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Tudor / Stuart Timeline [1547-1558]

[February] Henry's only son, nine-year-old Edward, is crowned King of England. As Edward is a sickly youth, Henry's will of December 1546 declares that until Edward reaches the age of 18, a council of 16 executors and 12 assistants are to exercise collective executive power. Edward's uncle, the Duke of Somerset, gains support from the council and becomes Protector.
Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. Somerset leads an army across the Scottish border, intent on preventing the consolidation of French influence in Scotland, and to secure the marriage between Queen Mary and Edward, thus unifying the two monarchies.
In the West Country, feelings had run high that radical liturgical change was inevitable now that Henry was dead and Cranmer had repealed the Six Articles. Bands of peasants congregated in arms demanding a return to Catholic practices and a meritorium on religious change until the king comes of age. By July, rioting against landlords had escalated and the men were being ably led by Robert Ket. Eventually royal armies gained superior strength and the Earl of Warwick (John Dudley) recaptured Norwich, routing the rabble. The rebellion soon died, and Ket was captured and executed.
Meanwhile, Somerset had failed to act accordingly, and increasing pressure forced him to attempt to rally his supporters. Warwick gained the support of several key nobles, and after a brief stand-off, Somerset was sent to the Tower. In return for a full confession, he was spared his life, and his Duchy and was eventually released under a surety.
[November] The Protectorate is officially abolished.
For his reward, Warwick was later proclaimed Warden General of the North and granted extensive properties in Northumberland, Yorkshire, and Worcestershire.
[June] In a strange twist, the daughter of the now pardoned Duke of Somerset, Anne, marries Lord Lisle, son and heir of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.
[October] John Dudley, Earl of Warwick is created Duke of Northumberland. Hungry for power, he begins to misappropriate royal revenue, and eventually tamper treasonably with the statutorily established succession.
[September] Convinced that Somerset does not wish to play second fiddle, Northumberland has him arrested.
[January] Somerset is executed for treason.
In February the king develops pulmonary tuberculosis, and alters the devise to allow the succession of the first born son of either Jane Grey or her sisters, excluding his sister's legal rights.
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer writes the Forty Two Articles, which become the beliefs of the Church of England.
[May] Jane Grey marries Guildford Dudley, the son of the Earl of Northumberland, and the weakening king is persuaded to devise the throne to Jane.
[July] Edward VI dies, and 3 days later Lady Jane Grey becomes Queen. Jane's reign lasts a mere 9 days, and she is then deposed by Mary Tudor who had been gathering support in Norfolk, and had failed to be apprehended by Northumberland. "Bloody Mary" as she is called, attempts to return the country to the Catholic faith.
[October] Parliament meets and repeals the savage Treason Act of Northumberland's government, passes an act declaring the queen legitimate, another for the restitution of the Mass in Latin, though without penalties for non-conformity, and another for the celibacy of the clergy.
Execution of Lady Jane Grey.
[January] Philip Wyatt and 4000 men from Kent rise against Mary's attempts to return England to Catholicism. The people of London were convinced of Mary's fidelity, and Wyatt was defeated. Believing Elizabeth to be behind the plot, Mary has her imprisoned in Woodstock Palace.
[March] Protestant Earls plot to overthrow Mary and have her replaced with Elizabeth because of her impending marriage to a foreigner, Charles V's son Philip. The Earls of Suffolk and Devon, and three or four of England's leading landowners plan to have Elizabeth married to Devon (descended from the Fortescue's and great-nephew of Henry VI) and then depose Mary. At the last minute Devon backs out and the planned uprising never results.
Death of Ignatius Loyola. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Henry VIII and Edward VI, is burnt at the stake.
The Smithfield Fires. Mary's lack of an heir was viewed by her to be a sign of divine displeasure that heretics (Protestants) still practised in England, so the fires at Smithfield began. 277 Protestants were killed for their faith.
Death of Mary I. She is succeeded by her half-sister, Elizabeth.
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