Logo: small map of Scotland

Timeline: 1800 to 1850

1 January 1800: Robert Owen takes over the running of the cotton mills at New Lanark from David Dale.

1801: The population of Scotland is 1,608,000.

1801: Thomas Telford reports on the roads in the Highlands. He goes on to build 900 miles of roads and 120 bridges, as well as the Caledonian Canal and various harbours.

1801: The first Gaelic language version of the Bible is published.

1802: William Symington's "Charlotte Dundas" becomes the world's first steam-powered tug when it pulls two 70 ton barges on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

13 July 1807: Henry Benedict Stuart dies in Rome. He is the fourth and final Jacobite to publicly lay claim to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland.

16 January 1809: The death of Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore at the Battle of Corunna

8 August 1812: Henry Bell runs Europe's first commercial steamboat service, from Glasgow's Broomielaw to Greenock, in the steamboat Comet.

1814: The "year of the burning" on the 1.5 million acre estates of the Countess of Sutherland and her husband, the Marquess of Stafford (later to become the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland), from which 15,000 people were cleared between 1811 and 1821, largely by the estate factor, Patrick Sellar, in the most notorious of the Highland Clearances.

1815: The kelp industry, which provides the main source of income to many coastal communities in the Highlands, collapses as there is greater access to cheaper continental sources of alkalis at the end of the Napoleonic wars.

26 May 1819: The Honours of Scotland, the crown jewels, are put on display in Edinburgh Castle after being disinterred by Sir Walter Scott from the bowels of the castle where they had been placed in 1707.

19 August 1819 : The death of James Watt, the engineer and inventor whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental in bringing about the industrial revolution.

29 January 1820 : King George III dies: he is succeeded by King George IV.

2 April 1820: The Radical Rising begins in west central Scotland. Its ringleaders are later executed.

26 June 1820 : The Union Chain Bridge across the River Tweed, designed by Captain Samuel Brown and at the time the longest iron suspension bridge in the world, opens to traffic.

4 October 1821: The death of John Rennie, one of the greatest engineers of his age who designed many bridges, canals, and docks.

9-15 August 1822: King George IV visits Edinburgh, the first visit to Scotland by a reigning monarch since Charles II.

23 October 1822: The Caledonian Canal linking Inverness to Fort William opens to traffic.

8 July 1823 : The death in Edinburgh of noted portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn.

1826: Steam trains are first used to pull coal wagons in Scottish collieries.

28 January 1829: William Burke is executed for the murder of the 17 victims of the West Port Murders in Edinburgh. His partner in crime, Willam Hare, is released.

26 June 1830: King George IV dies: he is succeeded by King William IV.

27 September 1831: The first passenger railway in Scotland, between Glasgow and Garnkirk in Lanarkshire, begins operations.

1 July 1832: Formation of the trading company Jardine Matheson by Scots Sir James Matheson and Sir William Jardine.

21 September 1832: The death of literary superstar, Sir Walter Scott.

1832: The Reform Act broadens the base of voters.

1833: The Factories Act regulates the hours of young workers and bans work by children under 9.

2 September 1834: The death of James Hogg, the poet and novelist known as the Ettrick Shepherd.

7 December 1834: The death of Edward Irving, the famous preacher born in Annan.

21 November 1835: The death of Thomas Telford, the engineer who did more than anyone else to transform the face of Scotland.

26 November 1836: John Loudon McAdam, inventor of a new way of building roads, dies at Moffat.

20 June 1837: The death of King William IV: he is succeeded by Queen Victoria.

28 June 1838: Queen Victoria is crowned in Westminster Abbey in London.

10 February 1840: Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace.

1841: The population of Scotland is 2,620,000.

1 June 1841: The eminent artist Sir David Wilkie dies on board a ship in the Mediterranean.

13 November 1841: James Braid, the father of hypnotism, attends a demonstration of "mesmerism" that begins his interest in the subject.

21 February 1842: The rail service between Glasgow and Edinburgh begins operation.

26 October 1845: The death of collector and writer of songs and poems, Carolina Oliphant, Baroness Nairne.

1846: The Corn Law is repealed in the face of the failure of the potato crop and the widespread fear of starvation.

1846: Thomas Cook organises the first tourist trips to Scotland.

5 July 1847: The last mail coach, now redundant because of the advance of the railways, runs between London and Edinburgh.

15 November 1847: Sir James Young Simpson gives the first public demonstration of his new anaesthetic and a few days later publishes his highly influential Account of a New Anaesthetic Agent.

1848: Queen Victoria leases the Balmoral estate on Deeside. She buys it in 1853 for £31,500.

1850: The death in Fort William of Scotland's last great outlaw, Ewan MacPhee.

Top of Page Top of Page