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Victorian and Edwardian Harlaxton

Historical timeline


1832 – 1848 Harlaxton Manor built by Gregory Gregory

1837 - William IV died and his niece Victoria became Queen at the age of 18

1837  Houses of Parliament built

1838 - The first photograph taken, by Louis Daguerre in France and William Henry Fox-Talbot in Britain.

1839 – 1842 Britain defeated China in the Opium War and made China sign the Treaty of Nanking. Britain was given Hong Kong.

1840 - Britain claims New Zealand as a colony to head off proposed French settlements.

1840 The first postage stamps (Penny Post) came into use

1840 Queen Victoria married Prince Albert

1841 The Great Western Railway from Bristol to London was completed offering a journey of only four hours.

1842 The Mines Act stopped children under 10 from working in the mines.

1842 Assassination attempt on Queen Victoria by John Francis

1843 Britain claims the former Boer republic of Natal as a British colony.

1843 Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol. It sold out completely in 6 days.

1844 The Factory Act stops children between 8 and 13 working more than 6.5 hours a day.

1845 – 1849 Ireland  suffered the Great Potato Famine when entire crops of potatoes, the staple Irish food, were ruined. The famine was a consequence of the appearance of blight, the potato fungus. About 800,000 people died as a result of the famine. A large number of people migrated to Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

1844-1845 8,000km of railway track built across Britain

1850s The first post boxes were built

1850   Workhouses opened to try to help the poorest people who had no money. In return for their labour, the workers were given a bed and basic food.

1851 The Great Exhibition opened at Crystal Palace by Prince Albert.

Census showed just over half of Britain's population (of 20 million) lived in towns

1851 The first free public library opened in Winchester.

1851  London is now Britain's largest city, with 2.4 million

1854 Gregory Gregory dies. Harlaxton Manor and estate left to elderly cousin, George Gregory.

1854 -1856 The Crimean War fought by Britain and France against Russia

1854 A cholera epidemic led to demands for a clean water supply and proper sewage systems in the big cities

1856  Britain defeated Russia in the Crimean War

1856   Police forces now in every town

1858  The British Parliament passed the Government of India Act, ending the rule of the East India company and bringing India under British rule. Queen Victoria is crowned Empress of India.

1860 George Gregory dies. Estate and manor left to John Sherwin Gregory

1861 Death of Prince Albert from Typhoid

1863  The first underground railway is opened in London. The foundation of the Football Association

1864 A law bans boys under 10 from working as chimney sweeps.

1869 John Sherwin Gregory dies, running of the manor and estate pass to his wife Catherine Gregory

1869 The first Sainsbury's shop open in Dury Lane, London

1870 Schools provided for 5 - 10 year olds

1871 Queen Victoria opens the Albert Hall

1871 Bank Holiday Act introduced, allowing banks to close a few days a year

1872 First FA Cup Final

1875 Captain Matthew Webb became the first man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours.

1876 Scotsman Alexander Bell invented the telephone. Primary education was made compulsory

1877 The world's first recording of the human voice was heard when the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison, recited 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' and played it back

1878 The first public electric lighting in London, replacing the old gas lamps, which had to be lit by hand every evening.

1880 The Education Act makes compulsory schooling for all children between 5 and 10.

1881 London's Natural History Museum opened

1883 January - Britain takes complete control of Egypt.

1883 First electric railway

1887 Britain establishes the colony of Nigeria in Africa.

1887 The invention of the gramophone

1891  Free education for every child aged 5-13

1892 Catherine Sherwin Gregory dies. Harlaxton manor and estate left to her Godson Thomas Pearson Gregory

1896   The speed limit for horseless carriages in Britain was raised from 4 m.p.h. to 14 m.p.h.

1901 Queen Victoria died. Her son, Edward VII, became King.

1901 Population of Britain 40 million. The first wireless transmission across the Atlantic is made, from Cornwall to Canada.

1902 Britain finally wins the Boer War.

Balfour's Education Act - placed the administration of all elementary schools in the hands of local education authorities and encouraged the development of secondary education.

1903 The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) was founded by six women, including Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst.

1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright make the first successful piloted powered flight at Kitty Hawk, USA.

1904 The Entente Cordial is signed between Britain and France.

1906 Liberals win General Election on a platform of social reform.

The world's most powerful battleship, HMS Dreadnought, is launched at Portsmouth.

In Manchester, Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce form Rolls-Royce Limited.

Edith Nesbit publishes The Railway Children.

1907 Britain agrees spheres of influence with Russia, forming the so-called Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia - as opposed to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria and Italy (1882).

The Music Hall Strike - artistes campaign for better pay and conditions.

1908 Old age state pensions are introduced. The Olympic Games are held in London.

1909 Liberal Chancellor David Lloyd George introduces his People's Budget to fund social reforms. The budget is rejected by the House of Lords, forcing a General Election. Frenchman Louis Blériot flies across the English Channel.

1910 Edward VII dies; George V becomes King.

1910 Suffragettes, imprisoned for offences such as wilful damage, begin to go on hunger strike; eventually, the authorities decide to force-feed them. Tonypandy, South Wales - miners' strike turns violent.  Home Secretary Winston Churchill is criticised by many for not sending in troops sooner to prevent looting and by others for allowing them to be sent at all.

1911 Parliament Act - the House of Lords loses its absolute power of veto over legislation passed by the House of Commons. Government introduces national insurance and unemployment benefit, laying the foundations for the Welfare State.

1912 Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, only to find that Norwegian Roald Amundsen got there first; Scott and his party perish on the return journey. The Government proposes Home Rule for Ireland: in response, protestants and unionists in Ireland form the Ulster Volunteer Force, threatening civil war. The Royal Flying Corps is established. RMS Titanic sinks with the loss of more than 1500 lives.

1913 Emily Davison promotes the suffragette cause by throwing herself under the King's horse at the Epsom Derby and subsequently dies.

The Victorian era witnessed considerable change in the village with a series of Lords of the Manor each having an impact on the face of the village, whilst technology and social change began to break the feudal bonds that had overseen the village for centuries before.

Much of this period is documented in the Society's Streets Through Time Project.

It also saw the industrialisation of much of the landscape around the village with extensive opencast iron ore extraction taking place until the 1970s.


This mining activity was accompanied by an extensive narrow gauge railway system and The Grantham to Nottingham canal which played an important role in the village’s economy from the late 18th to the early 19th century for the transportation of coal and bulk goods such as stone and lime.

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