& the Isle of Ely


Note: All entries in this colour cover other areas as well as Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely and can be regarded as general historic information.






The drainage of the fens deteriorated rapidly after 1700; no area was free from the threat of flooding and much lay permanently under water. In 1695, Celia Fiennes in her horseback tour of England was forced to ride between Ely and Sutton along raised river banks because the fens around were flooded. Attestations at the 1726 enquiry into the Haddenham Level drew comment that the rivers that were meant to drain the fens were higher than the fens themselves.

8 Mar 1702

William III and Mary II's reign of England ends.


9 Mar 1702

Anne becomes Queen of Great Britain.



John Wesley born.



John Moore made Bishop of Ely
Charles Wesley born.
Act of Union.



The Tatler (Magazine) founded.



Denver Sluice wrecked by a storm; it would be 35 years before it was restored.



The Spectator (Newspaper) founded.



William Fleetwood made Bishop of Ely


1 Aug 1714

Anne's reign of Great Britain ends.


2 Aug 1714

George I becomes King of Great Britain.



Freemasons Grand Lodge of England founded.


3 Apr 1721

Robert Walpole appointed first Prime Minister.



Thomas Greene made Bishop of Ely



Repeal of the Corporation Act.


22 Jun 1727

George I's reign of Great Britain ends.


23 Jun 1727

George II's becomes King of Great Britain.



10 Downing Street, London presented by King George II to Sir Robert Walpole as residence for the First Lord of the Treasury (Prime Minister).



Robert Butts made Bishop of Ely



Calvanistic Methodists split from Wesleyan Methodists.

Disastrous flloding duing the 1740's compelled reconstruction of Denver Sluice and other areas.



War between Britain and France.
First National conference of Methodist ministers.

Cambridge's first newspaper, The Cambridge Journal, founded.


18 Mar 1745

Sir Robert Walpole died.



Thomas Gooch made Bishop of Ely

Thomas Neale counts over 250 windmills in the middle level sited there to lift and move the water.



Bow Street Runners formed.



Jockey Club formed to regulate horse racing.


2 Sep 1752

Gregorian calendar adopted - next day is 14 September.



Matthias Mawson made Bishop of Ely


29 Jun 1757

William Pitt becomes Prime Minister.


Aug 1759

Cambridgeshire Militia raised with a quota of 480 men formed into 8 companies.



Clarkson, Thomas - British philanthropist. From 1785 he devoted himself to a campaign against slavery. He was one of the founders of the Anti-Slavery Society 1823 and was largely responsible for the abolition of slavery in British colonies 1833.



Turnpikes improve travelling by road.

The new channel of drainage proposed by Charles Kinderley in 1720 was implemented in the 1760's due to massive deterioration. The channel proved hugely successful, lowering waters in the North Level by 6 feet and allowing vessels of 200 tons to once more reach Wisbech to unload.

Addenbrooke's Hospital was founded in the 1760's under the will of a Fellow of St. Catharine's.


25 Oct 1760

George II's reign of Great Britain ends.


26 Oct 1760

George III becomes King of Great Britain.


circa 1762

The Chronicle newspaper started up in Cambridge to rival The Cambridge Journal.



Invention of the spinning jenny by J Hargreaves.



First Sunday school started by Hannah Ball, Methodist.
Arkwright's Waterframe invented



Tax on distillation of spirits introduced.

The first act for the enclosure of a Cambridgeshire parish was 1770. By 1794 three others had also succumbed including Chippenham.


6 May 1770

Capt. Cook discovers Botany Bay.



Edmund Keene made Bishop of Ely



Slavery declared illegal in Britain.



George Walpole, third Earl of Orford, undertook a historical, pleasure journey through parts of East Anglia which he documented.



Catholic Relief Act.

Cambridgeshire Militia embodied with other regiments as a result of the threat posed by the alliance of the French and the American Colonies. On 26 March 1778 the Lord Lieutenant received his Royal Warrant and the Regiment assembled in Cambridge in April. It left the county for the first time in August, marching to Great Yarmouth, where it remained until November. Its regimental number was 33.


11 May 1778

Earl of Chatham (William Pitt) died.



Invention of spinning mule by Samuel Crompton.

The Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia returned in March 1779. In May it became the 27th Regiment.



The Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia became the 44th Regiment and moved to north London to be in reserve for the riots raging in London.



James Yorke made Bishop of Ely


Apr 1781

The Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia became the 34th Regiment moving around East Anglia.



The Home Office established
Foundation of the Foreign Office
Invention of modern steam engine by James Watt.

The Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia became the 25th Regiment moving around East Anglia with brief spells garrisoned in Cambridgeshire.



Peace concluded with America and the Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia was disembodied which took place at Ely.


4 Feb 1783

Parliament proclaims an end to hostilities in America.


3 Sep 1783

UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the US sign the Treaty of Paris.



John Mortlock III, local merchant and banker, becomes M.P. for Cambridge. He was later mayor of Cambridge 13 times in the following two decades.


2 Aug 1784

First mail coach runs from Bristol to London.



The Times founded.
First power-driven loom invented by E Cartwright.



Church of England Sunday School Society started.
HMSO founded.



Transportation of criminals to Botany Bay begins.



Charles Wesley died.

An Improvement Commission established to pave, light and cleanse Cambridge.


26 Jan 1788

Foundation Day - Australia.


2 Mar 1791

John Wesley died.



General Stud Book (Horse Racing) published by the Jocket Club
The Ordnance Survey of Great Britain is founded.


22 Jan 1793

Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia embodied as the 11th as as a result of tension between Britain and France.


1 Feb 1793

France declares war on Britain and the Netherlands.



Office of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies instituted.



Methodists secede from Church of England
Poor Law devised.



Discovery of Smallpox vaccine by E Jenner.



Methodist New Connexion founded.



Typhus epidemic kills thousands.



Combination Acts described trade unions as criminal conspiracies
Foundation of the Church Missionary Society.


9 Jan 1799

Parliament passes the first income tax.


Mar 1799

Regiment of the Cambridgeshire Militia moved to Dublin, rebellion having broken out in Ireland the previous year.


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