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Scottish History Timeline

A chronological record of the most important events in the history of Scotland.


16th Century History of Scotland timeline

1503: James IV marries Margaret Tudor.


1504: Plague hits Glasgow with many deaths.


Help was always available if you took Bubonic Plague

Bubonic Plague



1508: The first printed book in Scotland with a definite date - a poem by John Lydgate 'The Complaint of the Black Knight'


Read - The Complaint of the Black Knight



1513: James IV and thousands of Scots are killed at Flodden.


1515: Birth of Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots.


Mary of Guise

Mary of Guise Scotland



1522 England declares war on both Scotland and France.


1532: Creation of the College of Justice and the Court of Session.


1542: Mary, Queen of Scots, born at Linlithgow Palace.

Mary Queen of Scots


1543: Mary Queen of Scots crowned queen at Stirling Castle.


1544: Acting on behalf of Henry VIII , the Earl of Hereford invades Scotland in a vain attempt to force the Scots to agree to the marriage of Mary to Henry's son, Edward. This is known as the 'Rough Wooing'.


1547: The English destroy Edinburgh once more.


1548: Treaty of Haddington, between France and Scotland, confirming the betrothal of Mary Queen of Scots and Francis, Dauphin of France


Francis, Dauphin of France

Francis Dauphin of France Mary Queen of Scots



1558: Mary, Queen of Scots, marries French Dauphin, Francis Valois at Notre Dame in Paris. (Francis was aged 14 and Mary 16)


1559: John Knox returns to Scotland from Geneva to promote Calvinism. He is appointed minister of St Giles' church Edinburgh.

John Knox



1560: Parliament legislates protestant reformation of the Church of Scotland.


1560: Parliament prohibits Latin Mass in Scotland.


1561: Following the death of her husband, King Francis II, Mary Queen of Scots lands at Leith on her return from France.


Leith Harbour Edinburgh - changed a little since Mary's visit.

Leith Harbour Edinburgh


1565: Mary, Queen of Scots, marries Lord Darnley, Henry Stuart.


1566: Mary is held captive in Holyrood Palace; David Rizzio is stabbed.


Holyrood Palace Edinburgh

Holyrood Palace Edinburgh



1566: Mary Queen of Scots gives birth to the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England.


King James VI of Scotland

King James VI of Scotland



1567: Lord Darnley, Henry Stewart, is assassinated at Kirk o' Field House; James Hepburn is cleared of the murder.


Lord Darnley - Henry Stewart

Lord Darnley - Henry Stewart



1567: Mary, Queen of Scots, marries the Earl of Bothwell


Earl of Bothwell

Earl of Bothwell




1567: Mary Queen of Scots abdicates and the young James VI (just 13 months old) acceded to Scottish throne.


1568: Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England following the defeat of her army at the Battle of Langside.


1569: Edinburgh struck by an outbreak of plague.


1578: James VI takes over government from his regent, James Douglas.


James VI of Scotland

James VI of Scotland



1582: The University of Edinburgh is founded - it is the fourth university in Scotland.


University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh



1587: Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded by the order of Queen Elizabeth I of England.


Alfred Clark's painting of Mary, Queen of Scots being beheaded

Alfred Clark's Mary, Queen of Scots



1592: Presbyterianism becomes the established form of church government in Scotland by Act of Parliament.

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