Manuscripts and Special Collections


The following timeline plots significant political events which occurred during the period when the 4th Duke of Newcastle was keeping his diary - both nationally, and also locally within Nottinghamshire.

The timeline will assist users in interpreting and evaluating particular documents and events within a wider contextual framework. Furthermore, for those who wish to investigate the diaries further (moving beyond the particular entries selected for inclusion here), it will help with the identification of events mentioned. 

Year  Month Event
1800 August Act of Union with Ireland passed
1801 January Act of Union comes into force
  February William Pitt resigns office as Prime Minister: one of the reasons being the King’s refusal to grant Catholic Emancipation
1811 March First outbreak of Luddite violence in Nottinghamshire
1812 March Seven men convicted of frame-breaking at the Nottinghamshire Assizes
  June Lord Liverpool’s government formed on the basis of ‘neutrality’ on the Catholic question
1816 June Frames broken at Loughborough; James Towle and others convicted in August 1816 and April 1817
1821   Catholic Relief Bill passes the House of Commons and defeated in the House of Lords
1822 May 4th Duke begins his diaries following the death of his eldest child, Lady Anna Maria
  September Death of 4th Duke’s wife, Georgiana, following a difficult childbirth
1823 May Formation of the Catholic Association to campaign for Catholic Emancipation
1824 November 4th Duke asked to revive his family’s traditional political interest in Retford
1825   Catholic Relief Bill passes the House of Commons and defeated in the House of Lords
    Act to suppress political associations in Ireland (for three years): the Catholic Association manages to by-pass it
1826 June Some pro-‘Catholic’ gains in Ireland at the General Election.
    The Retford contest at the General Election is accompanied by violence and accusations of bribery. A parliamentary investigation follows
1827 April 4th Duke displays open hostility towards Canning Ministry (April-August)
1828 January Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister
  May Canningites resign from Wellington Ministry following debates on the Retford constituency
  July Daniel O’Connell elected M.P. for County Clare
  August Formation of Protestant Brunswick Clubs to campaign against Emancipation
  Summer 4th Duke bolsters anti-Catholic sentiment through provincial ‘Brunswick Clubs’
  October Mass meeting of ‘Protestants’ and ‘Catholics’ at Penenden Heath
1829 February After securing the King’s support, Wellington and Peel propose Catholic Emancipation: Peel is defeated by Inglis in the Oxford University by-election (March)
  February-March 4th Duke opposes Catholic Emancipation to vehement opposition.
His cousin, W.H. Clinton resigns as M.P. and M.T. Sadler is elected in his place
  April Catholic Relief Act; Suppression of Irish political societies; Disfranchisement of Irish 40 shilling freeholders
  September 4th Duke decides to evict tenants who failed to vote for Sadler at Newark.
There is local and national outcry against his electoral influence, particularly as lessee of Crown Lands at Newark
1830 March Failed parliamentary motion to deprive 4th Duke of his Crown Lands
  July-August General Election with Wellington returned as Prime Minister
  November Wellington resigns and a Whig Ministry is installed under Earl Grey
1831 March Parliamentary Reform Bill is introduced, with 4th Duke’s seats in Yorkshire scheduled for extinction
  April-May Reform Bill is defeated in the House of Commons and a General Election follows.
Heavy electoral losses for opponents of reform mean any future bill is likely to have a majority in the Commons and will need to be resisted in the Lords
  October Reform Bill is defeated in the House of Lords and the property of prominent anti-reformers (particularly peers) is attacked in protest.
4th Duke sees Nottingham Castle attacked and burned
  December 4th Duke is excluded from the list of Special Commissioners appointed to investigate the Reform Bill riots at Nottingham
1832 June The Reform Bill is finally passed
    Irish Reform Act
  December 4th Duke’s political interest at Newark is revived at the General Election and W.E. Gladstone is returned as M.P.
The 4th Duke’s son, the Earl of Lincoln, is elected as M.P. for the Southern Division of Nottinghamshire
1833   Irish Coercion Act; Irish Church Temporalities Act (reforming the Church of Ireland)
1834-8   Parliamentary battles between Conservatives and Whigs over the ‘Appropriation’ of the Church of Ireland’s revenues
1834 December The Whig Ministry is dismissed by William IV and Sir Robert Peel is installed as Prime Minister. Gladstone and Lord Lincoln are appointed to junior office
1835 May Peel resigns as Prime Minister and the Whigs return to power under Lord Melbourne
  August 4th Duke opposes Municipal Corporations Act, designed to re-model the nature of English local government
1837 July At the General Election held on the death of William IV the Whigs remain in power, though the Tories gain ground
1838   Poor Law extended to Ireland
1839 Spring Chartist activity begins in Britain. 4th Duke is dismissed as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
1840   Loyal National Repeal Association formed (under O’Connell) to campaign for the Repeal of the Act of Union
  August Irish Corporations Act
1841 June At the General Election a Tory Ministry is returned under Sir Robert Peel. Both the Earl of Lincoln and Gladstone gain Cabinet posts
1842 Summer Second period of Chartist activity. Peel's Ministry revives Income Tax and revises the Corn Law
1843-5   Lord Devon’s Commission on Irish Land
1844   ‘Young Ireland’ founded as an alternative to O’Connell’s peaceful campaign for Repeal of the Act of Union
    Charitable Bequests (Ireland) Act
1845   Maynooth Grant increased; Academic Colleges (Ireland) Bill
  January Gladstone resigns from Cabinet over his opposition to the Maynooth Grant. 4th Duke also opposes the grant
  December First reports of Irish Potato Famine bring Cabinet crisis.
Peel repeals the Corn Laws.
Gladstone and Lincoln accept new Cabinet posts necessitating their re-election.
4th Duke opposes repeal of Corn Laws and supports the ‘Protectionists’ within the Tory Party, who are opposed to the ‘Peelites’
1846 January Gladstone retires from Newark following the 4th Duke’s opposition to his political stance
  February The Earl of Lincoln stands for election in South Nottinghamshire.
His father, the 4th Duke, publicly condemns him and issues a letter calling on voters to reject him.
Lincoln is defeated.
Considers standing for North Nottinghamshire division, but is ultimately returned for the Falkirk Burghs, a constituency influenced by his father-in-law, the Duke of Hamilton
  June Peel resigns after the Irish Coercion Bill is defeated.
The ‘Protectionist’ arm of the Tory Party, under Lord Stanley in the House of Lords and Lord George Bentinck in the Commons, form the opposition to Lord John Russell’s new Whig Ministry
1847 May Death of Daniel O’Connell
  July The Tory vote at the General Election remains split between the Peelites and Protectionists
    The Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor elected as M.P. for Nottingham
1848 April Third period of Chartist activity. Rally at Kennington Common in London in support of the Chartist petition
  July Abortive Irish uprising by ‘Young Ireland’, fifty years after the Irish Rebellion of 1798
1850 May 4th Duke makes his last entry in his diary
1851 January 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne dies


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