1463 – Probable birthdate of Silvestro Gigli, diplomat and Bishop of Worcester, at Lucca in Italy. Gigli was nominated as Bishop of Worcester in December 1498, and enthroned in April 1499.
1511 - Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall. His birth was met with celebrations throughout England - bonfires, wine flowing through the streets of London, cannons firing, pageants, banqueting and jousts. He died on 22nd February 1511, just fifty-two days after his birth
1515 – Death of Louis XII of France, less than three months after his marriage to Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII. He did not have a son, and so was succeeded by Francis I, his cousin's son and the husband of Louis' daughter, Claude. Louis was buried in Saint Denis Basilica.
1537 – Marriage of James V of Scotland and Madeleine de Valois, daughter of Francis I, at Notre Dame in Paris.
1540 – Henry VIII met his bride-to-be, Anne of Cleves, at Rochester. Following the great chivalric tradition, Henry disguised himself and attempted to kiss her, but a shocked Anne did not recognise him as King. It was a disastrous first meeting, and Henry was sorely disappointed that she could not recognise him as her true love.
1556 – Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, became Mary I's Lord Chancellor.
1492 – King Boabdil surrendered Granada to the forces of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile - click here to read more.
1525 – Death of Sir William Uvedale. Uvedale had been created a Knight of the Bath and Knight of the Royal Body by Henry VII, and served Arthur, Prince of Wales, as his counsellor.
1536 – Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador, arrived at the dying Catherine of Aragon's bedside in Kimbolton Castle.
1539 - Geoffrey Pole, son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was pardoned after attempting suicide for the third time.
1550 (2nd or 4th) – Death of Sir Christopher Barker, Richmond Herald, Norroy King of Arms and Garter Principal King of Arms, at Paternoster Row in London. He was buried in St Faith's under St Paul's.
1554 – Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger and Sir Peter Carew were summoned to appear before Mary I's privy council. They ignored the summons and continued plotting what was to be Wyatt's Rebellion.
1598 – Death of Maurice Kyffin, soldier and author. He served Elizabeth I as Comptroller of the Musters to the army in Ireland from 1596, and is known for his Deffynniad Ffydd Eglwys Loegr, a Welsh translation of Bishop John Jewel's Apologia.
1521 - Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem excommunicating reformer, German priest and professor of theology Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.
1540 – Official reception of Anne of Cleves at Greenwich Palace.
1541 – Anne of Cleves visited Hampton Court Palace to greet her former husband, Henry VIII, and his new wife, Catherine Howard, and to exchange New Year's gifts.
1541 – Death of John Clerk, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and diplomat to Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey. His final embassy was to the Duke of Cleves in 1540 to try and obtain an annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves. He died in Aldgate, London, and was buried at St Botolph's Church.
1590 – Death of Robert Boyd, Scottish nobleman, courtier and Protestant, at Kilmarnock. He was buried there in the Laigh Church. Boyd supported Mary, Queen of Scots, but could not support her marriage to the Catholic Lord Darnley, and so joined the Earl of Moray's faction, involving himself in the Chaseabout Raid of summer 1565. He managed to escape punishment by reconciling with Darnley. Boyd was also a member of the jury who acquitted the Earl of Bothwell for Darnley's murder in 1567, and supported his marriage to Mary.
1493 – 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.
1511 – 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.
1536 - 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.