Book - 1872
Good condition set of four.
1 January — C. P. Scott becomes editor of The Manchester Guardian, a position he will hold until 1929.
2 February — British government buys a number of forts on the Gold Coast from the Netherlands.
5 March — Tichborne case decided against the impostor Arthur Orton.
11 March — Work begins setting up Seven Sisters Colliery in South Wales, located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.
16 March — In the first ever final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football competition, Wanderers F.C. defeat Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1–0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.
June - American-born painter James McNeill Whistler exhibits Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother, painted the previous year in London, at the Royal Academy summer exhibition.
June - Rangers F.C. play their first ever game on the public pitches of Glasgow Green.
July — Queen Victoria opens the Albert Memorial in memory of her husband Prince Albert.
18 July - 18 July - Ballot Act introduces secret ballots in United Kingdom elections.
Philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts, becomes the first woman to be made an Honorary Freeman of the City of London.
31 July — Licensing Act establishes licenses for public houses and limits drinking hours.
5 August — Hastings Pier opened. Designed by Eugenius Birch, it is the first in Britain with an entertainment pavilion incorporated from new.
10 August — Portland Breakwater completed.
1 September — A group of Icaiche Maya under Marcos Canul attack Orange Walk Town in British Honduras as part of the Caste War of Yucatán. British troops are sent against them.
7 October — An underground explosion at Morley Main Colliery, Morley, West Yorkshire, kills 34.
21 November — Wigan F.C. founded, the first Association football team in Wigan.
25 November — Loss of the iron sailing ship Royal Adelaide on Chesil Beach: 60 saved, 7 drowned.
30 November — Scotland v England, the first FIFA-recognized international football match, takes place at Hamilton Crescent in Scotland. The result is a goalless draw.
12 December — A meteorite strikes earth near Banbury.
21 December — The Challenger expedition sails from Portsmouth on the four year scientific expedition that will lay the foundation for the science of oceanography.