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London is the common country of all England, from which is derived to all parts of this realm all good and all ill occurrent here.

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A London Chronology to the Sixth Century
Posted on Jun 17, 2002 - 01:44 AM by Bill McCann

This series of articles presents a basic chronology of London but will also contain references to national events where these are important in the development of the London area. Wherever possible, the precise dates and days of the week on which the events here recorded took place are noted. The series is an organic one and will change frequently as new events or dates are extracted from our sources.

You can either jump to the chronology for a specific century using the following table of links or scroll through the centuries sequentially by following the links at the bottom of the page.

Visit Specific Centuries

[43-500 AD][501-800]
[801-900] [901-1000] [1001-1100] [1101-1200]
[1201-1300] [1301-1400] [1401-1500] [1501-1600]
[1601-1700] [1701-1800] [1801-1900] [1901-2000]

Chronology to the Sixth Century

The Romans invading Kent, as the Victorians pictured it. Note the nakedness of the Celts, this is authentic, they always went naked into battle.

753 BCETuesday April 21Traditionally the date on which the city of Rome was founded.
721 BCETuesday March 19The first-ever recorded solar eclipse was seen from Babylon.
648 BCEFriday April 6The earliest total solar eclipse chronicled by the Greeks was observed.
356 BCE Wednesday September 20Birth of Alexander the Great
239 BCETuesday March 30The first recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
63 BCEFriday September 23Birth of the 1st Roman Emperor Augustus
55-54 BCE- Expeditions of Caesar to Britannia.
44 BCFriday March 15Julius Caesar was assassinated.
43 BCEThursday March 20Birth of the Roman poet Ovid.
34-26 BCE- Projected expeditions of Augustus.
31 BCEWednesday September 2 Emperor Augustus (Octavian) defeated Antony at the Battle of Actium
26 BCE-40 CE- Britannia in the period between the invasions was going through political and economic change.
19 BCE Tuesday September 21Death of the Roman poet Virgil
37Saturday March 16Death of the Roman emperor Tiberius. He was succeeded by his adopted son Caligula.
40- The expedition of Gaius (Caligula) to Britannia was cancelled.
40-41- Death of Cunobelinus (Cymbeline), King of the Catuvellauni who were centered around Hertford.
40-41- Accession of Caratacus as king of the Catuvellani.
41Tuesday January 24Assassination of Caligula and acclamation of Claudius by the Praetorian Guard.
43- Claudian invasion of Britannia.
47- The conquest of the south-east of England was completed.
49- Foundation of Colchester (Camulodunum).
50- Foundation of Londinium . The first London bridge (timber) was built. The basic network of roads and the port facilities were established.
50-100-Extensive and continued terracing of the hill at Old Bailey overlooking the Fleet river.
51- Defeat and capture of Caratacus.
53 Saturday September 15Birth of the Roman emperor Trajan,
54Sunday October 13Death of the Roman emperor and conqueror of Britain, Claudius I
60- Boudiccan revolt and destruction of Londinium.
61- The Boudiccan revolt was suppressed and rebuilding began. London became the capital of the province of Britannia.
60-70-First metalling on Ludgate Hill. The road has a very steep gradient of 1 in 20.
60-70-Possible timber bridge across the Fleet river.
60-70-Warehouse and jetty were constructed on a small island downstream of the Fleet bridge. Grain and other goods, including surgical instruments and luxury toiletries, were landed here. .
70-A massive watermill was on a small island upstream of the Fleet bridge. Grain was processed here. It may have been under military control.
70Monday October 15Birth of the Roman poet Virgil
70-84- Conquest of Wales and the North. Conquest of Pictland.
70-75- Construction of the first Forum and civic buildings in Londinium.
80-125- Construction began on the Governor's Palace, Public baths, the Fort and the first Fleet Bridge.
90-100- Construction of the second forum and Basilica and the Thames waterfront.
105Tuesday March 11Ts'ai Lun, in China, invented paper, made from bamboo, mulberry, and other fibres, along with fish nets and rags.
110- Construction of Cripplegate fort was completed.
110-120-A complex of kilns was established on the Old Bailey hill overlooking the Fleet. Used for glass working.
120-125- Londinium destroyed by fire (the Hadrianic Fire). A new Waterfront and civic centre were built.
121Saturday April 20Birth of the Roman Emperor, philosopher and author Marcus Aurelius.
122- Hadrianus visited Londinium. The construction of Hadrian's Wall by Aulus Platorius Nepos began.
125 -Construction of the Amphitheatre.
142- The construction of the Antonine Wall, by Quintus Lollius Urbicus, began.
150-A new Thames waterfront was extended a further 25 metres into the river.
158- There was a Serious revolt in the north and the Antonine wall was over-run
160- The Antonine wall was temporarily re-occupied.
163- Hadrian's Wall was restored and newly fortified.
166-70- Plague of Galen? Decline of Londinium? .
190-220-The city wall (with an external ditch and six double gates) and a new waterfront wall were constructed.
180Friday March 17Death of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
193- Clodius Albinus, then Governor, withdrew the Roman forces from Britannia to support his bid to become emperor. The Barbarians overran the north of England.
194-A small jetty or quay was constructed on the north side of Fleet bridge.
195-200-The Fleet glass works went out of use and an octagonal Romano-Celtic temple, the largest yet found in Britain, was constructed on the site.
195-200-Ludgate Hill was resurfaced and the gradient reduced to 1 in 10.
195-200-A new Fleet bridge was constructed. It had masonry foundations and might have been a stone bridge.
200- Britannia was divided into two Provinces. Londinium became the Capital of Britannia Superior, York (Colonia Eboracensium) was the capital of Britannia Inferior.
208- Septimus Severus arrived in Londinium. He moved north to punish the Caledonians but died at York.
209-211- Campaign of Caracalla in the north.
212- Caracalla issued an edict conferring Roman citizenship on all free inhabitants of the Empire.
217Tuesday April 8The Roman emperor Caracalla was assassinated.
225-Sea levels began to fall in south-eastern England and the tidal levels in the Thames dropped significantly. The Fleet islands became increasingly unusable and were abandoned.
225-250-The final extension of the Roman waterfront, about 10 metres into the river.
240- A Temple of Mithras built on the bank of the Walbrook
270-The Fleet octagonal temple was destroyed, probably deliberately. A new multi-roomed, building, perhaps a mansio, with a hypocaust system replaced it.
286-7- Carausius rebelled in Londinium and set himself up as Emperor. Britannia was once again separated from the Empire.
290- The first mint in Londinium was established.
296- Constantius Chlorus invaded Britannia.
297- The "Empire" of Carausius was suppressed. Britannia became a civil diocese within the Empire and consisted of four provinces.
303Friday April 23The martyrdom of St George, patron saint of England.
306- Campaign of Constantius I (Constantine the Great)in Pictland; he was proclaimed Emperor of Rome whilst at York ( Colonia Eboracensium )
313- Constantine issued the Edict of Milan recognising Christianity as a religion in the Empire.
314 April to October Constantine visited Britannia.
341-6- After a series of attacks, the Walbrook Mithraeum went into disuse.
367- The Picts, Irish (Scotti) and Saxons all made successful incursions to Britannia and challenged the authority of Rome.
369- Roman authority in Britannia was restored under Theodosius.

A Victorian representation of the withdrawal of Roman troops from Britannia.

383- Magnus Maximus was proclaimed Emperor in Britannia. He won a victory over the Picts and then withdrew Roman troops from Britannia to support his attempt to conquer the North-western part of the empire.
374Sunday February 16Ninth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
398-400- There were a series of Roman victories over the Picts, Irish (Scotti) and Saxons.
400-402.- Stilicho withdrew more troops from Britannia.
406-Britannia revolted against Honorius and two emperors are proclaimed.
407- Constantine III was proclaimed in Britannia. He ruled the Empire from Arles.
409-Britannia revolted against Constantine III and Roman rule in Britain effectively ended.
410- Rome was sacked by the Goths and Honorius tells the Britons to arrange for their own defence.
429- St Germanus visits Britain to suppress the Pelagian heresy.
446- Britain made a last plea to Rome for military protection.
450- The Adventus Saxonum, Hengest and Horsa settled in Kent.
455- Hengest rebelled against Vortigern.
457- The Britons, defeated by the invading Angles, retreated to Londinium. Londinium disappears from historical record.
477-Saxon settlement of Sussex.
485Wednesday April 17Death of the Greek mathematician and philosopher Proclus.
495- Saxon settlement of Wessex.
500- Revolt of the Mercenaries and the Battle of Mons Badonicus. ??Arthur established an overkingdom??.

The Victorian view of Hengist and Horsa making a treaty with Vortigern.

Scroll through the centuries

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Note: 1. BCE stands for "Before the Common Era" and CE stands for "the Common Era". The replace BC and AD respectively.

2. It is important to recognise that very few dates from this period can be considered to be precisely accurate. Most are based on archaeological dating techniques which normally give a date range rather than a precise date. All of the dates in the table should therefore be taken as approximate.


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