1620s in England - Events


  • 1620
    • 27 April - Treaty with Spain arranges marriage between the Prince of Wales and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain in return for relaxation of laws concerning Roman Catholics.
    • 3 July - The Honourable East India Company lays claim to Table Bay in Africa.
    • 6 September (OS) - The Mayflower leaves Plymouth carrying the Pilgrims to Cape Cod in North America.
    • Publication of Novum Organum by Francis Bacon.
    • Cornelius Drebbel demonstrates the first navigable submarine in the River Thames.
  • 1621
    • 16 January - The Parliament of England sits for the first time since 1614.
    • 3 May - Francis Bacon imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of corruption; he is pardoned by King James I later in the year.
    • 4 July - 70-year-old James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, marries 17-year-old Jane Boteler, niece of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham as his second wife.
    • 24 July - While hunting at Bramshill, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, accidentally kills a keeper with his crossbow. A royal commission of inquiry narrowly finds in his favour.
    • 18 December - The House of Commons protests against the King's right to imprison Members of Parliament who criticise his foreign policy.
    • 27 December - Sir Edward Coke imprisoned for his part in the Protestation.
    • 30 December - King James tears the page bearing the Protestation from the House of Commons Journal.
    • Francis Mitchell becomes the last British knight of the realm to be publicly degraded (stripped of his knighthood) after being found guilty of extorting money from licensees of his monopoly on the licensing of inns.
    • Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden appointed by the King to drain parkland around Windsor Castle and begins reclamation of Canvey Island.
    • The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the British Isles, is founded as a physic garden by Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby.
    • Robert Burton publishes his treatise The Anatomy of Melancholy.
  • 1622
    • 7 January - John Pym arrested for criticizing the King in Parliament.
    • 8 February - King James I disbands Parliament.
    • 22 February - A patent is granted for Dud Dudley's process for smelting iron ore with coke.
    • 22 March - In the Jamestown massacre, Algonquian Indians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia (33% of the colony's population) and destroy the Henricus settlement.
    • 25 May - The East India Company ship Tryall sinks when it hits the Tryal Rocks reef. 94 out of the 143 crew die.
    • William Oughtred invents the slide rule.
    • The Banqueting House, Whitehall, is opened with a performance of Ben Jonson's The Masque of Augurs designed by the building's architect, Inigo Jones.
    • Nathaniel Butter begins publication of Newes from Most Parts of Christendom, one of the first regular English language newspapers.
    • Second part of Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion published.
    • Sir Richard Hawkins' narrative of his adventures Voiage into the South Sea published.
  • 1623
    • February - Amboyna massacre: English East India Company traders killed by agents of the Dutch East India Company.
    • May - The King's favourite George Villiers made Duke of Buckingham.
    • 30 August - Negotiations of the planned Spanish Match, marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales to Maria Anna of Spain, break down.
    • 8 November - Publication of the "First Folio" (Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies), a collection of 36 of the plays of Shakespeare, half of which have not previously been printed.
    • Building of the Inigo Jones-designed Queen's Chapel in Westminster begins.
  • 1624
    • 12 February - Parliament assembles for the last time under James I's reign.
    • 2 March - Parliament passes a resolution that its elected members are not permitted simply to resign their seats of their own will.
    • 10 March - England declares war on Spain.
    • May - Parliament impeaches the Lord Treasurer, Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, on suspicion of taking bribes.
    • 25 May - Parliament passes the Statute of Monopolies.
    • 24 June - Virginia becomes an English Crown Colony.
    • 5–14 August - The King's Men perform Thomas Middleton's satire A Game at Chess at the Globe Theatre, London, until it is suppressed in view of its allusions to the Spanish Match.
    • August - The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire begins to function as a trade guild of metalworkers based in Sheffield, having been incorporated by Act of Parliament.
    • 12 December - Treaty with France arranges the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Henrietta Maria of France.
    • The Latymer School and Latymer Upper School in London are founded by the bequest of Edward Latymer.
    • Completion of the 15-arch Berwick Bridge by James Burrell.
  • 1625
    • 27 March - Prince Charles Stuart becomes King Charles I of England upon the death of James I.
    • 13 June - Marriage of King Charles I and Henrietta Maria, Princess of France and Navarra.
    • 18 June - The "Useless Parliament" refuses to vote Charles I the right to collect customs duties for his entire reign, seeking to restrict him to one year instead.
    • August
      • Over 40,000 killed by bubonic plague in London; court and Parliament temporarily moved to Oxford.
      • Barbary pirates enslave about 60 people from Mount's Bay in Cornwall.
    • 8 September - Treaty of Southampton makes an alliance between England and the Dutch Republic against Spain.
    • 8 October - Admiral George Villiers' fleet sails from Plymouth to Cadiz.
    • November - Cadiz expedition abandoned.
    • 9 December - The Netherlands and England sign the Treaty of Den Haag.
    • An English colony is established in Barbados.
  • 1626
    • 2 February - Coronation of King Charles I.
    • 6 February - Parliament meets, and refuses to grant funds to King Charles without redress of various grievances.
    • 15 June - King Charles dissolves Parliament after it refuses to grant him Tonnage and Poundage rights; imposes forced loans.
    • 26 June - King Charles expels Queen Henrietta Maria's French attendants from court.
    • Cornelius Vermuyden appointed by the King to drain Hatfield Chase.
  • 1627
    • January - French ships seized in the English Channel, resulting in an undeclared war with France.
    • 2 June - George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, leads an expedition to assist the Huguenots at the Siege of La Rochelle.
    • 8 November - Duke of Buckingham leaves La Rochelle, having lost half of his expeditionary force.
    • 28 November - Sir Thomas Darnell launches an unsuccessful appeal against his imprisonment without trial for refusing to pay forced loans; a major impetus for the Petition of Right the following year.
    • Barbary corsairs from the Republic of Salé begin a 5-year occupation of the Bristol Channel island of Lundy under the command of Dutch renegade Jan Janszoon.
    • Francis Bacon's New Atlantis published posthumously.
  • 1628
    • February - Writs are issued by Charles I of England compelling every county in England (not just seaport towns) to pay ship tax by 1 March (1628).
    • 17 March - Charles I reconvenes Parliament. Oliver Cromwell becomes an MP for the first time.
    • 7 June - Charles I forced to accept the Petition of Right, as a concession to gain his subsidies.
    • 23 August - John Felton assassinates George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
    • December - Thomas Wentworth appointed President of the Council of the North.
    • Publication of Sir Edward Coke's Institutes of the Lawes of England begins with A Commentary upon Littleton.
    • William Harvey publishes his findings about blood circulation in Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (published in Frankfurt).
  • 1629
    • 20 January - Parliament criticises the King for levying Tonnage and Poundage without its authority.
    • 2 March - Parliament criticises Archbishop William Laud's religious reforms.
    • 10 March - The King dissolves Parliament and begins an 11-year Personal Rule.

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