Timeline of British History

A timeline of British History, comprising of key major military events and campaigns the British took part in. Kings & Queens, and military leaders from the various periods of British History.

15th Century

6th December 1421King Henry VI was born at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. He inherited the throne at 9 months old, became King of France. The last king of the Lancastrian dynasty.

28th April 1442King Edward IV was born at Rouen, France. He became King of England twice during the War of the Roses.

2nd October 1452Richard III was born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire. The last of the Plantagenets to become King of England.

22nd May 1455 – Richard, Duke of York won the first battle of the War of the Roses against the Lancastrians at the First Battle of St Albans.

28th January 1457King Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle, Wales. Crowned on the battlefield after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

23rd September 1459 – The Earl of Salisbury’s Yorkist army defeated a larger Lancastrian army at Battle of Blore Heath, enabling it to join the Duke of York at Ludlow.

12th October 1459 – The Battle of Ludford Bridge was a largely bloodless confrontation, with some of the Yorkists defecting to the Lancastrians and accepting the Kings pardon.

10th July 1460 – The Lancastrians were defeated at the Battle of Northampton, resulting in the capture of King Henry VI by the Earl of Warwick’s Yorkist army.

30th December 1460 – A Lancastrian victory was had by the Duke of Somerset at the Battle of Wakefield, it resulted in the death of Richard, Duke of York.

2nd February 1461 – The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross was fought between Edward, Duke of York, and the Lancastrians Sir Owen Tudor, and Earl of Pembroke.

17th February 1461 – The Second Battle of St Albans, the Earl of Warwick blocked the road to London, while the Lancastrians used an outflanking manoeuvre to take the Earl of Warwick.

28th March 1461 – The Battle of Ferrybridge was a preliminary engagement between the houses of York and Lancaster before the larger Battle of Towton

29th March 1461 – The Battle of Towton was possibly the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil, ended with a Yorkist victory.

25th April 1464 – John Neville, Lord Montagu Yorkist army against Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset Lancastrian army at the Battle of Hedgeley Moor.

15th May 1464Battle of Hexham marked the end of a Lancastrian resistance in the north of England during early part of the reign of Edward IV.

24th July 1469Battle of Edgcote Moor took place with the Royal army led by Earls of Pembroke and Devon, and a rebel force led by supporters of Earl of Warwick.

12th March 1470 – A victory for King Edward IV at the Battle of Losecoat Field, Welles army fled the field throwing off their coats to aid their retreat ‘Lose-coat’.

14th April 1471 – King Edward IV army defeated the Lancastarian army, lead by the defected Earl of Warwick at Battle of Barnet.

4th May 1471 – The forces of Lancaster under the Duke of Somerset were defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury, against the Yorkist King Edward IV

22nd August 1485 – The Battle of Bosworth a defining battle for the crown of England, the end of the Plantagenets and start of the Tudor dynasty with Henry Tudor.

24th May 1487 – The pretender Lambert Simnel became crowned King Edward VI at Dublin, Ireland.

16th June 1487 – The Yorkist defeat at Battle of Stoke Field was one of the bloodiest battles and last battle of the War of the Roses.

18th Century

1st May 1769Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington was born in Dublin, Ireland. British military leader during the Napoleonic Wars, and British Prime Minister.

15th August 1769Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor Napoleon I, was born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean. A military leader of the French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars.

1st February 1793 – Britain fought for French and Spanish territories in the West Indies Campaign, biggest killer to the British was disease from the islands.

16th February 1793 – The Flanders Campaign started when the decision was made to sent a British expeditionary force, lead by the Duke of York to Hellevoetsluis in Netherlands to fight against the French.

29th August 1793 – An Allied force led by Admiral Hood lay Siege of Toulon. Napoleon a young captain of the French army repelled against the attack.

24 May 1798 – The Irish Rebellion began with an uprising against British rule in Ireland. The United Irishmen were defeated, resulting British victory.

4th May 1799 – The Siege of Seringapatam between the Kingdom of Mysore against the British East India Company during the Indian Campaign in south India.

27th August 1799 – The Helder Campaign began with an Anglo-Russian invasion of the North Holland peninsula, against the Franco-Batavian army.

19th Century

8th March 1801 – The Egyptian Campaign against Napoleons army began when British Royal Marines landed at Aboukir Bay.

21st October 1805 – The Royal Navy commanded by Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson defeats the combined French and Spainish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.

23rd June 1806 – The Buenos Aires Campaign began with Rear-Admiral Popham landing on the left bank of the River Plate with a British force against the occupying Spanish at Buenos Aires.

2nd May 1808 – The Peninsular War fought by the Spainish, Portuguese, and assisted by British forces against Napoleons French forces. A series of battles for control of the Iberian Peninsula, lasted until 17th April 1814.

30th July 1809 – The Walcheren Campaign in the Netherlands, was unsuccessful and ended in a medical catastrophe for the British expedition force.

18th June 1812 – The American War of 1812 began when the United States declared war on Great Britain.

13th October 1812 – The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle of the American War of 1812. The battle resulted in the death of British Major-General Issac Brock, and the Independence of Canada.

10th September 1813 – The Royal Navy and United States Navy fought at the Battle of Lake Erie off the coast of Ohio during the American War of 1812.

24th August 1814 – The British lead by Major-General Ross defeated an American force at the Battle of Bladensburg. The British marched to Washington, then set the White House and other capital buildings on fire during the American War of 1812.

12th September 1814 – The Battle of Baltimore was an American victory. Repelling the invading British forces at North Point and the Siege of Fort McHenry, ending on 15th September 1814.

24th December 1814 – The Treaty of Ghent was signed on neutral territory at Netherlands to end the American War of 1812.

8th January 1815 – The Battle of New Orleans between the British and Americans lead by Major-General Andrew Jackson. It became the last battle to be fought of The American War of 1812.

17th February 1815 – The Treaty of Ghent was unanimously ratified by the United States Senate, ending the American War of 1812.

18th June 1815 – The Duke of Wellington led a British allied army defeated Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army at the Battle of Waterloo.

20th Century

8th December 1914Battle of the Falkland Islands: British Royal Navy destroys a German battle squadron in the South Atlantic. Two armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau was sunk amongst other warships of the Imperial German Navy during World War I.

20th November 1917 – The first large-scale use of the British Tanks were deployed at Battle of Cambrai against the German Hindenburg Line on the Western Front.

3rd September 1939 – Britain declared war against Nazi Germany. The eight month period the followed became known as the Phoney War, ending on 10th May 1940. German U-boats sank Allied merchant convoys in the North Atlantic that started the Battle of Atlantic. It became the longest campaign of World War II.

24th May 1941 – HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy is sunk during the Battle of the Denmark Strait by the German battleship Bismarck.