timeline

Timeline

1603

1603

March
Death of Queen Elizabeth I, last of the Tudors; accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England (and Wales) and Ireland

April
Reform-minded ministers present James I with the Millenary Petition on his journey south

Summer
Details revealed of the Main and Bye Plots, two failed Catholic-inspired plots against James I

1604

1604

January
James I convenes a religious conference at Hampton Court to discuss possible reforms to and within the Church of England, though little was agreed

February
Death of John Whitgift, Elizabeth I’s last Archbishop of Canterbury

March
The first parliament of James I opens; the king soon proposes an Anglo-Scottish union

August
England’s naval war against Spain, which James I inherited, ended by the Treaty of London

September
Revised Canons issued for the Church of England

October
James I proclaims himself king of Great Britain

December
Richard Bancroft, a conservative, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury; beginning of a campaign to weed out and dismiss ministers failing to conform to the new Canons

1605

1605

February
James I clamps down on Catholic Recusants

April
James I’s chief minister, Robert Cecil, created Earl of Salisbury; by royal proclamation, James I adopts and orders the use of the new union flag

November
Discovery and thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot, a failed Catholic-inspired plot against James I

1606

1606

December
Judgement in Bate’s Case, with the Court of the Exchequer upholding the crown’s right to impose and collect (new) Impositions

1607

1607

1608

1608

May
Earl of Salisbury becomes Lord Treasurer and steps up his efforts to boost royal income and curb royal expenditure

1609

1609

1610

1610

June
James I’s elder son, Henry, created Prince of Wales

Autumn
Negotiations between parliament and the Earl of Salisbury over the Great Contract, by which the crown would relinquish some of its (feudal) sources of income in return for financial compensation guaranteed by parliament, stall; they collapse at the end of the year

November
Death of Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury

December
The first parliament of James I meets for the last time

1611

February
The first parliament of James I dissolved. In the summer George Abbott, a moderate reformer, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

1612

1612

May
Earl of Salisbury dies

November
Henry, Prince of Wales, dies

1613

1613

February
James I’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, marries a leading Continental Protestant prince, Frederick, Elector Palatine

Autumn
James I’s new favourite, Robert Carr, created Earl of Somerset and marries Lady Frances Howard, newly divorced from the Earl of Essex

1614

1614

April
James I’s second parliament meets

June
James I’s second parliament dissolved

1615

1615

October
Arrest of the Earl of Somerset and his wife for allegedly murdering Sir Thomas Overbury, who had opposed her divorce from the Earl of Essex

1616

1616

May
Earl and Countess of Somerset convicted of murder

November
Prince Charles, James I’s only surviving son, created Prince of Wales

1617

1617

January
James I’s new favourite, George Villiers, created Earl of Buckingham

Summer
James I’s sole return visit to Scotland after 1603

1618

1618

May
James I publishes his Book of Sports

August
The Thirty Years’ War breaks out on the Continent

1619

1619

March
Queen Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI and I, dies

1620

1620

1621

1621

January
James I’s third parliament meets

May
Lord Chancellor Bacon dismissed and imprisoned over his support for Monopolies

June
The first session of James I’s third parliament ends

November
The second session of James I’s third parliament opens

1622

1622

February
James I’s third parliament dissolved

1623

1623

March
Prince Charles and Buckingham travel to Spain in an attempt to finalise the Prince’s marriage to the Spanish king’s daughter, the Infanta

May
Buckingham created a duke

October
Prince Charles and Buckingham return from Spain without a marriage deal, leading both to turn against Spain and lend their support to a war

1624

1624

February
James I’s fourth parliament meets; strong support in parliament for war with Spain; Impeachment of Lord Treasurer Cranfield

May 
James I’s fourth parliament dissolved

November 
Treaty with France for the marriage of Prince Charles to the French king’s sister, Princess Henrietta Maria

1625

1625

March
Death of James VI and I; accession of Charles I

May
Proxy marriage of Charles I and Henrietta Maria

June
Charles I’s first parliament meets; grants the king the right to collect Customs duties for just one year

July
Plague in London causes parliament to adjourn and reconvene in Oxford

August
Charles I’s first parliament dissolved

October
Launch of naval expedition to attack Cadiz, heralding war with Spain

1626

1626

February
Charles I’s second parliament meets; proceeds to attack and to seek to impeach the king’s favourite and Lord Admiral, the Duke of Buckingham

June
Charles I’s second parliament dissolved

Winter
Levying of the Forced Loan

1627

1627

August
George Abbott suspended as Archbishop of Canterbury

October
English fleet, sent to support French Huguenots around La Rochelle and the Isle de Rhé, defeated; war with France

November
Judgement in the Five Knights’ Case, with the Court of King’s Bench upholding the crown’s right to imprison specific individuals in this case

1628

1628

March
Charles I’s third parliament meets

June
Charles I accepts the Petition of Right; first session of Charles I’s third parliament ends

July
William Laud appointed Bishop of London

August
Duke of Buckingham assassinated in Portsmouth

December
Sir Thomas Wentworth appointed President of the Council of the North

1629

1629

January 
The second session of Charles I’s third parliament opens

March
House of Commons passes The Protestation/Three Resolutions; Charles I’s third parliament dissolved; beginning of the Personal Rule

April 
War with France ended

1629

1630

May
Birth of Prince Charles (the future Charles II), eldest son of Charles I

August
Court of the Exchequer upholds Distraint of Knighthood, the crown’s right to fine landowners who failed to present themselves at the coronation for knighting

November
War with Spain ended

1631

1631

January 
Charles I and his Privy Council issue a Book of Orders in response to a subsistence crisis caused by harvest failure

1632

1632

January
Sir Thomas Wentworth appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland

1633

1633

Spring 
Charles I visits Scotland for his Scottish coronation

August 
George Abbott, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies; William Laud appointed Archbishop of Canterbury; Book of Sports reissued; Charles I and Laud issue new instructions to the Church of England

October 
Birth of Prince James (the future James II), second son of Charles I

1634

1634

October 
Ship Money imposed on coastal counties

1635

1635

June
Extension of Ship Money to all counties of England and Wales; becomes an annual tax, levied each year until the end of the Personal Rule; revival of Forest Laws and beginning of a campaign to prosecute and fine those who had transgressed them

December
Judges uphold Ship Money and Charles I’s right to enforce its collection; new Canons imposed on the Scottish church (the Kirk)

1636

1636

March
William Juxon, Bishop of London, appointed Lord Treasurer

1637

1637

February
Judges again uphold Ship Money and Charles I’s right to enforce its collection

April
Punishment of John Lilburne, condemned by Star Chamber, for writing and publishing unlicensed material

June
Punishment of Henry Burton, John Bastwick and William Prynne, condemned by Star Chamber, for writing and publishing unlicensed attacks on Laud and the bishops

July
Attempts by Charles I to impose a new Anglicised Prayer Book in Scotland violently resisted in Edinburgh

November
Beginning of a test case in the Court of Exchequer prosecuting John Hampden for his refusal to pay Ship Money

1638

1638

February
In response to Charles I condemning continued resistance to the new Prayer Book in Scotland as treason, a National Covenant is drawn up and begins to attract wide support and signatories in Scotland

June
Result of the Hampden Case, with judges again upholding Ship Money and Charles I’s right to enforce its collection, though on a split, majority verdict

Autumn
Charles I and his principal officer in Scotland, the Marquess of Hamilton, lose control of a meeting of the General Assembly of the Kirk, which condemns royal religious policy in general and bishops in particular; Charles I begins laying plans to impose his policies in Scotland via armed force

1639

1639

June
First Scots’ War; part of Charles I’s English and Welsh army crosses the border and advances as far as Kelso, but then falls back without a fight; Charles I signs a truce with the Scots, the Pacification of Berwick

September
Sir Thomas Wentworth recalled from Ireland to advise Charles I

Autumn
Meetings of the Scottish parliament and the General Assembly of the Kirk reveal Charles I’s loss of control over political as well as religious affairs in Scotland; Charles I decides to call an English parliament

1640

1640

January
Sir Thomas Wentworth created Earl of Strafford

April
Charles I’s fourth parliament, the Short Parliament, meets, thereby ending the Personal Rule

May
Charles I dissolves his fourth (Short) parliament

Summer
Convocation continues to meet and passes new Canons and the ‘etcetera oath’; the Scottish parliament takes control of the government and administration of Scotland, leaving Charles I little real power there; the Second Scot’s War

August
A Scottish army advances into England, forces a crossing of the Tyne at Newburn, overwhelming part of Charles I’s English and Welsh army

September
The Scottish army proceeds to overrun and occupy most of northern England, including Newcastle

Autumn
Charles I signs a truce with the Scots, the Treaty of Ripon; he convenes a great council of peers at York, announcing at it his intention to call another English parliament

November
Charles I’s fifth parliament, the Long Parliament, meets; arrest and Impeachment proceedings launched against the Earl of Strafford and, shortly afterwards, William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury; other key royal officers who had served during the Personal Rule flee abroad

December
London Root and Branch Petition, calling for wholesale reform of the Church of England, including the abolition of Episcopacy, presented to parliament

1641

1641

February
Triennial Act; Bill to abolish Episcopacy debated in the House of Commons but does not proceed

Spring
Impeachment of the Earl of Strafford, but proceedings stall and abandoned; parliament instead decides to condemn him by Attainder

May
Bill of Attainder passed and given royal assent; Earl of Strafford executed; Act against the dissolution of the Long Parliament without its own consent

Spring
First Army Plot

June
The Ten Propositions; Act permitting the crown to collect Customs duties but for a limited period and stressing it could do so only with parliament’s consent

July
Act abolishing Ship Money; Act abolishing Star Chamber and High Commission

Summer
Second Army Plot

August
Act restricting Forest Law; Act abolishing Distraint of Knighthood; Charles I embarks on a visit to Scotland, to ratify the Anglo-Scottish agreement negotiated in the wake of the Scots’ Wars

September
House of Commons passes resolutions abolishing some Laudian innovations in religion; parliament adjourns until late October

October
Irish Rebellion begins; parliament reassembles

November
Grand Remonstrance debated and passed by the House of Commons; Charles I returns to London

December
Grand Remonstrance presented to Charles I and he responds moderately; parliament begins consideration of Militia Bill and Impressment Bill, both encroaching on Charles I’s military power; Impeachment proceedings begin against twelve bishops

1642

1642

January
Charles I accuses one peer and five MPs of treason and attempts to apprehend the MPs by entering the Commons chamber, though unsuccessful; Charles I withdraws from London

February
Charles I beings his journey north, to York; Charles I gives royal assent to Impressment Act and Clerical Disabilities Act, but refuses to pass the Militia Bill

March
Parliament issues the Militia Bill as an ordinance, claiming it has full statutory power, even though it lacks the royal assent

April
Charles I attempts to enter Kingston upon Hull with armed supporters, but is refused admission

June
The Nineteen Propositions

Summer
Via its Militia Ordinance, parliament appoints bodies of supporters in counties, empowered to call out the county Militia and raise volunteers; via Commissions of Array, Charles I appoints bodies of supporters in counties, empowered to do the same; beginning of armed clashes in some areas, including Kingston upon Hull, Manchester, Portsmouth and Somerset

July
Parliament votes to raise an army, with the Earl of Essex as commander-in-chief; Charles I begins issuing military commissions to individual supporters, empowering them to raise and command new regiments

August
Charles I moves south from York to Nottingham and raises his royal standard there, formally beginning the civil war

October
The first major Engagement of the civil war, the Battle of Edgehill in south Warwickshire, is indecisive and drawn

November
Charles I and his army advance on London, sacking Brentford en route, but meeting a much stronger parliamentarian force at Turnham Green, they pull back without a fight; Charles I enters Oxford, which becomes his wartime capital

1643

1643

February
Negotiations between Charles I and parliament begin at Oxford for a possible compromise settlement to end the war

March
Royalist forces maul a parliamentarian army at the Battle of Seacroft Moor in Yorkshire

April
Oxford negotiations end in failure

May
A royalist army in Cornwall defeats a parliamentarian army at the Battle of Stratton, Cornwall, and begins advancing eastwards

June
A royalist army decisively defeats the Yorkshire parliamentarian forces at the Battle of Adwalton Moor in Yorkshire

July
Westminster Assembly convened and opens to consider the future of religion in England and Wales; the Battle of Lansdown near Bath is indecisive and drawn, but a week later the royalists decisively defeat the parliamentarians at the Battle of Roundway Down in Wiltshire; the royalists capture Bristol; parliament begins imposing Excise duties

August
Charles I and his army lay siege to Gloucester; parliament begins conscripting men to serve in its armies

September
Charles I signs a truce, the Cessation, with the Irish Catholic rebels; parliament signs a military alliance, the Solemn League and Covenant, with the Scots; a parliamentarian army under the Earl of Essex relieves Gloucester and then engages Charles I army at the first Battle of Newbury, Berkshire, which is indecisive and drawn; a royalist army besieges Kingston upon Hull

October
The royalists abandon the siege of Kingston upon Hull; a royalist army is decisively defeated by a parliamentarian army at the Battle of Winceby in Lincolnshire

December
An attempted royalist invasion of Sussex fails; the first batch of royalist reinforcements from Ireland land around the Dee estuary; death of John Pym, MP, who had been in effect the leader of the parliamentarian cause in the House of Commons in the opening years of the Long Parliament and of the civil war

1644

1644

January
A royalist army based in Chester, bolstered by reinforcements from Ireland, besieges Nantwich in Chester, but is decisively defeated by parliamentarian forces at the Battle of Nantwich; in line with the Solemn League and Covenant, a Scottish army of around 22,000 men crosses the border to support the parliamentarian war effort; Charles I’s so-called Oxford Parliament meets

February
Parliament expands its main executive committee, the Committee of Safety, to include some Scottish members, whereupon it becomes the Committee of Both Kingdoms

March
A royalist army is defeated by a parliamentarian army at the Battle of Cheriton in Hampshire

May
York is besieged by a combined Scottish and English parliamentarian army

Spring
A royalist army under Prince Rupert, dispatched by Charles I to relieve York, advances through Lancashire and Yorkshire, capturing Liverpool and Bolton en route

June
The parliamentarian armies of the Earl of Essex and Sir William Waller fail to combine and coordinate efforts to capture Oxford; Waller’s army is mauled by Charles I’s army at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, in Oxfordshire

July
Prince Rupert’s royalist army successful relieves York without a fight, but seeks battle; in the biggest Engagement of the main civil war, a combined Scottish and English parliamentarian army decisively defeats Prince Rupert’s royalist army at the Battle of Marston Moor; in the wake of that defeat, not only York but also most other remaining royalist bases in northern England fall to parliament over the following months

Summer
The Earl of Essex leads his parliamentarian army into the South-West, until he is penned up in Cornwall

September
The mass surrender of the Earl of Essex’s parliamentarian army around Fowey in Cornwall

October
A large parliamentarian army fails to inflict much damage on Charles I’s smaller royalist army around Newbury in Berkshire, as the second Battle of Newbury is indecisive and drawn

November
Beginning of clashes in parliament over the conduct of the war during 1644 and the responsibility for military shortcomings in the Midlands and the South

1645

1645

January
Having been attainted, Archbishop Laud is executed; negotiations between Charles I and parliament begin at Uxbridge, Middlesex, for a possible compromise settlement to end the war; parliament accepts the Directory of Worship, produced by the Westminster Assembly, making provision for a Presbyterian-style church in England and Wales

February
Uxbridge negotiations end in failure

Spring
Parliament revamps its war effort via the Self-Denying Ordinance, removing from military command all officers who had seats in either House, thereby opening the way to promote new men, and the creation of a big field army, the New Model Army; Sir Thomas Fairfax replaces the Earl of Essex as parliamentarian lord general and commander-in-chief of the New Model; Charles I ends the sittings of his Oxford Parliament

May
Charles I’s army captures and sacks the town of Leicester

June
Charles I’s army is decisively defeated by the New Model Army at the Battle of Naseby in Northamptonshire

July
The New Model Army mops up much of Somerset, defeating royalist forces at the Battle of Langport and recapturing Bridgwater

August
Parliament seeks to enforce the Directory of Worship and a Presbyterian-type church in England and Wales

September
The New Model Army recaptures Bristol; Charles I tries to reinforce his garrison in Chester, but the royalist relieving army is decisively defeated by parliamentarian forces at the Battle of Rowton Moor in Cheshire

1646

1646

January
Act effectively abolishing Wardship and the Court of Wards

February
The New Model Army defeats a royalist army at the Battle of Torrington in Devon; Chester surrenders to parliament

March
Charles I’s army in the South West surrenders near Truro in Cornwall; Charles, Prince of Wales, leaves the mainland, initially seeking refuge in the Isles of Scilly, then in the Channel Isles; one of Charles I’s last remaining field armies is decisively defeated at the Battle of Stow in Gloucestershire; parliament again seeks to enforce the Directory of Worship and a Presbyterian-type church in England and Wales

Spring
Most of the remaining royalist bases in England and Wales, including Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire and Oxford, besieged by parliamentarian forces or their Scottish allies

May
Charles I surrenders to the Scottish army besieging Newark; on his orders, most remaining royalist bases, including Newark and Oxford, surrender on term; complete and unconditional military victory for parliament in the main civil war

July
Parliament sends its terms for a post-war settlement, the Newcastle Propositions, to Charles I, then being held by the Scottish army at Newcastle upon Tyne

October
Parliament formally abolishes Episcopacy in England and Wales

Autumn
In the aftermath of war and as a result of a continuing series of by-elections (‘recruiter elections’), the moderates (Political-Presbyterians) increasingly dominate the House of Commons

1647

1647

February
Scottish army is paid off by parliament and pulls back to Scotland; Charles I handed over to parliament’s custody

Spring
Parliament plans mass disbandment greatly to reduce the size of its armies, with most remaining troops to be redeployed to Ireland to reverse the Irish Rebellion; growing disquiet and opposition to those plans in parliament’s armies, especially the New Model Army

May
Parliament sends a quartet of officer MPs to the New Model Army’s HQ to sound out opinion; but parliament then presses ahead with plans for a speedy and extensive disbandment

June
A junior New Model Army officer takes control of Charles I and places him in the army’s custody; at a series of rendezvous and meetings, the New Model Army pledges to resist disbandment, claims that it now represents and defends the rights and liberties of the people and begins outlining its political and constitutional terms

July
Meeting in Reading, Berkshire, the New Model Army decides not to march on London to purge or expel parliament and instead agrees to draw up its own terms for a settlement to be put to Charles I; order breaks down in London, with mass demonstrations around Westminster, to put pressure on parliament; some of the more radical MPs and peers (the Political Independents) go to the New Model Army and appeal for help to restore order and ensure the freedom of parliament

August
The New Model Army enters London unopposed and restores order, bolstering the position of the Political Independents; under pressure, some leading Political Presbyterians quit parliament and leave London

September 
Senior officers of the New Model Army finalise their fairly mild set of terms for a future settlement put to Charles I, the Heads of the Proposals, prompting disquiet among some more radical junior officers and rank and file who favoured more extensive changes; a chastened parliament begins work on revising its set of terms from summer 1646, the Newcastle Propositions, repackaging them in the form of Four Bills

October
Radical elements in the New Model Army and the Levellers work together to produce an alternative set of terms and blueprint for the future settlement of the country, contained in The Case of the Army Truly Stated; the senior army officers call a series of debates at Putney to discuss a way forward; when the Putney Debates open, the radical representatives present their revised blueprint for settlement, The Agreement of the People, and the ensuing debates largely focus on its contents

November
The senior army officers end the Putney Debates; Charles I escapes from army custody at Hampton Court, though gets no further than the Isle of Wight, where he is placed in renewed custody by the governor of the island; the New Model Army holds a series of large rendezvous north of London, agreeing a set of cautious and rather vague objectives drawn up by the senior officers

December
Charles I rejects the Four Bills presented to him by parliament; instead, he signs a deal with the Scots, the Engagement; riot in Canterbury at Christmas

1648

1648

January
Both Houses of Parliament agree the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off all discussions with Charles I and all attempts to reach a deal with him

Late Winter
Growing resistance to parliament’s orders from a trio of senior parliamentarian officers in south Pembrokeshire

April
Riot in Norwich; armed and violent resistance to parliament’s orders in south Pembrokeshire, with signs of it spreading to Carmarthenshire and Glamorganshire; Scottish-royalist forces secure the border towns of Berwick and Carlisle; at the end of the month, continuing until 1 May, the New Model Army officers hold an intense prayer meeting at Windsor, in the course of which they perceive that God does not favour a settlement with Charles I

May
Oliver Cromwell given command of several New Model Army regiments and sent to South Wales to restore full control over the region; rebel army defeated by locally-based New Model Army troops at St Fagan’s near Cardiff, but resistance continues in south Pembrokeshire; riot at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; Commons votes to reopen negotiations with Charles I; disturbances in Kent quickly spread and develop into a royalist rising; Sir Thomas Fairfax leads several New Model Army regiments into Kent to restore order

June
Fairfax defeats a rebel and royalist force at Maidstone, Kent; but many Kentish rebels get away, cross the Thames and enter Essex, join with other rebels there and occupy Colchester; Fairfax begins the siege of Colchester; having restored order in the rest of South Wales, Cromwell besieges rebel-held Pembroke

July
A Scottish-royalist army crosses the border and begins its planned invasion of England, advancing through Cumbria and Lancashire; Pembroke surrenders; Cromwell and his troops begin marching north to engage the Scottish-royalist army

Summer
A series of smaller and uncoordinated risings take place in Cornwall, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Surrey, the central Marches and north-west Wales, some dragging on into the autumn

August
Cromwell and his New Model Army regiments decisively defeat the Scottish-royalist army in a series of engagements around and south of Preston, Lancashire; parliament formally reverses the Vote of No Addresses; Colchester surrenders

September
Negotiations open between Charles I and parliament at Newport on the Isle of Wight

November
The New Model Army publically condemns, via its Remonstrance, the proposed Newport Treaty and sets out different terms for the future settlement of the country, including bringing Charles I to justice

December
New Model Army regiments enter London unopposed; after a lengthy debate, the House of Commons votes to accept the Newport Treaty as the grounds for full settlement; Pride’s Purge; Charles I brought to Windsor under tight army guard

1649

1649

January
The purged House of Commons passes an ordinance creating a high court to try Charles I, claiming sole and full legislative power to do so; preliminary meetings of the court; trial held with Charles I intermittently present in last week of January; Charles I found guilty and sentenced to death; death warrant signed; execution of Charles I in Whitehall

February
Charles II proclaimed in Scotland, the purged House of Commons resolves to abolish monarchy and the House of Lords

March
Other leading participants in the renewed war of 1648 tried and executed; Acts passed abolishing monarchy in England (and Wales) and Ireland and abolishing the House of Lords; power rests with the Rump, the purged remnant of the House of Commons of the Long Parliament sitting alone, though supported by an executive Council of State appointed by it; Oliver Cromwell accepts command of a military expedition to reverse the Irish Rebellion and restore English, Protestant and republican control over Ireland

Spring
Sales of former crown and cathedral properties begin

May
Army mutiny crushed at Burford, Oxfordshire; Act declares England to be a free Commonwealth

August
Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army forces land near Dublin in Ireland and begin their campaign

September
Oliver Cromwell and his forces storm and capture Drogheda

October
Oliver Cromwell and his forces storm and capture Wexford

1650

1650

January
The Rump imposes an Oath of Allegiance, the Engagement Oath, on adult males

February
Act for propagating the gospel in Wales

March
Act condemning adultery as a capital crime

May
Having campaigned extensively and successfully in Leinster and east Munster, capturing Kilkenny, Ross, Carrick and Clonmel, Oliver Cromwell returns to England and other generals take control of the remainder of the military campaign to mop up Ireland

June
Charles II lands in Scotland; Sir Thomas Fairfax refuses to lead an English military expedition into Scotland and resigns as lord general; Oliver Cromwell appointed lord general and commander-in-chief of the New Model Army

July
Oliver Cromwell leads his New Model Army troops into Scotland

August
New blasphemy Act

September
Against the odds, Oliver Cromwell and his forces decisively defeat a Scottish-royalist army in the Battle of Dunbar; they proceed to mop up most of southern Scotland and the lowlands, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, though Edinburgh Castle holds out for a while

1651

1651

January
Charles II’s Scottish coronation takes place

July
Oliver Cromwell leads the bulk of his forces in Scotland north across the Firth of Forth, attempt to block the move swept aside at the Battle of Inverkeithing, and into Fife; the Scottish-royalist army based in and around Stirling sees the opportunity to drive south and invade England

August
The Scottish-royalist army moves south through England, shadowed by parliamentarian forces, getting as far as Worcester

September
Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army decisively defeat and largely destroy the Scottish-royalist army in the Battle of Worcester; Charles Stuart, calling himself Charles II, gets away and eventually reaches the Continent

October
Navigation Act

November
Henry Ireton, the general leading parliament’s military campaign in Ireland, captures Limerick but dies there; parliament votes not to sit beyond November 1654

1652

1652

January
Parliament appoints the Hale Committee to report on possible reforms to the laws and the judicial system

February
Act of pardon and oblivion

May
Beginning of the Dutch War

August
Act to settle Ireland, including confiscation of Catholic property and transplantation of Irish Catholics

1653

1653

April
Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army eject the Rump; interim Council set up

July
Nominated Assembly opens

Autumn
Growing divisions within the Nominated Assembly between moderate reformers and a more radical group

December
Nominated Assembly resigns; a new written constitution, the Instrument of Government, adopted; the Protectorate begins, Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector for life; the Lord Protector and Protectoral Council begin passing a programme of Ordinances which have full statutory power

1654

1654

January
Engagement Oath abolished

March
Triers Ordinance

April
Dutch War ended by the Treaty of Westminster; Ordinance uniting Scotland and England

August
Ejectors Ordinance; Chancery Ordinance

September
First Protectorate Parliament meets; expiry of temporary legislative power of the Lord Protector and Protectoral Council; outspoken republican attacks on the Protectorate in the opening week of the parliament; the Lord Protector briefly closes parliament and imposes a new test of MPs retaking their seats, effectively excluding republicans; parliament reopens and embarks upon a more moderate but extensive revision of the written constitution

December
The Lord Protector and Protectoral Council dispatch an amphibious expedition, the Western Design, to attack Spanish territory in the Caribbean

1655

1655

January
First Protectorate Parliament dissolved, with its revision of the written constitution and all other proposed legislation incomplete

March
Royalist rising led by John Penruddock in Wiltshire; crushed by the New Model Army in Devon

April
Western Design attacks Spanish-held Hispaniola but fiercely rebuffed

May
Western Design captures Spanish-held Jamaica; George Cony prosecuted for refusing to pay Customs duties

Summer
The Lord Protector and Protectoral Council draw up plans for the system of the Major-Generals, a new tier of semi-military regional administration in England and Wales

Autumn
The system of the Major-Generals launched

October
War with Spain formally declared; alliance with France

December
A series of meetings convened by the Lord Protector concludes that no laws prevent the settlement of Jews in England and Wales

1656

1656

June
Decision to call another parliament

September
Second Protectorate Parliament meets; Protectoral Council excludes undesirable MPs from outset

December
Debates in parliament on the punishment of James Naylor, a Quaker thought to have committed extreme blasphemy

1657

1657

January
Debates in parliament on a bill to accept and regularise the system of the Major-Generals by authorising the ten per cent tax on former royalists used to finance it; bill rejected and the system dismantled

February
A new written constitution, restoring monarchy, proposed and debates on it begin

March
A revised written constitution, the Humble Petition and Advice, accepted by parliament and presented to the Lord Protector; further military alliance with France

May
Oliver Cromwell firmly rejects the Humble Petition and Advice, largely on the grounds that it would restore kingship; revised by parliament to drop that title and to retain a Lord Protector; in that revised form, accepted by Oliver Cromwell

June
Parliament passes an Additional (Humble) Petition and Advice, to add or clarify some constitutional provisions; the joint documents accepted as the new written constitution of the Protectorate, superseding the Instrument of Government; first session of the Second Protectorate Parliament ends; second inauguration of the Protectorate

Autumn
The Lord Protector appoints founder-members of the new second parliamentary chamber; English military successes, fighting alongside the French army, against Spanish forces in Flanders and the southern Low Counties, including the capture of Mardyke; Spanish attempts to recapture Jamaica defeated

1658

1658

January
Parliament reassembles for the second session of the Second Protectorate Parliament

February
After a brief and stormy second session, the Second Protectorate Parliament is dissolved

Summer
Further victories for English forces fighting the Spanish in Flanders, including the capture of Dunkirk, to be held by the Protectorate; another Spanish attempt to recapture Jamaica defeated

August
Oliver Cromwell falls seriously ill

September
Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell dies; his elder son, Richard, becomes Lord Protector

November
State funeral of the late Lord Protector; Lord Protector and Protectoral Council decide to call a parliament

1659

1659

January
Third Protectorate Parliament meets

Late Winter
Republican attacks on the regime in parliament fail

Early Spring
Parliament attempts to limit the cost, size and influence of the New Model Army

April
Under great pressure from the senior army officers, the Lord Protector dissolves the Third Protectorate Parliament

May
Senior army officers recall the Rump, which resumes its meetings; Richard Cromwell held under house arrest and then forced to resign

August
Parliament and the New Model Army cooperated to defeat Sir George Booth’s royalist rising in Cheshire

October
Senior army officers of the New Model Army eject the Rump; in its stead they set up a military-orientated Committee of Safety

Autumn
Moves by the senior army officers and the role of their Committee of Safety divides the New Model Army, with dismay and opposition from other officers and units, especially those based in Ireland and Scotland; much of the fleet also comes out in opposition

December
Implosion, collapse and resignation of the Committee of Safety; Rump recalled once again

1660

1660

January
At head of loyal regiments, General George Monck enters London unopposed pledging to restore order

February
Under Monck’s influence, the Rump votes to readmit members of the House of Commons excluded at and since Pride’s Purge

March
Parliament votes to dissolve itself and make way for fresh elections

April
Convention meets; Charles Stuart, calling himself Charles II, issues a series of declarations and letters from Breda

May
Convention votes that government should be by king, Lords and Commons; Charles II proclaimed king; Charles II returns, landing at Dover and entering