Henry VIII Chronology – What Happened in 1517?

King Henry VIII - 1517 Chronology

A detailed chronology of the main events that happened in 1517 during the reign of King Henry VIII, showing dates, events and details

Events are coded:
 Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths births marriages and deaths
Trials, Imprisonments and Executions trials and executions 
Wars, Battles and Rebellions Conflicts
Education, Art, Travel and Culture Culture
Property and Possessions Property and Possessions
Titles and Appointments Titles
Acts of Parliament Acts of Parliament
Treaties and oaths treaties
Church and Religion Religion


During 1517
Thomas More became a Councillor
Thomas More entered the King’s service as a councillor.
Late January 1517
Truce with Scotland
The Truce with Scotland, first agreed in April 1516, was further extended to the end of November. It was agreed that Margaret Tudor would be allowed to return to Scotland but that she would have no power and Albany would continue as Governor of Scotland.
30th April 1517
Evil May Day riots
Trouble had been brewing against the numbers of foreigners in London for some time. People felt that the presence of so may foreigners was depriving them of food and income and a sermon preached by Dr Beal had made the situation worse. In anticipation of trouble, a curfew had been imposed but this had been broken and soon there were thousands of protestors on the streets and the May Day riots began.
1st May 1517
Evil May Day riots
News of the disturbance reached the King in the early hours of the morning. The King’s guard were sent onto the streets and the Duke of Norfolk was ordered to raise an army and march on the city. Rioting, looting and burning continued until it calmed around 3am. It was finally put down by the arrival of Norfolk’s army of 2,000 soldiers.
5th May 1517
May Day Riots Trial
Around 280 people were were tried on a charge of treason for their part in the May Day riots. They were released after Catherine of Aragon pleaded for their release. John Lincoln and 12 others identified as leaders of the riots were found guilty of treason and sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered.
7th May 1517
John Lincoln executed
John Lincoln, who had been identified as the instigator of the May Day riots, was executed by being hung, drawn and quartered.
28th May 1517
Land Survey
Thomas Wolsey issued a number of commissions covering 35 counties. Commissioners were required to find out how many towns, hamlets, houses or buildings had been destroyed since September 1488. Information was also required regarding how much land had been converted to pasture, how many new parks had been created and alterations made to existing parks and land that had been enclosed without permission.
June 1517
Scotland / France
The Duke of Albany travelled to France to negotiate a renewal of the Auld Alliance. The Treaty of Rouen agreed that if England were to invade Scotland then France would provide aid to Scotland in a counter invasion.
Late June 1517
England / France
Two French ambassadors arrived in England to begin secret peace negotiations.
July 1517
England / Burgundy
A party of Burgundian ambassadors arrived in England to negotiate a peace.
7th July 1517
Joust at Greenwich
Because there were so many foreign ambassadors in London, Henry organised a joust in the newly built tiltyard at Greenwich. Edward Guildford was appointed Marshall of the Jousts. Henry was head of the 14 challengers while the Duke of Suffolk was head of the 14 answerers. The joust was followed by a banquet and dancing.
mid July 1517
Sweating Sickness
A new form of plague reached England. It was called the Sweating sickness because the victim felt unwell before breaking out in a profuse sweat. After four or five hours a crisis was reached where the victim either died or, more rarely, recovered. Henry and the court left London for Windsor Castle.
August 1517
Wolsey survived Sweating sickness
Thomas Wolsey, who had been left in London to deal with state affairs, contracted sweating sickness. He survived the disease but was weakened and resorted to dealing with government issues from his bed.
31st October 1517
Reformation in Europe
Martin Luther, who strongly protested against with the practice of Papal indulgencies, famously nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the church in Wittenberg beginning the Reformation in Europe. His followers became known as Protestants.
11th November 1517
Thomas Parr died
Thomas Parr, father of Katherine Parr, died.
Late November 1517
England / Scotland
The truce between England and Scotland was further extended for two years.
Late November 1517
England / France
The French ambassadors returned to France as no agreement between the two countries had been reached.
December 1517
The English court was closed for Christmas due to the outbreak of Sweating sickness. Henry was fearful of illness and disease and refused to receive any foreign ambassadors and kept himself shut away.


Published May 25, 2024 @ 2:12 pm – Updated – May 25, 2024 @ 2:13 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2024). Henry VIII Chronology – What happened in 1517? Available: http://www.tudornation.com/henry-viii-chronology-what-happened-in-1517 Last accessed [date]