Cheshire Timeline

Things that shaped our ancestor's lives. This Timeline lists events and trends, local, national and international, anything that influenced the lives of Cestrians, the inhabitants of the county of Cheshire.

The work is far from complete, I have much to learn. Comments, corrections and contributions are invited.

Shortcuts to centuries:
16th - 17th - 18th - 19th - 20th.

Shortcuts to periods:
Neolithic - Bronze - Iron - Roman - Middle Ages - Norman
Dissolution - Civil War - Commonwealth - Restoration
Industrial Revolution - Railway age - WW1 - WW2.

Neolithic Period

4,000 BC, Chambered tomb built at The Bridestones, south east of Congleton

Bronze Age

2,000 BC, copper is being mined at Alderley Edge and Peckforton

Iron Age

Forts built at Deceangli (Chester), Helsby, Frodsham, Eddisbury, Beeston, Maiden Castle, and Rainow

500 BC

- Salt is being exported from the Weaver valley

250 BC

- Cheshire absorbed into Cornovii territory, capital The Wrekin

Roman Period

70 AD

- The Romans arrive in Chester, they take control of the area

80

- A fortress with wooden palisade completed at Deva (Chester)

100

- Deva (Chester) fortress re-built in stone.
- A network or roads completed through Cheshire.
- Romans mine and smelt lead in Chesire and export it down the river Mersey [1,14

280

- Roman civilisation gratually departs from Cheshire, the British regain control.

The Middle Ages

616

- King Æthelfrith of Northumbria defeats the British at Chester, Anglo-Saxons take control of Cheshire.

633

- Gwynedd & Mercia beat the Northumbrians and take control of Cheshire

640

- Mercia falls out with Gwynedd and takes Cheshire (the Saxons have arrived)

650

- Wat's Dyke built to mark the boundary with Wales (west of the present boundary)

669

- Chad (later St Chad), Bishop of Litchfield 669 - 672, leads the conversion of Mercians to Christianity

760

- Offa's Dyke re-defines the boundary with Wales (also west of the present boundary)

870

- The Danes conquer Mercia, but leave Cheshire in the hands of a puppet king

880

- Mercians, reinvigorated, regain control of Cheshire.

893

- The Danes attack Chester from the sea, but do not stay.

896

- The Viking army overwinter in Chester then leave to plunder North Wales

902

- Norsemen attack and settle in the Wirral, the Mercians accept this.

912

- Æthelfred, King Alfred's daughter, founds a small monastery at Bromborough.

915

- Cheshire's northern boundary, the Mersey, fortified against Danes based in York.
- Longdendale brought into Cheshire.

920

- Edward the Elder of Wessex seizes Mercia and attempts to consolidate the two kingdoms.

922

- Cheshire fights rule by Wessex.

927

- Cheshire eventually accepts Wessex rule.
- Most of England is now unified under Wessex, the north is still held by Vikings.
- Cheshire is border country, with the Welsh to the east and the Vikings to the north.

930

- Beginning of a period of comparitive peace, security and economic expansion.

937

- Æthelstan of Wessex defeats the combined Viking, Scots & Welsh army at "Brunanburh" (possibly Bromborough).

973

- King Edgar (of England) & his fleet sailed into Chester for a meeting with kings from Wales, Ireland, & Scotland.

980

- Cheshire again troubled by Viking raids.

990

- The principality of Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire gains a degree of independence.

End of Anglo-Saxon Period / Beginning of Medieval Period

1066

- The Norman Conquest, led by William the Conqueror, they invade England and defeat the English at Hastings

1069

- Cheshire resists the new rulers. This results in Norman retribution.

1070

- Norman armies lay waste to Cheshire, destroying property and disposessing landowners
- The first Earl of Chester is appointed to rule Cheshire
- The Earl takes land from Anglo-saxon Lords and redistributes it to his own men

1075

- At Chester the church of St John the Baptist becomes a Cathedral (till 1102)

1086

- The Normans conduct a survey of the country, the Domesday Book
- Domesday records show that Cheshire had not recovered from the devastation sixteen years eariler

1087

- William I dies, William Rufus becomes king of England

1092

- Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, builds a Benedictine Abbey to replace a Saxon Church

1102

- Cheshire becomes part of the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield

1150

- Priory founded at Birkenhead, Benedictine monks ferry passengers across the Mersey to Liverpool
- A castle is built at Stockport

1178

- Cistercian Abbey founded in the marshes at "Stanlaw" (Stanlow), by John de Lacey, sixth Baron of Halton.

1182

- The border with Lancashire fixed at the River Mersey (this remained unchanged until 1835)

1237

- Earldom of Chester passes to the Crown, Cheshire enjoys Palatine status (until 1536)

1240 - 1310

- Land enclosure, more land ploughed, economic prosperity

1278

- Much of the town of Chester destroyed by fire

1279

- Stanlow Abbey inundated by the sea during a great storm.

1284

- The border with Wales fixed, this still stands.

1287

- The tower of Stanlow Abbey felled by a great gale.

1289

- Stanlow Abbey again inundated by the sea during a storm.

1290

- Moats are in fashion, they are dug round many houses (for 20 years)

1296

- The monks quit Stanlow Abbey for Whalley in Lancashire.

1330

- Bad harvests and epidemics (for 10 years)
- A charter regulates the ferry service operated by the monks of Birkenhead Priory

1345

- Stone bridge built across the River Dee at Farndon (it is still in use)

1349

- The Black Death, bubonic plague kills half the population of some Cheshire towns

1350

- Protests against high taxes levied by the Black Prince, Earl of Chester
- Bubonic plague
- Start of a move from arable to dairy farming

1400

- Chester is a thriving port trading with Ireland and Europe, but the river is starting to silt up restricting access to the sea.

1403

- Cheshire gentry support Hotspur's rebellion against Henry IV (defeated at Shrewsbury)

1415

- Cheshire archers march south for war with the French, they win the day at Agincourt.

1443

- A great fire burns much of the town of Nantwich

1450

- More land enclosure (manorial lords extend their pasturage)

1452

- The town of Congleton swept away by floods (rebuilt on higher ground)

1455

- Start of war between the Houses of Lancaster (Red Rose) and York (White Rose) for the Crown of England

1485

- Henry Tudor defeats Richard III at Bosworth, thus Yorkists win the Wars of the Roses.
- Thomas & William Stanley switched sides at Bosworth, Henry rewards them with vast estates in Cheshire & Lancashire.

1499

- Bubonic plague

1507

- Epidemic of "Fever"

1509

- King Henry VIII, Tudor

1513

- A body of Cheshire men march north to join the English army against the Scots, many of them die at Flodden

1516

- A Royal Mail service is created, ordinary people are permitted to use it

1517

- Church reformation started by Martin Luther in Germany

1528

- Australia discovered by the Portuguese

1534

- Anglican Church established

Dissolution of the Monasteries

1536

- Henry VIII abolishes the monasteries and grabs their massive assets

1541

- Cheshire Diocese created by the CofE, it covers Cheshire, Lancashire, adjacent areas
- St Werburgh's church at Chester becomes Chester Cathedral
- Three-life leases introduced, this gives tenants some rights over the land they farm

1543

- Cheshire sends its first MPs to parliament, it has been unrepresented until now

1547

- King Edward VI, Tudor

1550

- Chester acquires its "Rows": shops at first floor level reached by a covered gallery. Still a pleasant place to shop.

1551

- Influenza epidemic

1553

- Queen Mary I, Tudor

1555

- At Chester, George Marsh burnt at the stake for heresy
- Crop failure caused by rain, famine in the UK

1556 - 1563

- Bubonic plague in England

1558

- Queen Elizabeth I, Tudor

1577 to 1580

- Drake circumnavigated the globe

1578

- Bubonic plague

1583

- A great fire in Nantwich, most of the town had to be rebuilt

1586

- Bubonic plague
- Harvest failed

1588

- England defends itself against invasion by Spain, the Spanish Armada is defeated.
- The main port for Ireland is now Neston, the "New Quay" is hastily repaired for war with Spain.

1590

- The Puritan movement gains momentum in Cheshire

1593

- Bubonic plague

1596

- Harvest failed, famine

1603

- King James I, Stuart, (JamesVI of Scotland) first king of all England
- Bubonic plague

1605

- Bubonic plague in Heswall

1607

- Exceptional frosts.

1612

- Bubonic plague

1620

- Cotton manufacturing begins in Manchester
- The Mayflower crosses the Atlantic

1625

- King Charles I, house of Stuart
- Bubonic plague (for 10 years)

1630

- The Puritans gain power in church, they whitewash paintings and destroy stained glass

1640

- Samuel Eaton starts a Congregational Church in Dukinfield, the first "independent" church in England

Civil War

1641

- First national newspaper appeared

1642

- English Civil War, Parlementarians versus Royalists (for 10 years)

1644

- Sir Thomas Fairfax's Parliamentary army defeats Lord Byron's Royalists at the Battle of Nantwich
- Prince Rupert's force rout Colonel Duckenfield's parlimentary force in Stockport
- Siege of Chester by Parlementarian forces (for 2 years)

1645

- Parlementarians beat Royalists at the battle of Rowton Moor, 3 miles south-east of Chester.

1646

- Chester finally falls to the Parlementarians, most of its buildings are in ruins

1647

- George Fox preached in Dukinfield, he later founded the Quakers - In Chester, over 2,000 die of the plague

The Commonwealth

1649

- King Charles executed.
- John Bradshawe of Marple elected "Lord President" of England.

1653

- Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell

1654

- Bubonic plague in England
- England under military rule, divided into regions each headed by a Major-General

1658

- Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell to 1659

1659

- Royalist uprising lead by George Booth of Dunham Massey, defeated at the battle of Winnington Bridge

The Restoration of the monarchy

1660

- King Charles II, Stuart, returns from exile on the continent
- The CofE regains control of churches from the Puritans

1664 to 1666

- The great plague, (epidemic of bubonic plague)
- Very cold winter (one of several at this time), some rivers freeze

1670

- An attempt to build a lighthouse on the Wirral coast is blocked. Shipwrecks supplement local incomes.

1683

- Exceptional frosts, River Mersey frozen.

1685

- King James II, house of Stuart

1689

- Hoylake is the main port for Ireland, an army led by the the Duke of Shomberg embarks at "Highlake" in 90 vessels.
- King William III and Mary II, house of Orange/Stuart

1690

- William III embarks at Hoylake for Ireland.
- Transportation introduced as a punishment

1695

- Navigation of the Mersey improved from the sea to Warrington
- Dairy farming and cheese making is becoming big business in Cheshire, needs better communications to transport goods to market

1696

- A mint is established in Chester by Edmund Halley (he of comet fame), nationwide re-coining and attempt to stop clipping.

1697

- Window tax imposed

1698

- Navigation of the River Dee improved as far as Chester, new warf constructed at the Roodee

1700

- Education, an elementary school is built in Dukinfield by the church

1701

- Great Britain formed by the union of England & Scotland

1702

- Queen Anne, Stuart

1705

- Cheshire's first turnpike authorised, (part of the Chester to Whitchurch road).

1709

- Abraham Darby smelted iron with coke, in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire.
- A big fire in Chester burns part of the town

1710

- Rock salt industry expanding following the intruduction of deep mining.

1711

- South Seas company created. It became a fashionable investment.

1714

- King George I, Hanover, "King of Great Britain"

1715

- Severe winter
- Chester castle is full of Jacobite prisoners, many died of the cold or of fever, most survivors are transported to America

1720

- South Seas "bubble" bursts, many lose all their savings.
- New locks and cuts are made in Mersey and Irwell rivers above Warrington, 50 ton vessels can now reach Manchester [1,9]

1721

- Sir Robert Walpole, Whig, first Prime Minister of Great Britain
- Weaver Navigation (canalisation of the river) authorised by Parliament

1723

- Influenza epidemic

1724

- Manchester to Buxton turnpike constructed (via Stockport)

1727

- King George II, Hanover

1728

- Manchester to Barnsley turnpike constructed along the Longdendale valley

1730

- Witchcraft decriminalised
- Macclesfield to Buxton turnpike constructed.
- Parkgate is now the main port for Ireland.

1731

- Weaver Navigation opened from the Mersey estuary to Middlewich
- Influenza epidemic worldwide
- A silk mill built in Stockport by John Guardivaglio

1733

- Weaver navigation extended as far as Winsford Bridge

1735

- A "new channel" cut for the river Dee from Chester to Flint (the present channel?)

1738

- John Wesley founds the Methodist movement

1740

- A very long and cold winter

1742

- George Frideric Handel puts the finishing touches to the Messiah while at Parkgate awaiting a fair wind for Dublin.
- Prime Minister, Earl of Wilmington, Whig

1743

- Prime Minister, Henry Pelham, Whig

1744

- Silk mill built at Park Green, Macclesfield, by Charles Roe
- John Wesley (1703-1791) begins a series of preaching tours in Cheshire

1745

- Britain's last wolf killed
- Bonnie Prince Charlie starts the Jacobite rebellion
- The Jacobite army occupies Manchester (with little resistance)
- The Jacobites cross Cheshire via Stockport and Macclesfield, reaching Derby
- The Jacobites retreat across Cheshire, plundering the county as they return to Scotland

1746

- Bonnie Prince Charlie's men defeated at Culloden

The Industrial Revolution

1750

- Start of land enclosure to improve agricultural efficiency (1750 to 1860)
- Turnpikes now link many major English towns
- John Wainwright (born Stockport 1723) writes the music for the hymn Christains Awake, words by John Byrom
- The Wirral Colliery opened at Neston.

1752

- Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar in place of the Julian, September has only 19 days
- This is the last year to begin on 25th March, 1752 has only 10 months
- Fire destroys most of the town of Tarvin

1753

- Minimum age at marriage set at 12 for women and 14 for men (Hardwicke Marriage Act)
- A silk mill built in Congleton

1754

- Prime Minister, Duke of Newcastle, Whig
- An organ is installed at St Mary's Church, Stockport
- A Manchester to London stage coach service commences. The Flying Coach takes four and a half days

1756

- Seven years war between Great Britain and France (1756 to 1763)
- Prime Minister, Duke of Devonshire, Whig
- Manchester to London Waggon service opened by Pickfords of Adlington

1757

- Prime Minister, Duke of Newcastle, Whig
- Food shortage, protesters riot in Macclesfield and Bunbury

1759

- The organ is installed at St Peter's Church, Prestbury

1760

- King George III, Hanover
- James Watt unveils his steam engine

1761

- Bridgewater Canal opened from coal mines at Worsley to Manchester, engineer James Brindley

1762

- Prime Minister, Earl of Bute, Tory
- Food shortage, riots in Macclesfield

1763

- Lighthouses built at Bidston, Leasowe, and Hoylake.
- John Harrison wins £20,000 for a chronometer reliable enough to calculate longitude at sea
- Prime Minister, George Grenville, Whig

1765

- Mottram Turnpike Road (Mottram Old Road, Hyde) opens

1765

- Prime Minister, Marquess of Rockingham, Whig

1766

- Prime Minister, Duke of Grafton, Whig
- Press-gangs still used for recruitment into the navy

1767

- James Hargreaves's spinning Jenny automated the production of light cotton yarn

1769

- Australia discovered by Captain Cook (1728-1779) in HMS Endeavour
- Richard Arkwright's water frame (driven by water) produces stronger cotton yarn suitable for warp
- First automobile, a steam driven tricycle, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot

1770

- Prime Minister, Lord North, Tory

1775

- Start of the American Revolution and war of independence
- Steam engines being developed by James Watt
- A hurricane sinks 2 Dublin packets (Nonpareil & Trevor) with the loss of 200 lives (19th Oct)

1776

- Bridgewater Canal extended from Manchester through Cheshire to the Mersey at Runcorn
- First cotton mill built in Stalybridge
- Manchester to London journey time reduced to 4½ days by Pickfords "Fly Waggon"
- American declares independence (on July 4th)

1777

- The Trent and Mersey canal completed, it reached the Mersey at Runcorn via the Bridgwater Canal

1778

- A cotton mill is built on the site of the old castle at Stockport by Sir George Warren, Lord of the Manor

1779

- The Chester to Nantwich canal completed.
- The Iron Bridge built in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire.
- Samuel Crompton invented the "Spinning Mule", starting volume manufacture of high-quality thread

1781

- New deeper rock salt mines dug in the Weaver valley, salt production increases
- Runcorn to Manchester in 8 hours via the Bridgewater Canal passenger boat service [1,21]

1782

- Prime Minister, Earl of Shelbourne, Whig
- Prime Minister, Marquess of Rockingham, Whig

1783

- Man's first flight. In France the Montgolfier brothers send a servant up in a hot air balloon
- Prime Minister, Duke of Portland, Coalition
- Prime Minister, William Pitt, Tory

1784

- Mail Coaches introduced
- Hat tax imposed (on men's but not women's hats)

1785

- The Times (of London) starts publication
- Shortage of small coins inhibits trade, some employers mint their own, including Charles Roe of Macclesfield

1787 to 1799

- French revolution, reached its climax in 1789

1788

- Steam engines fully operable

1789

- Burning at the stake is still in use as a punishment, someone burnt for coining

1791

- Copper mining re-starts at Alderley Edge

1792

- The Ashton canal authorised, it links Dukinfield and Manchester
- A new prison is built at Chester, prisoners kept in small cells, previously they had been held in a large yard

1793

- French revolutionary wars (1793 to 1802)
- Napoleonic wars (in three phases 1793-1802, 1806-1814, 1815)
- Horse-drawn waggonway (forerunner of the railway) used at Poynton coal pit

1794

- Semaphore system built in France by Claude Chappe
- Peak Forest canal opened from Ashton-under-Lyne to Whaley Bridge (except the Marple locks & aquaduct)
- Robert Fulton's paddle-boat steams up the Bridgewater Canal from Runcorn to Manchester

1795

- A cold winter
- Shoemaking industry expanding in Nantwich
- Food shortage, riots in Stockport, Congleton, Northwich, Nantwich and Chester

1796

- The Ellesmere canal completed from Chester to the river Mersey at Ellesmere Port
- The steam-tug Buonapart started trials on the Bridgewater Canal. It proved unsuccessfull.

1797

- The Stockport branch of the Manchester, Ashton, and Oldham canal is opened.

1799

- Income tax imposed, to pay for the Napoleonic wars (repealed later)

1800

- Silk industry thriving in Macclesfield
- Stockport, boosted by cotton, outgrows Chester to become the largest town in Cheshire

1801

- Prime Minister, Henry Addington, Tory
- United Kingdom formed by union of Great Britain and Ireland

1802

- First steam boat, a tug on the Forth and Clyde Canal
- Apprentices hours of work restricted to 12 per day (& no more than two in a bed)
- Parkgate is now a fashionable resort for sea bathing.

1803

- First steam powered locomotive built by Richard Trevithick
- A soapworks opened in Runcorn by John Johnson
- Riots in Nantwich against the enclosure of Beam Heath
- A lifeboat station established at Hoylake.
- Start of the Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)

1804

- Prime Minister, William Pitt, Tory
- The Marple aquaduct opened, thus completeing the Peak Forest Canal
- The Runcorn to Latchford Canal (The Old Quay Canal) is opened, vessels up to 100 tons could easily reach Warrington Warrington [1,13]

1805

- Victory at Trafalgar, the bells at St Mary's, Stockport, rang for three days

1806

- The Peninsular Wars (1806 to 1814)
- Prime Minister, Lord Grenville, Whig

1807

- Prime Minister, Duke of Portland, Tory
- Trading in slaves abolished

1809

- Prime Minister, Spencer Percival, Tory

1810

- The Regency (1810 - 1820)
- King George III has mental health problems, his son Prinnie becomes Prince Regent

1811

- A society "for the education of the poor" is set up by The Church of England (C of E)
- In poor schools, the Master teaches monitors who teach the pupils
- Hat tax abolished
- Cotton spinning industry thriving in Stockport

1812

- Prime Minister, Earl of Liverpool, Tory
- Luddite riots in Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, Dukinfield and Hyde

1813

- The East India Company lost its monopoly of trade with India

1814

- A cold winter
- An Liverpool to Ellesmere Port steam packet service starts (along the Mersey Estuary).

1815

- Battle of Waterloo
- The Hundred Days War
- Manchester to London journey time reduced to 35 hours using a 4 horse van

1816

- A new prison is built at Knutsford

1817

- Steam-packet introduced on the Parkgate to Bagillt ferry
- Tranmere to Liverpool ferry opens, a fast coach connects with Parkgate for Liverpool to North Wales passengers.
- Liverpool businessmen begin to build houses on the Wirral and commute to work

1819

- The Peterloo Massacre, troops kill and injure many people at a public meeting in Manchester
- The auxilliary paddle steamer Savannah reaches Liverpool after crossing the Atlantic from Savannah, Georgia, in 27 days.
- Two steamers, the PS Talbot, and the PS Ivanhoe start operating the Holyhead to Howth (for Dublin) service.
- The paddle steamer Robert Bruce starts a service between Glasgow and Liverpool.

1820

- A steam ferry opened between Liverpool and Birkenhead (a village of 200 inhabitants)
- King George IV, Hanover (King George III dies, his son the Prince Regent becomes King)
- Shoemaking industry thriving in Nantwich

1821

- Macclesfield to Buxton turnpike constructed (via the cat and Fiddle), and improvement on the 1730 route

1822

- Woodside to Liverpool ferry opened
- Society uses Runcorn as a watering place, salt water swimming baths are built by the river [1,19]

1824

- Macclesfield canal, construction began
- Portland Cement developed by Joseph Aspdin
- Shipbuilding begun at Wallasey Pool, Birkenhead by William Laird
- A steam tug starts hauling barges through the Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Canal.

1825

- Manchester to London journey reduced to 22 hours by the Telegraph, Defiance, & Independent stagecoaches
- Heavy salt tax lifted, salt smugglers put out of business
- Work begins on the new town of Birkenhead

1826

- Wellington Road, Stockport, opened
- Drought, many crops failed

1827

- Prime Minister, George Canning, Tory
- Prime Minister, Viscount Goderich, Tory
- Bodysnatching at its height, grave robbers take bodies for surgeons to practice on

1828

- Prime Minister, Duke of Wellington, Tory
- The Holyhead to Liverpool telegraph is created, it includes semaphore stations at Bidston Hill and Hilbre Island.

1829

- Cheshire Police Act, first paid county constabulary

The Railway Age

1830

- Travel by stage-coach reaches its zenith
- King William IV, Hanover
- Prime Minister, Earl Grey, Whig
- The Liverpool & Manchester Railway opens, creating a revolution in passenger transport
- Richard Roberts invents the Automatic Self Acting Mule (improved spinning machine)
- Chester's streets are lit by gas
- The (Duke of Wellington's) Beer Act encourages the opening of Beer Houses (in an attempt to reduce consumption of gin)

1831

- Cholera epidemic in the UK
- Charles Darwin (1809-1882) sails from Plymouth in The Beagle
- Macclesfield canal opened (from Marple, via Poynton, Macclesfield and Congleton, to the Trent & Mersey canal near Kindsgrove)
- Gurney's steam powered stage coach ran between Gloster and Cheltenham

1832

- Some male householders given the vote, about 7% of adults can now vote
- The practice of gibbetting the bodies of those who had been hanged is discontinued
- The Anatomy Act provides a source of bodies for Surgeons, bodysnatching comes to an end.
- More MPs for Cheshire (10 MPs for Cheshire and Cheshire towns)
- Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) born in Daresbury Vicarage
- New Brighton created (a new town and seaside resort)

1833

- Factory owners obliged to provide schooling for workers aged 9 to 13 (two hours per day)
- New Brighton to Liverpool steam ferry founded, (the service ended in 1971)

1834

- Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), Conservative
- Prime Minister, Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848), Whig
- Slavery abolished in Britain and its colonies. The remaining slaves are freed
- The iron steamship John Randolph is prefabricated at Laird's in Birkenhead & shipped to the USA in segments.
- Workhouses created by the poor law act

1835

- Mottram Road, Hyde, opened
- Prime Minister, Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848), Whig
- Municipal Corporations Act, more democracy in the boroughs of Chester, Macclesfield, Stockport, and Congleton

1836

- Dukinfield water company started, prior to this water was taken from the river Tame

1837

- The pillory abolished as punishment
- Queen Victoria, house of Hanover
- The railway is extended south as far as Birmingham
- The State starts to register of births, marriages & deaths (its not compulsory, 20% don't bother)
- Cholera epidemic

1838

- Severe winter (the frost set in in January and continued untill March)
- Seven die at Witton when Ashton's Mine disappears into a void left by brine pumping
- The Royal William steams from Liverpool to New York in 19 days, returns in 15 days
- The Chartist Movement (1838 to 1848) campaigns for improved democracy
- The railway is extended as far as London, Liverpool to London by train in 11 hours
- The Great Western steam ship, maiden voyage to New York

1839

- A great gale, many ships wrecked on Cheshire shores, inc the Brighton, Pennsylvania, Lockwoods, St Andrew, & Victoria.
- Hooton to Queensferry turnpike constructed, the last turnpike to be constructed in the county
- The Electric Telegraph devised by Charles Wheatstone
- The first Grand National Steeplechase (at Aintree, nr Liverpool)
- Photography invented (simultaneously by Daguerre in France and Fox Talbot in England)
- The Queen Mab arrives at Liverpool having sailed from China in only 106 days with a full cargo

1840

- Salt industry expands in Winsford, continues in Northwich, declines in Middlewich & Nantwich
- Penny post introduced (massive increase in the use of mail)
- The Cunard Line's paddle steamer Britannia opens their Liverpool to Boston service (via Halifax), taking 14½ days
- Towns start to use "Railway Time", up till now each town had kept its own time
- Wallpaper manufacture started, (in Darwin, Lancashire)
- Stockport railway viaduct completed
- Birkenhead to Chester railway opened, it becomes the best Liverpool - North Wales route, the Dee ferries' days are numbered.
- Chester to Crewe railway line opened, Crewe becomes a railway junction.
- A new town begins to grow at Crewe

1841

- Manchester to Godley railway line opened (the first section of a Manchester to Sheffield line)
- The new town of Birkenhead (population 8,000) is expanding rapidly, based on shipbuilding
- Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), Conservative

1842

- "Plug drawing" in many cotton mills
- The "six week turnout", the mills closed their doors to workers
- Manchester to Crewe railway line opens (via Stockport, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge)
- Manchester businessmen begin to build houses in Cheshire and commute to work
- The Grand Junction Railway moves its locomotive works from Liverpool to Crewe

1843

- The Morse Code introduced to improve the electric telegraph
- The Crewe Railway locomotive works expands, Crewe becomes a sizeable town

1844

- Working hours of children (aged 8 to 13) reduced to 6½ hours per day

1845

- Potato crop fails (1845 to 1849), famine in Ireland, many Irish come to Cheshire
- Plague epidemic in Manchester
- Cheadle Hulme to Macclesfield railway line opened
- Manchester to Sheffield railway line opened, (through Woodhead)
- An electric telegraph is installed in the Woodhead railway tunnel

1846

- First practical sewing machine patented by Elias Howe
- Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, Liberal

1847

- "Railway time" starts to rival "local time" in towns across the country
- Influenza epidemic worldwide
- General election (July)
- Working hours in factories reduced to 63 per week
- Manchester Collegiate Church becomes a Cathedral

1848

- Cholera epidemic
- Working hours in factories reduced to 58 per week
- Chester to Holyhead railway opened

1849

- Cholera epidemic in Manchester

1850

- Working hours in factories increased to 60 per week
- Telegraph cable laid across the English Channel
- Manchester to London in 6¾ hours by LNWR, fares: third £15 8/-, second £25 0/-, first £35 0/-, express £46 6/-. (source Bradshaw March 1850)
- Press gangs are slowly phased out as a method of naval recruitment
- Street numbering systems formalised, house numbers allocated, towns first, smaller places later
- Commercial photographers start to appear in many towns

1851

- Window tax abolished
- Cristal Palace Exhibition in London
- Sewing machine patented by Singer

1852

- Prime Minister, Earl of Derby, Conservative
- Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, Peelite
- Anti-Catholic riots in Stockport, two churches ransacked: St Michael's on Petersgate, & St Phillip & St James in Edgeley

1853

- Crimean War (Oct 1853 to Feb 1856)

1854

- A candle works and "model" village is built at Bromborough Pool by Price's Patent Candle Co
- Cigarettes introduced into the UK

1855

- Prime Minister, Viscount Palmerston, Liberal
- Railways and many towns now use Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
- Post boxes introduced
- A reformatory school for boys is started aboard HMS Akbar permanently moored in the Mersey off Rock Ferry.
- A cold winter

1856

- Salt production at Nantwich ceased

1857

- Influenza epidemic worldwide
- Transportation abolished as a punishment
- The Indian Mutiny (10th May 1857 to 8th July 1858)
- Stalybridge becomes a borough
- Manchester to London in 5 hours 20 mins by London and North-Western Railway (LNWR)
- A rival Manchester to London service is opened via the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&L)
- Manchester railway war, the LNWR (who claim sole rights) arrest passengers who travel from London by MS&L

1858

- First transatlantic telegraph cable laid
- Prime Minister, Earl of Derby, Conservative

1859

- Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
- Prime Minister, Viscount Palmerston, Liberal
- Poynton coal field at the peak of its production
- A training school for naval cadets is started aboard HMS Conway permanently moored in the Mersey off Rock Ferry.

1860

- Light steam cars take to the roads
- In large towns the post is delivered to every house, in rural areas has to be collected from local offices
- The big Float Dock completed at Birkenhead
- Horse drawn trams start running on the streets of Birkenhead
- The silk industry collapses as foreign silk is allowed into the country, unemployment in Macclesfield

1861

- American civil war (1861 to 1865),
- The Cotton Famine (1861 to 1865), unemployment and hardship in east Cheshire
- Mrs Beeton published her Book of Houshold Management
- The telegraph stations on Bidston Hill and Hilbre Island are decomissioned, replaced by an electric telegraph.

1862

- Woodley to Godley railway line opened
- Cotton famine, no work at the cotton mills
- The ironclad Alabama, launched at Laird's in Birkenhead, slips out of the Mersey to join the Confederate fleet.

1863

- Bread riots in Dukinfield

1864

- The Lottie Sleigh, loaded with dynamite, blew up in the Mersey shattering many windows in Birkenhead.
- A training school for naval ratings is started aboard HMS Indefatigable permanently moored in the Mersey off Rock Ferry.
- A reformatory school for Roman Catholic boys is started aboard the Clarence permanently moored in the Mersey off Rock Ferry.

1865

- Prime Minister, Lord J Russell, Liberal
- Outbreak of Cattle Plague (rinderpest), two-thirds of Cheshire's cattle die, major blow to the county's farming industry

1866

- Prime Minister, Earl of Derby, Conservative

1867

- Most men in towns are given the vote, about 14% of adults can now vote
- Copper mining thriving in Alderley Edge

1868

- Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative
- Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, Liberal
- Miners strike in Dukinfield
- Public hanging abolished
- A prison built at Strangeways, Manchester

1869

- Suez Canal opened, a shorter route to India and Australia
- Imprisonment for debt abolished

1870

- The state starts to provide an elementary education, its not compulsory
- "Board Schools" introduced
- First attempts to standardise spelling
- The use of stocks as a punishment is abandoned

1872

- "Secret" voting introduced

1873

- Influenza epidemic

1874

- Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative
- Soda production started at Winnington by John Brunner and Ludwig Mond
- Registration of births made compulsory

1875

- Cock-fighting made illegal

1876

- Education act, universal elementary education introduced
- Telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell

1877

- Phonograph invented by Thomas Alva
- Crewe and Birkenhead become boroughs

1878

- Internal-combustion engine developed by Nikolaus Otto

1879

- Horse drawn trams on the streets of Chester

1880

- School attendance made compulsory (up to the age of 10)
- Income tax reimposed (and has continued ever since)
- Most towns now use Greenwich Mean Time
- Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, Liberal
- Steam fire engine introduced

1881

- First Boer War
- Hyde becomes a borough
- Cold winter, river Mersey frozen

1883

- A soapworks and model village started by William Lever at (what is now) Port Sunlight

1884

- Most men in the countryside are given the vote, about 30% of adults can now vote
- Severe winter, rivers frozen
- Cremation legalised

1885

- Bull baiting and bear baiting banned
- Prime Minister, Marquis of Salisbury, Conservative
- The last of the herd of wild cattle at Lyme dies.

1886

- The first Mersey rail tunnel opened, it links Liverpool and The Wirral
- Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, Liberal

1887

- Manchester to London in 4¼ hours by the LNWR (sourch Brasdshaw August 1887)

1888

- Kodak introduces the box camera, photography available to the masses
- Cheshire County Council created, first democratic county elections (previously the county had been run by Justices)
- Main roads transferred from Turnpike Trusts to County Councils
- Local Government, Urban Sanitary Districts and Rural Sanitary Districts created,
- Brunel's Great Eastern is broken up on Tranmere beach, many of her fittings remain on Merseyside.

1889

- Influenza epidemic worldwide

1890

- Four-wheel automobile produced by Benz
- Post delivered to all addessses following the introduction of bicycles
- Halfpenny rate introduced for postcards bringing communication for the masses
- Shoemaking industry declining in Nantwich

1891

- John Masefield (future poet laureate & author of Sea Fever) starts merchant marine training on HMS Conway at Rock Ferry

1892

- Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, Liberal
- Manchester Ship Canal opened as far as Weston Point where a temporary terminal (Saltport) was created [1,164]

1894

- Manchester Ship Canal opened, Manchester becomes a major port
- Start of a period of strong industrial growth along the ship canal
- Prime Minister, Earl of Roseberry, Liberal
- Wireless telegraphy invented in Italy by Guglielmo Marconi
- Local government, Urban Sanitary Districts (USD) become Urban Districts
- December 22, a great storm drowned many seafarers in the Irish Sea.

1895

- A cold winter, the river Mersey is frozen.
- First cinématograph demonstrated by Auguste and Louis Lumière.
- Prime Minister, Marquis of Salisbury, Conservative

1896

- The Red Flag rule for motor vehicles is abolished

1897

- Itinerant cinémas travel from place to place
- Dukinfield becomes a borough

1899

- The South African War (Second Boer war) (11th October 1899 to 31 May 1902)
- The Clarence Reformatory ship at Rock Ferry is decomissioned.

1900

- Mersey rail tunnel is electrified
- A 621 foot high tower opens at New Brighton, a pleasure resort.

1901

- First transatlantic wireless message, Guglielmo Marconi
- King Edward VII, house of Saxe-Coburg
- Tramway and electricity board established by Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, and Dukinfield (SHMD)

1902

- Responsability for education passed from school boards to local authorities
- Measles epidemic closes a school in Hoose (Wirral)

1903

- Manchester University opened
- First successful flight by a powered aeroplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright
- Electric trams replace horse trams in Chester
- Motoring: speed limit raised to 20 miles per hour

1904

- First trams run between Hyde and Stalybridge
- Charles Rolls and Henry Royce start making motor cars
- First customer takes SHMD electricity

1905

- Prime Minister, Sir H Campbell-Bannerman, Liberal

1907

- The Akbar is towed to a breaker's yard after 52 years as a reformatory ship at Rock Ferry.

1908

- Ford starts mass production of his Model T
- Prime Minister, H H Asquith, Liberal

1909

- First flight across the English Channel (by Louis Blériot)

1910

- King George V, house of Saxe-Coburg (renamed Windsor in 1917)
- Manchester to London in 4 hours by LNWR (source Bradshaw April 1910)
- First London to Manchester flight (Louis Paulhan in a Farman biplane wins a £10,000 prize)
- John Dunville landed in Macclesfield having ascended from Dublin & crossed the Irish Sea in a balloon

1912

- The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, many died.
- Public telephone service introduced in the UK

First World War

1914

- World War 1 (1914 to 1918)

1915

- Prime Minister, H H Asquith, Coalition

1916

- Conscription introduced in the UK (and abolished at the end of the war)
- Prime Minister, D Lloyd George, Coalition

1917

- Influenza epidemic worldwide
- Cinema films (silent) are a popular form of entertainment

1918

- 1918 almost all men, and women over 30, are given the vote
- School Leaving age raised to 14 (from 10)

1919

- First non-stop transatlantic flight (Alcock & Brown fly from Newfoundland to Ireland)

1920

- New Brighton tower demolished
- European car producers emerge - Austin, Morris, Singer, Fiat, Citroën
- Motor buses enter service
- Main roads are classified and numbered

1922

- Prime Minister, A Bonar Law, Conservative
- Radio broadcasting starts. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is funded by radio manufacturers

1923

- Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, Conservative

1924

- Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald, Labour
- Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, Conservative

1925

- First bus service by SHMD (Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, and Dukinfield transport board)

1926

- Public telephone boxes arrive on the streets

1927

- An Act of Parliament regulates the Adoption of Children, previous adoptions were informal
- The British Broadcasting Corporation takes over from the British Broadcasting Company

1928

- All women are given the vote
- Adelaide mine saltworks at Marston disappears into a large hole left by saltworking
- The Wirral Colliery at Neston closes, it had extended for 2 miles under the Dee estuary.

1929

- First British sound film produced Blackmail
- Minimum age at marriage raised to 16 (see 1753)
- Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald, Labour
- The Slump (UK), The Great Depression (US), (ended in 1939)
- The Wall Street Crash, October 29th, Black Tuesday, the stock market collapss
- Scouting's World Jamboree held in Arrowe Park, 50,000 boys from across the world camp in rain and mud

1930

- Amateur ciné cameras become available

1931

- Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald, National

1932

- Traffic lights installed at King St & Warf St, Dukinfield
- Telex service introduced in the UK
- BBC world services starts broadcasting

1934

- Road tunnel opened under the Mersey between Birkenhead and Liverpool

1935

- Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, National
- The last coal pit in Poynton closed

1936

- First transatlantic air service, by Hindenburg airship
- King Edward VIII, Windsor
- King George VI, Windsor
- Motoring: driving test introduced

1937

- Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, National

1938

- Rolls Royce build their factory in Crewe
- Ringway airport opens, passenger flights start

1939

- The submarine Thetis sank with the loss of 99 lives while on sea trials in Liverpool Bay

Second World War

1939 to 1945, people go to war, rationing, towns & villages bombed

- Conscription reintroduced
- Petrol rationing introduced
- Ringway airport closed to passenger services

1940

- Food rationing introduced
- Canals fall into disuse
- Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, Coalition
- The cadets from the Indefatigable at Rock Ferry are moved to Anglesey to avoid the bombing.

1941

- Clothes rationing introduced
- After 82 years at Rock Ferry, HMS Conway, the third training ship of that name, moves to the Menai Straits to avoid bombing.

1942

- Soap rationing introduced

1945

- Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, Labour

1946

- Bread rationing introduced (it had not been rationed during the war)
- Ringway airport re-opens to passengers.

1947

- A very long and cold winter
- School leaving age raised to 15 (from 14)

1948

- Whipping abolished as a punishment

1949

- Clothes rationing ends

1950

- Tape recorders become available
- Petrol rationing ends

1951

- Festival of Britain
- Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, Conservative

1952

- Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor
- Bad smog, (at its worst walkers can't see the ground)

1953

- Sweet rationing ends
- Television arrives in Cheshire (from the Sutton Coalfield transmitter near Birmingham)
- Manchester (Ringway) to New York air service begins, Sabena Air Lines, flight time 12 hours, refuelling stop at Gander

1954

- Food rationing ends
- BBC loses monopoly on TV broadcasting in the UK

1955

- Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, Conservative

1956

- First transatlantic telephone cable laid

1957

- Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, Conservative

1959

- Britain's first motorway opened, the Preston Bypass, now part of the M6.

1960

- Aircraft replace ocean liners for transatlantic travel

1961

- Conscription ended
- Suicide decriminalised
- Rectangular road signs start to replace fingerposts and milestones

1962

- Manchester to Crewe railway line electrified, steam locomotives phased out
- Clean Air Act, stops the burning of smoky fuels in towns to fight smog
- Brief transatlantic TV pictures via satellite: Telstar

1963

- Very cold winter
- John F Kennedy asassinated in Dallas (22nd November)
- Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Conservative
- The M6 motorway opened across Cheshire

1964

- Prime Minister, Horold Wilson, Labour

1965

- First commercial transatlantic telecomms satellite (Intelsat 1)
- Hanging abolished as a punishment
- School leaving age raised to 16

1967

- Farms hit by foot and mouth disease (25 October 1967 to 4th April 1968)

1969

- Man lands on the moon

1970

- Telephones available in most homes
- Prime Minister, Edward Heath, Conservative
- Video cameras and video recorders become available

1971

- Decimal currency introduced. Previously there were 20 shillings per pound and 12 pence per shilling

1974

- Local government reorganisation, the county of Cheshire is reduced is size, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are created,
- Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, Labour

1975

- Ringway Airport is renamed Manchester International Airport

1976

- Prime Minister, James Callaghan, Labour

1978

- Education is re-organised, Secondary Modern and Grammar Schools are replaced by Comprehensive Schools

1979

- A cold winter
- Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Conservative

1980

- Personal Computers become available

1981

- The P.O. Telegram Service ends

1985

- Mobile phones arrive (cellphones in American English), they are analog, expensive, and heavy

1989

- A "large hypertext database" is proposed by Tim Berners-Lee

1990

- Mobile phones become generally available
- Prime minister, John Major, Conservative
- The Internet is opened to the general public

1990

- Tim Berners-Lee's large hypertext database becomes the World Wide Web

1992

- Mobile phones go digital, texting introduced, the new phones are light, inexpensive, and popular.

1996

- Start of a crisis in British farming caused by Mad Cow Disease

1997

- Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Labour

1998

- Warrington becomes independent of Cheshire County Council

1999

- A new currency, the Euro is intruduced in Europe, but the UK retained the pound
- The Internet achieves mass popularity
- Weather - start of a series of mild winters

Sources and References:
1Schooner Port, by H F Starkey

Carl's Cam