History Today subscription

Industrial Revolution

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, portrait by Edwin Landseer, 1836. Ⓒ National Portrait Gallery, London.

Few episodes in the history of the British Labour movement have been as mythologised as that in which six Dorset farm labourers were shipped to Australia for their trade union activities.

The first effective miners' safety lamp was unveiled on November 9th 1815.

Early associated with midland Collieries, writes E.M. Howe, the Beaumont family later became generous patrons of art.

 Painting depicting the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the first inter-city railway in the world.

The search for an explanation for why Britain was the first nation to industrialise.

J.T. Ward describes how romantic views of the Middle Ages and a dislike for the horrors of industrialism inspired an able group of young Conservatives in the House of Commons during the 1840s.

 Coalbrookdale by Night by Philip James de Loutherbourg, painted 1801. This shows Madeley Wood (or Bedlam) Furnaces, which belonged to the Coalbrookdale Company from 1776 to 1796.

For the 18th-century tourist, there was a strange beauty in rugged industrial landscapes, which moved them to quote poetry and dash off pages of vivid descriptive prose.

Educationalist. Co-operator. Capitalist. Utopian. W.H. Oliver describes how Robert Owen was doomed to foster ideas and programmes which caused him considerable distress.

A milestone in transportation was reached on July 25th, 1814.

During the Industrial Revolution, many “dark Satanic mills” arose to scar the English landscape. But in Gloucestershire, writes Esther A.L. Moir, home of the cloth industry, commerce and the art of architecture achieved a happy compromise.

W.H. Chaloner offers a study in British railway engineering.