Victoria, 1837-1901

Key Events

 1837  Victoria succeeds her uncle, William IV
 1838  Publication of People’s Charter. Start of Chartism.
 1839  First Afghan War. British Forces capture the fortress of Ghazi in Afghanistan.
 1839 – 42  First Opium War. Britain gains Hong Kong.
 1840  Victoria marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
 1840  The Penny Post is introduced. First postage stamp is the Penny Black.
 1840  First colonist settlement in New Zealand
 1841  Sir Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
 1842  End of First Opium War. Britain gains Hong Kong
 1843  Launch of SS Great Britain the worlds first all metal ship.
 1844  Railway building mania starts. 5,000 miles of track are built in Britain by 1846
 1845  – 1849 Irish Potato Famine kills more than a million people. Many emigrate to America.
 1846  Repeal of the Corn Laws
 1848  Major Chartist demonstration in London.
 1848  Pre-Raphaelite movement begins
 1849  Harrods store in London is opened
 1851  Great Exhibition takes place in Hyde Park. Its success is largely due to Prince Albert.
 1852  Death of the Duke of Wellington
 1853  Vaccination against smallpox made compulsory.
 1853  Victoria uses chloroform during the birth of Prince Leopold.
 1854  -1856 Crimean War fought by Britain and France against Russia.
 1854  Charge of the Light Brigade
 1854  10,000 die of cholera from contaminated water in London.
 1856  The Victoria Cross is instituted for military bravery.
 1856  David Livingstone discovers the Victoria Falls
 1857  -1858 Indian Mutiny against British rule.
 1858  Isambard Kingdom Brunel launches The Great Eastern, the largest ship in the world and the first with a double iron hull.
 1858  First trans-Atlantic telegraph service
 1859  Publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species.
 1861  Prince Albert dies of typhoid
 1861  – 65 Civil War in America. Southern states unsuccessfully seek to involve Britain which has sufficient cotton from Egypt and India, but needs the Union North’s grain.
 1863  The world’s first underground railway is opened in London
 1863  Edward, Prince of Wales, marries Alexandra of Denmark
 1863  The Salvation Army is founded.
 1863  The Football Association is founded.
 1865  Slavery is ended in America with Northern Union victory in the American Civil War
 1867  The Second Reform Bill doubles the franchise vote to two million.
 1867  Canada becomes the first independent dominion in the Empire.
 1867  Karl Marx publishes the first volume of Das Kapital
 1868  Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the first time.
 1869  The Irish Church is disestablished.
 1870  First Education Act. Primary education becomes compulsory.
 1870  Death of Charles Dickens
 1871  Trade Unions are legalized
 1872  Secret voting is introduced for elections.
 1872  Henry Stanley finds David Livingstone who had been missing in Africa.
 1874  Disraeli becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
 1875  Suez Canal shares purchased for Britain.
 1875  Thomas Moy demonstrates his Aerial Steamer the worlds first flying machine at Crystal Palace, London
 1876  Victoria becomes Empress of India.
 1876  Scots Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone
 1878  Second Afghan War. British defend the Kyber Pass.
 1878  William Booths Christian movement adopts the name The Salvation Army
 1879  Tay Bridge disaster
 1879  Zulu war, British troops massacred at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift
 1880  Gladstone succeeds Disraeli as Prime Minister
 1880  – 1881 First conflict with Boers in South Africa
 1883  British occupy Egypt
 1884  Third Reform Act all adult males given the vote.
 1884  Greenwich Meridian and Mean Time adopted
 1886  First Irish Home Rule Bill fails to pass House of Commons. Gladstone resigns as Prime Minister.
 1887  Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee. She has ruled for 50 years.
 1887  Independent Labour Party is founded.
 1891  Free schooling is introduced. 11 years later school attendance becomes compulsory for all children.
 1893  Second Irish Home Rule Bill fails to pass the House of Lords.
 1897  Victoria celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.
 1897  Marconi demonstrates wireless transmission across the Bristol Channel
 1899  -1902 Boer War in South Africa. Siege of Mafeking
 1900  Labour party founded
 1901  Queen Victoria dies, aged 81.

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

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