British Politics Timeline

Date and Event

Outline of Event

Hampden Clubs


Lord Liverpool appointed PM

8 June 1812

Corn Laws


Arthur Wellesley defeats Napoleon at Waterloo

18 June 1815

Suspension of Habeas Corpus January 1817  

Working class 'Blanketeers' mount a march to London

10 March 1817

The Six Acts

The Six Acts30 November 1819

George Canning appointed PM

10 April 1827

Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich appointed PM

31 August 1827

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington appointed PM

22 January 1828

Eleven die at the Peterloo massacre in Manchester

16 August 

Parliament grants Catholic emancipation

13 April 1829

Robert Peel sets up the Metropolitan Police

June 1829

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey appointed PM

22 November 1830

Riots break out over the parliamentary Reform Bill

October 1831

Great Reform Act

4 June 1832

Factory Act


Abolition of slavery in the British Empire

31 July 1833

New Poor Law reforms Britain's social security system


William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 

16 July 1834

Duke of Wellington returned to office

17 November 1834

Sir Robert Peel appointed PM

10 December 1834

Municipal Corporations Bill creates town councils


Lichfield House Compact (Ireland)

Lichfield House Compact (Ireland)February 1835

A uniform postage rate of one penny is introduced

10 January 1840

Vaccination for the poor is introduced

June 1840

Income tax is introduced for the first time during peacetime

June 1842

Repeal Year (Ireland)

Repeal Year (Ireland)1843

Church of Scotland splits over separation of church and state

18 May 1843

The Devon Comission (Ireland)

The Devon Comission (Ireland)20 November 1843 

Irish Provincial Colleges Bill - passed and failed

Irish Provincial Colleges Bill - passed and failed1844

Factory Act

Factory Act1844

Maynooth Grant (Ireland)

Maynooth Grant (Ireland)1845

Irish potato famine begins

September 1845

Lord John Russell appointed PM

30 June 1846

Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel resigns after the Corn Laws are repealed

30 June 1846



Post famine (Ireland)

Post famine (Ireland) 1848

Public Health Act aims to reduce death rates

July 1848

New Model Unions

New Model Unions1850s

Census reveals the extent of Welsh support for the Nonconformist church

March 1851

The Great Exhibition opens 

The Great Exhibition opens 1 May 1851

Disraeli's budget


Edward Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby appointed PM

23 February 1852 

George Hamilton Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen appointed PM

19 December 1852

Crimean War begins

28 March 1854

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston appointed PM

6 February 1855

Earl of Derby returned to office

20 February 1858

Palmerston returned to office

12 June 1859

Education funding becomes linked to pupils' results

13 February 1862

John Russell returned to office

29 October 1865

Earl of Derby returned to office

28 June 1866

Second Reform Act

15 August 1867

The Manchester Martyrs

The Manchester Martyrs23 November 1867

Benjamin Disraeli appointed PM

27 February 1868

Gladstone disestablishes the Church of Ireland

26 July 1869

Home Government Association

Home Government Association1870

School Boards introduced

17 February 1870

Irish Land Act

1 August 1870

Women obtain limited rights to retain their property after marriage

9 August 1870

Secret Ballot introduced

18 July 1872

Victoria is declared empress of India

1 May 1876

Congress of Berlin aims to settle European problems

13 July 1878

New Unionism

New Unionism 1880s

William Gladstone appointed PM

23 April 1880

Education becomes compulsory for children under ten

2 August 1880

Married women obtain the right to acquire their own property

1 January 1881

Second Land Act reforms Irish property law

16 August 1881

The Kilmainham Treaty

The Kilmainham Treaty May 1882

Two British government officials are murdered in Dublin

6 May 1882

Third Reform Act 


The Harwarden Kite

The Harwarden Kite1885

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquis of Salisbury appointed PM

23 June 1885

Gladstone supports Home Rule

17 December 1885

Gladstone returned to office

1 February 1886

Marquis of Salisbury returned to office

25 August 1886

The Match Girls Strike

The Match Girls Strike1888

London Dock Strike

London Dock Strike1889

Manningham Mills Strike


William Gladstone returned to for the 3rd time

15 August 1892

ILP formed


Archibald Primrose, Earl of Rosebery appointed PM

5 March 1894

Parish councils are created

March 1894

Marquis Salisbury returned to office for the 3rd time

25 January 1895

Trade Union Congress introduced block vote


Women's suffrage campaign gains momentum

October 1897

Second Boer War begins in South Africa

10 October 1899

LRC Formed


Victoria dies and is succeeded by Edward VII

January 1901

Taff Vale


Arthur Balfour appointed PM

11 July 1902

Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman appointed PM

5 December 1905

Henry Herbert Asquith appointed PM

7 April 1908

David Lloyd George appointed PM

7 December 1916


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