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1667 Jonathan Swift born 30 November in Hoey’s Court, Dublin, of English parents, his father Jonathan having died some months earlier

1673-81 Attends Kilkenny College

1682 Enters Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

1686 Graduates BA

1688-9 James II flees to Ireland after William of Orange is invited to take the English throne. Given the prospect of civil war, TCD shuts its doors and Swift goes to England

1689 Swift employed by retired diplomat Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Surrey; becomes tutor of the eight-year old Esther Johnson (‘Stella’)

1690 After William III defeats James II at the Battle of the Boyne, Swift returns to Ireland; his first publication of any kind, Ode. To the King On His Irish Expedition, And the Success of his Arms in general. Presented to His Majesty upon His departure from Ireland

1691 Returns to Moor Park as Temple’s secretary

1692 Graduates MA, Hart Hall, Oxford

1694 Leaves Moor Park; ordained priest of Church of Ireland in Dublin and appointed Prebendary of Kilroot, near Belfast, in a largely Presbyterian region

1696-8 Returns to Moor Park; writes ‘The Battle of the Books,’ ‘A Tale of a Tub’ and the ‘Discourse concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit’

1699 Temple dies (January) and Swift returns to Ireland as domestic chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley (one of the Lord Justices of Ireland)

1700 Swift instituted vicar of Laracor and presented to the prebend of Dunlavin (near Trim), in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin; publishes his edition of Sir William Temple’s Letters

1701 Back in England, publishes A Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions and his edition of Temple’s Miscellanea: The Third Part

1702 Graduates Doctor of Divinity at TCD (February); Stella and her companion Rebecca Dingley move to and settle in Dublin; Queen Anne succeeds William III; Swift in England from 1702-4

May 1704 Anonymous publication of A Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books, and The Mechanical Operation of the Spirit

1707-9 In London, representing Irish clergy in seeking remission of taxes on their clerical incomes (already granted in England)—rejected by Whig government; meets Esther Van Homrigh (‘Vanessa’)

1708 Meets Addison and Steele; publishes Sentiments of a Church of England Man, the Bickerstaff Papers, and An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity

1709 Returns to Ireland

1710-13 Returns to England for four years, shifting his allegiance to the Tories; fifth edition of A Tale of a Tub appears with the new Author’s Apology and notes; writes The Examiner papers, The Conduct of the Allies, and a series of letters that will become The Journal to Stella

1713 Swift installed as Dean of St Patrick’s, 13 June; Cadenus and Vanessa; the Scriblerus Club formed (Swift, Pope, Arbuthnot, Gay, Parnell and Oxford)

1714 Queen Anne dies, 1 August: George I accedes to the throne; the Tory administration of Harley and Bolingbroke fails; Swift retires to Berkshire before returning to Ireland to ‘die like a poisoned rat in a hole’

1719 Declaratory Act establishes Westminster’s dominance over Irish parliament

1720 Swift begins publishing his Irish tracts, beginning with A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture, and starts work on Gulliver’s Travels; Sir Robert Walpole becomes Prime Minister

1723 Vanessa dies, 2 June

1724 Drapier’s Letters, I-IV

1726 28 October, Gulliver’s Travels appears, Swift having left for Ireland two months before its publication

1727 Last trip to England, April to September; George I succeeded by George II; Swift writes what will be known as the ‘Holyhead Journal’ during his return journey to Dublin

1728 Stella dies 28 January

1729 A Modest Proposal; Swift given the Freedom of the City of Dublin

1735 First collected edition of Swift’s Works (4 volumes), published by George Faulkner in Dublin

1736 A Character, Panegyric, and Description of the Legion Club

1738 A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation

1739 Verses on the Death of Dr Swift published (written 1731-2)

1742 17 August, Swift committed to care of guardians

1744 Pope dies, 30 May

1745 Swift dies, 19 October; buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin; Directions to Servants published

1758 History of the Four Last Years of the Queen published in London