1782 to 1848

1782. Joseph II of Hungary, son of Empress Maria Theresa, issues a 59-point edict reiterating his policy: schooling for children and compulsory attendance at religious services; Romani language, clothing and music are forbidden.

In Hungary, two hundred Roma are accused and charged with cannibalism.

1783. Spanish legislation reiterates previous orders. Gitano dress, way of life, language is forbidden, and settlement is compulsory within ninety days. The name Gitano is forbidden and is to be removed from all official documents. Restrictions on trade and place of residence of Gitanos is lifted. Punishment for failure to observe restrictions is branding. Repeat offenders are sentenced to "death, with no appeal."

Heinrich Grellman of Göttingen University writes Die Zigeuner. Drawing on the works of previous writers, he links India as the original homeland of the Gypsies through their language.

Late 18th century. Count Orlov of Russia organises the first Romani chorus, headed by Ivan Sokolov. The chorus members are selected from his Romani serfs.


Early 1800s. "Gypsy hunts" (Heidenjachten) are a common and popular sport in Germany.

1802. The prefect of the department of Basses Pyrenees in France issues an order "to purge the country of Gypsies."

1803. Napolean Bonaparte prohibits residence of Roma in France. Children, women and the aged are sentenced to the poor house. Young men are given their choice of joining the navy or army. Adult men are sent to forced labour.

1807. Count Orlov of Russia frees the artists of his Romani chorus and they become the first professional chorus in Russia. The group includes the famous Stepanida Soldatova.

1811. Trinity Cooper, a Gypsy girl aged thirteen, demands to be let into a charity school for "ragged children" in Clapham, near London, with her two brothers. They are finally admitted.

1816. John Hoyland, a Quaker, writes the first serious book calling for better treatment for Gypsies in England. Several charitable projects follow; but many Gypsies are transported as criminals to Australia.

1822. In the United Kingdom, the Turnpike Act is introduced. Gypsies found camping on the roadside are fined.

1830s. First wooden horse-drawn covered waggons for Gypsies are developed in England.

1830. Authorities in Nordhausen, Germany remove Roma children from their families for fostering with non-Roma.

1834. The governour of Wallachia, Alexander Ghica, frees all state slaves.

1837. George Borrow translates Saint Luke's Gospel into Romani.

1842. The hospodar of Moldavia, Mihail Sturdza, emancipates all state slaves; however, in Wallachia and Moldavia private ownership of Romani slaves is still legally permitted.

1844. The Moldavian Church liberates its Romani slaves.

1847. The Wallachian Church liberates its Romani slaves.

1848. Emancipation of serfs (including Roma) in Transylvania.