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Projects - 1680s Timeline


Timeline: Literary/Historical/Cultural Events, 1649-1714

For Graduate Seminar "The 1680s"



  • Execution of Charles I
  • Birth of James Crofts (later Duke of Monmouth)
  • Milton, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (appeared in February) (MN) -5 Feb: Upon learning the news of Charles I's execution, the Scottish Parliament declares his son, "Charles II, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland." (EJS)


  • Thomas Otway born on March 3 at Milland, Sussex (cmlb)


  • Pope Innocent X dies in January and is replaced by Alexander VII in April (AC)


Milton, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and the excellence thereof compared with the inconveniences and dangers of readmitting kingship in this nation (AM)


  • Restoration of Charles II
  • Daniel Defoe born (Born Daniel Foe) (AC)


  • New Prayer Book; Non-jurors ejected, become dissenting Protestants


  • Marriage of James Crofts and Anne Scott, Countess of Buccleuch


  • Fire of London, September 2-5 (MN)
  • Behn travels to Holland as spy for English government (ES)


  • Dryden, Annus Mirabilis (DA)
  • Milton, Paradise Lost (DA)
  • Pope Alexander VII dies in May and is replaced by Clement IX in June (AC)
  • Jonathan Swift Born (MN)


  • Dryden made Poet Laureate (MN)


  • William Russell marries Lady Vaughn (Rachel Russell)(MN)


  • Work begins on a new theatre for the Duke's Company (cmlb)
  • Pope Clement X in April replaces Clement IX, who had died in Dec. 1669 (AC)
  • Behn's The Forced Marriage (her first play) runs for six days (AC)


  • Milton, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonisties (printed together) (MN)
  • The Dorset Garden Theatre opens on November 9 with the premiere of John Dryden's Sir Martin Marall (cmlb)
  • Behn, The Amorous Prince (AC)


  • Duchess of Portsmouth gives birth to her only son by Charles II, Charles Lennox; created Duke of Richmond 1675 (ES)


  • The Test Act of 1673 excludes Roman Catholics from both Houses of Parliament. (EJS) -5 November: The first of many pope-burning processions in London--Youths burnt effigies of the pope and his cardinals. One report told of 200 bonfires between Temple Bar and Aldgate. (EJS)
  • Margaret Cavendish dies on December 15 (AC)


  • A pope worth £50 is burned in Southwark on 26 November, the day the new duchess of York arrived.
  • Popes are incinerated at Temple Bar on 17 November in 1675, 1676, and 1677, and on 5 November 1677 at the Monument. Alcohol is provided for the "common people by persons of quality." (EJS)


  • Etherege, The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter first performed at Dorset Garden in March (MN)
  • Behn, Abdelazer, or The Moor's Revenge (AC)
  • Pope Clement X dies in July and is replaced by Innocent XI in September (AC)


  • Behn, The Rover, or the Banish't Cavaliers
  • Marvell, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government (MN)


  • Anon, Five Love-Letters from a Nun to a Cavalier, trans. L'Estrange
  • Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress Part I
  • Lee, The Rival Queens
  • Otway, Friendship in Fashion
  • Behn, Sir Patient Fancy (AC)
  • The Stationer's Company draws up new ordinances (supplemented 1681, 1683)
  • Jacob Tonson completes apprenticeship under stationer Thomas Bassett and opens publishing firm in London (DA)
  • Death of Andrew Marvell
  • Ralph Montagu, former ambassador in Paris, exposes part of Charles's history of secret negotiations with Louis XIV by presenting letters of evidence in Commons [19 December] (ES)
  • 30 December Charles II prorogues Parliament (ES)
  • First depositions of Titus Oates taken (DMM)
  • Mysterious death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey sparks public outcry against Catholics (DMM)


  • Popish Plot


  • Death of Thomas Hobbes
  • 1662 Licensing Act lapses
  • First Exclusion Bill
  • Covenanters Uprising in Scotland
  • Battle of Bothwell Brig [22 June] in Scotland, Monmouth in command (ES)
  • Charles dissolves Parliament
  • Monmouth makes a "progress" in the West
  • Oates, A True Narrative of the Horrid Plot and Conspiracy of the Popish Party (DA)
  • William Harcourt, Thomas Whitebread, John Gavan, John Fenwick, and Richard Langhorne executed for alleged participation in Popish Plot (DA) -Plays by Nathaniel Lee are banned (EJS) -Habeas Corpus Act is passed (EJS)
  • James goes to Scotland Sep-Oct (ES)
  • Everard, The depositions and examination of Mr. Edmund Everard (DMM)



  • The Exclusion Crisis


  • Bunyan, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman
  • Dryden, The Kind Keeper
  • Evelyn, The Whole Body of Antient and Modern Architecture
  • Filmer, Patriarcha (pub.)
  • Lee, Lucius Junius Brutus (December)
  • Nalson, The Complaint of Liberty and Property Against Arbitrary Government
  • L'Estrange, A Further Discovery of the Plot Drawn from the Narrative and Depositions of Dr. Titus Oates
  • Rochester, Poems on Several Occasions (Antwerp)
  • Otway, The Orphan (premiers February)
  • Otway, The Poet's Complaint of His Muse; or, A Satyr against Libells
  • Death of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
  • Dryden contributes to Tonson's edition of Ovid's Heroides
  • Shaftesbury and others indict York as popish recusant before grand jury of Middlesex, 30 June (ES)
  • Exclusion Bill passed by Commons, 21 October; rejected by Lords 15 November (ES)
  • Charles dissolves Parliament for the second time
  • Deaths of Israel Tonge and William Bedloe (DMM)


  • Anon, The proceedings at the Sessions House in the Old-Baily, London, on Thursday the 24th day of November, 1681 ... upon the bill of indictment for high-treason against Anthony Earl of Shaftsbury
  • Behn, The Second Part of The Rover
  • Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
  • Flatman, The Parliament dissolv'd at Oxford, March 28, 1681
  • Otway, The Souldier's Fortune (premiers June)
  • Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems (MN)
  • Charles dissolves the Oxford Parliament
  • Shaftsbury flees to Holland
  • Ravenscroft, The London Cuckolds (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on November 22) (cmlb)
  • Lee, The Rival Queens (Performed by the King's Company at Drury Lane Theatre on 15 November) (cmlb)
  • Behn, The Roundheads (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre in December) (cmlb)
  • Tate, The Ingratitude of the Common-Wealth; or, The Fall of Caius Martius Corliolanus (cmlb)
  • Shaftesbury released from the Tower of London (24 Nov. 1681) after non-conviction by Whig jury on charges of high treason (AC)


  • The Tempest, altered from William Shakespeare by Thomas Shadwell (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on February 1) (cmlb)
  • Southerne, The Loyal Brother; or The Persian Prince (Performed by the King's Company at Drury Lane Theatre on February 4) (cmlb)
  • Otway, Venice Preserv'd (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on February 9, February 11, April 21, and May 31) (cmlb)
  • Macbeth, altered from William Shakespeare by Sir William Davenant (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on February 16) (cmlb)
  • Behn, Like Father, Like Son; or, The Mistaken Brothers (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre in March) (cmlb)
  • Banks, Vertue Betray'd; or, Anna Bullen (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre in March and on August 4) (cmlb)
  • Settle, The Heir of Morocco: With the Death of Gayland (Performed by the King's Company at Drury Lane Theatre on March 11) (cmlb)
  • Anon, The Trial of Ford, Lord Grey
  • Behn, The City Heiress; or, Sir Timothy Treatall (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on April 21 and May 17) (cmlb)
  • Shadwell, The Libertine Destroyed (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on May 18) (cmlb)
  • Romulus and Hersillia; or, the Sabine War (Performed by the Duke's Company at Dorset Garden Theatre on August 10) (cmlb)
  • Aphra Behn and Lady Slingsby are arrested on August 12 for writing and delivering (respectively) an epilogue to Romulus and Hersillia in which they "reflected of ye Duke of Monmouth" (Newdigate Newsletters, 15 August) (cmlb)
  • Bunyan, The Holy War
  • Dryden, The Medall
  • Dryden, Religio Laici
  • Lee, The Princess of Cleve
  • King's Company and Duke's Company merge into United Company by May 13
  • Ness, A Key (with the Whip) to open the mystery & iniquity of the poem called, Absalom & Achitophel (DA)


  • Anon., An account of the confession of VVilliam Lord Russel
  • Anon, An exact account of the proceedings at the Old-Bayly this July the 13, 1683 with a true survey of the tryal of the Lord Russel [et al] Who were indicted for high-treason in conspiring the king's death, and raising arms to subvert the government, and alter the religion, and conspiring the death of his royal brother, James, Duke of York ... being all four condemn'd to be hang'd, drawen and quarter'd
  • Anon, His Majesties declaration to all his loving subjects, concerning the treasonable conspiracy ... lately discovered
  • Lee, Constantine the Great
  • Oldys, The London Jilt, or the Politick Whore
  • Russell, Rachel, Letters (MS; pub. 1773)
  • Russell, Rachel writes to Charles II to help uphold his honor and legacy (MN)
  • Russell, William, The Last Speech and Behaviour of William late Lord Russel, upon the Scaffold
  • Rye-House Plot exposed [by Josiah Keeling, 12 June--ES]
  • Russell executed July 21 (he was arrested on June 26) (MN)
  • Sidney executed
  • Essex dies in Tower of London
  • Duke of Monmouth flees to Holland


  • Anon, Advertisement, to all trades-men, husbandmen, servants and others who are willing to transport themselves unto the Province of New-East-Jersy in America, a great part of which belongs to Scots-men, proprietors thereof
  • Behn, Love-Letters Vol. I
  • Evelyn, Life of Mrs. Godolphin
  • Otway, The Atheist: The Second Part of the Souldier's Fortune
  • Charles II demands the surrender of London companies' charters
  • Anne Kingsmill marries Heneage Finch
  • Nathaniel Lee committed to Bedlam (November 11)
  • Dryden (trans) The Odes, Satyrs, and Epistles of Horace (DA)


  • Tonson ed., Miscellany Poems (aka Dryden's Miscellanies)


  • Anon, Account of What Passed at the Execution of the Duke of Monmouth
  • Behn, Love-Letters Vol. II
  • Behn, Poems on Several Occasions (MN)
  • Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress Part II
  • Dryden, Threnodia Augustalis; Albion and Albanius
  • Dryden, To the Pious Memory of the Accomplisht young lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew
  • Grey, History of the Rye-House Plot and the Monmouth Rebellion
  • Halifax, The Character of a Trimmer
  • Killigrew, Poems
  • Otway, Windsor Castle (April)
  • Wade, Narrative (MS)
  • Titus Oates convicted of perjury for 1679 Popish Plot testimony(DA)
  • Thomas Otway dies on April 14 in Tower Hill (cmlb)
  • Death of King Charles II (January)
  • Dryden converts to Roman Catholicism
  • Monmouth sails for England (May 30); Monmouth Rebellion (June-July)
  • Licensing Act restored (June 24) (JW)
  • Execution of Monmouth (July 15)
  • "Bloody Assizes" (August)


  • Behn, The Luckey Chance
  • Bunyan, A Book for Boys and Girls
  • Chardin, Travels in Persia 1673-77


  • Behn, Love-Letters Vol. III
  • Dryden, The Hind and the Panther
  • Winstanley, Lives of the Most Famous English Poets


  • Behn, Oroonoko
  • Behn, Fair Jilt
  • Burnet, An Enquiry into the Measures of Submission to the Supream Authority
  • Burnet, The Expedition of His Highness the Prince of Orange for England
  • Dryden, Britannia Rediviva
  • Halifax, Advice to a Daughter
  • Jacob Tonson republishes John Dryden's Annus Mirabilisand John Milton's Paradise Lost(DA)
  • Birth of James Francis Stuart
  • Flight of James II (November)
  • Birth of Alexander Pope
  • Arrival of William and Mary
  • Issac Newton Principia (MN)
  • James II's second Declaration of Indulgence, May 4 (JW)
  • Seven Bishops tried for seditious libel on July 29 and acquitted the next day (JW)



  • Astell, A Collection of Poems ... dedicated to ... [the] Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Behn, The Widow Ranter
  • Dryden, Don Sebastian
  • Russell's execution is legally classified as a murder November 2 (MN)
  • Revolution Settlement, Bill of Rights
  • Death of Aphra Behn
  • Dryden deposed from Laureateship
  • Birth of Samuel Richardson
  • Birth of Lady Mary Pierrepont (later, Mary Wortley Montagu)
  • Pope Innocent XI dies in August and is replaced by Alexander VIII in October (AC)
  • 24 May: Toleration Act is passed--This act exempts Dissenters, who have taken the oaths of allegiance, from penalties for non-attendance at Anglican Church services (eliminating the restrictions of the Test Act vis-à-vis them). (EJS)


  • Locke, Of Civil Government (I and II)
  • Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Stationer's Company charter restored


  • Pope Alexander VIII dies in February and is replaced by Innocent XII in July (AC)


  • Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education


  • Gilden, Defense of Love in Tragedy


  • Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity
  • The United Company dissolves (cmlb)
  • First staging of Southerne's Oroonoko (AC)
  • Print Licensing Act lapses permanently (JW)


  • Dryden (trans), The works of Virgil containing his Pastorals, Georgics and Aeneis (DA)
  • Defoe, An Essay on Projects (AC)

1699 [R.Wellington], A Collection of Novels: Viz The Secret History of the Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth; The Happy Slave and the Double Cuckold, to which is Added the Art of Pleasing in Conversation by Cardinal Richelieu.

  • Death of Dryden
  • Pope Innocent XII dies in September and is replaced by Clement XI in November (AC)


  • The Dorset Garden Theatre is demolished (cmlb)
  • Samuel Johnson born (AC)
  • Copyright Act (JW)