1550

 

Mar  -  Treaty of Boulogne 
The war between England and Scotland and France was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Boulogne. The English withdrew from Scotland.

1553

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Expedition to find a north-east passage  
Episode: The Great Explorers
Explorers Hugh Willougby and Richard Chanellor took several ships and sailed in a north-easterly direction via Scandinavia in an attempt to find a route to China. The attempt failed and Willougby's frozen remains were found the next year by Russian fishermen.

Jun  -  Change to Edward VI's will 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
Edward signed a change to his earlier will or 'devise' and nominated Lady Jane Grey as heir to the English throne. The change was orchestrated by the Duke of Northumberland and Sir John Gates. Lady Jane Grey had married the Duke's son Guilford Dudley a few months earlier and the will initially stated that Janes's male heirs would be next in line. This was altered when is was seen the Edward would die before she had children so that Jane herself could become Queen.


Jul  -  Mary gathers support 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
At Kenninghall Manor in Norfolk Mary called for support against the Duke of Northumberland and Lady Jane Grey. Large numbers of supporters gathered around her with supplies and weapons.

Jul 6  -  Death of Edward VI 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace as the age of 15.

Jul 10  -  Lady Jane Grey proclaimed Queen 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
The Duke of Northumberland proclaimed that his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey was the next monarch of England. Jane was moved to the Tower of London. Although Northumberland controlled London many of the town's people supported Mary's claim to the throne.

Jul 17  -  Northumberland's final move 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
The Duke of Northumberland and a army of some 3,000 men travelled to Cambridge in an attempt to stop Mary. Moving on to Bury St. Edmunds the Duke came up against a much larger army supporting Mary. Accepting defeat, Northumberland was arrested and taken back to London to be held in the Tower.

Aug 3  -  Mary arrives in London 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
Mary Tudor arrived at London to a huge welcome. Entering through Aldgate she was met by Elizabeth, Anne of Cleves and many others. Mary quickly ordered the release of her supporters that had been locked up at the Tower of London. The Duke of Northumberland and his supporters were placed in the Tower to await trial and execution.

Sep 8  -  Elizabeth attends mass 
Mary and Elizabeth disagreed strongly over religion. Elizabeth refused to attend any Catholic ceremony including the one that Mary had arranged after the death of Edward. Eventually Elizabeth agreed to attend a mass but when the day came she pretended to be ill and only took part under protest.

Oct 1  -  Mary Tudor crowned 
Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen
The coronation of Mary Tudor took place at Westminster Abbey. Mary became the first true Queen of England. In the past, Matilda and Lady Jane Grey had come close but neither had ever been crowned.

Dec  -  Elizabeth returns leaves court 
Issues over religion and succession to the throne became too much for Elizabeth and she requested that she could leave court and return to Hertfordshire and to Hatfield (or Ashridge). Mary granted her request against the advice of her ministers who suspected Elizabeth was preparing to remove Mary from the throne.

1554

 

 -  Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt 
Several groups around the country were unhappy with the proposal of marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain. In Wales a group was led by Sir James Croft. In Devon another group was led by Sir Peter Carew. The Duke of Suffolk was in Leicestershire, but it was only Sir Thomas Wyatt from Kent who managed to get a force together.

Jan 12  -  Queen Mary receives marriage embassy 
A Spanish embassy arrived at the Court of Queen Mary with a formal offer of marriage to Philip of Spain.

Jan 26  -  Elizabeth summonsed to court 
Queen Mary sent a letter to Elizabeth asking her to come to London. This was, Mary said, for her own protection because to the rebels threatening to prevent the marriage of Mary to Philip of Spain. Mary could have been unsure of Elizabeth's involvement in the plots against her and it was best to keep Elizabeth close where she could be watched.

Feb 7  -  Wyatt arrested 
Sir Thomas Wyatt and this followers reached London but he was to learn that the other groups of rebels around the country had been defeated and their leaders arrested. The entrance into London was blocked by the Londoners whose support for Mary was higher than the rebels. After a short fight the rebels were defeated leaving many dead and Wyatt was captured. on 11th of April 1554. Elizabeth was also held in the Tower for a while as it was suspected she was involved in the plots because she would have benefited if they had succeeded.

Apr 11  -  Wyatt executed 
Sir Thomas Wyatt was executed at Tower Hill for leading the rebellion against Queen Mary. Wyatt denied that Elizabeth had been involved in any part of rebellion.

Jul 20  -  Philip lands at Southampton 
With marriage arrangements well under way Philip II of Spain landed at Southampton. He then travelled to Winchester where the marriage was to take place.

Jul 25  -  Marriage of Queen Mary and Philip II of Spain 
The marriage of Queen Mary and Philip of Spain took place. The marriage was conducted at Winchester Cathedral.

1555

 

Sep  -  Philip leaves England 
Philip II left England and travelled back to Brussels to see his father Charles. Charles was suffering from premature aging due to his excessive lifestytle and was preparing to abdicate from his duties as King of Spain and retire.

1556

 

Jan 16  -  Philip of Spain becomes King 
Philip of Spain became King of Spain upon the death of his father Charles.

1557

 

Jul 16  -  Death of Anne of Cleves 
Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives
Since the divorce from Henry VIII Anne had been given a good annual income and use of several homes. She died on the 16th or 17th of July, 1557.

Dec  -  The Lords of the Congregation 
A group of Scottish Lords signed a covenant promising to support the advancement 'the most blessed Word of God' and to push forward the Reformation in Scotland. This was a move against what they saw as the threat from France with that came from the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin. They called themselves the Lords of the Congregation.

 

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1558

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
A secret agreement is signed 
Henry II drew up some extra conditions for the marriage of his son to Mary Stuart. The princess was too young to understand the implications of them and signed in good faith. The secret conditions gave Henry II and his heirs a claim to the Scottish throne and England as well through Mary's claim. They also secured a payment from the Scottish revenue and a clause prevented Mary from trying to reverse the agreement in future.

Apr 19  -  Betrothal of Mary and Dauphin Francis 
An agreement was reached between the Scottish commissioners and the French king Henry II for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Francis, the Dauphin of France. The terms of the agreement allowed the Scots to maintain their traditional rights and would become united with France when Francis became King of France. It was also agreed that if Mary died without having children the Scottish throne would go to the Earl of Arran.

Apr 24  -  Marriage and a secret agreement 
Mary, Queen of Scots married Francis, the Dauphin of France. A secret marriage agreement was signed by Mary giving control of Scotland to France if she died without having children.

Nov  -  Elizabeth at London 
Elizabeth entered London towards the end of November. She made her way through the crowds of loyal Londoners to the Tower where she stayed for a few days.

Nov 17  -  Queen Mary dies 
Queen Mary died at the age of forty two. She was buried at Westminster Abbey.

1559

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Marriage proposal 
King Gustav, the ruler of Sweden, proposed the marriage between Elizabeth and his son, Prince Eric. A proposal was sent but was refused. Gustav was undeterred by the refusal and sent his younger son, John, to see to if he could persuade the Queen otherwise.

Water mills built under London Bridge 
The River Thames was so constricted as it flowed each way between the piers of London Bridge that is was decided to place water mills under the arches to provide power for machinary. A pump was installed by a German or Dutch engineer called Peter Maurice (Morice) that pumped clean water to the higher points of the city.

Act of Supremacy 
Soon after Elizabeth became Queen of England an act was passed called the Act of Supremacy. This act required all persons holding positions of power in the Government or in the Church to take an oath acknowledging Elizabeth as the supreme governor of the realm and to reject the right of any foreign power to interfere with English affairs.

Jan 14  -  Coronation pageants 
The tradition of holding pageants on the eve of the coronation was followed and Elizabeth viewed them all as she made her way from the Tower to Westminster. They were of a political nature showing the problems of the past and hopes for the future.

Jan 15  -  Coronation of Elizabeth 
The coronation of Elizabeth I took place at Westminster Abbey. She was crowned by Bishop Oglethorpe of Carlisle as the other more senior bishops refused to crown her due to their reluctance to accept the new Protestant religion.

Jul 10  -  Henry II killed after a tournament accident 
Henry II, the French king, was accidentally injured during a tournament celebrating a wedding. He was taking part in a joust and the tip of a lance went into his eye. Infection set it and he died a short time afterwards. Henry II succeeded by his son Francis II, the husband of Mary Stuart.

Sep 18  -  Coronation of Francis II, King of France 
Francis was crowned King of France at Rheims cathedral. The ceremony was subdued because of the untimely death of his father.

1560

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Dudley accused of murder 
Robert Dudley's wife, Amy, was found dead at home with a broken neck at the bottom of some stairs. Robert Dudley was accused of her murder because it was thought he planned to marry Queen Elizabeth. Dudley was banished from Court while an inquiry was conducted, but he was found innocent. Although Dudley returned to Court rumours still spread about his involvement in the death.

Jun  -  Death of Mary of Guise 
Mary Stuart's mother, Mary of Guise, died in Scotland leaving the country in a state of civil war.

Dec  -  Death of Francis II, King of France 
Francis suffered from poor health throughout his life and he died at the age of sixteen from an abscess in his brain.

1561

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Mary tours her kingdom 
Mary Queen of Scots spent her time visiting the many castles and houses of her country.

St. Paul's struck by lightning 
Lightning again struck the spire of St. Paul's Cathedral. The roof and much of the cathedral were damaged by the resulting fire requiring extensive repairs.

Madrid becomes capital of Spain 
In this year Philip II of Spain moved his court to Madrid. The town then became the capital of the country.The King set about building a new palace a few miles from Madrid called El Escorial and is designed in the form of a gridiron.

Spring  -  Bad weather defeats Eric 
Eric left Sweden bound for England with a fleet of ships and gifts and a further proposal of marriage but bad weather ended his plans and he returned to Sweden.

Spring  -  Marriage proposal from Spain 
After the death of Francis II, Mary Stuart was approached by Spain with a marriage proposal to Don Carlos of Spain. Both being Catholic, the marriage was a prefect choice but it fell through. Mary turned her attention to a return to Scotland.

Aug 14  -  Mary Stuart leaves France 
Leaving France from Calais in a small flotilla of ships, Mary Stuart set sail for Scotland. Five days later the ships arrived at the port of Leith, now part of Edinburgh. Mary was met by her half-brother James Stewart

1562

 

Sep  -  Treaty of Richmond 
This treaty was signed in secret by Queen Elizabeth and Louis Bourbon prince of Condé, the leader of the Huguenots. The Huguenots were French Protestants or French Calvanists. In return for Elizabeth's military assistance in France the prince promised the return of Calais to the English.

Oct  -  Elizabeth ill with smallpox 
Elizabeth came down with smallpox and was seriously ill. Her council feared that she would die and were concerned about who would succeed her. Lady Catherine Grey, who had been mentioned in Henry VIII's will, was a strong candidate to become Queen of England if Elizabeth died. The Earl of Huntingdon (?) was also considered. The problem was avoided as Elizabeth recovered several days later.

Oct  -  Fall of Huntley 
George Gordon, the 4th Earl of Huntley rebelled against Mary and at the battle of Corrichie his supporters were defeated by the Earl of Moray. Huntley died at the battle but not from a wound but because he was overweight and the strain of the events was too much for him.

Winter  -  Le Havre occupied by the English 
As part of the secret treaty of Richmond, an English garrison was allowed to station itself at Le Havre and would swap the town for Calais once Calais was recaptured. The garrison of around 3,000 men was lead by the Earl of Warwick.

 

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1563

 

Summer  -  Le Havre abandoned 
The Huguenots abandoned their treaty with Elizabeth and abandoned the English garrison at Le Harve. An outbreak of the plague struck the garrison leaving many dead or dying. Although reinforcements were sent the Earl of Warwick had little choice but to leave the town and return to England.

1565

 

Jul 29  -  Mary Stuart marries Lord Darnley 
Mary, Queen of Scots, married Henry Lord Darnley in the chapel at Holyrood House. Henry then became King of Scotland but in title only as Mary still held all the power of the monarch.

1566

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
The Royal Exchange founded 
The Royal Exchange in London was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham. The exchange and dealing in foreign currency had become very important and this put London at the heart of the process.

Jun 19  -  Birth of the James the future King of England 
James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He was born at Edinbugh Castle.

1567

 

Feb 10  -  Murder of Lord Darnley 
Henry, Lord Darnley, was murdered as he tried to escape from his attackers as they laid gunpowder in his house. His house was destroyed in the explosion. The culprit was thought to be the Earl of Bothwell who was then very close to Queen Mary and it may have been the Queen herself who ordered the killing.

1568

 

Jul 15  -  Queen Mary taken to Bolton Castle 
As a captive, Mary, Queen of Scots, was taken along with her many servants to Bolton Castle where she was held for six months.

1569

 

Feb  -  Queen Mary moved to Tutbury 
After spending six months at Bolton in Yorkshire, Mary, Queen of Scots, was moved to Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire.