The following list of events is based on William Gates' History of Portsmouth with some additions and corrections by the author. Most of the entries for the Members of Parliament for Portsmouth have been omitted, as they appear elsewhere on this site. Gates cites no references for any entry.
501 - The Saxons, under Perth, landed at Portsmouth, which they captured, after a fierce engagement, the British Commander being killed.
838 - The Danes landed at Portsmouth, but were met and defeated by Aethelhelm, Governor of Dorsetshire, though with the loss of his life.
897 - Alfred the Great fitted out the first British Fleet at Portsmouth. Battle was given to the Danes in the waters of the Solent, and they were completely routed.
1056 - Harold fitted out a fleet of 700 sail to resist the Norman invasion, but it failed to intercept the vessels of the enemy.
1086 - William I left Portsmouth with his fleet for Normandy.
1101 - Robert, Duke of Normandy, who claimed the throne, landed at Portsmouth with a powerful force.
1123 - Henry 1. spent his Whitsuntide at Portsmouth.
1139 September - The Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I., landed at Portsmouth with a small force of Knights to assert her rights to the Crown.
1170 - St. Mary's, the Parish Church of Portsea, founded by Baldwin de Portesia.
1174 August 8 - Henry II. embarked at Portsmouth, taking with him to Normandy as a prisoner, William the Lion, King of Scotland.
1175 May 26 - Henry II. returned from Normandy with his victorious army and landed at Portsmouth.
1177 May - The greater part of the shipping of England and Normandy was assembled at Portsmouth and Southampton to transport an army to Barfleur. The expedition, however, was dispersed.
1180 - St. Thomas's, the Parish Church of Portsmouth, founded and endowed by John de Gisors.
1182 - Henry II., prior to his departure for France, made his will by the sea-side at Portsmouth.
1189 August 12 - Richard, on the death of his father, Henry II., hastened home from France and landed at Portsmouth.
1192 February 11 - Queen Alienor landed at Portsmouth.
1194 May 2 - Richard I., being at Portsmouth, granted to the town a Charter for a Free Mart for 15 days.
1194 May 12 - Richard sailed for France with a fleet of 100 ships.
1196 - Consecration of St. Thomas's Churchyard by Godfrey de Lucy. 1200 February 27 - King John landed at Portsmouth from Barfleur. On April 28th he again crossed the Channel, embarking at Portsmouth.
1200 October 5 - A new Charter granted.
1201 - In Whitsun Week King John, with his Queen, Isabella, embarked at Portsmouth and crossed to Normandy.
1201 - Two mills at Portsmouth were granted to the Monastery of Fontevrault.
1201 October 25 - King John granted a Charter to Portsmouth.
1203 December 7 - King John landed at Portsmouth after having lost Normandy.
1204 April - King John was at Portsmouth on April 11 and 12, and again on May 6.
1205 - In June King John assembled a large Army and Fleet at Portsmouth for a descent upon France. He put to sea on June 13, but owing to the discontent of the nobles he had few followers, and consequently abandoned the expedition.
1206 May 25 - King John again visited Portsmouth in connection with a projected expedition to Poitou.
1212 May 20 - Royal order issued to enclose with a good strong wall " our Docks at Portsmouth."
1212 - The " Domus Dei," of which the Garrison Chapel is the only relic, built by Peter de Rupibus.
1213 - John assembled a great Fleet and Army at Portsmouth, but was unable to maintain them.
1214 February 2nd - King John, with the Queen and troops, embarked at Portsmouth, and after a week's stay at Newport, Isle of Wight, crossed to La Rochelle, where he landed Feb. 16.
1214 - The Archdeacon of Taunton, keeper of the King's ships, ordered ropes to be sent to Portsmouth for the engines for throwing stones called petrar ae or ferrieres and mangonels.
1215 - The "Domas Dei " was endowed with messuages at Portsmouth.
1217 - King John spont his Whitsuntide at Portsmouth, thence planning to cross to Poitou.
1218 - Tho burgesses petitioned the King to enforce the articles of their Charter, which gave them their own Courts.
1222 Septemoer 29 - The burgesses of Portsmouth were credited with two tuns of wine they had given to Philip de Albany for the King's use, as a set-off against the fine they had made with the King for their liberties.
1224 - There was a further grant to the "Domes Dot " of lands in Portsmouth.
1224 - In this year the name of Portsmue appears as one of the principal ports of the Kingdom.
1224 May - The great expedition for Poitou was prepared at Portsmouth.
1225 January 9 - An order was given for the conveyance of Cornish wrecks to Portsmouth.
1225 February 20 - All the great ships that were at Southampton and Shoreham were ordered to rendezvous at Portsmouth for the expedition to Poitou.
1225 June 14 - Adam de Porteseye was one of the Justices appointed to hear causes at Winchester.
1226 May 8 - Henry III. sent tho following despatch to Dover and twenty other places : —" The King to his beloved and faithful bailiff's and good men of Dover greeting. Wo command you, that all delay and occasion postponed, ye cause all the ships of the port of Dover to come to Portesmuth with the first fair wind so that the latest they be there on the Sunday next after the Ascension of the Lord, ready to go into our service whither we shall command."
1227 June 2 - Henry III., contemplating a descent upon France, ordered the bailiffs of all the ports to send their ships properly manned and well-found with arms and provisions to Portsmouth before July 25th. He did not sail, however, in consequence, it is said, of the advice given him by an astrologer.
1229 - Forty pounds were paid to the King's clerk for the repairs of tho King's galleys and great ship at Portsmouth.
1229 - Provision was made that the privileges of the " Domus Dei " should not encroach on the rights of the Parish Church, to which, by way of fealty, the Hospital was bound to pay five shillings quarterly.
1229 - Henry III. assembled at Portsmouth one of the finest Armies ever seen in England. It was intended to do much, but did nothing.
1229 Nov. 1 - The King gave the men of Portsmouth their town in fee farm.
1230 April 30 - Henry 111., who had been spending some time at Portsmouth, sailed with his entire force for St. Malo.
1231 Henry 111. returned with his Army to Portsmouth.
1234 April - The barons and knights were ordered to Portsmouth, fully equipped for war, to proceed on service to Brittany.
1236 June - Satisfaction was ordered to be made to the merchants of Flanders and Harnault for a ship of theirs which had been plundered off Portsmouth by Sir Philip d'Albini.
1237 - Another Royal grant was obtained this year for the "Domus Dei," or Hospital of St. Nicholas.
1242 - March 15. King Henry with his Queen embarked at Portsmouth for Guienne.
1243 September 25 - The King, on his return from Gascony, disembarked at Portsmouth.
1253 June 15 - King Henry embarked at Portsmouth on a visit to his French Dominions.
1254 - The Queen, with her son, Edward, embarked at Portsmouth at Whitsuntide to visit the King, who was then in Gascony.
1255 April 5 - Charter granted by Henry III.
1256 July 4 - Charter granted by Henry III.
1260 May 3 - Endowment of Portsmouth Vicarage, Thomas de Singleton being then Vicar.
1266 - Portsmouth burnt by the Pirates of Dover.
1270 August - Prince Edward sailed from Portsmouth with thirteen ships on a crusade to the Holy Land.
1276 - Warin le Mercier was bailiff of Portsmouth.
1277 - Henry de la Berne was Provost or Mayor.
1278 - John le Drapir, bailiff.
1279 - William de Molendine, Mayor.
1280 - Richard de Porteseye was one of the Hampshire Knights empanelled to try pleas of Quo Warranto.
1280 - Warin le Mercier, Mayor.
1281 - John le Drapir, senior bailiff.
1282 - William de Tanton, Mayor.
1290 - The vicarage of "Portesmewe" was worth £6 13s. 4d. ; the rectory of Porteseye, with its chapel £30, its vicarage £10, and there was a pension in the church of £1 10s. 6d.
1294 August 1 - The expedition to Gascony, comprising 20,000 foot soldiers with 500 men-at-arms, sailed from Portsmouth.
1295 - The first Channel Squadron formed at Portsmouth. Sir William Leybourne appointed "Captain of the King's Sailors and Mariners."
1306 - The Prior of "Domus Dei " received a grant of free warren in Portsmouth.
1310 - Portsmouth ordered to provide one ship to assist in transporting troops to Scotland.
1312-13 February 12 Charter granted by Edward II.
1324 - A fleet of transports assemble at Portsmouth to carry troops to Aquitaine.
1326 August - All vessels of fifty tons and upwards in ports north and west of the Thames were ordered to Portsmouth to serve under Sir Nicholas Kyriel.
1332 - The burgesses of Portsmouth received confirmation of their charters, for which they paid ten marks to the King.
1334 - The borough of Portsmouth £12 12s. 2d.
1334 - William do Hastynges was bailiff of Portsmouth.
1336 - Portsmouth appointed the rendezvous for the ships summoned to oppose the threatened French invasion.
1336 - The town burnt by the French.
1336 - In this year Portsmouth was made the rendezvous for trading vessels from Southern and Western ports.
1337 - A fleet was ordered to assemble at Portsmouth by March 15th for service on the West Coast against the Scots.
1337 - The town burned by the French.
1340 - All vessels of 100 tons and upwards belonging to Portsmouth and the ports westward of it were ordered to rendezvous at Portsmouth by March 26th, with the Earl of Arundel as their Admiral.
1340 - The Portsea Parish Church was endowed with a messuage, garden land, and pasture worth £4 11s 8d. Tithe of hay and other small tithe, with oblations and mortuaries, was worth £19 18s 10d.
1341 - The Cinque Ports fleet was ordered to Portsmouth by November 18th.
1342 - Portsmouth was seized into the King's hands.
1344 - Portsmouth sent one member to the Council of shipping, or Naval Parliament.
1345 - Portsmouth contributed for the seige of Calais five ships and ninety-six sailors.
1346 June 4 - King Edward III sailed from Portsmouth with 1,600 ships containing an army of 32,000 men.
1347 - Simon le Grand was bailiff of Portsmouth. 1355 - Edward III was at Portsmouth when the news of the revolt of the King of Navarre reached him.
1358 - Charter granted by Edward III.
1358 - Richard de Portesey, bailiff.
1359 - Robert de Lecford, bailiff.
1360 - Panic reigned at Portsmouth in the spring of this year because of the expectation of another French descent, and the smallness of the means of defence.
1369 - Portsmouth again burnt by the French.
1369 - A great muster of ships, under Guy de Bryan, was made at Portsmouth.
1370 - Gosport burned by the French.
1371 June 14 - The King remitted to the Portsmouth men their debt of £20 for that year, with £40 arrears, and gave them exemption from payment of fee farm rent for the next ten years as an aid towards the rebuilding of their town.
1372 - A11 vessels in England and Wales ordered to enter the King's service and assemble at Portsmouth.
1377 July 13 - Portsmouth again burnt by the French, who were, however, driven back with great slaughter.
1380 - Portsmouth again burnt by the French.
1383 - When the enemy tried by scouring the channel to cut off aid from the Bishop of Norwich and his crusaders, then besieging Ypres, the Portsmouth men fitted out an armament and succeeded in driving back the enemy. All which, the Chronicler tells us, was done of their own act.
1384 - Charter granted by Richard II.
1385 - A private Fleet from Portsmouth sailed up the Seine and made many captures.
1386 - The expedition of the Duke of Lancaster for Spain set sail from Portsmouth. It consisted of an army of 28,000 men. Richard II and his Queen saw them off.
1405 - Charter granted by Henry IV.
1416 - The English fleet blockaded by the French at Portsmouth.
1417 - Measures were this year taken to render Portsmouth a securer haven than it had previously been for the King's ships in war time. A tower was built at the entrance a the harbour, and an office for the Clerk of the King's ships was erected.
1417 July 3 - Henry V., with the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, embarked at Portsmouth for Normandy.
1417 - Henry V called upon the Chancellor of England to summon all holders of land in Portsmouth to attend on a certain day and "challenge eche man his owen grond." and the ground not challenged was to be seized into the King's hands.
1419 - To meet an apprehended design of the Spaniards upon Portsmouth troops were repeatedly arrayed for its defence.
1423 - Charter granted by Henry VI.
1445 April 9 - Margaret of Anjou landed at Portsmouth, and after spending the night at God's House proceeded to the Priory of Southwick, where she was married to Henry VI on April 18.
1448 - John Atte Berne, bailiff.
1449 Jan. 9 - Murder of Adam de Moleyns, Bishop of Chichester, at Portsmouth.
1454 May 22 - Further endowment of St. Thomas's Church.
1458 - William Cooke, bailiff.
1461 - Charter granted by Edward IV.
1469 - Richard Boteler, bailiff.
1475 May 26 - Review of 30,000 troops on Southsea Common by Edward IV.
1484 - Charter granted by Richard III.
1488 - Charter granted by Henry VII.
1494 - A tower and bulwark were this year under construction, the sum of £2,068 lls. Id. being paid for the work done.
1496 - The first dry dock constructed at Portsmouth.
See also the Chronology of Events for the periods
1500-1599 | 1600-1699 | 1700-1799 | 1800-1849 | 1850-1899 | 1900-1936