All links are to Wikipedia entries.

Duke of Clarence by Sir Martin Archer Shee.

Duke of Clarence by Sir Martin Archer Shee. (Click on image to see a larger version.)

Government, Politics, and War:

Empress Marie-Louise and the King of Rome by François Gérard.

Empress Marie-Louise and the King of Rome by François Gérard.

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:

Art, Architecture, and Design:


  • November: Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E flat major for Pianoforte and Orchestra (Emperor) is premiered in Leipzig.

Science and Industry:

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.