Language Timeline

  • 500


    the celtics in the 6th century took over half of Britain 'kent' 'essex'.
    'ing' in town names means the people of. 'ton' in town namesmeans closture or village. 'ham' in town names means farm.
  • Jan 1, 1000


    Beowulf is the longest poem in old english, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. This fire-damaged manuscript is the only surviving copy of the story. It was written down in about 1000, but the poem may have been created by storytellers as early as the 700s.
  • May 29, 1010

    First recorded conversation

    This is the earliest recorded example of an English conversation – a dialogue between pupil and teacher including the following exchange about learning Latin.
  • Jul 30, 1031

    Book of Life

    The purpose of a 'Book of Life' (or Liber Vitae), was to record the names of members and friends of monasteries or convents: the belief was that these names would also appear in the heavenly book opened on the Day of Judgement.
  • May 29, 1066

    William The Conqueror

    This manuscript, created in 1150, contains two historical accounts of the abbey, almost certainly written there. The page is the start of the second account, introduced by an exceptionally large initial 'A' containing an image of King William enthroned.
  • Jun 1, 1066

    Norman conquest

    french language 'evidence' 'jury'. words like 'cow' were from english farmers then 'beef' from other countries.
  • Jan 1, 1150

    First text in Middle English?

    It is an English translation of a Latin sermon in which we can see many of the changes that signal the end of Old English. The rhythm and pattern of the sentences are beginning to sound distinctly modern. That is why linguists have called it the first text in Middle English.
  • Jan 1, 1348

    Chronicle of the Black Death

    This chronicle, written at the cathedral priory of Rochester between 1314 and 1350, includes a firsthand account of the Black Death, describing the changes in the everyday lives of people across the social scale.
  • Jan 1, 1390

    First English cookery manuscript

    First English cookery manuscript
    his is the oldest known cookery manuscript in the English language. It is entitled The Forme of Cury. It was written by the master-cooks of King Richard II, and is in the form of a scroll made of vellum - a kind of fine calfskin parchment.
  • May 29, 1412

    Chaucer’s influence

    A decade after Chaucer’s death in 1400, Thomas Hoccleve composed this long poem to the future King Henry V using Chaucer’s rhyme royal, the seven-line rhyming verse. In it, the Prince is instructed on the subjects of governance, virtue and vice. Earlier writers would have chosen Latin or French.
  • Jan 1, 1469

    The Legend of King Arthur by Thomas Malory

    A manuscript tells the famous legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, centring around their quest for the mystical Holy Grail. It was written by Thomas Malory in 1469 while he was imprisoned for a series of violent crimes.
  • May 1, 1473

    First book printed in English

    First book printed in English
    William Caxton was the first Englishman to learn to use a printing press. The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye was his first printed book, and the first book printed anywhere in English. It was produced in 1473 on the Continent, in either Bruges or Ghent.
  • Jan 1, 1526

    First printed Bible in English

    First printed Bible in English
    William Tyndale's Bible was the first English language Bible to appear in print. During the 1500s, the very idea of an English language Bible was shocking and subversive.
  • Shakespeare, Hamlet

    Shakespeare, Hamlet
    Written between 1599 and 1601, Hamlet is widely recognised as one of the most powerful plays in the history of English theatre. It is a revenge tragedy that revolves around the agonised interior mind of a young Danish prince.
  • King James bible

    created metaphors and moral stories. 'labour of love' 'bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'
  • Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall

    Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall
    Robert Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall, published in 1604, was the first single-language English dictionary ever published. It lists approximately 3000 words, defining each one with a simple and brief description.
  • Shakespeare

    showed how rich and vibrate the english language was. brought 2000 new words and phrases. 'hob-nob' 'eyeball' 'green eyed monster'
  • Trade and the English language

    Trade played a significant role in bringing new words to the English language. Cargo lists such as these were produced by English trading companies to publicise goods recently arrived from India.
  • Johnson's Dictionary

    amuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language is one of the most famous dictionaries in history. First published in 1755, the dictionary took just over 8 years to compile and listed 40,000 words. Johnson required only 6 helpers.
  • Lowth’s grammar

    Several grammar books were published during the 18th century. They fulfilled the demand among a growing middle class for guidance on how to use ‘polite’ or ‘correct’ English.
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion

    This is part of the manuscript of Persuasion, Austen's final completed book, published after her death in 1818. he much-loved novels of Jane Austen (1775-1817) explore the complexities of genteel English society, and the relationship between wealth, love and freedom of thought for women.
  • Grammar for children

    Children become bored when learning grammar or spelling rules, and so publishers are always on the look-out for fresh ways to present this material.
  • Yorkshire dialect

    During the 19th century authors wrote dialect poetry, translated well-known works, collected folk songs and recorded traditional stories and anecdotes.
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

    The book first appeared in monthly instalments from 1837-39, and paints a picture of a squalid city full of desperate people living in abject poverty.
  • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    A Christmas Carol, first published on 17 December 1843, tells the story of Scrooge’s dramatic conversion from cold-hearted villain to generous benefactor, brought about by the visitation of a sequence of ghosts: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, and the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s former partner.
  • Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management

    Mrs Beeton's iconic Book of Household Management was first published in 1861. It not only contains over 2000 recipes, but is also a complete guide to running a household.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is of the best loved children’s books of all time. This is the original manuscript of the book, titled Alice's Adventures Under Ground, and handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll.
  • Oxford English Dictionary

    n 1879 an agreement was reached with Oxford University Press to begin work on a revolutionary New English Dictionary. The plan was to create a vast and comprehensive collection of English words, those from the Early Middle English period (1150) onwards, a lexicon of the language more complete than any English dictionary-maker had ever attempted.
  • Sherlock Holmes manuscript

    This is Conan Doyle's meticulous manuscript of one of his 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories, 'The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter', first published in 1904. One 'gloomy February morning', a 'weird' telegram is delivered to Holmes's flat at 221B Baker St, London, so beginning another fascinating detective story.
  • 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen

    Wilfred Owen is among the most famous poets of the First World War. This is the original manuscript of the poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est', written in Owen's own hand while he served as a soldier in the appalling conditions of the trenches. Composed between 1917 and 1918 (the year of his death), the poem gives a chilling account of the senselessness of war.
  • BBC English

    he British Broadcasting Corporation was formed from the British Broadcasting Company in 1927, and for several decades became a byword for ‘good English’.
  • Man lands on the moon

    The iconic moon landing took place on 21 July 1969. Millions around the world watched the landing on television; politics, war, famine and other news stories were pushed to the back of the queue as the world celebrated an outstanding example of human endeavour.
  • Women's liberation magazine

    UK Women's Liberation was a feminist movement which emerged with force in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Women's movements had been campaigning for change since the Suffragette movements of the late 1800s and early 1900s. But this new wave gained great energy through different forms of direct action and debate.
  • E-mail

    the first e-mail sent out was out in 1972 before the internet was created.
  • internet

    internet was created in 1991 where abbrevations where used once agin to create words such as 'lol' 'btw'
  • Mimi Khalvati, 'Ghazal: after Hafez'

    The fashion of writing ghazals in English is relatively new; the form was introduced to American poetry by Agha Shahid Ali in the 1970s and 80s and Mimi Khalvati is the foremost exponent in British poetry
  • Religion

    in the 6th and 7th centuries, christianity was written in straight lines so it could be cut into wood. the latin alphabet was different with curves which could be written better in books.
  • Walsh

    the Walsh had to adapt their culture and language if they wanted to survive,
  • Vikings

    2000 words were given to the english. 'give' 'die' 'take'