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A series of Acts of Parliament are passed which remove the Pope's power over the English Church and transfers it to King Henry VIII. Dissolution of the monasteries and other religious institutions


During the reign of Edward VI, the theological position of the Church of England becomes more strongly Protestant


Under Queen Mary I most of the changes which took place during the reigns of her father, Henry, and her brother, Edward, are reversed. England is reconciled with Rome and Catholicism is revived


Following the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, the changes made under Henry VIII are reaffirmed and Protestant practices are reintroduced


Repression of Protestantism in the Netherlands leads to a worsening of relations between England and Spain


Mary Queen of Scots' expulsion from Scotland to England creates a focus for Catholic discontent in England, resulting in a failed rebellion in the North in 1569


Provoked by the revival of Protestantism in England, and Queen Elizabeth's suppression of the Catholic rebellion in the North, the Pope excommunicates the Queen

24-30 August 1572

The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Protestants in France is seen in England as evidence of an international Catholic conspiracy


An Act of Parliament to retain the "Queen's Majesty's subjects in their Due Obedience" is passed to try and counter the missionary activities of Catholic priests in England


Following the success of Spanish efforts to suppress Protestantism in the Netherlands, Elizabeth reluctantly agrees to send troops and money to help in its defence


Philip II of Spain unleashes an Armada to invade England. It is a costly failure, but is only the beginning of a long European war. England supports the Dutch in the Netherlands against the Spanish, and also the Protestant Huguenots of France against the Spanish-backed Catholic faction  


Mary Queen of Scots is implicated in a conspiracy against Elizabeth. Tried and sentenced to death, she is executed in February 1587


Several of the Gunpowder conspirators of 1605, including Thomas Winter, were involved in a number of plots seeking the support of Spain to overthrow the English government

24 Mar 1603

Death of Queen Elizabeth I and accession of King James I of England


You can access biographies of

Henry VIII
Edward VI
Mary I
Elizabeth I
Mary Queen of Scots
Philip II of Spain
James VI & I

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.