|1457||28 January||Birth of Henry VII|
|1466||11 February||Birth of Elizabeth of York|
|1485||22 August||Henry VII defeats Richard III at Battle of Bosworth|
|16 September||Birth of Katherine of Aragon|
|30 October||Coronation of Henry VII|
|1486||18 January||Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York|
|20 September||Birth of Prince Arthur|
|1487||17 June||Defeat of Lambert Simnel at Battle of Stoke|
|1489||28 November||Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland|
|1491||28 June||Birth of Henry VIII|
|1496||18 March||Birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk|
|1499||28 November||Execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick|
|1501||14 November||Marriage of Katherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur|
|1502||2 April||Death of Prince Arthur|
|1503||11 February||Death of Elizabeth of York|
|8 August||Marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland|
|1509||21 April||Death of Henry VII and accession of Henry VIII|
|11 June||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|24 June||Coronation of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|29 June||Death of Margaret Beaufort|
|1511||1 January||Birth of Henry, Duke of Cornwall|
|1513||16 August||Battle of the Spurs|
|9 September||Defeat of James IV of Scotland at Battle of Flodden|
|1515||22 September||Birth of Anne of Cleves|
|1516||18 February||Birth of Mary I|
|1519||15 June||Birth of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy|
|1520||7 June||Beginning of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|24 June||End of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|1521||17 May||Execution of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham|
|17 October||Pope grants Henry VIII title ‘Defender of the Faith’|
|1533||25 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn|
|1 June||Coronation of Anne Boleyn|
|7 September||Birth of Elizabeth I|
|1534||20 April||Execution of Elizabeth Barton, Nun of Kent|
|1535||6 July||Execution of Thomas More|
|1536||7 January||Death of Katherine of Aragon|
|19 May||Execution of Anne Boleyn|
|30 May||Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour|
|23 July||Death of Henry Fitzroy|
|2 October||Beginning of the Lincolnshire Rising / Pilgrimage of Grace|
|1537||12 October||Birth of Edward VI|
|24 October||Death of Jane Seymour|
|1540||6 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|9 July||Annulment of marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|28 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, execution of Thomas Cromwell|
|1541||27 May||Execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury|
|1542||13 February||Execution of Katherine Howard|
|1543||12 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr|
|1545||19 July||Sinking of the Mary Rose|
|1546||16 July||Execution of Anne Askew|
|1547||19 January||Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey|
|28 January||Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI|
|10 September||Battle of Pinkie Cleugh|
|1548||5 September||Death of Katherine Parr|
|1549||20 March||Execution of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour|
|1552||22 January||Execution of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset|
|1553||6 July||Death of Edward VI|
|10 July||Proclamation of Jane Grey as queen|
|19 July||Overthrow of Jane Grey and accession of Mary I|
|22 August||Execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland|
|1 October||Coronation of Mary I|
|1554||12 February||Execution of Jane Grey|
|25 July||Marriage of Mary I and Philip II of Spain|
|1555||16 October||Execution of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London|
|1556||21 March||Execution of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury|
|1557||16 July||Death of Anne of Cleves|
|1558||17 November||Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I|
|1559||15 January||Coronation of Elizabeth I|
|1587||8 February||Execution of Mary Queen of Scots|
|1588||19 July||First sighting of the Spanish Armada off the English coast|
|29 July||Battle of Gravelines and defeat of Spanish Armada|
|1601||25 February||Execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex|
|1603||24 March||Death of Elizabeth I and accession of James I|
Name: Thomas Cranmer
Title/s: Archbishop of Canterbury
Birth / Death: 2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556 (executed by burning)
Spouse: Margarete Hetzel 1511-1576
Children: Margaret Cranmer 1536-1568 / Thomas Cranmer 1538-1598
Parents: Thomas Cranmer and Agnes Hatfield
Noble Connections: Cranmer was patronised by Anne Boleyn, Queen to Henry VIII. He was close to both Henry VIII and Edward VI, and was instrumental in allowing Jane Grey to take the throne in 1553. Continue reading
This series is based around a troop of actors in Elizabethan London called Westfield’s Men. They begin life as a troop based at a pub, which gives the first book its name ‘The Queen’s Head’. The books give an insight into what the life of actors in Elizabethan London could have been like, both the sharers who had a financial stake in the company and the hired men who hoped that they would continue to have a job.
The main character is the book-holder (a bit like a modern stage manager) called Nicholas Bracewell. Other characters include lead actor Lawrence Firethorn, playwright Edmund Hoode, clown Barnaby Gill, and other members of the company including Owen Elias, George Dart and Nicholas’s love interest, Anne Hendrik. The characters are gradually developed over the course of the books, and we find out more about each of them.
You would think that being constantly in London would get boring, but there are some books that take them on tours of England, and even abroad. I don’t think that these are as good in some ways, but they offer relief from London, for example, ‘The Fair Maid of Bohemia’. Continue reading
Event– Arrest of Anne Boleyn
Location– Greenwich Palace & Tower of London (England)
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn attended the May Day jousts at Greenwich on 1 May 1536. Henry left suddenly without warning and without saying goodbye to Anne. They wouldn’t see each other again.
Anne was with her ladies in her apartments at Greenwich on 2 May 1536 when a delegation from the Privy Council arrived to question her, and then escort her to the Tower of London under arrest. Mark Smeaton, a court musician, had already been arrested and taken to the Tower the day before and had confessed to adultery with Anne, possibly under torture. Henry Norris, Groom of the Stool, arrived at the Tower that morning, and Anne’s brother, George, followed her there just a few hours later.
She was accused of adultery with 5 men, incest with her brother, and plotting the king’s death. She would be condemned to death and executed.
There have been several suggestions as to what led to Anne’s arrest – was it her miscarriage in January 1536? Was it Henry VIII’s newfound love for Jane Seymour? Was it a conspiracy by Thomas Cromwell endorsed by Henry? Was it Anne’s own reckless behaviour?
Paul Friedmann, Anne Boleyn (1884)
Eric Ives, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (1986)
Retha Warnicke, The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn (1989)
Alison Weir, The Lady in the Tower: the Fall of Anne Boleyn (2009)
Event– Marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Location– Grafton House, England
Although the date of the wedding isn’t certain, it is generally accepted that Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville on May Day 1464, at the bride’s home of Grafton Regis, with only a few witnesses, including the bride’s mother, in attendance.
It is said that Elizabeth first met Edward when she went to petition him for the return of her dead husband’s lands. It was said that Edward tried to force himself onto Elizabeth so she threatened to take her own life with a dagger. Edward became so enamoured of her that he married her. Elizabeth bought no dowry or international connections, which would be expected of a Queen of England.
The marriage was significant because it was first time that an English king married a commoner without having a foreign wife first. Not only that, but Edward IV was the first Yorkist king, but the Woodville family supported the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses, and Elizabeth’s first husband, John Grey, had died fighting for the Lancastrians. It was the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville that gave rise to the idea that a commoner could marry a King – this was the idea from which the likes of Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour managed to rise up from ladies-in-waiting to Queens.
Elizabeth and Edward’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married the future Henry VII, and their two eldest sons, Edward and Richard, became the ill-fated Princes in the Tower.
David Baldwin, Elizabeth Woodville (2002)
J.L. Laynesmith, The Last Medieval Queens (2004)
Amy Licence, Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: a True Romance (2016)
Charles Ross, Edward IV (1974)
Event- Execution of Thomas Seymour
Location- Tower Hill, London
Thomas Seymour was executed on Tower Hill in London for high treason on 33 different counts. He was already being watched as he was considered untrustworthy and was openly envious of his brother, the Protector Somerset.
In January 1549 it was alleged that Seymour intended to kidnap his nephew, the young king Edward VI. On 16 January 1549 Seymour broke into the king’s apartments at Hampton Court and shot the king’s spaniel after it barked at him. It has also been suggested that Seymour wrote letters to Princesses Mary and Elizabeth encouraging them to rise up against his brother, the Protector.
The warrant was delayed in its signing, as both Protector Somerset (Seymour’s brother) and King Edward VI (Seymour’s uncle) were reluctant to sign it. Many people couldn’t believe the cruelty of Somerset and the King in signing the death warrant of a man of their own blood.
Possibly the most famous line on Seymour’s death was that uttered by Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I): “this day died a man of much wit and very little judgement”. This wasn’t an exaggeration as Seymour had a way with words from all sources, and wrote poetry, but he doesn’t seem to have understood government, which is possibly why Henry VIII didn’t include him in the regency council for his son.
John Maclean, The Life of Sir Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley (1869)
Linda Porter, Katherine the Queen: the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr (2010)
Chris Skidmore, Edward VI: the Lost King of England (2007)
Alison Weir, Children of Henry VIII (1996)
Episode 1 – Moment of Nostalgia
- Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his wife, Katherine, are separated – later on in the series he has an affair. In reality, there is no evidence that the marriage of the Brandons was unstable, it seems to have been relatively happy.
- On screen, Henry Howard, is shown as being in his mid-forties and calls Katherine Howard his niece. In reality, Henry and Katherine were cousins, and he was actually only in his mid-twenties at this time.
- When Princess Elizabeth meets Katherine Howard she looks around 13/14 years old, but in reality she would only have been around 6/7.
- Henry VIII speaks of the death of the French dauphin just after his marriage to Katherine in 1540, but the dauphin died in 1536.
- Henry VIII is shown condemning Viscount Lisle to death, but he actually died in 1542 when being given news of his release.
- A marriage between Princess Mary and the Duke of Orleans is proposed on screen, but the duke was already married in reality by this point.
- There is no evidence that Anne Stanhope cheated on her husband, the Earl of Hertford, let alone with his brother. This perhaps parallels the supposed affair of Hertford’s first wife with his own father.
This involves examining history within a certain period, i.e. Tudor period 1485-1603 or Victorian period 1837-1901. This could also be by century, for example, looking at the 20th century, or even decade i.e. 1940s. The ways historians divide history down into periods reflect judgments made on the past.
* Sample questions:-
1) How successful were Tudor rebellions between 1485 and 1603?
2) What were the most pivotal events in the Cold War 1945 – 1991 and why?
3) How did England grow into an industrial nation throughout the 19th century?
* Sample literature:-
1) A.N. Wilson, ‘The Victorians’
2) David Loades, ‘The Tudors: History of a Dynasty’
3) Henry Freeman, ‘Roman Britain: a History from Beginning to End’
Geographical history can involve examining history in a particular country, region or city. For example, local history is becoming more popular, like the history of north-east England or the history of Glasgow. Landscapes, weather and the availability of supplies all affect the people who live and work in a particular place. Continue reading
There are several similarities between the 16th century Reformation and the present-day Brexit. The main one seems to be that we British don’t like being told what to do by an organisation that isn’t even based in our country i.e. 16th century Pope in Rome and 21st century European Union in Brussels. As an island, we are separated from mainland Europe by the Channel, and have different concerns to the mainland. It seems prophetic that the British parliament will activate article 50 this year, the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.
The main difference between the Reformation and Brexit is that the Reformation in England happened on the whim of Henry VIII because he wanted a divorce from Katherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. However, Brexit was voted for by the British people in a democratic election. However, both seem to have ignited similar battles between the people – Catholic vs. Protestant in the 16th century and Leave vs. Remain in the 21st century. Continue reading
Event- Coronation of Elizabeth I
Location- Westminster Abbey, London
On this day, 15th January 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey. She acceded to the throne on the death of her half-sister, Mary I, in November 1558. It has often been said that John Dee predicted the date for Elizabeth’s coronation, as being a prophetic day, but this is still debated among historians.
The day before, on her procession from the Tower of London to Westminster, Elizabeth had been faced with several pageants, one of which showed her father, Henry VIII, and mother, Anne Boleyn, together again after the latter’s execution in 1536.
At the coronation itself, it was said that Elizabeth took communion behind a curtain and that few people could tell how Catholic or Protestant the service was. Other historians disagree and claim that Elizabeth left the abbey before communion. She was crowned by Owen Oglethorpe, a junior bishop from Carlisle – the Archbishop of Canterbury was dead and the Archbishop of York claimed to be unwell. On exiting the abbey, she held the orb and sceptre in one hand and the imperial crown in the other.
It was alleged that Elizabeth I spent £16,000 of crown money on her coronation, and the London city fathers also contributed. The people celebrated and Elizabeth kept the hearts of her people throughout most of her reign.
Christopher Haigh, Elizabeth I (2001)
Anne Somerset, Elizabeth I (2002)
David Starkey, Elizabeth (2001)
Alison Weir, Elizabeth the Queen (2009)