Outline of the History of the British Isles

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the history of the British Isles:

History of the British Isles – history of the European island group known as the British Isles.

Political entities

Throughout history, various political entities have inhabited the British Isles, with varying degrees of power and independence over one another.

Existing political entities

The British Isles also includes three Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom.

Former political entities

The following political entities all at one time existed within the British Isles.

Anglo-Saxon kingdoms

Anglo-Saxons inhabited England from the 5th Century, and formed their own kingdoms.

Irish kingdoms

Prior to the Norman invasion of Ireland a number of Irish Kingdoms existed. Some of the larger ones were:

Kingdoms in Scotland

The following kingdoms all existed in what is now recognised as Scotland:

Welsh kingdoms

During the medieval era several kingdoms existed in Wales.

Modern period

During the modern period the following entities have all existed, but no longer do so.

Time periods


Classical period

The history of the British Isles in the classical era was characterised by the attempts of the Roman Empire to conquer the islands.

Medieval period

Early modern period

19th Century

20th Century to present

Major events

Throughout history, there have been several events that had a lasting impact on the British Isles as a whole.


Conflicts within the British Isles

Historically, there have been many conflicts between the people inhabiting the British Isles which led to a lasting impact on the history of the islands.

Invasions from outside the British Isles

There have been several invasions of the British Isles by outside entities, some of which had a lasting impact on the history of the islands.

Political events

The following events had a lasting impact on the political shape of the British Isles.

Persons influential in the history of the British Isles

National leaders


Elected leaders


The following is a timeline showing the major nations within the British Isles, or which controlled parts of the islands, over time.

Date States/Peoples Events
pre-6th c. BC Prehistoric Britain, Prehistoric Ireland
6th to 1st c. BC British Iron Age, Iron Age tribes in Britain, Insular Celtic
Gauls Brythons Picts Gaels
51 BC Gallia Lugdunensis (Roman province)
43 AD Britannia (Roman province) Roman conquest of Britain
410 Brythons Anglo-Saxon England Hen Ogledd
638 Kingdom of Strathclyde Viking raids
845 Kingdom of Brittany
878 Danelaw
911 Duchy of Normandy
927 Kingdom of England
1054 Kingdom of Alba Norman conquest of England
1079 Kingdom of Mann and the Isles
1098 Cymru Kingdom of Norway Norman invasion of Ireland
1171 Lordship of Ireland
1204 Magna Carta
Treaty of York
1282 Wars of Scottish Independence
1333 Bailiwick of Guernsey Bailiwick of Jersey Isle of Man
1469 Kingdom of Scotland Poynings' Law
1541 Scottish Reformation
Tudor conquest of Ireland
Union of the Crowns
1607 Kingdom of Ireland Flight of the Earls
Plantation of Ulster
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1641 Confederate Ireland
1649 Commonwealth of England Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
1653 Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
1660 Kingdom of England Kingdom of Scotland Kingdom of Ireland Penal Laws
Revolution of 1688
Battle of the Boyne
1707 Kingdom of Great Britain Acts of Union 1707
Battle of Culloden
Irish Rebellion of 1798
1801 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Act of Union 1800
Catholic Emancipation
Great Famine of Ireland
1919 Irish Republic Irish War of Independence
Partition of Ireland
1921/2 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Irish Free State
1937 Ireland The Emergency
Battle of Britain
The Troubles
Celtic Tiger
1999 Wales Scotland Good Friday Agreement


See also

External links

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