54 - Julius Caesar's second invasion of Britain.
5 - Rome acknowledges Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni, as king of Britain
43 - Claudius' invasion of the island. Caratacus leads British resistance, but is finally defeated in 51.
133 - Julius Severus, governor of Britain, is sent to Palestine to crush the revolt
167 - At the request of King Lucius, the missionaries, Phagan and Deruvian,were
said to have been sent by Pope Eleutherius to convert the Britons to Christianity.
This is, perhaps, the most widely believed of the legends of the founding of Christianity in Britain.
197 - Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain, another claimant to the Imperial throne, is
killed by Severus at the battle of Lyon
208 - Severus goes to defend Britain, and repairs Hadrian's Wall
209 - St. Alban, first British martyr, was killed for his faith in one of the few persecutions
of Christians ever to take place on the island, during the governorship of Gaius
Junius Faustinus Postumianus (there is controversy about the date of Alban's martyrdom. Some believe it occurred during the persecutions of Diocletian, in the next century, although we opt for the earlier dating).
287 - Revolt by Carausius, commander of the Roman British fleet, who rules
Britain as emperor until murdered by Allectus, a fellow rebel, in 293
311 - Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire ends.
312 - Constantine defeats and kills Maxentius at battle of Milvian Bridge;
Constantine realizes Christian God may be a powerful ally and decides to
attempt to co-opt him for his own purposes.
313 - Edict of Toleration proclaimed at Milan, in which Christianity is made legal throughout
314 - Three British bishops, for the first time, attend a continental church gathering,
the Council of Arles.
324 - Constantine finally achieves full control over an undivided empire.
360's - Series of attacks on Britain from the north by the Picts, the Attacotti and the Irish
(Scots), requiring the intervention of Roman generals leading special legions.
369 - Roman general Theodosius drives the Picts and Scots out of Roman Britain
383 - Magnus Maximus, a Spaniard, was proclaimed Emperor in Britain by the island's Roman garrison. With an army of British volunteers, he conquered Gaul and, in 388, occupied Rome itself. However, Theodosius, the eastern Emperor, defeated and beheaded him in July, 388. The net result to Britain was the loss of many valuable troops needed for the island's defense.
388 - Theodosius captures Magnus Maximus and executes him
395 - Theodosius, the last emperor to rule an undivided empire, died, leaving his one
son, Arcadius, emperor in the East and his other son, the young Honorius, emperor
in the West. At this point the office of Roman Emperor changed from a position
of absolute power to one of being merely a head of state.
396 - The Roman general, Stilicho, acting as regent in the western empire during Honorius'
minority, reorganized British defenses decimated by the Magnus Maximus debacle.
Began transfer of military authority from Roman commanders to local British chieftains.
c.398 - Stilicho repulsed an attack on Britain by Picts, Scots and Saxons.
c.400-2 - Troops again moved from Britain, this time by Stilicho for the defense of Italy from
Alaric and the Goths.
c.400-30 - Encouraged by weakening British defenses, Pictish and Irish incursions increased
in frequency and intensity. Threat of Saxon raids caused increased worry among
421 - Honorius issued a decree forbidding any Pelagians to come nearer to Rome than the one-hundredth mile marker.
c.428 - Vortigern authorizes the use of Saxon mercenaries for the defense of island against barbarian attack. This time is known in Latin as the "adventus Saxonum" or the coming of the Saxons. It is sometimes, mistakenly, dated at around AD 447-9.
c.430-50 - Increasing Saxon settlement in Britain. Raids on British towns and cities by Saxons
becoming more frequent.
446 - Second visit of St. Germanus to Britain. Britons appeal to Aetius, Roman governor
of Gaul, for military assistance.
c.455 - Full-scale revolt in progress; Saxon control spreading westward. Vortigern dies.
460 - Mass migration of Britons across Channel to Armorica (later named Brittany). Leader
of Britons named Riothamus.
c.500 - Britons, under "war leader" Arthur, defeat Saxons at Mount Badon. A generation of peace ensues. Corrupt leaders, civil turmoil and public apathy erode Romano-British culture over next fifty years, making Britain ripe for Saxon "picking."
c.500-50 - Spread of Celtic monasticism throughout Europe
563 - Irish monk, St. Columba founds a monastery on island of Iona and begins
conversion of the Picts to Christianity
597 - The Roman brand of Christianity is brought to Britain for the first time by St. Augustine, the missionary sent from Pope Gregory to convert the Saxons. Augustine founded a monastery and the first church at Canterbury, and was proclaimed its first Archbishop.
633 - Mercians under Penda defeat Northumbrians
642 - Mercians under Penda again defeat the Northumbrians
757 - Offa, King of Mercia (to796): he builds Offa's Dyke to keep out the Welsh
779 - Offa, King of Mercia, becomes King of all England
793 - Vikings invade Britain for the first time in a surprise attack on the monastic community at Lindisfarne (Holy Island).
796 - Death of Offa: end of Mercian supremacy in England
802 - Egbert, King of Wessex (to839)
828 - Egbert of Wessex is recognized as overlord of other English kings
839 - AEthelwulf, son of Egbert, King of Wessex (to 858)
844 - Kenneth MacAlpine, King of the Scots, conquers the Picts; founds a unified
858 - AEthelbald, eldest son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex (to 860)
860 - AEthelbert, second son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex (to 865)
865 - AEthelred I, third son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex (to 871)
871 - The Danes attack Wessex; are defeated by AEthelred at Ashdown
886 - Alfred captures London from the Danes
899 - Edward the Elder, King of Wessex (to 924)
901 - Edward the Elder takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons"
913 - Edward the Elder recaptures Essex from the Danes
924 - Athelstan, son of Edward the Elder, becomes king of Wessex and effective
ruler of most of England (to 939)
926 - Athelstan annexes Northumbria, and forces the kings of Wales, Strathclyde,
the Picts, and the Scots to submit to him
937 - Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and
Vikings, and takes the title of "King of all Britain"
939 - Edmund, brother of Athelstan, King of England (to 946)
945 - Dunstan becomes abbot of Glastonbury
946 - Edred, younger brother of Edmund, King of England (to 955); Dunstan is named his
955 - Edwy, son of Edmund, King of England (to 959)
956 - Dunstan sent into exile by Edwy
957 - Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against Edwy
959 - Edgar the Peaceful, younger brother of Edwy, King of England (to 975)
975 - Edward the Martyr, son of Edgar, King of England (to 978)
978 - Edward the Martyr murdered at Corfe Castle; AEthelred II, the Unready (ill-counselled), younger brother of Edward the Martyr, King of England (to 1016)
980 - The Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton
992 - AEthelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy
994 - Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river
Thames and besiege London; bought off by AEthelred
1003 - Sweyn and an army of Norsemen land in England and wreak a terrible
1007 - AEthelred buys two years' peace from the Danes for 36,000 pounds of silver
1012 - The Danes sack Canterbury: bought off for 48,000 pounds of silver
1013 - Sweyn lands in England and is proclaimed king; AEthelred flees to
1014 - The English recall AEthelred II as King on the death of Sweyn; Canute
retreats to Denmark
1015 - Canute again invades England; war between Danes and Saxons
1016 - Edmund Ironside, son of AEthelred II, King of England: he and Canute
divide the kingdom, Canute holds the north and Edmund Wessex; Edmund is assassinated; Canute, King of England (to 1035)
1017 - Canute divides England into four earldoms
1019 - Canute marries Emma of Normandy, widow of AEthelred II
1035 - Death of Canute: his possessions are divided
Harold I, Harefoot, King of England (to 1040)
1040 - Hardicanute, King of England (to 1042); he dies of drink
1051 - Earl Godwin exiled (until 1052): he returns with a fleet and wins back his
1052 - Edward the Confessor founds Westminster Abbey, near London
1053 - Death of Godwin: his son Harold succeeds him as Earl of Wessex
1055 - Harold's brother Tostig becomes Earl of Northumbria
1063 - Harold and Tostig subdue Wales
1064 - Harold is shipwrecked in Normandy; while there, he swears a solemn oath to support William of Normandy's claim to England
1065 - Northumbria rebels against Tostig, who is exiled