19th Century Nottingham (1800 – 1899)

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‘Nottingham Market Place’ by William Goodacre c1827 © Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

‘Nottingham Market Place’ by William Goodacre c1827 © Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

1800

Nottingham’s population was about 29,000

1802

A fever ward was built at Nottingham General Hospital due to widespread infectious diseases such as typhoid, typhus, tuberculosis and cholera

25 October 1802

Richard Parkes Bonington was born in Arnold, the son of a governor of Nottingham prison, Bonington was a popular landscape painter of the early 19th century, specialising in miniatures

1806

An extension to the Nottingham House of Correction on St John’s Street was completed

1807

Green’s Windmill in Sneinton was built by the father of notable scientist and mathematician George Green

11 March 1811

The Luddite movement began. Following a fairly peaceful demonstration of framework knitters in Nottingham’s Market Place, the crowd marched to Arnold and destroyed 63 knitting frames; over the next few days further disturbances resulted in many more frames being destroyed around Nottinghamshire and into Derbyshire

October 1811

William Abednego ‘Bendigo’ Thompson was born in Nottingham, later to become the champion bare knuckle prize fighter of all England

1812

The Nottingham Lunatic Asylum opened

1813

John Leavers, a Nottinghamshire frame smith, invented the Leavers lace machine

1813

James Sadler made Nottingham’s first manned balloon ascent9

18 June 1815

Defeat at the Battle of Waterloo brings an end to Napoleon Bonaparte’s ambition to rule Europe

8 May 1818

The Nottingham Gas Light and Coke Company was established

28 September 1818

A catastrophic explosion of a ton of gunpowder, that had been unloaded at the Wilford Street wharf, killed eight men and two boys and caused damage to most of the properties between the canal and Nottingham’s market place

14 April 1819

Nottingham streets were lit by gas for the first time

1823

The 6th Lord Middleton, Henry, built the Camellia House at Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall; probably the earliest known cast iron structure of its kind

1825

The steam locomotive Rocket was built, marking the start of the railway age

1825

The first steamer started carrying passengers and cargo on the River Trent

1825

A man called Bamford, who lived on Middle Hill, was one of the last men in Nottingham to keep a Sedan Chair for hire

1828

Nottingham’s mathematical genius George Green published his first and greatest scientific work entitled ‘An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism’

1828

Two venereal disease wards were opened at Nottingham’s General Hospital

10 April 1829

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was born in Nottingham

1829

Carrington Street was laid down south of the town centre

26 May 1830

The last public whipping took place in Nottingham

1831

Nottingham’s population was about 50,000

January 1831

The old pump in front of the Exchange in the Great Market Place was removed

1831

Cast iron plates were erected in Nottingham displaying the names of streets

1831

Nottingham became the first place in the country to install a constant high pressure mains water supply, designed by the Trent Waterworks Company’s brilliant engineer, Thomas Hawksley, to prevent contamination from entering the mains

1831

Nottingham’s historic mansion Thurland Hall was demolished, a large number of buildings now cover the site and the name lives on in Thurland Street

10 October 1831

Nottingham Castle was destroyed by fire in the Reform Bill riots

1832

Nottingham’s 186 lace manufacturers and 70 hosiery manufacturers were listed in the first edition of William White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Nottinghamshire

1832

330 people died during an outbreak of cholera, causing many deaths in the Narrow Marsh and Broad Marsh areas, which had some of the worst slums in Europe

28 August 1833

The Slavery Abolition Act was given Royal Assent, paving the way for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire

19 May 1834

George Africanus died; a former West African negro slave, he became a successful entrepreneur after moving to Nottingham around 1784 and is one the first black people to live in Nottingham whose name is known

1835

The two Boroughs of Nottingham were abolished and the town combined under a single new Council, resulting in Nottingham having one Sheriff instead of two

1 January 1836

The first meeting of the newly established combined Town Council of the Borough of Nottingham was held; Henry Moses Wood became the Sheriff for the new Borough

1836

Nottingham Borough had its first town-based police force

1838

Nottingham’s Trent Bridge cricket ground held its first recorded cricket match

1838

Cooke and Foster on Long Row became the first shop in Nottingham to use plate glass in its windows

30 May 1839

Nottingham’s first railway station was opened with great ceremony, situated on the west side of Carrington Street

4 June 1839

The Midland Counties Railway opened the first railway service between Nottingham and Derby

4 May 1840

The Midland Counties Railway opened the new railway line from Nottingham to Leicester

July 1840

The world’s first railway excursion took members of the Mechanics Institution to visit Leicester, paying a single fare for the double trip, a year before Thomas Cook started

1841

Construction of the Cathedral Church of St. Barnabas started

1843

An amiable Nottingham eccentric died; the Old General, his real name Ben Mayo, was born in 1777, he wore an old military jacket and he would extort money by threatening to disrupt public events with his entourage of street urchins

4 December 1843

Queen Victoria passed through Nottingham on her way to Belvoir Castle

1844

TC Hine of Nottingham began construction of the Park Tunnel carriage drive for the fifth Duke of Newcastle

1844

The Cathedral Church of St. Barnabas was consecrated

8 August 1844

Thirteen people, mostly children, died and around one hundred people were injured in panicking crowds at the execution outside the Shire Hall of William Saville, who had murdered of his wife and children

November 1844

A passenger train derailed at Wilford Road crossing, killing three people and injuring 21

1845

An Act of Parliament merged all of Nottingham’s small water companies into the Nottingham Waterworks Company

1846

John Livesey invented the Nottingham Lace Curtain machine

1846

A new prison was built in Nottingham

1 May 1846

The first edition of the Nottingham Guardian and Midland Counties Advertiser was published (a forerunner of the Nottingham Post)

August 1846

The Midland Railway opened the new line from Nottingham to Lincoln along the Trent valley via Newark

1848

The Mayor formally opened the new Post Office, a handsome classical building just to the south of St Peter’s Church

1848

Horse drawn buses started to operate in Nottingham

22 May 1848

Nottingham’s new through railway station was opened on Station Road, to cope with extra traffic and new lines to Lincoln

1848

A new railway line was constructed along the Leen Valley from Nottingham via Bulwell, Hucknall and Annesley

9 February 1849

The inaugural meeting took place in Nottingham of the predecessor of the Nottingham Building Society

1849

The Leen Valley railway line was extended to Mansfield

2 June 1850

Jesse Boot, founder of Boots The Chemist, was born in Nottingham

18 July 1850

The Nottingham to Grantham railway line opened

1852

Shipstone’s Brewery was established in Basford

11 May 1852

The Arboretum was opened by the Mayor and the Sheriff in front of 30,000 people

1854

Nottingham Borough Police set up the county’s first CID section

1854

James Samuel Archer was born, the co-inventor of the famous three-speed Sturmey-Archer bicycle gear, he lived in Nottingham and worked at the Raleigh Cycle Company

1855

The Park Tunnel carriage drive was completed, connecting the Park Estate with Derby Road; a round-arched, rock-cut tunnel, approximately 125m long

25 August 1855

A man sold his wife in St Peter’s Square for one shilling (5p) and a pint of ale

2 October 1855

Nottingham’s Goose Fair had its first big hand-turned roundabout; Twigdon’s Riding Machine

1857

Nottingham had its first pillar box installed for posting mail

3 October 1857

The Great Northern Railway opened a new station on London Road along with an impressive goods and corn warehouse; the buildings were designed by the Nottingham architect T. C. Hine

1857-59

The County Lunatic Asylum, also known as Dr Tate’s Asylum, was designed by T. C. Hine and built on Ransom Road

24 May 1858

Post Office letter carriers made their first appearance in uniform in Nottingham

1859

The first Rose Show was held in Nottingham

October 1859

A special train carrying Goose Fair revellers from Nottingham to Derby was hit by a mail train near Trent Station, killing seven people and injuring many others

1860

Zebedee Jessop joined John Townsend’s Long Row draper’s store, taking over the business in 1866 that would later become the department store Jessop and Son

1860

The Nottingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry was formed

November 1862

Notts County Football Club were formed; often known by their nickname The Magpies, they are the oldest professional football league club in the world

1863

The Greater Nottingham Co-op was formed, the same year as the national Co-operative Wholesale Society started

1863

The Nottingham School of Art was built, designed in Italianate style by local architect Frederick Bakewell

1864

James Arundale laid the foundation stone of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Hooley Hill

1865

The Theatre Royal opened, although Nottingham has had a Theatre Royal since the 1760s

1866

One of Nottingham’s narrow alleyways, Sheep Lane, known by local people as Blood Lane, was widened and renamed Market Street

1866

The Walter Fountain was erected in Lister Gate by John Walter in memory of his father John, a Nottingham MP and one of the owners of The Times newspaper

1868

Nottingham’s first public library opened

1868

Nottingham’s first publicly funded post office opened on Victoria Street

1868

A former Nottingham High School pupil, James Percy Knight, invented the traffic light

1 July 1869

Nottingham’s Children’s Hospital was opened on Postern Street

1871

The Nottingham YMCA was formally established

May 1871

The Nottingham Daily Guardian moved to new premises on Forman Street

25 July 1871

The new Trent Bridge was opened

1873

The popular and influential Nottingham artist Arthur Spooner was born

1874

Jesse Boot entered the ‘proprietary medicine business’, having taken over his father’s humble herbalist’s shop on Goose Gate, eventually to become Boots The Chemist

1874

The first incinerators for waste disposal were built in Nottingham by Manlove, Alliott & Co. Ltd

1 May 1874

The take over of the Nottingham Gas Company was completed by Nottingham Corporation

1875

Nottingham High School for Girls was founded

October 1875

Nottingham Castle was bought by Nottingham Corporation after being gutted by fire and left empty since 1831

1876

Colwick Yards were developed as a locomotive depot and sidings

1876

Gerard Brothers soap factory was founded in Nottingham, eventually taken over by Cussons in 1955

1876

The Talbot (later Yates’s Wine Lodge) was rebuilt on the Long Row site of the old Talbot public house

1877

The last Council meeting was held in the old English town hall, or Guildhall, at Weekday Cross

1877

The Borough of Nottingham was extended to include Basford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton and North Wilford

1877

John Player took over a small tobacconist shop in Broad Marsh, where he conceived the idea of selling tobacco ready-weighed, pre-packed and labelled; previously, tobacco had been weighed at the point of sale

4 August 1877

Dame Laura Knight, world famous for her vivid paintings of circuses, fairgrounds and the ballet, was born in Long Eaton near Nottingham and brought up in the city

October 1877

Wombwell’s Menageries came to Nottingham’s Goose Fair, with over 7,000 birds and animals and 53 employees

1 May 1878

The first edition of the Nottingham Evening Post, Nottingham’s first evening paper, was published

3 July 1878

Nottingham Castle was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales as the first municipal museum and art gallery outside of London

18 September 1878

Nottingham and District Tramways Company Ltd started public operation of Nottingham’s first horse drawn tramcars between St Peter’s church and Trent Bridge

1879

The Old Exchange in the Market Place was adapted for use by the Council

1879

A new accident wing was opened on the Park Row frontage of the General Hospital

5 April 1879

Nottingham and District Tramways Company Ltd opened its second tram route between the Market Place and Mansfield Road in Carrington, with a branch along Forest Road

11 August 1879

Nottingham and District Tramways Company Ltd opened its third tram route between the Market Place and Basford Gas Works

1880

Football shin guards were invented in Nottingham

1880

Zebedee Jessop brought his eldest son into partnership and renamed his Long Row store Jessop & Son

1880

The Midland Railway constructed a main line to link Nottingham with Melton Mowbray

25 March 1880

Nottingham Corporation Water Department took over responsibility for the city’s water supply

14 May 1880

The private Nottingham Waterworks Company finally came under the control of Nottingham Corporation

27 May 1880

Nottingham’s tramway company held some trials with a steam tram along Derby Road to the Basford Depot

3 August 1880

The Borough of Nottingham Lunatic Asylum (Mapperley Hospital) opened

23 August 1880

William Thompson ‘Bendigo’ the bare knuckle boxer died

1881

Nottingham’s first civic college was opened in the city, later to become The University of Nottingham

1881

Colour coding was introduced to Nottingham’s trams; yellow painted cars went to Trent Bridge, red to Carrington and dark blue to Basford

1882

The first children’s library in the country was founded in Nottingham by hosiery manufacturer Samuel Morley MP

1884

Nottingham Corporation Water Department’s gifted engineer, Marriott Ogle Tarbotton, designed and built the lavish classically-designed Papplewick pumping station, he also started Nottingham’s modern sewage system (the first outside of London) and he was the world’s first municipal engineer to use subways under the streets to carry public services

9 December 1884

John Player died

1885

Boots developed its manufacturing facilities around Island Street in Nottingham

1885

Nottingham’s famous furniture store, Hopewells, opened for business in Great Alfred Street

1885

The western side of Wheeler Gate was demolished to start widening the very narrow street

11 September 1885

D. H. Lawrence, the author, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic, was born in Eastwood near Nottingham

February 1886

The Grand Theatre opened in Hyson Green, Nottingham

1886

The Notts County Cricket Club built what was then the biggest pavilion in England at Trent Bridge

1887

The financier Frank Bowden brought a small bicycle maker in Raleigh Street, Nottingham, which grew to become the Raleigh Bicycle Company, one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world

1888

The Royal Show was held at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park

1888

London and North Western Railway arrived in Nottingham with the building of a large goods warehouse and yard at Manvers Street in Sneinton

July 1888

Thomas Forman, Nottingham printer and newspaper owner, founder of the Nottingham Daily Post and the Nottingham Evening Post, died at his home in Castle Grove

27 September 1888

Nottingham’s new Guildhall was opened, containing the Police (magistrates’) Court, the Central Police Station and the new Fire Station, replacing the old Town Hall at Weekday Cross

October 1888

As part of the Goose Fair attractions, Professor Baldwin, the aeronaut, made the first parachute jump in Nottingham from a balloon over Wollaton Park

1889

The Nottingham Suburban Railway opened a new line through Sneinton, Thorneywood, Sherwood and Daybrook

1 April 1889

Nottingham became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888

September 1890

The last race was held on Nottingham’s old Forest Racecourse

1891

Nottingham became the first place to use football goal nets

1891

Completion of the new Nottingham Prison on Perry Road, Sherwood

1891

The old Nottingham Gaol and the House of Correction were demolished5

1892

Boots opened its flagship store at Pelham Street, Nottingham

1892

The eastern side of Wheeler Gate was demolished to complete the road widening

1892

King Street and Queen Street were opened, following the demolition of many of the old yards and alleyways between Parliament Street and Long Row

15 July 1892

The Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital was opened by Nottingham’s Mayor

October 1892

Professor England’s ‘Royal Exhibition of Performing Fleas’ appeared at Nottingham’s Goose Fair

1893

A Women’s Hospital was opened at 29-31 Castle Gate

1895

The Market Place was lit by electric lights for the first time

13 July 1896

The Grand Theatre, Hyson Green, was the site of Nottingham’s first film show

19 April 1897

Jessops new department store opened in King Street

1 June 1897

The Thoroton Society, Nottinghamshire’s principal historical and archaeological society, was formed at a meeting in the Shire Hall, Nottingham

18 June 1897

Nottingham was granted City status by Queen Victoria during her Diamond Jubilee Year – date on a letter from the Prime Minister

21 June 1897

A letter received from Downing Street granted Nottingham City status

1897

A new diamond pendant was purchased for the Mayor, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The Pendant bears Nottingham’s arms surmounted by a miniature portrait of Queen Victoria and contains approximately 190 diamonds

18 October 1897

Nottingham Council took over the Nottingham Tramway Company

28 February 1898

The Nottingham Empire Palace of Varieties opened

26 May 1898

Construction began of Nottingham’s new Embankment boulevard by the side of the River Trent

10 June 1898

The Nottingham Coat of Arms were granted as a crest, incorporating the City of Nottingham Seal which has been used as a borough seal since the 15th century

1 August 1898

The new Post Office opened on Queen Street

1898

The General Hospital was given an x-ray apparatus

6 February 1899

Thomas Chambers Hine died. Along with Watson Fothergill, T C Hine was one of Nottingham’s most influential Nineteenth Century architects. The Adams Building in the Lace Market is his best known building; originally it was a textile factory, lace warehouse and salesroom built for the lace manufacturer Messrs Adams Page

15 March 1899

The Great Central Railway opened

17 April 1899

The foundation stone of the new Bagthorpe Workhouse was laid (City Hospital)

29 April 1899

Mundella Higher Grade School opened

25 May 1899

Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham, signed over the name and recipe of HP Sauce to clear his debt to Mr Moore and his Midland Vinegar Company, Frederick had invented and developed HP Sauce, writing the secret recipe in his 1894 diary

1899

The first Test Match, against Australia, was played at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground

14 August 1899

Alfred Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Lucy Reville, was born in St Ann’s in Nottingham

Continue to Early 20th Century Nottingham (1900 – 1949)


Return to the introduction and contents page

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For other information about Nottingham click here



If you want to know more about Nottingham’s past there is further information in ‘Events and dates in Nottingham’s history’ and through these websites:

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway

The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire

Nottingham Local Studies Library




5 Smart, Andy, Nottingham Post, Bygones (Nottingham, Nottingham Post, 5 December 2012) p21
9 Nottingham Historical Film Unit image, Picture The Past Website (http://www.picturethepast.org.uk)

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