Here is a list of important dates in the Tudor period, including births, deaths, marriages and events that helped shape both England and Europe.
2 October – Richard III is born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire. He was the last of the Plantagenet line of Kings and was defeated by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485.
28 January – Henry VII is born at Pembroke Castle in Wales. He was styled Duke of Richmond from birth.
11 February – Elizabeth of York is born at the Palace of Westminster.
3 July – Margaret of York, sister of Richard III and Edward IV, marries Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and becomes Margaret of Burgundy. Charles the Bold is in conflict with King Louis XI of France over lands in Europe.
2 November – Edward V is born. He was the son and heir of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville and one of the Princes in the Tower. He was never actually crowned and was declared illegitimate by an act of Parliament called the Titilus Regius which allowed Richard III to become King.
14 August – Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury is born. She is the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence (Edward IV’s brother) and Isabel Neville.
17 August – Richard, Duke of York is born. He was the 2nd son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville and one of the Princes in the Tower.
5 January – Charles the Bold dies in the Battle of Nancy and is succeeded by his daughter Mary of Burgundy.
18 August – Mary of Burgundy (Margaret’s stepdaughter) marries Archduke Maximilian of Austria, the future Maximilian I. He is the son of the current Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. This marriage unites Burgundy with the Habsburg’s, who rule Austria.
27 March – Mary of Burgundy dies and is succeeded by her son Philip of Burgundy.
30 August – Louis XI of France dies and is succeeded by his son Charles VIII.
22 August – Richard III defeated at the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor, marking the end of Yorkist rule.
30 October – Henry VII is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
16 December – Catherine of Aragon is born at Alcana de Hanares in Spain.
18 January – Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York in Westminster Abbey.
20 September – Arthur Prince of Wales is born (might have been 19th September)
16 June – Henry VII defeats Richard III’s nephew and heir, John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln, at the Battle of Stoke, this is seen as the last battle in the Wars of the Roses. Lincoln had been supporting the pretender Lambert Simnel who was claiming to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, who Henry VII had already locked in the Tower.
28 November – Margaret Tudor born (may have been 29th or 30th November)
** The pretender Perkin Warbeck first makes his claim to the English throne while at the Court of Burgundy. He claims to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger son of Edward IV and one of the princes in the tower.
28 June – Henry VIII is born at Greenwich Palace in Kent.
** Henry VII invades Northern France.
3 November – Treaty of Etaples signed between England and France. Charles VIII of France agrees to drop his support for Perkin Warbeck and other rebels and England agrees to France’s claim on Brittany.
19 August – Maximilian I succeeds his father, Fredrick III, as Holy Roman Emperor.
** Maximilian I and Margaret of Burgundy back the pretender Perkin Warbeck and recognise him as King of England. In retaliation Henry VII issues a trade embargo on Burgundy.
** The start of the First Italian War. Charles VIII of France fights against the Holy Roman Emperor, Spain and and an alliance of Italian powers led by the Pope for control of the Italian states of Naples and Milan.
18 March – Mary Tudor is born (may have been 1496)
31 March – The Holy League is formed (also called the League of Venice) This alliance was formed by Pope Alexander VI against France and comprised of Ferdinand of Aragon (who also ruled Sciliy), Emperor Maxilmilan I, Milan and Venice.
3 July – Warbeck lands at Deal in Kent but is immediately forced to retreat and goes to Ireland. He is being financially supported by Margaret of Burgundy.
** England joins The Holy League against France.
24 February – Henry VII signs the ‘Magnus Intercursus’ a trade treaty with Philip of Burgundy.
September – Warbeck and James IV of Scotland invade England.
20 October – Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy’s son, Philip of Burgundy, marries the future Queen Joanna of Castille, which establishes the Habsburg dynasty in Spain. Philip is heir to the Burgundian Netherlands through his mother’s side and to the Holy Roman Empire through his father’s side. Philip and Joanna’s son’s, Charles and Ferdinand, are the future Holy Roman Emperors Charles V (who also ruled Spain) and Ferdinand I.
12 September – Warbeck lands in Lands End with just 120 men. He marches to Exeter gaining Cornish support along the way.
4 October – Henry VII arrives in Taunton, the Cornish army surrendor and Warbeck takes sanctuary in Beaulieu Abbey where he is captured.
5 October – Warbeck makes his confession to Henry VII that he is an imposter.
** End of the First Italian War.
7 April – Charles VIII of France dies and is succeeded by his cousin Louis XII.
June – Warbeck escapes from Westminster but is quickly captured and put in the Tower.
** Another plot is uncovered involving a false Warwick
** The second Italian war breaks out. Louis XII once more lays claim to the kingdoms of Milan and Naples. Louis XII fought mainly against Ferdinand of Aragon.
23 November – Perkin Warbeck is executed
29 November – Edward Plantagenet, the real Earl of Warwick, is executed. His only crime was being a threat to Henry VII’s throne. The House of Plantagenet now has no legitimate male line.
** Anne Boleyn is born – the exact date is unknown and year contested, although 1501 is widely believed to be correct.
2 October – Catherine of Aragon arrives in England, landing at Plymouth Sound in Devon, in preparation for her marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales.
14 November – Arthur, Prince of Wales marries Catherine of Aragon.
24 January – Treaty of Ayton was signed. This was a treaty of perpetual peace between Henry VII and James IV of Scotland, the first peace treaty between the countries for 170 years.
2 February – Arthur dies at Ludlow Castle, Shropshire
6 May – James Tyrrell executed for trying to overthrow Henry VII, he also confesses to murdering the princes in the tower, Edward V and Richard Duke of York, but this may have been done under torture.
31 January – Treaty of Lyons. Signed by Louis XII of France and Ferdinand of Aragon. Spain were given control of Naples, Sicily and the southern Italian states while France were given control of Italian states north of Milan. End of second Italian war.
26 November – Queen Isabella of Castille dies, succeeded by her daughter Joanna (sister of Catherine of Aragon)
11 February – Elizabeth of York dies at the Tower of London following childbirth
8 August – Margaret Tudor marries James IV of Scotland.
** Jane Seymour born (may have been 1508)
10 December – League of Cambrai. This was formed by Pope Julius II to curb the power of Venice and included France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.
21 April – Henry VII dies at Richmond Palace.
22 April – Henry VIII succeeds his father as King.
11 June – Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon.
24 June – Henry VIII is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
17 August – Sir Edmund Dudley and Sir Richard Epsom executed for treason. They had been Henry VII’s chief ministers and financial advisers, the charges are unlikely to have been true and were probably made so Henry VIII could distance himself from his father’s unpopular tax measures.
1 January – Catherine of Aragon gives birth to Henry, styled Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales.
22 February – Henry, Duke of Cornwall, dies at 52 days old.
November – Treaty of Westminster. An alliance between Henry VIII and Ferdinand of Aragon against France.
November - Pope Julius II puts together the Holy League, to check French ambitions in Italy.
** Catherine Parr born (exact date unknown)
June – England and Spain’s first mutual invasion of France, an attack on Aquitaine led by the Marquis of Dorset.
** After Ferdinand captured Navarre he made a separate peace with France, however, England and the Empire are still at war with them.
** Catherine of Aragon is made Regent while Henry VIII is away in France.
16 August – Battle of the Spurs took place at Guinegate. The English, backed by Imperial troops, defeat the French.
9 September – James IV of Scotland is killed at the Battle of Flodden by English troops under the regency of Catherine of Aragon. His baby son James V becomes King with Henry’s sister Margaret acting as regent.
21 September - James V of Scotland is crowned at Stirling Castle.
June – Truce is organised between Spain, France and the Holy Roman Empire.
6 August – Margaret Tudor marries Archibald Douglas (may have been 4th or 5th August) and has to give up her regency.
7 August – England sign a peace treaty with France, it is agreed that 18 year old Mary Tudor will marry the widowed 52 year old Louis XII of France.
9 October – Mary Tudor marries King Louis XII of France.
5 November – Mary Tudor is crowned Queen of France.
1 January – Louis XII of France dies and is succeeded by Francis I, who is his cousins son (and son in law) and goes on to form his own line of French Kings.
25 January – Francis I crowned King of France.
3 March – Mary Tudor marries Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk in secret.
13 May – Mary and Suffolk marry in public.
10 September - Thomas Wolsey is made a Cardinal by Pope Leo X
22 September – Anne of Cleves is born in Düsseldorf, Germany.
24 December – Thomas Wolsey is made Lord Chancellor.
25 January – King Ferdinand of Aragon dies and is succeeded by Charles of Austria (future emperor Charles V) who is Catherine’s nephew, being the son of her sister Joanna of Castille. He is the first Habsburg King of Spain.
18 February - Mary I born at Greenwich Palace.
13 August – Treaty of Noyon is signed. This was an alliance between Spain and France, whereby France gave up their claim to the Kingdom of Naples in exchange for the Duchy of Milan. As Spanish claims to Naples were recognised it removed them from this stage of the Italian Wars
December – Treaty of Brussels is signed between Maximilian and Francis I. The Emperor accepted the French occupation of Milan and the Venetian claims to territory in Lombardy. This finally brought an end to a stage of the Italian Wars known as the War of the League of Cambrai.
11 March - Treaty of Cambrai. Alliance between Emperor Maximilian, Charles of Habsburg (the future Charles V) and Francis I, the King of France.
16 July – Mary Tudor gives birth to Frances Brandon, future mother of Lady Jane Grey.
31 October – The Reformation begins when Luther pins his “95 Theses” on the door of Wittenberg Castle Church. He attacked, amongst other things, the Catholic practice of selling indulgences.
** Wolsey is made Papal Legate and effectively the head of the English Church.
2 October – Cardinal Wolsey’s Treaty of London is signed by England & France. Also involved in the treaty were the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy, Spain, Burgundy, the Netherlands and over twenty lesser powers such as Denmark and Portugal. It was a treaty of universal peace for Europe where all nations agreed not to attack each other and to come to the aid of the others if they were attacked.
5 October – Formal betrothal of Henry VIII’s daughter, Princess Mary, to the Dauphin of France.
12 January – Emperor Maximilian I dies. Charles V, already King of Spain and Lord of the Netherlands, is elected Holy Roman Emperor.
15 June – Henry VIII mistress Bessie Blount gives birth to his recognised illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy.
May – Charles arrives in England to meet Henry VIII and stays for 3 days.
7 June – Francis I and Henry VIII meet for the first time at the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
24 June – The Field of the Cloth of Gold ends. Henry has failed to form an alliance with Francis against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (elected 1519, crowned 1530)
17 October – Henry VIII is named “Defender of the Faith” by Pope Leo X for his opposition to Luther.
16 June – Treaty of Windsor is signed by Henry VIII and Charles V. Henry agrees to help Charles in his war with France but an invasion is postponed until 1524.
July - Earl of Surrey leads an expedition to Picardy in France.
** Thomas More becomes speaker of the House of Commons.
10 March – Henry VIII’s first jousting accident, he takes a knock to the right eye.
** William Tyndale translates the New Testament into English.
24 February – Battle of Pavia. Charles V captures Francis I
16 June – Henry VIII makes his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond.
30 August - England and France agree peace and sign the Treaty of the More. As Francis was still Charles V’s prisoner his mother, Louise of Savoy, signed on his behalf.
April – Henry VIII supposedly injures his foot playing tennis. By early May he is seen wearing a black velvet slipper
30 April – Wolsey signs an alliance between England and France, the Treaty of Westminster.
6 May – Charles V’s troops, under the Duke of Bourbon, invade Rome.
17 May – A secret inquiry is set up by Archbishop William Wareham to assess whether Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is legal.
** Henry VIII asks the Pope to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
22 January – War is declared on Emperor Charles V by Henry VIII and Francis I of France.
June - England seeks a truce with the Emperor as economic difficulties caused by the war are causing unrest with the people.
July - Major outbreak of sweating sickness in London.
2 October – William Tyndale’s book “The Obedience of a Christian Man and How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern” is published in Antwerp.
May - The Legatine court opens in Blackfriars, presided over by Wolsely. It was set up to rule on whether Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon was legal.
21 June – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon appear together at the Legatine Court.
3 August – The Treaty of Cambrai is signed which removes Francis from the Italian war with Charles and confirms Habsburg rule in Italy. It is called “The Ladies Peace” because it was negotiated by Francis’ mother Louise of Savoy, who was acting as his regent in France, and Charles’ aunt Margaret of Austria who was his regent in the Netherlands.
26 October – Thomas Wolsey is dismissed for failing to obtain the Popes consent for Henry’s divorce.
26 October – Sir Thomas More is appointed Lord Chancellor.
4 November – Henry VIII summons reformation Parliament.
30 November – Catherine of Aragon confronts Henry VIII over his treatment of her.
** The Pope rejects Henry VIII’s petition to have his marriage annulled.
24 February – Charles V crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
4 November – Cardinal Thomas Wolsey arrested for treason.
29 November – Cardinal Thomas Wolsey dies.
11 January – Ferdinand I (brother of Charles V) is crowned King of the Romans (Germany) and made Emperor Elect for the Holy Roman Empire.
** The Church is forced to accept the Kings authority over the Church in England and they agree to help him confront the Pope over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
** Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor.
** Hans Holbein starts working in England under the patronage of Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell.
1 September – Anne Boleyn made Marquis of Pembrokeshire.
25 January – Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn.
30 March – Thomas Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
23 May – Cranmer declares that Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is annulled.
29 May – The celebrations for Anne Boleyn’s coronation begin.
1 June – Anne Boleyn is crowned Queen of England by Cranmer in Westminster Abbey.
25 June – Mary Tudor dies at Westhope Hall, Suffolk.
11 July – Henry VIII and Cranmer are excommunicated by Pope Clement VII.
7 September – Princess Elizabeth is born at Greenwich Palace.
10 September – Princess Elizabeth is christened at the Church of Observant Friars in Greenwich.
25 November – Henry Fitzroy, earl of Richmond (Henry VIII’s illegitimate son) marries Mary Howard.
** Anne suffers her first miscarriage.
23 March – Parliament passes the First Act of Succession, this annulled Henry’s marriage to Catherine and declared his children with Anne to be his only lawful heirs.
11 June – Thomas Fitzgerald, Lord Offaly, revolts and is executed. A permanent military presence is placed in Ireland.
November – Act of Supremacy. Henry VIII breaks with the church in Rome and is declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England.
** Miles Coverdale makes first English translation of the bible.
** Hans Holbein becomes the King’s painter.
19th June – 3 Carthusican monks are executed for refusing to accept Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the Church
22 June – Bishop John Fisher is executed.
6 July – Sir Thomas More is executed. He had originally been arrested for failing to swear his oath on the Act of Succession but was executed on the grounds that he had rejected Henry VIII’s new title of Supreme Head of the Church (which denied the Pope’s authority in England)
** Henry VII begins the dissolution of the monasteries. Monastic property is sold, ornaments are stripped out and shrines are banned.
** The 10 Articles are published by Thomas Cranmer. They are guidelines for the new Church in England.
** War resumes between Francis I and Charles V.
** The 1535 ‘Laws in Wales Act’ is passed by parliament.
24 January – Henry VIII’s second jousting accident, he is reportedly knocked unconscious for two hours.
29 January – Anne Boleyn suffers her second miscarriage, it was possibly brought on by Henry’s accident a few days before.
2 April – John Skip, Anne Boleyn’s almoner, delivers his controversial passion Sunday sermon.
24 April – A “commission of oyer and terminer” is set up to investigate reports of treason.
30 April – Mark Smeaton is arrested for committing adultery with Anne Boleyn.
2 May – Anne Boleyn is arrested along with her brother, George Boleyn, Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton. Henry Norris is sent to the Tower.
15 May – Anne and George Boleyn’s trial for treason and incest.
17 May – George Boleyn, Sir Francis Weston, Sir Henry Norris and William Brereton are executed.
18 May – Cromwell declares that Anne and Henry’s marriage is null and void.
19 May – Anne Boleyn is executed.
20 May – Henry VIII is betrothed to Jane Seymour.
30 May – Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour.
13 October – The Pilgrimage of Grace begins with an uprising in Lincolnshire, caused by Henry VIII’s break from Rome.
27 October – Pilgrimage of Grace disbands in good faith after a visit from Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Henry VIII took revenge a few months later and executed the leaders.
12 June – James V of Scotland marries Mary of Guise.
** “Institution of a Christian Man” is published by Cranmer, it is a refinement of The 10 Articles.
12 October – Edward VI born at Hampton Court.
24 October – Jane Seymour dies at Hampton Court of childbed fever.
** May Statute of 6 Articles. These articles reaffirm Catholic doctrines because Henry doesn’t want to break with traditional Catholic practices.
1 January – Henry VIII meets Anne of Cleves for the first time.
6 January – Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves.
March - The last monastery is dissolved, Waltham Abbey.
10 June – Thomas Cromwell is arrested.
12 June – Letter from Thomas Cromwell to Henry VIII pleading his innocence.
9 July – Henry VIII marriage to Anne of Cleves is annulled.
28 July – Henry VIII marries Katherine Howard
28 July – Thomas Cromwell executed for treason.
June - Henry VIII takes the title King of Ireland, after previously being Lord of Ireland.
30 June – Henry VIII and Katherine Howard begin their Royal Progress to the North.
7 November – Cranmer and the Duke of Norfolk go to Hampton Court to interrogate Katherine Howard.
8 November – Katherine Howard makes her confession to Cranmer.
24 November – Margaret Tudor dies at Methven Castle, Perthshire (exact date unknown, may also have been 8th or 18th October)
13 February – Katherine Howard is executed.
12 July – Charles V, allied with Henry VIII, declares war on Francis I, who is allied with James V of Scotland.
24 August – Battle of Haddon Rig. Scotland defeats England.
8 December – Mary Queen of Scots is born.
14 December – James V of Scotland dies leaving his 6 day old daughter Mary as his heir. Henry VIII is keen to marry her to his son Edward.
** ‘The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for Any Christian Man’ (or The Kings Book) is published. It is a refinement of an ‘Institution of a Christian Man but also defended The 6 Articles and is attributed to Henry VIII.
** The 1542 ’Laws in Wales Act’ is passed by parliament. Wales is now annexed to England and is no longer a personal fiefdom.
12 July – Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr.
9 September – Mary Queen of Scots is crowned in Scotland, she was only 9 months old.
** Henry VIII and Charles V invade France.
** Catherine Parr publishes her book, Prayers and Meditations.
19 July – Henry VIII’s flagship, The Mary Rose, sinks in the Solent and nearly all the 700 crew men are drowned.
22 August – Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, dies.
24 May – Anne Askew is arrested for heresy.
June – Treaty of Ardes is signed by England and France. England gets to keep Boulogne for 6 years and France pay for it’s return.
4 July – Catherine Parr’s auditors are ordered by the privy council to produce her estate books. She fears heresy charges may be brought but submits to Henry on matters of religion and the danger passes.
16 July – Anne Askew is burnt at the stake for heresy.
12 December – Henry Howard, earl of Surrey and his father Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, are taken to the Tower on charges of treason.
19 January – The earl of Surrey is executed but Norfolk remains in prison.
28 January – Henry VIII dies at Whitehall Palace. Edward VI succeeds his father as King.
20 February – Edward VI crowned at Westminser Abbey (may have been 25 February) Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, is made Protector
31 March – Francis I of France dies and is succeeded by his son Henry II.
May - Thomas Seymour and Catherine Parr are married (exact date unknown)
10 September – Battle of Pinkie Cleugh between Scotland and England, part of the conflict known as the “Rough Wooing”. The Scots were defeated.
** The Medieval heresey laws are abolished by Edward VI.
30 August – Catherine Parr gives birth to a daughter, Mary Seymour.
5 September – Catherine Parr dies at Sudely Castle of puerpal fever (childbed fever)
** The first ‘Book of Common Prayer’ is published by Cranmer and is made compulsory by the Act of Uniformity.
20 March – Thomas Seymour is executed for treason.
October - Seymour takes Edward VI to Windsor telling him he’s in danger. John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, forces Somerset out of office.
** John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, is made Protector.
** The 42 Articles are completed. These are guidelines written by Thomas Cranmer for the new Church in England under Edward VI, “for the avoiding of controversy in opinions”. They were partly derived from the 13 articles.
** A new ‘Book of Common Prayer’ is published with amendments.
22 January – Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and former Lord Protector is executed.
25 May – Lady Jane Grey marries Lord Guildford Dudley, Northumberland’s son
19 June – The 42 Articles are issued by Royal Magnate. They were eliminated when Mary became Queen.
21 June – Councillors sign the letters patent proclaiming Lady Jane Grey as Edward’s heir
6 July – Edward VI dies at Greenwich Palace.
10 July – Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen.
13 July – Northumberland leads a force against Mary but is defeated
19 July – Queen Jane is deposed after only 9 days and Mary is proclaimed Queen in London.
3 August – Mary I enters London as Queen, she is accompanied by her half sister Elizabeth
22 August – Northumberland is executed. Lady Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley are imprisoned in the Tower and Jane’s father, Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, is pardoned.
31 August – The Duke of Suffolk is released from the Tower.
1 October – Mary I is crowned at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester.
13 November – Lady Jane Grey, her husband Guildford Dudley and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer are put on trial for treason at London’s Guildhall.
25 January – Outbreak of Wyatt’s revolt, a rebellion led by Sir Thomas Wyatt, Suffolk and the Carew family against Mary’s planned marriage to Phillip II of Spain.
26 January – Elizabeth is summoned to court by Mary.
3 February – Sir Thomas Wyatt and followers arrive at Southwark.
6 February – Sir Thomas Wyatt is captured and taken to the Tower. The rebellion collapses.
12 February – Lady Jane Grey and her husband Guildford Dudley are executed.
12 February - Elizabeth sets off back to court from Ashridge accompanied by troops.
23 February – Duke of Suffolk is executed.
23 February - Elizabeth arrives in London and is lodged in a remote part of Whitehall.
15 March – Wyatt’s trial for treason.
16 March – Elizabeth is charged with her involvement in the plot and ordered to the Tower.
11 April – Sir Thomas Wyatt is executed.
17 May – Elizabeth writes to Mary about her plight.
19 May – Elizabeth is released from the Tower and put under house arrest at Woodstock.
25 July – Mary I marries Philip II of Spain and an alliance is formed.
25 August – Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk dies.
** The Catholic Restoration begins.
17 April – Elizabeth is summoned from Woodstock to stay at Hampton Court.
30 April – False reports of Mary giving birth to a son.
29 August – Phillip leaves England to pursue his ambitions in Europe. His father, Emperor Charles V, is due to abdicate.
12 September – First day of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s trial for repudiating papal authority and denying transtantiation.
16 October – Bishops Latimer and Ridley are burnt at the stake.
18 October – Elizabeth receives permission to leave court for her own estates and goes to Hatfield.
12 November – Death of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary I’s Lord Chancellor.
12 November - Mary I’s Parliament re-establish Catholicism in England.
3 December – A Parliamentary bill is passed to return ecclesiastical land and revenue back to the Church.
16 January – Charles V resigns the kingdom of Spain and Phillip II becomes King.
February – Henry II of France signs the Truce of Vaucelles with Phillip II of Spain.
21 March – Archbishop Thomas Cranmer is burnt at the stake.
27 August – Charles V formally abdicates as Holy Roman Emperor in favour of his brother Ferdinand I, who had been declared his heir in 1531.
January – Henry II breaks truce of Vaucelles and resumes the war with the Habsburgs.
March - Phillip II returns to England and brings the English back into his war with France.
5 July – Phillip leaves England.
16 July – Anne of Cleves dies at Chelsea Manor.
7 January – The siege of Calais. England is forced to give Calais back to the French.
24 April – Mary Queen of Scots marries Dauphin Francis of France, son of Henry II.
6 November – Mary I declares Elizabeth as her heir.
17 November – Mary I dies at St James Palace and is succeeded by her sister Elizabeth I.
21 September – Emperor Charles V dies of malaria at the monastery of Yuste where he retired to in 1556
15 January – Elizabeth I is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
2 April – The Peace of Cateau-Cambresis is signed between England and France.
3 April – The Peace of Cateau-Cambresis is signed between Spain and France. This treaty ended the 40 year Habsburg Valois war.
8 May – A new Act of Supremacy is made law. A new act of Uniformity is also passed which makes owning a Book of Common Prayer and going to church compulsory.
10 July – Henry II of France dies and is succeeded by his son Francis II.
22 June – Elizabeth I’s prayer book is issued, a reformed version of the 1552 Common Book of Prayer which was more acceptable to traditional worshippers.
18 September – Francis II crowned King of France.
21 November – Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk dies.
11 June – Mary of Guise dies.
5 July – The Treaty of Edinburgh. English and French troops retreat from Scotland.
8 September – Amy Robsart, the wife of Robert Dudley 1st earl of Leicester, is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Foul play is suspected.
5 December – Francis II of France dies and is succeeded by his younger brother Charles IX. He is only 10 so his mother, Catherine de’ Medici, acts as Regent.
19th August – Mary Queen of Scots lands in Leith, Scotland. She has returned following the death of her husband Francis II, the former King of France.
15 May – Charles IX is crowned King of France.
November – Maximilian II is elected Holy Roman Emperor.
** The 39 Articles are published. They were developed from The 42 Articles and contained changes made at Elizabeth’s request.
March – Foxes ‘Actes and Monuments’ is first published in English (also known as the Book of Martyrs) which highlights Mary’s religious persecutions.
15 February – Galileo Galilei is born.
26 April – Shakespeare is baptised, his birthdate is unknown.
25 July – The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I dies, he is succeeded by his son Maximilian II.
29 September – Robert Dudley is made Earl of Leicester, a decision made earlier in the year to help make him a more acceptable bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots.
29 July – Mary Queen of Scots marries her cousin Henry Lord Darnley.
9 March – Mary Queen of Scots secretary, David Riccio, is murdered.
19 June – Mary Queen of Scots son, James I/VI is born.
10 February – Lord Darnley is murdered.
15 May – Mary Queen of Scots marries James earl of Bothwell.
15 May – Mary Queen of Scots and Bothwell confront the Scottish Lords at Carberry Hill.
16 June – Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned in Lochlevan.
24 July – Mary Queen of Scots is forced by the Scottish lords to abdicate in favour of her baby son James.
29 July – James VI is crowned King of Scotland.
22 August – James Stuart, Earl of Moray, becomes Regent of Scotland for James VI.
4 December – Documents implicating Mary Queen of Scots in the murder of Darnley are mentioned at the Privy Council.
2 May – Mary Queen of Scots escapes from Lochlevan.
13 May – Mary Queen of Scots and Moray’s forces meet at the Battle of Langside. Mary is defeated and flees to England.
16 May – Mary Queen of Scots arrives in England.
18 May – Mary Queen of Scots is taken into protective custody at Carlise Castle by Elizabeth I.
November – The Northern Rebellion, led by Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. The aim is to depose Elizabeth and put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne. An illegal Catholic mass is held in Durham Cathedral.
13 December – The Northern rebel leaders are defeated and flee to Scotland.
19 January – The earl of Moray is assassinated.
25 February – Pope Pius V issues a bull called Regnans in Exclesiors which brands Elizabeth I a heretic and declares that she is deposed.
** Final revision of The 39 Articles. These were made under Elizabeth’s request to be as inclusive of different viewpoints as possible.
2 June – Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, is executed for treason.
7 September – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is arrested for plotting to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots, known as the Ridolfi plot.
19 April – Treaty of Blois. Alliance between Elizabeth I and Catherine de’ Medici of France against Spain.
24 August – The St Bartholmew’s Day Massacre took place. Approx 3000 French Protestants (Huguenots) were massacred in Paris. It was apparently Catherine de’ Medici who persuaded her son, Charles IX, to order the assassination of the Huguenot leaders who were in Paris to celebrate the wedding of their leader, Henry of Navarre, to Margaret of Valois, Charles’ sister.
30 May – Charles IX of France dies and is succeeded by his younger brother Henry III.
13 February – Henry III is crowned King of France.
13 April – James Burbage signs the lease of the site where ‘The Theatre’ is to be created, one of the first permanent theatres built in London since the Romans.
12 October – Maximilian II dies, he is succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor by his son, Rudolf II.
13 December – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth aboard The Golden Hind on a mission to the Pacific.
1 January – Sir John Hawkins is made Treasurer of the Royal Navy and goes on to reform it. He is the second cousin of Sir Francis Drake.
14 April – Bothwell dies in Denmark.
21 September - Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, marries Lettice Devereux (nee Knollys), widow of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, at Wanstead House in Essex
26 September – Sir Francis Drake returns in his ship the Golden Hind laden with spices and Spanish gold after circumnavigating the globe.
26 July – The Dutch republic is founded by The Act of Abjuration.
1 November – The Throckmorton plot against Elizabeth I is uncovered.
March - Sir Walter Raleigh sets sail for Virginia to establish a colony.
** Drake successfully raids Spanish possessions in the Caribbean.
September – Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, leads an expedition to the Netherlands to help them fight their Spanish invaders and a war with Spain begins.
** Francis Walsingham uncovers the Babington Plot which involves Mary Queen of Scots.
11 August – Mary Queen of Scots is arrested after writing a letter approving of the Babington plot againt Elizabeth I.
15 October – Mary Queen of Scots is tried and found guilty of treason at Fotheringhay Castle
29 October – Parliament meets to discuss Mary Queen of Scots fate.
1 February – Elizabeth I signs Mary Queen of Scots death warrant.
8 February – Mary Queen of Scots is executed at Fotheringhay.
2 April – Drake sets sail for Spain.
19 April – Drake lands at the harbour of Cadiz and successfully leads an attack on the Spanish fleet.
12 July – Philip II launches the Spanish Armada, a fleet of a Spanish ships which head for the channel.
19th July – The Spanish Armada is first spotted off the English shores. Legend has it that Francis Drake wanted to finish his game of bowls! In reality Drake and Lord Howard set sail with 55 ships.
29 July - The English fleet defeat the Spanish Armada in the Naval Battle of Gravelines off the coast of France. The previous day England had destroyed the crescent formation of the Armada. The war with Spain was to carry on until 1604 but this defeat seriously wounded the Spanish treasury and helped secure Protestantism as England’s state religion.
9 August – Elizabeth I makes her famous speech to the troops of Tilbury in preparation for a retaliation by the Spanish Armada.
4 September – Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester dies. He is known for being the close friend and favourite of Elizabeth I
2 August – Henry III of France dies, succeeded by his son Henry IV.
** The plague starts in London
19 February – The Rose Theatre is opened on Bankside in London.
** London theatres are forced to close due to the plague.
** Building of The Swan Theatre starts (it was finished in 1596)
27 February – Henry IV is crowned King of France.
July - The Spanish land in Cornwall and burn Mousehole and Penzance.
2 August – The English are defeated by the Spanish in the Battle of Cornwall.
28 January – Sir Fancis Drake dies of dysentery off the coast of Panama.
30 June – The English, lead by Lord Howard of Effingham and Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, capture Cadiz. This is one of Spains worst defeats in the war.
** Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyone, leads a rebellion in Ireland.
14 August – The Irish defeat the English in the Battle of the Yellow Ford.
13 September – Phillip II of Spain dies, he is succeeded by his son from his marriage to Anna of Austria, Philip III.
** The Globe Theatre is built.
** Essex, a favourite of Elizabeth I, is made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
** Essex makes a truce with Tyrone in Ireland which angers Elizabeth.
** The East India Trading company is established.
5 June – Essex is put under house arrest.
June - The Privy Council declares that only The Globe Theatre and The Swan Theatre can stage plays.
** The ‘Elizabethan Poor Law’ is passed.
January - Essex fails in a coup d’état (strike against the state) against Elizabeth.
25 February – Essex is executed for treason.
June – The Irish rebellion is crushed by Lord Mountjoy who had succeeded Essex as Lieutenant of Ireland.
30 November – Elizabeth I makes her golden speech.
** Smallpox epidemic
3 January – Battle of Kinsale. England defeat the Irish who had Spanish suppport. The last of the Irish forces surrendor in 1603 and Spain and England reach a temporary peace agreement in 1604 with the Treaty of London.
24 March – Elizabeth I dies at Richmond Palace, ending the Tudor Dynasty. Mary Queen of Scots son, James VI of Scotland, succeeds her as James I, establishing the new Stuart dynasty.
** = exact month and day unknown