top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureClyve Rose

Around the World (Regency-style):

Updated: Feb 14

I spend a lot of my historical research pre-writing time looking into obscure events that happened during the period we’ve popularly come to define as the Regency era. I love to draw on these events in my novels and novellas, often adding them to a character’s backstory, or using them as a full plot point for one or more of my MCs.


Perhaps you already know that the Regency era is called this because King George III of England suffered from a mental health condition. This is historically well-documented, and also appears in fictional depictions of the period. I've not seen #QueenCharlotte yet (I know - and I will!) but Bridgerton depicts the king occasionally. The heartbreaking scenes between him and his beloved wife are some of the most poignant of the series.


Season 2 showcased the Sharma sisters and reminded me of all the other corners of the British empire that were part of their own historical periods and traditions.



For example, did you know that the English refer to the American War of Independence (1775-1783) as The Revolutionary War? Clearly, this one’s a matter of perspective. If you’re wondering why the English parliament was so concerned about local unrest, consider the historical context of the time - which included the recent French Revolution (1789-1799) wherein most aristocrats were arrested and many lost their lands, titles - and heads - at the hands of a revolutionary.


I’ve done a quick whip-around the world to get a look into the other global events. After all, there were other empires and nations being built, including:

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Dutch

  • Austro-Hungarian

  • Mughal

  • Hawai'ian

  • Zulu

There was a lot more going on in the world than Regency affairs.

The 18th Century Regency:

1795: 

  • The Prince of Wales marries his cousin, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, so that the British Parliament will agree to increase his allowance. The prince was already heavily in debt.

  • Mohammad Khan Qajar of Persia (now Iran) razes Tbilisi (of Georgia in Eastern Europe) to the ground.

  • Establishment of the French-backed Batavian Republic in present-day Netherlands.

  • Pinckney's Treaty between the United States and Spain grants the Mississippi Territory to the U.S.

  • The Marseillaise is officially adopted as the French national anthem.

  • Kamehameha I of the Island of Hawaii defeats the Oahuans at the Battle of Nu'uanu.

1796:

  • The Princess of Wales delivers an heir to the throne (a daughter, Princess Charlotte) and sets up a separate household from her husband, located outside London.

  • Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination; smallpox killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year during the 1700s, including five reigning monarchs.

  • Trinidad becomes subject to British rule.

  • War of the First Coalition: The Battle of Montenotte marks Napoleon Bonaparte's first victory as an army commander.

  • The British expel the Dutch from Ceylon.

  • Mungo Park, backed by the African Association, is the first European to set eyes on the Niger River in Africa.

  • 1796–1804: The White Lotus Rebellion against the Manchu dynasty in China.

1797:

  • John Adams is inaugurated on March 4 as President of the United States following the 1796 United States presidential election. The peaceful transfer of power from the Washington administration to Adams sets a precedent for relinquishing executive power and transferring it to a new administration.

  • Napoleon's invasion and partition of the Republic of Venice ends over 1,000 years of independence for the Serene Republic.

1798:

  • The Irish Rebellion fails to overthrow British rule in Ireland.

  • 1798-1799: George Bass and Matthew Flinders circumnavigate the island of Tasmania for the first time on record.

  • 1798–1800: The Quasi-War is fought between the United States and France.

1799:

  • Napoleon stages a coup d'état and becomes First Consul of France.

  • The Dutch East India Company is declared bankrupt.

  • The assassination of the 14th Tu'i Kanokupolu, Tukuʻaho, plunges Tonga into half a century of civil war.

  • Tipu Sultan (also known as the Tiger of Mysore) is killed in a battle with British forces in India.

The 19th Century Regency:

1800:

1801:

  • Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovers the dwarf planet Ceres.

  • American politician Alexander Hamilton launches the New York Evening Post as the Federalist vehicle for their news.

  • Thomas Jefferson elected President of the United States by the House of Representatives, following a tie in the Electoral College (sound familiar?).

  • The Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merge to form the United Kingdom.

  • Ranjit Singh crowned as the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.

  • Napoleon and Pope Pius VII sign the Concordat of 1801 in Paris.

  • Alexander I of Russia becomes Tsar after the assassination of his father.

  • British defeat French at the Second Battle of Abukir.

  • 1801–1815: the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War between the United States and the four Barbary States of North Africa (namely, Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli). These states engaged in piracy to exact tribute from weaker Atlantic powers (which included the fledgling nation of America). They were affiliated with the waning Ottoman Empire.

1802:

  • Treaty of Amiens between France and the United Kingdom ends the War of the Second Coalition.

  • Ludwig van Beethoven performs his Moonlight Sonata for the first time.

  • William Cobbett begins the weekly Political Register.

1803:

  • Matthew Flinders circumnavigates the great southern continent of New Holland (now known as Australia and also as my home).

  • War resumes between Britain and France; this is a renewal of the Napoleonic Wars after a short peace.

  • William Symington demonstrates the first steamboat Charlotte Dundas.

  • The United States almost doubles in size when it buys out France's territorial claims in North America in the Louisiana Purchase. This begins the American westward expansion to the Pacific Ocean, later called Manifest Destiny.

  • The annexation of British colonies in Mexico begins, with further colonisation of Native American lands.

  • The Wahhabis of the First Saudi State capture Mecca and Medina.

  • First phase of the Padri War in Western Sumatra (now Indonesia) begins and runs until 1825.

  • France suppresses a rebellion in Haiti; Toussaint Louverture dies in prison in France.

1804:

  • A convict rebellion in Australia (led mostly by Irish prisoners) is ruthlessly suppressed by colonial authorities.

  • Haiti gains independence from France and becomes the first black republic.

  • Lewis and Clark Expedition in western U.S.

  • Austrian Empire founded by Francis I.

  • Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of the French.

  • World population reaches 1 billion.

  • First steam locomotive begins operation.

  • Morphine first isolated.

  • Symphony No. 3 by Beethoven, the "Eroica" marks the start of highly creative "middle period."

  • 1804–1810: Fulani Jihad in Nigeria.

  • 1804–1813: Russo-Persian War.

  • 1804–1815: Serbian revolution erupts against the Ottoman rule. Suzerainty of Serbia recognized in 1817.

1805:

  • Third Coalition mobilises against France.

  • The Battle of Trafalgar, British victory by Admiral Nelson eliminates the French and Spanish fleets. Begins Royal Navy dominance of the seas, a major factor for the success of the British Empire.

  • Napoleon decisively defeats an Austrian-Russian army at the Battle of Austerlitz.

  • 1805–1848: Muhammad Ali modernises Egypt (no, not the boxer).

1806:

  • Holy Roman Empire dissolved as a consequence of the Treaty of Pressburg.

  • Napoleon makes brother Joseph Bonaparte king of Naples & brother Louis Bonaparte king of Holland.

  • The former Dutch colony known as the Cape of Good Hope (the tip of southern Africa) becomes part of the British Empire.

  • William Wilberforce (1759–1833), politician and philanthropist who was a British leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade, receives royal assent for his Foreign Slave Trade Bill.

  • 1806–1812: Russo-Turkish War, Treaty of Bucharest.

1807:

  • Britain and the United States separately make the Slave Trade a criminal act.

  • First treaty of Tilsit: Russia allies with France against Britain in the War of the Fourth Coalition

  • Second treaty of Tilsit: Napoleon reorganises Eastern Europe; Prussia becomes his ally.

  • Napoleon's Milan Decree reinforces Continental System and escalates the trade war.

  • Royal Navy bombards Copenhagen and seizes Danish fleet.

  • Beethoven performs his Fifth Symphony.

1808:

  • The Rum Rebellion becomes New Holland's first and only military coup as British soldiers depose Governor Bligh (yes, the same guy who faced mutiny as captain of the good ship Bounty).

  • Sierra Leone becomes a British colony.

  • Herman Willem Daendels the Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies (1808–1811) begins the construction of Java Great Post Road.

  • 1808–1809: Russia conquers Finland from Sweden in the Finnish War.

  • 1808–1814: Spanish guerrillas fight in the Peninsular War.

1809:

  • Napoleon invades the Papal States and adds it to French Empire, making his young son the King of Rome.

  • Pope Pius VII excommunicates Napoleon and is later imprisoned at Savon.

  • Napoleon strips the Teutonic Knights of their last holdings in Bad Mergentheim (a spa town in Germany).

  • Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, "The Emperor."

1810:

  • The University of Berlin is founded. Among its students and faculty are Hegel, Marx, and Bismarck.

  • The Grito de Dolores begins the Mexican War of Independence.

  • 1810s–1820s: Most of the Latin American colonies free themselves from Spanish and Portuguese rule after the Latin American wars of independence.

  • 1810s–1820s: Punjab War between the Sikh Empire and British Empire.

1811:

  • The Prince Regent stands in for his father, King George III who is no longer well enough to act as England’s head of state, nor participate in running the British Empire.

  • Paraguay declares independence from the Spanish empire.

  • 1811-1816: Great Britain experiences widespread economic distress; the first - and bloodiest - year of the Luddite riots.

1812:

  • 1812–1815: American War of Independence between the United States and Britain; ends in a draw, except that Native Americans lose power.

  • The French invasion of Russia is a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars.

  • British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated.

1813:

  • Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice.

  • William Hedley's Puffing Billy demonstrates power of steam locomotives.

  • 1813–1837: Afghan-Sikh Wars take place in India (they properly span 1748-1837 and saw multiple phases of fighting between the Durrani Empire and the Sikh Empire, paving the way for the Anglo-Gurkha wars).

1814:

  • The Princess of Wales removes to Italy, agreeing to receive a stipend to remain there while the Regent indulges himself in London.

  • Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.

  • Elisha Collier invents the flintlock revolver.

  • The Congress of Vienna begins.

  • 1814–1816: Anglo-Nepalese War between Nepal (Gurkha Empire) and British Empire.

1815:

  • Mount Tambora in Sumbawa island erupts, becoming the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, destroying Tambora culture, and killing at least 71,000 people in total. 

  • The Congress of Vienna redraws the European map. 

  • The Concert of Europe attempts to preserve this settlement, marking the beginning of a Pax Britannica which lasts for 99 years.

  • Napoleon escapes exile and begins his Hundred Days before his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. He’s exiled to St Helena. His defeat brings a conclusion to the Napoleonic Wars.

  • Jane Austen publishes Emma.

  • 1815-1817: The Milan Commission (a small investigative team sent to Italy by Westminster) attempts to discover if the Princess of Wales is committing adultery in Italy. Her husband’s affairs are well-known in England.

1816:

  • The Year Without a Summer: Unusually cold conditions wreak havoc throughout the Northern Hemisphere, likely influenced by the 1815 explosion of Mount Tambora. The Thames freezes in London.

  • Independence of Argentina.

  • Dandy horse/velocipede bicycle invented.

  • 1816–1817: widespread economic distress in Europe.

  • 1816–1828: Shaka Zulu’s Kingdom becomes the largest in Southern Africa.

1817:

  • Principality of Serbia becomes suzerain from the Ottoman Empire.

  • First Seminole War begins in Florida.

  • Russia commences its conquest of the Caucasus.

  • Princess Charlotte of Wales (daughter of the Prince Regent and his only legitimate, living heir) dies following childbirth. Her mother, the Princess of Wales, is not informed.

1818:

  • Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein.

  • Independence of Chile.

  • The Old Vic theatre is established (under the name of the Royal Coburg).

1819:

  • Stamford Raffles arrives in Singapore with William Farquhar to establish a trading post for the British East India Company. Two landmark cases in America (Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward and McCulloch v. Maryland) create precedents upon which later US legislative and mercantile powers are defined.

  • John Keats writes his odes of 1819.

  • Peterloo Massacre and riots in England.

  • The modern city of Singapore established by the British East India Company.

  • Théodore Géricault paints his masterpiece The Raft of the Medusa, and exhibits it in the French Salon of 1819 at the Louvre.

1820:

  • The Duke of Kent, brother of the Prince Regent, dies.

  • King George III, father of the Prince Regent, dies, and the Regent becomes King George IV in his own right. His wife, Queen Caroline, begins the journey from Italy to take up her role as Queen of England.

  • The Pains & Penalties Bill is debated in British Parliament, as King George attempts to convince the house of lords of the Queen’s adultery so he can divorce his wife. The bill is withdrawn in November by the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool.

  • Missouri Compromise on the slavery issue in U.S.

  • Revolution in Spain.

  • Revolution in Portugal.

  • Revolution in Italy.

  • Revolution in Greece.

  • The African state of Liberia is founded by the American Colonisation Society for freed American slaves.

  • Dissolution of the Maratha Empire in India.

  • 1820–1835: At least 5000 Mexicans die in Apache raids, and 100 settlements are destroyed.

  • 1820–1842: Child labour becomes commonplace throughout cotton factories and mines as the Industrial Revolution takes hold across the world.

1821:

  • The coronation of King George IV at Westminster Abbey is one of the most lavish ceremonies England has witnessed, or paid for. It included the barring of Queen Caroline from the ceremony. She was never crowned.

  • Queen Caroline of England dies.

  • Navarino massacre of Turks living in Greece.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena.

  • Mexico gains independence from Spain with the Treaty of Córdoba.

  • Peru declares its independence from Spain.

  • 1821–1830: Greece becomes the first country to break away from the Ottoman Empire after the Greek War of Independence.

1822:

  • Prince Pedro of Brazil proclaims Brazilian independence and is crowned Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil.

  • Denmark Vesey is arrested and executed for attempting to incite a slave insurrection in South Carolina.

  • 1822–1823: First Mexican Empire, as Mexico's first post-independent government, ruled by Emperor Agustín I of Mexico.

1823:

  • Monroe Doctrine declared by US President James Monroe in cooperation with Britain, cementing US independence.

  • 1823–1887: The British Empire annexed Burma (now known as Myanmar) after three Anglo-Burmese Wars.

1824:

  • Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

  • New Australian penal colony founded at Moreton Bay which is now the city of Brisbane.

  • The continent of New Holland's renaming to 'Australia' is officially approved.

  • Cadbury opens a chocolate shop in Birmingham, England.

  • Gibbons v. Ogden, a landmark decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the power to regulate interstate commerce includes the power to regulate oceanic navigation.

1825:

  • Erie Canal opens in New York connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Independence of Bolivia.

  • The Stockton and Darlington Railway, the first public railway in the world, opens in England.

  • The Decembrist revolt in Russia begins, and is suppressed quickly.

  • 1825–1828: The Cisplatine War results in the independence of Uruguay.

  • 1825-1830: The Java War between the rebellious Javanese aristocracy and their Dutch colonisers.

1826:

  • Founding of University College in London

  • First penal colony established at King George Sound (now known as the town of Albany), and named the Swan River Colony.

  • The 'Auspicious Incident' occurs; the destruction of the Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire.

  • British Prime Minister Robert Peel reforms English criminal law and redefines the law of property in England.

  • American Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine.

  • 1826–1828: After the final Russo-Persian War, the Persian Empire took back territory lost to Russia from the previous war.

1827:

  • Allies destroy the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Navarino. 

  • The Treaty of London, Britain, France and Russia guarantees the independence of Greece.

  • Nicéphore Niépce invents photography.

  • Deaths of William Blake and Ludwig van Beethoven.

  • The entire continent of Australia is claimed for England at King George Sound

1828:

  • Prime Minister Robert Peel secures repeal of Test & Corporation Acts, This gives religious liberty to Nonconformists in Britain but deeply splits Tory party.

  • 1828–1832: Black War in Tasmania leads to the near-extinction of the Tasmanian aboriginal population.

1829:

  • Founding of King's College, London.

  • Founding of the city of Perth at Swan River Colony (now known as the state of Western Australia).

  • First electric motor built.

  • Robert Peel founds the Metropolitan Police Service, the first modern police force.

  • Treaty of Edirne following the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829.

  • Goethe's Faust premieres.

  • Rossini’s "William Tell" opera premieres.

1830:

  • The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints is established by Joseph Smith as prophet and president of the Church.

  • Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

  • US Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, authorising the US President to negotiate removal treaties with native tribes living east of the Mississippi. This act led to the forced removal of several native tribes over the next century.

  • 1830-1895: Anglo-Russian rivalry over Afghanistan, Persia and Tibet (the region known as ‘Central Asia’) begins and is known as ‘The Great Game’.

  • July Revolution in France, also known as The Second French Revolution.

  • The Belgian Revolution in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now known as The Netherlands or Holland), leading to the creation of the country we know as Belgium.

  • Greater Colombia is dissolved and the nations of Colombia (including modern-day Panama), Ecuador, and Venezuela are created.

  • The November uprising in Poland against Russia fails.

  • End of the Java War. The whole area of Yogyakarta and Surakarta Manca nagara Dutch seized; the Klaten Agreement determines a fixed boundary between Surakarta and Yogyakarta, permanently splitting the kingdom of Mataram was signed by Sasradiningrat, Pepatih Dalem Surakarta, and Danurejo, Pepatih Dalem Yogyakarta.

  • Mataram is de facto and de jure controlled by the Dutch East Indies.

  • Mendelssohn’s "Hebrides" overture is performed.

  • Berlioz’s "Symphonie fantastique" is written.


Note: 1811-1820 is the period during which the Prince Regent officially took over during his father’s period of ill-health. There was an earlier period from 1795, but King George III recovered from that one. By 1811 however, the king's mental health appeared lost for good. That said, the Regency period is also sometimes described as ending only when the Regent’s reign did. King George IV became king in his own right when his father passed in 1820, and he ruled until his own death 1830, so I’ve looked at world events that occurred beyond England, but likely impacted our Regency-dwellers between 1795-1830.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page