English Kings and Queens - Historical Timeline
King Offa ( 757 - 796 )
757 - Offa seizes the Kingdom Mercia after the murder of his cousin Aethelbald.
776 - Defeats the men of Kent at Otford
779 - Offa defeats Cynewulf of Wessex at Bensington in Oxfordshire.
784 - Offa defeats the Welsh. Around this time work on Offa's Dyke is started marking the border with Wales.
785 - Egbert son of Eahmund of Kent flees to Wessex and then to exile in the Frankish court of Charlemagne
787 - 1st recorded Viking raids on England
789 - Beorhtric of Wessex marries Offa's daughter Eadburgh
792 - Aethelred king of Northumbria marries Offa's daughter Aelfflaed
793 - St Albans Abbey founded. Offa annexes East Anglia and joins it to the kingdom of Mercia
793 - Vikings raid the Christian monastery on Lindisfarne
795 - Vikings raid the monastery on Iona in Scotland
796 - Offa's dyke is completed. The death of Offa marks the end of Mercian supremacy in England. His son Ecgfrith reigns for less than 6 months
King Egbert ( 802 - 839 )
800 - Around this time the Book of Kells is written in Ireland
802 - Death of King Beorthric of Wessex
802 - Egbert returns from exile in Charlemagne and becomes King of Wessex
825 - King Egbert of Wessex wins a decisive victory over King Beornwulf of Mercia at Ellendun. Wessex becomes the dominant kingdom.
827 - Following his conquest of Mercia, Egbert controls all of England south of the Humber
829 - Egbert defeats the Northumbrian king at Dore near Sheffield
830 - Wiglif of Mercia revolts against Wessex rule
830 - Egbert subdues North Wales. He is recognized as overlord of other English kings
836 - Egbert is defeated by the Danes at Carhampton in Somerset
838 - Defeats Vikings and Cornish at Hingston Down in Cornwall
839 - Death of Egbert. He is succeeded by his son Aethelwulf
King Aethelwulf ( 839 - 856 )
839 - Aethelwulf succeeds his father Egbert as King of Wessex
841 - Vikings raid Kent and East Anglia, and establish a settlement at Dublin
842 - Many die in London and Rochester during Viking raids
844 - Kenneth MacAlpine, King of the Scots, conquers the Picts; founds a unified Scotland
845 - Vikings are defeated by a Saxon force at the River Parrett
851 - Vikings forces enter Thames estuary and march on Canterbury
855 - Aethelwulf goes on a pilgrimage to Rome accompanied by his son Alfred
858 - Aethelwulf returns but finds his son Aethelbald has taken control of Wessex
858 - Aethelwulf dies at Steyning in Sussex. His son Aelthelbald becomes king.
King Aethelbald ( 856 - 860 )
858 - Aethelbald marries his father's widow Judith
860 - Vikings land on Iceland
860 - Aehelbald dies and his brother Aethelbert become king.
King Aethelbert ( 860 - 866 )
860 - Aethelbert becomes King of Wessex following the death of his brother Aethelbald
860 - Winchester sacked by the Danes
865 - The Viking 'Great Heathen Army' commanded by Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless lands in East Anglia and sweeps across England
866 - Vikings take York (Jorvik) and establish a North British Kingdom
King Aethelred I ( 866 - 871 )
866 - Aethelred becomes king on the death of his brother Aethelbert
869 - Edmund King of East Anglia resists the Vikings and is killed
870 - Aethelred defeated by the Danes (Vikings) at Reading
871 - Aethelred and his brother Alfred defeat the Danes at Ashdown
871 - Battle of Meretun, Hampshire. Aethelred is mortally wounded and dies.
King Alfred the Great ( 871 - 899 )
871 - Alfred becomes King of Wessex following the death of his brother Aethelred
872 - London falls to Viking raiders
875 - After persistent attacks by Vikings the monks of Lindesfarne travel through Northumbria and Galloway with the Lindesfarne Gospels.
878 - Guthrum's Danish army invades Wessex, and Alfred takes refuge on the isle of Athelney. Alfred defeats Guthrum at the battle of Ethandune (Edington) in Wiltshire.
878 - Treaty of Wedmore divides England into two. Guthrum accepts baptism as a Christian and agrees to leave Wessex and settle in East Anglia.
884 - Alfred defeats the Danes at Rochester
885 - Alfred imposes rules on South Wales
886 - Alfred takes London from the Danes. Danelaw - the territory occupied by the Danes in East Anglia is recognised by Alfred
890 - Guthrum dies. Alfred establishes a permanent army and navy
891 - Anglo Saxon Chronicle, source of much early British History, begun
893 - Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, completes his book The Life of Alfred the Great
894 - Northumbrian and East Angles swear allegiance to Alfred, but promptly break the truce attacking South West England.
896 - Naval victory over the Danes in the Solent
899 - Alfred dies and is buried at Winchester. His son Edward becomes king.
King Edward The Elder ( 899 - 924 )
900 - Edward the Elder, son of Alfred, crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames
901 - Edward the Elder takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons"
902 - Eric, ruler of the Danes in East Anglia, dies in the Battle of Holme
910 - Reconquest of Danelaw lands begins. The last great Viking army sent to ravage England is defeated by an army of Wessex and Mercia.
913 - Edward the Elder recaptures Essex from the Danes
915 - Edward is accepted as overlord by Ragnald ruler of the Viking Kingdom of York
916 - Edward's sister Aethelflaed of Mercia attacks and conquers most of Wales
916 - Vikings establish settlements at Dublin and Waterford in Ireland
918 - Edward becomes ruler of Mercia following the death of his sister Aethelflaed
920 - Edward takes East Anglia from the Danes
923 - The Scottish King Constantine II submits to Edward
924 - Edward dies at Farndon-on-Dee near Chester leading an army against the Welsh. He is buried in Winchester.
King Athelstan ( 924 - 939 )
924 - Athelstan becomes King of Wessex and Mercia on the death of his father Edward the Elder.
926 - Athelstan annexes Northumbria, and forces the kings of Wales, Strathclyde, the Picts, and the Scots to submit to him
926 - Athelstan marries his sister to Sihtric the Viking King of York to cement his ties with the North
934 - Athelstan invades Scotland
937 - Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and Vikings, and takes the title of King of all Britain
939 - Athelstan dies at Gloucester and is buried at Malmesbury.
King Edmund ( 939 - 946 )
939 - Edmund becomes King. Scandinavian forces from Northumbria overrun the East Midlands.
942 - Edmund re-establishes control over Northumbria and rules a united England.
943 - Edmund extends his rule into southern Scotland,
945 - Dunstan becomes abbot of Glastonbury Abbey
945 - Edmund conquers Strathclyde, but Cumbria is annexed by the Scots.
946 - Edmund murdered at a party in Pucklechurch
King Edred ( 946 - 955 )
946 - Edred succeeds his brother Edmund
954 - Expulsion of Eric Bloodaxe, last Danish king of York
955 - Edred dies and is buried at Winchester.
King Edwy (Eadwig) ( 955 - 959 )
955 - Edwy crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames
956 - Dunstan sent into exile by Edwy
957 - Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against Edwy
959 - Edwy dies in Gloucester
King Edgar ( 959 - 975 )
959 - Edgar King of Mercia and Northumbria becomes King of all England.
965 - Westminster Abbey is founded
973 - Northern Kings submit to Edgar at Chester
975 - Edgar dies at Winchester
King Edward The Martyr ( 975 - 978 )
975 - 13 year old Edward succeeds to the throne
978 - Edward the Martyr murdered at Corfe Castle
King Aethelred II The Unready ( 978 - 1016 )
978 - Aethelred, son of Edgar, becomes King of England following the murder of his half brother Edward
980 - Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton
985 - Sweyn I, Forkbeard, rebels against his father Harold Blue-tooth and deposes him
991 - Battle of Maldon: Byrhtnoth of Essex is defeated by Danish invaders; Aethelred buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld)
992 - Aethelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy
994 - Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by Aethelred
1002 - Aethelred orders a massacre of Danish settlers. After the death of his first wife Elfleda he marries Emma of Normandy
1012 - The Danes raid Kent, burning Canterbury Cathedral and murdering Archbishop Alphege
1013 - King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark lands in England and is proclaimed king; Aethelred II the Unready flees to Normandy
1014 - The English recall Aethelred II the Unready as King on the death of Sweyn at Gainsborough
1015 - King Canute II of Denmark & Norway again invades England
King Edmund II lronside ( 1016 )
1016 - Edmund Ironside, son of Aethelred II the Unready of England, becomes King. At the battle of Abingdon, in Essex, King Canute II of Denmark defeats Edmund. They meet on the Isle of Alney in the Severn and agree to divide the kingdom into two. Canute takes the land North of the Thames and Edmund the South.
1016 - Edmund is assassinated a few months later and Canute takes the throne as King Canute of England.
King Cnut (Canute) ( 1016 - 1035 )
1017 - Canute marries Emma of Normandy, the widow of Aethelred II. Canute divides England into four earldoms - Northumbria Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.
1027 - Canute makes a pilgrimage to Rome to demonstrate his alliance with the Church, and attends the coronation of the Pope
1028 - In addition to his existing kingdoms Canute becomes King of Norway
1035 - Canute dies at the age of 40, and his huge Northern European empire disintegrates.
King Harold I Harefoot ( 1035 - 1040 )
1035 - Canute's illegitimate son Harold Harefoot usurps the throne from his half-brother, Harthacanute, the rightful heir who is away fighting in Denmark.
King Harthacnut ( 1040 - 1042 )
1040 - Harold Harefoot dies and Harthacanute accedes to the throne
King Edward The Confessor ( 1042 - 1066 )
1042 - Harthacanute dies and is succeeded by Edward the Confessor, son of Aethelred II.
1043 - Earl Leofric founds Coventry Abbey. His wife Lady Godiva according to legend rides naked through the streets of Coventry
1045 - Edward marries Edith daughter of Earl Godwin of Wessex
1051 - Edward quarrels with Godwin and banishes the rebellious Godwin family from England. Edward promises the throne to William, Duke of Normandy.
1052 - Godwin, Earl of Wessex, returns to England.
1053 - Godwin’s son, Harold, becomes principal adviser to the King.
1056 - Welsh led by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn attack England and burn Hereford Cathedral
1057 - Edward, son of Edmund Ironside and potential heir to the throne, returns to England but dies mysteriously
1063 - Harold Godwinson (later Harold II) and his brother Tostig of Northumberland attack Wales. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn is killed by his own troops.
1064 - According to later Norman chroniclers Harold visits William of Normandy and swears on oath to support his claim to the throne
1065 - Northumbria rebels against Tostig who is exiled. Harold fails to support his brother and they become bitter enemies.
1066 - Edward dies and Harold Godwinson is chosen as successor, but William of Normandy declares the throne was promised to him.
King Harold II ( 1066 )
1066 - Harold Godwinson becomes King Harold II
1066 - Harold II fights his brother Tostig and a Viking force under Harold Hadrada and defeats them at Stamford Bridge. He hastily marches South at the news that William Duke of Normandy with 100 ships has landed at Pevensey Bay and marched into Sussex.
1066 - Harold II is killed at the Battle of Hastings according to legend with an arrow through his eye.
1066 - Edgar the Aethling, grandson of Edmund II is elected King, but rules for only a few weeks before submitting to William of Normandy
King William I The Conqueror ( 1066 - 1087 )
1066 - William and his Norman army defeat Harold II and the Anglo Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. Harold is killed and, after subduing the south of the country William is crowned King of England.
1067 - William suppresses a Saxon revolt in the southwest of England. William's Earls are given lands driving out the Anglo Saxon lords. Norman French becomes the language of government.
1068 - William puts down a revolt in the northern counties led by Edwin and Morcar and establishes fortifications. The region is laid waste in an action known as 'Harrying the North'.
1069 - Swen Estrithson of Denmark lands in the Humber and is welcomed by northern English earls who join him in expelling the Norman garrison at York. William marches north and reoccupies York
1070 - Hereward the Wake leads a revolt against the Normans.
1071 - William defeats the revolt led by Hereward the Wake in East Anglia, thus putting an end to Saxon resistance to his rule.
1072 - William invades Scotland and compels Malcolm III to pay homage to him.
1073 - Suppresses rebellion in Maine in France
1078 - Work begins on the Tower of London
1079 - William begins the construction of a Norman Cathedral at Winchester.
1079 - Robert, William’s eldest son, leads a rebellion in Normandy, but is defeated by his father at the Battle of Gerberoi and his life is spared.
1085 - William orders a survey of the shires of England; the information is recorded in the Domesday Book, which is completed the following year.
1086 - William writes to the Pope that England owes no allegiance to the Church of Rome
1086 - Domesday survey of England completed
1087 - William dies of his injuries after falling from his horse while besieging the French city of Mantes.
King William II Rufus ( 1087 - 1100 )
1087 - William Il accedes to the throne on the death of his father, William I.
1088 - William crushes a baronial rebellion in Normandy led by his uncle, Odo of Bayeux. William’s brother, Robert, supports the claims of Normandy to the English throne.
1089 - Ranulf Flambard, leading adviser to William, is appointed Justiciar (the King’s judicial officer). He begins to levy heavy taxes on the church.
1090 - William leads an invasion of Normandy in an attempt to subdue his brother, Robert.
1091 - William defeats an invasion of England led by Malcolm III of Scotland.
1092 - Carlisle is captured from Scotland and Cumberland is annexed.
1093 - Malcolm III and the Scots invade England again, but they are defeated and Malcolm is killed at the Battle of Alnwick.
1095 - William suppresses revolt in Northumbria.
1095 - First Crusade begins following a call by Pope Urban II to help free the Holy Land which has been captured by Muslims.
1098 - William suppresses a Welsh rebellion against the Norman border lords.
1099 - The Crusaders take Jerusalem. The first Crusade ends.
1100 - William is killed by an arrow while out hunting in the New Forest. Supposedly an accident, it has been suggested that he was shot deliberately on the instructions of his brother Henry
King Henry I ( 1100 - 1135 )
1100 - Henry I succeeds his brother, William II.
1100 - Henry issues a Charter of Liberties, pledging good governance.
1100 - Henry marries Edith known as Matilda, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland.
1101 - Robert of Normandy invades England in an attempt to wrest the English throne from his brother, Henry. After failing, he signs the Treaty of Alton, which confirms Henry as King of England and Robert as Duke of Normandy.
1106 - War breaks out between Henry and Robert. Henry defeats Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai, imprisons him in Cardiff Castle, and takes control of Normandy.
1118 - Death of Henry's wife Matilda.
1120 - Henry's son and heir, William, is drowned at sea when returning from Normandy in The White Ship which strikes a rock and sinks. Henry’s daughter, Matilda, becomes heir.
1121 - Henry marries Adelicia of Louvain
1126 - Henry persuades the barons to accept Matilda as his lawful successor to the throne.
1128 - Matilda, Henry's only surviving legitimate child, marries Geoffrey, Count of Anjou.
1135 - Henry I dies in Rouen, France, as a result of food poisoning
King Stephen ( 1135 - 1154 )
1135 - Stephen usurps the throne from Matilda, Henry’s daughter.
1136 - The Earl of Norfolk leads the first rebellion against Stephen starting civil war known as 'The Anarchy'.
1136 - Owain Gwynedd of Wales defeats the English at Crug Mawr
1138 - Robert, Earl of Gloucester, an illegitimate son of Henry I, deserts Stephen and pledges allegiance to Matilda.
1138 - David I of Scotland invades England in support of his niece, Matilda, but is defeated at Northallerton.
1139 - Matilda leaves France and lands in England.
1141 - Matilda’s forces take Stephen prisoner at the Battle of Lincoln, and Matilda is proclaimed queen.
1141 - Earl Robert is captured and exchanged for Stephen’s freedom.
1145 - Stephen defeats Matilda’s forces at the Battle of Faringdon.
1148 - Matilda abandons her cause and leaves England.
1147 - Matilda's son Henry Plantagenet (later Henry II) invades England but runs out of money. Stephen pays for Henry's return to Normandy
1151 - Matilda's husband Geoffrey of Anjou dies and their son, Henry Plantagenet, succeeds his father as Count of Anjou.
1153 - Henry lands in England again, and gathers support for further war against Stephen.
1153 - Henry and Stephen agree terms for ending the civil war. Under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster, Stephen is to remain King for life, but thereafter the throne passes to Henry.
1154 - Stephen dies.
King Henry II ( 1154 - 1189 )
1154 - Henry II accedes to the throne at the age of 21 upon the death of his second cousin, Stephen.
1154 - Pope Adrian IV (born Nicholas Breakspear) becomes the first English Pope 1154-1159.
1155 - Henry appoints Thomas a Becket as Chancellor of England, a post that he holds for seven years.
1155 - Pope Adrian IV issues the papal bull Laudabiliter, which gives Henry dispensation to invade Ireland and bring the Irish Church under the control of the Church of Rome.
1162 - On the death of Archbishop Theobald, Henry appoints Thomas a Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury in the hope that he will help introduce Church reforms.
1164 - Henry introduces the Constitutions of Clarendon, which place limitations on the Church’s jurisdiction over crimes committed by the clergy. The Pope refuses to approve the Constitutions, so Thomas a Becket refuses to sign them.
1166 - The Assize of Clarendon establishes trial by jury for the first time.
1166 - Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster in Ireland, appeals to Henry to help him oppose a confederation of other Irish kings. In response to the appeal, Henry sends a force led by Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, thereby beginning the English settlement of Ireland.
1168 - English scholars expelled from Paris settle in Oxford, where they found a university.
1170 - Pope Alexander III threatens England with an interdict and forces Henry to a formal reconciliation with Becket. However, the two of them quarrel again when Becket publishes papal letters voiding Henry’s Constitutions of Clarendon.
1170 - Becket is killed in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December by four of Henry’s knights.
1171 - Henry invades Ireland and receives homage from the King of Leinster and the other kings. Henry is accepted as Lord of Ireland.
1171 - At Cashel Henry makes Irish clergy submit to the authority of Rome
1173 - Canonization of Thomas a Becket.
1173 - Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons revolt unsuccessfully against her husband Henry II.
1174 - Henry’s sons Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey lead an unsuccessful rebellion against their father
1176 - Henry creates a framework of justice creating judges and dividing England into six counties
1185 - Lincoln cathedral is destroyed by an earthquake.
1189 - Henry dies at Chinon castle, Anjou, France
King Richard I The Lion Heart ( 1189 - 1199 )
1189 - Richard I becomes King of England upon the death of Henry II
1189 - William Longchamp is appointed Chancellor of England and governs the country during Richard’s absence abroad
1189 - Richard sets out with Philip of France on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land
1191 - William Longchamp falls from power and Richard’s brother, John, takes over the government
1191 - Richard captures the city of Acre, Palestine, and defeats Saladin at Arsuuf, near Jaffa
1192 - Richard reaches an agreement with Saladin to guarantee Christians safe pilgrimage to Jerusalem
1192 - On his way back to England from Palestine, Richard is captured and handed over to Henry VI, Emperor of Germany. Henry demands a ransom of 100,000 marks from England for Richard’s release from prison
1194 - The ransom is raised in England. Richard is released from captivity.
1195 - Richard returns to England for a brief period, before leaving to fight in France, never to return to his homeland.
1196 - The Assize of Measures standardizes weights including the lb (pound) and distance including the yard.
1199 - Richard is mortally wounded by an arrow from a crossbow in battle at Chalus, in France.
King John ( 1199 - 1216 )
1199 - John accedes to the throne on the death of his brother, Richard I.
1204 - England loses most of its possessions in France.
1205 - John refuses to accept Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury
1208 - Pope Innocent III issues an Interdict against England, banning all church services except baptisms and funerals
1209 - Pope Innocent III excommunicates John for his confiscation of ecclesiastical property
1209 - Cambridge University founded
1212 - Innocent III declares that John is no longer the rightful King
1213 - John submits to the Pope’s demands and accepts the authority of the Pope
1214 - Philip Augustus of France defeats the English at the Battle of Bouvines
1215 - Beginning of the Barons' war. The English Barons march to London to demand rights which they lay down in the Magna Carta.
1215 - John meets the English barons at Runnymede, agrees to their demands, and seals the Magna Carta which set limits on the powers of the monarch, lays out the feudal obligations of the barons, confirms the liberties of the Church, and grants rights to all freemen of the realm and their heirs for ever. It is the first written constitution.
1215 - The Pope decrees that John need not adhere to the Magna Carta, and civil war breaks out
1216 - The barons seek French aid in their fight against John. Prince Louis of France lands in England and captures the Tower of London
1216 - John flees North and loses his war chest of cash and jewels in the Wash estuary
1216 - John dies of a fever at Newark and is buried Worcester Cathedral
King Henry III ( 1216 - 1272 )
1216 - Henry III is crowned King at the age of nine. England is ruled temporarily by two regents, Hubert de Burgh and William the Marshal
1217 - The French lose the battles of Lincoln and Dover and are driven back to France
1220 - Building of Salisbury cathedral begun
1222 - De Burgh successfully puts down an insurrection supporting the French king Louis Vlll’s claim to the throne
1227 - Henry takes full control of the government of England, but retains de Burgh as his main adviser
1232 - Hubert de Burgh is dismissed as adviser
1236 - Henry marries Eleanor of Provence
1237 - The Treaty of York with Alexander II of Scotland agrees the border between England and Scotland
1238 - Simon de Montfort marries Henry’s sister, Eleanor
1240 - Henry's Great Council is called 'Parliament' for the first time
1245 - Henry lays the foundation stone for the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey
1258 - The English barons, led by de Montfort, rebel against Henry’s misgovernment. They present a list of grievances to Henry, who signs the Provisions of Oxford, which limit royal power
1261 - Henry repudiates the Provisions of Oxford
1264 - The Baron’s War breaks out. De Montfort defeats Henry at Lewes. Henry is captured.
1265 - Simon de Montfort summons the first directly elected English Parliament
1265 - Some of the barons break their alliance with de Montfort and, led by Prince Edward, kill him at the Battle of Evesham
1266 - The Dictum of Kenilworth restores Henry's authority and annuls the Provisions of Oxford
1267 - In the Treaty of Montgomery, Henry recognizes Llewellyn ap Gruffydd as ruler of Wales
1272 - Henry III dies in the Palace of Westminster
King Edward I Longshanks ( 1272 - 1307 )
1272 - Edward learns that he has succeeded to the throne on his way home from the Crusade
1274 - Edward is crowned in Westminster Abbey
1282 - Edward invades North Wales and defeats Llewellyn ap Gruffydd the last ruler of an independent Wales
1284 - Independence of the Welsh is ended by the Statute of Rhuddlan
1290 - Edward's wife Eleanor dies at Harby in Nottinghamshire. Her body is brought back to London and a cross erected at each stop along the journey - Geddington, Hardingston, Waltham, and the most famous at Charing Cross.
1292 - Edward chooses John Balliol to be the new King of Scotland
1295 - Model Parliament is summoned
1295 - John Balliol reneges on his allegiance to Edward and signs alliance with King Philip IV of France
1296 - Edward invades Scotland, defeats the Scots at Dunbar and deposes Balliol. He then takes over the throne of Scotland and removes the Stone of Scone to Westminster.
1297 - Scots rise against English rule and, led by William Wallace, defeat Edward at the Battle of Stirling Bridge
1298 - Edward invades Scotland again and defeats William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk
1299 - Edward marries Margaret of France
1301 - Edward makes his son Prince of Wales, a title conferred on every first born son of the monarchy ever since.
1305 - William Wallace is executed in London.
1306 - Robert Bruce is crowned King of Scotland
1307 - Edward attempts to invade Scotland again, but dies on his way north
King Edward II ( 1307 - 1327 )
1307 - Edward II accedes to the throne on the death of his father, Edward I.
1308 - Edward’s favourite, Piers Gaveston, is exiled for misgovernment.
1309 - Gaveston returns from exile in France.
1310 - Parliament sets up a committee of Lords Ordainers to control the King and improve administration. The King’s cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, takes control
1312 - Piers Gaveston is kidnapped by the King’s opponents and is put to death.
1314 - Edward and the English army are defeated at the Battle of Bannockburn by Robert Bruce. Scottish independence is assured
1320 - Welsh border barons, father and son, both named Hugh Despenser, gain the King’s favour,
1320 - The Scots assert their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath
1322 - Barons’ rebellion, led by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, is crushed at the Battle of Boroughbridge in Yorkshire.
1326 - Edward’s wife, Isabella, abandons him and with her lover, Mortimer, seizes power and deposes Edward. The Despensers are both put to death.
1327 - Edward is formally deposed by Parliament in favour of Edward III, his son, and is murdered in Berkeley Castle on the orders of his wife, Isabella.
King Edward III ( 1327 - 1377 )
1327 - Edward III accedes to the throne after his father, Edward II, is formally deposed.
1328 - Edward marries Phillipa of Hanault
1329 - Edward recognizes Scotland as an independent nation
1330 - Edward takes power after three years of government by his mother, Isabella of France, and her lover, Roger Mortimer. He imprisons his mother for the rest of her life.
1332 - Parliament is divided into two houses, Lords and Commons. English becomes the court language replacing Norman French.
1333 - Defeat of Scottish army at Halidon Hill.
1337 - French King Philip VI annexes the English King's Duchy of Aquitaine. Edward III responds by laying claim to the French crown as a grandson of Philip IV though his mother Isabella. This results in the 100 Years’ War with France.
1344 - Edward establishes the Order of the Garter
1346 - David II of Scotland invades England but is defeated at Neville’s Cross and captured.
1346 - French defeated at the Battle of Crecy.
1347 - Edward besieges and captures Calais.
1348 - -1350 The Black Death, bubonic plague which caused the skin to turn black, kills one-third of the English population. It leaves an acute shortage of labour for agriculture and armies.
1356 - Black Prince defeats the French at Poitiers capturing King John II of France who is held prisoner for four years. Most of South Western France is now held by the English.
1357 - David II of Scotland is released from captivity and returns home to Scotland.
1360 - King John II of France is released on promise of payment of a ransom and leaving his son Louis of Anjou in English-held Calais as hostage.
1364 - Louis escapes and John unable to pay the ransom returns to England where he dies.
1367 - England and France support rival sides in the civil war in Castille
1369 - War breaks out again as the French take back Aquitaine.
1370 - Edward, The Black Prince, sacks Limoges massacring 3,000 people.
1372 - French troops recapture Poitou and Brittany. Naval Battle at La Rochelle.
1373 - John of Gaunt leads an invasion of France taking his army to the borders of Burgundy.
1373 - John of Gaunt returns to England and takes charge of government. Edward and his son are ill.
1375 - Treaty of Bruges. English possessions in France are reduced to the areas of Bordeaux and Calais.
1376 - Parliament gains right to investigate public abuses and impeach offenders; the first impeachment is of Alice Perrers, Edward’s mistress, and two lords.
1376 - Death of Edward, the Black Prince.
1377 - Edward III dies of a stroke at Sheen Palace, Surrey, aged 64 years
King Richard II ( 1377 - 1399 )
1377 - Ten year old Richard II succeeds his grandfather, Edward III; the kingdom is ruled at first by the King’s uncles, John of Gaunt and Thomas of Gloucester.
1380 - John Wycliffe begins to translate the New Testament from Latin into English .
1380 - A Poll Tax is levied, a shilling a head for the entire male population
1381 - Poll Tax leads to the Peasants’ Revolt. Watt Tyler and John Ball march on London.
1382 - Richard promises that the taxes will be repealed, but as the rebels return they are hunted and executed.
1382 - William of Wykeham founds Winchester College
1387 - Led by the Duke of Gloucester, the Lords Appellant control the government
1388 - Scots defeat Henry Hotspur at the Battle of Otterburn
1389 - Richard takes control of the government; William of Wykeham is Lord Chancellor
1394 - Richard leads English army to reconquer west of Ireland.
1396 - Richard marries Isabella daughter of the King of France and signs a 28 year truce with France.
1397 - Richard takes revenge against Lords Appellant and exiles Henry Bolingbroke
1398 - Richard (Dick) Whittington becomes Lord Mayor of London
1399 - Bolingbroke becomes Duke of Lancaster on the death of John of Gaunt, but Richard seizes his possessions. Bolingbroke returns from exile to claim his inheritance and seizes the throne.
1399 - Richard, who is away fighting at Leinster in Ireland, returns, but is deposed and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he dies in 1400
King Henry IV ( 1399 - 1413 )
1399 - Henry returns from exile in France to reclaim his estates seized by Richard II; he claims the throne and is crowned. His coronation was the first since the Norman Conquest in which the King's address was in English instead of Norman French.
1400 - Richard dies of starvation in Pontefract Castle.
1400 - Death of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer leaving The Canterbury Tales unfinished.
1401 - Owain Glyndwr leads Welsh revolt against English rule
1402 - State visit to England of Manuel II, the Byzantine emperor
1403 - First rebellion by the Percy family from Northumberland defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury.
1404 - Glyndwr makes a treaty with the French, who send an army in 1405 to support the rebellion against the English.
1405 - Second Percy rebellion takes place
1406 - Henry contracts a leprosy-like illness
1408 - Third Percy rebellion takes place.
1413 - Henry dies at Westminster, worn out by constant revolts and shortage of money.
King Henry V ( 1413 - 1422 )
1413 - Henry accedes to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of his father, Henry IV
1414 - Henry adopts the claims of Edward III to the French crown
1415 - Henry thwarts the Cambridge plot, an attempt by a group of nobles to replace him on the throne with his cousin, Edmund Mortisner, Earl of March.
1415 - Henry renews the war against France in order to win back territories lost by his ancestors. After a five-week siege, he captures Harfleur the leading port in north-west France.
1415 - Battle of Agincourt, at which 6,000 Frenchmen are killed, while less than 400 English soldiers lose their lives.
1416 - Death of Owain Glyndwr, leader of the Welsh revolt.
1420 - Henry marries Catherine, daughter of Charles VI. Under the treaty of Troyes, Henry will become King of France on the death of Charles VI.
1421 - Birth of Prince Henry, later Henry VI.
1422 - Henry V dies in France of dysentery before he can succeed to the French throne. King Charles VI of France dies the following month, leaving Henry VI, Henry’s 10-month-old son, as King of France and England.
King Henry VI ( 1422 - 1461 )
1422 - Henry aged 8 months becomes King of England on the death of his father, Henry V, and then, two months later, King of France on the death of his grandfather, Charles VI.
1422 - John, Duke of Bedford, is appointed Regent of France; Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, becomes Regent of England.
1429 - Henry VI is crowned King of England
1429 - The young peasant girl Joan of Arc begins her campaign to expel the English from France. She inspires the French army which relieves Orleans besieged by English troops.
1431 - The English capture Joan of Arc. She is burned at the stake as a witch and heretic in Rouen on 30 May.
1431 - Henry VI of England is crowned King of France in Paris
1437 - Henry assumes personal rule of England
1440 - Eton college founded giving free education to 70 scholars
1445 - Henry marries Margaret of Anjou
1453 - End of 100 Years’ War. Gascony and Normandy fall to the French. England retains only Calais and The Channel Islands.
1453 - Henry becomes mentally ill. Richard, Duke of York, is made Protector during Henry’s illness
1453 - Battle of Heworth between supporters of the Neville and Percy families marks the beginning of the feud between the Houses of York and Lancaster
1454 - Henry regains his senses but disaffected nobles take matters into their own hands. Supporters of the Dukes of York and Lancaster take sides.
1455 - Beginning of the 'Wars of the Roses'. Duke of York is dismissed. York raises an army and defeats the King’s Lancastrian forces at the Battle of St. Albans.The Lancastrian leader, the Duke of Somerset, is killed. York takes over the government of England.
1457 - Henry unsuccessfully tries to broker peace between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
1459 - War is renewed and the Lancastrians are defeated at Blore Heath; the Yorkists are then defeated at Ludford Bridge near Ludlow. Parliament declares York a traitor and he escapes to Ireland.
1460 - Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeats Lancastrians at the Battle of Northampton. Henry VI is captured and his wife, Margaret, escapes to Scotland. Richard of York is again Protector.
1460 - Margaret raises a Lancastrian army in the north and defeats and kills Richard of York at Wakefield. Henry VI captured by the Yorkists at Northampton. Earl of Warwick takes London for the Yorkists.
1461 - Yorkists win Battle of Mortimers Cross. Queen Margaret marches her army South, defeats Earl of Warwick at St Albans, and frees Henry. Edward, son of Richard of York, defeats Margaret's Lancastrian forces on 29 March at the Battle of Towton - the largest and bloodiest battle ever on British soil when 28,000 lose their lives. Margaret and Henry flee to Scotland. Henry is deposed by Edward who declares himself King Edward IV
1462 - Lancastrian revolts are suppressed.
1464 - Warwick defeats Lancastrians at Battle of Hexham; Henry VI is captured and brought to the Tower of London.
1469 - Warwick falls out with Edward IV, and defeats him at Edgecote. They are later reconciled but Warwick is banished. He makes peace with Margaret, returns to England with an army, and Edward flees to Flanders. Henry VI is restored to the throne.
1471 - Edward returns to England and defeats and kills Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Margaret is defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury; her son Edward, Prince of Wales, heir to the Lancastrian throne is killed in battle.
1471 - Henry is murdered by being stabbed to death in the Tower of London.
King Edward IV ( 1461 - 1483 )
1461 - Edward, son of Richard of York, is declared king by the Earl of Warwick following the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton.
1464 - Warwick defeats Lancastrians at Battle of Hexham; Henry VI is captured and brought to the Tower of London.
1464 - Edward marries Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of a commoner, offending Warwick.
1469 - Warwick falls out with Edward IV, and defeats him at Edgecote. They are later reconciled but Warwick is banished. He makes peace with Margaret, returns to England with an army, and Edward flees to Flanders. Henry VI is restored to the throne.
1471 - Edward returns to England from Flanders and defeats and kills Warwick at the Battle of Barnet.
1471 - Margaret is defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury and the Lancastrian heir, Prince Edward, is killed. Soon after, Henry VI is murdered in the Tower of London.
1474 - Edward grants privileges to the Hanseatic League of North German trading cities to conduct trade in England.
1476 - William Caxton sets up a printing press in Westminster, London
1478 - Edward falls out with his brother George, Duke of Clarence, who is then murdered in the Tower, supposedly in a butt of malmsey wine.
1483 - Death of Edward.
King Edward V ( 1483 )
1483 - On the death of Edward, the crown passes to his 12 year old son, Edward V
1483 - Edward is declared illegitimate and deposed in favour of his uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester.
1483 - Edward and his younger brother Richard of York are imprisoned in the Tower of London. After a few months the princes are never seen again and are believed to have been murdered.
King Richard III ( 1483 - 1485 )
1483 - Richard III declares himself King after confining and possibly ordering the murder of his two nephews, Edward V and Richard Duke of York, in the Tower of London
1483 - The Duke of Buckingham is appointed Constable and Great Chamberlain of England
1483 - In October Richard crushes a rebellion led by his former supporter, the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham is captured, tried, and put to death.
1483 - At the cathedral of Rheims, Henry Tudor swears a solemn oath to marry Elizabeth of York in the presence of the Lancastrian Court in exile.
1484 - Richard establishes his military headquarters behind the battlements of Nottingham Castle.
1484 - Death of Richard’s only son and heir, Edward, aged 9 years.
1484 - A Papal Bull is issued against witchcraft.
1484 - Parliamentary statutes are written down in English for the first time and printed.
1485 - Death of Richard’s wife, Queen Anne.
1485 - Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, lands at Milford Haven in West Wales in early August and gathers support as the Lancastrian claimant to the Yorkist-held throne.
1485 - Richard is defeated and killed by Henry Tudor’s army at Bosworth Field. The Wars of the Roses and the Plantagenet dynasty come to an end. Richard's body is taken to Leicester where it is buried at Greyfriars Church.
The grave is rediscovered beneath a car park 527 years later in 2012 and his bones reburied in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015.
King Henry VII ( 1485 - 1509 )
1485 - Henry becomes King after defeating Richard III of York at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The Wars of the Roses are ended.
1486 - Henry marries Elizabeth of York, thereby uniting the houses of York and Lancaster.
1487 - Henry crushes a revolt by the Earl of Lincoln on behalf of Lambert Simnel, a claimant to the throne, at Stoke.
1491 - Henry invades France but at the Treaty of Etaples agrees to withdraw English forces in return for a large sum of money
1492 - Perkin Warbeck an impersonator who claims he is Richard the younger of the Princes in the Tower attempts to overthrow Henry, but is defeated and put to death in 1499.
1492 - Christopher Columbus crosses Atlantic and lands in San Salvador, Cuba and Haiti which he calls the 'West Indies' in the belief that he has sailed around the World to India.
1497 - John Cabot sails west from Bristol on the Matthew and discovers New-found-land. He believed it was Asia and claimed it for England.
1499 - Perkin Warbeck is hanged in the Tower of London. The Earl of Warwick is also executed.
1501 - Catherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, marries Prince Arthur, Henry’s eldest son.
1502 - Prince Arthur dies, and Prince Henry (the future Henry VIII) becomes heir to the throne, later marrying Arthur’s widow, Catherine of Aragon.
1503 - Margaret, Henry's daughter marries James IV of Scotland. The marriage gives James' descendants a claim to the English throne.
1503 - Death of Elizabeth of York, Henry’s wife.
1509 - Henry VII dies at Richmond Palace, at the age of 52.
King Henry VIII ( 1509 - 1547 )
1509 - Henry accedes to the throne on the death of his father, Henry VII.
1509 - Henry marries Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the Spanish King and Queen, and widow of his elder brother, Arthur
1511 - Henry joins the Holy League against the French. All men under the age of 40 are required to practise archery.
1513 - The English defeat the Scots at the Battle of Flodden Field. James IV of Scotland is killed.
1515 - Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, becomes Chancellor and Cardinal.
1516 - Catherine gives birth to Princess Mary (later Mary I).
1517 - Martin Luther publishes his 95 theses against the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church.
1518 - The Pope and the Kings of England, France, and Spain pledge peace in Europe
1520 - Henry holds peace talks with Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, but fails to get support against Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire.
1525 - Hampton Court Palace is completed. William Tyndale publishes The New Testament in English.
1526 - Cardinal Wolsey re-establishes the Council of the North
1527 - Henry seeks permission from the Pope to divorce Catherine of Aragon but is refused.
1529 - Cardinal Wolsey is accused of high treason for failing to get the Pope's consent for the divorce, but dies before he can be brought to trial.
1529 - Sir Thomas More becomes Chancellor. Henry starts to cut ties with the Church of Rome.
1531 - The appearance in the sky of Halley's comet causes widespread panic and talk of holy retribution
1532 - Sir Thomas More resigns from the Chancellorship over the erosion of Papal authority.
1533 - Thomas Cranmer is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and annuls Henry’s 24-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
1533 - Henry marries Anne Boleyn.
1533 - Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I) is born.
1533 - Pope Clement VII excommunicates Henry
1534 - The Act of Supremacy is passed, establishing Henry as head of the Church of England.
1535 - Sir Thomas More is executed after refusing to recognize Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England.
1535 - Thomas Cromwell is made Vicar-General and starts plans to seize the Church's wealth.
1535 - First complete English translation of the Bible by Miles Coverdale
1536 - Anne Boleyn is executed and Henry marries Jane Seymour
1536 - The Act of Union between Wales and England.
1536 - Thomas Cromwell begins the dissolution of the monasteries under the 'Reformation'. .
1536 - Great northern rising, known as the Pilgrimage of Grace against the dissolution of monasteries.
1537 - Jane Seymour dies giving birth to Edward (later Edward VI).
1539 - Parliament passes the Act for the 'Dissolution of the Greater Monasteries'. The abbots of Colchester, Glastonbury and Reading are executed for treason.
1540 - The last of the monasteries to be dissolved is Waltham Abbey.
1540 - Henry marries Anne of Cleves in January but the marriage is annulled in July
1540 - Execution of Thomas Cromwell on a charge of treason.
1540 - Henry marries Catherine Howard.
1541 - Beginning of the Reformation in Scotland under John Knox.
1542 - Catherine Howard is executed for treason.
1542 - James V of Scotland dies and is succeeded by his 6 day old daughter Mary Queen of Scots.
1543 - Henry marries the twice-widowed Catherine Parr, his sixth and last wife.
1543 - Treaty of Greenwich proposes marriage between Henry's son Edward and Mary Queen of Scots. However it is repudiated by the Scots 6 months later who want an alliance with France.
1545 - Henry's flagship The Mary Rose sinks in the Solent
1546 - Henry becomes increasingly ill with what is now believed to be syphilis and cirrhosis.
1547 - Death of Henry at the age of 55, survived by Catherine Parr
King Edward VI ( 1547 - 1553 )
1547 - Edward VI accedes to the throne at the age of nine after the death of his father, Henry VIII.
1547 - Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, uncle of Edward VI, is invested as Duke of Somerset and Protector of England.
1547 - The English army defeats the Scots at Pinkie Cleugh as part of an attempt to force a marriage between Edward VI and Mary Queen of Scots.
1548 - The French send over 6,000 troops to prevent the English from gaining control of the Scottish Borders.
1549 - The First Act of Uniformity is passed, making the Roman Catholic mass illegal. The clergy are ordered to remove icons and statues of the saints, and whitewash over wall paintings.
1549 - The First Book of Common Prayer is introduced, which changes the Church service from Latin to English.
1550 - The Duke of Somerset is deposed as Protector of England, and is replaced by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who creates himself Duke of Northumberland.
1552 - The Duke of Somerset is executed
1552 - Archbishop Cranmer publishes the Second book of Common Prayer.
1553 - The Duke of Northumberland persuades Edward to nominate his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey as his heir, in an attempt to secure the Protestant succession.
1553 - Edward VI dies of tuberculosis at Greenwich Palace.
Queen Mary I ( 1553 - 1558 )
1553 - Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen by her father-in-law The Duke of Northumberland. After nine days, Mary arrives in London, Lady Jane Grey is arrested, and Mary is crowned Queen.
1554 - After Mary declares her intention to marry Philip of Spain, Sir Thomas Wyatt leads a revolt to depose her.
1554 - Wyatt’s rebellion is crushed. Sir Thomas Wyatt, Lady Jane Grey, and her husband are executed.
1554 - Mary's half-sister Princess Elizabeth is sent to the Tower of London on suspicion of involvement in Wyatt's rebellion
1554 - Mary marries Philip of Spain heir to the Spanish throne.
1554 - Four months after Mary's accession, Parliament meets to re-establish Catholicism in England
1554 - The persecution of Protestants begins, the heresy laws are revived, and England is reconciled to Papal authority.
1555 - Protestant bishops are burned at the stake for heresy.
1555 - Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I) is released from the Tower of London
1556 - Cardinal Reginald Pole is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1556 - Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake for heresy.
1556 - Philip becomes King Philip II of Spain; he leaves England, never to return
1557 - Philip II persuades Mary to declare war on France as an ally of Spain.
1558 - Port of Calais, the last English possession in France, is captured by the French.
1558 - Mary dies at St.James’s Palace, London.
Elizabeth I ( 1558 - 1603 )
1558 - Elizabeth becomes Queen on the death of her half-sister, Mary.
1559 - Elizabeth is crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey in January.
1559 - Mary Queen of Scots in Paris declares herself Queen of France, Scotland and England when her husband Francis becomes King of France. He dies a year later and Mary returns to Scotland.
1559 - Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity restore the Protestant Church in England and make Elizabeth Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
1559 - The Revised Prayer Book of Elizabeth I is issued. It is less extreme than its predecessors
1560 - Elizabeth founds Westminster School
1562 - Hawkins and Drake make first slave-trading voyage to America.
1562 - Elizabeth gives aid to the Protestant Huguenots in the French Wars of Religion. English troops occupy Dieppe and Le Havre.
1563 - John Foxe’s The Book of Martyrs, the story of religious persecution, is published in England.
1563 - -1564 17,000 die of the Plague in London which is believed to have been brought back by troops returning from Le Havre.
1564 - Peace made between England and France at Troyes.
1565 - Sir Walter Raleigh brings potatoes and tobacco from the New World
1566 - Elizabeth forbids Parliament to discuss her marriage prospects.
1568 - Mary Queen of Scots, flees to England from Scotland and is imprisoned by Elizabeth.
1569 - Elizabeth I approves Sunday sports
1570 - Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth from the Catholic Church.
1577 - - 1580 Francis Drake sails around the world in the Golden Hind.
1579 - Francis, Duke of Alencon, secretly comes to England to try and marry Elizabeth.
1581 - Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth on the deck of The Golden Hind.
1584 - Sir Walter Raleigh founds the first American colony and names it Virginia after Elizabeth the Virgin Queen
1584 - Oakham School founded by Archdeacon Robert Johnson
1585 - William Shakespeare leaves Stratford for London to become an aspiring playwright
1586 - Babington Catholic plot to assassinate Elizabeth I
1586 - Mary Queen of Scots, who had fled from Scotland to England, is implicated in the Babington plot and is sent to trial.
1587 - Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed at Fotheringhay Castle on charges of treason.
1587 - Drake attacks the Spanish fleet in Cadiz.
1587 - Raleigh's second expedition to New World lands in North Carolina. Drake destroys the Spanish fleet at Cadiz.
1588 - Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and a favourite of Elizabeth, dies.
1588 - A Spanish Armada of 130 ships sailing against England is defeated by bad weather and the English fleet under Admiral Drake and John Hawkins using fireships. Many were wrecked trying to return by sailing round the north of the British Isles. The English dominance of the sea leaves the way open for English trade and colonisation of America and India.
1588 - Earl of Essex leads an expedition to Ireland.
1589 - An English Counter-Armada of around 140 ships under Drake sails for Spain aiming to distroy the remaining Spanish ships and install English influence in Portugal and the Azores. The expedition is a disaster. 40 ships and 15,000 men are lost.
1589 - John Harrington invents the first flushing water closet at his house at Kelston, Bath. He calls it 'Ajax' a pun on the Elizabethan slang word 'Jakes' for a privy. Elizabeth I orders a Harrington WC to be installed at Richmond Palace.
1590 - Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
1593 - 15,000 Londoners die of the Plague. All theatres are closed for one year. Playwright Christopher Marlow is murdered.
1595 - Sir Walter Raleigh makes his first expedition to the South American continent. He explores 300 miles of the Orinoco searching for El Dorado.
1599 - Earl of Tyrone leads a rebellion against the English in Ireland.
1599 - The Globe Theatre is opened in London.
1600 - East India Company founded
1601 - Earl of Essex is executed for leading a revolt against Elizabeth.
1601 - Poor Law is passed introducing a poor relief rate on property owners.
1601 - First performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
1603 - Elizabeth I dies at Richmond Palace, Surrey.
King James I ( 1603 - 1625 )
1603 - James VI of Scotland becomes King James I of England, Scotland, and Ireland after the death of Elizabeth I uniting the thrones of Scotland and England.
1603 - The Millenary Petition is presented to James I. It expresses Puritan desires for reforms to the Church of England.
1603 - Plot against James to set his cousin Arabella Stuart on the throne. Sir Walter Raleigh is implicated and imprisoned.
1604 - The Somerset House Peace Conference results in peace between England and Spain.
1604 - The Hampton Court Conference fails to settle the doctrinal differences between the Anglican Church and its Puritan critics.
1604 - James proclaims that smoking is harmful to the lungs and imposes a tax on tobacco
1605 - Guy Fawkes and other Catholic dissidents attempt to blow up King and Parliament in The Gunpowder Plot. They are betrayed and arrested.
1606 - The Gunpowder plotters are executed. 120 colonists sail for America.
1607 - The Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel end their rebellion against English rule of Ireland and flee to Europe; Ulster is colonized by Protestant settlers from Scotland and England.
1607 - The English Parliament rejects Union with Scotland.
1607 - Common citizenship of English and Scottish persons is granted to those born after the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne.
1607 - Jamestown found in America by the Virginia company
1609 - Scottish and English Protestants are encouraged to settle in Ulster
1609 - Shakespeare completes the Sonnets.
1611 - The King James Authorized Version of the Bible is published.
1611 - Dissolution of the first Parliament of James I.
1611 - Arabella Stuart secretly marries William Seymour. When James finds out Seymour is imprisoned but escapes with Arabella. They are captured on the way to France and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Arabella starves herself to death there in 1615.
1612 - Henry, Prince of Wales, dies of typhoid. His younger brother, Charles, becomes heir to the throne.
1612 - Heretics are burned at the stake for the last time in England.
1613 - James' daughter Elizabeth marries Frederick V, Elector of Palatine. Their descendants in House of Hanover will eventually inherit the British Throne.
1613 - The Globe Theatre in London burns during a performance of Henry VIII
1614 - Second Parliament of James I meets.
1614 - Scottish mathematician John Napier publishes his theory of logarithms simplifying calculations for navigators.
1615 - George Villiers becomes James’s favourite.
1616 - Playwright William Shakespeare dies.
1616 - Raleigh is released from prison to lead an expedition to Guiana in search of El Dorado
1617 - George Villiers becomes the Earl of Buckingham.
1618 - Raleigh fails in his expedition and on his return is executed for alleged treason at Westminster.
1620 - The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in the Mayflower. They land at Cape Cod and found New Plymouth.
1625 - Death of James I, aged 58.
King Charles I ( 1625 - 1649 )
1625 - Charles I succeeds his father, James I.
1626 - Parliament attempts to impeach the Duke of Buckingham and is dissolved by Charles.
1627 - England goes to war with France, but at La Rochelle the Duke of Buckingham fails to relieve the besieged Huguenots.
1628 - The Petition of Right a declaration of the “rights and liberties of the subject" is presented to the King, who agrees to it under protest.
1628 - Physician William Harvey demonstrates the circulation of blood in the body
1629 - Charles dissolves Parliament and rules by himself until 1640.
1630 - The colony of Massachusetts is founded in America
1633 - Work begins on Buckingham Palace in London
1637 - Charles tries to force new prayer book on Scots, who resist by signing the National Covenant.
1639 - Act of Toleration in England established religious toleration
1640 - Charles summons the Short Parliament, which he dissolves three weeks later when it refuses to grant him money.
1640 - Long Parliament summoned, which lasts until 1660. It can only be dissolved by its members.
1641 - Abolition of the Star Chamber and Court of High Commission.
1642 - Charles fails in his attempt to arrest five MPs.
1642 - Outbreak of Civil War. Charles raises his standard at Nottingham. The Royalists win a tactical victory the Parliamentary army at the Battle of Edgehill but the outcome is inconclusive.
1643 - Royalists defeat Parliamentary army at Chalgrove Field, and take Bristol. Battle of Newbury is indecisive.
1644 - York is besieged by Parliamentary army until relieved by Prince Rupert. Royalists defeated at Marston Moor.
1644 - Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans enforce and Act of Parliament banning Christmas Day celebrations
1645 - Parliament creates New Model Army, which defeats the Royalist army at Naseby on 16 June.
1646 - Charles surrenders to the Scots, who hand him over to Parliament.
1646 - Negotiations take place between King and Parliament. King conspires with Scots to invade England on his behalf.
1647 - Charles escapes to the Isle of Wight but is captured. He is tried by Parliament and found guilty of high treason.
1648 - A Scots army supporting Charles is defeated at Preston.
1649 - Charles I is executed. There follows 11 years of rule by Parliament as the Commonwealth under Cromwell.
King Charles II ( 1660 - 1685 )
1658 - Death of Oliver Cromwell. He is succeeded by his son Richard Cromwell
1659 - Richard Cromwell is forced to resign. The Rump Parliament is restored.
1660 - Charles II returns to England from Holland and is restored to the throne.
1662 - Act of Uniformity compels Puritans to accept the doctrines of the Church of England or leave the church.
1662 - Royal Society for the improvement of science founded
1664 - England seizes the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, changing its name to New York.
1665 - Outbreak of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
1665 - The Great Plague strikes London and over 60,000 die.
1666 - The Great Fire of London rages for four days and three nights. Two thirds of central London is destroyed and 65,000 are left homeless.
1667 - The Earl of Clarendon is replaced by a five-man Cabal.
1667 - Paradise Lost by John Milton published
1667 - A Dutch fleet sails up the River Medway captures the English flagship The Royal Charles and sinks three other great ships
1670 - Secret Treaty of Dover, by which Charles agrees to declare himself a Catholic and restore Catholicism in England in return for secret subsidies from Louis XIV of France.
1670 - Hudson Bay Company founded in North America
1671 - Thomas Blood caught stealing the Crown Jewels
1672 - Outbreak of the Third Dutch War. Naval battle of Solebay.
1673 - Test Act keeps Roman Catholics out of political office.
1674 - Death of John Milton
1674 - Peace made with the Dutch
1675 - Royal Observatory founded at Greenwich
1677 - John Bunyan publishes The Pilgrims Progress.
1678 - The Popish Plot is fabricated by Titus Oates. He alleges a Catholic plot to murder the King and restore Catholicism. The Government over-reacts, and many Catholic subjects are persecuted.
1679 - Exclusion Bill attempts to exclude James, Charles’s Catholic brother, from the succession.
1679 - Habeas Corpus act passed which forbids imprisonment without trial
1682 - Pennsylvania founded in America by William Penn
1683 - The Rye House Plot a conspiracy to kill Charles and his brother James and return to parliamentary rule is uncovered.
1685 - Charles is received into the Roman Catholic Church on his deathbed.
King James II ( 1685 - 1688 )
1685 - James succeeds his brother, Charles II.
1685 - Rebellion of the Earl of Argyll in Scotland designed to place the Duke of Monmouth, Charles II's illegitimate son, on the throne is crushed and Argyll is executed.
1685 - The Duke of Monmouth rebels against James, but is defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor in Somerset.
1685 - Edict of Nantes allowing freedom of religion to Huguenot Protestants is revoked in France, resulting in thousands of Huguenot craft workers and traders settling in England.
1686 - Following their defeat at Sedgemoor, Monmouth and many of the rebels are hanged or transported by the 'The Bloody Assizes' under Judge Jeffreys.
1686 - James takes first measures to restore Catholicism in England, and sets up a standing army of 13,000 troops at Hounslow to overawe nearby London.
1686 - Edmund Halley draws the first meteorological map showing weather systems
1687 - Isaac Newton publishes Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
1688 - James, believing his Divine Right as King, issues the Declaration of Indulgence to suspend all laws against Catholics and Non-Conformists and repeal the 1673 Test Act. He seeks to promote his Catholic supporters in Parliament and purge Tories and Anglican clergy .
1688 - James’ wife, Mary of Modena, gives birth to a son and Catholic heir. His daughters Mary, married to Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange, and Anne by his first wife Anne Hyde are Protestant.
1688 - Following discontent over James attempts to control politics and religion, seven leading statesmen invite William of Orange, son-in-law of James, to England to restore English liberties.
1688 - The 'Glorious Revolution'. William of Orange lands at Torbay with an army of 20,000 and advances on London. Many Protestant officers in James' army including Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and James' own daughter Anne defect to support William and his wife Mary.
1688 - James abdicates and flees to exile in France.
King William III and Queen Mary II ( 1689 - 1702 )
1689 - William and Mary become joint King and Queen.
1689 - Parliament draws up the Declaration of Right detailing the unconstitutional acts of James II.
1689 - Bill of Rights is passed by Parliament. It stipulates that no Catholic can succeed to the throne, and also limits the powers of the Royal prerogative. The King of Queen cannot withhold laws passed by Parliament or levy taxes without Parliamentary consent.
1689 - Jacobite Highlanders rise in support of James and are victorious at Killiekrankie but are defeated a few months later at Dunkeld.
1689 - Catholic forces loyal to James II land in Ireland from France and lay siege to Londonderry.
1690 - William defeats James and French troops at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. Scottish Jacobites defeated at Haughs of Cromdale
1690 - Anglo-Dutch naval force is defeated by the French at Beachy Head.
1691 - The Treaty of Limerick allows Catholics in Ireland to exercise their religion freely, but severe penal laws soon follow.
1691 - William offers the Scottish Highlanders a pardon for the Jacobite uprising if they sign allegiance him
1692 - Glencoe Massacre. MacDonalds are killed by Campbells for not signing the oath of allegiance
1694 - Bank of England founded by William Paterson
1694 - Death of Mary. William now rules alone.
1697 - Peace of Ryswick ends the war with France.
1697 - First Civil List Act passed
1701 - The Act of Settlement establishes Hanoverian and Protestant succession to the throne.
1701 - James II dies in exile in France. French king recognizes James II’s son James Edward (The Old Pretender) as “James III”.
1701 - William forms grand alliance between England, Holland, and Austria to prevent the union of the French and Spanish crowns.
1702 - William dies after a riding accident. Stuarts in exile toast 'the gentleman in black velvet' in the belief that his horse stumbled on a mole hill.
Queen Anne ( 1702 - 1714 )
1702 - Anne succeeds her brother-in-law, William III.
1702 - England declares war on France in the War of the Spanish Succession
1704 - English, Bavarian, and Austrian troops under Marlborough defeat the French at the Battle of Blenheim and save Austria from invasion.
1704 - British capture Gibraltar from Spain.
1706 - Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Ramillies, and expels the French from the Netherlands.
1707 - The Act of Union unites the kingdoms of England and Scotland and transfers the seat of Scottish government to London.
1708 - Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Oudenarde. .
1708 - Anne vetoes a parliamentary bill to reorganize the Scottish militia, the last time a bill is vetoed by the sovereign.
1708 - James Edward Stuart, 'The Old Pretender', arrives in Scotland in an unsuccessful attempt to gain the throne.
1709 - Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Malplaquet.
1710 - The Whig government falls and a Tory ministry is formed.
1710 - St Paul's Cathedral, London, completed by Sir Christopher Wren
1711 - First race meeting held at Ascot
1713 - The Treaty of Utrecht is signed by Britain and France, bringing to an end the War of the Spanish Succession.
1714 - Queen Anne dies at Kensington Palace.
King George I ( 1714 - 1727 )
1714 - George I, the first Hanoverian King, succeeds his distant cousin, Anne.
1714 - A new Parliament is elected with a strong Whig majority led by Robert Walpole.
1715 - The Jacobite rising begins in Scotland intending to place the ‘Old Pretender” James Edward Stuart, heir to James II on the throne. The rebellion is defeated at Sheriffmuir.
1716 - The Septennial Act allows for General Elections to be held
1717 - Townshend is dismissed from the government by George, causing Walpole to resign
1719 - Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe
1720 - South Sea Bubble bursts, leaving many investors ruined.
1721 - Sir Robert Walpole returns to government as First Lord of the Treasury where he remains in office until 1742. He is effectively the first Prime Minister.
1722 - Death of the Duke of Marlborough.
1726 - First circulating library in Britain opens in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1726 - Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver’s Travels.
1727 - Death of the scientist, Isaac Newton.
1727 - George I dies in Hanover, aged 67.
King George II ( 1727 - 1760 )
1727 - George II succeeds his father, George I.
1729 - Charles Wesley founds the Methodists at Lincoln College Oxford.
1732 - A royal charter is granted for the founding of Georgia in America.
1732 - Lord Frederick North born
1734 - Jethro Tull publishes essays on improving farming including the use of the seed drill.
1737 - Death of George’s wife, Queen Caroline.
1738 - John and Charles Wesley start the Methodist movement in Britain.
1739 - Dick Turpin, highwayman, hanged at York
1739 - Britain goes to war with Spain over Captain Jenkins’ ear, claimed to have been cut off in a skirmish at sea.
1740 - -1748 The War of Austrian Succession breaks out in Europe.
1742 - Walpole resigns as Prime Minister.
1743 - George leads troops into battle at Dettingen in Bavaria.
1745 - Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', lands in Scotland and raises his flag for the restoration of the Stuarts. 2,000 Jacobites enter Edinburgh. Scottish victory at Prestonpans. Charles and his Jacobite army march South into England and reach Derby before turning back.
1746 - Scots defeated at the Battle of Culloden. Duke of Cumberland, the King's 2nd son, ruthlessly represses the rebels and Scottish traditions.
1748 - Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the war of Austrian Succession
1751 - Death of Frederick, Prince of Wales. His son, George, becomes heir to the throne.
1752 - Britain adopts the Georgian Calendar. 1st January replaces 25 March as the first day of the year.
1757 - Britain declares war against France. Start of the Seven Years’ War.
1757 - Robert Clive wins the Battle of Plassey and secures the Indian province of Bengal for Britain.
1757 - William Pitt becomes Prime Minister
1759 - Wolfe captures Quebec from the French and establishes British supremacy in Canada.
1759 - First botanical gardens laid out at Kew
1760 - George II dies.
King George III ( 1760 - 1820 )
1760 - George III becomes king on the death of his grandfather, George II.
1762 - The Earl of Bute is appointed Prime Minister. Bute proves so unpopular that he needs to have a bodyguard.
1763 - Peace of Paris ends the Seven Years’ War.
1765 - Stamp Act raises taxes in American colonies.
1766 - William Pitt the Elder becomes prime minister
1768 - Richard Arkwright invents the spinning frame
1769 - Captain James Cook’s first voyage to explore the Pacific.
1770 - Lord North becomes Prime Minister.
1770 - James Cook lands in Botany Bay, South East Australia.
1771 - Encyclopaedia Britannica is first published.
1772 - John Harrisons H4 clock allows navigators to accurately measure longitude enabling long distance sea travel
1772 - Warren Hastings is appointed Governor General of India.
1773 - The world’s first cast-iron bridge is constructed over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale.
1773 - Boston Tea Party. American colonists protest against British taxes.
1775 - American War of Independence begins when colonists fight British troops at Lexington.
1775 - James Watt develops the steam engine.
1776 - On 4 July, the American Congress passes the Declaration of Independence.
1780 - Anti Catholic Gordon riots in London
1781 - Americans supported by the French fleet defeat British at Battle of Yorktown.
1782 - Ireland obtains a short-lived parliament.
1783 - On 3 Sept, The Treaty of Paris ends the American War of Independence. Britain recognizes American independence.
1783 - -1801 William Pitt the Younger serves as Prime Minister.
1783 - Robert (Robbie) Burns publishes his first book of poetry
1788 - George suffers his first attack of porphyria.
1788 - Colony of New South Wales established in Australia
1789 - Outbreak of the French Revolution. Storming of the Bastille.
1791 - Publication of James Boswell’s Life of Johnson and Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man.
1793 - King Louis XVI of France executed by guillotine
1793 - - 1802 War between Britain and France.
1798 - Nelson destroys French fleet at the Battle of the Nile
1798 - Wordsworth publishes Lyrical Ballads
1798 - Income Tax introduced
1800 - Act of Union with Ireland unites Parliaments of England and Ireland.
1803 - Beginning of Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon assembles a fleet for the invasion of England.
1805 - Nelson defeats French and Spanish fleets off Trafalgar, but is killed during the battle. Napoleon defeats the Russians at Austerlitz.
1807 - Slave Trade Act. William Wilberforce is successful in his campaign to abolish slave trade in the British Empire.
1808 - -1814 Peninsular War to drive the French out of Spain.
1809 - British defeat the French at the Battle of Corunna
1810 - Final illness of George III leads to his son becoming Regent in 1811.
1812 - Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated in the House of Commons by a disgruntled bankrupt
1812 - War of 1812 between the British and Americans. Several naval engagements. American forces stopped from invading Canada.
1813 - Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is published.
1813 - Monopoly of the East India company is abolished
1814 - Napoleon defeated at Laon and Toulouse. He abdicates but returns from Elba.
1815 - The defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo marks the end the Napoleonic Wars.
1815 - Corn Laws passed by Parliament to protect British agriculture from cheap imports
1818 - The King’s wife, Queen Charlotte, dies.
1818 - Publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
1819 - Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, of political reform campaigners.
1820 - Death of King George Ill, aged 81 years
King George IV ( 1820 - 1830 )
1820 - George IV accedes to the throne, having spent the last nine years as Prince Regent for his blind and deranged father.
1820 - A radical plot to murder the Cabinet, known as the Cato Street Conspiracy, fails.
1820 - Trial of Queen Caroline, in which George IV attempts to divorce her for adultery. She has popular support and the divorce proceedings fail.
1821 - Queen Caroline is excluded from George's coronation.
1821 - Michael Faraday begins his experiments with electromagnetism
1822 - Charles Babbage proposes his difference engine, a mechanical calculator and forerunner or future computers.
1823 - The Royal Academy of Music is established in London.
1823 - The British Museum is extended and extensively rebuilt to house expanding collection.
1823 - Rugby schoolboy William Web Ellis, while playing football, picks up the ball and runs with it inventing Rugby Football.
1824 - The National Gallery is established in London.
1825 - Nash reconstructs Buckingham Palace.
1825 - Locomotion No.1, built by George Stephenson, pulls the world's first passenger train for Stockton to Darlington.
1828 - Duke of Wellington becomes British Prime Minister.
1829 - The Metropolitan Police Force is set up by Robert Peel.
1829 - The Catholic Relief Act is passed, permitting Catholics to become Members of Parliament.
1830 - George IV dies at Windsor, aged 67.
King William IV ( 1830 - 1837 )
1830 - William IV succeeds his brother, George IV, at the age of 64
1831 - The new London Bridge is opened over the River Thames.
1832 - The First Reform Act is passed, extending votes and redistributing Parliamentary seats on a more equitable basis.
1832 - Cholera spreads from Sunderland and runs rampant killing over 20,000 people.
1833 - Abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire following a campaign by Quakers and William Wilberforce.
1833 - Factory Act passed prohibiting children aged less than nine from work in factories, and reducing the working hours of women and older children.
1834 - Poor Law Act is passed, creating workhouses for the poor.
1834 - The Tolpuddle Martyrs are transported to Australia for attempting to form a trade union.
1834 - Fire destroys the Palace of Westminster.
1835 - The Municipal Reform Act is passed, requiring members of town councils to be elected by ratepayers and councils to publish their financial accounts.
1836 - Births, marriages and deaths must be registered by law
1836 - Dickens publishes Oliver Twist, drawing attention to Britain’s poor
1836 - Charles Darwin returns from a five year voyage on HMS Beagle researching natural history
1837 - William IV dies at Windsor Castle.
Queen Victoria ( 1837 - 1901 )
1837 - Victoria succeeds her uncle, William IV
1838 - Publication of People’s Charter. Start of Chartism.
1839 - First Afghan War. British Forces capture the fortress of Ghazi in Afghanistan.
1839 - - 42 First Opium War. Britain gains Hong Kong.
1840 - Victoria marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
1840 - The Penny Post is introduced. First postage stamp is the Penny Black.
1840 - First colonist settlement in New Zealand
1841 - Sir Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
1842 - End of First Opium War. Britain gains Hong Kong
1843 - Launch of SS Great Britain the worlds first all metal ship.
1844 - Railway building mania starts. 5,000 miles of track are built in Britain by 1846
1845 - - 1849 Irish Potato Famine kills more than a million people. Many emigrate to America.
1846 - Repeal of the Corn Laws
1848 - Major Chartist demonstration in London.
1848 - Pre-Raphaelite movement begins
1849 - Harrods store in London is opened
1851 - Great Exhibition takes place in Hyde Park. Its success is largely due to Prince Albert.
1852 - Death of the Duke of Wellington
1853 - Vaccination against smallpox made compulsory.
1853 - Victoria uses chloroform during the birth of Prince Leopold.
1854 - -1856 Crimean War fought by Britain and France against Russia.
1854 - Charge of the Light Brigade
1854 - 10,000 die of cholera from contaminated water in London.
1856 - The Victoria Cross is instituted for military bravery.
1856 - David Livingstone discovers the Victoria Falls
1857 - -1858 Indian Mutiny against British rule.
1858 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel launches The Great Eastern, the largest ship in the world and the first with a double iron hull.
1858 - First trans-Atlantic telegraph service
1859 - Publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species.
1861 - Prince Albert dies of typhoid
1861 - - 65 Civil War in America. Southern states unsuccessfully seek to involve Britain which has sufficient cotton from Egypt and India, but needs the Union North's grain.
1863 - The world's first underground railway is opened in London
1863 - Edward, Prince of Wales, marries Alexandra of Denmark
1863 - The Salvation Army is founded.
1863 - The Football Association is founded.
1865 - Slavery is ended in America with Northern Union victory in the American Civil War
1867 - The Second Reform Bill doubles the franchise vote to two million.
1867 - Canada becomes the first independent dominion in the Empire.
1867 - Karl Marx publishes the first volume of Das Kapital
1868 - Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the first time.
1869 - The Irish Church is disestablished.
1870 - First Education Act. Primary education becomes compulsory.
1870 - Death of Charles Dickens
1871 - Trade Unions are legalized
1872 - Secret voting is introduced for elections.
1872 - Henry Stanley finds David Livingstone who had been missing in Africa.
1874 - Disraeli becomes Prime Minister for the second time.
1875 - Suez Canal shares purchased for Britain.
1875 - Thomas Moy demonstrates his Aerial Steamer the worlds first flying machine at Crystal Palace, London
1876 - Victoria becomes Empress of India.
1876 - Scots Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone
1878 - Second Afghan War. British defend the Kyber Pass.
1878 - William Booths Christian movement adopts the name The Salvation Army
1879 - Tay Bridge disaster
1879 - Zulu war, British troops massacred at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift
1880 - Gladstone succeeds Disraeli as Prime Minister
1880 - - 1881 First conflict with Boers in South Africa
1883 - British occupy Egypt
1884 - Third Reform Act all adult males given the vote.
1884 - Greenwich Meridian and Mean Time adopted
1886 - First Irish Home Rule Bill fails to pass House of Commons. Gladstone resigns as Prime Minister.
1887 - Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee. She has ruled for 50 years.
1887 - Independent Labour Party is founded.
1891 - Free schooling is introduced. 11 years later school attendance becomes compulsory for all children.
1893 - Second Irish Home Rule Bill fails to pass the House of Lords.
1897 - Victoria celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.
1897 - Marconi demonstrates wireless transmission across the Bristol Channel
1899 - -1902 Boer War in South Africa. Siege of Mafeking
1900 - Labour party founded
1901 - Queen Victoria dies, aged 81.
King Edward VII ( 1901 - 1910 )
1901 - Edward VII becomes King on the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
1901 - Australia is granted dominion status.
1902 - Arthur Balfour becomes Prime Minister.
1902 - First trans-Atlantic radio transmission
1902 - Edward VII institutes the Order of Merit.
1902 - Empire Day is celebrated for the first time.
1902 - Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories published.
1903 - Wilbur and Orville Wright of the US make the first manned and controlled aircraft flight.
1903 - The Women’s Social and Political Union, demanding votes for women, is founded by Emmeline Pankhurst.
1904 - Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale, settling outstanding territorial disputes.
1904 - Sigmund Freud publishes Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
1904 - Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie is published.
1905 - Motor buses are first used in London.
1906 - Construction of HMS Dreadnought
1907 - Edward VII visits his cousin Tzar Nicholas II of Russia
1907 - Taxi-cabs are legally recognized in Britain for the first time.
1907 - Baden-Powell takes the first ever group of boy scouts on holiday to Brownsea island, Dorset.
1907 - Parliament rejects Channel Tunnel scheme.
1907 - New Zealand is granted dominion status.
1908 - Production of Ford motor cars begins.
1908 - Publication of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
1908 - The fourth Olympic Games are held in London.
1908 - Herbert Henry Asquith becomes Prime Minister.
1908 - The Triple Entente is signed between Russia, France, and Britain.
1908 - The Children’s Act establishes separate juvenile courts to try children.
1908 - Old Age Pensions established in Britain for all over 70 years old with an income of less than ten shillings per week.
1909 - The People’s Budget is introduced by Lloyd George
1909 - The Women’s Suffrage movement becomes more militant in their fight for votes for women.
1909 - Introduction of Labour Exchanges
1909 - French airman, Louis Blériot, makes the first cross-Channel flight from Calais to Dover.
1909 - First rugby match to be played Twickenham takes place.
1909 - First Boy Scout Rally is held at Crystal Palace, London.
1910 - Constitutional Crisis is caused by the House of Commons’ attempt to curb the power of the House of Lords.
1910 - Edward dies of pneumonia at Buckingham Palace.
King George V ( 1910 - 1936 )
1910 - George V becomes King and Emperor of India on the death of his father, Edward VII.
1911 - Parliament Act ensures the sovereignty of the House of Commons.
1911 - National Insurance Act provides sickness and unemployment benefits.
1912 - The luxury passenger ship S.S. Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage, drowning more than 1,500 people.
1913 - Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison throws herself under the Kings horse at the Epsom Derby
1914 - Anglican Church in Wales is disestablished.
1914 - The heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire is assassinated. Outbreak of World War I.
1914 - Battles of Mons, the Marne, and Ypres.
1915 - Second Battle of Ypres. Allied Gallipoli expedition fails to remove Turkey from the war.
1916 - Battle of the Somme. Naval Battle of Jutland between British and German fleets.
1916 - Easter Rising in Dublin in support of Irish independence.
1916 - David Lloyd George replaces Asquith as Prime Minister.
1917 - Battle of Passchendale.
1917 - Russian Revolution.
1918 - Czar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra (both cousins of George V) and their royal family are shot in Ekaterinburg.
1918 - Kaiser Wilhelm II (cousin of George V) abdicates as Germany faces defeat in World War I.
1918 - The end of World War I. Armistice signed on 11 November.
1918 - Reform Act gives votes to women over 30.
1918 - General Election produces landslide victory for Sinn Fein MPs in Ireland, who refuse to take their seats in Westminster and form their own DalI parliament in Dublin.
1919 - Lady Astor becomes the first woman MP to take her seat in the House of Commons
1919 - Third Afghan War. Afghanistan gains independence from Britain
1919 - A flu-pandemic (known as Spanish Flu) rages around the world killing over 50 million people.
1919 - -1921 Ireland partitioned into the Free State and the province of Northern Ireland.
1920 - Marconi opens first radio broadcasting station in Britain
1920 - A flu epidemic rages around the world killing more than 20 million people.
1922 - The British Broadcasting Company starts radio transmissions
1923 - Prince Albert (later George VI) marries Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
1924 - Ramsay MacDonald becomes Prime Minister of the first Labour Government
1926 - General Strike fails to reverse wage cuts and imposition of longer hours.
1926 - John Logie Baird demonstrates world's first television in London
1927 - British Broadcasting Corporation founded by Royal Charter
1928 - All women over the age of 21 get the vote.
1928 - George V falls seriously ill with blood poisoning of the lung.
1928 - Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
1929 - Beginning of the Great Depression which lasted almost 10 years
1931 - The Statute of Westminster recognizes independence of. the dominions.
1931 - Great Depression leads to the formation of a national government of all three political parties under the leadership of Ramsay MacDonald.
1932 - George V makes the first annual Christmas broadcast on radio.
1935 - George V celebrates his Silver Jubilee.
1935 - Robert Watson-Watt demonstrates Radar
1935 - Stanley Baldwin replaces Ramsay MacDonald as prime minister
1936 - George V dies at Sandringham.
King Edward VIII ( 1936 )
1936 - Edward VIII succeeds his father, George V, as King on 20 January.
1936 - Outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
1936 - Germany, under Adolf Hitler, reoccupies the demilitarized left bank of the Rhine.
1936 - Britain begins to rearm as political tension increases in Europe and the prospect of military conflict in the region becomes more evident.
1936 - Fire destroys Crystal Palace, once the home of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park but now located in Sydenham, south London.
1936 - J.M. Keynes publishes his book General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money an internationally influential study of modern economics.
1936 - Maiden voyage of luxury ocean liner the Queen Mary takes place.
1936 - Jarrow crusade of unemployed marches to London
1936 - The BBC inaugurates the world’s first television service at Alexandra Palace in London.
1936 - On 10 December Edward signs the Instrument of Abdication over his wish to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson. Witnessed by all his brothers, it is a simple declaration of his intent to renounce the throne for himself and all his descendants. He is subsequently created Duke of Windsor.
King George VI ( 1936 - 1952 )
1936 - George VI accedes to the throne upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII
1937 - Frank Whittle invents the jet engine
1938 - Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signs agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in an attempt to stop outbreak of war in Europe
1938 - Nazi Germany annexes Austria
1939 - Germany invades Poland. Outbreak of World War II.
1940 - Retreating British troops evacuated from beaches of Dunkirk as Germans advance.
1940 - Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister.
1940 - Battle of Britain fought in the skies over England between the RAF and German Luftwaffe.
1940 - German bombers blitz London, Coventry and other major cities
1941 - Hitler invades the Soviet Union
1941 - America enters the War after Japanese air raid on US fleet at Pearl Harbour.
1942 - Fall of Singapore to the Japanese
1942 - British victory at El Alamein.
1944 - D-Day landings in Normandy as the Allies begin to push the German forces back across Europe.
1944 - Battle of Arnhem airborne landings
1945 - The defeat of Germany marks the end of World War II in Europe.
1945 - Japan surrenders, after US drops atomic bombs on two cities.
1946 - Start of the 'Cold War'. Churchill speaks of the 'Iron Curtain' separating Western Europe from the Communist Eastern block
1947 - India granted independence. Pakistan declared a separate nation.
1947 - Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) marries Philip Mountbatten
1948 - National Health Service establishes free medical treatment.
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.
1949 - Berlin Airlift relieves the Soviet blockade of Berlin
1950 - -1953 Korean War
1951 - Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister again.
1952 - George VI dies.
Queen Elizabeth II ( 1952 - )
1952 - Elizabeth accedes to the throne on the death of her father, George VI.
1952 - World's first jet airliner passenger service inaugurated by BOAC in Comet I aircraft
1953 - Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climb Mount Everest just before Coronation Day
1953 - Francis Crick and James Watson unravel the mystery of DNA
1953 - - 1954 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip embark on a 6 month world tour including Australia and New Zealand
1955 - Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Anthony Eden.
1955 - Laws restricting the burning of coal and establishing smokeless zones bring an end to London's notorious fogs
1956 - Anglo-French forces invade Egypt after the nationalization of the Suez Canal.
1957 - Harold Macmillan becomes Prime Minister
1957 - The Gold Coast becomes independent as Ghana, the first British colony in Africa to receive its independence.
1957 - Queen Elizabeth addresses the United Nations and opens the 23rd Canadian Parliament
1959 - Oil is discovered in the North Sea.
1959 - Queen Elizabeth tours Canada and the United States
1960 - Harold Macmillan becomes Prime Minister makes 'winds of change' speech in South Africa.
1960 - Union of South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth.
1962 - Jamaica gains independence
1963 - Alec Douglas-Hume replaces Harold Macmillan as the Prime Minister.
1963 - The Beatles release their first LP.
1964 - Labour government of Harold Wilson takes office
1966 - Aberfan disaster leaves 116 children dead
1967 - Capital punishment abolished in the UK for murder, and one year later for all crimes
1969 - Prince Charles is invested as Prince of Wales.
1969 - Troubles break out in the North of Ireland
1970 - Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister.
1971 - Decimal currency is introduced.
1973 - The United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community (EEC)
1974 - Miners strike brings down Heath Government. Harold Wilson returns as Prime Minister.
1976 - Concorde begins first supersonic trans-Atlantic flights
1977 - Celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Queens accession
1978 - The world's first test-tube baby is delivered in Oldham, Greater Manchester
1979 - Margaret Thatcher succeeds James Callaghan, becoming Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.
1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
1982 - Unemployment in Britain tops three million.
1982 - Britain goes to war with Argentina over control of the Falkland Islands
1982 - Pope John Paul II is first reigning pope to visit the UK.
1984 - Miners strike again but is defeated by Thatcher.
1986 - Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60th birthday.
1988 - PanAm flight 103 bombed and crashes on Lockerbie killing 270
1989 - Poll tax is introduced amid widespread protest.
1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall. End of the 'Cold War'.
1990 - Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister after 11 years and is succeeded by John Major.
1991 - The Allied forces liberate Kuwait during the Gulf War.
1992 - Princess Anne and Mark Phillips divorce. Windsor castle suffers severe fire damage.
1993 - Maastricht Treaty. The EEC becomes the European Union and the European Parliament comes into force.
1994 - Opening of the Channel Tunnel between England and France
1996 - Both the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Duke and Duchess of York divorce.
1997 - Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister and ends 18 years of Conservative government.
1997 - Hong Kong reverts to China after 155 years of British rule.
1997 - Diana Princess of Wales dies in Paris car crash
1998 - Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland
1998 - Scotland and Wales vote for their own Assemblies
1999 - Edward, Earl of Wessex, marries Sophie Rhys-Jones.
2000 - Queen Mother celebrates her 100th birthday.
2001 - Twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York destroyed by Islamic terrorists.
2001 - - 2014. Fourth Afghan War. British and Allied troops in Afghanistan.
2002 - Queen Elizabeth II marks her Golden Jubilee of 50 years of rule. Deaths of Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
2003 - British and US forces invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein
2005 - Prince Charles marries his second wife Camilla Parker-Bowles and she is given the title Duchess of Cornwall
2006 - Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 80th birthday.
2007 - Tony Blair resigns as Prime Minister
2007 - Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip celebrate 60 years of marriage
2007 - Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever reigning British monarch
2008 - World wide banking crisis. Government has to bail out two major British banks
2009 - Parliamentary integrity damaged by expenses scandal
2010 - David Cameron becomes Prime Minister
2011 - Prince William marries Catherine Middleton. They become Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
2011 - Queen Elizabeth II visits Dublin in the first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by a reigning British monarch.
2012 - Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee of 60 years since her accession to the throne.
2012 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the London 2012 Olympic Games
2013 - Birth of Prince George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
2014 - Scottish voters reject proposal by the Scottish National Party to leave the United Kingdom
2014 - End of 4th Afghan war. British forces leave Afghanistan.
2015 - Birth of Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
2015 - Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest ever reigning British monarch surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
2016 - Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday.
2016 - The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
2016 - David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Theresa May.
2017 - The UK negotiates to regain sovereignty from the European Union.
2018 - Birth of Prince Louis, second son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
2018 - Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle. They become Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
2019 - Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister
2020 - Prince Harry and his wife exit royal duties and move to North America
2020 - The United Kingdom leaves the European Union
2020 - Worldwide coronavirus pandemic