1595 (The People's Chronology)
The Battle of Fontaine-Française June 5 results in victory for France's Henri IV, who drives the Spanish out of Burgundy. Henri announced January 17 that he would fight Spain, which was trying to enforce the claims of a Spanish pretender to the French throne.
Irish Catholic leader Hugh O'Neill, 55, earl of Tyrone, captures Enniskellen and Monaghan castles and approaches Felipe II for help against England, even though he was made earl for services to the crown in Ireland (see 1594). Turloch Luineach has died, O'Neill has had himself elected to succeed him, Elizabeth proclaims him a traitor June 30, but he gains widespread support as a result of arbitrary appropriations of cattle, land, and other property combined with exclusions from office by the English authorities who rule from Dublin Castle. Spanish forces land in Cornwall and burn the English towns of Penzance and Mousehole as hostilities continue between Elizabeth and Felipe II.
Scotland's lord chancellor John Maitland, 1st Lord Maitland of Thirlestane, dies at Thirlestane, Berwick, October 3 at age 50.
The Ottoman sultan Murad III dies at Constantinople January 6 at age 49 after a 21-year reign of debauchery in which he has sired 102 children (20 sons and 27 daughters survive). His eldest son, 27, will reign until 1603 as Mehmed III, furthering the empire's decline. He has his 19 brothers murdered in accordance with the "law of fratricide" and has 10 of his father's concubines drowned because they are pregnant, possibly with sons. Mehmed's mother, the sultana Valide Baffo, is the power behind the throne.
The Ottoman Empire has its third Celali (Jelali) Revolt (see 1526). This one will continue until 1610 (see 1598).
Transylvania's Sigismund Báthory has his opponents executed and subdues Wallachia, defeating the Ottoman grand vizier Sinan October 28 at the Battle of Giurgevo.
The Mughal emperor Akbar annexes Kandahar.
Burma's Nanda Bayin retreats to Pegu as Siamese forces threaten attack with support from subject peoples on the Salween River who have invited the Siamese to occupy Martabvan and Moulmein (see 1593; 1599).
Human Rights, Social Justice
Upper Austria has a peasant revolt.
Sir Walter Raleigh sails with four ships and 100 men to explore the Orinoco River in South America, but he returns empty-handed (see 1589; 1618).
A Dutch fleet of four merchant vessels leaves Amsterdam for the East Indies April 2 in the service of the new Verre Company syndicate formed by the nine merchants who sent the van Houtman brothers to Lisbon 3 years ago. Among those aboard are Cornelis and Frederik de Houtman, and the fleet's commander uses sailing directions provided by the navigator Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, who has gone to the Arctic on a second expedition with Willem Barents (see 1596).
The Dutch East India Company sends its first ships to the Orient, the Dutch make their first settlements on Africa's Guinea coast, Dutch ships arrive in the East Indies, and the Dutch begin colonization.
Measles, mumps, and typhus (tabardillo) are common among the Indians of New Spain, reports Friar Mendieta (see 1545).
Ergotism breaks out in epidemic form at Marbourg, France, and remains endemic in many of the German states (see 1592; 1597).
Jesuit poet Robert Southwell is tried for treason, found guilty, and executed at Tyburn February 21 at age 33 (see 1592). Catholic convert Philip Howard, 1st (or 13th) earl of Arundel and earl of Surrey, dies in the Tower of London October 19 at age 38, having been condemned to death for high treason in 1589 but held prisoner ever since.
Poland's Roman Catholic king Sigsimund III proclaims August 2 that Ukrainian Orthodox Christians are entitled to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by the Latin rite and may maintain their traditional Eastern rites and customs (see Union of Brest-Litovsk, 1596).
Nonfiction: Political Dialogue Against Lutherans, Calvinists, and Other Heretics by Tommaso Campanella, who has been accused of engaging a Jew in a debate over issues of Christian theology; taken to Rome for trial, he will renounce his "heresy" next year. His "Dialogue" asserts that sinful humanity can be regenerated through a religious reformation founded in the establishment of a universal ecclesiastical empire.
Poetry: Colin Clouts Come Home Again and Amoretti and Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser, whose latter work includes a sonnet sequence and a poem that celebrates his marriage last year to Elizabeth Boyle; Poemata by London poet Thomas Campion, 28, whose first poems were published anonymously 4 years ago in Sir Philip Sydney's Astrophel and Stella; "An Apologia for Poetrie" by the late Sir Philip Sydney; works by the late Robert Southwell, published posthumously, include St. Peter's Complaint and short devotional lyrics, among which is "The Burning Babe"; Rhythmas by the late Luis Vaz de Camoes.
Poet Torquato Tasso dies at Rome April 25 at age 51, having written nearly 2,000 lyrics and religious poems plus more than 1,700 letters.
Painting: Venus and Adonis by Bolognese painter Annibale Caracci, 34, who has arrived at Rome to join his younger brother Agostino.
Theater: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, whose "star-cross'd lovers" belong to the rival Montague and Capulet families of Verona: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet" (II, ii); "A plague o' both your houses!" (III, i); Richard II by Shakespeare: "This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,/ This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,/ This other Eden, demi-paradise,/ This fortress built by Nature for herself/ Against infection and the hand of war,/ This happy breed of men, this little world,/ This precious stone set in the silver sea,/ Which serves it in the office of a wall/ Or as a moat defensive to a house/ Against the envy of less happier lands This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,/ This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,/ Feared by their breed and famous by their birth" (II, i); "For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground/ And tell sad stories of the death of kings How some have been deposed, some slain in war,/ Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,/ Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed,/ All murdered. For within the hollow crown/ That rounds the mortal temples of a king/ Keeps Death his Court, and there the antic sits,/ Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp" (III, ii); A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare: "The course of true love never did run smooth" (I, i); "What fools these mortals be!" (III, ii); The Faithful Shepherd (Il Pastor Fido) by Italian playwright Giovanni Battista Guarini, 57, at Crema (Guarini has imitated the 1573 Tasso play Aminta)
An English economist observes that adding a third fish day would save 13,500 cattle per year in London alone (see 1563), but not even the second fish day is strictly observed and will be dropped by the end of the century.
England's wheat crop fails and food prices rise sharply (see 1596).