Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology

A    R e f o r m a t i o n    T i m e    L i n e

by William Tyndale

I.   The Pre-Reformation Period  (1215 – 1515)

II.   The Reformation Period  (1516 – 1563)

III.   The Post-Reformation Period  (1564 – 1689)

I.   The Pre-Reformation Period  (1215 – 1515)

Signing of Magna Carta; English barons force King John to agree to a statement of their rights 

Edward I expells all Jews from England 

Sacreans (Muslims) capture Accre, last Christian stronghold in Palestine; end of Crusades after 200 years 

Kublai Khan dies after 35-year reign establishing Ming dynasty 

England’s Model Parliament—Edward I summons bishops, knights, and burgesses from all parishes for first representative parliament 

A Genoese prisoner, Marco Polo, writes about his travels to Orient 

“Unam Sanctam,” papal bull of Pope Boniface VIII, asserts papal supremacy over every human being 

King Philip IV of France convenes first Estates-General (Parliament) with all estates represented 

England expels 100,000 Jews who remained after Edward expulsion order of 1290 

Dante Alighieri, Italian poet, begins writing The Divine Comedy 

Pope Clement, a Frenchman, move papal court to Avignon, France, beginning “The Babylonian Captivity,” lasting until 1377 

England’s barons force Edward II to appoint lords ordainers to help him rule 

Parliament rules taxation shall be imposed only by Parliament 

c. 1310
Perfection of the mechanical clock 

Battle of Bannockburn assures independence of Scotland—30,000 Scotsmen under Robert Bruce VIII rout 100,000 led by Edward II 

At Battle of Dundalk, Ireland’s Edward Bruce killed three years after being proclaimed king 

Mexico City  has its beginning in the city of Tenochtitlan founded by Aztecs in Lake Texcoco 

Queen Isabella and her paramour, Roger Mortimer, invade England and capture her husband, Edward II 

First mention of gunpowder (in Venice) for warfare 

Edward II is killed in prison; Isabella’s 14-year-old son becomes Edward III 

Louis IV invades Italy and declares Pope John XXII deposed for heresy 

John Wycliffe born in Wycliffe-on-Tees 

Edward III seizes power, ends regencey of Isabella and Mortimer 

Beginning of “Hundred Years War” between England and France—Edward III assumes title of King of France; French king Philip VI contests England’s claims to Normandy 

Declaration of Rhense—Electors of Holy Roman Empire can select emperor without papal intervention 

English Parliament divided into Upper House (Lords) and Lower House (Commons) 

Cathedral of Notre Dame completed in Paris after 182 years of construction 

Battle of Crecy establishes England as military power; English longbowmen change face of warfare 

The Black Death (bubonic plague) devastates Europe, killing as many as two-thirds of the population in some parts 

Black Death reaches England 

Death of William of Ockham, English philosopher, who sowed seeds of independance of church and state 

England removes Pope’s power to give English benefices to foreigners 

Parliament’s Statue of Praemunrie forbids appeals to the Pope 

Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, destroys French army at Battle of Poitiers 

“The Golden Bull” of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV transforms empire from monarchy into aristocratic federation to last 450 years 

First Swedish Riksdag (parliament); all classes represented 

First francs coined in France 

English becomes the authorized language of the law courts; French still used for legal documents 

Piers Plowman written by English poet over next 30 years 

Palace of Popes at Avignon completed after 28 years of construction 

Parliament refuses to pay feudal tribute to Pope 

Statute of Kilkenny forbids marriage between Irish and English 

Wycliffe’s First Presentation of his doctrine on the Eucharist;  he clarifies a theme which is later enshrined as a central doctrine of the Reformation 

John Ball in England preaches man’s natural equality 

John of Gaunt returns from French wars to become leader of the state 

Rioting ends Wycliffe’s trial at St. Paul’s 

Pope Gregory XI issues five bulls against Wycliffe 

Wycliffe agrees to “house arrest” at Oxford 

Leaving Avignon, Pope Gregory XI moves papal court to Rome; ending the “Babylonian Captivity” 

Queen Mother ends Wycliffe’s trial at Lambeth Palace 

The Great Schism divides the Catholic Church for 39 years when two opposing popes are elected—Pope Urban V in Rome and Pope Clement VII in Avignon{Avignon  } 

Pope Urban VI presides in Rome whilst Pope Clement VII presides in Avignon 

John Wycliffe publishes Confession, denying that the "substance" of bread and wine are miraculously changed during the Eucharist; Wycliffe withdraws from public to Lutterworth

The Peasant Revolt; 30,000 rioters converge on London; ends when Wat Tyler, their leader, is betrayed and killed 

Wycliffe, with the assistance of his aides, intensifies his work on an English translation of Bible (from the Latin Vulgate not the Biblical Greek and Hebrew); this is the first translation of the Bible into the English tongue

Blackfriars Synod condemns Wycliffe’s writings, followed by purge of Wycliffites at Oxford. 

Wycliffe, “morning star of the Reformation”, dies on New Year’s Eve 

Chaucer begins work on The Canterbury Tales 

Statute of Provisors makes papal appointments in England invalid 

Second Statue of Praemunrie prohibits introduction of papal bulls 

John of Gaunt dies; Richard II confiscates his estates; John Gaunt’s son, Henry of Bolingbroke, returns from exile and is acclaimed by Parliament as King Henry IV; Richard II dies a year later in prison 

Sir Jon Oldcastle (Lord Cobham), disciple of Wycliffe, burned at stake 

The Council of Constance condemns Wycliffe on 267 different heresies 

At Battle of Agincourt, Henry V leads English archers in victory over larger French cavalry 

Council of Constance condemns Wycliffe of 267 heresies and demands that John Hus recant; he refuses and is burned at the stake 

At papal command, remains of Wycliffe dug up, burned, and scattered on the river Swift 

Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) burned as a witch at Rouen 

Leonardo da Vinci born 

Sack of Constantinople by the Turks; Christian refugees are welcomed into Florence bring their libraries, including ancient copies of the Greek Septuagint, with them; this encourages the revival of “New Learning” throughout western Europe and will make possible Erasmus’s ground breaking work on the Greek New Testament (the basis of the Textus Receptus)

End of Hundred Years War between England and France 

Gutenberg completes printing the Bible using movable type (first printing of the Bible in any language); the invention of the commercial printing press revolutionizes how knowledge and information are shared; it proves to be an essential and powerful tool in spreading the Gospel

War of Roses begin in England 

Turks capture Bosnia 

c. 1469
Erasmus born 

Lorenzo de’ Medici rules Florence

Ferdinand and Isabella marry 

Portuguese explorers discover Gold Coast of Africa 

Thomas á Kempis, author of The Imitation of Christ, dies 

Copernicus born 

William Caxton sets up printing press at Westminster 

Spanish Inguisition Spanish Inquisition persecutes Jews, Muslims, and heretics 

Ferdinand and Isabella appoint Inquisition against heresy among converted Jews 

Ivan III styles himself Czar of the Russians 

Portuguese explorers discover bananas on west coast of Africa 

Luther is born at Eisleben (November 10) 

“At Hammel in Saxony, on the 20th of June, 1484, the Devil, in the likeness of a pied piper, carried away 130 children, that were never after seen.” 

Japan’s shogun Yoshimasa introduces the tea ceremony 

Ulrich (Huldrych) Zwingli born at Wildhaus (Toggenburg) in Canton of St. Gall 

Caxton prints Morte D'Arthur, the poetic collection of legends about King Arthur compiled by Sir Thomas Malory 

Treaty of Leipzig divides Saxony 

Henry VII crowned first king of 117-year Tudor dynasty 

Battle of Bosworth on August 22 ends England’s 15-year Wars of the Roses; 

Symbols + and – come into use 

Beginnings of ballet at Italian courts 

Henry VIII born 

Spanish forces conquer city of Granada, expelling Islamic Moors from Iberian peninsula 

Christopher Columbus, with three ships and 78 men set sail on September 6 after first attempt aborted; arrives in the Bahamas, thinking he has reached the East Indies 

Lorenzo de’ Medici dies 

Christopher Columbus introduces Europeans to the pineapple, parrots, Indians, peppers, allspice, maize, and sweet potatoes 

Nuremberg geographer Behaim constructs first terrestrial globe 

Leonardo da Vinci draws a flying machine 

Profession of publisher emerges, consisting of typefounder, printer, and bookseller 

Inquisitor-general Torquemada gives Spanish Jews three months to convert or leave country;  200,000 Jews are expelled 

Maximilian I becomes Holy Roman Emperor 

The pope divides the New World between Spain and Portugal 

First mobile artillery firing iron cannon balls, used by Charles VIII in Italy 

William Tyndale is born

First recorded outbreak of syphilis; infects army of Charles VIII at Naples 

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” 

Menno Simons born 

John Cabot reaches coast of Newfoundland; Vasco de Gama discovers west coast of India 

The College of Cardinals discusses a church bill condemning “licentious clergy,” but the idea is soon dropped 

Melanchthon born 

Albrecht Durer paints Apocalypse 

John Cabot discovers Newfoundland 

Savonarola burned at the stake for heresy in Florence 

Vasco de Cama establishes sea route between Portugal and India 

War between Swabian League and Swiss Cantons. Swiss victory forces Treaty of Basel granting Swiss independance 

Granada’s Moors revolt as Inquisitor de Cisneros introduces forced wholesale Christian conversion 

Pope Alexander VI proclaims a Year of Jubilee; imposes a tithe for crusade against Turks 

First human Caesarian operation performed by Swiss pig gelder Jakob Nufer 

Postal service between Vienna and Brussels established 

Music printed for the first time by use of movable type 

Peace of Trent between France and Emperor Maximilian I recognizes French conquests in Upper Italy 

Erasmus’ Enchiridion promotes a Christianity based on the Sermon of the Mount 

Michaelangelo completes Pieta 

Papal bull orders the burning of any books questioning Church’s authority 

University of Wittenberg established by Frederick, Elector of Saxony 

Canterbury Cathedral completed after 436 years of construction 

Da Vinci paints “Mona Lisa” 

Pocket handkerchief comes into use 

Venice sends ambassadors to Sultan of Turkey, proposing construction of a Suez Canal 

John Knox , the leader of the Scottish Reformation, is born 

William Tyndale (age 12?) enters Magdalen College at Oxford; as a youth “singularly addicted to the scriptures”, he reads the Bible in English (translating from the Latin Vulgate) to his fellow students (11 years prior to Luther’s 95 Thesis).

Pope Julius orders work on St. Peter’s in Rome; Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” 

Martin Luther ordained and celebrates first Mass 

New geography by Waldseemüller proposes the New World be called “America” after Amerigo Vespucci 

League of Cambrai formed by Margaret of Austria, the Cardinal of Rouen, and Ferdinand of Aragon to despoil Venice 

Diet of Constance recognizes unity of Holy Roman Empire 

Michelangelo begins painting Sistine Chapel ceiling 

Henry VIII assumes English throne and marries Catherine of Aragon 

Luther visits Rome 

First shipload of African slaves arrives in Hispaniola (Haiti) 

John Calvin, the Swiss Reformer, is born in Noyon, France 

Erasmus writes Praise of Folly at Thomas More’s home 

African slaves cross the Atlantic to work in Portuguese sugar plantations in Brazil 

Pope Julius forms Holy League with Venice and Aragon to drive French out of city;  Henry VIII joins Holy League 

William Tyndale completes his B.A. at Oxford

Ponce de Leon discovers Florida 

Copernicus publishes that the earth actually revolves around the sun 

Forces of the Holy League meet defeat at Ravenna; coalition of Swiss, papal, and imperial forces drive French and their German mercenaries out of Milan

Giovanni de Medici becomes Pope Leo X—“one of most severe trials to which God ever subjected his church”

Peasant and labor rebellions spread eastward from Switzerland 

Henry VIII conducts brief invasion of France 

Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean 

Tyndale completes his M.A. at Oxford and is ordained, but refuses to enter monastic orders

Thomas Wolsey is appointed Cardinal and Lord Chancellor of England 

II.   The Reformation Period  (1516 – 1563)

Select another Time Period:  < Pre-Reformation > < Post Reformation >

                                                                        (1215 - 1515)          (1564 - 1689) 
Erasmus publishes his edition of Greek-Latin New Testament, Novum Instrumentum; this translation powerfully demonstrated the corruption of the Latin Vulgate’s text; Erasmus promotes the translation of the Bible into vernacular tongues for reading by the plowboy and the “simplest woman”

Pope Julius II convenes the Lateran Council to undertake reforms in abuses of Church in Rome 

Sir Thomas More writes Utopia 

Martin Luther posts 95 theses in protest against saleable indulgences

Erasmus publishes anti-war tract 

Tetzel hired by Albert of Mainz to sell indulgences 

At meeting of Augustinians in Heidelberg, Luther defends his theology; later he appears before Cardinal Cajetan at Augsburg, but refuses to recant; in December, Frederick the Wise protects Luther from being handed over to Rome. 

The Spanish carry out their conquest of Mexico 

Luther questions papal infallibility in a debate 

Luther begins New Testament sermon series, signaling new era of Biblical preaching 

Zwingli begins New Testament sermons; Swiss reformation is born 

Cortes enters Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan 

Charles V (of Spain) succeeds Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor 

Papal bull “Exsurge Domine” gives Luther 60 days to recant or be excommunicated; writes 3 seminal documents:  To the Christian Nobility, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and The Freedom of a Christian; burns papal bull and canon law 

Suleiman I (the Magnificent) becomes sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Turks) 

Cambridge students form a study-group at the White Horse Tavern Little Bilney, William Tyndale, John Frith, and Thomas Cranmer are among them

Luther is Excommunicated by the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem; at Diet of Worms in April, he refuses to recant writings, and edict (in May) condemns him as heretic and outlaw; he is “kidnapped” and hidden at Wartburg Castle; begins translating the New Testament into German

Religious unrest in Wittenberg: private masses abolished, Karlstadt serves Communion in both elements, religious statues destroyed 

Pope titles Henry VIII “Defender of the Faith” for attacking Luther’s views of the sacraments 

Lutheran books appear in England 

“Zwickau prophets,” early Anabaptists, arrive in Wittenberg 

Pope Leo X dies, succeeded by Hadrian VI 

The Turks capture Belgrade 

Carlstadt celebrates first Protestant communion at Wittenburg 

Diet of Worms; Luther refuses to recant; gets backing of German princes; begins German translation of Bible 

William Tyndale begins teaching at Little Sodbury; disputes with local clergy and is arraigned on charges of heresy; translates Erasmus’s Enchiridion

Anabaptist movement begins in Germany 

Stump and Reublin challenge paying of tithes 

Luther introduces German liturgy in Wittenburg 

Tyndale resides with Humphrey Monmouth in London

Tyndale seeks patronage of Bishop Tunstall and is rebuffed; then, assisted by Monmouth, he travels to Germany and registers at the University of Wittenburg

Luther debates Karlstadt on the Lord’s Supper 

Erasmus publishes On Freedom of the Will 

Peasant Wars breaks out in southern Germany 

Diet of Nuremberg fails to enforce Edict of Worms condemning Luther 

In Cologne, Tyndale prepares to print an English New Testament; but he is discovered and escapes with only a few printed portions

Anabaptist movement begins in Zürich, spreads to Germany; First Zürich disputation with those opposed to infant baptism; First believer’s baptism in Zürich; Denck banished from Nuremberg for views on Lord’s Supper; First Anabaptist congregation of 35 converts established in Zollikon;  First imprisonment of Anabaptists occurs in Zürich; they escape 

Luther marries Katherine von Bora; writes Bondage of the Will (against Erasmus). 

Charles V defeats Francis I;  Elector Frederick the Wise dies; 

France makes pact with Suleiman I 

Tyndale completes the printing of New Testament (in Worms); (It is the first printing of the New Testament in English and the first English translation of the scriptures from the Biblical Greek); smuggled copies of his New Testaments are soon being circulated throughout England

Cardinal Wolsey presides at a massive burning of “Lutheran” books 

Reformation spreads to Sweden and Denmark 

League of Torgau formed; First Diet of Speyer postpones enforcement of Edict of Worms 

Erasmus publishes the works of St. Augustine 

Bishop Tunstall orders the purchase and burning of all the testaments; but this serves only to finance Tyndale’s second edition of the New Testament

The German and Spanish Imperial troops of Charles V sack Rome 

Basel orders corporeal punishment and confiscation of property for adult baptism and sheltering Anabaptists 

Luther pens “A Mighty Fortress”; writes against Zwingli’s views on the Lord’s Supper 

First Protestant university (Marburg) founded 

Plague strikes Wittenberg 

English agents seek to capture Tyndale on the Continent; he keeps moving and continues to translate and write

Reformation established in Bern 

Swabian League authorizes military division of 400 horsemen to scout for Anabaptists 

Thomas Bilney, respected Cambridge preacher and “Lutheran sympathizer,” is dragged from his pulpit and imprisoned 

Simon Fish, a London attorney and amateur actor who has fled to Antwerp after spoofing the clergy, writes "A Supplication for Beggars", which urges an end to taxes for Rome. (Henry VIII really likes this book.) 

Tyndale publishes Obedience of a Christian Man; Sir Thomas More begins writing against Tyndale and Luther (Dialogue)

Henry VIII dismisses Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey for failing to obtain the Pope's consent to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon; Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor; Henry VIII summons the “Reformation Parliament" and begins to cut the ties with the Church of Rome 

Reformation becomes official in Basel 

Diet of Speyer—Luther’s followers name Protestants (first use of the term) 

Luther and Zwingli attend Marburg Colloquy, but no agreement reached on the Lord’s Supper 

Tyrolean Anabaptists flea homeland for Moravia 

Diet of Speyer restores death penalty for rebaptizing 

Turks lay siege to Vienna 

Tyndale’s translation of the the first five books of the Old Testament appears in England (printed in Worms); he also publishes Practice of Prelates

Hoffman baptizes 300 Anabaptists in Emden and sends lay preachers to Netherlands 

Luther, as outlaw, cannot attend the Diet of Augsburg, held in attempt to end religious division in the empire; Melanchthon presents Augsburg Confession, a statement of Lutheran beliefs 

Protestants form Schmalkaldic League against Emperor Charles V 

Tyndale meets Henry VIII’s agent Steven Vaughan, but declines the king’s invitation to return to England; Tyndale’s translation of the Book of Jonah and his Exposition of the first Epistle of St. John are printed; Tyndale responds to Thomas More’s Dialogue, with An Answer

Thomas Bilney is burned at stake 

Bullinger succeeds Zwingli and publishes first book against Anabaptists 

Zwingli angles for French support for the Reformation by allowing Swiss mercenaries to be hired 

Dressed in battle armor, Zwingli joins the forces on October 11 and is killed in battle 

Thomas More responds to Tyndale’s An Answer with his Confutation; Tyndale, choosing to spend his energies in more essential endeavors, breaks off debate with More

English clergy submit to Henry VIII 

Calvin starts Protestant movement in France;  publishes his first work—a commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia. 

Diet of Regensburg and Peace of Nuremberg guarantee religious toleration in face of Turkish threat 

Tyndale’s translation of Erasmus’s Enchiridion and his revision of chapters five, six, and seven of Matthew’s Gospel are printed; his beloved friend, John Frith, is burned at the stake in Smithfield;

Thomas Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury;  (This effectly ends clerical celibacy among Anglicans, as Cranmer is twice-married) 

The Act in Restraint of Appeals prohibits appeals to the bishop of Rome. 

Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine is declared void;  Anne Boleyn crowned Queen 

Calvin and Nicolas Cop flee Paris. At about this time Calvin undergoes a “sudden conversion.” 

Hutter joins Moravian group who become known as Hutterites 

Pizarro conquers Peru 

Ivan “the Terrible” (age 3) ascends Russian throne

Tyndale’s revised New Testament is printed; he moves into Thomas Poyntz’s English merchants’ boarding house in Antwerp (English House)

Pope Paul III, the father of three illegitimate children, comes to power 

Luther completes translation of Bible into German 

Act of Supremacy Henry VIII establishes himself as Supreme Head of Church and Clergy of England 

Ignatius Loyola founds Society of Jesus to spread Counter Reformation 

Strassburg decrees that Anabaptists must leave the city 

King’s agent Henry Phillips arrives in Antwerp and “befriends” Tyndale, then arranges to have him arrested while Thomas Poyntz is out of town; Tyndale is cast into Vilvoorde prison near Brussels

Myles Coverdale, a close aide of Tyndale, translates the portions of the Old Testament not completed by Tyndale (relying heavily on Tyndale's early drafts) and publishes the "Coverdale Bible"; This is the first printing of the entire Bible in the English language

Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher beheaded for opposing Henry VIII 

Anabaptist uprising at Münster put down, and Anabaptists executed 

Charles V conquers Tunis and frees 20,000 Christian slaves; Emperor forms Catholic Defense League 

France makes pact with Suleiman I 

Following a fifteen month imprisonment William Tyndale is strangled and burned at stake for heresy (6th October)

Luther agrees to Wittenberg Concord on the Lord’s Supper, in an attempt to resolve differences with other reformers, but the Zwinglians do not accept it 

Denmark and Norway become Lutheran; 

Erasmus dies 

Menno Simons breaks with Rome; becomes Anabaptist leader in Netherlands 

Calvin is persuaded by Farel to remain in Geneva;  publishes the first edition of Institutes of the Christian Religion 

Henry VIII dissolves 376 monasteries and nuneries 

John Rogers, a close aide of Wm. Tyndale, publishes the second complete English Bible.    Because the major part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities, it is published under the pseudonym "Thomas Matthew".  The "Matthew's Bible" is a composite made up of Tyndale's Pentateuch and New Testament (1534-1535 edition) and Coverdale's Bible and a small amount of Roger's own translation. 

Landgrave Philip of Hesse arranges debate between Anabaptists and Bucer; results in Hessian Anabaptists returning to state church and state church deciding to excommunicate immoral Christians 

Calvin and Farel are banished from Geneva. Calvin goes to Strasbourg as pastor to the French-speaking congregation. 

Luther writes against the Jews in Against the Sabbatarians 

Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the bequest of the King Henry VIII commissions Myles Coverdale to publish a large pulpit Bible.  It became the first English Bible authorized for public use, distributed to every church and chained to the pulpit.  The Great Bible was approved by Henry VIII: “sent abroad among the people” to be read by all and “set forth with the king’s most gracious license”. 

This Bible — mostly comprised of Tyndale’s translation — was known as the "Great Bible" due to its great size: a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall.  Seven editions of this version were printed between April of 1539 and December of 1541.  Printers and sellers of books were encouraged to provide for the “free and liberal use of the Bible in our own maternal English tongue”.  By the decree of the king every church was to provide a reader so that the illiterate could hear the Word of God in their own tongue.  It would seem that William Tyndale's last prayer had been granted three years after his martyrdom. 

The Six Articles, against Lutheranism. Hugh Latimer, bishop of Winchester, resigns in protest. Henry VIII is still occasionally burning Lutherans and hanging Roman Catholics. 

Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves, executes the now-unpopular Thomas Cromwell, and marries Katherine Howard. 

Cardinal Sadeleto writes letter to Geneva. Calvin is asked to respond on behalf of Geneva. 

Frankfurt Truce declared between Catholic and Protestant territories 

Simons publishes the Foundation Book of Anabaptist faith 

Pope recognizes order of Jesuits; will make them the chief agents of Counter Reformation 

Conferences at Hagenau and Worms fail to reconcile Protestants and Catholics 

John Calvin establishes theocracy in Geneva 

John Knox establishes Calvinist Reformation in Scotland 

Peter Riedeman writes Hutterite Confession of Faith 

Henry VIII assumes titles of King of Ireland and Head of Irish Church 

At Conference of Regensburg, Melanchthon and Bucer reach agreement with Catholics on most doctrines, but Luther and Rome reject their work 

Calvin writes a treatise on free will against the Roman Catholic theologian Albert Pighius 

Luther writes On the Jews and Their Lies 

Copernicus writes that earth revolves around sun 

Alliance between Henry and Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) against Scotland and France 

Ferdinand I and Suleiman I agree to truce 

Council of Trent, for reform of Catholic Church, opens 

Cranmer instructed to write prayers and a litany (for the army) in English.  He does this so well that he is asked to make a prayer book in English, based on the service at Salisbury Cathedral

Henry VIII's last speech to Parliament; He says Papist, Lutheran, Anabaptist are names devised by the devil to sunder one man's heart from another 

Luther writes Against the Papacy at Rome, an Institution of the Devil 

Peace of Augsburg allows rulers to determine religion of their region 

Luther dies

Henry VIII dies 

Edward VI dies; succeeded by Mary I (“Bloody Mary”) 

Servetus, Spanish theologian and physician executed in Geneva as a heretic 

Mary I marries Philip (later Philip II of Spain);  Catholicism restored in England;  Elizabeth is imprisoned. During Mary’s reign, about 300 Protestants are burned, including 5 bishops, 100 priests, 60 women. John Rogers, Tyndale's close assistant (alias "Thomas Matthew"), is the first to burn. Protestants are forced into exile or hiding. An attempt by Cardinal Pole (Mary's archbishop of Canterbury) to restore monasticism fizzles when, among 1500 surviving monks, nuns, and friars, fewer than 100 are willing to return to celibacy.

In the 1550's the Church in Switzerland was very sympathetic to the reformer refugees and was one of only a few safe havens for a desperate people. Many of them gathered in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham. Over 200 including 8 pastors and 2 bishops found refuge in John Knox’s congregation and there were many more English Protestants in exile elsewhere. There, with the protection of John Calvin, the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.

Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley are burned at the stake as Cranmer watches; Later John Hooper and John Bradford are also burned 

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, is forced to recant but later repudiates; He is burned at the stake 

Publication of Geneva New Testament

Publication of Geneva Bible (complete Old and New Testament); This is the first time a Bible is printed with verse divisions

Thirty-Nine Articles drafted as a doctrinal statement by a convocation of the Church of England. 

John Foxe's publishes Acts & Monuments ("Foxe’s Book of Martyrs"); to this day it remains the only exhaustive reference work on the persecution and martyrdom of Early Christians and Protestants from the first century up to the mid-16th century 


III.   The Post-Reformation Period  (1564 – 1689)

Select another Time Period:  < Pre-Reformation >  < Reformation >

                                                                           (1215 - 1515)            (1516 - 1563)
The term “Puritan” first used 

Calvin dies 

William Shakespeare born 

Alliance between England and Netherlands; 

Francis Drake sails around the world (to 1580) 

Mary I dies; succeeded by Elizabeth I 

Defeat of Spanish Armada 

Boris Godunov seizes throne on death of Fyodor I of Russia 

Elizabeth I grants charter to East India Company 

Elizabeth I dies;  James VI proclaimed King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, as James I 

"Gunpowder plot"; Guy Fawkes and other Roman Catholic conspirators fail in attempt to blow up Parliament 

Parliament rejects proposals for union between England and Scotland 

Colony of Virginia is founded at Jamestown by John Smith; 

Henry Hudson begins voyage to eastern Greenland and Hudson River (Hudson Bay discovered 1610) 

Publication of King James Bible;  approximately 85% of the New Testament and the first half of the Old Testament are rendered as Tyndale translated them 

English and Scottish Protestant colonists settle in Ulster 

Separatists (“Pilgrims”) land at Plymouth Rock on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the "Mayflower"; found New Plymouth 

Scots adopt the Solemn League and Covenant 

Westminster Assembly drafts Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms 

Scots invade England and are defeated by Cromwell at battle of Preston Pride's Purge 

England siezes New Amsterdam from the Dutch, change name to New York 

Great Plague in London 

Great Fire of London 

John Milton publishes Paradise Lost 

Secret Treaty of Dover between Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France to restore Roman Catholicism to England 

Hudson's Bay Company founded 

Act of Habeas Corpus passed, forbidding imprisonment without trial 

James II issues Declaration of Liberty of Conscience, extends toleration to all religions 

England's 'Glorious Revolution'; William III of Orange is invited to save England from Roman Catholicism, lands in England, James II flees to France 

Convention Parliament issues Bill of Rights; establishes a constitutional monarchy in Britain; bars Roman Catholics from the throne; William III and Mary II become joint monarchs of England and Scotland (to1694), 

Toleration Act grants freedom of worship to dissenters in England

Select a Time Period:   < Pre-Reformation (1215 - 1515) >  < Reformation (1516 - 1563) >  < Post Reformation (1564 - 1689) >

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