1486 - Henry VII (Tudor) married Elizabeth of York uniting houses of York and Lancaster.
1487 - Battle of Stoke Field: In final engagement of the Wars of the Roses, Henry VII, defeats Yorkist army "led" by Lambert Simnel (who was impersonating Edward, the nephew of Edward IV, the only plausible royal alternative to Henry, who was confined in the Tower of London).
1496 - Henry VII joins the Holy League; commercial treaty between England and Netherlands.
1497 - John Cabot discovers Newfoundland
1502 - Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, marries James IV of Scotland.
1509 - Henry VIII, becomes king.
1513 - Battle of Flodden Field (fought at Flodden Edge, Northumberland) in which invading Scots are defeated by the English under their commander, 70 year old Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey; James IV of Scotland is killed.
1515 - Thomas Wolsey, Archbisop of York, is made Lord Chancellor of England and Cardinal
1517 - The Protestant Reformation begins; Martin Luther nails his "95 Theses" against the Catholic practice of selling indulgences, on the church door at Wittenberg
1520 - Field of Cloth of Gold: Francois I of France meets Henry VIII but fails to gain his support against Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V
1521 - Henry VIII receives the title "Defender of the Faith" from Pope Leo X for his opposition to Luther
1529 - Henry VIII dismisses Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey for failing to obtain the Pope's consent to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon; Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor; Henry VIII summons the "Reformation Parliament" and begins to cut the ties with the Church of Rome
1530 - Thomas Wolsey dies
1532 - Sir Thomas More resigns over the question of Henry VIII's divorce
1533 - Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn and is excommunicated by Pope Clement VII; Thomas Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
1534 - Act of Supremacy: Henry VIII declared supreme head of the Church of England
1535 - Sir Thomas More is beheaded in Tower of London for failing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1536 - Anne Boleyn is beheaded; Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour; dissolution of monasteries in England begins under the direction of Thomas Cromwell, completed in 1539.
1537 - Jane Seymour dies after the birth of a son, the future Edward VI
1539 - Dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey; buildings torched and looted by king's men; Abbot Richard Whiting is executed by hanging atop Glastonbury Tor.
1540 - Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves following negotiations by
Thomas Cromwell; Henry divorces Anne of Cleves and marries Catherine Howard; Thomas Cromwell executed on charge of treason
1542 - Catherine Howard is executed
1543 - Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr; alliance between Henry and Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) against Scotland and France
1544 - Henry VIII and Charles V invade France
1547 - Edward VI, King of England: Duke of Somerset acts as Protector
1549 - Introduction of uniform Protestant service in England based on Edward VI's Book of Common Prayer
1550 - Fall of Duke of Somerset:; Duke of Northumberland succeeds as Protector
1551 -Archbishop Cranmer publishes Forty-two Articles of religion
1553 - On death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey proclaimed queen of England by Duke of Northumberland, her reign lasts nine days; Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England (to 1558); Restoration of Roman Catholic bishops in England
1554 - Execution of Lady Jane Grey
1555 - England returns to Roman Catholicism: Protestants are persecuted and about 300, including Cranmer, are burned at the stake
1558 - England loses Calais, last English possession in France; Death of Mary I; Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, becomes Queen; Repeal of Catholic legislation in England
1560 - Treaty of Berwick between Elizabeth I and Scottish reformers;
Treaty of Edinburgh among England, France, and Scotland
1563 - The Thirty-nine Articles, which complete establishment of the
1564 - Peace of Troyes between England and France
1567 - Murder of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots, probably by Earl of Bothwell; Mary Queen of Scots marries Bothwell, is imprisoned, and forced to abdicate; James VI, King of Scotland
1568 - Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England and is imprisoned by Elizabeth I at Fotheringay Castle
1577 - Alliance between England and Netherlands; Francis Drake sails around the world (to 1580)
1584 - William of Orange is murdered and England sends aid to the Netherlands; 1586 Expedition of Sir Francis Drake to the West Indies; Conspiracy against Elizabeth I involving Mary Queen of Scots
1587 - Execution of Mary Queen of Scots; England at war with Spain; Drake destroys Spanish fleet at Cadiz
1588 - The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet under Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins: war between Spain and England continues until 1603
1597 - Irish rebellion under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone (finally put down 1601)
1600 - Elizabeth I grants charter to East India Company
1601 - Elizabethan Poor Law charges the parishes with providing for the needy; Essex attempts rebellion, and is executed
1603 - Elizabeth dies; James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England
1604 - Hampton Court Conference: no relaxation by the Church towards Puritans; James bans Jesuits; England and Spain make peace
1605 - Gunpowder Plot; Guy Fawkes and other Roman Catholic conspirators fail in attempt to blow up Parliament and James I.
1607 - Parliament rejects proposals for union between England and Scotland; colony of Virginia is founded at Jamestown by John Smith; Henry Hudson begins voyage to eastern Greenland and Hudson River
1610 - Hudson Bay discovered
1611 - James I's authorized version (King James Version) of the Bible is completed; English and Scottish Protestant colonists settle in Ulster
1614 - James I dissolves the "Addled Parliament" which has failed to pass any legislation
1618 - Thirty Years' War begins, lasts until 1648
1620 - Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the "Mayflower"; found New Plymouth
1622 - James I dissolves Parliament for asserting its right to debate foreign affairs
1624 - Alliance between James I and France; Parliament votes for war against Spain; Virginia becomes crown colony
1625 - Charles I, King of England (to 1649); Charles I marries Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII of France; dissolves Parliament which fails to vote him money
1628 - Petition of Right; Charles I forced to accept Parliament's statement of civil rights in return for finances
1629 - Charles I dissolves Parliament and rules personally until 1640
1630 - England makes peace with France and Spain
1639 - First Bishops' War between Charles I and the Scottish Church; ends with Pacification of Dunse
1640 - Charles I summons the "Short " Parliament ; dissolved for refusal to grant money; Second Bishops' War; ends with Treaty of Ripon; The Long Parliament begins.
1641 - Triennial Act requires Parliament to be summoned every three years; Star Chamber and High Commission abolished by Parliament; Catholics in Ireland revolt; some 30,000 Protestants massacred; Grand Remonstrance of Parliament to Charles I
1642 - Charles I fails in attempt to arrest five members of Parliament and rejects Parliament's Nineteen Propositions; Civil War (until 1645) begins with battle of Edgehill between Cavaliers (Royalists) and Roundheads (Parliamentarians)
1643 - Solemn League and Covenant is signed by Parliament
1644 - Battle of Marston Moor; Oliver Cromwell defeats Prince Rupert
1645 - Formation of Cromwell's New Model Army; Battle of Naseby; Charles I defeated by Parliamentary forces
1646 - Charles I surrenders to the Scots
1647 - Scots surrender Charles I to Parliament; he escapes to the Isle of Wright; makes secret treaty with Scots.
1648 - Scots invade England and are defeated by Cromwell at battle of Preston Pride's Purge: Presbyterians expelled from Parliament (known as the Rump Parliament); Treaty of Westphalia ends Thirty Years' War
1649 - Charles I is tried and executed; The Commonwealth, in which ; England is governed as a republic, is established and lasts until 1660; Cromwell harshly suppresses Catholic rebellions in Ireland
1650 - Charles II lands in Scotland; is proclaimed king.
1651 - Charles II invades England and is defeated at Battle of Worcester; Charles escapes to France; First Navigation Act, England gains virtual monopoly of foreign trade
1653 - Oliver Cromwell dissolves the "Rump" and becomes Lord Protector
1654 - Treaty of Westminster between England and Dutch Republic
1655 - England divided into 12 military districts by Cromwell; seizes Jamaica from Spain
1656 - War with Spain (until 1659)
1658 - Oliver Cromwell dies; succeeded as Lord Protector by son Richard; Battle of the Dunes, England and France defeat Spain; England gains Dunkirk
1659 - Richard Cromwellforced to resign by the army; "Rump" Parliament restored
1660 - Convention Parliament restores Charles II to throne
1661 - Clarendon Code; "Cavalier" Parliament of Charles II passes series of repressive laws against Nonconformists; English acquire Bombay
1662 - Act of Uniformity passed in England
1664 - England siezes New Amsterdam from the Dutch, change name to New York
1665 - Great Plague in London
1666 - Great Fire of London
1667 - Dutch fleet defeats the English in Medway river; treaties of Breda among Netherlands, England, France, and Denmark
1668 - Triple Alliance of England, Netherlands, and Sweden against France
1670 - Secret Treaty of Dover between Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France to restore Roman Catholicism to England; Hudson's Bay Company founded
1672 - Third Anglo-Dutch war (until 1674); William III (of Orange) becomes ruler of Netherlands
1673 - Test Act aims to deprive English Roman Catholics and Nonconformists of public office
1674 - Treaty of Westminster between England and the Netherlands
1677 - William III, ruler of the Netherlands, marries Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York, heir to the English throne
1678 - 'Popish Plot' in England; Titus Oates falsely alleges a Catholic plot to murder Charles II
1679 - Act of Habeas Corpus passed, forbidding imprisonment without trial; Parliament's Bill of Exclusion against the Roman Catholic Duke of York blocked by Charles II; Parliament dismissed; Charles II rejects petitions calling for a new Parliament; petitioners become known as Whigs; their opponents (royalists) known as Tories
1681 - Whigs reintroduce Exclusion Bill; Charles II dissolves Parliament
1685 - James II of England and VII of Scotland (to 1688); rebellion by Charles II's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, against James II is put down
1686 - James II disregards Test Act; Roman Catholics appointed to public office
1687 - James II issues Declaration of Liberty of Conscience, extends toleration to all religions
1688 - England's 'Glorious Revolution'; William III of Orange is invited to save England from Roman Catholicism, lands in England, James II flees to France
1689 - Convention Parliament issues Bill of Rights; establishes a
constitutional monarchy in Britain; bars Roman Catholics from the throne; William III and Mary II become joint monarchs of England and Scotland (to1694), Toleration Act grants freedom of worship to dissenters in England; Grand Alliance of the League of Augsburg, England, and the Netherlands.
Timeline of Britain's Age of Empire