Major Events in British History

Major events in British history. This historic theme is an intriguing look at events that have changed the course of history, either on a local or national scale.

  • Business and Industry - why is it important in family history?
  • The Appeal of 1950's Cuba
  • Britain After Waterloo the British Disillusion
  • John Wilkinson Ironmaster
  • James Watt Industrial Revolution
  • Katherine Swynford Mistress of John of Gaunt
  • After The Battle of Waterloo
  • What Caused the Industrial Revolution?
  • VE Day 1945 King George VI Speech
  • Duke of Wellington Battle of Waterloo 1815
  • Great Fire of London 1666

Use the timeline and map to explore the events we have chosen and if you disagree let us know via our Contact page

In the meantime a quick exposition of this theme. Some historical events do not fit into a definite theme, they are things that happen, quite often in a narrow timescale that are cataclysmic in their effects.

It is difficult to imagine how a country, how communities dealt with events such as the Great Fire of London. Where did people go, how did they begin again with no money or clothes? How did the local powers re-build the city of London and how long did it take, who paid for it’s re-building?

What were the consequences of the Black Death, who stepped up to take charge and re-form communities? Did leaders naturally emerge from those who survived or were they pushed to the forefront?

We struggle to cope with major weather events today. What did people do when the temperature plummeted to -15 C during the mini ice of the middle ages? What strategies did people use to survive?

We know the outcome of the potato famine in Ireland and all over Europe, the mass migration of people to America, Canada and Australia but what about the people left behind? How did Irish communities begin to flourish again and what help did they receive?

All such events have multiple impacts on societies and sometimes the simplest decisions have the biggest. The introduction of the Speenhamland System is one such decision, done with the best of intentions but with the most disastrous of results.

 

Major events in British History

King Henry V

King Henry V

King Henry V of England is portrayed as a a great military ruler, Shakespeare did his best to represent Henry as a ‘golden King’ but was he really a cruel and aloof man whose autocratic leadership, piety and belief he was God’s chosen put him at odds with those he ruled?

Henrietta Vansittart Engineer

Henrietta Vansittart Engineer

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Women Inventors, Scientists and Engineers

Henrietta Vanstittart b.1833, was a woman who seemed to flout convention. She was a self taught engineer, a married woman with a high profile lover, Edward Lytton.

The Cult of Chivalry

The Cult of Chivalry

The cult of chivalry was born out of the military culture that existed in the 11th century Chivalry was a code of honour for military warriors to follow. These men came from part of the elite ‘aristocratic’ society that existed at the time. Quite literally, the word chivalry came from the French word ‘chevalerie’ meaning…

The Appeal of 1950’s Cuba

The Appeal of 1950’s Cuba

The appeal of 1950’s Cuba echos down the decades drawing tourists to the island for decades. Will it change as Cuba embraces the hand held out by the US?

Margaret Pole Who Was She?

Margaret Pole Who Was She?

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series Intriguing Women

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series Intriguing WomenMargaret Pole was an intriguing and complex character. One of the few survivors of the Plantagenet dynasty after the wars of the 15th Century she was executed under the orders of King Henry VIII in 1541, aged sixty seven years old. So what happened…

Britain After Waterloo the British Disillusion

Britain After Waterloo the British Disillusion

What happened to Britain after Waterloo? What did the victory mean to the population and why was there a British disillusion for the following 20 years? Britain seemed to implode as an economic bomb went off under her feet.

John Wilkinson Ironmaster

John Wilkinson Ironmaster

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Industrial Revolution

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Industrial RevolutionJohn Wilkinson was the ‘Ironmaster’ of the industrial revolution Iron  ran through the veins of John Wilkinson, who was fortunate enough to be born into the heart of the industrial revolution, both literally and figuratively. He was born in 1728, the son of Isaac…

James Watt Industrial Revolution

James Watt Industrial Revolution

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Industrial Revolution

James Watt the inventor of the steam engine and the industrial revolution was driven by steam but he was a man with a ferociously keen scientific mind that dabbled in many areas. This is an introduction to one of Britain’s finest engineers, we salute James Watt and his steam engines.

Katherine Swynford Mistress of John of Gaunt

Katherine Swynford Mistress of John of Gaunt

This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series Intriguing Women

This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series Intriguing WomenKatherine Swynford, the love of John of Gaunts life? Katherine Swynford, another one of those intriguing medieval woman to explore, she was a daughter of  Payne Roët of Guienne in France, who was born about 1310. He was a knight and herald from Hainaut who…

Sir John Beauchamp

Sir John Beauchamp

Sir John Beauchamp of Holt was a Medieval nobleman who supported King Richard II during the 100 Years War but was accused of treason by the ‘Miserable Parliament’ of 1388 and executed.

After The Battle of Waterloo

After The Battle of Waterloo

Britain after the Battle of Waterloo was thrown into a state of turmoil. A depression in part caused by the end of the war, left a divided society.

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Major Events Timeline

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DATEMAJOR EVENT
1190Massacre of the Jews at York. A fire in York was blamed on the Jews living there. Baruch, a leading Jew had been killed six months previously. His house was the first target of the mob, his family and friends were murdered. The remaining Jews in York sought safety in the castle, in Clifford’s Tower , here they were besieged for several days, eventually a fire forced their hand and threatened with forced conversion, most took their own lives. The remainder were promised baptism and survival, but were murdered as they left the tower.
1290Expulsion of the Jews. King Edward I issued the Edict of Expulsion giving Jews three months to leave England. Edward was desperate for money. He had recently expelled Jews from his Gascon territories, relieving them of their good.Edward entered into a bargain with parliament which allowed him to levy a swingeing tax in return for forcing the small Jewish community out of England.
1308Knights Templars disbanded. The Templars existed to guide and protect pilgrims in the Holy Lands, they ammased wealth in their role as bankers to the pilgrims. In 1307 Philip IV of France used rumours of Templar heresy as an excuse to seize their wealth. He placed the Pope under pressure to command other monarchs to follow suit. King Edward II rather reluctantly did so. The order was dissolved and its lands given largely to the Knights Hospitallers.
1381The Peasants Revolt. The Black Death had reduced the labour force, wages and control of the ob market began to swing the way of the peasants but laws holding down wages and preventing movement of workers, soon put paid to that. The imposition of a third poll tax by King Richard and his regent John of Guant was seen as a step too far, people were tiring of financing foreign wars. Trouble flared when peasants refused to pay the tax. The rebels marched on London gathering pace but the result of this revolution was victory for the King and the execution of the rebels leaders. The revolution was put down

1348 - 1350Black Death. Raged throughout England. 1.5 million people out of an estimated total of 4 million people died between 1348 and 1350. It arrived through a port on the south coast and spread rapidly through the country. It's impact on society was devastating.
1474Caxtons printed his first book. Caxton produced the first book printed in the English language, a copy of his translation of le Fevre.In 1476 Caxton set up a printing press in England, at Westminster, the first known publication from this being The Dictes or Sayingis of the Philosophres, dated 18th November 1477.
1577Drakes first voyage around the world and the world and trade opens up for Britain
1600East India Company Chartered. Queen Elizabeth granted the company a monopoly on trade in the East Indies for 15 years and sespite a few ups and downs it remained a major force in India until the Indian Mutiny. At one point the East India Company controlled 50 per cent of world trade, it was responsible for founding Hong Kong and Singapore as trading centres. It was at the heart and in some ways the creator of the British Empire.
1605The Gunpowder Plot. The repression of the Catholics began under the Tudors by the time of King James I they were still considered second class citizens and a plot was hatched to blow up the King and Parliament and force the re-establishment of the old faith. It was discovered and those implicated brought to trial.
1607 These pioneers left Britain on board the Discovery, the Godspeed and the Susan Constant. Their journey and attempt to take root in the new land of America is a story of courage and perseverance and it was the begining of opening up the West to European settlement . List of first settler surnames Jamestown
1642The English Civil War begins, changing the face of Britain and turning neighbour upon neighbour and family upon family. It has a dvastating effect on society as does the Commonwealth period that follows.
1666 On 2nd Sep 1666Great Fire of London 1666started and raged for five days destroying much of the property in the City of London
1689The Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights, more formally An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown. A very important Bill that is at the heart of our uncodified constitution.
1720South Sea bubble bursts
1770Cook reaches Australia after mapping New Zealand. He heads off in search of Tasmania but trumps up on the shore of Australia
1773The Boston Tea Party. The American colonists were determined they would not pay taxes to a parliament they had no sight of. The Boston Tea Party was one rather momentous niggle in the lead up to the American Revolution. There had been confrontation between the colonists and British authorities over taxation, with the Stamp Act withdrawn to appease the Americans. There were vested interests involved in the tea trade and the resulting fracas over tea and tax pushed the colonists to the limit. The result, a dumping of the very expensive product, tea, into the harbour.
1776American colonies declare their Independence from Britain and in that declaration one of the most moving pronouncements “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,”
1783The eruption of the Laki volcano in Iceland brought horrendous conditions to Britain. Unbearable heat, then the Laki choking fog created by dust. Thousands died. This was then followed by a freezing winter. The final death toll from this major event is not known.
1788Botany Bay founded. The First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay Australia delivering more than 700 convicts
1789Storming of the Bastille in France and Britain shudders at the possible consequences of such an action. The begining of the French Wars.
1796Smallpox Vaccination 1853
1807, Pall Mall, the world never looks quite the same againGas lights and the lamplighters 1807
1825The first steam railway opens, A 26 mile line was constructed between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees, intended to serve the coal industry. So begins the age of railways that will change the face of Britain forever.
1831Darwin sets sail on the Beagle and so begins the amazing journey to the Theory of Evolution that will turn science on it's head.
1834Britain abolishes slavery
1837 The first railway terminus at Euston 1837rong>Euston Station
1857Sheffield Football Club founded worlds oldest club
1867 is perforIntroduction of Antiseptics 1867med
1903The women's suffragette movement is formed. Emmeline Pankhurst and five other women formed a new action group initially they used non-violent protest to gain publicity for their cause but it was not having the impact they thought was needed and they became more extreme, with many of them being imprisoned for their actions.