What was the happening at the time that your ancestor lived ?
This time line hopefully provides a sample illustration of some of the events that took place.

> > > 1600

1603 The accession of James I and the end of the war with Spain
1605 The Gunpowder Plot
1607 New colonies and trading posts
1609-13 Plantation of Ulster
1611 King James' Bible
1617-18 James in Scotland and the Five Articles of Perth
1620 Sailing of the Mayflower
1625-40 Charles I and Parliament
from 1628 Science under royal patronage
1637-38 Prayer Book riots, National Covenant and Bishops' Wars
1641 Irish rebellion
1642 Charles I captured. Queen Henrietta Maria and Charles, Prince of Wales, escape to France
1649 Charles I beheaded
1649-60 The Interregnum; the Commonwealth established
1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth
1658 Oliver Cromwell dies
1660 The Restoration. Charles II returns from France and takes the throne.
1665 Plague. Pentland Rising. The Great Fire of London and Christopher Wren.
1673-81 The Test Acts, Titus Oates and the Popish Plot.
1681-5 Parliament does not meet. Court holds power.
1685 Charles II dies succeeded by James II.
1694 Mary dies; William III sole ruler.
1685-88 James VII and II and the Monmouth rising.
1688 'Glorious' Revolution.
1689 William of Orange, Mary II and the Declaration of Rights.
1690 Battle of the Boyne.
1692 Massacre of Glencoe.
1694 Bank of England founded.
1695 Darien colony.
1699 Eddystone Rock lighthouse.

> > > 1700

1701 James II dies in France. Act of Settlement directs succession, should Anne die childless.
1702 William dies; Anne (Mary's sister) succeeds.
1702-13 War of the Spanish succession.
1712 The first steam engine.
1713 Peace of Utrecht.
1714 Anne dies succeeded by George I (of Hanover).
1715 Jacobite rebellion.
1720 Charles Edward Stuart (a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender) born in France to James (the Old Pretender). South Sea Bubble.
1721-42 Robert Walpole Prime Minister.
1727 George I dies; George II crowned.
1733 John Kay's flying shuttle.
1735 Transport and the turnpikes.
1745 Jacobite rising in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
1745 Battle of Prestopans.
1746 The Battle of Culloden.
1750 Start of the Industrial Revolution.
1752 Calendar reform.
1753 British Museum
1754 Anglo-French war begins in North America.
1755 Lisbon earthquake.
1756-63 Seven Years' War.
1757 Clive captures India from the French.
1758 First threshing machine.
1759 British Museum opens.
1759 Capture of Quebec by Wolfe.
1760 George II dies; his grandson crowned George III. French surrender Montreal to the British. Wedgewood opens pottery works.
1763 Treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years' War. France cedes Canada and the Mississippi Valley to Britain.
1764 Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny.
1766 James "the Old Pretender" dies in France.
1768 Cook in the Pacific
1769 Arkwright invents a spinning machine.
1771 Arkwright's first spinning mill.
1773 Boston Tea Party.
1774 Priestly isolates oxygen. Accession of Louis XVI of France.
1775-83 The war of American Independence. Watt's first efficient steam engine.
1776 Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. American colonies declare their independence.
1778 Rousseau and Voltaire die.
1779 First steam powered mills. Crompton invents spinning "mule."
1780 Gordon Riots.
1781 Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at Yorktown, Va.
1782 Lord North resigns; full Parliamentary gvernment restored.
1783 Peace treaty signed in Paris between Great Britain and the United States.
1784 East India Company Board of Control.
1785 Cartwright builds power loom.
1786 Coal gas first used for lighting.
1787 Warren Hastings impeached.
1788 Bonnie Prince Charlie dies in France.
1788 Colonisation of the Antipodes - penal colonies
1789 Bastille falls; French Revolution begins.
1791-2 Paine, The Rights of Man.
1792 Reign of Terror in France.
1793 Louis XVI executed in France. England and France at war.
1794 Execution of Robespierre ends the Reign of Terror.
1796 Invasion of England threatened.
1797 First £1 banknotes.
1798 Battle of the Nile.
1799 Napoleon named First Consul of France.

> > > 1800

1801 The union with Ireland and adoption of the Union Flag.
1803-15 The Napoleonic wars.
1804 Napoleon declared Emperor.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar.
1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade
1809 Napoleon captures Vienna.
1811 Prince of Wales named Regent to act for George III, now insane.
1811-20 The Regency
1811-12 Luddite riots in the North and the Midlands.
1812 Napoleon invades Russia.
1812-14 War of 1812 between England and the United States.
1814 Treaty of Ghent ends Anglo-U.S. War. England and allies invade France.
Napoleon exiled to Elba.
1815 Napoleon escapes Elba; begins the "Hundred Days."
Battle of Waterloo; Napoleon exiled to St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
Corn Laws passed.
1817 David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy.
1819 "Peterloo" massacre of Corn Law protestors.
1820 George III dies; succeeded by Prince Regent as George IV.
1821 Napoleon dies.
1820 Cato Street Conspiracy
1822 Classical Tripos established at Cambridge.
1823 London Mechanics Institute founded.
1825 Stockton to Darlington Railway
1827 Thomas Arnold appointed to Rugby.
1829 Catholic Emancipation Act. Peel establishes the Metropolitan Police.
1830 George IV dies; his brother William IV succeeds. Manchester - Liverpool Railway (first in England).
1832 William IV - First Reform Bill: adds £10/year householders to the voting rolls and reapportions Parliamentary representation much more fairly, doing away with most "rotten" and "pocket" boroughs. Adds 217,000 voters to an electorate of 435,000.
1833 Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire. Factory Act.
1834 New Poor Law. Houses of Parliament burn down.
1836-48 Chartist movement.
1837 William IV dies; succeeded by his niece, Victoria.
1837 The foundation of the Chartist movement
1838 Regular Atlantic steamship service begins.
1839 Free Trade League founded.
1840 Queen Victoria marries her cousin Albert, who becomes Prince Consort.
1840 Penny post started. S.F.B. Morse invents the telegraph. Grammar Schools Act.
1842 Chartist Riots. Copyright Act.
1842 Mines Act forbidding employment of women and girls, and all boys under 13, in coal mines.
1843 Disruption of the Scottish Kirk
1845-50 Irish famine
1846 Repeal of the Corn Laws
1848 Revolutions in Europe. Queen's College (for women) founded in London.
1848-75 Public Health Acts
1849 Gold discovered in California and Australia.
1850 Telegraph cable laid under English Channel.
1851 Great Exhibition ("Crystal Palace").
Population of United Kingdom at 21 million.
1853-6 Crimean War.
1855 Livingston discovers Victoria Falls. Limited Liabilities Act
Civil Service Commissioners appointed.
1857-58 The Indian Mutiny
1858 First Atlantic cable laid.
1860 Garibaldi takes Naples; unification of Italy.
1861 Albert dies; Victoria retires into mourning.
1861-5 American Civil War.
1862 Bismarck becomes Prussian premier.
1864 Geneva Convention establishes Red Cross.
1866 Italy defeated by Austria. Telegraph cable laid under the Atlantic.
1867 Disraeli's Second Reform Act: enfranchises many workingmen; adds 938,000 to an electorate of 1,057,000 in England and Wales. South African diamond fields discovered. Fenian rising in Ireland.
1868 Foundation of Trades Union Congress
1869 Suez Canal opened. Union Pacific Railway completed in U.S.
1870 Forster's Elementary Education Act establishes School Boards.
Vatican Council (establishes the infallibility of the Pope).
1870-1 Franco-Prussian War.
1871 University Tests Act removes religious tests at Oxford and Cambridge. Trade unions legalized.
Newcastle engineers strike for a nine-hour day. Germany unified.
1873 Population of the United Kingdom at 26 million (France 36 million).
1876 Victoria named Empress of India. Edison invents the phonograph.
Compulsory school attendance in Great Britain.
1877 Transvaal annexed.
1879 Somerville and Lady Margaret Colleges (for women) founded at Oxford. Zulu war.
1881 Cambridge Tripos exams opened to women.
1882 Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy, and Austria).
Married Women's Property Act enables women to buy, own, and sell property, and to keep their own earnings.
1883 "Oom Paul" Kruger named president of the South African Republic. Fabian Society founded.
Mahdi Rebellion in the Sudan.
1884-5 Third Reform Act and Redistribution Act extend vote to agricultural workers; electorate tripled.
1885 Fall of Khartoum.
1886 Irish Home Rule crisis
1887 Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
1888 Jack the Ripper
1889 London dock workers and match girls strike for 6d./hour.
1890 Parnell--O'Shea divorce case ends Parnell's influence; no Home Rule for Ireland.
1893 Independent Labour Party founded
1894 Dreyfus trial in France.
1895 U.S. equals the U.K.'s industrial output.
1897 Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
1898-99 Spanish-American War.
1899-1902 The Boer War

> > > 1900

1901 Victoria dies; Edward Prince of Wales succeeds.
1902 First hormones discovered
1903 U.S. acquires Canal Zone from Panama.
1903 The campaign for women's suffrage
1903 The Wright Brothers' Flyer makes first steady flight
1904 Entente Cordiale (England and France).
1905 Revolution in Russia.
1909 Louis Bleriot makes first aeroplane crossing of the English Channel
1913 Panama Canal opens
1914-18 The First World War
1915 Poison Gas used on the Western Front. Einstein publishes his General Theory of Relativity
1916 The Easter Rising and Irish independence
1916 680,000 die in First World War battle of Verdun, First birth control clinic opens in USA
1917 Russian Revolution.
1918 Flu epidemic kills 20 million in America and Europe in winter of 1918-19
1918 all men over 21 and women over thirty enfranchised.
1918-39 Depression
1920 Sale of alcohol banned (Prohibition) in USA lasts (until 1933)
1922 Irish Free State established.
1926 Scotsman Logie Baird first demonstrates television
1928 Penicillin discovered
1928 Equal Franchise Act grants right to vote to women over 21 (as well as men).
1929 Wall Street crash begins the Great Depression
1931 Empire State Building in New York completed
1934 Nylon invented
1936 George V dies, Edward VIII succeeds
1936-8 Spanish Civil War.
1937 Edward VIII abdicates, George VI succeeds
1938 The Munich Agreement and appeasement
1939-45 The Second World War
1947 India and Pakistan gain Independence
1950 Korean War starts
1952 George VI dies Elizabeth II succeeds
1953 Korean War ends, Coronation of Elizabeth II, Death of Stalin
1956-57 The Suez Crisis
1957 Sputnik
1959 Microchip invented
1961 The Berlin Wall built
1962 Cuban crisis
1963 Assassination of President Kennedy
1965 State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, United States offensive in Vietnam (until 1975)
1966 Russian spacecraft lands on the moon
1969 American astronauts land on the moon in Apollo 11
1970 Jumbo jet enters service
1974 World population reaches 4 billion
1982 First music CD's go on sale, The Falklands conflict
1986 Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl explodes. Radioactive dust blows across Europe
1990 Iraq invades Kuwait
1991 The Gulf conflict
1992 First CDRom computer disks
1999 The conflict over Kosovo

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