The Sixteenth Century




catherine of aragon

Catherine of Aragon

October 2- Katherine of Aragon lands in Plymouth Harbour.

November 14- Prince Arthur marries Katherine of Aragon in St Paul’s Cathedral.


April 2- Prince Arthur dies in Ludlow.  He is fifteen.

April-May Owen Tudor, Henry VII’s uncle, dies in Westminster where he is a monk.


February 11- Elizabeth of York dies along, a week later, with her newborn baby daughter called Katherine.  Henry VII withdraws from public view for weeks.

August 1-  Princess Margaret arrives in Scotland to marry James IV of Scotland.  He is thirty.  She is thirteen.

August 8- Princess Margaret Tudor marries King James IV of Scotland.  This is the marriage which seals the Treaty of Perpetual Peace.

November 23- Margaret of Burgundy dies.


January- The de la Pole family attainted in absentia.



Philip of Spain and Juana, Catherine of Aragon’s sister, spend 3 months in England.

Malus Intercursus


League of Cambrai

Proxy marriage of future Charles V to Princess Mary


April 21- Henry VII dies at Richmond Palace of tuberculosis.  His death is kept secret for approximately 44 hours.

April 23- Seventeen-year-old Prince Henry ascends to the throne as King Henry VIII

June 11- Henry marries Katherine of Aragon.

July- Commission of oyer and terminer set up to look at irregularities of Henry VII’s key tax collectors Empson and Dudley.

October 1- Empson charged with treason.


May- Henry appears to have begun an affair with Lady Anne Stafford – Henry’s cousin and also married.  The Duke of Buckingham, Anne’s sister, was furious. He’d allegedly been told by their sister Elizabeth.  Chapuys recorded the scandal.

August 17- Empson and Dudley executed on Tower Hill on charges of treason.


January 1- Catherine of Aragon gives birth to a boy called Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall.

January 11- Henry VIII sets out on pilgrimage to Walsingham

February 5- Prince Henry baptised in Richmond.

February 22- King Henry gives thinks for son in Walsingham unaware that the boy dies on the same day possibly from meningitis.

February 27- Prince Henry buried

May-Henry sends Lord Darcy and 1000 archers to Ferdinand to fight Moors but Ferdinand sent them home.

May- Dudley’s widow Elizabeth married Arthur Plantagenet, Lord Lisle.

November 17- Treaty of Westminster.  Ferdinand and Henry VIII’s treaty for war against France.  An Anglo-Spanish army is to attack Aquitaine.  The plan is that this will lure the French out of Italy and release the pressure on Pope Julius II and the Venetians.



March 20- The Pope stripped King Louis XII of his title “Most Christian King” and his realm of France.  All Henry had to do was take it.

April 1- Henry joined the Holy League against the French in 1511 now he invades. Julius II has promised him France. Marquis of Dorset and troops at Fuentarrabia without supplies and transport whilst Ferdinand invades Navarre – fiasco.

August 28 English decide to leave Spain.  By this time Dorset is unwell.  Ultimately, the blame is placed on him.

November 19- Captains present in Spain are required to present themselves to Henry in order to beg their pardon of the Spanish following an inquiry conducted by Warham.


February- Julius II dies.  He is replaced by Giovanni de medici who becomes Leo X.

May 4- Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk who had been in the Tower since 1506 is executed.

June 29- Henry goes to war in France. Catherine is made regent.

July 21- Henry leaves Calais.

July 25- Henry finally enters enemy territory near Ardres.

August 1- Henry reaches Therounne which is under siege.

August 11- James IV of Scotland declares war on England when his herald Sir William Cumming of Inverallochy arrives in Therounne.

August 16- Battle of Spurs

August 23- Therauanne falls.

September- The Emperor Maximilian (Holy Roman Emperor) requests Henry’s help at the siege of Tournai.  Henry goes to Lille.

September 9- Battle of Flodden.  Catherine who has gathered an army, worn armour and made speeches, disbands her forces and goes to Walsingham to give thanks for the Earl of Surrey’s victory.  Surrey is restored to the Dukedom of Norfolk in recognition of his victory.

October 8- James Banisius reported that Catherine delivered of a son?

November 1- Parliament summoned to meet.  Henry returns home in time for its meeting.

December- Henry VIII ill with small pox.


The Holy League which was formed against the French by Pope Julius II, Maximilian (Holy Roman Emperor), Ferdinand (of Aragon) and Henry VIII is dissolved by Pope Leo X. In Scotland John Knox is born.

January- Catherine of Aragon is recorded as giving birth to a stillborn son

January 9- Anne of Brittany, wife of Louis XII dies.

July 14- Cardinal Bainbridge, the English ambassador in Rome dies – possibly of poison.  Henry requests that Wolsey is made a cardinal in his place.

August 7- Louis XII agrees to pay a million gold crowns in instalments to Henry in return for him not continuing with his claim of the French throne.  The treaty is clinched with the marriage of Princess Mary Tudor, the king’s sister, to the elderly french king.

August 13- proxy marriage between Princess Mary and Louis XII.  She has extracted a promise from her brother that she can marry who she wants next.  She has also renounced her betrothal to Charles of Burgundy.

September 30- Princess Mary, the king’s sister, sets off from Dover for France.

October 9- Louis and Mary officially married at Abbeville Cathedral.

October- the earl of Suffolk, Charles Brandon is sent to France, having promised not to seduce Mary whilst he was there, to negotiate with the french against the Spanish. Louis agreed but wanted  a loan of 200,000 crowns and help to seize the duchy of Milan in 1515.


January 1- King Louis XII of France dies.  He is succeeded by his Francis, Duke of Angouleme.  Mary marries Charles Brandon.

March – Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor write to Wolsey asking him to intercede on their behalf.  Mary reminds her brother of his promise.


January 23- Ferdinand of Aragon dies and is succeeded by his grandson Charles.

February 18- Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon is born.

February 20- Princess Mary baptised.

March 11- Mary Brandon, sister of Henry VIII, gives birth to a son. Henry and Wolsey are godfathers.  Catherine of Aragon is the godmother.


May Day riots. Catherine intercedes on behalf of the apprentices who have run amok in London.


Cardinal Campeggio arrives in England to preach crusade and Henry VIII begins his affair with Bessie Blount.

October 4- Anglo-French treaty Betrothal of Mary to the Dauphin

November 9/10- Catherine delivered of a girl.

December 15- treaty with France ratified.



January- Emperor Maximilian dies.  Charles of Spain becomes the Holy Roman Emperor.

May-  Henry VIII’s court is purged of six gentlemen of the bed chamber.


November- the Duke of Buckingham becomes concerned that someone in his own household is sending false reports of his actions to the king.


April 8- Duke of Buckingham summoned to Greenwich.

May 13- Duke of Buckingham tried for treason. He’d listened to prophecies which said that the king would have no sons and that he would be king.

May 16- Verdict against Buckingham delivered.

May 17- The Duke of Buckingham executed for treason. He hadn’t received any political power even though he’d entertained the king. As a result he resented Wolsey.  There had been rumours that there was a plot to assassinate Wolsey in 1518, Buckingham had railed against the prelate and henry feared that Buckingham was rousing rebellion.  He was refused the opportunity to go to his home on the Welsh borders in 1520


October 1 – Thomas Kendall, Vicar of St. James’ Church, Louth, preached a sermon which is thought to have “affirmed that the church or its faith, or both, were in danger.”

October 2-The commons of Louth, led by shoemaker Nicholas Melton (known afterwards as Captain Cobbler), seized John Heneage, the Bishop of Lincoln’s registrar, as he tried to read out Thomas Cromwell’s commission to the townspeople. The was burned.

October 3 – 3,000 men marched from Louth to Caistor and seized the King’s commissioners who were there to collect the subsidies

October 4 –  Horncastle. Two men – Thomas Wulcey (or Wolsey), one of Cromwell’s men, and Dr Raynes, the chancellor of the Bishop of Lincoln – were murdered by the rebels. Articles of complaint were drawn up by the gentry, Sheriff Edward Dymmoke and his brother, and then presented to the crowd

October 5– The rebels gained support at Towes and Hambleton Hill

October 6 – Rebels at Dunholm.

October 7– The rebels from Horncastle, Louth and other Lincolnshire towns met at Lincoln Cathedral. Some say that there were 10,000 men there and others that there were 20,000.

October 8 – Lawyer Robert Aske called the people of Beverley, Yorkshire together, asking them to be true to “God, the king, the commonwealth” and “to maintain the Holy Church”

October 9 – The rebels of Horncastle sent a list of grievances to the King.

October 10 – Robert Aske had become the leader of the commons in the West Riding of Yorkshire, who were now in rebellion.

October 11 – The King’s herald arrived at Lincoln  and threatened them with the Duke of Suffolk.

October 13 – Lord Darcy reported to Henry VIII that the East Riding, West Riding, North Riding and “all the commons of Yorshire” were “up” in rebellion.

October 20 –  Pontefract Castle held by Lord Darcy yielded to the rebels.

December  3– A  pardon was offered by proclamation  to the rebels.


January 1537 – Rebellion led by Sir Francis Bigod broke out in Yorkshire.



December 8- Henry VIII’s commissioners in Selby.  The abbey is dissolved.  Robert Selby, the last abbot receives a pension of £100 p.a.



November 24- Battle of Solway Moss.

December 8- Mary Stuart born at Linlithgow Palace.

December 14- King James V of Scotland dies.


1 July-  Treaty of Greenwich.  Prince Edward of England is to marry the infant Mary, Queen of Scots. Henry VIII demands that the little queen is to be sent to England.


Mary Queen of Scots

9 September-  Mary Queen of Scots crowned at Stirling

11 December- Treaty of Greenwich repudiated


1544-45 The Rough Wooing (Part 1) and in 1544 Francois, the Dauphin of France is born to Henri II and Catherine de Medici.  He will be Mary Queen of Scots’ first husband.


28 January-  Henry VIII dies.

31 March- King Francois I of France dies. He is replaced by King Henri II.

10 September- The Battle of Pinkie near Musselburgh.  The English defeat the Scots and then attack Edinburgh.


19 July- arrangements made for Mary Queen of Scots to be sent to France. The embarkation date is 29 July.

7 August- Mary Queen of Scots leaves Scotland.  She is five-years-old.

13 August- Mary Queen of Scots arrives at Roscoff.


Mary of Guise visits her children in France.


Mary of Guise is named regent in Scotland.


11 April- betrothal of Francois and Mary Queen of Scots

24 April- Mary Queen of Scots marries Francois the Dauphin in the Notre Dame de Paris.


Mary Queen of Scots and Francois II of France


Princess Elisabeth of France previously engaged to King Edward VI of England becomes engaged to Philip II of Spain. Henri II is injured during a jousting tournament and dies.

10 July- Henri II is buried.

18 September-  Francois crowned king of France.


22 February- Treaty of Berwick between England and Scotland. Lords of the Congregation (Scottish Protestant Lords) should assist the English against the French. In return Elizabeth would assist Lord James Stewart (Mary Queen of Scots illegitimate half-brother) against Mary of Guise and the Scottish Catholic faction.

11 June– Mary of Guise dies in Edinburgh.

6 July- Treaty of Edinburgh completed but Mary Queen of scots refuses to ratify it because she didn’t agree it.

5 December-  Francois II dies of an ear infection that turned into a abscess on his brain.


18 January- Mary Queen of Scots went to Orleans for a service commemorating Francois II.

14 August- Mary Queen of Scots arrives Scotland from Calais – the admiral in charge of her fleet is James Hepburn, Fourth Earl of Bothwell.  It was suggested that she marry Don Carlos of Spain- son of Philip II or Charles IX of France. Neither outcome is politically desirable to Philip II or Catherine de Medici. Scotland is the only viable alternative.


29 July – Mary Queen of Scots marries Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.


9 Mar- Darnley and others murder Rizzio.

19 June- Prince James born in Edinburgh Castle.


10 Feb 1567: Darnley murdered at Kirk o’Field.

15 May 1567: Mary Queen of Scots married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.

15 June 1567: Rebellion in Scotland against Mary and Bothwell forced Mary to surrender.

24 July 1567: Mary forced to abdicate at Lochleven Castle.


2 May 1568: Mary escaped from Lochleven.

13 May 1568: Mary’s army is defeated at the Battle of Langside.

16 May 1568: Mary sailed to England.



Rising of the Northern Earls.

6 Sept 1569:  The Earl of Leicester reveals Norfolk’s plans to marry Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Elizabeth.

1 Oct 1569:  Leicester instructs his brother-in-law, the Earl of Westmorland, not to revolt.


16 April 1570:  Guy Fawkes baptised in the church of St Michael Le Belfrey, York.



January 1572: Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and second cousin to Elizabeth I convicted of treason and attainted  for his role in the Ridolfi plot  

8 May 1572-30 June 1572: Parliament in session. Regality abolished by Act of Parliament.  Hexhamshire becomes part of Northumberland as a consequence.
13 May 1572: Parliament presented its case against Mary, Queen of Scots.  In addition to her claim to the crown, she’d considered marriage to the Duke of Norfolk  and plotted with Roberto Ridolfi who had wanted the Duke of Alba (governor of the Spanish Netherlands) and Philip II of Spain to invade England and Ireland.  Parliament and the Privy Council wanted Mary tried for treason but Elizabeth refused.
 28 May 1572: Bill to exclude Mary from the succession started.  Elizabeth   authorised the execution of the Duke of Norfolk.
2nd June 1572: Thomas Howard, Fourth Duke of Norfolk executed.
August 1572: The Earl of Northumberland beheaded in York.




5 November- the Earl of Shrewsbury wrote to Elizabeth I to inform him of his step-daughter’s secret marriage to Charles Stuart, Earl of  Lennox  at Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire without royal permission.

17 November- Margaret Lennox was ordered to return to London.  She’d vacated her Hackney home to travel to Temple Newsham in Yorkshire.  Charles Stuart was to return to London with his bride (Elizabeth Cavendish).

3 December – Countess of Lennox in Huntington.  She wrote to Leicester and Lord Burghley asking for help.  She sent a second letter to Burghley on the 10th December.

12 December Margaret Lennox arrived in King’s Place, Hackney.

13 December Margaret Lennox appeared before the Privy Council.  Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon in charge of investigation.  No plot to involve Mary Queen of Scots was uncovered and there was no evidence that the marriage was anything other than a young couple falling in inconvenient love.


Oct/Nov – Birth of Arbella Stuart probably at King’s Place, Hackney.

Christmas – Bess of Hardwick gave the queen a cloak of blue satin trimmed with velvet as a New Year’s gift.

8 February 1576-15 March 1576:  Parliament in session


1578: James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell dies in Denmark.  In Hexham the Manor of Hexham is sold by the crown to Sir John Forster.

8 February: Mary Queen of Scots executed at Fotheringhay Castle.

1579: Parish register maintained in Hexham.  Sixteenth century parish registers are sporadic in usage and survival.

16 January 1581-18 March 1581:  Parliament in session.

1586: Margaret Clitheroe pressed to death in York.

2 thoughts on “The Sixteenth Century

  1. Is there any way to find out just how much of a decdent that I am to Queen Anne boylen and i believe Im related through mary not Anne and cousin SirFrancis Bryan?

    • Just by tracking back up your family tree. It’s possible that someone else has already tracked it but not sure where you’d need to look.

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