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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

    Henry V: Chronology

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

    Some dates are approximate, especially those of the plays.

    1337 Edward III assumes the title "King of France," beginning the Hundred Years War (1337‑1453).
    1340 Geoffrey Chaucer is born.
    1346 Edward the Black Prince defeats French forces at the Battle of Crécy.
    1347 Calais surrenders to the English.
    1348‑50 The Black Death first arrives in England, killing over a third of the population and helping the breakdown of the manorial and feudal systems.
    1356 English victory at the battle of Poitiers and capture of King John II of France; England receives Aquitaine and Calais as ransom for the king.
    1362 English becomes the official language in courts of law.
    1367 Births of Richard, later Richard II, and of Henry Bolingbroke, male heirs to the first and third sons of Edward III
    1376 Death of the Black Prince
    1360 Edward III relinquishes claims to the French throne in return for sovereignty over south‑west France.
    1362 English becomes the official language in courts of law.
    1377‑84 John Wyclif begins the Lollard movement, precursor of the Protestant Reformation.
    1377 Edward III dies. His grandson, Richard II, becomes king at the age of ten.
    1386 Birth of Henry of Monmouth, later Prince of Wales and King Henry V
    1398 Richard II banishes his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, from England for 10 years.
    1399 October: Deposition of Richard II; Henry Bolingbroke crowned King Henry IV
    1400‑1415 Revolt and civil wars in England: “the scambling and unquiet time”
    1400 Richard II dies at Pontefract castle. Henry IV leads unsuccessful campaign against Scotland. Owen Glendower raises rebellion in Wales.
    1403 The Percy family joins forces with Glendower and Sir Edmund Mortimer against Henry IV. Hotspur's army is defeated at battle of Shrewsbury in July.
    1413 Death of Henry IV; Prince Henry is crowned King Henry V, has Richard II reburied with honors at Westminster Abbey.
    1414 August‑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.
    1415 First French campaign
    July: Southampton Plot foiled
    August‑September: Siege of Harfleur
    October 25: Battle of Agincourt
    1416 Henry V begins a second French campaign.
    1417 Sir John Oldcastle executed by hanging and burning for heresy and treason
    1419 Rouen surrenders; England regains Normandy.
    1420 Treaty of Troyes; Henry becomes regent of France and successor to Charles VI, marrying Catherine of Valois.
    1421 Birth of future King Henry VI
    1422 Death of Henry V; Henry VI is crowned at the age of nine months ("in infant bands").
    1429 Joan of Arc defeats the English at Orleans; coronation of the Dauphin as Charles VII.
    1431 Henry VI is crowned King of France in Paris; Joan of Arc is burned at the stake as a witch.
    1435 Death 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.
    1437 Henry VI takes personal control of English government.
    1440 Gutenberg establishes the first printing press in Europe.
    1455‑1487 "Wars of the Roses": intermittent civil war between houses of Lancaster and York
    1460 John 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.
    1461 Henry VI deposed; Edward of March crowned King Edward IV
    1469 Erasmus is born; Niccolò Machiavelli is born.
    1470 Henry VI returns to power; William Caxton sets up the first press in England.
    1471 Henry VI is re‑deposed and murdered in the Tower of London.
    1479 The last regular occurrence of bubonic plague; the population begins to recover from its decline in the Late Middle Ages.
    1483 Edward 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.
    1485 Richard III dies in the battle of Bosworth Field; Henry Tudor crowned King Henry VII
    1497 A truce is achieved between England and Scotland.
    1508 Luther studies and teaches at the University of Wittenberg which eventually becomes the cradle of the Reformation.
    1509 Henry VII dies; his second son, Henry, crowned King Henry VIII
    1515 Martin Luther posts his 95 theses at the castle church of Wittenberg.
    1516 Sir Thomas More writes Utopia.
    1534 Act 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.
    1535 Sir Thomas More is executed; Coverdale publishes the first complete English Bible. Plague breaks out for the first of five consecutive years.
    1536 Henry VIII orders the dissolution of the monasteries in England.
    1547 Henry VIII dies; his son Prince Edward crowned King Edward VI
    1548 Edward Hall'sThe Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York
    1552 Edmund Spenser is born; Sir Walter Raleigh is born.
    1553 Edward VI dies; his half‑sister, Princess Mary is crowned Queen Mary.
    1555 Roman Catholicism is officially reestablished by Mary.
    1558 Mary dies; her half‑sister, Princess Elizabeth, crowned Queen Elizabeth
    1560 Publication of the Geneva Bible.
    1563 English church adopts the Thirty‑nine Articles.
    1564 William Shakespeare born in Stratford‑upon‑Avon (baptized 26 April). Christopher Marlowe born in Canterbury.
    1568 The "Bishops' Bible" is published.
    1569 The Northern Rebellion attempts to replace Elizabeth with the Catholic Mary Stuart.
    1571 Elizabeth's marriage with the Duke of Anjou and Alençon (later Henri III) proposed.
    1572 Leicester's men play at Stratford (Shakespeare is 8 years old). Ben Jonson is born.
    1573 Leicester's men, led by James Burbage, perform in Stratford.
    1574 James Burbage gets license to open a London playhouse.
    1575 Queen Elizabeth on progress visits Kenilworth Castle, near Stratford.
    1576 James Burbage builds The Theatre.
    1577 Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Irelandis published (revised edition 1587). The Curtain theatre opens in London.
    1578 John Lyly's Euphues is published. James VI becomes King of Scotland.
    1580 John Stow's Chronicles of England is published. Thomas Middleton and John Webster are born.
    1582 Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway.
    1583‑84 Plots against Elizabeth on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots
    1583 Susanna Shakespeare born
    1585 Births of Shakespeare's son Hamnet and his twin sister Judith; Earl of Leicester sent to aid the Dutch against the Spanish
    1586 Pope Sixtus V offers Philip of Spain one million crowns for a successful invasion of England.
    1587 Mary 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.
    1588‑94 Shakespeare moves to London; family remains in Stratford.
    1588 War with Spain ends with the destruction of the Spanish Armada fleet in July.
    1588‑92 Shakespeare 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."
    1590‑94 Richard III
    1592 Robert 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.
    1593 Venus 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.
    1593‑1603 Shakespeare writes the sonnets.
    1593‑95 The Taming of the Shrew, The Rape of Lucrece
    1594 Titus 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.
    1594‑96 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet
    1595 Richard II. The bow and arrow are abolished as weapons of war.
    1596 Death 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.
    1596‑97 1 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice
    1597 Earl of Essex sent to Ireland to put down a rebellion led by the Earl of Tyrone
    1597‑98 The 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
    1598 Famous Victoriesprinted by Thomas Creede
    1599 Land 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).
    1600 The first quarto of Henry V is printed by Thomas Creede. The Fortune Theatre is built.
    1600‑1602 Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, All's Well That Ends Well
    1601 Shakespeare's father dies. Essex stages abortive rebellion and is executed.
    1602 Second quarto of Henry V printed
    1603 Elizabeth 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.
    1603‑1604 Measure for Measure, Othello
    1604 James I attempts a compromise with English Catholics and Puritans at the Hampton Court Conference. England makes peace with Spain.
    1605 The Gunpowder Plot is foiled (November 5).
    1605‑1606 King Lear
    1606‑1607 Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Pericles
    1608 Coriolanus. Shakespeare and six associates lease the Blackfriars theatre for a twenty‑one year period (9 August).
    1609‑11 Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest
    1609 Shakespeare's Sonnets are published.
    1613 Henry VIIIandThe Two Noble Kinsmenare written in collaboration with John Fletcher. Shakespeare in retirement, living in Stratford. Globe burns during a performance of Henry VIII.
    1616 April 23: Shakespeare dies
    1619 Third quarto of Henry V printed
    1623 First folio of Shakespeare’s plays printed