Victorian Timeline Homework Project

Victoria reigned for more than 60 years, longer than any other British monarch. Her reign was a period of significant social, economic and technological change, which saw the expansion of Britain's industrial power and of the British empire.20 June 1837 - 22 January 1901.

Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert.

In 1837 most people lived in villages and worked on the land; by 1901, most lived in towns and worked in offices, shops and factories.

Read more about the Victorian life in Britain

1837

Victoria becomes Queen at the age of 18 after the death of her uncle, William IV.

1838

Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' is published

1838

1 August: Slavery is abolished in the British empire
In 1834, slaves in the British empire started a period of 'apprenticeship', during which they were obliged to work without pay for their former owners. When the apprenticeship period ended in 1838, over 700,000 slaves were freed in the British Caribbean. Plantation owners received about £20 million in government compensation for the loss of their slaves. The former slaves received nothing.

1838

17 September: London-Birmingham line opens.
It was the first railway line into London, with passengers disembarking in the newly-designed Euston station.

1840

10 January: The first postage stamps (Penny Post) comes into use

1840

June: Vaccination for the poor is introduced

1842

June: Income tax is introduced for the first time during peacetime
Income tax was levied at a rate of 7d (three pence) in the pound.

1842

Mines Act ends child labour

1845 - 1849

Ireland suffers the Great Potato Famine when entire crops of potatoes, the staple Irish food, are 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.

1850s

The first post boxes were built

1851

1 May: The Great Exhibition opens
Census showed just over half of Britain's population (of 20 million) lived in towns

1854- 1856

Crimean War
The Crimean War was fought between the Russians and an alliance of the British, French and Turks who feared Russian expansion in the Balkans.

1854

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

1856

Britain defeats Russia in the Crimean War

1857

The Indian Mutiny

1858

India came under direct British government control when the remaining authority of the East India Company was dissolved.

1859

Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' is published

1860

The first public flushing toilet opens

1861

14 December: Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, dies aged 42
Albert's premature death from typhoid plunged Victoria into a long period of mourning and withdrawal from public life.

1862

The first London trams

1863

London Underground opens
The foundation of the Football Association

1866

Alice in Wonderland

1868

Joseph Lister discovers disinfectant

1868

The last public hanging

1869

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

1870

Education Act means school for everyone

1871

Queen Victoria opens the Albert Hall

1872

18 July: Voting by secret ballot is introduced

1876

1 May: Victoria is declared empress of India

1876

Alexander Bell invented the telephone
Primary education was made compulsory

1877

The first public electric lighting in London

1880

2 August: Education becomes compulsory for children under ten

1881

17 January: Sir William Armstrong's home at Cragside in Rothbury (Northumberland) becomes the first to use electric light.
Swan's new electric lamps were powered by water from a local stream through a dynamo-electric generator.

1883

First electric railway

1887

The invention of the gramophone

1891

Free education for every child

1901

Population of Britain 40 million

1901

22 January: Victoria dies and is succeeded by Edward VII
Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight at the age of 81.

Click here for Information on the Victorian

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Victoria’s mum and her mum’s friend, John Conroy, came up with a list of very strict rules that Victoria had to follow as she grew up. This was called the Kensington System (after Kensington Palace, where they lived). It included things like having Victoria watched all the time, even when she was sleeping – she had to share a room with her mum and wasn’t allowed to have her own room. She couldn’t walk down the stairs without someone holding her hand, and she didn’t really play with other children. This was all done so Victoria would learn to depend on her mum and John Conroy, and maybe give them important roles after she became queen. But, it all went wrong – after Victoria became queen, she sent John Conroy away and gave her mum rooms that were far away from hers at Buckingham palace, so they hardly saw each other.

During Victoria’s life, there were seven times when someone tried to kill her! She survived all of them.

Victoria met Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha when she was 17. She was a few months older than Albert, and he was her cousin. They became friends and fell in love. After Victoria became queen, she decided to propose to Albert in October 1839 because she was worried that he wouldn’t know if it was proper to propose to a queen. They were married on 10 February 1840. Prince Albert wasn’t allowed to take the title of King, but Victoria involved him in the decisions she had to make. They even shared the same office, each with their own desk.

Eight of Victoria and Albert’s nine children went on to marry into other royal families around Europe. Because of this, Victoria is sometimes called the ‘grandmother of Europe’! By 1901, Victoria had 42 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. One of her great-great-grandchildren is Queen Elizabeth II!

Victoria and Albert enjoyed celebrating Christmas very much. Prince Albert was from Germany, and carried on holding some of the Christmas traditions he was used to. These included having Christmas trees – before this time, people in Britain would have just hung a bit of holly or mistletoe rather than bring a whole tree inside and decorate it. Queen Victoria sent Christmas cards, and people began doing the same. Victoria and Albert also had a special red and gold sleigh that Albert would drive around in the snow.

Prince Albert was very involved in organising the Great Exhibition in 1851. He was interested in all the latest things to do with the arts and sciences, and celebrating the many discoveries and inventions of the Victorian era.

Prince Albert died in 1961 of typhoid fever. He was just 42, and Queen Victoria was very sad. She wore black clothes for the rest of her life to show that she was in mourning for his death. She didn’t really go out in public until quite a few years after he died. When she died in 1901, she had some of Albert’s things put in her coffin – his dressing gown, and a plaster cast of his hand.

Famous friends:

Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg Gotha (1819-1861) – Born in Germany, Albert was Queen Victorian’s husband, and Prince Consort of Britain. He died of typhoid in 1861, and Victoria wore black mourning clothes for the rest of her life.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) – Prime Minister in 1868 and again from 1874-1880; Queen Victoria liked Disraeli very much, and the two were good friends
John Brown (1826-1883) – a servant of Queen Victoria’s at Balmoral Castle in Scotland; he and Victoria were very good friends, and he helped Victoria through the time when she was sad about the death of Prince Albert
Baroness Lehzen (1784-1870) – Victoria’s governess from Germany, who was both her teacher and advisor

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