Timeline

The Sixteenth Century

Texts Contexts
  1485 Accession of Henry VII inaugurates Tudor dynasty
  ca. 1504 Leonardo da Vinci paints theMona Lisa
ca. 1505-07 Amerigo Vespucci,New World and Four Voyages 1508-12 Michaelangelo paints Sistine Chapel ceiling
  1509 Death of Henry VII; accession of Henry VIII
1511 Desiderius Erasmus,Praise of Folly 1513 James IV of Scotland killed at
Battle of Flodden; succeeded by James V
1516 Thomas More,Utopia. Ludovico Ariosto,Orlando furioso 1517 Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses; beginning of the Reformation in Germany
ca. 1517 John Skelton, "The Tunning of Elinour Rumming" 1519 Cortés invades Mexico. Magellen begins his voyage around the world
  1521 Pope Leo X names Henry VIII
"Defender of the Faith"
1520s-30s Thomas Wyatt's poems
circulating in manuscript
 
1525 William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament  
1528 Baldassare Castiglione,The Courtier 1529-32 More is Lord Chancellor
   
  1532-34 Henry VIII divorces Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn; Elizabeth I born; Henry declares himself head of the Church of England
1532 Niccolò Machiavelli,The Prince(written 1513) 1535 More beheaded
  1537 Establishment of Calvin's theocracy at Geneva
1537 John Calvin,The Institution of Christian Religion 1542 Roman Inquisition. James V of
Scotland dies; succeeded by infant
daughter, Mary
1543 Copernicus,On the Revolution of the Spheres 1547 Death of Henry VIII; accession of Protestant Edward VI
1547 Book of Homilies  
1549 Book of Common Prayer 1553 Death of Edward VI; failed attempt to put Protestant Lady Jane Grey on throne; accession of Catholic Queen Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon
  1555-56 Archbishop Cranmer and
former bishops Latimer and Ridley burned at the stake
1557 Tottel'sSongs and Sonnets(printing poems by Wyatt, Surrey, and others)  
  1558 Mary dies; succeeded by Protestant Elizabeth I
1563 John Foxe,Acts and Monuments  
1565 Thomas Norton and Thomas
Sackville,Gorboduc, first En glish
blank-verse tragedy (acted in 1561)
 
1567 Arthur Golding, translation of
Ovid'sMetamorphoses
1567-68 Mary, Queen of Scots, forced to abdicate; succeeded by her son James VI; Mary imprisoned in England
  1570 Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope Pius V
  1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of French Protestants
  1576 James Burbage's play house, The Theater, built in London
  1577-80 Drake's circumnavigation of the globe
1578 John Lyly,Euphues  
1579 Edmund Spenser,The Shepheardes Calender  
1580 Montaigne,Essais  
  1583 Irish rebellion crushed
  1584-87 Sir Walter Ralegh's earliest attempts to colonize Virginia
  1586-87 Mary, Queen of Scots, tried for treason and executed
ca. 1587-90 Marlowe'sTamburlaineacted. Shakespeare begins career as actor and playwright  
1588 Thomas Hariot,A Brief and True Report of . . . Virginia 1588 Failed invasion of the Spanish
Armada
1589 Richard Hakluyt,The Principal
Navigations . . . of the English Nation
 
1590 Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia
(posthumously published); Spenser,The Faerie Queene, Books 1-3
 
1591 Sidney,Astrophil and Stella
published
 
ca. 1592 John Donne's earliest poems circulating in manuscript  
1595 Sidney,The Defense of Poesy
published
1595 Ralegh's voyage to Guiana
1596 Spenser,The Faerie Queene, Books 4-6 (with Books 1-3)  
1598 Ben Jonson,Every Man in His Humor  
  1599 Globe Theater opens
  1603 Elizabeth I dies; succeeded by James VI of Scotland (as James I), inaugurating the Stuart dynasty