June 1579 – Sir Francis Drake declares Elizabeth’s sovereignty over New Albion (California).
September 1580 – Sir Francis Drake returns to England triumphantly after his circumnavigation of the globe.
1581 – Fines are imposed for those hearing the Catholic Mass.
4th April 1581 – Sir Francis Drake is knighted.
7th November 1581 – A marriage treaty between Elizabeth I and the Duke of Anjou is set up and signed.
August 1582 – James VI of Scotland is captured by the English and held captive until 1583.
20th December 1583 – John Somerville is executed for plotting to kill Elizabeth I.
March 1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh receives the patent to explore and settle in North America and sets sail for Virginia. A few months later, Raleigh establishes a colony in Virginia.
July 1584 – Assassination of William of Orange and execution of Francis Throgmorton (Throckmorton) for conspiring with the Spanish. Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador is expelled from England.
29th June 1585 – Elizabeth I once again refuses the sovereignty of the Netherlands but declares that she is taking the country under her protection.
September 1585 – Robert Dudley leads an expedition to the Netherlands to fight the Spanish invaders and a war with Spain starts.
1586 – The Babington Plot – Francis Walsingham uncovers a plot to kill Elizabeth I and to replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. Anthony Babington and his co-conspirators are executed. Mary Queen of Scots is convicted for her part in the plot.
1st February 1587 – Elizabeth I signs Mary Queen of Scots’ death warrant.
8th February 1587 – Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded at Fotheringay.
19th April 1587 – The English defeat a Spanish fleet at Cadiz.
8th August 1588 – The 132 ships of the Spanish Armada are defeated by England’s 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels.
4th September – Death of Robert Dudley.
1591 – Elizabeth I founds Trinity College.
1592 – Rose Theatre opens and the Plague starts in London.
1593 – London theatres close due to The Black Death in London.
1594 – England suffers from bad harvests.
July 1595 – Spanish troops land in Cornwall and burn Mousehole and Penzance.
1596 – Lord Howard of Effingham and royal favourite, the Earl of Essex, lead English troops and capture Cadiz. Death of Sir Francis Drake.
1596 – Philip II of Spain’s second Spanish Armada is defeated by stormy weather.
1598 – Deaths of William Cecil and Philip II of Spain. Philip III becomes King of Spain. Irish defeat the English at the Blackwater River’s Yellow Ford. “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is published by Shakespeare.
1599 – The Earl of Essex is made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and placed in charge of English troops sent to suppress Irish rebels but Essex angers the Queen by signing an unauthorized truce with the Earl of Tyrone. Essex is arrested.He later loses all of his offices and titles.
1600 The East India Trading Company is established and granted a charter by the Queen.
January 1601 – Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, fails in a “coup d’etat” against the Queen.
19th February 1601 – Essex is tried for treason and found guilty.
25th February 1601 – Essex is executed on Tower Green. It is said that the Queen never got over his treachery and death.
30th November 1601 – Elizabeth I’s famous “Golden Speech”.
1602 – Smallpox epidemic
24th March 1603 – Queen Elizabeth I dies at Richmond Palace. She is succeeded by James VI of Scotland who becomes James I of England.