Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1861 in the United Kingdom

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1861 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1861 in the United Kingdom.



  • Monarch — Victoria
  • Prime Minister — The Viscount Palmerston (Liberal)
  • Events

  • 1 January — First steam-powered merry-go-round recorded, in Bolton.
  • 15 February — About 350 convicts held on St Mary's Island at Chatham Dockyard take over their prison in a riot.
  • 20 February — Storms damage the Crystal Palace in London and cause the collapse of the steeple of Chichester Cathedral.
  • 21 to 26 March — Major fire in Southwark destroys several buildings.
  • 30 March — William Crookes announces his discovery of thallium.
  • 7 April — United Kingdom Census. The population is more than double that of 1801.
  • 12 April — American Civil War breaks out, leading to Lancashire Cotton Famine (1861–1865).
  • 13 May — British government resolves to remain neutral in the American Civil War.
  • 17 May — Thomas Cook runs the first package holiday from London to Paris.
  • 31 July — Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act codifies company law.
  • 6 August — Criminal law consolidation Acts (drafted by Charles Sprengel Greaves) granted Royal Assent, generally coming into effect on 1 November. The death penalty is limited to murder, embezzlement, piracy, high treason and to acts of arson perpetrated upon docks or ammunition depots; the age of consent is codified as twelve. The Home Secretary takes over the power to reprieve or commute sentences from the judiciary and Privy Council.
  • Accessories and Abettors Act, codifying the law on accessories and abettors.
  • Coinage Offences Act, codifying the law on counterfeiting of coins.
  • Criminal Statutes Repeal Act.
  • Forgery Act, codifying the law on forgery.
  • Larceny Act, codifying the law on larceny and related offences.
  • Malicious Damage Act, codifying the law on criminal damage.
  • Offences against the Person Act, codifying the law on violent offence against the person.
  • 27 August — Last execution in Britain for attempted murder — Martin Doyle in Chester.
  • 16 September — Post Office Savings Bank opens.
  • 24 October — HMS Warrior, the world's first ocean-going (all) iron-hulled armored battleship is completed and commissioned.
  • 8 November — Trent Affair: Union captained ship USS San Jacinto intercepts the British mail packet Trent at sea and removes two Confederate diplomats.
  • 25 November — A tenement collapses in the Old Town, Edinburgh, killing 35 with 15 survivors.
  • 1 December — Trent Affair: British government dispatches its response, partly drafted by The Prince Consort.
  • Undated

  • James Clerk Maxwell demonstrates the principle of three-colour photography (see picture).
  • British Empire establishes bases in Lagos to stop the slave trade.
  • Perpetual Truce of Peace and Friendship signed between Bahrain and the U.K.
  • Construction commences on Royal Museum in Edinburgh.
  • Crimean War Memorial unveiled in London, including sculptures of Other Ranks.
  • William Morris founds the influential furnishing company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
  • Publications

  • Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.
  • Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations complete in book form.
  • George Eliot's novel Silas Marner.
  • F. T. Palgrave's anthology Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics, 1st edition.
  • Charles Reade's novel The Cloister and the Hearth.
  • Anthony Trollope's novels Framley Parsonage (book form) and Orley Farm (serialisation begins).
  • Mrs Henry Wood's 'sensation novel' East Lynne.
  • The anthology Hymns Ancient and Modern. This includes the setting "Eventide" by the music editor William Henry Monk for the hymn Abide with Me.
  • Births

  • 15 February — Halford Mackinder, geographer (died 1947)
  • 12 June — William Attewell, cricketer (died 1927)
  • 19 June — Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, soldier (died 1928)
  • 20 June — Frederick Hopkins, biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (died 1947)
  • 23 September — Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, poet and novelist (died 1907)
  • 16 October — J. B. Bury, historian (died 1927)
  • Deaths

  • 29 January — Catherine Gore, novelist and dramatist (born 1799)
  • 16 March — Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent and mother of Queen Victoria (born 1786, Germany)
  • 29 June — Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet (born 1806)
  • 21 October - Edward Dickinson Baker, United States Senator from Oregon from 1860 till 1861. (born 1811)
  • 14 December — Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria (born 1819)
  • References

    1861 in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

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