By Tim Lambert

1485 Henry VII becomes king

1491 Henry VIII is born

Henry VIII


Henry VII dies. Henry VIII becomes king.

Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon

1511 The Mary Rose is launched

1513 The English win the battle of Flodden against the Scots

1533 Henry divorces Catherine of Aragon. He marries Anne Boleyn

1534 Henry VIII makes himself head of the Church of England


The Pilgrimage of Grace. (An uprising in the North of England).

Anne Boleyn is beheaded

Henry marries Jane Seymour

1536-1540 Henry VIII closes the monasteries

1537 Jane Seymour dies

1540 Henry marries Anne of Cleves but quickly divorces her

Henry marries Kathryn Howard


The battle of Solway Moss. The English defeat the Scots.

Kathryn Howard is beheaded

1543 Henry marries Catherine Parr

1545 The Mary Rose sinks


Henry VIII dies. Edward VI becomes king.

The Duke of Somerset is made Lord Protector


An Act of Uniformity imposes a Book of Common Prayer

The Duke of Northumberland becomes Lord Protector

1552 The Duke of Somerset is executed

1553 Edward VI dies. Mary becomes queen.

1554 Lady Jane Grey is beheaded


Queen Mary persecutes Protestants. Nearly 300 people are burned to death for heresy.

Elizabeth I

1558 Queen Mary (also known as 'Bloody Mary') dies. Elizabeth I becomes queen.


Tudor House Museum in Southampton

C. 1560 to C. 1640

'The Great Rebuilding'. Stone and brick replace most wooden houses. Chimneys and glass windows become common.

1564 Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare are born

1570 The Pope excommunicates Queen Elizabeth

1573 The architect Inigo Jones is born

1576 The first theatre opens in London

1577-1580 Francis Drake sails around the world

1583 The Throckmorton Plot, a Catholic plot to murder Queen Elizabeth is foiled

1586 The Babington Plot, a Catholic plot to murder Queen Elizabeth is foiled

1587 Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded.

1588 The Spanish Armada is defeated

1592 An Englishman named John Davis discovers the Falklands

1593 Christopher Marlowe is killed

1596 Francis Drake dies

1603 Queen Elizabeth dies

A timeline of English history

Life in 16th century England

A brief biography of William Shakespeare

A brief biography of Christopher Marlowe

A brief biography of Queen Elizabeth