CHRONOLOGY: EVENTS OF STC PERIOD, 1473-1640
BACKGROUND: END OF THE MIDDLE AGES
House of Lancaster reigns, 1399-1461
Henry IV, 1399-1413
Henry V, 1413-1422;
Henry VI, 1422-1476;
Battle of Agincourt 1415; Northern France in English hands
House of York reigns, 1461-1485;
Henry crowned king of France 1431;
Jeanne d’Arc burnt 1431; English slowly lose France (except
Calais) by 1453; \
End of Hundred Years War (1339-1456); Henry VI goes mad,
Edward IV, 1461-1483
Lancaster and York are enemies in Wars of the Roses, 1455-1485
Edward V, 1483 (murdered)
Richard III, 1483-1485
Printing from moveable type invented ca. 1440-1460 in
Mainz, Germany, by Johannes Gutenberg and others. The art quickly spread
across Europe. Printing in English began with William Caxton. Caxton learned
printing in Cologne, 1471-72, and at Bruges in late 1473/early 1474 he
and probably Colard Mansion printed Recuyell of the Histories of Troy,
the first book printed in English. Returning to England in 1476, Caxton
printed (before 13 December) a broadside indulgence at his new shop in
Westminster, the earliest dated piece of English printing. The earliest
dated book printed in England is the Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers,
printed by Caxton at Westminster in 1477. A number of Caxton’s books without
printed dates may have preceded this work, including the first printing
of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, d.1400
Canterbury Tales, in MS 1387 and after; first printing
Westminster, W. Caxton, 1477
Troilus and Criseyde, in MS 1385, first printing
Westminster, W. Caxton, 1483
Malory, Thomas, Sir, 15th cent.
Le Morte d’Arthur, written before 1471 as The
Book of King Arthur and his Noble Knights; first printed by Caxton at Westminster
Wycliffe, John, d.1384
Wycliffe and his followers (Lollards) were strong advocates
of translating the Bible into English, though translation was heresy. The
first two complete translations by Wycliffites into English, 1384 and 1395,
circulated only in manuscript. But with the advent of printing many excerpts
in English began to appear. Caxton printed fourteen lives of Old Testament
figures in the Golden Legend, 1483. Beginning about 1500 books were
freely paraphrasing or translating passages from the Bible, including the
Ten Commandments, the Credo, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Passion of Christ.
Not until 1525-26 was a complete New Testament printed in William Tyndale’s
translation (see under Henry VIII).
RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION
House of Tudor
Henry VII reigns, 1485-1509
1485 Battle of Bosworth (Aug. 22), Henry Tudor defeats and
kills Richard III and takes crown as Henry VII
1486 Henry marries Elizabeth Plantagenet, daughter of Edward
IV, to strengthen throne; both are descendents of John of Gaunt
Those accused of high treason denied right of sanctuary.
Parliament in ‘Star Chamber’ act gives Privy Council power to punish sedition
and other crimes, strengthening king over nobles. John Morton becomes Lord
Chancellor (and Archbishop); heavily taxes nobility to build up royal treasury.
Expedition against France. Treaty of Etaples; France agrees
not to support pretenders to English throne such as Perkin Warbeck (hanged
1496 John Colet, humanist scholar and friend of Erasmus,
lectures at Oxford, founds St. Paul’s School to encourage Greek learning.
In 1499 Colet persuades his friend Erasmus to begin work on a new translation
of Greek New Testament.
1500 Flemish engineers control flooding in fen district,
1501 Prince Arthur, elder brother of Prince Henry, marries
Catherine of Aragon. Prince Arthur dies 1502 making Henry heir to the throne.
1502 Treaty of perpetual peace between England and Scotland,
followed 1503 by marriage of James IV of Scotland and Princess Mary Tudor
Henry VIII reigns, 1509-1547
1508 Henry VII seriously ill, dies 21 April 1509, succeeded
by Prince Henry as Henry VIII who marries Catherine of Aragon June 11 despite
his reservations about marrying his brother’s widow.
1509 Erasmus, Praise of Folly, written at house of
Thomas More; Erasmus teaching at Cambridge Univ.; first Professor of Greek
1511-14; works on new Latin translation of Greek New Testament (Latin the
language of scholars at the time; Erasmus worked from original Greek text
[Septuagint] rather than the old Latin Vulgate).
1512 Completion of Henry VII chapel at Westminster Abbey;
late gothic fan vaulting.
1513 Henry VIII, allied with father-in-law Ferdinand of Spain,
leads English army against France, wins battle in Flanders but Ferdinand
fails to support him; Henry deserts Ferdinand and joins France, marries
his sister Mary Rose to aged King Louis.
1515 Thomas Wolsey named Cardinal and Lord Chancellor.
1516 Thomas More, Utopia, first published in Latin
in Louvain, Belgium; English translation 1551.
1516 Erasmus publishes new Latin tr. of New Testament.
1516 Francis I is new king of France, Charles V is king of
Spain and in 1519 becomes Emperor; England (Henry VIII with Wolsey) pretends
alliance with each, first 1520 with France at Field of Cloth of Gold, then
1525with Emperor Charles, who defeats and captures Francis in Italy. Princess
(later Queen) Mary, only surviving child of Catherine of Aragon, born.
1517 Martin Luther posts 95 theses at Wittenberg; subsequent
events lead to German Reformation 1521 Wolsey approves burning of Luther’s
writings; Henry publishes Assertion of the Seven Sacraments condemning
1522 Luther publishes German New Testament, based on Erasmus’s
Latin version. 1524 William Tyndale visits Germany seeking a printer for
his English New Testament, also based on Erasmus and Luther versions.
1525 Tyndale’s English New Testament printed in Germany;
1526, 6,000 copies imported, some copies sold in England, but the book
quickly banned by London diocese, then burned at Paul’s Cross.
1525 Wolsey suppresses nunnery, uses funds to found new college,
Christ Church, at Oxford.
1526 Henry publicly favors Anne Boleyn at court.
1527 Henry tells Catherine of Aragon he plans to divorce
her. Catherine’s nephew, Charles V, now controls Papacy, dashing hopes
of papal approval for the divorce. Wolsey’s commission set up to annul
marriage fails to reach decision.
1529 October. Thomas More becomes Lord Chancellor (though
not in favor of royal divorce), replacing Wolsey. Thomas Cranmer appointed
1530 Oxford and Cambridge universities declare in favor of
royal divorce. Wolsey arrested for treason; Wolsey dies while en route
from York to Tower.
1531 Pope orders Henry not to remarry. Henry demands royal
tax "as supreme head of the English church and clergy." Henry moves into
Woodstock Palace with Anne Boleyn.
1532 Thomas More resigns Lord Chancellorship; Thomas Cromwell
of inner council becomes King’s Councillor in chief; Lord Chancellor reduced
in importance; Cromwell becomes Chancellor of Exchequer.
1533 Henry and Anne Boleyn secretly married; Archbishop Cranmer
declares marriage to Catherine of Aragon void and that to Anne Boleyn valid;
(June) coronation of Anne Boleyn; (Sept) birth of Princess (later Queen)
1534 Act of Succession, succession to lie with heirs of Henry
and Anne Boleyn; (Nov) Act of Supremacy, Henry declared Supreme Head of
Church of England. Oath of Supremacy of Henry, not Pope, required of all
religious houses and church leaders, 1535 Cardinal Fisher and Thomas More
oppose supremacy of Henry; both committed to Tower and beheaded. Many Carthusian
monks executed for denying Succession. Plans laid to suppress religious
1535 Miles Coverdale completes translation of Old Testament,
using portion translated by Tyndale and Tyndale’s New Testament to publish
complete English Bible at Cologne Tyndale imprisoned near Brussels by Charles
V forces; executed 1536
1536 Pilgrimage of Grace, uprisings protesting Henry’s religious
changes, dissolution of monasteries and economic effects, led by Robert
Aske in Lincoln and York; pardon is first offered but further northern
risings in early 1537 lead to cruel executions.
1536 Anne Boleyn imprisoned in Tower, indicted for high treason
(adultery) and beheaded. Henry marries Jane Seymour.
1537 James Nicholson, London printer, issues two revised
editions of Coverdale Bible with Henry VIII’s permission but not royal
approval. John Rogers issues (at Antwerp?) so-called Matthew Bible, based
on Tyndale’s, with King’s permission. (1538) Cromwell orders an English
Bible placed in every church.
1537 Prince (later King) Edward born; his mother, Jane Seymour,
dies following childbirth.
1538 Holbein visits European courts, painting portraits of
eligible candidates for Henry’s fourth wife. Larger English monasteries
are targeted for dissolution and begin to surrender. Act of Six Articles
restores conservative Catholic orthodoxy; heavy penalties for doctrinal
1539 Coverdale works under Cromwell’s patronage to modify
radical Protestantism of Matthew Bible; issues his revised version as the
"Great Bible". Printing begins in Paris, but is stopped by French authorities;
some sheets are saved and the type is taken to London where the entire
Bible is printed and finished by April. This is the ancestor of the modern
English Bible; the Psalter in the Book of Common Prayer is today still
virtually unchanged from the Great Bible. This edition placed by Cromwell
in all churches. Also this year Taverner’s Bible published, a revision
of Matthew Bible by Richard Taverner, a Greek scholar on Cromwell’s staff.
While often reprinted until the 1550s Taverner’s Bible had little influence
on later texts, though he introduced important English terms such as parable
and passover, and had a vivid style.
1540 Henry weds Anne of Cleves, though he detests her, in
4th marriage, arranged by Cromwell, who soon falls from power and is accused
of treason. (July) Anne of Cleves marriage annulled; King weds Catherine
Howard in 5th marriage; Cromwell beheaded.
1542 Thomas Wyatt dies; first to use Italian sonnet form
in English; his poems circulate in MS and the love sonnet becomes wildly
popular; first printed in Tottel’s Miscellany (1557) with other
verse by the Earl of Surrey (see below, 1546). Wyatt an early lover (before
Henry) of Anne Boleyn.
1542 Catherine Howard executed for adultery. Marriage planned
between Prince Edward and infant Princess Mary Stuart of Scotland (later,
Mary Queen of Scots) but marriage never arranged; Mary Stuart raised in
France as a Catholic (see 1558).
1543 Henry marries Catherine Parr (his 6th), a moderate Protestant
who influences reform; (1544) Henry orders use of English liturgy in churches.
1544 Henry goes to Calais, besieges and takes Boulogne. John
Cheke, Protestant humanist, appointed tutor to Prince Edward (age 6)
1545 (Dec) King in impassioned speech to Parliament urges
religious unity; (1646) King’s Prymer issued by Cranmer to replace former
1546 Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, poet, sonneteer, and governor
of Boulogne, defeated by French, sentenced to death for treason, executed
Edward VI reigns, 1547-53, under Regency, Somerset (1547-49),
then Northumberland (1549-53)
1553 (Reign of Mary I, 1553-1558)
1547 (Jan) Henry VIII dies; Prince Edward (age 9) succeeds
as Edward VI. By Henry’s will, Regency Council governs until it appoints
Edward Seymour, brother of Queen Jane, as Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset.
Somerset favors toleration, encourages adoption of Book of Common Prayer
as prepared by Cranmer. (After much debate and opposition the new prayer
book is by Act of Uniformity made the prescribed liturgy in 1549.) Catherine
Parr survives Henry and secretly remarries Thomas Seymour, younger brother
of Queen Jane.
1548 Privy Council orders destruction of all religious images
and statues. Bishop Gardiner opposes liberal Protestant policies, imprisoned
in Tower. Death of Catherine Parr in childbirth.
1549 Kett’s Rebellion, against landlords’ enclosures, grain
shortages and other economic hardships, spreads under Somerset’s weak and
vacillating rule; Council sends Somerset to Tower and appoints Warwick
(later Duke of Northumberland) to replace him and quell rebellion.
1550 Act for Removal of Images; wholesale destruction of
sculpture, stained glass and rood screens, Northumberland confiscates and
sells church plate and other treasure. King Edward rebukes Princess Mary
for her continued Catholicism; she ignores him and continues to hold mass
1551 (June) Anglo-Scots Peace Treaty. Severe grain shortage,
1552 Nicholas Udall, Ralph Roister Doister, first
English comedy, performed at Westminster School where Udall is headmaster;
written in rhymed doggerel, modeled on Latin comedies of Plautus and Terence;
first printed 1566.
1552 Revised Book of Common Prayer ordered adopted,
continental influence evident; Mass is totally abolished. Somerset is executed.
1553 Forty-two Articles issued; Eucharist is symbolic, justification
is by faith alone (Zwinglian doctrine). Further seizure of church plate
and other valuables to finance government (June) Edward names Lady Jane
Grey as successor, dies July 6.
1558 (Reign of Elizabeth I, 1558-1603)
1558 (Nov.) Princess Elizabeth acclaimed as Queen, enters
London in triumph. Mary buried at Westminster.
1559 Elizabeth I crowned, reorganizes royal household, appoints
William Cecil (later Lord Burghley) Secretary of State. Philip II proposes
marriage; Elizabeth tells Parliament she has no plans to marry. Acts of
Supremacy and Uniformity passed, reviving all the legislation Mary’s Parliament
had repealed, revoking the heresy acts and Papal supremacy, and enforcing
conformity to the Book of Common Prayer liturgy. Matthew Parker,
a noted moderate, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, uses patronage to
check the spread of Puritanism. .
1559 Thomas Sackville, a diplomat attached to Elizabeth’s
court, writes The Mirror for Magistrates, a collection of verse
tragedies in the form of dramatic monologues about the fall of princes
from power. He followed this with Gorboduc (first acted 1561, printed
1562), in blank verse, the first English tragedy, in collaboration with
1560 Treaty of Edinburgh, Mary Queen of Scots recognizes
Elizabeth as rightful queen of England and a Protestant government is installed
1560 First printing (in Geneva) of the Geneva Bible. Edited
by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, and Thomas Sampson; a careful revision
of Whittingham’s New Testament of 1557, the Old Testament based mainly
on the Great Bible, with corrections based on French and Latin translations.
Often distinctly Calvinistic in tone. The most influential
English version of the Age of Elizabeth, its phrases echoed in Shakespeare;
140 editions of the Geneva Bible appeared between 1560 and 1644. The King
James version of 1611 was influenced more by the Geneva Bible than by any
other version. (Nicknamed the Breeches Bible because of phraseology in
Genesis about Adam and Eve.)
1561 Mary Queen of Scots refuses to ratify Treaty of Edinburgh.
After the death of her French husband Mary returns to Scotland but Elizabeth
refuses Mary safe passage.
1561 First English edition of Castiglione, The Courtier,
translated by Thomas Hoby. A widely read guide, how to succeed at court
both intellectually and socially.
1562 England gains another foothold in France at Le Havre
in exchange for helping French Protestants. Elizabeth ill with smallpox;
Robert Dudley (later, Earl of Leicester), a favorite, named Protector
1563 First English edition of John Foxe, Acts and Monuments
(commonly called Book of Martyrs), an immensely popular defense of Protestant
martyrs of Mary’s reign and a signpost urging Elizabeth to adopt more liberal
Protestant views. Convocation adopts conservative Thirty-Nine Articles
of faith which soft-pedals Protestantism and infuriates Puritans; Elizabeth
refuses to approve Articles until 1571. Constant controversy over clerical
garments; many clergy deprived of livings for refusing to wear the surplice,
a holdover from Catholic ritual. Oath of Supremacy required of all college
graduates, schoolmasters, and members of Parliament.
1564 Elizabeth proposes that Robert Dudley marry Mary of
Scotland. Instead (1565), to strengthen her claim as successor to Elizabeth,
Mary marries her cousin Henry Stuart, Earl of Darnley, a Catholic. Darnley
is third in line for the English throne (Mary is 2nd). Calais handed back
to France in Treaty of Troyes.
1565 Puritan supporters centered at St. John’s College, Cambridge,
seek to liberalize Church of England. Debates and bills about the Church
introduced in Parliament cause Elizabeth to declare religion a royal prerogative,
forbidding debate on the subject in Parliament (1566).
1566 Darnley, seeking Mary’s crown in his own right, involved
in coup that leads to murder of his opponent David Rizzio, Mary of Scotland’s
powerful and influential private secretary. Mary does not forgive Darnley
and denies him political power. (June) birth of Prince James Stuart, later
James VI of Scotland, and still later James I of England (1603-25), only
son of Mary of Scotland and Lord Darnley. Mary falls under influence of
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.
1567 Darnley murdered in Edinburgh, Bothwell accused but
acquitted of crime. He abducts Mary of Scotland and takes her to Dunbar
Castle,where he marries her. Mary and Bothwell defeated by nobles in battle
at Carberry Hill, Bothwell flees to Denmark. (July) Nobles all turn against
Mary. Mary abdicates in favor of her infant son James VI of Scotland; Earl
of Moray, former Protestant advisor to Mary, becomes Regent.
1568 Mary of Scotland defeated in further battles by Scottish
nobles, flees to England, becomes prisoner of English government. College
founded at Douai (former spelling, Douay), France, to train English Catholic
1568 First issue of the Bishops’ Bible, a revision of Coverdale’s
Great Bible by Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the assistance
of many bishops and scholars. The Greek scholarship is better than the
Hebrew, hence the Old Testament revision is less successful. In typography
and illustration the most sumptuous of the folio Bibles of the period.
Many issues of this version were printed, including a quarto edition with
corrections which became the final text.
1569 Revolt of the Northern (Catholic) Earls in favor of
Mary of Scotland; the rebellion is quickly crushed, 450 executed.
1570 Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster, a widely used
guide for the teaching of Latin in schools and an influential philosophy
of education, advocating persuasion rather than physical punishment. Ascham
was also an early advocate of English as a literary language. He was tutor
to Princess Elizabeth, 1550-53, and Latin Secretary to her as Queen.
1570 Regent Moray shot dead in Scotland, succeeded by Earl
of Lennox. Papal bull excommunicates Elizabeth, urges Catholics to revolt
and oppose her; however most English Catholics are loyal to her.
1571 Mary of Scotland’s supporters kill Earl of Lennox, Regent.
All churches are ordered to display Foxe’s Acts and Monuments. Elizabeth
approves Thirty-Nine Articles (first proposed 1563), a conservative, anti-Puritan
document defining the doctrine of the Church of England, but now revised
to clarify so-called medieval corruptions of Catholic teaching. Parliament
passes Subscription Act, ordering all clergy ordained since 1509 (Henry
VIII) to swear obedience to the Thirty-Nine Articles. Ridolfi plot hatched
by Italian Catholic banker and Duke of Norfolk discovered; plan was to
murder the Queen, marry Norfolk to Mary of Scotland and place them on the
English throne. Norfolk executed, intense anti-Catholic feeling aroused.
1572 Puritans in Parliament seek law permitting each congregation
to amend Book of Common Prayer to suit its needs (excepting only
Catholics); Queen forces the bill’s withdrawal. Huguenot refugees from
St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre arrive in England.
1573 Francis Walsingham appointed Secretary of State; a staunch
Protestant, he opposed Mary of Scotland, unravelled Ridolfi Plot,and organized
a secret service. Queen permits Robert Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, to
attack and reduce rebel Irish forces prior to English colonization (plantation)
of Ulster; he captures Brian O’Neill and executes him, sparking further
rebellion (1574); Queen withdraws support. Drake captures huge Spanish
treasure in West Indies and lands it at Plymouth; Queen fears threat to
relations with Spain.
1575 Archbishop of Canterbury Parker dies; he is replaced
by Edmund Grindal, then Archbishop of York.
1576 George Gascoigne, The Steele Glas, in blank verse,
the first English satire. Gascoigne also translated and adapted Greek and
Italian plays; including the first Greek tragedy performed in English,
Euripedes’ Phoenician Women, staged at Gray’s Inn in 1566.
1577 "Prophesyings," public conferences held in towns by
local ministers to discuss often radical Puritan views, seen as threat
to Church by Queen Elizabeth. She demands Archbp. Grindal ban Prophesyings;
he refuses and is placed under house arrest.
1578 John Lyly, Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit, sometimes
called the first English novel, with a precious style, characterized by
alliteration and antithesis, called euphuism. Lyly was a witty figure at
court and a member of Parliament. He wrote plays based on Roman comedy.
Also 1578: Raphael Holinshead, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and
Ireland, a principal source for plots of history plays by Shakespeare
and other Elizabethan dramatists
1581 Edmund Campion, Oxford graduate, earned favor from Queen
for brilliant debating; ordained in Church of England but at Catholic College
of Douai became a Jesuit priest, secretly ministered to English Catholic
families; betrayed and arrested, tortured and hanged; four other Catholics
hanged (1578-81); Parliament passes acts demanding obedience to Church
of England and voting death for priests saying mass.
1583 Death of Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury; he
is replaced by John Whitgift , Bishop of Worcester. Whitgift draws up list
of queries to interrogate suspect nonconformist ministers, issues anti-Puritan
1586 Philip Sidney, poet and statesman, governor of Flushing
(Vlissingen), killed in battle of nearby Zutphen at age 32, attempting
to free Netherlands from Spanish rule. None of his work was published in
his lifetime, notably Arcadia, a pastoral narrative, the first of
consequence in English. A later version, dedicated to his sister Mary,
was published in 1593 under the title The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.
Trial of Mary of Scotland at Fotheringhay Castle, England.. Mary is found
guilty of treason. Elizabeth refuses to sign death warrant, but Mary is
executed anyway under a new act of Parliament.
1587 Peter Wentworth, member of Parliament, argues for right
to debate religious matters, having previously sought to replace Book of
Common Prayer with Genevan prayer book. Queen sends him and two other MPs
to prison. (Wentworth later dies during an imprisonment.)
1588 Government arrests and executes 31 Catholic priests.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, a young favorite at court,
becomes Master of the Horse (see 1598 for his later career).
1588-1594 Shakespeare’s early plays on stage, including history
plays Henry VI, pt. 1-3, Richard III comedies such ascomedies such as
Love"s Labour’s Lost and Taming of the Shrew.
1589 Edmund Spenser begins epic poem, The Fairie Queen,
completed 1596, cast in antique language as a pastoral romance. Also in
1589, because of subversive Marprelate tracts, Royal proclamation issued
against seditious printers.
1591 Robert Cecil made a Privy Councillor; Edward Seymour
returns to favor.; Christopher Hatton , Lord Chancellor, dies Nov. 21.
1593 Christopher Marlowe, author of many plays including
Tamburlaine, Jew of Malta, Edward II, Dr. Faustus, dies in tavern
brawl under suspicious circumstances. .Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia
1594-8 Shakespeare’s plays on stage include Romeo and
Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV pts. 1-2., Henry V, Merchant
of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing.
1594 Richard Hooker publishes Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall
Politie, Books I-IV, Book V, 1597; important contribution to political
thought, defends Elizabethan church against Puritans..
1595 University of Cambridge divided by Calvinist doctrine
of predestination. Archbishop Whitgift agrees to Calvinist set of principles
known as Lambeth Articles.
1596 Robert Cecil made principal royal secretary, increased
favir with Queen. Poor harvest, severe plague; plays forbidden in London
in July because of plague. Shortage of grain in 1596-98 leads to food riots
in Kent and other counties.
1597 Robert Devereux, 2nd. Earl of Essex, becomes Earl Marshal,
in favor again at court; 1599; Governor--General of Ireland; makes truce
with Tyrone and returns to London without permission; charged with unlawful
treaty with enemy and other plots against Queen; executed as traitor 1601
1598-1603 Shakepeare’s plays on stage include AsYou Like
It, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida.
1598 Ben Jonson’s first important play, Every Man in his
Humour, on stage; later plays include Volpone, The Alchemist, Bartholomew
1601 Monopolies of products grow, Parliament discusses abuses;
Queen soothes their concerns.
1602 Robert Cecil entertains Queen at Strand house; Queen
noted to be unwell and infirm.
Death of Queen Elizabeth March 24; she names James VI of
Scotland as successor with dying breath
1553 August 3, Mary Tudor acclaimed Queen, Lady Jane sent
to Tower. Mary informs Parliament she will marry Philip of Spain, rejects
title of Supreme Head of English Church.
1554 Lady Jane Grey executed, Princess Elizabeth briefly
imprisoned in Tower. Mary orders bishops to suppress heresy, beginning
long period of Protestant martyrdom. Parliament undoes all anti-papal legislation
since 1529 and ends Henry’s Reformation. Many English Bibles destroyed
throughout Mary’s reign. Married clergy are deprived of livings. However,
monastic lands are not restored.
1555 Mary earns title ‘Bloody Mary’ as 300 Protestants are
burnt at stake during her reign, including Archbishop Cranmer (replaced
by Cardinal Pole).
1556 Refoundation of some monastic houses, including Westminster
Abbey. Pole recalled to Rome on charge of heresy; Mary keeps him in England,
rejects papal nominee as Legate.
1557 Whittingham’s English New Testament printed at Geneva
by Conrad Badius. This is a distinct work by one translator and forms the
groundwork for the New Testament in the Geneva Bible of 1560, though not
the same. It is the first English Testament printed in roman type. (William
Whittingham married the sister of Calvin’s wife.)
1558 Calais, last English bastion in France, surrenders to
French. Mary Queen of Scots marries French dauphin, Francis. (Nov) Death
of Queen Mary.
House of Stuart
Reign of James I, 1603-1625
Reign of Charles I, 1625-1649
1603 James VI named James I of England. Robert Cecil made
Lord Cecil of Essendon
Hampton Court Conference called by King to seek reconciliation
of differences between puritans and bishops; conference unsuccesful and
King warns puritans they must conform. Teachers must accept king’s supremacy
and acknowledge the Church of England as the true church. James I declared
King of Great Britain (Union of England and Scotland).
Gunpowder Plot (catholic) to blow up king and parliament
uncovered (Nov.); Guy Fawkes caught as he was about to light the fuse.
Francis Bacon publishes his Advancement of Learning, made Solicitor
General(1607) and Attorney General (1613).
1604-1613 Shakespeare’s plays on stage include Macbeth,
King Lear, Coriolanus, Pericles, The Tempest, Henry VIII
John Webster’s play The White Devil on stage.
Authorized version of the Bible published.
1612 Robert Cecil dies; (1614) Thomas Howard appointed Lord
Orlando Gibbons, Madrigals and Motets, published.
History of the World by Sir Walter Raleigh suppressed
for being "too saucy to princes".
Inigo Jones, architect, appointed Surveyor of the King’s
Works; (1616) Jones begins work on the Queen’s House at Greenwich; (1619-22)
after fire destroys old Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, Jones designs and
completes new structure.
1619 William Harvey explains his discovery of the circulation
of the blood in lectures at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Sir Francis Bacon , Lord Chancellor, fined and dismissed
from office over his sanction of monopolies.
1623 John Webster’s play, The Duchess oif Malfi, published.
Death of James I and accession of Charles I.
Peter Paul Rubens visits England and is commissioned to paint
for Charles I. Anthony van Dyck, pupil of Rubens, appointed court painter
(1632), settles in England.
1633 George Herbert’s Poems published; Philip Massinger’s
New Way to Pay Old Debts published.
John Milton’s Comus published, (1638) hia Lycidas published.
William Prynne sentenced to loss of ears for his attacks
on stage plays
Ship money, a tax on coastal towns for their protection from
attack, revived by Charles I, becomes increasingly unpopular, (1641) made
illegal by Long Parliament.
William Juxon, Bishop of London, made Lord Treasurer.
English Book of Common Prayer imposed in Scotland, leads
to riots in Edinburgh. Royal proclamation (1638) makes any protests acts
1640 John Donne’s Eighty Sermons published.
1640 Impeachment of Archbishop William Laud for treason;
Laud imprisoned in Tower, executed 1645.
Parliament abolishes the Star Chamber, effectively ending
licensing laws, greatly increasing freedom of the press.
Closing of all theatres ordered by the Long Parliament. First
major battle of the Civil War fought at Edgehill.