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German-speaking George, Elector of Hanover, becomes George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland.
First Jacobite Rising – serious attempt to regain the throne for the Stuarts ends in failure.
Transportation Act - Britain starts shipping convicts to its American colonies.
South Sea Bubble - major financial crisis, many lose fortunes.
Sir Robert Walpole becomes Britain's first Prime Minister - and also receives 10 Downing Street.
George Frideric Handel is appointed Composer to the Chapel Royal.
David Hume publishes his Treatise on Human Nature.
John Wesley's first sermon preached in the field - the birth of Methodism.
The War of Jenkins' Ear - Anglo-Spanish naval war.
Highwayman Dick Turpin is hanged in York.
The War of the Austrian Succession.
Battle of Dettingen (Germany) - George II is the last reigning British monarch to lead troops into battle.
First rules of golf are drawn up in Edinburgh.
2nd Jacobite Rising - the '45 Rebellion - Bonnie Prince Charlie lands in Scotland to restore the Stuart monarchy. His rebel army gets as far as Derby, sending the government into panic.
Battle of Culloden – the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion and the last pitched battle on British soil. The Government acts harshly to prevent further Stuart/Catholic uprisings.
Start of the Highland clearances.
The laws of modern cricket are developed at Hambledon Cricket Club, in Hampshire.
Gin Act - attempts to regulate (and reduce) the sale of spirits.
Britain adopts the Gregorian Calendar, replacing the old style Julian Calendar. Some protest at their loss of 11 days.
British Museum established.
Samuel Johnson publishes A Dictionary of the English Language.
The Hellfire Club is founded.
Seven Years War - truly global conflict with Britain, Prussia and other German states allied against France, Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, and Sweden.
The Black Hole of Calcutta – following Bengali capture of a fort, British prisoners are herded into a tiny room, where most died.
Battle of Plassey - the British East India Company captures Bengal.
Annus Mirabilis - the Year of Victories - major successes, primarily against the French, including a naval victory in Quiberon Bay preventing a French invasion and the capture of Quebec.
Scots poet Robbie Burns is born this year.
Opening of the Bridgewater Canal.
James Watt develops his steam engine.
Royal Academy is founded.
Captain James Cook sets off on the first of three voyages of scientific discovery and exploration, to Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
In Edinburgh, Volume 1 of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is published.
Richard Arkwright patents his spinning frame.
Wedgwood's Etruria factory opens in Stoke-on-Trent.
Both the Duke of Wellington and his French adversary, Napoleon Bonaparte, were born this year, on 1 May and 15 August, respectively.
Milestone court case effectively makes slavery illegal in England and Wales.
The Boston Tea Party.
Discovery of oxygen in Britain; it had previously been discovered in Sweden...
American War of Independence (American Revolutionary War).
Declaration of American Independence.
Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is published.
John Paul Jones invades England, landing at Whitehaven.
The Gordon Riots - an anti-Catholic protest ends up in general violence and looting in London.
A Colonial-French army defeats Government army at Yorktown, Virginia.
The Peace of Paris results in the recognition of an independent United States of America. British loyalists and freed slaves are evacuated, many travelling to Canada.
William Pitt the Younger becomes Britain's youngest Prime Minister (so far) at the age of 23.
East India Act increases Government control in India.
David Dale establishes New Lanark Mills with Richard Arkwright.
Construction of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, a seaside retreat for the Prince of Wales, commences.
The first convicts are transported to Australia, sailing from Portsmouth to Botany Bay.
The world's first iron boat is launched, on the River Severn.
In a wider context – the start of the French Revolution.
Mutiny on the Bounty.
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man is published.
The official birth date of the Ordnance Survey, Britain's mapping system.
Britain establishes Sierra Leone as a home for former slaves.
Mungo Park explores the Gambia and Niger rivers.
Joseph Turner exhibits his first painting at the Royal Academy, Fishermen at Sea.
Introduction of income tax.
Jenner publishes his findings on smallpox.
Robert Owen moves to New Lanark Mills.
The Combination Act prohibits Trades Unions.
Act of Union between Britain and Ireland and the first Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Britain's first census.
Battle of Trafalgar - Nelson beats a combined French and Spanish fleet and establishes Great Britain as the premier naval power for the next 100 years.
Abolition of the Slave Trade (but not slavery itself).
Luddite Riots - textile machinery is sabotaged in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
Jane Austen publishes Sense and Sensibility.
War between the USA and Great Britain – the British burn Washington in 1814.
Walter Scott publishes his first novel, Waverley.
Introduction of the Corn Laws places tariffs on imported grain.
Battle of Waterloo - British and Prussian armies finally defeat Napoleon.
Humphrey Davy invents the safety lamp.
Peterloo Massacre - troops kill 11 and injure 500 during a peaceful protest in Manchester.
Stamford Raffles establishes a trading post on the Malay Peninsula, which becomes Singapore.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were both born this year, on 24 May and 26 August, respectively.
Famine in Ireland.
John Constable shows The Hay Wain at the Royal Academy.
The game of rugby is born when William Web Ellis picks up the ball during a football match and runs with it.
The world's first steam railway service opens between Stockton and Darlington.
Burke and Hare are arrested for multiple murders in Edinburgh, their victims being intended for medical dissection. It was easier than digging up freshly buried corpses.
Catholic emancipation - Catholics no longer banned from holding public office or attending university.
Robert Peel founds the Metropolitan Police.
Liverpool-Manchester Railway opens.
Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.
Great Reform Act - abolished some rotten boroughs - parliamentary constituencies where few people lived - created new constituencies for the growing urban areas and slightly extended the franchise.
Jeremy Bentham, responsible for the principle of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, dies.
Factory Act restricts the working hours of women and children.
Slavery Abolition Act abolishes slavery in most of Britain's colonies.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs are sentenced to transportation for combining to campaign for better working conditions.
The Poor Law Amendment Act establishes workhouses as the main means of providing welfare.
Fox Talbot's first photographic negative.
Birth of the Chartist Movement, with the aim of political reform and extending the franchise.
Queen Victoria becomes queen at the age of 18.