British History

  • 1450

    Invention of the printing press

  • Period: 1509 to 1547

    Henry VIII’s reign

    Son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, he was 17 when he became king in 1509 and died in 1547. Under his reign, the church of England was separated from the Roman Catholic Church. He had six wives, two were divorced and two were beheaded. Three of his children reigned after him : Edward, Mary and Elizabeth.
  • 1517

    Martin Luther writes The Ninety-Five Theses

    This text denouncing the uses of indulgences marked the start of the European reformation and was spread through all of Europe thanks to the invention of the printing press in 1450. It was the world’s first modern media event.
  • 1521

    Martin Luther is excommunicated

  • 1526

    Publication of the Tyndale Bible

    Translation ( by William Tyndale ) of the New Testament into english.
  • 1529

    The Pope rejects Henry VIII’s petition for a divorce

  • 1533

    Act in restraint of Appeals

    The King can now annul marriages.
  • 1533

    Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn

    The pope then declared that Anne Boleyn was not the King’s wife and Henry was excommunicated.
  • 1534

    Schism : the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are separated

  • 1534

    Act of supremacy of 1534

    The King was made the « supreme head of the Church of England » and his divorce led England to break from the Roman catholic Church.
  • Period: 1536 to 1541

    Monasteries disbanded

    Henry VIII decided that the monasteries were bastions of “popery” and thus, they were disbanded. The Crown appropriated their income and land and their valuables were confiscated and melted down. As a consequence, by 1536, all the smaller monasteries had disappeared and the greater ones followed two years later.
  • Period: 1536 to 1537

    Pilgrimage of grace

    Rebellions in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire against the dissolution of monasteries.
  • 1537

    Permission was given for an english Bible

    Permission was given for an english Bible instead of a Latin one and they were soon made mandatory in every church.
  • Period: 1545 to 1563

    Council of Trent

    The Roman Catholic Church attempted to correct some of the abuses of the church and harshly condemned protestant heresies.
  • Period: 1547 to 1553

    Edward VI’s reign

    Son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, he was only 9 when his father died. Edward Seymour ( the new King’s eldest uncle ) became Lord Protector. During his reign, he pushed England towards Protestantism. He died from tuberculosis in 1553 when he was only 15.
  • 1549

    Publication of the Book of Common Prayers

    Revision of the mass-book led to the publication of the Book of Common Prayer. Roman Catholic practices were eradicated and the marriage of clergy was now allowed. The imposition of the Prayer Book led to rebellions in Cornwall and Devon.
  • Period: 1553 to 1558

    Mary I’s reign

    Daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she was the first Queen of England. She restored Catholicism in 18 months and repealed the Protestant legislation of her father and half-brother. She was married to Phillip II of Spain which made her ally with Spain. She had the nickname of “Bloody Mary”. She died in 1558 after becoming rather ill and her death was greeted, even her husband wasn’t really sad about it.
  • Period: 1555 to 1558

    Protestantism confined to secrecy

    During Mary I’s reign, Protestantism was confined to secrecy as heretics were burned ( over 200 protestants ) between 1555 to 1558. Some were force to leave the country and fled to the Continent = they were called the Marian exiles.
    All of this things earned her the nickname of ‘Bloody Mary’
  • Period: 1558 to

    Elizabeth I’s reign

    Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she was 25 ( and unmarried ) when she became Queen. She needed to prove her legitimacy as Queen and had to appease religious tensions after 25 years of religious change. She stayed in power for 45 years without getting married which reinforced indépendance of England. She was nicknamed The Virgin Queen. When she died in 1603, she had imposed Protestantism.
  • 1559

    Act of supremacy of 1559

    Abolition of the authority of the Pope as the Queen’s authority over the Church’ was restored. Elizabeth became the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
  • 1559

    Act of uniformity

    Every parish had to use the Book of Common Prayer and people who didn’t attend and Anglican service were fined.
  • Period: 1563 to 1571

    The 39 articles of faith

    There was 3 important changes :
    - A new ecclesiology ( conception of the church )
    - A new doctrine of Salvation
    - A new definition of sacrements and of the mass
  • 1569

    The Northern Rebellion

    Rebellion against religious reforms and an attempt was made to replace Queen Elizabeth by Mary, Queen of Scots. There were 6000 insurgents and the revolt was led by the Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland.
  • 1570

    Papal bull / Excommunication of Elizabeth

    The papal bull “Regnans in Excelsis” ( a text from the pope ) was issued. The text calls Elizabeth “The so-called queen” and “a heretic favoring heretics”. It excommunicated Elizabeth and almost gave a reason for Catholics to kill her as it wouldn’t be seen as a crime by Rome.
  • 1571

    Treason Act

    In response to the papal bull issued in 1570, it was made a treason for anyone to say that Elizabeth was not the true Queen of England and Wales.
  • 1581

    The 1581 Act

    Provided the death penalty for any person converting, or already converted to Catholicism. It was forbidden to participate or celebrate the Catholic Mass and Anglican services were compulsory.
    163 persons were killed during the repression.
  • The Babington Plot

    Young Catholics had sworn to kill Elizabeth and put Mary Stuart on the throne but Francis Walsingham discovered their strategies as he managed to decipher a coded letter between Marie Stuart and this group.
  • Execution of Mary Queen of Scots

    Mary Queen of Scots was convinced for complicity and sentenced to death. She was executed in 1587 in Fotheringham Castle wearing a bright red dress, the color of Catholic martyrs.
  • Defeat of the Spanish Armada

  • Speech to the troops at Tilbury

    Speech to the troops at Tilbury
    In order to rally the troops who were preparing to repel the invasion of the Spanish Armada, she made a speech in which she said :
    “I know I have the body of a weak woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a King of England too”.
  • Period: to

    James I’s reign

  • Gunpowder plot

    Gunpowder plot
    A conspiracy led by a few Catholics to blow up the Parliament and kill James I. Although, they did not succeed in doing so.
  • Establishment of Jamestown in Virginia

    Establishment of Jamestown in Virginia
    It was the first permanent settlement of an English colony in North America after a failed attempt in 1585. It was named after James I.
  • Period: to

    The starving Time

    The starving Time was a period of starvation that only 60 of the 500 colonists survived to. It was caused because of shortage of drinkable water, insufficient growing of crops and conflicts with the Native Powhatan tribe. Because of that, some settlers even turned to cannibalism.
  • The Great Contract

    The Great Contract was the centerpiece of the financial reforms :
    - The king would receive a fixed sum
    - Some MPs feared the King would be financially independent and not call Parliament anymore.
    - The house of Commons refused to vote in favor of the Great Contract leading to James I dismissing Parliament.
  • King James’ Bible

    New English translation of the Bible
  • Period: to

    The Thirty Year’s War

  • James I summons a parliament to ask money for war.

    James i summons a parliament to ask for money for war. Parliament wanted to wage war at sea instead of favoring a direct military attack on the Spanish forces, this led to James dissolving Parliament.
    Three years after, the 1624 Parliament accepted to finance the war on Spain.
  • Petition of Rights

    Members of the Parliament requested the King ( Charles I ) to recognize the illegality of some of his doings. They also wanted him ( the King ) to recognize that there were limits to his powers. Charles reluctantly signed it.
  • Three Resolutions

    Three Resolutions
    MPs passed the Three Resolutions. It declared that whoever tried bringing in “Popery or Arminianism” or tried to alter protestant forms of the Church of England was an enemy of the Kingdom as well as anyone advising the King to collect custom duties without Parliament’s consent.
    This was an act of open defiance which led to Charles imprisoning those MPs and dissolving parliament. Eventually, this started the “Personal Rule”
  • Period: to

    The Personal Rule

    Historians called it “The Eleven Years Tyranny”, those eleven years were spent with the King ruling by himself without calling a parliament.
  • Period: to

    The Scottish Crisis

    Scotland was Calvinist and the introduction of the New Prayer Book ( The Book of Common Prayer ) set Scotland aflame. The changes that were brought were deemed unacceptable and the riot soon turned into a widespread rebellion known as the Bishops’ Wars.
  • Irish Rebellion

    Irish Catholics rebels rose up against protestant settlers. Rumeurs circulated about Irish atrocities. It was said that 200 000 protestants were massacred which fueled the anti-catholic sentiment in England.
  • Militia Act

    Parliament passed that act saying the army should be placed under the control of a general appointed by Parliament which took away the King’s ability to appoint whoever he wanted.
  • The Grand Remontrance

    Document voted by Parliament. It summarized all the wrong doings of Charles I and concluded on “revolutionary” demands :
    - Right for house of commons to choose the King’s ministers.
    - Right for parliament to control army sent to Ireland.
    - Right for Parliament to reform the Church.
    This text divided Parliament into two groups. The Parliamentarians ( in support of the parliament ) and the Royalists ( in support of the King ).
  • Charles I marched into the house of commons

    Charles I believed that John Pym and 4 other MPs were plotting against the Queen. He wanted to impeach them but Parliament refused so he marched into the House of Commons with troops and attempted to arrest them himself.
  • Period: to

    English Civil Wars

  • Charles I declared war on Parliament

    Charles I declared war on Parliament
    Few months after attempting to arrest the MPs, the king officially declared war on Parliament.
  • The New Model Army

    The New Model Army
    A new army created by Parliamentarians. This was a national centralized army.
  • Battle of Naseby

    Was a turning point for the war as it saw the Royalist forces weaken.
  • The King and Royalists surrendered.

  • Charles surrendered to the Scots

  • The New Model Army seized the King

    Thinking the war was over, the House of Commons decided to disband the New Model Army BUT without paying the soldiers. This led to mutiny and the New Model Army seized the King.
  • Agreement of the people

    Issued by the army, it stated that there was no authority above Parliament. Now there was elections.
  • The King escaped from army custody and allied himself with the Scots

    He promised to introduce Presbyterianism/Calvinism into England, in return, the Scottish army would invade England and restore him to power. It horrified Parliament and led to the second civil war.
  • Pride’s Purge

    Colonel Pride ( army ) entered the House of Commons, stopped the vote and arrested the 45 conservative leader MPs. The remainder MPs ( the Rump Parliament ) put the King on trial for high treason.
  • Monarchy and the House of Lords is abolished, England is declared a Commonwealth ( republic )

  • Period: to

    The Interregnum

  • Period: to

    The Commonwealth

    The regicide of the King was wrongly received and it was reinforced by Royalist propaganda describing the King as a martyr. In 1649, a law abolished monarchy and the House of Lords was abolished. The House of Commons had supreme authority, England was declared a Commonwealth ruled as a Republic.
  • Execution of King Charles I

    Execution of King Charles I
  • Blasphemy Act

    Blasphemy Act
    The Quaker ( Quakers are a sect that denied that the Bible was the word of God ) James Nayler who imitated the Christ’s entry into Jerusalem was harshly punished.
  • The Instrument of Government

    The Instrument of Government
    England’s first and only written constitution
  • Cromwell dissolved the Rump parliament.

    Cromwell dissolved the Rump parliament.
    He ordered the MPs to leave. The next parliament was called “The Barebones Parliament” but because of internal tensions, it dissolved.
  • End of the Commonwealth and start of the Protectorate

  • Period: to

    Cromwellian protectorate

    The protectorate was a military dictatorship ( similar o a monarchy without a King ). Cromwell appointed Lord Protector. A parliament of 460 MPs has to be elected every 3 years. The Council of State composed of 13 to 21 members who served for life.
  • Death of Cromwell

    Death of Cromwell
    His son, Richard, became Lord Protector but resigned after six months which led to a period of anarchy. There was 7 governments in less than a year. People longed for a return to order, increasing support for monarchy.
  • Charles II issues the declaration of Breda

    It promised a general amnesty, to continue religious toleration and to share power with Parliament in return for the restoration of monarchy. It worked as the King was restored.
  • Period: to

    Early Restoration

  • Period: to

    Clarendon Code

    Series of laws passed during the first 5 years of restoration. It was repressive towards non conformists and dissenters ( groups who lived their faith separate from the Anglican Church, except Catholics )
  • The Restoration

    The Restoration
    The king was restored after the declaration of Breda.
  • Act of Uniformity

    All ministers had to swear to conform to the book of common prayer.
  • Period: to

    Outbreak of Plague + Great fire of London

    Outbreak of Plague : 1665
    Great Fire of London : 1666 Increasing hostility towards Charles II and his court ( drunkenness, mistresses ). He was nicknamed the “Merry Monarch”
  • Popish Plot

    Popish Plot
    Rumor of a plot organized by the French to ;ruder Charles II and replace him by his Catholic brother James II.
  • Period: to

    The Exclusion Crisis

    Parliament attempted to debar James II from the succession to the English throne. Charles dissolved Parliament.
  • Death of Charles II

  • Glorious Revolution

    Glorious Revolution
    There was a fear of Catholic absolutism reinforced by the fact that James tried to enforce toleration of Catholic worship. Many were afraid of a reversal to the dark times of the civil wars. Some hoped that since James was old and didn’t have a male heir, his daughter Mary would soon succeed him but in 1688, James’ second wife gave birth to a son —> a Catholic heir and a threat to protestantism and Parliament’s powers.
  • The Bill of Rights

    The Bill of Rights
    • Listed King James’ misdeeds
    • Fixed limitations of the sovereign’s powers
      • Parliament had to consent to new laws
      • Parliament gained control over finances and over the army.
    • Set out rights of Parliament
    • Set out basic civil rights
    • A key political text
  • Act of settlement

    Act of settlement
    It ensured a Protestant succession, ignoring dozens of Catholic heirs. It put an end to the 16th and 17th quarrel between King and Parliament. A new balance of Powers in favor of Parliament.
  • Act of Union between England and Scotland.

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