George III, 1760-1820

Key Events

 1760  George III becomes king on the death of his grandfather, George II.
 1762  The Earl of Bute is appointed Prime Minister. Bute proves so unpopular that he needs to have a bodyguard.
 1763  Peace of Paris ends the Seven Years’ War.
 1765  Stamp Act raises taxes in American colonies.
 1766  William Pitt the Elder becomes prime minister
 1768  Richard Arkwright invents the spinning frame
 1769  Captain James Cook’s first voyage to explore the Pacific.
 1770  Lord North becomes Prime Minister.
 1770  James Cook lands in Botany Bay, South East Australia.
 1771  Encyclopaedia Britannica is first published.
 1772  John Harrisons H4 clock allows navigators to accurately measure longitude enabling long distance sea travel
 1772  Warren Hastings is appointed Governor General of India.
 1773  The world’s first cast-iron bridge is constructed over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale.
 1773  Boston Tea Party. American colonists protest against British taxes.
 1775  American War of Independence begins when colonists fight British troops at Lexington.
 1775  James Watt develops the steam engine.
 1776  On 4 July, the American Congress passes the Declaration of Independence.
 1780  Anti Catholic Gordon riots in London
 1781  Americans supported by the French fleet defeat British at Battle of Yorktown.
 1782  Ireland obtains a short-lived parliament.
 1783  On 3 Sept, The Treaty of Paris ends the American War of Independence. Britain recognizes American independence.
 1783  -1801 William Pitt the Younger serves as Prime Minister.
 1783  Robert (Robbie) Burns publishes his first book of poetry
 1788  George suffers his first attack of porphyria.
 1788  Colony of New South Wales established in Australia
 1789  Outbreak of the French Revolution. Storming of the Bastille.
 1791  Publication of James Boswell’s Life of Johnson and Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man.
 1793  King Louis XVI of France executed by guillotine
 1793  – 1802 War between Britain and France.
 1798  Nelson destroys French fleet at the Battle of the Nile
 1798  Wordsworth publishes Lyrical Ballads
 1798  Income Tax introduced
 1800  Act of Union with Ireland unites Parliaments of England and Ireland.
 1803  Beginning of Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon assembles a fleet for the invasion of England.
 1805  Nelson defeats French and Spanish fleets off Trafalgar, but is killed during the battle. Napoleon defeats the Russians at Austerlitz.
 1807  Slave Trade Act. William Wilberforce is successful in his campaign to abolish slave trade in the British Empire.
 1808  -1814 Peninsular War to drive the French out of Spain.
 1809  British defeat the French at the Battle of Corunna
 1810  Final illness of George III leads to his son becoming Regent in 1811.
 1812  Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated in the House of Commons by a disgruntled bankrupt
 1812  War of 1812 between the British and Americans. Several naval engagements. American forces stopped from invading Canada.
 1813  Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is published.
 1813  Monopoly of the East India company is abolished
 1814  Napoleon defeated at Laon and Toulouse. He abdicates but returns from Elba.
 1815  The defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo marks the end the Napoleonic Wars.
 1815  Corn Laws passed by Parliament to protect British agriculture from cheap imports
 1818  The King’s wife, Queen Charlotte, dies.
 1818  Publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
 1819  Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, of political reform campaigners.
 1820  Death of King George Ill, aged 81 years

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A collection of predominantly English coins from the Tudor era to the present day

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