Early Modern England: women writers and their contexts

Timeline created by ENGL301
  • 2,900 BCE

    Oldest 'Recipe' for Beer

    Oldest 'Recipe' for Beer
    An archaeological dig in 2016 revealed a Chinese distillery system dating back to 3400-2900 B.C.E. The dig made headlines for having discovered the 'oldest possible recipe for beer', though a recipe was not actually found- the beer was. After doing a chemical analysis on the beer they found, archaeologists produced a list of contents and an informed guess at how the beer would have been produced. the instance is an interesting one to consider when asking 'what is a recipe?' [Janie] n.pr/2suLUhD
  • 1300

    First Known Verbatim Occurrence of 'recipe'

    First Known Verbatim Occurrence of 'recipe'
    It occurred in Popular Med. 13th Cent. England. The word then was largely a medical term taken from the Latin recipere which meant to take or to receive. In 1400 it is known to have occurred in reference to mortar, which shows expansion of meaning, and by the 1500s was being regularly applied to food. When expanding our interpretation of the term as it relates to etymology, we may also consider the idiom 'recipe for disaster'. [Janie] http://bit.ly/2sxbNxo
  • Apr 21, 1509

    Henry VIII becomes King

    Henry VIII becomes King
    Henry VIII succeeds his father, Henry VII, on April 21, 1509. He was coronated, along with his new wife Catherine of Aragon on June 23, 1509. He reigned until his death at the age of 55.
  • Oct 31, 1517

    Martin Luther's Wittenberg Theses

    Martin Luther's Wittenberg Theses
    Martin Luther's 95 Theses, or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences, regarded perceived abuse of power by the clergy in selling plenary indulgences believed to reduce punishment in Purgatory for sins committed. These Theses marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
  • 1533

    Henry VIII Divorces Catherine of Aragon

    Henry VIII Divorces Catherine of Aragon
    King Henry VIII divorced his first wife and instead married Anne Boleyn.
  • 1534

    Henry VIII Breaks with Rome, Declared Head of Church of England

    Henry VIII Breaks with Rome, Declared Head of Church of England
    Due to his divorce to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII was excommunicated by the Pope and accordingly broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England was founded in response. This lead to England becoming a protestant country, a source of conflict between England and many other countries for years to come.
  • Jul 16, 1546

    Anne Askew Burnt at Smithfield

    Anne Askew Burnt at Smithfield
    Askew was an early female poet and writer who was burnt at stake for her Protestant beliefs under Henry VIII's rule.
  • Jan 28, 1547

    Edward VI becomes King

    Edward VI becomes King
    Edward VI succeeds his father, Henry VIII, on January 28, 1547 at the age of nine. He was coronated on February 20, 1547. He reigned until his death at the age of fifteen.
  • Jul 6, 1553

    Mary I becomes Queen

    Mary I becomes Queen
    Mary I succeeds his brother, Edward VI, on July 6, 1553. She was coronated on October 1, 1553. She reigned until her death at the age of 42.
  • Nov 17, 1558

    Elizabeth I becomes Queen

    Elizabeth I becomes Queen
    Elizabeth I succeeds her sister, Mary I, on November 17, 1558. She was coronated on January 15, 1559. She reigned until her death at the age of 69.
  • 1567

    Bess of Hardwick Fourth Marriage

    Bess of Hardwick Fourth Marriage
    Bess of Hardwick is best known for her four marriages which improved her wealth, property, and station. In life she rose to the highest level of English nobility. She was acquainted with Queen Elizabeth I in her third marriage to Captain of the Guard, and later Mary, Queen of Scots as she fled persecution in 1568. This is an early feminist example of a successful businesswoman marrying for wealth and title. She has written over 200 letters as insight into her life from early 1550s-death in 1608.
  • 1571

    Ridolfi Assassination Plot

    Ridolfi Assassination Plot
    The Rudolf Plot was an assassination plot against Queen Elizabeth I, led by Roberto Ridolfi, a Catholic banker and a spy for the Pope. Imprisoned by Elizabeth, he was released due to lack of evidence. The aim was for Queen Mary of Scots to wed the Duke of Norfolk then replace Elizabeth on the English throne, returning protestantism to England. Mary was involved, however it is not the assassination plot that earned her an execution, that was the Brighton Plot. -Grace Brunner
  • Sep 26, 1580

    Sir Francis Drake Sails Around the World

    Sir Francis Drake Sails Around the World
    After leaving from Plymouth three years prior, Sir Francis Drake completes the second ever circumnavigation of the world. This marked the first time a captain ever completed an circumnavigation while also leading the expedition the entire time.
  • Mary Queen of Scots Executed

    Mary Queen of Scots Executed
    Mary, Queen of Scots, a Catholic rival for the English throne, is executed while she is a prisoner of Elizabeth I.
  • Plague Closes London Theaters

    Plague Closes London Theaters
    In 1603 and 1608 there were also closings. Close quarters in places like theaters (particularly the areas reserved for low class viewers) coupled devastatingly with concurrent hygienic practices.
  • Francis Bacon works first published

    Francis Bacon works first published
    Bacon was a known philosopher,scientist, and author. He contributed to the scientific method and empiricism. He was legal advisor to Queen Elizabeth and later knighted. He became Regent of England and later Lord Chancellor in 1618. His career ended disgracefully after which he produced studies and writing regarding theology, moral philosophy, law reform, and scientific methodology including the theory of Six Degrees of Separation, made to relate anyone to another person by less than six people.
  • Earl Of Essex Executed

    Earl Of Essex Executed
    After a failed coup d'état against Elizabeth I, Robert Devereux was beheaded at the Tower of London
  • James I becomes King

    James I becomes King
    James I succeeds his cousin, Elizabeth I, on March 24, 1603. He was coronated on July 25, 1603. He reigned until his death at the age of 58.
  • Virginia Company Expedition to New World

    Virginia Company Expedition to New World
    This commercial trading company, chartered by King James I of England, founded Jamestown, the first successful British colony in America.
  • The Death of Bess of Hardwick

    The Death of Bess of Hardwick
    Bess of Hardwick died of old age at the age of 81 on February 13, 1608. At the time of her death, Bess of Hardwick was considered to be the second wealthiest woman in England (the first being the Queen). Her tomb was placed in All Saints Church, also known as Derby Cathedral, in the UK. Bess of Hardwick had been married four times and had 8 children. {cj}
  • Lady Arbella's marriage to William Seymour

    Lady Arbella's marriage to William Seymour
    Lady Arbella was Bess of Hardwick's granddaughter. Bess of Hardwick wrote to the Queen about Lady Arbella in 1602, asking her to help her become more considerate (letter 128, Bess of Hardwick's Letters). On June 22, 1610, Lady Arbella married William Seymour in secret. This resulted in King James imprisoning them, the couple then tried to escape, and Lady Arbella got placed back in imprisonment in the Tower of London, where she died from malnourishment on September 25, 1615. {Cj}
  • Gervase Markham publishes The English Huswife

    Gervase Markham publishes The English Huswife
    Markham's most famous work, The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman, is the second volume of Countrey Contentments. The first, The Husbandmans Recreations regards horse-riding, hunting, shooting, fishing, and other sports. The English Huswife regards cooking, baking, entertainment and preparation, sewing, and overall household maintenance. These works establish the gender roles and the idealized skills for each in the 17th Century.
  • Pocahontas arrives in London

    Pocahontas arrives in London
    Pocahontas, a Powhatan Indian, travels and arrives in London with her English husband. She is used as a way to advertise the Jamestown Colony in Virginia.
  • Birth of Lady Anne Fanshawe

    Birth of Lady Anne Fanshawe
    LAF was born March 25, 1625, into a royalist family, the Harrisons. After her mother's death, she took charge of her father's household at age 15. After later marrying she is said to have birthed either 14 or 24 children (depending upon source) of whom three (Fanshawe project) or five (Perdita) survived. Her manuscript recipe book provided valuable information about Early Modern Womens' involvement in day-to-day household running. Her autobiography was published after her death. [Janie]
  • Charles I becomes King

    Charles I becomes King
    Charles I succeeds his father, James I, on July 6, 1553. He was coronated on February 2, 1626. He reigned until early to mid-1642, at the onset of the First English Civil War. Ultimately, Parliament found him guilty of high treason, and Charles I was executed on January 30, 1649 at the age of 48.
  • Anne Southwell collected works published

    Anne Southwell collected works published
    Southwell was primarily a poet of religious but also love poetry. She became Lady Anne Southwell when her husband was knighted. She retained the name for social status after his death and her remarriage. This is a moment of feminism in improving status by means and retaining titles/standing independently. With her husband she published works and examples by other writers including transcribed poetry. Her work includes a miscellany of manuscripts, elegies, songs, verse, and a poetry compilation.
  • Charles I Raises the Royal Standard

    Charles I Raises the Royal Standard
    On August 22, 1642, Charles I raised the Royal Standard at Nottingham Palace, meaning he planted an official flag, marking the outbreak of the First English Civil War. This came as a result of disputes over Parliament's Nineteen Proposals. Soon, war broke out between Charles I and his supporters, and opposing groups from all of Charles kingdoms, including individuals from England, Scotland, and Ireland. Charles surrendered to the Scots on May 5th, 1646, ending the First English Civil War. [Anna]
  • Anne Harrison Marries Richard Fanshawe

    Anne Harrison Marries Richard Fanshawe
    In May 1644, Anne Harrison, now known as Lady Anne Fanshawe, married her cousin Richard Fanshawe. The two had close ties to the royal family, as Richard served as secretary to the Council of War between 1639 and 1641 and was also appointed King's Remembrancer in 1641. They lived a life filled with adventures, ranging from being shipwrecked and even being imprisoned for a time. Anne wrote about their adventures in her 1676 manuscript "Memoir", which she addressed to their son Richard. [Anna]
  • Katherine Philips founds The Society of Friendship

    Katherine Philips founds The Society of Friendship
    Philips began writing in boarding school where she established The Society of Friendship, a friend group to explore and discuss new and interesting ideas in literature and art. Topics included French language/culture, romance, plays/drama, poetry, Neoplatonic love, and aspired personal ideals. These ideals were specific to women writers, establishing a standard for women's writing and feminism. Ideals included virtuous, proper, chaste, loyal, and questioning of nature, politics, and sexuality.
  • Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector

    Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
    Oliver Cromwell is named Lord Protector of England on December 16, 1653 after the English Civil Wars (1642-1651). He served as Lord Protector until his death at the age of 59.
  • Richard Cromwell becomes Lord Protector

    Richard Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
    Oliver Cromwell, self-appointed Lord Protector of England, dies and is succeeded by his son Richard. Richard and his father are both the only commoners to hold the position of English head of state. Like his father, he acts as though he is a monarch. By attempting to mediate between the army and society, religious tensions rise, Parliament dissolves, and the army threatens Richard. Richard resigns after only 9 months and Charles II is asked to return from exile and reclaim the throne as king.
  • Charles II becomes King

    Charles II becomes King
    Charles II is received back in England on May 29, 1660 after the death of Oliver Cromwell and the collapse of the Protectorate. He was coronated on April 23, 1661 and reigned until his death at the age of 54.
  • Great plague in London

    Great plague in London
    From 1665-1666 the last wave of the Bubonic Plague hit London. Over 100,000 are estimated to have been killed, which amounted to a quarter of London's population at the time.
  • Second Anglo-Dutch War

    Second Anglo-Dutch War
    The Second Anglo-Dutch War lasted from March 4th, 1665 until July 31st, 1667. The primary reason for the conflict was a power struggle between the Dutch Republic and England for control of the seas, and most importantly, trade routes. As the build-up for war increased, enthusiasm for war also increased in England, this led to the attacking of Dutch ships, and large amounts of anti-dutch and pro-war propaganda. These influences greatly impacted English culture and Society. -Grace Brunner.
  • Great Fire of London

    Great Fire of London
    The fire lasted for four days and destroyed over 13,000 houses and the original St. Paul's Cathedral.
  • Margaret Clark Executed

    Margaret Clark Executed
    Margaret Clark executed for arson and theft. Elizabeth Cellier was also found guilty of libel for publishing Malice Defeated.
  • James II becomes King

    James II becomes King
    James II succeeds his brother, Charles II, on February 6, 1685. He was coronated on April 23, 1685. He reigned until the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and died in exile at the age of 67.
  • William III and Mary II become Joint-Sovereigns

    William III and Mary II become Joint-Sovereigns
    William III and Mary II depose James II in the Glorious Revolution and are coronated as joint monarchs on April 11, 1689. They rule together until Mary's death in 1694 (aged 32), and then William III rules alone until his death at the age of 51.
  • Katherine Thomas publishes "Commonplace Book"

    Katherine Thomas publishes "Commonplace Book"
    Katherine Thomas wrote a commonplace book which included over a hundred prayers, advice for her children, and elegies for her husband and two daughters, Katherine and Dorothy upon each of their deaths. Her eldest three children died early, marking the 17th Century for high infancy death. Her husband died shortly after his father and Katherine was named administrator of wealth and property, a significant event in the history of independent women including property ownership, and death rights.
  • Anne becomes Queen

    Anne becomes Queen
    Anne succeeds her cousin and brother-in-law, William III, on March 8, 1702. She was coronated on April 23, 1702 and reigned until her death at the age of 49.
  • John Locke publishes A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books

    John Locke publishes A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books
    The book outline techniques for entering and arranging materials within the book. He leaned heavily into the concept of the commonplace book as thematic, and considered the organization systematic. It "...sought 'to increase the amount of information one could annotate in the notebook, while also speeding up its retrieval,' by creating a system of indexing the book’s quotations". Citation: https://thisgaudygildedstage.com/2007/09/24/teaching-with-commonplace-books/
  • Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution
    The Industrial Revolution created new jobs that influenced the rise in population in urban areas. In fact, by 1940 40% of Americans lived in urban cities and were attributing to the growing necessity of food. This sparked new methods of food distribution, such as mass production and preservatives. I chose this event to add after participating in the in-class activity last class. We debated if women would create food in mass, such as almond extract to keep for future recipes. {cj}
  • Publishing of Memoirs by Lady Anne Fanshawe

    Publishing of Memoirs by Lady Anne Fanshawe
    This text is referred to in one source as an autobiography. In another it is said that most of what we know about LAF is found in her Memoirs, which seems to suggest that the text is about her, but it is primarily a family record, and also attempts to vindicate financial claims against the government. Via another source Memoirs is said to be a post-mortem account of her husband's life. The text was not published until well after Fanshawe's death (1829) though it was completed in 1626. [Janie]
  • Creation of the sazerac

    Creation of the sazerac
    The sazerac is labeled as the oldest cocktail in Am. history. It was invented by Antoine Peychaud in New Orleans. The original drink was made with brandy but later was switched to rye, which has been the norm since 1873. The sazerac became a huge sensation until one of it's key ingredients, absinthe, become banned in 1912. Because of the ban, Peychaud substituted bitters. It is now labeled the official cocktail of NO and is most notably served in the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt. {Cj}
  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Qualifies for Medical License

    Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Qualifies for Medical License
    Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the first woman in England to qualify for a medical license. After she met the first female doctor in the U.S., Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, she decided to become a doctor as well. She was barred from British medical schools and had to teach herself French so that she could get a degree in Paris. She opened her own hospital so that she could practice in England, and helped campaign for an act that allowed women to become doctors. [Maggie]
  • Ann Blair Publishes "The Rise of Notetaking in Early Modern Europe"

    Ann Blair Publishes "The Rise of Notetaking in Early Modern Europe"
    In an effort to locate an interesting event to do with women and the commonplace book (not mentioned in readings) I encountered a problem: I failed to find any research papers or journal articles that included women in surveys of Early Modern commonplace books or even in the broader category of note taking. This article, written by a women, includes no she/her pronouns, and cites just one other woman, whose research was also male-centric. I found considering the gender politics fascinating.
  • Jane Seymour's Letter to King Henry VIII is Found

    Jane Seymour's Letter to King Henry VIII is Found
    Jane Seymour was Henry VIII's third wife, and the only to birth a male heir. Her letter informing the King of the birth of their son was discovered preserved in an estate in 2012. Jane Seymour is the only of Henry's wives to be buried beside him, probably due to his obsession with having a son. The Tudor King is famous for divorcing or beheading the wives that didn't produce male heirs. His sentiments are an extreme version of the pressure women were under to produce sons. [Maggie]