Historical timeline: 1801 - 1850


Coutts event

World event 

1801 The 1801 Act of Union unites Britain and Ireland to form a single kingdom


Spain declares war on Britain

Thomas Coutts meets Harriot Mellon, who later becomes his second wife. Harriot was a successful and well respected actress, known for her role as Volante in the romantic comedy ‘The Honeymoon’

The Battle of Trafalgar is fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined Navies of France and Spain
1806 The Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicates, marking the end of the Holy Roman Empire
1807 The Slave Trade Abolition Act of 1807 abolishes the slave trade in the British Empire, but not slavery itself
1808 The Peninsular War begins between France and the allied powers of Spain, Britain and Portugal

Accused of writing a ‘scandalous and libellous’ paper and breaching his Parliamentary privilege, Thomas Coutts’ son-in-law Sir Francis Burdett is arrested and held in the Tower

1812 The United States declare war on the British Empire
1813 The Charter Act of 1813 continues the East India Company’s rule in India, but ends its monopoly

Angela Burdett, the youngest child of Sir Francis Burdett and Thomas Coutts’ daughter Sophia, is born

George Stephenson builds the first efficient steam engine
1815 At the Battle of Waterloo Napoleon’s army is defeated by the allied Prussian, British, Dutch, Belgian and German armies

The HCS Thomas Coutts, an East India Company trading vessel, is launched. Between 1826 and 1827 it made a record-breaking run from England to China, via India, and back, taking 11 months and 21 days

Coutts take accounts from Davison’s private bank in Pall Mall, which closed due to financial difficulties 

The Elgin Marbles are purchased by the British Government and put on display in the British Museum
1817 Sovereigns are first issued
1819 Modern Singapore is founded by Sir Stamford Raffles
1820 The accession of George IV
1821 Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on St Helena

Thomas Coutts dies at the age of 86, and leaves everything – including his personal fortune and 50% share in the bank – to his widow, Harriot

1823 The Royal Suspension Chain Pier is built in Brighton
1824 The National Gallery opens to the public at 100 Pall Mall in London
1825 The world’s first publicly subscribed railway opens between Stockton and Darlington

Sir Edmund Antrobus senior, a partner of Coutts, dies at home in Cheam


Harriot Coutts becomes a Duchess when she marries the Duke of St Albans

Andrew Dickie becomes the first clerk to be made a partner at Coutts

1830   The accession of William IV
1831 The French Foreign Legion is founded
1832   The Great Reform Act of 1832 changes the electoral system in England and Wales by addressing the unequal distribution of seats, extending the franchise and removing ‘rotten boroughs’

Andrew Dickie, the first clerk to be made a partner at Coutts, dies 

The Slavery Abolition Act is passed in parliament abolishing slavery in the British Empire
 1834 A fire breaks out at the Palace of Westminster, destroying the Houses of Parliament
 1836   The Battle of the Alamo is fought between the Republic of Texas and Mexico

Harriot, the Duchess of St Albans, dies. Her will names Angela Burdett as her successor 

The accession of Queen Victoria

Edward Marjoribanks becomes a junior partner at Coutts

Grace Darling and her father rescue thirteen survivors from the SS Forfarshire off the Farne Islands

Coutts absorb the business of Hammersley’s Bank in Pall Mall – a small private bank which had been founded in 1780 by Thomas Hammersley

The Penny Post is introduced in Britain
 1841   British ships occupy the island of Hong Kong
 1842   Lord Shaftesbury’s Mines Act prohibits the employment of women and children underground

Sir Francis and Lady Burdett die eleven days apart

The Bank Charter Act restricts the powers of British banks and regulates the issue of bank notes
 1846   An American dentist, William T. G. Morton, first publically demonstrates the use of ether as a surgical anaesthetic
 1848   Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto
 1849   Britain annexes Punjab
 1850   The British parliament passes the Australian Colonies Act, giving the colonies self-government

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