Bristol in History

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1497-05-02 John Cabot's expedition departs Bristol searching for new lands across the Atlantic

Explorer John Cabot
John Cabot
  • 1497-08-06 Italian explorer John Cabot returns to Bristol from North America (Newfoundland) - first European to do so since the Vikings
  • 1610-07-05 John Guy sets sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland
  • 1645-09-11 Thomas Fairfax's New Model Army occupies Bristol

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1748-06-24 The Kingswood School is opened by John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley in Bristol. The school later moved to Bath

Evangelist John Wesley
John Wesley
  • 1838-04-08 Steamship "Great Western" makes her maiden voyage from Bristol, England, to New York
  • 1845-03-17 Bristol man Henry Jones patents self-raising flour

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1864-12-08 The Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is finally opened in Bristol, England, 5 years after his death

  • 1885-05-08 Sarah Ann Henley survives 76-m jump from Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England
  • 1890-05-12 The first-ever official cricket County Championship match begins. Yorkshire beats Gloucestershire by eight wickets at Bristol. George Ulyett scores the first century in the competition.
  • 1895-05-17 W G Grace completes his 100th 100 v Somerset at Bristol
  • 1909-05-24 Bristol University granted Royal Charter
  • 1909-08-26 Middlesex beat Gloucs (Bristol) by Inn & 31 in a single day
  • 1923-07-03 Dockers' strike in Hull/Grimsby/Cardiff/Bristol over to London
  • 1935-04-12 First flight of the Bristol Blenheim
  • 1940-09-15 Luftwaffe bombs Bristol Aeroplane Company
  • 1943-10-16 US 1st Army establishes headquarter in Bristol
  • 1944-05-14 91 German bombers harass Bristol
  • 1955-01-23 Express train travelling from York to Bristol derails, killing 14 and injuring many other passengers

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958-12-05 Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II
  • 1967-04-20 A Globe Air Bristol Britannia turboprop crashes at Nicosia, Cyprus, killing 126.
  • 1969-01-09 First trial flight of Concorde supersonic jetliner, Bristol, England
  • 1969-04-09 1st flight of Concorde 002 (Filton-Bristol)
  • 1993-09-09 Croupier of casino in Bristol, England, shoots a 4 a record eight times
  • 2003-11-26 Concorde makes its last ever flight over Bristol, England.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1612-02-22 George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol, English statesman (d. 1677)
  • 1621-04-23 William Penn, English admiral and politician, father of the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, born in St. Thomas Parish, Bristol (d. 1670)
  • 1636-11-02 Edward Colston, English merchant and philanthropist, born in Bristol, England (d. 1721)
  • 1662-05-18 George Smalridge, English bishop of Bristol (d. 1719)
  • 1665-08-27 John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, English politician (d. 1751)
  • 1721-08-31 George Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol, British statesman (d. 1775)
  • 1724-05-19 Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (d. 1779)
  • 1766-02-24 Samuel Wesley, composer/organist (Exultate Deo), born in Bristol, England
  • 1774-08-12 Robert Southey, English writer (The Story of the Three Bears), Poet Laureate (1813-43) and biographer (Nelson), born in Bristol, England (d. 1843)
  • 1783-08-23 William Tierney Clark, English civil engineer, born in Bristol, England (d. 1852)
  • 1795-03-14 Robert Lucas Pearsall, English composer, born in Bristol, England (d. 1856)

Person of interestElizabeth Blackwell

1821-02-03 Elizabeth Blackwell, English-American physician who was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, born in Bristol, England (d. 1910)

  • 1824-02-10 Samuel Plimsoll, inventor (Plimsoll line for ships), born in Bristol, England
  • 1876-11-07 Charlie Townsend, English cricketer, born in Bristol (d. 1958)
  • 1880-03-12 House Peters, British silent film actor (This Is the Life, Kansas Territory), born in Bristol, England (d. 1967)
  • 1880-04-10 Montague Summers, English clergyman and writer (Malleus Maleficarum), born in Clifton, Bristol, England (d. 1948)
  • 1887-08-08 Malcolm Keen, British actor ( The Lodger, The Manxman, The Murder Party), born in Bristol, England (d. 1970)
  • 1889-10-19 Uncle Art Satherley, British-American record producer (1968 Acad of Country Music Award), born in Bristol, England (d. 1986)

Person of interestPaul Dirac

1902-08-08 Paul Dirac, English physicist (quantum electrodynamics, Nobel 1933), born in Bristol, England (d. 1984)

Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate Paul Dirac
Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Paul Dirac
  • 1904-01-18 Cary Grant [Archibald Alexander Leach], British-born American actor (Arsenic & Old Lace, North by Northwest), born in Horfield, Bristol, England (d. 1986)
  • 1907-12-18 Christopher Fry, playwright (Ring Around the Moon), born in Bristol, England
  • 1908-03-20 Michael Redgrave, British actor (Browning Version, Lady Vanishes), born in Bristol (d. 1985)
  • 1913-08-31 Sir Bernard Lovell, English radio astronomer, founded Jodrell Bank Observatory, born in Oldland Common, Bristol (d. 2012)
  • 1918-11-06 Ronnie Brody, British actor (Superman 3, What's Up Nurse, Ritz), born in Bristol, England (d. 1991)
  • 1925-05-13 Anthony Milner, British composer, born in Bristol, England (d. 2002)
  • 1929-03-23 Michael Manser, English architect, born in Bristol (d. 2016)
  • 1931-07-14 Robert Stephens, actor (Uncle Kurt-Holocaust), born in Bristol, England
  • 1932-08-11 Angela Rumbold, British politician (C), born in Bristol (d. 2010)
  • 1939-06-30 John Fortune [John C. Wood], English satirist and comedian (Bremner, Bird and Fortune), born in Bristol, England (d. 2013)
  • 1942-05-03 Lynn Farleigh, English actress (Lovers of Their Time), born in Bristol, England
  • 1944-05-03 Ian Peter Leslie Smith, British journalist, born in Bristol, England (d. 1997)
  • 1949-04-20 Veronica Cartwright, English-American actress (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), born in Bristol, England
  • 1954-09-15 7th marquess of Bristol, English large landowner/multi-millionaire
  • 1957-08-17 Robin Cousins, English figure skater (Olympic gold 1980), born in Bristol
  • 1961-04-02 Keren Jane Woodward, English rock vocalist (Bananarama-Venus), born in Bristol, England
  • 1961-12-17 Sara Dallin, British musician (Bananarama), born in Bristol, England
  • 1965-06-07 Damien Hirst, English artist, born in Bristol, England
  • 1966-01-17 Trish Johnson, LPGA golfer (1993 Las Vegas), born in Bristol, England
  • 1966-11-27 Chryssandra Hines, Bristol Conn, team handball wing (Olympics 1996)
  • 1973-11-14 Caroline Hall, golfer (Curtis Cup 1992), born in Bristol, England
  • 1974-05-02 Andy Johnson, Welsh footballer, born in Bristol, England
  • 1974-07-28 Justin Lee Collins, British radio host, actor and comedian, born in Southmead, Bristol
  • 1975-02-13 Ben Collins, English racing car driver and former Top Gear Stig (ASCAR-2003), born in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 1979-02-15 Josh Low, English footballer, born in Bristol, United Kingdom

Person of interestMaisie Williams

1997-04-15 Maisie Williams, English actress (Game of Thrones), born in Bristol

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1795-10-04 Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (22) weds Sara Fricker in Bristol, England

Poet, Critic, and Philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Poet, Critic, and Philosopher
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Famous Deaths

  • 1677-05-20 George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol, English statesman (b. 1612)
  • 1719-09-27 George Smalridge, English Bishop of Bristol (b. 1662)
  • 1751-01-20 John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, English politician (b. 1665)
  • 1779-12-23 Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (b. 1724)