History of English Language Evolution / Arantxa Flores



500 B.C

Celts inhabit much of Europe, and beginning to colonize the British Isles

Roman withdrawal

410 B.C - 436 D.C

Roman withdrawal from Britain

First Roman

55 B.C

First Roman raids on Britain under Julius Caesar

Roman occupation

43 A.D

Roman occupation of Britain under Emperor Claudius (beginning of Roman rule of Britain)

Earliest Old Enlgish inscriptions

450 D.C - 480 D.C


450 D.C - 999 D.C

Anglo Saxon settlement

450 D.C

Anglo Saxon settlement (Angles, Frisians, Saxons, Jutes) of Britain begins

St. Augustine arrives in Britain

597 D.C

St. Augustine arrives in Britain (beginning of Christian conversion of the Anglo- Saxons)

Anglo Saxon language covers most of England

600 D.C

Anglo Saxon language covers most of modern-day England


792 D.C

Viking raids of Britain begin


800 D.C

Old English epic poem Beowulf is composed

Alfred the Great becomes the King

871 D.C

Alfred the Great becomes the King of Wessex, encourages English prose and translation of Latin works

Charles II of France grants Normandy

911 D.C

Charles II of France grants Normandy to the Viking chief Hrolf the Granger (the beginning of Norman French)


1000 D.C - 1400 D.C

The Norman conquest

1066 D.C

The Norman Conquest under William the Conqueror

Doomsday Book

1086 D.C


1100 D.C

London becomes the facto capital of England

Oxford University

1167 D.C

Oxford University established

Lost of Normandy

1204 D.C

King John loses the province of Normandy to France

Cambridge University

1209 D.C

Cambridge University established

The Black Death

1349 D.C - 1450 D.C

The Black Death kills one third of the British population

Translation of the BIble

1384 D.C

John Wycliffe publishes his English translation of The Bible

Henry IV

1399 D.C

Henry IV becomes the first-English speaking monarch since before the Conquest

Vowel change

1450 D.C

The Great Vowel Shift begins

English Renaissance

1500 - 1670


1500 - 1700

The Great Bible

1539 D.C

William Shakespeare

1590 D.C

William Shakespeare writes his first plays


1607 D.C

Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World, established.

William Shakespeare's Death

1616 D.C

First Newspaper

1622 D.C

Publication of the First English-Language newspaper, the "Courante" or "Weekly News"

William Shakespeare's Works

1623 D.C

First Folio of William Shakespeare´s works is published.

Publication of the first daily English- Language Newspaper

1702 D.C

Publication of the first daily English- Language Newspaper, "The Daily Courant", in London.

Dictionary of the English Language

1755 D.C

Samuel Johnson publishes his "Dictionary of the English Language"


1760 D.C - 1990 D.C

Canada is owned by France

1763 D.C

Britain wrests control of Canada from the French

Last Native SPeaker of Celtic died.

1777 D.C

Last native speaker of the Celtic Comish language died

Trouble between US and Britain

1782 D.C

George Washington defeats Cornwallis at Yorktown and Britain abandons its American colonies

British Penal Colony

1788 D.C

British Penal Colony established in Australia

The Times

1788 D.C

First publication of "The Times" newspaper in London

South Africa

1795 D.C

First English settlement at the Cape of Good Hopes, South Africa

Lewis & Clark

1804 D.C

Lewis and Clark document exploration of routes to American West

Abolition of Slavery

1834 D.C

Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire

British colony established in New Zeland

1840 D.C

Oxford English Dictionary


First edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is published

India and Pakistan's Independence

1947 D.C

India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain

Second Edition of th Oxford English Dictionary

1989 D.C