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Falkland Islands History Timeline

1500s - 1600s
  • (1500's) Multiple explorers sighted islands that may have been the Falklands
  • (1600) Sebald de Weert of The Netherlands sighted islands - first accredited sighting
  • (1690) John Strong of England landed, named sound and island group after Viscount Falkland
  • (1696) British navigator, William Dampier, circumnavigated the Islands
1700s
  • (1701) Frenchman, Jacques Gouin de Beauchene, discovered Beauchene Island
  • (1713) Trade rivalry between Spain, Britain, France led to Treaty of Utrecht, confirmed Spain's control; claim rejected by Great Britain
  • (1740) Lord George Anson of Britain visited, recommended the Islands be used as base by England for exploring Pacific Ocean
  • (1764) Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville established Fort St. Louis on East Falkland, claimed Islands for French
  • (1765) John Byron of Great Britain claimed Saunders Island for Britain
  • (1766) British established Port Egmont on Saunders Island
  • (1767) French Fort St. Louis transferred to Spanish; Spain reimbursed Bougainville £25,000; settlement renamed Puerto Soledad
  • (1770) Spanish forced British withdrawal from Port Egmont; Britain threatened war
  • (1771) Agreement reached between Britain and Spain to avoid war, Spanish made restitution for confiscated goods, Britain reoccupied Port Egmont
  • (1774) Due to economic reasons related to American War of Independence, Britain withdrew overseas garrisons for redeployment of forces
  • (1776) British withdrew naval garrison from Port Egmont, left plaque claiming sovereignty over all Islands
1800s
  • (1811) Spanish evacuated Falklands
  • (1816) United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata (Argentina) claimed independence from Spain
  • (1820) David "Daniel" Jewett took possession of the Islands for the United Provinces
  • (1823) United Provinces granted Frenchman Louis Vernet, concession of land on East Falkland, Captain Pablo Areguati appointed military commandant
  • (1824) Unsuccessful expedition to Islands to exploit wild cattle led by Areguati
  • (1826) Vernet attempted to establish settlement, failed due to Brazilian blockade, Islands' conditions
  • (1828) Vernet successfully established settlement
  • (1828) Vernet appointed governor of the Malvinas (Falkland Islands), British protested Vernet's appointment, reiterated sovereignty claim
  • (1831) Vernet seized three US ships, imprisoned crews for illegal sealing, US Captain Silas Duncan sacked Port Louis, declared the islands free from all government, Duncan offered to take settlers off Island, most accepted
  • (1831) Argentina government sent Major Esteban Mestiver to set up penal colony in Falkland Islands, soldiers mutinied, killed him
  • (1833) Britain re-established control of the Islands. Charles Darwin visited
  • (1840) British approved formation of colony on Islands
  • (1841) General Rosas of Argentina offered to relinquish claim of sovereignty over Islands for relief of Argentine debt to City of Ldondon, British declined
  • (1843) Work began on town of Port Stanley; South Georgia placed under Falkland Islands' administration by Letters of Patent
  • (1845) Stanley became capital of Falkland Islands
  • (1847) Land became available for lease or sale, ship repair industry enhanced by ships rounding Cape Horn on way to California Gold Rush
  • (1849) Chelsea pensioners, families arrived in the Islands
  • (1850) Argentina, Great Britain sighed "Convention between Great Britain and the Argentine Confederation, for the Settlement of existing Differences and the re-establishment of Friendship"
  • (1851) Falkland Islands Company established by Royal Charter
  • (1852) Cheviot sheep introduced to Islands
  • (1878) Peat slide destroyed several houses in Port Stanley
  • (1881) Falkland Islands became financially independent
  • (1884) After period of 34 years, Argentina requested sovereignty dispute be submitted to international arbrtration, Britain ignored request; Argentina issued new map showing Falkland Islands as their territory, Britain protested
  • (1886) Peat slide destroyed exchange building, killed two women
1900s
  • (1914) Battle of Falkland Islands - British Navy fought Imperial German Navy in South Atlantic near Falkland Islands, Britain was victorious
  • (1916) Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, visited Stanley
  • (1920) Falkland Islands Defence Force formed after World War I

Falkland Islands Photographs

john byron william dampier battle of falkland island minefield falkland war memorial hudson volcano

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.