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Sixteenth Century Scotland History

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Sixteenth Century History of Scotland Chronology of Key Events

  • 1503 James IV marries Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII.
  • 1508 Scotland begins to cast its own cannon in Edinburgh Castle.
  • 1509 Henry VII dies, to be succeeded by his son Henry VIII.
  • 1511 The Great Michael is launched.
  • 1512 The Auld Alliance is renewed. Under its terms all Scottish citizens become French and vice versa.
  • 1512 Henry VIII declares war on France.
  • 1513 Battle of Flodden. James IV killed in battle along with much of the aristocracy.
  • 1513 the Flodden wall is built, protecting the city but also boxing it in.
  • 1513 James V takes the throne.
  • 1514 Henry VIII makes peace with France. Peace with Scotland automatically follows.
  • 1517 Luther publishes his Fifty Nine Theses. Start of the Reformation.
  • 1525 Scots parliament bans the import of Lutheran books. The Lutheran Bible continues to be smuggled in from Germany.
  • 1528 The martyr Patrick Hamilton is burned at the stake by Archbishop Beaton for heresy.
  • 1541 The Monarch of England begins to call himself King of Ireland.
  • 1542 James V dies and Mary, his week old daughter, succeeds to the throne of Scotland. The earl of Arran is appointed governor in Mary's infancy, but her mother, Mary of Guise, has huge influence.
  • 1543 The Protestant reformer George Wishart returns to Scotland from Cambridge and begins preaching.
  • 1544 Battle of the Shirts fought near Laggan. Frasers of Lovat almost wiped out in the fight against the Clanranald Macdonalds.
  • 1545 John Knox joins Wishart and becomes converted to the reformed faith.
  • 1545 The Rough Wooing. English forces attack southern Scotland.

1546 Wishart arrested and burned at the stake by Cardinal Beaton of St. Andrews.

  • 1546 Cardinal Beaton assassinated by a group of Fife Protestants. They barricade themselves in but capitulate after a month.
  • 1547 Death of Henry VIII of England. He is succeeded by his son, Edward VI.
  • 1548 Scots agree to let Mary Queen of Scots marry the French dauphin. She is immediately sent to France.
  • 1549 John Knox released from captivity by the French. He goes to England to help its Reformation.
  • 1552 Archbishop Hamilton publishes his Catechism in an attempt to reform the Scottish Catholic church.
  • 1553 Edward VI of England dies and his sister Mary Tudor, a Catholic, becomes Queen. John Knox flees from England to the Continent and falls under the influence of John Calvin.
  • 1557 The Lords of the Congregation sign their convenant to make Scotland a Protestant country.
  • 1558 Mary Queen of Scots marries the Dauphin of France.
  • 1558 Unsuccessful policy of plantation of Ireland begins under Elizabeth I.
  • 1559 John Knox returns to Scotland and lands at Leith.
  • 1559 Francois II becomes king of France when his father, Henri II, dies.
  • 1560 The Scots parliament bans celebration of the Mass.
  • 1560 Francois II dies, leaving Mary Queen of Scots a widow.
  • 1561 Mary returns to Scotland from France to claim her kingdom.
  • 1562 She visits Inverness for the first time.
  • 1563 Mary passes the Witchcraft Acts allowing witches to be burned as heretics.
  • 1565 Mary marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at the Chapel Royal in Holyrood Palace.
  • 1566 David Rizzio murdered within the Palace of Holyrood.
  • 1566 James born to Mary Queen of Scots.
  • 1566 The future King James VI born at Edinburgh Castle.
  • 1567 Darnley murdered.
  • 1567 Mary abdicates and flees to England.
  • 1567 Mary marries the Earl of Bothwell, is imprisoned, and renounces her throne.
  • 1568 She escapes from Loch Leven castle, loses the Battle of Langside, and crosses the border into England.
  • 1569 Inquiry into Mary's role in Darnley's death collapses.
  • 1570 Mary imprisoned in Sheffield Castle after attempted incursion into Scotland by her English sympathisers fails.
  • 1570 Regent Moray shot in Linlithgow.
  • 1571 Regent Lennox shot in the back during an attack on the King at Stirling.
  • 1572 Duke of Norfolk executed for treason.
  • 1572 Regent Erskine dies of illness.
  • 1578 The Earl of Bothwell dies a madman in a Danish prison.
  • 1579 Esme Stewart arrives in Scotland.
  • 1581 Regent Moray executed.
  • 1582 Esme Stewart returns to France after James is captured by the Earl of Gowrie.
  • 1583 University of Edinburgh established.
  • 1586 Babington conspiracy is foiled.
  • 1586 Trial against Mary begins at Fotheringhay.
  • 1587 Mary Queen of Scots is executed.
  • 1589 James marries Anne of Denmark.
  • 1590 First possible documented ascent of a Scottish 'mountain'. There are two documented early ascents of mountains that are now listed as Munros. The first of these took place about 1590, when 'Mad' Colin Campbell of Glenlyon made the ascent of Stuch an Lochain (960m, OS Sheet 51, M194, peak of the little loch). This peak lies far up Glen Lyon, above Castle Meggernie, built by 'Mad' Campbell.
  • 1599 Oliver Cromwell born.

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