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Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.
1550 .. 1574
1550 .. 1574
Please note that the TimeRef website is currently being redesigned.
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.
Expedition to find a north-east passage
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.
Change to Edward VI's will
Edward VI 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 it was seen the Edward would die before she had children so that Jane herself could become Queen.
Mary gathers support
Mary called for support against the Duke of Northumberland and Lady Jane Grey. Large numbers of supporters gathered around her at Kenninghall Manor in Norfolk with supplies and weapons.
Death of Edward VI
King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace as the age of 15.
Lady Jane Grey proclaimed 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.
Northumberland's final move
The Duke of Northumberland and a army of some 3,000 men travelled to Cambridge in an attempt to stop Mary, Queen of Scots. 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 of London.
Mary arrives in London
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 of London to await trial and execution.
Elizabeth attends mass
Elizabeth agreed to attend a mass but when the day came she pretended to be ill and only took part under protest. Elizabeth had refused to attend any Catholic ceremony including the one that Mary had arranged after the death of Edward. Mary and Elizabeth disagreed strongly over religion.
Mary Tudor crowned
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parliament consents to the marriage
Parliament agreed to the marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain under certain conditions. These stated that Philip could not interfere with the workings of the realm and could not put any foreigners in positions of importance. Philip must not make moves to start a war between England and France. It also stated that Philip's son from his marriage to his first wife had no claim to the English throne and that only offspring from Philip and Mary could go on to rule England. If Mary died without an heir, Philip could not himself claim the Englsih throne. Philip could not alter any laws or remove any wealth from the country.
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.
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.
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.
Philip II of Spain 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.
Thomas Stafford, a Protestant, and a small number of followers who had fled from Mary's persecution captured Scarborough Castle on the Yorkshire coast. They did so by entering the castle on market day disguised as peasants. When enough of his men had entered the castle they took control of the gates and let in the rest of the small army. Their hope was to start an uprising against the Queen and this endevour may have been aranged by Henry II, the French King. But within three days Thomas Stafford had been captured. He was taken to London and executed.
Death of Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves died. Since the divorce from Henry VIII Anne had been given a good annual income and use of several homes.
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 which came from the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin. They called themselves the Lords of the Congregation.
Henry II of France 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.
The French retake Calais
The defences of Calais had not been maintained as Queen Mary had been spending the country's wealth elsewhere and when the French laid seige to the city it did not take long for it to fall. The shock of losing Calais was felt all over England.
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.
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.
Elizabeth at London
Elizabeth entered London. She made her way through the crowds of loyal Londoners to the Tower where she stayed for a few days towards the end of the month.
Queen Mary dies
Queen Mary died at the age of forty two. She was buried at Westminster Abbey.
King Gustav, the ruler of Sweden, proposed a 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 machinery. 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.
On the eve of her coronation, traditional pageants were held for Elizabeth. She viewed them all as she made her way from the Tower of Lodnon to Westminster Abbey. They were of a political nature showing the problems of the past and hopes for the future.
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.
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 was succeeded by his son Francis II, the husband of Mary Stuart.
Coronation of Francis II, King of France
Francis II was crowned King of France at Rheims Cathedral. The ceremony was subdued because of the untimely death of his father.
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.
Death of Mary of Guise
Mary Stuart's mother, Mary of Guise, died in Scotland leaving the country in a state of civil war.
Death of Francis II, King of France
Francis II, King of France died at the age of sixteen from an abscess in his brain. He had suffered from poor health throughout his life.
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
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 was designed in the form of a gridiron.
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.
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.
Mary Stuart leaves France
Mary Stuart and her entourage left France from Calais in a small flotilla of ships and 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
The Treaty of Richmond 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.
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.
Fall of Huntley
George Gordon, the 4th Earl of Huntley rebelled against Queen 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.
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.
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.
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.