1834 - Born in Naples, Italy; birth of a British historian and politician
1837 - His father, Sir Richard Acton died
1843-1848 - Embarked on a journey at Oscott under Wiseman
1850 - Went to Munich to study under historian Ignaz von Dollinger
1853 - Travelled to USA
1857 - Went to Rome with Dollinger
1858-1862 - Became the part-owner and contributor to liberal Catholic Rambler
1859-1865 - Member of the Parliament for Carlow
1864 - Pius IX's Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors
1864-1868 - Acton's extensive archival researches
1865 - Married Countess Marie von Arco-Valley
1865-1866 - Member of the Parliament for Bridgnorth
1869 - Was offered a peerage by Gladstone for his efforts under Liberal political causes
1869 - Created Baron Acton by Gladstone
1874 - Acton responded to Gladstone's anti-Vatican articles in four letters to The Times
1875 - Feared excommunication but he was spared
1877 - Lectures include "The History of Freedom in Antiquity" and "The History of Freedom in Christianity"
1880-1885 - Advisor to Gladstone's second ministry and advocate of Irish home rule
1887 - Made observation that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" in his letter
1889 - Review of James Bryce's American Commonwealth - became the editor of the Cambridge Modern History, which under his direction became a model of careful scholarship
1892-1895 - Lord in Waiting to Queen Victoria
1895 - He was appointed as Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University; gave out lectures on modern history and the French Revolution
- Also the editor of Cambridge Modern History
1902 - Died at Tegernsee
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- "The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.
Every class is unfit to govern."
- "There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion."
- "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
- "The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities."