All links are to Wikipedia entries.
Government, Politics, and War:
- The Duke of Clarence (who would later reign as William IV) is named Admiral of the Fleet.
- February 5: The Regency Act is passed by Parliament, authorizing the Prince of Wales to rule in his father’s place as the Prince Regent.
- March 1: Ottoman Viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha orchestrates a massacre of hundreds of Maremluke leaders when he invites them to a celebration in Cairo.
- March 13: The British fleet defeats the French at the Battle of Lissa.
- May: The Duke of York is re-instated as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.
- May 5: Wellington defeats Marshall Masséna at the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro.
- May 16: Beresford defeats Soult at Albuerra.
- May 18: British Major General Beresford begins the Second Siege at Badajoz.
- September: Thomas Stamford Raffles is appointed Lt-Governor of Java, which he will administer until 1816.
Society and Social History:
- March 20: Napoleon’s only son is born, and is designated as King of Rome.
- March 25: The University of Oxford expels Percy Bysshe Shelley after he refuses to answer questions about his pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism.
- June 19: The Print Regent stages an elaborate fete at Carlton House, costing over £120,000, ostensibly in honor of the exiled royal family of France, but actually in celebration of his assumption of the Regency.
- September 28: A rematch between bareknuckle champion Tom Cribb and the American ex-slave Tom Molineaux, attracts 20,000 spectators to Thistleton Gap, outside London. Cribb wins easily in 19 minutes. He retires in 1822, undefeated.
November: The Luddite movement (protesting the mechanization of the textile industry, often by destroying new machinery) begins in Nottingham and spreads throughout England.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is published.
- October 16: Lord Byron receives a challenge from the poet Thomas Moore who had been offended by parts of English Bards.
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- Building of Regent Street begins John Nash‘s development of the West End of London.
- Thomas Lawrence paints his portrait of Benjamin West.
- November: Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E flat major for Pianoforte and Orchestra (Emperor) is premiered in Leipzig.
Science and Industry:
- Bernard Courtois discovers iodine.
- Friedrich Koenig produces the first steam printing press, in London.
- April 4: Huddersfield Narrow Canal completed by the opening of the Standedge Tunnel under the Pennines, the longest (5,413 yards), deepest, and highest canal tunnel in Britain
Natural History and Exploration:
- Mary Anning, age 12, discovers the 30-ft-long fossil of an ichthyosaur at Lyme Regis, the first such fossil known. She becomes an important fossil collector and paleontologist, with her work in Lyme Regis contributing to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the reality of extinction.
- March 25: The Great Comet of 1811 is discovered by Honoré Flaugergues and is visible to the naked eye for 260 days.