English History Timeline 1520-1529

Henry VIII This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English history for the years 1520 – 1529

The monarch for this period was Henry VIII


1520 (date unknown)
Thomas Wyatt joined the court of King Henry VIII as an Esquire of the Body. He soon gained a reputation as a poet.
1520 (date unknown)
Nicholas Kratzer, the King’s astronomer, made the first polyhedral sundial.
1520 (February)
Thomas Wolsey took control of arrangements for the forthcoming summit meeting between King Henry VIII and Francis I of France. It was decided that the meeting would take place in the no man’s land between English Guisnes and French Ardres.
1520 (Spring)
An agreement was made with Scotland that the Scots would not invade England during the period of the summit meeting between Henry and Francis I.
1520 (May)
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was given charge of Princess Mary’s household.
1520 (25th May)
King Henry and his court of 6,000 reached Canterbury. He had decided to meet Emperor Charles V before crossing the channel to meet Francis I of France.
1520 (27th May)
King Henry and Catherine of Aragon met Charles V. It was the first time that Catherine had met her nephew. Henry and Charles had secret talks which were followed by a banquet and dancing.
1520 (29th May)
Charles left England. A further meeting between Henry and Charles was to take place at Gravelines after the summit with Francis I.
1520 (30th, 31st May)
Henry and the royal court crossed the Channel for the summit meeting with Francis I. A total of 27 ships were needed to take everyone across the Channel.
1520 (5th June)
The English court left Calais for Guisnes.
1520 (6th June)
Wolsey, chief organiser of the summit, rode in procession to the French court at Ardres. He was attended by 100 archers, 50 gentlemen ushers and number of priests.
1520 (7th June)
Henry and Francis met. Both kings were attended by a large retinue and both were grandly dressed in rich cloth and jewels. The Kings embraced warmly and ratified the treaty of London.
1520 (11th – 22nd June)
Field of the Cloth of Gold
This was the name given to the summit meeting between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. It gained its name because a large number of cloth of gold tents had been erected in the no man’s land between English Guisnes and French Ardres. Henry stayed in a temporary palace which had a stone base and walls of half timber, half brick. The palace was constructed with a central courtyard and had a magnificent fountain in front. Tournaments, jousts, banquets and dancing celebrated the meeting between the two kings.
1520 (24th June)
Henry and Francis formally said goodbye and agreed to build a chapel on the site of their meeting which would be named ‘The Chapel of Our Lady of Peace’
1520 (10th – 14th July)
Henry met Charles at Gravelines. They agreed a treaty which stated that neither was able to enter into any new alliances with France or other country without each other’s consent for a period of two years.
1520 (late July)
Henry returned to England.
1521 (April)
The peace between England and Scotland agreed in 1520 was extended.
1521 (May)
Henry completed his book Assertio Septum Sacramentorum (Assertion of the Seven Sacraments) against the teachings of Martin Luther. The 30,000 word book was written in Latin and bound with cloth of gold.
1521 (May)
English ambassadors were sent to France to try to persuade King Francis I to make peace with Charles V
1521 (17th May)
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason. He had been found guilty of plotting to take the throne for himself. He was a popular figure and his execution was not well received by the people.
1521 (during July)
Henry was reluctant to commit troops to aid Charles against Francis but Henry told Charles that if he would agree to a betrothal between himself and Princess Mary Henry would offer aid. Charles had no choice but to accept the terms.
1521 (25th August)
Treaty of Bruges
This was a treaty between England and Spain which agreed that Henry would keep the Channel clear thus allowing Charles free passage between Netherlands and Spain. In return Charles agreed to allow a safe crossing of the Channel for English vessels between England and Calais. It was also agreed that Henry and Charles would jointly invade France before 15th May 1523.
1521 (October)
A beautifully bound copy of Henry’s Book Septum Sacramentorum was presented to the Pope. The Pope gave Henry the hereditary title Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith).
1521 (29th November)
The Scottish Duke of Albany, who had been detained in France, was sent back to Scotland. Francis reasoned that if Henry attacked France then Albany could attack England from Scotland.
1522 (January)
Henry refused any renewal of the peace with Scotland unless the Duke of Albany was expelled.
1522 (January)
Anne Boleyn returned to England from France where she had been a lady in waiting to Queen Claude.
1522 (9th January)
Adrian Dedel of Utrecht was elected Pope Adrian IV. Wolsey was dismayed because Charles V had agreed to support him for Pope.
1522 (February)
Anne Boleyn, aged 15 years was given a place in the Queen’s household.
1522 (March)
Charles V was reassured that Henry would support him in any attack of France.
1522 (4th March)
Anne Boleyn took part in her first court pageant. Her sister Mary, who was the King’s mistress, partnered Henry in the dances.
1522 (27th May)
Charles V arrived in Dover to meet with Henry.
1522 (29th May)
Henry declared war on France.
1522 (19th June)
Treaty of Windsor
This treaty between England and Spain was an extension of the Treaty of Bruges (25th August 1521). Princess Mary and Charles V were formally betrothed in the presence of the English court.
1522 (July)
The Earl of Surrey was sent to Calais with an army to join Charles in attacking areas of France.
1522 (6th July)
Charles V returned to Spain.
1522 (4th September)
The Earl of Surrey entered French territory where he began raiding and burning towns and villages.
1522 (17th September)
A month’s truce was agreed between England and Scotland and Albany returned to France.
1522 (October)
Charles’ generals decided to abandon the attacks on France.
1523 (January)
Henry proposed a sixteen-year truce with Scotland which included a provision that Albany remain in France and that a marriage between James V and Princess Mary be made to seal the treaty. Scotland refused the terms.
1523 (April)
Parliament was summoned for the first time in eight years to approve taxation to raise money for the forthcoming invasion of France.
1523 (early September)
The Duke of Suffolk invaded France with instructions to lay siege to Boulogne. However, the promised help from Charles V did not materialise.
1523 (September)
The Earl of Surrey was sent north to carry out a series of raids on the border towns.
1523 (14th September)
Pope Adrian IV died.
1523 19th September)
The Duke of Suffolk abandoned the siege of Boulogne and marched towards Paris with the Spanish General Count Buren.
1523 (24th September)
The Earl of Surrey burned the border towns of Jedburgh and Haddington as well as destroying villages and farms in the Merse and Teviotdale. The Duke of Albany who had returned from France marched against the English with a Scottish army.
1523 (Autumn)
Thomas Wolsey discovered that Henry Percy had made a secret betrothal to Anne Boleyn. Percy, who was already betrothed to Mary Talbot, was forbidden to see Anne Boleyn and sent back to his homeland of Northumberland to marry Mary Talbot. Anne Boleyn was furious and swore to seek revenge on Wolsey.
1523 (October)
The Duke of Albany sent an army into England to lay siege to Wark. However, they were forced back to Edinburgh by bad weather.
1523 (early November)
The combined forces of Suffolk and Buren in France reached the outskirts of Paris. However, Francis had anticipated their move and the capital was filled with French troops. The weather was bad and many roads impassable. Insanitary conditions had led to the death of more than 100 English troops so Suffolk made the decision to return to Calais.
1523 (19th November)
Despite assurances that Charles V would back Wolsey for Pope, Guilo de Medici was elected Pope Clement VII.
1523 (late November)
Suffolk’s retreat in France resulted in a severe loss of popularity for Wolsey. People were angry that the increased taxation imposed by Wolsey had been for nothing.
1523 (early December)
Suffolk and the English army returned to England.
1524 (during)
Henry began to have serious doubts about the validity of his marriage. He believed that God was punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife
1524 (Spring)
England and France began secret peace negotiations.
1524 (21st May)
Henry appointed his brother in law, Charles Brandon, Earl Marshall of England.
1524 (June)
English ambassadors, Pace and Russell, joined the Duke of Bourbon on his march to lay siege to Marseilles and gave him a sum of money from Henry. Bourbon suggested that England should invade Northern France.
1524 (July)
Henry sent a message to the Duke of Bourbon telling him that it was impossible for him to invade Northern France at such short notice. Henry did not completely trust Bourbon and was worried that he might warn Francis of any invasion thus disrupting the ongoing secret peace talks.
1524 (July)
Marseilles withstood the siege by the Duke of Bourbon. Bourbon’s army, short of food and unpaid refused to fight on and the Duke returned to Italy.
1524 (26th July)
In Scotland Margaret Tudor, helped by Henry, succeeded in making her 12 year old son King James V of Scotland thus ending the regency of the Duke of Albany.
1524 (August)
Negotiations began regarding a possible marriage between James V of Scotland and Henry’s daughter Mary.
1524 (18th November)
Scotland and England began negotiating a possible peace treaty.
1525 (early)
Anne Boleyn had attracted the attention of the poet Thomas Wyatt. This meant that she was drawn into the King’s circle at court.
1525 (22nd January)
Jean Brinon, first President of the French Parliament arrived in England to join the continuing peace negotiations.
1525 (February)
A letter from the Spanish ambassador to Charles V was intercepted. The letter told Charles to make peace with France and form an alliance against England before the peace between England and France was settled. The Spanish ambassador was placed under house arrest.
1525 (24th February)
Francis I, King of France was taken prisoner after being defeated at the Battle of Pavia. When Henry heard the news he wanted to invade France immediately but was prevented from doing so due to lack of funds.
1525 (March)
Henry introduced a new tax called the Amicable Grant to try to raise money so that he could invade France. This new tax met resistance in the South of England. Protesters refused to pay the tax and threatened anyone paying it with violence.
1525 (April)
Charles V demanded that Henry send Princess Mary with part of her dowry in cash to him immediately. Henry refused to contemplate sending her to Spain before her twelfth birthday. Charles replied that if Henry would not send Mary to Spain then he wanted to be released from the betrothal so that he could marry elsewhere. Henry dispatched ambassadors to Spain to try to persuade Charles to mount a joint invasion of France with Henry.
1525 (26th April)
The Amicable Grant, which had met marked resistance in the South of England, was renounced.
1525 (7th June)
Charles V, who was in negotiations to marry Isabella of Portugal, sent word to Henry that he would agree to jointly invade France if Henry were to send Mary and her full dowry in cash to him in Spain immediately.
1525 (16th June)
Henry publicly recognised his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, when he created him Duke of Richmond.
1525 (late June)
Henry learned of Charles V’s intention to marry Isabella of Portugal when Charles V formally renounced his betrothal to Mary.
1525 (early Summer)
Henry was unconcerned by reports that Lutheranism had reached England.
1525 (Summer)
The Ordinances of Eltham were used by Wolsey to reorganise the Royal household. During the reorganisation a number of Catherine’s women, who did not agree with his policies, were dismissed.
1525 (August)
Princess Mary was sent to Ludlow to establish her own court in the Welsh marches. Catherine was upset that her daughter was to be sent away from London.
1525 (20th August)
The Treaty of the More
This was a collection of five treaties that settled peace between England and France.
1525 (29th September)
Thomas More was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
1526 (early)
Copies of William Tynedale’s English New Testament began to appear in England. The book had been published in Germany and smuggled into England.
1526 (February)
Henry VIII aged 35 years asked Anne Boleyn aged 19 years to become his mistress. He was amazed when she refused saying that she would only surrender her virginity to the man she married.
1526 (March)
Thomas Wyatt was sent on a diplomatic mission to Italy. It is thought that Henry wanted him away from Anne Boleyn.
1526 (March)
Copies of the English New Testament were among heretical books burned on a huge bonfire at St Paul’s.
1526 (Summer)
Anne Boleyn, unable to cope with the King’s attention, spent much time at her family home of Hever Castle. Henry who was still infatuated with her wrote her many letters protesting his love for her.
1526 (8th August)
A treaty was signed by France and England that agreed that neither country would deal with Charles on an individual basis.
1526 (Christmas)
Princess Mary returned to London to celebrate Christmas with her parents.
1527 (January)
Work began on a temporary building at Greenwich which would include a banqueting hall and a disguising house. Henry wanted to make a good impression on ambassadors that would be visiting court over the summer and autumn.
1527 (January)
Princess Mary returned to Ludlow.
1527 (early March)
French ambassadors arrived in England to negotiate terms for peace and a marriage between England and France. Negotiations were suspended when the Bishop of Tarbes questioned the validity of Henry’s marriage, having married his brother’s widow, and the legitimacy of Princess Mary.
1527 (March)
Although he was concerned by the comments made by the Bishop of Tarbes, Henry knew that they echoed what he had been feeling for some time. He was especially concerned by a passage in Leviticus that warns of the consequences which would be inflicted by God on anyone marrying his brother’s widow. Henry reasoned that the consequences in his case were a lack of a male heir.
This reasoning together with his infatuation for Anne Boleyn led Henry to the conclusion that he had to divorce Catherine. He had three options:
1. He could prove that the dispensation granted in 1503 by Pope Julius II allowing him to marry Catherine was invalid on some technical point.
2. He could prove that Julius II had exceeded his papal powers by granting the dispensation. This would involve proving that it was forbidden for a man to marry his brother’s widow by God’s law and that the Pope did not have the power to override God’s law.
3. He could persuade Catherine to enter a convent.
1527 (April)
Princess Mary was summoned to court so that she could be seen by French ambassadors negotiating a peace and marriage treaty with England.
1527 (April)
Wolsey was kept busy trying to find evidence that would further Henry’s divorce. His line of enquiry centred around trying to find out whether or not Catherine’s marriage with Prince Arthur had been consummated. He also tried to find evidence that Henry had been coerced into a marriage with Catherine. Eventually Wolsey came up with a plan. Wolsey would use his power as papal legate to summon Henry to appear before an ecclesiastical court which he would preside over. Henry would be charged with cohabiting with his brother’s widow and would plead guilty to the charge. The court would then order him to separate from Catherine and the marriage would be declared invalid.
1527 (30th April)
Treaty of Westminster agreed that an Anglo/French embassy would be sent to Spain to negotiate the release of Francis II’s two sons, the repayment of Charles’ debt to England and peace in Europe. Henry also agreed to give up all claims to the French throne in return for a yearly payment by France.
1527 (late Spring)
Anne Boleyn returned to court. She was given beautiful apartments and showered with jewellery and fine clothes. She had accepted Henry’s proposal to marry as soon as he was divorced from Catherine.
1527 (6th May)
The Greenwich Reception was held to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Westminster. It was held in the newly finished extension to Greenwich Palace and included a joust followed by a banquet and dancing.
1527 (6th May)
The Sack of Rome by the combined forces of Charles V and Bourbon meant that the Pope was under the control of Charles V.
1527 (17th May)
An ecclesiastical court was convened at Wolsey’s Palace, York Place. Henry was summoned and admitted the charge of marrying his brother’s widow. The court was adjourned to consider the case.
1527 (18th May)
Catherine learned of Henry’s move to divorce her.
1527 (31st May)
Despite Wolsey’s best efforts the ecclesiastical court convened to try Henry’s marriage was unable to reach a decision regarding the King’s marriage. The commissioners decided that since any decision they made could be overturned by the Pope the case should be referred to Rome.
The fact that the Pope was under the control of Charles V, Catherine’s nephew, meant it was unlikely that Pope Clement VII would find in Henry’s favour.
1527 (June)
Commissioners were sent to Rome to put a number of propositions to the Pope.
1. He could issue a dispensation allowing Catherine to enter a convent.
2. He could issue a dispensation which would allow Henry to take a second wife for the sole purpose of begetting a male heir.
3. He could extend Wolsey’s legatine power allowing Wolsey to try the case in England on the Pope’s behalf.
1527 (June)
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, declared himself to be against an annulment of the King’s marriage.
1527 (22nd June)
Henry told Catherine that they must separate because they had been living in sin. He asked for her cooperation and said that she could choose a house to retire to until the matter was resolved. Catherine was very upset and told Henry that her marriage to him was lawful and that she would resist any move to have the marriage annulled.
1527 (Summer)
Thomas More told Henry that he believed the marriage with Catherine was lawful.
1527 (July)
Catherine managed to get a letter out of the country to her nephew, Charles V, telling him of her situation in England. She asked Charles to speak to Henry on her behalf and also to persuade the Pope to make sure that the case was tried in Rome.
1527 (11th July)
An embassy of 1,000 headed by Wolsey left England to meet with Francis II at Abbeville. Wolsey talked to Francis about the King’s ‘Great Matter’ as the divorce was referred to and, unaware of Henry’s plans to marry Anne Boleyn, talked of a possibility of a French bride for Henry.
1527 (August)
Anne Boleyn joined Henry at Beaulieu where he was spending a month hunting. They lived together openly and the rumour that Henry was planning to marry Anne Boleyn soon spread. The King’s plan to divorce Catherine had met with strong disapproval by most of the population who blamed Wolsey and Anne Boleyn for trying to replace Catherine.
1527 (August)
The realisation that Henry intended to marry Anne Boleyn left Wolsey in a difficult position for he was working to secure the rise of Anne Boleyn who had sworn revenge on Wolsey after he had broken up her relationship with Henry Percy in 1521.
1527 (18th August)
The Treaty of Amiens provided for the marriage of Henry’s daughter, Mary, to Francis II’s second son, Henry, a commercial treaty where England would suspend trade with the Netherlands in favour of France and a treaty to mutually refuse to attend a General Council while the Pope remained captive. It was also agreed that both countries would demand the release of Francis II’s sons by Charles V.
1527 (early September)
Dr William Knight was sent on a secret mission to Rome by Henry. Knight was to ask the Pope for a dispensation which would allow Henry to marry Anne Boleyn even though he had had a relationship with her sister.
1527 (September)
A bad harvest this year was blamed on Anne Boleyn and Thomas Wolsey.
1527 (late September)
Henry began to consider the warnings of the Boleyn family that Wolsey was working for his own interests rather than those of the King. The news that Wolsey had detained Knight on route to Rome added to Henry’s concerns about Wolsey.
1527 (October)
Charles V told Pope Clement VII that he should take no steps that would further the annulment of his aunt’s marriage.
1527 (December)
The Pope had negotiated his freedom from Charles V but was reluctant to offend Charles by furthering Henry’s divorce. Additionally, Clement VII like many other theologians did not believe that the passage in Leviticus applied if the brother had died. Although he received Dr William Knight he told him to tell Henry that he was unable to annul the marriage at this time.
1528 (January)
Wolsey received a General Commission from the Pope allowing him to try the King’s marriage in England. However, he was not allowed to pass judgement. Wolsey replied to the Pope asking that the legate Campeggio be sent to England to pass judgement on the case.
1528 (January)
It was widely known that the King had set Catherine aside for Anne Boleyn and this was not well received. Anne Boleyn was booed and jeered whenever she appeared in the streets.
1528 (22nd January)
England declared war on the Netherlands but the planned invasion by England and France was postponed. Henry had hoped that victory over the Netherlands would force Charles V to sue for peace. The declaration of war was an economic disaster for England since the Netherlands stopped trading with England, a move that badly affected the cloth trade.
1528 (spring)
The effects of the trade embargo by the Netherlands led to many cloth workers becoming unemployed. Villagers and workers marched to Archbishop Warham’s palace at Knole and handed him a petition demanding that the King repay them money lent under the amicable grant in 1525.
1528 (23rd March)
The Pope agreed to send Cardinal Campeggio to England to try the King’s marriage.
1528 (April)
Charles V warned the Pope that any move to help the King of England’s divorce could result in another sack of Rome.
1528 (Late Spring)
Campeggio was instructed by the Pope that his main objective in England was to delay any hearing of the King’s marriage case. He was also given a decretal commission that would allow him to declare the marriage null and void if the facts warranted and give both parties license to remarry.
1528 (Late May)
An outbreak of sweating sickness reached London. Henry and the court moved to Hunsdon.
1528 (June)
An agreement was reached with Charles V that meant that trade between England and the Netherlands could resume.
1528 (June)
People were facing hardship due to the effects of the poor harvest of 1527 and the loss of trade with the Netherlands for six months. Prices of corn had risen by one shilling per bushel. Commissioners were sent to farms and any farmer found hoarding more than he needed to feed his family was forced to sell the surplus. Thomas More helped by feeding around 100 needy people per day.
1528 (mid June)
One of Anne Boleyn’s ladies was taken ill with sweating sickness. Henry sent Anne to Hever in case she had caught the disease. Henry moved the court again to Tittenhanger where he kept himself virtually secluded and heard mass three times a day.
1528 (16th June)
Anne Boleyn was taken ill with a mild form of sweating sickness. When he heard the news Henry sent one of his own physicians to Hever.
1528 (Summer)
Peace negotiations with Charles V broke down.
1528 (Summer)
The nun, Elizabeth Barton, who was said to have the gift of prophecy announced that if Henry cast away his wife then God would see that he was no longer King.
1528 (Summer)
Catherine of Aragon was very popular with the population and whenever she was seen she was greeted with cries of “victory over your enemies”.
1528 (Summer)
Princess Mary returned to court because she was in poor health.
1528 (July)
An outbreak of sweating sickness forced the court to move from Tittenhanger to Ampthill.
1528 (late July)
Anne Boleyn returned to court having fully recovered from sweating sickness.
1528 (August)
Wolsey met Catherine’s almoner, Robert Shorton. Shorton insisted that Catherine’s first marriage had not been consummated and stated that there were Papal bulls in Spain which allowed Catherine and Henry to marry despite any impediment. Wolsey told Shorton to impress upon Catherine that she should retire to a convent leaving Henry free to remarry.
1528 (29th September)
Cardinal Campeggio reached Dover. He had been delayed by storms and heavy rainfall. Campeggio refused a state welcome preferring to travel quietly to London. Wolsey and Campeggio met and Wolsey was astounded to learn that Campeggio intended trying to effect a reconciliation between Catherine and Henry before he would even consider hearing the case.
1528 (Autumn)
The Boleyn faction were intent on working to see Wolsey fall from favour. They made pointed comments in Henry’s presence about the lavishness of Wolsey’s ‘court’. Wolsey became concerned about losing favour with Henry and so made Henry a gift of Hampton Court Palace.
1528 (early October)
Catherine chose her legal counsel – William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Dr Henry Standish, Bishop of St Asaphs, Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of London and John Clerk, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
1528 (October)
Catherine announced that she had in her possession a copy of the dispensation issued by Julius II in 1504 that allowed her to marry Henry regardless of whether her marriage to Arthur had been consummated or not.
1528 (9th October)
Cardinal Campeggio reached London and announced that he was so tired from his journey that he needed to rest for a few days.
1528 (22nd October)
Campeggio met Henry and suggested that Henry should attempt a reconciliation with Catherine. Henry told Campeggio that he would settle for nothing less than an annulment of his marriage. Campeggio therefore agreed to try to persuade Catherine to enter a convent.
1528 (24th October)
Campeggio met Catherine and advised her to enter a convent and retire gracefully. However, Catherine made it clear that her first marriage had been unconsummated and that she intended to live and die a married woman.
1528 (late October)
Catherine stated that she would not accept the findings of Wolsey and Campeggio’s court and that she would only accept the findings of the Pope himself. Campeggio was annoyed that Catherine would not retire to a convent and felt that she was compromising the position of himself and the Pope since the case would necessitate questions of theology and the relationship of theologians and God.
1528 (late October)
Catherine was notified by letter that she was inciting the people to rebellion by riding out and that if she persisted in working against the King then she would be separated from both the King and her daughter, Mary.
1528 (November)
Catherine was separated from princess Mary and kept in isolation. She continued to refuse to enter a convent.
1528 (late November)
Wolsey wrote to Catherine telling her that the copy of the Papal dispensation she had in her possession was useless since no court would recognise a copy. He told her that she had to send to Spain and have the original brought to England for the court to see. Catherine was worried that if the original was brought to England it would be destroyed.
1528 (December)
Wolsey noticed that he was invited to court much less than he had been in the past.
1528 (December)
Campeggio was concerned by the spread of Lutheran literature in England. He was also concerned by the fact that Anne Boleyn, who was in favour of Church reform, was persuading Henry of the virtues of Church reform. Henry was impressed by the argument that the clergy should not be so greedy and should not have great possessions or sums of money. He was also interested by the idea that the King should be majestic and should rule over all.
1528 (December)
The Spanish Ambassador Mendoza knew that it would only take a small invasionary force to topple Henry from the throne. Wolsey was hated and for the first time the King was losing popularity. However, he also knew that neither Catherine nor Charles would sanction an invasion of England. Mendoza therefore wrote to Charles asking to be recalled to Spain.
1529 (during)
Richard Rich became MP for Colchester
1529 (during)
Henry Fitzroy became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. William Skeffington was appointed his deputy.
1529 (during)
Thomas Wolsey exchanged his bishopric of Durham for that of Winchester, the richest see in England
1529 (January)
Stephen Gardiner was sent to Rome to want the Pope that unless the two cardinals gave Henry a favourable decision regarding his marriage Henry would renounce his allegiance to the Papal See.
1529 (January)
Catherine lodged an appeal to Rome against the authority of the legatine court and the ability of Wolsey and Campeggio to try the case.
1529 (April)
Henry asked Catherine to choose those she wished to represent her during the forthcoming trial. Although she still refused to acknowledge the authority of the legatine court she chose Archbishop Warham, Cuthbert Tunstall Bishop of Ely and St Asaph and her main supporter, John Fisher Bishop of Rochester.
1529 (May)
The Duke of Suffolk was sent to Paris to discuss terms for peace with Francis.
1529 (31st May)
Wolsey and Campeggio opened the legatine court at Blackfriars. Henry and Catherine were summoned to appear before the court on 18th June.
1529 (16th June)
Catherine made formal protest to Rome against the Legatine Court.
1529 (18th June)
Catherine was loudly applauded as she made her way to the Legatine Court. Once inside, she challenged that authority of the Court and the qualification of the two legates to hear the case. She stated her wish for the case to be heard in Rome, but this was denied. Both Catherine and Henry were told to reappear on 21st June.
1529 (21st June)
The Legatine court reassembled at Blackfriars. Henry spoke of his fears that his lack of male heir was evidence of God’s displeasure that he had married his brother’s widow. Catherine, in reply, made a very moving speech asserting the validity of her present marriage. She then walked over to Henry and knelt at his feet. She asked him to take pity on her as she was a foreigner. She also asked Henry to bear witness that she had been a virgin on their wedding night. Turning to the two legates she then stated that she did not recognise the authority of their court and asked for the case to be referred to Rome. When this was refused she turned and walked out of the court. Catherine was declared in contempt of court and a citation was made calling for her to return on 25th June.
1529 (25th June)
The legatine court reopened. Catherine did not appear and was declared in contempt of court. The trial continued in her absence.
1529 (28th June)
At the legatine court John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, spoke saying that in 1527 Henry had asked all bishops to voice their opinions on his marriage. The Bishop now stated that in his opinion the royal marriage was legal for he believed that the papal dispensation granted in 1503 had removed any impediments there might be to the marriage.
1529 (Summer)
Wolsey continued to fall from favour. Henry declined an invitation to entertainments at The More, Wolsey’s private home and Wolsey was not invited to join the court at Woodstock during the summer.
1529 (mid July)
Henry ordered the legates to visit Catherine and persuade her to submit to his wishes. Catherine was reluctant to receive them privately saying that they could speak freely in front of her women. Despite their persuasions she maintained her belief in the legitimacy of her marriage.
1529 (16th July)
Pope Clement VII decided to revoke the commission granted to Wolsey and Campeggio and refer the King’s divorce case to Rome.
1529 (22nd July)
News of the Pope’s decision reached England. Wolsey was very worried as the King’s reaction to the news.
1529 (23rd July)
The legatine court reassembled at Blackfriars. The court was packed as it was rumoured that a decision would be made. However, Campeggio merely announced that because of the large number of documents to be examined he would be unable to give judgement today. He went on to say that the court would now have to be adjourned until October because it was practice in Rome to break for the summer months. The court was shocked and the duke of Suffolk shouted “It was never merry in England while we had Cardinals among us.” Henry walked out of the court.
1529 (late July)
Wolsey wrote letters to the Pope begging him to return the legatine authority. He also wrote letters to Charles V begging him to allow Henry to divorce Catherine and letters to Catherine begging her for the sake of the country to enter a convent. Wolsey knew that if no new move were made he would be finished.
1529 (August)
Henry was furious when he received a summons from Rome to appear before the papal curia. He was becoming aware that the Pope may never grant him a divorce. He realised that he needed to find another solution.
1529 (early August)
Bishops Fox and Gardiner suggested that Henry listen to the ideas of Thomas Cranmer who believed that Henry might have more luck securing his divorce if the validity of his marriage was tried by theologians in the universities rather than canon lawyers in ecclesiastical courts.
1529 (2nd August)
Henry began his summer progress taking with him Anne Boleyn rather than Catherine.
1529 (18th September)
Wolsey hoped to win back favour with Henry when he escorted Campeggio to Grafton. However, Wolsey was dismayed to find that no accommodation had been provided for him. Although he spoke to the King Henry made it plain that he was angry that the divorce matter had not been settled speedily.
1529 (Autumn)
A new Spanish ambassador, Eustache Chapuys arrived in England.
1529 (Autumn)
Thomas Cranmer was summoned to appear before the King. He told him that it was his opinion that the marriage should be tried by the Doctors of Divinity in the universities for it was them that studied the Bible and were therefore better qualified to discuss its meaning. If the marriage was found to be invalid then all that would be needed was for the Archbishop of Canterbury to pronounce the King a free man. Henry was impressed with the idea and ordered Cranmer to set aside all other work and devote himself to the divorce.
1529 (October)
After many requests the new Spanish ambassador, Chapuys was granted an audience with Henry. However, the ambassador soon realised that the King was set on a divorce and would not be persuaded otherwise.
1529 (9th October)
Henry now had no further use for Wolsey and so he was summoned to appear before judges to answer a charge of praemunire (exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction without the King’s permission)
1529 (22nd October)
Wolsey pleaded guilty to the charge of praemunire. He surrendered York Place as well as “the lands, offices, goods, all temporal possessions, all debts due and all arrears of pensions” to the King. Wolsey told his household officers that they were to make detailed inventories of each room, closet and cupboard.
1529 (24th October)
The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent by Henry to take back the Great Seal from Wolsey. Wolsey knew that this act meant that he was finished and there was no hope of regaining favour with the King. Wolsey left for Esher taking with him just a few trusted servants.
1529 (25th or 26th October)
Henry appointed his friend, Thomas More as Chancellor. However, More only accepted the position on condition that he would not be involved in the King’s divorce. More believed the King’s marriage to be valid though he was careful to remain silent on the subject.
1529 (30th October)
Although he had written to the King begging for mercy Wolsey was stripped of all his offices except Archbishop of York. Wolsey began a journey north to the province of York which he had never seen in the sixteen years he had been archbishop.
1529 (November)
Despite his close connection to Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell did not fall from favour and a position was found for him as MP for Taunton
1529 (November)
Relations between Henry and Anne were not as good as they had been. Anne was now twenty-eight years old and constantly reminded Henry that if it had not been for him she wold have been married with children by now. She accused Henry of deliberately keeping her waiting. She also demanded that Henry send Catherine away from Greenwich and stop sending all his mending and embroidering to her.
1529 (3rd November)
Reformation Parliament summoned. This parliament was called the reformation parliament primarily because it passed a number of acts concerned with reforming the Church. Reforms included plurality, fees charged for probate and mortuary and sanctuary. Bishop Fisher angrily commented “Now with the Commons it is nothing but Down with the Church!”
1529 (late November)
Henry changed the name of York Palace to Whitehall and began renovating the palace for use by Anne Boleyn.
1529 (early December)
Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, was created Earl of Wiltshire. Anne was now Lady Anne Boleyn while her brother George was Lord Rochford.
1529 (early December)
Catherine was ordered to leave Greenwich Palace and go to Richmond.
1529 (24th December)
Henry told Catherine that even if the Pope declared their marriage to be lawful he would shill have his divorce. He told her that the Church of Canterbury was more important than that of Rome and that if the Pope found against him he would declare the Pope a heretic and marry whomever he chose.


Published Dec 18, 2017 @ 3:14 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). English History 1520 – 1529. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/english-history-1520-1529. Last accessed [date]

Leave a comment