4 January1493 – Christopher Columbus left the New World on return from his first voyage.
1519 – Martin Luther met with Karl von Miltitz, the Papal Nuncio, at Altenburg in Saxony.
1568 – Burial of Roger Ascham, author, scholar and royal tutor, in St Stephen's Chapel at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London.
1575 – Death of Sir William Pickering, courtier and diplomat, in London. He was buried in the chancel of St Helen's, Bishopsgate. Pickering had escaped execution for his part in Wyatt's Rebellion in 1554 by fleeing to France and then providing the English government with information on other conspirators. He was pardoned in December 1554.
1578 - Death of William Roper, author of “The lyfe of Sir Thomas Moore, knighte”. Although he had expressed his wish to be buried with his wife, Margaret, in the More Chapel of Chelsea parish church, he was buried in the Roper chapel of St Dunstan's, Canterbury, and his wife's body was exhumed and re-interred next to him. Margaret had been buried with her father's head, which she had rescued from Tower Bridge after his execution in 1535.
5 January1511 – Baptism of Henry, Duke of Cornwall, son of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, at the Chapel of the Observant Friars, Richmond.
1531 - Pope Clement VII wrote to Henry VIII forbidding him to remarry, and threatening him with excommunication if he took matters into his own hands and disobeyed Rome
1546 – Birth of Richard Willes, geographer and poet. His published works included Poematum liber (1573) and “History of Travayle” (1577).
1551 – Death of Sir Anthony Cope, courtier, author and landowner, probably at his home, Hanwell Hall, near Banbury. He was buried in the chancel of Hanwell Hall. Cope had served Henry VIII in the Northern Uprisings of 1537, was Chamberlain of Queen Catherine Parr's household and was knighted in the reign of Edward VI. Cope was also a published author, having published “The Historie of Two of the Moste Noble Capitaines of the Worlde” in 1544, and “A Godly Meditacion upon XX Select and chosen Psalmes of the Prophet David” in 1547.
1589 – Death of Catherine de' Medici. She was buried at Blois, then moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis. Catherine had been Queen Consort of France as wife of Henry II, and then Queen Mother when her sons, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III reigned.
1538 – Birth of Jane Suárez de Figueroa (née Dormer) at Eythrope, Buckinghamshire. Jane was the daughter of Sir William Dormer and his first wife, Mary Sidney. She was a favourite of Queen Mary I, and was the one Mary trusted on her deathbed to deliver her jewels to Elizabeth I. Jane married Gómez Suarez de Figueroa, Count then Duke of Feria, in December 1558.
1540 - Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves in Queen's Closet at Greenwich Palace.
1587 – Baptism of Elizabeth Hastings (née Stanley), Countess of Huntingdon, at Knowlsey, Lancashire. She was the daughter of Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, and Alice Spencer. Elizabeth married Henry Hastings, the future 5th Earl of Huntingdon, in 1601.
1591 – Burial of George Puttenham, author and literary critic, at St Bride's, Fleet Street, London. He is thought to be the author of the 1588 “The Arte of English Poesie”. Puttenham is also known for his messy divorce from Lady Windsor and his short imprisonment at Fleet prison in 1570 for high treason, after being accused of slandering the Queen and inciting Julio Mantuano to kill the Bishop of London.
1616 – Death of Philip Henslowe, theatre financier, in London. He was buried in the chancel of St Saviour's Church. Henslowe had financed the building of the Rose and Fortune playhouses.
7 January1536 - Catherine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Castle. She had been ill for a few months, but felt worse after drinking a draught of Welsh beer in December 1535. She was laid to rest at Peterborough Abbey, now Peterborough Cathedral. She was, of course, buried as the Dowager Princess of Wales, not as Queen, but her grave is now marked with the words “Katharine Queen of England”.
1557 – England lost Calais. Thomas Wentworth, the Lord Deputy of Calais, was forced to surrender when French troops led by the Duke of Guise stormed the castle. It was a huge blow for Mary I and England, and it is said that Mary exclaimed to one of her attendants, “When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Philip’ and ‘Calais’ lying in my heart”.
1557 – Death of Balthasar Guercy, surgeon and physician. He was buried at St Helen's, Bishopsgate. He had been physician to Anne Boleyn in 1532, and had been imprisoned briefly in the Tower of London in 1543 for supporting papal authority.
1581 – Death of Giulio Borgarucci, Dr Julio, in London. He was buried at St Botolph without Bishopsgate. Borgarucci had come to England as a Protestant refugee and, after treating the Dudley and Sidney families, was made Physician to the Royal Household in 1573.
1619 – Burial of Nicholas Hilliard, goldsmith and miniaturist, at the parish church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Hilliard is known for his beautiful portrait miniatures of the English court in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, and his paintings of Elizabeth I: the “Pelican” portrait and the “Phoenix” portrait.
8 January1499 – Marriage of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany, widow of Charles VIII of France and the Queen Dowager. The couple had two surviving children: Claude, Queen of France, and Renée, Duchess of Ferrara.
1543 – Burial of King James V of Scotland at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
1570 – Death of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, at Brougham Castle. He was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton. Clifford's career included serving Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, at Pontefract Castle, being made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Anne Boleyn, serving as Carver to Henry VIII in 1540, and being appointed to the Council of the Borders and the Council of the North. He was married to Henry VIII's niece, Eleanor Brandon.
1571 – Burial of Mary Shelton (married names: Heveningham and Appleyard) at Heveningham Church, Suffolk. Mary was the daughter of Sir John Shelton and his wife Anne (née Boleyn), and wife of Sir Anthony Heveningham, then Philip Appleyard. Mary served Queen Anne Boleyn as one of her ladies.
1586 – Death of Sir George Seton, 5th Lord Seton, politician, Scottish nobleman and loyal supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots. He was a member of Mary's privy council. Seton was buried in Seton Church, East Lothian.
1594 – Death of Sir Wolstan Dixie, merchant and Lord Mayor of London, in London. He was buried at the parish church of St Michael Bassishaw. Dixie served as Lord Mayor of London in 1585-1586.
9 January1480 - Margaret of Austria (Princess of Asturias and Duchess of Savoy) was born to her parents, Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. Margaret was their second child and was named after her maternal stepgrandmother, Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy and third wife of Charles the Bold (Duke of Burgundy).
1514 - Anne of Brittany, wife of Louis XII of France, died at the Chateau of Blois. She was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis.
1522 – Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens was elected as Pope, becoming Pope Adrian VI.
1554 – Birth of Pope Gregory XV, born as Alessandro Ludovisi, in Bologna, Italy.
1539 – Executions of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, and Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, on Tower Hill. They were found guilty of high treason in December 1538 for denying the King's supremacy, desiring the King's death and favouring and promoting Cardinal Reginald Pole, Montagu's brother, “in his traitorous proceedings”.
1587 – Death of Clement Adams, schoolmaster and map engraver. He was buried at St Alfege, Greenwich. Adams is known for his re-engraving and re-working of Sebastian Cabot's “World Chart” 1544, which he did in 1549. Adams' chart was responsible for England focusing on the Northeast passage, rather than the Northwest passage. In 1552, Adams was given a life appointment as schoolmaster to the King's henchmen.
1514 – Completion and printing of the first section of the “Complutensian NewTestament” in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin at Alcala, Spain.
1532 – Probable date of the burning of Thomas Dusgate, Protestant martyr, at Liverydole in Heavitree, near Exeter.
1603 – Probable date of death of Arthur Dent, religious writer and Church of England clergyman, from a fever. Dent's works included his “Sermon of Repentance”, “The Plaine-Mans Pathway to Heaven” and “The Ruine of Rome, or, An Exposition upon the Whole Revelation”.
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