First mention of "Hamntone" in the Domesday Book in the county of Middlesex. In 1237 the manor is bought by the Knight’s Hospitallers - a religious military Order of monks.
Sir Giles Daubeney, one of Henry VII's leading courtiers, leases Hampton Court. He transforms the site from a modest country manor to a major brick-built moated house.
Thomas Wolsey leases Hampton Court and begins a comprehensive rebuilding programme to convert the manor into a lavish palace for entertaining the king and foreign dignitaries.
Wolsey's last visit to Hampton Court. Wolsey had fallen from royal favour and the palace now belonged to Henry VIII.
Henry VIII’s royal workmen take over building works at Hampton Court Palace. Extensive works will include transforming the kitchens, royal lodgings, Great Hall, chapel, and tennis courts.
Queen Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, gives birth to Prince Edward. He is baptized in the Chapel Royal. Sadly, Jane dies soon after.
Henry VIII marries his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr, in the Holy Day Closet, part of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court. Katherine was the first English queen to write and publish her own books.
Queen Elizabeth I is confined to her bed at Hampton Court after contracting smallpox. The Privy Council are concerned if this is to be her demise as there is no clear line of succession.
Shakespeare and his company the ‘King’s Men’ perform plays in the Great Hall for King James I. One the plays was likely A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
James I calls the Hampton Court Conference which commissions the King James Bible - an authorised English translation of the bible. This was eventually published in 1611.
Sir Christopher Wren demolishes large parts of the Tudor palace and begins building a new palace for King William III and Queen Mary II.
George III becomes king and abandons Hampton Court as a royal residence. Much of the palace is given over to Grace and Favour residents. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown is later made Master Gardener and begins transforming the gardens.
Queen Victoria opens the gardens and state apartments to the public free of charge.
A terrible fire breaks out at Hampton Court. Lady Gale, a Grace and Favour resident, is sadly killed and the King’s State Apartments suffer extensive damage.
Hampton Court Palace was an important backdrop to these moments in history and more. Find out about some of the people who lived and worked at the palace in Historic Figures of Hampton Court Palace.
Looking for more history and stories? Visit hrp.org.uk for more royal history.