1564 (The People's Chronology)
Swedish forces under the command of Nils Persson Silversparre invade Denmark in January, plundering and scorching an area extending from Göinge in the east through most of Bleckinge without encountering more than small groups of resistance fighters (see 1563). Another Swedish army invades the Danish province of Halland under the command of Knut Hakansson Hand and plunders the area surrounding Kungsbacka and Falkenberg, again meeting little resistance. Sweden's Erik XIV Vasa crosses the bridge of Brömsebro in early September. Local peasant levies in the province of Bleckinge are unable to prevent him from taking the old city of Ronneby September 4. At least 2,000 men, women, and children are murdered, and Ronneby is burnt to the ground after being plundered. The Swedish commander Klas Kristerson Horn then ravages the western part of Bleckinge (see 1565).
The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I dies at Vienna July 25 at age 61 after an 8-year reign in which he has ended religious strife in the German states and converted the elected crowns of Bohemia and Hungary into hereditary Hapsburg possessions (while agreeing to pay tribute to the Ottoman sultan for Austria's share of Hungary). He is succeeded by his 36-year-old son, who will reign until 1576 as Maximilian II and is not content with paying tribute to Constantinople (see 1566).
The Peace of Troyes ends hostilities between France and England (see 1563). English court favorite Robert Dudley has led an ill-fated expedition to help the Huguenots, and Queen Elizabeth elevates him in September to earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh. His wife, Amy (née Robsart), died in September 1560, having fallen (or been pushed) down a flight of stairs. Elizabeth proposes that he marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Huguenots and Catholics have joined forces to drive the English out of Havre, and England renounces all claims to Calais in return for 222,000 crowns (see 1558).
Irish chieftain Hugh O'Neill releases his rival Calvagh O'Donnell after 3 years of confinement in which O'Donnell has been subjected to the cruelest torture (see 1561). O'Donnell voyages to London and appeals to Elizabeth for help against the rebellious O'Neill (see 1565).
Mon rebels burn Pegu to the ground, but the Burmese king Braginoco (Bayinnaung) captures the Siamese capital Ayutthaya and brings Siam's royal family back to Burma as hostages (see 1563; 1568; Laos, 1565).
Human Rights, Social Justice
England's Elizabeth I takes shares in John Hawkins's second slave-running venture and loans him one of her ships as her avarice overcomes the humane antipathy to slavery that she expressed last year.
Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi, 54, leaves New Spain with four ships to colonize the Philippines (see 1521). Five earlier efforts have ended in disaster, but Augustinian monk Andrés de Urdaneta, 66, has spent 8 years in the Spice Islands (Moluccas) and Felipe II has asked him to accompany Legazpi, who went to New Spain as a clerk in 1545 and has been sent by the viceroy Luis de Velasco with orders to claim the islands (see 1565).
French Huguenot leader Gaspard II de Coligny, 45, fits out a second expedition to the New World (see Ribaut, 1562). The fleet commanded by René de Landonniére sails to Fort Caroline on the St. John's River of northern Florida (see Ribaut, 1565).
Ivan IV (the Terrible), czar of Muscovy, signs a document that recounts how the Stroganoff (or Stroganov) family of merchants came to prominence as one of the richest in his realm (the first member of the family to convert to the Russian Orthodox faith was tortured and cut to pieces (isstrogali) by the Crimean Tatars, and the name Stroganoff derives from the word isstrogali). Ivan will grant the Stroganoffs a vast tract on his eastern border, and they will prosper by processing salt, mining ore, trading furs, and cultivating freshwater pearls (see politics, 1584).
The Inquisition forces Andreas Vesalius to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as a condition for the commutation of his death sentence for dissecting human bodies (see 1543). He disappears on the pilgrimage and dies October 15 at age 49.
A new disease epidemic in New Spain decimates the Aztec.
The first mention of a sheath to be worn by men as a protection against syphilis or other sexually transmitted disease appears in medical literature. Designed by Italian anatomist Gabriel Fallopius of the University of Padua, it is made of linen, a dried bladder, or a section of an animal's intestine, fits over the glans, and is secured by the foreskin. Sheaths for circumcised men are soon available, each eight inches long and tied at the base with a pink ribbon to make it more acceptable to women. Fallopius says that his "overcoat," as it is popularly called, has been tested on more than 1,000 men "with complete success" (see population [contraception], 1655).
Pope Pius IV concludes the Council of Trent convened by Pope Paul III in 1545, issuing the decree Professio Fidei Tridentine. The Council decrees, "Whoever saith that marriage is to be put above virginity and that it is not more blessed to remain chaste than to marry, let him be anathema."
John Calvin dies at Geneva May 27 at age 54. His friend Théodore de Bèze, now 44, succeeds to the leadership of the Protestant Reformation, which is centered at Geneva.
Painting: The Death of the Virgin, The Adoration of the Kings, The Road to Calgary (his largest work) and The Slaughter of the Innocents by Pieter Brueghel; Juan de Ribera (bishop of Badajoz) by Luis de Morales. Michelangelo dies at Rome February 18 at age 88 and is buried at Florence's Franciscan Church of Santa Croce.
Boudewin Rousse de Ghent recommends lime juice as an anti-scorbutic.
The sheath (condom) mentioned by Gabriel Fallopius is used entirely for reasons of hygiene; it will not be used for purposes of contraception until the 18th century.