Kings & Queens
1714-27 George I
1727-60 George II
1760-1820 George III
1820-30 George IV
1830-37 William IV
1728 Born near Penrith, Cumbria.
1744 Younger brother William is born.
1745 Starts apprenticeship in iron industry.
1755 Marries his first wife, Anne. She dies in Wrexham a year later.
1756 Working at Bersham Ironworks for his father.
1757 Manages his own ironworks at New Willey in Shropshire.
1761 Senior manager at Bersham Ironworks, with brother William as assistant.
1763 Marries his second wife, Mary. Takes control of Bersham Ironworks company.
1768-69 Develops ironworks complex at Bradley, Staffordshire.
1770 Starts to supply castings to Matthew Boulton's Soho factory in Birmingham. Expands ironworks at Bersham.
1774 Patents 'a new method for casting iron guns or cannon solid' and develops the cannon boring machine. Appoints William as his Bersham manager.
1776 Installs first Watt engine for a blast furnace.
1777-79 Helps plan and pay for the construction of the famous Iron Bridge in Shropshire.
1779 Board of Ordnance quashes his cannon patent.
1780 Makes and exports the pipes for Mr Perier's Paris waterworks.
1781 'Cylinders or cannon production' debate.
1787 Launches his iron boat 'The Trial' on the River Severn. Issues his own 'wage tokens'.
1790 Patents new method for making lead pipes.
1791 Helps Joseph Priestley after a mob destroys his house and laboratory.
1792 Patents a new steam powered rolling mill.
1794 Patents a mechanically blown furnace for making cast iron goods. William starts court proceedings for share of profits.
1795 Ends partnership with brother William. Halts production at Bersham.
1796 Brymbo Ironworks in production.
1807 Mary, his wife, dies. Obtains royal warrant so his mistress, Ann, and their three children can use his name.
1808 Dies at his home in Bradley, Staffordshire. Buried in an iron coffin in Cumbria. His nephew, Thomas Jones Wilkinson, disputes his will in the courts.
1823 Court of Chancery finally rules against Thomas Jones Wilkinson.
1824-29 John Wilkinson's estate sold off.
1709 Abraham Darby pioneers making iron using coal.
c.1717 Charles Lloyd - Bersham ironmaster. First blast furnace at Bersham.
1753 Isaac Wilkinson takes over Bersham Ironworks. Patents new rolling machine for crushing grain and sugar cane.
1757 Isaac Wilkinson patents a new compressed air system for blast furnaces.
1758 Isaac Wilkinson patents new method for casting iron objects.
1763 Isaac Wilkinson leaves Bersham Ironworks.
1765 James Watt starts work on his steam engine with its revolutionary separate condenser.
1769 Watt patents his new steam engine.
1775 Watt finally gets his steam engine to work using Wilkinson's cylinders. Marchant de lat Houlière visits Bersham Ironworks.
1776-77 William Wilkinson starts work as ironmaster for French Government.
1781 Watt patents the rotative engine - the first steam engine to work machinery. William Wilkinson sets up new ironworks at Le Creusot in France.
1786 Boulton uses Watt's engine to power a new mechanical coin press.
1787 William Wilkinson returns to Britain.
1792-94 William and John Wilkinson fall out over money.
1795 Boulton & Watt start to build their own foundry as the Wilkinson feud disrupts production at Bersham and threatens the supply of parts. William Wilkinson reveals John Wilkinson's 'pirated' steam engines.
1797 Closure of eastern works at Bersham.
1804 Richard Trevithick invents the steam locomotive.
1808 William Wilkinson dies.
1812 Bersham Ironworks closes.
1830 George Stephenson's Rocket - the first public railway.
1721 Sir Robert Walpole - first British Prime Minister.
1745 Bonnie Prince Charles & The 'Forty-Five' Rebellion.
1752 New calendar introduced in Britain.
1755 Dr Samuel Johnson & the first English dictionary.
1756-63 Seven Years' War.
1775-83 American War of Independence.
1783 Montgolfier brothers invent the hot air balloon.
1789 French Revolution.
1793 Reign of Terror in France.
1800 Act of Union between Great Britain & Ireland.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar.
1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade.
1815 Battle of Waterloo.
1832 First Reform Act.