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NB: I won't quiz students
specifically over these dates unless they appear in other
study questions for a specific reading. However, students
will impress me if they make reference to them (accurately)
as part of their mid-term or final essay examinations. It
is more impressive if I can see the student understands
why the date is important as a useful milestone,
rather than a mere demonstration of the student's ability
to regurgitate numbers.
Every Historian of English Should Know
410: Roman troops pull out of Britain
449: Traditional date the Angles,
Saxons, and Jutes invade the part of Britain that will
become England, introducing Old English as a language to
the Celtic-speaking island. The Jutes under Hengest and
Horsa conquer Kent (southeastern section of modern England).
597: St. Augustine the Lesser undertakes
mission to Kent and begins conversion of Anglo-Saxons to
731: The Venerable Bede completes The
Ecclesiastical History of the English People
793: Vikings sack Lindisfarne.
878: Formation of the Danelaw
1066: Norman Conquest commences with the
Battle of Hastings--marks the start of Middle English (c.
1400-50: Main sequences of the Great Vowel
Shift take place
1476: Caxton's printing press set up in
1755: Samuel Johnson completes his A
Dictionary of the English Language.
1828: Noah Webster publishes in two quarto
volumes An American Dictionary of the English Language.