§ Edmund Burke published A Vindication of Natural Society.
§ The British Conquest of America.
§ Twelve year old Bentham enters Oxford University.
§ End of The Seven Years War and the signing of The Treaty Of Paris.
§ Lord Shelburne (1737-1805), an alumnus of Oxford, an army officer, a parliamentarian, and, who, was to become a powerful supporter of Bentham, is appointed the president of the Board of Trade (a very important position in those days).
§ The Stamp Act is passed by the British parliament.
§ At around this time, Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) brings out his Commentaries on the Law of England.
§ The members of the "Long Parliament" take their seats, it sat for 15 years, until 1785.
§ Having studied at Lincoln's Inn since 1763, Bentham is called to the bar.
§ Edmund Burke brings out On Conciliation with the American Colonies.
§ July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress carries a motion for the independence of the 13 states on the East coast of America. Two days later the Declaration of Independence is adopted.
§ Edward Gibbon gives forth with his first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
§ David Hume dies.
§ Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is published.
§ Bentham's work, A Fragment on Government comes out.
§ British troops under Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown.
§ December 13th, penal laws against Roman Catholics repealed.
§ British evacuate New York.
§ Bentham brings out his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.
§ Burke writes Reflections on the French Revolution.
§ Paine's reply, The Rights of Man.
§ September massacres in Paris.
§ In January Louis XVI is beheaded.
§ Godwin's Political Justice appears.
§ The trials of the "Reform-martyrs," Muir and Palmer who were subsequently transported to Botany Bay; this was part of the larger government effort to prosecute editors, nonconformists and radicals who were arguing for Parliamentary reform.
§ A simple device for separating cotton lint from seeds is patented by Eli Whitney.
§ Edward Jenner discovers the prophylactic power of vaccination.
§ In January, with Bonaparte having successfully invaded Italy and Spain coming in on the side of France, Britain withdrew her ships from the Mediterranean, which was to become a "French Lake" from January 1797 to May 1798.
§ Malthus brings out his Essay on the "Principle of Population."
§ Coleridge and Wordsworth bring out Lyrical Ballads.
§ Nelson re-enters the Mediterranean in May, 1798, and destroys Napoleon's fleet.
§ The Treaty of Amiens is signed and the war between France and England is ended leaving France supreme in Western Europe and England supreme on the oceans of the world.
§ Malthus brings out the second edition of his Essay on the "Principle of Population."
§ War between Britain and Bonaparte-dominated Spain breaks out on December 12th, 1804.
§ Napoleon becomes emperor of France.
§ In 1805, Trevithick adapts the Watt engine to a vehicle, and the locomotive comes into being. By the middle of the century a network of railways had spread all over Europe.
§ Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.
§ In 1806 England abolishes the slave-trade (in 1833 slavery itself).
§ Fulton's first steam boat.
§ In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe.
§ Bentham meets James Mill.
§ Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
§ The English Parliament passes an anti-slave trade bill and the 1811 Felony Act becomes law, and it killed the slave trade dead.21
§ On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declares war on Britain.
§ It was during the winter that the news came of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and his struggle to retain hold of central Europe.
§ In England, 13 "Luddites" are hung at the York Assizes.
§ June 18th, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo.
§ Ricardo's, Principles of Political Economy & Taxation.
§ Habeas Corpus is suspended as the war against the Radical Press in England heats up.
§ "Peterloo:" On August 16th, 1819, "an orderly and unarmed crowed of about 60,000 men, women and children" assemble in support of universal suffrage, in St. Peter's Fields, Manchester. They were there to hear the speaker, Radical Hunt. The magistrates, in a move to arrest the speaker, order the cavalry in: "eleven persons, including two women, were killed or died of their injuries; over a hundred were wounded by sabres and several hundred more injured by horse-hoofs or crushed in the stampede." (G. M. Trevelyan's, British History in the Nineteenth Century, p. 189.)
§ Keats, Hyperion; Shelley, Promethus Unbound.
§ A Factory Bill prohibiting children under the age of nine to work in cotton mills is passed in 1819; this is the first of a series of parliamentary bills which were to be passed over the next forty years in a process of law reform which was first prompted by the writings of Jeremy Bentham.
§ The first railway opens in the northern part of England, between Stockton and Darlinton; Stephenson's "Rocket," with a thirteen ton train, gets up a speed of 44 miles per hour.
§ On 27th March, 1827, Darwin gives a short talk to the Plinian Society, and communicates two discoveries which he has made: First, "that the ova of the Flustra posses organs of motion; and the second, that the small black globular body hitherto mistaken for the young Fucus Lorius [a seaweed], is in reality the ovum of the pontobdella muricata [a leech that infests skates]. At the request of the society he promised to draw up an account of the facts and to lay it, together with specimens, before the Society next evening."22
§ Wm. Cobbett and Richard Carlile put on trial for articles in the Press; Cobbett, at least, was acquitted.