Timeline of Lewisham and National events 1800 - 1899
1800s Royal Dock, Deptford became Royal Marine Arsenal. The Green Man and Tiger Head Inns in Downham were stops in the coach routes from Sevenoaks to London.
1800 Britain passes Act of Union to bring Ireland into the Union. Bank of France founded. American Library of Congress founded. Malta and Gozo liberated by the British from the French. Thomas Jefferson the first President of the United States. First chemical battery invented by Alessandro Volta. Infrared radiation discovered by Wilhelm Herschel.
1800 Welsh Church, Lewisham, registers began. Sir James Clark Ross [1800 – 1862] Severed in the Royal Navy attaining the rank of Rear-Admiral, whilst discovering Arctic and Antarctica. Between 1819 and 1849 he took part in 8 expeditions and in 1831 he discovered the magnetic North Pole. [Plaque – LCC 2 Eliot Place, Blackheath].
1801 The first census. Population of Britain 8 million. Ireland joins the United Kingdom.
1801 Population of Deptford was 18,000, Lee 900, Hatcham 734.
1802 Dupont Company founded in France. Marie Tussaud opens wax museum in London. Thomas Wedgwood produces the first photograph. That without a method of fixing it quickly fades. First Steamship built by William Symington Charlotte Dundas. The term ‘Biology’ first used by Treviranus. Worlds population reaches 1 billion.
1802 Eliza Hanson [ 24 June 1802 – 18 June 1820] dies, she was the wife of Edward Hanson and daughter of John Pennock of Kingston, Jamaica. There is a monumental inscription to Eliza at St Mary’s church, Lewisham.
1803 Britain redeclares war on France when they refuse to withdraw from Dutch territory. Louisiana Purchase agreed to buy New Orleans from France. Arthur Guinness Irish Brewer dies [1725 – 1803].
1803 John Cator began building houses on what is now called Cator Estate.
1804 Richard Trevithick built the first steam locomotive.
1804 Footbridge built across Deptford Creek. George Baxter [1804 – 1867] pioneer of Colour Printing in England. After a career of artistic success and financial failure. Baxter retired in 1860 to the Retreat, Sydenham. A wooden house owned by his wife on Peak Hill, Sydenham. [Sydenham Society plaque – Baxter Field, Sydenham]
1805 Lord Nelson defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar and dies.
1806 Independent, St Paul and Woolwich, registers began. Joseph Thorp [c. 1756 – May 1806] dies. He is of Kingston, Jamaica and has a monumental inscription at Deptford church. His wife Mary [c. 1772 – 16 January 1809] and grandson John Addison Thorp [c. 1818 - 29 January 1820] are also on the monumental inscription. Ercey Barrett [c.1792 – 8 December 1807] dies she was the daughter of G B Barrett of Jamaica.
1807 Abolition of Slave Trade. Swansea and Mumbles Railway becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world.
1807 Paragon at Blackheath finished by Michael Searles.
1809 Larger bridge built across Deptford Creek. The Croydon Canal was built. It cut through Forest Hill, not a commercial success, mainly because there were so many locks to go through. James Glaisher [1809 – 1903] and astronomer and meteorologist, who was attached to the Greenwich Observatory for more than 40 years. He did much work towards establishing a system of scientific weather forecasting. This included a balloon ascent from the Crystal Palace to study the laws of storms. [Plaque – GLC 20 Dartmouth Hill, Blackheath].
1810 John Jacob Astor forms the Pacific Fur Company. Mexican War of Independence begins until 1821.
1810 Lee Green enclosed. Sydenham Common enclosed.
1811 Independent, Ebenezer Chapel, King St & Jireh Chapel, Victory Street, registers began. Wesleyan, Mary Ann’s Buildings High Street, registers began.
1812 Luddites attack wool processing factory of F Vickerman in Yorkshire Earthquake destroys Caracas, Venezula. John Bellingham assassinates British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in the Lobby of the House of Commons.
1812 Samuel Smiles [1812 – 1904] Author of `Self Help’ trained as a doctor and was secretary of many railway companies before becoming an author of uplifting autobiographies, especially of the self taught. [Plaque – LCC on 11 Granville Park, Blackheath [but he lived at 12!].
1814 Fire destroys the Custom House in London
1815 Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Mount Tambora Volcano erupts 71 – 92 thousand people died.
1816 After last years eruption North America and Europe suffered a year known as a Year without summer crops failed, livestock died, 1800 froze to death and the worst famine of the 19th century occurred.
1816 Lewisham was described as a rural village on the banks of the Ravensbourne that could only to be reached by a long coach ride.
1818 John Tallis [1818 – 1876] Publisher of London Street Views (1838 – 1840). [Plaque – GLC 233 New Cross Road, SE14].
1820 Independent, New Cross, chapel, registers began. Sir George Grove [1820 – 1900] Civil Engineer, specialising in lighthouses until appointed as first Secretary of the Crystal Palace Company at Sydenham. He became an international expert on music and wrote Dictionary of Musicians, which today is known as Grove’s Dictionary. [Plaque – Maroon 208 Sydenham Road].
1822 Greenwich Steam Company established in Deptford, one of the first steam boat co.
1823 Signalling telegraph station removed.
1824 Baptist, Church Street, Deptford, registers began.
1825 World’s first railway opens between Stockton and Darlington.
1825 Lee Place demolished and Lee High Road straightened.
1826 Merchant Taylor's Almhouses in Lee built.
1827 Sydenham, St Bartholomew Westwood Hill Church built [1827-32]
1828 Riverdale Mill was built and is the only one of the Ravensbourne mills still surviving today. The Riverdale Mill was initially a leather mill and then became a corn mill in the 18th century.
1829 Robert Peel set up the Metropolitan Police force
1830s Georgian development around Ravensbourne Park, Catford only Nos 3-7, 11-15, 60 – 62 remain. Many large houses built in Lee
1830 Deptford dockyard closed until 1844.
1831 Sir James Clark Ross [1800 – 1862] discovered the magnetic North Pole. [Plaque – LCC 2 Eliot Place, Blackheath]. [See 1800 for more details] Hatcham had a population of 1,565.
1832 Greenwich by election caused by the first Reform Act 1832 created a MP for Greenwich [covering the towns of Greenwich, Woolwich and Deptford].
1834 The Poor Law set up workhouses, where people without homes or jobs could live in return for doing unpaid work.
1835 Frederick John Horniman MP [1835 – 1906] tea Merchant and Liberal politician. Remembered as founder of a museum based on his ethnographical collection collected on his travels. Presented to the LCC in 1901. [Plaque – GLC – Horniman Museum].
1836 London & Greenwich Railway opened, from Spa Road, Bermondsey to Deptford Station [1st station in London 8th Feb.]. Railway built on old Croydon Canal, which led to development of Brockley. Anna Maria Elizabeth Millward [c.1761 – 24 December 1836] dies, she was the widow of John Gardner Millward of Jamaica. There is a monumental inscription to Anna in St Mary’s church, Lewisham. Edward Owen Greening [1836 – 1926] Founder of co-operative organisations including the International Co-Operative Alliance in 1895. He also campaigned against slavery. [Plaque – Maroon Dowson Court, Belmont grove, Lee].
1837 Queen Victoria becomes Queen at the age of 18
1839 The London and Croydon Railway Company buys canal and opened 1st station at New Cross (named New Cross Gate 1923), Forest Hill [Dartmouth Arms], Sydenham Stations [Also South Coast railways] [5 June]
1840 The first postage stamps (Penny Post) came into use
1840s Robert Browning lived near New Cross Road at Telegraph Cottage.
1841 Deptford Chartists began having meetings - also met up with the Greenwich Group. [May]. New St Margaret church built on Lee Terrace.
1842 Mines Act ended child labour
1843 Royal Naval School opened by Prince Albert (on site of present day Goldsmiths).
1844 Dockyard reopened for steam ships.
1845/8 The London and Croydon Railway Company experimented with a new form of power. Trains from London Bridge to Epsom were pulled along by vacuum power - it was called the Atmospheric Railway. The principle was good but the materials of the time were not adequate for it - the valves on the tubes were leather and were eaten by rats. The experiment was abandoned after just over a year. 4 steam pumping engines at Dartmouth Arms (Forest Hill) station.
1845/9 Great Potato Famine crops of potato failed many died or migrated.
1845 Blackheath Literary Institute opened
1846 A Chartist meeting was chaired by Mr Ellis [a tradesman of Deptford]
1848 Cooke's HMS Discovery used as a convict bulk at Deptford. Dr William Gilbert or WG Grace [1848 – 1915], England’s greatest Cricketer, came to Sydenham in 1899, when the Crystal Palace Company invited him to found and Captain a London County Cricket Club. He practised as a doctor at 7 Lawrie Park Road. [Plaque – Maroon – Site of St Andrew’s, 7 Lawrie Park Road, Sydenham]. Richard Jefferies [1848 -1887] Nature writer, spent long periods with his Aunt and Uncle at Shaklin Villas and he attended school at Sydenham. [Plaque – Maroon 20 Sydenham Park Road].
1849 The first railway through Lewisham, the North Kent line to Dartford, opened Lewisham Station [South Eastern Railway, Blackheath Station [North Kent, South Eastern and Chatham Railways] and Blackheath Hill Station [Closed 1 Jan 1917][London, Chatham and Dover Railway] Opened 30 July.
1850s Lewisham Way (ex High Road) developed to south and west
1850 New Cross Station opened October [South Eastern Railway]
1851 The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park began in a huge glass building later named the Crystal Palace.
1852 Thankful Sturdee[1852 – 1934] Photographer and local historian. Known as the father of Fleet Street photography. [Plaque – Maroon 16 Bolden Street, Deptford]. Jim Connell [1852 – 1929] Irish socialist and author, was the secretary of the Workmen’s Legal Friendly Society. He wrote the Labour Party Anthem ‘The Red Flag’ in 1889 on a train between Charing Cross and New Cross. In Who’s Who he gave his hobby as poaching. [Maroon Plaque – 22A Stondon Park, SE23]
1854 Crimean War (-1856). Cholera epidemic sparks calls for clean water & sewage systems.
1854 Great Exhibition building dismantled and re-erected at Sydenham. St James Church, Hatcham built. Sydenham Railway station opened.
1855 Village school opens at Southend.
1856 Britain defeats Russia in the Crimean War
1857 Ladywell Cemetery Opened. The Mid Kent railway line was built Catford Bridge, Lower Sydenham and Ladywell Stations opened, [South Eastern Railway or Mid Kent line] 1 Jan.
1858 Red House renamed Royal Victoria Victualling Yard. Brockley Cemetery opens. Blackheath Football Club founded. Oldest Rugby Union club in the world. [Private plaque – Prince of Wales Pub]. Edith Nesbit [1858 – 1924] Writer was married to fellow Fabian Society member Hubert Bland. They lived around Lewisham. She is famous for her children books especially The Railway Children. [Plaque – Maroon 28 Elswick Road, Lewisham].
1859 Haberdasher Aske’s surveyor William Snooke wrote a report recommending the laying out of wide tree-lined roads for the construction of dwelling houses of a high standard. Rachel McMillan [1859 – 1917] Scottish social reformer and educational theorist, especially in the development of nursery education. Most of her work with her sister [Margaret [1860 – 1931] was done at Deptford, where they established a nursery School and teacher Training College. [Plaque – Maroon 127 George Lane, SE13].
1860 The first public flushing toilet opens.
1860 Margaret McMillan [1860 – 1930] Scottish social reformer and educational theorist, especially in the development of nursery education. Most of her work with her sister [Rachel [1859 – 1917] was done at Deptford, where they established a nursery School and teacher Training College. [Plaque – Maroon 127 George Lane, SE13].
1860s Haberdashers Company built houses and a school at New Cross and founded a boys' and a girls' grammar school here, using money from a charity founded by Robert Aske.
1861 Death of Prince Albert
1862 The Groat abolished from British coinage. [only Maundy money after this].
1862 Leland Lewis or LL Duncan [1862 – 1923] Official in the War Office but he was an eminent Local Historian and Wrote a History of Lewisham in 1908. He transcribed many churchyard monumental inscriptions of Kent and wrote histories of St Mary’s Church, Lewisham and Colfe’s School where he was educated. (Maroon Plaque – 8 Lingards Road, Lewisham)
1863 London Underground opens. The foundation of the Football Association.
1863 Sydenham Hill Station (London, Chatham and Dover Railway) 1 August. Alexandra Hall, Blackheath opened (now Lloyds Bank).
1864 Population of Lee was 8000.
1865 An uprising in Eastern Jamaica caused a British military response and over 500 people were killed.
1865 Honor Oak Station (Crystal Palace and South London Railway) Opened 1 December [Closed 20 September 1954]. Hatcham had a population of 17,168. New Cross Toll Gate removed.
1866 Lee station [for Burnt Ash] was opened (South Eastern Railway) 1 September.
1867 All Saints Church built on Blackheath. Ernest (Christopher) Dowson (1867 – 1900) Poet born and lived in Lewisham Borough. He died at a friends house 159 Sangley Road, Catford. (Maroon Plaque – Dowson Court on site of Gothic House).
1868 Joseph Lister discovers disinfectant. The last public hanging. The Half and Quarter Farthing abolished from British coinage.
1869 The first Sainsbury's shop open in Drury Lane, London.
1869 Royal Dockyard closed became Foreign Cattle Market until 1913 and later Convoy's Wharf. Hatcham Park House demolished. Egmont & Casella Roads built. The East London Line, running from New Cross northwards and through the original Thames Tunnel, began operating in 1869.
1870s Haberdashers' Company laid out Hatcham Manor Estate (including Erlanger, Jerningham, Pepys and Waller Roads).
1870 Education Act meant school for everyone.
1870 Rink Hall, Blackheath opened (on site of post office)
1871 Queen Victoria opens the Albert Hall.
1871 Blackheath became an open space. Brockley Station (London, Brighton and South Coast Railway) 6 March, Lewisham Road Station [London, Chatham and Dover Railway] 18 September (Closed 1 Jan 1917) and Grove Park station opened
1873 St John’s Station [South Eastern Railway] opened 1 June.
1874 Cecil Hepworth [1874 – 1953] born 17 Somerset Gardens, Lewisham Borough. Pioneer of the Silent Film Industry. He left the industry in 1920s but returned to make films for the Ministry of Agriculture during WW2. [Private Plaque - Birthplace]. Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922) Son of a doctor, born in Ireland, but came to Sydenham aged 10. He was on Scott’s Antarctic Expedition of 1901 and organised 2 further voyages in 1907-9, 1914-16 and 1921-2. he died at South Georgia during his third expedition. (Plaque – LCC 12 Westwood Hill, Sydenham).
1875 Lewisham's Town Hall is in Catford. The first Town Hall was built. Haberdashers Askes School for Boys & Girls opened on Pepys Road. Edgar Wallace [(875 -1932) Author, many of his 170 novels are set in Deptford. (Plaque – LCC 6 Tressillian Crescent, Brockley).
Late 19th Century Primary education made compulsory
Late 19th Century Streets were built radiating from Rushey Green, Catford
1876 Telephone invented by Alexander Bell.
1877 The first public electric lighting in London
1880s The Manor House, Lee was occupied by a military tutorial college preparing young men for the entrance examinations for the Army.
1880 Blackheath School for Girls opened
1881 Conservatoire of Music, Blackheath opened
1883 First electric railway
1884 Upper Sydenham Station (London, Chatham and Dover Railway) opened 1 August (closed 20 September 1954). Sir Stanley Unwin [1884 – 1968] Leading publisher and publish Tolkien’s Lord of the rings. (Plaque – GLC 13 Handen Road, Lee). James Elroy Flecker [1884 – 1915] A poet and dramaticist was the son of the curate of Holy Trinity, Lee, where he was baptised. He entered the Foreign Office but his diplomatic career was blighted by consumption and he died in Switzerland. [Plaque – GLC 9 Gilmore Road, Lewisham].
1886 Honor Oak Park Station (London, Brighton and South Coast Railway) opened 1 April.
1887 The invention of the gramophone.
1887 Sydenham High School opened. Sir Barnes Wallace (1887 – 1979) Started as an airship designer but later moved into aeroplanes including the Wellington Bomber. He is known for his bouncing bomb designed to destroy the Mohne Dam in the Ruhr Valley in 1943. [Plaque – Maroon 241 New Cross Road].
1888 Herbert Morrison [1888 – 1965]. MP for East Lewisham in 1945. Had been Home Secretary during WW2 and held ministerial posts under Atlee. But was a pioneer leader of LCC [1934 – 1940] Retired as MP 1959 and created Baron Morrison of Lambeth. (Maroon Plaque – Downham library)
1889 Lewisham and Deptford became under the control of London County Council and left Kent. Local government was formed under Board of Works for Lewisham, Lee, Deptford and part of Plumstead. Lewisham became a Metropolitan Borough and the boundary of Kent moved to Bromley Hill.Royal Naval School moved to Chislehurst. Ladywell Fields is a park, opened to the public, beside the river.
1890s West Kent Grammar School built on Hilly Fields, Brockley.
1890 Frederick J. Horniman established a general collection at Surrey House from his travels.
1891 Free education for every child.
1891 Goldsmiths Company founded Goldsmiths College at Royal Naval School site. Haberdasher Askes School for Girls opened on Jerningham Road.
1892 Railway extended to Southend. Catford Station and Bellingham Station (Shortlands and Nunhead Railway) Opened 1 July.
1893 Church of St Catherine, Hatcham opened on Pepys Road.
1894 New Cross Fire Station built.
1895 Telegraph Hill Park opened. Goldsmith's Tavern built on site of New Cross House pub (gave name to area). Henry Williamson (1895 – 1977) Author of Tarka The Otter. Also his series A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight shows his and his parents lives in Lewisham, very thin disguised. [Plaque – Maroon 21 Eastern road, Ladywell].
1896 Archibald C Corbett began building at Catford and Hither Green, now called the Corbett estate. He persuaded the railway company to build a booking hall on the east side of Hither Green Station, for the benefit of his residents, and negotiated reduced-rate season tickets for them. Corbett was a Scot, and gave many of the roads Scottish names. He gave the land for St Andrew's Church, dedicated to Scotland's patron saint. Hilly Fields open space saved from development. Present Old Tigers Head, Lee built.
1897 The Clock Tower at Lewisham was completed, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Park Fever Hospital (later Hither Green Hospital) opened for the treatment of infectious diseases such as scarlet fever or diphtheria. Black Horse pub, Catford built.
1898 Brockley Jack rebuilt (named after local highwayman). Surrey House demolished to make way for new Horniman Museum.
1899 Lee incorporated into borough of Lewisham.
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