London History

A break down as to the history of London including the Kings and Queens of England. I have tried to join interesting pieces of information together and used themes accordingly.

This timeline supports London Tour Guide, part of London Guided Walks Ltd

0043-09-02 00:00:00

Roman Invasion

In AD43 the Roman army invaded Britain. At that time, Britain was divided into tribal territories. The Romans formed alliances with tribes in the south-east, like the Iceni and the Trinovantes, to create a new and peaceful province called Britannia. In AD59, the King of the Iceni died. He hoped his wife, Boudica, would succeed him. However, the Roman Emperor had other ideas. His harsh treatment of the royal family led the Iceni to rebel. They attacked Colchester, London and St Albans. These towns were largely undefended as the Roman army was away fighting Druids in Wales. Visit our website: Visit our London Walks Blog:

0048-01-01 00:00:00

First Roman Bridge

Londinium sees an infrastructure revolution.

0061-09-02 00:00:00

Queen Boudica sacks Londinium

According to Tacitus, 70,000 Britons were slain with the loss of just 400 Roman soldiers. He said Boudica poisoned herself, whereas the Greek writer Dio Cassius wrote that she fell ill and died. No one knows the truth. Even though the revolt was crushed, the Romans took revenge for the loss of the ninth legion by repeatedly destroying tribal crops. In AD61, Emperor Nero appointed Classicianus as procurator (chief financial minister) of Britannia to restore peace and financial prosperity. You will like our Battlebridge to Angel guided walk:

0070-01-01 00:00:00

Briton's first ampitheatre, forum and basilica

AD70 the Romans build Briton's first ampitheatre, forum and basilica. A Roman Forum was a business centre, containing markets, shops and offices. Londinium's Basilica was the largest north of the Alps which matched the scale of Londinium's expansion. A basilica was our modern day Town Hall.

1066-10-14 00:00:00

William I

After defeating Harold Godwineson at the Battle of Hastings, William subdued the local population by confiscating Anglo-Saxon estates and giving them to his Norman followers. Visit our website: Visit our London Walks Blog:

1066-10-14 00:00:00

The Normans

1067-01-01 14:25:50

Survey of the Shires

William I orders a survey of the shires of England; the information is recorded in the Domesday Book. Visit our website: Visit our London Walks Blog:

1086-01-01 00:00:00

Doomsday Book Created

Dooms Dis the famous census of England made for William the Conqueror between 1086 and 1090 was an unprecedented accounting of all property in the kingdom. Visit our website: Visit our London Walks Blog:

1087-01-01 00:00:00

William I dies

of his injuries after falling from his horse while besieging the French city Nantes. He was c.59yrs old.

1100-01-01 00:00:00

William II dies

from being shot by an arrow while out hunting in the New Forest. There is speculation as to if it were an accident or not.

1120-01-01 00:00:00

Henry I confirms heir

Henry's son and heir is drowned at sea and so Matilda. He persuades the barons to accept Matilda as his lawful heir to the throne. Henry I dies from food poisoning and is buried at Canterbury Cathedral. Visit our website: Visit our London Walks Blog:

1135-01-01 00:00:00

Stephen usurps Matilda

Most of his reign was marked by civil war with the rival claimant Matilda. He dies in 1154.

1173-01-01 00:00:00

Canonization of Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket, born in London, England, on December 21, 1118, was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170 by King Henry II’s knights. The king had ordered his murder for refusing to give the monarchy power over the church. Becket’s death made him into a martyr to followers of the Catholic Church, and Pope Alexander canonized him in 1173.

1189-07-06 00:00:00

Henry II dies

Died at Chinon castle, france, aged 56.

1189-09-02 00:00:00

Richard I Crowned King

There is little English history about Richard I, even less of London history. He was crowned King at Westminster Cathedral.

1189-09-02 00:00:00

Civil War

The barons seek French aid in their fight against John; Prince Louis of France captures the Tower of London.

1272-11-16 00:00:00

Henry III dies

Henry III dies in Westminster, aged 65. Henry was defeated at Lewes, Sussex, and imprisoned, but restored to the throne after the royalist victory at Evesham in 1265.On his release Henry was weak and senile and his eldest son, Edward, took charge of the government. He was succeeded by his son Edward I.

1296-01-01 00:00:00

Edward I removes the stone of Scone

Edward invades Scotland and deposes John Balliol, the new King of Scotland. He then takes over the throne of Scotland and removes the Stone of Scone to Westminster. Legend has it that the stone is a relic from the Holy Land and once belonged to the biblical Jacob. Whether this is true is doubtful to say the least, but from an early date the kings of Scotland were inaugurated sitting on a royal chair with the stone in its base. In 1296 Edward I removed the stone and installed it at Westminster Abbey. It remained there until it was kidnapped by Scottish nationalist students in 1951. They managed to hide the stone in Scotland for four months until it was found and returned to Westminster. It was moved from there to Edinburgh Castle in 1996 amid much celebration.

1305-01-01 00:00:00

William Wallace executed

William Wallace is executed in Smithfields, London. Learn more on our Murderers and Martyrs guided walk

1332-01-01 00:00:00

Parliament divided

Parliament is divided into two houses - Lords and Commons - for the first time.

1348-01-01 00:00:00

Black death comes to London & England

The black death kills one third of English population. Learn more on our Heretics and Horrors walk

1371-01-01 00:00:00

The Book of the Knight of La Tomb Landry

Geoffroy De La Tour Landry book published. Defining women's beauty.

1399-09-30 00:00:00

The House of Lancaster

1400-01-01 00:00:00

Poet Chaucer dies

Geoffrey Chaucer dies and is buried in Westminster Cathedral. He finished The Canterbury Tales in 1398.

1411-01-01 00:00:00

Construction of London Guidhall

Guildhall, built between 1411 and 1440, was designed to reflect the importance of London’s ruling elite. In the twenty-first century its splendour is still awe-inspiring, and within the walls of this national treasure lie six spectacular rooms providing unique surroundings for corporate and private hospitality.

1471-01-01 00:00:00

Henry VI Murdered

in (most probably Wakefield Room) the Tower of London.

1476-01-01 00:00:00

William Caxton sets up printing press

in Westminster. In 1483, Caxton printed Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend, a history of the saints.

1478-01-01 00:00:00

Duke of Clarence murdered

Edward IV falls out with his brother George, Duke of Clarence, who is then murdered in the Tower of London, supposedly in a butt of Malmsey wine.

1483-06-26 00:00:00

Richard III

Barely King for two years. His skeleton is believed to have been found in Leicester. Lord Hastings Executed.

1484-01-01 00:00:00

Papul Bull against witchcraft

A Papul Bull is issued against witchcraft.

1485-08-22 00:00:00

Henry VII

The first Tudor. He broke the power of the barons by reviving the Court of Star Chamber to try the barons if they broke the law. He pursued peaceful, commercially orientated policies, ensuring a handsome credit for the royal exchequer. in 1505 Michiel Sittow painted a portrait of Henry VII. It shows a man of reserved character. Henry was tall, dark, blue-eyed, well-built and athletic. He was interested in the arts, and skilled in diplomacy, as well as financially astute. Parliamentary statutes were written down in English for the first time and printed. In 1484, bail system introduced for defendants in court cases. Henry VII dies on 21st April 1509 at Richmond Palace aged 52. Read about Hans Hobein the Younger's cartoon of Henry VII and his son Henry VIII

1490-12-31 00:00:00

Princes in the Tower

By 1490, the sons of Edward IV whom Richard III had sent to the Tower and had declared illegitimate, had not been seen for some years. Perkin Warbeck (circa 1474 – 23 November 1499) was a pretender to the English throne during the reign of King Henry VII of England. By claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the younger son of King Edward IV, one of the Princes in the Tower, Warbeck was a significant threat to the newly established Tudor Dynasty, and gained support outside England. Henry VII declared that he was an impostor and after Warbeck's capture declared that he was a Fleming born in Tournai around 1474. Due to uncertainty as to whether Richard of Shrewsbury had died in the Tower of London, or had survived, Warbeck's claim gathered some followers, whether due to real belief in his identity or because of desire to overthrow Henry and reclaim the throne. Most historical accounts mention that Warbeck cost Henry VII over £13,000, putting a strain on Henry's weak financial state. In 1490, at the court of Burgundy, a young boy claimed to be the younger of the two princes, and to have escaped from the Tower. Known as Perkin Warbeck, this young boy first attempted to gain support in Ireland, as had Lambert Simbert. Margaret of York, the dowager duchess of Burgundy and aunt of the disappeared prince, who had supported Lambert Simnel, threw her support behind Perkin Warbeck's claim as well. Henry VII responded by putting a trade embargo on Burgundy. Soon other European nations were involved in the conflict. This new pretender built support among rulers in Europe, using the title King Richard IV of England. He was received in Scotland by James IV. James IV arranged a marriage between the supposed King Richard IV and the Lady Catherine Gordon, a relative of James IV. James sent a Scottish army in support of Warbeck's claim into England, but they retreated as soon as an English army approached. James IV quickly abandoned his ally, negotiating a peace with England at the urging of Queen Isabella of Spain and her co-ruler and husband, Ferdinand of Aragon. Warbeck the pretender raised new support in Cornwall. Again as Richard IV, and with an army 6,000 strong, he invaded Exeter. When Warbeck heard that the English army was approaching, he deserted his troops. He was captured, the Cornish army surrendered and the leaders of the invasion were executed. Warbeck was paraded through London. After he confessed publicly to false impersonation, he was hanged.

1509-04-22 00:00:00

Henry VIII

The founder of the Church of England after breaking with the Catholic Church, who famously had six wives and hid at Windsor Castle when Anne Boleyn was executed. As a young man, Henry was tall and handsome. When older, he became grossly overweight and was riddled with disease. On 7th Sept 1534 Henry VIII breaks with Rome. enry VIII broke with the Church in Rome with the Act of Supremacy, which made the king the head of the Church of England on 7th Sept 1534. 1537 Jane Seymour dies after the premature birth of a son, the future King Edward VI Henry VIII dies at Whitehall, aged 55 on 28th Jan 1547. Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves but the marriage is annulled July 28th 1540 - 49 year old Henry married 19 year old Catherine Howard. January 25th 1533 Henry married Anne Boleyn and is excommunicated by Pope Clement VII. Henry marries Katherine Parr who had a near brush with death when she was linked with 'heretical' religious reformers on 12 July 1543. 1543 saw On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies Published. Nicolaus Copernicus publishes On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies, his theory that the Sun is the center of the Universe, and that the Earth revolves around it. King Henry VIII Injures his thigh in a jousting accident in 1535.

1515-01-01 00:00:00

Thomas Wolsey

becomes chancellor in 1515. In 1529, King Henry VIII dismisses Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey for failing to obtain the Pope's consent to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. In 1529 Cardinal Wolsey is accused of high treason, but dies before he can be brought to trial.

1529-01-01 00:00:00

Sir Thomas More

becomes Chancellor in 1529. He resigns as Chancellor in 1532. He is then executed after refusing to recognise Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and is buried at All Hallows by the Tower church in 1535.

1530-05-02 00:00:00

Anne Boleyn

la decoration d'humaine nature et ornement des dames by Maistre Andre le Fournier arrived in London in 1530. Full of exotic French recipes including the complexion improver made with water lilies (an aphrodisiac) and roses (improved fertility). On 15th May 1536. Anne Boleyn tried for treason, adultery and incest in the Great Hall of the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn executed on Tower Hill 19th May 1535. Anne's body and head were buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. Anne Boleyn arrested and taken to the Tower

1533-01-15 00:00:00

Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, is born 7 September 1533. Princess Elizabeth returns to court in 1549. Elizabeth withstands interrogation from Sir Robert Tyrwhit and obtains a public announcement in order to maintain her reputation in 1549. On 13th June 1554, Elizabeth was taken to the Tower o London. Protestant rebellion, led by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, and rumors of Elizabeth's involvement have her imprisoned in the Tower of London on false charges for eight weeks. The Virgin Queen reigned for 45 years. She saw a vast expansion of English trade and prosperity and major developments in the arts, especially Theatre and Shakespeare. 15th Jan 1559 Elizabeth I Coronation at Westminster Cathedral. Her ivory face a gleaming oval framed by a gilded ruff, her red-gold hair flowing, she offered herself as a bride to England. Elizabeth i in Coronation Robes portrait (English School, c1159-1600). From her first appearance of the world stage, Elizabeth, with her alabaster complexion and flowing hair, proclaimed herself as a virginal bride. The Prayer Book - June 24, 1559 - The Elizabethan Prayer Book is first used. Elizabeth founds Westminster School in 1560. 10th Oct 1562 Queen Elizabeth almost dies of Smallpox reputedly leaving her face scarred. The Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I by Federigo Zucchero c.1570. Elizabeth was dedicated to creating an iconic image of herself. Elizabth I dies aged 69 24th March 1603, at Richmond Palace.

1535-01-01 00:00:00

Thomas Cromwell

made Vicar-General in 1535. In 1536 he begins the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1540 he is charged with treason and executed.

1535-01-01 00:00:00


Bishop Fisher of Rochester is executed for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the English Church in 1535. Thomas Seymour is imprisoned in the Tower, then beheaded on Tower Hill on 10 March 1549. Kat Ashley arrested and taken to the Tower for questioning regarding Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour Kat Ashley released 26 February 1549. Duke of Somerset, and his confederates met their death at the Tower in 1552. Thomas Wyatt was executed on Tower Hill 11th April 1554. John Dudley executed on Tower Hill 23rd August 1553. You may enjoy our Murderers and Martyrs guided walks.

1536-01-01 00:00:00

Dissolution of monasteries

Holy Trinity Priory,Barking Abbey, St Helen's Priory, Bishopsgate, Charterhouse London, St Bartholomew's Priory, Smithfield, Stratford Langthorne Abbey, Syon Abbey, Westminster Abbey,

1541-05-28 00:00:00

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury Executed

The story of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury starts 60 years before the beheading of Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536 but ends five years after.

1542-02-15 00:00:00

Catherine Howard

executed for adultery. Katherine was sent to Syon Abbey by the Thames, her rich clothes, jewels and servants removed. Dereham and Culpeper were tried and beheaded. Katherine was not tried, the House of Lords condemned her as a traitor and three months after her arrest she was taken in a barge to the Tower of London, past the rotting heads of her cousin lovers Dereham and Culpeper rotting on spikes. On 13th February 1542 Katherine went to the scaffold to meet her fate. She told the crowd that she deserved a hundred deaths, she knelt down and with one blow the axe took off her head. She is buried near to her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn, in the chapel of St Peter in Chains in the Tower of London.

1542-02-15 00:00:00

Lady Rochford Executed

Lady Rochford was sent to the Tower of London. In the Tower Lady Rochford was 'seized with raving madness'.

1547-01-28 00:00:00

Edward VI

The much craved for son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour was a disapointingly weak child who at the age of 15 caught tuberculosis and died. In 1535, Edward VI is persuaded by Duke of Northumberland nominated Lady Jane Grey as his heir in an attempt to secure the Protestant succession.

1553-07-10 00:00:00

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for just Nine Days. It would be the shortest reign in English history. Lady Jane Grey was just 16 years old, a puppet in the hands of her father as many women have been.

1554-01-01 00:00:00

Mary I

Mary I ascended the throne on 28th Jan 1553. Also known as Bloody Mary, Mary I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and was a fervent Catholic. She had numerous Protestants burned at the stake for heresy in an attempt to restore Papal supremacy in England and undo the work of her father and brother. Mary ruled with a dour attitude of holy vengeance, which was reflected in her appearance. The Venetian ambassador at her wedding described her as having 'no eyebrows. She is a saint. She dresses badly.' 1553, Mary I Engagement portrait by Antonis Mor. Queen Mary i was engaged at the age of 37. On 17th Nov 1558 Mary I died at St. James's Palace at the age of 42. This is two years after Philip becomes King of Spain, leaving England, never to return.

1563-01-01 00:00:00

Bubonic Plague

17,000 die of the Plague in London. When the Black Death ( Bubonic Plague ) broke out in London in 1563, Queen Elizabeth I moved her court to Windsor Castle where she erected gallows and ordered that anyone coming from London was to be hanged.

1564-01-01 00:00:00

Introduction of horse drawn carriages

into Britain from Holland.

1564-04-23 00:00:00

William Shakespeare

1608 The King's Men buy the Blackfriars Theatre. Mentioned as one of "the mens' players" (The King's Men) The King's Men buy the Blackfriars Theatre of which Shakespeare is part owner. 1598 Shakespeare and other members of the company finance the building of the Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre is built on Bankside. April 23: The death of William Shakespeare April 25: Burial takes place in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford

1569-01-01 00:00:00

London Royal Exchange founded

by Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The “City of London” is the area occupied by the original walled city built by the Romans.

London History

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