Chronology of Political and Literary Events in Early Medieval England 1150-1350


The Norman Conquest

1066 - 1204

The norman Conquest meant that England would be bound up in French affairs for a long time. The French King Phillip II invades and conquers Normandy. Most of the Normans in England decide to stay and become English. Most of the Normans in France become French. The Normans themselves effectively cease to exist.

Willian the Conquerer

1066 - 1087

William Rufus

1087 - 1100

Henry I

1100 - 1135

Hugues de Payens founds order of Knights Templar

1118 - 1312

Order abolished in 1312

Terrible anarchic days of the futile Stephen

1135 - 1153

Turmoil over the throne between Matilda (daughter of Henry I) and Stephen

Henry II

1153 - 1189

Henry II vs. Louis VII

1167 - 1168

Quarrel results in forbidding English scholars access to learning in France.

Richard I, Couer de Lion

1189 - 1199

The Owl and the Nightengale


1794 line debate poem speculated to have been written by Nicholas of Guildford sometime between the death of Henry II (1189) and the accession of Henry III (1216)

Layamon's Brut


First treatment of Arthurian material in English; verse chronicle, written sometime between 1199 and 1225

John Lackland

1199 - 1216

Cambridge University founded in England


Ormulum or Orrmulum


On paleographic grounds, dated c. 1210, but date lacks provenance. Homilectic work containing 20,152 lines: these extant lines represent only about an eighth of the complete text as envisioned by the author; the rest may have been lost of never written.

Magna Charta


Henry III

1216 - 1272

Dominican Friars come to England


Franciscan Friars come to England


Henry III issues proclamation in English


Edward I

1272 - 1307

Great Parliament of 1295


Knights and burgesses from English shires and towns summoned. First representative parliament.

Edward I deposes John Balliol from Scottish throne


Battle of Cambuskenneth


Scottish patriot William Wallace defeats English Army

Battle of Falkirk


Edward I defeats Wallace and reconquers Scotland

Execution of William Wallace


Robert Bruce leads Scottish rebellion, becomes King of Scotland


Edward I dies on march north to crush Bruce


Edward II

1307 - 1327

Battle of Bannockburn


Robert Bruce defeats Edward II and makes Scotland independent

The Harley Lyrics 2253


Collection of poems containing mixed lyrics (secular and religious) thought to be composed in the early 14th century, though date is contestable.

Treaty of Northampton


Acknowledged Robert Bruce as King of Scotland and abolished feudal ties between England and Scotland.

The Hundred Years War

1338 - 1453

The Black Death

1348 - 1350

Killed off from one third to one half of the population