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British History


  British Monarchs
43 AD: Roman emperor Claudius invades Britain  
50 AD: the Romans found Londinium in Britain  
80 AD: the Romans invade Caledonia (Scotland) Egbert (802-39)
122: Hadrian's Wall is built along the northern frontier to protect from the Barbarians Aethelwulf (839-55)
314 AD: British bishops are summoned to the council of Arles Aethelbald (855-60)
350: the missionary Ninian establishes the church Candida Casa at Whithorn in Galloway, Scotland Aethelbert (860-6)
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) Aethelred (866-71)
450: Saxons invade England, while the rest is split among Welsh kingdoms of Rheged, Gododdin and Strathclyde Alfred the Great (871-99)
450: the Saxon invasion prompts Roman-British inhabitants of Britain to migrate to northern France (Brittany) Edward the Elder (899-925)
455: the Saxon leader Hengist takes over the kingdom of Kent and founds their capital at Canterbury Athelstan (925-40)
476: the Saxon leader Aelle founds the kingdom of Sussex (South Saxons) Edmund the Magnificent (940-6)
503: most Scots leave Ireland and build the kingdom of Dalriada in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland Eadred (946-55)
532: the Saxon Cerdic founds the kingdom of Wessex (West Saxons) Eadwig (Edwy) All-Fair (955-59)
540: the monk Gildas writes the "De Excidio Britanniae" Edgar the Peaceable (959-75)
544: Ciaran founds the monastery of Clonmacnoise in Ireland Edward the Martyr (975-78)
550: the Saxon kingdoms of East Saxons (Essex) and Middle Saxons (Middlesex) are established Aethelred the Unready (978-1016)
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 Edmund Ironside (1016)
590: England is divided among several kingdoms (Kent, Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, etc) Svein Forkbeard (1014)
597: Pope Gregory I dispatches Augustine to England with forty monks Canute the Great (1016-35)
See the timeline of Christianity Harald Harefoot (1035-40)
600: Taliesin and Aneirin write poems in old Welsh in Strathclyde Hardicanute (1040-42)
601: Augustine converts king Ethelbert of Kent and establishes the see of Canterbury with himself as its first archbishop Edward the Confessor (1042-66)
601: king Aethelbert of Kent promulgates the first English code of law Harold II (1066)
627: Pope Gregory I sends the Italian monk Paulinus to found the see of York and convert king Edwin of Northumbria William I the Conqueror (1066-87)
633: during the reign of the Saxon king Oswald conversion of Northumbria is completed William II Rufus (1087-1100)
635: Cynegils, king of Wessex, converts to Christianity Henry I Beauclerc (1100-35)
635: Iona bishop Aidan founds a monastic community in the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Scotland Stephen (1135-54)
664: the synod of Whitby brings the Celtic (English) church into conformity with Rome Empress Matilda (1141)
664: Iona monk Wilfrid is appointed bishop of York Henry II Curtmantle (1154-89)
668: the monk Theodore of Tarsus is appointed archbishop of Canterbury Richard I the Lionheart (1189-99)
670: the Anglosaxons convert to Christianity John Lackland (1199-1216)
674: Benedict Biscop founds the monastery of Wearmouth in Northumbria Henry III (1216-72)
681: Benedict Biscop, a native Anglosaxon, founds the monastery of Jarrow in Northumbria Edward I Longshanks (1272-1307)
685: king Ine of Wessex conquers Sussex, Devon and Cornwall Edward II (1307-27)
685: the defeat of king Ecgfrid ends the domination of Northumbria over England Edward III (1327-77)
687: the Vikings (Danes) destroy the monastery of Whitbey in England Richard II (1377-99)
690: English missionary Willibrord evangelizes in Holland and Denmark Henry IV Bolingbroke (1399-1413)
731: Bede of Jarrow (Northumbria) writes the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" Henry V (1413-22)
757: the kingdom of Mercia dominates England under king Offa Henry VI (1422-61, 1470-1)
793: Vikings (Danes) raid the monastery of Lindisfarne and destroy the monastery of Jarrow Edward IV (1461-70, 1471-83)
825: the Saxon king Egbert III of Wessex conquers Kent and Mercia, thus reigning over all of England Edward V (1483)
830: "Historia Brittonum" by Nennius Richard III Crookback (1483-5)
831: Vikings (Norse) invade Ireland and found Dublin  
834: Vikings (Danes) raid England Tudor
843: Kenneth MacAlpin unites the Scots and Picts in Scotland Henry VII Tudor (1485-1509)
865: the Vikings (Danes) invade East Anglia Henry VIII (1509-47)
867: the Vikings (Danes) under Ivarr the Boneless establish a kingdom in York, Northumbria Edward VI (1547-53)
871: Alfred becomes king of Wessex Lady Jane Grey (1553)
878: Wessex king Alfred defeats the Vikings (Danes) Mary I Tudor (1553-58)
896: Alfred occupies London and pushes the Danes outside Wessex and Mercia to the north of England Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
899: Alfred's son Edward becomes king of Wessex  
90#: The "Beowulf" is written Stuart
910: Alfred's son Edward defeats the Danes and annexes to Wessex every town south of the river Humber James I (1603-25)
924: Edward's son Aethelstan becomes king of Wessex Charles I (1625-49)
927: Wessex king Aethelstan conquers most of England, except the five boroughs of Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby and Stamford Oliver Cromwell (1649-58)
937: Aethelstan defeats the Danes at the battle of Brunanburgh and establishes the kindgom of England Richard Cromwell (1658-59)
959: Edgar the Peaceful becomes the first king of a united England Charles II (1660-85)
968: Brian Boru expels the Vikings from Ireland James II (1685-88)
1000: 7 million people live in France, 7 million in Iberia, 5 million in Italy, 4 million in Germany, 2 million in Britain William III, Mary II (1689-1702)
1005: Malcolm II kills Kenneth III and becomes King of Scotlant Anne (1702-14)
1013: the Danish chieftain Svend Forkbeard (Svend I) invades England  
1016: the Danish king Canute (Knut) II defeats the Wessex king Edmund at the battle of Alney and annexes Mercia Hannover
1017: Edmund of Wessex dies and Canute annexes Wessex George I (1714-27)
1017: Canute converts to christianity George II (1727-60)
1028: Canute, already king of England and Denmark, conquers Norway George III (1760-1820)
1034: king Duncan of Strathclyde conquers most of Scotland George IV (1820-30)
1035: Canute dies, leaving Denmark and England to Hardacnut and Norway to Swein William IV (1830-37)
1040: MacBeth kills Duncan and becomes King of Scotlant Victoria (1837-1901)
1042: Hardacnut dies suddenly and Edward the Confessor, heir to both Wessex and Mercia, regains the throne of England to the Anglosaxons Edward VII (1901-10)
1065: Westminster Abbey is inaugurated George V (1910-36)
  Edward VIII (1936)
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 George VI (1936-52)
1070: Lanfranc, an Italian lawyer, becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, establishing the primacy of the see of Canterbury over York Elizabeth II (1952-present)
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 Prime Ministers
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 Robert Walpole - 1721-42
1113: the order of St John is founded Spencer Compton - 1742-43
1114: Matilda (Maud), daughter of king Henry I of England, marries emperor Heinrich V Henry Pelham 1743-54
1124: David becomes King of Scotland and extends his reign Thomas Pelham-Holles - 1754-56
1129: emperor Heinrich V dies and empress Matilda marries Geoffrey the Handsome, Count of Anjou William Cavendish - 1756-57
1130: Geoffrey of Monmouth creates the myth of Arthur William Pitt - 1757-61
1139: Matilda claims the throne of England Thomas Pelham-Holles 1761-62
1141: Matilda is briefly queen of England before being usurped of the throne John Stuart - 1762-63
1153: Henry of Anjou, son of Matilda and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, invades England, George Grenville - 1763-65
1154: Henry II Plantagenet is crowned king of England, establishing the Plantagenet dynasty over England, Burgundy and Aquitaine Charles Watson-Wentworth - 1765-66
1154: an Englishman is elected Pope Adrian IV William Pitt - 1766-68
1164: Henry II's constituion of Clarendon limits the authority of the Pope over English matters Augustus Fitzroy - 1768-70
1176: Henry II establishes the "common law" of England Frederick North 1770-82
1189: Richard I "Coeur de Lion", son of Henry II, becomes king of England and continues the rule of the Plantagenets Charles Watson-Wentworth 1782
1189: the third Crusade is led by king Richard of England, king Philippe Auguste II of France, and emperor Friedrich Barbarossa William Petty FitzMaurice - 1782-83
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 William Henry Cavendish Bentinck - 1783
1199: John Lackland, son of Henry II, becomes king of England William Pitt the Younger - 1783-1801
1200: the Jews are expelled from England Henry Addington - 1783-1804
1203: Philippe Auguste II of France conquers Normandy and expels the English William Pitt the Younger - 1804-06
1209: Cambridge University is founded William Wyndham Grenville - 1806-07
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 William Henry Cavendish Bentinck - 1807-09
1215: king John I Lackland is forced by the English barons to sign the "Magna Carta", a constitution that grants rights to the nobility, the clergy and the townspeople Spencer Perceval - 1809-12
1216: Henry III becomes king of England Robert Banks Jenkinson - 1812-27
1265: Simon de Montfort, leader of the barons, summons popular representatives to Parliament George Canning - 1827
1272: Edward I becomes king of England Frederick John Robinson - 1827-28
1283: the first mechanical clock in the world is installed in an English monastery (Dunstable) Arthur Wellesley - 1828-30
1284: Edward I annexes Wales Charles Grey - 1830-34
1290: Edward I expells all Jews from England William Lamb - 1834
1295: Edward I inaugurates the first representative parliament, the "Model Parliament", which features bishops, abbots, peers, knights and town representatives Robert Peel- 1834-35
1296: Edward I of England annexes Scotland William Lamb - 1835-41
1306: Scottish king Robert Bruce rebels to the English Robert Peel- 1841-46
1307: Edward II becomes king of England John Russell - 1846-52
1314: Robert Bruce defeats Edward II at the battle of Bannockburn and regains Scotland's independence Lord Derby - 1852
1327: Edward II is deposed by the parliament and replaced with his son Edward III Lord Derby - 1858-59
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 Lord Palmerston - 1855-65
1333: Edward III invades Scotland Lord Derby - 1866-68
1334: the first gunpowder is manufactured in England Benjamin Disraeli - 1868
1337: Philippe VI of France and Edward III of England go to war over France ("Hundred Years' War") William Gladstone - 1868-74
1340: English knights and burgesses join in the House of Commons Benjamin Disraeli - 1874-80
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 William Gladstone - 1880-85
1348: the plague ("Black Death") reaches England (1.5 people will die, out of a population of 4 million) Lord Salisbury - 1885-86
1356: England captures the French king and one third of France at the battle of Poitiers William Gladstone - 1896
1364: Charles V liberates France from England Lord Salisbury - 1886-92
1371: Robert II, grandson of Robert Bruce, establishes the Stuart line on the Scottish throne William Gladstone - 1892-94
1381: the Oxford theologian John Wyclif denies that the substance of bread and wine are miraculously changed during the Eucharist Archibald Philip Primrose Rosebery - 1894-95
1381: Popular riots erupt against a new tax (the "Great Revolt") Lord Salisbury - 1895-1901
1394: Richard II invades Ireland Arthur James Balfour 1902-05
1399: Henry Bollingbroke, the son of the richest man (John of Gaunt) overthrows Richard II and becomes king Henry IV Henry Campbell-Bannerman 1905-08
1401: Henry IV issues a statute legalizing the persecution of "heretics" (mainly Lollards) Herbert Henry Asquith - 1908-16
1413: Henry V succeeds his father to the throne of England David Lloyd George 1916-22
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 Andrew Bonar Law 1922-23
1420: England seizes northern France Stanley Baldwin - 1923-24
1422: Henry VI becomes king of England Ramsey MacDonald - 1924
1429: the French army, led by Jeanne d'Arc, triumphs at Orleans Stanley Baldwin - 1924-29
1431: the English burn Jeanne d'Arc at the stakes Ramsey MacDonald - 1929-35
1431: Henry VI of England is crowned king of France in Paris Stanley Baldwin - 1935-37
1450: Jack Cade's popular rebellion of peasants and workers against taxes and oppression Neville Chamberlain - 1937-40
1452: Henry VI of England goes mad Winston Churchill - 1940-45
1453: France expels the English (end of the "Hundred Years' War" with English defeat) Clement Atlee - 1945-51
1455: The royal houses of York and Lancaster fight a civil war ("War of the Roses") to succeed the mad Henry VI Winston Churchill - 1951-55
1461: Edward IV of York deposes Henry VI Lancaster and lets Richard Neville run the country on his behalf Anthony Eden - 1955-57
1471: Edward IV defeats Margaret of Anjou while both the renegade Richard Neville and Henry VI are murdered by his men Harold Macmillan - 1957-63
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 Alexander Douglas-Home - 1963-64
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 Harold Wilson - 1964-70
1486: Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York, thus uniting houses of York and Lancaster Edward Heath - 1970-74
1496: the Italian explorer John Cabot sails from England to Canada (thinking he has reached Asia) on behalf of the king of England Harold Wilson - 1974-76
1497: John Cabot discovers Newfoundland James Callaghan - 1976-79
1497: Henry VII defeats the last pretender to the throne and restores peace to the kingdom Margaret Thatcher - 1979-90
1509: Henry VIII becomes king of England John Major - 1990-97
1518: Thomas More publishes "Utopia" Tony Blair - 1997- 2007
1529: Henry VIII accepts the Protestant Reformation Gordon Brown - 2007-
1533: Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn and is 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  
1540: Thomas Cromwell is executed  
1544: Henry VIII and emperor Karl V invade France  
1553: Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, becomes queen of England and returns England to Catholicism, while hundreds of Protestants are burned at the stakes  
1558: Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, becomes queen of England and England becomes Protestant again and Catholics are persecuted  
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  
1576: the first British theater opens in London  
1580: Francis Drake sails around the world  
1586: Francis Drake sails to the West Indies  
1587: England executes Mary Stuart, former queen of Scotland and heir to the English throne, the for conspiring against queen Elizabeth I  
1587: Francis Drake destroys the Spanish fleet at Cadiz  
1588: Philip 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  
1607: John Smith founds the colony of Virginia  
1609: England conquers the Bermudas in America  
1614: the Scottish mathematician John Napier coins the word "logarithm" and publishes the first logarithmic table  
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)  
1625: Charles I, King of England (to 1649); Charles I marries Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII of France; dissolves Parliament which fails to vote him money  
1628: John Felton assassinates George Villiers, the duke of Buckingham  
1630: England signs peace treaties with France and Spain and abandons the "Thirty Years' War"  
1642: a civil war opposes king Charles I and the Parliament  
1645: Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeats king Charles I  
1648: the "Peace of Westphalia" ends the Thirty Years' War  
1649: Cromwell crushes a Catholic uprising in Ireland  
1649: the Diggers promulgate a vision of a society free from private property and commerce  
1649: Charles I is executed and Cromwell declares the Commonwealth (the monarchy is suspended)  
1651: Cromwell defeats Scotland  
1651: Thomas Hobbes publishes the "Leviathan"  
1653: When the parliament fails to approve reforms by one vote, Cromwell aboliushes parliament and has himself nominated Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland  
1655: Britain conquers Jamaica from Spain  
1658: Oliver Cromwell dies  
1659: England and France defeat Spain  
1660: Charles II resumes the monarchy (end of the Commonwealth)  
1662: Founding of the Royal Society of Science  
1664: England seizes New Amsterdam from the Dutch and changes its name to New York  
1665: the plague reaches London  
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  
1670: Hudson's Bay Company is founded  
1675: the Royal Observatory opens at Greenwich  
1677: William III, king of the Netherlands, marries Mary, heir to the English throne  
1679: petitioners ("Whigs") call for a new Parliament while royalists ("Tories") side with king Charles II  
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: England (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")  
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  
1694: the Bank of England is founded  
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)  
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  
1707: the kingdoms of England and Scotland are formally united in Great Britain (Queen Anne Stuart becomes the first ruler of Great Britain)  
1709: the Copyright Act shifts ownership from printers to authors  
1711: Joseph Addison and Richard Steele found the "Spectator", the first magazine  
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 Stuart dies and is succeeded by George I, first king of the Hannover house  
1721: Robert Walpole is Britain's first prime minister  
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  
1757: James Watt makes the steam engine practical  
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  
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)  
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  
1774: Britain assigns Ohio to Quebec/Canada and recognizes Catholicism as the religion of Quebec/Canada  
1776: the American colonies ratifies the Declaration of Independence  
1776: Adam Smith publishes "The Wealth of the Nations", the manifesto of capitalism  
1779: John Wilkinson builds the first cast-iron bridge, the first large cast-iron structure  
1780: War erupts between Holland and Britain  
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 "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  
1788: India's governor Hastings is tried publicly in England for corruption  
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: Ireland is formally annexes to England  
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  
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)  
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  
1819: The "Savannah" completes the first transatlantic crossing by a steamboat  
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  
1829: George Stephenson builds the first steam locomotive train  
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)  
1833: Slavery is abolished  
1834: Britain abolishes slavery in the Cape colony (South Africa)  
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: 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 "black penny"  
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  
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  
1843: the first Christmas postcard is printed (in London)  
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  
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  
1849: Britain annexes the Sikh kingdom of Punjab and seizes the Koh-i-noor  
1851: gold is discovered in Australia  
1851: the first Universal Exhibition is held in London  
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: 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"  
1860: The population of the USA (31 million) passes the population of Britain (29 million)  
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  
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")  
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: Benjamin Disraeli (a Jew converted to Christianity) 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: Disreali becomes prime minister  
1874: The Fiji islands become a British colony  
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  
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  
1882: Britain occupies Egypt  
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  
1893: New Zealand is the first country to grant women the right to vote  
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: 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: Britain occupies Sudan  
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 negotiate the status of Persia, Tibet and Afghanistan  
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  
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  
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  
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)  
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: the first world war ends: 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.  
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: 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  
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  
1934: the Penguin publishing company is founded  
1935: Robert Watson-Watt builds the first radar  
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  
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  
1950: the first World Championship for drivers ("Formula One") is held, the first race being the British grand prix on the Silverstone circuit  
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  
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  
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  
1962: the Beatles debut  
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: 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, a technique invented by Robert Edwards  
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: 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 Italian football fans are killed by British hooligans at the Liverpool stadium  
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 died at the Liverpool stadium  
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  
1994: the "Chunnel" between Britain and France opens  
1996: the "mad cow disease" spreads in Britain and millions of cows have to be slaughtered  
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 times  
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: 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  
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 is rocked by a scandal about phone hacking by a tabloid  
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