Early modern Britain

By LouAnnC
  • Period: Apr 21, 1509 to Jan 28, 1547

    Reign of Henry VIII

  • 1534

    Act of supremacy

    Act of supremacy
    Also known as Henry's schism. England breaks from the Roman Catholic Church, thus, the king is made “Supreme Head of the Church of England”.
  • 1534

    First act of Succession

    First act of Succession
    Recognizes Anne Boleyn as Henry VIII's lawful wife; Elizabeth becomes the heir presumptive to the crown.
  • Period: 1534 to

    The Reformation

  • 1536

    Wedding Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.

    Wedding Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
    After Anne Boleyn was executed, Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third and favorite wife. She died a few days after giving birth to Edward VI.
  • 1536

    Pilgrimage of Grace

    Pilgrimage of Grace
    Series of uprisings against the Reformation legislation in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
  • Period: 1536 to 1541

    The dissolution of the monasteries

    Reduces the papal influence in England; lands and incomes are appropriated by the Crown.
  • 1537

    The Matthew's Bible

    The Matthew's Bible
    First approved English Bible. Combined translations of Tyndale and Coverdale.
  • Oct 12, 1537

    Birth of Edward I

    Birth of Edward I
    Son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
  • 1540

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
    After the death of Jane Seymour in 1537, Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves in 1540 in order to form an alliance with the House of Cleves. The marriage was considered a failure due to the lack of chemistry between the two and was annulled after 6 months.
  • 1540

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Catherine Howard

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Catherine Howard
    Fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was queen for 18 months until she was accused of adultery and was therefore executed.
  • Dec 8, 1542

    Birth of Mary Stuart

    Birth of Mary Stuart
    Daughter of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Cousin of Elizabeth I.
  • 1543

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Catherine Parr

    Wedding of Henry VIII and Catherine Parr
    Sixth and last wife of Henry VIII from 1543 to 1547.
  • Period: 1545 to 1563

    Council of Trent

    Meeting of Catholic clerics in response to the Protestant Reformation in an attempt to reform the Catholic Church.
  • Period: Feb 20, 1547 to Jun 6, 1553

    Reign of Edward I

    Given he was only 9 when his reign began, Edward Seymour, his uncle, became Lord Protector. Edward's reign pushed England toward Protestantism.
  • 1549

    Publication of the Book of Common Prayer

    Official prayer book of the Church of England
  • Period: Jan 16, 1553 to Nov 17, 1558

    Reign of Mary I

    Daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of
    Aragon. She restored Catholicism in 18 months and earned herself the "Bloody Mary" nickname.
  • Jun 25, 1554

    Wedding of Mary I and Philip II of Spain

    Wedding of Mary I and Philip II of Spain
    Creates an Anglo-Spanish alliance against France.
  • Period: 1555 to 1558

    Bloody Mary

    As they were considered heretics, over 200
    Protestants went to the stake. The Queen was therefore known as "Bloody Mary".
  • Period: Nov 17, 1558 to

    Reign of Elizabeth I

    Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne of Boleyn; is also known as "Virgin Elizabeth". Before her sister Queen Mary I of England died, she was expected to carry on with the Catholic reform.
  • 1559

    Second Act of Supremacy

    Second Act of Supremacy
    Restored the authority of the Queen over the church. Elizabeth became "Supreme Head of the Church of England."
  • 1559

    Act of Uniformity

    Act of Uniformity
    The book of Common Prayer becomes compulsory. People who did not attend an Anglican service were fined 12 pence.
  • Period: 1559 to 1563

    Elizabethan Religious Settlement

    Elizabeth's middle way, as she wanted to return to Protestantism. She therefore passed new legislation as a compromise.
  • Period: 1563 to 1571

    The 39 articles of faith

    Still in use today, the 39 articles of faith define the doctrine of the Church.
  • 1569

    The Northern Rebellion

    The Northern Rebellion
    Attempt to dethrone Elizabeth I in order to replace her with Mary Queen of Scots, her cousin. Led by the Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland.
  • 1570

    Pope Pius V excommunicates Elizabeth

    Pope Pius V excommunicates Elizabeth
    The pope calls Elizabeth the "so-called queen" in the papal bull "Regnans in Excelsis". The excommunication gives Catholics license to kill the queen.
  • 1571

    Treasons Act

    After the papal bull, refusing to recognize Elizabeth I as the queen of England became high treason.
  • 1581

    The 1581 Act

    Because of the Catholic threat, a law to retain the Queen’s subjects in their due obedience was passed.
  • The execution of Mary Queen of Scots

    The execution of Mary Queen of Scots
    After being a prisoner in England for 19 years, Mary Queen of Scots was finally convicted of complicity and executed. The Babington plot played a decisive role in Elizabeth's decision to sentence her cousin to death as she was initially reluctant.
  • The Babington plot

    The Babington plot
    A plan to assassinate Elizabeth I, so Mary Stuart could go on the throne, and deciphered by Francis Walsingham. It played a crucial role in influencing Elizabeth's choice to proceed with Mary's execution.
  • The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

    The Defeat of the Spanish Armada
    After several plots and an attempt to invade England, the Spanish Armada, albeit being the largest fleet in Europe was defeated.
  • Millenary petition

    Presented to the king by Puritans. Requested for the Church of England to put a stop to certain ceremonies and abuses. As a result of the king's refusal, a minority of Puritans left England aboard the Mayflower.
  • Period: to

    Reign of James I

    James I of England, and VI of Scotland (1567). Son of Mary, Queen of Scotland.
  • James's first parliament

    James's first parliament
    Known as the "Blessed Parliament". The king demanded the union of Scotland and England. The proposal was however declined. Parliament was dissolved after 5 sessions in 1611.
  • The Gunpowder plot

    The Gunpowder plot
    A failed attempt by Catholics to kill the king and blow up the parliament.
  • Period: to

    The Starving Time

    Period of starvation during the early settlements in America.
  • Great contract

    Failed negotiations in an attempt to refinance the crown. The proposal offered to pay the King's debts by offering him an annual income in return for the abolition of feudal rights.
  • King James's Bible

    King James's Bible
    A new English translation of the Bible, considered to be one of the most popular in history.
  • James's second parliament

    Known as the "Addled Parliament" for its failure. The issue at stake was that of impositions. Because the king continued to raise money without the parliament's approval, his demand was turned down.
  • Period: to

    The thirty years war

    War about the protestant reformation. It began in the Holy Roman Empire after a revolt in Bohemia. Aggravated the Crown's debt.
  • James's third parliament

    James's third parliament
    Because of the ongoing war, James required money and thus summoned a third parliament. However, they were unhappy with the recent turn of events and answered with a protestation. This led to the dissolution of the parliament.
  • Charles's first and second parliament.

    The first parliament was also nicknamed the "useless parliament". Indeed, parliament disagreed with Charles' right to collect taxes such as "tonnage and poundage". There were also tensions rising with Lord Buckingham, the king's adviser.
    A second parliament was summoned and met in 1626, in which MPs threatened to impeach Buckingham. As a result, the king dissolved the parliament.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Charles I

    Son of James I.
  • Petition of Rights

    Petition of Rights
    A petition requesting rights and protection for English citizens against the monarchy. Charles I reluctantly agreed upon him, so he could be granted money in return.
  • Charles third parliament

    In order to fund an attack on La Rochelle, Charles I urgently required money. In exchange for the king agreeing to the Petition of Right, parliament was willing to accept.
  • Three Resolutions

    Three Resolutions
    Led to the personal rule.
    MPs condemned the collection of tonnage and poundage, as well as the doctrine and practice of Arminianism. As a result, Charles dissolved parliament.
  • Period: to

    The Personal rule

    The Eleven Years Tyranny. Eleven years, during which the king ruled without calling a parliament. New religious policies were implemented, causing the Anglican church to be alienated, highly destructive of the Elizabethan compromise.
  • New Prayer Book

    New Prayer Book
    Led to a riot in Scotland as it was imposed on them. The changes were deemed unacceptable (new position of the altar, kneeling, etc)
  • Period: to

    The Scottish crisis

    By the end of the Personal Rule, Charles attempted to force religious policy on Scotland, all leaning toward a return to Catholicism (Scotland was Calvinist). Shortly after the reading of a New Prayer book in 1637, a riot that became known as "The Bishops' War" broke out.
  • The Bishops' war

    The Bishops' war
    Broke out following Charles' attempt to draw the Church of Scotland (Calvinist) into line with the Church of England (Anglican). However, Charles lacked funds and was unprepared for battle; as a result, he lost.
  • The Short Parliament

    The Short Parliament
    Because of the ongoing war in Scotland, Charles needed money. Therefore, for the first time in 11 years, the king had no choice but to summon a new parliament. It was dissolved after 3 weeks—hence the name— as the MPs wanted to address the king's grievances first.
  • Period: to

    The Long Parliament

    Charles was forced to pay the cost of the Scot's army after he lost to the Scottish invasion and had to sign a peace treaty. This led him to call parliament again. They passed two acts requiring Parliament to assemble at least every three years, and dissolving Parliament required its agreement.
  • The Irish Rebellion

    The Irish Rebellion
    An Irish Catholic revolt against Protestant settlers. Rumors stated it concluded in a violent bloodbath.
  • The Grand Remonstrance

    The Grand Remonstrance
    A pivotal point that led to the English Civil War. A document presented to the king, listing his grievances and abuse of power. It demanded; the right of the House of Commons to choose the King’s ministers, the right for Parliament to control any army sent to Ireland, and the right for Parliament to reform the Church.
  • Attempted arrest of 5 MPs

    Attempted arrest of 5 MPs
    Followed by 400 soldiers, Charles I marched into the House of Commons in an attempt to arrest 5 MPs. It was considered an outrage by the parliament, and they saw it as a breach of privilege. The king then left humiliated.
  • Period: to

    English Civil Wars

  • Charles declares war on parliament

    Charles declares war on parliament
    After being presented with the 19 Propositions, Charles declared war on Parliament. It was the beginning of the First Civil War.
  • Period: to

    First Civil war

    During this war, 190,000 Englishmen lost their lives. Parliamentarians were referred to as "Roundheads" and had short hair, whereas royalists were known as Cavaliers and were distinguished by their long hair.
  • Battle of Naseby

    Battle of Naseby
    One of the most important battles in the English Civil War. Royalists lost to Parliamentarians' New Model Army.
  • Period: to

    The second Civil War

    In return for the establishment of Presbyterianism in England for three years, Charles managed to ally himself with the Scots. A very short series of revolts ensued in the South of England, Wales, and Scotland; the Royalists were defeated by Cromwell's forces.
  • Siege of Drogheda

    Siege of Drogheda
    Massacre of the Irish Royalist troops and civilians in Drogheda. Priests and monks were killed, as well as many citizens.
  • Period: to


    Following the execution of the king, Cromwell declared England a Commonwealth, giving him many similar powers to a monarch.
  • Period: to


    Period between two reigns.
  • Execution of Charles I

    Execution of Charles I
    After being imprisoned and tried for high treason, Charles I was sentenced to death.
  • Attempt to invade England

    Attempt to invade England
    After Charles II, son of Charles I was proclaimed king of Scotland, he attempted to invade England. It was however brutally repressed by Cromwell.
  • End of Commonwealth

    End of Commonwealth
    After showing distrust toward the New Model Army's power, and making little progress with electoral reforms, Cromwell decided to dissolve the Rump Parliament. This was the start of the Protectorate.
  • The Instrument of Government

    The Instrument of Government
    Consisting of 42 articles, it was England’s first and only written constitution.
  • Period: to

    Cromwellian Protectorate

    Military dictatorship, very similar to a monarchy, but Cromwell didn't want to bear the title of king. He was then proclaimed Lord Protector. A parliament of 460 MPs would be elected every 3 years.
    A period of anarchy followed after the death of Cromwell, with seven governments surging within a year. People started to regret the monarchy.
  • Declaration of Breda

    Declaration of Breda
    Following Cromwell's death, Charles II saw a chance and issued the Declaration of Breda, claiming that he would be tolerant, merciful, and willing to share power with parliament in exchange for the restoration of the monarchy.
  • Period: to

    The Early Restauration

  • Period: to

    Reign of Charles II

    Following Cromwell's death, Charles II saw a chance and issued the Declaration of Breda, claiming that he would be tolerant, merciful, and willing to share power with parliament in exchange for the restoration of the monarchy. It worked. However, he did not keep his promises, and his enemies were executed.
    His reign was hampered by many problems, such as the outbreak of the Plague, England's Great Fire, and the everlasting tensions with parliament.
  • The Plague

    The Plague
  • The great fire of London

    The great fire of London
  • The Popish plot

    The Popish plot
    Rumors circulated of a French conspiracy to assassinate Charles II and replace him with his Catholic brother James II. There were fears that James II would restore absolute monarchy.
  • Period: to

    The Exclusion crisis

    Political events that centered around the question of succession to the throne. In the end, Charles II dissolved the parliament.
    When Charles II died in 1685, James II succeeded him.
  • Period: to

    Reign of James II

    Very short reign. He was unpopular because of his catholic beliefs, and many feared he'd restore absolute monarchy. People had hope for his protestant daughter and heir to succeed him, and; that, she did! But not without complications…
  • The Glorious Revolution

    The Glorious Revolution
    Following James II's threat, parliament requested the king's son-in-law, William of Orange, to invade England. There was no resistance when he, along with an army of 15,000 men landed. James II fled to France, and William and Mary became joint rulers.
  • Period: to

    Joint-reign of William III and Mary II

    At this time, the monarchy was constitutional. It was limited by the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, and settling the Succession of the Crown.
    It listed King's James misdeeds, so his prior abuses of power couldn't be repeated (no raise of taxes without consent; frequent parliaments; free elections, and freedom of speech in parliament.)
    It was the model for the US Bill of rights.
  • The Act of Settlement

    The Act of Settlement
    William and Mary were without an heir, and every remaining Stuart heirs were Catholics. The Act of Settlement ensured the next heir would be Protestant and not Catholic by changing the order of succession.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Anne

    Last member of the Stuarts. Daughter of James II and Anne Hyde.
  • Act of Union

    Act of Union
    Creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain: England (and Wales) and Scotland.
  • Period: to

    Reign of George I

  • Period: to

    Jacobites risings

    Jacobites were loyal to the Stuarts. Two rising broke (1715 and 1745).
  • Period: to

    Reign of George II

  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
  • Second act of Union

    Created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

    Merged the Parliament of Ireland into the Parliament of the UK.