A time-line of Britain

World News | Politics | History | Editor
A history of England

(Copyright © 1999-2020 Piero Scaruffi)

See a timeline of the Roman empire
43 AD: Roman emperor Claudius invades Britain
50 AD: the Romans found Londinium in Britain
80 AD: the Romans invade Caledonia (Scotland)
122: Hadrian's Wall is built along the northern frontier to protect from the Barbarians
314 AD: British bishops are summoned to the council of Arles
350: the missionary Ninian establishes the church Candida Casa at Whithorn in Galloway, Scotland
410 AD: the Romans withdraw from Britain, and Britain disintegrates in clans of Celts (Britons, Angles, Picts, Scots) as well as Germanic people (Angles, Saxons, Jutes, etc)
450: Saxons invade England, while the rest is split among Welsh kingdoms of Rheged, Gododdin and Strathclyde
450: the Saxon invasion prompts Roman-British inhabitants of Britain to migrate to northern France (Brittany)
455: the Saxon leader Hengist takes over the kingdom of Kent and founds their capital at Canterbury
476: the Saxon leader Aelle founds the kingdom of Sussex (South Saxons)
503: most Scots leave Ireland and build the kingdom of Dalriada in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland
532: the Saxon Cerdic founds the kingdom of Wessex (West Saxons)
540: the monk Gildas writes the "De Excidio Britanniae"
544: Ciaran founds the monastery of Clonmacnoise in Ireland
550: the Saxon kingdoms of East Saxons (Essex) and Middle Saxons (Middlesex) are established
563: the Irish monk Columbanus founds the monastery of Iona off the coast of Scotland, soon to become the main center of the Columban school
590: England is divided among several kingdoms (Kent, Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, etc)
597: Pope Gregory I dispatches Augustine to England with forty monks
See the timeline of Christianity
600: Taliesin and Aneirin write poems in old Welsh in Strathclyde
601: Augustine converts king Ethelbert of Kent and establishes the see of Canterbury with himself as its first archbishop
601: king Aethelbert of Kent promulgates the first English code of law
627: Pope Gregory I sends the Italian monk Paulinus to found the see of York and convert king Edwin of Northumbria
633: during the reign of the Saxon king Oswald conversion of Northumbria is completed
635: Cynegils, king of Wessex, converts to Christianity
635: Iona bishop Aidan founds a monastic community in the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Scotland
664: the synod of Whitby brings the Celtic (English) church into conformity with Rome
664: Iona monk Wilfrid is appointed bishop of York
668: the monk Theodore of Tarsus is appointed archbishop of Canterbury
670: the Anglosaxons convert to Christianity
674: Benedict Biscop founds the monastery of Wearmouth in Northumbria
681: Benedict Biscop, a native Anglosaxon, founds the monastery of Jarrow in Northumbria
685: king Ine of Wessex conquers Sussex, Devon and Cornwall
685: the defeat of king Ecgfrid ends the domination of Northumbria over England
687: the Vikings (Danes) destroy the monastery of Whitbey in England
690: English missionary Willibrord evangelizes in Holland and Denmark
731: Bede of Jarrow (Northumbria) writes the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People"
757: the kingdom of Mercia dominates England under king Offa
793: Vikings (Danes) raid the monastery of Lindisfarne and destroy the monastery of Jarrow
825: the Saxon king Egbert III of Wessex conquers Kent and Mercia, thus reigning over all of England
830: "Historia Brittonum" by Nennius
831: Vikings (Norse) invade Ireland and found Dublin
834: Vikings (Danes) raid England
843: Kenneth MacAlpin unites the Scots and Picts in Scotland
865: the Vikings (Danes) invade East Anglia
867: the Vikings (Danes) under Ivarr the Boneless establish a kingdom in York, Northumbria
871: Alfred becomes king of Wessex
878: Wessex king Alfred defeats the Vikings (Danes) at the battle of Edington
891: The Franks defeat the Danes in Belgium
896: Alfred occupies London and pushes the Danes outside Wessex and Mercia to the north of England
899: Alfred's son Edward becomes king of Wessex
90#: The "Beowulf" is written
902: The Irish expel the Danes
910: Alfred's son Edward defeats the Danes and annexes to Wessex every town south of the river Humber
911: The Franks grant Viking king Rollo a territory in Normandy (the origin of the Duchy of Normandy)
914: The Danes led by Sihtric reconquer Dublin
921: Dane king Sihtric of Dublin inherits York from his brother
924: Edward's son Aethelstan becomes king of Wessex
927: Wessex king Aethelstan conquers most of England, except the five boroughs of Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby and Stamford
937: Aethelstan defeats the Danes at the battle of Brunanburgh and establishes the kindgom of England
954: The Danish kingdom of Dublin and York splits in two
959: Edgar the Peaceful becomes the first king of a united England
968: Brian Boru expels the Vikings from Ireland
1000: 7 million people live in France, 7 million in Iberia, 5 million in Italy, 4 million in Germany, 2 million in Britain
1005: Malcolm II kills Kenneth III and becomes King of Scotlant
1013: the Danish chieftain Svend Forkbeard (Svend I) invades England
1016: the Danish king Canute (Knut/ Cnut) II defeats the Wessex king Edmund at the battle of Alney and annexes Mercia
1017: Edmund of Wessex dies and Canute annexes Wessex
1017: Canute converts to christianity
1028: Canute, already king of England and Denmark, conquers Norway
1034: king Duncan of Strathclyde conquers most of Scotland
1035: Canute dies, leaving Denmark and England to Hardacnut and Norway to Swein
1040: MacBeth kills Duncan and becomes King of Scotlant
1042: Hardacnut dies suddenly and Edward the Confessor, heir to both Wessex and Mercia, regains the throne of England to the Anglosaxons
1065: Westminster Abbey is inaugurated
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1066: Edward the Confessor dies, leaving no Saxon heir, the Norwigian Harald III Harraade invades northern England and is defeated and killed at the battle of Stamford Bridge by Harold Godwinson of England, who is in turn defeated at the battle of Hastings by William of Normandy (the Conqueror), who thus ends the Anglo-Saxon rule of England and unites England and Normandy
1070: Lanfranc, an Italian lawyer, becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, establishing the primacy of the see of Canterbury over York
1072: William I the Conqueror invades Scotland
1078: William I orders the construction of the Tower of London
1086: the "Domesday Book" is compiled for taxation purposes
1087: William I the Conqueror dies and is succeeded as king of England by his son William II Rufus, while his other son Robert becomes duke of Normandy
1100: William Rufus is assassinated and is succeeded by Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, who fights with Pope Pasquale II on the issue of lay investiture (the king elects the bishops)
1107: the Concordat of London finds a compromise between Henry I and Pope Pasquale II on the issue of lay investiture (the king elects the bishops)
1106: Henry I defeats and captures his brother Robert, duke of Normandy
1113: the order of St John is founded
1114: Matilda (Maud), daughter of king Henry I of England, marries emperor Heinrich V
1124: David becomes King of Scotland and extends his reign
1129: emperor Heinrich V dies and empress Matilda marries Geoffrey the Handsome, Count of Anjou
1130: Geoffrey of Monmouth creates the myth of Arthur
1139: Matilda claims the throne of England
1141: Matilda is briefly queen of England before being usurped of the throne
1153: Henry of Anjou, son of Matilda and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, invades England,
1154: Henry II Plantagenet is crowned king of England, establishing the Plantagenet dynasty over England, Burgundy and Aquitaine
1154: an Englishman is elected Pope Adrian IV
1164: Henry II's constitution of Clarendon limits the authority of the Pope over English matters
1176: Henry II establishes the "common law" of England
1189: Richard I "Lionheart", son of Henry II, becomes king of England and continues the rule of the Plantagenets
1190: the third Crusade is led by king Richard of England, king Philippe Auguste II of France, and emperor Friedrich Barbarossa
1194: King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, taken prisoner upon the return from the Crusades, ackowledges hiself king Philippe Auguste II's vassal, thus losing all French possessions of the Plantagenets
1199: John Lackland, son of Henry II, becomes king of England
1200: the Jews are expelled from England
1203: Philippe Auguste II of France conquers Normandy and expels the English
1209: Cambridge University is founded
1214: pope Innocent III, the claimant Friedrich II and French king Philippe Auguste defeat German emperor Otto IV and English king John at the battle of Bouvines, and Friedrich II ascends to the throne of Germany
1215: English king John I Lackland is forced by the English barons at Runnymede to sign the "Magna Carta", a constitution that grants rights to the nobility, the clergy and the townspeople (the "First Barons' War")
1216: Louis VIII of France invades southern England, but he is expelled and Henry III becomes king of England
1217: Henry III issues the Charter of the Forest, which privatizes a large portion of the king's land and grants peasants the right to hunt and log in royal forests
1265: Simon de Montfort, leader of the barons, summons popular representatives to Parliament
1272: Edward I becomes king of England
1283: the first mechanical clock in the world is installed in an English monastery (Dunstable)
1284: Edward I annexes Wales
1290: Edward I expells all Jews from England
1295: Edward I inaugurates the first representative parliament, the "Model Parliament", which features bishops, abbots, peers, knights and town representatives
1296: Edward I of England annexes Scotland
1306: Scottish king Robert Bruce rebels to the English
1307: Edward II becomes king of England
1314: Robert Bruce defeats Edward II at the battle of Bannockburn and regains Scotland's independence
1322: Roger Mortimer is imprisoned
1323: Roger Mortimer escape from prison and takes shelter in France
1325: Edward II's wife Isabella of France, daughter of daughter of Philippe IV of France, falls in love with Roger Mortimer
1326: Isabella of France invades England with a mercenary army
1327: Edward II is deposed by the parliament and replaced with his son Edward III
1328: Charles IV, the last Capetian king of France dies, his daughter Jeanne is disqualified from occupying the French throne, and Edward III of England claims the French throne, whereas the French nobility chooses Philip of Valois
1333: Edward III invades Scotland
1334: the first gunpowder is manufactured in England
1337: Philippe VI of France and Edward III of England go to war over France ("Hundred Years' War")
1340: English knights and burgesses join in the House of Commons
1346: superior weaponry and strategy allows Edward III's much smaller English army of 16,000 to defeat Philip VI's larger French army of 80,000 at the Battle of Crecy in northern France during the "Hundred Years' War", thus accelerating the shift from knights on horseback to fire power
1348: the plague ("Black Death") reaches England (1.5 people will die, out of a population of 4 million)
1356: England captures the French king and one third of France at the battle of Poitiers
1364: Charles V liberates France from England
1371: Robert II, grandson of Robert Bruce, establishes the Stuart line on the Scottish throne
1381: the Oxford theologian John Wyclif denies that the substance of bread and wine are miraculously changed during the Eucharist
1381: Popular riots erupt against a new tax (the "Great Revolt")
1394: Richard II invades Ireland
1399: Henry Bollingbroke, the son of the richest man (John of Gaunt), overthrows Richard II and becomes king Henry IV
1401: Henry IV issues a statute legalizing the persecution of "heretics" (mainly Lollards)
1413: Henry V succeeds his father to the throne of England
1415: Henry V of England allies with Burgundy, defeats the French at the battle of Agincourt, takes prisoner the duke of Orleans and proceeds to reconquer Normandy from France
1420: England seizes northern France
1422: Henry VI becomes king of England
1429: the French army, led by Jeanne d'Arc, triumphs at Orleans
1431: the English burn Jeanne d'Arc at the stakes
1431: Henry VI of England is crowned king of France in Paris
1434: Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, introduces the gulden florin/ gilder, equivalent to the Italian gold florin
1450: Jack Cade's popular rebellion of peasants and workers against taxes and oppression
1452: Henry VI of England goes mad
1453: France expels the English (end of the "Hundred Years' War" with English defeat)
1455: The royal houses of York and Lancaster fight a civil war ("War of the Roses") to succeed the mad Henry VI
1461: Edward IV of York deposes Henry VI Lancaster and lets Richard Neville run the country on his behalf
1471: Edward IV defeats Margaret of Anjou while both the renegade Richard Neville and Henry VI are murdered by his men
1483: Edward IV dies and his brother Richard becomes regent for the infant princes, but then crowns himself as Richard III and murdering both of Edward IV's children
1485: Henry VII Tudor of Lancaster, supported by Charles VIII of France, defeats and kills Richard III of York, ending the Yorkist dynasty and inaugurating the Tudor dynasty on the throne of England
1486: Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York, thus uniting houses of York and Lancaster
1496: the Italian explorer John Cabot sails from England to Canada (thinking he has reached Asia) on behalf of the king of England
1497: John Cabot discovers Newfoundland
1497: Henry VII defeats the last pretender to the throne and restores peace to the kingdom
1509: Henry VIII becomes king of England
1518: Thomas More publishes "Utopia"
1529: Henry VIII accepts the Protestant Reformation
1533: Henry VIII divorces Catherine of Aragon and marries Anne Boleyn, and is therefore excommunicated by Pope Clement VII
1534: Henry VIII declares himself supreme head of the Church of England
1535: Thomas More is beheaded in Tower of London for refusing to submit to Henry VIII
1536: Henry VIII directs the dissolution of the English monasteries under the direction of Thomas Cromwell
May 1536: Anne Boylen is executed for adultery
1540: Thomas Cromwell is executed
1544: Henry VIII and emperor Karl V invade France
1553: Mary I Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, a devout Catholic, becomes queen of England and returns England to Catholicism, after which hundreds of Protestants are burned at the stakes ("Bloody Mary")
1554: Mary I marries Felipe of Spain, also a Catholic, becoming queen consort of Habsburg Spain when he becomes king in 1556
Nov 1558: Mary I dies without children and Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, becomes queen of England and England becomes Protestant again and Catholics are persecuted for supporting the Catholic queen of Scotland
1563: The Anglican Church is officially founded (on predestination and thr redeeming power of faith alone)
1567: Mary Stuart of Scotland is deposed and her son James VI becomes king of Scotland
1569: Catholic rebellion against Elizabeth ("Rising of the North")
1576: James Burbage in London opens the first British theater
1580: Francis Drake sails around the world, the first British circumnavigation of the planet
1583: Humphrey Gilbert founds an English colony in Newfoundland
1586: Francis Drake sails to the West Indies
1587: England executes Mary Stuart, former queen of Scotland and heir to the English throne, for conspiring against queen Elizabeth I
1587: Francis Drake destroys the Spanish fleet at Cadiz
1588: In retaliation for the beheading of Mary Stuart and for England's support of the Dutch revolution against Spain, Felipe II of Spain declares war against Elizabeth I of England to protect Spanish possessions in America from English buccaneers, but the Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet of Francis Drake
1592: the British Parliament defines the statute mile as 8 furlongs, 80 chains, 320 rods, 1760 yards or 5280 feet
1599: the East India Company is established
1601: James Lancaster leads the first British cargo to the East Indies (the trip takes 14 months one way) and establishes a British factory at Bantam
1603: James VI of Scotland becomes king James I of England
1605: A plot by Catholic rebels to assassinate king James I in parliament is discovered (the "Gunpowder Plot")
1607: John Smith founds the colony of Virginia
1609: England conquers the Bermudas in America
1612: England colonizes Bermuda
1614: the Scottish mathematician John Napier coins the word "logarithm" and publishes the first logarithmic table
1617: England colonizes Barbados
1618: after the "Defenestration of Prague", England enters the "Thirty Years' War" against the Habsburg empire
1620: English pilgrims aboard the "Mayflower" land at Plymouth Rock on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
1620: Francis Bacon publishes the "Novum Organon" to argue that truth should be found via empirical observation
1621: Thomas Archer publishes the first periodical pamphlet (predecessor of the newspaper)
1623: The Dutch post of Victoria in Indonesia executes by beheading ten English citizens ("Amboyna Massacre")
1625: James I dies and is succeeded by his son Charles I who marries marries the 15-year-old Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII of France and a Catholic
1628: John Felton assassinates George Villiers, the duke of Buckingham
1629: Charles I dissolves Parliament which fails to approve a new tax
1630: England signs peace treaties with France and Spain and abandons the "Thirty Years' War"
1638: The Presbyterians of Scotland revolt against Charles I
1642: A civil war erupts pitting king Charles I against the Parliament
1643: The Licensing Act introduces censorship
1644: The parliamentarian army defeats Charles I's royal army at Marston Moor
1645: Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeats king Charles I
1648: The "Peace of Westphalia" ends the Thirty Years' War
1648: Cromwell, a Congregationalist Independent, expels the Presbyterians from parliament, leaving the Puritans in charge
Jan 1649: Charles I is executed and Cromwell declares the "commonwealth" with neither king nor House of Lords
1649: the Diggers promulgate a vision of a society free from private property and commerce
1649: Cromwell crushes a Catholic uprising in Ireland
Sep 1651: Cromwell defeats Charles II at the Battle of Worcester, Charles flees to France and Cromwell becomes virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland
1651: Thomas Hobbes publishes the "Leviathan"
1652: Pasqua Rosee opens the first coffeehouse in London
1652: George Fox starts the Quaker movement
1653: When the parliament fails to approve reforms by one vote, Cromwell abolishes parliament and has himself nominated Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
1655: Britain conquers Jamaica from Spain
1655: England readmits Jews
1658: England captures Dunkirk, Spain's greatest privateering base
1658: Oliver Cromwell dies and the commonwealth dies with him
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1659: England and France defeat Spain
1660: Charles II resumes the monarchy (end of the Commonwealth)
1662: Founding of the Royal Society of Science
1662: 75% of people born in London die before they reach the age of 26
Sep 1664: Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders New Amsterdam to England, that renames it New York
1665: The plague reaches London
1665: German theologian Henry Oldenburg, secretary of the Royal Society in London, starts the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the first peer-review journal
1666: The fire of London burns the oldest part of the city, including St Paul's cathedral
1666: Isaac Newton develops calculus
1668: England, Netherlands and Sweden form the "Triple Alliance" against France
1669: Charles II's son James (the future James II) converts to Catholicism
1670: Hudson's Bay Company is founded
Mar 1672: Charles II extends religious liberty to Catholics and other religious groups with the Declaration of Indulgence
1674: The Treaty of Westminster ends the war with the Netherlands, making England the dominant power of global commerce
1675: The Royal Observatory opens at Greenwich
1675: The pietist Philip Spener publishes "Reform of the True Evangelical Church"
1677: William of Orange, king of the Netherlands, marries Mary, heir to the English throne
1678: Titus Oates spreads false rumors about a Catholic conspiracy to assassinate king Charles II ("The Popish Plot")
1679: Petitioners ("Whigs") call for a new Parliament while royalists ("Tories") side with king Charles II
1680: William Dockwra and Robert Murray establish the Penny Post to deliver mail within the cities of Westminster and London
1683: The Oxford museum is inaugurated
1685: Charles II dies and his Catholic brother James II becomes king of England and of Scotland
1687: James II issues the "Declaration of Liberty of Conscience" but favors Catholicism and insists on the divine rights of the royalty
1687: Isaac Newton publishes the "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica"
1688: The English (mainly the Protestants) rise up against James II the Catholic king and drive him into exile ("English revolution"), while William III of Orange is invited to replace him with a constitutional monarchy and the king subject to the laws of the Parliament ("Glorious Revolution"), no more absolute monarchy
1689: The Parliament issues the "Bill of Rights", thus establishing a constitutional monarchy under William III
1689: France invades Germany's League of Augsburg and starts the Eight-year War (England, Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Savoy ally with Germany), the beginning of a century of war between France and Britain
1690: the philosopher John Locke publishes "Two Treatises of Government" and founds "liberalism" (people have rights, government has the duty to protect their rights, three branches of government for "checks and balances", separation of church and state, rule of the majority)
1690: the British found Calcutta in India
1690: Scotland chooses Presbyterianism as its state religion
1691: The Society for the Reformation of Manners is founded in London
1692: France tries to invade England but is defeated at La Hougue by a combined British and Dutch fleet
1694: The Bank of England is established
1694: the Licensing Act expires and England experiences a boom of publications
1695: the "LIberty of Unlicensed Printing" removes government control from the press (freedom of the press)
1697: the treaty of Ryswick ends the Eight-year war (no winner)
1701: The Act of Settlement grants the succession of the English throne to the Protestant house of Hanover
1702: king William III forms an alliance between England, the Netherlands and Austria against Spain and France ("War of the Spanish Succession") to defend the archduke Karl of Austria's claim of the Spanish throne against king Philip II of Spain
1702: William III dies and is succeeded by his sister-in-law Anne Stuart
1704: England captures Gibraltar from Spain
1705: The first bankruptcy law is enacted so that debtors don't have to go to jail anymore
1707: the kingdoms of England and Scotland are formally united in Great Britain, and queen Anne Stuart becomes the first ruler of Great Britain
1709: the Copyright Act shifts ownership from printers to authors
1710: The Tory Anglican Henry Sacheverell is tried for anti-Whig sermons and his followers riot against Presbyterian meeting-houses ("Sacheverell riots")
1711: Joseph Addison and Richard Steele found the "Spectator", the first magazine
1712: Thomas Newcomen invents the steam engine
1713: Britain and France sign a peace treaty ("Treaty of Utrecht") that hands most of Canada to Britain and leaves Britain as the dominant in force in north America, while Spain surrenders the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium) and southern Italy to Austria and Gibraltar to Britain
1714: Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, dies and is succeeded by George I, first king of the Hanover house while riots erupt all over England ("Coronation riots")
Sep 1715: James Francis Edward Stuart tries to regain the throne of England but is defeated ("Jacobite rising")
1717: The first Grand Lodge of freemasonry is founded in London
1721: Robert Walpole is Britain's first prime minister
1729: John Wesley leads the Methodist movement
1737: an English carpenter, John Harrison, invents the marine chronometer to measure longitude and latitude
1738: John and Charles Wesley found the Methodist movement
1739: Britain and Spain go to war, but Britain fails to occupy Panama, Chile and Colombia
1741: Lewis Paul opens the first cotton mill
1751: by capturing the town of Arcot from the French, Britain becomes the leading colonial power in India
1752: Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar
1756: Britain and Prussia declare war against France, Austria and Russia ("Seven Years' War")
1757: At the battle of Plassey the East India company defeats France and gains access to Bengal
1758: Britain attacks French Canada, its first large-scale war of conquest outside Europe
1759: Britain seizes Quebec from France
1759: the British Museum is inaugurated
1761: Britain seizes Pondicherry from France
1763: The treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years' War, with Britain annexing the French possessions of Canada and India (but Britain offered the whole of Canada for Guadaloupe)
1763: Britain bans colonial settlements in North America west of the Appalachians
1766: James Christie opens his London auction house, the world's first fine art auctioneer
1768: Philip Astley founds a traveling show of acrobats and jugglers, and launches the revival of the circus
1770: James Cook lands in Australia and claims it for Britain
1770: the Encyclopedia Britannica is published in Edinburgh
1773: American colonists stage an uprising against British rule ("Boston Tea Party")
1773: Warren Hastings, governor of Bengal (India), establishes a monopoly on the sale of opium
1773: The Tea Act grants the East India Company the right to directly ship its tea to North America
1774: Britain assigns Ohio to Quebec/Canada and recognizes Catholicism as the religion of Quebec/Canada
1774: The Society of Lloyd's is founded at the Royal Exchange
1776: the American colonies ratifies the Declaration of Independence
1776: Adam Smith publishes "The Wealth of the Nations", the manifesto of capitalism
1776: James Watt makes the steam engine practical
1779: John Wilkinson builds the first cast-iron bridge, the first large cast-iron structure
1780: War erupts between Holland and Britain
1780: Anti-Catholic riots in London ("Gordon Riots")
1781: A seventh planet, Uranus, is discovered by William Hershel
Oct 1781: Revolutionary troops led by general George Washington and French troops led by Rochambeau defeat the British Army led by Charles Cornwallis at the battle of Yorktown
1781: An English transatlantic ship that ran out of water throws 132 African slaves overboard in order to redeem money from the insurance company for lost goods
1783: Britain recognises the independence of the United States of America
1783: William Pitt becomes the youngest prime minister of England at the age of 24
1784: The treaty of Paris grants Britain the rights to trade in Indonesia
1784: Pitt's India Act moves the East India Company under government control
1785: the "Daily Universal Register" (later renamed "The Times") is founded
1785: Charles Cornwallis is appointed governor of India
1786: William Jones discovers similarities between Sanskrit and Greek and Latin
1787: Robert Peel builds an integrated cotton spinning, weaving and printing factory
1787: The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade is founded in Britain by Quakers
1787: Britain founds Sierra Leone as a colony for freed slaves ("krios")
1788: India's governor Hastings is tried publicly in England for corruption
1788: The first British settlement in Australia, at Botany Bay (Sydney), is of convicts
1788: Britain's king George III goes mad
Mar 1789: George III's madness is healed by Francis Willis
1790: at the height of the British slave trade, one slave vessel leaves England for Africa every other day
1791: Thomas Paine publishes "Rights of Man"
1791: Tom Paine's "Rights of Man" is banned in Britain
1792: Mary Wollstonecraft publishes "Vindication of the Rights of Women"
1792: William Murdoch invents gas lighting
1792: Prime minister William Pitt calls for the end of the slave trade
1793: the first British settlers arrive in Australia
1796: After France invades Holland, Holland surrenders Melaka/Malacca, Sri Lanka and the Cape of Good Hope to Britain
1796: Edward Jenner discovers the principle of vaccination and produces a smallpox vaccine
1798: Malthus publishes the "Essay on Population"
1798: admiral Horatio Nelson defeats the French navy at Aboukir Bay in Egypt
1798: Peasants revolt in Ireland
1800: Britain conquers Malta
1800: Ireland is formally annexes to England and its parliament is fused with the English parliament (birth of Great Britain and Ireland)
1800: Australia has a white population of 10,000
1801: Britain's population is 10.7 million and London's population is 959,000
1801: Thomas Young proves the wave nature of light
1802: a steam-powered coach built by Richard Trevithick successfully completes the journey from Cornwall to London
1802: Britain and France sign the peace of Amiens, recognizing Britain's conquest of French, Dutch and Spanish colonies
1803: Britain declares war on Napoleon
1803: English chemist John Dalton proposes that matter is composed of atoms
1804: Richard Trevithick builds the first locomotive (it rode a track of 16kms in 4 hours, at the speed of 4 km/h)
1805: Horace Nelson is killed in combat but destroys the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar
1805: Horace Nelson is the first commoner in the history of Britain to be given a state funeral
1807: Britain outlaws the slave trade throughout the empire (but not slavery itself)
1807: Gas lighting is introduced in the streets of London
1811: The "Luddite" workers of Nottingham destroy textile machinery that makes workers useless
1812: The London and Westminster Chartered Gas-Light and Coke Company is established
1812: the USA declares war on Britain
1813: American ships defeat British ships
1814: British troops storm Washington and burn the Capitol and the White House
1814: George Stephenson builds his first locomotive engine
1814: Britain purchases the Cape Colony in South Africa from Holland and rules over the Boers (descendants of the Dutch colonists)
1814: The first steam-powered press is installed at the London Times
1815: Andrew Jackson, helped by the French pirate Jean Lafitte, defeats the British army at the battle of New Orleans
1815: Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo
1815: Ceylon is occupied by the British, who ferry Tamil workers from India
1816: Nepal becomes a British protectorate
1816: Francis Ronalds invents the telegraph
1817: The "Luddite" rebellion ends after the hanging of six of their leaders
1819: The "Savannah" completes the first transatlantic crossing by a steamboat
1818: The Peterloo massacre
1819: Stamford Raffles buys an island from the sultan of Johore and founds the British settlement of Singapore
1820: Britain dispatches 5,000 settlers to the Cape
1821: Sierra Leone, Gambia and the Gold Coast are combined to form British West Africa
1821: Britain adopts the gold standard
1821: Giovanni Belzoni organizes a display of Egyptian antiquities in London
1822: The first dinosaur fossil is found by Gideon Mantell, the Iguanodon
1823: rugby is invented at Rugby school
1824: Pierce Egan starts the first sporting journal
1824: British poet Byron dies fighting for Greek independence
1824: William Buckland provides the first description of a dinosaur, the Megalosaurus
1825: Britain inaugurates the first public railway in the world (Stockton-Darlington railway)
1826: Malacca, Penang and Singapore join in a British colony
1827: France, Britain and Russia help the Greek uprising against the Ottomans, the fleet of the Ottomans and of Mehemet Ali is sunk at Navarino, and the expansion of Ali's Egyptian empire is halted
1827: William Burke and William Hare begin killing people to sell them as cadavers
1829: George Stephenson builds the first steam locomotive train
1829: The London police force is created
1830: the railway Liverpool - Manchester opens using Stephenson's locomotive "Locomotion"
1830: the Whigs come to power
1831: Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction and invents the transformer
Dec 1831: The ship "Beagle" begins a five-year trip to chart the waters of South America carrying biologist Charles Darwin as a guest
1832: The Great Reform Bill grants voting rights to the middle class (but only 1.8% of the adult population is allowed to vote)
1832: To stem the illegal trade in corpses, Britain enacts the Anatomy Act that facilitates the use by scientists of corpses that are donated by relatives or unclaimed after death
1834: Britain abolishes slavery throughout the empire
1835: Manchester, the most industrial city in the world, has a population of 300,000 and 100,000 people are workers
1836: South Australia becomes a province of the British Empire
1837: Victoria becomes queen of England
1838: The Boers leave the Cape colony, defeat the Zulus at the battle of Blood River and found the Natal colony (the "Great Trek")
1838: Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway opens and the ticket is introduced to ride trains
1838: British troops are defeated in Afghanistan
1839: A Chinese attempt at suppressing the illicit British trade in opium causes the Opium war
1839: The port of Aden in Arabia is occupied by the British
1839: Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan invents the bicycle
1840: The first postal stamp is introduced (the "Penny Black"), possibly designed by Henry Cole
1840: The last convicts are deported to New South Wales, Australia
1840: The divided Maori tribes of New Zealand accept to be annexed by Britain
1841: Russia, Britain, France, Austria and Prussia at the Straits Convention agree to ban all warships from the Ottoman straits, thus confining the southern Russian fleet to the Black Sea
1841: Thomas Cook founds a travel agency
1842: under the Treaty of Nanjing, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to Britain and grants commercial privileges in five ports including Shanghai and Guangzhou/Canton
1842: Richard Owen coins the word "dinosaur" (meaning "fearful lizard" in Greek)
1843: The Nelson Column
1843: Britain annexes the Natal colony of the Boers in South Africa, and the Boers move again founding the Orange Free State in the interior and the Transvaal in the north
1843: British general Charles Napier invades and annexes Sind
1843: Henry Cole invents the Christmas card
TM, ®, Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1845: Youstol Dispage Fromscaruffi dies
1845: British policies cause a famine in Ireland that will kill a million people in six years and send 1.5 million abroad
1845: an eight planet, Neptune, is discovered mathematically by John Adams
1846: Britain repeals the Corn Laws that protect its agriculture from imports and becomes a free-trade country
1846: Robert Peel splits from the Conservative Party and forms his own faction (the "Peelites")
1847: Britain's banking crisis ("Panic of 1847")
1849: Britain annexes the Sikh kingdom of Punjab and seizes the Koh-i-noor
1851: Gold is discovered in Australia
1851: The news agency Reuters is founded
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1851: Henry Cole organizes the first Universal Exhibition, held in London at the Crystal Palace
1851: London's population is 2,363,000
1851: 50% of the British population lives in the countryside
1851: Edward Hargraves discovers gold near Bathurst, Australia
1852: 370,000 immigrants arrive in Australia in the first year of the Gold Rush
1852: the Royal Observatory introduces a uniform time standard for the whole of Britain
1853: In the Crimean war Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire fight Russia
1855: Joshua Stoddard introduces a steam-powered organ called the "calliope"
1855: Henry Bessemer invents the Bessemer converter for mass-producing steel
1856: David Livingstone travels from Angola to Mozambique (1856)
1856: Britain defeats Iran at Herat in Afghanistan
1856: William Perkin, still a teenager, invents the first synthetic dye, mauve
1857: Persia surrenders to Britain all rights over Afghanistan
1858: Power on the Indian colony is transferred to the British government
1858: Richard Burton and John Speke discover Lake Tanganyika
1858: a telegraph wire is laid at the bottom of the ocean between Ireland and Canada
1859: Charles Darwin publishes "The Origin Of Species"
1859: The Radicals, the Whigs and Peelites form the Liberal Party
1860: The population of the USA (31 million) passes the population of Britain (29 million)
1860: British and French troops loot Beijing
1861: Charles Halle performs all of Beethoven's sonatas
1862: Bahadur Shah II dies, the Mogul dynasty ends and India becomes a British colony
1863: the Salvation Army is founded
1863: the sport of football is inaugurated
1863: The London subway opens (initially powered by steam)
1864: James Clerk Maxwell unifies electricity and magnetism in his equations of the electromagnetic field
1864: all the major power agree at the Geneva convention on rules for the treatment of prisoners of war
1864: Samuel Baker discovers Lake Albert
1865: William Booth founds the East London Christian Mission (later renamed "Salvation Army")
1866: Robert Whitehead invents the torpedo
1867: British North America becomes the Dominion of Canada, a federation of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
1867: Industrial workers are entitled to vote
1868: The liberal William Gladstone becomes prime minister of Britain
Apr 1868: British general Robert Napier defeats Ethiopia at Magdala and the Ethiopian emperor Theodore commits suicide
1868: The last convicts are deported to Western Australia
1868: Basutoland/Lesotho becomes a British colony
1870: Britain produces almost a third of the world's manufactured goods
1871: Arthur Sullivan and William Gilbert produce their first operetta
1871: Following the Gold Rush, the population of Australia is 1.7 million up from 430,000 in 1851
1872: the Ariel, the first high-wheel bicycle (or "ordinary"), is manufactured in Britian
1873: Great Depression
1874: The Fiji islands become a British colony
1874: Benjamin Disraeli (a Jew converted to Christianity) becomes prime minister of Britain
1874: The Gold Coast becomes a British protectorate
1874: Henry Stanley explores the Congo River for three years
1875: The British government purchases Egypt's shares in the Suez Canal, borrowing money from the Rothschilds
1876: Queen Victoria proclaims herself empress of India and takes the Koh-i-noor
1877: Britain occupies South Africa
1877: A tennis tournament is held at Wimbledon for the first time
1877: Transvaal becomes a British colony
1878: Russia defeats the Ottomans, but is stopped by Britain to protect its route to Indiaand to prevent uprisings by Indian Muslims, and the Congress of Berlin hands Cyprus to Britain and Bosnia to Austria, grants Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania independence and creates an autonomous Christian principality of Bulgaria within the Ottoman Empire
Jan 1879: Zulu warriors armed with spears massacre the British army at the battle of Isandhlwana
Jul 1879: Britain defeats the Zulus at Ulundi in South Africa, imprisons their ruler Cetewayo and disintegrates their empire
1879: Ahmed Orabi/Arabi founds the Egyptian Nationalist party and leads a revolt against the Ottomans and European interference in Egypt
1880: Borneo becomes a British protectorate
Dec 1880: Britain fights the first war against Paul Kruger's Boers in South Africa
Mar 1881: Britain signs a peace treaty with Paul Kruger's Boers acknowledging their independence in Transvaal
Jul 1881: Anarchist Congress in London, attended by Malatesta and Kropotkin
Sep 1882: British troops invade Egypt to restore order, exile Orabi/Arabi and appoint Evelyn Baring at consul general, so that the ruler of Egypt is theoretically a subject of the Ottomans but de facto a subject of the British
May 1882: The Irish National Invincibles assassinate Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Henry Burke chief secretary for Ireland, his undersecretary, in Dublin ("Phoenix Park murders")
1884: an international "meridian" conference decides to divide the Earth in 24 time zones, starting with Greenwich's meridian
1884: under a new reform 12.1% of the adult population is allowed to vote
1884: agricultural laborers are entitled to vote
1885: Britain captures Mandalay, terminates the Alaungpaya dynasty, burns the royal treasury and unites Burma with British Burma
1885: the Canadian Pacific railway is completed
1885: Robert Salisbury becomes prime minister of Britain
1890: For the first time the majority of Australians are Australian-born
1890: London inaugurates the world's first underground electrical railway line, part of the London subway
1891: 28% of the British population lives in the countryside
1892: Britain tonnage and seatrade exceeds the rest of the world together
1892: William Gladstone becomes prime minister of Britain for the fourth time
1893: New Zealand is the first country to grant women the right to vote
1893: Afghanistan and British India agree on a border splitting the Pashtun territories between them (the "Durand Line")
1894: Uganda becomes a protectorate
1895: Lord Kelvin declares that "heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible"
1895: Britain controls two thirds of Chinese foreign trade
1895: "The Empire of India Exhibition" opens in London
1896: the electron is discovered
1897: Joseph-John Thompson discovers that electricity is due to the flow of invisible negatively charged particles called electrons
1897: China cedes Kokang to Britain's Burma
1897: Marcus Samuel founds the Shell Transport and Trading Company
1898: British general Herbert Kitchener conquers Sudan from the Mahdists at the Battle of Omdurman and massacres thousands of Sudanese tribesmen
1898: The Gramophone company is founded
1898: Frank Hornby invents Meccano
1899: Britain invades the republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in South Africa, founded by the Boers (the "Boer war")
1899: general Kitchener creates "concentration camps" in South Africa for the families of the Boer rebels (26,000 prisoners die), while the Boers engage in guerrilla warfare, and defend trenches with long-distance rifles
1900: Arthur Evans discovers the ruins of Knossos, Crete
1900: The population of Britain is 44.3 million
1900: Britain authorizes the Commonwealth of Australia uniting the separate colonies on the continent under one federal government with capital at Melbourne
1901: Queen Victoria dies
1901: Frederick Kipping discovers silicones
1901: Britain's population is 37.1 million
1901: the British colonies of Australia become the Federated Commonwealth of Australia
1901: Nigeria becomes a British protectorate
1902: Japan signs the London treaty with Britain that recognizes Japan's rights in Korea and Britain's rights in China
May 1902: Boers and British sign a peace treaty granting autonomy to South Africa and creating segregation for blacks
Mar 1902: Richard Pearse in New Zealand flies his home-made airplane for 91 meters
Jul 1902: the conservative Arthur Balfour becomes prime minister of Britain
1903: the suffragette movement (Women's Social and Political Union) is founded
1904: British troops occupy Tibet
Apr 1904: France and Britain agree to spheres of influence of their respective empires
1904: The outdoor theater "the Mall" is inaugurated in London
1905: Britain apologizes to the Boers of South Africa for the war and grants independence to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State
1906: the Liberal party, representing financiers and entrepreneurs, comes into power
1906: Britain debuts the Dreadnought battleship
1907: New Zealand becomes a self-governing dominion of the British empire
1907: Britain and Russia sign a treaty (Convetion of St Petersburg) dividing Iran, Tibet, Central Asia and Afghanistan into respective spheres of influence
1908: Britain and Germany engage in a "naval race"
1908: Margaret Murray performs autopsy on an Egyptian mummy
1908: Britain enacts pensions for the elderly
1909: Lloyd George's reforms tax land to pay for sickness, invalidity and unemployment insurance
1909: Norman Angell publishes "The Great Illusion" in which he claims that war has become pointless because the real competition is economic
1910: Transvaal, Orage Free State, Natal and Cape unite in the Union of South Africa
1910: A report by Roger Casement reveals atrocities in Peru, Colombia and Brazil committed by the London-based Amazon Company
1911: the New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford discovers that the atom is made of a nucleus and orbiting electrons
1911: Britains holds a conference on imperial defense
1911: Universal health care is introduced
1911: A Parliament Act weakens the House of Lords
1911: The number of strikes increases dramatically
1912: a minimum wage is introduced
1912: The "Titanic" sinks in the Atlantic ocean
1912: Britain and France sign a naval treaty to fend off the threat of the German navy
1913: The newly built city of Canberra becomes the capital of Australia
See the timeline for World War I
1914: World War I breaks out in the Balkans, pitting Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Serbia, USA and Japan against Austria, Germany and Turkey, and both Gandhi and Tilak pledge alliance to Britain
1914: The British government purchases part of Anglo-Persian Oil, only the second time the British government has purchased a private company
1914: Cyprus is annexed by Britain after four centuries of Ottoman rule
1914: end of the British gold standard
1914: Egypt becomes and British protectorate
1914: Britain occupies the German colonies of West Africa
Apr 1915: British and French troops land in Gallipoli, Turkey
1916: The Lucknow Pact unites the Congress and the League in their fight for independence from Britain
1916: Frank Hornby launches the Meccano magazine
May 1915: German submarines sink the British passenger ship "Lusitania", killing almost 2000 people
Jan 1916: Ottoman troops led by Mustafa Kemal defeat the British at Gallipoli/ Canakkale
1916: Britain introduces daylight saving time to save energy
1916: Britain and France agree to partition the Middle East
Nov 1917: the "Balfour Declaration" by the British government promises a Jewish homeland in Palestine
Dec 1917: British troops conquer Jerusalem, the first Christian soldiers to do so since the Crusades
1917: Edwin-Samuel Montagu is appointed secretary of state for India and champions India's independence
1917: Britain conquers Iraq
1918: Civil war erupts between the Red Army of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks (helped by Britain and the USA)
Mar 1918: The "Spanish" influenza, originating from Kansas, is exported to Europe by US soldiers
Aug 1918: A second, deadlier, strain of the "Spanish" flu is spread from Britain to continental Europe by military ships departing the port of Plymouth
Nov 1918: The first world war ends with the defeat of Germany and Austria (2 million Russians, 1.8 million Germans, 1.3 million French, 1.1 million Austro-Hungarians, 0.9 million Britons, 0.6 million Turks and 0.5 million Italians are dead)
Dec 1918: Nancy Astor becomes the first woman to be elected to Parliament
1918: universal male suffrage
1918: Britain conquers Syria and Palestine from the Ottomans
1918: At the end of the war the British army has 8.5 people, of which 5.7 are from Britain, 1.4 from India, 630,000 from Canada, 420,000 from Australia, 136,000 from South Africa and 129,000 from New Zealand plus about 300,000 Egyptian, black African and Chinese laborers
Nov 1918: Istanbul is occupied and divided by British, French and Italian troops
1919: the IRA is formed in Ireland to fight British rule
1919: An Anglo-Iranian treaty turns Iran into a de-facto protectorate of Britain
1919: Britain bans opium
1919: Race riots in Liverpool and Cardiff
1919: British troops massacre 379 peaceful demonstrators in Amritsar (Punjab), the beginning of large-scale riots in India
Nov 1919: Ross Smith flies from England to Australia via Egypt, India and Singapore
1919: Afghanistan gains independence from Britain
1920: Palestine becomes a British protectorate
Nov 1920: The British evacuate the Crimea and 150 thousand Russian refugees flee to British-controlled Istanbul
1920: The airline Qantas is founded to link the settlements of Australia
1920: European countries control almost 90% of the Earth's surface
1920: Arthur Eddington suggests that nuclear fusion fuels the sun
Dec 1920: The "Spanish" flu pandemic ends, having infected about 500 million people worldwide and killed about 50 million
1921: Abdullah, son of Sharif Hussein, establishes the principality of Transjordan under British protectorate
1921: Unemployment reaches 17% in Britain
1921: The indenture system is abolished
1921: 156,000 British citizens rule over 306 million Indian subjects
1921: Ireland becomes independent except for northern Ireland that remains British
Nov 1921: The USA, Britain and Japan agree to reduce their navies at the Washington Conference
1922: Gandhi is imprisoned following terrorist acts against the British
Feb 1922: Britain, the USA, France, Japan and Italy sign the Washington Naval Treaty to limit the size of their navies
1922: the "British Broadcasting Company" (BBC) begins broadcasting under the direction of John Reith
1922: Egypt declares its independence
1922: Faysal, son of Sharif Hussein, establishes the kingdom of Iraq under British protectorate
1923: Britain recognises Nepal's independence
1923: Unemployment skyrockets in Britain in the coal-mining, textile and shipbuilding industries
1924: first Labour government
Apr 1924: The British Empire Exhibition is held at Wembley
1925: Edwin Hubble discovers the first galaxy outside the Milky Way (Andromeda), 2 million years away from the Earth
Oct 1925: Britain promotes the revision of German borders at the Locarno Treaty
1926: Balfour declares that Britain and its dominions are "equal in status" and "freely associated" in a Commonwealth of Nations
1926: John Maynard Keynes' "Britain's Industrial Future" that advocates government spending
1926: Following a general strike, the government imposes restrictions on trade unions
1927: oil fields are discovered near Karkuk in Iraq and king Faysal grants oil rights to the British
1928: universal female suffrage
1928: Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin, the first antibiotic
1929: the world's stock markets crash
May 1929: The Labour Party wins the national elections although the Conservative Party got more votes and Ramsay MacDonald becomes prime minister
1929: Britain raises the age of consent to 16 for both girls and boys (from 12 and 14)
1929: Edwin Hubble discovers that galaxies recede from one another and that the universe is expanding in all directions
1930: Gandhi unleashes "civil disobedience" against the British
1930: Britain, Japan, France, Italy and the USA sign the London Naval Treaty, an agreement to reduce naval warfare
1931: South Africa becomes independent
1931: Canada declares its independence
1931: EMI opens the largest recording studio in the world at Abbey Road in London
Sep 1931: Britain leaves the gold standard to let the sterling pound depreciate
Oct 1931: The Conservatives win national elections in Britain but MacDonald remains prime minister of a right-wing cabinet
1932: Iraq becomes independent under the rule of King Faisal
1932: A regular flight is inaugurated between London and Cape Town (with five stops en route)
Sep 1932: Poor unemployed people from the British countryside set out on the National Hunger March
1933: King George V broadcasts a speech on the radio to the entire British Empire
1934: whites introduce "apartheid" in South Africa
1935: Robert Watson-Watt builds the first radar
1935: the Penguin publishing company begins publishing classics in paperback books to be sold in general stores
1936: the "Queen Mary" transatlantic linear travels from Southampton to New York in four days
Dec 1936: Edward VIII abdicates in order to marry a divorced woman
1938: the IRA carries out the first bombings in Britain
1938: Britain debuts the "Empire Flying Boat", a plane that can carry 18 passengers
1938: British unemployment is 9.3% compared with Germany's 2.1%
1939: England declares war to Hitler's Germany
See the timeline for World War II
1941: During World War II, Britain and the Soviet Union invade Iran and Reza is forced to abdicate in favor of his son Reza Pahlavi II
1942: Oxfam (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) is founded in Britain
Jan 1944: the world's monetary system is anchored to the dollar and the dollar to gold, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are created ("Bretton Woods agreement")
1945: Germany surrenders
1945: At the Yalta conference the Soviet Union, Britain and the USA partition Europe in spheres of influence
1946: Jewish terrorists, led by Menachem Begin, bomb and destroy the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the British military and civilian headquarters
1946: The new Labour Party removes restrictions on trade unions
1946: Churchill delivers in the USA the "Iron Curtain" speech, virtually opening the "Cold War" against the Soviet Union
1946: Transjordan becomes independent
1946: Britain and the Soviet Union withdraw from Iran
1947: India and Pakistan become indepedent
1947: New Zealand becomes an independent country
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1947: Dennis Gabor invents the hologram
1948: The Federation of Malaysia is born under British rule
1948: Ceylon becomes independent
1948: Burma becomes independent
1948: Israel becomes independent
Dec 1948: British troops massacre 24 ethnic Chinese at Batang Kali in Malaysia
1949: Newfoundaland and Labrador join the confederation of Canada
1950: the first World Championship for drivers ("Formula One") is held, the first race being the British grand prix on the Silverstone circuit
1951: The conservatives win the elections and Winston Churchill is returned to power
May 1951: Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, members of a KGB spy ring later known as the "Cambridge Spies", defect to the Soviet Union
1952: Elizabeth II becomes queen of Britain
1952: A British newspaper publishes pictures of atrocities committed by British troops in Malaysia against ethnic Chinese rebels
Oct 1952: Britain explodes its first atomic bomb (Trimouille Island)
1953: Francis Crick and James Watson discover the double helix of the DNA
1953: New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Nepal's Tenzing Norgay are the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest
1954: Anglo-Persian Oil changes name in British Petroleum
Jun 1954: The mathematician Alan Turing commits suicide after being treated for his homosexuality
1955: Greek Cypriots (EOKA) start fighting for unification with Greece
1955: Britain signs the anti-Soviet Baghdad Pact with Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey
1956: Britain grants Sudan full independence
1956: Britain's TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1) the first transatlantic telephone cable (between Scotland and Canada's Newfoundland)
Nov 1956: Britain, France and Israel attack Egypt, and the English pound collapses
Dec 1956: Britain leaves the Suez Canal
1957: Malaysia becomes independent
1959: the British Motor Corporation introduces the "Mini"
1960: Cyprus becomes independent under president Makarios
1960: Nigeria becomes independent
1961: Kuwait becomes independent under the protection of Britain
1961: Amnesty International is founded by British lawyer Peter Benenson to promote human rights worldwide
Sep 1962: John Vassall is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union, that has been blackmailing him for being homosexual
Oct 1962: The first Beatles’ single "Love Me Do" is released, and the first James Bond film "Dr No" is released
1962: Uganda becomes independent
1963: Kenya becomes independent
1963: The British government is rocked by the Profumo scandal
1964: Zambia becomes independent
1964: Peter Higgs speculates that a particle (Higgs Boson) creates the mass of all the other particles
1965: Rhodesia declares its independence
1965: Mary Quant launches the mini-skirt
1966: Botswana becomes independent
1967: Britain withdraws from Aden
1967: Homosexuality and abortion are legalized
1967: The first "automatic teller machines" is deployed by Barclays Bank
1966: the British withdraw from Aden and marxists take over (South Yemen)
1968: the British withdraw from the Gulf and the United Arab Emirates are created
1969: Rupert Murdoch buys the British tabloid News of the World
1969: Rupert Murdoch buys the British newspaper The Sun
1969: the IRA begins a campaign of terrorism in Northern Ireland that will kill more than 2.000 people
1969: The "Monty Python's Flying Circus" comedy show debuts on tv
1969: Britain abolishes the death penalty
1971: the first Hard Rock Cafe` opens in London
1971: serial killer Harold Shipman begins a killing spree that will kill hundreds of people
1972: The first video-cassette recorder (VCR) is introduced by Phillips
1973: Britain joins the European Union
1975: the first oil is piped ashore from the North Sea
1975: Six economic powers meet in Paris (USA, Japan, Germany, France, Britain and Italy) forming the G6
1976: punk-rock
1976: the supersonic airplane Concorde, built by France and Britain, begins service
Jul 1978: Louise Brown is the first baby born through human in vitro fertilization (IVF), a technique invented by Robert Edwards, i.e. the first human conceived in a laboratory
1979: Margaret Thatcher of the Conservative Party becomes Britain's prime minister and begins a program of privatization
1981: Racial riots at Brixton, London
1981: Rupert Murdoch buys the British newspaper Times
1981: Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles, heir to the throne
1982: Britain defends the Falkland Islands from an Argentinian invasion
1984: Alec Jeffreys invents the DNA fingerprint that can identify an individual
1985: 39 football fans, mostly Italian, are killed during a riot started by British fans of the Liverpool team at a Brussels stadium
Mar 1985: The British pound hits an all-time low of $1.05
1985: Every major country of the world has AIDS cases
1985: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation acquires Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
1987: the Montreal Protocol limits the use of substances that damage the ozone layer
1988: Colin Pitchfork becomes the first man to be convicted of murder on the basis of DNA fingerprint evidence
1989: 96 football fans die at the Hillsborough stadium during a football match
1989: Rupert Murdoch launches the cable-TV news channel Sky News
1990: Margaret Thatcher resigns
1990: Mary Robinson is elected the first female President of Ireland
1990: Tim Berners-Lee of CERN invents the Internet protocol HTTP and the hypertext language HTML (i.e., the World Wide Web)
1991: Britain fights alongside the USA against Iraq
1993: In 1993, Robert Campbell Aird receives the first bionic arm, the "Edinburgh Modular Arm System", at the Margaret Rose Hospital in Edinburgh
1994: the "Chunnel" between Britain and France opens
1996: the "mad cow disease" spreads in Britain and millions of cows have to be slaughtered
Apr 1996: Martin Bryant kills 35 people in Port Arthur, Australia, and Australia decides to confiscate 650,000 guns to reduce gun violence
1997: Britain cedes Hong Kong back to China
1997: Tony Blair of the Labour Party is elected prime minister, the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812
1997: Joanne Kathleen Rowling publishes the first Harry Potter book, destined to become a world-wide phenomenon
1997: British biologist Ian Wilmut clones a sheep, Dolly.
1997: Lady Diana dies in a mysterious car accident
1998: Britain and northern Ireland agree on a solution for autonomy
Aug 1998: Kevin Warwick, a Cybernetic scientist, becomes the first human to be implanted a microchip
1999: Scotland inaugurates its own Parliament
1999: NATO bombs Serbia to stop repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
2000: the serial killer Harold Shipman, a doctor, is sentenced to life in prison for murdering 15 patients while working at a hospital, but is suspected to have killed between 215 and 260 people over a 23-year period, mainly elderly women, by lethal injection.
2000: Youstol Dispage Fromscaruffi dies
2000: Eva Morris dies at 115, the oldest British person of all time
2000: British and American biologists decipher the entire human DNA
2001: Britain fights alongside the USA against Afghanistan
2003: British Airways retires the supersonic jet Concorde
2003: Tony Blair and George W Bush order the invasion of Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein
2003: Tony Blair admits that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction (which was the reason to invade Iraq)
2004: manufacturing accounts for only 18% of the British economy
2004: Britain allows immigration from eight eastern European countries
2004: There are 1.8 million Muslims in Britain
2004: the unemployment rate plunges to 4.7%, the lowest in 30 years
2004: The USA and Australia sign a free-trade treaty
2005: the price of oil reaches an all-time record
2005: Tony Blair is reelected and becomes the first Labour politician to be prime minister for three terms
2005: Four Pakistani suicide bombers kill 55 people in London
2005: the IRA (Irish Republican Army) gives up its armed struggle for a united Ireland
2006: Royal Dutch Shell posts the largest profit of any company in British history
2007: explosives-rigged cars are found in London
Jan 2007: Australian hacker Julian Assange launches the website WikiLeaks
2007: Joanne Kathleen Rowling's "Harry Potter" books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide
2007: crash of the stock markets worldwide, triggered by the crisis of USA sub-prime mortgage lenders
2005: Tony Blair resigns and is succeeded by Gordon Brown
2007: Britain has plutonium for 17,000 nuclear bombs
2008: Indian car manufacturer Tata buys Jaguar
2008: The British economy goes into a recession after 16 years of growth
sep 2008: Crash of the stock markets worldwide, triggered by the collapse of USA banks
oct 2008: The British economy shrinks for the first time in 16 years and the pound has its biggest one-day drop against the dollar since 1971 on Oct 24
december 2008: The London stock market loses 31% in 2008, the worst loss in 24 years
december 2008: The population of Britain is 61.4 million, the biggest increase in population in almost 50 years
september 2009: The British stock market posts the best three months in 25 years
2009: For the first time Britain has more people who have no religion than people who are Christian
may 2010: The Conservatives win elections, ending 13 years of Labour rule, and David Cameron becomes Britain's new prime minister, the youngest since 1812
jun 2010: A gunman kills 12 people in England
nov 2010: Unable to pay its debt, Ireland applies for a loan from the European Union
jul 2011: Rupert Murdoch's media empire News Corporation is rocked by a scandal about "phone hacking" by his tabloid News of the World, which has to shut down after 168 years of publication
2011: The USA has 413 billionaires, China has 115 billionaires, Russia 101, India 55, Germany 52, Britain 32, Brazil 30, and Japan 26
Aug 2011: Bloody riots erupt in London's Afro-Caribbean neighborhood of Tottenham following the government's decision to cut welfare programs
Oct 2011: Protests against the financial world spread from the USA to Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Athens, Berlin, Rome and London
2011: Australia holds about 40% of the world's uranium
Dec 2011: 26 countries of the European Union, led by Germany, agree on a treaty to enforce fiscal and financial discipline on countries that adopt the euro, leaving Britain out
Jun 2013: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation spins off its entertainment branch as Twenty-First Century Fox
Oct 2013: Britain approves construction of the first new nuclear power plant in a generation (the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset)
2013: Kevin Rudd becomes Australia's prime minister for the second time, while Australia enjoys its 22nd year of consecutive economic growth
2014: Same-sex marriage is legalized in England and Wales
2014: 1.5 million immigrants have moved to Britain since 2004, mostly from Poland
Sep 2014: A referendum on Scotland's independence from England
Oct 2014: The USA and Britain withdraw from Afghanistan after the USA has lost more than 2,000 soldiers and Britain more than 400
2015: Net migration to Britain rises to 333,000 in 2015, the second-highest since records began in 1975
Jan 2016: A British investigation concludes that Alexander Litvinenko was killed by the Russian secret services
May 2016: Sadiq Khan is the first Muslim elected mayor of London
Jun 2016: The majority of British people (mostly in England) vote in a referendum to leave the European Union, stock markets plunge worldwide losing more than 2 trillion dollars in value and the British pound falls to its lowest level in 30 years, Cameron resigns and Theresa May of the same party replaces him to carry out "Brexit" negotiations
2016: Electricity production in Britain comes from gas (42%), renewables (25%), nuclear (21%) and coal (9%)
May 2017: 22 people are killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manchester
Jun 2017: ISIS attacks kill 8 people in London
Jun 2017: About 80 people died in a fire at a residential tower in London, the Grenfell Tower
Oct 2017: New Zealand elects the 37-years-old Jacinda Ardern as prime minister, the youngest ever
Nov 2017: More than 13 million documents (the "Paradise Papers") by the Bermuda law firm Appleby are leaked to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and provided to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, exposing secrets of corporations and billionaires
Mar 2018: Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who defected to the West, is poisoned in Britain
Apr 2018: The USA, Britain and France bomb Syria in retaliation for Syria's use of chemical weapons
May 2019: Theresa May resigns having failed to reach a Brexit deal
Jul 2019: The Tories appoint Brexit leader Boris Johnson as prime minister
Sep 2019: Rupert Murdoch sells Sky television to Comcast
2019: Disney acquires Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox
Oct 2019: 39 illegal immigrants (all Vietnamese) are found dead in a shipping container
Dec 2019: National elections hand the Conservative Party its biggest victory since 1987 while Labour faces the worst result since 1935, although parties that oppose Brexit win 52% of the votes while pro-Brexit parties win only 46%
Jan 2020: A Chinese coronavirus spreads in Europe
Feb 2020: Britain leaves the European Union
Mar 2020: The Covid-19 epidemic causes panic, the stock market crashes and the pound falls to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 ($1.15)
Nov 2020: Britain has the highest death toll from covid in Europe
2020: Hit by Brexit and the covid pandemic, Britain's economy shrinks by 9.9% in 2020, the worst recession since 1709
Jul 2021: Billionaire Richard Branson flies his own rocket to outer space
Sep 2021: The USA, Britain and Australia sign a security pact and Australia receives the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines
Dec 2021: Britain's inflation surges to a 30-year high of 5.4%
Dec 2021: Britain's economy grows 7.5% in 2021 after plunging 9.4% in 2020 due to the covid pandemic
Jan 2022: British secret services claim that Russia is plotting to overthrow the government of Ukraine and install a puppet president, Yevgeniy Murayev
2022: NATO singles out China as its strategic challenge
May 2022: Britain and Japan sign a military agreement
May 2022: Britain's inflation is 9.1%, the highest in 40 years
Jul 2022: The heads of British and US security services jointly warn against Chinese cyber espionage aimed at stealing Western technology
Jul 2022: Boris Johnson resigns after a series of scandals
Jul 2022: Britain records a temperature of 40 degrees for the first time
Sep 2022: Boris Johnson is forced to resign after a series of scandals and Liz Truss is appointed Britain's prime minister
Sep 2022: The British pound hits a 51-year low of $1.08
Sep 2022: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, dies after 70 years on the throne and is succeeded by her son king Charles III
Sep 2022: India overtakes Britain as the world’s fifth-largest economy
Oct 2022: Truss resigns after only 45 days and Rishi Sunak becomes the new prime minister, the first British-Indian to become prime minister, the son of east Africans of Indian origin
Oct 2022: Britain is the only country in Europe with an economy that is smaller now than it was before the covid pandemic started
Nov 2022: Polls show that 56% of the British public think that Britain was wrong to leave the European Union and only 32% think it was right, and polls show that 52% of people in Scotland support independence up from 23% in 2012

British Monarchs

Egbert (802-39)
Aethelwulf (839-55)
Aethelbald (855-60)
Aethelbert (860-6)
Aethelred (866-71)
Alfred the Great (871-99)
Edward the Elder (899-925)
Athelstan (925-40)
Edmund the Magnificent (940-6)
Eadred (946-55)
Eadwig (Edwy) All-Fair (955-59)
Edgar the Peaceable (959-75)
Edward the Martyr (975-78)
Aethelred the Unready (978-1016)
Edmund Ironside (1016)
Svein Forkbeard (1014)
Canute the Great (1016-35)
Harald Harefoot (1035-40)
Hardicanute (1040-42)
Edward the Confessor (1042-66)
Harold II (1066)
William I the Conqueror (1066-87)
William II Rufus (1087-1100)
Henry I Beauclerc (1100-35)
Stephen (1135-54)
Empress Matilda (1141)
Henry II Curtmantle (1154-89)
Richard I the Lionheart (1189-99)
John Lackland (1199-1216)
Henry III (1216-72)
Edward I Longshanks (1272-1307)
Edward II (1307-27)
Edward III (1327-77)
Richard II (1377-99)
Henry IV Bolingbroke (1399-1413)
Henry V (1413-22)
Henry VI (1422-61, 1470-1)
Edward IV (1461-70, 1471-83)
Edward V (1483)
Richard III Crookback (1483-5)

Henry VII Tudor (1485-1509)
Henry VIII (1509-47)
Edward VI (1547-53)
Lady Jane Grey (1553)
Mary I Tudor (1553-58)
Elizabeth I (1558-1603)

James I (1603-25)
Charles I (1625-49)
Oliver Cromwell (1649-58)
Richard Cromwell (1658-59)
Charles II (1660-85)
James II (1685-88)
William III, Mary II (1689-1702)
Anne (1702-14)

George I (1714-27)
George II (1727-60)
George III (1760-1820)
George IV (1820-30)
William IV (1830-37)
Victoria (1837-1901)
Edward VII (1901-10)
George V (1910-36)
Edward VIII (1936)
George VI (1936-52)
Elizabeth II (1952-present)

Prime Ministers

Robert Walpole: 1721-42
Spencer Compton: 1742-43
Henry Pelham: 1743-54
Thomas Pelham-Holles: 1754-56
William Cavendish: 1756-57
William Pitt: 1757-61
Thomas Pelham-Holles: 1761-62
John Stuart: 1762-63
George Grenville: 1763-65
Charles Watson-Wentworth: 1765-66
William Pitt: 1766-68
Augustus Fitzroy: 1768-70
Frederick North: 1770-82
Charles Watson-Wentworth: 1782
William Petty FitzMaurice: 1782-83
William Henry Cavendish Bentinck: 1783
William Pitt the Younger: 1783-1801
Henry Addington: 1783-1804
William Pitt the Younger: 1804-06
William Wyndham Grenville: 1806-07
William Henry Cavendish Bentinck: 1807-09
Spencer Perceval: 1809-12
Robert Banks Jenkinson: 1812-27
George Canning: 1827
Frederick John Robinson: 1827-28
Arthur Wellesley: 1828-30
Charles Grey: 1830-34
William Lamb: 1834
Robert Peel: 1834-35
William Lamb: 1835-41
Robert Peel: 1841-46
John Russell: 1846-52
Lord Derby: 1852
Lord Derby: 1858-59
Lord Palmerston: 1855-65
Lord Derby: 1866-68
William Gladstone: 1868-74
Benjamin Disraeli: 1874-80
William Gladstone: 1880-85
Lord Salisbury: 1885-86
William Gladstone: 1896
Lord Salisbury: 1886-92
William Gladstone: 1892-94
Archibald Philip Primrose Rosebery: 1894-95
Lord Salisbury: 1895-1901
Arthur James Balfour: 1902-05
Henry Campbell-Bannerman: 1905-08
Herbert Henry Asquith: 1908-16
David Lloyd George: 1916-22
Andrew Bonar Law: 1922-23
Stanley Baldwin: 1923-24
Ramsey MacDonald: 1924
Stanley Baldwin: 1924-29
Ramsey MacDonald: 1929-35
Stanley Baldwin: 1935-37
Neville Chamberlain: 1937-40
Winston Churchill: 1940-45
Clement Atlee: 1945-51
Winston Churchill: 1951-55
Anthony Eden: 1955-57
Harold Macmillan: 1957-63
Alexander Douglas-Home: 1963-64
Harold Wilson: 1964-70
Edward Heath: 1970-74
Harold Wilson: 1974-76
James Callaghan: 1976-79
Margaret Thatcher: 1979-90
John Major: 1990-97
Tony Blair: 1997- 2007
Gordon Brown: 2007-10
David Cameron: 2010-16
Theresa May: 2016-19
Boris Johnson: 2019-22
Liz Truss: 2022-22
Rishi Sunak: 2022-

World News | Politics | History | Editor
(Copyright © 1999-2020 Piero Scaruffi)