It’s been said that you don’t need to know any dates to pass a GCSE History exam but quite frankly without chronology and some grasp of the important dates its just a series of stories. A vital concept in physics is the space-time continuum – they’re also rather important for the study of history and the evolution of all those tangled political, social and economic webs! So, and this final sentence is specifically from my granddaughters who are studying History at GCSE, please learn the dates below…. I will be checking!
Elizabeth was born on 7 September 1533.
She was bastardised in 1536 when her mother, Anne Boleyn, was found guilty of adultery and executed. 1536 was the year of the three queens – Catherine, or Katherine, of Aragon died; Anne was executed and Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. Oh yes, and Thomas Cromwell started shutting down small monastic houses and there was a revolt – The Pilgrimage of Grace which saw things get rather nasty in 1537 when Henry VIII stamped his authority on the places that objected to the closure of monasteries and changes to religious belief.
1544 Third Act of Succession identifies Elizabeth’s place in the order of succession – Edward, Mary, Elizabeth.
1553 Mary becomes queen after Edward VI’s death and the nine days when John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland tries to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne having married her to his youngest son Guildford Dudley. Life becomes very difficult for Elizabeth who is Mary’s heir but is Protestant. Mary is trying to turn back the cloth to Catholicism.
1558 Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth I
1562 Elizabeth licences sailors as privateers – they attack Spanish shipping and she takes a share which helps treasury finances.
1568 Mary Queen of Scots flees Scotland, crosses the Solway Firth and arrives in Workington. She spends the next 19 years in captivity but is also the focus for Catholic plotting.
1569 The Northern Rebellion – involving the Duke of Norfolk, and the earls of Westmorland and Northumberland.
1570 Pope Pius V excommunicates Elizabeth I
1571 Treason Act makes it illegal to deny Elizabeth I is queen.
1572 The Ridolfi Plot
1570s increased number of Jesuit Priests arriving in England.
1583 The Throckmorton Plot
1584 Murder of William of Orange (Protestant leader of the Dutch by a Catholic assassin). The Bond of Association
1585 Official start of the Anglo-Spanish War which will continue intermittently until 1604. Elizabeth sends the Earl of Leicester with an army to the Low Countries to fight the Spanish.
1586 The Babington Plot
8 February 1587 Mary Queen of Scots executed at Fotheringhay.
1587 Drake goes with a fleet to Cadiz which he burns to slow down the launch of Philip II’s invasion fleet.
1588 The Spanish Armada – the English victory was celebrated by the Armada Portrait pictured at the start of this post – although the weather was what really did for the Spanish.