Timeline of English history
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.
This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
1st century BC
|55 BC||Roman General Julius Caesar invaded Great Britain for the first time, gaining a beachhead on the coast of Kent.|
|54 BC||Caesar invaded for the second time, gaining a third of the country. These two invasions are known as Caesar's invasions of Britain.|
Centuries: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th
|43||Aulus Plautius led an army of forty thousand invading Great Britain. Emperor Claudius makes Britain a part of the Roman Empire. This is known as the Roman conquest of Britain.|
- c. 120
- Town centre of Wroxeter redeveloped.
- Governor Gnaeus Julius Verus suppresses a revolt by the Brigantes.
- Antonine Wall overrun.
- Fire destroys much of central St Albans.
- Antonine Wall abandoned. Governor Sextus Calpurnius Agricola rebuilds forts along Hadrian's Wall.
- 5,500 conscripted Sarmatian cavalry stationed in northern Britain.
- Northern tribes breach Hadrian's Wall and ravage the countryside.
- Governor Ulpius Marcellus launches punitive campaigns to the north.
- Marcellus forced to retreat to Hadrian's Wall.
- Roman army in Britain mutinies. Helvius Pertinax appointed as governor, and suppresses mutiny.
- Caracalla leads an expedition against the rebellious Maeatae tribe.
- 4 February - Severus dies at York, while preparing another expedition against the northern rebels.
- Caracalla, now Emperor, abandons territory north of Hadrian's Wall, and returns to Rome.
- c. 214
- c. 220
- Construction of forts along the Saxon Shore begins in response to increased raiding.
- Stone walls built around St Albans.
- Postumus' Gallic Empire is reabsorbed into the Roman Empire under Aurelian.
- Britannic Empire 286-296
- Mausaeus Carausius takes power in Britain and proclaims himself Emperor.
- Carausius defeats Emperor Maximian in a naval battle.
|368||Great Conspiracy: A year-long series of raids by the Picts and Saxons began, which forced the Roman abandonment of Hadrian's Wall and caused the death of their military commander Fullofaudes.|
|383||Romans began to withdraw from Great Britain.|
|410||Picts from the north, Gaels from the west and the Saxons, who had been a nuisance to the Romans for 50 years, attacked the unprotected British Celts.|
|449||The Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians began to occupy Great Britain. Led by Hengist. (Marks the beginning of Old English)|
|500||Beginning of Heptarchy (Seven kingdoms Kent, Essex, Sussex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia, and Northumbria.)|
|597||Saint Augustine of Canterbury arrived in England to begin the conversion of the English, by baptizing King Ethelbert of Kent, thus introducing the influence of Latin.|
|664||The Synod of Whitby aligned the English with Roman rather than Celtic Christianity. (How to celebrate holidays such as Easter and perform practices within the Church.)|
|716||Æthelbald becomes King of Mercia, marking the beginning of that kingdom's ascendancy over the other Saxon realms.|
|730||The venerable Bede produced the ecclesiastical history of the English people.|
|757||Offa becomes King of Mercia, to rule until 796.|
|787||The Scandinavian invasion began with raids along the northeast sea coast.|
|793||Vikings raided Lindisfarne.|
|825||Battle of Ellendun: King Egbert of Wessex defeats the Mercians, ending the Mercian Supremacy.|
|842||Vikings raid London, Rochester, and Southampton.|
|878||Battle of Ethandun: A Viking defeat took place which would result in the Treaty of Wedmore and the establishment of the Danelaw.|
|895||A Danish fleet was captured by Alfred the Great.|
|910||5 August||Battle of Tettenhall|
|927||Æthelstan unites the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy into the Kingdom of England.|
|937||Battle of Brunanburh|
|980||Vikings begin a new wave of raids on England.|
|991||10 August||Battle of Maldon: Danes defeat the English army. Payment of Danegold.|
|1016||Cnut the Great of Denmark becomes king of all England.|
|1043||Edward the Confessor becomes king of all England.|
|1054||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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|1305||William Wallace was executed by the English on a charge of treason.|
|1314||Battle of Bannockburn: Scotland won a decisive victory over England.|
|1328||The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, under which England recognised Scottish independence, was signed.|
|1348||The Black Death arrived in England.|
|1356||Battle of Poitiers: First of the three major battles of the Hundred Years' War took place near Poitiers, France.|
|1381||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.|
|1392||The Statute of Praemunire 1392 was issued.|
|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.|
|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.|
|1485||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||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.|
|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.|
|1529||King Henry VIII severed ties with the Catholic Church and declared himself head of the church in England.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|1618||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||Second Commonwealth 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: 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).|
|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||The Kingdom of Great Britain came into being.|
|1713||11 April||Signing of the Treaty of Utrecht ends the War of the Spanish Succession.|
|1714||1 August||Queen Anne dies. Accession of George I, Elector of Hanover.|
|1719||Battle of Glen Shiel: A Spanish invasion force and their Jacobite allies were defeated.|
|1744||An attempted French invasion of southern England was stopped by storms.|
|1755||Samuel Johnson published his A Dictionary of the English Language.|
|1764||The Castle of Otranto was written, which was the first ever story classed as a gothic horror story.|
|1775||19 April||American War of Independence begins.|
|1779||The world's first iron bridge was built in Shropshire.|
|1783||4 September||American War of Independence ends with Treaty of Paris.|
|date||event||1805||Naval Battle of Trafalgar 21st October.|
|1807||The Slave Trade Act 1807 was passed.|
|1815||Napoleonic Wars: The Napoleonic Wars ended.|
|1819||Peterloo Massacre: A massacre took place.|
|1825||The Stockton and Darlington railway, the world's first public passenger railway, opened.|
|1829||The Catholic Relief Act 1829 was passed.|
|1832||The Great Reform Act was passed, doubling the franchise.|
|1834||The New Poor Law was passed.|
|1838||The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 entered into force.|
|The Chartism movement began.|
|1842||The first peacetime income tax was introduced.|
|1846||The Corn Laws were repealed.|
|1848||The Communist Manifesto was published.|
|The Chartism movement ended.|
|1859||On the Origin of Species was published|
|1863||The first underground train went into operation in London.|
|1867||The 1867 Reform Act doubled the franchise.|
|1868||The last public execution was carried out.|
|1870||The Education Act 1870 was passed, introducing universal education.|
|Religious dissenters and women were first allowed to enter the Universities of University of Oxford and Cambridge.|
|1880||The Elementary Education Act 1880 was passed, making primary schooling compulsory and extending it to girls.|
|1884||The Reform Act 1885 was passed.|
|1896||The Daily Mail was first published.|
|1914||4 August||World War I: Great Britain declares war on Germany.|
|1918||11 November||World War I ended.|
|1936||5–31 October||The Jarrow March protest.|
|1939||3 September||British entry into World War II.|
|1945||8 May||World War II ended in Europe.|
|1948||5 July||The National Health Service came into being.|
|1952||6 February||Death of King George VI. Accession of Queen Elizabeth II (beginning of second Elizabethan era).|
|1965||24 January||Death of Winston Churchill.|
|1966||30 July||England wins the FIFA World Cup.|
|1973||1 January||Joined European Union.|
|1982||11 October||The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed.|
|1994||6 May||The Channel Tunnel opened.|
|2004||The population of England reaches fifty one million.|
|2005||7 July||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||25 Jul - 12 Aug||London hosts the Olympic Games for the third time.|
|2015||9 September||Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning UK monarch.|
|2016||23 June||The United Kingdom votes to leave the EU.||2016 13 July. Theresa May becomes second female Prime Minister.|
- City timelines
- Timeline of Bath, Somerset
- Timeline of Bradford
- Timeline of Bristol
- Timeline of Cambridge
- Timeline of Derby
- Timeline of Exeter
- Timeline of Hull
- Timeline of Leicester
- Timeline of Liverpool
- Timeline of London
- Timeline of Norwich
- Timeline of Nottingham
- Timeline of Plymouth
- Timeline of Southampton
- County timelines
- Palmer, Alan & Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 20–22. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "Journey Beyond the Edge of the Known World: Making The Eagle". Focus Features.
- British History Timeline, BBC
- Palmer, Alan & Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 22–24. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "The Anarchy: Battle of the Standard". About.
- English Heritage (1995). "English Heritage Battlefield Report: Shrewsbury 1403" (PDF). Retrieved 22 Aug 2011.
- Name of the Glorious Revolution in the languages of Britain and Ireland:
- Acts of Union 1707 parliament.uk, accessed 13 September 2011
- Making the Act of Union 1707 scottish.parliament.uk, accessed 13 September 2011
- England – Profile BBC, 13 September 2011
- The Creation of the United Kingdom of great britain in 1707 Historical Association, accessed 13 September 2011
- George Henry Townsend (1867), "England", A Manual of Dates (2nd ed.), London: Frederick Warne & Co.
- Charles E. Little (1900), "Great Britain and Ireland", Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, New York: Funk & Wagnalls
- Benjamin Vincent (1910), "England", Haydn's Dictionary of Dates (25th ed.), London: Ward, Lock & Co.