Timeline of Top Tudor Events

Part of the The Tudors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A lot can happen in 118 years. Here is a list of events that were important both at the time of the Tudors and for what they meant for the future.

  • 1485: Henry Tudor invades and defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth and is crowned king Henry VII.

  • 1486: Henry and Elizabeth marry; Prince Arthur is born.

  • 1487: Lambert Simnel invades from Ireland, and is defeated at Stoke; the Wars of the Roses end.

  • 1492: Treaty of Etaples with France.

  • 1493: Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the Crown, emerges in Ireland.

  • 1496: Scots invade England in support of Warbeck.

  • 1497: Cornish rebellion; Warbeck captured.

  • 1501: Arthur and Catherine of Aragon marry.

  • 1502: Arthur dies.

  • 1503: Elizabeth of York dies; Prince Henry and Catherine are betrothed; James IV and Margaret – Henry VII’s daughter – marry.

  • 1509: Henry VII dies and Henry VIII ascends; Empson and Dudley are arrested; Henry and Catherine marry.

  • 1511: Henry joins the Holy League against France.

  • 1513: Battle of Flodden; James IV dies; English victory at Tournai; Thomas Wolsey rises in Henry’s service.

  • 1514: Peace with France; Louis XII marries Mary – Henry’s sister.

  • 1516: Wolsey becomes a cardinal; Bessie Blount becomes Henry’s mistress; Princess Mary is born.

  • 1518: Wolsey sets up the Treaty of London and gets temporary universal peace.

  • 1519: Charles V becomes holy Roman emperor. Illegitimate Henry Fitzroy is born.

  • 1520: Henry meets Francis I of France at the Field of Cloth of Gold; Henry meets Emperor Charles V; Mary Boleyn becomes the king’s mistress.

  • 1521: Henry orders the execution of the duke of Buckingham and writes a book on his Catholic beliefs.

  • 1522: War with France; Henry ends his relationship with Mary Boleyn.

  • 1527: Henry starts divorce proceedings against Catherine.

  • 1529: Wolsey fails to find a solution to Henry’s divorce and Henry fires him.

  • 1532: Henry sleeps with Anne Boleyn, who becomes pregnant.

  • 1533: Henry marries Anne; Archbishop Cranmer declares Henry’s first marriage null; Act in Restraint of Appeal severs ties to Rome; Elizabeth is born.

  • 1534: Parliament passes the First Succession Act and the Treasons Act.

  • 1536: Catherine dies; Dissolution of the Monasteries; Act of Supremacy; Pilgrimage of Grace; ‘Silken Thomas’ revolts in Ireland; the English Bible is approved; Henry marries Jane Seymour.

  • 1537: Prince Edward is born; Jane dies.

  • 1539: Act of Six Articles.

  • 1540: Henry marries and divorces Anne of Cleves; Thomas Cromwell falls; Henry marries Catherine Howard.

  • 1542: Treaty with the emperor; war with Scotland.

  • 1543: Treaty of Greenwich betroths Prince Edward to Mary Queen of Scots; Henry marries Catherine Parr.

  • 1544: War with France; attack on Scotland; fall of Boulogne.

  • 1545: England defeats a potential French invasion; Mary Rose sinks.

  • 1546: The Howards fall; Henry makes his will.

  • 1547: Henry VIII dies; Edward VI – aged 9 – becomes king; duke of Somerset forms the protectorate; war with Scotland; Act of Six Articles is repealed.

  • 1549: Act of Uniformity; first Book of Common Prayer issued; rebellions in Devon and Norfolk; Somerset falls; war with France.

  • 1550: Peace with France; earl of Warwick becomes lord president of the Council.

  • 1552: Second prayer book issued.

  • 1553: Edward VI dies; Jane Grey reigns briefly; Mary succeeds and returns to the old ways in religion.

  • 1554: Sir Thomas Wyatt rebels; Mary marries Philip II of Spain; England and Rome are reunited.

  • 1555: Mary starts burning Protestants; Mary’s pregnancy is false.

  • 1557: War with France.

  • 1558: England loses Calais; Mary and Cardinal Reginald Pole die; Elizabeth becomes queen with William Cecil as secretary of state.

  • 1559: Protestant religious settlement by the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity; Protestants revolt in Scotland.

  • 1560: English intervene in Scotland, resulting in the Treaty of Edinburgh; Elizabeth flirts with Lord Robert Dudley, whose wife, Amy Robsart, dies in suspicious circumstances.

  • 1562–1563: England’s intervention in France fails; Treaty of Troyes.

  • * 1567: Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned and her husband, Lord Darnley, murdered.

  • 1568: Mary Queen of Scots arrives in England as a fugitive; John Hawkins fights at San Juan d’Ulloa; England seizes Alba’s pay ships.

  • 1570: Papal bull excommunicates Elizabeth.

  • 1571: Act against papal bulls.

  • 1572: Treaty of Blois with France; massacre of St Bartholomew’s day.

  • 1584: Assassination of William of Orange, leader of the Dutch revolt.

  • 1585: Treaty of Nonsuch with the United Provinces; war with Spain; Drake in the Caribbean.

  • 1586: Babington Plot seals the fate of Mary Queen of Scots.

  • 1587: Drake raids Cadiz.

  • 1588: Spanish Armada is defeated; Robert Dudley dies.

  • 1591: English campaigns in support of Henry IV of France in Normandy and Brittany.

  • 1593: Henry IV becomes a Catholic.

  • 1595: Tyrone’s revolt in Ireland; Drake and Hawkins fail in the Caribbean.

  • 1596: Capture of Cadiz; second Spanish Armada fails due to weather.

  • 1598: William Cecil, Lord Burghley, dies; Peace of Vervins between France and Spain.

  • 1599: The earl of Essex is sent to Ireland and fails in his mission.

  • 1601: The earl of Essex revolts.

  • 1603: Elizabeth dies; Robert Cecil secures the peaceful accession of James VI of Scotland.

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