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§Of World Interest

First rat king discovery reported. Rat kings are phenomena said to arise when a number of rats become intertwined at their tails, which become stuck together with blood, dirt, ice, excrement or simply knotted. The animals reputedly grow together while joined at the tails. The numbers of rats that are joined together can vary, but naturally rat kings formed from a larger number of rats are rarer. The phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany, where the majority of instances have been reported. Historically, there are various superstitions surrounding rat kings, and they were often seen as an extremely bad omen, particularly associated with plagues.

§Eastern Asia


September 10 - The Battle of Kawanakajima occurs. Takeda Shingen battles the forces of Uesugi Kenshin for the final time.



March 13 - Cardinal Granvelle flees Brussels

April 11 - Liege prince-bishop Robert van Bergen resigns


Modern pencil becomes common in England. It comes just in time because England's most famous writer, William Shakespeare is born this year and baptized on April 26.

John Dee wrote the Hermetic work Monas Hieroglyphica ("The Hieroglyphic Monad"), an exhaustive Cabalistic interpretation of a glyph of his own design, meant to express the mystical unity of all creation. He travelled to Hungary to present a copy personally to Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor. This work was highly valued by many of Dee's contemporaries, but the loss of the secret oral tradition of Dee's milieu makes the work difficult to interpret today.

April 11 - England signs the Peace of Troyes with France

April 26 - William Shakespeare baptized


Catherine de Médicis decided to build a new residence at a site roughly 500 metres west of the old Louvre: the Palais des Tuileries. This area - which was beyond the city walls, was known as the ``Sablonniére'' and occupied by tile kilns (tuileries).

April 11 - France signs the Peace of Troyes with England

April Fools Day started in France after the adoption of a reformed calender by Charles IX in 1564. Up till that time, New Year celebration began March 21 and ended April 1. When New Year's was changed, some people still celebrated on April 1. These people became known as "April Fools."

§Holy Roman Empire (modern Germany)

July 25 Maximilian II succeeds his father Ferdinand II as emperor and to the kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia


March 8 - Naples bans kissing in public under the penalty of death.

In 16th century Italy, Gabriele Falloppio authored the earliest uncontested description of condom use. De Morbo Gallico ("The French Disease", referring to syphilis) was published in 1564, two years after Fallopio's death. In this tract, he recommended use of a device he claimed to have invented: linen sheaths soaked in a chemical solution and allowed to dry before use. The cloths he described were sized to cover the glans of the penis, and were held on with a ribbon. Fallopio claimed to have performed an experimental trial of the linen sheath on 1100 men, and reported that none of them had contracted the dreaded disease.


Ottoman Turks invade Malta.


December 31 - Willem van Orange demands freedom of conscience/religion


May 31 Battle on Gotland: Lubeck and Denmark beat Sweden

May 30-31: The first battle of Öland: between the islands of Gotland and Öland, between a fleet of Allied ships, the Danes under Herluf Trolle and the Lübeckers under Friedrich Knebel, and a Swedish fleet of 23 or more ships under Jakob Bagge. It was an Allied victory.

May 31 - Mars, the legendary flagship of Swedish King Erik XIV was sunk. the Swedish ship Mars was boarded by Byens Løffue, Engel and Fuchs before catching alight and exploding, killing most of its crew and 300 boarders. Jakob Bagge and his Second, Arved Trolle (sv), were taken prisoner. Swedish casualties apart from in this ship were 101. Fleming took over the fleet and sailed it back to Älvsnabben, while the Danes sailed to Copenhagen. Named for the Roman god of war, Mars went down in the Baltic Sea during a battle against Danish and German forces. The massive three-masted warship was nearly 200 feet long, and carried more than 100 cannon and between 800 and 900 Swedish and German sailors at the time that it sunk.


John Calvin preached his final sermon in St. Pierre on 6 February 1564. On 25 April, he made his will, in which he left small sums to his family and to the collège. A few days later, the ministers of the church came to visit him, and he bid his final farewell, which was recorded in Discours d'adieu aux ministres. He recounted his life in Geneva, sometimes recalling bitterly some of the hardships he had suffered. Calvin died on 27 May 1564 aged 54. At first his body was laid in state, but since so many people came to see it, the reformers were afraid that they would be accused of fostering a new saint's cult. On the following day, he was buried in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière de Plainpalais. While the exact location of the grave is unknown, a stone was added in the 19th century to mark a grave traditionally thought to be Calvin's.

§North America

§United States

June 22 - French settlers abandon Charlesfort, the first French attempt at colonizing the New World, and establish Fort Caroline in Florida.

October 18 - Slaver John Hawkins begins 2nd trip to America. Hawkins' second voyage was even more successful than his first. In 1564, Queen Elizabeth I partnered with him by renting him the huge old 700-ton ship Jesus of Lubeck, on which he set forth on a more extensive voyage, along with three small ships. Hawkins sailed to Borburata, privateering along the way. By the time he reached Borburata, he had captured around 400 Africans. After Borburata, Hawkins sailed to Rio de la Hacha. The Spanish officials tried to prevent Hawkins from selling the slaves by imposing taxes. Captain Hawkins refused to pay the taxes and threatened to burn the towns. After selling his slaves, Captain Hawkins sailed to a French colony in Florida for a respite.



September 3 - The Swedish army reached the Danish city of Ronneby, which was at that point a flourishing and wealthy merchant city. The city lacked proper defense fortifications or a garrison, but likely expected to be given assistance from the Danish troops, which were positioned some miles away. The city refused to surrender to the Swedes despite been given two opportunities to do so.

September 4 - When the Swedish army stormed the city early on the morning of 4 September, they quickly pulled down the temporary palisade which was its only defense and, with no soldiers defending it, pillaged the city and massacred its inhabitants in accordance with the order of scorched earth issued by Eric XIV.

Eric XIV wrote of the storming of the city:

"The water in the Ronneby [river] was red by the blood from dead bodies. And were the enemies so meek, that one did not bother much with them, but cut them down as a horde of wild boars, and spared no one but killed all that was there, so that in the city there were more than two thousand men killed by their throats aside for some women and children, whom the miserable Finns beat to death".

A great fortune was taken as war price including silver and gold, household goods, wine and salt and many more goods stored by the city merchants, and much of the city was burned down during the pillage.

§South America


January 25 - Portuguese founded the city of São Paulo, in Brazil


March 25 – Lorenzo Bernal del Mercado defeated and killed the toqui Illangulién in the Battle of Angol, in Chile.

§Southeastern Asia


Spanish founded a colony in the Philippines.


Northern Seven Years War: Denmark Denmark–Norway, Free City of Lübeck, Poland against Sweden.


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