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History Timeline

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein 1879 - 1955

We reap what we sow

We reap what we sow
A card posted in London Jan 14th 1905
This section is to illustrate significant historical landmarks during our grandparent's and parent's life times which infuence the way we live today. Also more recent events which will affect our children's and grandchildren's lives. Please send in text, photographs and articles which would help to illustrate this section of our Social and Political history

See the BBC Womens Time Line click to visit webpage

Other interesting Timelines to view

The Victorian Timeline link
NHS Timeline link

"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman" Virginia Woolf

With the latest enthusiasm in tracing your ancesters when you are drawing out your family tree you suddenly find a gap - a branch that goes nowhere. You ask grandma or an elderly aunt who reply 'Oh we don't talk about that in the family my dear' and the matter is closed. This happens in every single family all the time - it's history. You need an archive - a social archive of your family history for future generations. Not an entire video tape but fleeting moments, flickering images from every member of your family, just the ones worth saving so that they make up the whole.
Kate Adie

Book available on loan to family members

From 11 January 1858, the new London-based Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes heard all divorce and matrimonial cases (such as restitution of conjugal rights, legitimacy, protection of earnings). In 1873 it was reformed into the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the Supreme Court of Judicature.

In 1911 as the laws then stood a woman could not obtain a divorce in England, she could only have the marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation: by arguing, and demonstrating medically, that she was still a virgin after five years of marriage.

The real opening of divorce to all classes took place in the 1920s, with the extension of legal aid, and the provision of some local facilities. In 1922, ten assize towns were named as suitable for the hearing of certain kinds of divorce. From 1927, petitions could also be filed in 23 district registries instead of solely at the Principal Registry in London, while cases could be heard in 18 assize towns as well as in London. This option proved increasingly popular: within 10 years nearly a quarter of all suits were started at district registries of the Supreme Court. The county courts were finally able to hear divorce suits in the late 1960s. Most divorces now take place at county courts.
Too late for our grandmother Gertrude.


Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler
Collaged felt with machine stitch by Ann Dingsdale
Josephine Butler 1828-1906 campaigned against the Contagious Diseases Acts and their humiliation of ordinary women. She spoke in public about prostitution and venereal disease.
See Guardian article for more information click to read


Adoption wasn't legally recognised in England and Wales until the first Adoption Act of 1926. Before then adoption was a familiar social but informal phenomenon which involved giving a home to an orphaned or abandoned child. Until the mid- 20th century, official adoptions, often of illegitimate children, were arranged by agencies. They occurred in secrect, to protect the adopting parent and on condition that there would be no contact between mother and child.
We therefore feel that the Harry/Gertrude/Dorothy triangle was the best solution to keep the children together

The 1975 Children Act - overturned the secrecy law and made birth records available to adopted people, enabling them to find out about their origins

The 1989 Children Act - stressed the importance of working in partnership with birth families.

By 1998 adoptions fell to their lowest level since 1926

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 - gave mothers limited access to the children they gave up via adoption agencies.

A set of Royal Mail Stamps issued Nov 2008

A set of Royal Mail Stamps issued Nov 2008

Dates and items of interest to our family......

1837 Mansands Coastguard Cottages were built

1941 Knowles Hill School was founded
Miss Rainford - Headmistress was a translater for the League of Nations



1836 Marriage Act
1837 Queen Victoria came to the throne
1840 Launch of the 'Full English Breakfast' for professioanl Victorian men
1841 The first Census - life expectancy was 40.2 yrs for men
1841 15.9 million people left for America Canada & Australia around this time
1841 The Penny Red stamp introduced
1844 The Cooperative Movement . Rochdale Pioneers
1858 Divorce Act
1861 Criminal Law Consolidation Act reduced the number of capital crimes to four: Murder, High Treason, Arson in a Royal Dockyard,and Piracy
1868 Last fully public hanging in England
1880 Compulsory education introduced
1880 Girls school books of lower status intoduced for the first time
1883 Womens Cooperative Guild
1884 NSPCC founded
1884 Royal Commission on the housing of the working classes
1885 Vaccine for Rabies discovered
1888 Invention of pneumatic tyre
1888 Invention of the hand held camera
1888 Jack the Ripper terrorises east London
1889 London dockers win an extra six pence an hour - the first major strike
1890 Discovery of Diphtheria vaccine
1891 Invention of the zip fastener
1892 Keir Hardy the 1st independant socialist MP arrives in the House of Commons
1892 New Zealand gives women the vote - the first country to do so
1895 Daily Mail the 1st mass circulation newspaper is published
1895 National Trust founded
1895 Discovery of Xrays
1895 Wireless telegraphy invented
1896 Motor cars begin to appear on British roads
1896 Radioactivity discovered
1897 Tate Gallery opened
1897 Queen Victoria celebrates her Diamond Jubilee
1899 Education Act School leaving age set to 12
1899 Introduction of Aspirin
1899 First tape recorder invented
1900 The Labour Party is formed.
1902 Holloway prison converted to become London's first female only prison
1903 The Wright Brothers make the first powered flight
1905 -1916 The Liberal government, Lloyd George introduces the old age pension
1905 Russian Revelution
1906 Publication of first novels aimed at girls (Angela Brazil)
1906 Education (School Meals) Act.
1907 The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act
1908 Childrens and Young Persons Act
1908 Introduction of Old Age Pensions
1911 National Insurance Act
1912 Introduction of School Clinics
1913 A children's branch of the Home Office is established for the first time
1913 Mental Deficiency Act
1914 - 1918 The 1st world war
1915 Womens International League for Peace and Freedom founded
1916 The Easter rising in Ireland of the Sinn Fein
1917 the US enters the war
1918 Women who were over 30 and householders got the vote.
1918 Education Act School leaving age set to 14
1919 The Treaty of Versailles establishes peace and the League of Nations formed
1919 Ministry of Health set up
1919 Irish War of Independance
1920 State of Emergency Miners Strike
1922 Northern Ireland partitioned with the south gaining independance
1922 First Daily Broadcasts by the BBC
1923 Daily weather forecasts on BBC radio
1924 First Housing Act
1926 Movies ..the first talkies appear
1926 First demonstrration of Television by Baird
1926 TUC calls first General Strike
1927 Divorce and Legal Aid Act
1928 Pennicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming
1829. Last hanging for forgery
1930 Amy Johnson flies solo to Australia
1931 3 million unemployed - the Jarrow March
1932 Whipping of children under 14 banned
1933 Adolf Hitler becomes dictator of Germany as leader of the Nazi Party
1934 National Council for Civil Liberties formed
1936 Edward V111 abdicates
1938 Abortion Act
1939 - 45 The 2nd world war.
1939 Sept - First child evacuees left London
1941 Dec Japan attacks Pearl Harbour
1941 Anglo Iraq War
1942 Oxfam founded
1944 PAYE system formed for collecting taxes
1944 Education Act School leaving age set at 15
1945 USA drops atom bomb on Hiroshima
1948 National Health Service instituted
1948 The Children Act new amendments
1948 Railways nationalised
1949 Clothes rationing ends
1949 NATO is formed
1950 Korean War
1953 Discovery of Measles vaccine
1953 Ascent of Everest
1954 Discovery of Polio vaccine
1954 July Rationing ends
1954 Launch of sweetened breakfast cereals 'Sugar Puffs' etc
1955 July Ruth Ellis - last woman to be hanged
1956 Suez War
1956 The end of subsidised milk and bread
1957 First motoway M1 opened in Britain
1959 Mental Health Act
1959 - 1975 Vietnam War
1963 Kennedy. US president shot
1963 The age of criminal responsibility is raised to 10
1965 North Sea Gas discovered
1967 Emergence of 'Flower Power'
1967 Six Day War
1969 Foundation of Open University
1968/9 18 year olds got the vote
1970 Equal Pay Act
1971 Decimal coinage in UK
1972 Jan - Britain enters EEC
1972 Equal Opportunity Act
1973 Three day week introduced
1975 First North Sea oil comes ashore
1975 Establishment of Equal Opportunities Commission
1976 Race Relations Act
1978 worlds first test tube baby
1979 Britain's first woman prime minister.Margaret Thatcher
1979 Winter of discontent
1980 Iran Iraq War
1981 Walk to Greenham Common
1981 Special Education Act
1981 IBM launch of desktop computer
1982 Falklands War
1983 Mental Health Act
1984 Coal strikes crushed by police
1986 Nuclear power plant explosion at Chernobyl USSR
1987 Hurricane strikes southern England
1988 Amended Housing Act
1990 National Health and Community Care Act
1994 The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act
1995 Carers recognition Act
1995 4th UN Womens Conference Beijing
1999 The Protection of Children Act
2000 Representation of the People Act
2001 9/11 attacks
2001 War against terrorism Afghanistan
2003 The Antisocial Behaviour Act
2003 War in Iraq
2004 The Children Act 2004,
2005 The Kyoto Protocol (1997) came into force
2007 Smoking ban in England
2009 Climate Change Conference Copenhagen - a failure
2010 First Coalition government since WW2
2012 Olympic Games London
2012 Same Sex couple allowed to marry
2014 Scotland says NO
2015 The Queen is the longest reigning monarch