Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature John Lydgate

John Lydgate | Timeline | Biography | Quotes | Works | Essays | Portraits | Additional Resources | Bookstore | Search



Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Lydgate on Horseback. Manuscript illumination, c1425-50

Chronology of John Lydgate's Life and Works
by Anniina Jokinen

c.1370 John Lydgate is born at Lydgate, near Newmarket.
1381 The Peasants' Rebellion.
c.1385 Admitted to the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. Possibly attends Oxford and/or Cambridge.  Possible travels in France.
March 1388/9 Admitted in the church of Hadham to the four minor ecclesiastical orders.
Dec. 1389 Letters dismissory for the office of subdeacon.
c.1390 Befriends Chaucer and his son, Thomas Chaucer.
1390-1393 Gower's Confessio Amantis.
May 1393 Letters dismissory for the office of deacon.
April 1397 Ordained priest.
1399 Richard II deposed. Ascension of King Henry IV.
Oct. 1400 Death of Chaucer.
1408 Death of Gower.
1412 Henry, Prince of Wales, (later Henry V) asks Lydgate to begin writing his "Troy Book."
March 1413 Death of Henry IV. Ascension of Henry V.
Nov. 1415 Verses on Henry V's return to London after Agincourt.
1417 A poem on the departure of Thomas Chaucer for France. A 'Balade' for Queen Catherine.
1420 Completes The Siege of Troy and presents it to Henry V; Henry V requests Lydgate to write a Life of our Lady.
Dec. 1421 Birth of Prince Henry. Lydgate in the midst of writing The Siege of Thebes.
1422 Death of Henry V. Regency of infant Henry VI, Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick as preceptor. Lydgate writes verses on the marriage of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; it is possible that the Duke's patronage of Lydgate began around this time.
1423 In February, Lydgate is one of four people nominated to receive part of rents of the lands of the priory of Longville. In June, elected prior of Hatfield Broadoak (Hatfield Regis) in Essex.
c.1424 Writes 'mummings' for the little King's entertainment, performed at Windsor.
c.1426 Writes Life of St. Margaret for Anne, widow of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March. At this time Lydgate visits Paris with other patrons. Translates Deguilleville's Pilgrimage of the Life of Man for Thomas de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury.
c.1427 Writes "A Disguising at Hertford Castle" for the King's entertainment.
July 1428 Translates Laurence Callot's "Remembraunce of a Pedigree" at the request of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.
1429 Writes "A New Year's Ballade" to the king and his mother "at Hertford." Henry VI crowned at Westminster in November.
1431 Henry VI crowned at Paris in December. Lydgate begins writing The Falls of Princes at the recommendation of Duke Humphrey.
Feb. 1432 Verses on the Entry of Henry VI into London after his coronation in France.
Dec. 1433 The King visits the monastery of Bury for Christmas. Lydgate presents him with the Life of St. Edmund.
1434 Relieved of the priory of Hatfield, to facilitate his return to Bury.
April 1439 Granted a pension of ten marks from the customs of Ipswich. Translates into English a "Life of St. Alban" at the request of John Whethamstede, abbot of St. Albans.
May 1440 Pension substituted by the King for an annual pension of 7l. 13s. 4d. out of the proceeds of the farm of Waytefee.
1443-1444 Writes "The Prospect of Peace" over the peace negotiations and truce with France, and the treaty of marriage between Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou.
1445 Writes "A Ballad on presenting an eagle to the King and Queen on the day of their Marriage" in April. Also writes verses for pageants performed at Queen Margaret's entry into London in May. Later that year, writes one of his "Nightingale poems" on the death of Henry de Beauchamp.
1447 An elegy on the death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.
1449 The last known payment of Lydgate's pension.
1451 According to Alcock, Bishop of Ely, Lydgate composed verses on the final English loss of France and Gascony. It is conjectured that Lydgate dies later this year. He was buried in the Bury monastery.

Article Citation:

Jokinen, Anniina. “Chronology of John Lydgate.” Luminarium.
                18 May 2007. [Date when you accessed the page].

Backto John Lydgate

Site copyright ©1996-2023 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on May 16, 2007. Last updated on January 5, 2023.


Middle English Literature
Geoffrey Chaucer
John Gower
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
William Langland / Piers Plowman
Julian of Norwich
Margery Kempe
Thomas Malory / Morte D'Arthur
John Lydgate
Thomas Hoccleve
Paston Letters
Medieval Plays
Middle English Lyrics
Essays and Articles

Intro to Middle English Drama

Medieval Cosmology

Historical Events and Persons

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)
Edward III
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard II
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
Catherine of Valois
Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy

The Wars of the Roses (1455-1485)
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou

Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

More at Encyclopedia and at
Additional Medieval Sources    

Luminarium | Encyclopedia | What's New | Letter from the Editor | Bookstore | Poster Store | Discussion Forums | Search