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  • Title: Henry V: Chronology
  • Author: James D. Mardock

  • Copyright James D. Mardock. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: James D. Mardock
    Peer Reviewed


    A brief chronology of events of relevance to Shakespeare's Henry V

    Some dates are approximate, especially those of the plays.

    1337Edward III assumes the title "King of France," beginning the Hundred Years War (1337‑1453).
    1340Geoffrey Chaucer is born.
    1346Edward the Black Prince defeats French forces at the Battle of Crécy.
    1347Calais surrenders to the English.
    1348‑50The Black Death first arrives in England, killing over a third of the population and helping the breakdown of the manorial and feudal systems.
    1356English victory at the battle of Poitiers and capture of King John II of France; England receives Aquitaine and Calais as ransom for the king.
    1362English becomes the official language in courts of law.
    1367Births of Richard, later Richard II, and of Henry Bolingbroke, male heirs to the first and third sons of Edward III
    1376Death of the Black Prince
    1360Edward III relinquishes claims to the French throne in return for sovereignty over south‑west France.
    1362English becomes the official language in courts of law.
    1377‑84John Wyclif begins the Lollard movement, precursor of the Protestant Reformation.
    1377Edward III dies. His grandson, Richard II, becomes king at the age of ten.
    1386Birth of Henry of Monmouth, later Prince of Wales and King Henry V
    1398Richard II banishes his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, from England for 10 years.
    1399October: Deposition of Richard II; Henry Bolingbroke crowned King Henry IV
    1400‑1415Revolt and civil wars in England: “the scambling and unquiet time”
    1400Richard II dies at Pontefract castle. Henry IV leads unsuccessful campaign against Scotland. Owen Glendower raises rebellion in Wales.
    1403The Percy family joins forces with Glendower and Sir Edmund Mortimer against Henry IV. Hotspur's army is defeated at battle of Shrewsbury in July.
    1413Death of Henry IV; Prince Henry is crowned King Henry V, has Richard II reburied with honors at Westminster Abbey.
    1414August‑September: Henry's ambassadors claim his right to rule Normandy, Touraine, Maine, and Anjou.
    December: Sir John Oldcastle, former friend of King Henry and model for Shakespeare's Falstaff, leads Lollards in open rebellion. The rebellion suppressed in January 1415 and a parliamentary statute is passed against Lollardy.
    1415First French campaign
    July: Southampton Plot foiled
    August‑September: Siege of Harfleur
    October 25: Battle of Agincourt
    1416Henry V begins a second French campaign.
    1417Sir John Oldcastle executed by hanging and burning for heresy and treason
    1419Rouen surrenders; England regains Normandy.
    1420Treaty of Troyes; Henry becomes regent of France and successor to Charles VI, marrying Catherine of Valois.
    1421Birth of future King Henry VI
    1422Death of Henry V; Henry VI is crowned at the age of nine months ("in infant bands").
    1429Joan of Arc defeats the English at Orleans; coronation of the Dauphin as Charles VII.
    1431Henry VI is crowned King of France in Paris; Joan of Arc is burned at the stake as a witch.
    1435Death of the Duke of Bedford, English regent in France; England fails to compromise at the Arras Peace Conference; Burgundy defects from the Anglo‑Burgundian alliance.
    1437Henry VI takes personal control of English government.
    1440Gutenberg establishes the first printing press in Europe.
    1455‑1487"Wars of the Roses": intermittent civil war between houses of Lancaster and York
    1460John Skelton and Thomas Linacre are born; The Castle of Perseverance is performed. Edward of March wins the Battle of Northampton and is given control of London; his father the Duke of York lays claim to the throne, but is killed in the Battle of Wakefield.
    1461Henry VI deposed; Edward of March crowned King Edward IV
    1469Erasmus is born; Niccolò Machiavelli is born.
    1470Henry VI returns to power; William Caxton sets up the first press in England.
    1471Henry VI is re‑deposed and murdered in the Tower of London.
    1479The last regular occurrence of bubonic plague; the population begins to recover from its decline in the Late Middle Ages.
    1483Edward IV dies; Edward Prince of Wales accedes but dies before being crowned Edward V; his uncle Richard of Gloucester crowned King Richard III; he puts down a revolt led by Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, who is executed. Martin Luther is born.
    1485Richard III dies in the battle of Bosworth Field; Henry Tudor crowned King Henry VII
    1497A truce is achieved between England and Scotland.
    1508Luther studies and teaches at the University of Wittenberg which eventually becomes the cradle of the Reformation.
    1509Henry VII dies; his second son, Henry, crowned King Henry VIII
    1515Martin Luther posts his 95 theses at the castle church of Wittenberg.
    1516Sir Thomas More writes Utopia.
    1534Act of Supremacy: Parliament declares Henry VIII supreme head of Church of England. Act requires oath to the lawfulness of Henry's second marriage to Anne Boleyn.
    1535Sir Thomas More is executed; Coverdale publishes the first complete English Bible. Plague breaks out for the first of five consecutive years.
    1536Henry VIII orders the dissolution of the monasteries in England.
    1547Henry VIII dies; his son Prince Edward crowned King Edward VI
    1548Edward Hall'sThe Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York
    1552Edmund Spenser is born; Sir Walter Raleigh is born.
    1553Edward VI dies; his half‑sister, Princess Mary is crowned Queen Mary.
    1555Roman Catholicism is officially reestablished by Mary.
    1558Mary dies; her half‑sister, Princess Elizabeth, crowned Queen Elizabeth
    1560Publication of the Geneva Bible.
    1563English church adopts the Thirty‑nine Articles.
    1564William Shakespeare born in Stratford‑upon‑Avon (baptized 26 April). Christopher Marlowe born in Canterbury.
    1568The "Bishops' Bible" is published.
    1569The Northern Rebellion attempts to replace Elizabeth with the Catholic Mary Stuart.
    1571Elizabeth's marriage with the Duke of Anjou and Alençon (later Henri III) proposed.
    1572Leicester's men play at Stratford (Shakespeare is 8 years old). Ben Jonson is born.
    1573Leicester's men, led by James Burbage, perform in Stratford.
    1574James Burbage gets license to open a London playhouse.
    1575Queen Elizabeth on progress visits Kenilworth Castle, near Stratford.
    1576James Burbage builds The Theatre.
    1577Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Irelandis published (revised edition 1587). The Curtain theatre opens in London.
    1578John Lyly's Euphues is published. James VI becomes King of Scotland.
    1580John Stow's Chronicles of England is published. Thomas Middleton and John Webster are born.
    1582Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway.
    1583‑84Plots against Elizabeth on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots
    1583Susanna Shakespeare born
    1585Births of Shakespeare's son Hamnet and his twin sister Judith; Earl of Leicester sent to aid the Dutch against the Spanish
    1586Pope Sixtus V offers Philip of Spain one million crowns for a successful invasion of England.
    1587Mary Queen of Scots is executed (8 February). Christopher Marlowe writes Tamburlaine. The Rose theatre is built on the Bankside in London. The companies of Earls of Essex and Leicester act at Stratford.
    1588‑94Shakespeare moves to London; family remains in Stratford.
    1588War with Spain ends with the destruction of the Spanish Armada fleet in July.
    1588‑92Shakespeare writes or revises 1 Henry VI, The First Part of the Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster(2 Henry VI), The Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York (3 Henry VI), "which oft our stage hath shown."
    1590‑94Richard III
    1592Robert Greene attacks Shakespeare in print, parodying 3 Henry VI. Lord Strange's men, possibly including Shakespeare, appear at Court and at the Rose. Severe plague in London (15,000 people die); plays restricted in the latter half of the year.
    1593Venus and Adonis. Plays are restrained throughout the year because of plague; the acting companies face hard times. Marlowe is murdered. The Play of Sir Thomas More is written with contributions possibly from Munday, Chettle, Heywood, Dekker, and Shakespeare.
    1593‑1603Shakespeare writes the sonnets.
    1593‑95The Taming of the Shrew, The Rape of Lucrece
    1594Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare's collaboration with George Peele,is performed and published. The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifthwritten; Shakespeare joins the Lord Chamberlain's Men. The first of four years of crop failure and grain shortage. Marlowe's Edward II is published.
    1594‑96A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet
    1595Richard II. The bow and arrow are abolished as weapons of war.
    1596Death of Shakespeare's son, Hamnet (August); campaign against Lord Chamberlain's Men's planned Blackfriars theater (November). The Swan Theatre is built on the Bankside. Henry Carey, Lord Chamberlain, dies. His son George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon, assumes patronage of the Lord Chamberlain's Men and they become known as Hunsdon's Men.
    1596‑971 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice
    1597Earl of Essex sent to Ireland to put down a rebellion led by the Earl of Tyrone
    1597‑98The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado about Nothing, 2 Henry IV, the latter written with an epilogue promising a new play to feature Falstaff accompanying Henry V to war in France
    1598Famous Victoriesprinted by Thomas Creede
    1599Land for the Globe theatre is leased to the Lord Chamberlain's Men; Shakespeare is listed as one of the leading shareholders (21 February). Henry V (March?), As You Like It, Julius Caesar; Shakespeare's company moves to the Globe (spec date).
    1600The first quarto of Henry V is printed by Thomas Creede. The Fortune Theatre is built.
    1600‑1602Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, All's Well That Ends Well
    1601Shakespeare's father dies. Essex stages abortive rebellion and is executed.
    1602Second quarto of Henry V printed
    1603Elizabeth I dies (25 March); company becomes the King's Men (19 May); James VI crowned James I of England (25 July). During the winter season, Shakespeare performs in Ben Jonson's Sejanus, the last record of him acting. Plague rages in London; theatres remain closed until April 1604.
    1603‑1604Measure for Measure, Othello
    1604James I attempts a compromise with English Catholics and Puritans at the Hampton Court Conference. England makes peace with Spain.
    1605The Gunpowder Plot is foiled (November 5).
    1605‑1606King Lear
    1606‑1607Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Pericles
    1608Coriolanus. Shakespeare and six associates lease the Blackfriars theatre for a twenty‑one year period (9 August).
    1609‑11Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest
    1609Shakespeare's Sonnets are published.
    1613Henry VIIIandThe Two Noble Kinsmenare written in collaboration with John Fletcher. Shakespeare in retirement, living in Stratford. Globe burns during a performance of Henry VIII.
    1616April 23: Shakespeare dies
    1619Third quarto of Henry V printed
    1623First folio of Shakespeare’s plays printed