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Events from the year 1874 in the United Kingdom.
- 19 January — Manchester High School for Girls, the first girls' school to provide an academic education in northern England, is founded.
- 23 January — Marriage of The Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, to Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, only daughter of Tsarevich Alexander III of Russia.
- 31 January — British defeat the Ashanti at the Battle of Amoafo.
- 20 February to 10 August — Agricultural workers' strike.
- 23 February — Walter Clopton Wingfield patents a game called "sphairistike" which is more commonly called lawn tennis.
- 28 February — At the conclusion of one of the longest cases ever heard in an English court, the defendant in the Tichborne case is convicted of perjury.
- 5 March — Conservative Party under Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield win the general election, the first to be held by secret ballot, despite polling fewer votes than the Liberal Party under William Ewart Gladstone. Among those elected are Alexander Macdonald (Lib–Lab) and Thomas Burt (Radical labour), both former coal miners and among the first working class Members of Parliament.
- 14 March — Peace treaty with the Ashanti gives freedom of movement for British Gold Coast traders, and a promise to end human sacrifice.
- March — Aston Villa F.C. is founded by members of Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel cricket team in Handsworth, Birmingham.
- 1 April — Dr Frances Morgan marries Dr George Hoggan and they set up the first husband-and-wife general medical practice in the UK.
- 14 April — Astley Deep Pit Disaster: a mining accident as the result of an explosion in Dukinfield, Cheshire, kills 54.
- 13 May — Tsar Alexander II of Russia makes a state visit to Britain.
- 7 August — Public Worship Regulation Act prohibits ritualistic practices in the Church of England.
- 30 August — Factory Act establishes 56-hour working week and prevents children from being used as chimney sweeps.
- Autumn — London School of Medicine for Women founded.
- 20 January — Steve Bloomer, footballer, cricketer and baseball player (died 1938)
- 25 January — W. Somerset Maugham, author (died 1965)
- 11 February — Fritz Hart, composer (died 1949)
- 15 February — Ernest Shackleton, explorer (died 1922)
- 9 May
- 19 May — Gilbert Jessop, cricketer (died 1955)
- 29 May — G. K. Chesterton, author (died 1936)
- 21 September — Gustav Holst, composer (died 1934)
- 15 October — Prince Alfred of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (died 1899)
- 26 October — Martin Lowry, chemist (died 1936)
- 30 November — Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (died 1965)