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

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

Marilyn Collins commissioned for 'spriggan'

Spriggan is a work of an internationally acclaimed London-based sculptor, Marilyn Collins.

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:

Richard III

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

James I

When James I ascended the throne, he had already been King of Scotland for 36 yrs. The Gunpowder Plot was hatched by conspirators disgruntled with the King's failure to grant toleration of Catholics. You may enjoy our 1hr guided walk 'A Right Royal Romp'

Charles I

Like Henry VII, Charles I never expected to become King. He acceded the throne after the death of his very popular brother Henry. Parliament tried the King for waging war against his kingdom and against Parliament. He was executed, supposedly wearing two shirts. Mytens, Charles I, when king 1631 (National Portrait Gallery), note the crown on the table. Two years after Van Dyck comes for a second time in 1632 Mytens leaves.

Charles II

Charles II acceded the throne in 1660 with the restoration of the monarchy, 11 years after the execution of his father, Charles I. You may enjoy our royalist London guided walk 'A Right Royal Romp'

James II

The brother of Charles II intended like Mary I to restore Papal supremacy. Religious tensions increased. The birth of his son was the catalyst for conflict and within 6 months he was forced to flee to France in exile.

William & Mary

William of Orange ruled jointly with his wife Mary, daughter of James II. In 1701, William formed a grand alliance between England, Holland, and Austria in order to prevent the union of French and Spanish rulers.

Anne I

During Anne's reign Britain gained four great victories in battle and established itself as a major European power; Battle of Blenheim, Battle of Ramillies, Battle of Oudenarde and Battle of Malplaquet.

George I

The first Hanoverian King who arrived in England from Hanover. When first arrived George I did not speak English but was, more importantly, Protestant. During his reign Sir Robert Walpole returned to government as First Lord of the Treasury, effectively England's first Prime Minister.

George II

George II ruled for the first 4 years of the Seven Years' War with France. William Pitt also became Prime Minister in 1757. He was the last British king to lead an army into battle (Battle of Dettingen).

George III

George III was the first Hanoverian monarch to have been born and bred in England. The Boston Tea Party took place during his reign in 1773. On 4th July 1776, the American Congress passes the Declaration of Independence. It took Britain 7 years to recognise US independence. George III was also known at the 'mad' king, suffering a series of incapacitating fits and the appearance of mental illness.

George IV

George IV's reign saw the the Cato Street Conspiracy, The Royal Academy of Music is established, The British Museum is rebuilt and extended, The National Gallery was established, The Stockton and Darlington Railways was opened and the Metropolitan Police Force is set up by Sir Robert Peel.

William IV

During William IV's reign much change was seen including the new London Bridge was opened, abolition of slavery throughout British Empire, Factory Act passed, Poor Law Act passed, Municipal Reform Act passed, Births, marriages and deaths must be registered by law and Charles Dickens publishes Oliver Twist, drawing attention to Britain's poor.

Queen Victoria I

During the life of Victoria, most of it as Queen, the world underwent the industrial revolution which was to usher in the modern age. It was in Britain that these forces were first unleashed and the impact on the country and its people were the most pervasive in British history.

Edward VII

For 59 years of his life Edward VII was a King-in-waiting who spent much of his life enjoying his sporting interests of shooting, hunting and horseracing. He owned many race horses, including one Grand National winner and three Derby winners.

George V

Much happened during George V's 60 year reigns. This includes: National Insurance Act being passed, S.S. Titanic sinks, World War I including Battle of Ypres, Battle of the Somme, Battle of Passchendale. The Reform Act in 1918 gave women over 30 the vote and Lady Astor became the first woman MP. In 1928 all women over the age of 21 get the vote. In 1935 George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee. The British Royal Family took the surname Windsor from the Berkshire town in 1917, in lieu of Wettin. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was Frederick Albert Winsor (1763 - 1830), one of the pioneers of gas lighting, who lighted with gas part of Pall Mall, London in 1804. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey de Windesor, which was dated 1066, in the Domesday Book of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Edward VIII

Edward was King for less than a year. On 10 Dec he signed the Instrument of Abdication witnessed by his brothers. He became the Duke of Windsor and married twice-divorced American Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

George VI

George VI was a popular figurehead for the nation during a time of great strife in World War II and then led Britain into the post-war era. Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940. In 1947 India and Pakistan were granted independence. In 1948 the NHS establishes free medical treatment.

Elizabeth II

HRH Queen Elizabeth II is one of the longest in British history. Her first Prime Minister was Winston Churchill. Decimal currency was introduced in 1971 and Britain joins the European Community. Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first woman Prime Minister. In 1982 Britain goes to war with Argentina (Falklands). 1997 Hong Kong reverts to China after 155 yrs of British rule.

The House of Lancaster

The Normans

Reform Act - votes to women over 30 years old

The 1918 Representation of the People Act was the start of female suffrage in Great Britain. The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons (385 for to 55 against) – an element of support that surprised the Suffragettes and other suffragist movements. The 1918 Representation of the People Act gave women of property over the age of 30 the right to vote – not all women, therefore, could vote – but it was a major start.

Ladies Bridge opened

New Waterloo Bridge the 'Ladies Bridge' was part opened to pedestrians and two lanes of traffic.

Charles Dickens Night Walks Published

In 1860 Charles Dickens wrote of the bridge in Night Walks. But the river had an awful look, the buildings on the banks were muffled in black shrouds, and the reflected lights seemed to originate deep in the water, as if the spectres of suicides were holding them to show where they went down. The wild moon and clouds were as restless as an evil conscience in a tumbled bed, and the very shadow of the immensity of London seemed to lie oppressively upon the river.

Sir Gerald Du Maurier lived in Hampstead

Sir Gerald Du Maurier actor famous for inventing well known Captain Hook character lived at No.14 Cannon Place, Hampstead

Musical comedy The Catch of the Season opens at in the West End

Much respected actor Seymour Hicks turned down the role of Hook to perform in his own successful musical comedy The Catch of the Season.

Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India

Queen Victoria received the Koh-i-Noor diamond in 1851 following the Anglo-Sikh wars in the Punjab and became part of the Crown Jewels.

Warren Street Victoria Line platforms opened

Half way down the Victoria line is Euston Road station which is was re-named in 1908 to Warren Street. The station is host to the Northern and Victoria lines. The Victoria Line platforms opened on 1 December 1968.

1st ordinance survey map published

The seven tree tiles show recognition to how the area was named, In the first ordinance survey map published in in 1805 this area was known as Seven Sisters.

Euston Station Opened

Euston railway station, also known as London Euston is a central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden and is the sixth busiest rail terminal in London (by entries and exits).

Euston Station Redeveloped

Euston station was redeveloped in 1962 to the current configuration. These two entrance lodges are more or less all that remains of the original station entrance.

Michel Palin Campaigns

Michael Palin campaigns for historic arch at Euston Station to be rebuilt using original stone which was torn down and dumped in river 50 years ago Michael Palin campaigns for historic arch to be rebuilt using original stone found in the River Lea.

William Hogarth's Gin Lane and Beer Lane Etchings

Published and used in Gin Consumption Campaign. Gin Lane shows shocking scenes of infanticide, starvation, madness, decay and suicide, while Beer Street depicts industry, health, bonhomie and thriving commerce, but there are contrasts and subtle details that some critics believe allude to the prosperity of Beer Street as the cause of the misery found in Gin Lane.

Gin Act of 1751

Introduction of licensing of retail premises and finally reduced consumption. Various loopholes were exploited to avoid the taxes, including selling gin under pseudonyms such as "Ladies' Delight", "Bob", "Cuckold's Delight" and the none-too-subtle "Parliament gin".

Marilyn Monroe visits london

to film The Prince and the Showgirl, a Lawrence Olivier film. One icon who made a significant impact on the world's media was was Marilyn Monroe.

The Shard opens

The View from the Shard is on two decks. One is enclosed and the other is a little more exposed.

London 2012 Athletes Parade

As a glorious sporting summer comes to an end, up to 830 Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes who competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games will parade through central London to celebrate their achievements with the public.

Jacqueline Du Pre's Last Concert

And there is a plaque to commemorate the five years Jacqueline Du Pre lived in Hampstead. On good days, the couple would entertain at home. "We had some very nice evenings at Pilgrim's Lane," Barenboim later recalled. However, by late 1972 even this became too challenging for du Pré. Her last London concert was held at the Festival Hall in late 1972.

Dame Gracie Fields Dies

She lived in a house in Hampstead which she built in 1934 and died in 1979 at the age of 81.

Re-developed leicester square opens

Leicester Square has been in the press this week thanks to its £15.3 million facelift. The transformation of the world famous square has taken just over seventeen months to complete with commuters and businesses alike working around the many men in flourescent jackets and hard hats waving large vehicles through the square. Leicester Square is now ready to welcome the world to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Faberge Big Egg Hunt

209 eggs spring up onto Central London streets.

Suffrage Movement

In 1903, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was set up in Manchester. The WSPU aimed to adopt more militant (strong or more direct) tactics to win the vote. Their members later became known as Suffragettes. When the WSPU moved to London in 1906 to become more visible and the movement’s emphasis altered. From 1906–1914 the fight to win the vote became a public, and sometimes violent struggle that was very visible on the streets of the capital. 1909 - Force feeding suffragette prisoners. The Home Office became unwilling to release the hunger-striking suffragettes before their sentence was served. Suffragettes became a liability because if they were to die in the prison’s custody the prison would be responsible for their death, and as a result, English prisons began the practice of force feeding the suffragettes through a tube, most commonly a nostril or stomach tube or a stomach pump. The use of force feeding had previously been practised in England. However, its use had been exclusively for patients in hospitals who were too unwell to eat or swallow food properly, and despite the fact that this practice had been deemed safe by medical practitioners for sick patients, it posed issues for the healthy suffragettes. 1913 - End of suffragette hunger strikes. With the commencement of the First World War, the suffragette movement in England moved away from suffrage activities and focused the efforts of their organizations on the war effort, and as a result, hunger strikes largely stopped. In August 1914, the British Government released all prisoners who had been incarcerated for suffrage activities on an amnesty with Pankhurst ending all militant suffrage activities soon after. vote for women - Emily Davidson 1912 was a turning point for the British suffragettes as they turned to using more militant tactics such as chaining themselves to railings, setting fire to mailbox contents, smashing windows and occasionally detonating bombs.[9] This was because the Prime Minister at the time, Asquith, nearly signed a document giving women (over 30 and either married to a property-owner or owning a property themselves) the right to vote. But he pulled out at the last minute, as he thought the women may vote against him in the next General Election, stopping his party (Liberals) from getting into Parliament/ruling the country. One suffragette, Emily Davison, died under the King's horse, Anmer at the Epsom Derby of June 5, 1913. She was trying to pin a "vote for Women" banner on the King's horse.[10] Many of her fellow suffragettes were imprisoned and went on a hunger strike as a scare tactic against the government. The Liberal government of the day led by H. H. Asquith responded with the Cat and Mouse Act.

Cat and Mouse Act Passed

In early 1913 and in direct response to the "Cat and Mouse Act" the WSPU instituted a society of women known as "The Bodyguard" whose role was to physically protect Emmeline Pankhurst and other prominent Suffragettes from arrest and assault. Known Bodyguard members included Katherine Willoughby Marshall and Gertrude Harding; Edith Margaret Garrud served as their jujutsu trainer. Members of the Bodyguard participated in several violent actions against the police in defence of their leaders.

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