Renaissance Events

  • Aug 22, 1485

    Richard III is killed in battle

    Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses and is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of an eponymous play by William Shakespeare.
  • Jan 1, 1492

    Christopher Columbus reaches the Americas

    was an explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Though Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas (having been preceded by the Norse expedition led by Leif Ericson in the 11th century, Columbus's voyages led to the first lasting Europea
  • Jan 1, 1503

    Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa

    The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506.
  • Jan 1, 1516

    Thomas More's Utopia is published

    Utopia is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More published in 1516. The book, written in Latin, is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs.
  • Jan 1, 1543

    With the Supremacy Act, Henry VIII proclaims himself head of Church of England

    Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.
  • Sep 26, 1558

    Elizabeth I becomes queen of England

    Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen", "Gloriana", or "Good Queen Bess", Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate.One of her first moves as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor.
  • Apr 26, 1564

    William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, is born

    William was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.[1] He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems.
  • Globe Theatre is built in London

    The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.[
  • Period: to

    Shakespeare writes King Lear and Macbeth

    King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king. Macbeth is a play that is considered one of his darkest and most powerful tragedies.
  • First permanent English settlement in North America is established at Jamestown, Virginia.

    On May 14, 1607, a small company of
    settlers landed at a point on the James River
    in Virginia and established the settlement of
    Jamestown. It was the first permanent
    English settlement in the New World. The first settlers of Jamestown, led by the
    famed Captain John Smith, built a fort,
    church, storehouse and other structures in
    their first three months at the settlement,
    even as sickness and starvation stalked the
    new colony.
  • Shakespeare's sonnets are published

    Shakespeare's sonnets are a collection of 154 sonnets, dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality, first published in a 1609 quarto entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.
  • King James Bible is published

    The Authorized Version, commonly known as the King James Version, King James Bible, AV, KJB, or KJV, is an English translation of the Christian Bible by the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third official translation into English.
  • The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts

    One hundred and two individuals, most of whom were Puritans, received a grant of land on which to set up their own colony. They set sail from England on the Mayflower, arriving in Massachusettes in December. When they landed, the colonists called their new home "New Plymouth." The colonists all signed the "Mayflower Covenant" before landing, promising to establish "just and equal laws." On September 6th, 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England.
  • Newspapers are first published in London

    In London, the newspaper Corante is published. Thomas Archer, a printer in London, was arrested for distributing corantos without a license, and his printing press was shut down.
  • John Milton begins Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men"
  • Puritan Commonwealth ends; monarchy is restored with Charles II

    The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.