Research Links

Kate Hogarth’s father George, as a young man

Regency to Victorian :   Deciphering Nineteenth Century England

  • Monarchs

o    George III born 1738 reigned 1760-1820 (Regency: 1811-1820) spouse Princess Charlotte

o    George IV born 1762 (his only child Princess Charlotte, born 1796, death in childbirth in 1817, married to Prince Leopold) 1820-1830 spouse Mrs. Fitzherbert, Princess Caroline

o    William IV born 1765 reigned 1830-1837 (married Princess Adelaide in 1818 but all babies died)

o    Victoria ((daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820) and Princess Victoria married 1818)) born 1819 reigned 1837-1901 (prince consort Albert 1819-1861)

  • Wars and soldiers: The Empire era

o    In 1803, 100,000 soldiers, 60,000 militia. In 1813 315,000 soldiers

o    Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) break in 1802-1805 and 1814

o    War of 1812 (1812-1815) US vs. UK

o    Canada Rebellions (1837-39)

o    Anglo Afghan Wars (1839-1842, 1878-1880) The Great Game:  UK vs. Russia in Asia

o    Crimea (1853-1856) over the rights of Christians in the Holy Land, Florence Nightingale

o    Indian Rebellion (1857) started as mutiny of sepoys

o    Mahdist War (1881-1889) colonialist issues in Africa

o    Boer (1880-1881, 1899-1902) war of independence

  • Economy

o    Post Napoleonic Depression (1815-1822) Corn Laws 1815-1849 – trade laws that protected farming. Sent unsuccessful farmers into the cities after laws were changed. Land lost value over this which changed aristocracy.

o    Panic of 1825:  bank failures, stock market crash, 101,000 writs of debt arrest

o    Panic of 1847:  collapse of markets after railway boom

o    Panic of 1866:  international downturn

o    Long Depression (1873-79, but more problems until 1896)

  • Marriage

o    Census of 1851 500,000 more women than men, but only 29% of women over 20 were unmarried.

o    Women were chattel of their husbands. Laws started to change in 1870. 1870: married women could retain 200 pounds of their earnings. 1882: Married women could own and administer property.

o    Divorce:  Until 1857 divorces could only be obtained by individual Act of Parliament. 1857:  men could divorce for adultery. Women for adultery plus cruelty, desertion, incest, rape, sodomy and bestiality.

o    For most of reign husband could restrict wife’s access to children and insist on conjugal duties.

  • London:
  • In 1801, when the first reliable modern census was taken, greater London recorded 1,096,784 souls; rising to a little over 1.4 million inhabitants by 1815. Population over 7 million by 1913. In 1751 the entire Country was 7 million, doubled by 1821. 54% in 1801 were female. (reference:

o    Known as “the world” to Regency Londoners

o    15% of population had syphilis

o    1000 men in London debtor prisons during Regency

o    Water closets:  200,000 WCs in London by 1857

o    Sewers were cleaned up between 1859-68

o    Thames:  living river. Drama includes floods, droughts, fires, and don’t forget those nine bridges. Tolls on all but London Bridge and Blackfriars. Steamship era was in full force by 1818. Steam tugs with barges in 1848. Enclosed docks started being built in 1805, continued building until 1880. Meanwhile, shipbuilding moved out of area by end of 1860s. River was enclosed by embankments in 1864-1870

o    Railroad:  began 1830 to cross England. The near London stations came in mid 1830s. The first city station was in 1841. By 1870 the network was all over England and well developed in London. There were 1st, 2nd and 3rd class carriages, plus private carriages could be loaded on a flat car.

o    Metropolitan Police Force 1839 but police were around from 1829. In 1864 Metropolitan Fire Brigade took over from private services.

o    Light:  Gas Lighting of public streets started in 1812 and was still being finished at least to 1846.

o    Sights: gasworks, workhouses (from 1834), prisons, old burial yards, gardens, cowsheds, stables, dairies, advertising

o    Transportation:  omnibuses (riding on top in 1850), cabs, carriages, hansoms by 1861. First traffic light around 1868. Outside London there were toll bars and turnpike gates until 1864. London Subway from 1863-gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives.

o    Main roads:  granite blocks or macadam-gravel. Some wood and cobbled side roads

o    Slums:  cleared by roads in 1850s 1860s

o    Suburbs were important after 1843

o    Popular places:  Regent Street built 1813, Belgrave Square 1820-1860, Big Ben opened 1859

Partial Bibliography

Booth, Michael Richard Theatre in the Victorian Age. 1991

Brendon, Piers Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781-1997, The 2007

Cooper, Suzanne Fagence Victorian Woman, The, 2001

Crocker III, H. W. Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire, The 2011

Crook, J. Mordaunt Rise of the Nouveaux Riches, 1999

Cunnington, C. Willett:  English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, 1990

Davies, Jennifer Victorian Kitchen, The, 1989

Erickson, Carolly Our Tempestuous Day, 1986

Evans, Stewart P. and Skinner, Keith Ultimate Jack the Ripper Companion, The 2009

Farwell, Byron     Mr. Kipling’s Army:  All the Queen’s Men, 1987

Farwell, Byron Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, 1985

Flanders, Judith Inside the Victorian Home, 2003

Fraser, Antonia Lives of the Kings & Queens of England, The, 1975

Gernsheim, Alison Victorian and Edwardian Fashion A Photographic Survey, 1963

Hopkirk, Peter, Great Game, The 1990

James, Lawrence Raj:  The Making and Unmaking of British India, 1997

Kelly, Ian Beau Brummell:  The Ultimate Man of Style, 2013

Lodge, Nicholas Victorian Book of Cakes, The, 1991

MacColl, Gail and Wallace, Carol McD., To Marry an English Lord, 1989

Modder, Nontagu Frank Jew in the Literature of England, The. 1939

Nayder, Lillian The Other Dickens:  A Life of Catherine Hogarth. 2012

Paterson, Michael Life in Victorian Britain, 2008

Paterson, Michael Voices from Dickens’ Britain, 2006

Paxman, Jeremy Victorians, The, 2009

Picard, Liza Victorian London, 2005

Slater, Michael Charles Dickens. 2011

Tabraham, C.J. Illustrated History of Scotland, The, 2004

Tomalin, Claire Charles Dickens: A Life. 2012

Thompson, John Victorian London Street Life in Historic Photographs, 1877

Warwick, Sarah Upstairs & Downstairs, 2011

Wilkes, John London Police in the Nineteenth Century. 1985

Williams, Kate Becoming Queen Victoria, 2008

Wilson, A.N.  The Victorians, 2011

Websites with interesting links (Thank you to Alice for the suggestion!)

The Victorian Web: Linking Scholarship, Teaching and Learning since 1994

The London Of Charles Dickens: Mapped | Londonist

Map of London in 1818 – Pre-John Snow (

Regency Places – Google My Maps

Shelley-Godwin Archive (