Queen Mary I of England, Wales and Ireland Timeline 1516-1558

Queen Mary IBorn – 18th February 1516
Died – 17th November 1558
FatherKing Henry VIII (1491 – 1547)
MotherCatherine of Aragon (1485 – 1536)
SpousePhilip II of Spain (1527 – 1598)
Children – No children
Queen of England – 1553 – 1558
Preceded byLady Jane Grey – 1553
Succeeded byQueen Elizabeth I – 1558 – 1603


1516 (18th February)
Queen Mary I was born to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon at Greenwich Palace, London.
1516 (21st February)
Mary was christened at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich. Her godparents were Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, Agnes Howard, Duchess of Norfolk and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
1517 (July)
Mary was godmother to her cousin, Frances Brandon.
1518 (5th October)
Mary was betrothed to Francis the eldest son of King Francis I of France. The betrothal was made to seal the Treaty of London which agreed a peace between England and France.
1519 (Summer)
Mary’s half-brother, Henry Fitzroy, was born to King Henry VIII and his former mistress Bessie Blount.
1520 (May)
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was given charge of Mary’s household.
1520 (July)
Mary gave a performance on the virginals for visiting French ambassadors.
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.
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.
1524 (during)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII, 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 (August)
Negotiations began regarding a possible marriage between Mary and her cousin, James V of Scotland.
1525 (April)
Charles V demanded that King 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 (18th June)
Mary’s half-brother, Henry Fitzroy, was created Duke of Richmond.
1525 (late June)
Mary’s betrothal to Charles V was broken when Charles V announced he was betrothed to Isabella of Portugal.
1525 (August)
Mary was invested as Princess of Wales and sent to Ludlow to establish her own court in the Welsh marches.
1526 (Christmas)
Mary returned to London to celebrate Christmas with her parents.
1527 (January)
Mary returned to Ludlow.
1527 (March)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII decided that he wanted to divorce her mother, Catherine of Aragon. The move was prompted by the belief that his lack of a male heir was due to God punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife. He was also infatuated with Anne Boleyn who had refused to become his mistress.
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 (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 (August)
It became clear that Henry VIII intended to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.
1527 (18th August)
Treaty of Amiens
This treaty between England and France agreed a commercial treaty and also moves to free the Pope and Francis I’s sons from Charles V. The treaty was to be sealed with the marriage of Mary to Francis I’s second son, Henry.
1528 (Summer)
Princess Mary returned to court because she was in poor health.
1528 (November)
Princess Mary was no longer allowed to see her mother, Catherine of Aragon, because Catherine would not agree to a divorce.
1530 (during)
Sir John Hussey became Mary’s chamberlain.
1531 (24th March)
Mary, who had been in poor health again, was allowed to visit her mother at Richmond Palace.
1533 (25th January)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn in the King’s chapel at Whitehall.
1533 (1st June)
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England in St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster. The Coronation was not popular with the people.
1533 (7th September)
Mary’s half sister, Elizabeth, was born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Henry was unhappy that the child was a girl.
1533 (mid September)
Mary was told that she would no longer be titled Princess. She would be referred to as Lady Mary. Her household was to be disbanded.
1533 (December)
Mary was unhappy when she was sent to be maid of honour to her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.
1534 (24th March)
Act of Succession
This act excluded Mary from the succession and settled the succession on the children of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. A clause in the Act stated that all persons over the age of fourteen would be required to swear to uphold the terms of the Act of Succession. Anyone refusing to sign would be accused of treason.
1534 (Spring)
Princess Mary was taken ill again, probably due to the stress she had been under. She requested permission to see her mother but this was denied.
1534 (early April)
Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon, refused to swear the Oath of Succession.
1534 (7th June)
Mary wrote to Henry formally protesting at the withdrawal of her title of Princess and the declaration of her illegitimacy. She told him that she would refuse all offers of marriage and that she would not enter a convent without her mother’s consent.
1534 (November)
Act of Supremacy
This act made England a sovereign state with the King as both head of the country and the church.
1534 (December)
Mary’s former tutor, Richard Featherstone, was sent to the Tower for refusing to sign the Act of Succession.
1535 (early)
Mary was taken ill again. She was again denied permission to see her mother.
1535 (November)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII began to show an interest in Jane Seymour.
1535 (1st December)
Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon, was taken ill.
1535 (30th December)
Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon, was believed to be dying. Mary was still denied permission to visit her.
1536 (7th January)
Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon, died. It was commonly believed that Anne Boleyn had slowly poisoned her. Nowadays it is believed that she died from cancer.
1536 (mid January)
Mary became very ill and it was commonly believed that she was being poisoned by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (24th January)
King Henry VIII, fell from his horse and was unconscious for two hours. The fall caused a head injury that left him more bad tempered than before and also opened up an old wound on his leg that would cause him problems for the rest of his life.
1536 (29th January)
Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon was buried in Peterborough Abbey.
1536 (2nd May)
Anne Boleyn was arrested on a charge of having committed adultery and taken to the Tower of London.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn was executed by beheading. She was buried in the choir of the royal chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
1536 (20th May)
Mary’s half sister, Elizabeth was taken from Greenwich to Hatfield House. She was placed in the care of Margaret Bryan.
1536 (26th May)
Mary was told hat if she would take the Oath of Supremacy then she would be welcomed back to court.
1536 (30th May)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII, married Jane Seymour in the Queen’s Closet at Whitehall.
1536 (mid June)
Mary reluctantly signed papers acknowledging her father’s supremacy and the invalidity of her mother’s marriage. She was assured by Chapuys that the Pope would forgive her actions because she had been forced to sign the papers.
1536 (July)
Act of Succession
This act cancelled the two previous acts of succession and registered the invalidity of Henry’s first two marriages. Elizabeth was now given the same status as Mary and the succession was settled on the children of Henry and Jane Seymour.
1536 (July)
Mary joined the court in London.
1536 (21st July)
Mary visited her half-sister, Elizabeth, at Hatfield House.
1536 (22nd July)
Mary’s half-brother, Henry Fitzroy, died.
1537 (12th October)
Mary’s half-brother, Edward, was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour at Hampton Court Palace. He was created Duke of Cornwall.
1537 (15th October)
Prince Edward was christened at midnight at Hampton Court Palace. Mary was Edward’s godmother while his godfathers were the Duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cranmer.
1537 (16th October)
Jane Seymour, was taken ill from puerperal fever.
1537 (24th October)
Jane Seymour, died of puerperal fever.
1537 (12th November)
Jane Seymour was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
1537 (late November)
Mary left court for Hunsdon where she was to take charge of Elizabeth’s household.
1539 (mid December)
Philip of Bavaria, a Lutheran and son of the Elector of the Palatine, came to England. He asked for the hand of Mary and offered military service to King Henry VIII.
1539 (26th December)
Philip of Bavaria and Lady Mary met for the first time. Mary admitted that she was not keen to marry a Lutheran but that she would comply with her father’s wishes.
1539 (late December)
Negotiations for a marriage between Mary and Philip of Bavaria broke down and Philip returned home.
1540 (6th January)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII, married Anne of Cleves in the Chapel Royal at Greenwich Palace. The ceremony was performed by Archbishop Cranmer.
1540 (9th July)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII, divorced Anne of Cleves.
1540 (28th July)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII, married Kathryn Howard at the Palace of Oatlands. The ceremony was performed by the Bishop of London.
1541 (27th May)
Mary’s former governess, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was executed.
1541 (Summer)
Mary joined her father and Kathryn Howard on a visit to Yorkshire. The royal visit was made in the hopes of preventing further rebellions.
1542 (13th February)
Kathryn Howard was executed for treason.
1542 (Christmas)
Mary was at court for the Christmas festivities and as the most senior female she acted as hostess.
1543 (12th July)
Mary’s father, Henry, married Katherine Parr in the Queen’s Privy Chamber at Hampton Court Palace.
1543 (August)
Mary was invited to join the court.
1544 (7th February)
Act of Succession
A new Act of Succession stipulated that Edward should succeed Henry to the throne with any children from his present marriage being next in line. Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth were next.
1544 (13th July)
Mary, along with her half-siblings, Elizabeth and Edward, attended a supper party in Hyde Park on the eve of Henry’s departure for France.
1544 (early August)
Mary, Elizabeth, Edward and Katherine Parr left London to avoid an outbreak of the plague. They stayed with the Countess of Rutland at Oakham.
1546 (December)
Mary’s father, Henry was taken ill with a fever and severe pain in his legs.
1547 (28th January)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII died at Whitehall Palace in the early hours of the morning. Mary’s half-brother, Edward succeeded to the throne.
1547 (28th January)
Edward Seymour declared himself ‘Protector of all the Realm and Dominions of the King’s Majesty’.
1547 (late January)
Mary inherited properties in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex from her father.
1547 (16th February)
Mary’s father, Henry VIII was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor next to Jane Seymour.
1547 (20th February)
Mary’s brother, Edward, was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. After the ceremony a banquet was held in Westminster Hall.
1547 (April)
Mary’s stepmother, Katherine Parr, secretly married Edward’s uncle, Thomas Seymour. Although Katherine was in love with Seymour it is likely that he married for power rather than love.
1548 (7th September)
Mary’s step-mother, Katherine Parr, died of puerperal fever after giving birth to a daughter, Katherine.
1549 (21st January)
Act of Uniformity
This act introduced Protestantism into England and Wales. The Book of Common Prayer was to be used by all churches in the land.
1550 (Christmas)
Mary was present at court for Christmas, however it was not a pleasant time for her as Edward lectured her continually about her continued devotion to Catholicism.
1552 (early)
The Book of Common Prayer was re-written by Thomas Cranmer to make matters of doctrine clearer.
1552 (April)
Mary’s brother, Edward, was taken ill with smallpox. He survived but was weakened by the disease.
1553 (Spring)
Mary’s brother, Edward, was taken ill and it became clear that he was dying.
1553 (25th May)
John Dudley, leader of the council, married his son, Guildford to Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary.
1553 (June)
Devise for the Succession
Edward opposed the succession of either of his half-sisters due to their illegitimacy and Mary’s Catholicism. This document passed the succession to Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary in the event of of there being no legitimate male heir on his death.
1553 (15th June)
Mary’s brother, King Edward, summoned his leading councillors and made them sign a declaration to uphold the Devise for the Succession on his death.
1553 (late June)
Mary was summoned to court. She was warned by her advisers that she would likely be captured and imprisoned. Instead of going to court, Mary left Hunsdon and moved to Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, which was well fortified.
1553 (6th July)
Mary’s brother, Edward, died, possibly from tuberculosis or a lung infection.
1553 (10th July)
Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. She and her husband Guildford Dudley entered the Tower of London to await the coronation.
1553 (10th July)
Mary sent a letter to the Council saying that by the terms of the Act of Succession of 1544 she was now queen. She called for their obedience and loyalty.
1553 (14th July)
The Duke of Northumberland left London at the head of a force to capture Mary. However, after he had left London the Privy Council, seeing that popular support was for Mary, decided to support Mary’s claim.
1553 (19th July)
Mary was proclaimed Queen of England.
1553 (19th July)
Jane Grey and her husband were arrested and charged with treason. They were imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1553 (3rd August)
Mary made her formal entry into London. She was accompanied by her half-sister Elizabeth and Anne of Cleves.
1553 (8th August)
Mary’s brother, Edward, was buried in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.
1553 (August)
Mary ordered the release of the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner who had been imprisoned during Edward’s reign for being Catholics. Gardiner was appointed Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor.
1553 (1st October)
Mary was crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.
1553 (5th October)
Parliament met. Mary had introduced two new pieces of legislation. The first was a proclamation that the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was legal and that Mary was legitimate. The second was a reversal of Protestant laws passed by her half-brother, Edward. This met with more resistance from parliament but did pass. The passage of the act restored church doctrine to the Six Articles of 1539 which included a clause that priests should be celibate. Many had married under Edward VI and were forced to separate or lose their benefices.
1553 (Autumn)
Mary wanted to marry and produce an heir. She considered marrying Edward Courtenay and Reginald Pole. Her cousin, Charles V of Spain, suggested that Mary marry his son, Philip.
1553 (late Autumn)
Mary decided to marry Philip of Spain. The match was unpopular with the people who feared that England would be ruled by Spain.
1554 (February)
Wyatt’s Rebellion
Thomas Wyatt organised a rebellion against Mary’s plan to marry Philip of Spain. The rebels marched on London but were defeated. Wyatt was captured and imprisoned.
1554 (March)
Mary was betrothed to Philip of Spain.
18th March 1554
Princess Elizabeth was arrested and taken to the Tower of London where she was questioned regarding her part in Wyatt’s Rebellion. Mary was worried that Protestant factions would try to put Elizabeth on the throne in her stead.
19th May 1554
Princess Elizabeth was moved from the Tower of London and placed under house arrest at Woodstock.
1554 (23rd July)
Philip of Spain arrived at Winchester in England.
1554 (25th July)
Mary married Philip of Spain.
1554 (September)
Mary was nauseous and had put on weight. Her physician announced that she was pregnant.
1554 (November)
The Heresy Acts were revived. This made it an offence to deny the established religion which was now Catholicism, punishable by death.
1555 (January)
Protestants began to be arrested as heretics. They were condemned to be burnt at the stake if they would not renounce Protestantism.
1555 (April)
Mary invited her half-sister, Elizabeth to court to witness the birth.
1555 (June)
An act was passed that would make Philip regent if Mary died in childbirth.
1555 (June)
Mary retired from court to await the birth of her child. However, no child appeared.
1555 (late July)
It became clear that Mary was not going to have a child.
1555 (August)
Mary’s husband, Philip, left England to command his army against France.
1555 (October)
Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, former Protestant Bishops, were condemned as heretics and burnt at the stake.
1556 (January)
Mary’s father-in-law, Charles V of Spain, abdicated in favour of his son Philip. Mary’s husband was now King of Spain.
1556 (February)
Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain, made peace with France.
1556 (March)
The Dudley Conspiracy
Sir Henry Dudley, cousin of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who had been executed in 1554, tried to rally support in France for an invasion of England to replace Mary as Queen. The plot was discovered and Dudley was forced to remain in exile in France.
1556 (March)
Thomas Cranmer who had been Archbishop of Canterbury and architect of the English Reformation, was burned at the stake.
1556 (March)
Reginald Pole was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1557 (March)
Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain, returned to England. He hoped to persuade Mary to support him in a war against France. Although Mary was happy to support her husband, her leading councillors opposed any declaration of war because it would adversely affect English trade.
1557 (Spring)
Reginald Pole’s nephew, Thomas Stafford who was in France, invaded England and took Scarborough Castle. It was believed that he had French support and the plan was to depose Mary.
1557 (June)
England declared war on France in retaliation for the raid on Scarborough. Philip led English troops into France.
1558 (January)
French forces took Calais, England’s last remaining possession in France. The loss severely damaged Mary’s popularity.
1558 (late)
Mary retired from court again, believing that she was pregnant and that the baby would be born in March.
1558 (April)
Mary had still not given birth and it was believed that this was another phantom pregnancy. Mary was in poor health and concerned about her health.
1558 (October)
Mary’s health had continued to worsen and she indicated that her half-sister, Elizabeth should succeed her as queen.
1558 (17th November)
Mary died. She was succeeded by her half-sister, Elizabeth.

Published Apr 22, 2018 @ 7:26 pm – Updated – [last-modified]


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). Queen Mary I of England 1516 – 1558. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/queen-mary-i-of-england-1516-1558 Last accessed [date]

Leave a comment