By Tim Lambert


6 January 1540

Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves

7 January 1536

Catherine of Aragon died

15 January 1559

Queen Elizabeth I was crowned

16 January 1547

Ivan the Terrible was crowned Tsar. He was the first man to have the title tsar.

18 January 1486

Henry VII married his wife Elizabeth. Fireworks were used to celebrate the wedding, the first time fireworks were recorded in England.

19 January 1547

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was beheaded for treason. Henry VIII died 9 days later.

23 January 1571

Queen Elizabeth I opened the Royal Exchange in London

25 January 1533

Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn

28 January 1547

King Henry VIII died. On the same day in 1596 Francis Drake died.


1 February 1550

Scottish mathematician John Napier was born

3 February 1480

The explorer Ferdinand Magellan was born. On 3 February 1488 Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias landed in what is now South Africa having sailed past the southern tip of Africa

7 February 1478

Thomas More was born

8 February 1587

Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded

11 February 1466

Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII was born

12 February 1554

Lady Jane Grey was executed

On 13 February 1542 Catherine Howard the wife of Henry VIII was beheaded for treason

Bess of Hardwick died on 13 February 1608. She was one of the great women of the 16th century. She rose to be very rich. She was also 80 when she died, which was very old for that era.

On 16 February 1547 Henry VIII was buried in St Georges Chapel in Windsor

Queen Mary Tudor was born on 18 February 1516

Nicolaus Copernicus the man who realised the Earth orbits the Sun was born on 19 February 1473

On 20 February 1547 King Edward VI was crowned

On 25 February 1570 Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope

The playwright Christopher Marlowe was baptised on 26 February 1564


On 6 March 1558 Magellan discovered the island of Guam

Amerigo Vespucci the great explorer was born on 9 March 1454. On 9 March 1562 Naples banned kissing in public in the hope that it would slow the spread of the plague.

On 10 March 1535 Tomes de Berlanga discovered the Galapagos Islands

On 15 March 1493 Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from his first voyage to the New World

On 17 March 1521 Magellan reached the Philippines

Henry VIII's sister Mary was born on 18 March 1496

On 21 March 1556 the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was burned as a heretic under Queen Mary

Queen Elizabeth I died on 24 March 1603

On 27 March 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida

King Francois I of France, arch enemy of Henry VIII died on 31 March 1547


William Harvey the doctor who discovered the circulation of the blood was born on 1 April 1578

Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII died on 2 April 1502. His brother Henry was next in line for the throne and later became Henry VIII.

On 11 April 1554 Thomas Wyatt was beheaded for leading a rebellion against Queen Mary

Thomas Cromwell was made chancellor of England on 12 April 1532

Guy Fawkes was born on 13 April 1570

On 21 April 1509 Henry VIII became king of England

On 22 April 1500 a Portuguese named Pedro Cabral discovered Brazil. He claimed Brazil for Portugal.

On 23 April 1616 William Shakespeare died.

William Shakespeare was baptized on 26 April 1564. We don't know the exact date of his birth but in the 16th century it was normal for babies to baptized within a few days of their birth (because so many died).

Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines on 27 April 1521

On 29 April 1587 Francis Drake led a raid on Cadiz. He succeeded in destroying many Spanish ships.

On the evening of 30 April 1517 a riot began in London. Perhaps 6% of the population of London were foreigners. Many people feared that foreigners were taking the livelihoods of Englishmen. A riot began and houses of foreigners were ransacked (though there is no evidence anyone was killed). Early in the morning of 1 May soldiers quelled the riot. 13 of the ringleaders were hung, drawn and quartered. Henry VIII pardoned the rest. It became known as Evil May Day.


On 2 May 1536 Anne Boleyn was arrested and sent to the Tower of London

On 6 May 1527 Rome was sacked by troops of the Holy Roman Emperor

On 16 May 1532 Thomas More resigned as chancellor

On 19 May 1536 Anne Boleyn was beheaded

On 20 May 1498 a Portuguese named Vasco Da Gama reached India by sea

The artist Albrecht Durer was born on 21 May 1471. He is famous for his woodcut illustrations.

On 29 May 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople ending the Byzantine Empire and beginning their conquest of southeast Europe.

On 30 May 1536 Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. Sadly she later died after giving birth, which often happened in those days because of their lack of knowledge of hygiene.

The great playwright Christopher Marlowe was stabbed on 30 May 1593


On 7 June 1494 Spain and Portugal divided the world between them by the treaty of Tordesillas. All newly discovered land on one side of a line belonged to Spain. On the other side it belonged to Portugal.

On 9 June 1534 Jacques Cartier became the first European to discover the St Lawrence River in Canada

On 11 June 1509 Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon

King James I was born on 19 June 1556. He was the first monarch to rule Scotland and England.

On 24 June 1497 John Cabot discovered Newfoundland

The future Henry VIII was born on 28 June 1491


Thomas More was beheaded on 6 July 1535

On 8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama set sail on his voyage to India

On 10 July 1553 Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen of England. She lasted only 9 days and was later beheaded.

On 12 July 1543 Catherine Parr married Henry VIII

Anne of Cleves died on 16 July 1557

Thomas Cromwell was beheaded on 28 July 1540


On 3 August 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic hoping to find a passage to Asia

On 22 August 1485 Henry Tudor won the battle of Bosworth. Subsequently he became King Henry VII.

Ivan the Terrible was born on 25 August 1530


Catherine Parr died on 5 September 1548

Elizabeth I was born on 7 September 1533

On 9 September 1513 the English totally defeated the Scots at the battle of Flodden. The Scottish king was killed.

On 10 September 1547 the English totally defeated the Scots at the battle of Pinkie

On 12 october 1492 Columbus reached the Bahamas

On 14 September 1544 the English entered Boulogne. We held it until 1550.

On 18 September 1502 Christopher Columbus sighted Costa Rica

On 20 September 1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail on a voyage around the Earth. Magellan was killed on the voyage but some of his men made it.

Anne of Cleves fourth wife of Henry VIII was born on 22 September 1515

Miguel de Cervantes was born on 29 September 1547. He is famous for his novel Don Quixote.


On 4 October 1535 an English version of the Bible by Miles Coverdale was printed

On 6 October 1536 the bible translator William Tyndale was strangled and burned

On 11 October 1521 the Pope gave Henry VIII the title 'defender of the faith'. Henry later broke with the Pope but he kept the title. Well done Henry.

Edward VI, son of Henry VIII was born on 12 October 1537. He became king in 1547. Sadly he died in 1553 when he was only 15.

Jane Seymour died on 24 October 1537 shortly after giving birth to the future Edward VI

On 30 October 1485 Henry VII the first Tudor king was crowned

On 30 October 1534 the English parliament passed the Act of Supremacy making Henry VIII head of the English church


On 1 November 1512 the Sistine Chapel opened to the public

Martin Luther was born on 10 November 1483

On 14 November 1501 Catherine of Aragon married Prince Arthur, older brother of the future Henry VIII. Sadly Arthur died shortly afterwards.

On 15 November Thomas Wolsey was made a cardinal

On 17 November 1558 Elizabeth I became queen when her half sister Mary died

On 23 November 1499 pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck was hanged

On 24 November 1542 the English totally defeated a much larger Scottish army at Solway Moss

On 25 November 1485 Elizabeth of York wife of Henry VII was crowned queen of England

Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII was born on 28 November 1489. In 1503 she married the king of Scotland.

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died on 29 November 1530


Mary Queen of Scots was born on 8 December 1542

On 13 December 1577 Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on his journey around the world

The great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was born on 14 December 1546

On 14 December 1542 Mary Queen of Scots became queen of Scotland although she was only 6 days old

Catherine of Aragon was born on 16 December 1485

Henry VIII was excommunicated by the Pope on 17 December 1538