Timeline of British history

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This is a timeline of British history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of England, History of Wales, History of Scotland, History of Ireland, History of the formation of the United Kingdom and History of the United Kingdom.


Centuries: 1st BC  · 1st  · 2nd  · 3rd  · 4th  · 5th  · 6th  · 7th  · 8th  · 9th  · 10th  · 11th  · 12th  · 13th  · 14th  · 15th  · 16th  · 17th  · 18th  · 19th  · 20th  · 21st  · Refs

1st century BC

55 BC1 January [1] Roman General Julius Caesar invades Great Britain for the first time, gaining a beachhead on the coast of Kent.
54 BC?Caesar invades for the second time, gaining a third of the country. These two invasions are known as Caesar's invasions of Britain.

1st century

43? Aulus Plautius leads an army of forty thousand to invade Great Britain. Emperor Claudius makes Britain a part of the Roman Empire. This is known as the Roman conquest of Britain.
50? London is founded. [2] [3]
61? Boudica's organised rebellion against the Romans is defeated.

2nd century

122?Emperor Hadrian orders a wall to be built to mark Roman territory of Britain in the north.
197?Britain is divided into two parts - Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.

3rd century

3rd Century Britain: Wikipage

206?Governor Lucius Alfenus Senecio repairs Hadrian's Wall and appeals for help from the Emperor against the northern tribes.
208?Emperor Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla take personal command of the army in Britain.
209?Severus and Caracalla lead an expedition against the Caledonii, and build forts at Cramond and the Tay estuary.
210?Caracalla leads an expedition against the rebellious Maeatae tribe.
211?4 February – Severus dies at York, while preparing another expedition against the northern rebels.

Caracalla, now Emperor, abandons territory north of Hadrian's Wall, and returns to Rome

c. 214?Britain divided into two provinces, Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior, with administrative centres at London and York respectively
c. 220? Saxons raid south-east coast; forts built at Reculver and Branodunum (Brancaster).
245?Many thousands of acres of modern-day Lincolnshire are inundated by a great flood.
255?Work begins on a riverside wall in London.
259?Rebel leader Latinus Postumus proclaims Britain as part of his "Empire of the Gauls".
270?Construction of forts along the Saxon Shore begins in response to increased raiding.
273?Stone walls built around St Albans.
274?Postumus's Gallic Empire is reabsorbed into the Roman Empire under Aurelian.
277?Imperial edict lifts restrictions on British wine production.

General Victorinus puts down revolt, and settles Burgundian and Vandal prisoners in Britain.

286-296 Britannic Empire
287? Mausaeus Carausius takes power in Britain and proclaims himself Emperor
289?Carausius defeats Emperor Maximian in a naval battle.
293?Finance minister Allectus murders Carausius and seizes power; employs Frankish mercenaries.
296? Julius Constantius defeats Britons near Silchester, killing Allectus; prevents retreating Franks from sacking London
297?Re-building of forts near Hadrian's Wall begins.

Constantius returns to Gaul.

First mention on record of the Picts attacking from the north in Eumenius' Panegyrici Latini.

4th century

5th century

6th century

7th century

8th century

9th century

10th century

11th century

1017? Cnut the Great is crowned king of England in London.
103425 November Malcolm II of Scotland dies at Glamis. He is succeeded as king of Scotland by his grandson Duncan I the Diseased of Scotland.
103512 November Cnut dies. He is succeeded as king of England, Denmark and Norway by his son Harthacnut.
104017 March Harold Harefoot dies at Oxford. Harthacnut, his brother, succeeds him as king of England.
14 August Duncan the Diseased is killed in action at Elgin, Moray attempting to suppress a rebellion by Macbeth, King of Scotland, Mormaer of Moray, who replaces him as king of Scotland.
10428 June Harthacnut dies, probably due to a stroke after excessive drinking at a wedding in Lambeth. He is succeeded as king of England by his brother Edward the Confessor.
105715 August Battle of Lumphanan: Macbeth is killed in battle at Lumphanan by Duncan the Diseased's son Malcolm III of Scotland. He is succeeded as king of Scotland by his stepson Lulach.
105817 March Lulach is assassinated by Malcolm III, who succeeds him as king of Kingdom of Scotland.
10665 January Edward the Confessor dies, probably after a series of strokes. He is succeeded as king of England by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson.
28 September Norman conquest of England: William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy, lands with an army at Pevensey.
14 October Battle of Hastings: Harold Godwinson is killed in battle against the forces of William the Conqueror at Battle, East Sussex, causing the collapse of his army.
25 December William the Conqueror is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey.
1078?The construction of Tintern Abbey begins.
108612 juneA census begins whose results would be collected in the Domesday Book.
10879 September William the Conqueror dies at Rouen. He is succeeded by one son, Robert Curthose, as duke of Normandy and by another, William II of England, as king of England.
109313 November Battle of Alnwick (1093): Malcolm III and his eldest son are ambushed and killed at Alnwick by an army of knights led by Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumbria.
11002 August William II is killed by an arrow through the lung while hunting in the New Forest. He is succeeded by his brother Henry I of England.
?The White Tower of London is completed.

12th century

11351 December Henry I dies of illness.
22 December Stephen, King of England is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey.
1137? The Anarchy: Stephen enters Normandy in an attempt to conquer it from Empress Matilda, his rival for the succession in Normandy and England.
? Gruffudd ap Cynan, king of Gynedd, dies. He is succeeded by his son Owain Gwynedd.
115424 October Stephen dies of a stomach disease. He is succeeded as king of England by Henry II of England, grandson of Henry I.
1164? Henry II issues the Constitutions of Clarendon, which provided that members of the Catholic Church accused of serious crimes would be tried and sentenced in secular courts.
117028 November Owain dies.
29 December Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by followers of Henry II.
11896 July Henry II dies of illness at Château de Chinon. He is succeeded as king of England by his son Richard I of England.
1192December Richard is captured near Vienna on the orders of Leopold V, Duke of Austria, duke of Austria, while returning from the Crusades.
11944 February Richard is released following the payment of fifty tons of silver to Austria.
? Battle of Aberconwy: Llywelyn the Great defeats his uncle Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd, one of two princes of Kingdom of Gwynedd, in battle.
11996 April Richard dies of a crossbow wound sustained two weeks earlier during a siege of Château de Châlus-Chabrol. He was succeeded as king of England by his brother John, King of England.

13th century

1209NovemberThe pope Pope Innocent III excommunicates John.
121515 June John agrees to Magna Carta , granting political rights including the right to a fair trial to his barons.
121619 October John dies of illness. He is succeeded as king of England by his son Henry III of England.
123725 September Henry III and Alexander II of Scotland sign the Treaty of York, under which the latter renounced his claims on English territory in Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland.
124011 AprilDeath of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, prince of Wales; Dafydd ap Llywelyn succeeds to the throne of Gwynedd.
124625 FebruaryDeath of Dafydd ap Llywelyn; Llywelyn ap Gruffudd succeeds to the throne of Gwynedd (he does not claim the title of prince of Wales until 1258).
12496 JulyDeath of Alexander II, king of Scots; Alexander III succeeds to the throne of Scotland.
12632 October Battle of Largs, an inconclusive battle, is fought between Haakon IV of Norway and the Scots.
126414 May Simon de Montfort leads rebel English barons to defeat Henry III at the Battle of Lewes.
12662 JulyScotland and Norway sign the Treaty of Perth under which Scottish control of the Western Isles is acknowledged.
1267September Henry III of England recognises the authority of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in Wales.
127216 NovemberDeath of Henry III, Edward I succeeds to the English throne.
1277JulyEngland annexes Wales, a state of affairs which lasted until 1283.
1279? Statute of Mortmain.
128211 DecemberDeath of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Wales; Dafydd ap Gruffudd succeeds to the throne of Gwynedd.
12833 OctoberDeath of Dafydd ap Gruffudd; English conquest of Wales.
1287?Revolt of Rhys ap Maredudd in Wales.
129429 SeptemberRevolt of Madog ap Llywelyn in Wales.
129711 September William Wallace and the Scots defeat the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

14th century

130523 AugustCapture and execution of Scottish resistance fighter William Wallace by the English on a charge of treason.
13077 JulyDeath of Edward I, Edward II accedes to the English throne.
131424 JuneDecisive victory for Scotland over England at the Battle of Bannockburn.
131628 JanuaryRevolt of Llywelyn Bren in South Wales.
132216 MarchEdward II defeats a rebellious baronial faction at Battle of Boroughbridge.
132725 January Edward III usurps the English throne.
21 September Edward II is killed.
1328?England recognises Scotland's independence in the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton
1338? Edward III claims the throne of France, initiating the Hundred Years' War.
1348JuneThe Black Death first arrives in England and ultimately kills c. one third of the population.
135619 September Battle of Poitiers.
137721 JuneDeath of Edward III, his grandson Richard II accedes to the English throne.
138130 May - November Peasants' Revolt of 1381.
1392? Statute of Praemunire.
139930 SeptemberHenry Bolingbroke usurps the English throne becoming Henry IV.

15th century

141320 March Henry IV dies and is succeeded by his son, Henry V.
141525 OctoberHenry V is welcomed back to England after a major victory at the Battle of Agincourt, France.
142231 AugustHenry V dies and is succeeded by his son, Henry VI.
147121 May Henry VI is murdered and Edward IV is restored to the English throne.
14839 AprilDeath of Edward IV, Edward V accedes to the throne.
148522 AugustThe Battle of Bosworth Field ends the Yorkist reign of Richard III and ushers in Tudor reign, with the reign of Henry VII.
148716 JuneThe Battle of Stoke is fought between Henry VII and Lambert Simnel a Yorkist claimant to the throne. It is the last battle of the Wars of the Roses.

16th century

150922 AprilEngland – Henry VIII crowned and married to Catherine of Aragon.
15139 SeptemberEngland and Scotland – James IV and thousands of Scots killed in defeat at Flodden.
1516?England – Royal Mail is originally established.
1521?England – Lutheran writings begin to circulate.
1525?England – Henry VIII seeks an annulment of his marriage, which is refused.
1526?England – Cardinal Wolsey orders the burning of Lutheran books.
1532?Scotland – Creation of the College of Justice and the Court of Session.
15343 November Act of Supremacy passed by Henry VIII
?England – Treasons Act 1534.
153522 JuneEngland – Execution of Cardinal John Fisher.
6 JulyEngland – Execution of Thomas More.
15366 OctoberEngland – Execution of William Tindale in Antwerp.
154214 DecemberScotland – Mary, Queen of Scots, accedes to the Scottish throne.
154728 JanuaryEngland – Edward VI crowned King.
15496 June - 17 AugustEngland – Prayer Book rebellion in south-west.
1553JulyEngland – Mary I accedes to the throne.
155817 NovemberEngland – Elizabeth I accedes to the throne.
1559?England – Act of Supremacy 1559.
2 MayScotland – John Knox returns from Geneva to promote Calvinism.
15601 AugustScotland – Parliament legislates protestant reformation of the Church of Scotland.
156724 JulyScotland – The Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, abdicates and flees Scotland after an uprising by Protestant lords
1571?England – Treasons Act 1571.
1582?Scotland – Establishment of the University of Edinburgh by Royal Charter.
15878 FebruaryEngland and Scotland – Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire on 8 February
15888 AugustEngland – Spanish Armada destroyed.
1592?Scotland – James VI enacts the "Golden Act" recognising the power of Presbyterianism within the Scottish church.

17th century

160324 MarchEngland – Death of Queen Elizabeth I. James VI of Scotland crowned King of England (as James I of England).
16055 NovemberEngland and Scotland – The Gunpowder plot is uncovered, in which Guy Fawkes and others attempted to blow up the king, James VI and I and the Parliament of England.
160610 AprilEngland - King James I issues the First Virginia Charter, establishing the Colony of Virginia in North America. [4]
161829 OctoberEngland – Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh
162527 MarchEngland and Scotland – Death of James VI and I.
1639-1644?England and Scotland – At war in what became known as the Bishops' Wars.
1640NovemberEngland – The Long Parliament summoned.
164222 AugustEngland – English Civil War begins (see Timeline of the English Civil War).
1652?England – Tea arrives in Britain.
16662 - 6 SeptemberEngland – The Great Fire of London ravages the city.
168811 DecemberEngland – The Glorious Revolution replaces James II with William III.
1689AprilScotland – The Claim of Right Act 1689 is enacted by the Parliament of Scotland.
16 DecemberEngland – The Bill of Rights 1689 is enacted by the Parliament of England.
169427 JulyEngland – The Bank of England is established.

18th century

17071 MayThe Kingdom of Great Britain comes into being, [5] [6] [7] [8] and Queen Anne becomes its first monarch.
171311 AprilSigning of the Treaty of Utrecht ends the War of the Spanish Succession.
17141 August Queen Anne dies. Accession of George I, Elector of Hanover.
17213 April Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister of Great Britain.
172711 JuneKing George I dies and George II ascends the throne.
174216 February Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington becomes Prime Minister.
174327 August Henry Pelham becomes Prime Minister.
175416 March Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle becomes Prime Minister.
175515 April Samuel Johnson published his A Dictionary of the English Language .
175616 November William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire becomes Prime Minister.
175729 June Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
176025 OctoberKing George II dies and George III ascends the throne.
176226 May John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute becomes Prime Minister.
176316 April George Grenville becomes Prime Minister.
1764? The Castle of Otranto is written and published, which was the first-ever story classed as a gothic horror story.
176513 July Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham becomes Prime Minister.
176630 July William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham becomes Prime Minister.
176814 October Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton becomes Prime Minister.
177028 January Frederick North, Lord North becomes Prime Minister.
177519 AprilThe American War of Independence begins.
17764 JulyThe Declaration of Independence is created and the new country is recognised as the USA.
1777-1779November 1777 - July 1779The world's first iron bridge called The Iron Bridge, is built-in Shropshire.
178227 March Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
4 July William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne becomes Prime Minister.
17832 April William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland becomes Prime Minister.
4 SeptemberThe American War of Independence ends with the Treaty of Paris.
19 December William Pitt the Younger becomes Prime Minister.
17851 January The Times is first published and becomes the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The New York Times .

19th century

18011 JanuaryThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland comes into being, [9] and King George III becomes its first monarch.
180117 March Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth becomes Prime Minister.
180410 May William Pitt the Younger becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
180521 OctoberThe naval Battle of Trafalgar takes place.
180611 February William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville becomes Prime Minister.
180725 MarchThe Slave Trade Act 1807 is passed.
31 March William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
18094 October Spencer Perceval becomes Prime Minister.
1810Discovery of the first complete Icthyosaur by Mary Anning
18128 June Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool becomes Prime Minister.
181518 JuneThe Battle of Waterloo takes place.
20 NovemberThe Napoleonic Wars ends.
1819 SS Savannah undergoes the first steamship transatlantic crossing.
182029 JanuaryKing George III dies and George IV ascends the throne.
18215 May The Guardian is first published, as The Manchester Guardian.
1823Discovery of Plesiosaurus Mary Anning
182527 SeptemberThe Stockton and Darlington railway, the world's first public passenger railway, opens.
182712 April George Canning becomes Prime Minister.
31 August F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich becomes Prime Minister.
182822 January Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister.
Discovery of Pterodactylus by Mary Anning
182913 AprilThe Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 is passed.
183026 JuneKing George IV dies and William IV ascends the throne.
22 November Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey becomes Prime Minister.
18327 JuneThe Great Reform Act is passed, doubling the franchise.
183328 AugustThe Slavery Abolition Act 1833 gains royal assent, banning slavery throughout the British Empire.
1834?The Conservative Party is founded.
16 July William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne becomes Prime Minister.
14 AugustThe New Poor Law is passed.
17 November Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
10 December Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister.
183518 April William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
183720 JuneThe reign of Queen Victoria begins.
18381 AugustThe Slavery Abolition Act 1833 enters into force, abolishing slavery in the British Empire.
184010 JanuaryThe first postage stamps (Penny Post) come into use.
June Vaccination for the poor is introduced.
184130 August Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
1842SummerThe first peacetime income tax is introduced.
184627 JanuaryThe Corn Laws are repealed.
30 June John Russell, 1st Earl Russell becomes Prime Minister.
1848Late February The Communist Manifesto is published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
1850The East Coast Main Line opens.
18511 MayThe Great Exhibition opens.
185223 February Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby becomes Prime Minister.
19 December George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen becomes Prime Minister.
1853-185616 October 1853 - 30 March 1856The Crimean War is fought between Russia and a British alliance who feared Russian expansion in the Balkans, resulting in allied victory.
1854?Doctor John Snow discovers that cholera is from contaminated water [10]
18556 February Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston becomes Prime Minister.
29 June The Daily Telegraph is first published.
185820 February Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
185912 June Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
186114 DecemberVictoria's husband, Prince Albert, dies at the age of 42.
186310 JanuaryThe London Underground opens, the oldest underground railway network in the world.
186529 October John Russell, 1st Earl Russell becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
186628 June Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby becomes Prime Minister for the third time.
186715 AugustThe 1867 Reform Act doubles the franchise and the Dominion of Canada was created.
186827 February Benjamin Disraeli becomes Prime Minister.
29 MayThe last public execution is carried out.
3 December William Ewart Gladstone becomes Prime Minister.
1869The West Coast Main Line opens.
187017 FebruaryThe Elementary Education Act 1870 is passed, introducing universal education in England and Wales.
18726 AugustThe Education (Scotland) Act 1872 expands access to primary education and makes it compulsory in Scotland.
187420 February Benjamin Disraeli becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
188023 April William Ewart Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
26 AugustThe Elementary Education Act 1880 is passed, making primary schooling compulsory in England and Wales.
188523 June Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister.
25 JuneThe Reform Act 1885 is passed.
18861 February William Ewart Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the third time.
21 JuneConstruction begins on Tower Bridge in London.
25 July Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
1887NovemberThe fictional detective Sherlock Holmes first appears in print.
189215 August William Ewart Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the fourth time.
18945 March Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery becomes Prime Minister.
189525 June Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister for the third time.
18964 MayThe Daily Mail is first published.

20th century

190027 FebruaryThe Labour Party is founded.
190122 January Queen Victoria dies and Edward VII ascends the throne.
190212 July Arthur Balfour becomes Prime Minister.
9 August Coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra.
31 May Treaty of Vereeniging ends the Second Boer War.
1903SeptemberThe Lib-Lab pact enables Labour to break into national politics.
19048 April Entente Cordiale signed between Britain and France
19055 December Henry Campbell-Bannerman becomes Prime Minister.
19085 April H. H. Asquith becomes Prime Minister.
27 April The Summer Olympics open at White City in London.
27 OctoberParliament approves old age pensions.
19106 May Edward VII dies and George V ascends the throne.
191122 June Coronation of George V and Mary.
191213 April Royal Flying Corps established.
14 - 15 AprilThe RMS Titanic sinks after hitting an iceberg. Over 1500 crew and passengers die.
19144 August World War I: Great Britain declares war on Germany in response to the invasion of Belgium.
5 NovemberBritain declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
19166 December David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister.
19186 FebruaryWomen get the vote for the first time - women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification could vote as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1918.
1 AprilThe Royal Air Force is founded, becoming the first independent air force in the world.
11 November World War I ends.
19191 December Nancy Astor becomes the first woman to take her seat in parliament.
1921The Great Britain road numbering scheme.
192218 OctoberThe BBC is founded as the British Broadcasting Company.
23 October Bonar Law becomes Prime Minister.
192322 May Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister.
192422 January Ramsay MacDonald becomes Prime Minister.
4 November Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
19264 May - 12 MayThe 1926 United Kingdom general strike takes place.
19282 JulyWomen receive the right to vote on the same terms as men (over the age of 21) as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1928.
SeptemberThe first film with dialogue is shown in Britain, The Jazz Singer .
30 September Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
19295 June Ramsay MacDonald becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
1931?The Dominion of Canada later has more recognition as Canada.
193430 NovemberThe LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman built in Doncaster becomes the first steam locomotive to reach 100 mph (160 km/h).
19357 June Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister for the third time.
193620 January George V dies and Edward VIII ascends the throne.
5 - 31 OctoberThe Jarrow March protest occurs.
10 December Edward VIII abdicates the throne over his proposal to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Automatic accession of George VI.
193712 May Coronation of George VI and Elizabeth.
28 May Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister.
30 JuneFirst available in the London area, the 999 telephone number is introduced as the world's first emergency telephone service.
19383 JulyThe LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard built in Doncaster breaks the land speed record for the fastest steam locomotive, reaching 203 km/h (126 mph); the record still stands.
19393 SeptemberBritish entry into World War II.
194010 May Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister.
19458 May World War II ends in Europe.
26 July Clement Attlee becomes Prime Minister.
24 OctoberBritain becomes a founding member of the United Nations.
194715 AugustIndia gains independence from Britain.
19481 January British Rail is established.
5 JulyThe National Health Service is founded, bringing state-funded healthcare to all.
29 July - 14 AugustLondon hosts the 1948 Summer Olympics.
14 NovemberBirth of Charles, Prince of Wales.
195015 AugustBirth of Anne, Princess Royal.
29 AugustBritish troops arrive to support US forces in the Korean War.
195126 OctoberSir Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
1952? Autocode, regarded as the first compiled programming language, is developed by Alick Glennie.
6 February Death of George VI. Automatic accession of Elizabeth II.
195325 April James Watson and Francis Crick publish their discovery of the structure of DNA.
2 June Coronation of Elizabeth II.
19546 May Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile with a time of 3:59.4.
19556 April Anthony Eden becomes Prime Minister.
22 September Commercial television starts with the first ITV broadcast.
195617 OctoberBritain opens its first nuclear power station, Calder Hall.
195710 January Harold Macmillan becomes Prime Minister.
19585 DecemberThe British motorway system opens with the M6 Preston bypass.
196019 FebruaryBirth of Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
19611 JulyBirth of Diana, Princess of Wales.
196327 MarchThe first report of the Beeching cuts – a railway restructuring plan – was published, The Reshaping of British Railways.
19 October Alec Douglas-Home becomes Prime Minister but lasts only 363 days.
196410 MarchBirth of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
16 October Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister.
196524 January Death of Sir Winston Churchill.
8 NovemberThe death penalty is abolished officially.
196727 JulyThe Sexual Offences Act 1967 legalises homosexuality between men over 21.
27 OctoberThe Abortion Act 1967 is passed, legalising abortion on certain grounds.
19692 March Concorde, the world's first supersonic airliner, makes its maiden flight.
197019 June Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister.
197115 February Decimal Day; the United Kingdom introduces a decimalised currency.
197222 JanuaryThe United Kingdom signs the Treaty of Accession in a ceremony in Brussels which was attended by Prime Minister Edward Heath in preparedness for membership of the European Communities from 1 January 1973.
19731 JanuaryThe United Kingdom joins and becomes a member state of the European Communities.
19744 March Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
19755 JuneThe United Kingdom chooses to remain a member state of the European Communities in a non-binding referendum.
19765 April James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister.
SeptemberBritain becomes the first major Western state to be forced to ask to borrow money from the International Monetary Fund.
197825 July Louise Brown becomes the first human in history to be born via in vitro fertilisation.
19794 May Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister.
27 AugustThe IRA kill the Queen's cousin Lord Mountbatten.
198124 JuneThe Humber Bridge opens, the longest single-span bridge in the world.
29 July Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
198221 JuneBirth of Prince William of Wales.
2 April - 14 JuneThe Falklands War is fought against Argentina, resulting in a British victory and the United Kingdom reclaiming the Falkland Islands.
2 November Channel 4 launches across most of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
1984-19856 March 1984 - 3 March 1985The UK miners' strike takes place, a major strike and protest to prevent Margaret Thatcher's government from closing down the British coal mining industry.
198415 SeptemberBirth of Prince Harry of Wales.
198625 DecemberThe Christmas episode of the soap opera EastEnders becomes the most-watched programme in the United Kingdom with a viewing of 30.1 million.
19883 MarchThe Liberal Democrats are founded.
198912 March Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.
199028 November John Major becomes Prime Minister.
199118 - 26 May Helen Sharman becomes the first British person and the first European woman in space.
19946 MayThe Channel Tunnel opens, the first physical connection between the United Kingdom and France.
1996?A sheep named Dolly becomes the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.
19972 May Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister.
1 JulyThe United Kingdom hands Hong Kong back to China, marking the end of the British Empire.
31 August Diana, Princess of Wales, dies due to a traffic collision in Paris.
19996 MayFirst elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly take place which will now be responsible for aspects of Scotland and Wales's governance.
2 DecemberThe Good Friday Agreement comes into effect, two agreements intended to bring about the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
31 DecemberThe Millennium Dome and London Eye are opened to mark the new millennium.

21st century

20029 February Princess Margaret dies.
30 March Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother dies aged 101.
200320 March - 1 MayThe United Kingdom, alongside the US, invades Iraq.
20059 April Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
200727 June Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister.
201011 May David Cameron becomes Prime Minister.
201129 April Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
201230 March The Shard tops out in construction, becoming the tallest building in Western Europe.
27 July - 12 AugustLondon hosts the Olympic Games for the third time.
201317 JulySame-sex marriage is legalised in the United Kingdom.
22 JulyBirth of Prince George of Cambridge.
201418 SeptemberThe Scottish independence referendum takes place; Scotland decides to remain part of the United Kingdom.
20152 MayBirth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
9 September Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
15 December Tim Peake becomes the first British ESA astronaut to board the International Space Station.
201623 JuneThe United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
13 July Theresa May becomes the second female Prime Minister.
5 - 21 AugustGreat Britain ranks second on the 2016 Summer Olympics medal table with 27 Gold Medals, the best result since 1908.
201823 AprilBirth of Prince Louis of Cambridge.
19 May Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
201915 JanuaryThe motion to approve the Brexit withdrawal agreement – otherwise known as the "meaningful vote" – was rejected 202–432. This was the largest defeat on a government motion in history. [11] [12]
24 JulyTheresa May formally tenders her resignation as prime minister to Elizabeth II, and is succeeded by Boris Johnson.
202031 JanuaryThe United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
23 March - 2021A national lockdown takes place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Freedom of movement is restricted and this becomes enforceable in law. Non-essential shops and services close.
20219 April Death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99.
20226 FebruaryElizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the British throne.
6 September Liz Truss becomes the third female Prime Minister.
8 SeptemberElizabeth II dies aged 96. Automatic accession of Charles III. Aged 73, he becomes the oldest person to accede to the throne.
20 October Liz Truss resigns as prime minister after 45 days, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.
25 October Rishi Sunak becomes the first British Asian Prime Minister.
20236 May Coronation of Charles III and Camilla.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acts of Union 1707</span> Acts of Parliament creating the Kingdom of Great Britain

The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act 1707 passed by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states in a personal union—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United Kingdom</span> Country in Northwestern Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Northwestern Europe, off the coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and most of the smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 94,354 square miles (244,376 km2), with an estimated population of nearly 67.6 million people in 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdom of Great Britain</span> Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe (1707–1801)

The Kingdom of Great Britain was a sovereign state in Western Europe from 1707 to the end of 1800. The state was created by the 1706 Treaty of Union and ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament at the Palace of Westminster, but distinct legal systems—English law and Scots law—remained in use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coat of arms of the United Kingdom</span>

The coat of arms of the United Kingdom are the arms of dominion of the British monarch. They are both the personal arms of the monarch, currently King Charles III, and the arms of the state. In addition to the monarch, the arms are used by state institutions including the Government of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the British judiciary. Differenced versions of the arms are used by members of the British royal family. The monarch's official flag, the Royal Standard, is the coat of arms in flag form.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parliament of Great Britain</span> United English and Scottish parliament 1707–1800

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts ratified the treaty of Union which created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and created the parliament of Great Britain located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London. This lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801.

The Peerage of the United Kingdom is one of the five Peerages in the United Kingdom. It comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the British Isles</span>

The history of the British Isles began with its sporadic human habitation during the Palaeolithic from around 900,000 years ago. The British Isles has been continually occupied since the early Holocene, the current geological epoch, which started around 11,700 years ago. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers migrated from the Continent soon afterwards at a time when there was no sea barrier between Britain and Europe, but there was between Britain and Ireland. There were almost complete population replacements by migrations from the Continent at the start of the Neolithic around 4,100 BC and the Bronze Age around 2,500 BC. Later migrations contributed to the political and cultural fabric of the islands and the transition from tribal societies to feudal ones at different times in different regions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Treaty of Union</span> Agreement that led to the creation of the new state of Great Britain

The Treaty of Union is the name usually now given to the treaty which led to the creation of the new state of Great Britain, providing that the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". At the time it was more often referred to as the Articles of Union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Boyle, 1st Earl of Glasgow</span> Scottish nobleman and politician

David Boyle, 1st Earl of Glasgow was a Scottish politician and peer. He was the last Treasurer-depute before the Union with England.

Events from the year 1800 in Great Britain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Great Britain</span> Island northwest of continental Europe

Great Britain, often simply known as Britain, is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-west coast of continental Europe, consisting of England, Scotland and Wales. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world. It is dominated by a maritime climate with narrow temperature differences between seasons. The island of Ireland, with an area 40 per cent that of Great Britain, is to the west—these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands and named substantial rocks, form the British Isles archipelago.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Countries of the United Kingdom</span> Component parts of the UK since 1922

Since 1922, the United Kingdom has been made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. Some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the UK, refer to Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales as "regions". With regard to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales particularly, the descriptive name one uses "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences".

Events from the year 1707 in the Kingdom of England, then England.

Events from the year 1707 in the Kingdom of Scotland, then Scotland.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the history of the British Isles:


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Further reading