1846 in the United Kingdom
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Events from the year 1846 in the United Kingdom.
- Monarch – Queen Victoria
- Prime Minister – Robert Peel (Conservative; until 29 June), Lord John Russell (Liberal)
- 5 January — The United States House of Representatives votes to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom.
- 10 February — First Anglo-Sikh War: British victory at the Battle of Sobraon.
- 9 March — The conclusion of the First Anglo-Sikh War with the signing of the Treaty of Lahore. Kashmir is ceded to the British East India Company and the Koh-i-Noor diamond is surrendered to Queen Victoria.
- 13 March — Ballinglass Incident: eviction of 300 tenants at the village of Ballinglass in Ireland during the Great Famine.
- 3 April — Last London-based mail coach runs, to Norwich.
- 15 May — Under the leadership of Prime Minister Robert Peel, the House of Commons votes to repeal the Corn Laws by passing an Importation Bill, replacing the old colonial mercantile trade system with free trade. On 25 June the Duke of Wellington persuades the House of Lords to pass the Act, which will take full effect from February 1849.
- 15 June — Treaty of Washington establishes the 49th Parallel as the border between Oregon and British Canada.
- 22 June — The North British Railway is opened to public traffic between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed, the first line to cross the border between Scotland and England. Waverley Station is opened.
- 26 June — The Great Northern Railway is authorised by Act of Parliament with powers to construct a direct line from London to York (with a loop via Boston), 233.5 mi (375.8 km) with a capital of £5,600,000, the largest single railway scheme ever approved by Parliament.
- 29 June — Peel resigns, and is succeeded by John Russell, 1st Earl Russell.
- 9 July — A flood at East Wheal Rose lead mine in Cornwall kills 39.
- 16 July — The London and North Western Railway is formed in England by amalgamation of the London and Birmingham Railway, Grand Junction Railway and Manchester and Birmingham Railway.
- 30 July — Opening of Albert Dock, Liverpool.
- 8 August — The planet Neptune is first observed but not recognised by James Challis, director of the Cambridge Observatory.
- 15 August — Inauguration of Scott Monument in Edinburgh.
- 18 August — Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the following Acts
- Religious Opinions Relief Act, removing most remaining disabilities affecting the ability of Jews, Dissenters and Roman Catholics to participate in public life.
- Gauge Act, ruling that new railways in Great Britain should be built to standard gauge (5 ft 3 inches in Ireland) unless otherwise authorised.
- 26 August
- 28 August — Railway Mania reaches its zenith, with 272 railway construction Acts being passed in this year.
- 1 September — Deodand abolished in England and Wales by the Deodands Act.
- 10 October — William Lassell discovers Triton, one of the moons of Neptune.
- 21 December — Surgeon Robert Liston carries out the first operation under anaesthesia in Britain.
- Great Famine (Ireland) — The first deaths from hunger take place early in the year. Phytophthora infestans almost totally destroys the summer potato crop and the Famine worsens considerably. By December a third of a million destitute people are employed on public works.
- Start of Highland Potato Famine in Scotland.
- Electric Telegraph Company founded.
- Agapemone, a Christian sect and community, is founded by Rev. Henry Prince at Spaxton, Somerset.
- The Brontë sisters' collection Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, their first published work.
- Charles Dickens' novel The Battle of Life and the serialisation of Dombey and Son.
- Edward Lear's A Book of Nonsense.
- The String of Pearls: a Romance, probably written by James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett Prest, begins serialisation, the first literary appearance of Sweeney Todd.
- 18 February — Wilson Barrett, actor (died 1904)
- 17 March — Kate Greenaway, children's book illustrator and writer (died 1901)
- 25 May — Princess Helena of the United Kingdom (died 1923)
- 27 June — Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish political leader (died 1891)
- 16 September — Anna Kingsford, physician, advocate of women's rights, anti-vivisection and vegetarianism (died 1888)
- 22 June — Benjamin Haydon, painter and writer (born 1786)
- 5 September — Charles Metcalfe, 1st Baron Metcalfe, colonial administrator (born 1785)
- 23 September — John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia (born 1818)
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Blake, Richard. The Book of Postal Dates, 1635–1985. Caterham: Marden. p. 11.
- "Icons, a portrait of England 1840–1860". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Thomas, John (1969). The North British Railway 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-4697-0.
- Marshall, John (1989). The Guinness Railway Book. Enfield: Guinness. ISBN 0-85112-359-7.
- "Perranzabuloe Mining District — East Wheal Rose". Cornwall in Focus. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- Reed, M. C. (1996). The London & North Western Railway: a history. Penryn: Atlantic. ISBN 0-906899-66-4.
- Jones, Ron (2004). The Albert Dock, Liverpool. RJ Associates Ltd. ISBN 0-9511703-4-1.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Adams, John Couch". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Scott Monument". AboutBritain. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "Railway Archive". Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007.
- Gordon, Ian; Inglis, Simon (2009). Great Lengths: the historic indoor swimming pools of Britain. Swindon: English Heritage. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-190562-452-2.
- Lewin, Henry Grote (1936). The Railway Mania and its aftermath, 1845-1852. London: Railway Gazette.
- Keneally, Thomas (1999). The Great Shame. London: Vintage. p. 110.
- Ross, David (2002). Ireland: History of a Nation.
- "Spaxton". Quantock Online. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.