English History Timeline


Wars of the Roses

1455 - 1487

social + financial troubles after Hundred Years' War, civil war between Houses of Lancaster and York

Henry VIII

1509 - 1547

Henry VIII publishes Defense of the Seven Sacraments


henry - early and active critic of Luther, pope rewards henry with the title of Defensor Fidei

Creation of the Anglican Church


Act of Succession


passes succession to protestant leader

Act of Supremacy


places king as head of English church

Dissolution of the Monasteries


Henry VIII - disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries - appropriated their income, disposed of their assets - decline of religion

Elizabeth I

1558 - 1603

Defeat of the Spanish Armada

August 8, 1588

Spanish Armada defeated under command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake - Queen Elizabeth I

James I

1603 - 1625

Gunpowder Plot

November 5, 1605

Guy Fawkes & other Catholic associates conspire to blow up James VI and I and Parliament

Charles I

1625 - 1649

Petition of Right

June 7 1628

no taxation without representation (consent of Parliament), due process of the law, quartering of soldiers in private homes - breaks king's hold on absolute monarchy

Bishop's Wars

1639 - 1640

Charles issues prayer book , Jenny Geddes organizes riot, Charles forced to call Parliament for the first time in 11 years, war w/ Scotland due to religious differences

Long Parliament

1640 - 1660

follows 11 year parliamentary absence

Triennial Act


Parliament meets for at least a 50 day session once every 3 years

Bishops Exclusion Act

February 5 1641

bishops of the Church of England excluded from the House of Lords

Grand Remonstrance

December 1, 1641

list of grievances presented to king Charles I - reassertion of Parliament's historical rights

English Civil War

1642 - 1651

Rump Parliament


Parliament after Long Parliament was purged of political dissenters (those opposed to Grandee's intention to try King Charles I for high treason)

Charles II

1649 - 1651

Trial and Execution of Charles I

January 1649

The Protectorate

1653 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector

Barebones Parliament


last attempt of the English Commonwealth to find a stable political form before the installation of Oliver Cromwell - after Cromwell breaks the act of Forcible Dissolution by dissolving parliament, calls it a "republic" -> protectorate, cromwell becomes lord protector

English Restoration


return of King Charles II - rules w/ Parliament, but Catholic

James II and VII

1685 - 1688

Glorious Revolution

1688 - 1689

purges Charles II - new leaders - William and Mary

English Bill of Rights


sign English Bill of Rights - separation of powers, limits powers of monarchs, enhances democratic election, bolsters freedom of speech

Treaty of Utrecht

11 April 1713

ends War of Spanish Succession - Louis XIV can install his nephew in Spain but the two kingdoms could not combine through inheritance

Mary Wollstonecraft

1759 - 1797

Spinning Jenny


James Hargreaves

Water Frame


Richard Arkwright - use water frame to power, only needs human being to supervise

Steam Engine


most fundamental advance in technology - shifts from dependence from animal/plant fuel to fossil fuel

Spinning Mule


Samuel Crompton - update on Arkwright's water frame - allows for thinner thread to be spun so fabric can be softer, pliable, and lighter

Power Loom


Edmund Cartwright - weaving

Factory Acts

1802 - 1819

banned employment of children under the age of 9, limited labor for children from 9-16 to 12 hours a day, stipulated that children were to receive instruction in reading and arithmetic during working hours

Battle of Trafalgar

October 21, 1805

fought between British Royal Navy and French/Spanish Navies

Corn Laws

1815 - 1846

imposed restrictions and tariffs on imported grain - keep grain prices high to favor domestic producers - focus of opposition from urban groups who had less political power than rural Britain

Industrial Revolution reaches Britain


textile industry - after Napoleonic blockade is gone

Peterloo Massacre

August 16, 1819

cavalry charges into crowd of 60,000-80,000 who gathered to demand reform of parlaimentary representation -sends a shock through the political elite of Britain - political fork in the road - more draconian, authoritarian, repressive or liberalisation and reform

Reform Bill of 1832


changes British electoral system - disenfranchised rotten boroughs, enfranchise places like manchester, expands franchise to upper middle class


1837 - 1901

Chartist Movement

1838 - 1848

ordinary working class & middle class people who wanted the Peoples Charter to be adopted (equal electoral districts, abolition of property qualifications for members of Parliament, universal manhood suffrage, annual parliaments, vote by ballot, payment of members of Parliament)

Ten Hours Act


restricted working hours of women and young persons to 10 hours a day in textile mills

The Great Exhibition


world's first industrial fair - housed at Kensington in London in the Crystal Palace - displayed Great Britain's industrial wealth

Neville Chamberlain

18 March 1869 - 9 November 1940

Education Act


universal education - framework for schooling of all children between ages of 5 and 12

World War I

1914 - 1918

World War II

1939 - 1945

Winston Churchill

1940 - 1945

Joins European Union

1 January 1973

Margaret Thatcher

1979 - 1990