1841 in the United Kingdom
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- Monarch – Victoria
- Prime Minister – William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (Whig) (until 30 August); Robert Peel (Conservative) (starting 30 August)
- Parliament – 13th (until 23 June), 14th (starting 19 August)
- 20 January – Convention of Chuenpi agreed between Charles Elliot and Qishan of the Qing dynasty.
- 26 January – the United Kingdom formally occupies Hong Kong.
- 27 January – the active volcano Mount Erebus in Antarctica is discovered and named by James Clark Ross.
- 28 January – Ross discovers the "Victoria Barrier", later known as the Ross Ice Shelf.
- February – H. Fox Talbot obtains a patent for the calotype process in photography.
- 10 February – Penny Red postage stamp replaces the Penny Black.
- 20 February – the Governor Fenner, carrying emigrants to America, sinks off Holyhead with the loss of 123 lives.
- 1 March – opening throughout of the Manchester and Leeds Railway, the first to cross the Pennines.
- 4 March – first performance of Dion Boucicault's comedy London Assurance, presented by Charles Mathews at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.
- 3 May – New Zealand becomes a British colony.
- 6 June (Sunday)
- United Kingdom Census held, the first to record names and approximate ages of every household member and to be administered nationally.
- Marian Hughes becomes the first woman to take religious vows in communion with the Anglican Province of Canterbury since the Reformation, making them privately to E. B. Pusey in Oxford.
- 7 June – Lord Melbourne loses a vote of no confidence against his government.
- 21 June – St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, dedicated as a Roman Catholic church.
- 29 June – 22 July: general election – Sir Robert Peel's Conservatives take control of the House of Commons.
- 30 June – Great Western Railway completed throughout between London and Bristol.
- 5 July – Thomas Cook arranges his first excursion, taking 570 temperance campaigners on the Midland Counties Railway from Leicester to a rally in Loughborough.
- 17 July – first edition of the humorous magazine Punch published.
- 26 July – the proprietors of The Skerries Lighthouse off Anglesey, the last privately owned light in the British Isles, are awarded £444,984 in compensation for its sale to Trinity House.
- 28 August – Melbourne resigns as Prime Minister; replaced by Robert Peel.
- 2 September – reconsecration of Leeds Parish Church after reconstruction.
- 21 September – the London and Brighton Railway is opened throughout.
- 24 September – United Kingdom annexes Sarawak from Brunei; James Brooke is appointed rajah.
- 27 October – Anglican clergyman Richard Sibthorp becomes the first Tractarian to be received into the Roman Catholic Church, by Nicholas Wiseman at St Mary's College, Oscott (he reconverts two years later).
- 30 October – a fire at the Tower of London destroys its Grand Armoury and causes a quarter of a million pounds worth of damage.
- 13 November – surgeon James Braid attends his first demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads to his study of the subject he eventually calls hypnotism.
- 23 December – First Anglo-Afghan War: at a meeting with the Afghan general Akbar Khan, the diplomat Sir William Hay Macnaghten is shot dead at close quarters.
- Antarctic explorer James Clark Ross additionally discovers the Ross Sea, Victoria Land and Mount Terror.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew first opens to the public and William Hooker appointed director.
- Chemical Society of London founded by Thomas Graham.
- London Library founded in Pall Mall.
- Ulster Canal completed.
- W. Harrison Ainsworth's novel Old St. Paul's: A Tale of the Plague and the Fire (serialised in The Sunday Times, 3 January–26 December).
- Thomas Carlyle's lectures On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History.
- Serialisation of Charles Dickens's novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty.
- Mrs Gore's novel Cecil, or Adventures of a Coxcomb.
- John Henry Newman's Tract 90 (Remarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles, dated 25 January).
- Augustus Pugin's lectures The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture.
- Samuel Warren's novel Ten Thousand a Year.
- Vocal Melodies of Scotland, containing the first publication of the song "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond".
- The Gardeners' Chronicle launched.
- The Jewish Chronicle launched; the first Jewish newspaper in the UK, it will be the oldest continuously published in the world (12 November).
- 25 January – Jackie Fisher, admiral (died 1920)
- 28 January – Henry Morton Stanley, explorer and journalist (died 1904)
- 9 November – Edward VII (died 1910)
- William George Aston, consular official (died 1911)
- 2 February – Olinthus Gregory, mathematician (born 1774)
- 12 February – Astley Cooper, surgeon and anatomist (born 1768)
- 17 February – Joseph Chitty, lawyer and legal writer (born 1775)
- 20 May – Joseph Blanco White, theologian (born 1775)
- 1 June – Sir David Wilkie, Scottish painter (born 1785)
- 3 July – Rosemond Mountain, actress and singer (born 1780s?)
- 24 August – Theodore Hook, author (born 1788)
- 1 December – George Birkbeck, doctor, academic and philanthropist (born 1776)
- 23 December – William Hay Macnaghten, Anglo-Indian diplomat (born 1793)
- Ross, Voyage to the Southern Seas, 1, pp. 216–8.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
- Blake, Richard. The Book of Postal Dates, 1635–1985. Caterham: Marden. p. 10.
- Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, vol. 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Bonham, Valerie (2004). "Hughes, Marian Rebecca (1817–1912)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- Stanton, Phoebe. Pugin. pp. 557–66.
- Body, Geoffrey (1985). Western Handbook – a digest of GWR and WR data. Weston-super-Mare: British Rail (Western). ISBN 0-905466-70-5.
- Derby Railway History Research Group (1989). The Midland Counties Railway. Gwernymynydd: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901461-11-3.
- Spielmann, Marion Harry (1895). The History of "Punch". p. 27.
- Thorpe, Trefor. "Between a rock and a wet place". Cadw. Archived from the original on 2 March 2005. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 264–266. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "History". Leeds Parish Church. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- Turner, J. T. Howard (1977). The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway: 1, Origins and Formation. London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X.
- Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher (1995). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. p. 287. ISBN 0-333-57688-8.
- Delany, Ruth (1986). A celebration of 250 years of Ireland's Inland Waterways. Belfast: Appletree Press. ISBN 0-86281-200-3.
- Leavis, Q. D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (2nd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.
- "The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo-Jewry, 1841–1991". Cambridge University Press.