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1558 Queen Elizabeth I begins her reign as monarch.

1603 Death Of Queen Elizabeth I.

Before 1700 Women work mostly at home or in family-based businesses.


1702 Queen Anne begins her reign as monarch.

1714 Death of Queen Anne.

Mid-1700s Women work as decorators in potteries and porcelain factories.

1768 Royal Academy of Arts founded. Angelica Kauffman and Mary Moser are founding members.

1792 Publication of 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' by Mary Woolstonecraft.


1837 Queen Victoria begins her reign as monarch.

1857 Society of Female Artists founded in London.

1860 First woman admitted to the Royal Academy of Art Schools.

1867 Louisa Starr is the first woman to win gold medal at the Royal Academy.

1870 and 1882 Married Women's Property Acts: everything a woman owns no longer automatically belongs to her husband.

1870 and 1882 Education Acts: from 1882 schooling is compulsory for girls under 12.

1871 Slade Art School opens for the tuition of men and women.

1871 'Elaine' by Sophie Anderson is the first painting by a woman to be bought for Liverpool.

1897 National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) founded.


1901 Death of Queen Victoria.

1903 Women's Social and Political Union ('The Suffragettes') breaks away from the NUWSS.

1914-18 First World War: women take over jobs previously done by men.

1918 Women over 30 get the vote.

1921 Marie Stopes opens the first family planning clinic in Britain.

1928 Women get the vote on the same terms as men.

1929 Laura Knight created a Dame of the British Empire.

1939-45 Second World War: back into the factory!

1952 Queen Elizabeth II begins her reign as monarch.

1961 The Contraceptive pill licensed.

1964 Aged 79 Sonia Delaunay becames the first woman to have her work exhibited in the Louvre, Paris, in her lifetime.

1965 The Miniskirt comes into fashion.

late 1960s Feminist movement gathers strength.

1969 Mary Martin is the first woman to win first prize at the John Moores Liverpool exhibition with 'Cross'.

1970 Publication of 'The Female Eunuch' by Germaine Greer.

1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.

1984 Equal Pay Act (Equal Value Amendment) introduces equal pay for work of equal value.

1994 Church of England ordains the first women priests.

2008 Natalia Gonchavora’s (1881-1962) 'The Flowers' becomes the most expensive work by a woman artist when it is sold at Christie’s for £6.6.million.