Timeline of the 14th Century

The 14th Century 1300 - 1399, was a period of great human suffering as the Black Death crept its way across Europe. It decimated the population of Britain which in turn left the survivors in a new world, one in which the power of the Church had undertaken a seismic shift. Explore the 14th Century using the timeline and read the synopsis below to better understand the period or if you don't find what you are looking for here, then jump into our Historic themes and Historic Periods timelines where you will discover a plethora of intriguing connections to the 14th century.

Year EventNarrative
1300Decorated style of architectureThe English phase of Gothic style gives way to the Decorated.
1301Small group of English merchants start to appear importing and exporting goods in Europe.
1301Prince of WalesKing Edward I bestows the title of Prince of Wales on his son.
1302Edward II came to throne and recalled Piers Gaveston, his boyhood friend whom his father had exiled and made him his chief counsellor.
1303Church power in decline.Pope Boniface VIII has issued a papal decree, Unam Sanctam, to maintain Church authority over kings.
1305William Wallace killedWilliam Wallace of Scotland is captured, taken to London, convicted of treason, hanged and his corpse drawn and quartered.
1306Robert de BruceAfter the murder of his rival Robert de Bruce is crowned King of Scotland.
1307Divine ComedyDante begins work on the Divine Comedy.
1309Papacy moves to AvignonPope Clement moves the papacy to Avignon.
1310The barons who had resented the advancement of Gaveston demanded he should be re-banished. Edward consented and then revoked his decision. Edward was forced to agree to the appointment of a commission of reform calling themselves Lords Ordainers.
1310Attempt to destroy the Knights TemplarFifty-four Knights Templars are burned at the stake, during the campaign of the French king to destroy the order
1311Parliament passed the Ordinances.
1312Murder of Gaveston
Gaveston was brought before an informal and illegal tribunal and condemned to death on the authority of the Ordinances and executed Gaveston on Blacklow Hill. Edward never forgave the murderers of Gaveston.
1313Barons dividedThe leader of the victorious barons was the King's cousin Thomas Earl of Lancaster and he led the barons who were divided by his authority. There followed years during which Edward built a new coterie of supporters namely the Despensers, father and son
1314Battle of Bannockburn.Edwards army was routed at Bannockburn which secured the independence of Scotland.
1315Anatomical dissectionAn Italian surgeon, Mondino de Luzzi, oversees dissection of a corpse. His manual on anatomy will be the first that is founded on practical dissection.
1316Death of Pope Clement VThe papacy is still in turmoil and the new Pope John XII places heavy taxes on Europe's Christians in an attempt to regain the Church's independence and prestige.
1319Paper productionThe process of producing paper begins in Germany, this will herald in a surge of developments in printing and then literacy.
1322Execution of Thomas LancasterExecution of Thomas Lancaster after his defeat at Boroughbridge. Repeal of the Ordinances.
1323The Despensers enjoyed the monopoly of patronage Edward offered them. They and the King enjoyed 5 years of rule.
1326Capture of King Edward II by his wife and her lover Mortimer.Mortimer and Isabella landed in England and were joined by a large section of the baronage. The Despensers were caught and hanged and King Edward fled but was captured and brought to Kenilworth Castle.
1327Deposition of King Edward II. He resigns his crown in favour of his 13 year old son. Isabella and Mortimer ruled in the name of the young king. Edward was taken from Kenilworth to Berkeley Castle where he was probably murdered.
1328Treaty agreeing Scotland is independent of England.The English accept a treaty that Scotland is free and independent of England.
1330Bad harvests in EuropeA run of poor harvests in Europe leads to many deaths and difficult economic situation across Europe.
1340John of Gaunt born in GhentSon of King Edward III he and his heirs would be pivotal in the future history of England.
1345Florentine bankers bankruptThe families Bardi and Peruzzi are driven to bankruptcy due to the debt of the English King Edward.
1347Calais surrenders to the EnglishAfter a long siege Calais gives up its arms to the English.
1347Order of the Garter
Edward III establishes a new kind of knighthood with the Order of the Garter, conferred purely as an honour
1348Black DeathThe Black Death sweeps across Europe and kills between 1/3 and 1/2 of the English population.
1348Massacre of the Jews across EuropeAccused of poisoning the wells and causing the Black Death the massacre began in southern France and spread throughout Europe.
1350Perpendicular architectureThe Perpendicular style took over from the Decorated in European church architecture.
1350Water power used in fulling mills in EnglandThis would be the forerunner to the Industrial Revolution.
1351The game of tennis is played in EnglandThis is played as an outdoor game.
1356Battle of Poitiers At the Battle of Poitiers, the English capture and hold for ransom the French king and many French nobles.
1359Marriage of John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt marries his cousin, Blanche of Lancaster, heiress to vast estates in the north of England
1360Muslim rule in SpainThe Muslim rule in Spain is reduced to just the Emirate of Granada.
1361Black death returnsAnother plague of Black Death sweeps Europe.
1367Geoffrey Chaucer at the King's courtChaucer joins the court of King Edward III as yeoman of the chamber.
1372John Gaunt held undisputed power for 5 years.
1376John Wycliffe writing in Oxford
John Wycliffe, writing mainly in Oxford, is critical of the contemporary church and can find no basis for the pope's authority
1377100 years warWar between France and England begins as Edward III lays claim to the French throne.
1378The Great Schism begins and continues until 1415.
1380Wycliffe translates the Bible. At the end of this year parliament voted a poll tax to be levied at the heavy rate of 1s in order to finance the military campaigns planned.
1380Fixing the hour

With the development of clocks, the hour becomes a fixed period of time - one twenty-fourth part of the day
1381Peasants revoltSparked by the imposition of a poll tax their is an uprising among the serfs of England led by Wat Tyler.
1382Expulsion of Lollards from Oxford. John Wyclif, has begun translating the Vulgate Bible from Latin into English. He is also vocal in criticism of the Catholic Church. Unwilling to modify his rhetoric, he is forced to leave Oxford, and his works are to be banned by the university.
1384Wycliffe died
1386Striking clock at Salisbury CathedralA clock to strike only hours is installed at Salisbury, it still strikes today.
1387Lords Appellant. Gloucesters rebellion battle at Radcot Bridge
1397Medici Bank founded
1398Feud breaks out between barons Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray
Richard II banishes Thomas de Mowbray for life and Henry of Bolingbroke for ten years
1399John of Gaunt died
1366Geoffrey Chaucer married Phillipa de Roet
1380Canterbury TalesGeoffrey Chaucer started to write the Canterbury Tales.
1327Richard of Wallingford designed an astronomical clock.The clock was destroyed during the Reformation.

The start of the 14th Century brings a seismic shift in power in the church in Europe.

Church power is in decline.

Concerned about kings taxing church property, Pope Boniface VIII has issued a papal decree, Unam Sanctam, to maintain Church authority over kings. King Philip IV of France fears that he will be excommunicated and sent men to seize the Pope from one of his palaces. Boniface was rescued but shaken, and he died soon afterwards.

The Crusades are at an end.

Muslims drove out "Crusaders" from the Middle East, including the Knights Templars, who arrived in France. They were a wealthy group of soldiers, and King Philip IV of France coveted their land and their possessions. He accused them of magic and heresy in order to seize their assets. Philip had the Knights Templars arrested on Friday the 13th and up to 60 are tortured and executed, a possible origin of the superstition of Friday the 13th being an unlucky day.

One of the most important writers in European literature, Dante, wrote the Divine Comedy and Florence became home to artists such as Giotto di Bondone, who would point the way to the Italian Renaissance.

The crown of England hung in the balance as King Edward II took his turn to upset the powerful barons as well as the rest of his family.

The conflict between the Scottish and the English continued. The English have been driven from Scotland by Robert the Bruce and the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northhampton recognized Scotland's independence.

The beginning of the Hundred Years War

King Philip VI of France intervened in a dispute in Flanders over wool exports. King Edward III of England owned property in Flanders, the merchants and nobles there were unhappy with his interference in their trade affairs. King Edward retaliated by declaring himself King of France. King Philip responded by declaring Edward's fiefs in France forfeited. This was the start of one hundred years of petty feuds and squabbles after which there was no overall resolution and yet there were huge costs to the nations supporting the antics of their royal leaders and their advisers.

The 14th Century will leave a terrible mark on humanity as the Black Death is unleashed on Europe. The consequences of the epidemic has a profound impact on society, it's economy, it's culture and it's social structure.

In England, the peasants were in angry mood, they revolted against taxes that had been raised to pay for the Hundred Years' War and against having to labour on Church lands. Th hundred years war was costing more than £170k a year to England alone, representing more than six times the normal annual royal revenues. The Peasants Revolt saw up to 100,000 men marching on London, seizing the Tower of London and murdering the Archbishop. These were times of revolution and as such placed England in a cradle that was being severely rocked by all and sundry.

Wave after wave of Black Death epidemics brought to the 14th Century the end to feudalism and the peasants wanted their demands met. This was the start of organised labour and the start of the end of the overlords.

The 14th Century, a brief chronology and timeline of British History will evolve here

Our 14th century chronology and timelines are being created and curated but already via each century page you can quickly locate our collections for each 100 years of history. These evolve as we explore topical themes, but if you are looking for something you can't see here then please feel free to contact us and request, Thanks for taking a look.


John Gower

John Gower 14th Century Poet

John Gower was one of the great Medieval poets and a friend and contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. He was poet laureate to King Richard II and then Henry IV.
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