I found this information about Marlowe's life and valuable contextual information from the following source:
Rutter, Tom. Cambridge Introduction to Christopher Marlowe.
West Nyack, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2012. p xiv.
(Note: This is the citation given to me by the site. We'll want to recheck it later.)
Note: in 1582 most Catholic countries adopted the new calendar proposed by Pope Gregory XIII in place of the existing Julian Calendar, moving the year ahead by ten days. England did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752, so dates given below refer to the Julian Calendar unless otherwise indicated.
- • 17 November 1558: death of Queen Mary, followed by accession of Elizabeth I.
- • 22 May 1561: marriage of John Marlowe and Katherine Arthur at church of St George the Martyr, Canterbury, where their children are later christened (see below).
- • 21 May 1562: Mary Marlowe christened.
- • 26 February 1564: Christopher Marlowe christened.
- • May- September 1565: siege of Malta by the Turks. 18 or 28 December 1566: Margaret Marlowe christened.
- • 28 August 1568: Mary Marlowe buried.
- • 31 October 1568: unnamed son of John and Katherine Marlowe christened; buried 5 November.
- • 20 August 1569: Joan Marlowe christened.
- • 1570: Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope Pius V.
- • 26 July 1570: Thomas Marlowe christened; buried 7 August.
- • 14 July 1571: Ann Marlowe christened.
- • 23 August 1572: massacre of French Protestants begins in Paris on the evening before St Bartholomew's Day.
- • 18 October 1573: Dorothy Marlowe christened.
- • 8 April 1576: second Thomas Marlowe christened.
- • December 1578: Marlowe enrols as scholar at the King's School, Canterbury.
- • 1580: Jesuit mission to England begins.
- • December 1580: Marlowe goes up to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
- • 12 April 1584: Marlowe receives BA; remains at Cambridge to study for MA. Some of his work, e.g. his translation of Ovid's Amores, may have been written there.
- • 1587: German Faustbuch published.
- • 8 February 1587: Mary, Queen of Scots executed.
- • 29 June 1587: Privy Council write to the authorities of Corpus Christi requesting that Marlowe be allowed to receive his MA.
- • 10 August 1587: 'Christopher Marlo', possibly the playwright, acquires a horse in London from James Wheatley (who in 1588 sues for its return).
- • 16 November 1587: Philip Gawdy refers in a letter to a performance of a play that may be the second part of Tamburlaine.
- • 1588: Robert Greene alludes to Tamburlaine in Perimedes the Blacksmith; earliest possible date of Doctor Faustus.
- • July 1588: Spanish Armada defeated.
- • 9 October 1588: Marlowe sued by Edward Elvyn for £10 lent to him in London that April.
- • 23 December 1588 (Gregorian Calendar): assassination of Duke of Guise, referred to in The Jew of Malta.
- • 2 August 1589 (Gregorian Calendar): death of Henri III, accession of Henri IV as King of France.
- • 18 September 1589: Marlowe, William Bradley and Thomas Watson fight in Hog Lane, London. Bradley is killed by Watson, who is arrested along with Marlowe. Marlowe is released on bail 1 October and acquitted 3 December; Watson is found guilty of manslaughter and pardoned in February 1590.
- • 1590: Tamburlaine the Great published, as are the first three books of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene. 1591: Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella published.
- • 1592: Marlowe's source for Doctor Faustus, the English Faust Book (a translation of the German Faustbuch), 'newly imprinted', perhaps indicating that this is not the first English edition.
- • 26 January 1592: Robert Sidney writes to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, of Marlowe's arrest for counterfeiting in Flushing.
- • 26 February 1592: first recorded performance of The Jew of Malta, by Strange's Men at the Rose.
- • 3 March 1592: 'Harry the VI', possibly Shakespeare's Henry VI Part One, performed by Strange's Men at the Rose.
- • 9 May 1592: Marlowe bound over in London to keep the peace towards Allen Nicholls and Nicholas Helliot.
- • 3 September 1592: Robert Greene dies; Marlowe is referred to in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, purportedly written by Greene on his deathbed.
- • 15 September 1592: Marlowe arrested following street fight in Canterbury with William Corkine, who eventually drops his legal case against him.
- • 26 September 1592: Thomas Watson buried; his Amintae Gaudia features a Latin dedication by 'C. M.', probably Marlowe, to Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke.
- • 14 December 1592: death of Sir Roger Manwood, for whom Marlowe writes a Latin epitaph.
- • 26 January 1593: The Massacre at Paris performed by Strange's Men at the Rose.
- • 28 January 1593: playhouses close due to plague and do not reopen until late December.
- • 5 May 1593: xenophobic verse libel signed 'Tamburlaine' posted on Dutch church in Broad Street.
- • 12 May 1593: Thomas Kyd arrested. 18 May 1593: warrant issued for Marlowe to appear before Privy Council.
- • 20 May 1593: Marlowe arrested at house of Thomas Walsingham in Scadbury, Kent; brought before Privy Council and charged to report to them daily.
- • 26 May 1593/2 June 1593: possible dates for the delivery of Richard Baines's note on Marlowe to the Privy Council.
- • 30 May 1593: Marlowe stabbed to death at house of Eleanor Bull, Deptford; coroner's report says that he was killed in self-defence by Ingram Frizer in the presence of Robert Poley and Nicholas Skeres.
- • 1 June 1593: Marlowe buried at St Nicholas's church, Deptford.
- • 28 June 1593: Ingram Frizer pardoned by the Queen.
- • 1594: Dido, Queen of Carthage and Edward II both published.
- • 30 September 1594: first recorded performance of Doctor Faustus by the Admiral's Men at the Rose, though its first actual performance was probably earlier than this.
- • 1597: Thomas Beard refers to Marlowe's death in his Theatre of God's Judgements.
- • 1598: Francis Meres refers to Marlowe's death in his Palladis Tamia. First known edition of Hero and Leander published, as are George Chapman's and Henry Petowe's continuations.
- • 1599: A version of 'The Passionate Shepherd' is published in The Passionate Pilgrim.
- • 1 June 1599: John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, prohibit the further publication of satires and epigrams including 'Davies' Epigrams, with Marlowe's Elegies' (i.e. his translation of Ovid), and call for existing copies to be burnt.
- • 1600: The more familiar version of 'The Passionate Shepherd' appears in England's Helicon; Lucan's First Book (Marlowe's translation of the Pharsalia) published.
- • 22 November 1602: Philip Henslowe lends the Admiral's Men £4 to pay William Birde and Samuel Rowley for additions to Doctor Faustus.
- • 1604: A-text of Doctor Faustus published.
- • 1616: B-text of Doctor Faustus published.
- • 1633: The Jew of Malta published following performances at Court and at the Cockpit theatre.