Candice’s book Miss Lacey’s Last Fling is set in 1817.
Government, Politics, and War:
- The British secretary for Ireland Robert Peel establishes a regular constabulary for Ireland. The Irish will call the constables “Peelers.”
- February: The last major Luddite attack occurs, against lace-making machines in Loughborough.
- March 4: Parliament passes the Coercion Acts against seditious meetings, primarily to suppress civil disturbances such as 1816’s Spa Fields Riots and the various activities of the Luddites. Among other things, they temporarily suspense habeas corpus.
- March 4: James Monroe becomes fifth President of the United States.
- March 10: The Blanketeers march from Manchester to London to petition the Prince Regent over the desperate state of the textile industry in Lancashire, and to protest the recent suspension of habeas corpus. The march was broken up violently and its leaders imprisoned
- June 9–10: Pentrich Rising: The British Army prevent an armed uprising of about 300 laborers from Derbyshire marching on Nottingham
- July 5: The Royal Mint replaces the gold guinea with a new gold sovereign coin.
- November 5: The Third Anglo-Maratha War begins as the British governor general Lord Hastings sends troops into Maratha territory while conducting operations against Pindari robber bands.
Society and Social History:
- A typhus epidemic occurs in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
- April 3: The infamous imposter, Princess Caraboo, makes her first appearance in England.
- November 6: Princess Charlotte dies after giving birth to a stillborn son.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- Walter Scott’s Rob Roy is published.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge publishes Biographia Literaria.
- Lord Byron‘s dramatic poem Manfred is published.
- Maria Edgeworth publishes Ormond.
- John Keats publishes Poems.
- Dr. William Kitchiner publishes his cookbook Apicius Redivivus, or the Cook’s Oracle.
- January: The satirical radical journal Black Dwarf begins publication in London by Thomas Wooler. Within three months, he will be arrested and charged with seditious libel. He is acquitted and will continue publishing Black Dwarf until 1824.
- January 25: The Scotsman is first published in Edinburgh as a liberal weekly newspaper by lawyer William Ritchie and customs official Charles Maclaren.
- April: The first edition of Blackwood’s Magazine is published, as a conservative rival to the Whig quarterly Edinburgh Review.
- July 18: Author Jane Austen dies at age 41.
- December: Posthumous publication of Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (dated 1818) for the first time reveals her (previously anonymous) authorship.
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- John Constable paints Flatford Mill.
- The Dulwich Picture Gallery opens to the public in the London borough of Southwark. Designed by architect John Soane, it is the world’s first public art gallery.
- June 19: Waterloo Bridge, built by Scottish civil engineer John Rennie, opens.
- Beethoven composes String Quintet (Opus 104).
- November: Rossini premiers his opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella) in Rome.
Theater and Dramatic Arts:
- Gas lighting is installed at Covent Garden Theatre.
- June: Actor John Philip Kemble makes his last appearance on the London stage in the role of Coriolanus at Covent Garden.
Science and Industry:
- July 10: David Brewster patents the kaleidoscope
Natural History and Exploration:
- January 1: Sailing through the Sandwich Islands, Otto von Kotzebue discovers New Year Island.