The following list of events is based on William Gates' History of Portsmouth with additional entries by the author. Entries for the Members of Parliament for Portsmouth, The Mayors of Portsmouth and the Governors of Portsmouth have largely been omitted, as they appear elsewhere on this site. Gates cites no references for any entry.
1851 April - Census return 72,096.
1851 April 23 - Opening of the Sailors' Home, Queen-street.
1852 January 2 - Troopship Birkenhead sailed from Portsmouth. On February 26th she was wrecked off Danger Point, South Africa, and 436 lives lost. Many of the crow belonged to Portsmouth, and subscriptions were started by civil and Naval authorities. £3,000 received here and £3.500 in London.
1853 February 21 - Council decided by a majority of one to introduce the Public Health Act.
1853 July 8 - Portsmouth Railway Bill passed.
1853 September 8 - Funeral of Sir Charles Napier.
1854 March - Sailing of the Baltic Fleet, after inspection by the Queen.
1864 October 30 - Death of Lord Frederick FitzClarence, to whom Portsmouth is indebted for its fine Esplanade and other improvements which wore carried out during his service as Lieutenant-Governor. When he left England for India, where he died, he set aside £50 a year for the poor of Portsmouth. He was a son of William IV. by Mrs. Jordan.
1856 - Cambridge Barracks under construction.
1856 April 23 - Great review at Spithead by the Queen.
1858 June 1 - Commencement of New Southsea. First stone laid in Havelock Park by Mrs. W. S. Turnley.
1858 August 2 - The Queen decorated nine officers and three men with the Victoria Cross on Southsea Common in presence of 20,000 spectatators, and all the troops in garrison.
1858 Nov. 29 - Opening of the General Post Office in the High-street.
1860 September 27 - Foundation stone of New Camber Dock.
1861 April - Census return, 74,799.
1861 July - Opening of Southsea Pier.
1861 July 26 - The last Portsdown Fair held.
1862 - Forts on Portsdown Hill constructed.
1863 January 2 - Terrible fire in College-street, a woman and six children burnt to death.
1863 January 29 - Rating limit fixed at 2s. 6d. in the £.
1863 January 5 - The Workhouse Schools opened.
1863 June 3 - Local Government Act adopted by the Town Council.
1864 July 29 - Portsmouth Local Government Act passed.
1865 March 31 - Failure of the South Hants Bank.
1865 May 15 - Tramways first opened in Portsmouth.
1865 September 22 - New system of drainage inaugurated.
1867 July 17 - Naval review in honour of the Sultan of Turkey.
1867 August 12 - Southsea Railway Bill passed.
1868 January - Discharge of 1,600 men from the Dockyard.
1868 April 11 - Great Volunteer Review o the hill
1868 June 22 - Return and reception of the troops from Magdala.
1869 April 26 - Volunteer Review at Portsmouth.
1869 May 16 - Departure of emigrants from Portsmouth.
1869 Dec. 21 - H.M.S. Monarch, with the body of John Peabody, the philanthropist, on board, left Portsmouth for America.
1870 June 7 - Completion of the main drainage works.
1870 June 9 - Death of Charles Dickens.
1870 June 23 - Portsmouth Tramway Bill passed.
1070 Sept. 7 - Loss of H.M.S. Captain.
1870 Dec 5 - Adoption of the Elementary Education Act.
1871 January 13 - First School Board election.
1871 April - The census showed a population of 113,569.
1871 June 30 - Royal Counties Agricultural Show in the People's Park.
1872 January 18 - First Board School opened in Chance-street. Five others were opened during the year.
1872 March 29 - Burning of the Brunswick Brewery, Grigg-street.
1872 Sept. 3 - The Portsmouth Local Government Board was succeeded by the Urban Sanitary Authority.
1872 - Railway extension to Portsea sanctioned by the Council.
1872 Dec. 21 - Sailing of the Challenger expedition.
1873 May 19 - Opening of the Portsmouth Tramway.
1873 June 23 - Naval Review in honour of the Shah of Persia.
1874 Jan. 13 - Serious fire in the Dockyard.
1874 January 22 - New roads to Portsea opened.
1874 April 23 - Royal review of sailors and marines returned from the Ashantee war.
1874 Aug. 5 - " Battle of Southsea." The public fought for and maintained their right of way between the Clarence Pier and the Esplanade Hotel.
1874 Oct. 22 - Camber extension works commenced.
1874 Oct. 29 - Building of New Gaol commenced.
1875 May 29 - Departure of Sir George Nares' Arctic Expedition in the Alert and Discovery.
1876 Nov. 2 - Return of the Alert and Discovery from the Arctic regions.
1876 July 11 - Building of Lunatic Asylum commenced.
1876 July 14 - Boiler explosion on H.M.S.Thunderer, by which 46 lives were lost. 1871 April 19 - Judgment in the great Foreshore case given in favour of the Corporation, but it was reversed on appeal.
1878 May 29 - Opening of the Victoria Park.
1878 August 13 - The Queen reviewed the Reserve Squadron at Spithead. It consisted of 26 vessels.
1979 January 15 - Opening of the Portsmouth Grammar School.
1879 July 26 - South Parade Pier opened.
1879 September 30 - Opening of the Portsmouth Lunatic Asylum. 1880 June - The Royal Counties Agricultural Show held on Southsea Common.
1881 January 20 - Unprecedented snowstorm. To clear the main thoroughfares £1,100 was spent.
1881 April - Census return 127,989.
1881 May 24 - Borough divided into fourteen wards in place of the six formerly existing.
1882 April 1 - Ginnett's Circus in Bow-street totally destroyed by fire.
1882 April 25 - The Prince's Theatre in Lake-road destroyed by fire.
1882 June 14 - Opening of the Sailors' Rest.
1882 August 10 - Opening of the St. John's Roman Catholic Cathedral.
1883 January 31 - Building of Public Baths commenced.
1883 April 26 - Opening of the Public Library.
1883 - Infectious Diseases Hospital opened at Milton.
1883 Dec - Council decided to spend £133,500 on new drainage works.
1884 March - Construction of Southsea Railway commenced.
1886 Fob. 4 - High School for Girls opened at Southsea.
1886 June 17 - Canoe Lake added to the attractions of Southsea.
1886 August 14 - Foundation stone laid of the new Town Hall.
1887 Jan 2 - Explosion at Cambridge Barracks. 5 members of the Worcestshire Regiment killed.
1887 June 21 - Jubilee of Queen Victoria celebrated.
1887 July 23 - Grand Naval Review at Spithead.
1889 May 30 - Slight Earthquake shock.
1889 August 5 - Inspection of the British Fleet at Spithead, by the Emperor of Germany.
1889 October 10 - The new Parish Church of Portsea (St. Mary's), consecrated.
1889 December 2 - Telephonic communication established with Southampton and Winchester.
1890 August 9 - New Town Hall opened by the Prince of Wales (Edward VII.)
1890 December - Great frost; the most severe since 1813.
1891 February 26 - Launch of the first-class cruiser Royal Arthur, and the floating out of dock of the battleship Royal Sovereign by Queen Victoria.
1891 March 31 - Census return, 159,251.
1891 August 19 - Visit of the French fleet to Portsmouth.
1891 December 14 - " Black Monday." So called through the failure of the Portsea Building Society. The depositors, chiefly the thrifty poor, lost nearly £400,000.
1891 July - Royal Counties Agricultural Show held at North End.
1893 April 6 - Vicar Cole, R.A., the famous landscape painter, who was born at Portsmouth, died at Kensington.
1894 January 5 - Great snowstorm, with 18 degrees of frost.
1894 June 6 - Electric light works started by the Corporation.
1894 August 22 - At Osborne the Queen presented new colours to the Portsmouth Division of the Royal Marines.
1894 December 15 - Ladies elected as members of the Board of Guardians for the first time.
1895 January 21 - Opening of the Portsmouth Technical Institute and Museum.
1895 July - Visit of an Italian squadron.
1897 June 22 - Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, £15,000 raised for an addition to the Hospital. 30,000 children feted.
1898 February 22 - Opening of the new Workhouse Infirmary.
1998 May 14 - New Drill Hall for 2nd Hants Artillery Volunteers opened in St. Paul's-road. The architect was A.E. Cogswell.
1898 October 11 - Portsea Parish Institute opened by Lord Goschen (then First Lord of the Admiralty).
1899 Feb. 27 - New Hospital block opened by the Duke of York.
1899 July 23 - Phenomenal rainfall. 3 inches falling in four hours.
1899 Aug 1 - Visit of the British Medical Association.
1900—October 4. General Election. Liberal defeat in Portsmouth, the result being—Mr. J. Majenale (C), 10.818 ; Mr. R. Lucas n, 10,383 ; Sir John Baker (1.), 10,214 ; Mr. T. Bramadon (L), 10,031. 1900—November 9. Abraham Leon Emanuel, Mayor. 1900—December 31. The Tramway undertaking transferred to the Corporation, the price arranged by arbitration being £195,633. 1901—March 31. The census showed the population to bo 189,160.
See also the Chronology of Events for the periods
500-1499 | 1500-1599 | 1600-1699 | 1700-1799 | 1800-1849 | 1900-1936