1881 in the United Kingdom
|1881 in the United Kingdom|
|1879 | 1880 | 1881 | 1882 | 1883|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
- 1 January – postal orders issued for the first time in Britain.
- 17–18 January – blizzard over southern parts of Britain.
- 18 January – First Boer War: British forces defeated at the Battle of Laing's Nek.
- 8 February – First Boer War: British forces defeated at the Battle of Schuinshoogte.
- 27 February – First Boer War: British forces defeated at the Battle of Majuba Hill.
- 1 March – the Cunard Line's SS Servia, the first steel transatlantic liner, is launched at Clydebank.
- 12 March – Andrew Watson of Glasgow's Queen's Park F.C. (from a mixed Scottish/British Guianese background) captains the Scotland national football team in a 6–1 victory against England, becoming the world's first mixed race international Association football player.
- 27 March – in Basingstoke, antagonism between the Salvation Army and supporters of the licensed trade becomes so great that the Riot Act is read and troops are called in to restore order.
- 31 March – Edward Rudolf founds the 'Church of England Central Society for Providing Homes for Waifs and Strays' (now The Children's Society).
- 3 April – census in the United Kingdom. Two-thirds of the population are urbanised; one-seventh live in London.
- 5 April – the Treaty of Pretoria gives the Boers self-government in the Transvaal under a theoretical British oversight.
- 9 April – Old Carthusians F.C. beat Old Etonians 3–0 in the FA Cup Final at The Oval, the last time it will be played between two amateur sides.
- 18 April – the Natural History Museum is opened in London.
- 19 April – Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, becomes the Conservative leader in the House of Lords following the death of Benjamin Disraeli.
- 23 April – first performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Patience at the Opera Comique in London.
- 27 April – British troops leave Afghanistan.
- 1 May – Childers Reforms of the army begin to reorganise the infantry into multi-battalion regiments.
- 7 June – the Democratic Federation, predecessor of the Social Democratic Federation, established as Britain's first organised socialist political party by Henry Hyndman, holds its first meeting.
- 26 July – first publication of the London Evening News.
- August – the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act prohibits the sale of alcohol in Wales on a Sunday. This is the first act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Great Britain or England since the 1542 Act of Union between England and Wales whose application is restricted to Wales.
- 16 August – a tribunal is set up under the Second Irish Land Act to examine excessive rents.
- 26 September – Godalming becomes the first town to have its streets illuminated by electric light (hydroelectrically generated).
- 10 October – Richard D'Oyly Carte's Savoy Theatre opens in London, the world's first public building to be fully lit by electricity, using Joseph Swan's incandescent light bulbs. The run of Patience transfers from the Opera Comique. The stage is first lit electrically on 28 December.
- 13 October – Charles Stewart Parnell imprisoned for to his part in land agitation in Ireland.
- 14 October – the Eyemouth disaster ("Black Friday"): a severe storm strikes the Berwickshire coast of Scotland; 189 fishermen die.
- 16 October – The People newspaper founded.
- 22 October – Tit-Bits weekly digest magazine founded by George Newnes.
- Henry James' novel The Portrait of a Lady.
- Talbot Baines Reed's school story The Fifth Form at St. Dominic's begins serialisation in The Boy's Own Paper.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Ballads and Sonnets.
- Joseph Henry Shorthouse's novel John Inglesant.
- Robert Louis Stevenson's children's adventure novel Treasure Island begins serialization in Young Folks (1 October) as by "Captain George North".
- New Testament in the Revised Version of The Bible.
- Sherlock Holmes and Dr John H. Watson first meet at Bart’s Hospital, London, prior to the events narrated in Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet (1887) commencing on 4 March.
- 9 January – Lascelles Abercrombie, poet and critic (died 1938)
- 28 January – Ruby M. Ayres, romance novelist (died 1955)
- 13 February – Eleanor Farjeon, author of children's literature (died 1965)
- 21 February – Kenneth J. Alford, soldier and composer (died 1945)
- 9 March – Ernest Bevin, labour leader, politician and statesman (died 1951)
- 10 March – Thomas Quinlan, operatic impresario (died 1951)
- 25 March – Mary Webb, novelist (died 1927)
- 1 August – Rose Macaulay, novelist (died 1958)
- 2 August – Ethel M. Dell, romantic fiction writer (died 1939)
- 6 August – Alexander Fleming, bacteriological researcher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (died 1955)
- 20 August – Edgar Guest, poet (died 1959)
- 12 September – Daniel Jones, phonetician (died 1967)
- 16 September – Clive Bell, art critic (died 1964)
- 17 September – Alfred Carpenter, naval officer, recipient of the Victoria Cross (died 1955)
- 11 October – Lewis Fry Richardson, mathematical physicist (died 1953)
- 15 October
- 24 January – James Collinson, Pre-Raphaelite painter (born 1825)
- 5 February – Thomas Carlyle, writer and historian (born 1795)
- 19 April – Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (born 1804) (subsequently commemorated as Primrose Day)
- 24 May – Samuel Palmer, watercolour landscape painter (born 1805)
- 18 December – George Edmund Street, architect (born 1824)
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 305–306. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Symons's Monthly Meteorological Magazine. 1881.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 434–435. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Baigent, Francis J.; Millard, James (1889). A History of the Ancient Town and Manor of Basingstoke. C.J. Jacob. pp. 551–553.
- "A Brief History of the Waifs and Strays' Society". Hidden Lives Revealed. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- Slee, Christopher (1994). The Guinness Book of Lasts. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-783-5.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Prior, Neil (4 August 2011). "130 years since Sunday drinking was banned in Wales". BBC News Wales. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Godalming Power Station". Engineering Timelines. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "The Savoy Theatre". The Times. 3 October 1881. p. 7.
- Burgess, Michael (January 1975). "Richard D'Oyly Carte". The Savoyard: 7–11.
- "Savoy Theatre". The Times. 29 December 1881. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Aitchison, Peter (2001). Children of the Sea: the story of the Eyemouth disaster. East Linton: Tuckwell Press. ISBN 1-86232-240-6.
- "Concise History of the British Newspaper in the Nineteenth Century". Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- "Tit-Bits". Magforum. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.
- Leavis, Q. D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (2nd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.
- "1881 - Treasure Island". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Marlowe, Michael D. "English Revised Version (1881–1895)". Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.