Brighton and Hove timeline

The 1850s and 1860s now added. More data coming soon

The history of any place comprises a vast multitude of details. Historians tend to select those that form a plausible narrative. Subsequent historians may further amend the story by the addition or omission of details. The purpose of this timeline is to present, within reason, as many events as may be considered of interest to a 21st century reader. Core information is gleaned from the 'standard' histories.
      For a town lucky enough to have a local newspaper—and most did by the middle of the 19th century—a closer perspective is given in the pages that had to be filled with the subject matter the editors deemed to be of interest to the readers.
      Brighton had a flourishing, if not always thriving, press during the 19th century. The Brighton Herald launched in 1806. The Brighton Guardian was added in 1827, the Brighton Observer in 1856. the Brighton Times in 1860, Brighton Standard in 1865, while other short-lived papers came and went. The Sussex papers did not ignore Brighton entirely (very little happened in Hove!) and included the country's largest town along with the myriad villages and hamlets whose residents expected to see their affairs reported.

      The Brighton Gazette obligingly published an annual 'chronological table of local events', usually in the first edition of the following year. This timeline has borrowed extensively from those columns for the years in which it appeared. What has been omitted are the endless reports of accidental deaths—even when two people were killed in separate incidents in one week by falling from carriages in Old Steine—and suicides. Not to mention all the dinners, gatherings and soirees held by the more well-to-do citizens. So these are not usually mentioned. Meetings of the working classes, sometimes referred to as 'the Brighton mob', being more uncommon (as befits the common people) are listed. Some veents that occurred each year are mentioned once or twice to give a flavour of life in Brighton and Hove at the time.
      Among other useful sources, The Building News routinely reported municipal undertakings, which as the construction of sewers and sea defences, major building and upmarket residences. It also published details of contracts up for grabs and the outcome of tendering processes. A patchy series is available online.


Page updated 3 May 2017