1840 in the United Kingdom
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Events from the year 1840 in the United Kingdom.
- 10 January — Uniform Penny Post introduced, replacing the Uniform Fourpenny Post of 1839.
- 22 January — British colonists reach New Zealand. Official founding date of Wellington.
- 6 February — Treaty of Waitangi, a document granting British sovereignty in New Zealand, is signed.
- 10 February — Queen Victoria marries her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the Royal Chapel at St James's Palace.
- 15 April — King's College Hospital opens in Portugal Street, London.
- 27 April — The foundation stone of the new Palace of Westminster is laid as its reconstruction following a fire in 1834 begins (completed in 1860).
- 1 May — Issue of the Penny Black, the world's first postage stamp, together with Mulready stationery. The stamp becomes valid for prepayment of postage from 6 May.
- 10 June — Edward Oxford attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.
- July — Last known Great Auk in the British Isles caught and later killed on the islet of Stac an Armin, St Kilda, Scotland.
- 4 July — The Cunard Line's 700-ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first steam transatlantic passenger mail service.
- 15 July — Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia sign the London Treaty with the Sublime Porte, ruler of the Ottoman Empire.
- 23 July — The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union.
- 7 August — Chimney Sweeps Act prohibits the employment of children under the age of 21 as chimney sweeps.
- 10 September — Ottoman and British troops bombard Beirut and land troops on the coast to pressure Egyptian Muhammad Ali to retreat from the country.
- 16 September — Joseph Strutt hands over the deeds and papers concerning the Derby Arboretum, which is to become England's first public park.
- 30 September — Foundation of Nelson's Column laid in London, Trafalgar Square being laid out and paved during the year.
- 14 October — Maronite leader Bashir Shihab II surrenders to the British forces and goes into exile in Malta.
- 8 December — David Livingstone leaves for Africa.
- 21 December — Stockport Viaduct is completed. It is one of the largest brick structures in Europe.
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gains its Royal status.
- W. Harrison Ainsworth's novels Guy Fawkes and The Tower of London (both serialised).
- Charles Dickens' novel The Old Curiosity Shop (serialised).
- "Thomas Ingoldsby"'s The Ingoldsby Legends (first collected in book form).
- William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Catherine.
- William Whewell's book The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, founded upon their history, in which he introduces the words "Physicist" and (for the second time) "Scientist".
- 18 January — Henry Austin Dobson, poet and essayist (died 1921)
- 26 January — John Clayton Adams, landscape artist (died 1906)
- 5 February — John Boyd Dunlop, inventor (died 1921)
- 29 February — John Philip Holland, inventor (died 1914)
- 31 March — Benjamin Baker, civil engineer (died 1907)
- 27 April — Edward Whymper, mountaineer (died 1911)
- 2 June — Thomas Hardy, writer (died 1928)
- 20 June — George Selwyn Marryat, fly fisherman (died 1896)
- 9 October — Simeon Solomon, artist (died 1905)
- 21 November — Victoria, Princess Royal (died 1901)
- 29 November — Rhoda Broughton, writer (died 1920)
- 6 January — Fanny Burney, novelist (born 1752)
- 18 February — Jeffry Wyattville, architect and garden designer (born 1766)
- 30 March — Beau Brummell, arbiter of fashion (born 1778)
- 1 May — Joseph Williamson, philanthropist and builder of Williamson's tunnels (born 1769)
- 26 May — Sidney Smith, admiral (born 1764)
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "The wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1840". The British Monarchy. The Royal Household. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Icons, a portrait of England 1840–1860". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Riding, Christine (7 February 2005). "Westminster: A New Palace for a New Age". BBC. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- Blake, Richard. The Book of Postal Dates, 1635–1985. Caterham: Marden. p. 10.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 263–264. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Rackwitz, Martin (2007). Travels to Terra Incognita: the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides in Early Modern Travellers' Accounts c. 1600 to 1800. Waxmann Verlag. p. 347. ISBN 978-3-8309-1699-4.
- Gaskell, Jeremy (2000). Who Killed the Great Auk?. Oxford University Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-19-856478-2. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Fuller, Errol (2003). The Great Auk: The Extinction of the Original Penguin. Bunker Hill Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-59373-003-1. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Roberts, A. D. (2004). "Livingstone, David (1813–1873)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16803. Retrieved 2013-02-27. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Holt, Geoffrey O. (1978). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Vol. 10: The North West. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. p. 117. ISBN 0-7153-7521-0.
- Whewell, William (1840). "Introduction". The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, founded upon their history 1. London: J. W. Parker. pp. 71, 113.
- "physicist, n.". Oxford English Dictionary online version. Oxford University Press. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-02. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "scientist, n.". Oxford English Dictionary online version. Oxford University Press. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-02.