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1563CE

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§Africa

§Ethiopia

February 1 - Sarsa Dengel succeeds his father Menas as Emperor of Ethiopia.

§Europe

§France

February 18 - Francis, Duke of Guise is assassinated while besieging Orléans.

March - Peace of Amboise. Negotiated between the Prince of Condé and Anne de Montmorency, it accords some toleration to the Huguenots, especially to aristocrats. The combined Huguenot and royal armies then march north to besiege the English in Le Havre.

July 28 - The English surrender Le Havre to the French after a siege.

§Great Britain

§English Religion

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were established in 1563, and are the historic defining statements of Anglican doctrine in relation to the controversies of the English Reformation; especially in the relation of Calvinist doctrine and Roman Catholic practices to the nascent Anglican doctrine of the evolving English Church. The name is commonly abbreviated as the Thirty-Nine Articles or the XXXIX Articles.

The Church of England was searching out its doctrinal position in relation to the Roman Catholic Church and the continental Protestants. A series of defining documents were written and replaced over a period of 30 years as the doctrinal and political situation changed from the excommunication of Henry VIII in 1533, to the excommunication of Elizabeth I in 1570.

Prior to King Henry's death in 1547, several statements of position were issued. The first attempt was the Ten Articles in 1536 which showed some slightly Protestant leanings; the result of an English desire for a political alliance with the German Lutheran princes. The next revision was the Six Articles in 1539 which swung away from all reformed positions, and the King's Book in 1543 which re-established almost in full the familiar Catholic doctrines. Then, during the reign of Edward VI in 1552, the Forty-Two Articles were written under the direction of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. It was in this document that Calvinist thought reached its zenith of its influence in the English Church. These articles were never put in to action, due to the king's death and the reunion of the English Church with Rome under Queen Mary I. Finally, upon the coronation of Elizabeth I and the re-establishment of the separate Church of England the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were established by a Convocation of the Church in 1563, under the direction of Matthew Parker, then the archbishop of Canterbury, which pulled back from some of the more extreme Calvinist thinking and created the peculiar English reformed doctrine. The articles, finalized in 1571, were to have a lasting effect on religion in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through their incorporation into and propagation through the Book of Common Prayer.

§Scotland

A law is passed in Scotland making being a witch punishable by death.

§Italy

December 4 - Official closing of the Council of Trent (opened December 13, 1545).

§Netherlands

Johann Weyer, a Dutch physician, occultist and demonologist, published a book which was critical of the Witch trials. Called "De Praestigiis Daemonum" (Shipwreck of souls), it argued that Witches did not really exist, but that Satan promoted the belief that they did. He rejected confessions obtained through torture as worthless. He recommended medical treatment instead of torture and execution. By publishing the book anonymously, he escaped the stake.

§Scandinavia

Northern Seven Years War: The war was motivated by the dissatisfaction of King Frederick II of Denmark with the dissolution of the Kalmar Union, and the will of King Eric XIV of Sweden to break Denmark's dominating position. The fighting continued until both armies had been exhausted, and many men died. The resulting Treaty of Stettin was a stalemate, with neither party gaining any new territory. After the deaths of Christian III and Gustav Vasa, in 1559 and 1560 respectively, both countries now had young and hawkish monarchs, Eric XIV of Sweden and Frederick II of Denmark. Frederick II envisioned the resurrection of the Kalmar Union under Danish leadership, while Eric wanted to finally break the dominating position of Denmark. Shortly after his coronation in 1559, King Frederick II of Denmark ordered his ageing field-commander Johan Rantzau to avenge the humiliating Danish defeat against the small peasant republic of Ditmarsh, which was defeated in a matter of a few weeks and brought under the Danish-Norwegian crown. During the next year, the Danish expansion continued with the possession of the Baltic Sea island of Ösel.

In 1561, when a sizeable remnant of the Order states in the northern Baltics were secularized by its grand master Gotthard Kettler, both Denmark and Sweden were attracted to intervene in the Livonian War. During this conflict, King Eric of Sweden successfully obstructed the Danish plans to conquer Estonia. He sought to dominate the Baltic Sea, while unsuccessfully pressing for Frederick to remove the traditionally Swedish insignia of Three Crowns from the Danish coat of arms; a bone of contention since Christian III and Gustav Vasa. In February 1563, Swedish messengers were sent to Hesse to negotiate Eric's marriage with Christine of Hesse but were held back in Copenhagen. In retaliation, Eric added the insignia of Norway and Denmark to his own coat of arms and refused Danish requests to remove these symbols.

Lübeck, upset over obstacles to trade introduced by Eric to hinder the Russian trade as well as withdrawn trade privileges, joined Denmark in a war alliance. The Polish–Lithuanian union also joined, desiring control of the Baltic trade. Skirmishes broke out in May 1563, before war was officially declared in August that year.

May 30 - the first movements of the war started as a Danish fleet under Jakob Brockenhuus sailed towards the Baltic. At Bornholm, the fleet fired on the Swedish navy under Jakob Bagge, even though war had not officially been declared. A battle arose that ended with Danish defeat.

August 13 - War was declared by emissaries from Denmark and Lübeck in Stockholm. The same month, Danish king Fredrik II attacked Älvsborg. At the beginning of the war the Danes advanced from Halland with a 25,000-strong army of professional mercenaries and captured Sweden's gateway to the west, Älvsborg Fortress, after only three days of bombardment and a six-hour assault on 4 September. This achieved the Danish aim of cutting off Sweden from the North Sea, blocking the all-important salt imports. Eric then attacked Halmstad, without result; the Swedish counterattack was driven back by the professional Danish army. After the king's departure from his army, Charley de Mornays stepped in as the commanding officer and was beaten by the Danish at the Battle of Mared.

September 11 - At sea a battle broke out near Öland, whereafter the war took a pause.

§Sources

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