1862 in the United Kingdom
- 6 January – French and British forces arrive in Mexico, beginning the French intervention in Mexico.
- 16 January – Hartley Colliery Disaster: 204 miners die following collapse of machinery at the Hartley Colliery in Northumberland.
- 15 March – riots in Stalybridge, Lancashire, over cotton recession.
- 21 March – James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin appointed Governor-General of India.
- May – the 10.00 a.m. "Special Scotch Express", predecessor of the Flying Scotsman express train, first departs from London King's Cross for Edinburgh over the East Coast Main Line.
- 1 May – 1862 International Exhibition of Industry and Science opens in South Kensington.
- 16 May – Habeas Corpus Act restricts the right of English courts to issue writs of habeas corpus in British colonies or dominions.
- 24 May – new Westminster Bridge, designed by Thomas Page, is opened in London.
- 5 June – "Geordie" Ridley first sings "Blaydon Races" at Balmbra's Music Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne.
- 30 June – 'Revised Code', introducing a system of 'payment by results' for elementary schools in England and Wales, begins to come into effect.
- 1 July – marriage of Princess Alice, second daughter of Queen Victoria, to Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine.
- 4 July – Charles Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll') takes Alice Liddell and her sisters on a rowing trip on The Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford, to Godstow on which he tells the story that becomes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- 29 July – Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama is launched clandestinely at Birkenhead by John Laird Sons and Company.
- 31 August – last mail coach runs from Carlisle to Hawick, Scotland.
- 14 September – a British national, Charles Lenox Richardson, is killed in Japan by samurai in the Namamugi Incident. Three companions escape, though two are seriously injured.
- 30 September – Clifton College opens as a public school near Bristol.
- 11 October – Jessie M'Lachlan, having been found guilty in the Sandyford murder case in Glasgow, is to be hanged, but has her sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
- 20 October – Charles Thomas Longley succeeds as Archbishop of Canterbury, being translated from York.
- November – criminal law amended to make robbery with violence punishable by flogging.
- c. November – Joseph Bazalgette begins construction of the Thames Embankment in London.
- 28 Novemnber – Notts County F.C. is founded in Nottingham, making it (by the 21st century) the world's oldest Association football playing professionally.
- Joseph Leycester Lyne (Father Ignatius of Jesus) forms the first Anglican Benedictine community, initially at Claydon, Suffolk.
- M. E. Braddon's 'sensation novel' Lady Audley's Secret.
- George Eliot's novel Romola (serialisation).
- Herbert Spencer's book First Principles, the first volume of his System of Synthetic Philosophy.
- Anthony Trollope's novel Orley Farm completes publication.
- 29 January – Frederick Delius, composer (d. 1934)
- 1 April – Archibald Bodkin, Director of Public Prosecutions (d. 1957)
- 9 June – Ernest William Moir, civil engineer (d. 1933)
- 2 July – William Henry Bragg, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1942)
- 5 August – Joseph Merrick, "The Elephant Man" (d. 1890)
- 26 August – Herbert Booth, Salvationist (d. 1926)
- 29 September – Fred Russell, "The Father of Modern Ventriloquism" (d. 1957)
- 3 October – Johnny Briggs, cricketer (d. 1902)
- 28 December – Christina Broom, photographer (d. 1939)
- 3 April – James Clark Ross, naval officer and explorer (b. 1800)
- 29 June – James Bowman Lindsay, inventor (b. 1799)
- 6 September – John Bird Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1780)
- 8 October – James Walker, civil engineer (b. 1781)
- 18 December – Lucas Barrett, naturalist and geologist (b. 1837)
- Durham Mining Museum - Colliery Disaster 1862
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 283–284. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Cates, William L. R. (1863). The Pocket Date Book. Chapman and Hall.
- Osborn, P. G. (2008). A Concise Law Dictionary, for Students and Practitioners. Read Books. p. 124. ISBN 1-4437-2948-5.
- "Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide". Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- Berry, George (1970). Discovering Schools. Tring: Shire Publications. ISBN 0-85263-091-3.
- "Leader". The Times (24364). London. 1862-09-30. p. 6.
- Davies, Mark J. (2010). Alice in Waterland: Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford. Oxford: Signal Books. ISBN 978-1-904955-72-6.
- "The Alabama". Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
- "C3 – Coaching". Carlisle Encyclopaedia. Carlisle History. Archived from the original on 18 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Opening Of Clifton College". The Times (24366). 1862-10-02. p. 7.
- Garrard, J. R. (2004). "Longley, Charles Thomas (1794–1868)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-11-19. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "The Thames Embankment". The Times (24414). 1862-11-27. p. 12.