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date: 26 June 2019

(p. xviii) Milton's Life: Some Significant Dates

(p. xviii) Milton's Life: Some Significant Dates

(p. xix) (p. xx) (p. xxi) (p. xxii)


9 December. Born to John Milton and his wife Sara, at The Spreadeagle, Bread St., London.


24 November. Brother Christopher born.


Enters St Paul's School, under Alexander Gill. Also tutored at home, possibly earlier, by Thomas Young.


12 February. Admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge, under William Chappell.

27 March James VI and I dies; Charles I accedes to the English throne.


Possibly rusticated temporarily. Returns to Cambridge under Nathaniel Tovey.

?November. Writes epigrams on Gunpowder Plot.


June 11. Lends his future father-in-law, Richard Powell, £500.


16 March. Takes BA.


‘On Shakespeare’ published, anonymously.

3 July. Takes MA.

Retires to family home at Hammersmith to study


29 September. A Maske (‘Comus’) performed during the installation of Thomas Egerton, the Lord President of Wales, at Ludlow Castle.


Moves with parents to Horton, Buckinghamshire.

A Maske published, anonymously.

3 April. Mother Sara dies.

10 August. Edward King is drowned.

September. Considers entering Inns of Court.


‘Lycidas’ is published in the memorial volume for Edward King, Justa Edouardo King Naufrago.

May. Begins tour of western Europe, passing through France, then Florence, Siena, Lucca, Rome, Bologna, Ferrara, Verona, Venice, Milan, and Naples, and returning by way of Geneva.

27 August. Charles Diodati buried.


Charles I invades Scotland.

July. Returns home.


Moves to St Bride's Churchyard. Begins to teach nephews Edward and John Phillips, and some aristocratic children. The Long Parliament convened.

? Epitaphium Damonis published.

June 30. Takes Richard Powell's lands in Wheatley for nonpayment of debt.


May. Of Reformation published.

?June. Of Prelatical Episcopacy published.

July. Animadversions published.


February. The Reason for Church Government published.

May. Apology against a Pamphlet [‘for Smectymnuus’] published. Marries Mary Powell.

?July. Mary Powell returns to her family home near Oxford.

August. The Civil War begins.

October. Christopher Milton enlists with Royalists at Reading.

23 October. Battle of Edgehill.


1 August. Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce published.


2 February. Second edition of Doctrine and Discipline published.

5 June. Of Education published.

2 July. Battle of Marston Moor.

6 August. The Judgement of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce published.

23 November. Areopagitica published.

28 December. Summoned before House of Lords.


4 March. Tetrachordon and Colasterion published.

14 June. Battle of Naseby

?September. Moves to larger house at Barbican.

6 October. Poems of Mr. John Milton, Both English and Latin & 1645 registered for publication.

Makes plans to marry the daughter of a Dr Davis. Mary Powell returns.


2 January. Poems & 1645 published.

29 July. Daughter Anne born.


March. Father John dies.

21 April. Moves to a smaller house in High Holborn, near Lincoln's Inn Fields.


25 October. Daughter Mary born.


30 January. Execution of King Charles I.

13 February. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates published.

March. Invited to become Secretary for the Foreign Tongues by Council of State.

15 March. Appointed Secretary at £288 per year; ordered to answer Eikon Basilike.

11 May. Salmasius's Defensio Regia appears.

16 May. Observations upon the Articles of Peace published.

6 October. Eikonoklastes published.

19 November. Given lodgings for official work in Scotland Yard.


Ordered by Council of State to answer Salmasius.


24 February. Defensio pro populo Anglicano published.

16 March. Son John born.

Milton family moves to a house in Petty France, Westminster.


February. Becomes totally blind towards the end of the month.

2 May. Daughter Deborah born.

5 May. Wife Mary dies, probably from complications following childbirth.

?16 June. Son John dies.

August. Following several earlier attacks on the Defensio, including Filmer's, Pierre du Moulin's Regii Sanguinis Clamor published, in reply to Milton's Defensio; Milton ordered to reply by the Council of State.


20 February. Writes a letter recommending that Andrew Marvell become his assistant.

3 September. Salmasius dies.


30 May. Defensio Secunda published.


Allowed to use amanuensis to take dictation for him in Secretaryship. Resumes private scholarship, prepares Latin dictionary and Greek lexicon; possibly works on De Doctrina Christiana and Paradise Lost. Salary reduced from £288 to £150, but made pension for life.

8 August. Defensio Pro Se published.


12 November. Marries Katherine Woodcock.


19 October. Daughter Katherine born.


3 February. Katherine Woodcock dies.

17 March. Daughter Katherine dies.

?May. Edits and publishes manuscript of Sir Walter Raleigh's Cabinet Council.

3 September. Oliver Cromwell dies.


?16 February. A Treatise of Civil Power published.

22 April. Richard Cromwell dissolves Parliament.

7 May. Republic restored.

August. The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church published.

20 October. Writes Letter to a Friend, Concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth (not published until 1659).


3 March. Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth published in its first edition

April. Brief Notes upon a Sermon published.

May. Goes into hiding to avoid retaliation for supporting regicide.

29 May. Accession of Charles II.

16 June. Parliament looks into the possibility of having Milton arrested.

27 August. Defensio pro populo Anglicano and Eikonoklastes publicly burned.

29 August. Not excluded from Act of Indemnity.

?September. Takes a house in Holborn, near Red Lion Fields; soon moves again to Jewin St.

?October. Arrested and imprisoned.

15 December. Released by order of Parliament. On 17 December Marvell protests in Parliament about the exorbitance of Milton's jail fees (£150).


Begins tutoring Thomas Ellwood.

19 May. Act of Uniformity.

?June. Sonnet to Sir Henry Vane published. Vane executed 14 June.


24 February. Marries Elizabeth Minshull. Moves from Jewin Street to ‘a House in the artillery-walk leading to Bunhill Fields’. On bad terms with his daughters; new wife allegedly had the two eldest daughters apprenticed as lacemakers


Ellwood secures a house for Milton in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, to escape from the plague in London.


?August. Paradise Lost published in ten books.


Paradise Lost reissued with a new title page, the arguments, and other preliminary matter


June. Accidence Commenced Grammar published.


History of Britain published.


Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes published together


?May. Art of Logic published.


?May. Of True Religion published.

?November. Poems, &c. upon Several Occasions & 1673 published.


L'Estrange refuses licence for Milton's Letters of State.

May. Epistolae Familiares and Prolusiones published.

?2 July. Second edition of Paradise Lost in twelve books published.

Between 8 and 10 November. Dies in Bunhill house.