France & Germany; key historical events up to 31/12/1869
This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire – Voltaire
For growth of Germany from Brandenburg 1415 click here. See also entry for 1415 below.
Napoleon I 1769-1821
Seven Years War 1756-63
Mazarin / Conde 1643-52
Huguenot wars; 1560-1619
Thirty Years War
Hundred Years War 1337-1453
17/6/1869 Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s first military port, was officially inaugurated.
29/2/1868, Ex-King Louis of Bavaria died in Munich, aged 81. Louis was a patron of the arts and his capital, Munich, was a centre of culture. Louis had an affair with an Irish dancer, Marie Gilbert (stage name Lola Montez). This affair provoked a revolution; Louis had to abdicate in 1848, and Marie died destitute in new York in 1861, aged 43.
1/7/1867. The German Federal Constitution came into force.
17/4/1867, The North German Reichstag adopted the new federal Constitution. Four years later all of the German Empire had adopted it.
3/10/1866, The states north of the Mainz joined a new North German Confederation under Prussian leadership. Austria was finally excluded from the German Confederation. The formerly independent duchy of Nassau, Germany, 1,830 square miles, was incorporated with the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and Frankfurt Am Main. The southern German states agreed that their troops should come under the command of Prussia in the event of war.
3/7/1866, In northern Czechoslovakia, the Austrian army was routed by Prussian forces at the Battle of Sadowa (Koniggratz). The victory by Bismarck was sealed at the Treaty of Prague, by which Austria renounced her claim to Schleswig-Holstein, where Germany would later build a great naval base at Kiel and build the Kiel Canal linking the Baltic and North Seas.
29/6/1866, The Hanoverian army was forced to capitulate to the Prussians after a defeat in the Battle of Lasngensalza.
15/6/1866, Prussian troops crossed the frontiers of Hanover, Saxony, and Hesse-Cassel.
7/6/1866, Prussian troops entered Holstein. This was the start of the Austro-Prussian War.
8/4/1866. Bismarck arranged an alliance between Italy and Germany. Italy promised to join Germany in was against Austria if war broke out in the next three months.
30/10/1864. By the Peace of Vienna, Denmark gave up Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg. These provinces came under Austrian and Prussian rule.
28/9/1862, Bismarck made his ‘blood and iron’ speech.
23/9/1862. Bismarck arrived in Berlin and was made Prime Minister of Prussia.
2/2/1861, The Franco-Monagesque Treaty restored independence to Monaco.
10/7/1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed.
27/1/1859, Kaiser Willhelm II was born in Potsdam, near Berlin. He was the son of the German Emperor and the grandson of Queen Victoria.
13/3/1858, Felice Orsini, Italian revolutionary, was executed for his part in the assassination attempt on Napoleon III in Paris.
14/1/1858, An Italian assassin threw a bomb at French Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie as they drove to the Paris Opera. The bomb, thrown by Felici Orsini, missed its target but killed eight bystanders and injured 100. Orsini planned the attack in London, causing anti-British sentiment in France.
24/4/1856, Philippe Petain, French Army Marshall, was born in Cuchy a la Tour.
For Crimean War see Russia 1850s
4/4/1853. The customs union signed by various German states was extended for another 12 years; Austria remained excluded.
29/1/1853, Napoleon III of France married Eugenie de Montijo in Paris.
1852, Napoleon III gave the Bois de Bolougne to Paris for a public park.
2/12/1852, Louis Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor of France as Napoleon III. The Second French Empire was proclaimed.
12/1/1852, Joseph Joffre, French Army Marshall and Commander in Chief on the Western Front, was born in Rivesaltes.
2/10/1851, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French General who led the counteroffensive that defeated Germany in 1918, was born in Tarbes, France.
26/8/1850, Death of Louis Philippe, the ‘citizen king’, who abdicated rather than face a middle-class revolt.
16/4/1850. Swiss waxworks show proprietor Madame Marie Tussaud died. She was born on 1/12/1761 in Strasbourg. She learnt the art of wax modelling from her uncle, Philippe Curtius. Before the French Revolution Mme Tussaud was art tutor at Versailles to Louis XVI’s sister, Elizabeth. After a period in prison she was tasked with making death masks from the heads of those guillotined, some of whom she recognised as friends. She left Paris in 1802, along with her waxwork models, and two sons from a failed marriage to a French engineer, Francois Tussaud. She spent 33 years touring Britain before opening a permanent display in London.
31/5/1850, France passed a law requiring voters to be resident in the same place for three years before qualifying for a vote. This was to exclude migratory workers, who tended to be radical.
3/5/1849, Bernhard, Prince von Bulow, German Chancellor and Prime Minister of Prussia (1900-=09) was born.
19/3/1849, Alfred von Tirpitz, German Admiral, was born in Kustrin, Brandenburg, Prussia.
20/12/1848, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed President of France.
11/12/1848. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President of the French Republic by a large majority.
26/8/1848. Denmark and Prussia signed a truce at Malmo. Both agreed to evacuate the disputed territory of Schleswig-Holstein.
26/6/1848. Riots in Paris from the 23rd to the 26th June.
10/5/1848, The French Assembly spurned the proposal of Louis Blanc to establish a Ministry of Labour and Progress, a bold measure to implement Blanc's socialist agenda.
2/5/1848. Prussia invaded Denmark over the Schleswig-Holstein question.
20/3/1848, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, abdicated.
17/3/1848, Protests in Berlin against the conservatism of Prussian ruler Frederick William IV.
3/3/1848, Louis-Philippe of France arrived in England, following his abdication. Meanwhile economic depression and hunger, and discontent amongst the growing middle classes, was spurring revolution across Europe. Demonstrations occurred in Vienna and across Hungarian cities; ethnic minorities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire were demanding self-rule. Venice proclaimed independence from Austria.
26/2/1848, The Second French Republic was proclaimed. See 24/2/1848.
24/2/1848. The French monarchy fell as King Louis Philippe fled to exile in England. See 26/2/1848.
2/10/1847, Paul von Hindenburg, German politician, was born.
25/8/1845, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, was born.
28/9/1841, Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister 1917-20, was born.
15/12/1840, Napoleon’s body was interred in Les Invalides, Paris.
1836, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris, was completed (begun by Napoleon to commemorate his victories between 1790 and 1814). It is Europe’s largest triumphal arch, 50 meres high and 45 metres wide.
2/3/1835, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, died.
1/1/1834, The German zollervein (customs union) now extended to all German states except Austria and the north-eastern states.
22/3/1833. A customs union, or zollverein, was signed between Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Prussia, and Hesse-Darmstadt. Austria was excluded. This zollverein covered 17 states with a total population of 20 million. Until now, 67 different tariffs and 13 non-Prussian enclaves, each with a different fiscal system, had hampered economic development. The zollverein was the idea of the economist Friedrich List, who returned to Prussia from the USA in 1832. Germany was also being united by the spread of the railways out from Berlin.
28/6/1832, Metternich insisted on the German Confederation’s acceptance of the Six Articles. This uniformised the behaviour of sovereigns across German States, forbade public meetings, and introduced surveillance of suspicious characters.
18/10/1831, Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, was born.
9/3/1831. King Louis-Philippe founded the French Foreign Legion. Its headquarters was at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria. In 1962 the headquarters was moved to Aubagne, France. See 5/7/1830.
15/12/1830, Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke (born 18/2/1776) a Prussian general and the first recipient of the Iron Cross, died.
7/8/1830, Louis Philippe accepted the Crown of France.
2/8/1830, The July Revolution in France ended. Charles X abdicated.
29/7/1830, French liberals opposed to Charles X seized Paris.
27/7/1830, Revolutionary riots in Paris, The July Revolution, sparked by the harsh policies of King Charles X.
24/9/1828. Several German states founded the Commercial Union of Central Germany, signing a customs agreement with Prussia.
11/1/1828, The Prussian zollervein, or customs union, was extended to Hesse Darmstadt. From 1825 a new Prussian finance minister, Friedrich von Motz, had begun to extend the Prussian customs union or zollervein. Independent enclaves or city states had previously served as smuggling centres, hindering tax collection. In May 1829 Bavaria, whose ruler Louis I was keen on the zollervein, joined. See 1/1/1834.
13/10/1825, Maximilian I, King of Bavaria, died.
16/9/1824. Louis XVIII, King of France, died aged 68, leaving a strong and prosperous country, in contrast to its defeat under Napoleon. However his attempts at constitutional reform were thwarted by the ultra-royalists. He was succeeded by his brother, Charles X.
28/2/1824, Charles Blondin, French tightrope walker famous for his crossings of Niagara Falls, was born in Hesdin near Calais, as Jean Francois Gravelet.
5/5/1821. Napoleon Bonaparte died, in exile on St Helena, in the Atlantic (born 15/8/1769). The cause may have been arsenic poisoning, or it may have been stomach cancer, which also killed Napoleon’s father.
12/9/1819, Gebhard von Blucher, Prussian Field Marshall who helped the Allies to victory against Napoleon, died in Silesia.
21/11/1818. France was admitted to the Quadruple alliance, now the Quintuple alliance (see 20/11/1815). France’s war indemnity was cut.
29/9/1818, The Congress of Aix La Chapelle began.
26/5/1818. A Bill presented by the economist and councillor Karl Maaseen was adopted. It abolished customs procedures within Prussia and lifted trade restrictions.
23/10/1817, Pierre Larousse, French lexicographer, was born.
7/12/1815. Marshall Ney, a famous general of Napoleon, convicted of high treason, was executed by firing squad for supporting Napoleon at Waterloo when ordered by the Allies to arrest him.
20/11/1815. A second Treaty of Paris reduced France to its 1789 frontiers (see 30/5/1814), stripped her of the port of Savoy, and created an organisation charged with the collective security of Europe. Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia renewed their Quadruple Alliance and agreed to exclude the Bonaparte dynasty from French rule for another 20 years. An Allied army of occupation was installed in Paris. An Allied army of occupation was installed in Paris. Under this Alliance, each power agreed to supply 60,000 soldiers in the event of French aggression.
16/10/1815, Napoleon arrived at St Helena, see 8/8/1815.
13/10/1815, Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies, was executed.
22/8/1815, Pro Royalists won the first free elections in France.
8/8/1815. Napoleon set sail for exile on St Helena. He arrived there on 16/10/1815.
17/7/1815. Napoleon attempted to escape to America from Rochefort but was captured by the British.
15/7/1815. Napoleon surrendered to Captain Maitland of the ship Bellerophon at Rochefort.
7/7/1815. The Allies entered Paris victoriously a second time, and King Louis XVIII returned to Paris.on 8/7/1815.
1/7/1815, A battle between the French and the Allies at Ligny, near Fleurus, Belgium.
26/9/1815. Holy Alliance formed between Russia, Austria, and Prussia.
25/6/1815. Napoleon abdicated in Paris for a second time.
21/6/1815, Napoleon reached Paris.
18/6/1815. Sunday; the Battle of Waterloo was fought, in driving rain., in the flat Belgian countryside. Combined British and Prussian forces, 15,000 and 8,000 respectively) led by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshall Blucher decisively defeated the French (25,000) under Napoleon. Napoleon miscalculated, underestimating his enemies. The French soldiers were aware of an advancing force on their right flank; Napoleon knew this was the Prussian Army, but reckoned he could defeat the British before they arrived, then re-deploy. He told the French Army these were more French soldiers. When the Prussians opened fire on the French it seemed as these ‘French’ soldiers had changed sides; a cry of ‘treason’ went up, and the French Army disintegrated. Napoleon himself retreated westwards, but was held up at Genappe, only four miles from the battlefield, as a mass of men attempted to cross the only bridge over the River Dyle. Finally, only minutes before the Prussian cavalry arrived at Genappe, Napoleon succeeded in crossing the bridge and galloped away towards Paris. See 26/2/1815.
16/6/1815, Battle of Quatre Bras.
15/6/1815. Napoleon defeated the Prussians under Blucher at the Battle of Ligny, Netherlands. The Prussians lost 12,000 men, against French losses of of 8,500. Napoleon was hoping, by invading The Netherlands, to eliminate Britain and Prussia from the coalition against him.
8/6/1815, Abandoning the idea of re-establishing the old German Empire, the 39 disparate German States formed a Union whose constitution was laid down in the Federal Act which came into force this day. However the rulers of States such as Bavaria, Hanover, Wurttemberg, Baden, and Saxony were unwilling to cede any authority to a central government.
23/5/1815, Ferdinand IV formally retook the Neapolitan throne.
20/5/1815, Murat fled to Corsica and the pro-Napoleon Neapolitans, now under the command of General Michele Caracosa, signed a treaty agreeing to the restoration of King Ferdinand IV.
3/5/1815, Murat was heavily defeated at the Battle of Tolentino by General Bianchi’s Austrian I Corps.
9/4/1815, Murat was defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello.
1/4/1815. Otto von Bismarck, German statesman, was born at Schonhausen in Brandenburg.
25/3/1815. Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, concluded a new alliance against France. On 10/4/1815 Austria also declares war on Joachim Murat, the King of Naples, who has allied himself with Napoleon. On 3/5/1815 Murat was defeated by the Austrians at Tolentino. Murat fled Naples on 20/5/1815 and entered France. On 3/6/1815 Murat was replaced by Ferdinand IV, the former King of Naples.
20/3/1815. Napoleon re-entered Paris; Louis XVIII had hurriedly left the previous night, and fled for Ghent. British fears that Elba was too close a place to France to exile Napoleon were realised.
17/3/1815, Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia mobilised 150,000 men each to fight Napoleon.
15/3/1815, On hearing of Napoleon’s escape, Joachim Murat, King of Naples and Napoleon’s brother in law, declared war on Austria.
14/3/1815,Marshal Ney, who had been sent to arrest Napoleon at Auxerre, instead joined him with 6,000 men.
7/3/1815. The first French troops rallied to Napoleon.
1/3/1815. Napoleon landed at Cannes, southern France, with a force of 1,500 men, and marched on Paris.
26/2/1815. Napoleon escaped from exile on Elba. He arrived in Paris on 20/3/1815.
2/12/1814, Marquis de Sade died in a lunatic asylum at Charenton.
1/11/1814, The Congress of Vienna opened, following Napoleon’s defeat.
30/5/1814. The Treaty of Paris returned France to its 1792 borders (see 20/11/1815). France renounced all claims to Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, and Malta.
24/5/1814, Pope Pius VII, exiled by Napoleon Bonaparte, returned to Rome.
3/5/1814. Louis XVIII entered Paris, to rule as a constitutional (Bourbon) monarch, ending his exile in England.
11/4/1814, Napoleon officially abdicated, see 6/4/1814.
6/4/1814. Napoleon, granted a pension and sovereignty of the island of Elba, agreed to abdicate at Fontainebleau (he abdicated on 11/4/1814). He retained the title of Emperor. On 3/5/1814 Napoleon landed on Elba.
31/3/1814. Paris, encircled, poorly defended, and flooded with refugees, surrendered. Marmont was the French commander who surrendered.
20/3/1814. Napoleon was defeated at Arcis sur Aube, 17 miles NE of Troyes, leaving the way open for the Allies to occupy Paris.
12/3/1814. British forces under Wellington occupied Bordeaux, following, on 10/3/1814, Napoleon’s defeat at Laon.
17/1/1814. Murat defected from Napoleon’s rule, and the French domination of Italy was at risk.
31/12/1813. Prussian forces under Blucher crossed the Rhine frontier into France, pursuing retreating French forces.
30/12/1813, Danzig surrendered to the Allies, who then threatened to invade France if Napoleon did not come to terms.
26/12/1813, Modlin and Torgau captured by the Allies.
5/12/1813, Lubeck surrendered to the Allies.
11/11/1813, Dresden surrendered to the Allies.
10/11/1813, Wellington crossed the frontier into France in pursuit of Marshal Soult.
18/10/1813. Napoleon was defeated at Leipzig, Saxony, by the Prussians, Swedes, and Austrians. The French lost Germany. Casualties totalled 110,000. See 31/12/1813.
8/10/1813. Having liberated Spain from the French, British troops under Wellington invaded southern France.
6/9/1813. While trying to take Berlin, Napoleon’s forces under Marshall Ney were defeated by the Prussians under Bulow, at Dennewitz.
27/8/1813, Battle of Dresden, the last major victory of Napoleon.
12/8/1813. Austria declared war on France. England was giving financial support to Spain, and the Spaniards together with English troops were advancing from the south against France. Napoleon was therefore now fighting almost the whole of Europe.
21/6/1813. The victory of Wellington at Vitoria in the Peninsular War. Spain was lost by the French. Napoleon had deposed the Spanish monarch and replaced him with his own brother, Joseph. However this act provoked major Spanish popular resistance against France and led to Napoleon’s defeat there.
15/6/1813, Britain formed a new alliance with Prussia and Russia against Napoleon.
12/6/1813. Napoleon pulled out of Madrid.
For more events of Peninsular War, see Spain-Portugal
30/5/1813, The French took Hamburg.
22/5/1813. Napoleon I defeated an allied army of Russians and Prussians at Bautzen, Saxony.
2/5/1813. Napoleon defeated a combined Russian and Prussian army at Grossgorchen, near Lutzen.
18/3/1813. Russian troops reached Hamburg, and on 27/3/1813 they occupied Dresden, capital of Saxony.
13/3/1813. Prussia declared war on France, but was defeated at Lutzen and Bautzen.
4/3/1813. The Russians reached Berlin, which surrendered without a fight.
20/12/1812. The retreating remains of Napoleon’s Russian invasion force reached eastern Prussia.
26/11/1812, The Battle of Berezina. The Russians won; French plans to over-winter at Smolensk had been thwarted.
18/11/1812, Russian forces closing in on the retreating French in western Russia won the Battle of Polotsk.
16/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Krasnoi.
9/11/1812. One of the worst winters on record in northern Europe began, severely affecting Napoleon’s troops as they retreated from Moscow (see 14/9/1812). Napoleon’s army endured temperatures as low as –37 C for 27 consecutive days. On 9/12/1812 Napoleon’s troops reached the undefended city of Vilnius; some 35,000 French troops died during the last four days of the march westwards to Vilnius. Napoleon had already fled Vilnius on 5/12/1812, and returned to Paris, abandoning his army to the Russians. On 10/12/1812 the Russians reached Vilnius and vented their fury on Napoleon’s army. Most of the French had already died of cold, hunger, and disease by the time the Tsar entered Vilnius on 22/12/1812.
3/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Vyazama.
2/11/1812. Napoleon’s forces re-occupied Madrid after a British force failed to capture Burgos, which they laid siege to in September 1812.
23/10/1812, An anti-Napoleonic faction in Paris attempted a coup, believing Napoleon to have died in Russia.
19/10/1812, Napoleon’s forces began their retreat from Moscow.
18/10/1812, Russian forces defeated the French at the Battle of Tarutino, south of Moscow.
16/9/1812, French troops in Moscow destroyed what the Russian had left.
14/9/1812. Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned and burned by the Russians in their scorched earth policy. This denied Napoleon’s army much-needed winter quarters. Winter was approaching (see 9/11/1812) and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Napoleon failed to persuade Czar Alexander to come to terms, and his army began to leave Moscow to return to France on 19/10/1812.
For Napoleon in Russia see also Russia, 1812
For more events of Peninsular War see also Spain 1810s
7/9/1812. Napoleon’s forces marching to Moscow defeated the Russians under Kutzov at the Battle of Borodino, 70 miles west of the city. Each side lost some 40,000 men.
18/8/1812. Napoleon’s forces entered Smolensk.
16/8/1812, The Battle of Smolensk began.
12/8/1812. Viscount Wellington’s British forces entered Madrid in the war against Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte.
22/7/1812. British forces under the Duke of Wellington defeat the French at Salamanca, western Spain, during the Peninsular War.
24/6/1812. Napoleon began his conquest of Russia. France and Russia had been allies but relations had deteriorated between them. This day La Grande Armee crossed the River Niemen into Russia. On 28/6/1812 he captured Vilnius, capital of Poland. Napoleon headed the biggest army ever assembled up to that time, 614,000 men of at least 20 different nationalities. Within 6 months, 90% of them would be dead. Napoleon wanted Russia under Tsar Alexander I to join the French blockade of Britain. Napoleon’s army was welcomed as he entered Lithuania and Poland, as liberators from the Russians, who had taken control of these countries in 1795.
26/4/1812, Alfred Krupp, German arms manufacturer, was born in Essen, in the Ruhr.
For more events of Peninsular war see Spain
20/3/1811, Napoleon Bonaparte’s son was born; he was nominated as the King of Rome.
1810, The Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, opened.
27/9/1810, (Spain) Wellington defeated the French at Busaco, in the Peninsular War. Wellington then withdrew behind the Lines (fortifications) of Torres Vedras which Wellington had built to protect Lisbon and waited as the French forces starved and retreated.
2/4/1810. Napoleon married Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian Emperor, having rejected Josephine because of her inability to fill the royal nursery.
17/2/1810. Napoleon annexed the Papal States.
4/2/1810. Czar Alexander refused Napoleon the hand of his sister Anna, aged 15.
16/12/1809. Napoleon divorced Josephine Beauharnais, because she has not given him a son, during their 13-year marriage.
28/7/1809, At the Battle of Talavera, in the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington was victorious over the French Admiral Soult.
15/7/1809, Napoleon Bonaparte annulled his marriage to Josephine. He married the Austrian Archduchess Marie Louise in April 1810.
6/7/1809. Napoleon gained victory at Wagram over Austria. Pope Pius VII was arrested. Austria had tried to regain its old position whilst Napoleon was occupied in Spain. See 14/10/1809.
5/7/1809, Napoleon annexed the Papal States.
10/6/1809, Napoleon was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII. On 6/7/1809 Pope Pius was arrested for this act.
21/5/1809, Battle of Aspern-Essling, fought between Napoleon’s French troops and the Austrians. Napoleon lost. Austria had reopened hostilities against France in 1809, with a re-organised army. However Napoleon reacted swiftly and pushed down the Danube to occupy Vienna.
22/4/1809, Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Eckmuhl.
10/4/1809. Austria declared war on France and its army entered Bavaria.
12/3/1809. Britain signed a treaty with Persia, forcing the French out of the country.
16/1/1809, The British won a rearguard action against the French, under Nicolas Soult, at Corunna in the Peninsular War. Britain had invaded Spain in the hope of raising anti-Napoleonic support but found this lacking. Corunna enabled the British forces to be successfully evacuated. However the British commander, Sir John Moore, was killed in this battle.
3/12/1808, Napoleon entered Madrid. He installed Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain.
14/10/1808, The closure of the Conference of Erfurt (began 27/9/1808); a settlement of European affairs between Napoleon I of France and Czar Alexander I of Russia. It was also attended by the 34 princes of the Confederation of the Rhine. In return for territorial gains in Europe (Finland, Moldova and Wallachia) Alexander I agreed not to hinder the French war effort in Spain, and to assist Franc if it was attacked by Austria.
21/8/1808, British troops under Wellington defeated the French under General Junot. This was at the Battle of Vimiero, during the Peninsular War. The Peninsular War absorbed some 300,000 of Napoleon’s best troops, and was ended when Napoleon heard reports that Austria, backed by Britain, was arming against him.
20/7/1808, Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, entered Madrid; meanwhile Spanish patriots defeated the French army at Bailen.
1/5/1808, King Charles IV of Spain abdicated in favour of Joseph Bonaparte.
2/2/1808, French forces occupied Rome.
17/12/1807, The Milan Decree was issued.
29/11/1807, The Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil as France invaded Portugal, which had refused to join the Continental System.
11/11/1807, Britain extended its naval blockade to Russia after the Anglo-Russian alliance against France was broken, see 7/7/1807.
5/9/1807, British forces seized the North Sea island of Heligoland from Denmark. In 1980 Britain ceded the island to Germany in return for Zanzibar.
2/9/1807, Britain bombarded and destroyed the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, to prevent its use by France or Russia.
18/8/1807, Napoleon I created the Kingdom of Westphalia, and set up his brother Jerome as ruler.
7/7/1807. Napoleon signed the Treaty of Tilsit, making peace with Russia and Prussia. Prussia continued to exist as a kingdom, but was forced to cede all its lands west of the Elbe, as well as most of its recent acquisitions in Poland. Out of the former Prussian territory between the Elbe and the Weser, Napoleon created the Kingdom of Westphalia, installing his brother Jerome as King.
14/6/1807. Napoleon gained victory at Friedland Prussia, against the Russians, under Levin Bennigsen.
26/5/1807, The French took Danzig.
4/5/1807. The Finkenstein Treaty was signed between France and Persia. The French agreed to military aid and advice, to assist Persia in expelling the Russians from Georgia. In return Persia pro missed to assist France in any French invasion of British-held India.
18/3/1807, British troops occupied Alexandria, but were forced out again by the Turks.
8/2/1807, Napoleon’s army fought a combined force of Russians and Prussians at Eylau, East Prussia. Napoleon’s advance into Poland was halted, temporarily.
21/11/1806. Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree forbidding the importation of British goods and even excluding from harbours under his control or in friendly countries any vessel that had touched at a British port. This was effectively an economic blockade of Britain, causing British food prices to rise and the British textile industry to decline.
14/10/1806. Napoleon’s army defeated the Prussians at Jena. The French General Davout also defeated the Prussians this day at Auerstadt. Napoleon entered Berlin in triumph and Frederick William had to flee to Konigsberg.
6/8/1806, Francis II renounced the crown of the Holy Roman Empire.
12/7/1806. Creation of the Confederation of the Rhine. Napoleon united the states he had created, including Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, and Berg. The Confederation of the Rhine had an independent internal policy but no foreign policy independent of Napoleon, and had to supply troops to Napoleon if required. The old German Empire ceased to exist politically; Germany became a mere geographical area.
16/5/1806. Britain blockaded the European coast from Brest to Hamburg.
15/2/1806. France and Prussia signed the Treaty of Paris, by which Prussia closed its ports to British goods. Britain declared war on Prussia.
23/1/1806. William Pitt the Younger, twice Prime Minister (the first when only 24), died at Putney aged 47. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Napoleon was still strong in Europe. Prussia, who had been reluctant to join the Allies, now had to live with French domination of the puppet state of the Confederation of the Rhine.
31/12/1805. The French Revolutionary Calendar introduced after the Revolution was abandoned for the Gregorian Calendar.
14/12/1805, Nelson blockaded the French Mediterranean ports, and Spain declared war on Britain.
2/12/1805. Battle of Austerlitz near Brunn, Moravia. The French under Napoleon I defeated a combined force of the Russians and Austrians. Napoleon, with 70,000 troops, faced an enemy reinforced to 86,000 men by the arrival of new Russian troops. A Russian attempt to outflank Napoleon’s right was thwarted by Napoleon’s thrust towards the weakened Allied centre. The Allies lost 18,500 men to just 900 French casualties. Austria sued for peace, and was forced to abandon her territorial interests in Italy, also losing lands in the western Alps. The British Prime Minister, Pitt, was dismayed. The Russians withdrew from fighting France, and Napoleon now occupied much of southern Germany. See 26/12/1805.
14/11/1805. Napoleon’s army entered Vienna.
21/10/1805. Battle of Trafalgar. Death of Nelson. Nelson blockaded the combined fleets of France and Spain in Cadiz. The French Admiral, Villeneuve, attempted to break out, but British ships sank or captured most of the French and Spanish ships. The French had planned to link up with the Spanish fleet in the West Indies and so lure the British into giving chase across the Atlantic. However Nelson guessed at the French tactics and the Admiralty was warned. A British fleet under Calder found the French fleet off Cape Finistere and they put into Spanish harbours. The French fleet later emerged to sail, not for Britain, but to return to the Mediterranean. The French were intercepted off Cape Trafalgar, and destroyed in the Battle of Trafalgar. This destroyed Napoleon’s chances of dominating the English Channel, so prevented a French invasion of England.
20/10/1805. The outnumbered French army of Napoleon defeated an Austrian army at Ulm;27,000 Austrian troops surrendered. Napoleon had already realised he cold not gain control of the English Channel, or overcome British naval supremacy, so before the Battle of Trafalgar he had directed his forces eastwards, against Austria. Austria had to submit to the Treaty of Presburg, by which Venetia was ceded to the French Kingdom of Italy and the States of the Lower Rhine were forced into the Confederation of the Rhine, a French dependency. The Electors of Bavaria and Wurttemberg became Kings independent of Austria, and Austria had to pay Napoleon a war contribution of 40 million francs.
15/10/1805, Karl Mack, Prussian General, was forced to surrender to Napoleon at Ulm.
26/5/1805, Napoleon was crowned King of Italy in Milan Cathedral.
2/12/1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, by Pope Pius VII.
21/5/1804, The Pere Lachaise cemetery was opened in Paris.
18/5/1804. Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Emperor of France. He was crowned Emperor on 2/12/1804 in the presence of Pope Pius VII. He had ruled in name since he was made Consul for Life in 1802, when a referendum gave him 3 million votes, with only a few thousand against. He had reformed the economy and government, and made France a great power again.
21/3/1804, A new civil code, the Code Napoleon, came into force in Paris.
20/3/1804, The Duc d’Enghien was shot at Vincennes for plotting to restore the French monarchy.
2/12/1803. The French army set up camp at Boulogne, preparing to invade England.
18/3/1803. France and England were at war again, in contravention of the Treaty of Amiens, signed in 1802 See 25/3/1802.
2/8/1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was made Consul for life.
19/5/1802. France instituted the Legion d’Honneur, the highest award for civil or military distinction.
25/3/1802. The Treaty of Amiens was signed between the British, Spanish, Dutch, and the French, ushering in a fragile peace between the 2 countries that lasted just over 12 months. Both counties were exhausted from continual warfare. Napoleon still detested the British and both countries built up their navies as Britain still feared a French invasion. See 18/5/1803.
15/7/1801. The Roman Catholic Church was re-established in France.
2/4/1801. Nelson put his blind eye to his telescope at the Battle of Copenhagen, aboard the Elephant, thus failing to see Admiral Parker’s command to stop fighting. He continued the action until the French-Danish fleet was totally subdued.
21/3/1801, At the Battle of Alexandria, The French made a surprise attack on the British near Alexandria, Egypt. The British under General Abercrombie defeated the French, but Abercrombie himself was mortally wounded.
2/3/1801, The British landed a force at Aboukir Bay, Egypt, to try and evict the French from that country.
9/2/1801, By the Peace of Luneville, the cession of the west bank of the Rhine to France was confirmed. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved.
See also Egypt for British-French military conflict 1801 in Egypt
24/12/1800. An unsuccessful attempt was made on Napoleon’s life at Rue St Nicaise by French Royalists.
3/12/1800, Battle of Hohenstaufen; the French defeated the Austrians.
26/10/1800, Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian general, was born in Mecklenberg.
30/9/1800, Napoleon signed the Treaty of Mortefontaine, settling a naval dispute between France and America.
5/9/1800, French troops occupying Malta surrendered to Britain.
14/6/1800. At the Battle of Marengo, near Alessandria, north west Italy, the French under Napoleon heavily defeated the Austrians during the French Revolutionary Wars. The French thus won back Italy, and advanced victoriously into southern Germany.
9/6/1800, Napoleon won the Battle of Montebello, south of Milan.
2/6/1800, Napoleon’s army occupied Milan.
17/5/1800, Napoleon’s army reached Aosta. Italy, having traversed the Great St Bernard Pass.
14/5/1800, Napoleon’s army reached Martigny on its march south east into Italy.
24/3/1800, A French army under Kleber defeated the Turks at Heliopolis.
19/2/1800, Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself First Consul of the newly formed French dictatorship.
15/12/1799. France declared a new constitution.
9/11/1799. After a coup, Corsican General Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Consul, with Sieyes and Ducis. He made his name at the defeat of the British fleet at the revolt of Toulon, 1793.
9/10/1799, Napoleon returned to France.
25/9/1799, Napoleon gained victory at Zurich.
18/9/1799, Napoleon gained victory at Alkmaar, Holland.
23/8/1799. Leaving the French Army under Kleber, Napoleon left to return to France.
15/8/1799, Napoleon was defeated at Novi.
25/7/1799. Napoleon gained victory over the Turks at Aboukir.
7/6/1799, Battle of Zurich. Napoleon defeated a Russian army.
10/5/1799. Napoleon withdrew from attacking Acre after an 8th unsuccessful assault.
29/12/1798, Formation of the Second Coalition against France; Britain, Austria, Russia, Naples and Portugal.
9/9/1798. The Ottoman Empire declared war on France because of its occupation of Egypt.
1/8/1798. At the Battle of the Nile, at Aboukir Bay, Admiral Nelson, on the ship Vanguard, destroyed 11 out of 13 French battleships which were the convoy that took Napoleon to Egypt. The French commander was Brueys, aboard the ship L’Orient. The crew were mostly ashore getting water, leaving no one to man the 120 French guns. This effectively trapped the French Army in Egypt. Five French ships with 5,000 men were sunk, 2 ships were captured, and 2 ships managed to escape from Nelson. On 10/2/1799 Napoleon left Egypt for Syria, occupying Gaza on 24/2/1799. On 7/3/1799 Napoleon captured Jaffa, where his soldiers massacred over 2,0000 Albanian prisoners. On 17/5/1799 Napoleon lifted the siege of Acre after failing to capture it.
21/7/1798, At the Battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon, soon after his invasion of Egypt, defeated an army of some 60,000 Mamelukes.
2/7/1798. The French invaded Egypt, see 31/8/1801.
11/6/1798. Malta surrendered to Napoleon Bonaparte. On 2/9/1798 the Maltese revolted against French occupation, forcing the French troops to take refuge in the citadel of Valetta.
19/5/1798. Napoleon left France for Egypt.
11/2/1798, French troops captured Rome.
16/11/1797, Death of the Prussian King Frederick William II, aged 53. He was succeeded by Frederick William III.
17/10/1797. Napoleon made peace with Austria at Campo-Formio. Austria to cede the Belgian provinces to France in return for Venice, Dalmatia and Istria.
4/9/1797, A French army coup halted the plans of British backed Royalists in Paris.
25/6/1797. Admiral Nelson was wounded in the right arm by grapeshot, during the Battle of Santa Cruz, off Tenerife. He had the arm amputated that afternoon.
18/4/1797¸ Napoleon signed preliminaries of peace with Austria.
13/4/1797, Napoleon captured Leoben on his advance from Italy into Austria.
22/3/1797, (1) Napoleon captured Gorizia, in an advance from Italy into Austria..
(2) Wilhelm I, Emperor of Germany, was born.
19/2/1797, Napoleon captured Tolentino, Italy, where he signed a treaty with the Papacy (The Peace of Tolentino)
9/2/1797, Napoleon captured Ancona, Italy.
2/2/1797, Napoleon captured Mantua, Italy.
1/2/1797, Napoleon captured Bologna, Italy.
14/1/1797, Battle of Rivoli. Napoleon’s first decisive victory over the Austrians.
15/12/1796, A French fleet under General Hoche sailed from Brest to invade Ireland. However a storm dispersed the fleet off Kerry and the invasion was called off.
5/10/1796. Spain declared war on Britain by signing the Treaty of San Il Defonso, allying it with Revolutionary France. The Treaty was engineered by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, lover of King Charles IV’s wife Maria Luisa. De Godoy was opposed to monarchist Britain. Many ordinary Spanish opposed the Treaty, which diminished Spain as an imperial power and weakened her influence in The Americas.
30/6/1796, Napoleon marched into central Italy, taking Florence this day.
23/6/1796, Pope Pius VI signed an armistice with Napoleon.
3/6/1796, Napoleon advanced to Verona, thereby securing all of Austrian Lombardy.
17/5/1796, Napoleon advanced to Brescia.
15/5/1796, Napoleon occupied Milan.
10/5/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of Lodi.
28/4/1796, Napoleon reached an armistice with Sardinia.
13/4/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of Millesimo.
10/3/1796. Napoleon gained victory at the Battle of Lodi.
9/3/1796. Napoleon married Josephine de Beautharnais.
2/3/1796. Napoleon was appointed Commander in Chief of the Army of Italy and The Alps.
26/10/1795. Napoleon was appointed General of the Army of the Interior.
5/10/1795. Napoleon participated in defeating a Royalist uprising in Paris. He became Commander of the Army of the Interior.
1/10/1795, Belgium was incorporated in the French Republic.
15/7/1795. The Marsellaise was officially adopted as the French National Anthem. It had been written by the French
Army Captain Rouget de Lisle in 1792, whilst he was stationed at Strasbourg.
23/6/1795, Off the port of Lorient, NW France, a British fleet under Lord Bridport defeated the French under Villaret-Joyeuse.
5/4/1795, Frederick William of Prussia signed a peace treaty with France (First Treaty of Basle), to leave himself free to deal with his eastern frontier. The west bank of the Rhine was given to France.
2/1/1795, The French captured the Dutch fleet as it stood frozen into the River Texel. William V escaped to England as the French established a Batavian Republic.
20/8/1794, Napoleon was released, see 10/8/1794.
10/8/1794, In France, Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly arrested because of his connections with the Jacobins, a radical political group.
28/7/1794, Maximillien Robespierre, 36, French leader of the Jacobins during the French Revolution, was guillotined in Paris. Anti-Jacobin sentiment rose. Robespierre’s zeal for use of the guillotine made even his former friends uneasy. See 27/7/1793.
17/7/1794, The Paris Commune, set up in 1791, was suppressed.
12/7/1794. Admiral Nelson lost his right eye at the siege of the French garrison at Calvi in Corsica.
26/6/1794, The French defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus.
1/6/1794, The Battle of the Glorious 1st June.
5/4/1794, George Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader, was guillotined for treason, nine months after his dismissal from the Committee of Public Safety which was ruling France.
18/12/1793. The British withdrew from Toulon and Napoleon was appointed General de Brigade.
6/12/1793, Madame du Barry, last mistress of King Louis XV of France, was guillotined by the Revolutionary Council.
8/11/1793, In Paris, the Revolutionary Government allowed the public to view the Royal art collection for the first time.
16/10/1793. Marie Antoinette, born 2/11/1755, the Queen of France as wife of Louis XVI, was convicted of treason and guillotined in Paris. See 21/7/1793. Aged 38, she had been held in prison for over a year; since August in solitary confinement.
23/8/1793, France introduced the first national conscription, claiming all unmarried men aged 18 to 25.
1/8/1793, The kilogram was introduced in France as the first metric weight.
27/7/1793, Maximilian Robespierre, Jacobin leader, became a member of the Committee of Public Safety, established to guard against an attack on France by neighbouring countries after the execution of King Louis XVI. See 28/7/1794.
17/7/1793, Charlotte Corday was guillotined for the murder of Jean Paul Marat, see 13/7/1793.
13/7/1793, Jean Paul Marat, French Revolutionary, was stabbed to death by a Girondist (right-wing) supporter, Charlotte Corday. Marat’s zeal for execution of royalty and government ministers had made him many enemies.
11/6/1793. Napoleon had to leave Corsica with his family and went to Toulon.
31/5/1793. The Reign of Terror, in which thousands went to the guillotine, in the French Revolution, began.
20/3/1793, An army of peasant Royalists defeated the Republicans in the Vendee region of France. See14/3/1793.
18/3/1793, Austrian forces defeated a French Revolutionary Army at the Battle of Neerwinden.
14/3/1793. A force of counter-revolutionaries in western France was trying to restore the monarchy. See 20/3/1793.
7/3/1793. France declared war on Austria, and also on Spain on 7/3/1793.
1/2/1793. Britain declared war on France. The British economy entered a depression.
21/1/1793. (1) The county of Nice was annexed to France. Monaco was annexed to France on 14/2/1792.
(2) Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution, Paris, convicted of treason. The executioner was called Sanson. His trial had ended with the death sentence on 19/1/1793. See 16/10/1793.
19/11/1792, The new French Republican Government offered to help any other nation that wished to overthrow its monarchy; Britain saw this as provocative.
6/11/1792, The French under General Dumouriez decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jenappes, Belgium. As a result of this battle, the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) were annexed by revolutionary France.
27/10/1792, France invaded the Spanish Netherlands.
30/9/1792, French troops took Speyer, in the Rhineland.
22/9/1792, This day was declared the beginning of Year One of the New French Republic. A new ‘Revolutionary Calendar’ was introduced, consisting of 12 30-day months divided into 3 10-day weeks. The months were given names corresponding to the prevailing weather or harvest conditions. An extra 5 days (6 in leap years) were added as holidays at the end of each year. This calendar ran in France until it was abolished in 1805 by Napoleon I.
21/9/1792. France formally abolished the monarchy and declared itself a Republic.
20/9/1792, The Battle of Valmy. The Prussians failed to successfully attack the French, in wet marshy conditions, and retreated; the French considered it a victory.
17/9/1792, The French Crown jewels were stolen in Paris.
20/8/1792, The Prussian army took Verdun.
19/8/1792, The French Revolutionary Tribunals were set up.
10/8/1792, The French mob invaded the Palace of Versailles. The French Royal Family was imprisoned. Napoleon participated in the assault on the Tuileries Palace..
14/7/1792. The Prussians threatened to invade France to restore the French monarchy. However an attempted Prussian invasion of France failed.
25/4/1792. The guillotine was first erected in Paris, at the Place de la Greve. It was first used to behead a highwayman called Pelletier. The guillotine had been designed to make executions more humane but swiftly became a symbol of the tyranny of the French Revolution. Beheading took less than half a second. In fact a version of the guillotine was in use in Ireland as early as 1307. During the French Revolution an estimated 40,000 people were guillotined. The last public execution in France was on 17/6/1939 and the guillotine was last officially used in France on 10/9/1977. See 20/3/1792.
24/4/1792. Claude Rouget de l’Isle composed the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise.
20/4/1792. France declared war on Austria. Austria was allied with Prussia but there was disunity between the two commanders. In 1793 England and Holland joined in against France, which was attempting to annex Belgium, an Austrian possession. Ultimately Austria received Bavaria as a compensation for Belgium going to France.
20/3/1792, The French legislature approved the use of the guillotine, see 25/4/1792.
1/3/1792, Leopold III, Holy Roman Emperor, died unexpectedly, aged 44. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Francis, last of the Holy Roman Emperors.
7/2/1792, Austria and Prussia signed a military alliance against France.
24/1/1792. In Paris, five days of looting ended in a riot as the cost of living soared.
9/9/1791. French Royalists took control of Arles and barricaded themselves inside the town.
4/9/1791, King Louis XVI was forced to approve the new French constitution, making him a mere civil servant.
27/8/1791, European monarchs backed King Louis XVI against the Revolution.
16/7/1791, Louis XVI was suspended from office until he agreed to ratify the new French Constitution.
21/6/1791, The French royal family attempted to flee Paris in disguise but are forced to return after being arrested at Varennes. The King, disguised as a valet, intended to meet supporters at Pont de Sommeville but they were delayed and the villagers got suspicious of the soldiers, who had to hide in the woods and got lost. The King pressed on to Varennes, 142 miles from Paris, where he was recognised by a horseman sent by Lafayette, head of the National Guard, to look for him. Louis’ powers were suspended by the Assembly on 25/6/1791. However Louis’ brother, the Count of Provence, did succeed in fleeing Paris for Brussels.
26/5/1791, The French Assembly forced Louis XVI to hand over the State and Crown assets.
18/4/1791. National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris. On 26/4/1791 Louis XVI was forced to hand over all the assets of the Crown to the State.
13/4/1791. Pope Pius VI threatened to suspend all priests in France who swore allegiance to the State (see 13/1/1791) unless they recant within 40 days.
13/1/1791. The French Assembly introduced a universal tax on rent and property values. The requirement for French priests to swear allegiance to the State stirred up rebellion amongst the clergy.
27/10/1790. France adopted the decimal system of weights and measures.
22/7/1790, In France, the clergy were removed from the control of Rome, and Church property was nationalised.
19/6/1790. The French Assembly passed a law abolishing the hereditary nobility.
15/6/1790, French Protestant militia massacred 300 Roman Catholics.
8/5/1790, France began the process of metrication when its National Assembly approved Talleyrand’s proposal for a unified system of weights and measures.
20/2/1790, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, died. His reforms had provoked rebellion in Belgium and Hungary.
21/1/1790, In Paris, Dr Joseph Ignace Guillotin demonstrated to the National Assembly of Paris a new machine for ‘humane’ executions using a heavy blade falling on the victim’s neck.
21/10/1789, Martial law was imposed in Paris after a baker was killed by the mob, accused of hoarding bread.
5/10/1789, Parisian women, frustrated by bread shortages, marched on Versailles to demand the King move to Paris, where he could be monitored more closely.
27/8/1789, The new French regime (French National Assembly) drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen.
26/8/1789. Miners in the Pyrenees protested against their working conditions.
4/8/1789, The feudal system was abolished in France. Peasants attacked their landlords.
22/7/1789, A revolutionary mob murdered the Bailiff of Paris.
14/7/1789. Fall of the Bastille, Paris. It was stormed by the citizens of Paris and burned to the ground, at the start of the French Revolution. From 16/7/1789 the French nobility began to flee France. The Bastille had been built in 1369, and designed by Hugues Aubriot (died 1383). At dawn on the 14/7/1789 the mob had stormed Les Invalides, hoping to find arms to repulse an expected attack by soldiers loyal to King Louis XVI. They found 32,000 rifles but no ammunition; a rumour spread that the ammunition was at the Bastille. The Bastille was guarded by 80 soldiers deemed unfit for front-line duties, reinforced by 30 Swiss Guards, and with cannon. Neither the prison governor nor the army showed much will to fight the mob. Seven prisoners within were released.
12/7/1789, Fires burnt in Paris after two days of rioting.
11/7/1789, The Marquis de Lafayette presented the Declaration of Human Rights to the French National Assembly.
30/6/1789, The revolutionary mob in Paris attacked the Abbaye prison.
20/6/1789, The French Revolution began. See 5/5/1798. The Third Estate, excluded from Versailles, formed a new assembly at a tennis court nearby, to oppose the dominance of the aristocracy.
17/6/1789, In France, the Third Estate constituted itself as the French National Assembly. The Third Estate was the commoners, after the Clergy and the Nobility. These last two Estates, under 3% of the population, owned 40% of the land. They were also exempt from taxes, placing an undue tax burden on the middle classes.
4/6/1789, The Dauphin Louis, heir to King Louis XVI, died aged 7.
5/5/1789, The French King opened the States General Assembly at Versailles. The French middle class wanted to break down the monopoly of power and wealth held by the aristocracy. The French King felt insecure because of the unpopularity of his Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette, the bankruptcy of the French Treasury, and the increasingly democratic mood of the French Army following on from the American Declaration of Independence. See 20/6/1789. France had also suffered humiliation in the Seven Years War (1756-630, losing to Britain; France had lost her North American colonies, and bad harvests in 1788 and 1789 had almost doubled the price of bread.
28/4/1789. 300 workers at the Reveillon wallpaper factory were killed when troops opened fire on rioters there. The protest was over proposed pay cuts. France had been in financial crisis for months now, the state overburdened by an expensive aristocracy and clergy. On 22/5/1789 the nobility joined with the clergy in giving up their financial privileges.
29/11/1787. Louis XVI of France promulgated an Edict of Tolerance, allowing civil status to Protestants.
22/2/1787, France was nearly bankrupt, with a national debt of UK£ 800 million.
25/8/1786, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, was born.
17/8/1786. Frederick the Great, military leader and King of Prussia since 1740, died in Potsdam, aged 74. Under his rule Prussia grew from under 46,000 square miles to over 71,000 square miles, and its population rose from 2.2 million to 5.8 million. Prussia had a standing army of 200,000, well armed and disciplined. Britain often gave financial aid to Prussia, in its wars against France and Austria.
8/8/1786, Mont Blanc, 4,807 metres high, was conquered by a local man, Dr Michel Gabriel Paccard of Chamonix, along with his porter Jacques Balmat.
27/3/1785, King Louis XVII of France was born.
17/10/1784. Napoleon, aged 15, entered the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He graduated a year later, coming 42nd out of 58.
23/12/1780. France was suffering a deepening financial crisis, in part caused by the costs of supporting the Americans against Britain.
1/6/1780, Karl von Clausewitz, military strategist, was born, in Burg, near Magdeburg, Prussia.
10/8/1779. Louis XVI freed the last remaining serfs on royal land.
15/5/1779. Napoleon, aged 9, entered the Military School at Brienne.
13/5/1779, At the Peace of Teschen, Austria made peace with Frederick of Prussia. Austria received a small part of Bavaria, the Innvertiel, and renounced all claims to the Bavarian inheritance.
27/7/1778, The Battle of Ushant, between Britain and France.
13/2/1777. In Paris, the Marquis de Sade was arrested, and later condemned to death. However he escaped from prison before the execution.
10/5/1774. King Louis XV of France died, aged 64, of smallpox. He had reigned for 58 years. He was succeeded by his 19-year old grandson, Louis XVI.
6/10/1773, Louis Philippe, King of France, was born.
15/9/1770, (see 15/5/1768), Corsica formally submitted to French rule.
15/8/1769. Napoleon, Emperor of France 1804-15, was born in Ajaccio, Corsica; he died on 5/5/1821. He was the son of a lawyer. See 18/6/1815. Had he been born the previous year he would not have been French, but Genoese, see 15/5/1768.
10/1/1769, Michel Ney, French Army marshal, the most famous of Napoleon’s marshals, was born in Saarlouis, son of a cooper.
15/5/1768. By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchased the island of Corsica from Genoa. Some Corsicans wanted total independence, but see 15/9/1770.
12/2/1768, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
17/1/1768, Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Napoleon and King of Naples and Spain, was born on Corsica.
18/8/1765, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
15/4/1764, Madame de Pompadour, French courtier and mistress of Louis XV, died in Versailles.
23/6/1763, Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, was born on the French island of Martinique as Marie Rose Tascher de la Pagerie. Her marriage to Napoleon was dissolved when she failed to produce an heir.
15/2/1763, Austria, seeing hope for a decisive victory over Prussia recede with peace between Russia and Prussia, made peace with Prussia at Hubertusberg this day. Frederick evacuated Saxony but retained Silesia. Austria had failed to destroy Prussia before Prussian power was consolidated.
10/2/1763. The end of the Seven Years War. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal, as well as becoming pre-eminent in India; Britain therefore became the world’s major colonising power. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, which set Prussia on the road to also becoming a major European power.
3/11/1762, Britain concluded a peace with France at Fontainbleau. See 10/2/1763.
See also East Europe for Seven Years War
29/10/1762, The Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Freiburg. The war was making Austria bankrupt and Austria was questioning whether the war was worth it for the recovery of one province. Austria and Prussia agreed on an armistice on 24/11/1762 for the winter of 1762/3.
9/10/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Schweidnitz.
16/8/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Reichenbach.
21/7/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Burkersdorf.
22/5/1762, Peace was formally agreed between Russia and Prussia (Treaty of Hamburg). Russian forces began to return home.
5/1/1762, Elizabeth I of Russia died; her successor Tsar Peter III made peace with Prussia. This was fortunate for Frederick of Prussia because after the end of the Pitt Ministry in England, the English were moving towards making peace with France and therefore no longer giving financial support to Prussia. See 15/2/1763 and 5/10/1761.
16/12/1761 The Russians under Pyotr Aleksandrovitch Rumyantsev captured the Prussian port and fort of Kolberg. It had been a bad year for Frederick of Prussia, with French forces making progress eastwards in south western Germany, and the Austrians under Laudon capturing Schweidnitz on 1/10/1761, ensuring they could over-winter in Silesia. Frederick had failed to prevent the Russian Army, 50,000 strong, joining up with the 72,000-strong Austrian Army on 23/8/1761. Frederick’s biggest concern was that since the change of monarch and the resignation of Pitt in Britain, he could no longer rely on British support. Without a major change of fortune, Prussia faced certain defeat in 1762.
5/10/1761, In Britain, Pitt resigned, and Britain virtually abandoned support for Prussia.
3/11/1760 Frederick of Prussia won the Battle of Torgau against the Austrians but failed to follow up this success and achieve his objective of capturing Dresden.
25/10/1760, George II died suddenly at 8am, in Kensington, London, aged 76. His successor George III was inclined to concentrate on British, not Hanoverian, interests, and disliked William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had promoted the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Without British help, Prussia could not continue fighting.
26/7/1760, The Austrians under Laudon captured Glatz from Prussia.
23/6/1760, The Austrians under Laudon defeated the Prussians at Landshut.
20/11/1759, Naval battle at Quiberon Bay, France. Admiral Hawke’s British first fleet destroyed the French invasion fleet under Admiral Conflans, during the Seven Years War. The French had planned to invade Britain with a fleet of flat-bottomed boats carrying some 20,000 soldiers. However the British navy kept this invasion fleet bottled up in its home base of Brest, France. In November 1759 a gale forced the British Navy to return to Torbay, Devon; when the gale died down the French quickly escaped from Brest with 19 battleships. The British navy went looking for the French, as they spotted them another storm approached from the west. The French sought refuge in Quiberon Bay, assuming that the numerous reefs and rocks would deter the British from following. However the British did follow into the Bay. Many French battleships were run aground, wrecked or captured. The French lost 14 battleships and 2,500 men killed; the British lost 2 ships and 400 men. The French navy was broken, leaving Britain in commend of the seas.
9/11/1759, Edward Hawke withdrew from blockading Brest (19/8/1759); the French fleet set sail, to be defeated by tyhe British at Quiberon Bay (20/11/1759).
14/9/1759, The Austrians under Daun took Dresden from the Prussians.
19/8/1759, The Battle of Lagos. Choiseul had managed to extricate France from much of its commitment to support Austria, so the French could commit more resources to fighting Britain. Choiseul planned an invasion, with landings from London to Scotland. To transport this invasion the French Mediterranean fleet was ordered to sail from Toulon to join the Atlantic fleet at Brest. On its way northwards past Portugal, the French fleet was attacked by Admiral Edward Boscawen off Lagos, Portugal, and scattered. Meanwhile Edward Hawke was blockading the French port of Brest (see 9/11/1759).
12/8/1759, Frederick, who had been unable to prevent the Austrians under Daun and the Russians under Saltykov joining forces, was heavily defeated by them at Kunersdorf. Frederick lost 18,000 men in six hours. The Russians did not capitalise on this victory, but Daun then marched on Dresden.
1/8/1759, At the Battle of Minden (Seven Years War), six British-Allied army regiments defeated a larger French force, in north-west Germany.
23/7/1759. 70,000 Russians under Saltykov defeated 26,000 Prussians under von Wedel at Zullichau.
9/7/1759, The French, under the Duc de Broglie, took Minden on the River Weser.
13/4/1759, Ferdinand of Brunswick, who had enjoyed success against the French in southwest Germany, was defeated at Bergen, near Frankfurt am Main, by the Duc de Broglie.
See also East Europe for Seven Years War
For British-French conflict in Canada, 1700s, see Canada
14/10/1758, The Austrians under Daun launched an unexpected counter-attack against the Prussians at Hochkirk; Prussian losses were 9,500 against 7,500 for the Austrians. Daun began an advance on Dresden, but fell back to Pirna when he heard of Frederick’s march on Lusatia. However the Austrian victory at Hochkirk raised French morale; they had been inclined to abandon the war against Prussia.
25/8/1758, Frederick of Prussia moved around Fermor’s east flank and his 36,000 men attacked the Russians at Zorndorf (Sarbinowo). Prussian losses were 13,500, against Russian casualties of 42,000 (21,000 killed). Frederick now left Christoph von Dohna to pursue the defeated Russians; Frederick moved south to assist his brother, Prince Henry, against the Austrians under Daun at Dresden.
20/8/1758, Frederick’s forces arrived at Frankfurt on Oder, ready to attack the Russians besieging Kustrin.
15/8/1758, Russian forces under Fermor began a siege of the Prussians at Kustrin.
23/6/1758, Emmerlich’s Anglo-Hanoverian army, 40,000-strong, defeated 70,000 men under the Comte de Clermont at Krefeld. This victory enabled Emmerlich to hold all of northern Germany against France, despite French victories further south in Hesse and Thuringia.
16/4/1758, Frederick of Prussia defeated the Austrians at Schweidnitz, Silesia.
27/3/1758, An Anglo-Hanoverian force under Ferdinand of Brunswick crossed the Rhine at Emmerlich, near the Dutch frontier (see 23/6/1758).
6/5/1758, Birth of Maximillien Robespierre, French revolutionary who instituted the Reign of Terror, and was eventually guillotined himself.
22/1/1758, William Fermor, Scottish emigrant to Russia who had taken the place of Apraksin (see 30/8/1757) in September 1757, took the East Prussian capital, Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) from Prussia. However a spring thaw melted the snow and made the roads impassable, temporarily immobilising Fermor.
5/12/1757, Frederick of Prussia, now confronted by an Austrian army which had invaded Silesia and seized Breslau, defeated them this day at Leuthen and recovered Breslau, capital of Silesia. Frederick’s 43,000 men attacked the 72,000 Austrians under Charles of Lorraine with a sudden cavalry charge followed by a heavy artillery bombardment. Frederick’s losses amounted to 6,000, against 22,000 lost by Charles, including 12,000 taken prisoner. Meanwhile the Swedes, who had invaded Prussian Pomerania in September 1757 (without Russian approval), were also forced back into Swedish Pomerania, where they held against the Prussians at Stralsund. With the Russians under Apraksin also having retreated (see 30/8/1757), the was began to turn in Prussia’s favour.
22/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Breslau (Wroclaw) from Prussia.
11/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Schweidnitz (Swidnica) from Prussia.
5/11/1757, Frederick, faced by a French Army advancing from Thuringia towards Berlin, won a major victory against them at Rossbach. 21,000 Prussian troops faced 41,000 French and allied men but the cautious tactics of the French commander Soubise were at odds with his more aggressive ally Saxe-Hildburghausen, and the Prussian cavalry forces were more mobile, under the leadership of Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz. In two hours fighting, the Prussian lost 550 men against allied losses of 7,000. Encouraged by this victory the British repudiated Klosterzeven (see 26/7/1757) and sent troops to reinforce the Hanoverians.
7/9/1757, Prussian forces under Fredrick Francis of Brunswick-Bevern were defeated at Moys (Zgorzelec) in Silesia by the Austrians.
6/9/1757, Marquis de Lafayette, Frenchman who fought with the American colonists for independence from Britain and was a key figure in the French Revolution, was born.
30/8/1757, A Russian army of 90,000, having crossed Poland and entered Prussia, heavily defeated the Prussians under Hans von Lehwaldt at Gross-Jagersdorf, west of Gumbinnen. Unexpectedly the Russian commander, Apraksin, then withdrew. The health of the Russian Empress Elizabeth, who hated Prussia, was becoming uncertain and her successor, the future Peter III, liked Frederick and opposed the fight against Prussia. Therefore Apraksin risked the displeasure of his future master if he continued his aggression in Prussia.
26/7/1757, A French Army of 100,000 defeated the Hanoverian, Prussian and British allied forces under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of King George II of England. This was at Hastenbeck, south west of Hanover. On 8/9/1757 the French forced Cumberland to sign the Convention of Klosterzeven, which stipulated the disbandment of Cumberland’s forces in Germany.
18/6/1757, Frederick, ruler of Prussia, sought to turn back an advancing Austrian army, 50,000 strong under von Daun, but was heavily defeated at Kolin this day. Frederick had to give up Bohemia and raise the siege of Prague.
6/5/1757, The Battle of Prague. Frederick’s Prussian Army of 64,000 routed an Austrian Army of 66,000 under Browne and Prince Charles of Lorraine. This defeat came before the Austrians could be reinforced by more troops under Leopold Joseph, Graf von Daun. 14,000 Austrians were killed, 16,000 escaped to join von Daun, and the rest fled into Prague itself where they were besieged by Frederick.
1/5/1757, Austria and France signed the Second Treaty of Versailles, allying themselves for an offensive against Prussia. Under this Treaty, Austria would regain Silesia (from Prussia) but would cede the Austrian Netherlands (to be divided between King Louis XV of France and his Spanish Bourbon cousin Philip Duke of Parma). Philip’s Italian possessions would revert to Austrian rule. France would garrison 105,000 of its troops in Prussia, in addition to supplying 30,000 men to the Austrian Army (increased from an earlier figure of 24,000). France would provide an annual subsidy to Austria of 12,000,000 livres. Meanwhile on 11/1/1757 France had concluded a secret treaty with Russia whereby France agreed to help Russia in the event of any attack on Russia by Turkey (contravening a long-standing detente between France and Turkey). In return for this Russia would supply 80,000 men against Prussia. Allparties swore not to make separate peaces with Prussia, which was to be partitioned between the Allies.
18/4/1757, Frederick of Prussia left his winter quarters and marched on Prague. See 16/10/1757.
16/10/1756, The army of Saxony capitulated to Frederick of Prussia at the fortress of Pirma. See 18/4/1857. Most of the Saxon Army joined with Prussia. Russia would have marched to help Austria against Prussia, but this would entail Russian troops crossing Poland. Although France would nominally have welcomed this, as it would relieve the French from helping Austria, and Poland was allied to France, in secret the French would not welcome any Russian influence upon Poland.
1/10/1756, The Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague). The Prussians defeated the Austrians..
10/9/1756, Frederick entered the Saxon capital, Dresden, with his army of70,000. The Saxon Army, 20,000, fell back to Pirna to the south east. Prussia assured Poland of it’s good intentions but was not believed; Poland was also friendly with France. Meanwhile an Austrian army under Ulysses von Browne, of 32,000 men, was moving from Bohemia to unite with the Saxons. To counter this threat, Frederick moved into Bohemia, towards Lobositz (see 1/10/1756).
29/8/1756. Frederick II of Prussia invaded Saxony, setting off a European war. Britain was allied with Prussia, against Austria and France, see 16/1/1756, and 1/7/1756. Austria wanted to regain its province of Silesia, taken by Frederick II of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Frederick , believing in attacking first, invaded Saxony to detach it from the Franco-Austrian alliance.
27/5/1756, Maximillian I, King of Bavaria, was born.
18/5/1756, Britain declared war on France.
1/5/1756, Alarmed by the Convention of Westminster, (see 16/1/1756), the French concluded a defensive treaty with Austria, who was under threat from the Prussians. The Russians were also concerned at the Anglo-Prussian alliance and sought closer ties with Austria and France.
16/1/1756. George II secured an agreement, the Convention of Westminster, by which Frederick of Prussia guaranteed to help England if Hanover was attacked, and England promised to help Prussia if Silesia was attacked. This guaranteed the neutrality of the Prussian states under Frederick II in the escalating Anglo-French dispute. See 1/5/1756.
17/11/1755, Louis XVIII, King of France after the fall of Napoleon, was born in Versailles.
2/11/1755, Marie Antoinette, Austrian princess and Queen Consort of Louis XVI of France, was born in Vienna.
23/8/1754, Louis XVI, King of France, was born at Versailles, the only son of Louis XV.
2/2/1754, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, French foreign minister to Louis XVIII and Napoleon Bonaparte, and ambassador to Britain, was born.
5/5/1747, The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II was born.
11/5/1745, The Battle of Fontenoy took place in Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Marshal de Saxe won a French victory over British and Allied forces. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British, Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the French. Cumberland’s army was beaten back with casualties of 7,000 and forced to retreat during the night towards Brussels. The British suffered further setbacks in Flanders and as troops were called back to fight the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart. The British made peace with France at Aix la Chapelle in 1748.
20/1/1745. Death of Frederick II of Prussia.
19/8/1743, Comtesse du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV, was born in Vancouleurs as Marie Jeanne Becu, daughter of a dressmaker.
27/6/1743, The Battle of Dettingen.
13/3/1741, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
See also events in Austria
8/2/1741. Neisse and Brieg still held out but the Prussians stormed and occupied Glogau on 9/3/1741. At the Battle of Mollwitz, 10/4/1741, the Prussians narrowly won the day. Europe realised that Prussia was now a major military power and France sent an envoy, Marshal Belleisle, to negotiate an alliance with Frederick. The ‘Silesian adventure’ now became the War of the Austrian Succession. France supported the Elector of Bavaria. Sweden was supposed to stop Russia attacking Prussia but on 3/9/1742 the Swedes were heavily defeated by the Russians at Wilmanstrand, and Sweden capitulated in 1742 at Helsingfors, the Swedish capital. At the Peace of Dresden, 25/12/1745 Frederick recognised the Elector of Bavaria as ruler of Austria in return for his acquiring Silesia. The war of the Austrian Succession ended on 18/10/1748 with the Peace of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).
20/10/1740, Emperor Charles VI died unexpectedly. Maria Theresa, aged 23, became ruler of Austria. Frederick II of Prussia, taking advantage of Austria having a young female ruler, prepared to invade the wealthy Austrian provoince of Silesia. Meanwhile Bavaria and Saxony also had claims on Austrian lands (their claims supported by France), and Spain wanted the Italian provinces of Austria. Hungary supported Austria.
2/6/1740, Birth of Marquis de Sade, French writer who was imprisoned in the Bastille for his sexual perversions.
31/5/1740, Frederick William I of Prussia died aged 51. He had made his country into a significant military power with a standing army of 83,000 men. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Frederick II, who then occupied part of Silesia, starting a war with Austria.
6/5/1738, Robespierre, French revolutionary, was born in Arras.
17/1/1736, The German architect Matthaus Poppelman died, aged 74.
29/12/1721, Madame de Pompadour, French Mistress of Louis XV of France, was born in Paris as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.
24/7/1720. Financial crisis hit Paris as the South Sea Bubble collapsed.
2/8/1718, A Quadruple Alliance was formed between Britain, France, Holland, and Austria, against Spain, after Spain seized Sardinia and Sicily, threatening another European war. Under the Treaty of Utrecht (11/4/1713) Sardinia had been assigned to Austria and Sicily to Savoy (see also 17/2/1720). However King Philip V of Spain, influenced by his wife Elizabeth Farnese of Parma and her advisor Giulio Alberoni, seized these islands. Admiral Byng was sent to defend Sicily, with Austrian troops. In a sea battle off Cape Passaro, he totally destroyed the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile French troops occupied northern Spain. The purpose of the Quadruple Alliance were, to maintain the terms of the Peace of Utrecht, for Spain to renounce any claim to the French throne, and to guarantee the Protestant succession in Britain. The four powers would also assist each other if any were attacked. Spain initially backed a Jacobite invasion of Britain, but after the dismissal of Cardinal Alberoni in December 1719 Spain changed policy and joined the Alliance, which provided a forum to discuss territorial disputes in Europe.
4/8/1717. A treaty of friendship was signed between France and Russia.
1/9/1715. King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’ died at Versailles, of gangrene of the leg, after reigning for 73 years, the longest in European history, aged 77. He famously said ‘L’etat, c’est moi’. The five-year-old Louis XV succeeded him, and reigned for almost 59 years; the regency was in the hands of Philip of Orleans, aged 41.
8/6/1714, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, died.
13/8/1713, Frederick William consolidated the Prussian State by an ordinance reducing the power and autonomy of Prussian nobles.
11/4/1713. France in the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar and Newfoundland to Britain. This Treaty established terms of peace with Louis XIV, and ended the War of the Spanish Succession. The Treaty also preserved the balance of power in Europe by preventing either Bourbon France or Hapsburg Austria from dominating the territories of the Spanish Succession. Philip V became King of Spain but had to renounce all claims to the French throne. Britain also gained Minorca and Gibraltar. Sicily went to the Duke of Savoy and Prussia gained Upper Gelderland, Neuchatel, and Valengin. European powers were exhausted by a war that had dragged on for 12 years.
For more events of the War of the Spanish Succession, see Spain-Portugal
25/2/1713, Frederick I, first King of Prussia, died aged 55. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Frederick Wilhelm I.
24/1/1712, Frederick the Great, Prussian king and military leader, was born.
14/6/1711, The Jewish quarter of Frankfurt was destroyed in what was one of the largest fires in Germany before the 20th century.
17/4/1711, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
15/2/1710, The French King Louis XV was born. His weak and indecisive rule set the scene for the French Revolution.
11/9/1709, At the Battle of Malplaquet in northern France, near Mons, The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene won a costly victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. 100,000 Austrian, British, Dutch and German soldiers were intending to besiege the French at Mons but were met by a French force of 90,000. In an attack on the French the Allies lost 24,000 men; the French lost 12,000. The French then withdrew but Allied losses prevented further exploitation of this victory.
8/12/1708, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
23/5/1706, The Battle of Ramillies, between Louvain and Namur in Belgium. Allied British and Dutch armies under Marlborough intercepted a French offensive. 15,000 French and 5,000 Allied soldiers died. The result of Ramillies was that Brussels, Antwerp and most of the Spanish Netherlands surrendered. By the end of 1706 the French held only Namur and Mons in The Netherlands.
5/5/1705, The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I died at Vienna, aged 54, after a 47 year reign. He was succeeded by his son, who ruled until 1711 as Josef I.
13/8/1704. The Battle of Blenheim took place, in Germany, where Anglo-Austrian forces under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, 52,000 men, defeated the French and Bavarian armies, 56,000 men, in the War of the Spanish Succession. The French and their allies, the Bavarians, had encamped on the west bank of the Nebel, a small stream running into the left bank of the Danube, about a mile or two from the Danube itself. Marlborough and Eugene had also encamped on another tributary of the Danube, five miles eastwards of the French/Bavarian forces. Early in the morning of the 13 August Marlborough’s forces began moving towards the French, and caught them by surprise at 7.am.
With the defeat of the two French armies under Tallard and Marsin, the sun began to set on a decade-long tradition of French military triumph. Vienna was saved from capture by the French.
12//9/1703, The Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand was proclaimed King of Spain, War of the Spanish Succession began. France had already, in 1701, begun to occupy key fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands, following the death of the Spanish monarch Charles II on 2/10./1700, with no heir.
11/10/1693, Charleroi surrendered to the French.
22/5/1693, The town of Heidelberg was captured by the French; Heidelberg Castle surrendered on 23/5/1693.
19/5/1692, At the battle of La Hogue, the British and Dutch destroyed a French fleet off Cap de la Hague. The French fleet under Colbert was severely reduced, ending French hopes of invading England.
18/10/1685. Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes which had been issued by Henry IV of |France and had given Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. The laity were also forbidden to emigrate; Louis XIV was concerned about the drain of skilled Huguenot merchants and craftsmen, many of whom had fled to England.
6/5/1682. King Louis XIV arrived at his new chateau of Versailles.
28/9/1681. Louis XIV’s army captured the previously independent city of Strasbourg. The French now controlled all of Alsace, except Mulhouse.
5/2/1679, The Third Treaty of Nijmegen ended seven years of war in Europe.
26/7/1678, The Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I was born.
16/11/1677, French troops occupied Freiberg.
11/4/1677, The Battle of Cassel; Philippe I of Orleans defeated William of Orange.
1676, Les Invalides, Paris was completed; it was a combined hospital and retirement home for soldiers.
5/1/1675, French forces inflicted a heavy defeat on the German Army at Turckheim, forcing them to abandion an invasion of france and withdraw back across the Rhine.
2/8/1674, Philippe II, Regent of France, was born.
1/6/1670, Two Treaties of Dover – one public, one secret – were made by Charles II with Louis XIV. Charles II secretly agreed to declare his conversion to Catholicism and subsequently to restore it to Britain. Charles II did not announce his conversion, to the annoyance of Louis XIV. The public Treaty committed Britain and France to declare war on Holland – if this war was successful, Britain would receive Zeeland and the port of Ostend. Britain would assist Louis XIV’s claim on the Spanish throne. The private Treaty, known only to Charles II and a select few of his government ministers, stated that Charles would re-establish Catholicism in Britain in return for £150,000 from France and the use of 6,000 French troops to cope with any ‘internal resistance’.
2/5/1668, Treaty of Aix la Chapelle.
13/1/1668. The Triple Alliance was formed between England, Holland, and Sweden to defend The Netherlands from the ambitions of the French King, Louis XIV, who was pursuing a claim based on his wife’s rights as Spanish Infanta. This was the War of Devolution which was ended on 2/5/1668 by the Peace of Aix la Chapelle.
31/7/1667. The Peace of Breda ended the war between England and the Netherlands. Trade laws were modified in favour of the Dutch, who also gained Surinam but recognised British possession of New York. See 18/6/1667 and 2/2/1665. The English sought peace with the Dutch in order to curb the growing military power of (Catholic) France. In the ‘War of Devolution’ France had already seized the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comte; Holland and England now sought to mediate in this war between France and Spain. The other principal Protestant power in Europe, Sweden, then joined with (Protestant) Holland and Britain in a Triple Alliance (formalised by the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, 2/5/1668). However (Catholic) King Charles II regretted this Triple Alliance against France and began negotiations with Louis XIV that led to the Treaties of Dover (1/6/1670).
27/10/1662. King Charles II sold Dunkirk to the French King Louis XIV (Treaty of Dunkirk) for 2.5 million livres.
9/3/1661, With the death of the French Regent, Cardinal Mazario, the personal rule of King Louis XIV of France began.
1661, Work on the Palace of Versailles began.
9/6/1660, King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’, married Maria Theresa of Spain.
3/5/1660, At the Peace of Oliva (near Danzig), Frederick William ceded Eastern Pomerania to Sweden.
7/11/1659. The war between France and Spain ended. Spain’s treasury was empty and England had joined on the side of the French.
14/6/1658, The Battle of the Dunes was fought near Dunkirk. The French defeated the Spanish.
11//7/1657, Frederick I, King of Prussia, was born.
2/4/1657, The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III died aged 48. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Leopold I.
25/6/1656, The Treaty of Mareinburg was concluded between Sweden and Brandenburg-Prussia. The Poles under John Casimir had expelled the Swedes, and under this Treaty Brandenburg-Prussia was promised part of the spoils should Poland be defeated by Sweden.
21/10/1652, The exiled boy-King, Louis XIV, returned from exile to Paris.
2/10/1652, In Paris, the middle class disputed with the Fronde, and allowed Louis XIV to enter the city.
7/4/1652, In France, the Battle of Bleneau; Conde defeated Marshall Turenne, who had defected back to the Royalist side. Both armies marched to Paris to negotiate. In July 1652 the Duchesse de Montpensier persuaded the Parisians to open the city gates to the Fronde (anti-Royalist) army, and the Bastille’s guns were turned on Turenne’s Royalists. See 2/10/1652.
12/1651, Mazarin returned to France with 7,000 troops to suppress Conde’s rebellion.
14/1/1650, In France, Cardinal Mazarin ordered the arrest of Conde and his associates. However in early 1651 the French Parliament dismissed Mazarin and released Conde. Mazarin left France.
24/10/1648. The Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War. The Treaty was between the Holy Roman Empire and France. Under it, a large part of Alsace, formerly a German dukedom, was ceded to France, which seized the rest at the Peace of Ryswick, 1697. Sweden also received territories on the German coast of the Baltic, Spain was forced to acknowledge the independence of the United Netherlands, and the Protestant states of Saxony and Brandenburg (=Prussia) received additional territories.
29/5/1648, Conde captured Ypres.
17/5/1648, Battle of Zusmarshausen, Germany.
13/5/1648, Conde commenced a siege of Ypres.
14/3/1647, The Treaty of Ulm. Elector Maximillian I of Bavaria made an agreement with France to end his alliance with Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.
3/8/1645, Battle of Allerheim, Germany
2/5/1645, Battle of Mergentheim, Germany.
3/10/1644, Battle of Freiburg, Germany
3/8/1644, At Freiberg, Saxony, the French fought a combined force of Bavarians and Austrians during the Thirty Years War. Fighting at Frieburg also occurred on 5th and 15th August.
24/11/1643, Battle of Tuttlingen, Germany.
14/5/1643. Louis XIV became King of France at the age of four years, 231 days, and then reigned for over 72 years. He succeeded his father, Louis XIII.
19/5/1643, Battle of Rocroi. The French, under the Prince of Conde, defeated the Spanish.
4/12/1642, Cardinal Richelieu (Armand du Plessis), French politician and chief minister to Louis XIII from 1624, died aged 57 in Paris. He was succeeded by Mazarin. Mazarin was to alienate the nobility of France, and parliament, due to his policies of high taxation and supreme position, provoking the rebellion by the Fronde.
2/8/1642, Second Battle of Brietenfeld, Germany.
17/9/1640, The French captured Turin.
9/6/1640, The Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, was born.
5/9/1638, Louis XIV, King of France, known as the ‘Sun King’, born in St German en Laye, just outside Paris.
15/2/1637, The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II died, aged 57, in Vienna. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Ferdinand III.
15/8/1636, The Spanish besieged Corbie, France.
19/5/1635, France declared war on Spain. Spain initially had success, capturing Corbie, near Amiens. However the Spaniards did not follow up their successes and faced with revolts in Portugal and Catalonia, lost Artois and Roussillion.
10/3/1635, The Academie Francaise in Paris was expanded to become a national academy for the artistic elite.
2/1/1635, Cardinal Richelieu established the Academie Francaise to protect the purity of the French language.
6/9/1634, Battle of Nordlingen, Germany
16/11/1632, Gustavus II, King of Sweden from 1611, killed as his army gained victory in the Battle of Lutzen (Thirty Years War) near Leipzig. He was succeeded by his 6-year old daughter, Christina; in the interim, Sweden was governed by Count Axel Oxenstierna.
31/8/1632, Battle of Alte Veste, Germany.
15/4/1632, Battle of Rain, Bavaria.
17/9/1631, During the Thirty Years War, a battle was fought between Gustavus II, King of Sweden (1594-1632) and the Holy Roman Empire forces under Tilly at Brietenfeld, Germany. (see 4/7/1630). The Swedes overwhelmingly won. Gustavus II had extended the Kingdom of Sweden right around the eastern Baltic, turning it into a ‘Swedish lake’. Gustavus now began to conquer the wealthy lands of the rivers Main and Rhine.
4/7/1631. The first employment agency, the ‘Bureau d’Adresse’ was established in Paris by Theophraste Renaudot. It charged 3 sous to both employers and employees; unless too poor to pay, when the bureau was free. In 1639 the Paris police ordered that all unemployed strangers arriving in Paris must register at the bureau within 24 hours or be sent to the galleys for vagabondage. Vacancies were mainly for domestic servants and shop assistants. See 12/8/1649.
14/10/1630, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, was born.
4/7/1630, During the Thirty Years War, Gustavus Adolphus, Protestant King of Sweden, landed at Peenemunde with an army of 13,000 men, in an attempt to bring the entire Baltic under Swedish control. See 17/9/1631.
6/3/1629, Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, issued the Edict of Restitution. Under this, all Catholic properties lost to Protestantism since 1552 were to be restored and only Catholics and Lutherans (not Calvinists, Hussites, or other groups) were to be allowed to practise their faith.
24/8/1626, Battle of Lutter, Germany
25/4/1626, Battle of Dessau, Germany.
29/4/1624, Louis XIII of France appointed Richelieu as his chief minister.
6/8/1623. Battle of Stadtlohn, western Germany.
20/6/1622, Battle of Hochst, Germany.
6/5/1622, Battle of Wimpfen, southern Germany.
8/10/1619, The Treaty of Munich was signed by Ferdinand II and Maximillian I, Elector of Bavaria.
28/8/1619, Ferdinand II was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
10/8/1619, The Treaty of Angoulmeme ended the civil war in France.
23/5/1618, The defenestration of Prague. Rebel nobles hurled the Holy Roman Emperor’s advisers from the windows of Hradcany Castle (they survived due to landing in a refuse heap), triggering the Thirty Years War (Reformation). Rebel Protestant Bohemian nobles were in protest against their Catholic King, who had been elected as Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. The conflict this started spread to involve other European powers, who were eager to cash in on the weakened state of a severely-split Germany. See also eastern Europe.
20/1/1612, Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, died aged 59. He was succeeded by his brother, Matthias.
11/11/1611, Henri de Turenne, French Marshall-General during the Thirty Years War, was born.
17/10/1610, Louis XIII was crowned King of France.
27/5/1610, Ravaillac was executed in Paris.
14/5/1610. King Henry IV of France, ‘Good King Henry’, was murdered by a mad Catholic monk, Francois Ravaillac, in Paris. Ravaillac jumped onto the carriage wheel of the King’s carriage and plunged a knife into his chest. He wanted to avert King Henry’s planned war against Catholic Spain and Austria. He was succeeded by King Louis XIII, aged 8.
14/7/1602, Cardinal Mazarin, politician, was born.
6/10/1600, Henry IV of France married Marie de Medici.
9/6/1595, Battle of Fontaine-Francaise; Huguenot victory.
21/5/1592, Parma escaped Protestant forces at Coudebec and marched south east to resupply forces at Paris.
17/5/1592, 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, The Duke of Parma raised the siege by Protestants of Catholics holding out at Rouen.
13/4/1592. 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, Henry of Navarre, Protestant, restarted the siege of Catholics holding Rouen.
24/3/1592, The Duke of Parma, Catholic, began a siege of Protestants holding the town of Coudebec, on the lower Seine.
9/2/1592, Parma attacked Protestants at Neufchatel.
4/2/1592, Military skirmish at Aumale, west of Amiens, between Catholics and Huguenot Protestants.
16/1/1592, The Catholic Duke of Parma marched south west from Amiens with 30,000 men.
24/5/1591, 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 the Catholics in France.
14/3/1590, Battle of Ivry; Huguenot victory.
21/9/1589, The Battle of Arques, NW France; Huguenot victory.
1/8/1589, Henry III, King of France, murdered by a mad Dominican monk.
5/1/1589, (-) Catherine di Medici, Italian wife of King Henry II of France, died.
20/10/1587, Battle of Coutras; Huguenot victory.
9/9/1585, 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.
7/7/1585. King Henry III of France bowed to Catholic pressure and revoked the tolerance allowed to Hugenots.
12/10/1576, The Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II died, aged 49. He was succeeded by his son Rudolf.
10/10/1575, The Battle of Dormans. Catholic forces under Duke Henry of Guise defeated the Protestants, capturing Philippe de Mornay amongst others.
14/2/1575, Henry III of France married Louise de Lorraine-Vaudemont.
13/2/1575, Henry III of France was crowned at Reims.
19/12/1562, The Battle of Dreux; Catholics defeated the Huguenots.
26/4/1573, Marie de Medici, Queen of France, was born.
24/8/1572. 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.
3/10/1569, At the Battle of Moncountour, Royalist forces of Tavannaes and Anjou defeated Coligny’s Huguenots.
24/8/1569, 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.
10/6/1569, German Protestant troops reinforced Gaspard de Coligny, near Limoges.
13/3/1569, 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.
18/2/1563, Francis, Duke of Guise, was assassinated whilst besieging Orleans.
9/10/1561, The Colloquy of Poissy broke up.
5/12/1560, Francis II, King of France, died, aged 16, he was succeeded by his brother, 10-year old Charles IX.
10/7/1559, 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.
2/4/1559, 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.
21/9/1558. 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.
7/1/1558. 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.
10/8/1557, 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.
16/1/1556, The Emperor Charles V abdicated.
25/9/1555, The Peace of Augsburg was signed between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Schmalkaldic
League, at the city of Augsburg. It cemented the division within Christendom between Catholicism and Protestantism, and allowed German states to choose either Roman Catholicism or Lutheranism as their State Religion.
14/12/1553, Henry IV, King of France, was born.
2/8/1553, Battle of Marciano. A French army invading Tuscany was defeated.
18/7/1552, The Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, was born.
19/9/1551, Henry III, King of France, was born.
27/6/1550, Charles IX, French monarch who ordered the massacre of the Hugenots on St Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, was born.
9/8/1549. England declared war on France.
23/4/1547, 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, King Francis I of France died, aged 52.
14/9/1544. 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, Henry VIII laid siege to the French town of Boulogne, in revenge for French military assistance to Scotland.
19/1/1544, Francis II, King of France, was born.
12/1/1539, 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.
10/8/1539. King Francis of France ordered that all legal documents were henceforth to be drawn up in French, not Latin. He also ordered all priests to keep records of baptisms and deaths.
18/6/1538, The Truce of Nice; peace was declared between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and King Francis I of France.
1/1/1538, German and Swiss states introduced the Gregorian Calendar.
2/2/1534, The Great Swabian League was dissolved.
13/8/1532, Union of Brittany and France: The Duchy of Brittany was absorbed into the Kingdom of France.
23/2/1530, Carlos I of Spain was crowned Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Italy by Pope Clement V.
5/8/1529, The Treaty of Cambrai was signed, between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and King Francis of France. France abandoned its claims in Italy, but kept Burgundy.
31/7/1527, The Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II was born.
6/5/1527, 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.
22/5/1526, France repudiated the Treaty of Madrid, and formed the League of Cognac, against Charles V. This League included the Pope, Milan, Venice, and Florence.
14/1/1526, 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, The Battle of Frankenhausen.
7/5/1525. 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. 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.
6/6/1520. Henry VIII and Francis I of France met in a glittering ceremony at The Field Of The Cloth Of Gold near Calais.
12/1/1519, 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.
1/1/1515. 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.
16/8/1513, The Battle of the Spurs. King Henry VIII defeated the French.
23/2/1503, At the Battle of Ruvo, the Spanish defeated the French.
20/2/1500, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.
8/4/1498, Charles VIII of France died suddenly, aged 27. He was succeeded by his cousin, the Duc d’Orleans, as Louis XII.
12/9/1494, Francis I, King of France, was born.
6/2/1493, Maximilian I of Germany became Holy Roman Emperor.
19/12/1490, Anne of Brittany married Maximillian I, Holy Roman Emperor, by proxy.
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.
14/2/1488, The Great Swabian league was formed.
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.
23/12/1482. Burgundy and Picardy were absorbed into France by the Treaty of Arras.
10/7/1480, Rene, Count of Anjou, died without an heir. Louis XI annexed his territory.
5/1/1477, Battle of Nancy.
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.
19/10/1466, King Casimir IV signed the Second Peace of Thorn, ending the warfare which began in 1454 when Casimir IV agreed to help the Prussian Confederation against the Teutonic Knights.
1464, Louis XI of France founded the Poste Royale, the first national postal service.
24/7/1461, Charles VII of France died aged 58. He was succeeded by his son, Louis XI.
22/3/1459, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian 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.
19/3/1452, Frederick, King of Germany, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Nicholas.
20/8/1451, The French captured Bayonne, the last English stronghold in Guyenne.
30/6/1451, French troops under the Comte de Dunois invaded Guyenne and captured Bordeaux.
12/8/1450, Cherbourg, the last English territory in Normandy, surrendered to the French.
6/7/1450, Caen surrendered to the French.
15/4/1450, 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.
26/10/1440, Gilles de Rais, Marshal of France, was hanged.
21/2/1440, The Prussian Confederation was formed.
9/12/1437, The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund 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.
26/8/1429. Jeanne D’Arc made a triumphal entry into Paris.
17/7/1429, Charles VII was crowned King in Reims.
16/7/1429, The French Army reached Reims, which surrendered to Charles VII without a fight.
18/6/1429. 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.
For Hundred Years War events see also Britain
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.
3/7/1423, Louis XI, King of France, was born.
31/8/1422. King Henry V died in Vincennes, France, struck down by dysentery.. 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.
1/12/1420, Henry V made a triumphal entry into Paris, see 25/10/1415 and 21/5/1420.
21/5/1420, 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.
1415, Frederick of Hohenzollern used the wealth he had amassed as Burg-Graf of Nuremberg to purchase, from Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, the governorship of the State of Brandenburg (see map here). From here the Hohenzollern Margraves (Mark-grafen, or border Counts) expanded their influence north east into Pomerania and Mecklenburg, and southawrds into Saxony, at the expense of the Counts (Marks) of these regions. Ongoing conflict with the Slavic peoples and the absence of easily-defensible frontiers for Brandenburg ensures that this political entity became highly militarised as Prussia and then Germany. In 1618 the Duchy of Prussia passed by inheritance to the Margrave of Brandenburg.
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.
6/1/1412, Joan of Arc was born.
18/5/1410, Rupert, King of Germany, died.
27/4/1404, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, died.
13/6/1396, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was born.
16/9/1380, King Charles V of France, aged 43, died at Vincennes after eating poisonous mushrooms. He had ruled since 1356, and was succeeded by his 12-year-old son, King Charles VI, who ruled until 1422 (despite bouts of insanity from 1392 onwards).
29/11/1378, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV died aged 62. His lands were divided amongst his three sons.
15/2/1368, The Emperor Sigismund was born.
For Hundred Years War events see also Britain
12/4/1365, Treaty of Guerande. The French House of Blois ceded its rights to Brittany.
24/10/1360, 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.
19/9/1356. 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.
5/5/1352, Rupert, king of Germany, was born.
22/8/1350. King John II, (the Good) succeeded Philip VI as King of France.
12/8/1350, Philip IV, King of France, died.
4/4/1347, Calais surrendered to the English.
26/8/1346. 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-Geonese 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.
12/7/1346, 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. 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.
1341, France imposed a salt tax to pay for the cost of the war with England.
See also Benelux, 1300s.
24/5/1337, Philip VI of France took Gascony from English control
1317, France adopted the Salic Law, which prohibited women from succeeding to the throne.
5/6/1316, King Louis X of France died.
14/5/1316, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was born.
29/11/1314, Philip IV, King of France, died.
1/5/1308, Albert I of Habsburg, King of Germany, died.
2/4/1305, Jeanne, Queen of Navarre, died.
1292, Adolf of Nassau (born 1250) was elected as King of Germany, principally as a means of blocking Hapsburg claims to the German throne through Albert of Austria. However he became too ambitious for the comfort of the Electors of Germany and he wads deposed in 1298. He died in battle against Albert I of Austria in 1309.
15/7/1291, Rudolf I, King of Germany, died.
4/10/1289, Louis XI, King of France, was born.
2/11/1285, Peter III, King of Aragon, died.
5/10/1285, Philip III, King of France, died.
21/5/1254, Conrad IV, King of Germany, died.
3/4/1245, (-) Philip III, King of France, was born.
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 Archbishop 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 a 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.
8/11/1226, Louis VIII, King of France, died.
23/5/1125, Holy Roman Emperor Henry V died at Utrecht. He was succeeded by the 55-yerar-old Lothair, who
was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle on 13/9/1125.
6.8.1223, Louis VIII was crowned King of France.
14/7/1223, Philip Augustus, King of France, died.
19/5/1218, The Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV died.
1/5/1218, Rudolf I, King of Germany, was born.
22/5/1215, 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.
27/7/1214, 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.
25/4/1214, Saint Louis, King of France, was born.
30/5/1213, 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, (-) The Assembly of Soissons.
1/4/1204, 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.
9/6/1198, Otto of Brunswick was crowned King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor, Otto IV.
28/9/1197, The Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI died.
10/6/1190. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) drowned in a river on his way to the Holy Land in the Third Crusade.
5/9/1187, Louis XIII, King of France, was born.
18/9/1180, Louis VII, King of France, died.
29/7/1166, Henry II, Count of Champagne, was born.
21/8/1165, Philip Augustus, King of France, was born.
1/8/1137, Louis VI, King of France, died, aged 56. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Louis VII.
28/9/1106. 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.
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.
4/8/1060, Henry I, King of France, died after a 29-year reign, aged 52. He was succeeded by his 8-year-old son who ruled as King Philip I until 1108.
5/10/1056, Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, died, aged 38. He was succeeded as German King by his 5-year-old son, who reigned as Henry IV until 1106. His mother Agnes acted as Regent until 1065.
25/12/1046, The German King was crowned Holy Roman Emperor Henry III in Rome by Pope Clement II.
4/6/1039, Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II died in Utrecht, aged 49. He was succeeded as German King by his 21-year-old son, Henry.
1032, The Kingdom of Arles came back under the control of the Holy Roman Empire, see 951.
20/7/1031, Robert II, (The Pious), King of France, died aged 61 He was succeeded by his 23-year-old son Constance of Aquitaine, who ruled as Henry I until 1060.
13/7/1024, The Holy Roman Emperor Henry II died aged 51 after a 10-year reign. He was succeeded as King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor by his 34-year-old son, who ruled as Conrad II until 1039.
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.
23/1/1002, The Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III, died aged 21, whilst fighting Rome. He was succeeded as King of the Franks and Bavarians by his 28-year-old cousin Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1014.
14/10/996, Hugh Capet, King of the Franks, died aged 58. He was succeeded by his 26-year-old son who ruled as Robert II until 1031.
5/987, Louis V, King of the Franks died, aged 20; allegedly poisoned by his mother, Emma. His death ended the Carolingian Dynasty, founded by Charlemagne in 800. He was succeeded by 49-year-old Hugh Capet, starting the Capetian Dynasty that endured until 1328. The Archbishop of Reims had declared the Frankish monarchy to be elective rather than hereditary, so as to deny the throne to the late king’s uncle, Charles, and engineer the succession of the Archbishop’s friend, Hugh. Hugh Capet ruled until 996.
2/3/986, Lothair, King of the Franks, died, aged 44. He was succeeded by his 19-year-old son who ruled briefly as Louis V (le Faineant).
7/12/983, The Holy Roman Emperor Otto II died in his palace in Rome, aged 28. He was succeeded by his 3-year-old son.
7/5/973. Otto I, King of Germany, died. aged 60, after an 11-year reign. He was succeeded by his 18-year-old son, Otto II, who had been joint Emperor since Christmas 967, and who in 972 had married the Byzantine Princess Theophano, daughter of Romanus II. Otto II ruled until 7/12/ 983.
965, Bremen was granted the right to hold a market, to levy its own port dues and to mint money.
2/2/962, The Saxon Otto I was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII.
17/6/956, Hugh The Great died, 2 months after gaining mastery of Burgundy. He was succeeded by his 18-year-old son, Hugh Capet, who was reluctantly acknowledged as Duke of the Franks by his cousin, Lothair, King of the Franks.
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 aged 33. He was succeeded by his 13-year-old son Lothair who reigned until 986.
951, The Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Burgundy were reuniyed, to become the Kingdom of Arles (Arelat). See 1032.
2/7/936, Henry the Fowler, King of Germany, died aged 60 after a 17-year reign. He was succeeded by his 23-year-old son, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 and ruled as Otto I until 973.
9/928, France’s King Louis III (The Blind) died at Arles aged 48 after a 27-year reign, 23 years of which were sightless.
15/6/923, Robert I, King of France, was killed in battle.
29/9/922, In France, Charles III (The Simple) was deposed by rebellious barons and replaced by King Odo who was crowned this day at Reims.
23/11/912, The Holy Roman Emperor, Otto the Great, was born.
911, The Duchy of Normandy was founded, when Charles III (The Simple), King of the Franks, granted lands around Roeun to Rollo (Rolf), leader of the Vikings. In return Rollo converted to Christianity and took the name ‘Robert’.
8/11/911, Following the death of King Louis III (The Child) at age 18, the son of Conrad, Count of Lanhgau, was chosen as German King, at Forchheim.
12/889, Holy Roman Emperor Arnulf died aged 49. He was succeeded as German King by his 8-year-old son, Louis, who ruled until 911 as Loius III (The Child). He was the last of the Carloingian Kings.
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.
12/12/884, King Carloman of France died whilst out hunting and was succeeded as King of the West Franks by Holy Roman Emperor Charles III (The Fat), son of the late Louis the German.
5/8/882, Louis III, King of France died, aged 19. His brother Carloman succeeded him.
10/4/879, King Louis II (The Stammerer) of France died at Compeigne, aged 32, after a reign of 18 months. He was succeeded jointly by his sons, Louis III and Carloman, and divided the kingdom between them a few months later.
12/8/875, Holy Roman Emperor Louis II died in Brescia, aged 50.
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 II, King of Lotharingia, died.
23/7/864, Edict of Pistres: Charles the Bald ordered defensive measures against the Vikings.
29/9/855, Holy Roman Emperor Lothair died aged 60. He divided his kingdom between his three sons. 33-year-old Louis II received Italy, which he had already governed since 844, and now ruled until 875. His brother Lothair II received Austrasia, which he renamed Lotharingia, later, Lorraine A third son received Provence and southern Burgundy.
22/8/851, Battle of Jengland. Erispoe, king of Brittany and son of Nominoe, defeated the Frank 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 843.
825, The Castle of Mammaburg was constructed, between the Alster and Elbe Rivers. This was the start of the City of Hamburg.
28/1/814, Charlemagne died of pleurisy, aged 71.
25/12/800, Charlemagne was crowned first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
15/8/778. Roland, (Count Hruodland) 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.
2/4/742, Charlemagne was born.
22/10/741. Death of Charles Martel (see 25/10/732) at his country palace at Quierzy, aged 53. He divided his realm between his older son, Carloman, and his younger son, Pepin (Pippin). Carlonan received the eastern lands (now Germany) whilst Pepin received the west (France).
735, Charles Martel conquered Burgundy.
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.
720, The Arabs invading Spain crossed the Pyrenees into France, and took Narbonne.
16/12/714, Pepin II, ruler of the Franks, died.
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.
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.
558, Chlothar I, son of Clovis, reunited the Kingdom of the Franks – see 27/11/511 and 29/11/561.
555, The Kingdom of Bavaria was founded, as a Germanic tribe known as the Bavuyars invaded and settled the region.
536, Provence, formerly part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, came under the rule of the Franks.
532, Battle of Autun. The Burgundians were defeated by the Franks, leading to the Frankish conquest of Burgundy.
27/11/511. Clovis, King of the Franks, son of Childeric I, Merovingian Dynasty, died aged 45 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. 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.
508, Clovis established Paris (Lutetia) as capital of the Frankish lands.
498, Clovis was baptised a Christian.
486, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman ruler in northern Gaul, at the Battle of Soissons.
482, Accession of Clovis.
460, Cologne captured by the Franks.
457, Death of Merwig (Merovech), King of the Franks, 448-457. He gave his name to the Merovingian Dynasty, whose fortunes were established by his grandson, Clovis.
443, The Burgundians settled in the Rhone Valley as Foederati (a people without Roman citizenship but allied to Rome).
410, The Franks settled in parts of Gaul (see also Roman Empire).
See also Roman Empire
600 BCE, The old port of Marseilles was founded by Greek colonists as the port of Lacydon.
700 BCE, The Celts moved into France from eastern Europe.