EVENTS IN PORTSMOUTH

 

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN PORTSMOUTH - (1800-1849)

The following list of events is based on William Gates' History of Portsmouth with additional entries by the author. Entries for the Members of Parliament for Portsmouth, The Mayors of Portsmouth and the Governors of Portsmouth have largely been omitted, as they appear elsewhere on this site. Gates cites no references for any entry.
 

1800 Feb 10 - A boat upset at Spithead, and two officers, ten seamen, three boys and a woman, all belonging to H.M.S. Venerable. were drowned.
 
18OO April 14 - Richard Dart, a grocer, in St. James's-street, Portsea, fund murdered behind his counter.
 
1800 June 4 - Review on Portsdown hill in celebration of the King's birthday and his escape from assassination in Drury-lane Theatre.
 
1800 Nov. 9 - Great storm from the north-west. Eight vessels were driven ashore : one, the Incredible, transport being completely wrecked. Serious damage was done on land.
 
1801 April 4 - The price of bread in Portsmouth was three shillings and fivepence per gallon.
 
1801 April 25 - First census published. The population of Portsmouth was 3,148 males, 4,691 females; of Portsea, 11,161 males, and 13,166 females.
 
1801 May 10 - Two shocks of earthquake felt at Portsmouth at 11.10 p.m. No damage done.
 
1802 Sept - The Nimble, a passenger vessel belonging to Portsmouth was wrecked off Salcombe and all hands perished.
 
1802 - Mr. Frampton, a gentleman of Portsmouth was shot dead on Common Hard by Mr. Powell, Master Mast-Maker of the Dockyard. Powell was hanged at Winchester.
 
1803 May 28 - Nine French prizes brought into Portsmouth during the week, including an East Indiaman valued at 80,000. In the next week seven prizes were sent in.
 
1803 July 20 - The Sea Fencibles enrolled at Portsmouth, mustered in St. George's-square. They constituted a coast defence volunteer association with this difference however, that they were exercised one day in each week and received a shilling. Enrolment in the Fencibles exempted men from impressment into the Navy.
 
1804 Feb. 13 - At the advanced age of 109 years George Gregory, the last of the crew of the Centurion, which circumnavigated the world with Lord Anson, died at Kingston.
 
1804 July 16 - The wind being favourable and the atmosphere light and clear, the action between the British squadron with the French gunboats at Havre was distinctly heard at Portsmouth.
 
1805 Jan. 28 - The first motor-car seen in Portsmouth. It was a steam carriage capable of accommodating 12 people.
 
1805 - Capt. the Hon. Sir George Grey, Bart., appointed Commissioner of the Dockyard.
 
1805 Sept. 14 - Nelson arrived at Portsmouth at, six o'clock in the morning. and, after breakfasting at the " George," embarked from Southsea Beach and went on board the Victory.
 
1805 - The old Borough Gaol in Penny-street was commenced.
 
1805 Dec. 4 - The Victory returned to Spithead with Nelson's body on board.
 
1805 Dec. 5 - Thanksgiving Day for the victory at Trafalgar. Over 609 was collected for the widows and orphans.
 
1806 April 9 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel born in Britain Street, Portsea.
 
1807 Jan. 3 - A convoy of 700 ships anchored at Spithead, forming one mass of shipping stretching from St. Helen's to Cowes.
 
1809 Jan. 27 - Ten thousand men, forming part of the disastrous expedition to Spain, began disembarking at Portsmouth this day. The sick and wounded numbered 2,600, of whom 340 succumbed.
 
1809 Jan. 30 - During a great gale this day eight transports and a galliot were driven ashore at Stokes Bay and seven transports on Southsea Beach. There was however no loss of life.
 
1809 June 24 - Explosion of gunpowder at Point Beach, with serious loss of life and damage to property.
 
1809 July 16 - This day (Sunday) 12,000 troops embarked on a fleet of men-of-war and transports at Spithead, to form part of the expedition to the Scheldt.
 
1809 Oct. 25 - This day the Jubilee of George III. was given up to general rojoicing in Portsmouth. The poor were bountifully fed.
 
1810 June 18 - The bank of Jukes, Langley and Jukes, at Gosport, suspended payment.
 
1811 June 15 - Census returns : Portsmouth, males 2,887, females 4,216: Portsea, males 15,450, females 18,005.
 
1811 July - Smart shock of earthquake felt at Portsmouth.
 
1812 Jan. 23 - A fund raised for the relief of the widows and orphans of the men of the St. George, Defence, and Hero. lost in the Baltic amounted to 968 13s. 10d.
 
1812 Feb. 7 - Charles Dickens born at 387, Commercial-road, Landport.
 
1812 June 8 - The Count de Lille (Louis 18th of France) visited Portsmouth.
 
1812 July 4 - Price of bread, 3s. 3d. per gallon.
 
1813 June 23 - The House of Commons voted 90,000 for the defence of Portsmouth, the money being required for the fortifications at Hilsea
 
1813 June 24 - The Royal William which had carried the flags of many Commanders-in-Chief, was condemned this day. She came into Portsmouth harbour to be laid up in ordinary on the 2nd October, 1679. In 1714 she underwent extensive repairs, and from that time down to this date was in constant service.
 
1814 March 23 - The American frigate President brought into harbour by her captor the Endymion.
 
1814 April 27 - English prisoners began to arrive from France, Some of them had been confined for ten or twelve years.
 
1814 May 26 - Failure of Burridge's Bank at Portsmouth.
 
1814 June 15 - The last of the French prisoners left Portsmouth.
 
1814 June 22 - Visit of the Allied Sovereigns.
 
1814 June 25 - Peace publicly proclaimed.
 
1815 April 29 - Incendiary fire in St. James's-street, the object being to destroy a newly erected steam engine.
 
1815 June 9 - Portsmouth was astonished this day by the appearance of the first steam vessel entering the harbour. She was a small craft of 75 tons, with engines of 14 horse-power enabling her to sail at about eight knots.
 
1815 June 16 - Financial panic in Portsmouth and run on all the banks.
 
1815 June 22 - The news of the victory at Waterloo was received in Portsmouth at noon by means of a telegraphic message of two words, " Bonaparte defeated." The news was received with the utmost enthusiasm.
 
1815 July 1 - Fourteen men-of-war put to sea from Portsmouth to intercept Napoleon.
 
1815 July 22 - The news of Bonaparte's surrender to Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon was communicated to the Fleet at Spithead.
 
1815 July 23 - Order to cease hostilities against France, and to pay off 14 sail of the line and 19 frigates.
 
1816 January 5 - The last batch of French prisoners sent home.
 
1816 March - The Dock Mill Society formed.
 
1816 August - Great distress in the town. 4,500 persons being in receipt of relief.
 
1816 December 20 - As the result of public meetings 1,200 was raised to relieve the distress the poor were at this time suffering.
 
1817 February 10 - Great reform meeting on Portsdown Hill. Every effort was made by the authorities to bring it into disrepute. Among other things the cavalry were called out and supplied with ball cartridge, and the guns of the garrison were loaded. Notwithstanding all this 20,000 people were present.
 
1817 May 24 - The Britannia, steam packet, of 15 horse-power, commenced running between Portsmouth and Ryde. She did the passage in about half-an-hour.
 
1818 April - At this time 24 sixpenny poor-rates were issued during the year, making 12s. in the pound.
 
1818 November 18 - Failure of Godwin's Bank. By this event public credit was shaken to its base, and the effect was felt for 20 years after.
 
1819 March 1 - Owing to the scarcity of work in the borough, 500 persons emigrated to America.
 
1820 September 29 - George IV. visited Portsmouth.
 
1821 March 31 - The Census shewed the population to be 46,743.
 
1821 June 9 - Gas first used for lighting in St. George's-square, Portsea.
 
1822 September 19 - Opening of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal.
 
1823 September 26 - On this day the Swift, steam vessel of 260 tons, and fitted with two 40 h.p. engines, commenced a regular passenger and freight service between Portsmouth and Plymouth. Another vessel, the Sir Francis Drake, was put on the service at the same time. The first voyage was accomplished in 13 hours, a very good performance.
 
1823 October 4 - Gas used for the first time in the streets of old Portsmouth.
 
1824 April 19 - Death of Lake Allen, a local antiquarian and historian.
 
1821 June 1 - The Royal Marine Artillery, about 800 strong, came to Portsmouth from Chatham.
 
1825 September 14 - Launch of the Princess Charlotte. Distressing accident. Loss of 16 lives.
 
1825 October 1 - Gas first used at Landport.
 
1827 July 30 - The Duke of Clarence (afterwards William IV.), the last of the Lord High Admirals, visited Portsmouth and remained several days. On August 2nd he dined with the Mayor (D. Howard) and Corporation at the Green Row Rooms.
 
1828 February 2 - Duke of Clarence, Lord High Admiral, came to Portsmouth and inspected the Asia, Albion, and Rose, just returned from Navarino.
 
1828 - Captain Sir Michael Seymour, Bart., appointed Commissioner of the Dockyard. He was the last to hold that office.
 
1828 August 13 - The Duke of Gloucester arrived at Portsmouth today to take up the office of Governor, to which he had been appointed. He was the last to hold the office of Governor.
 
1829 March 1 - Samuel Langtry and his housekeeper, Charity Jolliffe, were murdered at a house in Prospect-road by a barber's apprentice named John Stacey jnr, who made off with gold and notes to the amount of over 600. He was captured a few days later, and the bulk of the proceeds of the crime was found in Crocker's-lane, Copnor. Stacey was sentenced to death, and executed at Winchester on 3rd August 1829. His father, who was convicted as an accessory after the fact, was transported for life, but he died on the passage to a penal settlement. [Amended by Dawn Hobbs]
 
1829 October 9. On this day died Admiral Samuel James Ballard, a native of Portsmouth, who fought under Howe, Keppel, and Rodney. Between 1798 and 1802 he captured or destroyed over eighty of the enemy's ships.
 
1830 Oct 27 - On this day the Duchess of Kent, with her daughter, the Princess Victoria, visited Portsmouth and put up at the " George" Hotel. The Princess was described as an interesting and intelligent child.
 
1831 Jan. 1. It was decided this day by the inhabitants and others having property there that the district hitherto known as Halfway Houses should in future be known as Landport.
 
1831 Oct. 21 - The new building of the Portsmouth Literary and Philosophical Society at the corner of St, Mary-street and King-street, Portsmouth, was opened this day.
 
1831 Oct. 24 - Sir Walter Scott arrived at Portsmouth this day in order to embark for the Mediterranean in search of health. He received a deputation from the Literary and Philosophical Society, of which he became an honorary member.
 
1831 March 31 - The Census showed the population to be 50,389.
 
1831 Dec. 8 - The first temperance society in Portsmouth formed at Portsea.
 
1834 February - 212 Polish soldiers arrive in Portsmouth having fled from Tzarist oppression.
 
1834 August 27 - Slight shock of earthquake felt at 10.30 p.m., but no damage was done.
 
1836 January 1 - Edward Carter chosen as first Mayor for the reformed Corporation.
 
1837 October 27 - Burning of the ship Colonist at the Motherbank.
 
1838 March 6 - Pincher, schooner, foundered in a squall off St. Helens with all hands.
 
1838 June 28 - New Town Hall at High Street opened.
 
1839 January l - John Pounds died at Edward Carter's house, 19 High Street.
 
1839 July 4 - The Portsmouth Camber Improvement Bill passed.
 
1840 May 4 - The floating-bridge commenced running between Portsmouth and Gosport.
 
1840 August 10 - The use of dogs for draught purposes became illegal by a local bye-law.
 
1841 March 31 - The Census shewed the population to be 63,032.
 
1841 October 6 - Opening of the Gosport railway.
 
1842 - WH Charpentier published his "Strangers Guide to High Street"
 
1842 May 16 - Opening of the Victoria Pier.
 
1843 - 0pening of the Inner Camber.
 
1844 Oct. 8 - Visit of King Louis Phillippe and a French Squadron.
 
1845 May 20 - The Hawkey-Seton duel fought at Browndown.
 
1845 July 15 - Naval Review at Spithead before the Queen and Prince Albert.
 
1847 June 1 - The Albert Pier at Portsea, a structure 1249 feet in length, opened.
 
1847 June 14 - Opening of the Portsmouth and Brighton Railway.
 
1848 March 29 - Royal Marines removed to Gosport after having been in the garrison for 93 years.
 
1848 May 25 - New steam basin in Dockyard opened by the Queen.
 
1848 July, August - Cholera epidemic in Portsmouth, the deaths attributed to it numbering 152.
 
1848 August 10 - Opening of the Clarence Esplanade.
 
1849 July, August - Another epidemic of cholera, the deaths from the scourge between July 1 and August 15 being 676.
 
1849 September 26 - In consequence of a recrudescence of the cholera, this day was observed as one of " mutual confession and humiliation." The Dockyard was closed and all business suspended.
 
1849 November 16 - Thanksgiving for the stay of the pestilence. 147 was collected for the Hospital.
 
 
See also the Chronology of Events for the periods
500-1499 | 1500-1599 | 1600-1699 | 1700-1799 | 1850-1899 | 1900-1936