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Help and advice for Wales - Genealogy Help Pages - Timeline

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Wales - Genealogy Help Pages - Timeline

Timeline

This timeline has a distinct Wales emphasis 

No entries beyond 1999

Back to introduction


I acknowledge that I have latterly based several Welsh related entries on data in the excellent reference work ' The Welsh Almanac' by Terry Breverton. This is an unusual book, crammed full of facts, dates, events, quotations --- not forgetting the author's strongly held opinions about his homeland. Details of this and other books can be seen on Wales Books .

I have also added some facts triggered by data in the most readable book by D Gareth Evans  A history of Wales 1815-1906       UWP 1989/1993

Although only enough data is included for reference purposes, some entries have links to fuller related items on this site and other sites.
I am greatly indebted to wikipedia and much regret that not all links to its pages are highlighted as such here
I haven't included dates of birth/death of notable Welsh people, there are simply too many, just take a look in Terry Breverton's book.
Nor have I generally included details of coal mine disasters, again far too many to include and I leave these for more specialist sites.

There is an indication of which monarchs were on the English throne post the Conquest, they did not rule Wales before 1536 of course.

Scroll straight through chronologically or use the links below for particular periods

Pre Norman Conquest

C11th    C12th    C13th    C14th    C15th    C16th    C17th    C18th    C19th    C20th


Pre Norman Conquest

 
  • 2000 BC -800 BC
    • The Neolithic and Bronze Ages
  • 750BC - 49AD
    • Iron Age
    • Celtic settlers  first came to Wales from Central Europe.
  • 200 BC -51 AD
    • North Wales controlled by Ordovices, Brythonic Celtic settlers who built many forts. Their last leader was Caractacus  who was defeated in 51AD bringing an end to organised resistance to Rome in Wales.
    • 45 BC, Julius Caesar introduces the Old Style 'Julian Calendar' into Britain.
  • 47-400
    • Roman occupation of Wales. They built at least 30 auxiliary forts linked by straight roads and situated a day's march from each other.
    • In 214 all free men throughout the  Roman Empire were granted Roman citizenship; further Roman influence came in 313 through Christianity when they permitted Christians to worship freely.
  • 61
    • Massacre of the druids at the holy island of Anglesey
  • 6th century
  • 525
    • Monastic settlement founded at Bangor by St Deiniol, became a bishopric in 546
  • 537
  • 550
  • 601 [or was it 588 ?]
    • Saint David, patron saint of Wales, died on 1st March.
  • 747
    • See Tithes---The tithe system was first recorded in England
  • 757-96
    • King Offa of Mercia who constructed Offa's Dyke as a barrier between the Welsh and his own kingdom. It ran  sea to sea from the Bristol Channel to Prestatyn and more or less defined the territory to become known as Wales.
  • 844-878
    • Rhodri Mawr, prince of Gwynedd, and eventually  ruler of all of North Wales and a large part of South Wales. The dynasty which came from him persisted until the final days of native Welsh rule.
  • 850?
    • First recorded Viking raid on Wales.
  • 910-50
    • Hywel Dda (on wikipedia), son of Cadell, grandson of Rhodi Mawr, eventually ruled most of Wales apart from Gwent and Morgannwg. Remembered particularly for codifying the Laws of Wales.
  • 1039-63
    • Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (on wikipedia ), son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll, became the principal lord of Wales. In 1063 Harold, Earl of Wessex, invaded Wales and Gruffudd was killed.

11th Century - post Conquest

  • 1066
    • The Norman Conquest
      William the Conqueror successfully invaded England by defeating Harold at Hastings and claimed the English throne on the basis that his kinsman Edward the Confessor had bequeathed it to him.  
  • 1086
    • The Domesday Book. A record of a survey of England [ not Wales] carried out to assess land tax and other dues, ascertain the value of the crown lands, and generally allow William I to assess the power of his vassal barons and helped keep them under control.
    • The Conquest in some ways had merely replaced Saxon Lords with Norman ones but one concept of the Domesday exercise was that all land was held by a lord and every peasant had to be a  manorial tenant of one sort or another.
  • 1087
    • William II

12th century

 
  • 1100
    • Henry I
    • The Pipe Rolls date from the early 12 th century, a major period of growth in English government
  • 1127
    • The first recorded hereditary coat of arms  granted by Henry I, his father in law, to Geoffrey of Anjou. 
  • 1132-1197
    • The Lord Rhys [Rhys ap Gruffydd], grandson of Rhys ap Tewdwr. Prince of South Wales [Deheubarth], he was one of Wales's greatest medieval rulers.
  • 1135
    • King Stephen
  • 1137-70
    • Owain Gwynedd, prince of most of Gwynedd, eldest son of Gruffydd ap Cynan.
  • 1147
    • Cistercian Abbey at Margam founded
  • 1154
    • Henry II
  • 1173-1240
    • Llywelyn the Great [Llywelyn ap Iorwerth], ruled all Gwynedd.
  • 1176
    • The first authenticated eisteddfod held by the Lord Rhys at Cardigan Castle- the first such event in Europe ?
  • 1188
    • Archbishop Baldwin's renowned recruiting drive for the 3rd Crusade throughout Wales accompanied by Geraldus Cambrensis.
  • 1189
    • Richard I
  • 1190
  • 1193
    • Giraldus Cambrensis (on wikipedia )(Gerald of Wales) writes his Description of Wales;
  • 1194
    • See Coroner ---The office of coroner was established
    • 1194-1294, a system of civil justice known as the General Eyre existed, justices were sent out to the country from central courts at Westminster.  
  • 1199
    • King John

13th Century

 
  • 1215
    • Magna Carta, charter by King John. Formally defined the relationship between the king and the barons, guaranteed rights under feudalism, and regularized the judicial system. Abolished many abuses of feudal tenures, commerce was protected by guaranteeing the liberties of the City of London and of the other cities, boroughs and ports of England; foreign merchants were guaranteed freedom of commerce; and a system of standard weights and measures was established. The Court of Common Pleas was set up in Westminster, the conduct of trials was simplified according to strict rules of procedure, and the penalties for felonies were standardized. No one was to be condemned on rumour or suspicion, but only on the evidence of credible witnesses. The historical basis for English civil liberties is contained in the statement: "No freeman shall be taken and imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land."
    • The Customs service stated up during the reign of King John (1199-1216), a tax was levied on a range of imported goods.
  • 1216
    • Henry III
  • 1238
    • Unification of Wales at Strata Florida Abbey when princes of Wales swore allegiance to Llywelyn the Great ( on wikipedia )
  • 1241
    • Newport, Pembrokeshire's charter  "The earliest known charter of Newport, which is undated but which may be attributed to circa 1241..."
  • 1247
  • 1257
    • Carmarthen created a borough by charter
  • 1272
    • Edward I
  • 1276
    • The Seneshaucy , one of the earliest hand books on estate management was written
  • 1277
    • Treaty of Aberconwy by which Llewelyn the Last submitted to Edward I and was no longer overlord of most of the lesser Welsh rulers.
    • Aberystwyth granted charter
  • 1279
  • 1282/3
    • Death of Llywelyn the Last (on wikipedia ) [Llywelyn ap Gruffydd] in 1282, grandson of Llywelyn the Great. Prince of Gwynedd. He was killed near Builth and his brother Dafydd ap Gruffydd (effectively the last native Prince of Wales) was executed at Shrewsbury in the following year. After Llywelyn's death, the  principality was organised into six counties which were granted to the king's heir; thus the principality of Wales survived as an adjunct of the crown of England.
  • 1284
    • Edward I's Statute of Rhuddlan(1282) divided  Gwynedd up into the three counties of Anglesey, Caernarfon and Merioneth. There was also Flintshire, Cardigan, Carmarthen and Glamorgan, the remainder of Wales [the largest part by far] comprised the Marcher lordships.
    • English criminal law is introduced into Wales
  • 1290
    • Lay Subsidy records commence, include names of assessed tax payers; no names between 1332 and 1523 when Henry VIII  resurrected the tax on a person's wealth, superced by Hearth Tax [1662]
    • The Jewish merchant community, here since the Norman Invasion, comes to an end with the Edict of Expulsion which decreed that all Jews in England were to be baptised, banished or executed (revoked in 1656).
  • 1291
    • The Pope Nicholas IV Taxation provides a first comprehensive list of parishes
  • 1294

14th century

 
  • 1300-25
  • 1301
    • Prince Edward becomes the first English Prince of Wales
  • 1307
    • Edward II
  • 1327
    • Edward III
    • 1327/1332/1334, Lay Subsidies statistics for over 13,000 taxpaying vills
  • 1334
    • The method of taxation called 'fixed quota' first introduced
  • 1341/2
  • 1346
  • 1349
    • The Black Death plague rampant in Wales with many deaths
  • 1354-1416
    • Owain Glyn Dwr [Owen Glendower], on his father's side descended from the princes of Powys, his maternal line the princes of Deheubarth. Renowned for the revolt of 1400  against the English crown when he was proclaimed Prince of Wales, the first Welsh leader recognised throughout all of Wales; he became a symbol of the spirit of Welsh resistance to English tyranny. He lost crucial battles to Prince Henry of Monmouth [Henry V] and disappeared about 1412.
  • 1361
    • Black Death again
  • 1369
    • Black Death again
  • 1370
    • Death of Dafydd ap Gwilym, the Welsh poet.
  • 1375-1425
  • 1377
    • Richard II
    • Poll Tax. There are lists of people liable to pay this tax for the years 1377, 1379, 1381 and from 1640  to 1698. Parishes of residence are given
  • 1380
    •  By this date the office of Clerk of the Peace had been established to maintain the records of the Quarter Sessions and to frame indictments and presentments.
  • 1383
    • The National Archives has online indexes to the wills and admons proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury[PCC]  from 1383 to 1858
  • 1388
    • See Quarter Sessions ---A statute laid down that "Justices shall keep their sessions in every quarter of the year at least.."
  • 1399
    • Henry IV

15th century

 
  • 1400
    • Henry IV's invades Wales with an army of 13,000 men --- the first of 5 unsuccessful such sorties over next 10 years
  • 1401
    • The revolt of Owain Glyndwr (1400-10) (& on wikipedia) which nearly led to the re-establishment of Welsh rule. There had also been revolts in 1287, 1294 and 1316, with serious disturbances in the 1340s and the 1370s.
    • In retaliation, in 1402 the English Parliament in London passed laws which prohibited Welshmen from a wide assortment of things including holding important public office in Wales. But perhaps two of the most insulting was that no Englishman could be convicted at the law-suit of any Welshman and no Welsh child could be brought up as a scholar or be apprenticed to any trade in any town in the kingdom.
  • 1413
    • Henry V
  • 1415
    • Welsh archers won Battle of Agincourt for Henry V
    • 1415/16 --- probable death date of Owain Glyndwr at Monnington Court, Herefordshire
  • 1422
    • Henry VI
  • 1440s
    • 1440s-1490s, Reliefs from Lay Subsidies, records of tax reductions by parishes
  • 1449
    • Rhys ap Thomas (1449-1525), head of the Dynefor family in south Wales. reputed to have slain Richard III at Bosworth Fields in 1485, supported the victorious Henry Tudor.
  • 1450
    • National Eisteddfod at Carmarthen
  • 1455-87
  • 1461
    • Edward IV
  • 1476
    • William Caxton's printing press in Westminster
  • 1483
    • Edward V and Richard III
    • Court of Requests established; an offshoot of the king's council, intended to provide easy access by poor men and women to royal justice and equity
  • 1485
    • Henry VII  (Pembroke born) (
    • The Battle of Bosworth Field - the taking of the English throne by the Welsh Tudor dynasty
    • The Court of Star Chamber was established in 1485, abolished in 1641; apart from judicial work it heard cases involving enclosures and contested property rights . See also National Archives

16th century

 
  • 1500
    • Pipe Office, declared accounts 1500-1817 [PRO E351], contain data on the revenues received from nonconformists fined for not attending church.
  • 1509
    • Henry VIII
  • 1524
  • 1530
    • Henry VIII restricted the fee charge that was made by the church court on probating a will or granting administration to 6d when estates were less than £5.
  • 1534/5
    • An Act of Supremacy obliges the clergy in England & Wales to swear an oath of loyalty to the monarch as head of the church
    • The Anglican Church becomes the established church in England & Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man
    • Commissioners are sent out to document the state of monasteries
    • The Court of the Council of Wales and the Marches established by Edward IV  ' to restrain the wild Welchmanne' began regular sittings at Ludlow Castle.
  • 1536
    • Statute of Enrolments Act, required all bargains and sale of freehold land to be enrolled either at the central court at Westminster or local Quarter Sessions.
  • 1536/43
    • Acts of Union---Thomas Cromwell's master plan  [for Henry VIII] comprising 22 Acts of Parliament to ensure a more effective domination of Wales by Henry VIII and his Parliament resulted in the abolition of the Marcher lordships and the creation of 5 new counties [Monmouth, Brecon, Radnor, Montgomery, Denbigh], making 13 in total.
    • Wales subject to English law for the first time, Welsh land laws abolished, Justices of the Peace established
    • Wales became subject to pressures to conform to the English practice relating to surnames---Welsh could no longer be used for official or legal purposes.
    • The English shire system is introduced into Wales at a local level.
    • First Members of Parliament from Wales
  • 1538
  • 1540
    • Population of Wales c 226,000
  • 1540
    • Statute of Wills, freehold property could now be devised by will. Also allowed wills to be made by males over 14 and females over 12.
  • 1541
  • 1543
  • 1546
    • First book printed in Welsh - Yn y Lhywyr Hwnn by John ap Rhys
    • Henry VIII set up the Navy Board
  • 1547
    • Edward VI
  • 1548
    • Welsh-English dictionary  published by William Salesbury who also translated the Book of Common Prayer in 1551 and the New Testament in 1567
  • 1550
    • Robert Recorde, Tenby - invented the = sign  (on  wikipedia )
  • 1553
    • Mary I
    • Parish registers started in Scotland
  • 1554
  • 1558
    • Elizabeth I
  • 1559
    • Letters of administration recorded in Administration Act Books which survive from 1559-1858 at the National Archives
  • 1559
    • See Roman Catholics ---The history of English Catholics became a subject separate from that of their compatriots, as a result of the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity.
    • The latter enforced the use of the Protestant Prayer book
  • 1562/3
    • See Apprentices ---An Act provided that the apprenticeship term  to be served, as a condition of gaining the right to practise a craft, should be at least 7 years
    • An Act of Parliament which allowed the translation of the bible into Welsh
  • 1563
    • See Journeyman --- Statute of Artificers laid down a journeyman's hours of work
    • Diocesan Returns of Households
    • Roman Catholic Registers begun
  • 1565
    • Tobacco is said to have been introduced to England by Sir John Hawkins in 1565 and was often used for medicinal purposes.
  • 1566/7
    • A Welsh Salt-Making Venture of the Sixteenth Century. " It was in February 1566/7 that Wightman wrote to Edward Herbert, Sheriff of Montgomery, to inform him that the 'Lord Keeper, Duke of Norfolk, Lord Pembroke, Lord of Leicester, Mr Secretary, and others their copartners' had decided to erect salt works and that they wished to have one near the River Dyfi ................"
  • 1567
    • Publication of a translation into Welsh of the New Testament and Book of Common Prayer by William Salesbury and Bishop Richard Davies
  • 1568
    • An Eisteddfod held at Caerwys by order of Elizabeth Ist to 'test the claims of vagrants styled poets and harpists who lived off the hospitality of the nobles.'
  • 1571
    • The so called  'Welsh College', Jesus College, Oxford founded by Elizabeth Ist, the funds for the initial buildings  being provided by Dr Hugh Price, Chancellor of St David's
  • 1572
    • The first major influx of Huguenots into England
  • 1575
    • First map of Wales published by Llwyd
    • Houses of Correction first established, held criminals, the homeless, and unmarried mothers
  • 1581
    • In 1581 fines against Catholics were increased substantially and the offence of attending a Catholic Mass risked inprisonment. Three years later it became high treason for a layman to receive the ministrations of Catholic priests
    • Pipe Rolls---1581-1591, Catholics with property may appear in these
  • 1585
    • Emigration from Britain to the Americas starts with Sir Walter Raleigh's unsuccessful settlement on Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
  • 1588
    • Bishop Morgan's Welsh Bible ( on wikipedia )---considered by many to have saved the Welsh language from extinction.
  • 1589
    • Act restricting building of new cottages outside towns/boroughs unless minimum 4 acres of land attached
  • 1592
    • Recusant Rolls 1592-1691[PRO E376/7] started as part of the state's campaign against Catholicism
  • 1597
    • Poor Law Act
  • 1598
    • See BTs ---Practice made general to submit copy of PRs entries for 12 months to the Bishop
    • See also Diocese  
    • 1597/8 Act of Parliament allowing for 'rogues' to be banished from the realm to the colonies.
    • See Parish registers ---Bound parchment books for recording baptisms, marriages and burials were commenced by Act of Parliament

17th century

 
  • 1601
    • See Settlement ---By the Poor Law Act of 1601, passed in the reign of Elizabeth I, a person was recognised as being legally a settled inhabitant of a parish after a month's abode.
    • Churchwardens and householders were now required to give assistance to the poor and sick of the parish who could apply for 'out relief' which they received in their own homes. They might also be taken into the workhouse. A rate was levied on the occupiers of all property within a parish to fund this expense. Before this relief was in the hands of churchwardens and the vestry.
  • 1603
    • James I
    • Diocesan Returns of Communicants, by parishes
  • 1607
  • 1611
    • Authorised version of Bible
  • 1617
  • 1620
    • A new translation of the Bible and Prayer Book into Welsh by Bishop Richard Parry and Dr. John Davies
    • Browne's Separitist [Independent] church provided the London contingent of the passengers of the Mayflower when she sailed for America.
  • 1623
  • 1625
    • Charles I
    • Citizenship; "the years between 1625 and 1789 witnessed profound changes in Britain, in terms of the exercise of authority and the position of individuals in society. Constitutionally, this period witnessed the transition from a monarchy based upon ideas of Divine Right to a parliamentary system based upon notions of accountable government."
  • 1632
    • A Welsh dictionary is published by Dr John Davies
    • Machynlleth Toll Books - Includes the names of buyers and sellers at Machynlleth Fair in May and June 1632, and a map showing which of over 50 parishes they came from
  • 1634
    • Official parish registers start in Ireland
    • An Act requiring the recording of the names of both parents at baptism
  • 1635
    • Charles I opens his Royal Post to the public, the original forerunner of the Post Office ?
  • 1637
    • Branch of Tower Mint was set up at Aberystwyth to coin local silver
  • 1639
    • The Independent chapel at Llanfaches in Monmouthshire is the first nonconformist church established in Wales
  • 1643
    • From 1643 people who disagreed with the priest could withdraw from the Anglican church.
    • In the Civil War and Interregnum period (1643-1660) parish records were not properly maintained and gaps may be found in these records. See National Archives for notes re extant re soldiers
    • The Excise service started, as opposed to customs, a duty was now payable on a range of home-produced goods.
  • 1644
    • Earliest Non- Conformist Registers.  No NC registers were kept before this date because they could be used for persecution
  • 1645
    • Carmarthen, a Royalist town, surrendered to the Parliamentarian forces
    • Cardiff Castle and town surrendered to Parliamentarians
    • After the Battle of Nazeby some 100 Welsh speaking Royalist wives were slaughtered by Parliamentarians who mistook them for 'foreign spies'.
  • 1646
  • 1648
    • Royalists routed at Battle of St Fagan's  (on wikipedia) - hundreds of Welshmen transported to Barbados
  • 1649
    • Charles I executed on 30 January
  • 1649
    • In the Interregnum (Commonwealth) period [1649-1660] the parliamentary regime decreed that all official documents be written in English, not Latin [which otherwise remained the normal written language until 1733]. In this same period many parish registers were not maintained.
    • 1649/50 - Under the Commonwealth, Parliamentary surveys were compiled to assess a sale value for Crown lands, extant returns held at National Archives
    • The first Baptist church in Wales was established at Ilston, Swansea.
  • 1652
    • In 1652 George Fox, standing on high Pendle Hill in England, had a vision which was the beginning of the religious Society of Friends [Quakers] (on wikipedia)
    • 1652-8, Cromwell made Lord Protector,   monarchy abolished
  • 1653
    • Ecclesiastical Courts suspended. Under the Commonwealth, an Act of 8 April, 1653 abolished all ecclesiastical jurisdictions in probate matters. All wills and administrations had to be brought before 'Judges for the Proving of Wills and Craving of Letters of Administration' in London, and their records were incorporated into the PCC series. However, the old courts were restored on the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
    • Parish Register custody. Custody of Parish Registers passed from incumbent to 'Parish Register' elected by parish ratepayers
  • 1656
    • A Spanish/Portuguese group of Jewish merchant refugees from the Inquisition are  allowed to settle here. See Jews . This followed the revocation by Oliver Cromwell of the Edict of Expulsion(1290)
  • 1660
    • Charles II
    • See Regnal years ---After the Restoration of  the monarchy all documents used by genealogists will bear the AD date
    • The first professional army seen in England & Wales
    • Few Navy records survive before this date
      Registration of ships brought in following a series of Navigation Acts from 1660 onwards. See National Archives notes
    • After 1660 Nonconformists withdrew or were rejected from the Church of England
  • 1661
    • Corporation Act laid down that nobody could be legally elected to any local government office without proving he had taken the Anglican sacrament within the previous year.
  • 1662
    • See Hearth Tax ---The first Act imposing "Hearth Money" . See National Archives notes
    • See Prohibited degrees of marriage ---Relevant rules [reached in about 1560 and confirmed by church laws known as Canons, in 1564] were listed in the Common Book of Prayer of 1662. The latter said that infants should be baptised within 14 days after birth.
    • See Settlement ---The Settlement Act of 1662 laid the basis of the law of settlement for the next two centuries
    • Dissenting Academies established in Wales following the Act of Uniformity of 1662.
    • The Act of Uniformity placed legal disabilities upon the Independent sect, as it did upon other nonconformists. This was the period of the " Great Ejectment", almost 2000 dissenting congregations and their ministers were forced to leave the parish churches and reform in cottages and barns, requiring discretion and not a little secrecy. The Conventicle Act  of 1664 forbade all assemblies for public worship other than those of the Established Church. Although the persecution was ended under William and Mary, by the 1689 Act of Toleration, meeting places were still subject to granting of licences.  
  • 1663
    • The first Turnpike Act enacted.
  • 1665
    • The London Gazette was first published, used to publicise government /official activities, bankruptcies, clerical appointments, service promotions, decorations etc etc
    • The Five Mile Act forbad dissenting clergy from coming within five miles of corporate towns which was where dissent was strongest.
  • 1666
  • 1666-80
  • 1669
    • Formal Quaker record keeping commenced
  • 1670
    • First settlers reach Canada
    • Statute of Distributions decreed that a third of a deceased man's property should go to his widow, and the rest to the children; if childless then the wife had one half and the next of kin the other.
  • 1673
    • Test Act laid down that anyone holding office under the Crown must take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and present a sacrament certificate.
  • 1674
    • Thomas Gouge sets up a Welsh Trust for education
  • 1676
    • Compton Census, of religious adherance, by parish
  • 1677
    • Statute of Frauds Act.
      • Decreed that written evidence now needed of a  legal transfer of land ownership
      • Also that only written wills could now devise real estate, and that they had to be signed by the testator before 3 or 4 witnesses
  • 1679
  • 1680
  • 1682/4
    • First Welsh Quaker settlers, promised the Welsh Tract, arrived in Pennsylvania.
  • 1685
    • James II
    • c 60,000 Huguenots [French Protestants] came to England after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
  • 1686
    • 100 Quakers, led by Rowland Ellis of Brynmawr/Dolgellau, sail from Milford Haven to the USA to escape religious persecution ---they settled at Bryn Mawr, Pensylvannia.
  • 1688
  • 1689
  • 1690
  • 1691
    • The Toleration Act permitted Nonconformists to set up their own burial grounds, so from this date burials were no longer only seen in parish registers.
  • 1693
    • See Land Tax ---The Land Tax first regularly imposed
  • 1694
    • A tax introduced to help finance war against France, was the levy of 1694 on births, marriages, burials, bachelors over 25 and childless widowers
    • Probate now used to raise revenue when Stamp Duties introduced from Holland. The Church Courts dealt with it, taxed personal goods worth more than £20 at 5s, later increased to 10s .
  • 1695
    • Church of England incumbents were ordered to register the births, not bapts, of dissenters in their parish, so the word "born" in a parish register may give a clue to dissenting parents. The baptism of dissenters' children at home became common place and lasted for 100 years.
    • Humphrey Mackworth's first use of coal in copper ore smelting, at Neath
  • 1696
    • See Window Tax --- new tax on housing replaced the Hearth Tax
    • Association Oath lists sometimes survive from this year.(PRO)
  • 1697
    • Settlement Act - inter alia,  parishes now allowed to issue settlement certificates to people who wanted to live/work in another parish

18th century

 
  • 1701
  • 1702
    • Queen Anne
  • 1709
    • Candles were taxed from 1709 in the wake of heavy military expenditure during wars with France.
  • 1710
  • 1711
    • Ynyscedwyn Iron Works (Ystradgynlais) started production under Ambrose Crawley and John Hanbury   - see also Powys Digital History
  •  1713
    • Brewing of beer started at the Old Brewery in Cardiff
  • 1714
    • George I
    • Parish Register change.  Marriages to state whether by Banns or Licence.
  • 1715
  • 1718
    • An Act which broadened and regularised the system of transportation of convicts to the colonies
    • The 41st Regiment of Foot formed - later becoming the Welch Regiment  
  • 1723
    • See Workhouse ---Act of Parliament authorised parish officials to set up workhouses in their parishes, with the agreement of the majority of parishioners
  • 1727
    • George II
    • The Gin Act of 1727 introduced a heavy tax on the manufacture of gin, geneva, juniper water and all other compositions of any other ingredients with brandy, low wines or spirits
  • 1730
    • See Llanddowror ---Griffith Jones' circulating schools established in Wales
  • 1731
  • 1733
    • English replaces Latin for legal documents.  The use of Latin in English documents was officially ended in 1733, some clergy perversely carried on using it after that ......... Catholic registers were kept in Latin long after this
  •  1735
  • 1736
    • The Witchcraft Act, controversially declared witchcraft no longer to be a crime.
  • 1737
    • Licensing Act, only the Theatres Royal, Haymarket, and Covent Garden, could put on full length dramas and stay open throughout the winter.
  • 1738
    • The Methodist movement began in 1738 when John and Charles Wesley set out to revive a sense of spirituality and inner holiness in worship
  • 1740
    • Food Riots occur in Flintshire and Wrexham, particularly by lead miners and colliers at Rhuddlan
    • 1740s - Pentyrch furnace & forge rebuilt (Iron industry) - Pentyrch on Genuki
    • 1740s forge at Melingriffith rebuilt (iron industry)
  • 1742
    • Dr Williams Dissenters Register founded and used until 1837. General Register of Births of Children of Protestant Dissenters of the three Denominations set up by Dr Williams Library ; Presbyterian (inc Unitarian) , Congregational, Baptist . Now held at the National Archives
  • 1742
    • First Methodist chapel in Wales built at Groes Wen, Caerphilly
  • 1747
    • From this date masters or owners of merchant ships had to keep and file a Muster Roll giving details of the number of crewmen and the ship's voyages. See National Archives notes
  • 1751
  • 1752
    • Gregorian calendar replaced Julian.  The Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar by Act of Parliament . The day following Wed 2nd Sept became Thurs 14th Sept to recover eleven days lost due to the defects of the Julian Calendar . The year now began on 1st Jan instead of 25th March. Financial year now commenced 25th March plus eleven days ie 6th April
    • Coroners allowed £1 for every inquest they attended outside gaols and 9d a mile for their journey from their home to where a body was situated.
  • 1753
    • Isaac Wilkinson bought the Bersham Ironworks  - on the wikipedia site
    • Hardwicke's Marriage Act, 1753, effective from 25 March 1754 .
      See also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/1753.htm
      • Marriage ceremonies now had to be held in the parish church/chapelry, by banns or licence.[although Jewish and Quaker marriages outside these premises were also valid]. Previously no ceremony was required, simply an exchange of promises in front of witnesses followed by cohabitation.
      • Fixed minimum ages as 14 for men and 12 for women
      • Marriages to be recorded in a separate book from baptisms and burials, the register to consist of printed forms. Register entries showed marital status, parish of residence, and were signed by the couple and the witnesses (if literate of course). Banns Registers brought into compulsory use too.
      • Couples now had to marry in a parish where one of them lived
  • 1754
    • Army Lists covering commissioned officers have been published almost every year since 1754
  • 1756 - 63
  • 1757
    • The Militia was a voluntary county based part-time force for home defence. It ceased to be summoned after the Civil War but was revived in 1757 with the Militia Act which established Militia Regiments in all counties of England and Wales. See National Archives notes
  • 1759
    • Ironworks established at Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil
  • 1760
    • George III
    • Records of soldiers who were discharged from the army with a pension include attestation ,or joining up, records, and discharge papers; the period of such extant records is 1760-1913
    • The Register Society founded at Lloyd's Coffee House in London, later to become Lloyd's Register of Shipping
  • 1760-1774
    • In this period no less than 452 separate Turnpike Acts were passed
  • 1763
  • 1765
    • Ironworks  established at Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil --- finally closed in 1910.   Dowlais opened in 1759,Penydarren 1784, and Plymouth (MT) 1763.
  • 1768
    • First canal in north Wales dug linking Hawarden to the Dee
  • 1769
    • Kymer's canal in Cydweli opened
  • 1770
    • Captain Cook lands at Botany Bay, Australia
    • 'Trysorfa Gwybodaeth', the first Welsh language magazine  published in Carmarthen.
  • 1775-1783
    • American War of Independence - on wikipedia.  See also National Archives for extant documents. It is worth noting that during the war there was no emigration into what became the USA.  The only people going there were British soldiers, probably their families and people connected with the British Government
    • In 1776 as many as 18 of the 56 signatories to the American Declaration of Independence were of Welsh descent, as was Thomas Jefferson himself of course
  • 1777
  • 1778
    • Parys Mine Company (Copper) established by Thomas Williams in Anglesey - on wikipedia
    • In 1778 an Act was passed " to relieve upon conditions and under restrictions, persons professing the Popish religion". It is from now that a number of Catholic registers begin
  • 1780
    • Stamp Duty of 10s on estates worth more than £100 [was £20], with a sliding scale for bigger estates.
    • Separate Legacy Duty brought in chargeable on receipts for both legacies and any part of the estate residue. It was largely evaded as it was not made compusory to give receipts.
  • 1780
    • From this date a person who paid Land Tax on freehold property of £2 or more per annum was entitled to vote, so Land Tax returns were recorded at the Quarter Sessions and thus  created  lists of eligible voters
  • 1782
    • See Workhouse ---Act allowed parishes to come together in voluntary unions to administer the poor law and employ paid guardians in the union workhouse.
    • Duty of 3d payable for burials. Duty of 3d payable for register entries of burials . Possible false/duplicate entries
    • Navy Lists giving details of commissioned officers run from 1782 to date; held at National Archives, Kew
    • Foreign Office formed. See National Archives notes
  • 1783
    • Stamp Act (Pitt's Tax?). Tax on Parish Register entries for Bapts, Marrs & Burs. Resulted in Missing baptisms due to reluctance to pay
  • 1784
    • First Mail coaches introduced, had an armed Mail Guard on board
  • 1785
    • Stamp Act extended to non-conformists
    • The Times newspaper was started (changed name from Daily Universal Register in 1788)
    • First Irish Mail Coach left London for Holyhead
  • 1786
    • Sunday School Movement started in Wales by Thomas Charles
  • 1787
    • First convicts sent to Australia in what is known as the First Fleet ; the Second Fleet followed in 1790
  • 1789
    • Blaenafon Ironworks started
    • French Revolution 1789-1801. See National Archives notes re extant British records
  • 1790
    • See American census details ---First US census
    • Methodist's registers began
    • New Zealand settled by whalers and traders in 1790s
    • First free settlers reach Australia in 1790s
  • 1791
    • See Roman Catholics ---The Catholic Relief Act of 1791 enabled Catholics to worship at their own registered churches under registered priests, and many churches were built.
    • There are annual Criminal registers  for 1791-1892 at the National Archives, Kew
    • First official survey of Great Britain is started using the Ordnance branch of the army, hence the Ordnance Survey [OS] name which survives to this day
    • The Observer newspaper was started
  • 1792
  • 1792-c1832
    • The Land Tax Returns, by parish
  • 1793
    • Service records of Royal Marine officers are held at the National Archives, Kew, for period 1793-1925
    • Hundreds of copper and mine workers marched on Swansea in protest against high food prices
    • 1793-1815 French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars - on wikipedia
  • 1794
    • Stamp Act repealed.  End of tax on Baptism, Marriage & Burial register entries, may have been a rush of baptisms after this date
    • From this date, under common law, all the inhabitants of a parish have the right to be buried in the 'parish burial ground'
    • The first barge, loaded with iron, makes the trip down the Glamorgan Canal from Merthyr to Cardiff
  • 1795
    • Pitt brought in a law which penalised anyone who administered a property of a deceased person without obtaining a grant of probate or administration within 6 months of his/her death. This is the first time probate had been compulsory since the C17.
    • The notorious Speenhamland policy originates in Berkshire, where the poor were 'helped' by wages being increased by a dole payment to a subsistence level, this system was inevitably abused by unscrupulous employers.
    • In the context of navy press gangs, Pitt brings in an Act which required a certain number of recruits from each county/port
    • Seventy emigrants left Caernarfonshire for New York
  • 1796
    • William Pitt brings in death duties [called  Legacy Duty] for the first time in his budget to pay for the Napoleonic War. This was levied on estates  [not land] worth more than £20, had a sliding scale depending on which relative the legacy was left to. In 1805 and 1815 it was varied, and  also in 1853 when transfers of land at death were included. Became Probate Duty in 1881, and Estate Duty from 1894.
    • Church courts required to send copies of all their grants of probate to the Estate Duty Office.
  • 1797
    • French invasion force of 1400 men land at Carreg Wastad near Fishguard, PEM.
    • Acts of 1797 and 1802 gives Newport, (Mon), exemption from duty on coal sent coastwards   - See Newport on wikipedia
  • 1798
    • From this date Land Tax assessment forms were printed and included the names of the owner and occupier of particular properties
    • Irish Rebellion
  • 1799-1800
    • Combination Laws, applied to all industries, stopped combinations of workers from trying to collectively further their interests. (Repealed  in 1824-5)
    • Income tax was introduced in 1799 by Prime Minister William Pitt to finance the war against revolutionary France.

19th century

 
  • 1803-15
    • The Napoleonic Wars   
    • The renewal of the war with France forced Addington to bring in a new Income Tax Act in 1803.
    • An Act required all men aged 17-55 to be recorded, together with whether they were willing to volunteer for milita duty
  • 1818
    • Wesleyan registers begun London
    • Select Committee on Education, 1818-19
    • The Gorsedd held its first meeting in Wales at Carmarthen  - also see wikipedia
  • 1820
  • 1821
    • Manchester Guardian newspaper started
    • Shropshire Canal reaches Newtown in Montgomeryshire (centre of Welsh wool flannel manufacture   - See  Montgomery Canal on wikipedia)
  • 1822
    • The Coastguard service was created under the control of, and from parts of, the Customs service  -  such as the revenue cruisers, riding officers and water guard. See National Archives for extant records
  • 1823
    • See Marriage Allegations, Bonds, Licences ---Bonds abolished in 1823
      See also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/alm1823.htm
    • Banns now had to be read in both parishes, if different
    • Act under which Houses of Correction and County Gaols were amalgamated, now regulated by justices of the peace  who had top keep records -  and the word prison is first used
    • An Act which stopped the previous custom of burying a suicide in the roadway. It was now lawful for these to be buried in consecrated ground, although without the benefit of a religious service. It also brought to an end the tradition  of driving a stake through the body and throwing lime over it.
    • Telford instructed by Postmaster-General to survey a mailcoach route in south Wales - it never happened
  • 1824
    • Copper Trade Association formed and Glamorgan firms belonged - lasted until 1980s
  • 1825
    • Bute Works completed (Iron)     Rhymney on wikipedia
    • Newtown to Builth road completed linking mid Wales to manufacturing /industrial areas in England & south Wales
  • 1826
  • 1827
  • 1828
  • 1829
  • 1830
    • William IV
    • The historic Tory Party became generally known as the Conservative Party
    • Expansion at Dowlais with building of Big Mill to roll rails    - on wikipedia
  • 1830
  • 1831
    • As part of the 1831 census an investigation was made into the state of each parish register
    • The Merthyr Rising --- with some 24 deaths --- coal and iron workers took control of the town for 5 days in protest against wide scale job losses and wage cuts. Dic Penderyn (Richard Lewis) was hanged at Cardiff on 13th August 1831for his part in the riot - the first martyr of the Welsh working class movement
    • 1831/2/3; Cholera epidemic hits UK, almost 500 deaths in large Welsh towns but 1500 in Liverpool alone. Central Board of Health established in London. See Cholera in Wales on Genuki
    • First organised trade unions in South Wales coalfields
    • Abolition of tax on slate carried coastwise - see Welsh slate industry on  wikipedia
    • Yr Odydd Cymreig, a journal, commenced by John Davies who was a campaigner for the Oddfellows Order in Glamorgan - it soon failed
    • The Rothesay Castle went aground off Anglesey -  only 21 out of 130 on board were saved  - see also wikipedia
  • 1832
    • See Electoral Registers/Poll Books--- First Reform Bill. Counties were divided to reflect population distribution and Wales gained 5 more seats,  the total becoming 32. But still only one man in seven could vote, and voting was still not secret. Electoral registers were introduced and show the names of people entitled to vote in parliamentary elections.
  • 1833
    • Factory Act. Prohibited employment of children under 9, but baptismal certificates were the only available evidence of age, albeit unreliable, of a child's age.
    • The first Treasury grant towards the building of schools - given between the British and the National Society schools but onerous conditions meant that little of it reached Wales
    • Local branch of British and Foreign Temperance Society formed in Swansea
  • 1834
    • See Workhouse and Guardians of the Poor---The Poor Law Amendment Act (on wikipedia) brought in significant changes, parishes were now made  to amalgamate into Unions, each with a Board of Guardians to administer relief.
    • To obtain relief 'paupers' now had to go into Union workhouses whereas before they could receive 'out relief' in their homes
    • The Act included the controversial bastardy clause which which said that up to the age of 16 children were the sole responsibility of the mother and if she couldn't look after them then she would have to enter the workhouse. This cause an outcry and 10 years later was changed so that a mother was allowed to apply for maintenance from the father.
    •  
    • See Settlement---Though the Settlement Act was repealed in 1834, the principle of settlement remained substantially in force until 1876.
    •  
    • Tolpuddle Martyrs, transported for forming a trade union
    • The Old Bailey becomes known as the Central Criminal Court
  • 1835
    • Marriage of a minor without consent ceased to be invalid
    • First recorded photograph of a person by Daguerre  
    • Merchant Shipping Act, Crew Lists and other documents now to be filed with the Register Office of Merchant Seamen. See National Archives notes
  • 1836
    • See Tithes---The Tithes Commutation Act of 1836 enabled commutation to be made more easily by commissioners  in negotiation with the inhabitants of each parish on the basis of a land valuation. The schedules and detailed maps produced as part of this exercise are invaluable for genealogists. The drawing up of tithe maps covered the period  from 1836 to c1850
    • Ffestiniog Railway completed - great relevance to the slate export industry (via Porthmadoc harbour) - on wikipedia
  • 1836
    • General Enclosure Acts of 1836, 1840 and 1845. These followed an increasing number of private Acts of Parliament effecting the enclosure of both privately held and communal land. Commissioners oversaw the process, awards and maps at National Archives.
    • True Ivorites order founded in Wrexham - a Welsh language friendly society
    • Cardiff Total Abstinence Society established
  • 1837
    • Queen Victoria
    • The Victorian era started with the death of William IV on 20th June 1837
    • See Registration Districts ---Civil Registration Act, births, marriages and deaths now had to be registered with the official Registrar in each Registration District.
      See also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/1836Act.htm
    • See also Parishes, what are they ?
    • Nonconformist registers requested to be deposited at National Archives
    • Under the Marriage Act of 1836, marriages could again take place in Roman Catholic and Nonconformist places of worship but a Civil Registrar had to be present and the place had to be licenced. Marriage services can now be performed in Welsh
    • Banns and marriage licences were no longer obligatory
    • Jews and Gentiles now allowed to marry each other
    • At the FRC are indexes of births and deaths at sea since 1837 on any UK registered ship
    • Statute of Wills permitted the devise of all realty by written will signed by the testator before 2 non benefiting witnesses
    • Medical Glimpse of Early Nineteenth Century Cardiganshire "In this essay Richard Williams is highly critical of the people of the 'Upper District of Cardiganshire' as patients and apparently as persons. The probable date of the manuscript, judging by the watermark of the paper, is about 1837......"
    • Abernant Colliery in Cynon Valley opens, beginning of major sale-coal industry in the area
  • 1838
    • See National Archives ---Established in 1838 by the  Public Records Act to preserve the government's and law courts' records and other national archives
    • A Pluralities Act permits bishops to refuse to appoint non Welsh speakers to Welsh speaking parishes
    • An Act was passed for the conveyance of mails by the Post Office using railways.
    • Debt was now distinguished from premeditated fraud and ceased to be an offence punishable by a prison sentence unless the debtor was likely to abscond.
    • People's Charter and National Petition launched
    • First blast furnace at Ystalyfera Ironworks  -    See also Ystalyfera on wikipedia
  • 1839
  • 1840
    • Rowland Hill sets up the Post Office with the penny post
    • Dowlais Iron - Little Mill added
    • Steam locomotives introduced on Lord Penrhyn's railway - See also wikipedia
    • First section of Taff Vale Railway from Cardiff to Abercynon opened, completed in 1841   - See also on wikipedia
    • The Liberal Party was the successor to the Whig Party, the term Liberal  was used formally from c 1840 but informally from c 1815. Their first period of power was 1830-41. The term Whig had been used since the reign of James II.   
    • British Schools in South Wales "Although a few British Schools had been founded here and there in South Wales during the first half of the nineteenth century, the sudden surge in the building of such schools that had taken place in North Wales during the eighteen forties did not materialize in the South.........."
    • The Newport Chartist leaders sentencd to death for treason---commuted to transportation. See Chartists   
    • R J Nevill and the Early Welsh Coal Trade  "The outstanding development in the South Wales coal industry in the decades after 1840 was the growth in the shipments of coal, particularly of steam coal to meet the overseas demand....."
  • 1841
    • See Census returns ---First detailed 10 yearly census return, previous ones from 1801 only useful for statistics
    • Under the Ordnance Survey Act the OS becomes a separate institution
    • The enfranchisement of Copyhold land was introduced [i.e its legal conversion into freehold]
    • Taff Vale Railway between Cardiff and Merthyr opened, the start of a railway network in South Wales valleys
  • 1842
    • Children's Employment Commission Report, resulted in a Mines Act which prohibited women or boys (under aged 10) to work underground.
    • 1842/3, 1859/60, Published Assessments to Income Tax, by parish
    • Rebecca re-appears and Mermaid and Pwll-Trap toll gates destroyed, also Trevaughan, and St Clears.
    • Chartism and Industrial Unrest in South Wales in 1842  
    • Income tax on incomes over £150 was re-introduced by Peel
  • 1843
    • 1843/4, New Parishes Act, permitting  the first boundary reforms which allowed the division of large parishes in smaller eccliastical parishes.
    • The Counties [Detached Parts] Act of 1844 eliminated those detached parts of counties surrounded by a sole other county.
    • Royal Commission on the Health of Towns and Populous Places; a Board of Health was established
    • Dai'r Cantwr (David Davies) sentenced to 20 years transportation to Tasmania for demolishing Spudder's Bridge turnpike gate near Kidwelly, CMN.
    • A Report on the Turnpike Trusts "It was to be expected that the government should institute an enquiry into the (Rebecca) rioting. Edwin Chadwick, the secretary of the Poor Law Commission, who had paid some attention to conditions in Wales in preparing a report in 1839 on the best means of establishing a constabulary force, wrote to the home office on 11 July 1843 to suggest that an enquiry be held......"
    • Portable Theatres in Wales, 1843-1914 . "Portable theatres were sometimes tents, sometimes collapsible wooden booths, and sometimes a combination of wooden walls with a tilt or canvas top.Their common characteristic was that they could be dismantled easily , and carried from place to place on carts or railway wagons......"
  • 1843-4
    • Rebecca Riots in South Wales. Carmarthen Workhouse is destroyed by rioters protesting against the Poor Law Amendments Act
  • 1844
    • Made provision for a child's age to be confirmed through a copy of the birth registration entry, fee 1/-.
    • Reduced age limit for child labour in factories from 9 to 8.
  • 1844
    • Poor Law Amendment Act---introduced the concept of maintenance into statute law which produced bastardy files which may help where a father of an illegitimate child is not named in the birth entry
    • This Act abolished compulsory apprenticeship and laid down duties of the masters and the terms of the indentures
  • 1844
  • 1845
    • W H Nevill and the Llanelly Iron Shipping Company "The earliest shipyards at Llanelly were situated on what were known as Llanelly Flats, between the Carmarthenshire Dock and Nevill's Dock; but there is no evidence to suggest that there was a permanent slipway for shipbuilding before 1845....."
  • 1846
  • 1847
    • Treachery of the Blue Books - the Reports of the commissioners of enquiry into the state of education in Wales  -  see also wikipedia
    • Band of Hope began its temperance movements
    • Llandovery College is founded
    • Juvenile Offenders Act
  • 1848
    • The Public Health Act of 1848 established the public health services of this country, and one of its first provisions was the formation of the General Board of Health, a central department to which local authorities could turn to for advice and help. Local boards of health were established under this Act, and the Local Government Act 1858, in populous areas not covered by a town vestry or council, or by Improvement Commissioners. They were responsible for most aspects of public health, including street cleaning, sewerage, water supply and highways. It had only been in operation a few weeks when the 1848-9 cholera epidemic appeared.
      In 1849, Merthyr, with a population of fifty thousand and the largest town in Wales at that time, suffered a cholera death roll of over one thousand four hundred---a mortality rate second only to that of Hull in the whole of the kingdom. See Cholera in Wales on Genuki
    • 178 Welsh emigrants died in a fire on the 'Ocean Monarch' off Colwyn Bay
  • 1849
    • Another Religious Revival in Wales following the cholera outbreak
    • The Inland Revenue Department came into being by the merger of the Board of Excise  with the Board of Stamps & Taxes.
    • Chester to Holyhead Railway completed  - See also wikipedia
    • In 1849, 1850, 1857, 1866 & 1882 there were anti-Irish riots by south Wales workmen
  • 1850
    • In 1850 the law permitted the creation of a Roman Catholic hierarchy in Britain
    • In the 1850s the Board of Trade, Railway Department, assumed responsibility for canals. See National Archives
    • Coal Mines Inspection Act 1850, the first statute to give the state some element of control over coal mining. See National Archives re extant records
  • 1851
    • Census of Religious Worship, by parish---from a population in Wales of 1.1 million some 976,000 attended at places of worship on census day, the great growth of nonconformity was revealed statistically
    • Further legislation for the protection of apprentices
    • The 1851 census showed that 21% of the population worked in agriculture
    • Admiralty report saying that South Wales steam coal was the most useful for use by the Royal Navy which leads to expansion of steam coal industry in South Wales
  • 1852
    • Registration regional areas now total 34; was 27 in 1837
    • Burial Acts; between 1852 and 1906 no less than 15 Burial Acts were passed . Burial boards were established under the Burial Act 1853 which allowed parish vestries, borough councils or local boards of health to create and manage new cemeteries.
    • First roadside Post Office pillar box built at Jersey, and in mainland Britain the following year. Changed from dark green to red in 1874.
    • South Wales Railway reaches Carmarthen
  • 1853
    • Gladstone's Succession Duty Act passed;  charged all property of a deceased, landed or personal, ' on which there was succession', excluded personal property already covered by Legacy Duty. Not abolished until 1949
    • Principle of continuous engagement began in Royal Navy
    • Most Catholics were buried in Anglican parish burial grounds until 1853, borough cemeteries after that.
    • 1853/4 Cholera epidemic  spreads to Wales causing nearly a thousand deaths in the latter months of the year, the disease again being much more prevalent in the industrial south. London by comparison had ten thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight deaths. See Cholera in Wales on Genuki
      A direct consequence of the compulsory vaccination of this year was a sharp increase in under-registration of births
    • The Charity Commission for England and Wales was set up by the Charitable Trust Act of 1853. See Charities
    • Crimean War 1853-6.   
    • The Journal of William Roberts ('Nefydd'), 1853-62. Includes extensive general commentary on elementary education covering the whole of Wales, and with journal entries from Dec 1853 to July 1854, which cover his visits to places in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire.
  • 1854
  • 1855
    • Civil registration commences in Scotland
    • Stamp Duty on newspapers abolished reducing their price greatly
    • Daily Telegraph newspaper started
    • Rhondda steam coal first transported by rail from Treherbert to Cardiff marking start of rise of Rhondda as a major coal mining valley
    • Criminal Justice Act
  • 1856
    • All cities, boroughs and counties were now obliged to establish their own police force, some already did
    • Evan James of Pontypridd wrote 'Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau' which became the national anthem of Wales
    • Robert Shields of Cardiff won Wales's first Victoria Cross, in Crimean War
    • The Admiralty takes over control of the Coastguard from the Custom service
  • 1857
    • Non-conformist registers deposited with Registrar General (and then passed to the PRO - now National Archives)
    • Extra Parochial Places Act, allowed some extra parochial areas to be absorbed into adjoining parishes.
    • Last public execution at Cardiff
    • High Street Photographers in Aberystwyth 1857 - c1900
  • 1858
    • The Probate Act of 1857 came into effect on January 12 1858  - abolished Church Courts  with the state taking over the administration/probate of wills/admons from the Church courts through the Principal Probate Registry.
    • Until this Act wills which only dealt with the disposition of land  [not goods] did not require to be probated and so have generally not survived.
    • See Divorce---Following the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 from 1858 a divorce could be granted by the new civil Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. See National Archives re extant records.
      See also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/divorce1857.htm
  • 1859
    • Religious revival begins in Wales, starting at the village of Tre'rddol, north Ceredigion
    • Baner Ac Amserau Cymru founded by Thomas Gee, the paper that was to have a great impact on the religious, political and literary life of Wales.
    • Pryce Pryce-Jones of Newtown - started the world's first mail order business ( on wikipedia )
  • 1860
    • Coroners are now salaried and paid for from local rates
  • 1861
    • The 1861 census returns were damaged by enemy action in WW2
    • Post Office Savings Bank introduced
    • American Civil War 1861-65.
    • Society called Y Gymdeithas Wladfaol established in Liverpool - eventually responsible for promoting a Welsh settlement in Patagonia (see 1865 below)
  • 1862
    • Elementary school log books commenced
    • Schools receiving state aid now subject to a 'payment by results' system
    • Coal Mines' Regulation Act  [around 1862] which stated that " there must be at least two shafts or outlets, with which every seam for the time being at work in the mine shall have a communication; such shafts must not at any point be nearer to one another than 15 yards, and there shall be between such two shafts a roadway not less than 4 feet wide and 4 feet high." [Following an accident in Hartley, in which 204 men were suffocated]
    • The Land Registry formed, the process of registering land and property transfers was voluntary for most parts outside central London until the C20. Made compulsory in 1897 but only on a gradual basis county by county as and when a transfer occurred
    • George Borrow's book ' Wild Wales' is published
    • 'House of Refuge for Distressed Women 'opened in Llandaff
  • 1863
    • English church services are legalised in Welsh speaking areas with English speaking minorities
  • 1864
  • 1865/6
    • The fourth and virtually last great cholera epidemic in Britain. See Cholera in Wales on Genuki.
    •  In 1865, 163 Welsh emigrants sail from Liverpool on the Mimosa, arrive at Port Madryn, Argentina, (on wikipedia ) went on to found a settlement by the Chebut river. Patagonia was the first society in the world to allow women the right to vote-1865.
    • 1865, major gold deposits found at St David's Lode, Clogau Mine near Dolgellau  - also see Geology Wales
  • 1866
    • GRO index of deaths now gives deceased's age
    • GRO indexes now printed or typed (not handwritten as previously)
    • Sanitary Act, municipal mortuaries started to be built
  • 1867
    • See Electoral Registers/Poll Books---Second Reform Bill. Relatively few people are found in Electoral registers until 1867 when there was a large increase in voters, but still men only. The vote was give to all male heads of households in borough seats, a change which vastly increased the electorate in places such as Merthyr Tydfil.
    • The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1868, required that extra parochial places with no overseer be amalgamated with adjoining civil parishes
    • Transportation to the colonies effectively ended
  • 1868
    • In Wales at the parliamentary elections ten Conservatives were voted in  compared with twenty-three Liberals. There followed retaliatory evictions of Liberal tenants by Conservative landlords, a major factor in the passing of the secret ballot act in 1872. The 1868 election marked the beginning of a long period of Liberal rule until swamped  by the Labour Party in the 1920s.
    • Miscellanea genealogica et heraldica magazine started, stopped in 1938
    • Wales' worst rail disaster when 33 people were killed in a crash at Abergele
  • 1869
    • Dis-establishment of the Church of Ireland [Anglican]
    • Debt is now finally decriminalised and  routine imprisonment for debt ceased, other than in cases of fraud or deliberate refusal to pay, and the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors was wound up. Creditors who were owed more than £50 could petition for bankruptcy proceedings. See National Archives for extant records
    • Western Mail first published
  • 1870
    • See Electoral Rolls---Voting qualifications changed
    • Gladstone's Licensing Act [Alcohol], he lost the next election
    • Post Office gets monopoly to run the Telegraph service
    • See Schools in Wales---In 1870 Foster's Act brought in Board Schools which took over from National and British schools.
    • This Act permitted school attendance from 5 to 13, but not compulsory.
  • 1870
    • The first bill proposing the dis-establishment of the Church of England in Wales was presented. There were further bills in 1886, 1889 and 1892, none successful in view of Conservative Party opposition.(see 1920)
    • System of free passages to Australia started
    • Longwall replaces pillar & stall method as main mining technique
    • Act to Abolish  Forfeitures for Treason and Felony, this ended the medieval rule of law that the property of someone found to have committed suicide was forfeited to the crown. Also the practice of sending the body of a suicide to anatomy classes for dis-section was stopped.
    • Voluntary Education in the Industrial Areas of Wales before 1870
    • School Boards and the Works School System after the Education Act of 1870
  • 1871
    • Vaccination Act---required that duplicates of birth certificates were to be made [not with mother's maiden name]. Some may survive in county ROs. After 1898 parents could refuse vaccination for their children on grounds of conscience
    • Neath Rugby Club formed, the first in Wales ?
    • Dr Barnardo's - records began in 1871 and are full from 1885, deposited at Liverpool University.
    • Amalgamated Association of Miners becomes strongest trade union yet seen in South Wales coal field
    • Long and bitter strike in South Wales coal field
  • 1872
    • See Electoral Registers/Poll Books---In aftermath of 1868 elections Tory landowners took their revenge and threw hundreds of farmers off their land. This directly lead, in 1872 , to the Ballot Act being passed making voting secret, so that landowners no longer knew how their tenants voted. Before this how someone voted was recorded in Poll Books
    • National Agricultural Labourer's Union set  up by Joseph Arch - had over 100,000 members within first year
    • Aberystwyth College established, the precursor of the University of Wales ( on wikipedia )
    • Under the Public Health Act 1872, the existing 1848/58 local boards were incorporated into urban sanitary authorities (USDs), together with boroughs and improvement commissions, while rural sanitary authorities (RSDs) covered the remainder.
    • Union of Welsh Independents formed - a central organisation for Welsh Independent chapels
  • 1873
  • 1874
    • See Parish registers ---Fines began for non registration of births, previously the Registrar's responsibility
    • Registrars now allowed to register a birth up to seven years after the birth itself (only 6 months until now)
    • Political riots in Treorchy in the Rhondda Valley
    • The Public Health Acts of 1874/5 created new local authorities with responsibility for public health. Urban areas such as towns/boroughs were to form Urban Sanitary Districts (USDs)The remainder of the country was divided into Rural Sanitary Districts (RSDs) - these corresponded to the existing Poor Law unions (exc. the USDs)
  • 1875
    • See Changing a name and birth registration procedures---naming the father
    • See also  Illegitimacy---Before 1875, the mother was allowed to name any man as the father;  he was not required to acknowledge paternity. From that date , a man could only be named as the father if he consented and was present at the registration.
  • 1875
    • The Supreme Court of Judicature was established comprising 5 divisions; Chancery; Probate Divorce and Admiralty; Common Pleas; Exchequer; King's[Queen's] Bench; the last 3 being amalgamated in 1881 into the  King's [Queen's] Bench.
  • 1875
    • Local Authorities were allowed to compulsory purchase slum properties under the Artisans' and Labourers' Dwellings Act
    • Llanelli rugby club is formed
    • Long and bitter strike in South Wales coal field
    • Sliding Scale Committee set up to decide on wage levels for South Wales miners
  • 1876
    • Elementary Education Act
    • Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act permitted that detached parts of parishes could be separate parishes in own right or amalgamated with other parishes.
    • Wales's first ever international soccer match --- vs Scotland (who won)
    • First rugby match at Cardiff Arms Park
  • 1877
    • ' The Genealogist ' magazine started, stopped in 1921
  • 1877
    • Poor Law Act provided that parts of parishes cut off by municipal boundaries, or rivers, be treated as 'detached' for the purposes of the 1876 Act
    • National Prison Commission set up. Up to now most crimes were punishable by death, fine or whipping, plus transportation
  • 1878
    • Steel industry revolutionised by Sidney and Percy Thomas's open hearth steel making experiments at Blaenavon
  • 1879
    • Zulu War - 600 soldiers of the South Wales Borders killed in action against the Zulus at Isandhlwana. The following day, at Rorke's Drift, 11 members of the SWB were awarded the Victoria Cross. See also a Wales related article on Genuki
  • 1880
    • Burial Laws Amendment Act, allowed excommunicants of the Anglican Church a modified form of service when being  buried in a parish churchyard, also Catholic and any other Christian rites .
      This Act also allowed a suicide's body to be interred in a churchyard, although 48 hours notice was required before a burial , either without a religious service or with such Christian religious service as the person responsible saw fit. Also allowed the use of the Church of England Burial service on unconsecrated ground by a C of E  minister.
      See also http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/1881burialAct.htm
    • Education Act. School attendance made compulsory between 5 and 10. Local Authorities now had duty to ensure that the children in their area were being properly educated.
    • A government report on higher education in Wales recommended the establishment of two colleges, one in the south and one in the north. Cardiff was chosen in the south  and Bangor in the north. In 1885 Aberystwyth obtained the same status as the other two .
    • Holyhead's new harbour opened
    • Telephone directories first make an appearance
    • The Rev W Rees locked out of his chapel by the deacons and others in Llechryd, CGN  -  for supporting the temperance movement
  • 1881
    • Welsh Sunday Closing Act, sale of alcohol prohibited on Sundays. The first Act since the C17th that dealt with Wales exclusively
    • Post Office starts to operate its own telephone exchanges
    • The Welsh Rugby Union formed in Neath
    • Probate Duty; Gladstone brought in legislation which unified probate duty on deceased's estates at 3% of the net value after debts with those under £100 exempt and those worth up to £1000 at lower rates.
  • 1882
    • Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, provided that detached parts of parishes wholly surrounded by another parish be amalgamated with that parish.
    • Only about 5% of the male population left wills in the nineteenth century and wills written by wives were almost non-existent until the Married Women's Property Act of 1882 came into the force. Since 1837, all testators have had to be aged over 21; prior to that, the minimum age was 12 for a girl and 14 for a boy.
    • Under the Married Woman's Property Act, ( and http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/acts/mwp1882.htm ) married women now legally able to own property . Prior to this all property brought into a marriage by a wife became the that of the husband's. At least it was the husband who went to the debtors' prison even if debts were created by his wife.
    • In the period 1882 to 1908, Barnardo's sent 4500 children to Canada without parental consent, another 3000 as a result of court orders etc.
    • Suicide still a crime but people could now be buried in consecrated ground.
  • 1883
    • The Boy's Brigade founded  by William A Smith in Glasgow
    • The title Postman replaces Letter Carrier, also parcel post started
  • 1884
    • See Electoral Registers/Poll Books---Third Reform Bill. The majority of adult male householders were now able to vote. These Reform and Redistribution Acts of 1884/5 re-distributed parliamentary seats to reflect the growth of industrial areas, and the vote was thus granted to the bulk of  Welsh working class males .
    • Wales beat Ireland in first rugby international at Cardiff Arms Park
  • 1885
    • The first legal cremation in UK was probably in Woking in 1885
  • 1886
    • The Severn Tunnel (Rail) opened
    • The 'Tithe War' began at Llanarmon, CAE . The Welsh Land League formed with Thomas Gee as it's preseident
    • 462 emigrants from various parts of Wales sailed for Patagonia on the Vesta
    • Cymru Fydd movement  (self government in Wales) founded in London ( on wikipedia )
  • 1887
  • 1888
    • Most coroners were elected by freeholders up until this date, now appointed by local authorities. From the 20th century coroners are either a barrister, a solicitor or qualified medical practitioner.
    • Local Government Act of 1888 which created county councils , see Counties
    • Second settlement in Patagonia (Cwm Hyfryd) by Welsh emigrants
    • Glamorgan County Cricket Club formed
    • The first Monday in every month now to be a 'free from work' day for coal miners, called ' Mabon's Day' after William Abraham Mabon
    • 9th Lancers called into Denbigh to enforce the sale of farms,Tithe War riots at Llanefydd. Disturbances now seen in Caernarfonshire, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire
  • 1889
    • Secondary Education Act.
    • Welsh Intermediate Education Act - spread of secondary school education in Wales
    • Barry Dock & Railway opened
  • 1890
    • First issue of ' Y Cymro', the Welsh newspaper,  edited by Isaac Foulkes
    • Imposition of McKinley Tariff led to increase in emigration of tin-plate workers from Wales to USA   - see also on wikipedia
  • 1891
    • The first census requiring indication of  language spoken - some 1.685 million  Welsh speakers
    • Tithe Act, landlords now to be responsible for payment of tithes
  • 1893
    • Education Act. Age for compulsory school attendance increased to 11
    • Minor outbreak of Cholera in UK, See Cholera in Wales on Genuki.
    • Wales won their first rugby match against the 'old enemy' (England) at Cardiff
    • First legal cremation of Dr William Price himself - that of his son in 1884 being illegal, although the Dr was acquitted on trial
  • 1894
    • Local Government Act, created parish councils and provided that every parish was to be within a single administrative county; and that parishes straddling urban and rural district councils  were to be split.
    • University of Wales established from Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff colleges. The Prince of Wales became chancellor in 1895.
    • See Vestry---This Act transferred the civil functions of the parish to parish councils.
    • Finance Act; introduced Estate Duty replacing probate duty, became payable on value of all property, real and personal, settled or not settled after deduction of debts and funeral costs. Estates worth less than £100 still exempt from duty.
    • The First Reports of Owen M. Edwards on Welsh Intermediate Schools
  • 1895
    • Last turnpike toll-gates in Britian removed - in Anglesey
    • Urban and Rural District Councils replaced Urban & Rural  Sanitary Authorities
  • 1896
    • Daily Mail newspaper started
  • 1897
    • World's first wireless transmission at Lavernock, Vale of Glamorgan by Marconi  ( on wikipedia )
  • 1898
  • 1899

20th century

 
  • 1901
    • Edward VII
    • Factory & Workshop Act. Repealed the Factory & Workshop Acts of 1878, 1883, 1891, 1895, and also the Cotton Cloth Factories Acts of 1889 & 1897. The 1901 Act was itself repealed in the Factories Act of 1937.
    • The 1901 Act said that children under 12 could not be employed in a factory/workshop unless already so employed. Certificates of fitness for employment were required which needed evidence of a child's age. This might be a copy of the birth registration entry, fee 6d.
    • School leaving age was 13, but only compulsory to stay until 12.
    • The taking of the 1901 census created storage problems for the GRO who offered the 1871 and 1881 returns to the National Archives to make room for it. The latter demanded the earlier censuses as well as part of the deal, but where were they ? The 1841 and 1861 turned up in the lofts over the House of Lords' Committee Rooms. The books for 1851 were eventually found in a GRO vault at Somerset House, with 1871 in another which had been used as a fowl house ! [Family Tree Magazine Jan 2002]
    • The first Senghenydd mining disaster; 81 miners die at Universal Colliery on May 24th
    • The 1901 census showed that the percentage of the population working in agriculture had fallen to 8.6% (21% in 1851)
  • 1902
    • 230 Welsh colonists left Patagonia to settle in Manitoba
    • The first  Midwives Act passed --- which created the Central Midwives Board and state regulation became compulsory
  • 1904
  • 1905
  • 1906
  • 1907
    • Now legal to marry deceased wife's sister
    • First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is formed (FANYs)
  • 1907
  • 1908
    • State retirement pensions first introduced in the UK with David Lloyd George's Old Age Pensions Act - pensions granted to those over age 70 with an income under £31.10s pa. Became universal under the National Insurance Act 1946, which introduced the basic flat-rate pension
    • Eight Hours Act (or the Coal Mines Regulation Act) for mine workers underground was passed
    • 'The Fed' affiliates to the Labour Party
    • Wales wins  first ever rugby 'Grand Slam'  (on wikipedia )
  • 1909
    • Town and Country Planning Acts in 1909-1932
    • H M Customs and Excise created by merging the Board of Customs with the Board of Excise.
  • 1910
    • George V
    • From the 1910 Valuation Office Survey [known as the Lloyd George Domesday] maps were produced [between 1910 and 1915] for taxation purposes. They were adapted from OS maps with plot numbers of each property linked to field books
    • Licensing Act, abolished the use of public houses for inquests
    • 9 November; Churchill sends troops to the Rhondda following riots at Tonypandy where over 60 shops were attacked by starving rioters and a miner was killed by police
    • Girl Guide Movement started by the sister of Baden-Powell
    • The Cardiff pioneer Ernest Willows made the first airship crossing from England to France in 'The City of Cardiff'
  • 1911
  • 1912
    • From Jan 1st GRO marriage indexes include the spouse's name, i.e both entries include the other party's surname. So, cross checking is no longer required to be sure one has the right entry.
    • Post Office takes over the National Telephone Company
    • Minimum Wage Act for coal miners passed after national miners' strike
  • 1913
    • Second Senghenydd mining disaster, 439 men die on 14th October
  • 1914/16-
    • The Great War     Some National Archives sites; Military Maps;  The Conduct of the War;  Conscientious Objectors; Disability & Dependents Pensions
    • See Changing a name and birth registration procedures---passports now compulsory for overseas travel
    • Aliens Registration Act, all foreigners over 16 now had to register with police
    • In 1914, the standard rate of income tax was 6% ......... with an additional "super-tax" on the wealthy, introduced by Lloyd George in 1909
  • 1915
  • 1916
  • 1917
    • Report of the Commission Appointed to Inquire into Industrial Unrest, 1917
  • 1918
    • See Electoral Registers/Poll Books---The voting franchise was extended to all male adults [over 21] resident in the constituency. Women over 30, who were householders or wives of householders, were granted the right to vote in parliamentary elections in  1918 but  not until 1928 were women over 21 enfranchised.
    • See also Electoral Rolls
    • Education Act. Compulsory education age increased to 14
    • Labour Party replaces Liberals in most South Wales coalfield seats at General Election
  • 1919
    • Sex Disqualification (Removal) act, admitted women to previously male professions, e.g the law, which led to the first woman barrister called to the bar in 1921
    • Nancy Astor is the first woman to sit in Parliament
    • Lloyd George announced that coal mines would not be nationalised despite recommendations of Sankey Royal Commission ( Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry,1919)
    • Ministry of Health formed.
  • 1920
    • See Church in Wales[The]--- Dis-establishment of the Church in Wales
    • The payment of tithe to the church was now formerly abolished in Wales.
    • Divorce uncommon prior to this date
    • Swansea joins Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff colleges as part of the University of Wales, again expanded to include the medical college at Cardiff in 1931 and St David's College, Lampeter in 1971.
  • 1921
    • Now legal to marry deceased husband's brother . But such relationships often happened before this especially if a woman was left with children
    • Welsh Sunday Closing Act is extended to include Monmouthshire
    • Coal Industry re-privatised, the Mines Department had been established under the Board of Trade in 1920. followed by miners' defeat in lock-out and reduced wages.
  • 1922
    • Urdd Gobaith Cymru [Welsh League of Youth] is founded by O.M. Edwards
    • British Broadcasting Company formed (public corporation from 1927)
    • Dublin Record Office destroyed by fire
    • Registrars now allowed to register a birth at any time after the birth itself (7 years since 1874)
  • 1922
    • A law of property Act brought to an end the last meaningful function of manorial courts when 'copyhold' was abolished as a form of land tenure.  See Land tenure
  • 1923
    • The Matrimonial Causes Act - adultery of either spouse now grounds for divorce where before women alone also had to prove cruelty or desertion
    • BBC Radio starts broadcasting from Cardiff
    • Diocese of Swansea and Brecon created
  • 1925
  • 1925
    • This year saw a series of statutes passed that altered land law; Law of Property Act, Settled Land Act, The Trustee Act, Land Registration Act, Land Charges Act, Administration of Estates Act.
    • One effect of the Law of Property Act was that the requirement to prove descent of land ' as far back as possible' was removed, the period of proof becoming 30 years, further reduced to 15 years in 1970; thus old title deeds became redundant.
    • The Law of Property Act changed the law so that in an intestacy case  both realty and personalty now passed to the next of kin
  • 1926
    • Coroners Act introduced requirement for coroners to be either legally or medically qualified, previously only had to be a landowner . See National Archives for extant records
    • 7 month long strike by coal miners, in South Wales - 97% of the work force were still on strike over pay and conditions despite the fact that the TUC had called off the General Strike --- they and their families suffered extreme poverty
  • 1927
    • A system of legal adoption introduced for first time, the word itself had been  loosely used for the status of guardianship and foster parenthood previously
      See also http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~framland/genealogy/acts/adopt1926.htm      There are indexes at the FRC covering these adoptions since this date
    • All stillbirths now to be recorded in the Register of Stillbirths at the ONS.
    • Cardiff City beat Arsenal in FA Cup final at Wembley.
  • 1928
  • 1929
  • 1930
    • See Workhouse --- Boards of Guardians were the responsibility of  the Poor Law Commission in London, and in 1919 became part of the Ministry of Health. Boards of Guardians were abolished in 1930
    • Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission created; and dissolved in 1936
    • Height of mass unemployment in South Wales and emigration away from the area
  • 1930
    • Housing Act which enabled the Ministry of Health to demolish unfit houses whilst building new ones (slum clearance)
  • 1931
    • The census returns for this year were completely destroyed by enemy action in WW2
  • 1932
  • 1933
  • 1934
    • Hore-Belisha introduces driving tests
    • Struggle between South Wales Miners' Federation and company unionism at its peak
  • 1935
  • 1936
    • Edward VIII and George VI
    • Spanish Civil War - South Wales miners enlist in the International Brigades  
    • Tithes finally abolished in Great Britain
  • 1939-45
    • World War II     See National Archives notes 
    • Enumeration of the UK on 29 Sept 1939. The National Health Service number commenced as the security identification number allocated as a result of that enumeration.
  • 1940s
  • 1941
  • 1942
  • 1944
    • The South Wales Miners' Federation met for the final occasion and merged into the new Union of Mineworkers
    • Introduction of PAYE - Pay As You Earn - in 1944, with tax deducted by employers from wages and the introduction of the P45 form which was given to an employee leaving work
  • 1945
  • 1946
  • 1947
    • 'Short' birth certificates introduced - without parents' names shown.
    • Town and Country Planning Act, for post war re-construction.
    • Planning permission now needed for house construction
    • The first Llangollen International Music Festival held
  • 1948
    • National Health Service established by Aneurin Bevan ( on wikipedia )
    • The Act of Parliament declaring Owain ap Glyndwr a traitor against the English crown was finally repealed
    • Welsh Folk Museum opened at St Fagan's (now The National History Museum
    • Last race at Newport Racecourse
    • Anglican Church revised canons mean that they will no longer marry a couple if neither have been baptised, with certain stipulations if one has been baptised.
  • 1950
    • The world's first scheduled helicopter service starts between Cardiff, Wrexham and Liverpool
  • 1951
    • Snowdonia is designated a National park
    • Abbey Steelworks, Port Talbot opened
  • 1952
  • 1955
  • 1956
    • Last trawler to land fish at Cardiff
  • 1957
  • 1961
    • The 1861 census returns were damaged by enemy action in WW2.
      In 1962 the GRO was concerned about the space needed to store the 1961 census and actually urged the destruction of the 1861 return ! This was stopped by the intervention of the SOG and Christopher Chataway MP, they were then sent over to the National Archives.[Family Tree Magazine(UK) Jan 2002]
    • First relaxation in Sunday Opening law in Wales since 1881 --- some pubs now open but not country wide since 8 counties still 'dry'
    • Suicide Act repealed the rule of law that made it a crime to commit suicide, although anyone aiding and abetting such an act is still liable to prosecution
  • 1962
  • 1963
    • Royal Welsh Show held for first time at new permanent home of Llanelwedd, Builth Wells
  • 1964
    • Labour government establishes the post of Secretary of State for Wales   -   James Griffiths was the first one
    • Last cargo of coal shipped from Cardiff Docks
  • 1965
    • Rent Act, re-introduced rent control on unfurnished property
  • 1966
    • Gwynfor Evans ( on wikipedia ) wins Plaid Cymru's first parliamentary seat at Carmarthen in the by-election following the death of Lady Megan Lloyd George
    • October 21st --- the Aberfan disaster when 116 children and 28 adults were smothered by slippage of slag from waste-coal tips.
    • The first Severn Bridge is opened
  • 1967
    • Welsh Language Act ( on wikipedia ) allows use of Welsh in legal proceedings
  • 1968
    • Bilingual birth and re-registration entries now allowed in Wales and Monmouthshire only
  • 1969
    • See Changing a name and birth registration procedures---naming of illegitimate children
    • Maiden name of deceased married women now given on death certificates
    • Deceased's date and place of birth now given on death certificates instead of age at death
    • The GRO indexes now include the deceased's date of birth
    • The age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18.
    • Swansea was made a city
    • Royal Regiment of Wales formed from merger of South Wales Borderers and the Welch Regiment
  • 1971
  • 1972
    • The Local Government Act, with amendments in 1977, introduced, inter alia, a single code for all burial authorities dealing with the management of cemeteries
    • Wylfa Nuclear Power Station opened on Anglesey
    • National Miners Strike, the first since 1926
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1975
    • Adoptees over 18 can now apply for their birth certificates
  • 1978
  • 1979
    • See Parish registers ---All parish registers had to be deposited with the local Records Officeunless it could be proved that the parish itself had adequate storage facilities
    • In the Rhondda, Annie Powell becomes the first communist mayor in Britain
  • 1982
    • [For a legitimate child under school leaving age the name of the father should be given on death certificates]  and that of the mother too from 1982 onwards.
    • Welsh Language tv programme launched --- S4C
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
    • Wales finish 3rd in Rugby World Cup - beating Australia
  • 1988
  • 1990
    • The Land Registry register of land title in England & Wales is opened to inspection to the public
  • 1993
    • The second Welsh Language Act ( on wikipedia ) - gave Welsh speakers the right to speak Welsh in court proceedings and obliged the public sector providing services to the public in Wales to treat Welsh and English equally
  • 1994
    • Work began on the Cardiff Bay Barrage
    • 1994/5 Closure of Tower Colliery, the last deep mine in South Wales, followed by an employee buyout to re-open it  (finally closed in 2008 as worked out)
  • 1996
  • 1998
    • Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum in Cardiff Bay was closed - although Swansea has resurrected the museum in its own bay area
  • 1999

Compiled by Gareth Hicks with contributions by Mike Thomas