In Her Own Words: Elizabeth I Onstage and Online

Chronology of the Life and Reign of Elizabeth I

  • 1533 Birth of Princess Elizabeth (September 7) to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.


  • 1546 Anne Askew´s First Examination published.


  • 1547 Death of Henry VIII and Accession of Edward VI (Elizabeth´s younger brother, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour); Anne Askew´s Second Examination published .


  • 1553 Death of Edward VI; Brief reign of Lady Jane Grey; Accession of Mary I (Elizabeth´s elder sister, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon).


  • 1558 Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I (November 17).


  • 1559 First Parliament and the Religious Settlement; Elizabeth´s Marriage Speech to Parliament.


  • 1560 Ann Lock´s translation of sermons by Calvin and her sonnet cycle (a meditation on Psalm 51) published.


  • 1561 Mary Queen of Scots returns to Scotland from France.


  • 1564 Birth of William Shakespeare (ca. April 23).


  • 1565 Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Darnley, Lord Stuart; Sir Henry Sidney appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland.


  • 1566 Murder of David Rizzio, favorite of Mary Queen of Scots; birth of James Stuart to Mary Queen of Scots.


  • 1567 Death of Shane O´Neill, Irish chieftain of Tyrone; murder of Mary Queen of Scots´ husband Darnley; Mary Queen of Scots forced to abdicate; accession of James Stuart as James VI of Scotland; Isabella Whitney's The Copy of a Letter . . . by a young Gentlewoman published.


  • 1568 Mary Queen of Scots arrives in England; English seizure of Philip II´s treasure ships.


  • 1569 Revolt of the Northern Earls.


  • 1570 Elizabeth excommunicated by the Pope.


  • 1571 Discovery of the Ridolfi Plot to overthrow Elizabeth.


  • 1572 Execution of the Duke of Norfolk, who was involved in the Ridolfi Plot.


  • 1573 Earl of Essex´s colony in Ulster established.


  • 1575 Earl of Leicester´s entertainment of Elizabeth I at Kenilworth; birth of Arbella Stuart, descendent of Henry VII´s sister Mary and thus a claimant to the English throne.


  • 1577 Sir Francis Drake departs on circumnavigation voyage .


  • 1583 Appointment of Archbishop Whitgift; initiation of anti-Puritan campaign.


  • 1585 Leicester´s expedition to the Netherlands; Drake´s voyage to the West Indies; Hugh O´Neill made Earl of Tyrone.


  • 1586 Babington Plot to murder Elizabeth discovered.


  • 1587 Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.


  • 1588 English defeat of the Spanish Armada; Elizabeth´s Tilbury speech.


  • 1589 Jane Anger's Her Protection for Women published.


  • 1590 Books I-III of Edmund Spenser´s Faerie Queene published.


  • 1591 Sir Philip Sidney´s Astrophil and Stella published.


  • ca. 1592 Shakespeare begins writing plays for the London stage.


  • 1592 Mary Sidney´s translation of Garnier´s play Antony published.


  • 1596 Essex´s attack on Cadiz; Books IV-VI of The Faerie Queene.


  • 1599 Essex appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; Globe Theatre built; Mary Sidney presents verse translations of biblical Psalms to Elizabeth.


  • 1601 Revolt and execution of Essex; Last Parliament of the reign; Elizabeth´s Golden Speech; English defeat Spanish and Irish forces at Kinsale, Ireland.


  • 1603 Death of Elizabeth I and Accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England (March 24).


In Her Own Words is sponsored by The Brown University Women Writers Project and The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services.