced.

1857

Matrimonial Causes Act, setting up divorce courts allowing men to obtain divorce on the grounds of the adultery of the wife.

1858

Indian Mutiny suppressed.

1859

The Society for promoting the Employment of Women formed. Publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

1862

Limited Liability Act provides vital stimulus to accumulation of capital shares.

1864

First national Trade Union Conference is held.

1865

Irish Fenian movement founded against British rule.

1867

Second Reform Act increases suffrage.

1868

Trades Union Congress meets for the first time.

1869

Labour Representation League founded. Irish Church disestablished.

1870

Forster’s Education Act extends the provision of elementary education. Married Women’s Property Act extends the rights of women in marriage.

1872

Ballot Act creates secret voting.

1874

First Trade Union Members of Parliament elected. Disraeli’s second Conservative government.

1875

Disraeli buys Suez Canal shares, gaining a controlling interest for Britain. Agricultural depression deepens.

1876

Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India.

1878

Women are admitted to degree courses at the University of London.

1879

British-Zulu war in Africa.

1880

Mundella’s Education Act introduces compulsory schooling for children between the ages of five and thirteen.

1884

Third Reform Act extends suffrage to virtually all adult males. A series of explosions in London caused by Fenians.

1886

Gladstone’s third Liberal government fails to enact first Home Rule Bill for Ireland: Liberal Party splits.

1892

Three Independent Socialists elected as MPs.

1893

Second Home Rule Bill rejected by Lords; election of the first socialist M.P., Keir Hardie.

1897

National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies founded.

1899

Boer war in South Africa begins.

1900

Labour Party founded.

1901

Death of Queen Victoria.

1902

Boer War ends.

1904

Anglo-French Entente.

1906

Labour Party wins fifty-three seats in the General Election.

1908

Old Age Pension introduced.

1909

Campaign for female suffrage intensifies.

1911

The physicist Rutherford propounds a new theory of the atom. Parliament curtails power of the House of lords; establishes five-yearly elections.

1914

The Great War (First World War) breaks out.

1915-1916

Dardanelles expedition, ending in British withdrawal from Gallipoli.

1918

The Great War finally ends after immense destruction and loss of life. Limited female franchise granted in Britain.

1922

Creation of the Irish Free State, following the treaty concluded with Sinn Fein in December 1921.

1924

Macdonald’s first Labour government. Conservatives return to office under Prime minister Baldwin.

1925

Plaid Cymru, the welsh nationalist party founded.

1926

General Strike (3-12 May).

1929

General election: MacDonald leads the second Labour government.

1935

Government of India Act.

1937

Neville Chamberlain succeeds Baldwin as Conservative Prime Minister.

1938

Chamberlain meets Hitler in Munich. Abdication of Edward VIII.

1939

British Empire declares war on Germany (3 September).

1940

Winston Churchill succeeds Chamberlain as Prime Minister.

1942

Montgomery’s victory at El Alamein, North Africa.

1943

Anglo-American armies invade Italy.

1944

D-day invasion of France. Butler Education Act provides for free state education, compulsory to age 15.

1945

End of war in Europe (8 May). General election; massive Labour victory; Attlee becomes Prime Minister.

1946

National Health Service established.

1947

Coal and other industries nationalized; end of British rule in India.

1948

Establishment of the National Health Service and Welfare State.

1949

NATO founded.

1953

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

1956

Anglo-French invasion of Suez is followed by withdrawal.

1957

National Service (compulsory military service) abolished.

1959

Conservatives win with large majority.

1960

Government announces bid to join the Common Market.

1963

Profumo scandal. Philby is identified as the third Soviet spy in the Burgess and Maclean affair of 1951.

1964

Labour under Harold Wilson win narrow majority.

1965

Capital punishment abolished in Britain.

1966

General election; Labour win with much larger majority.

1967

Devaluation of the pound. Legalisation of abortion and homosexuality.

1969

British troops are sent into Northern Ireland.

1970

Conservatives under Edward Heath returned to office.

1971

Decimal currency replaces pounds, shillings, pence, and farthing.

1972

Prime Minister Heath announces direct rule in Northern Ireland. Stormont abolished. School-leaving age raised to 16.

1973

Britain enters European Common Market.

1975

Britain begins to exploit North Sea oil.

1976

Economic crisis; Britain obtains help from the International Monetary Fund. Callaghan becomes Prime Minister after Wilson’s resignation.

1977

Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

1978

‘Winter of Discontent’: strikes and shutdowns all over Britain.

1979

Conservatives under Mrs Thatcher elected.

1981

Social Democratic Party founded.

1982

Britain defeats Argentina in war over the Falkland Islands.

1983

General election; Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government is returned with massive majority.

1984

Miners’ strike lasts a year.

1986

Channel Tunnel treaty signed.

1987

General election; Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government again returned with a majority of over 100.

1990

Mrs Thatcher succeeded as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party by John Major.

1992

Britain signs the Maastricht Treaty on European Union.

1993

The single European market takes effect.

1994

Labour Party under the new leader, Tony Blair, abandons its commitment to public ownership of major utilities. Opening of the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France.

1997

Labour Party elected to power under Tony Blair with a massive majority.
 
< The 20th Century... The UK History... The UK Menu...

> National Anthems...