-Historical events from 2137 BCE to 31 December 1599
(-9999) = Day count to end of World War Two in Europe (day zero = Tuesday)
10/12/1599, Wednesday (-126,146) The Assembly of the Convention of States at Edinburgh.
6/6/1599, (-126,333) Diego Velasquez, Spanish painter, was born in Seville.
25/4/1599. (-126,377) Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon. He became Lord Protector of England, Britain’s first and only dictator.
22/3/1599, (-126,411) Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish artist and court painter to Charles I of England, was born in Antwerp, son of a cloth manufacturer.
18/9/1598, (-126,596) Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese statesman (born 6/2/1537) died. A feudal lord of peasant origin, he completed the unification of Japan under Oda Nobunaga. This was accomplished by the defeat of the feudal barons (daimyo). He instituted a rigid system of class divisions, having farmers, merchants, monks and warriors living in different quarters of Japanese towns. In 1592 he attempted to take the Korean Peninsula from China, but his army was too small for this task. In 1597 he tried again, also unsuccessfully. He even harboured ambitions of much wider conquests, including China, the Philippines and India. His death left a power vacuum that plunged Japan into civil war.
13/9/1598. (-126,601) King Philip II of Spain died after a reign of over 40 years, aged 71. Spain had acquired great wealth from its conquest of South America, but had squandered it in a series of wars, and had suffered the defeat of the Great Armada. He was succeeded by his fourth wife’s fourth son, Philip III.
4/8/1598, (-126,641) William Cecil, Baron Burghley, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, died.
23/4/1598, (-126,744) Maarten Tromp, Dutch Admiral, was born.
20/8/1597, (-126,991) Dutch seafarers brought back spice cargo from Java, see 2/4/1595 and 20/3/1602.
20/6/1597, (-127,051) Dutch navigator Willem Barents who led a team of three to find the North West Passage, and who discovered Spitsbergen on his last voyage, died at sea.
5/2/1597, (-127,186) In Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi crucified 26 Christians in Nagasaki, then told all remaining missionaries to leave the country. When most defied the order, Hideyoshi took no action for fear of alienating Portuguese traders.
24/1/1597, (-127,198) Battle of Battle of Turnhout, Netherlands.
29/11/1596. (-127,254) Spain admitted that the Royal Treasury was bankrupt, drained by a series of wars and especially the attempt to invade England. Revolts against Spanish rule in the Americas were also costly. See 24/3/1603.
31/3/1596, (-127,497) Rene Descartes, French philosopher, was born.
28/1/1596. (-127,560) Sir Francis Drake died of dysentery and was buried at sea off Porto Bello, Panama.
21/7/1595, (-127,751) Alvaro Mendana discovered the Marquesas Islands.
9/6/1595, (-127,793) Battle of Fontaine-Francaise; Huguenot victory.
2/4/1595, (-127,861) The Dutch launched an expedition to try and open up a trade route to the East Indies, or Spice Islands, independent from the Spanish. Before the Union of Spain and Portugal in 1580/81, the Dutch commanded most of the spice trade between Lisbon and northern Europe. After this date, the Spanish shut the Portuguese out from this trade. This voyage was marred by losses, but the survivors who reached Texel on 20/8/1597 brought back valuable cargo, plus a treaty with the Sultan of Bantam, in Java. See 20/3/1602.
21/2/1595. (-127,901) Robert Southwell, English poet and Jesuit martyr, was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.
5/12/1594, (-127,979) Gerard Mercator, Flemish geographer and cartographer, died in Duisberg, aged 82. He projected the world map onto a flat surface using lines of longitude and latitude.
31/5/1594, (-128,167) Tintoretto, his real name being Jacopo Robusti, one of the great Italian painters, died in Venice, aged 76.
9/8/1593, (-128,462) The author Izaak Walton was born at Stafford.
18/4/1593, (-128,575) Shakespeare’s first published work, the poem Venus and Adonis, was entered into the Stationer’s Register.
3/9/1592, (-128,802) Robert Greene, dramatist, died.
21/5/1592, (-128,907) Parma escaped Protestant forces at Coudebec and marched south east to resupply forces at Paris.
17/5/1592, (-128,911) The Duke of Parma withdrew from besieging Coudebec. His forces had been reduced to 15,000, and the Dutch Protestants were able to resupply Coudebec by sea, sailing up the River Seine.
21/4/1592, (-128,937) The Duke of Parma raised the siege by Protestants of Catholics holding out at Rouen.
13/4/1592. (-128,945) Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, giving Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. See 24/8/1572, and 18/10/1685.
27/3/1592, (-128,962) Henry of Navarre, Protestant, restarted the siege of Catholics holding Rouen.
24/3/1592, (-128,965) The Duke of Parma, Catholic, began a siege of Protestants holding the town of Coudebec, on the lower Seine.
9/2/1592, (-129,009) Parma attacked Protestants at Neufchatel.
4/2/1592, (-129,014) Military skirmish at Aumale, west of Amiens, between Catholics and Huguenot Protestants.
16/1/1592, (-129,033) The Catholic Duke of Parma marched south west from Amiens with 30,000 men.
30/12/1591, (-129,050) Pope Innocent IX died.
3/12/1591. (-129,077) The earliest recorded fire insurance policy. 101 persons, mainly brewers, agreed to pay out a maximum of 10 thalers to any fellow member whose property was damaged by fire.
29/10/1591, (-129,112) Pope Innocent IX became the 230th Pope.
16/10/1591, (-129,125) Pope Gregory XIV died.
24/5/1591, (-129,270) Sir John Norreys, leading an expeditionary force sent by Queen Elizabeth I, took the town of Guincamp after a brief siege, to assist the Protestant King Henry of Navarre, in his fight against Catholics in France.
13/3/1591, (-129,342) At the Battle of Tondibi, Moroccan forces under the Saadi Dynasty, led by Judar Pasha, defeated the Songhai Empire, despite being outnumbered at least 5 to 1.
20/12/1590, (-129,425) Ambroise Pare, known as the father of modern surgery, died in Paris.
27/8/1590, (-129,540) Pope Sixtus V (227th Pope) died.
17/8/1590, Monday (-129,550) John White, Governor of Roanoke Island, returned to find the British colony deserted and the first European child born in America vanished. The word ‘Croatoan’ was left behind. See 18/8/1587.
6/4/1590, (-129,683) Sir Francis Walsingham, diplomat and creator of Elizabeth I’s secret service, died.
14/3/1590, (-129,706) Battle of Ivry; Huguenot victory.
21/9/1589, (-129,880) The Battle of Arques, NW France; Huguenot victory.
1/8/1589, (-129,931) Henry III, King of France, murdered by a mad Dominican monk.
1/7/1589, (-129,962) Christopher Plantin, printer, died.
5/1/1589, (-) Catherine di Medici, Italian wife of King Henry II of France, died.
18/10/1588, (-130,218) The Polish postal service was created, when king Zygmunt August established a permanent postal route from Kraków to Venice.
15/9/1588, (-130,251) The remnants of the Spanish Armada limped back into Spanish ports.
4/9/1588. (-130,262) The death of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
8/8/1588, (-130,289) Queen Elizabeth I reviewed her troops at Tilbury.
29/7/1588. (-130,299) The Spanish Armada under Medina Sidonia was defeated. (See 19/5/1588). On the night of the 28 July the English sent fireships amongst the 130 ships of the Armada sent by Philip II to invade England, as they were anchored off Calais. This caused panic amongst the Spanish, who cut anchor, one ship running aground. By now the Spanish had lost several of their best ships and, whilst maintaining good order, were demoralised. The Spanish sent a signal to Parma to put his ships to sea from Dunkirk but he could not as he was closely blockaded by the British. On 29 July the English decimated the Spanish with broadside fire, preventing the Spanish closing and boarding, which would have been their only chance of success. The Spanish soldiers were outgunned and had inferior seamanship to the English sailors.
The Spanish were nearly driven aground off The Netherlands on 30 July but a sudden change of wind saved them, with only 6 fathoms below them, and they were able to sail northwest into the North Sea. The English, running low on food and ammunition, followed them as far as the Firth of Forth, then returned south, satisfied that the Spanish would not return via the Straits of Dover.
The Armada, short of both food and fresh water, encountered further problems with strong westerly winds as they attempted to sail around the north of Scotland and south to Spain. Many ships were wrecked at open sea or off the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Only half the ships that left Spain returned home; death and sickness took a great toll of the crews. The failure of the Armada checked the naval growth of Spain and assisted the Netherlands to gain independence. Two further Armadas prepared by Spain, in 1596 and 1597, were disrupted by bad weather.
19/5/1588. (-130,370) The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon. The Armada consisted of 130 vessels, containing 7,000 sailors and 17,000 soldiers, commended by the Duke of Medina, sent by King Philip II. It arrived off the Lizard, Cornwall, on 19/7/1588, and off Plymouth on 20/7/1588. The English Navy was only just able to get out to sea and avoid being blockaded in Plymouth harbour. On 23 July the English and Spanish fleets clashed off Portland, and again on 25 July off the Isle of Wight. The defeat of the Armada was on 29 July, see 29/7/1588.
5/4/1588, (-130,414) Thomas Hobbes, philosopher, was born.
4/4/1588, (-130,415) Frederick II, King of Denmark, died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 10-year old son, Christian IV.
20/10/1587, (-130,582) Battle of Coutras; Huguenot victory.
18/8/1587. (-130,645) Virginia Dare became the first child born of English parents in America. She was born on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, seven days after Sir Walter Raleigh’s second expedition landed. The parents were called Ananias and Ellinor Dare, and named the child Virginia in honour of the virgin Queen of England and the fledgling colony. See17/8/1590.
25/7/1587. (-130,669) (1) The Japanese Emperor Hideyoshi banned Christianity, and ordered the Jesuits to leave within 20 days. The Jesuits were accused of selling the Japanese as slaves.
(2) The Spanish Armada and the English navy engaged off the Isle of Wight. There were fears that the Spanish planned to seize the island as a base.
19/4/1587. (-130,766) Sir Francis Drake led his convoy of ships into Cadiz, where the Spanish Armada was being prepared to attack England, and, taking the Spanish completely by surprise, looted, burnt, and sank many ships. He also looted the harbour stores and managed to escape with no casualties.
This adventure became known as ‘the singeing of the King of Spain’s beard’. Sir Francis Drake also brought back 2,900 barrels of ‘sack’, a wine made in the Jerez region of Spain, so named from the Spanish word ‘sacar’, meaning ‘to take out, or export’. This was the forerunner of today’s sherry drink. Sack had been popular abroad since a Spanish law passed in 1492 exempting wine made for export from taxes; it was a robust wine that did not go off easily.
8/2/1587. (-130,836) Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, after nearly 19 years in prison. She had been implicated in a Catholic plot to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. The leader of the plot, Anthony Babington, had planned to free Mary, and rally support amongst English Roman Catholics for a Spanish invasion force. Mary married the French Dauphin in her teens and was Queen of France for a year until he died. Her second marriage was to Lord Darnley. After Darnley’s murder, in which Mary may have been implicated, she married the Earl of Bothwell. Mary was defeated in battle in Scotland and fled to England, but her cousin Elizabeth I had her imprisoned. Elizabeth had been reluctant to execute Mary, because this might bring reprisals from Catholic Europe, and might legitimate her own execution at some future point; however Francis Walsingham persuaded Elizabeth to order the execution.
12/12/1586, (-130,894) Stephen Bathory of Poland died suddenly, aged 53. He was succeeded by the 12-year old son of the Swedish King as Sigismund II.
22/9/1586, (-130,975) The Battle of Zutphen. British and Dutch forces defeated the Spanish.
20/9/1586, (-130,977) Chidiock Tichborne, one of the conspirators in the Catholic Babington Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I, was executed at the Tower of London.
28/7/1586. (-131,031) The first potatoes arrived in Britain, brought from Colombia by Sir Thomas Harriott. They were to be used to feed livestock.
9/9/1585, (-131,353) Cardinal Richelieu French politician and chief minister of King Louis XIII from 1624, who was ruthless at crushing all opposition to the monarchy, was born near Chinon.
10/8/1585, (-131,383) Elizabeth I of England signed the Treaty of Nonsuch, promising 64,000 foot soldiers, 1,000 cavalry, and 600,000 florins a year to support Protestant rebels in The Netherlands against Spain. Although Elizabeth disliked involvement in foreign European wars, the Spanish presence in The Netherlands was too close to England to ignore. King Philip II of Spain, who had laid siege to Antwerp in 1584, saw this Treaty as a declaration of war.
7/7/1585. (-131,417) King Henry III of France bowed to Catholic pressure and revoked the tolerance allowed to Hugenots.
10/4/1585, (-131,515) Pope Gregory XIII died.
12/7/1584, (-131,777) William the Silent, Prince of Orange, was murdered by a fanatical Catholic. His youngest son, Maurice of Nassau, was elected stadtholder of Zeeland and Holland in his place, subsequently also of Utrecht, Overyssel and Gelderland also. Maurice became Commander of the Netherlands Army and succeeded in driving the Spanish entirely out of the United Provinves (Netherlands). A 12-year truce with Spain was concluded in 1609, whereby Soain acknowledged the independence of the United Provinces. However in 1621 Spain again attempted to reassert control over the United Provinces, only to be evicted later on.
18/3/1584. (-131,893) Czar Ivan IV, Ivan the Terrible, died aged 54, whilst about to play a game of chess. He may have died of grief for his son, whom he had killed in a mad fit of rage three years previously.
9/9/1583, (-132,084) Sir Humphrey Gilbert (see 5/8/1583) was drowned when his ship, The Squirrel, sank off The Azores drowning all on board.
5/8/1583. (-132,119) Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed on Newfoundland and claimed it for Britain. He founded the colony of St Johns there.
18/6/1583. (-132,167) The first life insurance policy was sold in London. William Gibbons took out a policy whereby his relatives would be paid £383 if he died within 12 months of the policy date; the policy was underwritten by 16 individuals. Gibbons did indeed die in May 1584, and Richard martin then disputed the policy and refused to pay out. The courts decided he had to pay. Many more such life policies were issued but it was not until 1923 that the Life Insurance Companies Act was passed.
11/6/1583, (-132,174) Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth I, to found a British colony in America.
10/4/1583, (-132,236) Hugo Grotius (De Groot), jurist, was born.
27/11/1582, (-132,370) William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18.
5/10/1582. (-132,423) (see also 3/9/1752 when Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar). Pope Gregory XIII cancelled 10 days from the 5th to the 15th October 1582 to bring back the Spring Equinox to the 21st March and ensure that Easter fell on the proper date. Under the old Julian calendar, established in 46 BC, the calendar gained a whole day every 128 years. The new system cut out three leap years every 400 years to maintain accuracy.
10/8/1582. (-132,479) After 25 years of conflict, Russia made peace with Poland and gave up its claim on the Baltic state of Livonia.
24/2/1582, (-132,646) Pope Gregory XIII announced a change from the Julian calendar to the new Gregorian calendar, entailing a forward move of 11 days, see 5/10/1582.
1581. An earthquake in the Italian town of Pisa set the great chandeliers in the church swinging. A 17 year old student called Galileo noticed that, timed by his own pulse, the time of each swing was constant regardless of the range of the swing.
1/12/1581. (-132,731) The Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion was hanged at Tyburn, for distributing an anti-Anglican pamphlet in Oxford.
26/7/1581. (-132,859) (see 8/11/1576). The Estates General (Parliament) of The Hague deposed Philip II of Spain as the ruler of the Seven Provinces of the Union of Utrecht; effectively declaring UDI against Spain.
4/4/1581. (-132,972) Queen Elizabeth I knighted Francis Drake on his ship The Golden Hind at Deptford, London, after he completed his circumnavigation of the world. See 26/9/1580. En route, Drake had captured and plundered several Spanish galleons; Spain demanded that Elizabeth I hang Drake for piracy, but Drake was a hero in England.
26/9/1580. (-133,162) Sir Francis Drake arrived back in Plymouth in the 100 ton Golden Hind (originally The Pelican) after 33 months, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. See 13/12/1577 and 4/4/1581.
6/4/1580, (-133,335) An earth tremor damaged several old London churches, including the old St Paul’s Cathedral.
21/11/1579, (-133,472) Sir Thomas Gresham, who founded the Royal Exchange, died.
17/6/1579. (-133,629) Sir Francis Drake anchored the Golden Hind just north of what was to become San Francisco Bay; he named the area New Albion, claiming it for Britain.
19/5/1579, (-133,658) Treaty of the Malcontents, between Catholic nobles in The Netherlands and the Prince of Parma.
29/1/1579, (-133,768) Under the Treaty of Utrecht, the Northern Provinces were united to form what is now The Netherlands.
6/1/1579, (-133,791) Union of Arras. The southern Netherlands principalities of Artois, Hainault and Douai signed a Union in oppoisition to the northern Netherlands, with the intention of returning to the Catholic rule of Philip II of Spain. Later in January 1579 the northern Netherlands provinces, opposed to Catholic Spain, formed the Union of Utrecht.
4/8/1578, (-133,946) Sebastian, King of Portugal, was killed in the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir.
14/4/1578, (-134,058) Philip III, King of Spain, was born.
1/4/1578, (-134,071) William Harvey, British anatomist who discovered the circulation of the blood, was born at Folkestone.
31/1/1578, (-134,131) Battle of Gemblours. Farnese attacked and defeated a Dutch force.
13/12/1577. (-134,180) Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth on his voyage round the world. See 26/9/1580.
28/6/1577, (-134,348) Peter Van Rubens, Flemish painter, was born in Siegen, Westphalia, the son of a lawyer.
8/11/1576. (-134,580) Spanish soldiers rampaged through Antwerp, killing some 7,000 people, and looting, in response to a rebellion against the tax imposed by the Spanish governor, the Duke of Alba. This caused a brutal repression, in 1572, against this rebellion, and some Spanish soldiers mutinied; some soldiers had also not been paid. Now leaders of the Catholic and Protestant Hapsburg Netherlands agreed to sink their differences and unite against the Spanish. See 26/7/1581.
12/10/1576, (-134,607) The Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II died, aged 49. He was succeeded by his son Rudolf.
27/8/1576. (-134,653) Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) died, of bubonic plague, in Venice. His age was uncertain, but was believed to be over 90.
8/8/1576, (-134,672) The first purpose-built observatory was constructed in Denmark.
22/6/1576, (-134,719) Queen Elizabeth’s Prayer Book was issued.
16/12/1575, (-134,908) A large earthquake at Valdivia.
15/12/1575, (-134,909) Stephen Bathory became King of Poland.
10/10/1575, (-134,975) The Battle of Dormans. Catholic forces under Duke Henry of Guise defeated the Protestants, capturing Philippe de Mornay amongst others.
17/5/1575, (-135,121) Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
5/3/1575, (-135,194) William Oughtred, mathematician and inventor of the slide rule, was born at Eton.
14/2/1575, (-135,213) Henry III of France married Louise de Lorraine-Vaudemont.
13/2/1575, (-135,214) Henry III of France was crowned at Reims.
12/12/1574, (-135,277) Selim II, Sultan of Turkey, died, aged 50. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 27-year old Murad III, who had his brothers strangled in his presence.
3/10/1574, (-135,347) The relief of Leyden. William of Orange broke a dyke to flood the polders and then sailed his ships right up to the besieged city of Leyden to bring relief food, bread and herrings.
6/5/1574, (-135,497) Pope Innocent X was born.
14/4/1574, (-135,519) Battle of Mookerheyde, Netherlands.
28/2/1574, The Spanish Inquisition burnt at the stake two Englishmen and an Irishman for ‘Lutheran heresy’. These were the first European victims of the Inquisition in the New World; previously only native Indians had been burnt, for ‘Aztec paganism’. A further 68 Englishmen were publically lashed and given long terms as galley-slaves. These men were from a fleet headed by Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake that had brought slaves from Africa to sell in the Caribbean, in defiance of a Spanish ban; Drake and Hawkins escaped but had to abandon two ships and crew.
7/10/1573, (-135,708) William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.
15/7/1573, (-135,792) The architect Inigo Jones was born in London. He was the son of a clothmaker.
11/6/1573, (-135,826) In Britain, a Puritan pamphlet calling for the abolition of episcopacy was suppressed by Parliament.
26/4/1573, (-135,872) Marie de Medici, Queen of France, was born.
7/3/1573. (-135,,922) Venice concluded a peace with the Turks by which Venice recognised Turkey’s sovereignty over Cyprus.
24/11/1572. (-136,025) John Knox, father of the Scottish reformation, died in Edinburgh. He had returned to Scotland after the rebellion against the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots.
23/11/1572, (-136,026) The painter Bronzino died in Florence, aged 69.
11/11/1572. (-136,038) The astronomer Tycho Brahe saw a ‘new star’, a supernova, in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The fixed stars were meant to be eternal, unchanging. Along with Copernicus’ assertion that the Sun, not the earth, is the centre of the Universe, this undermined traditional church cosmology.
24/8/1572. (-136,117) The St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre took place in Paris. Thousands of French Huguenots were killed by order of the Catholic French court. See 13/4/1592. Gaspard de Coligny, Huguenot leader, was killed. This was 6 days after the marriage of Catholic Marguerite de Valois, daughter of Henry II of France, also known as Catherine de Medici, to the Protestant Henri de Bourbon, King of Navarre. The bride’s mother , Catherine was anxious over the influence of Protestants on the couple.
6/7/1572, (-136,166) Sigismund II, King of Poland, died.
15/6/1572, (-136,218) Jeanne III, Queen of Navarre, died.
1/5/1572, (-136,232) Pope Pius V died.
1/4/1572, (-136,262) Resistance fighters (the ‘Beggars’) against the Spanish rule of King Philip II over the Netherlands took the Dutch port of Brill and environs. This encouraged the spread of the anti-Spanish revolt across the Netherlands.
27/12/1571, (-136,358) Johannes Kepler, astronomer, was born. He discovered that planets have elliptical orbits
7/10/1571. (-136,439) The Ottoman Turkish fleet under Ali Pasha was defeated by the navies of Spain, Venice, and the Pope at the Battle of Lepanto, in the Gulf of Corinth. Christendom was concerned at the fall of Cyprus to Turkey, under Selim II, Suleiman the Great’s successor. This was the last battle fought between galleys. The Turks used ramming tactics, but allied ships used firepower to defeat the Turks. Although Ottoman Turkey retained control of Cyprus, its western expansion in the Mediterranean was halted. The Ottomans lost 230 galleys to the Christian’s 17.
23/1/1571. (-136,696) The Royal Exchange, founded by financier Sir Thomas Gresham, was opened by Queen Elizabeth I as a bankers meeting house. Its foundation stone was laid on 7/6/1566.
13/12/1570, (-136,737) The Peace of Stettin ended the war between Sweden and Denmark, recognising Swedish independence.
2/11/1570. (-136,778) A tidal wave in the North Sea destroyed sea walls from Holland to Jutland; over a thousand were killed.
25/7/1570, (-136,878) Ivan the Terrible had many of his advisers and ministers publicly executed in Moscow.
25/2/1570. (-137,028) Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V who declared her a usurper.
20/2/1570, (-137, 033) The Northern Rebellion ended. In November 1569 the Catholic Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland had started the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I, motivated by the flight of (Catholic) Mary Queen of Scots to England, also by the arrest of Thomas Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, in October 1569. In November 1569 Northumberland had seized Durham Cathedral to celebrate Catholic Mass. The Earls now marched south to fight Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, at York. However their elevated social position, and religious fervour, failed to inspire enough foot soldiers to follow them and their march petered out. After a battle at Naworth, Cumbria, this day, 20/2/1570, the Earls fled to Scotland. Government reprisals against Catholics were harsh and Protestantism became more firmly established in England.
3/10/1569, (-137,173) At the Battle of Moncountour, Royalist forces of Tavannaes and Anjou defeated Coligny’s Huguenots.
24/8/1569, (-137,213) At the Battle of Orthez, Huguenot forces under Gabriel de Montgomery defeated Royalist forces under General Terride in French Navarre. Catholics surrendered on condition that their lives would be saved. The Huguenots agreed but then massacred them anyway.
1/7/1569, (-137,267) The Union of Lublin united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Treaty was signed at Lublin Castle. This strengthened Poland against possible attacks from Russia.
10/6/1569, (-137,288) German Protestant troops reinforced Gaspard de Coligny, near Limoges.
13/3/1569, (-137,377) At the Battle of Jarnac, Royalist troops under Marshal Gaspard de Tavannes defeated the Huguenots under the Prince of Conde, who was captured and murdered. A large number of Huguenot troops escaped, under Gaspard de Coligny.
11/1/1569. (-137,438) The first State Lottery was held in England. 40,000 lots at 10 shillings each were available from the west door of St Paul’s Cathedral. Proceeds were used to repair harbours and for other public works.
1568. Prices in Europe have risen tenfold since 1500; this unprecedented rise due to the inflow of gold bullion from the New World.
21/7/1568, (-137,612) Battle of Jemmingen, Netherlands. Spanish soldiers under the Duke of Alba lured Dutch rebels into an open position, then massacred them.
23/5/1568, (-137,671) Battle of Heiligerlee, Netherlands.
16/5/1568. (-137,678) Mary Queen of Scots escaped from Loch Leven Castle. She had been imprisoned there on 16/6/1567. She sailed from Point Mary, crossing the Firth of Forth to begin her exile in England. See 8/2/1587, 24/7/1567, and 29/7/1565.
16/2/1568. (-137,768) The death sentence was passed on an entire country when the Spanish Inquisition condemned The Netherlands for heresy. During the first week of the plan to kill 3 million people, 800 were hanged, burnt, or killed by other means.
29/7/1567, (-137,970) James VI, then 12 months old, was crowned King at Stirling.
24/7/1567, (-137,975) Mary Queen of Scots abdicated, after being defeated by Protestants at Carberry Hill.
9/2/1567, (-138,140) Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and father of James IV of Scotland and I of England, was murdered at his house near Edinburgh.
6/9/1566. (-138,296) Suleiman the Magnificent, leader of the Ottoman Empire for 46 years, died. He had brought the Ottoman Empire to the peak of its power, ruling an area from Hungary to Mesopotamia, and promoting justice and culture. His eldest surviving son, the incompetent drunkard Selim, succeeded him. All other potential rivals had been eliminated by intrigue and murder.
4/9/1566, (-138,298) Queen Elizabeth I visited Oxford, to consolidate her acceptance by the University and Town as Supreme Head of the Church
2/7/1566, (-138,362) Nostradamus died – did he foresee this?
19/6/1566. (-138,375) James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, the first Stuart King, was born in Edinburgh Castle. Hew as the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Lord Darnley.
7/6/1566, (-138,387) Sir Thomas Gresham laid the foundation stone of the first Royal Exchange in London.
9/3/1566, (-138,477) Lord Darnley killed the secretary of Mary Queen of Scots, David Riccio (born 1531?). Mary I, six months pregnant with the future James VI of Scotland, witnessed the murder. Mary had romantic feelings for Riccio, and the nobility feared the rising influence of Riccio upon the royal court.
8/1/1566, (-138,537) Pope Pius V acceded. Formerly Cardinal Michaele Ghisleri (1504 – 1572)
9/12/1565, (-138,567) Pope Pius IV died.
8/9/1565, (-138,659) The Great Siege of Malta was raised.
29/7/1565. (-138,700) Mary Queen of Scots married her cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, in the Old Abbey Chapel at Holyrood, Edinburgh.
18/5/1565. (-138,772) The Ottoman Turks arrived at Malta to try and capture it, see 21/12/1522. However the island holds out until relieved by a Christian fleet from Sicily arrived in September 1565. Casualties had been heavy for both the Turks and the Maltese; however the Turks had been riven by disputes between their naval and army commanders. The Turks returned to Istanbul, their hopes of dominating the western Mediterranean dashed.
1/3/1565. (-138,850) The Portuguese established a colony at Rio de Janeiro.
9/12/1564, (-) Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was born.
13/11/1564, (-138,958) The Tridentine Creed was promulgated.
27/5/1564, (-139,128) John Calvin, French theologian who helped spread the Protestant revolution, died.
23/4/1564, (-139,162) William Shakespeare was born in Stratford on Avon. He was the third of eight children. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker and alderman, and his mother, Mary Arden, was a daughter of the gentry.
18/2/1564. (-139,227) Michelangelo Buonarotti died in Rome, aged 89.
15/2/1564, (-139,230) Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy.
6/2/1564, (-139,239) Christopher Marlowe, English poet, was born in Canterbury, son of a shoe maker.
26/1/1564, (-139,250) Pope Pius IV confirmed the declarations of the Council of Trent
4/12/1563, (-139,303) The Council of Trent was dissolved. It reaffirmed all major Catholic doctrines and declared the Apocrypha to be canonical along with the rest of the Bible.
1/6/1563, (-) Robert Cecil, English statesman, was born.
18/2/1563, (-139,592) Francis, Duke of Guise, was assassinated whilst besieging Orleans.
1/2/1563, (-139,609) Sarsa Dengel succeeded his father Menas as Emperor of Ethiopia.
19/12/1562, (-139,653) The Battle of Dreux; Catholics defeated the Huguenots.
20/9/1562, (-139,743) The Treaty of Hampton Court was signed.
9/3/1562. (-139,938) Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death. This was an attempt to halt the spread of the plague.
1/3/1562, (-139,946) Hugenots massacred at Wassy.
18/1/1562, (-139,988) The Council of Trent reconvened, after a suspension of ten years.
9/10/1561, (-140,089) The Colloquy of Poissy broke up.
19/8/1561, (-140,140) Mary Queen of Scots returned from France. She arrived at Leith, near Edinburgh, in thick fog; this may have saved her life, because her half-brother, James Stuart Earl of Moray, wanted to rule Scotland and was waiting for her in English ships.
22/1/1561, (-140,349) Francis Bacon, author, philosopher, and statesman, was born at York House in The Strand, London.
20/12/1560, (-140,382) The first assembly of the Church of Scotland.
5/12/1560, (-140,397) Francis II, King of France, died, aged 16, he was succeeded by his brother, 10-year old Charles IX.
29/9/1560, (-140,464) Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, died.
6/7/1560, (-140,549) The Treaty of Edinburgh was signed. This ended French interference in Scottish affairs. French troops in Scotland had tried to support Mary Queen of Scots claim to the throne.
25/6/1560, Gustavus I of Sweden abdicated, aged 64. He was succeeded by his son, Charles IX.
25/12/1559, (-140,743) Pope Pius IV (born 31/3/1499), acceded (died 1565).
10/11/1559, (-140,788) Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the Charter of the Stationer’s company.
18/8/1559, (-140,872) Pope Paul IV died, aged 83. In Rome his statue was torn down, the prisoners of the Inquisition freed, and Inquisition records destroyed.
10/7/1559, (-140,911) Henry II, King of France, died aged 40. He was succeeded by his 14-year old son, Francois II. The Duc de Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine were Regents.
1/7/1559, (-140,920) Missing Church in Britain incurred a fine of one shilling (5p). However by 1581 this penalty had been raised to a swingeing £20 a month.
8/5/1559, (-140,974) The Act of Uniformity was signed by Queen Elizabeth I. This enshrined the monarch as head of the Church in England, ensuring the supremacy of Protestantism under Queen Elizabeth I.
17/4/1559, (-140,995) The Act of Supremacy was partly re-enacted in England.
2/4/1559, (-141,010) (France-Germany, Spain) The Peace of Cateau-Cambresis, ending the wars of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in Europe. Italy was recognised as a Spanish sphere of influence, and Franche Comte was to be part of the Spanish monarchy. French possession of Metz, Toul and Verdun was confirmed. A strategic marriage was arranged between King Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth Valois, daughter of King Henry II of France.
15/1/1559. (-141,087) Queen Elizabeth I crowned. She was born on 7/9/1533 at Greenwich Palace. Daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she ruled from 1558 to 1603 and was one of England’s greatest rulers, succeeding her Catholic half-sister Mary Tudor. She cleverly preserved England’s independence from Catholic Europe whilst also outflanking the more radical Puritans, and her reign saw the emergence of England as a major sea power through Drake and others. This was also a time when the arts thrived. She died on 24/3/1603.
14/12/1558, (-141,119) Funeral of Queen Mary of England.
17/11/1558. (-141,146) Queen Mary of England (Bloody Mary), daughter of Henry VIII, died in St James Palace London at the age of 42. Born in 1516 to Catharine of Aragon, she outmanoeuvred Lord Dudley’s attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, on the death of her half-brother King Edward VI. Mary’s marriage to Philip II of Spain dragged England into the war between France and Spain, and caused the loss to England of Calais, an English outpost since the reign of Edward III. Under her five-year reign Catholicism was restored and Protestants persecuted. On Mary’s death, her half-sister Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I.
21/9/1558. (-141,203) Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 to 1556, died. His reign was marked by almost constant wars with France, through which he gained control of Italy in 1529 at the Peace of Cambrai.
24/4/1558, (-141,353) Mary Queen of Scots, aged 16, married the Dauphin of France.
27/2/1558, (-141,409) Russia’s first trade mission to England reached London.
7/1/1558. (-141,460) Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was taken by the French under the Duke of Guise. The English had captured Calais in 1346 after a year besieging it.
1/9/1557, (-141,588) Jacques Cartier, French explorer of the North American coast and the St Lawrence river (born 1491), died in St Malo.
10/8/1557, (-141,610) (France, Italy, Spain) The Battle of St Quentin. Spanish forces under the Duke of Savoy defeated the French under the Constable of Montmorency. The French were driven out of Italy.
16/7/1557, (-141,635) Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII, died.
6/6/1557, (-141,675) John III, King of Portugal, died on his 55th birthday. He was succeeded by his 3-year old grandson, Sebastian.
27/2/1557, (-141,774) The first Russian Embassy in London opened.
5/11/1556, (-141,888) Jalal-ud-Din, Moghul Emperor Akbar, defeated a Hindu army at the Battle of Panipat in the Punjab. He regained the Hindustani Empire.
25/10/1556, (-141,899) Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, retired to a Spanish monastery, dividing his possessions between his son and his brother.
31/7/1556, (-141,985) Ignatius Loyola, Spanish soldier and priest, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), died.
1/7/1556, (-142,015) In Winchester, England, a pound of beef cost 4d. A pound of candles cost 4d. A pound of butter cost 4d. A pound of cheese cost 4d. 2 eggs cost 1d. A whole sheep cost £1.
19/6/1556, (-142,027) King James I of England, son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, the first Stuart King of England and Ireland, also King James VI of Scotland, was born.
21/3/1556, (-142,117) (Britain) Thomas Cranmer, first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, was burnt at the stake in Oxford as a heretic and a traitor, under the Catholic rule of Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary. He had been deprived of his office on 11/12/1555. He had assisted in having the marriage of Mary’s parents, King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, annulled.
27/1/1556, (-142,173) The Moghul Emperor Humayun died after falling from his library roof in Delhi. He was succeeded by his 14-year old son, Jalal-ud-Din, who returned from exile.
23/1/1556. (-142,177) An earthquake in China’s Shanxi province killed an estimated 830,000 people.
16/1/1556, (-142,182) The Emperor Charles V abdicated.
16/10/1555. (-142,274) Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, British Protestant martyrs and Oxford reformers, were burnt at the stake for heresy.
30/4/1555, (-142,443) Pope Marcellus II (formerly Cardinal Marcello Cervino) died, aged 54. He was succeeded by Pope Paul IV. Paul ordered that the Jewish quarter in Rome be walled, creating the Ghetto of Rome. Palestrina was appointed a member of the Pontifical Choir by Paul IV without examination creating resentment amongst the other choir members.
10/4/1555, (-142,463) Pope Marcellus II was elected Pope.
23/3/1555, (-142,481) Pope Julius III died, aged 67. He was succeeded by Pope Marcellus II,
1/3/1555, (-142,503) Nostradamus published his famous book of predictions.
30/11/1554, (-142,594) Cardinal Pole pardoned England for its Protestant heresy and welcomed the country back into the Roman Catholic Church.
25/7/1554. (-142,722) Mary I, Bloody Mary, married Philip II of Spain, son and heir of Charles V, in Winchester. This was her second marriage; the first had been when, aged three, she was married to the King of France, then nine months old. Catholicism returned to England. See 17/11/1558.
20/7/1554, (-142,727) Philip II of Spain arrived in Southampton, having crossed the Channel during a terrible storm.
19/5/1554, (-142,789) Queen Elizabeth was released from the Tower of London.
18/3/1554, Sunday (-142,851) Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for alleged complicity in a plot against Mary led by Sir Thomas Wyatt; she was released on 19/5/1554.
11/2/1554, (-142,886) Lady Jane Grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were executed on Tower Green, Tower of London, for high treason; she was aged 16. Lady Grey became Queen on 10/7/1553 but was deposed nine days later by her cousin Mary Tudor who then became Queen of England. The Protestant King Edward VI had proclaimed Jane Queen above her half sister Mary because that kept England away from Catholic Spain. Mary delayed executing Jane but changed her mind when Jane’s father attempted a revolution.
9/1/1554, (-142,919) Pope Gregory XV born.
20/12/1553, (-142,939) In England, Protestant Church services were ruled illegal.
14/12/1553, (-142,945) Henry IV, King of France, was born.
27/10/1553, (-142,993) Michael Servetus, theologian, was burnt at the stake.
1/10/1553, (-143,019) Mary Tudor was crowned Queen of England.
2/8/1553, (-143,079) Battle of Marciano. A French army invading Tuscany was defeated.
19/7/1553. (-143,093) Lady Jane Grey, a Protestant, was deposed, aged 16, after a reign of only nine days. She was sent to the Tower of London and beheaded on 12/2/1554. Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), a Catholic, half sister of Edward VI, was proclaimed Queen, but died on 17/11/1558.
10/7/1553. (-143,102) Following the death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England.
6/7/1553, (-143,106) King Edward VI died in Greenwich of tuberculosis.
26/6/1553, (-143,116) Christ’s Hospital London was founded on the ste of the former Greyfirars Monsatery by King Edward VI, as a hospital for poor children.
21/5/1553, (-143,152) Lady Jane Grey was forced to marry Lord Guildford Dudley; Dudley had ambitions to be King of England.
14/5/1553, (-143,159) Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, was born.
3/12/1552. (-143,321) (Christian) Death of Francis Xavier, Basque Jesuit missionary, called ‘the apostle of the Indies’, who helped Ignatius Loyola found the Jesuits. He died near Canton, China.
2/10/1552, (-143,383) Ivan the Terrible took the Tartar city of Kazan, using artillery to break down the city walls. The Volga became a Russian river.
17/9/1552, (-143,398) Pope Paul V was born.
20/8/1552, (-143,426) Ivan IV (The Terrible) began an attack on Kazan with an army of 150,000 men, after a faction in Kazan promised him the Khanate.
18/7/1552, (-143,459) The Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, was born.
14/3/1552, Monday (-143,585)
21/11/1551, (-143,699) Papal Legate Francis Xavier and fellow Jesuits returned from a two-year missionary trip to Japan. The Mikado was at first unimpressed with Xavier’s humble dress, but when he returned in more suitable attire, with gifts, he was even granted a disused Buddhist monastery for his work. Xavier left behind a community of 2,000 Christians, and was impressed with Japanese society.
19/9/1551, (-143,762) Henry III, King of France, was born.
11/1/1551, Ketumati, Burma, was conquered by Bayinnaung.
21/7/1550, (-144,181) The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, was approved by Pope Julius III.
27/6/1550, (-144,211) Charles IX, French monarch who ordered the massacre of the Hugenots on St Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, was born.
7/12/1549, (-144,413) Robert Kent, rebel leader, was hanged.
10/11/1549, (-144,440) Pope Paul III died.
21/9/1549, (-144,490) Marguerite d’Angoulmeme, Queen of Navarre, died.
15/8/1549, (-144,527) (Christian, Japan) Francis Xavier entered the Japanese port of Kagoshima to begin a conversion work.
9/8/1549. (-144,.533) England declared war on France.
12/7/1549, (-144,561) Robert Kett, with 16,000 men, camped on Mousehold Heath outside Norwich and demanded an audience with Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, who was Protector of England during the minority years of King Edward VI. Kett’s demands concerned rising rents, rising food prices and the increase in sheep farming (which demanded enclosure whereas crop farming did not). Somerset ordered Kett’s mob to disperse, with a pardon for any crimes committed up to that point; Kett refused. Somerset now ordered William Parr, Marquis of Northampton, to defeat Kett. Parr marched into Norwich with 1,800 men, unopposed, but a surprise night attack by Kett’s men routed Parr’s force. Parr retreated to London and Kett was unable to follow, as his men had no wish to extend the dispute out of their native Norfolk. Somerset now ordered John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, south from Scotland, with 6,000 foot soldiers and 1,500 cavalry. Dudley surrounded Kett in Norwich, and the two leaders began negotiations. However some of Kett’s hotheads opened a fight with Dudley; Kett’s men were massacred with nearly 50 hanged.
20/6/1549, (-144,583) Kett’s Rebellion against enclosure of common land began when a group of men led by Robert Kett, a smallholder and tanner, tore down the new hedges and fences at Attleborough near Norwich. Copycat mobs sprang up all across Suffolk and Norfolk. In particular they resented the enclosure activities of landowner Edward Flowerdew.
9/6/1549. (-144,594) The Church of England adopted the Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Thomas Cranmer. In Devon, where the abolition of the chantries had caused economic hardship, there was considerable opposition.
20/5/1549, (-144,614) From this date, only the new Book of Prayer was allowed to be used in English churches.
20/3/1549. (-144,675) Death of Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England. He married King Henry VIII’s widow, Catherine Parr. When she died, he planned to marry Queen Elizabeth I, but was arrested for treason and executed.
15/2/1549, (-144,708) Major earthquake hit Qayin, Iran, killing 3,000.
5/9/1548, (-144,871) Catherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII, died in childbirth. By then she was the wife of Lord Seymour, at Sudeley castle, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
1/4/1548, (-145,028) Sigismund I, King of Poland, died aged 81, after a reign of 42 years. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Sigismund II.
11/2/1548, (-145,078) English churches were ordered to remove all images of saints, as the Reformation proceeded.
2/12/1547, (-145,149) Hernando Cortez, Spanish conqueror of Mexico in 1521, died near Seville.
10/9/1547. (-145,232) The English won a major victory over the Scots at Pinkie.
21/6/1547, (-145,313) Moscow was destroyed by a fire which consumed 25,000 of the city’s wooden houses. 1,700 people died and 80,000 were made homeless.
23/4/1547, (-145,372) Battle of Muhlberg. Charles (1500-58), who became King of Spain in 1516 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, was opposed to the growth of Lutheranism (Protestantism). At Muhlberg, Charles defeated the Protestant princes, allowing him to impose the Interim of Augsburg (1548) which was a temporary compromise making minimal concessions to these Protestants. Many German Protestants who felt these concessions were inadequate fled to England, assisting the Reformation there.
31/3/1547, (-145,395) King Francis I of France died aged 52.
20/2/1547, (-145,434) King Edward VI, aged 9, crowned as King at Westminster Abbey.
16/2/1647, (-145,438) King Henry VIII was buried at Windsor.
28/1/1547. (-145,457) King Henry VIII, born 28/6/1491, died aged 56, probably of kidney and liver failure. King Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII, by Jane Seymour, born 12/10/1537 and now aged 9, ascended the throne on 20/2/1547. However he died on 9/7/1553 at the age of 15. He was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey, see 19/7/1553.
19/1/1547, (-145,466) Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was beheaded at the Tower of London for treason.
16/1/1547. (-145,469) Ivan the Terrible, first Russian to assume the title of Tsar, was crowned.
14/12/1546, (-145,502) Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer and mathematician, was born in Knudstrup.
18/2/1546. (-145,801) Martin Luther, Augustinian friar and instigator of the Reformation, died (see 31/10/1517), at his birthplace of Eisleben, Germany, at the age of 63, apparently of overwork.
13/12/1545, (-145,868) The Council of Trent began.
19/7/1545. (-146,015) The Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII’s battle fleet, keeled over and sank in the Solent with the loss of 700 lives. It was raised on 11/10/1982 and taken to Portsmouth Dockyard.
26/6/1545. (-146,038) A botanical garden was established in Padua. This, or the garden in Pisa, is the oldest such garden in Europe.
20/4/1545. (-146,105) The Waldensians were massacred in Provence.
25/2/1545.(-146,159) The English were defeated by the Scots at Ancrum Moor. See 24/11/1542. In September 1545 the English again invaded Scotland.
14/9/1544. (-146,323) Henry VIII of England captured Boulogne. On 7/6/1546 the English and French signed the Peace of Ardres. This said Boulogne was to remain in English hands for another eight years.
19/7/1544, (-146,380) Henry VIII laid siege to the French town of Boulogne, in revenge for French military assistance to Scotland.
19/1/1544, (-146,562) Francis II, King of France, was born.
12/7/1543. (-146,753) King Henry VIII married his sixth wife, Katherine Parr.
24/5/1543. (-146,802) The Polish astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus died of apoplexy. Born on 19/2/1473, in Torun, Poland, Copernicus is regarded as the founder of modern astronomy. When his father died, Copernicus’ uncle Lucas Waczenrode became his guardian. In 1491 Copernicus went to the University of Krakow to study Latin, mathematics, astronomy, geography, and philosophy. He returned home after 4 years without a degree, and studied Canon Law at the University of Bologna so as to have a church career. From a turret on the walls of Bologna Cathedral, Copernicus studied the stars, and in 1530 produced a 400 page treatise, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the revolutions of the celestial spheres). This put forward the idea that the earth rotated on its own axis daily and annually around the Sun. It was published in the year of his death, 1543, and greeted with a hostile reception as it challenged the ancient teaching that the earth was the centre of the Universe.
14/12/1542, (-146,963) James V, King of Scotland, died, aged 30. He was succeeded by his baby daughter, Mary Queen of Scots.
7/12/1542, (-146,970) Mary Queen of Scots, cousin of Queen Elizabeth I, was born in Llinlithgow Palace, daughter of King James V of Scotland.
24/11/1542. (-146,983) The English defeated the Scots at Solway Moss as Henry VIII fought to gain control of Scotland. On 1/7/1543 England and Scotland sign the Peace of Greenwich, but this is repudiated by the Scottish Parliament on 11/12/1543. England invaded Scotland again in 1544, pillaging Edinburgh, but failed to gain a surrender from Scotland. See 25/2/1545.
16/9/1542, (-147,052) The French King, Francois I, was prescribed a new food by his Ottoman Turkish doctor. This food was yoghurt.
24/8/1542, (-147,075) Spanish explorers from Quito, Peru, pushed on over the Andes and explored the river they called the Amazon, after the women warriors they met there. However this territory was claimed by Portugal under the Treaty of Tordesillas.
21/7/1542, (-147,109) Pope Paul III established the Universal Inquisition in order to halt the Reformation by repression.
21/5/1542, (-147,170) Hernando de Soto, the first European to cross the Mississippi, died on the return journey.
6/5/1542, (-147,185) (Christian, India) Francis Xavier arrived at the Portuguese colony of Goa, India, to begin his work of converting the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity.
15/4/1542, (-147,206) Leonardo da Vinci was born. His father, Piero da Vinci, was a notary and his mother, Caterina da Vinci, was a peasant.
13/2/1542. (-147,267) Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded. She stood accused of adultery. Her last words were ‘I die a queen but I would rather have died the wife of Culpepper’.
18/10/1541, (-147,387) Margaret, Queen of Scotland, died.
26/6/1541, (-147,499) Francisco Pizarro, Conquistador, was assassinated in Lima, by followers of a rival explorer.
8/5/1541, (-147,548) The River Mississippi was first seen by Europeans. The Spanish Conquistador, Hernando de Soto, reached the River in the area where Arkansas City is now sited.
12/2/1541, (-147,633) The Spaniards founded Santiago, Chile.
27/9/1540, (-) The Society of Jesus was founded.
2/9/1540, (-) Dawit II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died.
28/7/1540. (-147,832) Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor to Henry VIII, was beheaded on Tower Hill for promoting the King’s failed marriage to Anne of Cleves. (See 6/1/1540). On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. She was beheaded on 13/2/1542.
9/7/1540. (147,851) Henry VIII divorced his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. She was his fourth wife; nicknamed ‘The Flanders Mare’, she at least kept her head.
23/3/1540. (-147,959) The Crown seized Waltham Abbey. It was the last of the great monasteries to be seized by Henry VIII, bringing to an end a four-year campaign that had seen some 550 church properties, with their gold and jewels, pass to the King. The total income from these properties was around £132,000 a year and Henry VIII gave some of this to his supporters.
9/2/1540. (-148,002) The first recorded horse-racing meeting in Britain took place on Roodeye Field (now Roodee), Chester.
6/1/1540. (-148,036) King Henry VIII’s ill-fated marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves (see 28/7/1540). Anne was born on 22/9/1515; her father was leader of the German Protestants and so Anne was regarded as a suitable wife for Henry VIII by Cromwell. However she had no looks, spoke only her own language, and had no dowry. Her only recommendations were her proficiency in needlework and her meek and mild temper. The marriage contract was signed on 24/9/1539; she landed at Deal on 27/12/1539, and Henry VIII met her at Rochester on 1/1/1540. On 2/1/1540 Henry VIII openly said about her looks, “She is no better than a Flanders mare”. On the wedding morning, 6/1/1540, he said nothing would have persuaded him to marry her but the fear of driving the Duke of Cleves into the arms of the Holy Roman Emperor. Soon after Henry regretted identifying so closely with the German Protestants. Henry then declared the marriage non-consummated and so null and void, on 9/7/1540. Anne lived the rest of her life happily in retirement in England, dying on 28/7/1557; she was buried at Westminster Abbey.
7/9/1539, (-148,157) Guru Angad Dev became the second Guru of the Sikhs.
4/9/1539, (-148,160) King Henry VIII contracted to marry Anne of Cleves.
10/8/1539. (-148,185) King Francis of France orders that all legal documents are henceforth to be drawn up in French, not Latin. He also ordered all priests to keep records of baptisms and deaths.
30/5/1539, (-148,257) Hernando de Soto landed in Florida, with 600 soldiers, in search of gold. He also introduced pigs into North America.
12/1/1539, (-148,395) The Treaty of Toledo was signed by Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor, and King of Spain), and Francis I (King of France). Each agreed to make no further alliances with England. The origin of this Treaty was the dispute between King Henry VIII of England and Pope Paul III.
30/11/1538, (-148,438) (1) In England, Byland Abbey was dissolved.
(2) Sucre, Bolivia, was founded under the name of Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo.
28/10/1538, (-148,471) The first University in the Americas, the Universidad Santo Tomas de Aquino, was founded.
28/9/1538, (-148,501) At the Battle of Preveza, the Turkish fleet under Suleiman the Magnificent, commanded by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, defeated the Holy League forces of Charles V, commanded by Andrea Doria.
6/8/1538, (-148,554) Bogota, Colombia, was founded by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada.
18/6/1538, (-148,603) The Truce of Nice; peace was declared between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and King Francis I of France.
26/4/1538, (-148,656) At the Battle of Los Salinas, Almagro was defeated by Francisco Pizarro, who then seized Cuzco.
24/2/1538, (-148,717) The Treaty of Nagyvarad; peace was declared between King Ferdinand and the Turks. John Zapolya was recognised as King of Hungary, whilst Ferdinand retained northern and western Hungary and was recognised as heir to the Hungarian throne.
1/1/1538, (-148,771) German and Swiss states introduced the Gregorian Calendar.
24/10/1537.(-148,840) Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, died, of the all-too-common childbed fever.
12/10/1537. (-148,852) Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, was born at Hampton Court Palace, London. He succeeded his father at the age of 9 but died aged 15. Henry intended him to marry Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland. In 1543 the Treaty of Greenwich provided for this marriage when Edward reached the age of 10; however the Scottish Parliament rejected this Treaty.
25/8/1537, (-148,900) The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was founded.
15/8/1537, (-148,910) Asunción was founded by Juan de Salazar y Espinoza.
2/6/1537, (-148,984) (Christian, Race Equality) A Papal Bull issued by Pope Paul III prohibited enslavement of American Indians, contrary to King Charles V’s policies. Paul excommunicated Catholic slave traders.
12/3/1537, (-149,066) The Portuguese founded the city of Recife, Brazil
6/2/1537, (-149,100) Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese statesman, was born (see 18/8/1598).
6/1/1537, (-149,131) Alessandro de Medici was assassinated.
16/10/1536, (-149,213) York was occupied by rebels against the takeover of the Church by King Henry VIII. This was the Pilgrimage of Grace. Much of northern England, from Lincolnshire to north Yorkshire, was in uproar at this takeover, the valuation of Church property, the suppression of smaller monasteries, and the cancellation of some Saints day holidays. Led by Robert Aske, rebels seized northern towns. Henry VIII made peace with the rebels and issued a pardon, only to go back on this on a pretext in January 1537 and execute the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, including Aske.
6/10/1536, (-149,223) William Tyndale, English religious reformer and translator of the Bible, was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vilvarde, Brussels, on the orders of King Henry VIII.
12/7/1536, (-148,309) Desiderus Erasmus, Renaissance philosopher, died.
30/5/1536. (-149,352) King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third wife, in the Queen’s Chapel, Whitehall, eleven days after the execution of Anne Boleyn.
19/5/1536. (-149,363) Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded at Tower Green, in the Tower of London, aged 29. She was accused of adultery – Henry VIII was already flirting with his third wife Jane. Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and lost her right of succession to the English throne.
6/5/1536, (-149,378) King Henry VIII ordered a copy of The Bible to be placed in every English church.
2/5/1536, (-149,380) Anne Boleyn was charged with incest and adultery, and taken to the Tower of London.
30/4/1536, The Inquisition was implemented in Portugal.
7/1/1536, (-149,496) Catharine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Palace, Huntingdonshire. She was the first of Henry VIII’s six wives, and the mother of Queen Mary I.
24/10/1535, (-149,571) Francesco Sforza II, Duke of Milan, died aged 45 without a successor. Milan became a suzerainty of Charles V.
4/10/1535, (-149,591) The first English Bible was printed, translated and published by Miles Coverdale.
6/7/1535, (-149,681) (UK, Russia) Sir Thomas Moore was beheaded in London, for refusing to accept Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. Thomas More was born in 1477 in London. He published Utopia in 1515 which described a pagan, communist, city state in which the institutions and policies are governed entirely by reason. His ideas contrasted with the self-interest and greed for power seen in Europe’s Christian states.
11/2/1535, (-149, 826) Pope Gregory XIV was born.
21/1/1535, (-149,847) Henry VIII appointed Cromwell as vice-regent in spiritual or vicar-general. Cromwell now set about assessing the value of England’s monasteries.
18/1/1535, (-149,850) Lima, Peru, was founded by Francisco Pizarro.
15/1/1535, (-149,853) The Act of Supremacy was passed in England. This made King Henry VIII head of the Church.
31/12/1534, (-149,868) The Ottoman army captured Baghdad. By 1546 they controlled Yemen, gateway to the Red Sea.
25/9/1534, (-149,965) Pope Clement VII (219th Pope) died after eating poisonous mushrooms (born 1475). Pope Paul III (220th Pope), formerly Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1468-1549) acceded.
24/7/1534, (-150,028) Jacques Cartier landed in Canada, claiming the territory for France.
13/7/1534, (-150,039) Ottoman armies captured Tabriz in north western Persia.
1/7/1534, (-150,051) Frederick II, King of Denmark, was born.
10/5/1534, (-150,103) Jacques Cartier explored Newfoundland while searching for the Northwest Passage.
20/4/1534, (-150,123) Jacques Cartier sailed from St Malo, to explore the Canadian coast.
2/2/1534, (-150,200) The Great Swabian League was dissolved.
15/11/1533, (-150,279) Pizarro entered Cuzco.
7/9/1533, (-150,348) Queen Elizabeth I was born at Greenwich Palace in London, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was recognised as heir to the English throne ahead of her half sister Mary, daughter of Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon. See 19/5/1536.
29/8/1533, (-150,357) The end of the Inca Empire. Francisco Pizarro has arranged for Atahualpa to be tried on charges of murder, sedition and idolatry. Found guilty this day, Atahualpa was executed by strangulation.
11/7/1533, (-150,406) Henry VIII was excommunicated by Pope Clement VII.
23/5/1533, (-150,455) The marriage of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon was annulled.
24/4/1533, (-150,484) William the Silent, Prince of Orange, was born at Dillenburg Castle, Nassau, Germany.
25/1/1533, (-150,573) King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were secretly married by the Bishop of Lichfield, and became the future parents of Queen Elizabeth I.. Anne Boleyn was crowned at Westminster on 1/6/1533, shortly after Thomas Cranmer (who was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury on 30/3/1533) had declared Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void. On 23/5/1533 Henry VIII actually divorced Catherine of Aragon, resulting in a break between England and the Church of Rome.
16/11/1532, (-150,643) Francisco Pizarro and his army arrived at the Inca city of Cajamarca, and forced the Inca Emperor, Atahualpa, to hand over much gold and silver.
1/9/1532, (-150,719) Lady Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke by her fiancé, King Henry VIII.
13/8/1532, Union of Brittany and France: The Duchy of Brittany was absorbed into the Kingdom of France.
25/6/1532, (-150,787) Suleiman I attempted another invasion of Hungary, but failed.
16/5/1532, (-150,829) Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England. This was in protest at King Henry VIII’s break with Rome.
13/5/1532, (-150,830) Francisco Pizarro landed on the northern coast of Peru.
18/1/1532, (-150,946) English Parliament banned payment by English churches to Rome
11/10/1531, (-151,045) Ulrich Zwingli, Swiss Church reformer, was killed in a fight with soldiers from the Catholic-supporting Forest Cantons at Kappel, near Zurich. Zwingli was Chaplain to the Protestant troops from Zurich.
25/2/1531. (-151,275) A severe earthquake killed an estimated 20,000 people in Lisbon.
11/2/1531, (-151,287) King Henry VIII was recognised as official head of the Church of England.
27/12/1530, (-151,333) Spanish ships under Pizarro set sail from Panama into the Pacific to capture the gold and silver of the Inca Empire.
29/11/1530. (-151,361) Cardinal Wolsey died after being arrested as a traitor. He died at Market Harborough whilst being taken from York to London.
26/10/1530, The Knights of Malta are formed when the Knights Hospitaller are given Malta by Charles V.
25/8/1530, (-151,457) Ivan the Terrible of Russia was born. As Ivan IV, he killed over 3,000, including the royal heir.
25/6/1530, (-151,518) The Confession of Augsburg was read to the Diet.
23/2/1530, (-151,638) (Spain, Italy, Germany) Carlos I of Spain was crowned Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Italy by Pope Clement V.
17/10/1529, (-151,769) Henry VIII of England dismissed Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor, replacing him with Thomas Moore.
15/10/1529. (-151,771) The Ottoman Turks withdrew from their siege of Vienna, as winter approached.
23/9/1529, (-151,793) Turkish forces began a siege of Vienna.
8/9/1529, (-151,808) (1) The city of Maracaibo, Venezuela, was founded by Ambrosius Ehinger.
(2) Invading Turkish forces captured the city of Buda.
5/8/1529, (-151,842) The Treaty of Cambrai was signed, between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and King Francis I of France. France abandoned its claims in Italy, but kept Burgundy.
21/6/1529, (+151,887) John Skelton, tutor to the King Henry VIII as a boy, died.
27/5/1529, (-151,912) Ad-Din Barbarossa completed his conquest of Algeria, bringing the Ottoman Empire to its peak.
10/5/1529, (-151,929) The Turkish Army under Suleiman I left Constantinople to invade Hungary.
22/4/1529, (-151,947) The Treaty of Saragossa divided the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal, along a north-south line 17 degrees 9297.5 leagues) east of the Moluccas.
19/4/1529, (-151,950) At the Diet of Speyer, an alliance of German principalities and city states protested against the reinstatement of the Diet of Worms, so beginning the Protestant movement.
7/3/1529, (-151,993) At the Battle of Shimbra Kure, Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi defeated the forces of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia.
6/4/1528. (-152,328) Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, died in Nuremberg, aged 57.
29/2/1528, (-152,365) Patrick Hamilton, Scottish martyr, was burnt at the stake.
31/7/1527, (-152,578) The Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II was born.
26/7/1527, (152,583) The (Spanish) Council of the Indies granted Francisco Pizarro, 54, the right to conquer and take riches from the Panama area.
22/6/1527. (-152,617) Nicolo Macchiavelli died in Florence, Italy, aged 58.
17/6/1527, (-152,622) The Protestant Reformation began in Sweden.
6/5/1527, (-152,664) German mercenaries sacked the city of Rome, an event considered by many to mark the end of the Renaissance. This occurred during warfare between the Holy League and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.
14/4/1527, (-152,686) King Philip of Spain was born; in 1588 he sent an Armada against England but was defeated.
16/3/1527, (-152,715) The Battle of Khanwa. Barbur continued his conquest of northern India.
29/8/1526, (-152,914) The Battle of Mohacs. The Turkish army under Suleiman I defeated the Hungarians under King Loius II, who was killed whilst retreating. Suleiman took Buda, whilst Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and John Zapolya, Prince of Transylvania, disputed over the succession. As a result of this dispute, Dubrovnik achieved independence, although it recognised Turkish overlordship.
24/7/1526, (-152,950) The Spanish captured Milan.
9/6/1526, (-152,995) Emperor No-Gara became ruler of Japan.
22/5/1526, (-153,013) France repudiated the Treaty of Madrid, and formed the League of Cognac, against Charles V. This League included the Pope, Milan, Venice, and Florence.
21/4/1526, (-153,044) The First Battle of Panipat. Barbur became first Moghul (Mughal) Emperor of India. He captured Delhi, and northern India, beginning the Moghul Empire, which lasted until 1857.
14/1/1526, (-153,141) The Peace of Madrid; Francis I of France agreed to cede Burgundy to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. France also abandoned all claims to Flanders, Artois, Naples, and Milan.
15/5/1525, (-153,385) The Battle of Frankenhausen.
7/5/1525. (-153,393) The Peasant’s Revolt in Germany was defeated. It had begun in 1524 when the peasants demanded abolition of feudal dues, serfdom, and tithes.
24/2/1525. (-153,465) (Fra-Germany, Italy, Spain, Sci-Tech) The Battle of Pavia. Pavia, held by the French, had been under siege by Spanish forces since October 1524. Italy itself was a territory being fought over by the rival powers of France, Germany, Turkey and Spain. The French under King Charles VIII defended Pavia with cavalry and cannon, but the Spanish had adopted the arquebus or hackenbushe, an early version of the handgun; this weapon replaced the Spanish crossbow. The arquebus meant an unskilled infantryman could kill a skilled knight and Pavia was the start of the dominance of the handgun as a military weapon.
24/12/1524. (-153,527) The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, who discovered the sea route from Europe to the East, died on his second voyage after landing in Cochin, on the Malabar coast of India. See 22/11/1497.
20/10/1524, (-153,592) Thomas Linacre, physician to King Henry VII and VIII and founder of the Royal College of Physicians in 1518, died.
8/7/1524, (-153,696) Verrazzano's expedition returned to Dieppe.
23/5/1524, (-153,742) Shah Ismail of Persia died aged 38. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Tahmasp, aged 10.
17/4/1524, (-153,778) Verrazzano's expedition makes the first European entry into New York Bay and sights the island of Manhattan.
19/11/1523, (-153,928) Pope Clement VII succeeded Pope Adrian VI as the 219th Pope.
14/9/1523, (-153,994), Pope Adrian VI, Adrian Dedel, Dutch, (218th Pope) died, aged 64. The last non-Italian Pope until John Paul II (acceded 1978), he allied with the Holy Roman Emperor, Venice and England against France. This split the forces of Christendom, resulting in the loss of Rhodes to the Ottoman Turks.
6/6/1523, (-154,094) Gustav Vasa, aged 27, was elected King of Sweden, finally established full independence from Denmark.
19/1/1523, (-154,232) Huldreich Zwingli published his 67 Articles in Zurich. They attacked the authority of the Pope, and the concept of Transubstantiation.
21/12/1522. (-154,261) Rhodes, formerly the base of the Knights of St John, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, led by Suleiman, after a six-month siege. The Knights of St John, driven out of Rhodes, were given permission by Emperor Charles V in 1530 to settle in Malta. See 18/5/1565.
18/12/1522, (-154,264) The Turks finally broke into Rhodes, but the Knights continued fierce resistance in the streets.
15/10/1522, (-154,328) Spanish Emperor Charles V promoted Herman Cortes to Governor-General of the new colony of Mexico, founded in 1521.
6/9/1522, (-154,307) Ferdinand Magellan’s ship, the Vittoria, under the command of Juan Sebastian Del Cano, arrived in San Lucar, Spain, after completing the first circumnavigation of the world. Magellan himself was killed on the Philippine island of Mactan.
13/8/1522, (-154,391) Emperor Cuauhtemotzin surrendered Mexico City to the Spanish under Cortezs.
28/7/1522, (-154,407) Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I began a siege of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes.
9/1/1522, (-154,607) Pope Adrian VI (218th Pope) acceded (died 1523).
13/12/1521, (-154,634) Manuel I, King of Portugal, died aged 52. He was succeeded by his son, Joao III.
1/12/1521, (-154,646) Pope Leo X died.
11/10/1521. (-154,697) Pope Leo X conferred the title of Defender of the faith on King Henry VIII. Twelve years later Henry VIII broke with Rome to marry Anne Boleyn.
31/8/1521, (-154,738) The major city of Tenochtitlan in Central America was conquered by Cortez after an 85-day battle.
15/8/1521, (-154,754) King Henry VIII of England and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Treaty of Bruges against France, in contrast to the Anglo-French friendship at the Field of the Cloth of Gold (6/6/1520). This Treaty involved English forces in long campaigns in northern Europe.
30/7/1521, Tuesday (-154,770)
19/5/1521, Sunday (-154,842)
27/4/1521. (-154,864) Natives on the island of Mactan, Philippines, killed the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. He was on a voyage around the world.
18/4/1521, (-154,873) Martin Luther ended his defence at the Imperial Diet of Worms with the words “I cannot and will not recant anything. God help me. Amen”.
17/4/1521, (-154,874) Martin Luther, 38 years old, was excommunicated at the Diet of Worms.
16/4/1521, (-154,875) Martin Luther arrived at the Diet of Worms.
7/4/1521, (-154,884) Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.
16/3/1521, (-154,906) Ferdinand Magellan sighted the Philippine Islands.
28/1/1521, (-154,953) The Diet of Worms began.
3/1/1521, (-154,978) Pope Leo X issued a Papal Bull excommunicating Martin Luther, after a deadline by which Luther had been ordered to recant his ‘heretical’ views expired. Martin Luther had condemned the sale of Indulgences (Papal forgiveness for sins) to raise funds for the Papacy.
28/11/1520, (-155,014) After navigating through the South American strait, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific (the strait was later named the Strait of Magellan).
4/11/1520, (-155,038) Christian was crowned King of Sweden.
21/10/1520, (-155,052) The islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon were discovered by Portuguese explorer João Álvares Fagundes off Newfoundland. He named them "Islands of the 11,000 Virgins" in honour of Saint Ursula.
21/9/1520, (-155,082) Ottoman Sultan Selim died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Suleiman I (The Magnificent).
13/9/1520, (-155,090) William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1st, was born in Bourne Lincolnshire.
10/7/1520, (-155,155) In Mexico, Cortez was driven out of Tenochtitlan by the Aztec leader, Cuauhtemoc. Cortez retreated to Tlaxcala.
30/6/1520. (-155,165) Montezuma II, the last Aztec ruler, was killed by his own people in Mexico City during the Spanish conquest of Mexico under Cortez.
6/6/1520. (-155,189) Henry VIII and Francis I of France met in a glittering ceremony at The Field Of The Cloth Of Gold near Calais. However see 15/8/1521.
6/4/1520. Friday (-155,250) The painter Raphael died on his 37th birthday. He was born in Urbino, Italy, on 6/4/1483.
8/11/1519, (-155,400) Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlan and the court of Aztec ruler Moctezuma.
20/9/1519. (-155,449) The Portuguese-born navigator Ferdinand Magellan started on a voyage to cross the Pacific Ocean and circumnavigate the world. He had a fleet of five small ships; Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Vittoria, and Santiago. On 28/11/1520 Magellan discovered a strait at the southern tip of South America and entered the Pacific. Magellan was killed on 27/4/1521 by natives of the Philippines. Magellan’s ship, the Vittoria, arrived alone in San Lucar, Spain, on 6/9/1522 under the command of Del Cano, to become the first ship to circumnavigate the world.
15/8/1519, (-155,485) Panama City was founded.
11/8/1519, (-155,489) Johann Tetzel died in Leipzig Priory, aged 54. He defended the Church practice of selling indulgences (forgiveness), promoted by the Archbishop of Mainz as a way of raising money for rebuilding St Peters in Rome.
24/6/1519, (-155,537) Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman from a corrupt family, illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VII, died.
24/5/1519. (-155,568) Leonardo Da Vinci died, at the Chateaux Cloux near Amboise, aged 67.
24/4/1519, Sunday (-155,598) Montezuma II, the Aztec Emperor, sent envoys to attend the first Easter Mass to be celebrated in the Americas.
12/1/1519, (-155,700) The Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I, died aged 59. He had been King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493. He was succeeded by Spain’s Carlos I, elected Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.
27/11/1518, (-155,746) Daniel Bomberg completed the Rabbinical Bible.
29/9/1518, (-155,805) Tintoretto, Venetian painter, was born as Jabobi Robusti, the son of a dyer.
31/10/1517. Martin Luther, born 10/11/1483 in Eisleben, Germany, nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenburg, so starting the Reformation. He died on 18/2/1546. These theses condemned the sale of indulgences granting forgiveness of sin. On 15/6/1520 Pope Leo X condemned Luther’s theses as ‘heretical and scandalous’.
16/3/1517, The Fifth Lateran Council ended.
20/1/1517, The Ottomans conquered Cairo, Egypt.
18/2/1516, (-156,759) Queen Mary I, Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), was born at Greenwich Palace, the daughter of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. She was known as Bloody Mary due to her relentless persecution of the Protestants.
23/1/1516, Ferdinand V, King of Castile and Leon, also Ferdinand II of Aragon, died aged 63. He was succeeded by his 16-year old grandson, Carlos I, then a student in Flanders
15/11/1515, Thomas Wolsey is invested as a Cardinal.
22/9/1515, Anne of Cleves, one of King Henry VIII’s wives, was born.
13/9/1515, The French beat the Swiss at the Battle of Marengo (Marignano).
5/7/1515. The Ottoman Turks, led by Sultan Selim, invaded Egypt. The Mameluke dynasty was destroyed.
16/4/1515, (-157,067) Roman Catholic mass was banned in Zurich as the Lutheran Revolution spread across Europe.
28/3/1515, (157,086) St Teresa of Avila was born. A Spanish noblewoman, she joined the Carmelite nuns in 1533, and reformed the order.
6/2/1515, (-157,136) Death of Aldus Manutius, the first publisher of paperbacks and inventor of italics.
1/1/1515. (-157,172) King Louis XII of France was succeeded by his nephew, Francis, who continued France’s policy of attempting to invade Italy.
9/10/1514, Louis XII, King of France, married Mary Tudor.
15/9/1514, Thomas Wolsey was appointed Archbishop of York.
8/9/1514, At the Battle of Orsha, a combined force of Poles and Ukrainians defeated the Russians.
23/8/1514, At the Battle of Chaldiran, Selim I defeated the Persians under Shah Ismail I.
11/4/1514, (-157,437) Italian architect Donate Bramante died whilst still building St Peters in Rome, which he had begun in 1506.
11/10/1513, The Church reformer Huldrych Zwingli died (born 1/1/1484). He was killed, as Army Chaplain for the forces of Zurich, in battle during the War of Kappel, against the Forest Cantons.
25/9/1513. The Spaniard Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific from the Americas. Leaving his base near Darien he headed west across the Isthmus of Panama in a gruelling 25 day trek across 45 miles of almost impenetrable jungle. Hostile natives were an added hazard.
9/9/1513. Battle of Flodden Field, at Branxton, Northumberland. The Scots were defeated by the English, under Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, and James IV of Scotland was killed. James IV had abandoned his alliance with Henry VIII and attempted an invasion of England. Margaret, the sister of King Henry VIII, became regent for her one year old son, James V.
16/8/1513, The Battle of the Spurs. King Henry VIII defeated the French.
8/4/1513. (-157,805) The Spaniard, Juan Ponce de Leon, claimed Florida, which he believed to be an island, for Spain. He called it Florida because of the abundance of wild flowers there and because it was discovered close to the religious festival Pasqua de Flores.
21/2/1513, Pope Julius II died.
9/2/1513, The Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas discovered the island of Reunion.
27/12/1512. Spain enacted the Laws of Burgos, giving New World natives legal protection against abuse but authorising slavery of Black people.
1/11/1512. Michaelangelo unveiled his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
3/5/1512, The Fifth Lateran Council began.
10/4/1512, (-158,168) James V, King of Scotland, born.
2/4/1512, At the Battle of Ravenna, French forces defeated a Spanish – Papal army.
5/3/1512, Gerardus Mercator, Flemish cartographer, was born in Flanders, as Gerhard Kremer.
22/2/1512. The Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who gave America his name, died in Seville.
4/8/1511, Alfonso de Aberquerque captured Malacca.
25/10/1510, Giorgione, painter, died.
17/5/1510. Death of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli, aged 65, whose work included The Birth of Venus.
1/3/1510, (-158,939) Francesco de Almeida, the first Portuguese viceroy to India, died.
Ca.1510. The Abbey of Fecamp, established around 665, had a monk, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, who dabbled in chemistry. He experimented with the production of medicinal beverages and invented the Benedictine liqueur. In the Revolution of 1793 the Abbey was swept away and the monks dispersed.
11/9/1509, Portuguese Fidalgo Diogo Lopes de Sequeira became the first European to reach Malacca, having crossed the Gulf of Bengal.
10/9/1509, Istanbul earthquake destroyed 109 mosques and killed an estimated 10,000 people.
10/7/1509, John Calvin, French priest who spread the Reformation, was born at Noyon, Picardy.
1/7/1509, Because the Queen of England customarily did not breastfeed her children, a ‘wet nurse’ was appointed, a woman who had recently given birth herself, was appointed. The salary for this post in 1509 was £20 a year.
24/6/1509, King Henry VIII of England was crowned.
11/6/1509. King Henry VIII, aged 18, married his sister in law, the Spanish princess Catharine of Aragon, aged 24. She was the first of his six wives.
21/4/1509. (-159,253) King Henry VII died in Richmond, Surrey, probably from tuberculosis. His second son, Henry VIII, succeeded him. The coronation of Henry VIII was on 24/6/1509.
24/12/1508, London houses received piped water for the first time.
8/8/1508, Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant under Columbus, founded the first Spanish settlement on Puerto Rico, Caparra, on August 8, 1508.
4/4/1508. (-159,635) The first book printed in Scotland.
20/8/1507, Guru Nanak Dev became the first guru and leader of the Sikh religion.
1/7/1507, (-) The earliest records of coal-mining at Nailsea, near Bristol. Coal was being transported to Yatton for household fireplaces. By the late 19th century coal mining had died out south of Bristol as the industry migrated to the richer seams of south Wales.
29/4/1507, (-159,976) Louis XII, King of France, led his troops into Genoa.
12/3/1507, Cesare Borgia died at the siege of Viana in Navarre.
25/9/1506, Philip the Handsome, King of Spain, died suddenly aged 28, at Burgos. His wife went mad after his death. Her father Ferdinand II of Aragon ruled as Regent of Castile, as Ferdinand V.
13/9/1506, Andrea Mantegna, Italian painter, died in Mantua.
5/8/1506. Death of King Alexander of Poland. Born in 1461, he succeeded his brother Albert to the Polish throne in 1501.His power was greatly eroded by the Polish nobility and senate. Consequently, because of lack of funds, Alexander was unable to restrain much the expansion of the Muscovy or the Teutonic Order in Prussia.
20/5/1506. Christopher Columbus, Italian navigator who discovered the New World in 1492, died aged 55 in Valladolid, Spain. See 3/8/1492. He was virtually penniless. However his discovery of favourable winds in both directions across the Atlantic opened up the way for European exploration of the New World.
7/4/1506, (-160,363) St Francis Xavier, Spanish Jesuit missionary, was born near Sanguesa.
27/10/1505. Death of Ivan the Great (Ivan III), Czar of Russia.
24/11/1504, Isabella, Queen of Castille and Leon, died aged 53. She was succeeded by her daughter Juana and Juana’s husband, Philip. However they remained in Flanders, and Ferdinand ruled instead.
8/9/1504. Michelangelo, 29, unveiled his statue of David in Florence. The 13 foot high marble statue had taken him three years to carve.
6/8/1504. Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born. He had a very long nose, and was extremely inquisitive, hence the expression ‘nosey parker’.
29/2/1504, A total eclipse of the Moon. Christopher Columbus was stranded in Jamaica and needed provisions but the locals were reluctant to help him. Columbus knew the eclipse was due and warned the tribal leaders that his God would turn the Moon blood-red if they did not help him. The locals did not comply but when the Moon turned red as Columbus had foretold they did give him necessary provisions.
17/1/1504, Pope Pius V was born.
29/12/1503, At the Battle of Garigliano, near Gaeta, Italy, Spanish forces under Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba defeated a French-Italian mercenary army under Ludovico II, Marquis of Saluzzo. French forces withdrew to Gaeta.
14/12/1503. The French astrologer Nostradamus was born, as Michel de Nostradame. He wrote his book of prophecies in 1555.
2/11/1503, Columbus discovered Panama. He also observed the inhabitants playing with a heavy black bouncing ball, made of a substance new to him, rubber.
31/10/1503, Pope Julius II succeeded Pope Pius as 216th Pope.
30/10/1503, Queen Isabella of Spain banned violence against native tribes.
18/10/1503, Pope Pius III died.
22/9/1503, Pope Pius III (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini) succeeded Pope Alexander VI as 215th Pope. However he died on 18/10/1503.
18/8/1503. Death of Pope Alexander VI, or Rodrigo Borgia, aged 74. See 10/8/1492.
8/8/1503, The marriage of King James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, took place at Holyrod Palace, Edinburgh.
28/5/1503, The Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England was signed; peace actually lasted ten years.
13/5/1503, The Spanish captured Naples.
10/5/1503, Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman islands, he called them Las Tortugas, after the numerous sea turtles there.
21/4/1503, (-161,445) The Battle of Cerignola. The Spanish under Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba defeated the French under the Duc de Nemoura, who was killed. This was the first battle considered to have been won by gunpowder and small arms.
23/2/1503, At the Battle of Ruvo, the Spanish defeated the French.
20/1/1503, Seville, in Castille, was awarded exclusive rights to trade with the New World.
18/9/1502, Christopher Columbus landed at Costa Rica.
6/6/1502, John III, King of Portugal, was born.
21/5/1502, The Portuguese explorer Joao de Nova discovered the island of St Helena, in the south Atlantic.
11/5/1502. Christopher Columbus left on his fourth voyage of exploration, returning on 7/11/1504.
12/2/1502. Spain expelled all Moors who had not been baptised as Christians. See 30/3/1492.
7/1/1502, Pope Gregory XIII born
21/5/1501, (-162,145) The island of St Helena was first visited by the Portuguese, on St Helena’s Day.
10/5/1501. (-162,156) Amerigo Vespucci set sail for what is now called South America. On 1/1/1502 his fleet entered the bay of Guanabara, where Rio de Janeiro now stands.
25/3/1501, Ascension Island was first sighted by the Portuguese navigator, Joao de Nova Gallego. He named it Ilha de Nossa Senhora de Conceicoa in honour of the Annunciation. It was rediscovered by Alfonso D’Albuquerque on Ascension Day 1503, and thereby acquired its p[resent name.
29/5/1500, Bartholomew Diaz, the Portuguese explorer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, was drowned during a storm at sea.
22/4/1500. (-162,539) The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral discovered the coast of Brazil. He claimed this territory for Portugal, which he named Vera Cruz or ‘true cross’ but which was to be called Brazil, after the red-coloured brazil-wood, which grew there.
20/2/1500, (-162,601) Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
26/1/1500, (-162,626) The explorer Vincente Yanez Pinson discovered Brazil, and claimed it for his native Portugal.
23/11/1499. (-162,690) Perkin Warbeck was executed at the Tower of London. He was a Flemish impostor, the son of a boatman from Tournai, claiming to be Richard of York, son of Edward II, whom he closely resembled. Initially treated leniently after his attempt on the throne (see 31/7/1495), he then attempted to escape the Royal Palace and team up with another usurper, Edward Earl of Warwick.
22/9/1499, (-162,752) Under the Treaty of Basel, Maximilian granted the Swiss independence. Formal independence was not achieved for another century.
22/7/1499, (-162,814) The Battle of Dornach. Swiss Confederation forces defeated the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. This was the last battle between Switzerland and the Holy Roman Empire.
31/3/1499, (-162,927) Pope Pius IV was born.
19/12/1498, Andreas Osiander, religious reformer, was born.
16/9/1498, Tomas de Torquemada, Inquisitor-General, died.
31/7/1498, (-163,166) Christopher Columbus arrived at an island he called Trinidad.
7/6/1498. (-163,224) Christopher Columbus left on his third journey of exploration.
23/5/1498. (-163,239) Vasco da Gama (Food, India) arrived at Calicut, southern India, after discovering a route via the tip of southern Africa. , proving the feasibility of a sea route from Portugal to India and the Spice Islands. This meant Europe could buy spices independent from Venetian and Muslim middlemen.
14/4/1498, (-163,278) Vasco da Gama arrived at the yarding city of Malindi, east Africa, after putting in at Kilwa and Monbasa.
8/4/1498, (-163,284) Charles VIII of France died suddenly, aged 27. He was succeeded by his cousin, the Duc d’Orleans, as Louis XII
25/1/1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama visited Quelimane and Mozambique in south-eastern Africa.
25/12/1497, The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama reached the part of South Africa which he called Natal.
5/12/1497, King Manuel I of Portugal proclaimed an edict in which he demanded that Jews convert to Christianity or leave the country.
22/11/1497. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in his search for a route to India. His fleet comprised the St Gabriel, the St Raphael, the Berrio, and a store ship. See 24/12/1524. He had set sail from Lisbon on 8/7/1497.
6/8/1497. The Genoese navigator John Cabot returned from an expedition across the Atlantic. King Henry VII financed his travels. Though he was Genoese and had Venetian citizenship, Cabot came to England in 1487 to raise support for a transatlantic voyage and settled in Bristol. He sailed from Bristol on 2/5/1497 and landed on 24/6/1497 on the coast of Labrador. There he planted the Tudor banner, in defiance of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided up the western world between Spain and Portugal (see 6/12/1492, Papal backing for gold to finance a war against the Moslems). Under this treaty, signed on 7/6/1494, all land west of a line in the western Atlantic would belong to Spain; any land east of it would be Portuguese. He explored the coastline from Labrador to Cape Breton.
8/7/1497, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon to attempt to find a sea passage to India.
24/6/1497, John Cabot, in his exploration of north America, arrived at Cape Breton Island.
2/5/1497, (-163,625) John Cabot set sail from Bristol.
7/9/1496, Ferdinand II, King of Naples, died.
12/5/1496, Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, was born.
3/1/1496, Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine.
25/12/1495, At the Second Battle of Acentejo, Spanish forces crushed the natives of the island of Tenerife, destroying the last bastion of resistance on the Canary Islands.
18/12/1495, Alfonso II, King of Naples, died.
30/10/1495, An explosion at Vyborg castle deterred Russian forces who were invading Sweden through Karelia.
25/10/1495, King Manuel I became rule of Portugal, on the death of King Joao II, aged 40.
6/7/1495, At the Battle of Fornovo, the French Army secured its retreat from Italy by defeating a combined Milanese-Venetian force under Giobvanni Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua.
3/7/1495, The Pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, landed at Deal, Kent, with 150 men. He hoped to gather enough supporters to overthrow King Henry VII. However his force was routed and he went on to Ireland, where he was again unsuccessful at besieging the pro-Henry town of Waterford. Warbeck then fled to Scotland. See 23/11/1499.
28/6/1495, At the Battle of Seminara, Cordoba and Ferrante were defeated by a French army under Bernard Stewart, Lord of Aubigny.
1/6/1495, Friar John Cor recorded the first known batch of Scotch whisky.
26/5/1495, A Spanish army under Gonzalo de Cordoba landed in Calabria, to oust the French and restore Ferrante II to the throne of Naples.
22/2/1495, King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the city’s throne. A few months later he returned to France with most of his army, leaving a force under his cousin, Gilbert Count of Montpensier as viceroy.
5/11/1494, Hans Sachs, poet and dramatist, was born.
12/9/1494, Francis I, King of France, was born.
7/6/1494, The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI had set a line at 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands from north to south Pole; Spain had the rights to colonise west of this line, Portugal to the east. The 1494 Treaty moved this line a further 270 leagues to the west.
4/5/1494. Christopher Columbus landed on an island he called Santa Gloria, now known as Jamaica.
17/12/1493, Paracelsus was born.
19/11/1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico, and claimed it for Spain.
3/11/1493, Christopher Columbus, on his second expedition, sighted the island now known as Dominica.
25/9/1493. Christopher Columbus left Spain on a second voyage of exploration with a fleet of 20 ships.
4/3/1493. (-165,145) Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon, then travelled to Spain.
6/2/1493, (-165,171) Maximilian I of Germany became Holy Roman Emperor.
4/1/1493. (-165,204) Christopher Columbus left America on the return voyage to Spain in the Nina.
31/12/1492, (-165,208) About 100,000 Jews were expelled from Sicily.
6/12/1492. (-165,233) Christopher Columbus landed on an island he called Hispaniola, now Haiti, in search of gold. He had won backing from Spain for his expedition on condition he found gold to finance another war by Christian Spain against the Moors. Many Christians also believed that Christ’s second coming would not occur until all pagans had been converted to Christianity or at least defeated by Christendom.
5/12/1492, (-165,234) Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Santo Domingo.
28/10/1492. (-165,272) Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba, believing it to be Japan.
12/10/1492. (-165,288) Christopher Columbus first saw land; it was not Asia but the continent of America. He called it San Salvador. Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas.
10/8/1492. (-165,351) Pope Innocent VIII was succeeded by Rodrigo de Borgia. He took the name Pope Alexander VI. Rodrigo Borgia had bribed enough cardinals to ensure his election as Pope. See 18/8/1503.
3/8/1492. (-165,358) Christopher Columbus left Palos de la Frontera, Andalusia, south-west Spain, on his first voyage to search for a passage to the Far East via the Atlantic. He actually found the Americas. He sailed in the Santa Maria, accompanied by the Nina and the Pinta. Columbus had delayed his sailing until after 2/8/1492 as that was the deadline for Jews to leave Spain; therefore Columbus was now departing from a ‘cleansed’ Spain.
24/7/1492, (-165,368) Pope Innocent VIII died.
11/4/1492, (-165,472) Marguerite d’Angoulmeme, Queen of Navarre, was born.
8/4/1492. (-165,475) Lorenzo de Medici, patron of learning and the arts, died aged 43, after a 23 year reign of cultural enlightenment.
30/3/1492. (-165,484) The Jews were expelled from Spain by edict of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella unless they agreed to convert to Roman Catholicism. Under the Moslem rule, the Jews had benefited from tolerant Arab rulers. But the last Moslem state was conquered by Christian Spain on 2/1/1492 when Granada fell. On 30/3/1492 the 150,000 strong Jewish community was ordered out by Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand. Urban anti-Semitism in Spain had been growing for years, and the Spanish Inquisition, founded in 1487, made things worse. See 12/2/1502.
2/1/1492. (-165,572) The Spanish Army under Queen Isabella recaptured Granada from the Moors. This had been the last remaining Moslem territory in Spain. See 30/3/1492.
31/12/1491, (-165,574) Jacques Cartier, French explorer of the St Lawrence area of north America, was born in St Malo, northern France.
24/12/1491, (-165,581) Ignatius Loyola, Spanish priest who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), was born in Azpeitia.
21/12/1491, (-165,584) A five-year truce between England and Scotland was declared at Coldstream.
25/11/1491, (-165,610) The siege of Granada, last stronghold of the Moors in Spain, began.
28/6/1491. (165,750) Henry VIII, best known for his six wives and religious split from Rome, was born at Greenwich. He was the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
3/5/1491, (-165,806) The ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo, Nkuwu Nzinga, was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
19/12/1490, Anne of Brittany married Maximillian I, Holy Roman Emperor, by proxy.
17/7/1490, (-166,106) Lightning struck an old Greek church in Constantinople in which the Ottoman Turks were storing gunpowder; the ensuing explosion killed 5,000.
6/4/1490, (-166,208) Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, died suddenly, aged 50. He was succeeded by Ladislas II of Bohemia.
4/12/1489. The fall of Baza, in southern Spain. The Catholic Spanish army had besieged this town, held by the Muslims; both siege and defence were financed by the sale of the jewels of the ladies on both sides. Baza had been a bishopric since at least before 302, when its bishop was recorded as attending the Council of Elvira.
2/7/1489. Thomas Cranmer, Henry VIII’s first reformed Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire. He produced the Book of Common Prayer in 1549.
14/4/1489, The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sold her kingdom to Venice.
9/9/1488, Anne of Brittany became Duchess of Brittany at the age of 11. Her marriage to King Charles VIII in 1491 effectively ended Breton independence from France.
28/7/1488, At the Battle of Saint Aubin du Cornier, troops loyal to King Charles VIII of France defeated forces led by the rebel Duke of Orleans and Duke of Brittany in the main engagement of the Mad War.
11/6/1488, James III, King of Scotland, was assassinated. He was succeeded by his son, James IV.
14/2/1488, The Great Swabian league was formed.
3/2/1488, Bartholomew Diaz of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay, after rounding the Cape of Good hope. He was the first known European to travel this far south.
8/1/1488, The present Netherlands Royal Navy was founded, by decree of Maximillian I of Austria.
10/9/1487, Pope Julius III was born.
16/6/1487, The Battle of Stoke Field. The rebellion of the Pretender Lambert Simnel to the English throne, led by John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln, and Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell, was crushed by troops loyal to Henry VII.
24/5/1487, Lambert Simnel was crowned ‘King Edward VI of England’ in Christchurch cathedral. He claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, and challenged Henry VII for the throne of England. He was actually the son of a carpenter from Oxford who went to France and won the backing of one of Warwick’s aunts, who had never actually met the real Warwick. He then went to Ireland where he was welcomed, and from where he planned to invade England.
29/1/1487, Richard Foxe became Bishop of Exeter.
19/9/1486, King Henry VII’s son Arthur was born.
1/5/1486. (-167,644)The navigator Christopher Columbus persuaded Queen Isabella of Spain to grant him funds to find a western sea passage to the Indies.
18/1/1486, (-168,847) In England, the houses of York and Lancaster were united by the marriage of King Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV.
16/12/1485, (-168,880) Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, was born, the fourth daughter of Ferdinand Isabella.
30/10/1485. (-168,927) (1) Coronation of King Henry VII, aged 28
(2) King Henry VII established the Yeoman of the Guard.
22/8/1485. (-168,996) Battle of Bosworth Field, 12 miles west of Leicester. The two sides met at White Moor, on the slopes of Ambien Hill, some two miles from the market town of Market Bosworth. Richard had a force twice the size of Henry’s, but the Stanleys, the Earl of Derby and his brother, defected to Henry’s side. King Richard III, (White Rose, Yorkist) the last Plantagenet king, born 2/10/1452 at Fotheringay, was killed as he tried to reach the usurper to the English throne, Henry Tudor, (Red Rose, Lancastrian) now Henry VII.
Henry, exiled to France, had landed at Milford Haven on 7/8/1485 and reached Shrewsbury on 15/8/1485, gathering only moderate support along the way. He then passed through Newport (Shropshire), Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, and reached Atherstone on the borders of Leicestershire on 20/81485. Here he linked up with the Stanley brothers, both anti-Yorkist. The night of the 21st, Henry encamped at White Moors, south west of what was to be the battlefield. Richard and his army halted three miles away on high ground at Sutton Cheney. Both sides attempted to occupy Ambien Hill, midway between the two armies. The Stanleys moved against the Yorkist flanks , and the Yorkist Duke of Northumberland, at the rear, failed to intervene. Richard was unhorsed and killed, and the Yorkist army melted away, unpursued.
7/8/1485, (-167,011) Henry Tudor (Henry VII) landed at Milford Haven, Wales.
1/8/1485, (-167,017) Henry Tudor (Henry VII) set sail from France for Wales. He had been advised by Rhys ap Thomas (a powerful Welsh landowner), wrongly as it turned out, that the whole of Wales would rise up in his favour.
21/6/1485, (-167,058) King Richard III, anticipating a challenge for his rulership, issued a proclamation against ‘Henry Tydder and other rebels.
8/6 1485, (-167,971)
1/1/1485, The English Parliament set aside £14,000 for the King’s Household Expenses. This eventually became the Civil List, which the present British Royal Family still live on.
5/12/1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued the Papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus giving the inquisition a mission to hunt heretics and witches in Germany, led by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.
21/9/1484, Treaty of Nottingham: Three-year truce between the kingdoms of England and Scotland signed.
12/8/1484, Pope Sixtus V died, and was succeeded by Pope Innocent Innocent VIII/
1/1/1484, The Church reformer Huldrych Zwingli was born in Switzerland (died 11/10/1513).
10/11/1483, Martin Luther, German religious reformer, leader of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Eisleben, the son of a miner.
30/8/1483, Louis XI, King of France, died, aged 60. He unified France after the Hundred Years War. He was succeeded by his 13-year old son, Charles VIII.
17/8/1483. The date on which the two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, are believed to have been murdered by their uncle and successor, Richard III, in the Tower of London. See 9/4/1483.
9/8/1483. Pope Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which was named after him.
6/7/1483. The coronation of King Richard III.
28/6/1483, The Dukedom of Norfolk was created.
26/6/1483, Richard III became King of England.
29/4/1483, (-168,742) Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, an important step in the expansion of Spain.
9/4/1483. (-168,762) King Edward IV died at Windsor. During his second reign he re-established peace after the Wars of the Roses, but his heir, Edward V, was only aged 12. See 17/8/1483.
28/3/1483, (-168,774) Raphael, Italian painter, was born in Urbino as Raffaello Sanzio or Santi.
1/1/1483, Jews were expelled from Andalusia.
23/12/1482. Burgundy and Picardy were absorbed into France by the Treaty of Arras.
25/8/1482, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, died.
26/12/1481, At the Battle of Westbroek, Holland defeated the troops of Utrecht.
10/9/1481, Alphonso II of Naples recaptured the city of Otranto.
29/8/1481, John II of Portugal began to rule in his own right.
21/5/1481, Christian I, King of Denmark and Norway, died aged 49. He was succeeded by his son John (1481-1513).
3/5/1481, Mehmed II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, died and was succeeded by his 34-year old son Bayezid II.
28/7/1480, (1) An Ottoman Army landed near Otranto, Italy. Pope Sixtus IV called for a crusade to drive them out.
(2) Mohammed II failed in an attempt to take Rhodes from the Knights of Rhodes.
10/7/1480, Rene, Count of Anjou, died without an heir. Louis XI annexed his territory.
18/4/1480, Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman, illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI) was born in Rome.
6/3/1480, The Treaty of Toledo: Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain recognised the African conquests of Alphonso of Portugal, and he ceded the Canary Islands to Spain.
13/10/1479, The Battle of Kenyermezo. The Hungarian army under Pal Kinizsi and Istvan Bathori defeated the Ottoman army in Transylvania, Hungary.
7/8/1479, The Battle of Guinegatte. A French army attempting to invade The Netherlands was defeated by Maximilian of Austria, with Flemish foot soldiers.
24/1/1479, The Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire signed a peace treaty. Venice ceded Argo, Negroponte, Lemnos, and Scutari, and agreed to pay an annual tribute of 10,000 golden ducats.
20/1/1479, Ferdinand II took the throne of Aragon and ruled together with his wife Isabella, Queen of Castile, over most of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1492 they conquered Granada, ending 900 years of Moorish rule.
22/7/1478, Philip II, King of Spain, was born. Son of Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy, he married Joanna the Mad; she inherited the throne of Castile in 1504 but due to her insanity Philip assumed full control in 1506.
7/2/1478, Sir Thomas Moore, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, was born in London, the son of a judge. He was executed for refusing to deny the authority of the Pope.
14/11/1477. William Caxton issued the first dated, printed, book from his printing press in Westminster. It was Dictes or Sayengis of The Philosophres.
18/8/1477, The Hapsburgs gained possession of the Netherlands through the marriage of the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, Maximillian, with Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold.
27/2/1477, The Swedish University of Uppsala was founded, becoming the first university in Sweden and all of Scandinavia.
14/2/1477. A man in Norfolk received the world’s first known Valentine. Margery Brews sent her fiancée John Poston a letter saying ‘To my right welbelovyd Voluntyne’. She explained that she had asked her mother to put pressure on her father to increase her dowry but also said that if he loved her, she would marry him anyway. The Romans, around 600 BC, celebrated a February festival with romantic games and dancing. When the Roman Empire was converted to Christianity, the festival was linked to the martyrdom of St Valentine on 14 February, ca. 270 AD, by the Roman Emperor Claudius. Another possible origin is the medieval belief that birds traditionally pair off on 14 February. Oliver Cromwell’s government banned St Valentine’s day but it was restored when Charles II came to the throne in 1660. See 14/2/1822.
5/1/1477, Battle of Nancy. Swiss pikemen defeated the Duke of Burgundy’s cavalry. The 43-year old Duke was killed in the battle, and his body was found later, half-eaten by wolves.
28/6/1476, Pope Paul IV born.
22/6/1476, The Battle of Morat.
11/12/1475, Pope Leo X was born.
6/3/1475, Michelangelo, Italian painter and sculptor, was born in Capresse, Tiuscany, as Michelagniolo di Lodovico Buonarroti.
8/9/1474, Ludovic Ariosto, poet, was born.
17/3/1473, (-172,437) James IV, King of Scotland, was born.
19/2/1473, (-172,463) Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer, was born in Torun, Poland.
20/2/1472, Orkney and Shetland were given by Norway to Scotland, due to a defaulted dowry payment. King Christiaan of Norway and Denmark wanted to form an alliance with Scotland by marrying his daughter Margaret to James III. However Christiaan lacked money for a dowry, so Orkney and Shetland were temporarily handed over in lieu. The dowry was never paid so these islands became part of Scotland.
25/7/1471, Pope Paul II died, aged 54. He was succeeded by Pope Sixtus IV.
21/5/1471. (1) King Henry VI died, in the Tower of London. He was probably murdered, and was succeeded by Edward IV.
(2) Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, was born in Nuremberg. He was the son of a goldsmith.
4/5/1471. (-173,120) The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Margaret of Anjou at the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrians were attempting to cross the River Severn to join with Welsh troops under Jasper Tudor. The death of Margaret’s son, Prince Edward, as he fled the battlefield extinguished the House of Lancaster.
14/4/1471, (-173,140) Yorkists under King Edward IV defeated the Earl of Warwick’s Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet.
2/11/1470, Edward V, King of England, was born.
9/10/1470. Lancastrian King Henry VI was restored to the English throne after having been deposed nine years earlier. The power behind the throne here was held by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, a former Yorkist who abandoned the cause when his protégé, Edward IV, strong-willed, secretly married the woman he wanted to, the young widow Elizabeth Woodville, rather than undertake an arranged marriage to a French Princess. Henry VI, a weak character, was accustomed to abdication of political responsibilities so an alliance with power-hungry Warwick suited them both. However Henry VI’s weak reign was blamed for the wars that had split England for the previous 15 years, and the loss of English lands in France, and Henry’s days seemed numbered.
30/7/1470, (-) Hongzhi, Emperor of China, was born.
15/5/1470, (-173,474) Charles VIII, King of Sweden, died
19/10/1469, The Crowns of Castile and Aragon were joined with the marriage of Prince Ferdinand of Aragon and the Infanta Isabella of Castile
8/10/1469, Fra Filippo Lippi, painter, died.
26/7/1469, (-) Battle of Edgecote, Northamptonshire, Wars of the Roses
3/5/1469. (-173,851) Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and historian, was born in Florence.
7/10/1468, Sigismondo Malatesta, tyrant and soldier, died.
28/2/1468, Pope Paul III was born.
3/2/1468, Johann Gutenberg, German inventor of printing from moveable type, died.
15/6/1467, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, died, aged 71, after a 48-year reign. He was succeeded by his son, Charles the Bold, who began a 10-year power struggle with Louis XI of France.
13/12/1466, Donatello, sculptor, died.
14/8/1464, Pope Pius II died.
1//8/1464, Cosimo de Medici died aged 75 in Florence. He was succeeded as head of the banking family by his son, Piero.
25/4/1464, At Hedgeley Moor, near Alnwick, Northumberland, the Lancastrians in northern England were defeated.
24/7/1461, (-176,691) Charles VII of France died aged 58. He was succeeded by his son, Louis XI.
28/6/1461, (-176,717) Coronation of Yorkist King Edward IV.
17/6/1462, (-176,728) Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, massacred an Ottoman army, killing 15,000, near Targoviste, capital of Wallachia.
29/3/1461, (-176,808) The Battle of Towton (North Yorkshire) took place, during the Wars of the Roses, in a snowstorm. It was the bloodiest battle ever on British soil; over 28,000 died. The Lancastrians were heavily defeated and the position of King Edward IV was secured.
5/3/1461, (-176,832) Henry VI was deposed as King of England. Edward IV (Duke of York) succeeded him.
17/2/1461, (-176,848) The Second Battle of Barnet. Margaret of Anjou’s Lancastrian forces defeated the Yorkist Earl of Warwick. Warwick, defending the Yorkists in London, was taken by surprise and fled in disarray, failing to take King Henry VI with him.
3/2/1461, (-176,862) At Mortimer’s Cross, Richard’s son, Edward, Earl of March, defeated the Lancastrian forces.
30/12/1460, (-176,898) The Battle of Wakefield. A superior Lancastrian force caught Yorkists, foraging, by surprise, and the Duke of York was killed. This would have ended the Yorkist cause but for the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, 3/2/1461.
13/11/1460, (-176,945) Prince Henry the Navigator died, aged 66.
3/8/1460. (-177,047) James II, King of Scotland, killed during the siege of Roxburgh Castle by the English.
10/7/1460. (-177,071) The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and captured King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton.
4/4/1460, (-177,167) The University of Basle opened.
23/9/1459, (-) The Battle of Blore Heath, during the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists under Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, defeated the Lancastrians under Lord Audley. Salisbury was now able to join forces with the Yorkists at Ludlow.
22/3/1459, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian was born.
6/8/1458, Pope Calistus III died.
12/6/1458. (-177,829) Magdalen College, Oxford, was founded.
28/1/1457, (-178,329) Henry VII born at Pembroke Castle. The start of the Tudor dynasty. He was the son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and of Margaret Beaufort.
17/10/1456, (-178,432) The University of Greifswald was established.
22/7/1456, (-178,519) John Hunyadi, King of the Hungarians, defeated an invading Ottoman Turkish army at Belgrade. This halted the ambitions of Sultan Mahomet II to occupy Vienna and then Rome, which Mahomet regarded as still the ‘capital of Europe’.
22/5/1455. (-178,946) The First Battle of Barnet. In the Wars of the Roses, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Yorkist, fought his way into the Lancastrian camp because Henry VI had refused Richard of York’s demand that Simon Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, be imprisoned. The Yorkists won, killing their principal enemies, Somerset, Northumberland and Clifford.
8/4/1455, (-178,990) Pope Callixtus III (born 1378) acceded (died 1458).
24/3/1455, (-179,005) Pope Nicholas V died.
21/7/1454, Juan II of Castile died and was succeeded by his son, Enrique.
9/4/1454. (-179,354) Three rival Italian powers – Venice, Milan, and Florence – agreed to unite in an ‘Italian league’. Rome and Milan also seemed likely to join.
9/3/1454, (-179,386) Amerigo Vespucci, Italian explorer who discovered the mouth of the Amazon and gave his name to America, was born.
17/7/1453. The end of the Hundred Years War, when the French defeated the English at Castillon. Now only Calais remained in English hands; in 1449 England occupied nearly a third of France.
29/5/1453. (-179,669) The Turks conquered Constantinople, following a siege of over a year. The end of the Byzantine Empire.
12/5/1453, The Ottoman Sultan ordered the walls of Constantinople be bombarded with huge cannon balls fired from an 8 metre long, 1.05 metre calibre, cannon.
6/4/1453, The Turkish attack on Constantinople began.
2/10/1452, Richard III, King of England, was born.
21/9/1452, Girolamo Savonarola, Church reformer, was born.
26/4/1452. (-180,067) Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, scientist, and inventor, was born into The Renaissance.
19/3/1452, Frederick, King of Germany, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Nicholas.
3/2/1452, (-181,150) The Duke of York accused the Beaufort family, who backed the Lancastrian King Henry VI, of incompetence and ineptitude and of thereby losing the English territories in France.
20/8/1451, (-181,317) The French captured Bayonne, the last English stronghold in Guyenne.
30/6/1451, (-181,368) French troops under the Comte de Dunois invaded Guyenne and captured Bordeaux.
22/4/1451, (-180,437) Isabella, Queen of Castile and Leon was born.
7/1/1451, (-180,542) Glasgow University was founded.
3/11/1450, (-180,607) The University of Barcelona was founded.
5/10/1450, (-180,636) Jews were expelled from Lower Bavaria by order of Ludwig IX.
12/8/1450, (-180,690) Cherbourg, the last English territory in Normandy, surrendered to the French.
12/7/1450, (-180,721) Cade had been promised a free pardon and had disbanded his army. However he was then hunted down by Government forces and killed this day.
6/7/1450, (-180,727) Caen surrendered to the French.
4/7/1450, (-180,729) Jack Cade entered London. Henry VI had left London for Kenilworth, allowing Cade’s men to enter the caoital and execute unpopular courtiers. However Cade proved unable to maintain discipline amongst his followers and Londoners turned against him.
27/6/1450. (-180,736) Jack Cade, an Irish born physician, led an insurrection march of 40,000 through Kent to London to protest against the high taxes of King Henry VI. The English Government was unpopular after its defeat in the Hundred Years War. Meanwhile Henry VI’s courtiers blamed the Men of Kent for the murder of William de la Pole in May 1450 and wanted reprisals, sparking the Kentish rebellion. Pole had been involved in the disastrous English military campaign in France that culminated with the loss of Normandy to the French; Parliament had him sent to The Tower on charges of treason. King Henry VI, to save Pole from a trial with a foregone conclusion, declared him innocent but banished him from England for five years. As Pole left Dover, his ship was intercepted, and Pole was forcibly dragged into a small boat and beheaded.
15/4/1450, (-180,809) The Battle of Formigny. Fought near Caen, the French defeated an English force sent to halt King Charles VII’s reconquest of Normandy.
29/10/1449, The French recaptured Rouen from the English.
6/1/1449, Constantine XI was crowned Byzantine Emperor at Mistra. He was the last in a line of rulers that can be traced to the founding of Rome.
17/10/1448, Battle of Kosovo: Hungarian forces under John Hunyadi were defeated by the Turks.
15/6/1447, The Inquisition was revived in Spain.
23/2/1447, Pope Eugene IV died.
16/4/1446, (-182,269) Filippo Brunelleschi, the Florentine architect and sculptor who designed the city’s cathedral, died.
11/12/1444, The earliest mention of the Welsh town of Bridgend, in a legal document, as Bruggen Eynde. The older
market town of Kenfig had been abandoned due to coastal flooding and encroachment by sand dunes, and a bridge over the River Ogmore was constructed to the new town site.
10/11/1444, Ladislas, King of Poland, died.
27/3/1443, (-183,385) Matthius Corvinus, King of Hungary, second son of John Hunyadi, was born.
30/9/1442, (-183,563) Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible became the first book to be printed using moveable metal type.
28/4/1442, (-183,718) King Edward IV was born in Rouen, son of Richard, Duke of York.
9/6/1441, (-184,041) Dutch painter Jan van Eyck, equerry to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, died.
26/10/1440, Gilles de Rais, Marshal of France, was hanged.
20/9/1440. Eton School was founded by Henry VI for poor and needy scholars. Prefects were warned to watch out for ill-kempt beards, unwashed faces, and foul clothes.
21/2/1440, The Prussian Confederation was formed.
27/10/1439. Death of King Albert II of Hungary at Langendorf. He reigned less than two years and spent this in the defence of Hungary against the Turks.
6/7/1439, The Decree of Union (Laetentur Caeli) formally uniting the Latin and Greek churches was issued.
29/5/1439, Pope Pius III died.
9/12/1437, The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund died.
20/2/1437. James I, King of Scotland, aged 42, was assassinated by a group of dissident nobles led by Sir Robert Graham, who wanted a rival on the Scottish throne. James had become King in 1424, executing many of the nobility to establish control. James was staying at the Dominican Friary at Perth when murdered.
11/2/1435, Joanna II, Queen of Naples, died.
19/10/1434, The University of Catania was founded in Italy.
11/8/1433, John I, King of Portugal, died.
16/12/1431. The Bishop of Winchester, Henry Beaufort, crowned King Henry VI King of France.
30/5/1431. Jeanne D’Arc, a peasant girl from Donremy, was burned at the stake in Rouen for heresy. She had been taken prisoner by the Burgundians in May 1430 and handed over to Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais. She endured a year of inquisition and torture. She was canonised in 1920 on the anniversary of her death.
20/2/1431, Pope Martin V died.
16/10/1430, James II, King of Scotland, was born.
23/3/1430, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, was born.
6/11/1429, The coronation of King Henry VI of England.
26/8/1429. (-188,356) Jeanne D’Arc made a triumphal entry into Paris.
17/7/1429, (-188,396) Charles VII was crowned King in Reims.
16/7/1429, (-188,397) The French Army reached Reims, which surrendered to Charles VII without a fight.
18/6/1429. (-188,415) Jeanne D’Arc, 17 years old, defeated the British at the Battle of Patay. Historians are still in dispute over Jeanne D’Arc’s role in the Hundred Years War between Britain and France. Born a peasant’s daughter on 7/1/1412, she believed she was led by divine guidance and her mission was to make sure that Charles VII became King of France and not the English Henry V. The French and the English came face to face at Patay on 18/6/1429 and Jeanne D’Arc had promised the French a greater victory than ever they had seen so far. The English army was indeed routed and also its reputation for invincibility, as the Earl of Salisbury’s 5,000 men were forced back across the River Loire. She was captured by the English a year later, on 24/5/1430, with the help of French collaborators, and burnt as a witch on 30/5/1431. She was canonised in 1920.
10/5/1429 (-188,454) (Tuesday = 7 x 26,922)
8/5/1429, (-188,456) (Sunday)
7/5/1429, The French captured the English fort of Les Tourelles, inspired by Joan of Arc. This was pone of several strongholds around Orleans lost by the English. The following day, 8/5/1429, the English began retreating, but Joan of Arc forbade the French to pursue because it was a Sunday.
29/4/1429, Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orléans.
27/4/1429, French troops mustered at Blois and set off for Orleans. Orleans had been almost surrounded by English troops since 12/10/1428, although it was possible for the French to enter and leave.
13/2/1429, Joan of Arc left Vancouleurs, a town loyal to the French Dauphin, and travelled across English-held territory to Chinon to meet the Dauphin. The French nobility were unsure if she was mad or a heretic, but then decided to use her to raise French morale so as to defeat the English at Orleans.
30/11/1427, King Casimir IV of Poland was born.
17/8/1424, (-) Battle of Verneuil. John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, defeated a French force, consolidating English conquest of Normandy.
5/8/1424,(-) Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yung Lo or Ch’eng Tsu, died (born 2/5/1360). Under his rule China sent out exploration fleets, between 1403 and 1433, under the command of the Muslim eunuch Cheng Ho (Zheng He). These expeditions reached Java, southern India, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and eastern Africa as far south as Zanzibar. He also maintained peaceable relations with the Mongols and other peoples, as far as the Amur River and west to Herat and Samarkand.
3/7/1423, Louis XI, King of France, was born.
6/9/1422. Sultan Murat gave up besieging Constantinople.
31/8/1422. King Henry V died in Vincennes, France, struck down by dysentery.. Aged 35, he was just about to take the crown of both France and England; his son, Henry VI, was just 9 months old, and English power in France looked uncertain again.
13/8/1422, William Caxton, England’s first printer, was born.
6/12/1421, Henry VI was born in Windsor Castle, the only child of Henry V and Catherine Valois. Catherine Valois, daughter of Charles IV and Isabella of France, had married Henry V on 2/6/1420.
18/11/1421. 73 villages were flooded and up to 100,000 people killed when a dyke gave way just south east of Dordrecht, Holland. This polder was never reclaimed; today its marshes and lakes make up the Biesbosch national park.
1/12/1420, Henry V made a triumphal entry into Paris, see 25/10/1415 and 21/5/1420.
21/5/1420, (-191,730) Under the Treaty of Troyes, King Henry V of England became ruler of France also, following his victory at Agincourt. Henry V married Catherine de Valois and when Charles de Valois died Henry would inherit the throne, so long as Henry and Catherine produced a male heir. Under French Salic Law, a woman could not rule France.
19/1/1419, In the Hundred Years' War, Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England, which took Normandy under the control of England.
14/12/1417, Sir John Oldcastle, prototype of Shakespeare’s Falstaff, was hanged.
18/10/1417, Pope Gregory XII was killed.
24/6/1417, The Isle of Man held its first known Tynwald Day; the annual meeting of its parliament (Tynwald) which has continued every year until the present.
2/4/1416, Ferdinand I, King of Aragon, died.
27/1/1416, The Republic of Ragusa became the first state in Europe to outlaw slavery.
25/10/1415. Battle of Agincourt, 20 miles inland from Boulogne. The English forces, after the capture by the French of Harfleur, had set out to march to Calais through Picardy. Henry V could have simply garrisoned Harfleur and returned the way he had come, by sea, but he decided to march through enemy French territory to the English enclave of Calais to make a political point. Their crossing of the River Somme was delayed by torrential rains and the French set out to block their passage. The French troops set up at the northern end of a defile of open ground between the woods of Agincourt and Tramercourt. The English were short of food and supplies and hunger might have eventually forced their surrender. The French outnumbered the English three to one.
However King Henry V was able to use his archers, in the restricted space of the battlefield, to mow down the French cavalry and so win the battle. Thick mud, from the rains, restricted the movement of the French cavalry. The English victory gave Henry the finances and reputation to continue the war. Four years later the whole of Normandy was under British control, and in 1420 the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry as heir to the French throne, see 1/12/1420.
14/8/1415, Henry V’s fleet arrived at Chef de Caux, 10 miles west of Harfleur. Harfleur was a port from which the French had made many raids on the English south coast.
10/8/1415, Henry V of England set sail for Normandy with an army of 12,000 men; two-thirds archers. Harfleur was captured in September 1415 and Henry V set out for Paris. However illness began to thin his military ranks. On 5/10/1415 military advisers told Henry to return to England via Calais.
6/7/1415. Jan Hus, preacher and religious reformer, arrested on 28/11/1414, was burnt at the stake in Constance, Germany.
20/3/1413 England’s King Henry IV died, after suffering a stroke in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey. He had earlier prophesied that he would die in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by his eldest son Henry V. See 30/3/1399.
28/10/1412, Margaret, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, died.
1/7/1412, In southern England the standard rate of pay for a building craftsman was 6d (2.5p) a day; a general labourer earned 4d (1.7p) a day. These rates of pay remained unchanged until the 1530s.
6/1/1412, Joan of Arc was born.
15/7/1410. The Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic Knights at Tannenberg.
18/5/1410, Rupert, King of Germany, died.
7/8/1409, The Council of Pisa was dissolved.
1/1/1409, The Welsh surrendered Harlech Castle to the English.
19/2/1408, (-) The Battle of Bramham Moor. Near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, forces loyal to King Henry IV defeated rebels under Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. This ended the Percy Rebellion.
6/11/1406, Pope Innocent VII died.
18/10/1405, Pope Pius II was born.
17/2/1405, Deatb of the Mongol leader Tamerlane (Timur-i-Leng) atOtrar, east pf the Syr Darya River, whilst en-route to conquer China. He became leader in 1369, and went on to conquer Persia, the Caucasus, and the Tartars (in 1390). In 1398 he subdued northern India.
27/9/1404, William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, died.
14/7/1404, Rebel leader Owain Glyndwr, having declared himself Prince of Wales, allied with the French against the English. He later began holding parliamentary assemblies.
27/4/1404, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, died.
22/7/1403, (-197,878) The Battle of Shrewsbury. Sir Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur, was killed trying to overthrow King Henry IV.
21/7/1402, The Ottoman Turks were decisively defeated by Timur at the Battle of Ankara. The Ottomans lost control of Anatolia. However they had expanded territorially into Europe, and were able to recover Anatolia after Timur departed.
25/10/1400. Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet and storyteller, who wrote the unfinished Canterbury Tales, died at his home in Westminster.
16/9/1400, The Owen Glendower revolt in Wales; Welsh landowners proclaimed Owen King of Wales, and attacked the English in Flint and Denbigh.
14/2/1400, Richard II was killed whilst being held at Pontefract Castle, to prevent further rebellions by his followers.
13/10/1399, Coronation of Henry IV, first Lancastrian King of England.
11/10/1399. The Order of the Bath was instituted.
30/9/1399. King Richard II, born 6/1/1367, was deposed. Unpopular, he had dispossessed many of the nobility. He was crowned, aged 10, on 22/6/1377. He surrendered to Bolingbroke without a fight; Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. Henry IV was born at Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, on 3/4/1366. He reigned from 1399 to 1413. See 20/3/1413.
30/6/1399, Henry IV, exiled to France by King Richard II for treason, landed at Ravenspur, Humberside, to retake the English throne.
4/7/1399, Henry of Lancaster, Henry IV, landed at Ravenspur, Yorkshire.
3/2/1399, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III and father of Henry IV, died (born 24/6/1340).
15/11/1397, Pope Nicholas V was born.
20/6/1397. The Union of Kalmar united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under one monarch.
17/4/1397, (-200,165) Geoffrey Chaucer told The Canterbury Tales for the first time.
13/6/1396, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was born.
1/7/1395, Ale cost 0.8d a gallon. Bordeaux wine was 3.5d per gallon. Chickens were 2d each. Apples cost 7d per 100. Eggs were 33d for 425. A labourer was paid 3.25d a day, a carpenter made 4.25d a day. A mason earned 6d a day, and the Kings Physician was paid £40 a year.
10/12/1394, (-) King James I of Scotland was born.
29/11/1394, The capital city of the Joseon Dynasty in present-day Korea was moved from Gaegyeong (now Gaeseong) to Hanseong (now Seoul).
17/9/1394, King Charles VI of France ordered the expulsion of all Jews from France.
17/7/1394, Turkish troops took Trnovo, a town in Bulgaria 124 miles ENE of Sofia.
4/3/1394, Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese Prince, born.
5/8/1391, Anti-Jewish riots spread to Toledo, Spain and Barcelona. Many Jews left Barcelona after the following massacres, though many remained in the city.
6/6/1391, Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Seville, Spain. Many thousands of Jews were massacred and the violence spread throughout Spain and Portugal.
4/3/1391, (-202,431) Ferrara University was founded.
19/4/1390, (-202,720) Robert II, King of Scotland 1371-90, died at Dundonald, Ayrshire.
15/6/1389. Serbia was crushed by the Ottoman Turks (see 20/12/1355). At a battle in Kosovo, at the ‘field of the blackbirds’, the entire Serbian nobility was wiped out. The Ottomans had already invaded Bulgaria.
10/8/1388, The Battle of Otterburn. A Scottish raiding party led by the Earls of Douglas, March and Moray was confronted by the English at Redesdale, Northumberland. The Scots won, and the English leader, Hotspur, was captured.
20/12/1387, (-) The Battle of Radcot Bridge. An army raised by Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, to assist Richard II, was attacked as it crossed the Thames. De Vere escaped and fled the country.
16/9/1387, (-) King Henry V was born at Monmouth Castle, the eldest of six children of Henry IV. He defeated the French at Agincourt.
24/3/1387, (-) In the Hundred Years War, at the Battle of Margate: The English defeated an invading French and Castilian naval force.
18/10/1386, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, the oldest university in Germany, was founded.
9/7/1386, (-204,100) The Battle of Sempach.
9/5/1386, (-204,161) The Treaty of Windsor cemented the alliance between England and Portugal.
14/8/1385, The Battle of Aljubarrota. Portugal secured its independence against Spain.
31/12/1384, John Wycliffe, religious reformer, died.
22/10/1383, Ferdinand I, King of Portugal, died.
15/6/1381. Richard II summoned Wat Tyler, the first poll tax rebel, and his band, to Smithfield. Tyler met the King, grew insolent and abusive, and was killed by Mayor Walworth.
14/6/1381, Richard II rode to Mile End to negotiate with the rebels. They demanded an end to serfdom and limits on rents, and the execution of Chancellor Sudbury, Treasurer Hales, John of Gaunt, and others. Richard II agreed to all but the executions. However at this time Kentishmen were breaking into the Tower and beheading Sudbury and Hales. The deaths of the Chancellor and the Treasurer (who was also the Archbishop of Canterbury) were followed by a general massacre of Flemings in the City of London. The rebels attempted to break into all places where records might be stored, such as chirch buildings and lawyer’s houses, and to massacre all clerks.
13/6/1381, The rebels entered London and the King withdrew to the safety of The Tower. The rebels ransacked and burnt John of Gaunt’s Palace.
12/6/1381, Kentish rebels reached Blackheath, and Essex rebels reached Mile End.
10/6/1381, Wat Tyler led his rebels into Canterbury.
7/6/1381, Rebels entered Maidstone and chose Wat Tyler as their leader.
6/6/1381, Rebels in the Peasant’s Revolt besieged Rochester.
4/6/1381, The Peasants Revolt began. Rebels attacked Dartford. The poor were protesting over the imposition of a Poll Tax, whilst the peasants wages were held down by the Statute of Labourers Act, 1351. Peasant’s pay had been rising since the Black Death killed many workers.
20/5/1381. A council was held in Paris to find a way of ending the scandal of two Popes existing at once; Pope Urban VI at Rome and Pope Clement VII at Avignon.
8/9/1380. The Russians won a major victory over the Mongols.
31/12/1378, Pope Callixtus III was born.
29/11/1378, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV died.
27/3/1378, Pope Gregory XI died.
16/7/1377, Coronation of Richard II, King of England.
22/6/1377. The 10 year old King Richard II inherited the English throne from his grandfather, Edward III. Effective power was with the Royal Council. He was deposed 22 years later on 30/9/1399.
21/6/1377, King Edward III of England died.
17/1/1377, The Papal See was transferred back to Rome from Avignon.
8/6/1376. Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III of England, died.
29/4/1376, (-207,823) Sir Peter de la Mare took office as first Speaker of the House of Commons.
21/12/1375, Giovanni Boccaccio, writer, died.
7/4/1374, (-208,211) King Edward III appointed the Church reformer, John Wycliffe, to the rectory of Lutterworth.
22/2/1371, King David II of Scotland died; Robert II succeeded him, as the first Stuart King of Scotland.
5/11/1370. King Casimir III of Poland died in a hunting accident, aged 60, after a 30 year reign. He had repulsed a Mongol invasion, annexed Galicia, and encouraged the immigration of Jews to serve as bankers and tax collectors. He founded the University of Cracow, and codified the law and administration.
23/3/1369, Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon, was murdered by his brother, Henry.
15/2/1368, The Emperor Sigismund was born.
3/4/1367, (-) In the Hundred Years War, the English under the Black Prince defeated a Spanish and French army at the Battle of Navarrete.
2/4/1367, (-) Henry IV, the first Lancastrian King of England, was born in Bolingbroke castle, Lincolnshire, the son of John O’Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Duchess Blanche.
6/1/1367, King Richard II was born at Bordeaux, France. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince and the grandson of King Edward III.
12/4/1365, Treaty of Guerande. The French House of Blois ceded its rights to Brittany.
12/9/1362, Pope Innocent VI died.
24/10/1360, (-) (Britain, France) The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. Under its terms, King John II of France, who had been captured at Poitiers, would be released for a ransom of 3 million Ecus. Calais, Guines, Ponthieu and all of Aquitaine would be ceded to Edward III of England. In return Edward, who had besieged Rheims (December 1359 – January 1360) but failed to capture it, promised to renounce claims to the French Crown when John renounced sovereignty over Aquitaine. In fact these renunciations never took place and the Hundred Years War resumed 1369.
2/5/1360, (-213,664) Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yung Lo or Ch’eng Tsu, was born. See 5/8/1424.
18/10/1356, Basel, Switzerland, was badly damaged by an earthquake.
19/9/1356. (Britain, France) The English, led by Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under King John II, at the Battle of Poitiers, western France, in the Hundred Years War.
20/12/1355. Stephen Urosh of Serbia died whilst on route to attack Constantinople. Under his reign Serbia had expanded greatly, conquering Macedonia, Epirus, and Thessaly, as well as maintaining his father’s conquest of Bulgaria. However, see 15/6/1389.
10/2/1355, (-) The St Scholastica Day riot in Oxford. Opposing members of ‘town’ and ‘gown’ fought for three days.
8/10/1354, Cola di Rienzi, reformer, was murdered.
3/3/1353, Bern signed an alliance with the Swiss Confederation.
27/6/1352, Zug joined the Swiss Confederation.
4/6/1352, Glarus joined the Swiss Confederation.
5/5/1352, Rupert, king of Germany, was born.
1/5/1351, Zurich joined the Swiss Confederation.
22/8/1350. King John II, (the Good) succeeded Philip VI as King of France.
12/8/1350, Philip IV, King of France, died.
20/10/1349, Pope Clement VI outlawed the flagellants.
24/8/1349, The Black Death broke out in Elbing (Poland).
31/5/1349, (-217,653) The mortality rate from the Black Death in London finally began to ease.
21/3/1349, (-217,724) Many of the 900 strong Jewish community of Erfurt (Germany) were murdered by the rest of the population which accused them of causing of the Black Death.
14/2/1349, (-217,759) 2,000 Jews were burned to death in Strasbourg.
9/1/1349, (-217,795) The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland was rounded up and incinerated, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death.
29/9/1348, (-217,897) The Black Death reached London.
10/8/1348, (-217,947) The first investiture ceremony of the Order of the Garter, at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle. King Edward III revived the notion of King Arthur’s Round Table, and had the Round Tower at Windsor built to house a replica version of the Table. In 1344 Edward III began holding knightly tournaments and feasts around this Table. Following British successes in the Hundred Years War against France, Edward III instituted the Order oif the Garter, with Windsor as the new Camelot.
24/6/1348, (-217,994) The Black Death outbreak hit Melcombe Regis (Weymouth, Dorset in England).
19/1/1348. Edward III established the Order of the Garter.
25/12/1347, First cases of the plague recorded in the city of Split in Croatia.
1/11/1347, Black Death spreads to Aix-en-Provence in France.
1/9/1347, The Black Death reached the French city of Marseilles.
1347, 1348. The Black Death arrived in Europe. It appeared in the Crimea (probably originating in China in 1333)and spread west to the Mediterranean. It reached Greece in September 1347, and also appeared in Sicily and southern Italy. By January 1348 Pisa, Venice, Avignon, and Arles were stricken, and by April 1348 Toulouse, Spain, and Lyons had the disease. June 1348 saw the Black Death arrive in England, and by 1349 Germany and Brittany were suffering.
4/4/1347, (-218,441) Calais surrendered to the English.
17/10/1346, (-218,610) The Battle of Neville’s Cross. An attempted Scottish invasion of England was routed, west of Durham. Whilst the English King Edward III was occupied with the siege of Calais, King David II of Scotland invaded England in support of his French ally. However his army was heavily defeated by English archers, and David was wounded and captured. Held for 11 years, Scotland had to raise taxes to pay a heavy ransom for his release.
26/8/1346. (-218,662) (1) The Battle of Crecy took place, 32 miles south of Boulogne. The outnumbered army of Edward III, aided by his son Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French under Philip IV, who fled,, leaving over 1,500 French dead. On 3/8/1347 the English captured Calais after nearly a year’s siege, which began on 3/9/1346. This battle, during the Hundred Years War, was the first time the English had used longbows in continental warfare. The crossbow assault at Crecy decimated the French-Genoese archers and the French knights behind, attempting an attack through the Genoese, caused a troops jam into which the English longbowmen continued to fire. The French retreated; Edward decided against pursuing the survivors but marched on north to attack Calais.
(2) John the Blind, King of Bohemia, was killed at Crecy whilst assisting the French. Born on 10/8/1296, son of Count Henry III of Luxembourg (later Emperor Henry III), he married (1310) the heiress of the Kingdom of Bohemia, thereby becoming its King in 1311. He acquired Silesia from Poland. In 1334 he married Beatrix of the House of Bourbon, thereby allying with France. He had been blind from 1340.
12/7/1346, (-218,707) An English invasion force landed unopposed at St Vaast, western Normandy, with the aim of capturing Paris. This force was defeated by a superior French army and the English attempted a retreat back to England, marching west 60 miles in four days. However the French followed their march just to the south, denying the Seine Valley to the English. The English needed a port to evacuate their forces. The English now had to cross the lower Somme between Amiens and the sea, but this tract was tidal, full of treacherous marches, passable only along narrow causeways for a few hours a day at low tide. Crossing points to the north of the Somme were guarded by the French. The English attempted to force a crossing of the Somme at Crecy.
11/7/1346. (-218,708) Charles V of Luxembourg was elected Holy Roman Emperor at the instigation of Pope Clement VI.
15/1/1342, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, was born.
25/10/1340. Geoffrey Chaucer was born. He died on his birthday in 1400.
13/10/1340. In alliance with Portugal, Alfonso XI of Castile conquered the Moors at the River Salado.
24/6/1340. The English fleet, under Edward III (see 21/9/1327) defeated the French fleet at Sluys. The French fleet was virtually destroyed, giving Edward III control of the sea. However both the French and English rulers were short of money and unable to pay their troops; so Edward III, and Philip VI of France, settled at the Treaty of Esplechin.
The dispute between England and France had links to the Flemish weavers who rebelled but were defeated on 24/8/1328 by the new Philip VI of France. Also Philip VI supported the Scots under David Bruce against the English, see 21/9/1327. In 1336 Edward III renewed his claim to the French throne. In 1338 Edward III cut wool exports to Flanders, forcing up wool prices and causing economic hardship to the weavers there. Edward then lifted the wool embargo, and encouraged the weavers to rebel again against Philip VI, to secure the unification and independence of Flanders.
7/6/1340, Rotterdam was officially declared a city.
1/11/1339, Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, was born.
24/5/1337, Philip VI of France took Gascony from English control.
17/3/1337, Edward, the Black Prince, was made the first Duke of Cornwall, by his father King Edward III.
8/1/1337. The painter Giotto died, aged 70.
11/10/1335, Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, was born in Korea.
4/12/1334, Pope John XXII died at Avignon, aged 85. He was succeeded by Jacques Fournier, who became Pope Benedict XII.
30/8/1334, Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon, was born.
19/7/1333, The Battle of Halidon Hill. Edward III defeated Sir Archibald Douglas, during the last of the Wars of Scottish Independence.
7/11/1332, (-223,702) Lucerne joined the Swiss Confederation with Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden.
27/9/1332, (-223,743) Battle of Plowce. The Teutonic Knights were defeated by a Polish army under Ladislas IV Lokietek.
12/8/1332, (-223,789) Edward Balliol (1283-1364, the elder son of John Balliol), having landed at Kinghorn, Fife, made a surprise attack on the Scottish Army at Duplin Moor. Balliol was leading an army of 3,400 soldiers fighting for the ‘disniherited Barons’. Balliol routed the Scots under the Regent, the Earl of Mar, and was crowned King of Scotland on 24/9/1332 at Scone. However in December 1332 Balliol himself fell victim to a surprise counter attack at Annan and fled across into England on an unsaddled horse. Further attempts by Balliol to gain the Scottish throne in 1334 and 1335 were unsuccessful and in 1356 he formally renounced his claim in favour of King Edward III. Balliol died without heirs.
18/2/1332, Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia began his campaigns in the southern Muslim province.
15/6/1330, Edward, the Black Prince, was born.
11/6/1329, Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Maltepe (Pelekanon).
7/6/1329. Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland from 1306, died of leprosy at Cardross Castle on the Firth of Clyde. He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey under the High Altar.
24/8/1328. Flemish weavers rebelled against the French but were defeated at Mount Cassel by Philip VI, the new King of France. See 24/6/1340.
21/9/1327. Edward II was murdered with a red-hot poker at Berkeley castle in Gloucestershire, to ensure his son Edward III, aged 15, could ascend the English throne under Isabella’s Regency.. Edward II’s fate was sealed in 1326 when his wife Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer landed with a band of foreign mercenaries and marched on London. Isabella found widespread support amongst the barons, among whom Edward had caused dissension by granting some lands and lordships, but not others. Edward was also resented after his defeat by Robert the Bruce in Scotland. See 21/6/1314, and 24/6/1340.
In 1330 Edward III took real power, sending his mother Isabella into a monastery. He executed her lover, Roger Mortimer. See 24/6 1340.
25/1/1327, Edward III became King of England.
6/4/1326. Orkhan, son of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, captured Brusa from the Byzantines and made it his capital. By 1341 Orkhan had reinforced his influence in the Byzantine Empire by marrying twice into it; first to Theodora, daughter of Byzantium’s new joint Emperor John Cantacuzene, whom he had lent 6,000 troops for his coup. Secondly, Orkhan’s new sister in law, Helen, married the other joint Emperor and coup victim, John Paleologus.
13/3/1325, The founding of Tenochtitlan on a small island in Lake Texcoco by the Mexica empire at the dawn of the day. The Aztec capital became Mexico City in 1521.
24/6/1322, Jews were expelled from France for third time.
16/3/1322, (-) The Battle of Boroughbridge. Forces loyal to the rebel, Thomas of Lancaster, were defeated at the crossing of the River Ure by an army loyal to King Edward II, led by Andrew Barclay. Edward then ordered the execution of more than 20 of the rebel leaders, an act that shocked contemporaries by its severity.
13/2/1322, The central tower of Ely Cathedral in England fell.
14/9/1321. The poet Dante Alighieri died aged 56 at Ravenna, in the 20th year of exile from his native Florence.
6/4/1320, (-228,300) The Scots reaffirmed their independence from England by signing the Declaration of Arbroath. The Pope did not recognise Robert The Bruce as legitimate King of Scotland, and Pope John XXII had demanded that Scotland make peace with England, However the Scottish barons, with the support of the Church in Scotland, asserted under this Declaration the identity of Scotland as a separate nation with its ‘uninterrupted succession of 113 Kings, all our native and royal stock’. The Declaration also noted the injuries caused by English incursions into Scotland. Since then this has been a key document for those campaigning for Scottish independence.
8/7/1319, Three-year-old Magnus Eriksson was elected king of Sweden, thus uniting it with Norway. His mother Ingeborg of Norway was given a place in the regency in both Sweden and Norway.
1/4/1318, Berwick-upon-Tweed was retaken by the Scottish from the English.
24/12/1317, Jean de Joinville, Crusader and historian, died.
10/8/1316, Second Battle of Athenry ended with over 5,000 dead, and Norman rule retained in Ireland.
5/6/1316, King Louis X of France died.
14/5/1316, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was born.
XX 1316. England faced famine after torrential rain ruined the harvest. A wet Autumn 1314 was followed by a wet Summer in 1315. Only the West Country escaped disaster. On the estates of Bolton Priory in the North, wheat yields were one fifth of normal. Another wet Summer followed in 1316. There was also a shortage of salt, causing disease in farm animals, as the salt pans failed to evaporate. On the Clipston Estate in Nottinghamshire, half the sheep died. Taxes were also heavy, to finance military campaigns against the Scots, alms were cut. In Berwick the starving infantry garrison mutinied, and in Sandwich a wheat ship was attacked by a mob.
15/11/1315. A small army of Swiss foot soldiers routed a Hapsburg army sent to bring the valleys of central Switzerland under Hapsburg rule at the Battle of Morgarten. The Hapsburgs had for long had manorial rights in these valleys but not political control. The Swiss had begun to assert their political independence, fortifying the entrances of the valleys. This conflict was precipitated by a dispute over grazing rights; the men of Schwyz attacked an abbey and took some of the monks hostage.
1/7/1315, Food prices rose sharply as a famine hit England. A quarter of wheat cost 20 shillings, compared to five shillings in 1313.
29/11/1314, Philip IV, King of France, died.
31/8/1314, King Hakon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo, where he built Akershus Fortress. Norway was ruled from this fortress the next 500 years.
24/6/1314. English forces under Edward II suffered a major defeat at Bannockburn by the Scots. Robert The Bruce was confirmed in power in Scotland. See 21/9/1327. By the time the Battle of Bannockburn was fought, Scotland had been almost cleared of English troops, with the exception of Stirling Castle. Here the governor, Alexander Mowbray, had promised to surrender if not relieved by St John the Baptist’s Day. Edward II collected a huge army for the relief of Stirling, and Robert the Bruce assembled his smaller force at Torwood, 4 miles north-west of Falkirk. At the Battle, on the Bannock Burn, the superior numbers of the English cavalry were hampered by the cramped site of the battle; the rear ranks of the English could not reach the fighting, but hampered the retreat of those in front under Robert’s attacks. Robert then led his reserves in to complete the rout of the English. Many English, uninjured in the battle, perished in the Bannock Burn and the marshes beyond. Edward II, seeking refuge in Stirling Castle, was refused on account of its imminent surrender; he escaped by a roundabout route via Dunbar back to England.
18/3/1314, Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake.
13/11/1312. Edward III, King of England from 1327, was born in Windsor Castle, son of Edward II.
7/9/1312, Ferdinand IV, King of Castile and Leon, died.
19/6/1312, (-23,148) Piers Gaveston (see 19/5/1312) was beheaded at Deddington on the orders of the Duke of Warwick.
19/5/1312, (-23,179) After a 2-week siege of Scarborough Castle, Piers Gaveston, close associate of King Edward II, was taken prisoner, See 19/6/1312.
22/3/1312, The Pope abolished the Order of the Templars.
11/5/1310, (-231,918) In France, 54 members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake for heresy.
30/4/1310, (-231,929) King Casimir III of Poland was born.
15/8/1309, The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island, and renamed themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.
9/3/1309. (-232,346) Pope Clement arrived at Avignon to set up court there.
2/11/1308, Castellar, last of the Templar’s strongholds, fell.
1/5/1308, (-232,658) Albert I of Habsburg, King of Germany, died.
25/2/1308, Coronation of Edward II of England.
10/1/1308, The Templars were suppressed in England.
17/11/1307. William Tell is reputed to have shot an apple off his son’s head this day.
13/10/1307, The Knights Templars in Paris were arrested.
5/9/1307, Pope Clement V confirmed the Knights Hospitaller possession of Rhodes, although only Feracle had fallen to their attacks.
7/7/1307. King Edward I of England died in his way north to invade Scotland and was succeeded by his son Edward II.
25/3/1306. (-) Robert The Bruce, Eight Earl of Carrick, was crowned King of Scotland (Robert I) at Scone. See 21/6/1314.
23/8/1305, William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was hanged in London, see 5/8/1305.
5/8/1305. (1) Sir William Wallace, leader of the Scots, campaigner for their independence from the English, was captured by the English and later executed.
(2) Bertrand de Got, Archbishop of Bordeaux, was elected Pope and takes the name Clement V.
2/4/1305, Jeanne, Queen of Navarre, died.
20/7/1304, Fall of Stirling Castle: Edward I of England took the last rebel stronghold in the Wars of Scottish Independence.
24/2/1304, (-) Ibn Battutah, Arab explorer, was born in Tangier Morocco.
11/11/1303, Pope Boniface VIII died.
8/8/1303, An earthquake destroyed the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the world.
29/5/1303, Treaty of Paris restored Gascony to the English.
27/7/1302, The Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Bapheus, heralding the Turkish conquest of Bithynia.
11/7/1302, A French army invading Flanders (see 19/5/1302) was heavily defeated at Courtrai, (Battle of the Spurs).
18/5/1302, (-234,833) The Matins of Bruges. The Dutch rebelled against the French and massacred the French garrison in Bruges.
7/2/1301, The first Prince of Wales was created, Edward of Caernarfon, who later became King Edward II.
15/6/1300, The city of Bilbao received its royal foundation charter.
1/4/1299, Kings Towne on the River Hull (Kingston upon Hull) was granted city status by Royal Charter of King Edward I of England.
11/9/1298, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted a further amendment (see 5/10/1286) that entrenched the position of the existing ruling families.
24/7/1298. The English under King Edward I used longbows for the first time when they defeated the Scots under William Wallace at the battle of Falkirk.
20/4/1298, Beginning of the Rintfleisch-Pogrom, the Jews of Röttingen were burned en masse, other Jewish communities were destroyed later in the year.
12/9/1297, King Denis of Portugal and King Ferdinand IV of Castile sign the Treaty of Alcanizes. The geographic limits of Portugal were fixed permanently, with the exception of São Félix de Galegos, lost in 1640 and Olivenza, lost in 1801.
11/9/1297. Scottish hero William Wallace defeated the English under Edward I at Stirling Bridge. William Wallace was a minor noble from Elderslie and one of the few to take on Edward when he assumed the overlordship of Scotland. He realised that the neck of land between the rivers Forth and Clyde at Stirling was narrow enough to create a tactical advantage for the Scottish defenders. Wallace’s men stood at the slopes of the Abbey Craig, in front of a narrow bridge across the Forth, wide enough for only two horsemen abreast. As the English drew up, Wallace’s men charged them before they could get into battle position. The narrow bridge then collapsed, drowning many English.
28/8/1297, Edward I of England unsuccessfully invaded Flanders.
10/8/1296, (-) John the Blind, King of Bohemia, was born, see 26/8/1346.
27/4/1296. (-237,045) English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar.
30/3/1296, (-237,073) Capture of Berwick: King Edward I of England captured Berwick-upon-Tweed, sacking what is at this time a Scottish border town with much bloodshed. He slaughtered most residents, including those who fled to the churches.
10/2/1296, (-273,122) King Edward I of England forced John Balliol (1250-1313), King of Scotland (see 17/11/1792) to surrender his Crown. Although John had started out his reign as a vassal and ally of Edward, by 1295 a council of Scottish Lords had taken power from John and started making alliances with France, which was then at war with England. John was imprisoned for three years, first on Hertford and then in the Tower of London. In 1302 John was permitted to retire to his estates in Normandy.
13/11/1295, King Edward I of England summoned the Model Parliament to Westminster, the composition of which serves as a model for later parliaments.
23/10/1295, The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England was signed in Paris.
23/12/1294. Boniface VIII was made Pope in succession to Celestine V, who had abdicated after 5 months on 13/12/1294.
12/2/1294. Kublai Khan died, aged 80.
26/5/1293, An earthquake in Kamakura, Japan killed an estimated 30,000.
17/11/1292, John Balliol was selected by King Edward I of England as King of Scotland from among 13 candidates; Edward then treated John as a puppet ruler and Scotland as a vassal state, eventually provoking the Wars of Scottish Independence, commencing in 1296.
1/8/1291, According to tradition, the Swiss Confederation was formed by Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, the "three forest cantons", at Rütli by the Federal Charter.
15/7/1291, Rudolf I, King of Germany, died.
18/5/1291, Al-Ashraf Khalil of Egypt captured Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land. Christians in Acre, who had broken a truce by massacring all Muslims in the town, scrambled for places on boats to Cyprus. Most Christians in Acre were captured, and sent to the slave market in Damascus.
27/9/1290, An earthquake in the Gulf of Chili, province of Hebei, China, killed an estimated 100,000.
18/7/1290, King Edward I of England ordered all Jews (then numbering around 16,000) to leave England by November 1 (All Saints Day). This enabled him to seize their assets, and not repay debts owed to them.
10/7/1290, Ladislaus IV, King of Hungary, was murdered.
1/3/1290, The University of Coimbra was founded in Lisbon, Portugal by King Denis of Portugal; it moved to Coimbra in 1308.
4/10/1289, Louis XI, King of France, was born.
27/4/1289, Fall of Tripoli: Mamluk sultan Qalawun captured the County of Tripoli (in present-day Lebanon) after a month-long siege, thus extinguishing the Crusader state.
26/11/1288, (-) Go-Daigo, Emperor of Japan, was born.
8/8/1288, Pope Nicholas I proclaimed a Crusade against Ladislaus IV of Hungary. who had lost credibility by favouring his semi-pagan Cuman subjects and in general refusing to conform to the social standards of western Europe.
20/1/1288, Newcastle Emlyn Castle in Wales was recaptured by English forces, bringing Rhys ap Maredudd's revolt to an end.
14/12/1287, The sea broke through the dike at Stavoren, Netherlands, forming the Zuyder Zee.
8/6/1287, Rhys ap Maredudd revolted in Wales; the revolt was not suppressed until 1288.
4/4/1287, Wareru created the Hanthawaddy Kingdom in modern-day Lower Burma
3/4/1287, Pope Honorius IV died.
17/1/1287, King Alfonso III of Aragon conquered the island of Minorca from the Moors.
5/10/1286, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted an amendment that effectively confirmed membership amongst the families of existing families (an earlier proposed amendment on 3/10/1286 had failed). The governance of Venice began to become more exclusive and autocratic, see 11/9/1298.
2/11/1285, Peter III, King of Aragon, died.
5/10/1285, Philip III, King of France, died.
19/6/1285. Westminster Abbey completed.
25/4/1285, Mamluk Sultan Qalawun began a siege of the Crusader fortress of Margat (in present-day Syria), a major stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller thought to be impregnable; he captured the fortress a month later.
16/3/1285. Death of King Alexander III of Scotland, killed by a fall from his horse whilst riding in the dark to visit the Queen at Kinghorn, with only Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scotland's unborn child and 3-year-old Margaret, Maid of Norway as heirs; this sets the stage for the First War of Scottish Independence and increased influence of England over Scotland.. Alexander III was born in 1241 and became king in 1249 aged eight. See 8/7/1249. He laid a formal claim against King Haakon of Norway for sovereignty of the Hebrides, settled by Scandinavians since the ninth century. King Haakon responded by sending a large naval fleet in 1263. Haakon’s fleet halted off Arran, where Alexander III stalled negotiations until the autumn storms should begin. Haakon finally attacked only to encounter a severe storm; the Battle of Largs on 12/10/1263 was indecisive but left Haakon in a hopeless position. He turned back to Norway but died on the way.
6/1/1285, Archbishop Jakub Swinka ordered all priests subject to his bishopry in Poland to deliver sermons in Polish rather than German, thus further unifying the Catholic Church in Poland and fostering a national identity.
28/11/1284, Florence began to extend its city walls. The first stone of the new walls was blessed this day.
25/4/1284, Edward II was born at Caernarfon Castle, third son of Edward I.
11/12/1282, At the Battle of Orewin Bridge in mid-Wales, Llewellyn the Last was killed and the Welsh suffered their final decisive defeat at the hands of the English. King Edward I took Llewellyn’s head to London on a stake as proof of English triumph in Wales. Wales had held out against the Norman English for over 200 years thanks to its remote terrain, enabling the Welsh to simply vanish whenever the English Armies went in, and its atrocious weather, deterring these armies. The Welsh also made alliances with England’s natural enemies, the Scots and French.
31/3/1282, The French were massacred in Sicily (Sicilian Vespers). The Sicilians resented Angevin rule.
30/3/1282. Peter III of Aragon opened hostilities against Charles of Anjou for possession of Naples and Sicily. This war was ended by the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302.
29/10/1281, Second Battle of Homs: Mamluk sultan Qalawun defeated an invasion of Syria by Mongol Ilkhan Abaqa Khan.
12/8/1281, Battle of Kōan (Hakata Bay): The second Mongol invasion of Japan was foiled, as a large typhoon – famously called a kamikaze, or divine wind – destroyed much of the combined Chinese and Korean fleet and forces, numbering over 140,000 men and 4,000 ships.
20/7/1280, (-242,805) Neath, Wales, held its first fair (St Margaret’s Day), granted by Charter. The local abbey had extensive sheep pasturage so there was a large trade in wool.
1/7/1280, (-242,824) The two Chief Justices of England were each paid £40 a year.
25/8/1278, (-243,500) Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, was killed in the Battle of Durnkrut. Ottokar II had previously lost a battle with Rudolf I of Hapsburg (Habichtsburg, or Hawk’s castle, a town now in Switzerland) in 1276; refusing to accept this defeat, he prepared to attack again. However Rudolf launched a pre-emptive strike, with 2,000 horsemen, and the support of Ladislav of Hungary. This battle paved the way for the rise of the Hapsburg Dynasty.
22/6/1276, Pope Innocent V died.
10/1/1276, Pope Gregory X died.
8/10/1275, Battle of Ronaldsway: Scottish forces defeated the Manx of the Isle of Man in a decisive battle, firmly establishing Scottish rule of the island.
22/4/1275, The first Statute of Westminster was passed by the English Parliament, establishing a series of laws in its 51 clauses, including equal treatment of rich and poor, free and fair elections, and definition of bailable and non-bailable offenses.
20/11/1274, Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty attempted the first of several invasions of Japan (30,000 soldiers and support personnel sails from Korea); after the Mongols captured outlying islands, they were repulsed on the main island at the Battle of Bun'ei by amassed Japanese warriors and a strong storm which battered their forces and fleet. Credit for the storm — called a kamikaze, or divine wind — was given by the Japanese to the god Raiden.
19/8/1274, Coronation of King Edward I.
11/7/1274. Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, who defeated the English at Bannockburn, was born at Turnberry, Ayrshire. He was raised at Turnberry Castle amid the political upheavals of the 13th century; he was created Earl of Carrick in 1296. He supported the Scots against the English, hoping to secure the kingship of Scotland. However he saw Edward I proclaim himself king of Scotland, and defeat William Wallace. Initially Bruce joined with John Comyn against the English but later sided with the English to obtain the Scottish throne. He murdered Comyn, and there was a price on his head for doing this. However Bruce now used force, not politics, to obtain his goals; this paid off and he was crowned King at Scone in 1306, having been granted absolution by Bishop Wishart. Bruce managed to unite the Scottish clans to defeat the English at Bannockburn in 1314.
7/3/1274. Thomas Aquinas died. He was born into a Lombard-Norman family in 1225. A controversial figure, he became a notable philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church. He died at Fossanuova Abbey in the Roman Campagna whilst on the way to the Council of Lyons.
16/11/1272, Henry III died at Westminster, succeeded by his eldest son Edward I. Edward I was in Sicily at the time.
6/8/1272, Stephen V, King of Hungary, died.
8/4/1271, Mamluk Sultan Baibars continued his territorial expansion, capturing the strategically important castle Krak des Chevaliers from the Knights Hospitaller in present-day Syria.
19/6/1269, King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.
18/5/1268, The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.
24/3/1267, Saint Louis of France called his knights to Paris in preparation for his second Crusade.
2/7/1266, The Treaty of Perth was signed, between King Magnus ‘the lawmaker’ of Norway and King Alexander III of Scotland. Norway sold to Scotland the ownership of the Isle of Man (Sodor, or Southern Island) and the Western Isles, although Norway retained the Orkney and Shetland Islands. This treaty was a result of the Battle of Largs (2/10/.1263).
26/2/1266, Manfred, King of Sicily, killed in the Battle of Benevento.
4/8/1265. Simon De Montfort, who had promoted the power of the barons against the King, Henry III, was defeated and killed at the Battle of Evesham. Royalist forces won, led by the future King Edward I. This was during the Second Barons War. The last Montfortian resistance ceased in 1268.
20/1/1265. England’s first Parliament met in Westminster Hall, summoned by Simon De Montfort, Earl of Leicester. De Montfort was the brother-in-law of King Henry III.
14/5/1264, The Battle of Lewes of the Second Barons' War was fought between Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and King Henry III of England in Sussex. By the end of the battle, de Montfort's forces had captured both King Henry and his son, future King Edward I, making de Montfort the "uncrowned king of England" for 15 months before Edward escaped captivity and regained the throne.
11/5/1264, Henry III marched through Kent, captured Tunbridge Castle, forcing the Cinque Port rebels to submit. He rested at Lewes.
24/4/1264, (-248,736) After his victory at Northampton, Henry III moved south to deal with De Montfort in London. De Montfort had been besieging Rochester Castle, a southern Royalist stronghold, bit now abandoned the siege to return to protect London.
5/4/1264, (-248,755) Henry III attacked Simon de Montfort’s forces at Northampton Castle and defeated them, forcing all De Montfort’s forces in the east Midlands to surrender. De Montfort himself was in London, his other main base of support. The dispute between Henry and de Montfort had been arbitrated in January 1264 by King Louis IX at Amiens, the Mise of Amiens (Mise = settlement); however de Montfort refused to accept this result.
15/12/1263, Haakon IV, King of Norway, died.
14/11/1263, Alexander Nevsky, Russian leader, died; on his death Russia fragmented.
2/10/1263, The Battle of Largs. Fought at Largs on the Clyde between Norwegian forces under King Haakon and Scottish levies under King Alexander III. Haakon wanted to put on a show of strength to demonstrate continued Norwegian power over the Western Isles (see 2/7/1266). However Alexander III’s 1500 Scots defeated the Norwegians.
29/8/1261, Pope Urban IV succeeded Pope Alexander IV as the 182nd pope, the last man to do so without being a cardinal first.
15/8/1261. Michael VIII Paleologus seized Constantinople, ending the Latin empire and restoring the Byzantine empire.
12/6/1261, King Henry III of England obtained a papal bull releasing him from his oath to maintain the Provisions of Oxford (1258), setting the stage for the Second Barons' War (1263–1268).
25/5/1261. Death of Pope Alexander IV. Rinaldo Conti was elected Pope Alexander IV at Naples, after the death of Pope Innocent IV, on 12/12/1254. He attempted to unite the Greek and Latin churches, and established the Inquisition in northern France.
4/9/1260, The Battle of Montaperti.
3/9/1260, The Mamluks defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut (Goliath’s Spring) in Galilee, marking their first decisive defeat and the point of maximum expansion of the Mongol Empire. Damascus had fallen to the Mongols in 1259 and Hulegu, Mongol leader, now turned on Egypt, the major military power in the region. The Mongols now ruled an area from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, The Mameluke rulers of Egypt responded to Hulegu’s demands for capitulation by killing Hulegu’s envoys and marching into Palestine to fight. Mameluke cavalry was crucial in the Mongol defeat.
4/12/1259, Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.
17/6/1259, (-230,509) Edward I, King of England, was born.
20/5/1259, (-250,537) Britain and France signed the Treaty of Abbeville, whereby Britain relinquished claims to French territories.
20/9/1258. Salisbury Cathedral was consecrated.
10/2/1258. The Siege of Baghdad ended with a battle in which the Hulagu Khan's (grandson of Ghangiz Khan) Mongol forces overran Baghdad, then the leading centre of Islamic culture and learning and capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. They burned the imperial city to the ground in a looting spree lasting seven days, killing as many as 1,000,000 citizens. The attack was in revenge for the murder of three diplomnatic envoys sent by the Mongols to the court of Khwarazm-Shah, ruler of Baghdad.
7/12/1254, Pope Innocent IV died.
2/12/1254, The Battle of Foggia.
21/5/1254, (-252,362) Conrad IV, King of Germany, died.
9/10/1253, Robert Grosseteste, theologian, died.
8/7/1249. Death of King Alexander II of Scotland. He was born in 1198, and succeeded William the Lion to the Scottish throne in 1214. He joined the English barons in their struggle against King John, marched into England, and besieged Norham Castle in 1215. In 1217 he again invaded England but then made peace with King Henry III, marrying his sister Joanna in 1221. Alexander captured Argyll from the Norwegians, and was on an expedition to capture the Western Isles also from Norway when he died at Kerrera. See 16/3/1285.
14/12/1247. Robin Hood is said to have died on this day, aged 87.
1/12/1247, A rebellion arose among the Muslim subjects of the Crown of Aragon in the region of Valencia. As a punishment, the king issued an order of expulsion of the Muslims from his realm leading numerous people into exile in Andalusia and North Africa in the subsequent year.
3/4/1245, (-) Philip III, King of France, was born.
23/8/1244. Jerusalem was taken by a mercenary force of Turks. On 17/12/1244 the Turks joined with Egypt in routing the Latins at Gaza.
22/5/1244, James I of Aragon took the Muslim-held city of Janita after several months of siege This success is followed by the capture of Biar later that year.
16/3/1244, Following their successful siege of Montségur, French royal forces burned about 210 Cathars.
26/6/1243. The Mongols routed the Seljuk Turkish army.
5/4/1242. (-) Russian troops defeated the Teutonic Knights at Lake Piepus, thwarting their planned invasion of Russia.
22/8/1241, Pope Gregory IX died.
11/4/1241, (-257,150) The Mongols defeated King Bela IV of Hungary at Mohi.
9/4/1241. (-257,152) (E.Europe) The Mongols defeated an army of Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Liegnitz, Silesia.
18/3/1241, (-257,174) The Mongols plundered the Polish city of Cracow, their furthest penetration westwards.
6/12/1240. (-257,276) The Mongols took Kiev, in the Ukraine.
15/7/1240. Alexander Nevski defeated the Swedish army, led by General Briger Jarl, on the banks of the Neva.
17/6/1239, King Edward I was born at Westminster. He was the eldest son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence.
6/10/1238, Peterborough Cathedral was consecrated.
28/9/1238, James I of Aragon captured the city of Valencia from the Moors, who retreated to Granada.
4/3/1238, Mongol invasion of Rus – Battle of the Sit River: The Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan defeated the Rus' under Yuri Vsevolodovich.
21/12/1237, Mongols invading Russia sacked Ryazan.
29/6/1236. Ferdinand III of Leon and Castile (see 24/9/1230) took Cordoba.
24/1/1236, King Henry III of England married Eleanor of Provence.
24/9/1230. On the death of Alfonso IX of Leon, Ferdinand III of Castile is accepted as King of Leon, unifying the two kingdoms. See 29/6/1236.
17/3/1230, (Christian, Germany) The Archbishop of Bremen, Gerhard II, convened a Great Church Gathering at Bremen. There he organised the excommunication of the Stedinger for such crimes as worshipping wax images of the Devil and consulting evil spirits. In reality the Stedinger had been granted permission, in 1106 by an earlier Archbishop of Bremen, to reclaim the marshlands at the estuary of the River Weser for agriculture. The work was hard, digging drainage ditches and building dikes but the inhabitants of this land, called Stedingen, were at least free from Feudalism. They paid a nominal tax to the Archboshop but owned no feudal duties to any Lord. Over time the feudal Lords of the region and the Archbishops of Bremen came to see the freedom of the Stedinger as a threat. Relations deteriorated as the Counts of Oldenburg built two fortresses in Stedingen, at Lechtenburg and Luneberg, kidnapping local people from the area, and in turn the Stedinger formed local militias for their own protection. Gerhard II went to Rome to secure Pope Gregory II’s agreement for Crusade against the Stedinger, which began in Spring 1233. By the end of 1234 the Stedinger society had been eradicated, although some families claiming descent from the Stedinger remain today in Germany and the USA.
12/4/1229, (-261,532) The Treaty of Paris brought the Albigensian Crusade to an end.
12/3/1229. (-261,563) Frederick II of Germany finally arrived in Jerusalem, having been twice excommunicated by the Pope for delaying his Crusade. He had intended to depart in 1215 but was delayed by domestic problems including the Mongol invasion. He reached Acre, with only a small army, but he had been in clandestine negotiations with the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Kamil, who had been shaken by the fifth Crusader’s advance into Egypt. The Sultan was happy to surrender Bethlehem and Nazareth, and a corridor of territory from Jerusalem to the coast as well as much of Jerusalem itself. The Vatican, however, disapproved of Frederick’s negotiating with a non-Christian.
9/7/1228, (-261,809) Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
18/8/1227. Genghis Khan, Mongol emperor who conquered more than a million square miles, died after falling from his horse. Ogodei Khan was his chosen successor.
18/3/1227, (-) Pope Honorius III died.
8/11/1226, Louis VIII, King of France, died.
3/10/1226, ‘Saint’ Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, died.
19/6/1224, The foundation stone of Elgin Cathedral was laid.
6.8.1223, Louis VIII was crowned King of France.
14/7/1223, Philip Augustus, King of France, died.
11/5/1222, Earthquake in Cyprus.
31/8/1221, Under a peace deal, the Franks left Egypt.
6/11/1219. The Egyptian port of Damietta fell to the Crusaders (Franks) after a siege.
24/5/1218, The Fifth Crusade left Acre for Egypt.
19/5/1218, The Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV died.
1/5/1218, (-265,531) Rudolf I, King of Germany, was born.
12/9/1217, First Barons' War in England ended by the Treaty of Kingston upon Thames: French and Scots to leave England, and an amnesty was granted to rebels.
24/8/1217, First Barons' War: In the Battle of Sandwich in the English Channel, English forces destroyed the French and the French mercenary Eustace the Monk was captured and beheaded.
20/5/1217, First Barons' War in England: French forces under Louis (21/5/1216) were defeated at the Battle of Lincoln by English royal troops led by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and survivors forced to flee south. Louis had alienated the English barons who once supported him as he preferred to bring in French advisors to help him. Louis returned to France.
22/12/1216, (-266,026) The Dominican Order of monks was founded.
19/10/1216. (-266,090) King John died suddenly at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire, of a fever, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. He had been King of England since 1199. He was succeeded by his nine year old son Henry III; William Marshall was made Regent. The young Henry III of England was crowned at Gloucester on October 28.
11/10/1216, (-266,098) King John’s baggage was lost in The Wash. His attendants had attempted to ford the estuary of the River Welland as the tide was coming in, rather than take a long detour inland to reach Newark.
16/7/1216, (-266,185) Pope Innocent III died.
14/6/1216, (--266,217) King Louis captured Winchester and by the end of June controlled the southern half of England. King John fled north.
21/5/1216, (-266,241) (Great Britain) King Louis VIII of France invaded England, landing at Stonor. This was at the request of the English barons who were disgruntled at King John having got Pope Innocent III to annul the Magna Carta (24/8/1215). Moreover the barons maintained that John had effectively abandoned his kingship, as he had technically ‘abdicated’ rulership of England to Pope Innocent III (4/3/1215), which made the barons enemies of the Church if they resisted John. Louis was also married to John’s niece, giving him some claim to the English throne. Louis entered London with little resistance and was crowned King Louis I of England. King Alexander II of Scotland also supported this development, attending Louis’ coronation.
11/11/1215, (-266,433) Pope Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome.
24/8/1215, (-266,512) Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid, at the request of King John.
1/7/1215, (-266,566) (1) Pay rates in the English military had risen from their 1154 levels. A Foot Sergeant was paid 3d a day (1d in 1156). A Mounted Sergeant with one horse got 7 1/2/d a day (2d in 1156). In 1215 Mounted Seargants with two horses got 1 shilling a day, and those with three, 1s 3d a day.
(2) The number of monks in England had grown considerably, from about 1,000 in 1066, on the eve of the Norman Conquest, to around 13,000 by 1215.
15/6/1215. (-266,582) Magna Carta was sealed by King John at Runnymede, near Windsor. King John was forced to have the taxation of his subjects reviewed by a Great Council, which eventually evolved into the Parliament of today. If the King reneged on the Charter, a council of 25 barons could take him to war.
22/5/1215, (-266,606) (France, Great Britain) King Philip II Augustus of France received instructions from the Pope to abandon his invasion of Britain, following 4/3/1215. King John of England has considerable economic interests in the District of Flanders, whose cloth merchants received almost all their wool from England, With English agents in many Flemish towns, France feared losing influence over the region to England.
4/3/1215, (-266,685) (Great Britain, Christianity) King John of England made an oath to Pope Innocent III as a crusader to gain his support. John also technically passed authority of his kingdom over to the Pope, thereby making anyone who tried to depose him an enemy of the Pope and liable to excommunication. This move was a precaution by John who was facing rebellion by his barons. This healed the rift between King John and Pope Innocent III, see 15/7/1207.
27/7/1214, (-266,905) (Britain, France) The Battle of Bouvines. Near Lille, France, Philip II Augustus of France defeated an Anglo-German-Flemish alliance. This dashed the hopes of King John of invading France on two fronts to recover the Angevin lands, and this humiliation for John brought on the Magna Carta rebellion.
20/6/1214, (-266,942) The University of Oxford received its charter.
25/4/1214, (-266,998) Saint Louis, King of France, was born.
12/9/1213, Battle of Muret: The Toulousain and Aragonese forces of Raymond VI of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragon were defeated by the Albigensian Crusade under Simon de Montfort.
30/5/1213, (-267,328) (Britain, France) Battle of Damme: King John’s English fleet under William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury destroyed a French fleet off the Belgian port of Bruges, in the first major victory for the fledgling Royal Navy. This forced King Philip II Augustus to abandon plans for the invasion of England.
8/4/1213, (-267,380) The Assembly of Soissons.
16/7/1212. . Battle of Navas de Tolosa, near Toledo The Christian kingdoms of Spain decisively defeated the Almohads. This victory however left the Kingdom of Castile in a difficult financial position as the numerous soldiers had to be paid by the treasury.
22/7/1209. In the Crusade against the Cathars, Simon de Montfort sacked Beziers. Thousands were killed, including many Catholics.
18/3/1208, (-269,227) Great Yarmouth was granted a Royal Charter by King John.
1/10/1207, (-269,396) Henry III, son of King John, was born at Winchester, Hampshire.
28/8/1207, (-269,430) Liverpool was created a borough by King John.
15/7/1207, (-269,474) King John expelled the monks at Canterbury who were supporters of Stephen Langton. The dispute between John and Pope Innocent led to King John being excommunicated in 1008; an interdict was placed upon England, meaning Church services could not officially be held there. In 1213 Pope Innocent III authorised King Philip II of France to invade England and depose King John. However see 4/3/1215.
17/6/1207, (-269,502) (Great Britain, Christianity) Pope Innocent III consecrated Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, following the death of the previous incumbent, Hubert Walter, in 2105. However King John of England preferred John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, to succeed to the post.
2/2/1207, Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, is established as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
13/12/1204. The Jewish rabbi, lawyer, and philosopher Maimonides died, aged 69, in Cairo.
13/4/1204, (-270,662) The Crusaders captured Constantinople. In 1198 the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, was to have assembled a fleet to take the Crusaders from Venice to Palestine but there was insufficient money to pay for the ships. So they diverted into Dalmatia and arrived at Constantinople. The Byzantine Prince Alexius Angelus, son of the deposed King Isaac II, persuaded the Crusaders to help reinstate his father. On 7/4/1203 the Crusaders stormed Byzantium and reinstated Isaac II, but the agreed payment of 200,000 marks for this was not paid to the Crusaders; worse, King Isaac II was deposed again. Hence the Crusaders this day re-attacked Byzantium, sacking and looting it.
1/4/1204, (-270,674) Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of King Henry II of England, died. She was buried at Fonteraud. In June 1204 England lost Normandy to the French King, Philip Augustus.
20/5/1202, (-271,356) An earthquake in Syria.
25/5/1200, (-272,081) The town of Ipswich, population ca. 3,000 received its Royal Charter from King John. Under the terms of the Charter, the burgesses of Ipswich, a thriving fishing port with a trade in salt production and in export of grain and wool to the Netherlands, received the right to govern the town in return for an annual payment to the Crown of £65.
27/5/1199, (-272,445) King John became King of England.
6/4/1199. (-272,496) Richard I, Richard Lionheart, died, killed by an arrow in battle whilst besieging Chaluz Castle.
9/6/1198, (-272,797) Otto of Brunswick was crowned King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor, Otto IV.
8/1/1198. (1) Pope Celestine III died.
(2) On his election as Pope, Innocent III called for a new Crusade.
28/9/1197, The Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI died.
26/3/1194, Richard captured Nottingham Castle – the cause of his brother, John was lost.
4/3/1193. (-) Saladdin, Sultan of Egypt, died. See 2/11/1192.
2/11/1192. Peace was concluded between Richard I (Lionheart) of England and Saladdin of Jerusalem (see 2/12/1187). The Crusades never achieved their objective of liberating the Holy Land from the Muslims but because they caused the death of so many noblemen the system of serfdom and landholding in Europe was gradually dismantled. Feudalism gradually ended over the period from 1300 to the Thirty Year’s War, 1618-48.
6/9/1191. Richard I defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Arsouf.
4/7/1191. The Crusaders under Richard I captured Acre from Saladdin, during the Third Crusade.
8/2/1191, (-) Yaroslav II, Grand Prince of Vladimir, was born.
4/7/1190, (-275,704) Richard I set out on a Crusade, leaving his younger brother John in Europe.
10/6/1190. (-275,728) Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) drowned in a river on his way to the Holy Land in the Third Crusade.
8/5/1190. (-275,751) After some six months of increasing persecution, 500 Jews were massacred in York after they had taken refuge in the Castle there. The Jews were killed by groups of young men after a three day siege before these men were due to depart on a Crusade, backed by people who were deeply in debt to Jewish moneylenders. King Richard I, crowned on 2/9/189, showed his dislike of the Jews by forbidding any to attend his coronation feast, and anti-Semitism was on the rise in England from then.
3/9/1189. (-275,998) Richard the Lionheart (Richard I) was crowned King at Westminster, after his father Henry II, died. His first act was to free his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine from the Tower of London where King Henry II imprisoned her 16 years earlier for supporting their sons, Richard and John, in a rebellion against Henry. Richard was planning a Third Crusade.
13/8/1189, (-276, 019) Richard the Lionheart arrived in England, to a hero’s welcome.
6/7/1189, (-276,057) King Henry II, King of England, died at Chinon, succeeded by his third son, Richard I (Lionheart).
21/1/1189. Henry II of England, with Philip Augustus and Frederick Barbarossa, assembled troops for a third Crusade.
17/12/1187, Pope Gregory VIII died.
2/12/1187. Jerusalem surrendered to Saladin (see 2/11/1192). Saladin was born in 1138, in Tikrit (Saddam Hussein’s native town) of Kurdish parents and was educated in Syria. In 1164 he accompanies his uncle on a military campaign in Egypt. The aim was to substitute Sunni for Shia Islam there, and also to drive the Crusader Franks out of the Levant. The local Syrian leader died in 1174 and Saladin defeated his 11 year old successor and seized power. The Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad gave Saladin power over all the lands from Morocco to Syria; Saladin later extended his rule into Mesopotamia. Saladin also subdued the Assassins, a Muslim sect that had twice tried to kill him. He now attacked the Crusaders, and on 1 July 1187 captured Tiberias after a six day siege.
After the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin, the Franks were almost evicted from the region, holding on only at Antioch, Tripoli, and Tyre. European states set aside their differences in panic and three rulers; Richard I of England, Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, and Philip Augustus of France, set out on a third Crusade. The Crusaders marched on Muslim-held Acre, Saladin arrived, and there ensued a long battle, control swinging back and forth. After two years, Acre fell to the Crusaders. Peace negotiations began, (see 2/11/1192), the end result being a marriage of his daughter with Saladin’s brother, Al-Malik, who was knighted by Richard. The peace gave the coast to the Europeans and the interior to the Muslims. In February 1188 Saladin fell ill with a fever and died 12 days later aged 55.
5/9/1187, Louis XIII, King of France, was born.
4/7/1187, The Battle of the Horns of Hattin. Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.
1/5/1187, Battle of Cresson: Saladin defeated the Crusaders.
11/6/1183, (-278,274) Richard I’s elder brother died. Richard became heir to the English throne, also the Angevin lands, Normandy and Aquitaine.
18/9/1180, Louis VII, King of France, died.
24/7/1177, (Italy) Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa effected a reconciliation with Pope Alexander III at Venice.
18/6/1178, A violent explosion was seen on the face of the Moon. Later, astronomers calculated this may have been the meteor that created the crater known as Giordano Bruno.
9/5/1178, Tuesday (-280,133)
17/9/1176, Emperor Manuel of Byzantium was defeated by the Muslims, in the Crusades. Without Byzantium the Crusader hold on Palestine was untenable.
29/5/1176, The Battle of Legnano; Italian city-states gained autonomy from the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. The Lombard League of Italian towns, supported by Pope Alexander III, objected to Barbarossa’s interference in their internal affairs. Barbarossa had laid waste to Milan, but was defeated at Legnano, north-west of Milan, and admitted defeat.
5/9/1174, Fire gutted the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral. It was rebuilt using the pointed arch, the first known use of this type of arch in England.
8/8/1173, The construction of what is now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa began.
17/10/1171, King Henry landed near Waterford, Ireland. Ireland submitted peacefully to English rule.
29/12/1170. The murder of Thomas Becket, 40th Archbishop of Canterbury, by four knights in his own Cathedral. The knights (Reginald Fitzurse, William de Tracy, Hugh de Merville, and Richard de Breton) believed they were acting on King Henry II’s orders. Becket, far from being the docile cleric Henry believed him to be on appointing him as Archbishop of Canterbury, was a firm upholder of ecclesiastical privileges. Henry, furious at Becket’s excommunication of the six bishops who had assisted the Archbishop of York at the crowning of Henry II’s son in Westminster Abbey, uttered the fatal cry. “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest”. The four knights gave Henry his answer.
2/12/1170, Thomas Beckett returned to Canterbury from his voluntary exile. He had left England on 2/11/1164.
14/6/1170, (-283,019) King Henry II’s son was crowned, not as was custom by the Archbishop of Canterbury but by the Archbishop of York. This was a major snub to Thomas Beckett, and against Papal instructions. Henry then made verbal reconciliation with Beckett, who, impatient to return to England, did so without proper guarantees of safety.
4/2/1169, An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of around 7 struck the eastern coast of Sicily, causing an estimated 15,000 deaths.
24/12/1167, King John, sixth and youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was born in Oxford.
27/4/1167, (-284,163) Italians from the cities of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Mantua, Treviso and Verona arrived at the ruins of Milan to rebuild it. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had imposed a non-native ruler, or Podesta, upon it, as he had upon other Italian cities he controlled, following the surrender of Milan to him after his siege of it in 1158. The taxes imposed upon Milan by the Podesta were heavy and they revolted. In 1162 Frederick returned to Milan and this time razed it to the ground, dispersing its inhabitants into the countryside. Although Frederick went on to capture Rome in 1167, his army was decimated by malaria and he had to return to Germany for reinforcements. Facing domestic issues in Germany he could not return south and deal with this act of defiance in rebuilding Milan. He was unable to re-enter Italy until 1174, by which time the Lombard League had consolidated and gained control of the central and eastern Alpine passes. In 1168 the Lombards founded a new city, called Alessandria in honour of Pope Alexander II, to defend the western frontier. Alessandria withstood a 6-month siege by Frederick (1174-5) and on 29/5/1176 Frederick was decisively defeated at Legnano.
29/7/1166, (-) Henry II, Count of Champagne, was born.
9/12/1165, Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, died.
21/8/1165, Philip Augustus, King of France, was born.
3/6/1162, Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.
7/2/1161, (-) The title ‘Confessor’ was conferred upon King Edward, by Papal Bull. It signified his adherence to religious principles in the face of temptation.
18/4/1861, (-286,363) Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1/9/1159. Death of Pope Adrian IV, elected Pope on 4/12/1154. He was formerly Nicholas Breakspear, and was the only English Pope. In 1155 he authorised King Henry II of England to invade Ireland and hold it as a hereditary fief of the Papacy. Breakspear was born at Bedmond Farm in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, around 1100. His father became a monk of St Albans abbey, presumably after the death of his wife. Nicholas Breakspear also applied to join the Abbey at age 18 but was refused admission because of too little schooling. He went abroad as a wandering scholar and finally became a monk in the Augustinian Abbey of St Rufus in Avignon in 1130. He was elected Abbot in 1137 and came to the notice of the Pope, Eugenius III. The Pope recognised his qualities and made him a bishop and a cardinal; Breakspear was sent on a trip to war-torn Scandinavia where he restored peace. After 4 years Breakspear returned to Rome to find that Eugenius III had died and was succeeded by Anastasius IV, a man of 90. Within the year Anastasius IV was dead and Nicholas Breakspear was unanimously elected Pope, taking the name Adrian IV.
8/9/1157. King Richard I was born in Oxford, third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and later known as Richard the Lionheart. Although he reigned for nearly ten years he was only in England twice, for a total of 160 days. He was mostly away on crusades.
18/6/1155, Rioting in Rome as English born Pope Adrian crowned Frederick Barbarossa as Holy Roman Emperor; 1,000 died.
28/2/1155, (-288,604) Henry, son of Henry II, was born.
19/12/1154. (-288,675) Henry II became King of England, on the death of Stephen on 24/10/1154.
4/12/1154. (-288,690) Election of Pope Adrian IV, (169th Pope). Adrian IV was Nicholas Breakespear, the only ever English Pope. This followed the death of Pope Anastasius IV (168th Pope) on 3/12/1154, who was Pope from 9/7/1153. He was a sritct disciplinarian, which led to attmepts to defame his acharacter: he had to appear before Pope Eugene III to clear his character. Adrian IV settled a dispute with Emperor Frederick I over the See of Magdeburg, and he granted the Lordship of Ireland to King Henry II of England.
24/10/1154. (-288,731) King Stephen of England died at Dover.
26/2/1154. (-) King Roger II of Sicily died and was succeeded by his son William the Bald.
24/5/1154, (-289,249) David I, King of Scotland 1124-53, died.
2/11/1148, Saint Malachy, Church reformer, died.
28/10/1147. The Moslems in Lisbon surrendered peacefully to an allied Christian force under Portugal’s Alfonso Henriques. The Moslem inhabitants were allowed to depart peacefully.
25/10/1147, Battle of Dorylaeum, the Seljuq Turks defeated German crusaders under Conrad III.
7/10/1147, Almeria, one of the most important maritime and commercial centres of al-Andalus, fell into Christian hands after two months of siege.
24/9/1143, Pope Innocent II died.
8/4/1143, John II, Byzantine Emperor, was killed accidentally.
1/11/1141. Following the death of King Henry I, Matilda his daughter and her cousin Stephen of Blois were fighting a civil war for the English throne. Rival barons robbed and burned villages and abbeys.
14/9/1141, The Battle of Winchester; King Stephen’s release was secured.
20/2/1141, At the Battle of Lincoln, King Stephen was captured. He had been besieging Lincoln Castle, and was taken by forces under Earl Robert of Gloucester and Earl Ranulf of Chester.
6/2/1140, Thurstan, Archbishop of York, died.
25/7/1139, King Alfonso I of Portugal defeated the Moors.
11/10/1138, An earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, killed about 230,000 people.
22/8/1138, At the Battle of The Standard, a Scottish Highland and Pict army under King David was defeated near Northallerton by English from Yorkshire and the east Midlands.
1/8/1137, Louis VI, King of France, died, aged 56. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Louis VII.
22/12/1135, The coronation of King Stephen took place.
1/12/1135. King Henry I died, aged 66, apparently of a surfeit of lampreys, near Rouen. See 1/11/1141. His nephew Stephen succeeded him. Henry’s only son, Robert, had drowned in 1120 and Henry I wanted his daughter Maud to succeed him; the barons considered it unfitting for a woman to be monarch and backed the claim of Stephen, Henry’s nephew.
30/3/1135, The great Jewish teacher Moses ben Maimon (Maimonedes) was born in Cordoba. See 13/12/1204.
24/8/1133, In London, the first Bartholomew’s Day Fair was held. It was held annually thereafter until 1855.
25/3/1133, (-) Henry II, first Plantagenet King of England, was born near Le Mans, eldest son of Geoffrey Count of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I.
XX.1132. Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, was founded.
9/5/1131, Tintern Abbey was founded.
25/12/1130. The Norman King Roger II was crowned King of Sicily in Palermo Cathedral by the anti-Pope Anacletus, who thereby gained a powerful supporter for his claim on the Papacy against the Pope Innocent II.
14/2/1130, (-) Pope Honorius II died.
27/11/1124. Death of King Alexander I of Scotland.. He was born in ca.1078. He founded many abbeys and bishoprics, among them Incholm and Scone.
7/7/1124, Tyre fell to the Crusaders.
5/6/1123. St Bartholomew Hospital, London, was founded.
18/3/1123, The First Lateran Council began
23/9/1122. The Diet of Worms. A council was held at the German town of Worms, to settle a dispute between Church and State that went back to 1076, when Pope Gregory VII excommunicated King Henry IV of Germany, seeking to impose papal power over the king. Both Henry IV and his son, the present King Henry V set up anti-Popes and forced the Pope to flee to refuge in a monastery. Pope Calixtus II and King Henry V agreed at this Diet that the King would not force the election of Bishops but allow their free election by the Church; in return the King will be present at the election of Bishops and have some influence over disputes within the church.
25/11/1120, William Aethelney, son and heir of the English King Henry I, drowned when his ship hit rocks whilst sailing from Normandy to England.
19/9/1119, Severe Earthquake in Gloucestershire & Warwickshire, England.
21/12/1118, Thomas Beckett was born in Cheapside, London.
11/12/1118. The Christians captured Saragossa, Spain, from the Muslims.
4/12/1110, First Crusade, the Crusaders conquered Sidon.
8/1/1107, (-) King Edgar of Scotland died and was succeeded by his brother Alexander I.
28/9/1106. (Britain, France) King Henry of England defeated his brother Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai in France and reunited England and Normandy, divided since William the Conqueror died, see 5/8/1100 and 9/9/1087.
5/8/1100, Henry I, youngest son of William the Conqueror aged 31, was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The rightful heir, older brother Robert, was away on the First Crusade and not expected to return until 1101. Henry I was expected to buy him off with territories in Normandy, see 28/9/1101.
2/8/1100. William Rufus, (William II), king of England after William the Conqueror, (see 9/9/1087) was killed in the New Forest by an arrow in a hunting accident; he was allegedly mistaken for a deer. His brother, Henry, who became Henry I, was crowned on 5/8/1100, succeeded him.
29/7/1099, Pope Urban II died in Rome.
18/7/1100, Godfrey de Bouillon, first Crusader king of Jerusalem, died.
8/5/1100, Tuesday (-308,623)
15/7/1099. Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders, (see 27/11/1095). 40,000 people, both Jews and Muslims, were slaughtered in two days, an event European scholar-monks acclaimed as ‘the greatest event since the Crucifixion’. On 12/8/1099 the Crusaders defeated Al-Afdal, the Fatimid Vizier of Egypt, at Ascalon. He was bringing an army to recapture Jerusalem, which the Egyptians had earlier lost to the Turks.
Palm Sunday, 1098. The first Cistercian Abbey was founded, in a desolate swamp 14 miles from Dijon. The Cistercian order monks ‘subject themselves to severe discipline, eating no meat or fat, wearing no comfortable clothing such as breeches or coats. They observed strict silence as they work, and abhorred sloth. They did not use slave labour and they did much of their own farming and were skilled at building and civil engineering.
7/6/1099, The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem.
3/6/1098, (-) The Crusaders took Antioch.
21/3/1098, Cîteaux Abbey was founded by the Cistercian Order.
21/10/1097, The Crusaders arrived at Antioch.
24/6/1097, (-) The Crusaders took Nicea.
27/11/1095. Pope Urban II called for a Crusade to the Holy Land. He talked of how, due to Turkish misrule, it was no longer safe for Christian pilgrims to visit the holy sites of Jerusalem. The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum on 30/6 1097, opening the way to Jerusalem. Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders on 15/7/1099.
19/11/1095, The Council of Clermont began. The council was called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land.
12/11/1094, Duncan II, son of Malcolm III Canmore and his first wife Ingibiorg, was murdered by his uncle Donald III Ban. In 1072 Duncan II had been sent as hostage to the court of William I The Conqueror, where he remained until his father’s death in 1093. Then, with the help of an army supplied by William II Rufus, he defeated Donald III in May 1094. However Duncan II was loathed in Scotland for being too pro-Norman/English and so he was assassinated.
8/10/1094, St Marks Basilica in Venice was consecrated.
17/6/1094. Valencia, Spain, was captured by the Christians from the Arabs; the city surrendered due to starvation after a 20 month siege.
13/11/1093, (-) Malcolm III, King of Scotland, died.
11/8/1093, Construction of Durham Cathedral in England began.
6/5/1092, Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated (begun 1075)..
23/10.1091, A severe storm in London destroyed London Bridge along with St Mary le Bow church. 600 houses were damaged, also the Tower of London.
11/8/1089, A powerful earthquake was recorded in Britain.
12/3/1088, (-) Odo was elected Pope; he took the name Urban II.
15/11/1087. Domesday Book completed.
26/9/1087, The coronation of King William II of England.
13/9/1087, John II Komnenos, Byzantine Emperor, was born.
9/9/1087. William the Conqueror died, aged 60, in Rouen, France, from injuries sustained when his horse stumbled. He was succeeded in Normandy by Robert Curthose and in England by William Rufus, William II, who was crowned on 26/9/1087. See 2/8/1100, and 28/9/1106.
25/12/1085, (-) King William I of England ordered a complete survey of the wealth of the kingdom, known as the Domesday Book.
8/10/1085, The Cathedral of St Marks in Venice was consecrated.
25/5/1085. (1) The Christian, Alfonso VI of Leon, captured Toledo (the old Visigothic capital) from the Arabs.
(2) Pope Gregory VII died in exile. His supporters elected Desiderius, Abbott of Monte Casino, as Pope Victor III, refusing to accept the papacy of Clement III as being a puppet of King Henry IV of Germany. When Victor III died the cardinals elected Urban II (1086-99) as Pope, a candidate favoured by Gregory VII himself.
27/5/1084, (-314,448) Pope Gregory VII was still holding out against the army of Henry IV, a few hundred yards away from the Basilica, in the Castel Sant Angelo (then known as the House of Cencius). Gregory appealed for help from the Normans in Sicily. On this day the Normans entered Rome and escorted Gregory VII to safety in Salerno. The Normans then pillaged Rome and burnt it to the ground.
24/3/1084, Sunday (-314, 512) Palm Sunday. Henry IV of Germany, having captured Rome, installed Pope Clement III. In turn Clement III crowned Henry IV as Emperor on Easter Sunday 1084.
15/10/1080, Rudolf of Swabia was killed in battle, leaving Henry IV as unchallenged ruler of Germany.
7/3/1080, King Henry IV of Germany was excommunicated a second time by Pope Gregory VII, see 27/1/1080. In response Henry IV summoned an assembly of bishops to Brixen and declared Pope Gregory VII deposed and appointed Wilbert, Archbishop of Ravenna, in his place. However not everyone, even in Germany, accepted the right of Henry IV to judge a Pope ‘appointed by God’.
27/1/1080, King Henry IV of Germany defeated Saxon rebels at Flarchheim. Emboldened by this, he rejected the mediation efforts of Pope Gregory VII to settle the rulership dispute between him and Rudolf of Swabia, see 25/10/1077 and 7/3/1080.
25/1/1077, German King Henry IV, who was losing popular support because of his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII, arrived at Canossa Castle, northern Italy, to do penance in reconciliation. He knelt in the snow in a monk’s hair shirt for three days before the Pope admitted him. “Going to Canossa” became a saying for reluctant penance, especially in Germany. Henry IV had faced a rebellion by Saxons, and had to reach Pope Gregory by a roundabout route via Burgnndy and Provence. Pope Gregory VII wanted, politically, to refuse forgiveness, but as head of the Christian Church he had no choice but to dispense it. The rebels, feeling betrayed by Gregory VII, rejected the kingship of Henry IV anyway and elected Rudolf of Swabia in his place. Germany faced effective civil war. Pope Gregory, to restore his influence over Germany, sent a Papal Legate northwards in 1079 to settle who was the rightful ruler of Germany, decreeing that if either Rudolf or Henry rejected the findings of this legate they would be excommunicated. However see 27/1/1080.
24/1/1076, German King Henry IV called an assembly of German Bishops to Worms to complain about the interference of Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) in the rulership of Milan. Earlier, a revolutionary faction called the Pataria had usurped Henry IV’s control over Milan, which included the right to appoint the Archbishop of Milan. Milan was very strategically important to Henry IV as it controlled the Alpine passes between Italy and Germany. Pope Gregory VII sided with the rebels against King Henry IV and insisted that he, Gregory, had the right to appoint the Archbishop (see 4/3/1075, Dictatus Papae). The German Bishops signed a letter of protest from Henry IV calling for Hildebrand “that false monk, who had forsaken the cloisters” (see 22/4/1073) to resign as Pope and that Henry IV did not recognise him as Pope. The message caused an uproar in Rome, in fact the messenger was nearly killed, saved only by the intervention of Hildebrand himself. Two days later Gregory VII (Hildebrand) excommunicated and nominally deposed King Henry IV. See 25/1/1077.
4/3/1075, (-317,820) Hildebrand issued the Dictatus Papae, 27 short propositions setting out the powers of the Roman Catholic Church. These propositions, aimed at curbing the Greek Church and the temporal power of European Kings, included, (I) that the Roman Catholic Church was founded by God alone, i.e. it was more than ‘just’ apostolic (III), only the Pope can dismiss or reinstate Bishops, (XII), the Pope has the authority to depose Emperors,, (XVI), That only the Pope had the authority to call Councils (the Greek Church didn’t), (XIX), The Pope can be judged by no-one except God himself, (XXII), The Roman Church has never erred and is in fact infallible,
22/4/1073, (-318,138) Hildebrand was elected Pope Gregory VII. His election was unusual, being accomplished by Roman clergy and common pep0ole, rather than by Cardinals.
10/1/1072, The Normans conquered Palermo, Sicily.
26/8/1071. The armies of the Byzantine leader Emperor Romanus Diogenes and the Turkish leader Mohammed Ibn Da’ud clashed at Manzikert, or Malazagird, north of Lake Van. The Byzantines had entered Armenia with the French and Normans, and some Turks from the Uzes tribe, and the Turkish leader had to abandon a campaign in Syria and hurry north to meet this invasion. The Turkish cavalry routed the enemy. Ibn Da’ud died on 24/11/1072.
16/4/1071. The Norman, Robert Guiscard, took Bari after a three year siege. This ended Byzantine rule in Italy, which had lasted five centuries. On 10/1/1072 Robert Guiscard and his brother Roger took Palermo in Sicily.
4/6/1070. Roquefort cheese was created in a cave near Roquefort, France.
28/10/1069. Death of Abbad-al-Motadid, Arab ruler in Spain.
25/12/1066. (-) William the Conqueror was crowned King of England, in Westminster Abbey.
14/10/1066 Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror had landed in England, at Pevensey Bay, seven miles from the Batlle site, on 28/9/1066. The English lost partly because they left their strong position on the crest of a hill, and partly because they were exhausted by the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the long march south. The Witan chose Edgar Atheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside, as King. William circled London and approached from the north. At Berkhamsted, Edgar and other Saxon nobles met William and offered him the crown.
King Edward the Confessor of England (1003-66, see 5/1/1066) had promised the throne of England to King William of Normandy upon his death. However in response to a Viking threat, Edward also promised the throne to the Danish King Svein Estrithsson, and Harald Hadraada of Norway had also been promised the English throne by an earlier King. The English nobility preferred a native ruler, Harold of Wessex.
28/9/1066, William the Conqueror landed at Hastings.
25/9/1066. King Harold defeated the Norwegians under Tostig at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, near York, unaware that William of Normandy was about to invade the south coast. Tostig had begun an invasion of Northumbria.
20/9/1066.. Harald Hardraada of Norway and Earl Tostig defeated the northern English Earls Edwin and Morcar. However the Norwegian forces were weakened so that they lost to Harold II at Stamford Bridge (25/9/1066). In turn the noerthen English forces were so weakened by these two battles that they could not fully assist Harold at Hastings (14/10/1066).
7/1/1066. Harold was crowned King of England in succession to Edward the Confessor. Ten months later he died at the Battle of Hastings.
5/1/1066. Death of Edward the Confessor, said to be England’s most pious king. Leaving no heir, he recommended Harold as his successor. See 14/10/1066.
28/12/1065, (-) Westminster Abbey was consecrated.
24/6/1065, Ferdinand I, King of Castile and Leon, died.
30/4/1063, Renzong, Emperor of China, died.
4/8/1060, Henry I, King of France, died after a 29-year reign. He was succeeded by King Philip I.
23/8/1059, Pope Nicholas II (1058-61) met with Robert Guiscard, leader of the Normans of southern Italy, at Melfi, and accepted Robert’s vassalship. Robert pledged that if Pope Nicholas died before him, he would assist the Cardinals in the elction of a new Pope. In effect, Robert was pledging to protect the Cardinals from political interference by the Roman nobility. In return Pope Nicholas bestowed upon Robert the title of Duke of Calbria and Apulia. This infuriated the (Byzantine) Roman Emperor, who claimed all of Italy as part of his domain, and insisted that Nicholas could not give away lands he had no title to.
29/3/1058, Pope Stephen X died.
17/3/1058, Lulach, King of Scots, died and was succeeded by Malcolm III, son of Duncan I.
15/8/1057. The Scottish king Macbeth, who killed King Duncan 1 in 1040, was killed in battle by Duncan’s son, Malcolm.
5/10/1056, Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
4/7/1054, Chinese astronomers recorded a supernova so bright it could be seen in daylight for 23 days and at night for almost 2 years.
19/4/1054, Pope Leo IX died.
14/4/1053, Godwin, Earl of Wessex, died.
4/10/1052, Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince of Novgorod, died.
1/10/1049, Pope Leo IX (1048-54), noted for his attempts to eradicate simony, arrived at Reims, France. In March 1049 he had begun a tour of the Christian lands of Europe, to assert his authority over these regions. He left Rome and travelled via Florence, Pavia and Cologne to Reims. Whilst still Bishop of Toul, Pope Leo IX had pledged to be present at the Consecration of the Cathedral of Reims, built to honour St Remigius, who had baptised Clovis and played a large role on converting the Franks to Christianity. In fact due to opposition to Leo’s visit by the King of France, only 20 bishops and 40 abbots attended at Reims, a clear sign of Leo’s limited authority on France. After parading an effigy of the Saint around the town, before setting in in its place in the Cathedral, Leo set it on the high altar as a ‘witness’ and asked all present to declare, individually one by one, that they had not paid money for their office. Many of those present would not make such a statement.
3/4/1043, Edward the Confessor was crowned.
8/6/1042, Harthacanute, King of Denmark and England, died.
14/8/1040, Macbeth murdered Duncan I, King of Scotland, and became King himself.
17/3/1040, Harold Harefoot, King of England, was born.
18/6/1037, Persian philosopher and physician Avicenna died. His writings were valued sources for European doctors.
12/11/1035. (-) Death of the Danish King of England, Canute (Cnut), aged 40. His kingdom disintegrated. Harold I, Cnut’s son by Aelgifu of Northampton, became Regent of England whilst his half-brother delayed in Denmark. England split into the old political pattern of Northumbria and Mercia against Wessex.
20/7/1031, Robert II, King of France, died.
30/11/1016, (-) King Edmund was murdered and Cnut became King of England.
18/10/1016, (-) The Danes under Canute defeated the Saxons at the Battle of Assandun (now Ashingdon, Essex)
23/4/1016, Ethelred died and was succeeded by his son Edmund II, Ironside. Edmund and Cnut fought for the throne. Edmund agreed to keep Wessex and leave Cnut ruling over the rest of England.
6/10/1014, The Byzantine Emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army, after a 28-year war, under Tsar Samuel, then ordered the defeated 15,000 men to be blinded. Basil arranged for one eye of every hundredth man to be spared so the army could find its way back to the Tsar.
23/4/1014, Battle of Clontarf: Gaelic Irish forces under Brian Boru defeated several allied Viking forces in Ireland, ending their power there but losing Brian in the battle.
25/12/1013, The Danish King, Swein Forkbeard, invaded England and was declared its King. However he died 5 weeks later.
19/4/1012. St Alpheage, archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by the Danes. He had been captured by the Danes who sacked Canterbury in 1011 and kept in prison for 7 months, and killed when a ransom was not paid.. Born in 954, St Alpheage was elected Abbot at Bath, and in 984 became the Bishop of Winchester. In 1006 he succeeded Aelfric as Archbishop of Canterbury.
XX 1004, The earliest mention of gunpowder, in China. Gunpowder, a mixture of saltpetre (potassium nitrate, the white powder that forms in organic-rich environments protected from rainfall, sulphur and charcoal, powdered together, is explosive because the potassium nitrate provides the oxygen for very rapid combustion; gunpowder is stable at room temperature but can be set off by temperatures above 300 C. Gunpowder gave the West the gun, which was to demolish the ancient chivalric knightly horse-based warfare of the Mediaeval period, and give the infantry the upper hand. Gunpowder likewise demolished the power of the Japanese Samurai, when the gun entered Japanese society. Early guns (cannon) were in use in Europe by 1326, but were low-powered and inaccurate until metallurgists found how to cast strong barrels to contain and direct larger explosive charges, from the 1400s. See XX 1673.
12/5/1003. Sylvester II, (Gerbert of Aurillac) the first French Pope, died. Elected in 999 with the backing of Otto III, he encouraged the Holy Roman Emperor’s ambition to re-create the Roman Empire of the west.
21/6/1002, Pope Leo IX was born.
23/1/1002, The Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III, died.
2/12/1001. () The Danes in England were massacred on the orders of King Aethelred, after his policy of buying them off had failed to halt the Dane’s raids. In revenge Sweyn returned in 1002 and ravaged Exeter in 1003 and Norwich and Thetford in 1004. After a lull in 1005 Danish attacks on English towns resumes and Aethelred bought them off for a larger sum than ever, £36,000, in 1007. But in 1010 the Danes were bough off again, for £48,000 this time. In the 1010s the Danes made efforts to gain political control of the English Kingdom of northern and western England. Aethelred, called the Unready as he was without rede or counsel, had been a weak, improvident, and self-indulgent monarch, and he died in London on 23/4/1016. His wife Emma subsequently married Canute, and died in retirement at Winchester on 6/3/1052 after not her son (Hardicanute) but Harold Harefoot had become king of England.
25/12/1000, Stephen I became King of Hungary, which was established as a Christian kingdom.
4/2/999, Pope Gregory V died.
23/4/997, (-346,259) St Adalbert, the Apostle of the Prussians, from Prague, was murdered by the Prussians, whom he was trying to convert. He had also preached to the Hungarians and Bohemians, the latter being annoyed by his asceticism.
29/2/992, Saint Oswald, Archbishop of York, died.
28/9/990. King Wenceslas of Bohemia, the Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol, died in Stara Boleslav.
13/2/990, Ethelgar, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
2/3/986, Lothar, King of the West Franks, died.
7/12/983, (-) The Holy Roman Emperor Otto II died.
18/3/979, King Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe castle, and succeeded by Ethelred II (The Unready or Ill-Advised).
7/5/973. Otto I, King of Germany, died.
28/10/969. After a prolonged siege, Byzantium captured Antioch from the Arabs.
14/4/966, Mieszko I, the first duke of Poland, was baptized a Christian. This is usually considered the beginning of the Polish state.
12/4/963, (-358,697) The foundation of Luxembourg. On this day Count Sigefroi of the House of Ardenne acquired the site of present day Luxembourg City for the purpose of erecting a castle there.
1/10/959, King Eadwig of England died, and was succeeded by his brother Edgar, who effectively completed the unification of England when Northumbria finally submitted to his rule.
2/6/959, Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
10/8/955, At the Battle of Lechfeld, near Augsburg, Otto I of the Holy Roman Empire heavily defeated the Magyars, stopping their westwards invasion into Germany.
10/9/954, Louis IV, King of France, died.
27/10/939, King Athelstan of Mercia died.
XX/XX/937, The Battle of Brunanburh. This probably took place at Bromborough, on The Wirral. Aethelstan had inherited the thrones of Mercia from his aunt and of Wessex from his father, making him the first true king of all England. In 934 Aethelstan, as part of a border campaign to secure his northern frontier, attacked Scotland and the Welsh Kingdom of Strathclyde (comprising the modern Strathclyde region plus the Lake District). In 937 King Constantine of III Scotland and Owain map Dynfwal, King of Strathclyde, allied with Olaf (Anlaf) Gothfrithson, the Viking King of Dublin, and attacked the Kingdom of England. Aethelstan and his brother Eadmund marched to meet them in battle. Athelstan won a notable victory at Brunanburh; five northern kings and seven Irish-Viking earls were killed. This was the first victory by an English as opposed to an Anglo Saxon King.
2/7/936, Henry the Fowler, King of Germany, died.
28/9/929, Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia, was born.
8/5/927, (-371, 812)
17/7/924, King Edward the Elder of England died and was succeeded by his son Aethlstan.
15/6/923, Robert I, King of France, was killed in battle.
23/11/912, The Holy Roman Emperor, Otto the Great, was born.
14/4/911, Pope Sergius III died.
4/7/907. The Bavarians suffered a disastrous defeat by the Hungarians.
2/5/907, King Boris I of Bulgaria died.
1/7/904. The Arabs sacked Thessalonica, the second greatest city of the Empire after Byzantium itself, before withdrawing.
13/12/902, The Anglo-Saxon men of Kent defeated the Vikings of East Anglia at the Battle of the Holme
1/8/902. The Arabs captured Taormina, which completed their conquest of Sicily from Byzantium.
8/1/900, Coronation of Edward the Elder.
26/10/899. Death of King Alfred the Great, succeeded by Edward the Elder. Born in ca.848, he was sent at the age of 5 to be confirmed by Pope Leo IV. At this time Alfred had three elder brothers and so was by no means guaranteed to be the future King of Wessex. Alfred’s two eldest brothers, Aethelbald and Aethelbert, had short reigns. The third brother, Aethelred, became king in 866. In 868 Aethelrerd and Alfred made an unsuccessful attempt to throw the Danes out of Mercia. In 870 numerous battles were fought by Aethelred against the Danes; a Danish defeat at Englefield, Berkshire, on 31/112/870 was followed by a Danish victory at Reading on 4/1/871. The Danes lost again at the Battle of Ashdown, near Compton Beauchamp, Shrivenham, on 8/1/871, but defeated the English on 22/1/871 at Basing, and repeated the Danish victory at Marton, Wiltshire, on 22/3/871. Aethelred, Alfred’s older brother, died in April 871, and while Alfred was busy with the funeral the Danes won another victory, and defeated his army once more at Wilton in May 871.
From then until 876 the Danes were occupied fighting elsewhere in England but in 876 they returned to Wessex to occupy Wareham and in 877 managed to take Exeter. Here the Danes were blockaded by Alfred, and a Danish relief fleet was scattered by storms. Hence the Danes submitted and withdrew to Mercia. In early January 878 the Danes suddenly attacked King Alfred’s Christmas celebrations at Chippenham; most were killed but Alfred and a few men escaped to the fort at Athelney, from where he made preparations for attacks on the Danes. By May 878 Alfred was ready and he moved out of Athelney, joined by armed soldiers from Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. The Danes also moved out of their camp at Chipenham and the two armies met at Edington in Wiltshire.The result was a decisive victory for Alfred; the Danes surrendered, and Guthrum, the Danish King, and 29 of his chief men, submitted to baptism as Christians. By the Peace of Wedmore, 878, the Danes were cleared from all of Wessex and from Mercia west of Watling Street. There were no more Danish attacks on England until 884 or 885 when a Danish landing in Kent was successfully repelled; this nevertheless encouraged an uprising by East Anglian Danes. Alfred then managed to capture London from the Danes.. After a further period of peace, the Danes on the continent found their position becoming more precarious and in 892 or 893, attempted to colonise, with their women and children, areas of Kent and the Thames estuary.
13/1/888, With the death of Charles the Fat, the Frankish kingdom was split again, and this time permanently. Odo, Count of Paris became King of the Western Franks.
26/11/885, Paris was attacked by the Northmen but they failed to take the city.
5/8/882, Louis III, King of France, died, aged 19. His brother succeeded him.
23/4/871, King Ethelred of Wessex died in battle; succeeded by King Alfred.
22/3/871, Battle of Merton, between the Danes and Wessex.
22/1/871, Battle of Basing, between the Danes and Wessex.
8/1/871, Battle of Ashdown, between the Danes and Wessex.
4/1/871, Battle of Reading, between the Danes and Wessex.
31/12/870, Battle of Englefirld, between the Danes and Wessex.
20/11/870, The Danes murdered Edmund, King of East Anglia, when he refused to become their subject. He was succeeded by Oswald, last English King of East Anglia. The Danes moved south west and camped at Reading, ready to invade Wessex.
8/8/870, The Treaty of Mersen was signed. Charles the Bald and his half-brother Louis the German divided the Kingdom of their nephew Lothair II (died 869) between them.
8/8/869, Lothair, King of Lotharingia, died.
26/5/869, An earthquake and tsunami devastated a large part of the Sanriku coast near Sendai, Japan.
11/5/868. The world’s first printed book, the Diamond Sutra, was published in China. It was found in 1900.
13/11/867, Pope Nicholas I died.
23/7/864, Edict of Pistres: Charles the Bald ordered defensive measures against the Vikings.
3/6/859. Edgar, King of All England, was crowned on Whit Sunday by Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Saxon Abbey on the site of the present Bath Abbey.
13/6/858, Ethelwulf, King of Wessex, died and was succeeded by his son Ethelbald, who had been his co-ruler for three years and who married his stepmother Judith.
22/12/856, Earthquake in Danghan, Iran, killed 200,000.
22/8/851, Battle of Jengland. Erispoe, king of Brittany and son of Nominoe, defeated the Franc king Charles the Bald in Jengland-Besle near Grand Forgery in Brittany. This is considered as the birth of the Breton state.
1/11/846, Louis II, King of France, was born.
28/3/845, Siege of Paris ended when Paris was sacked by a Viking raiding fleet, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving. The Vikings also sacked Hamburg and Melun.
10/8/843, The Treaty of Verdun divided the Holy Roman Empire into three equal shares The imperial crown and central portion from Frisia to Italy went to Lothair. Louis the German received Germany, and Charles the Bald, son of Pepin, received France.
25/6/841, The Battle of Fontenoy (Carolingian Civil War).
5/5/840, One of the sons of Charlemagne, Emperor Louis of Bavaria, died of fright during a solar eclipse. His other sons quarrelled, causing the division of his empire into France, Germany, and Italy, see 10/8/843.
28/1/840. Death of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor.
9/4/809, The Bulgars captured Sofia.
19/5/804. Death of Alcuin, a learned churchman of the eight century. He was born at Eboracum (York) in 735 and became head of the Episcopal school of York in 766. Between 781 and 790 Alcuin helped Charlemagne teach church and other knowledge to the Frankish nobility.
25/12/800, Charlemagne was crowned first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
29/7/796. Death of King Offa of Mercia. His kingdom covered much of England south of a line from the Humber to Preston, and he had subdued the only other kingdom south of this line, Wessex, (Hampshire to Cornwall) in 777. on 17/12/796 Offa’s son and successor Egfrith died and was succeeded by Cenwulf.
25/12/795. Death of Pope Adrian I, Pope from 772 to 795. He halted the trend against the use of images in Church which was taking place in the east of Christendom. In 726 Emperor Leo III of Constantinople had banned the use of religious images in Christendom. This trend was upheld by a meeting of churchmen in Constantinople in 730; all visible symbols of Christ, other than the Eucharist, were forbidden and anyone using icons or statues would be accused of idolatry and paganism. Leo felt that what were symbols of the divine have become divinities in themselves, and the seemingly inexorable spread of Islam made Christians wonder about the power of their images. Leo wanted to strengthen Christianity’s appeal against Islam, which forbids any portrayal of the human form. Leo was also concerned about the growing power of the monasteries, which threatened the divide between church and state.
8/1/794, Vikings again raided Lindisfarne.
8/6/793. Vikings raided the monastery at Lindisfarne, killing many of the monks.
15/8/778. Roland, a loyal ally of King Charles of the Franks, or Charlemagne, was killed in the Pyrenees in an ambush by the Basques. The Basques were never conquered even by the Romans. Roland was returning to France after a successful campaign against the Arabs in Spain.
4/12/771, Carloman I, King of the Franks, died, leaving his brother Charlemagne king of the now complete Frankish kingdom.
24/9/768, Pepin III, King of the Franks, died.
28/6/767, Pope Paul I died.
18/11/763, Forces of the Tibetan Empire under Trisong Detsan occupied the Tang Chinese capital Chang’an for 16 days.
30/7/762, The city of Baghdad was founded by Caliph al-Mansur.
29/5/757, (-433,883) Pope Paul I acceded. He succeeded Pope Stephen II.
26/4/757, (-433,916) This second Pope Stephen II died 26/4/757.
9/3/757, (-433,964) A major earthquake struck Palestine and Syria.
2/5/756, (-433,275) Shomu, Emperor of Japan, died.
5/6/754. (-435,972) The English missionary Boniface and 53 companions were murdered in Germany by pagans..
26/3/752, (-435,773) Pope Stephen II (another Pope Stephen) was elected, succeeding the Pope Stephen II who died that month before taking office.
14/3/752, (-435,785) Pope Zachary (741-52) died in Rome.
18/1/749, A severe earthquake hit Palestine.
2/4/742, (-439,419) Charlemagne was born.
5/12/741, (-439,537) Pope Zachary acceded. He succeeded Pope Gregory III.
22/10/741. (-439,581) Death of Charles Martel (see 25/10/732) at his country palace at Quierzy, aged 53.
26/10/740, An earthquake struck Constantinople.
25/5/735. Death of the historian Bede at Jarrow monastery, aged 63.
25/10/732. The Frankish general, Charles Martel, won a major victory over the Arabs at Poitiers. In 718 an Arab siege of Constantinople had been defeated. The Arabs had crossed the Pyrenees, sacked Bordeaux and Poitiers, and were advancing on the wealthy monastery of St Martin at Tours. Eudo, Duke of Aquitaine, appealed to Charles who brought the Frankish army south to help. The Arabs, their leader killed, retreated south, probably to put down a Berber uprising in north Africa.
11/2/731, Pope Gregory II died.
9/5/729, Osric, King of Northumbria, died and was succeeded by Ceolwulf.
30/9/722. Boniface was ordained as Bishop of Germany by the Pope and returned to Germany to continue his conversion work there.
24/12/717, An earthquake shook many places in northern Syria, and destroyed the Old Church of Edessa.
15/8/717, Muslim forces attempted to capture Constantinople, but were defeated.
16/12/714, Pepin II, ruler of the Franks, died.
28/2/714, An earthquake struck Syria.
19/7/711, Battle of Guadalete: Umayyad Moors' victory over the Visigothic army. Visigothic king Roderic (Rodrigo in Spanish and Portuguese) died in the battle.
25/5/709. Death of Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne. Born around 640, Aldhelm was educated by an Irish scholar and monk, Meldun (or Maildulf), who had settled in the British stronghold of Bladow, on the site of Malmesbury. Aldhelm succeeded Meldulf as head of the Christian community at Malmesbury when Meldulf retired due to ill health in 675. Under Aldhelm, the community at Malmesbury increased and he founded two other centres of learning at Frome and at Bradford on Avon.
16/12/705, Empress Wu Hou of China died. Born in 625, she became a junior concubine in the palace of Emperor Tai Tsung in 638; on his death in 649 she became very close to his successor, Kao Tsung. In 655 she became Empress. By 660 Emperor Kao Tsung was very ill and Wu Hou was effective ruler of China. Between 655 and 675 China conquered Korea. In 690 Wu Hou officially became Empress. In February 705 Chinese government ministers forced her to abdicate in favour of her son, Chung Tsung.
9/11/694, Hispano-Visigothic king Egica accused the Jews of aiding the Muslims, and sentenced all Jews to slavery.
20/3/687, Cuthbert died on Farne Island.
20/5/685, Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria, died.
26/11/684, A great earthquake struck Japan.
10/10/680. Al-Husayn, son of Ali, was killed in battle at Kerbala. He was fighting a rival caliph (successor), Yazid, a Sunni Moslem of the Ummayad dynasty. His death gave birth to Shi’ism; a dissident group of Moslems who claimed that only the descendants of Mohammed can rightfully interpret the Koran. They saw Al-Husayn as a martyr.
XX678, Ripon Abbey founded by St Wilfrid.
4/7/673, Egbert I, King of Kent, died.
XX 657. Whitby Abbey founded by Abbess Hilda.
16/9/655, Pope Martin I died.
31/8/651, Saint Aidan, missionary and first bishop of Lindisfarne, died.
17/9/642. Alexandria, Egypt, surrendered to the Arabs led by Amr Ibn Al-As. Amr invaded Syria in 633 and attacked Egypt in 639, taking Pelusium in January 640 and Heliopolis in June 640. In 646 Amr defeated a Greek attempt to retake Alexandria. Amr died, as governor of Egypt, on 6/1/664. The Arabs moved on south to conquer Nubia, also conquering Cyrenicia and Tripolitania in 643.
5/8/642. Death of the Christian King Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maserfield, lost to the invading Kingdom of Mercia, under the pagan King Penda. King Oswald had succeeded to the Kingdom of Bernicia in 634 and in 635 reunited the whole of Northumbria under his rule Northumbria had previously been converted to Christianity by Paulinus but had relapsed under the heathen successors to Edwin. Oswald was a Christian and sent for a new Bishop. Paulinus had been a member of the Roman Church but his successor was from the Celtic church, the monastery of Iona, which Oswald had visited during his exile. The first monk sent under Oswald failed to make any headway amongst the ‘uncouth Northumbrians’ but a second, Aidan, was sent as Bishop of Northumbria. Aidan retained his See when the Mercians defeated and slew Oswald, and Aidan died at Bamburgh on 31/8/651.
6/7/640, The Battle of Heliopolis was fought between Arab Muslim armies and the Byzantine Empire.
20/1/640, Eadbald, King of Kent, died and was succeeded by his son Earconberht.
15/8/636. The Byzantine army was crushed by the Moslem Arabs at the Battle of Yarmuk, on the River Yarmuk, east of the Sea of Galilee. The Arabs, who took Damascus in 635, now controlled all of Syria. In 637 the Arabs destroyed the Persian army at the Battle of Qadisiyya. Jerusalem was captured by the Arabs in 638 under Caliph Umar.
30/7/634, The Byzantine army of Emperor Heraclius, defending Damascus against an alliance of Arab raiders, was defeated by Khalid at the Battle of Ajnadayn in southern Palestine.
8/6/632. Mohammed died, aged about 62. He was buried in Mecca. See 16/7/622.
12/4/627, Paulinus, last of the missionaries send by Pope Gregory I, built a wooden church in the old Roman legionary headquarters in York and baptised Edwin of Northumbria as the first Christian king in Northern England.
16/7/622. The traditional starting day of the Islamic era, when Muhammad fled persecution in Mecca for the city of Medina, then known as Yattrib. This flight is called the Hejirah. In Arabia around 610, Mohammed had called for an end to the demons and idols of the Arab religion and to convert to monotheistic worship of Allah. Born around 570, Mohammed was of the Quraysh tribe, a Bedouin tribe in the Arabian peninsula. This tribe occupied Mecca, a wealthy caravan trading centre, and Mohammed was married to a wealthy widow. Arabs also came to Mecca to worship at the Kaaba, a black meteoric stone of which the Qurayshi are guardians. Mohammed denounced the idol worship associated with the Kaaba, and made enemies of some wealthy merchants, especially with his calls to help the poor. Mohammed died on 8/6/632. He saw himself as an instrument of God. His new religion was called Islam, meaning submission; its adherents were Moslems, or those who submit. In 630 the citizens of Mecca accepted his new religion; in return Mohammed agreed that the Kaaba should remain as a place of pilgrimage for Moslems.
29/7/615, Queen Sal K’uk was succeeded by her son Pacal the Great as ruler of the Maya city state Palenque (Mexico). He began a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture.
15/10/614. Chlothar II, now sole ruler of the Franks after the execution of Queen Brunhild, issued the Edict of Paris, in an attempt to stamp out corruption in his dominions.
5/5/614. The Persians completed the conquest of Syria by capturing Jerusalem. They seized the ‘true cross’, the most holy relic of Christendom. However on 3/4/628 the Persian ruler Kavadh sued for peace with Byzantium. He handed back Armenia, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, as well as the ‘true cross’. This cross was restored to Jerusalem by Heraclius on 21/3/630.
13/5/609, The Pantheon in Rome was consecrated as "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda") by Pope Boniface IV.
12/3/604. Pope Gregory the Great died in Rome. Aged 64, he had been Pope for 14 years. He was the son of a Senator, and wealthy, but at the age of 33 sold off his property and gave the money to the poor. He founded several monasteries, and entered one himself. Pope Gregory had appointed Bishop Augustine of Hippo to begin the work of introducing Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons.
1/1/600, The Law of Ethelbert, King of Kent 560-616, set out the following compensation payments for various injuries. Cutting off an ear, 12 shillings, or 25 shillings if the victim was also deaf in the other ear. Striking out an eye, 50 shillings. Breaking the chin bone, 20 shillings. Knocking out one front tooth, 6 shillings; for an additional tooth injured, 4 shillings; for a third tooth, 3 shillings, for each tooth injured beyond that, 1 shilling each.
4/8/598,: Emperor Wendi ordered his youngest son, Yang Liang, to conquer Korea during the rainy season, with a Chinese army (300,000 men).
25/12/597, At Christmas, Christianity spread rapidly in Kent, Augustine and his fellow-labourers baptised more than 10,000 Anglo-Saxons.
9/6/597, Columba, Irish missionary, died in Iona (Inner Hebrides) and was buried by his monks in the abbey he created. He worked successfully towards the conversion of northern Britain.
3/9/590, Gregory the Great was consecrated Pope.
7/2/590, Pope Pelagius II fell victim to the plague that devastated Rome. After a 11-year reign he was succeeded by Gregory I, age 50, as the 64th pope.
1/4/568. King Albion of the Lombards (King since 565, died 573), a Germanic tribe, assembled an army that included his allies, 20,000 Saxons, in order to cross the Alps and form a settlement in Italy. The Lombards may have been invited to attack Italy by the Byzantine General Narses. Milan was occupied by the Lombards on 4/9/569 and Lombard rule established in northern Italy.
14/11/565, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I died.
22/8/565, First recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster, by St Columba.
29/11/561, King Chlothar I ("the Old"), son of Clovis I, died at Compeigne at age 64. The Merovingian Dynasty was continued by his four sons —Charibert I, Guntram, Sigbert I, and Chilperic I. Chlothar I had reunited the realms of his father Clovis but upon Chlothar’s death his lands were again divided amongst his four sons. Charibert ruled the Paris region, Guntram received Burgundy, Sigbert ruled Metz, and Chilperic ruled north of Soissons.
2/3/561, Pope Pelagius I died.
7/5/558, In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapsed due to an earthquake. Emperor Justinian I ordered the dome to be rebuilt.
17/12/546. The Ostrogothic King Totila captured Rome after a years siege. The city had been deserted by all but 500 of its civilian inhabitants. However the Byzantine commander Belisarius re-occupied the deserted city of Rome in 547 and rebuilt its defences.
29/11/539, Antioch was struck by an earthquake.
27/12/537. Emperor Justinian of Constantinople opened the Church of St Sophia, five years after building started. It was hailed as the finest church in Christendom. It replaced an original church to St Sophia built by Constantine in 330 but burnt down in the rebellion of 532. However this church collapsed on 7/5/558, severely weakened by an earthquake in December 557. A third St Sophia was built, and completed on 24/12/562. The dome was designed by the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles, who is also said to have invented a device that used steam power to produce artificial earthquakes.
9/12/536. The Byzantine commander Belisarius, having captured Naples earlier in 536, now took Rome In 534 Belisarius had defeated the vandals in north Africa.
24/3/536, (Roman Empire) Procopius, Cassiodirus and other Roman historians recorded that a heavy dust cloud spread across Europe from this day onwards. It was to stay put for 18 months, and in 359 another such cloud stayed in the sky for several months. There were summer frosts and snow showers as temperatures plummeted, and crops failed to ripen because of lack of light and the cold. Widespread food shortages led to the Justinian Plague (541-3), named after the Roman Emperor of the time, which wiped out a third of Europeans. The cause has been linked to a series of huge volcanic eruptions in North America in 535-6, and again in 539 AD.
2/10/534. Death of Athalaric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy. Grandson of Theodoric, he was born in 516 and became King in 526; aged ten, his mother Amalasuntha held the Regency.
13/9/533, At the Battle of Ad Decimum, near Carthage (Tunisia), Byzantine forces defeated the Vandal army under King Gelimer, and his brother Tzazo.
13/1/532, Major riot in Constantinople against Emperor Justinian, caused by heavy taxes and corrupt government.
1/8/527, The Byzantine Emperor Justin I died.
30/8/526, Theodoric the Great died
7/12/521, St Columba was born at Gartan, Donegal, Ireland.
9/7/518. Death of the Roman Emperor Anastasius I, in Constantinople. Born no later than 430, he became Emperor at the death of Zeno, 491. He reduced taxation but was so prudent financially he gained a reputation for avarice and became unpopular. He fight with Persia, 502 – 505; neither side gaining much by the time peace was made in 506. The Roman Balkan provinces were overrun by Slavs and Bulgars; to protect Constantinople Anastasius built the ‘Anastasian Wall’ in 512. He also had to deal with a rebellion in the European provinces in 514-515, the rebels being assisted by the Huns.
27/11/511. Clovis, King of the Franks, son of Childeric I, founder of the Merovingian Dynasty, died in Paris. His kingdom was divided up amongst his four sons, Theuderic in Reims, Chlodomer in Orleans, Childebert in Paris, and Clothar in Soissons.
Clovis had been a pagan, one of the Franks, who unlike the other Germanic tribes, had not converted to Christianity. But he had married a Burgundian princess, Clotilda, who was Christian. She sought to convert her husband. During the Battle of Tolbiac (Zulpich, Germany), against the Alemanni, Clovis promised to convert if his wife’s God would grant him victory. Although Clovis’troops were on the verge of defeat, the Alemanni King was killed and his army surrendered. Clovis was then baptised by ‘Saint’ Remigius in Reims Cathedral, perhaps on 25/12/496; although a later baptism date in 488 or 489 is also possible. Clovis failed to take the Burgundian Kingdom to the south-east. However he did defeat the Visigoths in southwest Gaul, in 507. In recognition of this victory, Clovis was granted an honorary consulship by the eastern Roman Emperor, Anastasius. This gave Clovis a status above other western kings, and legitimised his rulership among his Gallic-Roman citizens. When he died in 511, Clovis was sole ruler of three quarters of Gaul.
1/7/500, One shilling was the value of a cow in Kent, or one sheep elsewhere in Britain. An Atheling (Prince) was worth 1,500 shillings. An Eorl (Nobleman, or Earl) was worth 300 shillings. A Ceorl (Churl, or Yeoman Farmer) was worth 100 shillings. A Laet, or Agricultural Serf, was worth between 40 and 80 shillings. A slave (on this system) was worthless. The family of a murdered man could be compensated for in cash. The ransom to be paid for lesser offences also varied on these terms; for example slandering am Atheling would cost the offender five times as much as slandering an Eorl.
25/12/496, Clovis I was baptized into the Catholic faith at Rheims, by Saint Remigius. The conversion strengthened the bonds between his Gallo-Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops.
26/2/493, Ravenna capitulated to Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.
15/3/493, Odoacer was killed by Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.
3/1/492, Pope Felix III died after a 9-year reign in which he excommunicated Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople, thus dividing the Western Church and Eastern Church (Acacian Schism). He was succeeded by Gelasius I as the 49th pope.
30/9/489, Theodoric conquered Verona.
28/12/484. Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths in Spain, succeeded his father Euric or Evaric. His dominions included all of Spain, except for the north-west, and also Aquitaine and much of Provence.
10/3/483, Pope Simplicius died
28/2/468, ‘Saint’ Hilary, Pope, died.
10/11/461, Pope Leo the Great died.
17/3/461. Death of Saint Patrick, who pioneered the spread of Christianity in Ireland. He was born near Carlisle and captured by Irish raiders and sold as a slave at the age of 14. After 6 years he escaped and sailed to Gaul, a journey of 3 days in a small boat. Trained as a priest in Gaul and Britain, he had a vision in ca. 430 prompting him to return to Ireland and convert the inhabitants. He founded the Episcopal see of Armagh in ca. 450.
4/10/456, The Visigoths under king Theodoric II, acting on orders of Avitus, invaded Spain with an army of Burgundians, Franks and Goths, They defeated the Suebi; this shattered the power of the Suebi. During the battle Rechiar was captured and later executed.
16/6/455. Rome was sacked and plundered by the Vandals, just 45 years after it was conquered by the Visigoths.
20/9/451, The Huns under Attila were defeated by the Romans at the Battle of Chalons.
20/6/451. Having mounted an invasion of Gaul, Attila and the Huns were defeated in the Battle of the Cataulanian Fields by a combined force of Romans, Visigoths, and other barbarians, all under the command of Aetius.
7/4/451, Attila's forces invade Gaul and sacked Metz. The major cities Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Trier, Cologne, Reims, Tournai, Cambrai, Amiens and Beauvais were destroyed by the Huns.
28/7/450. Death of Emperor Theodosius II, who fell off his horse, after ruling for 42 years. He left no direct heir.
6/11/447, The Walls of Constantinople were severely damaged by an earthquake, destroying large parts of the wall, including 57 towers. The population was threatened by a plaque. Emperor Theodosius II orders Constantine, praetorian prefect of the East, to supervise the repairs. He employed the city's demoi ("Circus factions") in the work and rebuilt the walls within 60 days.
25/12/440, The Church officially decreed the birthday of Jesus to be 25 December, the pagan day of celebrating the winter solstice.
19/10/439. The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, took Carthage. Gaiseric brought 80,000 people with him across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain in 429, including 15,000 soldiers; he then marched east along the North African coast, looting the cites there. With the loss of its African territories Rome lost the fertile wheat lands on which the Empire depended for its bread. Local Roman administrators remained and Roman law was maintained, to the benefit of the Vandals, who lived in unaccustomed luxury in the Roman villas. The Vandals were Arians and persecuted the Catholic Christians. Gaiseric began to build a fleet of fast ships to dominate the western Mediterranean.
28/8/430, St Augustine died in the town of Hippo, then enduring its 3rd month of siege by the Vandals. His writings have had considerable influence on Church doctrine
27/2/425. Emperor Theodosius II founded, in effect, the University of Constantinople. He gathered a group of professors and gave them a monopoly over higher education in the city.
23/10/424, Emperor Theodosius II nominated his cousin Valentinian, aged 5, the imperial title nobilissimus Caesar ("most noble") of the Western Roman Empire.
25/3/421, Venice was founded at twelve o'clock noon (according to legend) with the dedication of the first church, San Giacomo, at the islet of Rialto (Italy).
30/9/420, ‘Saint’ Jerome, Church leader, died.
12/3/417, Pope Innocent I died.
8/5/413, Honorius signed an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania, and Calabria, who were plundered by the Visigoths.
23/8/410. The Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome after a third siege. Slaves opened the Salarian Gate and Goths looted the city for three days. It was the first time since 390 BC that Rome had fallen to an enemy. This marked the decline of the Roman Empire
13/10/409, The Vandals, led by King Gunderic, crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula. They received land from the Romans, in southern Spain. The Alans occupied lands in Lusitania and the Suebi controlled parts of Gallaecia (modern Portugal).
23/8/408, Flavius Stilicho, soldier, was assassinated.
14/9/407, ‘Saint’ John Chrysostom died.
31/12/406. The Rhine, for long the frontier of the Roman Empire, froze over in an exceptionally cold winter. A wave of tribes, the Vandals, Sueves, and Alans, moved across and into Gaul.
26/11/399, Pope Siricius died at Rome after a 15-year reign in which he commanded celibacy for priests, asserted papal authority over the entire Western Church, and threatened to impose sanctions who did not follow his dictates.
3/4/397. Death of ‘Saint’ Ambrose, bishop of Milan. Born a Roman citizen around 337-340, Ambrose was appointed as bishop of Milan in 374 when the previous incumbent, Auxentius, died.
17/1/395. Emperor Theodosius I died and was succeeded by his two sons. The Empire was once again divided; Arcadius, aged 18, controlled the east whilst Honorius, aged 10, had the west. The border between the east and west crosses the Libyan Desert and the Balkans.
3/11/392. Emperor Theodosius passed a decree prohibiting all pagan worship in the Byzantine Empire.
28/7/388, Theodosius I, Byzantine Emperor, defeated the Roman Emperor Maximus near Aquileia.
24/4/387, St Augustine of Hippo was baptised, along with his son, Adeodatus, by Ambrose at Milan.
17/12/384, Pope Siricius succeeded Damasus I as the 38th pope. He took the title Pontifex Maximus, after it wass relinquished by late emperor Gratian.
15/8/383. The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius signed an agreement with the Visigoths giving them land and political autonomy within the Empire in return for military service. See XX 375,376.
9/8/378. The Romans were defeated by the Visigoths at the Battle of Adrionople, Turkey. In 376 the Visigoths had been allowed to move into Roman territory to escape pressure from the Huns. In 377 the Visigoths revolted against Rome and the Roman Emperor Valens determined to subdue them. He attacked on 9/8/378 when the main body of the Goth’s cavalry was away foraging, but suddenly the Goth’s cavalry re-appeared on the battlefield. Two thirds of Valerian’s army was killed. That battle ushered in the supremacy, in the Roman army, of the cavalry over the legions.
17/11/375, Emperor Valentian I concluded an enduring peace with the Alamanni in Germany, then marched into Illyrium to repel an invasion of the Quadi and the Sarmatians on the Danube frontier. While negotiating with the Quadi, Valentinian, age 54, became so enraged that he died in a fit of apoplexy at Brigetio (Hungary). Extreme cruelty marked his 11-year reign but he founded schools and provided physicians to serve the poor of Constantinople.
XX 375, 376. The Huns began to move westwards from Lake Baikal and the steppes of central Asia, conquering the Goths who in turn were driven westwards and mass on the Danubian borders of the Roman Empire as refugees. Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Alans are all Germanic tribes, warlike themselves, who were nevertheless driven west by the Huns. The Visigoths sought and were granted permission by the Romans to cross south-west over the lower Danube. See 15/8/383.
2//5/373. Athanasius, the patriarch who fiercely defended the Nicene Creed against Arianism, died at Alexandria, Egypt. He played an important role in the spread of monasticism.
21/7/365, An earthquake and tsunami devastated Crete and Alexandria and affected Italy, Greece, and Palestine.
26/2/364. Valentinian became Roman Emperor, succeeding Jovian who surrendered the gains of Diocletian to the Persians. On 28/3/364 Valentinian appointed his brother Valens as governor of the eastern Empire. For the first time the division of empire is accompanied by a true division of resources and army between east and west.
26/6/363. Julian the Apostate, Roman Emperor, was killed fighting the Persians. The Emperor Julian was determined to reinstate the old Roman gods and eliminate Christianity. A cousin of Constantius II, he declared himself a pagan in November 361 when Constantius II died, leaving him as sole emperor. On 17/6/362 Julian forbade Christians from teaching grammar or rhetoric.
25/8/357. Julian, who was made Caesar by his cousin Constantius II on 6/11/355, defeated the Alemmani at Strasbourg and drove them back across the Rhine.
19/2/356. Constantius II, ruler of all of Rome (see 22/5/337), ordered all pagan temples in the Roman Empire to be closed.
13/11/354, Aurelius Augustinus, or St Augustine, was born at Tagaste, a town in Numidia.
25/12/350, The first officially-sanctioned Christmas Day celebrations.
XX. 350. Mayan cities, which emerged around 200 BC, were at the peak of their power.
11/1/347, The Roman Emperor, Theodosius the Great, was born.
21/10/346. Under heavy imperial pressure, a split between the eastern and western Churches was patched up at Alexandria, Egypt.
15/2/342, The original Hagia Sophia was dedicated in Constantinople
22/5/337. Constantine, born 27/2/274, died after a baptism on his death bed at his villa near Ancyra in Nicomedia. His sons take the titles of Augustus. Constantine II and Constans shared the west, whilst Constantius II. took control of the eastern Empire. In March 340 Constans kills his brother Constantine II at He was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. On 9/9/337 Constantine’s three Aquileia in northern Italy and becomes sole ruler of the west. However Constans was himself murdered by the military commander Magnentius in 350, and in turn Magnentius was defeated in Gaul by Constantius II, ruler of the eastern Empire, at Mursa in 351.Once again Magnentius was defeated by Constantius II in Gaul in 353, following which Magnentius committed suicide and Constantius II was ruler of both east and west.
17/12/335. The Emperor Constantine’s construction, the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, opened. ‘Christ’s tomb on Golgotha was discovered in 328’ (?) and Constantine ordered the building of this place of worship here.
11/5/330. The Emperor Constantine made Byzantium the new capital of the Roman Empire, and renamed it Constantinople.
25/7/325. Major celebrations were held at Nicomedia, Asia Minor, to mark the twentieth year of Constantine as Emperor. Also celebrated was Constantine’s victory over his former ally Licinius, ruler of the eastern half of the Roman Emperor. The rift came when Licinius broke a promise to Constantine to tolerate the Christian religion. Constantine defeated Licinius in 324 and captured Byzantium. The Council of Nicea closed this day.
20/5/325. The Emperor Constantine, dressed in purple to mark the sacred nature of his power, opened the Council of Nicea. He has summoned bishops from all over the Empire to settle violent controversies raging within the Church, especially over Arianism. Arius, a priest in Alexandria, argued in 318 that Christ was not equal to God; if Christ was the Son of God, said Arius, he had a beginning so could not be eternal and was inferior to his Father. Constantine was acting as peacemaker and favoured equality of Christ with God. In fact the creed was worded so as to be ambiguous enough for most Arians to accept it.
3/7/323, The Battle of Adrianople. Constantine I, Western Roman Emperor, defeated Licinius, the eastern Emperor.
3/12/321. Sunday was made a day of rest throughout the Roman Empire. Under the Edict of Milan, 3/2/313, Christianity was now tolerated in the Empire. Persecution of Christians had begun under Diocletian in 303 and peaked under his successors Galerius and Maximian. Constantine, born in Naissus in what is now Yugoslavia, was son of a Christian mother, Helena. When Constantine (born 274) became Emperor in 306 he followed the cult of Sol Invictis, the Unconquered Sun. However in 312, whilst fighting Maxentius the son of Maximian, he saw a cross of light superimposed on the sun. From then on Constantine identified the sun with the God of the Christians. He ordered his men to fight Maxentius with Christian symbols painted on their shields, and they won a famous victory at the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome, on 28/10/312. Constantine became ruler of the western Roman Empire.
28/10/312, Battle of Milvian Bridge. Maxentius had been declared Emperor in Rome, with the backing of the Senate. However Constantine was marching down from Gaul to claim title as Emperor. Constantine’s army was smaller, and relied on cavalry, performing best on open ground. Maxentius had dismantled the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber to halt Constantine’s advance; Maxentius’ troops had to ford the Tiber to attack Constantine, this move put them in the open, favouring Constantine’s cavalry. Maxentius fought in the name of Mars, the Roman God of War; Constantine saw a flaming cross in the sky and fought in the name of Christianity. Constantine’s cavalry charged, disrupting Maxentius’ ranks; Maxentius was killed and his head paraded through Rome the next day on a spear.
1/5/305. Diocletian becomes the first Roman Emperor to abdicate. He retires to a palace on the Adriatic. There is now a division of responsibility, one emperor for the east and one for the west of the Empire. Diocletian died in 313.
28/11/303. Twenty years after coming to Power, the Emperor Diocletian made his first visit to Rome. There were festivals and games in his honour. After many years of disorder and danger, the Roman Empire is enjoying a period of peace. Diocletian made major administrative and economic reforms. He separated military and administrative departments, and fashioned a formal, unbroken, chain of command from the Emperor right down to the lowliest official in a distant province. His economic reforms were less successful. To tackle inflation he imposed price and wage controls. A wide range of goods were covered, including brandy, meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, leather, carpets, and clothes, in his edicts of 301. Maximum pay rates were also fixed, from labourer to lawyer; punishment for breaching these regulations was exile or even death. However these reforms collapsed under the impact of massive shortages and a rampant black market. Diocletian also simplified the tax system, but this effectively legalised the system of exacting contributions from the peasants in the form of labour and produce. This tied them to the land as serfs.
Diocletian’s price and wage list included the following. For wages, a labourer would get 25 denarii a day. Note that in 33 AD the days wage for a labourer was one denarius. Bakers would be paid 50 d a day, scribes 25 d per 100 lines, and teachers 50d per pupil per month. Prices would be, 1d for an egg, 24d for a lemon, 30d for a chicken, 250d for a pheasant, 30,000d for a male slave, and 100,000d for a racehorse.
4/3/303, St Adrian was martyred.
24/2/303, Emperor Diocletian ordered a massive persecution of the Christians.
3/9/301, The republic of San Marino was established (traditional date).
14/9/258, Saint Cyprian (born ca. 200) was martyred.
6/8/258, Pope Sixtus II martyred.
5/2/251, Saint Agatha was martyred.
20/3/235, Maximinius Thrax, aged 62, was proclaimed emperor. He had a Gothic father and an Alan mother. Maximinus a Thracian, was the first foreigner to hold the Roman throne.
18/3/235. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander, was killed in a battle against German invaders in Gaul. Born on 1/10/208 at Arca Caesarea, Phoenicia, Alexander was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235. In the early 230s he fought against the Persians, returning to Rome in triumph in 233. He improved the Empire economically; luxury and extravagance at the Roman Court were reduced, the standard of the coinage was raised, taxes were lightened, the lot of the soldiers was improved, and literature, science, and art were encouraged,. He instituted loan offices to lend money to the people at a reasonable rate of interest.
27/6/221. The 19 year old Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated by a member of the Praetorian Guard. Alexander Severus became emperor.
8/4/217, Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated after a bloody reign.
4/2/211. The Emperor Septimus Severus died at York whilst fighting the Caledonian tribes.
28/3/193, The Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated.
4/4/188, The Roman emperor Caracalla (211-17) was born at Lyons in Gaul.
17/3/180. Marcus Aurelius died of the plague. He was succeeded by his son Commodus. However Commodus fell prey to insanity due to excessive power. He attempted to rename Rome as Colonia Aurelia Nova Commodiana; also renaming the fleet, wheat, the legions, and the months of the year. On 31/12/192 Commodus, who saw himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, planned to sacrifice the new consuls on 1/1/193; the consul had an athlete called Narcissus strangle Commodus in his bath. His death ended the Antonine dynasty.
7/3/161. Emperor Antoninus died at Lorium and was replaced by Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
21/4/147. Emperor Antoninus celebrated the 900th anniversary of Rome’ s foundation.
XX 143. The Antonine Wall is built in Britain, north of Hadrian’s wall. However in 165 the Romans retreated back south to Hadrian’s wall.
10/7/138. Hadrian, who became Emperor of Rome on 8/8/117, died at his villa on the Bay of Naples. See 8/8/117.
26/4/121, Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, was born.
8/8/117. The Emperor Trajan died, and was succeeded by Hadrian. See 24/1/76, and 10/7/138. Hadrian abandoned the expansionist policy of Trajan and earlier emperors and sought to stabilise the frontiers of Rome. To achieve defensible frontiers the provinces of Assyria and Mesopotamia are abandoned, although there was as yet no thought of giving up Britain. Instead, Hadrian built a wall from the Solway Firth to the Tyne to keep out the Picts. Work on building this wall began in 122, and was completed in 130.
25/1/98, Nerva, Emperor of Rome, died. He was succeeded by his son Trajan, with whom he had ruled jointly for the last three months of his life.
18/9/96, Nerva (35 – 98) became Emperor of Rome. He purchased large areas of agricultural land in Italy and gave these to the poor. He also reformed the tax system and streamlined the Roman bureaucracy. On this day Emperor Domitian was murdered, by assassins in the pay of his wife, Domitilla. See 25/1/98.
23/8/93, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general renowned for his conquests, died in Rome. In 83 AD he had won a decisive victory against Caledonian tribes at the Battle of Mons Graupius, probably the Killiecrankie Pass. Had he been able to follow up this victory Rome might have conquered the whole of Britain up to the northern end of Scotland. However to Rome, Caledonia (Scotland) and the raids from its unsubdued tribes was a minor issue; the main problem then was the Germanic threat from east of the Rhine and north of the Danube. Agricola was recalled to Rome with Caledonia unconquered.
25/8/79, Pliny the Elder, naturalist, died, in the eruption of Vesuvius.
24/8/79. Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing 2,000 people.
23/6/79, Death of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.
24/1/76. Birth of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. See 8/8/117.
8/9/70. Jerusalem was stormed by the Romans after a two year siege. This ended a revolt by the Jews that began in 66. Only in Masada did the Jews still hold out for a while.
22/12/69, Aulus Vitellius, former Emperor of Rome, was dragged from his hiding place and assassinated.
1/7/69 Vespasian was proclaimed Emperor of Rome by the Roman Army.
15/4/69, The Roman Emperor Otto committed suicide.
15/1/69, The Roma Emperor Galba was assassinated.
2/1/69, Aulus Vitellius became Emperor of Rome.
9/6/68. Nero committed suicide, having been deserted by the Praetorian Guard and lost favour with the Senate.
18/7/64. The great fire of Rome took place during the reign of Nero (born 15/12/37, became emperor 13/10/54). He played the lyre and was 50 miles away at his villa in Antium when he heard the news. The fire destroyed 10 of the 14 districts of Rome and burned for 6 days. Nero was blamed for starting the fire, and to divert blame he said the Christians had started it, putting them to death in cruel ways.
13/10/54, Roman emperor Claudius I died, aged 64, possibly after being poisoned by Agrippina, his wife and niece, and was succeeded by Nero, Agrippina’s son by another marriage.
15/9/53, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, the Emperor Trajan, was born near Seville, Spain. He was the first Roman Emperor to be born in the provinces.
24/10/51, Domitian, Emperor of Rome, was born.
25/1/41, After a night of negotiation, Claudius was accepted as Emperor by the Senate.
24/1/41, Caligula, known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, was assassinated, aged 28, by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards.
15/12/37, Roman Emperor Nero was born.
18/3/37, The Roman Senate annulled Tiberius's will and proclaimed Caligula Roman Emperor.
16/3/37, Emperor Tiberius died.
XX 33, Jesus was put to death.
28/4/32, The Roman Emperor Otto was born.
18/10/31, Lucius Aelius Sejanus, plotter against Emperor Tiberius, was executed in Rome.
XX 29, Jesus baptised and commenced his ministry
4/10/23, After disastrous floods in China as the Yellow River changed course several times between 2AD and 11 AD, causing famine, starving rebel peasants stormed the Chinese Imperial Palace. Emperor Wang Mang attempted to marshal magical forces in defence, in vain, and he was killed in fighting on 6/10/23.
26/5/17. The Romans won a major victory over Arminius, avenging their defeat of XX 9 in the Teutoberg Forest.
2/1/17, The historian and poet Livy died in Rome.
24/9/15, The Roman Emperor Aulus Vitellius was born.
19/8/14. Death of the Roman Emperor Augustus. He was born in Rome on 23/9/63 BC. He was succeeded by Tiberius.
31/8/12, Birth of Emperor Caligula.
18/11/9, Birth of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.
10/1/9, Wang Mang assumed the title of Emperor of China, replacing the Han Dynasty by the new H’sin Dynasty.
XX 9. Three entire Roman legions under General Quintinius Varus were wiped out by the Germanic tribes under Arminius in the Teutoberg Forest. The Rhine was settled on by the Romans as the boundary of their empire. See 26/5/17.
3/2/6, Chinese Emperor P’ing suddenly died; some suspected Wang Mang of poisoning him. Wang Mang arranged for the youngest of some 50 possible successors, a 1 year old baby, to be the new Emperor; Wang Mang became Acting Emperor.
28/12/1. Herod ordered the slaughter of all the infants in Bethlehem to ensure the death of Jesus Christ, whom he saw as a possible future rival King.
15/8/1 BCE, Emperor Ai of China died. Wang Mang became Regent once more, at the behest of Wang Mang;s aunt, the Em