Forth Bridge, a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland,
opens on 04 March 1890

  • 04 January First edition of the Daily Graphic, the first British 'picture paper'.
  • 11 January The British government delivers an ultimatum to Portugal forcing the retreat of Portuguese military forces from land between Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola.
  • 06 February An underground explosion at Llanerch Colliery, Abersychan in Monmouthshire kills 176.
  • 15 February Kent Coalfield located.
  • 04 March The longest bridge in Britain, the Forth Bridge (1,710 ft) in Scotland, is opened.
  • 29 March Blackburn Rovers win their fourth FA Cup with a 6-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the final at Kennington Oval, London.
  • 12 May The first official County Championship cricket match begins in Bristol. Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets.
  • 15 May New elected county councils in Scotland, created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, take up their powers. The County of Edinburgh formally adopts the title Midlothian; the formerly administratively separate counties of Ross and Cromarty are merged; and the Shetland county council formally adopts the spelling Zetland.
  • 01 July Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty between the United Kingdom and Germany; Britain cedes Heligoland to Germany in return for Pemba and Zanzibar.
  • 21 July Battersea Bridge over the River Thames opens in London.
  • 08 September The future Edward VII becomes involved in the Royal Baccarat Scandal.
  • September Southampton Dock Strike.
  • 22 October Colony of Western Australia granted self-governing status.
  • November Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, moves to a building on London's Victoria Embankment, as New Scotland Yard.
  • 04 November London's City & South London Railway, the first deep-level underground railway in the world, opens. It runs a distance of 5.1 km (3.2 mi) between the City of London and Stockwell.
  • 17 November Captain Willy O'Shea divorces his wife, Kitty, for adultery; Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, is named as co-respondent.
  • 21 November Edward King, Anglican bishop of Lincoln, is convicted of using ritualistic practices.
  • 18 December British East Africa Company takes control of Uganda.