Book - 1859
Good condition set of four.
1 January — Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to have her name entered on the General Medical Council's Medical Register, under a clause in the Medical Act 1858 that recognized doctors with foreign degrees.
15 January — National Portrait Gallery opens in London.
March — General Post Office begins erection of First National Standard pillar box design.
30 April — Charles Dickens publishes the first issue of his new magazine All the Year Round
1 May — West Riding of Yorkshire Penny Savings Bank, predecessor of the Yorkshire Bank, begins operation in Leeds.
4 May — Cornwall Railway opened across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall. The bridge's designer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, terminally sick, is wheeled across it later this month.
31 May — Whigs under Palmerston win the general election.
6 June — The British Crown colony of Queensland in Australia is created by devolving part of the territory of New South Wales.
10 June — Derby resigns as Prime Minister after a defeat in the House of Commons; replaced by Palmerston.
1 September — Astronomer Richard Carrington makes the first observation of a solar flare.
7 September — The clock and chimes of the Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster become operational. The great bell acquires the nickname "Big Ben" by association with Benjamin Hall, 1st Baron Llanover.
24 October — Glasgow Town Council's Loch Katrine public water supply scheme officially opened.
25–26 October — 'Royal Charter Storm', the most severe storm to hit the British Isles this century. 133 ships are sunk and another ninety badly damaged, with a death toll estimated as up to 800 (including some killed on land); most notably from the steam clipper Royal Charter, driven ashore on the north-east coast of Anglesey on 26 October with around 459 dead and just 39 men surviving.
12 November — HMS Victoria, the Royal Navy’s last and largest wooden first-rate three-decker ship of the line to see sea service, is launched at Portsmouth.
24 November — Naturalist Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, a book which argues that species gradually evolve through natural selection. It immediately sells out its initial print run. Trinity College, Cambridge bans it.