1879 in the United Kingdom
|1879 in the United Kingdom|
|1877 | 1878 | 1879 | 1880 | 1881|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
- 1 January – Benjamin Henry Blackwell opens the first Blackwell's bookshop in Oxford.
- 8 January – British army occupies Kandahar in Afghanistan.
- 11 January – Anglo-Zulu War begins.
- 22 January – Zulu troops led by King Cetshwayo massacre British troops at the Battle of Isandlwana. At Rorke's Drift, outnumbered British soldiers drive the attackers away after hours of fighting.
- March – the standard design of pillar box reverts to a cylindrical shape (the "anonymous" style cast by Andrew Handyside and Company).
- 2 March – murder of Julia Martha Thomas at Richmond upon Thames.
- 12 March – Anglo-Zulu War: At the Battle of Intombe, a British force over one-hundred strong is ambushed and destroyed by Zulu forces.
- 13 March – marriage of The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria, to Princess Louise Marguerite of Prussia.
- 28 March – Anglo-Zulu War: British forces suffer a defeat at the Battle of Hlobane.
- 29 March – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula – British forces defeat 20,000 Zulus.
- 3 April – Anglo-Zulu War: British forces successfully lift the two-month Siege of Eshowe.
- 12 May – John Henry Newman elevated to Cardinal.
- 26 May – Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
- June–August – the wettest summer in England and Wales since records began in 1766, and the equal seventh-coolest since the CET series begins in 1659.
- 6 June – William Denny and Brothers launch the world's first ocean-going ship to be built of mild steel, the SS Rotomahana, at Dumbarton.
- 14 June – Sidney Faithorn Green, an Anglican priest in the Church of England, is tried and convicted for using Ritualist practices.
- 4 July – the Anglo-Zulu War effectively ends with British victory at the Battle of Ulundi.
- 16 August – Fulham F.C. founded in London as the Fulham St Andrew's Church Sunday School football club.
- 19 August – the foundation stone of the fourth Eddystone Lighthouse is laid by The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh.
- September Doncaster Rovers F.C. formed by railway fitter Albert Jenkins.
- 18 September – Blackpool Illuminations lit for the first time.
- 2 October – William Denny and Brothers launch the world's first transatlantic steamer to be built of mild steel, the SS Buenos Ayrean, at Dumbarton for Liverpool owners. On 1 December she makes her maiden voyage out of Glasgow for South America.
- 13 October – first female students admitted to study for degrees of Oxford University, at the new Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville Hall and with the Society of Oxford Home-Students.
- 17 October – Sunderland A.F.C. is formed as 'Sunderland and District Teachers A.F.C.' in the North East.
- 27 October – Liverpool Echo newspaper first published.
- November–March 1880 – probably the longest ever fog in the city's history engulfs London.
- 15–23 December – Second Anglo-Afghan War: British victory at the Siege of the Sherpur Cantonment.
- 28 December – the Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses in a storm as a train passes over it, killing 78.
- 30 December – the comic opera The Pirates of Penzance is first presented in Paignton, Devon in a token performance for U.K. copyright reasons; the world première is given the following day in New York City, the only Gilbert and Sullivan work to have its official debut outside England.
- 1 January to 31 December – the combination of the severest winter since 1814, a late spring, an exceptionally cool summer and a cold dry autumn produces the third-coldest year in the CET series and the coldest since 1740, with an annual mean of 7.44 °C or 45.39 °F.
- Electric street lighting introduced in London, initially on the Thames Embankment and Waterloo Bridge.
- Gabardine is invented by Thomas Burberry, founder of the Burberry fashion house in Basingstoke.
- Kate Greenaway's first book, with her own colour illustrations, Under the Window: Pictures & Rhymes for Children.
- Silas Hocking's novel Her Benny.
- George Meredith's novel The Egoist.
- Anthony Trollope's last Palliser novel The Duke's Children (serialised in All the Year Round).
- The Boy's Own Paper first published (19 January).
- 1 January
- 13 January – William Reid Dick, sculptor (died 1961)
- 26 February – Frank Bridge, composer (died 1941)
- 5 March – William Beveridge, economist and social reformer (died 1963)
- 20 April – Robert Wilson Lynd, essayist and writer (died 1949)
- 26 April – Owen Willans Richardson, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (died 1959)
- 29 April – Thomas Beecham, conductor (died 1961)
- 19 May – Viscount Waldorf Astor, businessman and politician (died 1952)
- 25 May – Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, Canadian-British business tycoon, politician and writer (died 1964)
- 30 May – Colin Blythe, cricketer (died 1917)
- 4 June – Mabel Lucie Attwell, illustrator (died 1964)
- 6 June – Patrick Abercrombie, town planner (died 1957)
- 15 July – Joseph Campbell, poet and lyricist (died 1944)
- 7 August – James Peters, black rugby union international (died 1954)
- 13 August – John Ireland, composer (died 1962)
- 27 September – Cyril Scott, composer and writer (died 1970)
- 10 December – E. H. Shepard, artist and book illustrator (died 1976)
- 27 December – Sydney Greenstreet, actor (died 1954)
- 18 February – Rayner Stephens, radical reformer and Methodist minister (born 1805)
- 25 February – Charles Peace, criminal (executed) (born 1832)
- 10 August – George Long, classical scholar (born 1800)
- 5 November – James Clerk Maxwell, physicist (born 1831)
- 6 December – William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland (born 1800)
- 11 December – William Thomas, minister and poet (born 1834)
- "Nos. 48–51: Blackwell's Bookshop". Broad Street, Oxford. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 303–304. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Farrugia, Jean Young (1969). The Letter Box: a history of Post Office pillar and wall boxes. Fontwell: Centaur Press. ISBN 0-900000-14-7.
- Hadley Centre ranked Seasonal Central England temperature
- "SS Rotomahana". Clydebuilt. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
- "S/S Buenos Ayrean, Allan Line". Norway Heritage. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher (1995). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-57688-8.
- Met Office; Hadley Centre Ranked Central England Temperature.
- Cumming, Valerie; Cunnington, C. W.; Cunnington, P. E (2010). The Dictionary of Fashion History. Berg. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-84788-533-3.
- Leavis, Q. D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (2nd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.