Chronography of Great Britain to 31/12/1899

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�As for Britain, it is set in the Sea of Darkness. It is a considerable island, whose shape is that of the head of an ostrich, and where there are flourishing towns, high mountains, great rivers and plains. This country is most fertile; its inhabitants are brave, active and enterprising, but all is in the grip of perpetual winter." Muhammad Al Idrisi, 12th century Arab



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19/5/1898, William Ewart Gladstone, born 29/12/1809, four times Liberal Prime Minister, died at Hawarden Castle, north Wales, aged 88.

15/11/1897, British Labour leader Aneurin Bevan was born in Tredegar, Wales.He was one of 13 children, son of a miner.

23/9/1893, Thomas Hawkesley, English engineer, died (born 12/7/1807).

21/5/1897, Sir Augustus Franks, English antiquary, died (20/3/1826).

12/6/1897, Anthony Eden, Conservative Prime Minister, was born at Windlestone Hall, Bishop Auckland, Durham.He later became the Earl of Avon.

27/12/1896, Sir John Brown, Sheffield armour plate manufacturer, died (born 6/12/1816).

1895, The National Trust was founded, to �preserve lands and buildings of historic interest or natural beauty for public access and benefit�.

29/12/1895. Leander Starr Jameson, an agent of the British South Africa Company, invaded the Boer Republic of Transvaal with 470 men. On 2/1/1896 Jameson surrendered At Doorn Kop after a defeat at Krugersdorp. On 3/1/1896 Kaiser William II sent a telegram to Paul Kruger congratulating him on the defeat of Jameson. This caused outrage in Britain, which saw the telegram as an attempt by Germany to expand its influence in Africa. Britain mocked the German Navy, saying it would be �child�s play� for the British Navy to wipe it out. Wilhelm I now decided on a course of massive expansion of the German Navy, seeing Britain no longer as an ally but a potential threat.

See South Africa for events of Boer War

15/5/1895, Joseph Whitaker, who founded Whitaker�s Almanac in 1869, died.

24/1/1895, Lord Randolph Churchill, founder of the British Conservative Party, died.

1894, The Trafford Park industrial estate, Manchester, opened. By 1939 it was the largest in the country, with 200 works on 1,200 acres employing 50,000 people.

18/9/1894,The Blackpool Tower opened. It is a 500 foot high replica of the Eiffel Tower.

1/9/1894, The first use of postcards with adhesive stamps in Britain.

7/9/1893, (1) The Featherstone Massacre. In Yorkshire, striking miners campaigning for a living wage were fired upon; soldiers killed 2 and wounded 16.

(2) Leslie Hore-Belisha, British Liberal politician, was born in Devonport.

14/1/1893, The UK Labour Party was founded in Bradford, W Yorks.

16/9/1892, Edward Neale, British Co-operative promoter, died.

18/8/1892. In Britain, William Ewart Gladstone formed his fourth Liberal Government after his election defeat of the Conservatives under Lord Salisbury.

11/8/1892, (1) The Marquess of Salisbury left office as Prime Minister.

(2) Hugh McDaimid, Scottish poet and founder of the Scottish Nationalist Party, was born.

18/7/1892, Pioneer travel agent Thomas Cook died.

15/7/1892, Thomas Cooper, Chartist, died (born 20/3/1805).

4/7/1892, James Kier Hardie, standing in the General Election at Holytown, Lanarkshire, became the first Socialist to win a seat in the British Parliament. He was MP for the London docklands area of West Ham. He was elected as an independent socialist but planned to form a Labour party to represent the workers. See 14/1/1893.

28/6/1892, Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, British politician, died.

13/4/1892, Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris, RAF Marshal was born. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, and was appointed Commander in Chief of the RAF Bomber Command in 1942. From 1942 on he developed and applied the technique of �saturation bombing� to Axis occupied cities, totally demolishing them.

2/3/1892, Sir John Coode, British engineer, died (born 11/11/1816).

10/12/1891, Earl Alexander, British Army Commander in North Africa, and Italy in World War II, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland.

8/10/1891, The first street collection for charity took place in Britain. It was on the streets of Manchester and Salford, for Lifeboat Day.

6/10/1891, Death of W H Smith, the bookseller.

25/9/1891, The foundation of Blackpool Tower was laid.

2/6/1891, Sir John Hawkshaw, British engineer, died (born 1811).

31/5/1889, Britain passed the Naval Defence Act in response to the growing naval power of both Russia and France.

24/4/1889, Sir Stafford Cripps, the Labour Chancellor who introduced austerity measures in Britain after the Second World War, was born.

12/1/1889, Churchill Babington, English archaeologist, died in Suffolk (born in Roecliffe, 11/3/1821).

6/8/1888, Elected County Councils were established in Britain through the local Government Act.

9/7/1888, Simon Marks, British retailer, was born in Leeds.

1887, Victoria Park, 16 acres was laid out in Salisbury.

8/6/1886, In Britain the Liberal Government�s Irish Home Rule Bill was defeated when 95 Liberal Unionists sided with the Conservative opposition. The Conservatives won the resulting General Election of 24/7/1886. A second Salisbury Government was formed, which lasted until 1892 and included Salisbury�s nephew Andrew James Balfour as Chief Secretary for Ireland.

1/2/1886, William Gladstone resumed office as Prime Minister.

28/1/1886, The Marquess of Salisbury left office as Prime Minister.

22/10/1885, James Fraser, English Bishop, died (born 18/8/1818). He did much to secure the provision of churches for the rapidly-growing population of Manchester, exceeding even the efforts of his predecessor, James Lee, who had consecrated 130 Manchester churches.

23/6/1885, The Marquess of Salisbury took up post as Prime Minister.

9/6/1885, William Gladstone left office as Prime Minister.

1884, The Fabian Society was founded. Named after the Roman General Fabius Maximus Cunctator (The Delayer), noted for his cautious military tactics, the Fabians adopted a gradualist approach to socialist reform. The movement was closely associated with the founding of the British Labour Party.

6/12/1884, The Franchise Act, or Third Parliamentary Reform Act was passed, giving almost all adult males the vote. However domestic servants, bachelors living with their parents, and those of no fixed address were still voteless. This measure increased the electoral roll by some 2 million, four times the number added in 1832.

26/12/1883, Thomas Holloway, English philanthropist, died (born 22/9/1800).

4/10/1883, Sir William Alexander Smith founded the Boys Brigade in Glasgow.

3/10/1883, Burnham Beeches was dedicated to public use for all time.

1/8/1883, Inland parcel post began in Britain.

24/4/1882, Lord Dowding, British Air Force Commander who won the Battle of Britain, was born in Moffat, Scotland.

26/7/1881, George Borrow, English traveller, died (born in East Dereham, Norfolk 5/7/1803).

19/4/1881, Benjamin Disraeli, British Conservative Prime Minister, died. He was buried at Hughenden, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Robert Gascoyne Cecil, Lord Salisbury, was chosen to replace him as leader of the Conservative Party.

7/3/1881, Ernest Bevin, Labour Party politician, was born in Winsford, Somerset.

22/12/1880, George Elliot died.

28/11/1880, Mark Firth, British steel maker and philanthropist, died (born 25/4/1819).

13/9/1880, In Britain, Parliament passed the Employer�s Liability Act, giving compensation to employees injured at work.

15/4/1880, In Britain the Liberals won the General Election. Prime Minister William Gladstone took over from Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield.

18/9/1879, Blackpool�s first annual illuminations were switched on.

23/4/1879, First Royal Shakespeare Theatre opened in Stratford on Avon (replaced by a new one on 23/4/1932).

14/12/1878, Mary Alice Maud, 3rd child of Queen Victoria, died (born 25/4/1843 in Buckingham Palace).

13/9/1877, Manchester Town Hall opened.

23/8/1877, Britain passed the Merchandise Act, obliging exporters to indicate the place of manufacture of their goods.

13/8/1877, Birkenhead, near Liverpool, became a borough; John Laird was the first Mayor.

20/9/1876, Sir Titus Salt, born 20/9/1803, died.

3/8/1876, Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister in the 1920s and 30s, was born.

7/5/1876, Samuel Courtauld, British industrialist and arts patron, was born in Braintree, Essex.

25/8/1875, Matthew Webb, 27, from Shropshire, became the first person to swim the English Channel. He took 21 hours 45 minutes, using the breast-stroke,from Admiralty Pier, Dover, to Calais.

8/7/1875, John Cairnes, British political economist, died (born 1823).

26/12/1874, Boxing Day was first recognised as a Bank Holiday in the UK.

30/11/1874, Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

15/9/1874, The Prince of Wales visited France. This was the first visit there by a member of the British Royal Family since the French revolution.

5/4/1874, Birkenhead Park, the first publically-funded park in Britain and model for Central Park, New York, opened.

21/2/1874, Disraeli became UK Prime Minister; he served until 1880.

17/2/1874, William Gladstone left office as Prime Minister.

6/9/1873, Austin Reed, men�s outfitter, was born in Newbury, Berkshire.

9/5/1873, Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun�s tomb in 1922, was born at Swaffham, Norfolk.

1872, Hastings Pier opened.

18/7/1872, Britain passed the Ballot Act, providing for secret ballots at elections.

24/10/1871, The Aurora Borealis was seen as far south as southern England.

18/6/1871, The Test Act allowed students at Oxford and Cambridge universities to gain degrees and fellowships without subscribing to any particular religion.

29/5/1871, Whit Monday, became the first Bank Holiday in Britain.

25/5/1871, The House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act, creating public holidays on Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Christmas Day. Monday

18/3/1869, Neville Chamberlain, British Conservative Prime Minister 1937 to 1940 was born in Birmingham.

10/12/1868. The first edition of Whitakers Almanack was published.

9/12/1868. Following a Liberal General Election victory, William Ewart Gladstone formed the next UK government, defeating Disraeli.This was the first of Gladstone�s four terms of office as Prime Minister.

8/11/1868, Viscount Lee of Fareham, who gave the Buckinghamshire country house Chequers to the nation in 1921, was born.

12/7/1868, The Scottish Reform Act was passed.

28/3/1868. The Earl of Cardigan, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade (25/10/1854) to disaster at Balaclava, in the Crimean War, died. He is best remembered for the woollen garment named after him.

17/2/1868. Ill health caused the resignation of the Conservative Prime Minister Lord Derby. He was succeeded by Benjamin Disraeli on 29/2/1868.

12/11/1867, The Conservative Party held their first Annual Parry Conference, in a London pub, the Freemasons in Great Queen Street.

15/8/1867. By a Parliamentary Reform Act, one million more voters were added to the UK electorate, mostly urban ratepayers. Those who owned house and paid rates, or lodgers paying more than �10 a year rent, could now vote.The enfranchised population of the UK now stood at 7.9%.

3/8/1867, Stanley Baldwin, British Conservative and three times Prime Minister between 1923 and 1937, was born at Bewdley, Worcestershire, the only son of a wealthy industrialist and member of parliament. The author Rudyard Kipling was Baldwin's cousin on his mother's side of the family

1866, Britain passed the Metropolitan Commons Act, prohibiting any further enclosure (for private housing development) of urban commons lands. This Act was largely the result of disputes over development of common lands around London, Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon and Epping Forest in particular. The rapid expansion of Britain�s towns and cities put great pressure on common lands. In London the Lord of Hampstead Manor in the early 19th century, Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, had fought a legal battle from 1829 onwards to be allowed to build on Hampstead Heath. After the passage of the Metropolitan Commons Act, and the death of Sir Thomas Wilson in 1868, his heir withdrew from the legal fight. The Metropolitan Board of Works then bought the rights to Hampstead Heath for �45,000 (Sir Thomas Wilson had been asking for �400,000) and Hampstead Heath became public property.

12/10/1866. Ramsay MacDonald, who in 1924 became Britain�s first Labour Prime Minister, was born in Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland.

6/7/1866, In Britain, Lord Derby formed a government following the resignation of Lord John Russell over the defeat of his Reform Bill.

11/5/1866, London was hit by a financial panic, �Black Friday�.

18/10/1865. Lord Palmerston died, two days short of his 81st birthday. He was staying at his wife�s house, Brockett Hall in Welwyn,Hertfordshire, when struck by fever. He was Secretary for War, Foreign Secretary, and then Prime Minister during a time when Britain was the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. When he was born, on 20/10/1784, Britain had a population of 9 million, 80% of whom worked in agriculture. When he died, Britain had a population of 29 million, 60% of whom worked in manufacturing.

22/9/1865, George Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, died.

11/3/1864, The Dale Dyke Dam in Yorkshire burst, flooding Sheffield from the Bradfield Reservoir and killing 240 people

1/2/1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark. Although the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was pro-German, the British Prince Edward, the future King Edward VII � who had only months earlier married Alexandra of Denmark � was shocked; they supported Denmark. The Second Schleswig War began. This event ensured that under King Edward VII�s reign, British foreign policy was pro-Danish, anti-German, and Britain formed a triple entente with France and Russia against Germany.

16/10/1863, Sir Austin Chamberlain, British politician, was born in Birmingham.

27/5/1863, Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane at Crowthorne, Berkshire was opened.

13/10/1861, Sir William Cubitt, British engineer, died (born 1785).

19/6/1861, Earl Haig, British military commander in WWI, was born.

23/4/1861, Viscount Allenby, British World War One Army Commander, was born in Brackenhurst, Nottinghamshire.

See India for British colonisation of India

20/2/1861, In a gale, the 82 metre high spire of Chichester Cathedral collapsed.

3/2/1861, Edwin Cannan, British economist, was born.

25/2/1860, James William Ashley, English economist, was born in London.

23/1/1860, Britain and France signed a Treaty of Reciprocity, establishing free trade between them.

28/6/1859, The first dog show in the UK took place at Newcastle on Tyne Town Hall, with 60 entries split between two classes, Pointers and Setters.

18/6/1859, Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister.

21/2/1859, Viscount Palmerston left office as Prime Minister.

24/11/1858, A legal case in Dorset caused the UK Parliament to standardise time to GMT across the country. A judge in a land case in Dorset ruled against a man who had failed to turn up for a 10,00 am case, at 10.06. Two minutes later he turned up and claimed he was on time, by the station clock of his home town, Carlisle in Cumbria. At that time all towns set their clocks by their own, local, noon, meaning accurate rail timetables were problematic. By 1850 the rail companies all used London time, adding to confusion as provincial clocks often had two minute hands, one for local time, one for London time. The case was re-tried, and in 1880 Parliament ordered the entire country keep Greenwich Mean Time.

1/1/1858, John Britton, English antiquary died (born 7/7/1771).

11/1/1857. Birth of Henry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Britain�s first large department store. Also on this day was born the champion jockey Fred Archer.

1856, An Army Staff College was set up at Sandhurst.

15/8/1856, Kier Hardie, Labour leader, was born near Holytown, Lanarkshire.He helped found the Labour Party.

18/4/1856, Aldershot Camp was publically inaugurated by Queen Victoria.

29/1/1856. Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross, Britain�s highest military decoration. Awarded for conspicuous bravery or great devotion to duty. The award was backdated to 1854 to cover the Crimean War; on 26/6/1856 62 men were given the Victoria Cross for deeds during this war. The VC has been awarded 1,354 times since then, to 2002, but has only been given posthumously since 1920. It has been awarded only 11 times since 1945, the last 2 being in the Falklands War of 1982. The medal is made of metal from Russian guns captured in the Crimean War.

19/2/1855. Bread riots broke out in Liverpool.

9/2/1855, Mysterious hoof-prints appeared in the snow in Devon, as if a two legged creature had walked 100 miles over fields, walls, and roof-tops. No explanation was ever found.

6/2/1855, The Whig/Liberal Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister. He succeeded Lord Aberdeen, who resigned on 20/1/1855.

For Crimean War see Russia 1850s

1854, The UK Govermnent purchased a large tract of moorland known as Aldershot Heath, to set up Aldershot Camp. This was to enable military practices in a large enough area to allow for brigade and divison manoeuvres in peacetime, since this had not been done since the Napoleonic Wars with France.

26/9/1854, Thomas Denman, English Judge, died (born 23/7/1779).

21/6/1854, The first Victoria Cross was awarded, to Charles Lucas, a 20-year-old Irishman who threw an unexploded Russian bomb overboard, whilst on HMS Hecla at Bomarsund in the Baltic.

9/1/1854, Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill, was born.

1/4/1853, Manchester, UK, was constituted a city.

26/10/1852, Henry Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, died.

13/10/1852, Birth of Lilly Langtry, actress and mistress to King Edward VII.

14/9/1852, The Duke of Wellington, victor at Waterloo, died at Walmer Castle, Kent, aged 83, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

1851, Saltaire Village, near Shipley, Yorkshire, was opened by Sir Titus Salt as model housing for his workers The solid stone houses were served by a wash-house, hospital, library, concert hall, gym and science laboratory.

24/7/1851, In Britain the Window Tax was abolished.

8/7/1851, Sir Arthur John Evans, British archaeologist who excavated Knossos on Crete, was born.

19/4/1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other�s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.

29/12/1849, William Cunningham, English economist, was born.

26/6/1849, Britain repealed the Navigation Acts, protectionst legislation favouring the Merchant Navy that dated back to the mid-17th century.

13/2/1849, Lord Randolph Churchill, British Conservative politician and father of Winston Churchill, was born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

31/1/1849, Britain�s Corn Laws were abolished.

1848, Manchester prohibited the construction of back-to-back housing. However such accommodation was still being constructed in Leeds until after 1900.

19/1/1848, Matthew Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel, was born in Dawley, Shropshire, the son of a doctor.

1847, The British Army replaced service for life by a minimum ten-year term.

16/5/1845, Charles Chubb, English locksmith and safe-maker, died.

13/5/1845, Alexander Baring Ashburton, English baron and financier, died.

19/2/1845, Sir Thomas Buxton, English philanthropist, died (born 1/4/1786).

6/8/1844, Albert Ernst Albert, 4th child of Queen Victoria (died 30/7/1900) was born at Windsor Castle.

25/4/1843, Mary Alice Maud, 3rd child of Queen Victoria, was born in Buckingham Palace (died 14/12/1878).

1842, The first public laundry opened, in Manchester. It was not a place for the respectable.

1841, Norfolk Park, Sheffield, was laid out as a public park.

28/8/1841, The Conservative leader Sir Robert Peel succeeded the Whig, Lord William Melbourne, as Prime Minister. Under Peel�s second term in office, he intended to reduce import duties to promote free trade.

28/1/1841, Henry Stanley, British explorer and journalist, was born at Denbigh, north Wales, as John Rowlands.

30/3/1840, Beau Brummel, Regency Dandy, died at Caen in a pauper�s lunatic asylum. He had fled Britain to escape gambling debts.

1/7/1837, The first Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages was begun in England and Wales. The first entry was for the birth of a baby girl, Mary Ann Aaaron, born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

27/12/1836, A landslide at Lewes, Sussex, swallowed up houses and killed 8 people.

See Economy & Prices for more events related to Chartist Movement

17/8/1836, Registration of all births, marriages, and deaths in Britain was required under the Registration Act.

9/9/1835, The Municipal Corporation Act in Britain reformed city and town government in line with the major population shifts brought on by the Industrial Revolution. The old ruling oligarchies of borough councils were replaced by elected councils, elected by all rate paying householders of three year�s standing. Tory lawyers, Anglican clergy, and the aristocracy lost power to small shopkeepers, businessmen, Non-conformists, and better off members of the working class. This paved the way for public improvements like street widening, public utilities such as gas and water, and a municipal fire service.

18/4/1835, In Britain, William Lamb, Lord Melbourne, formed a new Whig administration after the resignation of Sir Robert Peel.

10/12/1834, Following the resignation of UK Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel became PM.

16/7/1834, In Britain, Lord Melbourne, Whig, became Prime Minister.

9/7/1834, In Britain, Lord Grey resigned as Prime Minister.

22/4/1834, Saint Helena became a British colony.


Swing Riots and electoral reform

29/1/1833, The Reform Parliament of Great Britain opened.

4/6/1832, The Representation of the People Act received Royal Assent. It introduced electoral reform in Britain. Smaller property owners were given the vote (tenant farmers paying �50 or more a year in rent), extending the electorate to 20% of adult males, twice as many as before. However the ballot was till not secret, until 18/7/1872. Landlords often evicted tenants who failed to vote for the candisate the landlord supported. Furthermore, 56 �rotten boroughs� with a total population of 2,000 were abolished, and some rural areas lost one of their two MPs. New constituencies were created in the expanding industrial towns of Manchester, Birmingham, and elsewhere. There was resistance in the House of Lords from 21 bishops.

31/10/1831, Riots in Bristol raised fears of revolution breaking out across Britain. Four of the rioters were executed.

10/10/1831, Three days of rioting in Derby (8-10 October) following the defeat in the House of Lords of the Reform Bill. This Bill, which passed its Third reading in the Commons in September 1831, would have enlarged the electorate. Further riots in Bristol, 29-31 October. In April 1832 a second Reform Bill was passed by the House of Lords.

10/8/1831, George Goschen, British statesman, was born (7/2/1907).

8/1830, The Swing Revolt got underway in Kent, spreading rapidly to other counties in the South East. �Captain Swing� was the pseudonym used by the rebels when they threatened the destruction of machinery unless wages were raised or tihe payments cut. Impoverished agricultural workers destroyed 387 threshing machines and 26 other agricultural machines across 22 counties between now and September 1832. Machinery worth �20,000 was destroyed, and a further �100,000 damage done through arson. See Luddites 3/1811. Agricultural wages were raised, at least temporarily, and the spread of labour-saving threshing machines was curbed. However the Swing Revolt resulted in the execution of 19 labourers and the transportation to Australia of nearly 500 more.


13/4/1829. The Catholic Emancipation Act became law. Catholics were allowed to hold every public office except those of Regent, Lord Chancellor, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. This was a concession reluctantly granted by the British Conservative government of the Duke of Wellington, following Catholic agitation in Ireland by Daniel O�Connell and the Catholic Association.

26/1/1828, The Duke of Wellington became Tory Prime Minister.

25/1/1828. The Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel formed a Conservative government.

13/8/1827, The first giraffe arrived in Britain.

16/7/1827, Pottery expert Josiah Spode died.

17/2/1827, The Earl of Liverpool left post as Prime Minister, paralysed by a stroke.

17/1/1827, The Duke of Wellington was appointed Commander in Chief of the British Army.

10/11/1826, Joseph Arch, English politician and founder of the National Agricultural Labourers Union, was born in Barlford, Warwickshire.

20/3/1826, Sir Augustus Franks, English antiquary, was born (died 212/5/1897).

24/6/1825. William Henry Smith, English newsagent and bookseller, was born. He joined his father�s news agency business and took full control in 1846, building the biggest chain of newsagents in Britain.

1824, The UK Government standardised official weights and measures across Britain.

22/3/1824, The British Government agreed to spend �57,000 to purchase 38 paintings to establish a national collection.

25/11/1823, Brighton�s Chain Pier was opened.

14/2/1822, The increasing popularity of Valentines Cards forced the Post Office to employ extra sorters. See 14/2/1477.

7/8/1821, Caroline, Queen of King George IV of Britain, died (born 17/5/1768).

11/3/1821, Churchill Babington, English archaeologist, was born in Roecliffe, Leicestershire (died 12/1/1889 in Suffolk).


Manchester, demands for political reform

16/8/1819, At St Peters Fields, or Peterloo, Manchester, a meeting demanding parliamentary reforms was dispersed by the military. There was a crowd of 60,000 present to hear the speech of the pugnacious reformer Henry Hunt, who also demanded an end to the Corn Laws. 11 demonstrators were killed and 600 injured by the Manchester Yeomanry. After this the UK government issued the Six Laws, in 1819, banning any gathering of over 50 people, and any flag-bearing procession, authorising the arrest of anyone carrying a firearm, and imposing a tax on newspapers.

10/3/1817, Several hundred Manchester weavers set out from St Peters Fields, Manchester, to march

to Westminster, demanding Parliamentary Reform. They were called the Blanketeers, as they carried blankets to keep

warm at night. Troops stopped most of them at Stockport but some reached Derbyshire, and one made it as far as London.

This march later inspired the Jarrow March.


25/4/1819, Mark Firth, British steel maker and philanthropist, was born (died 28/11/1880).

18/8/1818, James Fraser, English Bishop, was born (died 22/10/1885). He did much to secure the provision of churches for the rapidly-growing population of Manchester, exceeding even the efforts of his predecessor, James Lee, who had consecrated 130 Manchester churches.

8/2/1817, Francis Horner, British economist, died (born 12/8/1778).

6/12/1816, Sir John Brown, Sheffield armour plate manufacturer, was born (died 27/12/1896).

11/11/1816, Sir John Coode, British engineer, was born (died 2/3/1892).

24/8/1816, Tristan da Cunha, four islands in the south Atlantic, were annexed and garrisoned by the UK.

29/3/1815, Sir Henry Frere, British colonial administrator, was born (died 29/5/1884).

15/1/1815, Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, died in poverty in Calais.

1814, Sheerness Naval Dockyard opened.

21/4/1814, Angela Burdett-Coutts, English philanthropist, was born (died 30/12/1906).

7/6/1812, The Earl of Liverpool took up post as Prime Minister.

11/5/1812, Spencer Perceval became the only British Prime Minister so far to be assassinated as he entered the House of Commons, by a bankrupt broker, Francis Bellingham,who blamed the Government for his woes.


Luddite Riots

12/4/1812, 150 masked Luddites attacked Cartwright�s Mill, between Leeds and Huddersfield. The mill owner had been forewarned and had prepared defences, including vats of acid. 40 Luddites were injured in the affray and 2 subsequently died. It took some time to discover the identity of the attackers but a trial was eventually held at York Assizes in January 1813, at which 8 were sentenced to death.

8/1/1812, Two British regiments were called out to control outbreaks of Luddite rioting.

3/1811, The Luddite movement, distressed textiles workers smashing machinery, began in Nottinghamshire and spread across the Midlands and Yorkshire. Britain had lost access to continental markets because of the Napoleonic Wars, and this was exacerbated by the collapse of the American market in 1811. The machine breakers took up the name �Ned Lud�, and used large sledgehammers, nicknamed �Enoch�, to smash their way into textiles mills. Between March 1811 and February 1812 the Luddites destroyed some 1,000 frames, valued at �6,000 to �10,000, In February 1812 Parliament made frame-breaking a capital offence. See also wages of textiles workers (decline 1805-31). See Swing Revolt 8/1830.


28/2/1810, Sir Robert Rawlinson, English engineer was born (died 31/5/1898).

4/101809, Spencer Perceval, Tory, succeeded the Duke of Portland as British Prime Minister.

21/9/1809, Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Minister of War, was affronted by the resignation of George Canning, British Foreign Secretary, and challenged him to a duel. Canning was wounded.

21/7/1809, Daniel Lambert, Englishman famous for his great size, died (born 13/3/1770).

22/11/1808, Pioneer travel agent Thomas Cook was born in Melbourne, Derbyshire.He died in 1892.

15/10/1808, James Anderson, Scottish economist (born 1739) died.

9/9/1809, George Canning, British Foreign Secretary, resigned, complaining about the mismanagement of the Peninsular War.

2/9/1807, Britain bombarded and destroyed the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, to prevent its use by France or Russia.

7/9/1808, William Lindley, English engineer, was born (died 22/5/1900).

21/8/1808, British troops under Wellington defeated the French under General Junot.This was at the Battle of Vimiero, during the Peninsular War.The Peninsular War absorbed some 300,000 of Napoleon�s best troops, andwas ended when Napoleon heard reports that Austria, backed by Britain, was arming against him.

12/7/1807, Thomas Hawkesley, English engineer, was born (died 23/9/1893).

24/3/1807, In Britain, King George III dissolved Parliament rather than grant civil rights to British Roman Catholics. The Whig Ministry of all the Talents fell, and the Duke of Portland, a Whig, became the (largely nominal) prime Minister of a fractious Tory administration.

23/11/1806, Sir Roger Newdigate, English philanthropist, died (born 30/5/1719).

10/2/1806, In Britain, following the death of Pitt the Younger, the Ministry of all the Talents was formed. Lord Grenville was Prime Minister and Charles James Fox was Foreign Secretary.

23/1/1806, William Pitt the Younger, twice Prime Minister (the first when only 24), died at Putney aged 47. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Napoleon was still strong in Europe. Prussia, who had been reluctant to join the Allies, now had to live with French domination of the puppet state of the Confederation of the Rhine.


Lord Nelson

9/1/1806, The funeral and burial of Admiral Lord Nelson at St Paul�s Cathedral.

21/10/1805, Battle of Trafalgar. Death of Nelson. Nelson blockaded the combined fleets of France and Spain in Cadiz. The French Admiral, Villeneuve, attempted to break out, but British ships sank or captured most of the French and Spanish ships. The French had planned to link up with the Spanish fleet in the West Indies and so lure the British into giving chase across the Atlantic. However Nelson guessed at the French tactics and the Admiralty was warned. A British fleet under Calder found the French fleet off Cape Finistere and they put into Spanish harbours. The French fleet later emerged to sail, not for Britain, but to return to the Mediterranean. The French were intercepted off Cape Trafalgar, and destroyed in the Battle of Trafalgar.

See also France-Germany for events connected to Napoleon

18/5/1802, Britain declared war on Napoleonic France.

20/2/1797, Nelson was made a Knight of the Bath and promoted to Rear Admiral for his action in the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

3/1787, Horatio Nelson married Nisbet, at Nevis in the Caribbean. He was frustrated at being put on half pay and out of service for the next five years.

6/1779, Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was appointed captain of the Hinchinbrooke.


21/12/1804, Benjamin D�Israeli, British statesman, was born.

10/5/1804, William Pitt the Younger resumed office as Prime Minister.

7/3/1804, John Wedgwood, son of the famous Midland pottery manufacturer, and uncle to Charles Darwin, founded the Royal Horticultural Society. John�s mother�s garden inspired his interest in plants and in 1801 he wrote to William Forsyth, gardener to George III, suggesting the formation of a horticultural society. Forsyth passed the idea on to the Royal Society President, Sir Joseph Banks, and the society was founded three years later. The inaugural meeting was at the London booksellers, Mr Hatchard, at 187 Piccadilly. In 2003 the Royal Horticultural Society had over 300,000 members who have access to over 80 gardens in the UK. It organises the Chelsea Flower Show, runs courses at Wisley in Surrey, and organises over 1,000 lectures and talks annually.

5/7/1803, George Borrow, English traveller, was born in East Dereham, Norfolk (died 26/7/1881).

21/2/1803, Edward Despard, conspirator against King George III, was executed.

5/12/1802, James Baird, Scottish ironmaster, was born in Kirkwood, Lanarkshire (died in Ayrshire 20/6/1876).

17/10/1801, George Elkington, founder of the Birmingham electroplating industry, was born.

29/6/1801, The figures from Britain�s first census were published. Britain�s population was set at 8,872,000.

10/3/1801, Britain�s first census was held.

14/3/1801, William Pitt the Younger left office as Prime Minister.

1/1/1801, The Act of Union between Britain and Ireland came into force. Irish MPs could sit at Westminster. However some smaller Irish boroughs were disenfranchised so as to limit the number of Irish MPs to 100,

25/12/1800,Britain�s first Christmas Tree was erected at Windsor by Queen Charlotte.

7/10/1799, The bell was salvaged from the Lutine, which sank off the island of Vlieland, off the coast of Holland. It was presented to Lloyds of London. Known as the Lutine Bell, it has been rung ever since to mark a marine disaster.


Naval Mutiny at Spithead

1797, Following Britain�s naval mutinies, the Mutiny Act was passed making it a treasonable offence to incite disaffection amongst the armed forces. Meanwhile the army and navy received pay rises.

30/6/1797, The naval mutiny at The Nore, led by Richard Parker, was put down.It had started as a protest against poor food and low pay.

16/4/1797, The British navy mutinied at Spithead, near Portsmouth, over poor pay, bad food, and arduous blockade duty. On 2/5/1797 the mutiny spread to the North Sea fleet.


17/4/1797, Britain�s first prisoner of war camp opened at Norman Cross Depot, near Stilton, Huntingdonshire. Prior to this, PoWs had been confined in civil prisons, floating hulks, or fortresses, but by 1796 the number of French PoWs was so large other accommodation had to be found.

12/2/1797, The last invasion of Britain. The Irish-American General William Tate landed at Fishguard, Pembrokeshire with 1,400 French troops, who soon surrendered.

23/2/1795, Sir Josiah Mason, English entrepreneuer and philanthropist, was born (died16/6/1881).

1/6/1794, The Battle of the Glorious 1st June. The British fleet under Lord Howe defeated the French under Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, 700km west of Ushant.

1/2/1793, Britain declared war on France. The British economy entered a depression.

1792, In Britain, a barracks building programme began to house troops in ports and major industrial centres. Often the least affluent areas of town were chosen to site the barracks, in the event of urban riots breaking out there.

14/7/1791, In Birmingham, England, rioters destroyed the home and labarotory of Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen, because he supported the French Revolution. In 1794 Priestley left Britain for America.

3/1/1791, George Rennie, English civil engineer, was born in Surrey.


Death of the last Jacobite Catholics

1/11/1793, Lord George Gordon, British anti-Catholic agitator and leader of the Gordon Riots in 1780, died in Newgate Prison, London. He had been convicted of libelling Marie Antoinette.

5/3/1790, Flora Mac Donald, the Scottish Jacobite heroine who helped Prince Charles Edward (The Younger Pretender) to escape from the island of Benbecula, died.

31/1/1788, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), the Young Pretender and leader of the Jacobite Rebellion, aimed at deposing King George II, died in exile in Rome.

2/6/1780, The Gordon Riots, anti-Catholic �No Popery� demonstrations named after Lord George Gordon, broke out in London. Lord Gordon had called his supporters to St Georges Fields and led them to protest against removal of some restrictions on Roman Catholics under the Catholic Relief Act of 1778.

1/1/1766, James Stuart, the Old Pretender, and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie, died in Rome.


22/2/1790, French soldiers landed at Fishguard, Wales, but were soon captured.

26/2/1789, Eaton Hodgkinson, British engineer, was born (died 18/6/1861).

1788, Cheltenham became famous as a spa town with the six-week visit of King George III. The spa waters had first been commercially exploited by Captain Henry Skillicorne (born 1678, died 1763) in 1738, though some locals had drunk the water before then.

26/8/1786, Britain and France agreed the Eden Treaty, reducing trade barriers between the two countries.

1/4/1786, Sir Thomas Buxton, English philanthropist, was born (died 19/2/1845).

1784, A window tax was introduced in Britain. To save money, many householders bricked up some of their wondows.

30/5/1784, Sir William Brown, financier, was born (died 1864).

7/12/1783, William Pitt the Younger became the youngest Prime Minister of Britain, aged 24.

24/2/1783, The British Parliament voted to discontinue the American War.

1/1/1783, Britain�s oldest Chamber of Commerce was established, in Glasgow.

20/3/1782, Lord North left office as Prime Minister.

19/9/1781, Tobias Furneaux, English navigator, died (born 21/8/1735).

6/4/1780, Lord Ashburton brought a resolution in the British Parliament to condemn the King, George III, for supporting the Government of Lord North.

12/8/1778, Francis Horner, British economist, was born (died 8/2/1817).

1777, Dolly Pentreath, the last known person to speak the Cornish language only, and no English, died.

1773, An Assay Office was established in Sheffield due to the amount of silver cutlery being manufactured there.

10/5/1773, The USA passed the Tea Act, reducing the amount of duty paid on tea imported into Britain. This was to help the east India Company, which had a surplus of unsold tea. However the full duty was retained on tea shipped to the American colonies.

7/7/1771, John Britton, English antiquary, was born (died1/1/1857).

27/11/1770, Horatio Nelson joined the Royal Navy as a 12-year-old moidshipman on the HMS Raisonnable.

13/3/1770, Daniel Lambert, Englishman famous for his great size, was born (died 21/7/1809).

1765, The Cyfarthfa iron works at Merthy Tydfil was set up.

16/7/1765, In Britain, George Grenville resigned as Prime Minister, and was replaced by the Marquess of Rockingham.

7/5/1765, HMS Victory was launched. She is now in dry dock in Portsmouth. Nelson was on board when killed by a musket shot.

26/4/1765, Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, was born in Ness, Cheshire.


10/2/1763, The end of the Seven Years War. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal, as well as becoming pre-eminent in India; Britain therefore became the world�s major colonising power. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, which set Prussia on the road to also becoming a major European power.

3/11/1762, Britain concluded a peace with France at Fontainbleau. See 10/2/1763.

For main events of Seven Years War see France-Germany, Russia, and East Europe

3/2/1762, The English dandy and gambler Richard �Beau� Nash died.

2/1/1762, Britain declared war on Spain, three months after William Pitt resigned (see 5/10/1761).

5/10/1761, In Britain, Pitt resigned because Britain would not declare war on Spain; France was trying to bring Spain into its war on Prussia and Britain, with France allied to Austria and Russia. Britain virtually abandoned support for Prussia.

25/10/1760, George II died suddenly at 8am, in Kensington, London, aged 76. His successor George III was inclined to concentrate on British, not Hanoverian, interests, and disliked William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had promoted the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Without British help, Prussia could not continue fighting.

For British-French conflict in Canada, 1700s, see Canada

23/7/1759, Work began on the Royal Navy�s 104 gun battleship HMS Victory at Chatham, Kent, built with the wood of 2,200 oak trees.

29/9/1758, Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe rectory, Norfolk.He was the son of a clergyman, one of 11 children.He died in battle in 1805.

18/5/1756, Britain declared war on France. This was the start of the Seven Years War. See France-Germany, Russia, East Europe.


6/1/1756. George II secured an agreement, the Convention of Westminster, by which Frederick of Prussia guaranteed to help England if Hanover was attacked, and England promised to help Prussia if Silesia was attacked.This guaranteed the neutrality of the Prussian states under Frederick II in the escalating Anglo-French dispute.However it was also alarming to Russia, who saw the Treaty as a potential Anglo-Prussian alliance against them. See 1/5/1756.

14/10/1755, Thomas Charles, Welsh educationalist, was born (died 5/10/1814).

27/4/1750, Sir Thomas Bernard, English social reformer, was born in Lincoln (died 1/7/1818).


1745-47, Scottish Jacobite Rebellion

1/8/1747, After the Jacobite Rebellion, the British Parliament banned the wearing of tartan, on pain of prison, to suppress the cultural identity of the Highlands.

9/4/1747, The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat was executed by beheading at the Tower of London for High Treason.He was the last person to be executed this way in Britain.Only persons of high rank were beheaded; lesser persons were hanged. After this date, all were hanged. Hanging, drawing, and quartering for treason was not abolished until 1870.

20/9/1746, Prince Charles Edward escaped capture by dressing as a girl and sailing to France on the ship L�Heureux.

18/8/1746, Two rebellious Scottish Jacobite Lords, the Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmeniro, were beheaded at the Tower of London.

1/8/1746, England passed the Dress Act, banning the wearing of Scottish Highland Dress, including the kilt, from 1/8/1747.This was an attempt to suppress Scottish Highland culture.

Jacobite rebellion defeated, Charles flees

16/4/1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his 5,000 Jacobite soldiers were decisively defeated at Culloden, near Inverness, by the Duke of Cumberland and an army of 9,000 regulars. Fought on flat ground, the battle gave the advantage to Cumberland�s latest artillery. This ended the Jacobite Rebellion and the hopes of the Stuart dynasty of any return to power in Britain. On 27/6/1746 Charles escaped over the sea to Skye, disguised as the Irish maid Betty Burke, with Flora MacDonald.In Scotland, the Highlanders were disarmed and forbidden to wear their tartan kilts. The hereditary jurisdiction of the Highland Chiefs over their clans was abolished. This was the last battle fought in Britain.

17/1/1746, At the Battle of Falkirk, Charles and the Jacobites defeated the English under General Hawley. This was the last Jacobite success.

8/1/1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.

18/12/1745, Battle of Clifton Moor.The Jacobites won a victory over the English at Penrith.

4/12/1745, Marching south, Charles�s forces reached Derby. However they were faced there by the superior forces of General Wade and William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The Jacobite army retreated, to be finally defeated at Culloden (16/4/1746).

9/11/1745, Battle of Carlisle, Jacobite Rebellion. The Young Pretender, Charles Edawrd Stuart (Bonny Prince Charlie), defeated the Duke of Cumberland.

31/10/1745, Charles led his 5,000-strong army into England hoping, in vain, for popular support.Not gaining this, he returned to Scotland.

21/9/1745. Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stuart) and his Jacobite army defeated the English under Sir John Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans.

11/9/1745. The Jacobites under the Young Pretender occupied Edinburgh, with 2,000 men.

19/8/1745, To claim the English throne, Prince Charles raised his father�s flag at Glenfinnan, after travelling from France.

25/7/1745, Prince Charles (Edward Stuart), the Young Pretender, landed in Scotland. He proclaimed his father as King James VIII of Scotland and James III of England. Highland clans rose in support of him.


11/5/1745, The Battle of Fontenoy took place in Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Marshal de Saxe won a French victory over British and Allied forces. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British, Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the French. Cumberland�s army was beaten back with casualties of 7,000 and forced to retreat during the night towards Brussels. The British suffered further setbacks in Flanders and as troops were called back to fight the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart. The British made peace with France at Aix la Chapelle in 1748.

27/8/1743, Henry Pelham took up office as Prime Minister.

16/6/1743, The last battle in which a British monarch commanded an army on the battlefield. George II defeated the French at the Battle of Dettingen, in Bavaria, during the War of the Austrian Succession.


Robert Walpole, Prime Minister

8/2/1742, Sir Robert Walpole left office as Prime Minister.

13/2/1741, In the House of Commons, Sir Robert Walpole first used the phrase �Balance of Power� to describe Britain�s approach to foreign policy.

22/9/1735, Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister to move into 10 Downing Street. The office of �Prime Minister� was not officially recognised, and some considered it unconstitutional. However Walpole had widespread support of both the King and Parliament. Walpole was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and at age 24 inherited a country estate, which gave him the means of self-sufficiency to enter politics. In 1701 he became the Whig member for castle rising in Norfolk. An excellent speaker, he rose rapidly within the party. In 1717 he resigned amid in-party fighting, returning as Paymaster General in 1720.


1740, In Sheffield, Thomas Boulsover developed a method of plating a copper ingot with silver; this could then be rolled into �Sheffield Plate� items.

1/8/1740, Rule Britannia, written by Scotsman James Thomson, with music by Londoner Thomas Arne, was heard for the first time, at the Prince of Wales� country home at Cliveden.

2/7/1740, Thomas Baker, English antiquary, died(born in Lanchester, Durham, 14/9/1656).

20/11/1737, Caroline, wife of King George II of Britain, died (born 1/3/1683).

21/8/1735, Tobias Furneaux, English navigator, was born (died 19/9/1781).

28/12/1734, Rob Roy, Scottish outlaw (real name Robert McGregor, nicknamed �Roy�, Gaelic for �red� because of his ruddy complexion and red hair, died at his home in the Scottish Highlands. Born in 1671, he became famous for his sword-fighting skills and was chosen as head of the MacGregor clan in 1693. His business was selling Scottish black cattle to England; he was declared an outlaw in 1712 after defaulting on a business debt owed to the Duke of Montrose. He then gathered a group of armed followers and harassed the estates and tenants of the Duke of Montrose. In 1722 he surrendered to the English authorities and was imprisoned. He was nearly transported, but was pardoned and allowed to return home. He was also noted for his generosity to the poor, at the expense of the wealthy.

4/6/1730, King George III of Britain was born. His mental health was unstable, and his mishandling of the American colonies led to their independence.

3/9/1729, The Treaty of Hanover was signed between Britain, France and Prussia. It was to counterbalance the Treaty of Vienna, between Spain and Austria, which treaty had broken the Quadruple Alliance. The Vienna treaty was intended to restore the Stuarts to the English throne and to compel Britain to return Gibraltar and Minorca to Spain. The Treaty of Hanover was a mutual defence pact, in case any signatory was attacked.

11/10/1727, Coronation of King George II.

22/6/1727, King George I, the first Hanoverian King, died of apoplexy, aged 67, in Osnabruck castle where he was born, on route to Hanover. His son, 44-year old George II, succeeded him.

7/11/1724, John Kyrle, English philanthropist, died (born 22/5/1637).

17/5/1723, Christopher Layer was hung, drawn and quartered for treason, for a plot to kill King George I and restore the Catholic Stuart dynasty. James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II, would have become James III. In England the military was reinforced and put on standby against a possible Catholic invasion of the country; this was paid for by a �100,000 tax (�313 million in 2015 prices) on Catholic estates. This was the Atterbury plot, named after Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, who was exiled for his part in it.

16/6/1722, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, British General famous for his victories in the Spanish War of Succession, died at Windsor aged 72.

1/1/1722, So-called �blacking� was becoming a problem for British landowners. Large deer parks established by the landed gentry were excluding commoners from their traditional grazing lands where they could also gather peat and firewood. The commoners would black their faces and raid these parks. In response to this Parliament passed the Black Act in May 1723, making it a hanging offence to black one�s face and carry weapons, many other offenders were transported under this Act. The Black Act was not repealed until 1824.

3/4/1721,Sir Robert Walpole was appointed First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, effectively making him Britain�s first Prime Minister. He held this office until 12/2/1742.

31/12/1720, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward Stuart, was born in Rome, the elder son of James, the �Old Pretender�.

2/10/1720, Elizabeth Montagu, English socialite, was born (died 25/8/1800).

30/5/1719, Sir Roger Newdigate, English philanthropist, was born (died 23/11/1806).

11/8/1718, Admiral Byng destroyed the Spanish fleet off Cape Passaro.

2/8/1718, A Quadruple Alliance was formed between Britain, France, Holland, and Austria, against Spain, after Spain seized Sardinia and Sicily, threatening another European war. Under the Treaty of Utrecht (11/4/1713) Sardinia had been assigned to Austria and Sicily to Savoy (see also 17/2/1720).However King Philip V of Spain, influenced by his wife Elizabeth Farnese of Parma and her advisor Giulio Alberoni, seized these islands. Admiral Byng was sent to defend Sicily, with Austrian troops. In a sea battle off Cape Passaro, he totally destroyed the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile French troops occupied northern Spain. The purpose of the Quadruple Alliance were, to maintain the terms of the Peace of Utrecht, for Spain to renounce any claim to the French throne, and to guarantee the Protestant succession in Britain. The four powers would also assist each other if any were attacked. Spain initially backed a Jacobite invasion of Britain, but after the dismissal of Cardinal Alberoni in December 1719 Spain changed policy and joined the Alliance, which provided a forum to discuss territorial disputes in Europe.

5/6/1718, Thomas Chippendale, English furniture maker, died.

1717, The first copper smelting works was set up in the Tawe Valley, Swansea, area. By 1860 the previously wooded rural valley was smelting over 50% of all copper imported into the UK.


Jacobite Uprising, failed

24/2/1716, The leaders of the Jacobite uprising I November 1715 captured at Preston were executed.Some escaped to France.The Pretender himself also escaped.The aim of the rebels was to overthrow the Hanoverian dynasty ands restore the Stuarts to the throne.

22/12/1715. James Stuart, the �Old Pretender�, son of King James II, deposed Roman Catholic King of England, landed at Peterhead after his exile in France. However he was forced to leave on 5/2/1716 for France again with the Earl of Mar, as the Jacobite Army, defeated, dispersed.

13/11/1715, A Royalist army defeated the Jacobites at Preston, Lancashire. On this day Mar also failed to dislodge the Royalists under Argyll from Sheriffmuir, north of Stirling.

6/9/1715, The Earl of Mar raised the Stuart Standard at Braemar, starting the Jacobite Rebellion.


Accession of King George I

20/10/1714, Coronation of King George I.

18/9/1714, George I landed in England.

1/8/1714. Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, died childless.King George I, Elector of Hanover, Prince George Louis, son of the Electress Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of James I, became King under the 1701 Act of Settlement. Unfortunately he spoke no English.


30/7/1714, The pro-Hanoverian Duke of Shrewsbury was appointed Lord Treasurer.

10/4/1710, The Copyright Act came into effect in Britain. This allowed authors to hold exclusive rights to their work for up to 50 years after their death.


Brtiain-Netherlands Barrier Treaties

29/1/1713, Britain and The Netherlands signed a second Barrier Treaty, modifying the terms of the first such Treaty (see 29/10/1709). The number of �barrier towns� to be fortified by Britain against France was reduced.

29/10/1709, Britain and The Netherlands signed the Barrier Treaty. The Netherlands guaranteed to support the Protestant Hanoverian succession in Britain, and Britain guaranteed to maintain a �barrier� of towns in southern Netherlands against possible French aggression.


9/10/1709, Barbara Cleveland, mistress to King Charles II of England, died (born 1641).


For events in the War of the Spanish Succession, see Spain-Portugal, and France-Germany.


Act of Union, England and Scotland

1/5/1707, Act of Union between England and Scotland. The Union of the English and Scottish crowns was on 24/3/1603, when James VI of Scotland also became King of England. Scotland failed economically, and England put pressure for Union on the Scottish Parliament. Scottish aristocrats were offered compensation and voted for Union. Coinage, taxation, sovereignty, and parliament became one, but Scotland retained its own legal and religious system. The Union Jack was adopted as the National Flag.


31/12/1705, Catherine of Braganza, queen consort of King Charles II of England, died (born 1638).

12/7/1705, Death of Anglican priest Titus Gates, the anti-Catholic conspirator who alleged the existence of a plot to assassinate King Charles II and place his Catholic brother James on the throne, thus causing the execution of 35 suspects and the exclusion of Catholics from the British Parliament.

27/12/1703, The Methuen Treaty was signed.

12//9/1703, The Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand was proclaimed King of Spain, War of the Spanish Succession began. France had already, in 1701, begun to occupy key fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands, following the death of the Spanish monarch Charles II on 2/10/1700, with no heir.


Accession of Queen Anne

23/4/1702, The coronation of Queen Anne.

8/3/1702, King William III died when his horse, Sorrel, stumbled on a molehill in the grounds of Hampton Court Park. He had no children, and the Crown passed to Queen Anne. second daughter of James II, who was born on 6/2/1665 in London, and brought up as a strict Protestant. By the time Anne became Queen she had already had 17 children, and seen them all die in childhood. She died on 1/8/1714, and was succeeded by King George I.


12/6/1701, The Act of Settlement was passed in London. It settled the Royal accession on the Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover and barred Roman Catholics from the English throne.

30/7/1700, William, Duke of Gloucester, died aged 11. He was the only surviving child of Queen Mary, so the succession to the English throne passed to the Electress Sophia of Hanover.

20/9/1697, The Treaty of Ryswick ended the Nine Years War. This Treaty led to the Barrier Treaties (1709-15) between Britain and the Netherlands, with the idea that Britain would assist The Netherlands to maintain a line of fortresses against any future French attacks. These fortresses included Ypres, Lille, Tournai, Valenciennes and Namur. In return the Dutch promised to send 6,000 troops to help Britain resist a Jacobite uprising, which they did supply in 1715.

28/1/1697, Sir John Fenwick, Jacobite conspirator against King William, was executed.

10/4/1696, England�s Navigation Act forbade the Colonies in America from exporting directly to Ireland or Scotland.

18/3/1696, Robert Charnock, conspirator to kill King William III of England near Turnham Green London, and restore a Stuart monarchy, was hanged.

28/12/1694. Queen Mary II died from smallpox (born 1662), leaving William III to reign alone.

11/4/1694, The Dukedom of Bedford was created.

18/5/1692, Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, died (born 23/5/1617).


Glencoe Massacre

13/2/1692. Massacre at Glencoe. 40 members of the MacDonald clan were massacred by the Campbells. This massacre was on the orders of William III, because of their Jacobite sympathies of the MacDonalds and their delay in swearing an oath of allegiance. On 27/8/1691 a proclamation was issued offering indemnity to all who took the oath of allegiance before 1/1/1692. All Scottish chiefs took the oath except MacIan, chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, who postponed the submission until 31/12/1691. He then could not take the oath until 6/1/1692 because there was no magistrate at Fort William. This irregularity gave Breadalbane (John Campbell, First Earl of Breadalbane) the excuse to destroy the clan that had for generations plundered the lands of himself and his neighbours. The Macdonalds were in fact giving hospitality to their murderers when they rose up and killed them.Breadalbane managed to prevent most of the evidence against him from being presented; he was imprisoned for a short time in Edinburgh Castle on the grounds of earlier negotiations with the Highland chiefs, but was released when it was known he was acting with the knowledge of King William.


29/10/1691, William Hulme, English philanthropist, died.

30/6/1690. The Battle of Beachy Head. An allied force of 37 British ships and 22 Dutch ships was at anchor off Beachy head whilst a French fleet of 70 ships waited off to the south-west, waiting to co-operate with an anticipated Catholic Jacobite uprising in England. The English commander, Torrington, wished to retire to the mouth of the Thames till he could be reinforced, but the Council of Regency ordered him to remain where he was, and fight if he could secure an advantageous position. Torrington took this as an order to fight the French and bore down on them; however with inferior numbers, there were gaps between the British ships. The Anglo-Dutch fleets began to suffer heavy losses from French fire. But the tide turned from flood to ebb during the engagement, and whilst the Anglo-Dutch ships dropped anchor, the French did not, and were carried away westwards on the current. Some of the most damaged British ships were abandoned in Pevensey Bay. Torrington was tried for his conduct but acquitted.

27/7/1689. The Scottish Jacobites, supporters of the deposed James II, won the Battle of Killiecrankie, near Pitlochry, against the English under William III. However the Jacobite leader John Graham, Earl of Dundee, was killed.

24/5/1689. The English Parliament passed the Act of Toleration exempting dissenting Protestants from certain legal penalties so long as they have sworn oaths of allegiance to the Crown. Catholics were specifically excluded from this relief.


Judge Jeffreys

18/4/1689, Judge Jeffreys died in The Tower of London, aged 44, before he could be tried. A Protestant, he had been hired by King James II to set up a court to deal with the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. He was the Lord Chancellor who was notorious for the harshness of his sentences at the �Bloody Assizes�. 300 of Monmouth�s peasant followers were sentenced to hang and a further 800 sent to forced labour in Barbados . After the trials, Jeffreys was made Lord Chancellor by James II, a position he held until the Glorious Revolution of 1688. See 19/8/1685.

12/12/1688, Judge Jeffreys took refuge from a mob in the Tower of London.

19/8/1685. Judge Jeffreys began sentencing people to death at what became known as the Bloody Assizes. This followed the Monmouth Rebellion, see 6/7/1685.


Accession of King William III and Queen Mary

11/4/1689, The coronation of King William III and Queen Mary as joint sovereigns (see 13/2/1689). The Bishop of London performed the service, as the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to participate.

13/2/1689. William and Mary ascended the English throne. Mary was the daughter of James II; William was born in The Hague. This ended the �Glorious Revolution� (see 6/6/1685 and 6/7/1685); James II fled to France on 22/12/1688. They were crowned by the Bishop of London, because the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to do this (see 11/4/1689). James II�s support for the Catholic cause had made him unpopular.

22/1/1689, The Convention Parliament agreed that Charles II had abdicated by fleeing to France (on 22/12/1688) and that the throne was vacant, for William and Mary to accede.

5/11/1688, William of Orange landed at Torbay, having been invited by Whig and Tory leaders to save Britain from Catholicism on 30/6/1688; William accepted this invitation on 5/11/1688. See 30/6/1688. William had some 40,000 troops in 463 ships but they were not necessary. James prepared to fight him, but was unsettled by defections in his army. The English population welcomed William. They almost missed Torbay, due to poor navigation, and the next port was Plymouth, strongly guarded by James II�s garrison. However the wind turned and Wiliam�s fleet was able to make landfall at Torbay as planned. James later fled to France.

30/6/1688, William of Orange was invited to England.


10/6/1688, A son (James Stuart, the �Old Pretender�) was born to James II, opening up the possibility of a line of Catholic Kings to rule England.He was James II�s only son; his mother was Mary of Modena.

13/11/1687. Nell Gywnne, actress, died, aged in London aged 37. The mistress of Charles II, who had borne him two sons, was perhaps the best known orange seller of all time.

14/4/1687. Having failed to persuade Parliament to repeal the 1673 Test Act (forbidding aCatholic from being the monarch of England), James II issued a Declaration of Indulgence. This granted toleration to Catholics and to non-conformists.

10/2/1686, Sir William Dugdale, English historian, died (born 12/9/1605). In 1641 he was commissioned by Sir Christopher Hatton (who foresaw the destruction of the Civil War) to make exact drafts of the monuments at all of England�s major cathedrals.

15/7/1685, The Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter, was executed on Tower Green, London, for leading a Protestant rebellion on the accession of King James II.

6/7/1685. James II�s troops defeated the Duke of Monmouth at Sedgemoor, Somerset, the last battle fought on English soil. Monmouth�s troops had attempted a night attack late on 5/7/1685 but the King�s troops under John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, successfully counterattacked at dawn. The rebel Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of King Charles II, was executed on 15/7/1685. See 13/2/1689.

11/6/1685, An abortive rebellion against King James II, by the same faction as promoted the Rye House Plot of 1683 (21/7). Monmouth, having been expelled from Holland upon the accession of James II, landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, and issued a proclamation claiming the throne of England. He gathered a small army of 3-4,000, mainly of middle social class status, and managed to capture Taunton before being defeated by pro-Royal troops at Sedgemoor on 6/7/1683.

6/6/1685. James II became King of England. See 13/2/1689.

7/2/1685; Charles II, James II�s brother, died after suffering an apoplectic fit on 2/2/1685, see 6/6/1685.

10/1/1684, The Dukedom of St Albans was created.

10/11/1683, George II, King of England, was born in Hanover, Germany, the only son of George I.


Rye House Plot

21/7/1683, Algernon Sidney and William Russell were executed for their part on the Rye House Plot. Along with the Earl of Wessex (who cheated the executioner by committing suicide in gaol), they planned to ambush King Charles II and the Duke of York (future James II) on their return from Newmarket to London at a narrow point at Rye House, near Hoddesdon, and assassinate them. The plot failed because the monarch left Newmarket early. The Government took advantage of the plot to implicate others whose loyalty to Charles II was questionable.


6/6/1683. Elias Ashmole opened the first public museum, the Ashmolean, in Broad Street, Oxford. Exhibits included stuffed animals and a dodo.

1/3/1683, Caroline, wife of King George II of Britain, was born (died 20/11/1737).

2/12/1682, The Dukedom of Beaufort was created.

22/6/1679, The Battle of Bothwell Bridge. The Duke of Monmouth defeated the Scottish Covenanters, who had rebelled against the policies of John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale.

1/6/1679, At the Battle of Drumclog, Scottish Covenanters defeated a small government force.


Habeas Corpus Act � King vs. Parliamemnt, again

27/5/1679. The Habeas Corpus Act, stating that nobody could be held in prison without a trial, was passed. The rights of a prisoner were mentioned as early as the 14th century in England, but it was Lord Shaftesbury who suggested such an Act on the statute books. Charles I believed himself to be above Parliament so the Act was passed to counter his rulings. This enabled political prisoners of the King to demand a trial, and to obtain bail if prison was not justified. Habeas Corpus can only be suspended in times of war or a terrorist threat.

6/3/1679, In England the Habeas Corpus Parliament, or First Exclusion Parliament, assembled for the first time.

24/1/1679, King Charles II of England dissolved the Cavalier Parliament.


12/8/1678, Titus Oates� Popish plot was revealed to King Charles II.

4/11/1677, King William II married his cousin Princess Mary (future Queen Mary II of England), the eldest daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde.

11/9/1675, The Dukedom of Grafton was created.

9/8/1675, The Dukedom of Richmond (Lennox & Gordon) was created.

18/10/1674, Richard (Beau) Nash, Master of Ceremonies at Bath, who established the city as a centre of fashion, was born.


Third Anglo-Dutch war

19/2/1674, The Treaty of Westminster ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

17/3/1672, The Third Anglo-Dutch war began, because Charles II was bound under the secret provisions of the Treaty of Dover to support Louis XIV. The Treaty of Dover, 1670, was concluded between Charles II and Louis XIV of France, following negotiations begun back in 1668. However the weaker Dutch fleet held back the English, who were facing difficulties in financing this war. In 1673 the English Parliament agreed to raise taxes to fund the conflict in return for the passing of the Test Act. This Act required all holding civil or military office to accept the Church of England sacrament and reject the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. The subsequent resignation of the Duke of York (the future James II) and others betrayed the presence of Catholics in the English high office. Meanwhile in August 1672 a revolution in the Netherlands brought William of Orange (future King William III) to power. In August / September 1673 Spain, Austria and Brandenburg, and in January 1674 Denmark, all declared war on France. The Dutch encouraged the belief amongst the English that the war constituted a betrayal of Protestant interests by Catholics in high office. In 1674 England concluded a separate peace with The Netherlands, the Treaty of Westminster.


1/6/1670, Two Treaties of Doverone public, one secretwere made by Charles II with Louis XIV. Charles II secretly agreed to declare his conversion to Catholicism and subsequently to restore it to Britain. Charles II did not announce his conversion, to the annoyance of Louis XIV.The public Treaty committed Britain and France to declare war on Holland � if this war was successful, Britain would receive Zeeland and the port of Ostend. Britain would assist Louis XIV�s claim on the Spanish throne. The private Treaty, known only to Charles II and a select few of his government ministers, stated that Charles would re-establish Catholicism in Britain in return for �150,000 from France and the use of 6,000 French troops to cope with any �internal resistance�.

13/1/1668. The Triple Alliance was formed between England, Holland, and Sweden to defend The Netherlands from the ambitions of the French King, Louis XIV, who was pursuing a claim based on his wife�s rights as Spanish Infanta. This was the War of Devolution which was ended on 2/5/1668 by the Peace of Aix la Chapelle.

30/8/1667, King Charles II dismissed the Lord Chancellor Edward Hyde over the humiliating terms imposed on Britain by Holland in the Treaty of Breda.


Second Anglo-Dutch War

31/7/1667. The Peace of Breda ended the war between England and the Netherlands (Second Anglo-Dutch War).Trade laws were modified in favour of the Dutch, who also gained Surinam but recognised British possession of New York.See 18/6/1667 and 2/2/1665. The English sought peace with the Dutch in order to curb the growing military power of (Catholic) France. In the �War of Devolution� France had already seized the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comte; Holland and England now sought to mediate in this war between France and Spain. The other principal Protestant power in Europe, Sweden, then joined with (Protestant) Holland and Britain in a Triple Alliance (formalised by the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, 2/5/1668). However (Catholic) King Charles II regretted this Triple Alliance against France and began negotiations with Louis XIV that led to the Treaties of Dover (1/6/1670).

18/6/1667. The Dutch humiliated the English by breaking through a defensive chain in the Thames Estuary at Chatham and sailing up The Thames to burn or capture English ships. The English flagship Royal Charles was captured and carried off. See 31/7/1667.


15/10/1666. King Charles II, according to Pepys, wore the first waistcoat this day.

31/8/1666, Maria Henrietta, wife of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of Framce, died (born 25/11/1609).

6/2/1665, Queen Anne was born at St James Palace, the second daughter of James II by his first wife, Anne Hyde. She was the last Stuart monarch of Britain.

28/10/1664, The Admiral�s Regiment was formed, later known as the Royal Marines.

20/4/1663, The Dukedom of Buccleuch was created.

20/5/1662, King Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza, starting a fruitful alliance with Portugal.

30/4/1662, Mary II of England was born.

19/4/1661, Postmarks were introduced in Britain by the Post Office.

16/4/1661, Charles Montagu, founder of the Bank of England, was born.

6/1/1661, The Royal Horse Guards Regiment was formed, by Royal Warrant.

24/12/1660, Mary, daughter of Charles I, died..

12/11/1660. John Bunyan, 32, author of Pilgrim�s progress, was arrested for preaching without a licence, and not in a parish church. He was put in Bedford gaol.

13/10/1660, Thomas Harrison, Civil War Parliamentarian who opposed the Absolutist rule of Cromwell,was executed.


Restoration of English Monarchy

23/4/1661, The coronation of King Charles II.

30/1/1661, The body of Oliver Cromwell (died 3/9/1658) was exhumed, hanged and beheaded, and reburied at Tyburn.

29/5/1660, King Charles II entered London; he landed at Dover on 26/5/1660.

26/5/1660. The British monarchy was restored with Charles II, born 29/5/1630, as king.He was crowned on 23/4/1661, ending an exile of nearly nine years.On 29/5/1660, his 30th birthday, Charles II rode into London to scenes of great rejoicing.Everyone was glad to see the end of the kill-joy Puritan regime that had banned Christmas, maypoles, and theatre; a regime that had run out of steam after Cromwell died.The bodies of Cromwell and his chief associates were dragged from Westminster Abbey and buried beneath Tyburn Gallows.Other regicides were executed.

23/5/1660, King Charles II sailed from Scheveningen, to return to England, ending his exile. See 16/3/1660.

25/4/1660, The English Parliament voted for the restoration of the Monarchy, see 26/5/1660.

16/4/1660, Sir Hans Sloane, physician and collector, was born.

28/3/1660, George I, first Hanoverian king of England, was born at Osnabruck Castle in Hanover.

16/3/1660, England�s Long Parliament was dissolved after sitting for 20 years (with a break, 1653-59), throughout the Civil War. This was an important step towards the restoration of the monarchy and the House of Lords. See 23/5/1660.

21/2/1660, The Rump (Long) Parliament, recalled on 7/5/1659, was rejoined by surviving MPs that had been purged on 6/12/1648.


Death of Oliver Cromwell -- Brief succession of Richard Cromwell

12/7/1712, Richard Cromwell, second Lord Protector, son of Oliver Cromwell, died.

25/5/1659, Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector.

7/5/1659, The Long (Rump) Parliament was recalled (see 20/4/1653). It called for Cromwell�s resignation.

22/4/1659, Richard Cromwell dissolved the English Parliament, at the request of the Army.

3/9/1658, Oliver Cromwell died of pneumonia. A Puritan, he was aged 60 and had ruled England for 5 years. His son Richard succeeded him as Protector. However Richard lacked the authority of his father.


27/5/1657, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell refused an offer to make him King of England. To have accepted the Crown would have lost him the loyalty of the anti-Royalist Army.

17/9/1656, (-105,412) Cromwell�s Third Parliament convened.

14/9/1656, Thomas Baker, English antiquary, was born in Lanchester, Durham (died 2/7/1740).

30/5/1656, The Grenadier Guards, the senior regiment of the British Army, was formed.


Cromwell control of Parliament

12/9/1654, Cromwell ordered the exclusion of Members of Parliament that were hostile to him.

3/9/1654, In the English Parliament, the Republican, Vance, questioned the pre-eminence of Cromwell.

16/12/1653, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, effectively an uncrowned King.He ruled for over four years.

13/12/1653, The Barebones Parliamentended.

4/7/1653, The Barebones Parliament began sitting.

20/4/1653, Cromwell dissolved the Long Parliament (Rump Parliament) due to its slowness in implementing Cromwellian reforms. It was recalled on 7/5/1659, after Cromwell�s death.


First Anglo-Dutch War. See Netherlands for main histrory

1/10/1660. The English reinforced the Navigation Act by insisting that certain colonial goods were only to be shipped to Britain. This was directed against the Dutch but caused resentment in the British colonies.

16/4/1654, The Peace of Westminster ended the First Anglo-Dutch war between England and The Netherlands, but the Navigation Act which led to the war was retained. See 6/10/1651.

6/10/1651. The English issued a commercial challenge to the Dutch by passing the Navigation Act; this prohibited the import of goods into England from America, Asia, or Africa in any except British or colonial ships; with a crew at least half-English. This was a challenge to Amsterdam�s status as Europe�s leading port. This was an attempt to revive the English economy, depressed by three years of plague and bad harvests. In 1652 England declared war on The Netherlands (First Anglo-Dutch War) after an incident where a Dutch fleet refused to be searched by the British. See 15/4/1654, and 1/10/1660.


1650-51, King Charles II continues English Civil War. Lands in Scotland, defeated at Worcester

3/9/1651. Oliver Cromwell�s army defeated the Royalist army at Worcester. Charles II, destitute and friendless, spent the night in an oak tree at Boscobel to evade capture, and fled to France on 17/10/1651.

Cromwell�s troops hauled twenty large boats upstream to make a pontoon bridge, crossing the Severn into the Royalist side.The battle concluded with fighting inside Worcester itself.Some 3,000 Royalist forces were killed, and 10,000 taken prisoner, many of whom were transported to New England as slaves.The Parliamentarian forces lost only 200 men.This was the final battle for the Royalist cause.

28/8/1651, The Parliamentarians captured Upton Bridge, 10 miles south of Worcester.The Royalist General Massey was badly wounded.Cromwell�s forces occupied the west bank of the Severn with 11,000 troops, so cutting off any support for Charles II from Wales, and aiming to attack Worcester from the south.

25/8/1651, A force of Lancashire Royalists raised the Earl of Derby was crushed by Colonel Robert Lilburne at Wigan.Cromwell returned to England via the east coast from Scotland; harassing Charles II�s rearguard.Cromwell marched on Worcester with a force of around 28,000 regular troops plus a further 3,000 militiamen who were against the Scots.Lilburne blockaded Charles route back into Scotland. Charles hoped to draw extra forces from Wales and the south-west.

22/8/1651,Charles II occupied the loyal Royalist city of Worcester, but his army numbered less than 16,000 troops.See 25/8/1651.

5/8/1651, King Charles II began a march south into England, crossing the border from Scotland this day.His plan was to march through the traditionally Royalist regions of Lancashire and the Welsh border, picking up troops along the way.However the English Royalists and Presbyterians failed to join him, due to anti-Scots propaganda from the Cromwellian camp.See 22/8/1651.

2//8/1651, Cromwell�s army took Perth.

1/1/1651, Charles II was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace. He then marched south into England (see 5/8/1651).

19/12/1650, Cromwell�s army took Edinburgh Castle.

3/9/1650, The Battle of Dunbar; Cromwell�s army marched into Scotland and defeated a Scottish Royalist Persbyterian army under David Leslie twice its size. This battle, along with Worcester (3/9/1651), put an end to Charles I�s Royalist cause.

24/6/1650, Charles II landed in Scotland and was proclaimed King.

27/4/1650, Battle of Carbisdale, English Civil War. The Marquis of Montrose was captured by Parliamentarian forces, and executed in May 1650.

1650-51, King Charles II continues English Civil War. Lands in Scotland, defeated at Worcester


4/11/1650, William III, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was born in The Hague, Holland, son of William II of Orange.

20/4/1650, William Bledloe, English adventurer, was born in Chepstow (died in Bristol 20/8.1680)

See Ireland for Cromwell�s activities in Ireland

15/9/1649, Birth of Titus Gates, English Anglican priest who successfully stirred up anti-Catholic sentiments by creating a �Popish plot�.

5/1649, The Levellers were defeated at Burford, Oxfordshire. The Levellers, led by John Lilburne (ca, 1614-1657), Richard Overton (ca. 1631-1664) andWilliam Walwyn (1600-1680),were a radical political movement calling for all but the very poorest to be enfranchised, religious toleration, the end of the monarchy and the abolition of the House of Lords. They were supported by �agitators; from the Parliamentarian ranks.

10/5/1649, Isaac Dorislaus, Anglo-Dutch lawyer and diplomatist, was murdered by English Royalist refugees in The Hague. Born 1595 in Alkmaar, Holland, he moved to England in ca. 1627 and helped prepare treason charges against King Charles I.

9/3/1649, James Hamilton, English Civil war Royalist, was executed (born 19/6/1609).


1649, Final trial and execution of King Charles I. England now a Republic

16/3/1649. Oliver Cromwell, (born 25/4/1599 in Huntingdon, died 3/9/1658) declared England to be a republic, and abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords.

9/2/1649, King Charles I was buried at St George�s Chapel, Windsor.

5/2/1649, King Charles I�s son, 18 years old, was proclaimed Charles II.

30/1/1649. Charles I, convicted of treason on 29/1/1649 (see 22/8/1642), was beheaded outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall. He stepped on to the scaffold at 2pm. Four years had passed since the decisive Royalist defeat at Naseby (14/6/1645). Since then Charles I had sought the support of the Irish and the Roman Catholics and even the Pope, all in vain. The Scots, too, were sceptical of his promises to re-establish Presbyterianism and handed him over to the English. The executioner, Richard Brandon, received �30 for a job well done. Charles I�s funeral and burial was in St George�s Chapel on 9/2/1649.

20/1/1649 - 27/1/1649, At the week-long trial of Charles I, no defence witnesses were called.


1645-48, Final defeat and capture of King Charles I

6/12/1648, Pride�s purge of Parliament. Oliver Cromwell�s troops surrounded Parliament and refused to admit the 200 Presbyterian MPs, purging the whole of the majority that was opposing Cromwell�s Independents. The remaining 50 MPs, all Independents, then voted for Cromwell�s purge. They then discussed the fate of King Charles, who Cromwell was holding prisoner on the Isle of Wight. The Presbyterian faction had tried to make a deal with the King, and Cromwell�s swift solution was unexpected. The remaining MPswere dubbed the Rump Parliament.

17/8/1648. Cromwell�s army victorious at the Battle of Preston, against a small and poorly-trained force of Scottish soldiers under the Duke of Hamilton.

14/3/1648, Fairfax of Cameron, British Parliamentary General, died

15/1/1648, The British parliament renounced allegiance to the King and voted to have no further communication with him. This was because of his secret treaty with Scotland.

24/12/1647, The British Parliament presented Charles I with four Bills to sign. One gave Parliament control of the army for 20 years, another required all declarations of Parliament so far to be recalled, a third excluded all peers created by Charles I from sitting in the Lords, and the last allowed the two Houses to adjourn at their own pleasure.

11/11/1647, Charles I fled from Hampton Court to the Isle of Wight. He was arrested and detained in Carisbrooke Castle. He signed a secret treaty with the Scottish, who promised to restore him by force.

4/6/1647, At Holmby House in Northamptonshire, Charles I was seized by the Army, and taken to Hampton Court.

14/10/1645,Battle of Basing House, near Basingstoke, Charles could not risk fighting here in case Parliamentarian forces cut him off from Oxford, so he retreated back towards Newbury.

23/7/1645, The Royalist town of Bridgewater fell to the Parliamentarians.

10/7/1645, Battle of Langport (Somerset), English Civil War. The Parliamentarians under Thomas Fairfax defeated the Royalists under Lord Goring.

1645-48, Final defeat and capture of King Charles I


1644-47, Initial successes by Royalists in Soctland but then fortunes reversed.

30/1/1647, The Scottish agreed to hand over Charles I to the English Army for the sum of �400,000.

5/5/1646, Charles I surrendered to the Scots at Newark, ending the military phase of the Civil War

13/9/1645, The Battle of Philiphaugh, at which Montrose�s army, supporting Charles I, was routed by General Leslie�s forces. Montrose escaped to the Continent.

15/8/1645, Battle of Kilsyth, English Civil War. The Royalists under the Marquis of Montrose defeated the Covenanters under General Baillie.

2/7/1645, At the Battle of Alford, Royalists beat the Covenanters.

9/5/1645, Battle of Auldearn, English Civil War. Royalists under the Marquis of Montrose defeated the Covenanters east oif Nairn.

2/2/1645, At the Battle of Inverlochy, Royal Highlanders under the Marquess of Montrose defeated the Covenanters under the Earl of Argyll.

13/9/1644, Battle of Aberdeen, English Civil War. Royalists under the Marquis of Montrose defeated the Covenanters under Lord Burleigh.

1/9/1644, At the Battle of Tippamuir, Royalist Highlanders beat the Covenanters.

1644-47, Initial successes by Royalists in Soctland but then fortunes reversed.


1644-46, Royalists lose the North of England also

3/2/1646, Chester fell to Parliamentarian forces.

14/6/1645. Battle of Naseby, Northamptonshire, in the Civil War. 10,000 Royalists (Cavaliers), under Prince Rupert, were heavily defeated by 14,000 Roundheads under Cromwell and Fairfax, and effectively lost the Civil War. The Royalists had lost their best officers as well as artillery and other weaponry they could ill-afford to lose. The Royalists successfully attacked Cromwell�s left wing, but then made the fatal mistake of pursuing the fleeing soldiers. Cromwell regrouped the right wing of his cavalry to rout Prince Rupert�s army.

13/6/1645, Cromwell arrived at Naseby, raising the morale of the Parliamentary troops there.

11/6/1645, Cromwell�s New Model Army marched northwards from its siege of Oxford, travelling from Stony Stratford to Wootton, three miles from Northampton. Rainy weather hampered their progress, turning dirt roads into mud.

30/5/1645, A Royalist Army, 10,000 strong led by Prince Rupert attacked and besieged Parliamentarian forces in Leicester. The Parliamentarians, 480 soldiers, 900 armed townsmen, and 150 volunteers from the rest of Leicestershire, were heavily outnumbered. Moreover the city�s walls had been badly maintained and had to be hurriedly bolstered with earthen banks. Nevertheless the Royalists suffered heavy losses as they finally took the city; they then brutally slaughtered the defenders. Ultimately, Charles� treatment of the defenders of Leicester proved to be a turning point in his popularity amongst Britons.

27/10/1644, The second Battle of Newbury was indecisive. After it, Charles escaped to Oxford.The Parliamentarian Army under Charles Montagu, Duke of Manchester failed to prevent a Royalist force relieving the siege of Donnington Castle.

3/10/1644, The London-based Parliamentarian regiments defending Reading deserted back home, leaving Essex too weak to defend the town, which was recaptured by the Royalists this day.

8/9/1644, Sir John Coke, English politician, died (born 5/3/1563).

2/9/1644, Royalists defeated the Roundheads at the Battle of Lostwithiel (Cornwall). Charles now planned an advance on London.

2/7/1644. Battle of Marston Moor, near York, in the Civil War. The Royalists were crushed, and Cromwell�s forces took some 1,500 prisoners and kill 4,000 Royalist troops.This was the turning point in the Civil War; the Royalists had effectively lost the north of England.

1/7/1644, Prince Rupert lifted the siege of York.

30/6/1644, Prince Rupert reached Knaresborough, near York.

29/6/1644, Battle of Cropredy Bridge, English Civil War. Royalists under Charles I defeated the Parliamentarians under Sir William Wallers near Banbury.

15/6/1644, Essex, Parliamentarian, relieved the siege of Lyme Regis, and occupied Weymouth. Elsewhere in the South, Parliamentarian forces were pressing closer to Oxford, although Charles was able to manoeuvre skilfully in an area around Oxford Gloucester, Abingdon, Stourbridge and Northampton, avoiding total defeat by the Parliamentarian forces.

16/5/1644, Prince Rupert left Shrewsbury and fought his way across hostile country to Lancashire, where he hoped to drum up more support for the Royalists. He took Stockport and Liverpool, then swung towards Yorkshire, intending to relieve the siege of York. Once York was relieved, or if it was lost before he arrived, Rupert was to head back south to the Woircester area to help the Royalist forces there. See 1/7/1644.

13/4/1644, Fairfax and Leven commenced a siege of the Royalist forces in York.

11/4/1644, Fairfax, Parliamentarian, stormed into Yorkshire from Lancashire, occupying Selby this day. The Marquis of Newcastle, Royalist, had to retreat from fighting the Scots in Durham and consolidate his position in York.

1644-46, Royalists lose the North of England also


Winter 1643-44, Scottish forces join the Parliamentarians; Royalists losing in southern England.

29/3/1644, Battle of Cheriton, a few miles east of Winchester, Hampshire. Hopton, Royalist, was defeated. Although he had the advantage in the initial stages of this battle, indiscipline and bad coordination undermined his efforts, and Waller gained the final victory. However Waller suffered desertions from his army and was therefore unable to capitalise on this victory, and retired to Farnham.

22/3/1644, Newark capitulated to Prince Rupert. Rupert captured a large quantity of armaments. However he was being too thinly stretched, with Royalists in the North of England, Lancashire and the South all needing his assistance.

25/1/1644, Royalists were defeated at the Battle of Nantwich.

22/1/1644, King Charles summoned a �Counter Assembly�, a rival Parliament to the London one, at Oxford. He was pleased to find that 83 Peers and 175 MPs attended. However there was bad news for Charles on the military front, with the arrival on the Parliamentarian side of a Scottish army of 18,000 foot soldiers and 3,000 horsemen. London agreed to pay the Scots �31,000 a month plus cost of equipment for this military assistance. From the Scottish point of view, they were being invited to invade a larger country, at its own expense, and would gain considerable influence over its religious affairs. The Marquis of Newcastle, Royalist now faced an attack on two fronts, north and south.

6/1/1644, Waller, Parliamentarian, recaptured Arundel (see 9/12/1643).

13/12/1643, Parliamentarians under Waller made a surprise attack on a Royalist force at Alton (Hampshire) (see 15/9/1643).

9/12/1643, Lord Hopton captured Arundel for the Royalists. See 6/1/1644.

8/12/1643, Pym, Parliamentarian English politician, died.

Winter 1643-44, Scottish forces join the Parliamentarians; Royalists losing in southern England.


Autumn 1643, The tide turns once more against the Royalists. Charles� Irish troops prove unreliable.

20/9/1643. The First Battle of Newbury was indecisive.The Royalist Army was attempting to block the path of the Parliamentarians under Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, who were returning to their base at Reading after raising the siege of Gloucester.�� Essex�s Army failed to break through the Royalist position but made such an impact that the Royalists withdrew anyway. The Royalists withdrew back into Newbury, and Essex reached Reading on 22/9/1643 with only a minor rearguard skirmish at Aldermaston.

18/9/1643, Eastern Association Parliamentary forces reinforced Hull with more infantry and ammunition supplies, against the Royalists attacking the town from the rural East Riding. Meanwhile cavalry released from Hiull (by the arrival of the Parliamentarian infantry) � the sea routes from the town were open � crossed the Humber and defeated the Royalists at Winceby this day, just east of Horncastle, Lincolnshire. Parliamentarian forces subsequently captured Lincoln and Gainsborough.

16/9/1643, Parliamentary �Eastern Association� forces moved into Lincolnshire and besieged Royalist Kings Lynn, which surrendered this day. See 18/9/1643.

15/9/1643, King Charles made a truce with rebels in Ireland, to free up more forces for the Civil War. However these troops proved less than reliable fighters for Charles, and at Alton (13/12/1643) many defected to the Parliamentarian side.

5/9/1643, In the face of Essex�s newly arrived army, now at Cheltenham, the Royalists suddenly raised the siege of Gloucester and withdrew to Painswick. The danger to Gloucester now over, Essex�s men now began a march back to their headquarters at Reading; hiowever see 20/9/1643.

26/8/1643, Parliamentarian forces under Essex began a march westwards to relieve the siege of Gloucester. Moving through Aylesbury and then by-pasing Royalist Oxford to the north, going via Stow on the Wold, Essex�s forces successfully withstood both food shortages and flanking skirmishes by Royalist forces from Oxford. See 5/9/1643.

Autumn 1643, The tide turns once more against the Royalists. Charles� Irish troops prove unreliable.


�1643 - Summer of successes for the Royalists

10/8/1643, Royalist forces began a siege of Gloucester. The city constituted a vital strategic link between the Royalist areas of Wales and Oxfordshire, and its governor, the Parliamentarian Massey, was rumoured to be ready to switch allegiance. Charles hoped to capture Gloucester, consolidating his position across southern Rngland and the South Midlands, and then later capture Hull and Plymouth, which were still thorns in his side, holding out for Parliament. However Charles could instead have taken his army against London where the Parliamentarian Army had suffered desertions and disease, and riots had broken out against them.A possible opportunity to win the peace movement in London and so end the civil war with a Royalist victory was foregone.

26/7/1643, Prince Rupert, Royalist, captured Bristol after a 4-day siege. Waller, with his forces badly mauled, was powerless to intervene from his headquarters in Bath. The Royalists now overran all of Dorset.

25/7/1643, Roger Pierrepoint, Royalist who had been taken prisoner by the Parlianentarians whilst defending Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, was accidentally killed whilst being taken to Hull.

13/7/1643. Wallers Parliamentarian forces attempted to surround and capture Devizes, along with Hopton�s army and guns defending the town. However the Royalists fought back strongly, and Royalist reinforcements soon arrived from Oxford. Waller�s forces were detstroyed, and the Royalists now advanced on Parliamentarian-held Bristol.

6/7/1643, Royalist forces, having failed to make a breakthrough at Bath, and with Hopton badly wounded, moved east to Devizes, closely followed by Parliamentarian soldiers.

5/7/1643, Waller, Parliamentarian commander holding Bath, to avoid being surrounded, engaged the Royalists at Lansdown, just north of Bath. Neither side really won this battle, having fought to exhaustion all day, and Hopton was severely injured next day by the explosion of an ammunition wagon.

6/1643, Royalist forces from Devon and Wiltshire joined up at Chard and moved towards Parliamentarian-held Bath. The Royalists avoided the Mendips by swinging east towards the Avon Valley, which threatened the Parliamentarians in Bath with being cut off from London and surrounded. See 5/7/1643. However Plymouth was still held by the Parliamentarians, and was just the same threat to the Royalists in the southwest as Hull was to the Royalists in Yorkshire.

30/6/1643, Fairfax�s Parliamentarian forces were decisively defeated at the battle of Adwalton (Atherton) Moor, near Bradford, Yorkshire, This led to the fall of the West Riding clothing towns to the Royalists.

24/6/1643, John Hamden, Parliamentarian commander, died after eing wounded in the shoulder by gunfire at the Battle of Chalgrove.

18/6/1643, An epidemic had weakened Essex�s Parliamentarian forces holding Reading, and this day the Parliamentarian forces were routed, and their commander John Hampden mortally wounded at the Battle of Chalgrove Field (Chiselhampton, between Wallingford and Oxford). When Essex obtained reinforcements and attempted to take Oxford from the Aylesbuty side he found his men demoralised and withdrew from Rupert�s Parliamentarian cavalry over towards Bedfordshire, in July 1643.

16/5/1643, Hopton, Royalist, virtually annihilated Parliamentarian forces in a battle at Bradock Down, near Stratton, Cornwall/Devon border. Royalist forces west of Oxford now attempted a link-up with those in Devon, and the Parliamentarians were forced to take forces from the Gloucestershire area to hold back the Royalist advance through Devon eastwards. The Parliamentarians had to be content with still holding Reading.

�1643 - Summer of successes for the Royalists


1643, Turnaround for the better in Parliamentary fortunes, but�

27/4/1643, Charles� plan for victory was now to tie down Essex�s forces with the Royalist stronghold in the Oxford area whilst other Royalist forces fought their way towards London from the North and West. London would ultimately be surrounded and starved into surrender. However this plan failed due to the number of towns still held by the Parliamentarians, even as the Royalists controlled the countryside around. Places like Hull, Parliamentarian-held, tied up Royalist forces and thwarted Charles� plans. However this day Parliamentarian forces captured Reading, an important part of the Royalist Oxford defence perimeter, a development which, although not fatal to Charles� plans, would severely delay him.

25/4/1643, Hopton�s Royalist forces were defeated at Sourton Down, Dartmoor.

12/4/1643, The Dukedom of Hamilton was created.

24/3/1643, The Parliamentarian position was improving somewhat after a bad winter 1642/3. Parliament had feared foreign intervention in support of Charles, and had to impose taxation, alienating some, whilst others in London wanted peace at almost any cost. Parliament was considering calling in the Scots to help against Charles.. However this day Sir William Waller defeated the Royalists at Highnam, just west of Gloucester, reinforcing the Parliamentarian hold on Gloucester. Parliament still held the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Hampshire and Wiltshire were cleared of Royalist forces. Some of Charles� supporters too wanted to negotiate a peace.

19/3/1643, An indecisive battle at Hopton Heath, Staffordshire.

7/3/1643, Prince Rupert attempted to capture Bristol but failed. He then marched northeast, attacked Birmingham, then continued to recapture Lichfield, which had been taken by the Parliamentarians earlier in the year.

2/2/1643, Royalist forces from Oxford captured Cirencester, widening the area they controlled in the south Midlands. In the lower Severn Valley, the Parliamentarians still controlled the garrison towns of Gloucester and Bristol.

7/11/1642, Sir Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester, died.

28/1/1642, Sir William Brereton, Parliamentarian, captured Nantwich. However the Royalists were dong well in the region, extending their area of influence from Shropshire and Staffordshire over to Ashby de la Zouch, into Leicestershire and Nottinghgamshire, linking up with Royalist forces in Newark.

16/1/1643, Hopton, Royalist, defeated the Parliamentarians under the Earl of Stamford at Bradock Down, near Liskeard.

1643, Turnaround for the better in Parliamentary fortunes, but�


Summer 1642, campaigns in the Midlands and South-East.

12/11/1642, Charles I marched on London, defeating Royalist forces at Brentford, but was turned back at Turnham Green. The Royalists retired west to Reading. Over the following winter, 1642/3, with fighting in abeyance, tye Royalist forces consolidated their position around Oxford whilst the Parliamtarians established a position at Windsor. The Royalists established a defensive ring with outposts at Reading, Wallingford, Abingdon, Brill, Banbury and Marlborough. However Civil War conflicts continued over the winter in the North of England. Newcastle�s Royalist forces defeated Hotham in the North Riding of Yorkshire, then linked up with Royalist forces in York. Fairfax retreated his Parliamentarian forces to the region between Selby and Hull. Newcastle now prepared to attack the �Puritan clothing towns� of Leeds, Halifax and Bradford, but the townspeople there put up stiff resistance, and in 1/1643 Newcastle gave up the attack. Instead Newcastle marched south, over to Newark, to link up with Royalist forces in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Local small bands of Parliamentarian supporters in the Newark and Ashby de la Zouch areas were neutralised.

In the West, 11/1642, Hopton�s forces drove out the Parliamentarians from Cornwall and succeeded in occupying Devon also. The Earl of Stamford took his Parliamtarian forces out of south Wales to engage Hopton, who retreated back into Cornwall. See 16/1/1643.

24/10/1642, Essex retured from the battle scene at Edgehill, leaving the Royalists to claim victory. The Royalists now continued towards London, taking Banbury and Oxford, London started quickly erecting defences, although some Londoners wanted to sue for peace..

23/10/1642. The Royalists narrowly beat the Roundheads at the Battle of Edgehill, the first of the English Civil War. The Royalists had bee lured down from their strong hilltop position, as they needed to engage the Parliamentarians, or face a long slow attrition. Both sides, exhausted and battered, claimed victory.

22/10.1642, Essex, marching at full speed, reached Kineton, just 7 miles from the Royalist headquarters at Edgecote.

12/10/1642, Prince Rupert, Royalist, found many of his army in Shrewsbury keen to attack the Parliamentarians under Essex at their new headquarters at Worcester. However the road from Shrewsbury to London was now open and the Royalists decided to take it, anticipating that Essex would intercept them. They were keen to attack the Parliamentarian forces before they grew too strong. This day the Royalist Army left Shrewsbury gaining two days start on the Parliamentarians, moving south east via Bridgnorth, Birmingham and Kenilworth. Parliament in London became alarmed and ordered Essex to find and defeat Charles.

23/9/1642, A cavalry skirmish at Worcester between the retreating Royalists, moving north, and an advance guard of Parliamentarian cavalry The Royalists won, raising their morale.

13/9/1642, King Charles marched west from Nottingham to marshal his supporters and their armouries in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, and to link up, via Chester, with his regiments in Ireland. The Parliamentarian forces shadowed this move, also moving west from Northampton towards Worcester.

22/8/1642. The English Civil War began, between the Cavaliers who supported King Charles I and the Roundheads who supported Parliament, when the King raised his standard at Nottingham. Parliament raised an army of 20,000; the nobility and gentry supported the King, fearing a Parliament of commoners. Small-scale skirmishes between Parliamentarians and Royalists were already in progress, to secure or to deny to the enemy country houses, loyalty, men, territory, arms and wealth. King Charles managed to bolster up his army of 1,500 to nearer 15,000, which was almost as large as the Parliamnterian Army, 20,000 strong, although the latter was much better armed.

Summer 1642, campaigns in the Midlands and South-East.


Prelude to Civil War

1/6/1642, Parliament presented nineteen propositions (demands) to Charles I. These asked for Parliamentary control of the military, the Church, and of the tutors of the Royal children

10/3/1642, Parliament requested the Lord High Admiral to appoint Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, as commander of the fleet. Simultaneously Charles told him to appoint the Royalist Sir John Pennington. Warwick was appointed, and Charles had lost the navy.

10/1/1642, Charles I withdrew from London, to Hampton Court. The Commons, emboldened, prepared Bills excluding bishops from the House of Lords and giving Parliament control of the army.

4/1/1642, Charles I entered Parliament and attempted to arrest five members for treasonable correspondence with the Scots. He failed; the five were in hiding, and Parliament refused to back the arrests. The five MPs were John Hampden, Arthur Haselrigg, Denzil Holles, John Pym and William Strode. This was the first time a monarch had entered the Commons, with militia, in defiance of convention. Charles left the Commons, angry, and five days later left London and began raising an army against Parliament.

22/11/1641, The Long Parliament passed the Grand Remonstrance, part of a series of measures to curb the excesses of King Charles I�s absolutist ambitions.

Prelude to Civil War


King Charles I, start of dispute with Parliament over revenue

1640, Oliver Cromwell was elected MP for Cambridge. He supported Parliament�s greivances against King Charles I.

3/11/1640, In Britain, the Long Parliament assembled. It lasted until 1660, due to the Civil War.

13/4/1640. In order to raise money for a war against Scotland, Charles I convened Parliament for the first time since 1629. This �short parliament� was dissolved on 4/5/1640 after refusing to give the King any money.

9/10/1636, King Charles I issued a third writ for ship money

4/8/1635, King Charles I issued a second writ for ship money (see 11/2/1628), again the writ was resisted.

10/3/1629, King Charles I of England dissolved Parliament, starting the Eleven Years Tyranny.

11/2/1628, King Charles I demanded �ship money� of �173,000 to secure Britain against French invasion.Ship money could be levied by The Crown without Parliamentary consent, although it was of dubious legality.,However on this occasion the demands caused serious unrest but Charles I was determined to rule without parliamentary consent.See 4/8/1635.

8/2/1622, In England, King James I disbanded the Parliament.


8/1/1639, Henry, son of Charles I, was born.

14/10/1633, James II was born at St James Palace, the second son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria.

16/5/1633, Charles I was crowned King of Scotland at Edinburgh.

4/11/1631, Mary, daughter of Charles I, was born.

29/5/1630, King Charles II was born.

28/11/1628, John Felton, assassin of the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was hanged.

23/8/1628, The Duke of Buckingham, courtier and royal favourite of James I, was assassinated in Portsmouth

11/5/1625. Charles I married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France.

27/3/1625. Charles I became king.

5/3/1625, King James I, the �wisest fool in Christendom� died suddenly at Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire.. He had been born in Edinburgh Castle on 19/6/1566, and was originally King James IV of Scotland. As King James I of England he was the first Stuart King.

3/5/1621, The Lord Chancellor, Sir Francis Bacon, was charged with accepting bribes to grant monopolies, and impeached.

25/3/1619, Peter Mews, English Royalist, was born (died 9/11/1706).

29/10/1618. Sir Walter Raleigh, 54, English seafarer and once a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I - he named Virginia after her � was beheaded at Whitehall after being falsely accused of treason.The execution was to appease Spain. Elizabeth was possessive towards Raleigh and when she found he had married she sent him and his wife to The Tower of London. However Raleigh bought their release and went adventuring overseas, plundering Spanish possessions. His aggression towards Spain ledthe new monarch, James I, to believe Raleigh was plotting to overthrow him. However again Raleigh escaped in 1616 when the death sentence was lifted at the last minute, without, however, an official pardon. It was now re-invoked when Raleigh returned empty-handed from a gold-seeking expedition in Guiana, and at this time a Spanish settlement had been burnt by Raleigh�s men.

23/5/1617, Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian and founder of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, was born in Lichfield (died 18/5/1692).

17/12/1616, Sir Roger L�estrange, English Royalist pamphleteer, was born.

1614, Sheffield now had 182 Master Cutlers. In 1624 the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was established.


7/6/1614, In England, the Addled Parliament was dissolved by James I without having passed a single Bill since it first sat on 5/4/1614, hence its name.

5/4/1614, The �Addled Parliament� began sitting. It was dissolved on 7/6/1614 without passing a single Bill, hence its name.

22/5/1611, King James I created the title �Baronet�.

25/11/1609, Maria Henrietta, wife of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of Framce, was born (died 31/8/1666).

19/6/1606, James Hamilton, English Civil war Royalist, was born (executed 9/3/1649).

12/4/1606, The Union Jack was adopted as the flag of England, Wales, and Scotland.


Guy Fawkes Plot

31/1/1606, Guy Fawkes and co-conspirators were executed.

27/1/1606, The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators began.

5/11/1605, Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder (see 11/12/1604). His trial was at Westminster Hall on 27/1/1606. This was part of a Catholic plot to overthrow the Protestant English monarchy BUT see 11/12/1604.However the gunpowder barrels were discovered in the cellars of Parliament before they were detonated.Lord Monteagle, a Catholic peer, had received a letter warning him to stay away from the State Opening of Parliament and hinting at an explosion. Monteagle and the Lord Chamberlain investigated the cellars below the House of Lords and discovered a man piling wood, who gave his name as Guy Fawkes, and claimed that the wood belonged to his master, Lord Percy. They let him go but after further investigating the wood pile they found 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath. Guy Fawkes, a 36-year-old Yorkshireman, was arrested when he returned at midnight to make final preparations for the explosion. Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn, and quartered on 31/1/1606.Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Winter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates, other conspirators, were hung, drawn, and quartered on 30/1/1606.

11/12/1604, Guy Fawkes began digging a tunnel from a house he had rented near the Houses of Parliament (see 5/11/1605). His plan was to reach the cellars under the House and fill it with gunpowder to blow it up. They reached the foundations of the House by Christmas 1604, but then the opening of Parliament was unexpectedly postponed, from 7/2/1605, first to 3/10/1605 and then to 5/11/1605. This was lucky for Guy Fawkes because the foundations, 12 foot thick, were difficult to dig through, and then the coal merchant who had been renting the House cellars gave up his lease. Allegedly a roaring noise above the tunnelers first alarmed them, then alerted them to the vacated rent, the noise being due to the removal of the coal stored there. The conspirators quickly took up the rent themselves. However some historians have doubted elements of this story, such as the tunnel being dug under a busy part of London; it is possible that the entire episode was in fact a Protestant scheme to discredit English Catholics.

In 2005, at the Spadeadam military research centre in Cumbria, a mock-up of the 1605 Houses of Parliament, with the approximately 1 tonne of gunpowder in the 36 barrels, was created and set off. The force of the explosion would have destroyed Parliament, demolishing 7 foot thick stone walls.

13/4/1570, Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Parliament, was born.


12/9/1605, Sir William Dugdale, English historian, was born (died 10/2/1686). In 1641 he was commissioned by Sir Christopher Hatton (who foresaw the destruction of the Civil War) to make exact drafts of the monuments at all of England�s major cathedrals.

18/8/1604, The Treaty of London was signed ending the Anglo-Spanish War.

2/4/1604, A convention was established in the UK Parliament by Speaker Phelips that a motion cannot be repeatedly brought back before the House when it has been defeated and has not been substantially changed. This little-known convention became significant in March 2019 when Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May faced the possibility that Speaker Bercow would not allow her to submit her Brexit Plan for a third time to the Commons without substantive changes.

14/1/1604, The Hampton Court Conference began.

30/11/1603, William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, died (born 24/5/1544).

17/11/1603, Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.

25/7/1603, Coronation of King James I of England.

27/3/1603. King James VI of Scotland halted in Berwick, on his way to also become King James I of England. He attended a church service at Berwick to �give thanks for his peaceful entry into his new dominions. He attempted, unsuccessfully, to ban the use of the word �borders� and replace it by �middle shires�. However frontier fortresses in both England and Scotland were dismantled and their garrisons reduced to nominal strength. James Ileft Berwick on 5/4/1603, and entered London on 7/5/1603.

24/3/1603. Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace aged 69; her funeral was on 28/3/1603. She ruled as Queen for nearly 45 years. See 13/1/1559. This was the Union of the Scottish and English crowns. The Scottish King James VI, who then became King James I of Britain, succeeded her. The Act of Union between England and Scotland was on 1/5/1707.

30/11/1601, Queen Elizabeth I made her last address to Parliament, see 24/3/1603.

25/2/1601, Robert, Earl of Essex, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, was executed.

19/11/1600. Charles I, who believed in the Divine Right of Kings to rule but who was beheaded after losing the Civil War, was born in Fife.He was the second son of King James I and Anne of Denmark.

25/4/1599. Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon. He became Lord Protector of England, Britain�s first and only dictator.

4/8/1598, William Cecil, Baron Burghley, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, died.

22/11/1594, English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher died this day in Plymouth.

15/2/1594, In England, William Harrington was hung drawn and quartered for being a Catholic priest.

6/4/1593, John Greenwood, English religious activist, was hanged.

4/9/1588. The death of Queen Elizabeth�s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

8/8/1588, Queen Elizabeth I reviewed her troops at Tilbury.

Spanish Armada defeated, 1587-88

5/11/1588, The St Juan de Sicilia, a ship of the Spanish Armada that had taken refuge off the coast of Tobermory (see 23/9/1588) blew up. An English agent, John Smollett, had detonated the ship�s poweder store, although at one time the Irish or an accident was blamed. The English wanted to avoid a detachment of several hundred Spanish soldiers landing in neutral Scotland. Smollett, acting as double agent, ingratiated himself with the Spanish, supplying them with new sails. Secrecy was important as although Scotland was neutral, relations with England were tense after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587. Most of the Spanish were at the time helping the islanders of Tobermory besiege a castle on the mainland; those still on board were killed, and their supplies and ammunition were now destroyed.

23/9/1588, A Spanish ship, the St Juan de Sicilia, was spotted off Tobermory, Scotland.

15/9/1588, The remnants of the Spanish Armada limped back into Spanish ports.

2/8/1588, The Spanish Armada passed the Firth of Forth, sailing around Scotland. The English left off the pursuit and returned home.

29/7/1588. The Spanish Armada under Medina Sidonia was defeated. (See 19/5/1588). On the night of the 28 July the English sent fireships amongst the 130 ships of the Armada sent by Philip II to invade England, as they were anchored off Calais. This caused panic amongst the Spanish, who cut anchor, one ship running aground. By now the Spanish had lost several of their best ships and, whilst maintaining good order, were demoralised. The Spanish sent a signal to Parma to put his ships to sea from Dunkirk but he could not as he was closely blockaded by the British. On 29 July the English decimated the Spanish with broadside fire, preventing the Spanish closing and boarding, which would have been their only chance of success. The Spanish soldiers were outgunned and had inferior seamanship to the English sailors. The Spanish were nearly driven aground off The Netherlands on 30 July but a sudden change of wind saved them, with only 6 fathoms below them, and they were able to sail northwest into the North Sea. The English, running low on food and ammunition, followed them as far as the Firth of Forth, then returned south, satisfied that the Spanish would not return via the Straits of Dover. The Armada, short of both food and fresh water, encountered further problems with strong westerly winds as they attempted to sail around the north of Scotland and south to Spain. Many ships were wrecked at open sea or off the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Only half the ships that left Spain returned home; death and sickness took a great toll of the crews. The failure of the Armada checked the naval growth of Spain and assisted the Netherlands to gain independence. Two further Armadas prepared by Spain, in 1596 and 1597, were disrupted by bad weather.

26/7/1588, The Spanish Armada anchored off Calais, unable to fight further without new supplies of ammunition. Medina Sidonia requested Parma to come to his assistance, but Parma was unable to leave Bruges because of a blockade by the Dutch fleet under Justinian of Nassau. Meanwhile Howard did not risk coming close enough to the Spanish ships to do serious damage as that would put his own ships at risk of boarding by Spanish soldiers.

25/7/1588, The Spanish Armada and the English navy engaged off the Isle of Wight. There were fears that the Spanish planned to seize the island as a base.

23/7/1588, Second engagement between the Spanish and English, off the Isle of Portland.

21/7/1588, The English fleet first engaged with the Spanish Armada near Eddystone Rocks, south of Plymouth.

20/7/1588, Lord Howard of Effingham, Commander in Chief of the Fleet, saild from Plymouth to engage the Armada.

19/7/1588, English scout ships first spotted the Armada off Lizard head.

12/7/1588, The Spanish Armada left Corunna, where it had put in to take refuge from a storm and make some repairs on vessels that had proved unseaworthy.

28/5/1588. The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon. The Armada consisted of 130 vessels, containing 7,000 sailors and 17,000 soldiers, commended by the Duke of Medina, sent by King Philip II. It arrived off the Lizard, Cornwall, on 19/7/1588, and off Plymouth on 20/7/1588. The English Navy was only just able to get out to sea and avoid being blockaded in Plymouth harbour. On 23 July the English and Spanish fleets clashed off Portland, and again on 25 July off the Isle of Wight. The defeat of the Armada was on 29 July, see 29/7/1588.

19/4/1587. Sir Francis Drake led his convoy of ships into Cadiz, where the Spanish Armada was being prepared to attack England, and, taking the Spanish completely by surprise, looted, burnt, and sank many ships. He also looted the harbour stores and managed to escape with no casualties.

This adventure became known as �the singeing of the King of Spain�s beard�. Sir Francis Drake also brought back 2,900 barrels of �sack�, a wine made in the Jerez region of Spain, so named from the Spanish word �sacar�, meaning �to take out, or export�. This was the forerunner of today�s sherry drink. Sack had been popular abroad since a Spanish law passed in 1492 exempting wine made for export from taxes; it was a robust wine that did not go off easily.

8/2/1587. Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, after nearly 19 years in prison. She had been implicated in a Catholic plot to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. The leader of the plot, Anthony Babington, had planned to free Mary, and rally support amongst English Roman Catholics for a Spanish invasion force. Mary married the French Dauphin in her teens and was Queen of France for a year until he died. Her second marriage was to Lord Darnley. After Darnley�s murder, in which Mary may have been implicated, she married the Earl of Bothwell. Mary was defeated in battle in Scotland and fled to England, but her cousin Elizabeth I had her imprisoned. Elizabeth had been reluctant to execute Mary, because this might bring reprisals from Catholic Europe, and might legitimate her own execution at some future point; however Francis Walsingham persuaded Elizabeth to order the execution.

20/9/1586, Chidiock Tichborne, one of the conspirators in the Catholic Babington Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I, was executed at the Tower of London.

10/8/1585, Elizabeth I of England signed the Treaty of Nonsuch, promising 64,000 foot soldiers, 1,000 cavalry, and 600,000 florins a year to support Protestant rebels in The Netherlands against Spain. Although Elizabeth disliked involvement in foreign European wars, the Spanish presence in The Netherlands was too close to England to ignore. King Philip II of Spain, who had laid siege to Antwerp in 1584, saw this Treaty as a declaration of war.

1584, A copper smelting works was set up at Neath, south Wales, an early forerunner of industrialisation there.

1/12/1581. The Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion was hanged at Tyburn, for distributing an anti-Anglican pamphlet in Oxford.

4/4/1581. Queen Elizabeth I knighted Francis Drake on his ship The Golden Hind at Deptford, London, after he completed his circumnavigation of the world. See 26/9/1580. En route, Drake had captured and plundered several Spanish galleons; Spain demanded that Elizabeth I hang Drake for piracy, but Drake was a hero in England.

16/1/1581, The English Parliament declared Catholicism illegal.

16/5/1578, Sir Everard Digby, Gunpowder Plot conspirator, was born (executed 31/1/1606).

7/3/1578, Margaret Lennox, grand-daughter of King Henry VII of England, died (born 8/10/1515).

11/6/1573, In Britain, a Puritan pamphlet calling for the abolition of episcopacy was suppressed by Parliament.

10/3/1573, Dudley Dorchester, English statesman, was born (died 15/2/1632).

24/11/1572. John Knox, father of the Scottish reformation, died in Edinburgh. He had returned to Scotland after the rebellion against the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots.

6/4/1571, John Hamilton, Scottish political activist, was hanged.

25/2/1570. Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V who declared her a usurper.

20/2/1570, The Northern Rebellion ended. In November 1569 the Catholic Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland had started the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I, motivated by the flight of (Catholic) Mary Queen of Scots to England, also by the arrest of Thomas Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, in October 1569. In November 1569 Northumberland had seized Durham Cathedral to celebrate Catholic Mass. The Earls now marched south to fight Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, at York. However their elevated social position, and religious fervour, failed to inspire enough foot soldiers to follow them and their march petered out. After a battle at Naworth, Cumbria, this day, 20/2/1570, the Earls fled to Scotland. Government reprisals against Catholics were harsh and Protestantism became more firmly established in England.

5/9/1569, Edmond Bonner, Bishop of London, died in the Marshalsea Prison.

2/1/1568, Luisa de Carvajal, Catholic missionary in England, was born (died 2/1/1614).

26/1/1567, Nicholas Wotton, English diplomat, died.

4/9/1566, Queen Elizabeth I visited Oxford, to consolidate her acceptance by the University and Town as Supreme Head of the Church.

13/7/1566, Sir Thomas Hoby, English diplomat, died (born 1530).

20/4/1566, Sir John Mason, English diplomat, died.

17/3/1565, Alexander Ales, Scottish clergyman, died in Leipzig (born 23/4/1500 in Edinburgh).

20/9/1562, The Treaty of Hampton Court was signed.

10/11/1559, Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the Charter of the Stationer�s company.

8/5/1559, The Act of Uniformity was signed by Queen Elizabeth I. This enshrined the monarch as head of the Church in England, ensuring the supremacy of Protestantism under Queen Elizabeth I.

17/4/1559, The Act of Supremacy was partly re-enacted in England.

15/1/1559. Queen Elizabeth I crowned. She was born on 7/9/1533 at Greenwich Palace. Daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she ruled from 1558 to 1603 and was one of England�s greatest rulers, succeeding her Catholichalf-sister Mary Tudor. She cleverly preserved England�s independence from Catholic Europe whilst also outflanking the more radical Puritans, and her reign saw the emergence of England as a major sea power through Drake and others.This was also a time when the arts thrived. She died on 24/3/1603.



14/12/1558, Funeral of Queen Mary of England.

17/11/1558. Queen Mary of England (Bloody Mary), daughter of Henry VIII, died in St James Palace London at the age of 42.Born in 1516 to Catharine of Aragon, she outmanoeuvred Lord Dudley�s attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, on the death of her half-brother King Edward VI. Mary�s marriage to Philip II of Spain dragged England into the war between France and Spain, and caused the loss to England of Calais, an English outpost since the reign of Edward III. Under her five-year reign Catholicism was restored and Protestants persecuted.On Mary�s death, her half-sister Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I.

24/4/1558, Mary Queen of Scots, aged 16, married the Dauphin of France.

7/1/1558. Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was taken by the French under the Duke of Guise. The English had captured Calais in 1346 after a year besieging it.

16/7/1557, Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII, died.

19/6/1556, King James I of England, son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, the first Stuart King of England and Ireland, also King James VI of Scotland, was born.

21/3/1556, Thomas Cranmer, first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, was burnt at the stake in Oxford as a heretic and a traitor, under the Catholic rule of Queen �Bloody� Mary. He had been deprived of his office on 11/12/1555. He had assisted in having the marriage of Mary�s parents, King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, annulled.

16/10/1555. Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, British Protestant martyrs and Oxford reformers, were burnt at the stake for heresy.

30/11/1554, Cardinal Pole pardoned England for its Protestant heresy and welcomed the country back into the Roman Catholic Church.

25/7/1554. Mary I, Bloody Mary, married Philip II of Spain, son and heir of Charles V, in Winchester. This was her second marriage; the first had been when, aged three, she was married to the King of France, then nine months old. Catholicism returned to England. See 17/11/1558.

20/7/1554, Philip II of Spain arrived in Southampton, having crossed the Channel during a terrible storm.

19/5/1554, Queen Elizabeth was released from the Tower of London.

10/5/1554, Thomas Goodrich, English ecclesiastic, died.

18/3/1554, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for alleged complicity in a plot against Mary led by Sir Thomas Wyatt; she was released on 19/5/1554.

11/2/1554, Lady Jane Grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were executed on Tower Green, Tower of London, for high treason; she was aged 16. Lady Grey became Queen on 10/7/1553 but was deposed nine days later by her cousin Mary Tudor who then became Queen of England. The Protestant King Edward VI had proclaimed Jane Queen above her half sister Mary because that kept England away from Catholic Spain. Mary delayed executing Jane but changed her mind when Jane�s father attempted a revolution.

20/12/1553, In England, Protestant Church services were ruled illegal.

1/10/1553, Mary Tudor was crowned Queen of England.

19/7/1553. Lady Jane Grey, a Protestant, was deposed, aged 16, after a reign of only nine days. She was sent to the Tower of London and beheaded on 12/2/1554. Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), a Catholic, half sister of Edward IV, was proclaimed Queen, but died on 17/11/1558.

10/7/1553. Following the death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England.

21/5/1553, Lady Jane Grey was forced to marry Lord Guildford Dudley; Dudley had ambitions to be King of England.

9/8/1549. England declared war on France.


Kett�s Rebellion

7/12/1549, Robert Kett, rebel leader, was hanged.

12/7/1549, Robert Kett, with 16,000 men, camped on Mousehold Heath outside Norwich and demanded an audience with Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, who was Protector of England during the minority years of King Edward VI. Kett�s demands concerned rising rents, rising food prices and the increase in sheep farming (which demanded enclosure whereas crop farming did not). Somerset ordered Kett�s mob to disperse, with a pardon for any crimes committed up to that point; Kett refused. Somerset now ordered William Parr, Marquis of Northampton, to defeat Kett. Parr marched into Norwich with 1,800 men, unopposed, but a surprise night attack by Kett�s men routed Parr�s force. Parr retreated to London and Kett was unable to follow, as his men had no wish to extend the dispute out of their native Norfolk. Somerset now ordered John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, south from Scotland, with 6,000 foot soldiers and 1,500 cavalry. Dudley surrounded Kett in Norwich, and the two leaders began negotiations. However some of Kett�s hotheads opened a fight with Dudley; Kett�s men were massacred with nearly 50 hanged.

20/6/1549, Kett�s Rebellion against enclosure of common land began when a group of men led by Robert Kett, a smallholder and tanner, tore down the new hedges and fences at Attleborough near Norwich. Copycat mobs sprang up all across Suffolk and Norfolk. In particular they resented the enclosure activities of landowner Edward Flowerdew.


9/6/1549. The Church of England adopted the Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Thomas Cranmer. In Devon, where the abolition of the chantries had caused economic hardship, there was considerable opposition.

20/3/1549. Death of Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England. He married King Henry VIII�s widow, Catherine Parr. When she died, he planned to marry Queen Elizabeth I, but was arrested for treason and executed.

5/9/1548, Catherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII, died in childbirth.By then she was the wife of Lord Seymour, at Sudeley castle, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

20/2/1547, King Edward VI, aged 9, crowned as King at Westminster Abbey.

16/2/1547, King Henry VIII was buried at Windsor.

Death of King Henry VIII

28/1/1547. King Henry VIII, born 28/6/1491, died aged 56, probably of kidney and liver failure.. King Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII, by Jane Seymour, born 12/10/1537 and now aged 9, ascended the throne on 20/2/1547. However he died on 9/7/1553 at the age of 15. He was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey, see 19/7/1553.

19/1/1547, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was beheaded at the Tower of London for treason.

19/7/1545, The Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII�s battle fleet, keeled over and sank in the Solent with the loss of 700 lives. It was raised on 11/10/1982 and taken to Portsmouth Dockyard.

2/3/1545, Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, was born in Exeter (died in London 28/1/1613).

14/9/1544, Henry VIII of England captured Boulogne. On 7/6/1546 the English and French signed the Peace of Ardres. This said Boulogne was to remain in English hands for another eight years.

24/5/1544, William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, was born (died 30/11/1603).

12/7/1543, King Henry VIII married his sixth wife, Katherine Parr.


Catherine Howard, 5th wife

13/2/1542, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded. She stood accused of adultery. Her last words were �I die a queen but I would rather have died the wife of Culpepper�.

9/11/1541, Catherine Howard, 5th wife of King Henry VIII, was confined to the Tower of London

28/7/1540, Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor to Henry VIII, was beheaded on Tower Hill for promoting the King�s failed marriage to Anne of Cleves. (See 6/1/1540). On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. She was beheaded on 13/2/1542.


Anne of Cleves, 4th wife

9/7/1540, Henry VIII divorced his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

24/6/1540, Henry VIII ordered Anne of Cleves to leave the Royal Court

6/1/1540, King Henry VIII�s ill-fated marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves (see 28/7/1540). Anne was born on 22/9/1515; her father was leader of the German Protestants and so Anne was regarded as a suitable wife for Henry VIII by Cromwell. However she had no looks, spoke only her own language, and had no dowry. Her only recommendations were her proficiency in needlework and her meek and mild temper. The marriage contract was signed on 24/9/1539; she landed at Deal on 27/12/1539, and Henry VIII met her at Rochester on 1/1/1540. On 2/1/1540 Henry VIII openly said about her looks, �She is no better than a Flanders mare�. On the wedding morning, 6/1/1540, he said nothing would have persuaded him to marry her but the fear of driving the Duke of Cleves into the arms of the Holy Roman Emperor. Soon after Henry regretted identifying so closely with the German Protestants. Henry then declared the marriage non-consummated and so null and void, on 9/7/1540. Anne lived the rest of her life happily in retirement in England, dying on 28/7/1557; she was buried at Westminster Abbey.

4/9/1539, King Henry VIII contracted to marry Anne of Cleves.


Dissolution of the Monasteries

16/7/1546, Protestant martyr Anne Askew was burnt at the stake.

30/7/1540, Thomas Abel, English priest, was executed for denying the Royal supremacy in the Church.

23/3/1540, The Crown seized Waltham Abbey. It was the last of the great monasteries to be seized by Henry VIII, bringing to an end a four-year campaign that had seen some 850 church properties, monasteries friaries and convents, with their gold and jewels, pass to the King. The total income from these properties was around �132,000 a year and Henry VIII gave some of this to his supporters.

22/8/1538, John Lambert, English Protestant martyr, died.

1536, The Dissolution of the smaller monasteries, the 374 houses with income under �200,000 a year, began. In 1538 the Dissolution of the 186 �Great and solemn monasteries� began, continuing until this process was complete in 1540.

The monasteries had become notorious for the bad behaviour of their residents in the locality, and for tolerating gambling, sexual immorality and financial misdealings. Local people were npot sad to see them go. Initially the dissolution of the smaller Houses and the reallocation of their residents to larger institutions was seen as a reform, but the process did not stop with the smaller monasteries.

See also History of Christianity

16/10/1536, York was occupied by rebels against the takeover of the Church by King Henry VIII. This was the Pilgrimage of Grace (see also Christian, buildings). Much of northern England, from Lincolnshire to north Yorkshire, was in uproar at this takeover, the valuation of Church property, the suppression of smaller monasteries, and the cancellation of some Saints day holidays. Led by Robert Aske, rebels seized northern towns. Henry VIII made peace with the rebels and issued a pardon, only to go back on this on a pretext in January 1537 and execute the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, including Aske.

13/10/1536, The Pilgrimage of Grace began in northern England, protesting at King Henry VIII�s break from Rome.

14/4/1536, King Henry VIII of Engtland began expropriating the minor monasteries

21/1/1535, Henry VIII appointed Cromwell as vice-regent in spiritual or vicar-general. Cromwell now set about assessing the value of England�s monasteries.


25/8/1537, The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was founded.

1536, The Act of Union with Wales, passed by King Henry VIII.

1536, German-born painter Hans Holbein became Court Painter to King Henry VIII.

1535, Hurst Castle was built by King Henry VIII, to guard the south-western approaches to the Solent.

1534, Henry VIII banned the keeping of flocks of over 2,000 sheep. This was a measure to reduce the eviction of tenants by landlords.


Jane Seymour, 3rd wife. Edward VI born

24/10/1537, Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII,died, of the all-too-common childbed fever.

12/10/1537, Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, was born at Hampton Court Palace, London. He succeeded his father at the age of 9 but died aged 15. Henry intended him to marry Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland. In 1543 the Treaty of Greenwich provided for this marriage when Edward reached the age of 10; however the Scottish Parliament rejected this Treaty.

30/5/1536. King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third wife, in the Queen�s Chapel, Whitehall, eleven days after the execution of Anne Boleyn.


Anne Boleyn, 2nd wife, executed; Elizabeth I born

19/5/1536. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded at Tower Green, in the Tower of London, aged 29.She was accused of adultery � Henry VIII was already flirting with his third wife Jane. Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and lost her right of succession to the English throne.

2/5/1536, Anne Boleyn was charged with incest and adultery, and taken to the Tower of London.

7/9/1533. Queen Elizabeth I was born at Greenwich Palace in London, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was recognised as heir to the English throne ahead of her half sister Mary, daughter of Henry VIII�s first wife Catherine of Aragon. See 19/5/1536.


Thomas Moore

6/7/1535. Sir Thomas Moore was beheaded in London, for refusing to accept Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. Thomas More was born in 1477 in London. He published Utopia in 1515 which described a pagan, communist, city state in which the institutions and policies are governed entirely by reason. His ideas contrasted with the self-interest and greed for power seen in Europe�s Christian states.

15/4/1534, Thomas Cromwell was appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII of England

16/5/1532, Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England. This was in protest at King Henry VIII�s break with Rome.

7/2/1478, Sir Thomas Moore, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, was born in London, the son of a judge. He was executed for refusing to deny the authority of the Pope.


Henry VIII split from Rome, Catharine of Aragon, 1st wife, divorced

11/7/1536, The Convocation of the Clergy. English clergy subscribed to the Ten Articles, beliefs of the English Church under King Henry VIII.

7/1/1536, Catharine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Palace, Huntingdonshire. She was the first of Henry VIII�s six wives, and the mother of Queen Mary I.

22/6/1535, Cardinal John Fisher was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.

15/1/1535, The Act of Supremacy was passed in England. This made King Henry VIII head of the Church.

11/7/1533. Henry VIII was excommunicated by Pope Clement VII.

28/5/1533, The Archbishop of Canterbury declared the marriage of King Henry VII and Anne Bolryn to be void.

23/5/1533, The marriage of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon was annulled.

4/5/1534, Five Carthusian momks from London Chartehouse were hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church of England

25/1/1533. King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were officially married by the Bishop of Lichfield, and became the future parents of Queen Elizabeth I.. Anne Boleyn was crowned at Westminster on 1/6/1533, shortly after Thomas Cranmer (who was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury on 30/3/1533) had declared Henry VIII�s marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void. On 23/5/1533 Henry VIII actually divorced Catherine of Aragon, resulting in a break between England and the Church of Rome.

14/11/1532, King Henry VIII of England seceretly married Anne Boleyn.

1/9/1532, Lady Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke by her fianc�, King Henry VIII.

18/1/1532, English Parliament banned payment by English church to Rome.

11/2/1531, King Henry VIII was recognised as official head of the Church of England.

5/1/1531, Pope Clement VII forbade King Henry VIII ofEngland from remarrying.

7/3/1530, Pope Clement VII rejected Henry VIII�s request tro divorce Catharine of Aragon, leading to Henry�s split form Rome.


Cardinal Wolsey

29/11/1530. Cardinal Wolsey died after being arrested as a traitor. He died at Market Harborough whilst being taken from York to London.

17/10/1529, Henry VIII of England dismissed Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor, replacing him with Thomas Moore

15/11/1515, Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.

15/9/1514, Thomas Wolsey was appointed Archbishop of York.


21/6/1529, John Skelton, tutor to the King Henry VIII as a boy, died.

30/4/1527, King Henry VIII of England signed a treaty at Wedstminster providing that his daughter, the future Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary), then aged 11, would marry either King Francis I of France or to his 2nd son Henry Duke of Orleans.

25/9/1525, Steven Borough, English navigator, was born in Northam, Devon (died 12/7/1584).

23/4/1523, Henry Clifford, supporter of King Henry VII of England, died.

13/9/1521, William Burghley, English statesman, was born (died 4/8/1598).

15/8/1521, King Henry VIII of England and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Treaty of Bruges against France, in contrast to the Anglo-French friendship at the Field of the Cloth of Gold (6/6/1520). This Treaty involved English forces in long campaigns in northern Europe.

13/9/1520, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1st, was born in Bourne Lincolnshire.

6/6/1520. Henry VIII and Francis I of France met in a glittering ceremony at The Field Of The Cloth Of Gold near Calais. However see 15/8/1521.

18/2/1516, Queen Mary I, Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), was born at Greenwich Palace, the daughter of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. She was known as Bloody Mary due to her relentless persecution of the Protestants.

8/10/1515, Margaret Lennox, grand-daughter of King henry VII of England, was born (died 7/3/1578).

22/9/1515, Anne of Cleves, one of King Henry VIII�s wives, was born.

9/10/1514, Louis XII, King of France, married Mary Tudor.

16/8/1513, The Battle of the Spurs. King Henry VIII defeated the French.

23/1/1510, King Henry VIII of England, then aged 18, competed incognito in a jousting tournament at Richmond. Having won praise for his jousting, he then revealed his identity.

24/6/1509, King Henry VIII of England was crowned.

11/6/1509. King Henry VIII, aged 18, married his sister in law, the Spanish princess Catharine of Aragon, aged 24. She was the first of his six wives.

21/4/1509. King Henry VII died in Richmond, Surrey, probably from tuberculosis. His second son, Henry VIII, succeeded him. The coronation of Henry VIII was on 24/6/1509.

18/2/1503, Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VIII, was created Prince of Wales

2/4/1502, Arthur, eldest son of King Henry VII, died after an illness.

28/6/1491. Henry VIII, best known for his six wives and religious split from Rome, was born at Greenwich. He was the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.


23/11/1499. Perkin Warbeck was executed at the Tower of London.He was a Flemish impostor, the son of a boatman from Tournai, claiming to be Richard of York, son of Edward II, whom he closely resembled. Initially treated leniently after his attempt on the throne (see 31/7/1495), he then attempted to escape the Royal Palace and team up with another usurper, Edward Earl of Warwick.

3/7/1495, The Pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, landed at Deal, Kent, with 150 men. He hoped to gather enough supporters to overthrow King Henry VII. However his force was routed and he went on to Ireland, where he was again unsuccessful at besieging the pro-Henry town of Waterford. Warbeck then fled to Scotland. See 23/11/1499.

2/7/1489. Thomas Cranmer, Henry VIII�s first reformed Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire. He produced the Book of Common Prayer in 1549.

16/6/1487, The Battle of Stoke Field.The rebellion of the Pretender Lambert Simnel to the English throne, led by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell, was crushed by troops loyal to Henry VII.

24/5/1487, Lambert Simnel was crowned �King Edward VI of England� in Christchurch cathedral.He claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, and challenged Henry VII for the throne of England. He was actually the son of a carpenter from Oxford who went to France and won the backing of one of Warwick�s aunts, who had never actually met the real Warwick. He then went to Ireland where he was welcomed, and from where he planned to invade England.

19/9/1486, King Henry VII�s son Arthur was born.

18/1/1486, In England, the houses of York and Lancaster were united by the marriage of King Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV.

16/12/1485, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, was born, the fourth daughter of Ferdinand Isabella.

30/10/1485. (1) Coronation of King Henry VII. aged 28.

(2) King Henry VII established the Yeoman of the Guard.

22/8/1485. Battle of Bosworth Field, 12 miles west of Leicester. The two sides met at White Moor, on the slopes of Ambien Hill, some two miles from the market town of Market Bosworth. Richard had a force twice the size of Henry�s, but the Stanleys, the Earl of Derby and his brother, defected to Henry�s side. King Richard III, (White Rose, Yorkist) the last Plantagenet king, born 2/10/1452 at Fotheringay, was killed as he tried to reach the usurper to the English throne, Henry Tudor, (Red Rose, Lancastrian) now Henry VII.

Henry, exiled to France, had landed at Milford Haven on 7/8/1485 and reached Shrewsbury on 15/8/1485, gathering only moderate support along the way. He then passed through Newport (Shropshire), Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, and reached Atherstone on the borders of Leicestershire on 20/81485. Here he linked up with the Stanley brothers, both anti-Yorkist. The night of the 21st, Henry encamped at White Moors, south west of what was to be the battlefield. Richard and his army halted three miles away on high ground at Sutton Cheney. Both sides attempted to occupy Ambien Hill, midway between the two armies. The Stanleys moved against the Yorkist flanks , and the Yorkist Duke of Northumberland, at the rear, failed to intervene. Richard was unhorsed and killed, and the Yorkist army melted away, unpursued.

7/8/1485, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) landed at Milford Haven, Wales.

1/8/1485, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) set sail from France for Wales. He had been advised by Rhys ap Thomas (a powerful Welsh landowner), wrongly as it turned out, that the whole of Wales would rise up in his favour.

21/6/1485, King Richard III, anticipating a challenge for his rulership, issued a proclamation against �Henry Tydder and other rebels.

17/8/1483. The date on which the two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, are believed to have been murdered by their uncle and successor, Richard III, in the Tower of London. See 9/4/1483.

6/7/1483. The coronation of King Richard III.

26/6/1483, Richard III became King of England.

9/4/1483. King Edward IV died at Windsor. During his second reign he re-established peace after the Wars of the Roses, but his heir, Edward V, was only aged 12. See 17/8/1483.

25/8/1482, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, died.

14/2/1477. A man in Norfolk received the world�s first known Valentine. Margery Brews sent her fianc�e John Poston a letter saying �To my right welbelovyd Voluntyne�. She explained that she had asked her mother to put pressure on her father to increase her dowry but also said that if he loved her, she would marry him anyway. The Romans, around 600 BC, celebrated a February festival with romantic games and dancing. When the Roman Empire was converted to Christianity, the festival was linked to the martyrdom of St Valentine on 14 February, ca. 270 AD, by the Roman Emperor Claudius. Another possible origin is the medieval belief that birds traditionally pair off on 14 February. Oliver Cromwell�s government banned St Valentine�s day but it was restored when Charles II came to the throne in 1660. See 14/2/1822.


Wars of the Roses

21/5/1471. King Henry VI died, in the Tower of London.He was probably murdered, and was succeeded by Edward IV.

4/5/1471. The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Margaret of Anjou at the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrians were attempting to cross the River Severn to joinwith Welsh troops under Jasper Tudor. The death of Margaret�s son, Prince Edward, as he fled the battlefield extinguished the House of Lancaster.

14/4/1471, Yorkists under King Edward IV defeated the Earl of Warwick�s Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet.

2/11/1470, Edward V, King of England, was born.

9/10/1470. Lancastrian King Henry VI was restored to the English throne after having been deposed nine years earlier. The power behind the throne here was held by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, a former Yorkist who abandoned the cause when his prot�g�, Edward IV, strong-willed, secretly married the woman he wanted to, the young widow Elizabeth Woodville, rather than undertake an arranged marriage to a French Princess. Henry VI, a weak character, was accustomed to abdication of political responsibilities so an alliance with power-hungry Warwick suited them both. However Henry VI�s weak reign was blamed for the wars that had split England for the previous 15 years, and the loss of English lands in France, and Henry�s days seemed numbered.

12/3/1470, Battle of Empingham, Wars of the Roses. King Edward IV routed Sir Robert Welles� rebels.

26/7/1469, Battle of Edgecote, Northamptonshire, Wars of the Roses Lancastrians defeated the Yorkists.

12/8/1464, John Capgrave, English historian, born 21/4/1393, died.

15/5/1464, Battle of Hexham. Lancastrians defeated by Montague.

25/4/1464, At Hedgeley Moor, near Alnwick, Northumberland, the Lancastrians in northern England were defeated.

28/6/1461, Coronation of Yorkist King Edward IV.

29/3/1461, The Battle of Towton (North Yorkshire) took place, during the Wars of the Roses, in a snowstorm. It was the bloodiest battle ever on British soil; over 28,000 died. The Lancastrians were heavily defeated and the position of King Edward IV was secured. The Yorkists were exhausted after a long march, and were fighting up-slope. However the Yorkists had an advantage as the wind was behind them, causing their arrows to fly further, whilst the Lancastrians were blinded by snow blowing into their faces, spoiling their aim and causing their arrows to fall short.

28/3/1461, Battle of Ferrybridge, Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrians under Lord Clifford defeated the Yorkists under Lord Fitzwalter, who was killed.

5/3/1461, Henry VI was deposed as King of England. Edward IV (Duke of York) succeeded him.

17/2/1461, The Second Battle of Barnet. Margaret of Anjou�s Lancastrian forces defeated the Yorkist Earl of Warwick. Warwick, defending the Yorkists in London, was taken by surprise and fled in disarray, failing to take King Henry VI with him.

3/2/1461, At Mortimer�s Cross, Richard�s son, Edward, Earl of March, defeated the Lancastrian forces.

30/12/1460, The Battle of Wakefield. A superior Lancastrian force caught Yorkists, foraging, by surprise, and the Duke of York was killed. This would have ended the Yorkist cause but for the Battle of Mortimer�s Cross, 3/2/1461.

10/7/1460. The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and captured King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton.

23/9/1459, (-) The Battle of Blore Heath, during the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists under Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, defeated the Lancastrians under Lord Audley. Salisbury was now able to join forces with the Yorkists at Ludlow.

28/1/1457, Henry VII born at Pembroke Castle. The start of the Tudor dynasty. He was the son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and of Margaret Beaufort.

22/5/1455. The First Battle of Barnet. In the Wars of the Roses, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Yorkist, fought his way into the Lancastrian camp because Henry VI had refused Richard of York�s demand that Simon Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, be imprisoned. The Yorkists won, killing their principal enemies, Somerset, Northumberland and Clifford.

27/3/1454, Richard was elected Protector by the English Parliament, during King Henry VI�s first bout of insanity.

17/7/1453. The end of the Hundred Years War, when the French defeated the English at Castillon. Now only Calais remained in English hands; in 1449 England occupied nearly a third of France. By now England was pre-occpied with the Wars of the Roses.

3/2/1452, The Duke of York accused the Beaufort family, who backed the Lancastrian King Henry VI, of incompetence and ineptitude and of thereby losing the English territories in France.


2/10/1452, Richard III, King of England, was born.

20/8/1451, The French captured Bayonne, the last English stronghold in Guyenne.

30/6/1451, French troops under the Comte de Dunois invaded Guyenne and captured Bordeaux.

12/8/1450, Cherbourg, the last English territory in Normandy, surrendered to the French.

6/7/1450, Caen surrendered to the French.


Jack Cade�s Rebellion

12/7/1450, Cade had been promised a free pardon and had disbanded his army. However he was then hunted down by Government forces and killed this day.

4/7/1450, JackCade entered London. Henry VI had left London for Kenilworth, allowing Cade�s men to enter the caoital and execute unpopular courtiers. However Cade proved unable to maintain discipline amongst his followers and Londoners turned against him.

27/6/1450. Jack Cade, an Irish born physician, led an insurrection march of 40,000 through Kent to London to protest against the high taxes of King Henry VI. The English Government was unpopular after its defeat in the Hundred Years War. Meanwhile Henry VI�s courtiers blamed the Men of Kent for the murder of William de la Pole in May 1450 and wanted reprisals, sparking the Kentish rebellion. Pole had been involved in the disastrous English military campaign in France that culminated with the loss of Normandy to the French; Parliament had him sent to The Tower on charges of treason. King Henry VI, to save Pole from a trial with a foregone conclusion, declared him innocent but banished him from England for five years. As Pole left Dover, his ship was intercepted, and Pole was forcibly dragged into a small boat and beheaded.

18/6/1450, Jack Cade�s men ambushed and defeated the King�s soldiers in an ambush nbear Sevenoaks.


15/4/1450, The Battle of Formigny. Fought near Caen, the French defeated an English force sent to halt King Charles VII�s reconquest of Normandy.

29/10/1449, The French recaptured Rouen from the English.

23/4/1445, King Henry VI of England married Margaret of Anjou at Titchfield Abbey, near Southampton.

11/12/1444, The earliest mention of the Welsh town of Bridgend, in a legal document, as Bruggen Eynde. The older

market town of Kenfig had been abandoned due to coastal flooding and encroachment by sand dunes, and a bridge over the River Ogmore was constructed to the new town site.

28/4/1442, King Edward IV was born in Rouen, son of Richard, Duke of York.

3/1/1437, Catherine of Valois, Queen of King Henry V of England, died (born 27/10/1401).

16/12/1431. The Bishop of Winchester, Henry Beaufort, crowned King Henry VI King of France.

23/3/1430, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, was born.

6/11/1429, The coronation of King Henry VI of England.

18/6/1429. Jeanne D�Arc, 13 years old, defeated the British at the Battle of Patay. Historians are still in dispute over Jeanne D�Arc�s role in the Hundred Years War between Britain and France. Born a peasant�s daughter on 7/1/1412, she believed she was led by divine guidance and her mission was to make sure that Charles VII became King of France and not the English Henry V. The French and the English came face to face at Patay on 18/6/1429 and Jeanne D�Arc had promised the French a greater victory than ever they had seen so far. The English army was indeed routed and also its reputation for invincibility, as the Earl of Salisbury�s 5,000 men were forced back across the River Loire.She was captured by the English a year later, on 24/5/1430, with the help of French collaborators, and burnt as a witch on 30/5/1431. She was canonised in 1920.

17/8/1424, Battle of Verneuil. John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, defeated a French force, consolidating English conquest of Normandy.

31/8/1422. King Henry V died in Vincennes, France, struck down by dysentery.. Aged 35, he was just about to take the crown of both France and England; his son, Henry VI, was just 9 months old, and English power in France looked uncertain again.

For Hundred Years War events see also France

6/12/1421, Henry VI was born in Windsor Castle, the only child of Henry V and Catherine Valois. Catherine Valois, daughter of Charles IV and Isabella of France, had married Henry V on 2/6/1420.

1/12/1420, Henry V made a triumphal entry into Paris, see 25/10/1415 and 21/5/1420.

21/5/1420, Under the Treaty of Troyes, King Henry V of England became ruler of France also, following his victory at Agincourt. Henry V married Catherine de Valois and when Charles de Valois dies Henry would inherit the throne, so long as Henry and Catherine produce a male heir. Under French Salic Law, a woman could not rule France.

19/1/1419, In the Hundred Years' War, Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England, which took Normandy under the control of England.

24/6/1417, The Isle of Man held its first known Tynwald Day; the annual meeting of its parliament (Tynwald) which has continued every year until the present.

25/10/1415. Battle of Agincourt, 20 miles inland from Boulogne. The English forces, after the capture by the French of Harfleur, had set out to march to Calais through Picardy. Their crossing of the River Somme was delayed by torrential rains and the French set out to block their passage. The French troops set up at the northern end of a defile of open ground between the woods of Agincourt and Tramercourt. The English were short of food and supplies and hunger might have eventually forced their surrender. The French outnumbered the English three to one.

However King Henry V was able to use his archers, in the restricted space of the battlefield, to mow down the French cavalry and so win the battle. Thick mud, from the rains, restricted the movement of the French cavalry. The English victory gave Henry the finances and reputation to continue the war. Four years later the whole of Normandy was under British control, and in 1420 the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry as heir to the French throne, see 1/12/1420.


Glendower Rebellion in Wales

21/9/1415, Owain Glyndwr, Welsh independence fighter, died this day.

10/8/1415, Henry V of England set sail for Normandy with an army of 12,000 men; two-thirds archers. . Harfleur was captured in September 1415 and Henry V set out for Paris. However illness began to thin his military ranks. On 5/10/1415 military advisers told Henry to return to England via Calais.

19/2/1414, Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, died (born 1353).

20/3/1413 England�s King Henry IV died, aged 45, after suffering a stroke in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey. He had earlier prophesied that he would die in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by his eldest son Henry V, aged 25, who reigned for 9 years. See 30/3/1399.

1/1/1409, The Welsh surrendered Harlech Castle to the English.

19/2/1408, The Battle of Bramham Moor. Near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, forces loyal to King Henry IV defeated rebels under Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. This ended the Percy Rebellion.

14/7/1404, Rebel leader Owain Glyndwr, having declared himself Prince of Wales, allied with the French against the English. He later began holding parliamentary assemblies.

22/7/1403, The Battle of Shrewsbury. Sir Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur, was killed trying to overthrow King Henry IV.

14/9/1402, Battle of Homildon Hill. A Scottish raiding party under the Earl of Douglas was routhed by the English Northern Nobles under Lord Henry Percy.

8/9/1402, King Henry IV took a large force into Wales to suppress the Glendower rebellion. However as soon as he left Shrewsbury it began raining incessantly, with hail and even snow. His troops were cold, drenched, and half-starved. On this day a tornado struck Henry IV�s tent, collapsing it. Fortunately for him he was wearing his armour at the time and so survived. Henry�s forces retreated back to England, having never fought the Welsh.

22/6/1402, English forces heavily defeated by the Welsh at Bryn Glas, even though the Welsh were outnumbered. King Henry IV now assembled an even larger army, but see 8/9/1402.

27/10/1401, Catherine of Valois, Queen of King Henry V of England, was born (died 3/1/1437).

16/9/1400, The Owen Glendower revolt in Wales; Welsh landowners proclaimed Owen King of Wales, and attacked the English in Flint and Denbigh.


14/2/1400, Richard II was killed whilst being held at Pontefract Castle, to prevent further rebellions by his followers.

13/10/1399, Coronation of Henry IV, first Lancastrian King of England.

11/10/1399. The Order of the Bath was instituted.

30/9/1399. King Richard II, born 6/1/1367, was deposed. Unpopular, he had dispossessed many of the nobility. He was crowned, aged 10, on 22/6/1377. He surrendered to Bolingbroke without a fight; Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. Henry IV was born at Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, on 3/4/1366. He reigned from 1399 to 1413. See 20/3/1413.

4/7/1399, Henry of Lancaster, Henry IV, landed at Ravenspur, Yorkshire.

3/2/1399, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III and father of Henry IV, died (born 24/6/1340).

20/12/1387, The Battle of Radcot Bridge.An army raised by Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, to assist Richard II, was attacked as it crossed the Thames. De Vere escaped and fled the country.

16/9/1387, King Henry V was born at Monmouth Castle, the eldest of six children of Henry IV. He defeated the French at Agincourt.

24/3/1387, In the Hundred Years War, at the Battle of Margate: The English defeated an invading French and Castilian naval force.


Peasant�s Revolt

15/7/1381, John Ball, one of the leaders of the Peasantt�s Revolt, was hung drawn and quartered at St Albans.

24/6/1381, Peasants revolt ended in Cambridge, UK, (began 12/6/1381).

9/5/1386, The Treaty of Windsor cemented the alliance between England and Portugal.

15/6/1381. Richard II summoned Wat Tyler, the first poll tax rebel, and his band, to Smithfield.Tyler met the King, grew insolent and abusive, and was killed by Mayor Walworth.

14/6/1381, Richard II rode to Mile End to negotiate with the rebels. They demanded an end to serfdom and limits on rents, and the execution of Chancellor Sudbury, Treasurer Hales, John of Gaunt, and others. Richard II agreed to all but the executions. However at this time Kentishmen were breaking into the Tower and beheading Sudbury and Hales. The deaths of the Chancellor and the Treasurer (who was also the Archbishop of Canterbury) were followed by a general massacre of Flemings in the City of London. The rebels attempted to break into all places where records might be stored, such as chirch buildings and lawyer�s houses, and to massacre all clerks..

13/6/1381, The rebels entered London and the King withdrew to the safety of The Tower. The rebels ransacked and burnt John of Gaunt�s Palace.

12/6/1381, Kentish rebels reached Blackheath, and Essex rebels reached Mile End.

10/6/1381, Wat Tyler led his rebels into Canterbury.

7/6/1381, Rebels entered Maidstone and chose Wat Tyler as their leader.

6/6/1381, Rebels in the Peasant�s Revolt besieged Rochester.

4/6/1381, The Peasants Revolt began. Rebels attacked Dartford. The poor were protesting over the imposition of a Poll Tax, whilst the peasants wages were held down by the Statute of Labourers Act, 1351. Peasant�s pay had been rising since the Black Death killed many workers.


1378, A Sheffield-made knife (�thwitle�)was famous across the UK.

16/7/1377, Coronation of Richard II, King of England.

22/6/1377. The 10 year old King Richard II inherited the English throne from his grandfather, Edward III. Effective power was with the Royal Council. He was deposed 22 years later on 30/9/1399.

21/6/1377, King Edward III of England died aged 64. He was succeeded by his 10-year-old grandson, Richard, who ruled until 1399.

8/6/1376. Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III of England, died of illness contracted whilst foighting in Spain. His death left King Edward II with no mature heir to the English throne.

29/4/1376, Sir Peter de la Mare took office as first Speaker of the House of Commons.

7/4/1374, King Edward III appointed the Church reformer, John Wycliffe, to the rectory of Lutterworth.

4/12/1370, Battle of Pontvallain, Hundred Years War. The French won by avoiding a set-piece battle where English archers would have the advantage, instead harrying the English raiding parties as they headed back south, unprepared for battle.

30/6/1399, Henry IV, exiled to France by King Richard II for treason, landed at Ravenspur, Humberside, to retake the English throne.

3/4/1367, In the Hundred Years War, the English under the Black Prince defeated a Spanish and French army at the Battle of Navarrete. The Spanish Kingdom of Castile was in civil war, between rival claimants for the throne, Pedro and his brother Enrique. The French under Bertrand du Guesclin and the English under Edward the Black Prince intervened, backing Enrique and Pedro respectively. The French and English met at Najera (Navarrete), where English longbowmen massacred the French cavalry. Pedro gained the throne but never repaid the English for the expense of their army. The heavy French footsoldier casualties brought some relief to the countryside,with fewer unemployed soldiers roaming and plundering it.

26/6/1396, King Richard II of England married Isabella of France, daughter of King Charles VI of France. This was intended to effect a reconciliation between the two countries in the Hundred Years War. However Richard was later dethroned by Henry of Lancaster (Henry IV), and Anglo-French hsotilities resumed.

2/4/1367, Henry IV, the first Lancastrian King of England, was born in Bolingbroke castle, Lincolnshire, the son of John O�Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Duchess Blanche.

6/1/1367, King Richard II was born at Bordeaux, France. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince and the grandson of King Edward III.

For Hundred Years War events see also France

29/9/1364, Battle of Auray. Although officially at peace after the Treaty of Bretigny, England and France continued to fight over control of Brittany. French military commander Bertrand du Guesclin faced English commander John Chandos. The English-backed claimant Jean de Montfort was contending with Charles du Blois for the Dukedom of Brittany. In the fighting for the city of Auray, Charles du Blois was killed; however after de Montfort was installed as Duke of Brittany he changed allegiance and swore fealty to the King of France. The English gained nothing.

24/10/1360, (-) (Britain, France) The Treaty of Br�tigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. Under its terms, King John II of France, who had been captured at Poitiers, would be released for a ransom of 3 million Ecus. Calais, Guines, Ponthieu and all of Aquitaine would be ceded to Edward III of England. In return Edward, who had besieged Rheims (December 1359 � January 1360) but failed to capture it, promised to renounce claims to the French Crown when John renounced sovereignty over Aquitaine. In fact these renunciations never took place and the Hundred Years War resumed 1369.

19/9/1356. The English, led by Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under King John II, at the Battle of Poitiers, western France, in the Hundred Years War. Edward III had been raiding in northern France and was making his way back south when he learnt that te French were making to intercept him. Laden with baggage, the English moved more slowly and the French met them 5 km east of Poitiers. The English found a site with restricted access for the French knights, and English archers took down many French knights. King John himself was captured, and only released when a huge ransom was paid in 1360.

29/8/1350, The English under King Edward III defeated a Spanish fleet off Winchelsea. The Spanish had been fighting as allies of the French in the Hundred Years War.

10/8/1348, The first investiture ceremony of the Order of the Garter, at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle. King Edward III revived the notion of King Arthur�s Round Table, and had the Round Tower at Windsor built to house a replica version of the Table. In 1344 Edward III began holding knightly tournaments and feasts around this Table. Following British successes in the Hundred Years War against France, Edward III instituted the Order oif the Garter, with Windsor as the new Camelot.

19/1/1348. Edward III established the Order of the Garter.

17/10/1346, The Battle of Neville�s Cross. An attempted Scottish invasion of England was routed, west of Durham. Whilst the English King Edward III was occupied with the siege of Calais, King David II of Scotland invaded England in support of his French ally. However his army was heavily defeated by English archers, and David was wounded and captured. Held for 11 years, Scotland had to raise taxes to pay a heavy ransom for his release.

26/8/1346. The Battle of Crecy took place, 32 miles south of Boulogne.The outnumbered army of Edward III, aided by his son Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under Philip IV, who fled,, leaving over 1,500 French dead. On 3/8/1347 the English captured Calais after nearly a year�s siege, which began on 3/9/1346.This battle, during the Hundred Years War, was the first time the English had used longbows in continental warfare. The crossbow assault at Crecy decimated the French-Geonese archers and the French knights behind, attempting an attack through the Genoese, caused a troops jam into which the English longbowmen continued to fire. The French retreated; Edward decided against pursuing the survivors but marched on north to attack Calais.

For Hundred Years War events see also France

12/7/1346, An English invasion force landed unopposed at St Vaast, western Normandy, with the aim of capturing Paris. This force was defeated by a superior French army and the English attempted a retreat back to England, marching west 60 miles in four days. However the French followed their march just to the south, denying the Seine Valley to the English. The English needed a port to evacuate their forces. The English now had to cross the lower Somme between Amiens and the sea, but this tract was tidal, full of treacherous marches, passable only along narrow causeways for a few hours a day at low tide. Crossing points to the north of the Somme were guarded by the French. The English attempted to force a crossing of the Somme at Crecy.

24/6/1340. The English fleet, under Edward III (see 21/9/1327) defeated the French fleet at Sluys. The French fleet was virtually destroyed, giving Edward III control of the sea. However both the French and English rulers were short of money and unable to pay their troops; so Edward III, and Philip VI of France, settled at the Treaty of Esplechin.

The dispute between England and France had links to the Flemish weavers who rebelled but were defeated on 24/8/1328 by the new Philip VI of France. Also Philip VI supported the Scots under David Bruce against the English, see 21/9/1327. In 1336 Edward III renewed his claim to the French throne. In 1338 Edward III cut wool exports to Flanders, forcing up wool prices and causing economic hardship to the weavers there. Edward then lifted the wool embargo, and encouraged the weavers to rebel again against Philip VI, to secure the unification and independence of Flanders.

1316. England faced famine after torrential rain ruined the harvest. A wet Autumn 1314 was followed by a wet Summer in 1315. Only the West Country escaped disaster. On the estates of Bolton Priory in the North, wheat yields were one fifth of normal. Another wet Summer followed in 1316. There was also a shortage of salt, causing disease in farm animals, as the salt pans failed to evaporate. On the Clipston Estate in Nottinghamshire, half the sheep died. Taxes were also heavy, to finance military campaigns against the Scots, alms were cut. In Berwick the starving infantry garrison mutinied, and in Sandwich a wheat ship was attacked by a mob.

1300, England now had about 18 million sheep.

17/3/1337, Edward, the Black Prince, was made the first Duke of Cornwall, by his father King Edward III.

15/6/1330, Edward, the Black Prince, was born.


21/9/1327. Edward II was murdered at Berkeley castle in Gloucestershire, to ensure his son Edward III, aged 15, could ascend the English throne under Isabella�s Regency.. Edward II�s fate was sealed in 1326 when his wife Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer landed with a band of foreign mercenaries and marched on London. Isabella found widespread support amongst the barons, among whom Edward had caused dissension by granting some lands and lordships, but not others. Edward was also resented after his defeat by Robert the Bruce in Scotland. See 21/6/1314, and 24/6/1340.

In 1330 Edward III took real power, sending his mother Isabella into a monastery. He executed her lover, Roger Mortimer. See 24/6 1340.

25/1/1327, Edward III became King of England.

7/1/1327, King Edward II of England was deposed.

16/3/1322, The Battle of Boroughbridge.Forces loyal to the rebel, Thomas of Lancaster, were defeated at the crossing of the River Ure by an army loyal to King Edward II, led by Andrew Barclay. Edward then ordered the execution of more than 20 of the rebel leaders, an act that shocked contemporaries by its severity.

13/11/1312. Edward III, King of England from 1327, was born in Windsor Castle, son of Edward II.

19/6/1312, Piers Gaveston was beheaded at Deddington on the orders of the Duke of Warwick.

19/5/1312, After a 2-week siege of Scarborough Castle, Piers Gaveston, close associate of King Edward II, was taken prisoner.

1310, King Edward II granted a market charter to the town of Knaresborough. However a market had already been operating here from 1240.

25/2/1308, Coronation of Edward II of England.

17/11/1307. William Tell is reputed to have shot an apple off his son�s head this day.

7/7/1307. King Edward I of England died in his way north to invade Scotland and was succeeded by his son Edward II.

29/5/1303, Treaty of Paris restored Gascony to the English.

1/4/1299, Kings Towne on the River Hull (Kingston upon Hull) was granted city status by Royal Charter of King Edward I of England.

1298, King Edward I financed the �750,000 cost of his war against France by a �2 tax on sacks of wool.

28/11/1290, Eleanor of Castile, Queen of England, died at Harby, near Clipstone.

28/8/1297, Edward I of England unsuccessfully invaded Flanders.

25/4/1284, Edward II was born at Caernarfon Castle, third son of Edward I.


Welsh rebellion, suppressed by English

7/2/1301, The first Prince of Wales was created, Edward of Caernarfon, who later became King Edward II.

20/1/1288, Newcastle Emlyn Castle in Wales was recaptured by English forces, bringing Rhys ap Maredudd's revolt to an end.

8/6/1287, Rhys ap Maredudd revolted in Wales; the revolt was not suppressed until 1288.

11/12/1282, At the Battle of Orewin Bridge in mid-Wales, Llewellyn the Last was killed and the Welsh suffered their final decisive defeat at the hands of the English. King Edward I took Llewellyn�s head to London on a stake as proof of English triumph in Wales. Wales had held out against the Norman English for over 200 years thanks to its remote terrain, enabling the Welsh to simply vanish whenever the English Armies went in, and its atrocious weather, deterring these armies. The Welsh also made alliances with England�s natural enemies, the Scots and the French. From this time on, the Prince of Wales has always been the eldest son of the ruling monarch of England.

20/7/1280, Neath, Wales, held its first fair (St Margaret�s Day), granted by Charter.The local abbey had extensive sheep pasturage so there was a large trade in wool.

12/11/1276, King Edward II began a decisive campaign to subdue the Welsh. He marched into Wales with 15,000 troops and nearly 1,000 cavalry. Most Welsh Lords, suspecting he would win, offered little resistance.


22/4/1275, The first Statute of Westminster was passed by the English Parliament, establishing a series of laws in its 51 clauses, including equal treatment of rich and poor, free and fair elections, and definition of bailable and non-bailable offenses.

19/8/1274, Coronation of King Edward I.

16/11/1272, Henry III died at Westminster aged 65, after a reign of 56 years. He was succeeded by his eldest son Edward I. Edward I was in Sicily at the time on the 8th Crusade.

1267, Cambridge, England, was granted a Royal Charter.


Second Baron�s War

4/8/1265. Simon De Montfort, who had promoted the power of the barons against King Henry III, was defeated and killed at the Battle of Evesham. Royalist forces won, led by the future King Edward I.This was during the Second Barons War. The last Montfortian resistance ceased in 1268.

8/7/1265, Battle of Newport. Simon de Montfort had retreated into Wales; his effrots vto return to central England were thwarted by Edward�s defence of the River Severn.

20/1/1265. England�s first Parliament met in Westminster Hall, summoned by Simon De Montfort, Earl of Leicester. De Montfort was the brother-in-law of King Henry III.

14/5/1264, The Battle of Lewes of the Second Barons' War was fought between Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and King Henry III of England in Sussex. By the end of the battle, de Montfort's forces had captured both King Henry and his son, future King Edward I, making de Montfort the "uncrowned king of England" for 15 months before Edward escaped captivity and regained the throne.

11/5/1264, Henry III marched through Kent, captured Tunbridge Castle, forcing the Cinque Port rebels to submit.He rested at Lewes.

24/4/1264, After his victory at Northampton, Henry III moved south to deal with De Montfort in London.De Montfort had been besieging Rochester Castle, a southern Royalist stronghold, bit now abandoned the siege to return to protect London.

5/4/1264, Henry III attacked Simon de Montfort�s forces at Northampton Castle and defeated them, forcing all De Montfort�s forces in the east Midlands to surrender.De Montfort himself was in London, his other main base of support. The dispute between Henry and de Montfort had been arbitrated in January 1264 by King Louis IX at Amiens, the Mise of Amiens (Mise = settlement); however de Montfort refused to accept this result.

23/1/1264, The Mise of Amiens. An arbitration between Henry III of England and the Barons, with Louis IX of France as arbiter. The decision was in Henry�s favour, although he was to respect established Baronial freedoms. De Montfort rejected the decision.

12/6/1261, King Henry III of England obtained a papal bull releasing him from his oath to maintain the Provisions of Oxford (1258), setting the stage for the Second Barons' War (1263�1268).


4/12/1259, Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

17/6/1259, Edward I, King of England, was born.

20/5/1259, Britain and France signed the Treaty of Abbeville, whereby Britain relinquished claims to French territories.

14/12/1251, King Henry III of England granted the town of Bolton, Lancashire, a charter to hold a fair.

14/12/1247. Robin Hood is said to have died on this day, aged 87.

17/5/1236, Coronation of Eleanor, wife of King Henry III of England, as Queen at Westminster Abbey.

24/1/1236, King Henry III of England married Eleanor of Provence.

17/5/1220, Full coronation of King Henry III of England at Westminister Abbey.


12/9/1217, First Barons' War in England ended by the Treaty of Kingston upon Thames: French and Scots to leave England, and an amnesty was granted to rebels.

24/8/1217, First Barons' War: In the Battle of Sandwich in the English Channel, English forces destroyed the French and the French mercenary Eustace the Monk was captured and beheaded.

17/8/1217. A fleet bringing reinforcement for King Louis was defeated in the Channel.

20/5/1217, First Barons' War in England: French forces under Louis (21/5/1216) were defeated at the Battle of Lincoln by English royal troops led by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and survivors forced to flee south. Louis had alienated the English barons who once supported him as he preferred to bring in French advisors to help him. Louis returned to France.

28/10/1216, Henry, son of John, was hurriedly crowned as King Henry III, in the face of the Baron�s War and the unexpected death of King John.

Reign of King John

19/10/1216. King John died suddenly at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire, of a fever, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.He had been King of England since 1199.He was succeeded by his nine year old son Henry III; William Marshall was made Regent. The young Henry III of England was crowned at Gloucester on October 28.

11/10/1216, King John�s baggage was lost in The Wash. His attendants had attempted to ford the estuary of the River Welland as the tide was coming in, rather than take a long detour inland to reach Newark.

14/6/1216, King Louis captured Winchester and by the end of June controlled the southern half of England. King John fled north.

21/5/1216, King Louis VIII of France attempted an invasion of England, landing at Stonor. This was at the request of the English barons who were disgruntled at King John having got Pope Innocent III to annul the Magna Carta (24/8/1215). Moreover the barons maintained that John had effectively abandoned his kingship, as he had technically �abdicated� rulership of England to Pope Innocent III (4/3/1215), which made the barons enemies of the Church if they resisted John. Louis was also married to John�s niece, giving him some claim to the English throne. Louis entered London with little resistance and was crowned King Louis I of England. King Alexander II of Scotland also supported this development, attending Louis� coronation.

24/8/1215, Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid, at the request of King John.

15/6/1215. Magna Carta was sealed by King John at Runnymede, near Windsor. King John was forced to have the taxation of his subjects reviewed by a Great Council, which eventually evolved into the Parliament of today. If the King reneged on the Charter, a council of 25 barons could take him to war.

22/5/1215, King Philip II Augustus of France received instructions from the Pope to abandon his invasion of Britain, following 4/3/1215. King John of England had considerable economic interests in the District of Flanders, whose cloth merchants received almost all their wool from England, With English agents in many Flemish towns, France feared losing influence over the region to England.

17/5/1215, The Barons marched on London, which was thrown open to them by its Mayor and citizens. King John, realising he had no support in the capital, hastily withdrew to Windsor.

4/3/1215, King John of England made an oath to Pope Innocent III as a crusader to gain his support. John also technically passed authority of his kingdom over to the Pope, thereby making anyone who tried to depose him an enemy of the Pope and liable to excommunication. This move was a precaution by John who was facing rebellion by his barons. This healed the rift between King John and Pope Innocent III, see 15/7/1207.

27/7/1214, The Battle of Bouvines. Near Lille, France, Philip II Augustus of France defeated an Anglo-German-Flemish alliance. This dashed the hopes of King John of invading France on two fronts to recover the Angevin lands, and this humiliation for John brought on the Magna Carta rebellion.

30/5/1213, Battle of Damme: Pope Innocent III, seeing King John continue in defiance of his wishes (see 23/3/1208) now decided to step up the pressure He declared John deposed for contumacy, and that the King of France was to carry out the deposing. On this day the Battle of Damme took place. King John�s English fleet under William Longesp�e, 3rd Earl of Salisbury destroyed a French fleet off the Belgian port of Bruges, in the first major victory for the fledgling Royal Navy. This forced King Philip II Augustus to abandon plans for the invasion of England.

12/12/1212, Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, illegitimate som of King Henry II of England, died. He led the English clergy in their refusal to be taxed by King John, and had to flee England for Normandy in 1207, where he died.

23/3/1208, Pope Innocent III putan interdict upon England (see 1205). This entailed the closure of all churches, with onlt baptism and extreme unction permitted (to save souls). Marriages could be conducted, but only outside of Church. Most English priests obeyed the interdict. Many priests who were obedient to the Pope fled abropad to escape the wrath of King John. King John in turn outlawed these clergy, confiscated their lands, and the Royal Treasury was soon so full that he could dispense with ordinary taxation. King John punished and put to death all who opposed him, with great barbarity. See 30/5/1213.

18/3/1208, Great Yarmouth was granted a Royal Charter by King John

1/10/1207, Henry III, son of King John, was born at Winchester, Hampshire.

28/8/1207, Liverpool was created a borough by King John. Due to the silting up of the Dee Estuary Chestetr was declining as a port and Liverpool now became the main English port for Ireland.

15/7/1207, King John expelled the monks at Canterbury who were supporters of Stephen Langton. The dispute between John and Pope Innocent led to King John being excommunicated in 1008; an interdict was placed upon England, meaning Church services could not officially be held there. In 1213 Pope Innocent III authorised King Philip II of France to invade England and depose King John. However see 4/3/1215.

17/6/1207, Pope Innocent III consecrated Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, following the death of the previous incumbent, Hubert Walter, in 2105. However King John of England had preferred John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, to succeed to the post. King John wrongly suspected Langton of being a secret ally of Philip of France..

1205, HubertWalter, Archbishop of Canterbury, died. King John wanted John de Gray, Bishop of Norwich, to succeed him. However the monks of Christ Church Canterbury met secretly and elected Reginald, their sub-prior, as Archbishop. They then quicklu sent Reginald to Rome to be consecrated by Pope Innocent III, whom they knew to be a keen champion of the supremacy of Church over Monarch. King John, furious, descended on the monks and compelled them to elect Gray instead. The Pope, seeing his chance to assert the primacy of the Church, declared both erlections invalid, one for secrecy, and the other for force majeure. Instead he insisted on a third candidate, his friend and Englishman Cardinal Stephen Langton. King John refused to accept Langton and delared that any oriest who supported Langton would be outlawed and his lands confiscated. See 23/3/1208.

1/4/1204, Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of King Henry II of England, died. She was buried at Fonteraud. In June 1204 England lost Normandy to the French King, Philip Augustus.

1202, Crawley, Sussex, received its Royal Charter from King John.

1200, There were about 6 million sheep in England, accounting for half its wealth.

8/10/1200, Coronation of Isabella, second wife of King John of England, as Queen.

25/5/1200, The town of Ipswich, population ca. 3,000 received its Royal Charter from King John. Under the terms of the Charter, the burgesses of Ipswich, a thriving fishimg port with a trade in salt production and in export of grain and wool to the Netherlands, received the right to govern the town in return for an annual payment to the Crown of �65.

27/5/1199, King John became King of England. He also became heir to the Angevin lands in France.

Reign of King John

Reign of King Richard I

6/4/1199. Richard I, Richard Lionheart, died, killed by an arrow in battle whilst besieging Chaluz Castle, a rebel held castle in France, See also France, 1190s

17/4/1194, Second coronation of Richard I of England, a ceremony he arranged after his return from the Crusades, following John�s attempt to usurp the throne, to re-establish his authority.

26/3/1194, Richard captured Nottingham Castle � the cause of his brother, John was lost. However see 6/4/1199.

2/11/1192. Peace was concluded between Richard I (Lionheart) of England and Saladdin of Jerusalem. The Crusades never achieved their objective of liberating the Holy Land from the Muslims but because they caused the death of so many noblemen the system of serfdom and landholding in Europe was gradually dismantled. Feudalism gradually ended over the period from 1300 to the Thirty Year�s War, 1618-48.

12/5/1191, Berengaria, wife of King Richard I of England, was crowned Queen at St George�s Chapel, Limassol, Cyprus.

4/7/1190, Richard I set out on a Crusade, leaving his younger brother John in Europe. See also France, 1190s

3/9/1189. Richard the Lionheart (Richard I) was crowned King at Westminster, after his father Henry II, died. His first act was to free his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine from the Tower of London where King Henry II imprisoned her 16 years earlier for supporting their sons, Richard and John, in a rebellion against Henry. Richard was planning a Third Crusade.

13/8/1189, Richard the Lionheart arrived in England, to a hero�s welcome.


Reign of King Henry II; first Plantagenet King of England

6/7/1189, King Henry II, King of England, died at Chinon, succeeded by his third son, Richard I (Lionheart).

11/6/1183, Richard I�s elder brother died. Richard became heir to the English throne, also the Angevin lands, Normandy and Aquitaine.

29/6/1175, King Henry II held a Council at Gloucester, at which oaths of loyalty were obtained from the Welsh princes.

14/6/1170, King Henry II�s son was crowned, not as was custom by the Archbishop of Canterbury but by the Archbishop of York. This was a major snub to Thomas Beckett, and against Papal instructions. Henry then made verbal reconciliation with Beckett, who, impatient to return to England, did so without proper guarantees of safety.

24/12/1167, King John, sixth and youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was born in Oxford.

30/1/1164, Matilda, Queen of England, died (born 1102).

1161, The monks at Kirkstead, near Sheffield, had four iron-smelting furnaces.

7/2/1161, The title �Confessor� was conferred upon King Edward, by Papal Bull. It signified his adherence to religious principles in the face of temptation.

25/12/1158, Eleanor, wife of King Richard I, was crowned Queen at Worcester Cathedral.

8/9/1157. King Richard I was born in Oxford, third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and later known as Richard the Lionheart. Although he reigned for nearly ten years he was only in England twice, for a total of 160 days. He was mostly away on crusades.

28/2/1155, Henry, son of Henry II, was born.

19/12/1154. Henry II, adopted son of Stephen, became King of England, aged 21, on the death of Stephen (aged 54) on 24/10/1154. Henry II ruled for 35 years, starting the Plantagenet Dynasty, which endured until 1399.


Reign of King Stephen

24/10/1154. King Stephen of England died at Dover.

25/12/1146, King Stephen of England arranged a third �coronation�; in reality a demonstration of his authority.

25/12/1141, The second coronation of King Stephen of England. He insisted on this ceremony after his release from prison to re-establish his authority over the barons.

1/11/1141. Following the death of King Henry I, Matilda his daughter and her cousin Stephen of Blois were fighting a civil war for the English throne. Rival barons robbed and burned villages and abbeys.

14/9/1141, The Battle of Winchester; King Stephen�s release was secured.

1/8/1141, The siege of Winchester began.

20/2/1141, At the Battle of Lincoln, King Stephen was captured. He had been besieging Lincoln Castle, and was taken by forces under Earl Robert of Gloucester and Earl Ranulf of Chester. This left Matilda as de-facto ruler of England.

22/8/1138, At the Battle of The Standard, a Scottish Highland and Pict army under King David was defeated near Northallerton by English from Yorkshire and the east Midlands.

22/3/1136, Matilda, wife of King Stephen of England, was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey.

22/12/1135, The coronation of King Stephen took place.


Reign of Henry I

1/12/1135. King Henry I died, aged 66, apparently of a surfeit of lampreys, near Rouen. See 1/11/1141.His nephew Stephen succeeded him. Henry�s only son, Robert, had drowned in 1120 and Henry I wanted his daughter Maud to succeed him; the barons considered it unfitting for a woman to be monarch and backed the claim of Stephen, Henry�s nephew.

5/3/1133, Henry II, first Plantagenet King of England, was born near Le Mans, eldest son of Geoffrey Count of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I.

3/2/1122, Adeliza, second wife of King Henry I of England, was crowned Queen at Westminister Abbey.

25/11/1120, William Aethelney, son and heir of the English King Henry I, drowned when his ship hit rocks whilst sailing from Normandy to England.

1109, Louis VI of France declared war on England.

28/9/1106. King Henry of England defeated his brother Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai in France and reunited England and Normandy, divided since William the Conqueror died, see 5/8/1100 and 9/9/1087.

11/11/1100, Matilda I, first wife of King Henry I of England, was crowned Queen at Westminister Abbey

5/8/1100, Henry I, youngest son of William the Conqueror aged 31, was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The rightful heir, older brother Robert, was away on the First Crusade and not expected to return until 1101. Henry I was expected to buy him off with territories in Normandy, see 28/9/1101.

Reign of William II

2/8/1100. William Rufus, (William II), king of England after William the Conqueror, (see 9/9/1087) was killed in the New Forest by an arrow in a hunting accident; he was allegedly mistaken for a deer. His brother, Henry, who became Henry I, was crowned on 5/8/1100, succeeded him. Aged 32, he now ruled for 35 years.

1092, Carlisle Castle built. William II subdued Cumberland.

15/11/1087. Domesday Book completed.

26/9/1087, The coronation of King William II of England.

Reign of William the Conqueror

9/9/1087. William the Conqueror died, aged 60, in Rouen, France, from injuries sustained when his horse stumbled. He had ridden out to see the ruins of the town of Mantes, having sacked and burnt it in retaliation for French raids on his territory, but the horse stepped on hot ashes and jolted. He was succeeded in Normandy by Robert Curthose and in England by William Rufus, William II, who was crowned on 26/9/1087. See 2/8/1100, and 28/9/1106.

25/12/1085, (-) King William I of England ordered a complete survey of the wealth of the kingdom, known as the Domesday Book.

1079, The Noirmans built a castle at Newcastle on Tyne as a base for subjugation of the North.

1075, Richmond Castle, Yorkshire, built.

21/9/1069, The Norman castle of York was attacked and overran. The defenders were all killed, except for two castellans and their families, who were held for ransom. William, who had been hunting in the Forest of Dean, hurried north yet again. Delayed by heavy rain, he eventually arrived in York to find it a deserted smouldering ruin. The local rebels had withdrawn, and the Danes returned to their ships on the Humber, unreachable by William�s soldiers. William now took decisive action. Having paid off the Danes to go away, he killed and burned large parts of the population and its villages in the north of England, in what became known as the Harrying of the North, Large regions of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire were devastated. Thousands were made homeless or starved.

19/9/1069, The Norman garrison at York faced further rebellions by supporters of Edgar Aetheling, assisted by Danish ships under Asbjorn, brother of King Sweyn II of Denmark. This day the York defenders attempted to improve their defences by clearing the ground in front of the castle, but succeeded in starting a fire that badly damaged the city and destroyed St Peter�s Cathedral.

7/1069, Godwin, son of Harold, landed in south Devon with a small fleet, probably intending to attack Tavistock. However he was repelled, with heavy losses, by forces loyal to William.

1/1069, Another anti-Norman rebellion broke out, this time in Northumbria, against the newly-installed Norman Earl Robert de Comines. Local rebels stormed Durham and killed any foreigners they could find; Comines was burnt to death as he sheltered in the Bishop�s House. The rebellion then spread to York. Norman defenders at York managed to get a plea for help out to William, who had returned to France after dealing with Exeter. Worryingly for William, the rebels were proclaiming Edgar Aethling their king, and seeking alliance with Malcolm, King of the Scots. William again hurriedly crossed the Channel, rebuilt and expanded York Castle, then went back south to spend Easter in Winchester.

1068, The first major anti-Norman rebellion broke out in Britain, in Exeter, where King Harold�s mother, Gwytha, resided. William risked crossing the Channel in December to go and deal with the issue. He besieged the city for18 days; it was treated leniently on surrender, with William building a castle there to keep order. William then went to ensure the rest of Devon and Cornwall remained obedient to him.

25/12/1066. William the Conqueror was crowned King of England, in Westminster Abbey.

14/10/1066 Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror had landed in England, at Pevensey Bay, seven miles from the Batlle site, on 28/9/1066. The English lost partly because they left their strong position on the crest of a hill, and partly because they were exhausted by the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the long march south. The Witan chose Edgar Atheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside, as King. William circled London and approached from the north. At Berkhamsted, Edgar and other Saxon nobles met William and offered him the crown.

King Edward the Confessor of England (1003-66, see 5/1/1066) had promised the throne of England to King William of Normandy upon his death. However in response to a Viking threat, Edward also promised the throne to the Danish King Svein Estrithsson, and Harald Hadraada of Norway had also been promised the English throne by an earlier King. The English nobility preferred a native ruler, Harold of Wessex.

Reign of King Harold

2/10/1066, News reached Harold of William�s landing at Hastings, and he began marching south to confront him.

28/9/1066, William the Conqueror landed at Hastings.

25/9/1066. King Harold defeated the Norwegians under Tostig at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, near York, unaware that William of Normandy was about to invade the south coast. Tostig had begun an invasion of Northumbria.

20/9/1066. Harald Hardraada of Norway and Earl Tostig defeated the northern English Earls Edwin and Morcar. However the Norwegian forces were weakened so that they lost to Harold II at Stamford Bridge (25/9/1066). In turn the noerthen English forces were so weakened by these two battles that they could not fully assist Harold at Hastings (14/10/1066).

7/1/1066. Harold was crowned King of England in succession to Edward the Confessor. Ten months later he died at the Battle of Hastings


Reign of Edward the Confessor

5/1/1066. Death of Edward the Confessor, said to be England�s most pious king.Leaving no heir, he recommended Harold as his successor. See 14/10/1066.

14/4/1053, Godwin, Earl of Wessex, died.

3/4/1043, Edward the Confessor was crowned.


8/6/1042,Harthacanute, King of Denmark and England, died.

18/6/1040, Harthacanute, King of England, was crowned in Canterbury Cathedral.

17/3/1040, Harold Harefoot, King of England, was born.

6/1/1017, Cnut was crowned King of England in London.

30/11/1016, King Edmund was murdered and Cnut became King of England.

18/10/1016, The Danes under Canute defeated the Saxons under Aethelread the Unready (un-Reded, or without counsel, because he did not listen to his advisers) at the Battle of Assandun (now Ashingdon, Essex)

23/4/1016, Ethelred died and was succeeded by his son Edmund II, Ironside. Edmund and Cnut fought for the throne. Edmund agreed to keep Wessex and leave Cnut ruling over the rest of England.


Danish rule in England 991 - 1035

12/11/1035. Death of the Danish King of England, Canute (Cnut), aged 40. His kingdom disintegrated. Harold I, Cnut�s son by Aelgifu of Northampton, became Regent of England whilst his half-brother delayed in Denmark. England split into the old political pattern of Northumbria and Mercia against Wessex.

3/2/1014, Svein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Norway and England, died. In Denmark he was succeeded by his son Harold, and in England by his other son Cnut. Ethelred the Unready, however, returned from Normandy to displace Cnut, who then left England.

25/12/1013, The Danish King, Swein Forkbeard, invaded England and was declared its King. However he died 5 weeks later.

13/11/1002. In England, on St Brice�s Day, many leading men of Viking descent were massacred on th orders of King Ethelred II The Unready, because he doubted their loyalty. His policy of buying the Vikings off had failed to halt their raids. In revenge Sweyn returned in 1002 and ravaged Exeter in 1003 and Norwich and Thetford in 1004. After a lull in 1005 Viking attacks on English towns resumed and Aethelred bought them off for a larger sum than ever, �36,000, in 1007. But in 1010 the Vikings were bought off again, for �48,000 this time. In the 1010s the Vikings made efforts to gain political control of the English Kingdom of northern and western England. Aethelred, called the Unready as he was without rede or counsel, had been a weak, improvident, and self-indulgent monarch, and he died in London on 23/4/1016. His wife Emma subsequently married Canute, and died in retirement at Winchester on 6/3/1052 after not her son (Hardicanute) but Harold Harefoot had become king of England.

11/8/991, Battle of Maldon. The Danes under Olaf Tryggvason attempted a landing at Maldon, Essex, but were pinned down on the causeway from Northey Island to the mainland, where battle was impossible. They requested to be aloowed to progress onto the mainland where proper battle could take place, and for some reason Aerhelred II allowed them to, perhaops out of a sense of fair play or possibly he was confident he could defeat them. In the event the Danes won, allowing them to conquer first Essex then much of the rest of England.

See also Christianity


4/4/978, Ethelred II (the Unready) was crowned King of England

18/3/978, King Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe castle, and succeeded by Ethelred II (The Unready).


Wales 587 - 994

10/5/994, The Vikings invaded Anglesey.

965, England invaded the Celtic Kingdon of Gwynedd.

942, Hywel Dda, King of Deheubarth, annexed Gwyedd to become the ruler of most of Wales.

844, Rhodri Mawr became the first Prince of all Wales.

587, Death of St David, patron saint of Wales.


Kings Athelstan, Edmund I, Eadwig. Edgar; England fully united

975, Edgar, younger son of Edmund I, King of Mercia and Northumbria 957-75, and King of all England 959-75, died (born 943).

11/5/973, Edgar was crowned King of England at Bath.

1/10/959, King Eadwig of England died, and was succeeded by his brother Edgar, who effectively completed the unification of England when Northumbria finally submittted to his rule.

26/1/956, King Eadwig (Edwy) of England was crowned.

23/11/955, King Eadred of England died and was succeeded by Eadwig, son of Edred�s brother and former King (Edmund I).

16/8/946, King Eadred of England was crowned.

26/5/946, King Edmund I of England was murdered by a fugitive whom he was trying to apprehend.He was succeeded by his brother, Eadred.

945, Scotland took the Lake District area from England.

29/11/939, King Edmund I of England was crowned.

27/10/939, King Athelstan of Mercia died. He was succeeded by his brother Edmund I. Son of Edward the Elder, grandson of Alfred the Great, he was elected King of Wessex and Mercia on his father�s death in 924. He invaded Northumbria, thereby becoming the first King of all England in 937.


Mercia and Wessex now merged into one kingdom, England

937, The Battle of Brunanburh. This probably took place at Bromborough, on The Wirral. Aethelstan had inherited the thrones of Mercia from his aunt and of Wessex from his father, making him the first true king of all England. In 934 Aethelstan, as part of a border campaign to secure his northern frontier, attacked Scotland and the Welsh Kingdom of Strathclyde (comprising the modern Strathclyde region plus the Lake District). In 937 King Constantine III of Scotland and Owain map Dynfwal, King of Strathclyde, allied with Olaf (Anlaf) Gothfrithson, the Viking King of Dublin, and attacked the Kingdom of England. Aethelstan and his brother Eadmund marched to meet them in battle. Athelstan won a notable victory at Brunanburh; five northern kings and seven Irish-Viking earls were killed. This was the first victory by an English as opposed to an Anglo Saxon King.

4/9/925, Coronation of King Aethelstan of England.

17/7/924, King Edward the Elder of England died and was succeeded by his son Aethlstan.

918, Death of Aethelflaed, eldest daughter of Alfred the Great and Queen of Mercia. Mercia was now fully incorporated into Wessex by King Edward the Elder.


13/12/902, The Anglo-Saxon men of Kent defeated the Vikings of East Anglia at the Battle of the Holme

8/1/900, Coronation of Edward the Elder.


Danish attacks on southern England 789-970

970, Teignmouth Devon, was burned by the Danes.

911, Tamworth was burnt by the Danes.

26/10/899. Death of King Alfred the Great (born 849), succeeded by Edward the Elder. Born in 849, he was sent at the age of 5 to be confirmed by Pope Leo IV. At this time Alfred had three elder brothers and so was by no means guaranteed to be the future King of Wessex. Alfred�s two eldest brothers, Aethelbald and Aethelbert, had short reigns. The third brother, Aethelred, became king in 866. In 868 Aethelrerd and Alfred made an unsuccessful attempt to throw the Danes out of Mercia. In 870 numerous battles were fought by Aethelred against the Danes; a Danish defeat at Englefield, Berkshire, on 31/112/870 was followed by a Danish victory at Reading on 4/1/871. The Danes lost again at the Battle of Ashdown, near Compton Beauchamp, Shrivenham, on 8/1/871, but defeated the English on 22/1/871 at Basing, and repeated the Danish victory at Marton, Wiltshire, on 22/3/871. Aethelred, Alfred�s older brother, died in April 871, and while Alfred was busy with the funeral the Danes won another victory, and defeated his army once more at Wilton in May 871.

From then until 876 the Danes were occupied fighting elsewhere in England but in 876 they returned to Wessex to occupy Wareham and in 877 managed to take Exeter. Here the Danes were blockaded by Alfred, and a Danish relief fleet was scattered by storms. Hence the Danes submitted and withdrew to Mercia. In early January 878 the Danes suddenly attacked King Alfred�s Christmas celebrations at Chippenham; most were killed but Alfred and a few men escaped to the fort at Athelney, from where he made preparations for attacks on the Danes. By May 878 Alfred was ready and he moved out of Athelney, joined by armed soldiers from Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. The Danes also moved out of their camp at Chippenham and the two armies met at Edington in Wiltshire.The result was a decisive victory for Alfred; the Danes surrendered, and Guthrum, the Danish King, and 29 of his chief men, submitted to baptism as Christians. By the Peace of Wedmore, 878, the Danes were cleared from all of Wessex and from Mercia west of Watling Street. There were no more Danish attacks on England until 884 or 885 when a Danish landing in Kent was successfully repelled; this nevertheless encouraged an uprising by East Anglian Danes. Alfred then managed to capture London from the Danes. After a further period of peace, the Danes on the continent found their position becoming more precarious and in 892 or 893, attempted to colonise, with their women and children, areas of Kent and the Thames estuary.

5/8/910, Edward the Elder of Wessex defeated the Danes of Northumbria at Tetenhall, Staffordshire. Halfdan, King of York, was killed.

890, Death of Guthrum, Danish King of East Anglia from 880. In 871 he led a major Viking omvasion of Britain, seizing much of the east coast. He attacked Wessex in 878, with initial success, driving Alfred into hiding in Wedmore. However by May 878 Alfred had recovered and defeated Guthrum at the Battle of Edlington. Guthrum agreed to become a Christian, and to leave Wessex and return to his Kingdom of East Anglia.

23/4/871, King Ethelred of Wessex died in battle against the Danes; he was succeeded by King Alfred.

22/3/871, Battle of Marton (Wiltshire), between the Danes and Wessex.

22/1/871, Battle of Basing, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex was defeated.

8/1/871, Battle of Ashdown, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex defeated the Danes.

4/1/871, Battle of Reading, between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex was defeated.

31/12/870, Battle of Englefirld (Berkshire), between the Danes and Wessex. King Ethelred of Wessex defeated the Danes.

20/11/870, The Danes murdered Edmund, King of East Anglia, when he refused to become their subject. He was succeeded by Oswald, last English King of East Anglia. The Danes moved south west and camped at Reading, ready to invade Wessex.

21/3/867, King Aelle of Northumbria was killed by the Vikings, who now established their rule in Northumbria.

851, Canterbury Cathedral sacked by the Danes; rebuilt ca. 950.

795, First Viking raid on Ireland

794, First Viking raid on Scotland.

793, Monastery at Lindisfarne looted by the Danes.

789, First Viking raids on Britain, at Dorchester.


3/6/859. Edgar, King of All England, was crowned on Whit Sunday by Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Saxon Abbey on the site of the present Bath Abbey.

13/6/858, Ethelwulf, King of Wessex, died and was succeeded by his son Ethelbald, who had been his co-ruler for three years and who married his stepmother Judith.

1/10/856, Aethelwulf, King of Wessex, married Judith, 12 year old daughter of Charles the Bald.

849, King Alfred was born, in Wantage.


Britons pushed back into Devon and Cornwall; finally conquered altogether, 429-815

815, King Egbert of Wessex defeated the Britons of Cornwall.

733, Mercian King Aethelbald conquered the Somerset area from the Britons, pushing them back into just Devon and Cornwall.

633, King Oswald of Northumbria defeated the Britons at the Battle of Rowley Water, killing King Cadwallon, driving them out of northwest England entirely.

616, King Edwin of Northumbria defeated the Britons, in north Wales and Anglesey.

615, Battle of Chester. King Aethelfrith of Northumbria defeated the Britons, reaching the Irish Sea and dividing the Welsh Britons from those in northwest England.

577, Battle of Deorham (Dryham, Gloucestershire). The (Saxon) Kingdom of Wessex defeated the Welsh (Britons), pushing the Britons back into separate regions in Wales and Cornwall.

571, The Saxons captured Aylesbury from the Britons.

457, The Battle of Crayford; the Britons were defeated by Hengest, and gave up Kent to the Jutes.

429, Saxons, Jutes and Angles displaced the Picts and Scots from southern England.


King Offa of Mercia; Wessex subdued

29/7/796. Death of King Offa of Mercia, after a 39-year reign. His kingdom covered much of England south of a line from the Humber to Preston, and he had subdued the only other kingdom south of this line, Wessex, (Hampshire to Cornwall) in 777. on 17/12/796 Offa�s son and successor Egfrithdied and was succeeded by Cenwulf.

757, Accession of Offa, King of Mercia, after he had defeated the usurper, Beornred.

733, King Aethelbald of Mercia invaded Wessex


709, A violent storm separated the Channel island of Jethou from Herm.

15/2/670, Death of King Oswy of Bernicia (northern England). Born ca. 612, son of King Aedilfrith of Bernicia,, he became king in 642. He attempted to gain control of the neighbouring Kingdom of Deira.

655, Death of Penda, King of Mercia.

643, Death of Cynegils, King of the West Saxons. He had succeeded his uncle, Ceowulf, as King in 611.

641, Penda, King of Mercia, defeated and killed King Oswald of Northumbria. Mercia te,mp[orarily became the dominnat kingdom in England.However Penda was then killed at the Battle of Winwaed (655) by Oswy (641-670), the younger brother of Oswald. Northumbria then regained supremacy over Mercia.


Northumbria 603-796

14/5/796, Coronation of King Eardwulf of Northumbria, at York.

757, King Aethelbald of Northumbria was assassinated by his boidyguatrd. He was succeeded by Offa.

744, King Aethelbald of Mercia broke a 60-year-old truce with Northumbria, attacking it and devastating large areas.

9/5/729, Osric, King of Northumbria, died and was succeeded by Ceolwulf.

20/5/685, Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria, died at the Battle of Nechtansmere, north of the River Tay, fighting the Picts. Most of the Northumbrian army was killed and Northumbria was now in decline. English settlement was now restricted to south of the River Forth, with Edinburgh as a border fortress.

641, Oswald, King of Northumbria from 634, died in battle against King Penda of Mercia.

617, Death of Aethelfrith, king of Northumbria; killed in the Battle of the Idle against Raedwald of East Anglia, Edwin now became the first Christian King of Northumbria.

603, Scottish invasion of Northumbria, repelled by Northumbrian King Aethelfrith who defeated King Aidan of the Dalraid Scots at the Battle of Daegsastan.


Kent 560-673

4/7/673, Egbert I, King of Kent, died.

20/1/640, Eadbald, King of Kent, died and was succeeded by his son Earconberht.

616, Death of Ethelbert, king of Kent, who was converted to Christianity by Augustine in 597.

573, Battle of Ardderyd; Cumbria was incorporated in the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

560, Kentish King Eormenric died and was succeeded by his son, who ruled until 616 as Ethelbert I.


See also Christianity for early Church conversion work in Britain

514, The history of Wessex began, when a band of Saxons, calling themselves the Gewissas, landed at Southampton. Under King Cerdic (519-34) the Kingdom of Wessex formed from an alliance of the Gewissas and Jutes, becoming known as the West Saxons. Under King Cynric (534-60) Wessex expanded from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to encompass Salisbury Plain and up to the Thames, where the East Saxons held their ground. Under King Ceawlin (560-92) Wessex defeated the Jutes of Kent, and then pushed northwards from the Thames and up the Severn Valley as far as Uriconium (The Wrekin, Shropshire), where, however, he was defeated at Faddiley by Mercian forces. Mercia then expanded southwatds to the Thames Valley. Meanwhile Wessex bevame Christian in 635, and under King Cenwealh (643-72) it expended its territory west from the River Axe to the River Parrett. Further westwards expansion was achieved under King Ine (688-726) . Underr King Cuthred (741-54) Wessex pushed the Mercians back north, although in 779 King Offa of Mercia (757 � July 796) again pushed Wessex back south to the Thames. Under King Egbert (802-839) Wessex defeated Mercia in 829 (under King Wiglaf, who was temporarily forced into exile). Although Wiglaf returned in 830 and Mercian power was reasserted, Egbert had captured London and was now known as Bretwald, Lord of all Britain. Wessex eventually came to dominate all of England.


Roman withdrawal from Britain; Saxon invasion

436, No Roman troops were now left in Britain.

410, The last Roman legions left Britain, to protect Italy from Germanic invasions.

383, Roman legions began to leave Britain, forever, see 410.

360, The first Saxon invasion of Britain.


See also Roman Empire

285 AD, Carausius, Roman Commander of the British Fleet, proclaimed himself independent Emperor of Britain.

127, Hadrian�s Wall, Britain, was completed (work began in 122).

330 BCE, The Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia (now Marseilles) reached Britain.

450 BCE, Major migration of Celtic peoples into the British Isles.

2800 BCE, Building of Stonehenge commenced.

6,500 BCE, Separation of Britain from mainland Europe, as sea levels rose.


See also Christianity for early Church conversion work in Britain

See also Roman Empire


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