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Sixteenth Century Timeline (1500 to 1599)

1510: “Everyman”, the morality play is performed for the first time.

1512: Trinity House formed to make seafaring around coast safer.
Hugh Latimer is ordained as a priest.

1513: Battle of Flodden on the 9th September.

1514: Thomas More was introduced to King Henry the Eighth by Thomas Wolsey and became Master of Requests.

1515: Cardinal Wolsey is made a Cardinal in Westminster Abbey and created Lord Chancellor.

1516: Thomas More wrote “Utopia”.

1518: Cardinal Wolsey becomes a  Papal Legate.

1520: Kings Henry the Eighth of England and Francis the First of France meet at the Field of Cloth of Gold in June.
Pope Leo the Tenth makes King Henry “Defender of the Faith” for his opposition to the teachings of Martin Luther.
Birth of William Cecil on the 13th September.

1521: Cardinal Wolsey presides over the burning of Lutheran books in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

1525: Christ Church College, Oxford is  founded by Thomas Wolsey. King Henry takes permanent accommodation at Hampton Court Palace.
The New Testament is printed in English by William Tyndale.

1526: The King debases the amount of silver in coinage for the first time.

1529: Anne Boleyn turns against Cardinal Wolsey during the King’s Divorce and is forced to surrender the Great Seal of Office.

1530: Death of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey on the 29th November.

1534: Hugh Latimer defended King Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
In the Act of Supremacy King Henry is created supreme head of the Church of England.

1535: Hugh Latimer is made Chaplain to Anne Boleyn.

1535-39: The Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Death of Sir Thomas More on the 6th July.

1536: The Pilgrimage of Grace.
Execution of William Tyndale.

1536-43: Union of England and Wales.

1538: Parish registers are first started in England.

1539: Criminal Court founded at Old Bailey. Dissolution of the Greater Monasteries Act is passed.

1540: Birth of Sir Francis Drake. First official horse race meeting takes place near Chester.

1541: John Knox sermons mark the official beginning of the Reformation in Scotland.

Era of King Edward the Sixth (1547-1553)

1547: William Cecil is present at The Battle of Pinkie on 10th September.
Passing of the Vagrant Act meant that any able bodied tramp could be treated as a slave.

1548: Mary Queen of Scots leaves for France.

1549: William Cecil was sent to the Tower of London but was released on bail.
The English Book of Common Prayer, written by Thomas Cranmer is made official by the Act of Uniformity.

1550: Nicholas Ridley becomes Bishop of London.
First imports of the potato from the New World.

1552: William Cecil is appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.

1552/3: Birth of Edmund Spenser.

Era of Lady Jane Grey (1553)

1553: The Lord Mayor of London proclaims Mary the First as the rightful Queen of England on July 18th and Lady  Jane Grey abdicates voluntarily.

Era of Queen Mary the the First (1553-1558)

1554: Lady Jane Grey is executed after a plot to keep her on the throne fails.
Birth of Sir Walter Raleigh.
(Jan-February) Wyatt’s Rebellion.

1555: Execution of Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer at Oxford on 16th October after being tried as heretics.

1558: England loses Calais to the French.
John Knox writes “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.”

Era of Queen Elizabeth the First (1558-1603)

1561: Birth of Sir Francis Bacon on the 22nd January.

1564: Birth of Christopher Marlowe on the 26th February.
Birth of William Shakespeare on the 23rd April.

1565: The Royal Exchange is formed.

1567: Francis Drake sailed on the ship “Judith” to the Gulf of Mexico.

1571: Foundation of Harrow School.
William Cecil becomes Lord Burghley.

1572: Birth of John Donne on the 22nd January.
Birth of Ben Jonson on the 11th June.
Influx of the first Protestant Huguenots into Britain from France.
Birth of Inigo Jones on the 19th July.

1576: The first proper theatre is built in Shoreditch, London.

1577: Francis Drake sails on the “Golden Hind” but fails to find a north west passage.

1578: Birth of Willliam Harvey on the 1st April.

1579: Edmund Spenser is employed by Robert Dudley, the Karel of Leicester.

1580: Francis Drake becomes the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and is knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Walter Raleigh is sent to Ireland to put down an uprising.

1583: Walter Raleigh founds Virginia in the New World (North America).

1584: Francis Bacon takes up his seat in Parliament.

1585: Walter Raleigh brings home potatoes and tobacco from America.
The composer Thomas Tallis dies.

1586: Minister Sir Francis Walsingham uncovers the Babbington Plot to kill Queen Elizabeth in which Mary Queen of Scots was implicated.

1587: Christopher Marlowe works on “Tamburlaine the Great”.
Mary Queen of Scots is executed at Fotheringay Castle.

1588: Birth of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes on the 5th April.
During July and August Francis Drake takes part in defeating the Spanish Armada.

1589: Edmund Spenser returns to England with Walter Raleigh and presents his “The Fairie Queen” to Queen Elizabeth.

1592: John Donne is admitted to Lincoln’s Inn Fields as a lawyer.
Christopher Marlowe writes “Doctor Faustus”

1593: Death of Christopher Marlowe on the 30th May.

1594: William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is performed at Gray’s In.

1595: William Shakespeare writes “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

1596: Death of Francis Drake on the 28th January.
William Shakespeare performs “The Merchant of Venice.”

1598: Death of William Cecil on the 15th August.
Ben Jonson’s second known play “Every Man in His Humour” was performed at the Globe Theatre in London with William Shakespeare in the cast.

1599: Death of Edmund Spenser on the 13th January.
Birth of Oliver Cromwell on the 25th of April.

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