The Tudors For Dummies
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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.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Professor David Loades is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wales and has taught history at universities including St Andrews and Durham. He has written many books on the Tudor period and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Mei Trow is a history tutor, lecturer and author who has written numerous historical books on topics ranging from Jack the Ripper to Boudicca. His recent TV work includes Ancient Discoveries and Spartacus for The History Channel.

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