Richard III was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in 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 Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of the historical play Richard III by William Shakespeare.
Jan 1, 1492
1492 Christopher Columbus reaches the Americas
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer. Born in the Republic of Genoa, under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Those voyages and his efforts to establish settlements on the island of Hispaniola initiated the permanent European colonization of the New World.
Jan 1, 1503
c. 1503 Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci that has been described 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 Mona Lisa is also one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at $100 million in 1962, which is worth nearly $800 million in 2017.
Jan 1, 1516
1516 Thomas More's Utopia is published
A work of fiction and socio-political satire by Thomas More published in 1516 in Latin.
Jan 1, 1543
c. 1543 With the Supremacy Act, Henry VIII proclaims himself head of Church of England
The Acts of Supremacy are two acts of the Parliament of England passed in 1534 and 1559 which established King Henry VIII of England and subsequent monarchs as the supreme head of the Church of England. Prior to 1534, the supreme head of the English Church was the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Jan 1, 1558
1558 Elizabeth I becomes queen of England
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last monarch of the House of Tudor.
Jan 1, 1564
1564 William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, is born
Was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon".
1599 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, on land owned by Thomas Brend and inherited by his son, Nicholas Brend and grandson Sir Matthew Brend, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.
1605 Shakespeare writes King Lear
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.
1606 Shakespeare writes Macbeth
Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake.
1607 First permanent English settlement in North America is established at Jamestown, Virginia
The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. William Kelso writes that Jamestown "is where the British Empire began". It was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 and was considered permanent after brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.
1609 Shakespeare's sonnets are published
Shakespeare's sonnets is the title of a collection of 154 sonnets by William Shakespeare, which covers themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality. The first 126 sonnets are addressed to a young man; the last 28 to a woman.
1611 King James Bible is published
An English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. The books of the King James Version include the 39 books of the Old Testament, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of the Apocrypha, and the 27 books of the New Testament.
1620 The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts
Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. The Pilgrims did not refer to Plymouth Rock in any of their writings; the first known written reference to the rock dates to 1715 when it was described in the town boundary records as "a great rock.
1621 Newspapers are first published in London
Corante: or, Newes from Italy, Germany, Hungarie, Spaine and France was the first newspaper printed in England. The earliest of the seven known surviving copies is dated September 24, 1621, and the latest is dated October 22 of that same year.
c.1658 John Milton begins Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse.
1660 Puritan Commonwealth ends; monarchy is restored with Charles II
The Restoration of the English monarchy took place during the Stuart period. It began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under the Stuart King Charles II. It followed the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.