Manuscripts and Special Collections


Year Date Event
1660   King Charles II restored to the English and Scottish thrones
1673   Test Act bars Catholics from public office
1678   Reports of a 'Popish Plot'
1683   Rye House Plot
1685   Death of Charles II. His brother the Duke of York comes to the throne as King James II of England and King James VII of Scotland.

Invasion of England by the Duke of Monmouth, who is defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor
1687   Declaration of Indulgence published by James II, allowing religious toleration
1688 April Declaration of Indulgence re-issued
  June Heir to the throne, Prince James Francis Edward Stuart ('The Old Pretender'), born

'Invitation' taken to William of Orange, offering him the crown
  September William of Orange publishes his 'Declaration'
  November 5 William of Orange's fleet lands at Torbay
  December 1 James meets William's envoys and is offered humiliating conditions
  December 16 The City of London refuses to defend James
  December 23 James flees to France
1689 April 11 William of Orange and his wife Mary crowned as William III and Mary II
  December 16 Bill of Rights passed, confirming William and Mary as monarchs and the exclusion of Catholics from the throne
1690 July William III defeats James II at the Battle of the Boyne, Ireland
1701   James II dies

Act of Settlement confirming the throne to the Hanoverians
1702   William III succeeded by Queen Anne
1707   Act of Union unites the kingdoms of England and Scotland
1708   Attempted invasion of Scotland by James Stuart and his French allies
1714   Queen Anne succeeded by King George I
1715 September Jacobite uprising in Scotland and northern England, led by John Erskine, the Earl of Mar
  November Jacobites defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir and the Battle of Preston
  December James Stuart lands in Scotland
1716 February James Stuart leaves for Europe from Montrose and the Jacobite army disperses
1719   Highland rising, supported by Spain
1720   Charles Edward Stuart (‘The Young Pretender’, or ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) born
1727   George I succeeded by King George II
1744   An invasion plan by France is abandoned. Charles Edward Stuart decides to invade himself
1745 July 23 Charles Edward Stuart lands in Scotland
  September At Perth, Charles Edward Stuart claims the throne for his father. Jacobite army takes Edinburgh. Battle of Prestonpans
  November Carlisle surrenders to the Jacobites
  December Jacobite army reaches Derby but is opposed by large numbers of British troops. Charles Edward Stuart orders a retreat
1746 January Battle of Falkirk won by the Jacobites
  April Battle of Culloden won by the British. Charles Edward Stuart escapes and is eventually taken back to France
1760   George II succeeded by King George III
1764-1770   American colonists boycott English goods in opposition to Britain’s taxation policies
1773 December 16 ‘Boston Tea Party’: activists throw tea chests from ships moored in Boston harbour in protest at duties imposed on tea
1774   British parliament passes various Coercive Acts aimed at restoring order in the American colonies.

First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
1775 April 19 Exchange of gunfire between British troops and colonists at Lexington, Massachusetts, marks the start of the Revolutionary War. The British, under General Gage, destroy the colonists’ weapons at Concord, then retreat to Boston where they are besieged
  May American troops capture Fort Ticonderoga, New York.

Major General William Howe, Major General Henry Clinton and Lieutenant General John Burgoyne arrive in Boston
  June 15 Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia appoints George Washington as general of the Continental Army
  June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill near Boston
1776 March American troops take the Dorchester Peninsula.

The British evacuate Boston for Halifax, Nova Scotia
  May France and Spain offer assistance to the Americans
  June Clinton’s attack on Charlestown, South Carolina, is defeated.

Massive British naval force gathers at New York
  July 4 Declaration of Independence
  August 27-30 Battle of Long Island
  November Howe captures Fort Washington
  December 6 Clinton captures Newport, Rhode Island
1777 June British army under General Burgoyne takes Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain
  August 16 Battle of Bennington
  September Howe captures Philadelphia
  October Burgoyne defeated at the Battle of Saratoga.

France recognises America’s independence
1778 February France signs the Treaty of Alliance with the Americans
  May 8 Clinton replaces Howe as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in America
  June Clinton evacuates the army from Philadelphia in order to reinforce New York
  June 28 Battle of Monmouth, N.J.
  July France declares war on Britain. French naval fleet arrives under Admiral D’Estaign
  December British troops capture Savannah, Georgia
1779 September-October Siege of Savannah. Americans suffer large number of casualties
  December 29 Clinton’s army leaves New York for Charlestown, South Carolina, arriving in the area in February 1780
1780 May 12 Clinton captures Charlestown after a three month campaign
  June 5 Clinton leaves Charlestown for New York; leaves General Charles Cornwallis in charge in South Carolina
  July French troops under Count de Rochambeau arrive at Newport, Rhode Island
  August 16 General Cornwallis’s troops defeat the Americans at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina
  October 7 British defeated at the Battle of King’s Mountain
1781 January 17 British defeated at the Battle of Cowpens
  March Skirmish between Cornwallis’s troops and those of General Lafayette. Cornwallis moves towards Virginia
  May American and French commanders agree on an assault against New York
  August Cornwallis arrives at Yorktown, Virginia
  September 5 British naval defeat at the Battle of the Chesapeake Capes. French fleet under de Grasse blockades Cornwallis at Yorktown
  October 19 Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
  October 24 Clinton arrives off the Chesapeake
1782 February The British Parliament votes against further war in America
  March Lord North resigns as Prime Minister. The new Prime Minister, Lord Rockingham, opens peace negotiations with America
  May Clinton replaced as Commander-in-Chief by Sir Guy Carleton
  November 30 Preliminary peace treaty signed
1783 September 3 Treaty of Paris brings an end to the war. Britain recognizes America as an independent country


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Manuscripts and Special Collections

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