Timeline of English history

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This is a timeline of English history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in England and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of England.

Millennia: 1st · 2nd · 3rd

1st century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
55 BC Roman General Julius Caesar invades Great Britain for the first time, gaining a beachhead on the coast of Kent.
54 BC Caesar invades for the second time, gaining a third of the country. These two invasions are known as Caesar's invasions of Britain.


Centuries in 1st millennium: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th

1st century[edit]

Year Date Event
43 Aulus Plautius leads an army of forty thousand to invade Great Britain. Emperor Claudius makes Britain a part of the Roman Empire. This is known as the Roman conquest of Britain.

2nd century[edit]

3rd century[edit]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

7th century[edit]

8th century[edit]

9th century[edit]

10th century[edit]


Centuries in 2nd millennium: 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th

11th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1016 Cnut the Great of Denmark becomes king of all England.
1043 Edward the Confessor becomes king of all England.
1055 The Great Schism/Split of the Roman Catholic Church
1066 Battle of Fulford: English forces were defeated by Norse invaders in northeastern England.
Battle of Stamford Bridge: The remaining Norse under Harald Hardrada were defeated by the bulk of England's army under the command of its king.
Battle of Hastings: England's remaining forces were defeated by invaders from Normandy. This was known as the Norman Conquest, which caused William the Conqueror to be crowned king of England and permanently changed the English language and culture.
1086 Work commenced on the Domesday Book.

12th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1135 The Anarchy began, a civil war resulting from a dispute over succession to the throne that lasted until 1153.
1138 The Battle of the Standard, an engagement in which the English defeated an invading Scottish army led by King David I.[1]
1164 The Constitutions of Clarendon, a set of laws which governed the trial of members of the Catholic Church in England, were issued.
1170 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was assassinated.
1192 Crusades: King Richard I was captured by Austrian Duke Leopold V, Duke of Austria while returning from the Holy Land.
1194 Richard was ransomed and returned to England.

13th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1209 King John was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Innocent III.
1215 The Magna Carta was signed.
1237 The Treaty of York was signed, fixing the border between Scotland and England.
1264 Battle of Lewes: Rebel English barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester defeated King Henry III.
1267 Henry recognised the authority of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in Gwynedd.
1277 England annexed Gwynedd.
1279 The Statute of Mortmain was issued.
1287 Rhys ap Maredudd led a revolt against English rule in Wales.
1294 Madog ap Llywelyn led a revolt against English rule in Wales.
1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge: The Scots, led by William Wallace, defeated the English.

14th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1305 23 August William Wallace was executed by the English on a charge of treason.
1314 23 – 24 June Battle of Bannockburn: Scotland won a decisive victory over England.
1328 1 May The Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, under which England recognised Scottish independence, was signed.
1348 The Black Death arrived in England.
1356 19 September Battle of Poitiers: Second of the three major battles of the Hundred Years' War took place near Poitiers, France.
1373 16 June The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 is signed, forming an alliance between England and Portugal, which is still an active treaty to this day.
1381 May – June Peasants' Revolt: Also called Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England led by Wat Tyler.
1395 The Statute of Praemunire was issued.

15th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1403 21 July Battle of Shrewsbury was a battle waged between an army led by the Lancastrian King, Henry IV, and a rebel army led by Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy from Northumberland.[2]
1415 25 October Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War[a]that occurred on Saint Crispin's Day, near modern-day Azincourt, in northern France.
1455 22 May The start of the Wars of the Roses a civil war for control of the throne of England between the House of York in Yorkshire and House of Lancaster in Lancashire.
1485 22 August Battle of Bosworth Field (Battle of Bosworth): the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York. Richard III, the last Plantagenet king was killed, succeeded by Henry VII.
1487 16 June Battle of Stoke was the decisive engagement in an attempt by leading Yorkists to unseat Henry VII of England in favour of the pretender Lambert Simnel.
1491 28 June King Henry VIII is born in the Palace of Placentia

16th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1513 Battle of Flodden Field: Invading England, King James IV of Scotland and thousands of other Scots were killed in a defeat at the hands of the English.
1521 Lutheran writings begin to circulate in England.
1526 Lord Chancellor Cardinal Thomas Wolsey ordered the burning of Lutheran books.
1533 King Henry VIII severed ties with the Catholic Church and declared himself head of the church in England.
Henry's wife Anne Boleyn gives birth on September 7th to a daughter, Elizabeth, who will become Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.
1534 Henry VIII issued the Act of Supremacy.
Henry VIII issued the Treasons Act 1534.
1535 Thomas More and Cardinal John Fisher were executed.
1536 William Tyndale was executed in Antwerp.
Henry VIII issued the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
1549 Prayer Book Rebellion: A rebellion occurred in the southwest.
1553 The Act Against Sectaries 1553 was issued.
1558 Elizabeth I claims the throne of England and rules until 1603.
1559 The Act of Supremacy 1559 was issued.
1571 The Treasons Act 1571 was issued.
The Act Prohibiting Papal Bulls from Rome 1571 was issued.
1585 The Roanoke Colony was founded in the Americas.
1588 8 August The Spanish Armada was destroyed.
1589 The English Armada (or Counter Armada) was defeated by Spain.
1593 The Act Against Papists 1593 was issued.

17th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1601 Catholic plot against the Earl of Essex Includes some of the plotters from the gunpowder plot
1603 King James VI of Scotland ascends to the English throne, becoming James I of England and uniting the crowns - but not the parliaments - of the two kingdoms
1605 5 November Gunpowder Plot: A plot in which Guy Fawkes and other Catholic associates conspired to blow up King James VI and I and the Parliament of England was uncovered.
1607 14 May Jamestown was founded in the Virginia Colony and was the first permanent English colony in the Americas.
1611 Henry Hudson died.
1618 29 October Walter Raleigh was executed.
1639 Bishops' Wars: A war with Scotland began which would last until 1640.
1640 Long Parliament: The Parliament was convened.
1642 The English Civil War began (see timeline of the English Civil War).
1649 January Trial and execution of Charles I
1649 Interregnum began with the First Commonwealth
1653 - 1659 the Protectorate under the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell and later (1658) his son Richard Cromwell
1659 The Second Commonwealth brings with it a period of great political instability.
1660 Restoration of the monarchy: After a chaotic short revival of the Commonwealth of England, the monarchy was restored in May 1660, after agreeing to the Declaration of Breda, largely through the initiative of General George Monck.
1666 2–5 September Great Fire of London : A major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London.
1688 Glorious Revolution:[3] Also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of James II by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange).
1692-1693 Salem Witch Trials, More than 200 people accused; 20 of which were executed (19 by hanging, 1 being pressed to death). Many accused died in jail awaiting trial.
1694 27 July The Bank of England is founded.

18th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1701 The Act of Settlement 1701, which required the English monarch to be Protestant, was passed.
1702 8 March William III died and was succeeded by Anne.
1704 4 August Gibraltar was captured by a combined Dutch and English fleet under the command of Admiral of the Fleet George Rooke.
13 August Battle of Blenheim: A combined English and Dutch army under the command of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough defeated the French army in Bavaria.
1706 22 July The Treaty of Union was agreed between representatives of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.
1707 The Acts of Union 1707 were passed in the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland, ratifying the Treaty of Union.
1 May
1713 11 April
1714 1 August
1744 An attempted French invasion of southern England was stopped by storms.
1755 15 April
1764
1765 William Blackstone published his first volume of Commentaries on the Laws of England.
1775 19 April
1779
1783 4 September

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1819 16 August Peterloo Massacre: A massacre takes place.
1859 24 November On the Origin of Species is published
1863 10 January The first underground train goes into operation in London.
1870 ? Religious dissenters and women are first allowed to enter the Universities of University of Oxford and Cambridge.

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1912 August Harry Brearley invents Stainless Steel in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
1966 30 July England wins the FIFA World Cup, defeating West Germany in extra time at the original Wembley Stadium.
1982 11 October The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed.
1985 11 May Bradford City stadium fire, the main stand of Valley Parade in Bradford, West Yorkshire catches fire and destroys the whole stadium during a match with 18,000 spectators, 56 die with hundreds suffering serious injury.
1989 15 April Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, a fatal human crush during an FA Cup semi-final kills 96 and injures 766 people.
1996 8–30 June England hosts the UEFA Euro 1996 and reaches the Semi-Final.

21st century[edit]

Ambulances at Russell Square, London after the 2005 bombings
England flags for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the Black Prince statue, City Square, Leeds
Year Event
2003 England wins the Rugby World Cup defeating Australia on their home soil in extra time 20:17.
2004 The population of England reaches fifty million.
2005 A series of co-ordinated terrorist bombings strikes London's public transport system during the morning rush hour, killing more than fifty people and injuring hundreds.
2012 The 2012 Summer Olympics are held in London, hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.[4]
2014 The 2014 Tour de France starts in Yorkshire as part of a special edition.
2015 The Tour de Yorkshire is founded from the success of the 2014 Tour de France which started in Yorkshire for a special one time event.
2017 Westminster Attack: A 52-year-old Muslim convert drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, injuring 50 people, five of them fatally.
Manchester Arena Bombing: A suicide bombing was carried out at Manchester Arena after a concert by American singer Ariana Grande, killing 22 civilians.
London Bridge Attack: A van ran into pedestrians on London Bridge, eight people were killed and 48 were injured.
Grenfell Tower fire: 72 people die in an apartment tower in Kensington, London. the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom since the 1988. Public inquiry is ongoing.
2018 England reaches the semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The game is watched by 23 million people, and becomes the most watched event of the 21st century.
2019 The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire starts in Doncaster and ends in Leeds.
England host the 2019 Cricket World Cup and win the 2019 Cricket World Cup Final.
2020 England will host the finals stage of the UEFA Euro 2020.

See also[edit]

City and town timelines
County timelines

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Anarchy: Battle of the Standard". About.
  2. ^ English Heritage (1995). "English Heritage Battlefield Report: Shrewsbury 1403" (PDF). Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  3. ^ Name of the Glorious Revolution in the languages of Britain and Ireland:
  4. ^ "London 2012 Summer Olympics - results & video highlights". International Olympic Committee. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2019.

Further reading[edit]

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