1476 William Caxton introduces the printing press to England

1485 Tudor dynasty established — start of period of (relative) political and social stability.

1491 or 1492 Richard Pynson starts printing in London — his style tends to prefer Chancery Standard, the form of English used by government.

1500 beginning of Renaissance

1509 accession of Henry VIII. Pynson becomes the king's official printer

1517 Luther pins the 95 theses on the door of the church to Wittenberg and thereby initiates the tumult that is later to be called the Reformation

1536 William Tyndale publishes his translation of the bible and is therefore executed by Henry VIII

1539 Henry VIII declares himself Supreme Head of the English Church and is therefore excommunicated. He commissiones a new translation of the Bible, called The Great Bible which is distributed all over Britain.

1547 accession of boy-king Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife Lady Jane Seymour, strict Protestantism is established

1549 publication of the first Book of Common Prayer in English, under the supervision of Thomas Cranmer. This book standardises much of the wording of church services.

1553 accession of Mary “Bloody Mary” Tudor, Henry VIII’s eldest daughter. Ruthless execution of Protestants.

1558 succession of Elizabeth I to the throne. New prosperity and confidence in England

1575-1580 English asserts itself as the main language in science, education and Chancery

1576 first theatre is built outside London, The Theatre, more follow and grow to accustom up to 2.000 people

1588 Spanish Armada defeated with a much smaller fleet.

c1590 to c1612 Shakespeare 's plays written

1603 accession of James I

1603 The Gunpowder Plot, a failed effort by Catholic extremists to blow up the Parliament

1611 The King James Bible is published, largely based on Tyndale's translation. It remains the standard Bible in the Church of England for many years.

1620 first newspaper the corantos is published as a translation of the Dutch version on one single sheet with news from all over Europe, arrival of the pilgrims in America, the New World aboard the Mayflower

1625 death of James I, accession of Charles I

1642 outbreak of Civil War, theatres closed

1649 Execution of Charles I, beginning of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, also known as the Interregnum (1649-1660)

1660 End of Protectorate, Restoration of Charles II.