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Tudor / Stuart Timeline [1558-1603]

[November] Death of Mary I, accession of Elizabeth I. Death of Cardinal Reginald Pole, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Passing of the Act of Supremacy (1 Eliz.I, c 1) and the Act of Uniformity (1 Eliz.I, c 2). The term "Recusant" is applied to those who resist attending Anglican services and fail to accept the state religion. Mass is banned and the 1552 Book of Common Prayer is reinstated. All laymen are required to attend church service once a week.
The first rebellion of Shane O'Neill in Ireland. Publication of the Geneva Bible.
[February] Treaty of Berwick. Elizabeth sends a fleet of ships north to the Firth of Forth under the command of Sir William Wynter [kin to the Wintours of Huddington Court], then calculating international retributions, orders her army to cross the border and engage the French forces at Leith. The French, shaken by the Huguenot Conspiracy, quickly sent envoy's seeking peace.
[July] Treaty of Edinburgh. This agreed that all French troops would be withdrawn from Scotland and that Mary would renounce all claims to the English throne. Francis II and Mary refused to ratify it, but the French King died on 5 December, and his successor, Catherine De Medici [Francis was actually succeeded by his brother Charles IX, but he was a minor], troubled at home, could not continue the backing of Mary, who was left to fend for herself.
[December] Beginning of the recoinage, completed in October 1561.
[August] Mary Queen of Scots returns to Scotland, 1 year after the Scottish Parliament had adopted Calvinism.
[January] The third session of the Council of Trent commences.
[October] Elizabeth almost dies from smallpox.
[April] Birth of William Shakespeare at Stratford-Upon-Avon. In time, he is to become the greatest playwright the English language has known, including in his works Macbeth which many claim has strong allusions to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
John Gerard born at New Bryn, the second son of Sir Thomas Gerard and Elizabeth Port. John who was to eventually become a Jesuit priest is thought to be responsible for informing Lord Burghley and Sir Francis Walsingham of the Babington Plot in 1586. Ironically, his father was one of those arrested for suspicion of complicity, and subsequently spent time in the Tower. Along with Edmund Campion, Gerard is recognised as the leading light in the establishment of the Jesuit order in England.
Mary Stuart marries Lord Darnley, strengthening her claims to the English throne. Darnley is the grandson of Margaret Tudor, the elder sister of Henry VIII, and her second husband, and some would argue next in line to the English throne after Mary.
[June] Birth of James VI of Scotland.
[February] Lord Darnley is murdered by Mary's faction after the two of them had grown quickly apart. Darnley had remained loyal to the Scottish people, but Mary he claimed had turned her back on them. Mary Stuart then marries Lord Bothwell, a vehement Protestant.
[June] The death of Darnley and the marriage to a Protestant turns the country against Mary, and she is captured and subsequently dethroned and imprisoned in Lochleven Castle after her defeat at the Battle of Carberry Hill. Her infant son, James VI, is proclaimed king of Scotland.
[May] Battle of Langside, and Mary Stuart flees imprisonment to Carlisle in England where she is imprisoned by Elizabeth I, thus becoming the catalyst for factional politics in the Privy Council. As long as Elizabeth remained unmarried, Mary was seen as the strongest claimant to the throne in the event of Elizabeth's death.
[September] John Hawkins on his third voyage to the New World, fights the Spanish at San Juan d'Ulloa, where he and a young Francis Drake barely escape with their lives.
[December] The Roman Catholic seminary at Douai is founded by William Allen.
Fitzmaurice Revolt in Ireland.
Anti-Cecil factions in the Privy Council promote the idea of a marriage between Mary, and the Duke of Norfolk. Used as a pawn to secure Mary the accession, and replace Cecil as England's Chief Minister, Norfolk lacked the courage to tell Elizabeth, and in September, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester confessed all he knew. The event is remembered as the Norfolk Conspiracy.
[October] In the aftermath of the Norfolk Conspiracy, the Catholic north of England rises under the Earls of Westmorland (The Neville family) and Northumberland (The Percy family), who object to Elizabeth's seizure of their mines and jurisdictions as well as to her proscription of their faith. However, the Northern Rebellion is easily crushed.
[February] Publication of the Papal Bull "Regnans in Excelsis" by Pope Pius V. The Bull held Elizabeth to be an open, avowed heretic who had broken her solemn promise. She was excommunicated from the Catholic Church and it immediately deposed her from the throne without the usual one year delay from the date of excommunication. The people were hence released from obligation or allegiance to her, and were commanded to flaunt her laws. The Bull was made public in England by John Felton, a Catholic barrister who nailed it to the door of the Bishop of London's residence in a wry parody of Luther. Felton was later executed.
Elizabeth discusses marriage proposals with the Duke of Anjou, but these soon break down. The Subscription Act gives statutory basis for the Thirty-nine Articles.
[September] Roberto Ridolfi, a Venetian Banker, and secret agent for the Pope, who had done business in London since 1555, plans with Don Guerau de Spes to have the Duke of Alba send a force of at least 6000 men along with money and arms for the insurgents in England, land in Portsmouth and march on London, deposing Elizabeth and declaring Mary, Queen of Scots, as Queen. Ridolfi drew in the Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth's cousin, who had planned to marry Mary. Norfolk was discovered sending money to Scotland, and tried on 16 January 1572. Elizabeth continued to postpone his execution but it was finally carried out on 2 June 1572.
[April] The Treaty of Blois is signed, and France becomes England's ally instead of Spain.
[May] Francis Drake begins his first voyage to the New World.
The first seminary priests trained on foreign shores arrive in England.
[December] Archbishop Grindal is ordered to suppress Prophesyings, but refuses and offers his resignation.
[June] Archbishop Grinadal is suspended from his duties.
[November] Execution of the first seminary priest in England, Cuthbert Mayne, on the charge of treason.
[March] Morton resigns as regent, and James VI assumes control of the Scottish government.
[April] Lord Bothwell dies in Denmark.
The English College is founded in Rome.
Arrival of the first Jesuit missionaries in England: Edmund Campion, Robert Parsons and Ralph Emerson, and the beginning of the English Mission.
[July] Edmund Campion is captured along with two other priests at Lyford in Berkshire, in the home of a Mr Yate. Amongst others, he had been harboured by the Treshams of Rushton, the Catesbys of Ashby St. Ledgers and the Vaux of Harrowden. The heads of these families are arrested, tried in Star Chamber and incarcerated.
[December] Campion is executed at Tyburn.
Beginning of the Puritan 'Classical' movement. Publication of Gregory Martin's translation of the Bible, commonly known as the Rheims New Testament.
[August] Ruthven Raid.
[May] Sir Francis Walsingham's spies intercept letters from Mary Queen of Scots to Francis Throckmorton. For six months he follows him until eventually in November he is arrested on charges of plotting with Mary's agent in France, Thomas Morgan, and the Spanish Ambassador Bernadino De Mendoza, based in London. Among Throckmorton's possessions is a list of northern nobility prepared to support the 'Enterprise of England', and safe places where a Spanish invasion force could land.
[September] John Whitgift is confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury.
[May] Francis Throckmorton is tried at the Guildhall. His confession of plotting with the Spanish ambassador in Elizabeth's court, Mendoza, to levy Catholic troops upon the invasion of England by Spain, was he believed insufficient evidence to convict according to the statute of 13 Elizabeth. After it was announced he would not be charged under that statute, but with the crime of treason, he immediately denounced his confession, declaring he had been deceived into confessing at the promise of a pardon. His guilt was nevertheless sealed.
[July] Francis Throckmorton is executed at Tyburn.
Francis Drake's expedition to the West Indies, which results in the burning of Cartagena. Start of the Anglo-Spanish war with both naval forces intercepting and scuttling merchant vessels. This leads to the Treaty of Nonsuch which effectively protected the merchants carrying cargo on the high seas.
[December] Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester leads an expedition to the Netherlands.
[June] Francis Ingilby, a Jesuit priest and uncle to the Gunpowder conspirators Thomas and Robert Wintour, is captured and executed at York Castle.
[August] Father Henry Ballard is captured and, under torture, betrays his friends involved in the Babington Plot. Sir Thomas Gerard is imprisoned in the Tower for suspected complicity in the Babington Plot after a previous attempt at insurrection established him as a known recusant and insurgent. Charged with treason, he remains in the Tower without trial for approximately 18 months when the charges were eventually dismissed and he was freed.
[September] Anthony Babington, Henry Ballard and five others (Chideock Tichbourne, Thomas Salisbury, Robert Barnewell, John Savage, and Henry Donn) are tried in front of a special commission. Babington confesses his own guilt but tries to place all blame for the Plot upon the shoulders of Ballard. All are found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. A further seven conspirators were later tried for complicity in the Babington Plot (Edward Abington or Habington, the brother of Thomas Habington who featured later in the events surrounding the Gunpowder Plot, Charles Tilney, Edward Jones, John Charnock, John Travers, Jerome Bellamy, and Robert Gage).
While in jail awaiting execution, Babington writes to Elizabeth I praying for mercy, and offers 1000 pounds for the procurement of his pardon. The request is rejected, and the following day Anthony Babington is executed "most barbarically"' at Lincoln's Inn Fields.
[October] Sir Philip Sidney dies of wounds received at the Battle of Zutphen.
[February] Execution of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, at Fotheringay Castle.
[April] Drake's raid on Cadiz which results in the destruction of a large number of Spanish ships.
[August] James VI of Scotland marries the Catholic Anne of Denmark by proxy.
[July] The Battle of Gravelines, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. In July, the Spaniards set sail from their homeland with a navy of some 150 ships and 30,000 men. The plan was to sail down the English Channel and meet up with the Duke of Parma in the Spanish Netherlands from where they would invade England. Bad weather, poor Spanish seamanship and superior English naval tactics led to the routing of the Armada, which was under the command of the Duke of Medina Sodonia.
[April] Death of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's chief spy master.
Death of Christopher Marlowe
The Lopez Plot to assassinate Elizabeth is uncovered.
[January] Death of Sir Francis Drake. The Earl of Essex, Robert Devereaux leads an expedition to Cadiz. The second Spanish Armada is destroyed by violent storms.
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, begins his Irish Campaign as Lord Lieutenant, but makes an unauthorised truce with the Irish and returns before the year is out.
[June] Essex is brought to trial on charges of contempt and disobedience, placed under house arrest, he is soon released. By now, there had been an escalation of his feud with Sir Robert Cecil.
[February] Essex Rebellion. On 8 February, Robert Devereux and a large contingent of his supporters marched on the city of London to draw attention to the abuses by certain members of the Privy Council, specifically Robert Cecil. Prevented from entering, their march back to Essex House was also blocked, resulting in violence. Robert Devereux was arrested along with a number of his colleagues, including Robert Catesby, Francis Tresham, Lord Monteagle, and Sir Henry Bromley. Most of the rebels were let off with stiff fines and short spells in prison, but Devereux was tried for treason, and executed on February 25th.
[February] Thomas Wintour arrives at the English College in Rome and lodges there for thirteen days during the Jubilee. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is tried and executed.
[June] Francis Tresham is released from the Tower of London after his initial refusal to pay compensation to Egerton for his 'house arrest' during the Essex Revolt.
Robert Catesby, Lord Monteagle and Francis Tresham dispatch Thomas Wintour to Spain to discuss Catholic support if Spain were to invade England.
[March] Queen Elizabeth I dies, and James VI of Scotland succeeds her as James I of England.
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