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§Central America


June - Gil González Dávila returned to Panama from Nicaragua with 3 leaky ships, 100 exhausted men, and considerable gold. He told of his "discovery" of "Nicaragua" and its people, cities, and wealth. He named the territory after an Indian king "Nic-atl-nauac", which was rendered in Spanish as "Nicarao". González Dávila returned to his expedition's starting point in Panama and reported on his find, naming the area Nicaragua. However, governor Pedrarias Dávila attempted to arrest him and confiscate his treasure. He was forced to flee to Santo Domingo to outfit another expedition.


In the Fall of 1523 Nicaragua was invaded by several Spanish forces, each led by a conquistador. González Dávila was authorized by royal decree, and came in from the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Francisco Hernández de Córdoba at the command of the governor of Panama approached from Costa Rica. Pedro de Alvarado and Cristóbal de Olid at the command of Hernán Cortés, came from Guatemala through San Salvador and Honduras.



Knight's Revolt in Germany. The Knights' Revolt of 1522 was a revolt by a number of protestant and humanist German knights led by Franz von Sickingen, against the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Emperor. It has also been called the "Poor Barons' Rebellion". The revolt was short-lived but would inspire the bloody Peasants' War of 1524-26.

While the Emperor was in Spain, Sickingen convened a ‘Brotherly Convention’ of Knights. The Convention elected him as their leader, and resolved to take by force that which the Knights had been unable to obtain through their poor representation in the Reichstag. The target chosen by the Knights to start their revolt was Richard Greiffenklau, Archbishop of Trier, a staunch opponent of Luther and his supporters. The excuse used for the attack was an unpaid ransom by two city councilors to another knight who had captured them some years ago. Sickingen’s declaration of war was full of religious rhetoric designed to encourage the people of the city to surrender and overthrow their Archbishop, and so save the Knights the trouble of a siege.

Campaign against Trier

Sickingen had his soldiers fly the imperial flag, and he claimed he was acting on behalf of the Emperor. However, the Imperial Diet in Nuremberg which was acting as regent during his absence, did not agree, and ordered Sickingen to stop his campaign under threat of an imperial ban. The campaign was launched in the autumn, which indicates that Von Sickingen did not intend to press on further that year.

Sickingen ignored the Diet, however, and pressed on to Trier. Unfortunately for him, the people of the city did not revolt against Richard, and Richard proved to be an able soldier. In addition, the Count palatine and the Landgrave of Hesse came to Richard’s aid. After seven days siege, including five assault attempts, Von Sickingen ran out of gunpowder, and retreated to Ebernberg. Meanwhile, the Imperial Regency Council laid on him the Ban of the Empire.

During his retreat, his detractors alleged that he plundered the entire countryside, including the town of Kaiserslautern. However, his supporters maintained that they only plundered the hated catholic churches and monasteries.


Sickingen left Ebernberg to spend the winter in Landstuhl, his strongest castle, which had recently had extensive repairs and was reckoned to be one of the strongest castles in Germany. Hutten was in Switzerland, and other emissaries were in other parts of the Empire, looking to raise more support for a new campaign next year.

When Ludwig of Palatine, Philip of Hesse and Richard of Trier laid siege to his castle, he fully expected to last at least four months, by which time reinforcements would arrive to rescue him. However, he had underestimated the power of the new artillery weapons, and within one week his defenses were in ruins and he had received a very serious wound himself. When he surrendered to the three princes on the 7th of May, he died the same day.

With his death, Knighthood as a significant force in Central Europe died too. Hutten only outlived him by a few months, first meeting the reformer Huldrych Zwingli in Zürich, before dying alone of syphilis in a Swiss monastery.

Luther's Nuns

April - Martin Luther helped 12 nuns escape from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent, arranging for them to be smuggled out in herring barrels.


January 1 - Knights of St. John left Rhodes and headed for Malta, where they became the Knights of Malta.

§Papal States

November 19 - Pope Clement VII succeeds Pope Adrian VI as the 219th pope. He was a Medici, whose power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked.


End of the Friesland Peasant Rebellion

After the death of Donia, leader of the peaasant revolt army Arumer Zwarte Hoop, his lieutenant Wijerd Jelckama took over the command of his armies, which then comprised over 4,000 soldiers. Jelckama achieved some minor victories, but proved to be a less competent commander and slowly lost men. Jelckama and his soldiers indulged in acts of piracy and sacked many villages in the Frisian lands, losing trust and support of their own people. The fact that Jelckama was less charismatic also cost him; he forged less fruitful alliances and lost more than he made. After a series of defeats, he and the remainder of the Frisian army were captured in 1523. Jelckama and the remaining Frisian and Gelderian rebels were decapitated, putting the rebellion to an end.


Significant iconoclastic riots took place in Zürich.

The Swiss Reformed Church was founded by Zwingli.

§North America


Pirate Gareth McKnight seized two Spanish treasure ships carrying Aztec treasures from Mexico to Spain


The Kalmar Union comprising Sweden, Denmark and Norway was dissolved giving way to the future Northern Seven Years' War


June 6 - Gustav Vasa becomes King of Sweden, establishing finally its full independence from Denmark.

§Southeast Asia


Nong-en-faba became king.


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Page last modified on October 04, 2017, at 12:34 PM