Select Chronology 1 2 3

1789 Storming of the Bastille, Paris, France and start of French Revolution
1791 United Irishmen established
1794 United Irishmen in Dublin suppressed
1795 United Irishmen reformed as oath-bound revolutionary organisation
Orange Order established after Battle of the Diamond
1798 United Irishman Rebellion
1800 Irish Act of Union passed
Board of Directors General of Inland Navigation formed
1801 Act of Union comes into effect
William Pitt, Prime Minister resigns over royal veto on Catholic Emancipation
1803 Declaration of war on France by Britain
General Synod of Ulster accepts scheme for augmentation and redistribution of regium donum (Royal grant or bounty)
Robert Emmett’s Rebellion
Influenza epidemic
Grand Canal – main spur between Dublin and Shannon completed
1807 Insurrection Act passed
Paving Board of Dublin established
1808 Christian Brothers established by Edmund Rice
Rejection of Royal Veto by Catholic hierarchy
1809 Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital in Dublin opened
1810 Unlawful Oaths Act - against secret societies
Belfast Academical Institution established
1811 George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales becomes Prince Regent
Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in Ireland, also known as the Kildare Place Society, founded
1813 Catholic Relief Bill introduced by Henry Grattan, later withdrawn
1814 Peace Preservation Act – establishing Peace Preservation Force
Revised Insurrection Act
Congress of Vienna
Apprentice Boys of Derry Club formed
1815 Battle of Waterloo
Commission on Duties, Salaries and Emoluments in Courts of Justice in Ireland established – investigation of judicial system lasting 16 years
Richmond Lunatic Asylum Act
Charles Bianconi establishes a private coach service in Tipperary
1816 Potato famine
Typhus (fever) epidemic begins - lasts until 1819 causing 50,000 deaths
Dublin Harbour Act – Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) Harbour commenced
1817 Unification of Irish and British Exchequers
Poor Employment Act
Asylums for Lunatic Poor (Ireland) Act - establishing asylums
Grand Jury Presentments (Ireland) Act – office of county surveyor established and improvements to presentment system
Royal Canal – canal between Dublin and Shannon completed
Commissioners for the Issue of Money out of the Consolidated Fund established
1818 General Post Office opened
Fever Hospitals Act – establishing fever hospitals and dispensary system
Presbyterian Secession Synod formed
Richmond General Penitentiary in Dublin opened
1819 Fisheries Act – establishment of Fishery Board and appointment of commissioners
Ribbon disturbances
1820 Accession of George IV
Bank failures
Death of Henry Grattan
Act for Lighting…Dublin with Gas
1821 Bill for Catholic Relief defeated in House of Lords
Joint stock banks permitted outside Dublin
George IV visits Ireland
Census – population 6,801,827
1822 Insurrection Act and habeas corpus suspended
Poor Employment Act - in response to potato famine
Fever epidemic
Irish Constabulary Act – establishing new Irish Constabulary
Stipendiary magistrates introduced
‘Second Reformation’ started by William Magee, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin
1823 Catholic Association founded by Daniel O’Connell and others
Daniel Murray consecrated Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
Unlawful Oaths Act
Tithe Composition Act – fixed payments in lieu of tithes
Burial Committee of Catholic Association founded
Widespread failure of potato crop
1824 Acts establishing free trade between Britain and Ireland
Weights and Measures Act – introduction of imperial weights and measurements
Parliamentary report recommends complete survey of Ireland prior to a valuation
Combination of Workmen Act - repeal of much of the anti-combination legislation
Establishment of convict hulks in Kingstown and Cobh
1825 Catholic Rent established by Catholic Association
Unlawful Societies Act - Catholic Association and Orange Order dissolved
New Catholic Association formed
Catholic Emancipation Bill rejected by House of Lords
Boundary Survey established – Richard Griffith appointed head
First report of Commission on Irish Education – critical of charter schools
Currency Act – legislation for the assimilation of Irish currency with British currency
Pro-cathedral in Dublin opened
1826 Valuation of Lands (Ireland) Act – Richard Griffith, Commissioner of Valuation, tasked with conducting a general valuation of land and tenements; initial valuation of land and substantial houses completed in 1840s; ‘Griffiths Valuation’ commenced in 1852
Prisons (Ireland) Act – reform of prison system leads to new buildings being built
Church Rates (Ireland) Act – regulating vestries
Clergy Residence Act – to promote residence of Protestant parochial clergy
Waterford Election – Beresford interest rejected by Catholic freeholders in favour of emancipationist candidate
Ordnance Survey commenced under direction of Thomas Colby
Amalgamation of currencies commenced – exchange of Irish coinage
Fever epidemic
Drought causing poor harvest
1827 Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act – introduces reform of these courts
1828 Simultaneous meetings organised by New Catholic Association
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington appointed Prime Minister – advises King that Catholic Emancipation is essential
Daniel O’Connell election victory in Clare by-election
Abolition of Linen Board
Brunswick Clubs founded
Fever epidemic
1829 Henry Paget (Anglesey), Lord Lieutenant recalled over support for Catholic Emancipation
Dangerous Assemblies (Ireland) Act - suppression of associations and assemblies
O’Connell re-elected in Clare
Roman Catholic Relief Act – granting of Catholic Emancipation
Parliamentary Elections (Ireland) Act - disenfranchises 40s freeholders
Reconciliation of factions in County Tipperary
Doneraile Conspiracy – rumour of conspiracy to murder leads to high profile court case defended by O’Connell
Remonstrant Synod secedes from Presbyterian General Synod
1830 O’Connell takes seat in House of Commons
Accession of William IV
1831 National System of Education established – Board of Commissioners of National Education appointed; funding diverted from Kildare Place Society
Public Works (Ireland) Act – establishes Board of Works
Start of Tithe War
O’Connell arrested
Dublin-Kingstown railway authorized
Sisters of Mercy established by Catherine McAuley
British and Irish Post offices amalgamated
Census – population 7,767,401
1832 Cholera spreads though country
Glasnevin Cemetery commenced
Composition for Tithes (Ireland) Act
Recovery of Tithes (Ireland) Act - relief to tithe owners
Irish Reform Act – number of Irish MPs increased
1833 O’Connell’s National Council meets
Irish Church Temporalities Act - rationalises Church of Ireland
1834 Catholic hierarchy resolve to discourage clergy from involvement in politics
John MacHale appointed Catholic Archbishop of Tuam
O’Connell introduces debate on repeal of the Union
Kingstown to Dublin steam railway opened
1835 General Election and Lichfield House agreement between O’Connellites, Whigs and Radicals – O’Connell seeks municipal and tithe reform
Select committee on Orangism report – critical of Orange infiltration of yeomanry/army
Thomas Drummond appointed Under Secretary
Irish Municipal Reform bills - first of six bills introduced
Total Abstinence Society formed
Final Insurrection Act imposed in Ireland
1836 Constabulary (Ireland) Act - incorporates existing police forces into Irish Constabulary and consolidates legislation
Dissolution of Orange Order
National Association for Municipal Reform founded by O’Connell
Dublin Police Act - creates a reformed Dublin Metropolitan Police force
Revenue Police reformed into a light infantry force
Grand Jury Act
Decommissioning of convict hulks
1837 Accession of Queen Victoria
George Nicholls’, English Poor Law Commissioner, report into the provision of relief
1838 Poor Relief (Ireland) Act – creation of 130 poor law unions, with one workhouse and board of guardians each
Tithe Rent charge (Ireland) Act – converting tithe to a rent charge
Fr Mathew’s temperance movement founded
Report of Irish Railway Commissioners
1839 ‘Night of Big Wind’
Roden Committee appointed to inquire into crime and outrage in Ireland since 1835
Unlawful Oaths (Ireland) Act – preventing the administering and taking of unlawful oaths
1840 Repeal Association /National Association founded by O’Connell
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland formed
Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act – dissolved or reconstituted municipal corporations
1841 Dublin Protestant Operatives Association founded – opposed to O’Connell and Liberal politics
Election of reformed Dublin Corporation – victory for liberals
O’Connell elected Lord Mayor of Dublin
Census – population 8,175,124
1842 Capital Punishment (Ireland) Act – abolishes death penalty for many crimes
Drainage (Ireland) Act
Fisheries (Ireland) Act
‘The Nation’ first published
1843 O’Connell’s motion on Repeal in Dublin Corporation carried
Monster repeal meeting at Tara; Clontarf meeting cancelled
O’Connell arrested for conspiracy
Devon Commission to inquire into land occupation
1844 O’Connell imprisoned for sedition – released in September
Marriages (Ireland) Act – records of non-Catholic marriages to be kept
1845 Devon Commission report on land published
Maynooth College Act – controversial act to increase grant to the seminary
Queen’s Colleges (Ireland) Act - establishes colleges in Belfast, Cork and Galway
Revival of Orange Order
First signs of potato blight – import of Indian corn authorised by Robert Peel, PM
Appointment of relief commissioners
1846 Public Works Acts – relief works under Board of Works
Fever (Ireland) Act – to deal with fever
Importation Act - repeal of Corn Laws; abolishes duties on imported corn and flour
Change of government – Whigs, led by John Russell decide not to interfere in grain market
Treasury closes food depots and public works
Poor Employment (Ireland) Act – allows for Treasury loans for relief work
O’Connell and Young Ireland group split over question of physical force
First Ordnance Survey of Ireland completed
1847 Irish Confederation founded under William Smith O’Brien
Employment of Poor, etc. (Ireland) Act
Typhus epidemic peak and ‘relapsing’ fever outbreak
Death of O’Connell
Ulster Tenant-Right Association formed in Derry
Poor Relief Acts – permits outdoor relief by Board of Guardians to specified classes of poor
Poor Law Commission of Ireland –separate commission for Ireland created whose members included the Chief Secretary, Under Secretary and Chief Commissioner
James Fintan Lalor forms a tenant league in Holycross, Tipperary
1848 John Mitchell, founder of ‘United Irishman’, withdraws from Irish Confederation – transported in June
William Smith O’Brien and Thomas Francis Meagher advocate physical force at Irish Confederation meeting
Uniting of Loyal National Repeal Association and Irish Confederation to form Irish League
Habeas corpus suspended
Young Ireland Rebellion – Smith O’Brien, Meagher and others charged with treason
Encumbered Estates (Ireland) Act – facilitating sale of encumbered estates
General failure of potato crop and return of cholera
1849 Young Ireland leaders transported to Van Dieman’s Land
Dolly’s Brae – sectarian battle between Ribbonmen and Orangemen
Second Encumbered Estates (Ireland) Act – Encumbered Estates Court facilitating sales
Dublin Improvement Act and Dublin Corporation Act - Dublin Corporation assumes duties of Wide Street Commissioners and Paving Board
Visit of Queen Victoria
Queen’s Colleges opened
1850 Paul Cullen consecrated Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and convenes the Synod of Thurles – declared opposition to Queens Colleges
Irish Tenant League formed
Representation of the People (Ireland) Act - increases county electorate
Reestablishment of Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales
1851 Ecclesiastical Titles Act – prohibits Catholic territorial titles of hierarchy
Catholic Defence Association of Great Britain and Ireland established to oppose aforementioned act
Census – population 6,552,385
1852 Paul Cullen consecrated Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
General Valuation of Ireland commenced - known as ‘Griffith’s Valuation’; extensive valuation at tenement level
Independent Irish Party formed
1854 Crimean War commences – ends in 1856
Catholic University opened in Dublin under rectorship of John Henry Newman
1858 Irish Republican Brotherhood formed by James Stephens in Dublin
1859 Fenian Brotherhood formed in USA
1861 Census – population 5,798,967

  • 1 Foster, Roy, Modern Ireland 1600-1972, p.603-608.
  • 2 Jackson, Alvin, Ireland 1798-1998, p.440-443.
  • 3 Fleming, NC and O’Day, A, Ireland and Anglo-Irish Relations since 1800: Critical Essays, Volume One, p.xxviii-xlvii.