The Fifteenth Century 1476-1499
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1476 Apr 26,
Simonetta Vespucci (b.~1453), nicknamed la bella Simonetta, died.
She was an Italian Renaissance noblewoman from Genoa, the wife of
Marco Vespucci of Florence. She also is alleged to have been the
mistress of Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent's younger
brother. She was renowned for being the greatest beauty of her age -
certainly of the city of Florence.
1476 Aug 4, Jacob van
Armagnac-Pardiac, French duke of Nemours, was beheaded.
1476 Aug 13, Christopher
Columbus swam ashore to Portugal from a burning ship. He believed
that Cathay, i.e. China, lay about 3,900 miles west of the Canary
1476 Dec 24, Some 400 Burgundy
soldiers froze to death during the siege of Nancy.
1476 Dec 26, Galeazzo Maria
Sforza (Il Sforza del Destino), duke of Milan, was murdered.
1476 In Burma (later Myanmar) a
270-ton bell, believed to be one of the largest ever cast, was made
on the order of King Dhammazedi and donated to the revered Shwedagon
pagoda. In the early 1600s, it was stolen by Portuguese despot
Philip de Brito, but his rickety vessel sank where the Yangon and
Bago rivers meet the Pazundaung creek.
1476 The Swiss overcame
Burgundy’s Charles the Bold at the Battle of Murten.
(SSFC, 5/26/02, p.C5)
1476/1477 The first edition of Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales (1387-1400) was printed by William Caxton. A copy
of the red, leather-bound edition sold at auction in 1998 for $7.5
million. In 1905 the Caxton Club in Chicago published the leaf book
“William Caxton” by E. Gordon Duff. Each book contained one of 148
leaves from a Caxton 1st edition of the Canterbury Tales.
(SFC, 7/9/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 5/12/05, p.D8)
1476-1507 Cesare Borgia, Italian cardinal,
military leader and politician.
(WUD, 1994, p.171)
1477 Jan 5, Swiss troops
defeated the forces under Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battle
1477 Nov 18, William Claxton
published the first dated book printed in England. "Dictes &
Sayengis of the Phylosophers," by Earl Rivers. It was a translation
from the French. [see 1473/1474]
1477 Future Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I, a member of the Habsburg family of Austria, married
Mary of Burgundy, heiress of all the Netherlands. Maximilian had
given Mary a diamond engagement ring, a practice that soon spread.
In 1996 Andrew Wheatcroft wrote a history of the Habsburgs: "The
(WSJ, 1/19/96, p.A-12)(SFEM, 6/28/98, p.6)(SFC,
1477 The Seventeen Provinces, a
personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 16th century,
became the property of the Habsburgs. They roughly covered the
current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North
of France (Artois, Nord) and a small part of Germany.
1477 Joao II (John II) served
as king of Portugal for a short time when his father retired to a
monastery. He succeeded his father as king in 1481.
1477-1576 Titian (Titziano Vecellio), Italian
painter. He painted "Venus and Adonis and Allegory" with subjects
Alfonso d’Este and Laura Diante.
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.1488)
1478 Feb 7, Sir Thomas Moore
(d.1535), English humanist, statesman and writer, was born in
London. He was best friend of Erasmus, and called by Erasmus: "a man
for all seasons." He studied law and rose to the post of lord
chancellor after the fall of Cardinal Wolsey. More would not accept
Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon nor his subsequent
marriage to Anne Boleyn. The king had charges of treason filed and
More was beheaded on July 6, 1535. He was canonized in 1935. The
1966 film "A man for All Seasons" was based on his life. He is
famous for "Utopia."
(V.D.-H.K.p.160)(CU, 6/87)(WUD, 1994, p.931)(HN,
1478 Feb 18, George, the Duke
of Clarence, who had opposed his brother Edward IV, was murdered in
the Tower of London. George underwent forced drowning in a wine
barrel ("A butt of Malmsey").
(HN, 2/18/99)(MC, 2/18/02)
1478 Apr 26, Pazzi conspirators
attacked Lorenzo de'Medici but killed Giuliano de'Medici (~24),
Medeheerser of Florence.
(HN, 4/26/98)(MC, 4/26/02)
1478 Sandro Botticelli
(1445-1510) painted "La Primavera" about this time.
(WSJ, 4/14/07, p.P11)
c1478 Giorgione (d.1510),
Italian painter, was born.
(T&L, 10/80, p. 58)(WSJ, 12/4/97, p.A20)
1478 Ten years after the death
of Skanderbeg, his citadel at Kruje was finally taken by the Ottoman
Turks and Albania fell into obscurity during several centuries of
(HNQ, 10/5/98)(www, Albania, 1998)
1478 In Japan the Onin War
ended after rival warlords died of natural causes. Shogun Yoshimasa
disinherited his brother and abdicated in favor of his son.
(ON, 7/01, p.5)
1478 Russia’s Ivan the Great
destabilized territory under the control of the Grand Duchy of
Lithuania much of which later became Ukraine. The policy was
designed to encourage people living along the frontier to seek
(Econ, 9/20/14, p.16)
1478 The Swiss began annexing
the southern approaches to the strategic and lucrative St. Gothard
Pass over the Alps.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T4)
1478-1483 The Gubbio Studiola was constructed in
the shop of the Florentine woodworker Giuliano da Maiana. The wood
inlay art of intarsia was used whereby the carving was done by knife
rather than with saws. It was purchased by the NY Metropolitan in
(WSJ, 6/6/96, p.A12)
1478-1529 Baldassare Castiglione, Italian diplomat
and author. He wrote the "Book of the Courtier," in which the term
sprezzatura was coined. It described the art of making the difficult
(WUD, 1994, p.230)(WSJ, 8/22/97, p.A12)
1478?-1533? Jan Gossaert (Mabuse), Flemish
painter. He painted "St Luke Drawing the Virgin Mary."
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.858)
1479 Mar 26, Vasili III, great
prince of Moscow (1505-33), son of Ivan III, was born.
1479 Sep 4, After four years of
war, Spain agreed to allow a Portuguese monopoly of trade along
Africa's west coast and Portugal acknowledged Spain's rights in the
1479 Nov 6, Johanna, the
Insane, Queen of Castilia (1504-20), was born.
1479 Shkodra fell to the
Ottoman Turks. Subsequently, many Albanians fled to southern Italy,
Greece, Egypt, and elsewhere; many remaining were forced to convert
(www, Albania, 1998)
1479 Gentile Bellini
(1429-1507), Italian artist, was selected by the Venetian Republic
to work at the court of the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, in Istanbul.
(WSJ, 12/20/05, p.D8)
1479 In Bosnia the Turks
erected a mosque in the center of Banja Luka. It was leveled by the
Serbs in 1993.
(WSJ, 8/26/98, p.A1)
1479 Venice signed a peace
treaty with Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (1432-1481) ending
16 years of war.
1479 Jorge Manrique (b.1440),
Spanish military hero and poet, died.
1480 Feb 13, Hieronymus
Alexander, [Girolamo Aleandro], Italian diplomat, cardinal, was
1480 Apr 18, Lucretia Borgia
(d.1519), murderess, was born. Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara,
was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and the sister and political
pawn of Cesare Borgia. She was also considered a patroness of the
(HN, 4/18/98)(WUD, 1994, p.171)
1480 Giovanni Bellini painted
"St. Francis in the Desert."
(WSJ, 1/14/00, p.W12)
1480 Sandro Botticelli painted
"The Birth of Venus."
(WSJ, 2/5/97, p.A16)
1480 Bartolomeo Saachi de
Platina had a cookbook printed titled: "De honesta voluptate et
valetudine." In 1997 it was valued at $37,000.
(SFC, 2/19/96, zz-1 p.2)
1480 In Hamburg a pioneering
labor market appeared for hiring day workers.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1480 In Italy 813 people were
slain in Otranto for defying demands by Turkish invaders to renounce
Christianity. In 2013 the "Martyrs of Otranto" were canonized as
saints by Pope Francis.
1480 The Spanish Inquisition
was introduced by Ferdinand and Isabella to enable the crown to
control the inquiries into whether or not converted Jews were really
secret "Judaizers" who kept their original faith. "The Spanish
Inquisition," a history of the Inquisition was written by Henry
Kamen and a new edition was published in 1998.
(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A1)
1480-1520 In France the fortress at Bonaguil in
the Quercy province was built by a baron as a bulwark against his
(SFEC, 7/11/99, p.T4)
1480-1521 Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese
navigator. He was assigned the task of finding a route to the Spice
1480-1533 A huge Inca cemetery was active in Lima
at this time. It was uncovered in 2002 with some 2,200 mummies.
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A4)
1480-1538 Albrecht Altdorfer, German painter. He
painted "Martyrdom of St. Florian." He also painted a depiction of
Alexander’s 333BC defeat of Darius at Issus.
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.43)(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.W11)
1480-1557 Lorenzo Lotto, Italian painter,
celebrated as a realist and a man of religious fervor.
(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.A17)
1481 Mar 2, Franz von
Sickingen, German knight, was born.
1481 Aug 29, Joao II (John II)
became king of Portugal.
1481 Aug 30, Two Latvian
monarchs were executed for conspiracy to murder Polish king
1481 Sandro Botticelli painted
(SFC, 10/7/03, p.D8)
1481 Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II
died at age 60. Kritovoulos authored "History of Mehmet the
Conqueror" in the 15th century.
(ON, 10/00, p.12)
1481-1512 Beyazid II followed Mehmed II in the
Ottoman House of Osman.
(Ot, 1993, xvii)
1481-1530 In Spain the first burnings of 8 people
occurred as a result of the Inquisition trials. Over this period
some 2000 people were burned.
(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A20)
1482 Sep 1, Krim-Tataren
1482 The border town of
Berwick-upon-Tweed ended up in English hands after changing hands 13
times in wars between England and the Scots.
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A14)
1482 A Milanese Duke
commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to make an equine statue that would
have been the largest in the world. A clay cast was made over 16
years but the appropriated bronze was used for cannons and the clay
cast was destroyed when the Duke’s castle fell to French invaders.
(Hem., 12/96, p.19)
1482 Luca della Robbia
(b.1400), Italian artist, died. Luca developed the art of enameled
relief sculpture. Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525), his nephew and
student, continued the work.
(SFC, 11/23/05, p.G2)
1482 In Ghana Elmina Castle was
built by Portuguese traders. It later became a slave holding castle.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.T10)
1482 Captain Diogo Cao sailed
south along the African coast and became the first Portuguese sailor
to reach the equator. He4 landed at the mouth of the Zaire (Congo)
River. He left four servants and took four Africans hostage back to
his king, John, in Portugal. This was the first European encounter
with the vast kingdom of the Kongo.
(ATC, p.149)(ON, 11/07, p.1)
1482 The Ginkaku Temple, also
known as the Silver Pavilion was built in Kyoto, Japan. The Shogun
who built it died before its completion and it remains without
(Hem., 2/96, p.58)
1483 Feb 14, Zahir al-Din
Mohammed Babur Shah, prince, founder Mughal dynasty in India
(1526-30), was born.
1483 Apr 6, Raphael (Raffaello
Sanzio, d.1520), Dutch painter (Sistine Madonna), was born to an
unremarkable painter in the Duchy of Urbino. He went on to paint
famous works in the Vatican. After an apprenticeship in Perugia, he
went to Florence, having heard of the work da Vinci and Michelangelo
were doing. His last 12 years were spent on numerous commissions in
Rome. He died on his 37th birthday, his funeral mass being
celebrated in the Vatican. .
(HN, 4/6/98)(HNQ, 11/17/00)
1483 Apr 9, Edward IV (b.1442),
King of England (1461-70, 71-83) died. His young sons, Edward and
Richard, were left in the protection of their uncle Richard, Duke of
Gloucester. He housed them in the Tower of London where they were
probably murdered on his orders.
1483 Jun 25, Edward V, king of
England (Apr 9-Jun 25, 1483), was murdered.
1483 Jun 26, Richard III, Duke
of Gloucester, usurped himself to the English throne.
(HN, 6/26/98)(MC, 6/26/02)
1483 Jul 6, England's King
Richard III was crowned.
1483 Aug 9, Pope Sixtus IV
celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which was named in
1483 Oct 17, The Reverend Dr.
Tomas de Torquemada, OP, was appointed inquisitor-general of Spain.
1483 Nov 2, Henry
Stafford (b.1454), earl of Buckingham and constable of England, was
beheaded at Salisbury for his rebellion against King Richard III
(DoW, 1999, p.71)
1483 Nov 10, Martin Luther,
leader of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Eisleben, Germany.
He was a monk in the Catholic Church until 1517, when he founded the
Lutheran Church. He died in 1546.
(V.D.-H.K.p.163)(Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996,
p.10)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A11)(AP, 11/10/97)
1483 Dec 24, Leaders of the
English rebels swore fealty to Henry Tudor in the Cathedral of
Rennes in Brittany.
(ON, 12/06, p.1)
1483 Felice della Rovere
(d.1536), illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II (r.1503-1513), was
born about this time. Her mother was a member of the Normanni, an
illustrious Roman family long in decline. In 2005 Caroline P. Murphy
authored “The Pope’s Daughter: The Extraordinary Life of Felice
1483 When King Vladislav
restored Catholic dominion, a dissident band of Hussites threw the
Catholic mayor [Prague?] out of the window.
(NH, 9/96, p.24)
1483-1505 Trithemius, author and monk, served as
the abbot of a Benedictine monastery. His work included "De Laude
Scriptorium" (In Praise of Scribes).
(SSFC, 2/22/04, p.M6)
1484 Mar 4, Casimir
(Kazimierz), the son of Lithuania's Grand Duke Casimir, died in
Grodno at age 25. In 1602 he was declared a saint and protector of
Lithuania. St. Casimir was born Oct 3, 1458, in Cracow.
1484 Aug 12, Pope Sixtus IV
died. His rule was marked by nepotism and he was involved in a
conspiracy to overthrow the Medici in Florence.
(PTA, 1980, p.420)
1484 Aug 29, Cardinal Cibo was
crowned as Pope Innocent VIII.
1484 Dec 5, Pope Innocent VIII
issued a bull deploring the spread of witchcraft and heresy in
Germany. He ordered that all cats belonging to witches scheduled to
be burned, be also burned. Kraemer and Sprenger, two Dominican
friars, had induced Pope Innocent VIII to issue a bull authorizing
them to extirpate witchcraft in Germany. [see 1486]
(SFEC, 1/5/97, Z1 p.2)(HN, 12/5/98)(HNQ,
1484 Bartolomeo di Giovanni
Corradini, Italian painter who joined the Dominican order as Fra
(Econ, 12/11/04, p.82)
1484-1768 The Nepalese city-states of Kathmandu,
Patan and Bhaktapur, were each ruled by its own Malla king after the
Malla dynasty divided up the Kathmandu Valley.
(SSFC, 9/21/03, p.C8)
1485 Aug 1, Henry (VII) Tudor's
army set sail from Harfleur to Wales.
(ON, 12/06, p.1)
1485 Aug 7, Henry (VII) Tudor's
army landed in Milford Haven, South-Wales.
(ON, 12/06, p.1)
1485 Aug 22, Henry Tudor
defeated Richard III (32) at Bosworth. England's King Richard III
(1483-1485), the last of the Plantagenet kings, was killed in the
Battle of Bosworth. This victory established the Tudor dynasty in
England and ended the War of the Roses. 12 miles west of Leicester,
the forces of Richard III met the forces under Henry Tudor (later to
become Henry VII). Henry Tudor had returned from French exile on
August 7 at Milford Haven and assembled forces including two Yorkist
defectors, Thomas Stanley and his brother Sir William. These allies,
plus the defection of Henry Percy, the 4th earl of Northumberland
helped decide the outcome of the battle. Richard, whose forces had
taken position on Ambien Hill, died fighting in an attempt to get at
Henry Tudor himself. On Feb 4, 2013, scientists announced that they
had identified his skeleton, which was found in a car park in
(AP, 8/22/97)(HN, 8/22/98)(HNQ, 8/22/00)(Reuters,
1485 Sep 3, Henry Tudor entered
London following his Aug 22 victory at Bosworth.
(ON, 12/06, p.4)
1485 Oct 30, Henry Tudor
(1457-1509) of England was crowned as Henry VII. This followed his
defeat of King Richard III at Bosworth Field on Aug 22.
(HN, 10/30/98)(DoW, 1999, p.66)
1485 Dec 16, Katherine of
Argon, first wife of Henry VIII, was born.
1485 Sandro Botticelli
(1445-1510) painted "Venus and Mars" about this time.
(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P16)
1485 William Caxton, the first
printer in Britain, published "Le Morte Darthur" by Sir Thomas
(WUD, 1994, p.868)(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D1)
1485 The medical encyclopedia
"Gart der Gesundheit" described the female mandrake, thought to stop
bleeding, and to scream when pulled by its roots.
(WSJ, 7/7/98, p.A14)
1485 Yeoman Warders, all men,
began patrolling the parapets and passages of the Tower of London.
They became known colloquially as Beefeaters because of the rations
of meat they were given during medieval times. In 2007 the 1st woman
joined their ranks.
1485 Diogo Cao, Portuguese
explorer, sailed south beyond Cape Palmas, beyond Cape St.
Catherine, until he reached Cape Cross (Namibia) at 22’ south
latitude. His expedition returned to Portugal in 1486.
(V.D.-H.K.p.124)(ATC, p.149)(ON, 11/07, p.1)
1485-1545 Jean Clouet, French painter. He painted
"Francis I, King of France."
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.280)
1485-1547 Hernando Cortes, Spanish conqueror of
Mexico. He is credited with naming California after an island in
"Sergas de Esplandian," a popular romance in the early 1500s.
(HFA, '96, p.65)
1485-1603 The Tudor family ruled over England.
(WUD, 1994, p.1523)
1486 Jan 18, King Henry VII
(1457-1509) married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. This
ended the Wars of the Roses.
(HN, 1/18/99)(ON, 12/06, p.4)
1486 Feb 12, In Toledo, Spain,
some 750 lapsed Christians were paraded through the streets of
Toledo from the Church of San Pedro Martir to the cathedral in order
to be reconciled to the Christian faith. In the Auto Da Fe at Toledo
the Jews were forced to recant, fined 1/5 of their property and
permanently forbidden to wear decent clothes or hold office.
1486 Mar 4, Jogaila was crowned
king of Poland.
(LC, 1998, p.12)
1486 May 1, Christopher
Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West
1486 Jul 14, Andrea del Sarto
(d.1531), aka Vanucchi or di Francesco, Italian Renaissance artist
(Recollets), was born. He represented what Vasari called the terza
maniera, the third or modern manner of painting.
(WUD, 1994, p.55)(WSJ, 10/29/96, p.A21)(MC,
1486 Sep 14, Heinrich Agrippa
von Nettesheim (d.1535), German occultist, alchemist, royal
astrologer, was born in Cologne.
1486 Pico Mirandola challenged
the scholars of all of Europe that he would defend a list of nine
hundred thesis drawn from various Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic
authors. His list came to the attention of the Vatican, which found
thirteen of the theses heretical. Pico was stunned and issued an
immediate recantation but was imprisoned for a short time anyway.
Later in Florence he wrote "On the Dignity of Man," where he implied
that man is the spiritual center of the universe, or that perhaps he
is one focus and God the other.
1486 Heinrich Kraemer and
Johann Sprenger, Dominican friars, published Malleus melefircarum
(The Witches’ Hammer), which became the authoritative encyclopedia
of demonology throughout Christendom. The authority of their work,
which was a synthesis of folk beliefs that had until then been
manifested in local outbursts of witch finding, lasted through the
European witch craze of the next three centuries. [see 1486, Dec 5]
1486 King Joao II of Portugal
chose Bartolomeu Dias (~1450-1500 to attempt to find a route to
India around Africa. Diaz departed with 3 ships in the fall of 1487.
1487 Jun 16, Battle at Stoke:
Henry VII beat John de la Pole & Lord Lovell.
1487 Aug, Bartolomeu Dias,
Portuguese explorer, set out from Lisbon in August, and sailed south
to the Cape Verde Islands and past Cape Cross. Storms forced him out
to sea and when the winds moderated he continued east but found
nothing. He turned north and then sighted land.
1487 Sep 10, Julius III,
Italian counter-Reformation Pope (1550-1555), was born. He was also
a poet and promoted the Jesuits.
(WUD, 1994, p.773)(HN, 9/10/98)(MC, 9/10/01)
1487 Hans Memling
(c.1440-1494), Flemish painter, painted the diptych “Virgin and
Child” and “Maarten van Nieuwenhove” (1463-1500), who was his
(SFC, 10/18/05, p.D2)(SFC, 12/23/06, p.E12)
1487 Heinrich Kramer and Jacob
Sprenger, Dominican inquisitors, authored “Malleus Maleficarum” (The
Hammer of Witches), which spoke of supernatural horrors that witches
performed and provided advice on identifying them. In 2006
Christopher Mackay provided a critical translation in English.
(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.W8)
1487 Lorenzo the Magnificent
ordered a giraffe from Africa and a cardinal’s hat for his
13-year-old son from Pope Innocent VIII. In return for the hat
Lorenzo promised the hand of his eldest daughter for the Pope’s
illegitimate son along with a nice loan. The giraffe was procured
from Sultan Qaitbay, the Ottoman ruler of Egypt. Pope Innocent
promised to get Queen Anne of France to hand over Djem, the exiled
brother of Qaitbay, for use as a pawn. Lorenzo promised to give the
giraffe to Anne. In 2006 the story was covered by Marina
Belozerskaya in her book “The Medici Giraffe.”
(WSJ, 8/19/06, p.P9)
1488 Jan, Bartolomeu
Dias, Portuguese explorer, rounded Africa’s southern cape and put to
shore to take on food and water. There he found a group of smaller
and lighter-skinned Africans, commonly known as the San, who chased
his men back with arrows.
(Econ 7/22/17, p.66)
1488 Feb 3, Bartolomeu Dias,
Portuguese explorer, sighted the coast of Africa sailing north and
made landing at Mossel Bay (South Africa) and realized that they had
rounded the continent. He saw the southern tip on his return journey
in May and named it Cabo Tormentoso (Cape of Storms). He continued
north to the Great Fish River near present day Port Elizabeth, and
then returned home in December. King Jaoa changed the cape’s name to
Cape of Good Hope to encourage future explorers.
1488 Jun 11, James III, king of
Scotland, died in the battle of Sauchieburn, Scotland.
(SC, 6/11/02)(PC, 1992, p.157)
1488 Oct 7, Andrea del
Verrocchio, sculptor, painter, goldsmith, died at 52.
1489 Feb 14, Henry VII and Holy
Roman Emperor Maximilian I ally to assist the Bretons in the Treaty
1489 Apr 6, Hans Waldmann,
Swiss military, mayor (Zurich), was beheaded.
1489 Jul 2, Thomas Cranmer,
first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556), was born.
1489 Giuliano da Sangallo made
his wooden model of the Strozzi palace in Florence.
(Econ, 3/30/13, p.83)
1489 A sculpture St. George and
the Dragon, created by Bernt Notke, was unveiled in Stockholm,
Sweden. He composed the dragon entirely of elk horns.
(SSFC, 8/19/07, p.G4)
1489-1490 The plague ravaged the Netherlands.
(WSJ, 10/12/98, p.A17)
1490 Mar 23, 1st dated edition
of Maimonides "Mishna Torah" was published.
1490 Apr 6, Matthias Corvinus
(b.1443), king of Hungary and Croatia (1458-1590), died. He has
assembled one of Europe’s finest libraries, 2nd in size only to that
in the Vatican. When Hungary later fell to the Turks the library was
lost. In 2008 Marcus Tanner authored “The Raven King: Matthias
Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library.”
1490 Francois Rabelais
(d.1553), French physician, satirist and humorist, was born. [see
(WUD, 1994, p.1183)(V.D.-H.K.p.143)(SSFC,
1490 Leonardo da Vinci painted
“Lady with an Ermine” about this time. It featured Cecilia Gallerani
(1473-1536), the favorite mistress of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of
(Econ, 10/29/11, IL
1490 In Venice the Aldine Press
opened and went on to publish the first pocket editions of poetry
and Greek classics.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1490 A version of the legal
handbook "Statham’s Abridgement" was printed. A copy later became
part of the collection of the SF law library and was stolen by a
city bookbinder. The text is classed as part of the "incunabula," or
books printed in the first 50 years after the introduction of
movable type by Gutenberg in 1450.
(SFC, 5/15/97, p.A26)
1490 Anne of Brittany married
by proxy the recently widowed Maximilian of Hapsburg who had
inherited Burgundy and Flanders from his first wife. Brittany was
under siege by France and Maximilian failed to send troops in its
defense. Anne had her marriage annulled and married the French
Dauphin who had been engaged to marry Margaret of Austria, the
daughter of Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy. Anne’s portrait was
later painted by Jan Mostaert
(WSJ, 7/30/97, p.A13)
1490 Christopher Columbus was
permitted to make his proposal to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
of Spain. He asked to be made a noble with eternal title in the
family, and to receive 10% commission on all transactions from his
found domain. He was initially turned down and left for France and
England, but was then called back and his requests were met.
1490 Linz became the capital of
the province of Upper Austria.
(StuAus, April '95, p.39)
1490 Ashikaga Yoshimasa (55),
former Shogun of Japan (1449-1478), died.
(ON, 7/01, p.5)
1490 The Portuguese king sent
teachers and missionaries to Mani-Kongo in southwest Africa.
Mani-Kongo converted to Christianity and later his son became king
with the Christian name of Affonso I.
1490-1491 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
astronomers reported a bright comet for 48 nights during the
mid-winter weeks of these 2 years. An Italian astronomer again saw
its sunlit debris in 1825 and it became known as the Quadrantid
meteor shower. It was later cataloged as 2003EH_1. In 2003 it was
related to a star explosion over 500 million earlier.
(SFC, 12/31/03, p.A2)
c1490s Muslims of the Songhai
Empire in West Africa supported Askia Muhammad, who overthrew Sunni
Ali’s son, and declared Islam the state religion. Songhai grew and
expanded to become the greatest trade empire of West Africa.
c1490s Civil wars weakened Monomutapa in East
Africa and by the 1500s the empire was split in two.
c1490s The Medici went bankrupt.
(Wired, 8/96, p.118)
1490-1495 Tullio Lombardi created his sculpture
(WSJ, 5/18/00, p.A24)
1490-1500 Hieronymus Bosch, Dutch artist, painted
"Christ Mocked (The Crowning With Thorns)."
(WSJ, 6/19/00, p.A42)
1490-1700 This period was covered in 2003 by
Diarmaid MacCulloch in the book "Reformation: Europe's House Divided
(Econ, 12/13/03, p.82)
1491 Jun 28, Henry VIII, King
of England (1509-1547) and founder of the Church of England, was
born at Greenwich. He later divorced four times. An inventory of his
wealth in 1547 estimated his wealth at £300,000 and his military
equipment at another £300,000.
(CFA, '96, p.48)(AP, 6/28/99)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)
1491 Nov 15, 6 Jews and 5
Conversos (Jews who pretend to be Catholic converts) were accused of
killing Christians in La Guardia, Spain.
1491 Dec 24, Ignatius Loyola
(d.1556), Spanish soldier and ecclesiastic, was born. He founded the
Society of Jesus, i.e. the Jesuits, wrote Spiritual Exercises, and
introduced a new flexibility that enabled a worldwide ministry.
(CFA, '96, p.60)(CU, 6/87)
1491 Perkin Warbeck appeared in
Ireland and claimed to be the missing Duke of York, thought by many
to have been murdered by Richard III. After winning support in
France and Scotland, Warbeck's fortunes turned and he was captured
and executed in 1497.
1491 William Caxton (b.1422),
1st English printer (Histories of Troy), died.
(http://tinyurl.com/cj5dn)(WSJ, 5/12/05, p.D8)
1491 Pietro Roccabonella,
doctor of medicine and lecturer at the Univ. of Padua, died.
(SFEC, 2/15/98, BR p.8)
1491 In Russia the Spasskaya
Tower was built in Moscow. It was designed by Italian architect
Pietro Antonio Solairi, who was hired by Ivan III. In 1935 the
Soviet government installed a red star instead of a two-headed eagle
atop the 233-foot Red Square tower.
(SFC, 11/7/15, p.A2)
1492 Jan 2, Boabdil, the leader
of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces
loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I. Sultan Muhammad XI
surrendered, ending Muslin rule in Spain. The combined Catholic
forces of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile drove out the
last of the Berbers from Spain. The Moors were expelled. King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took the town of Grenada, the last
Moslem kingdom in Spain. The event became marked by an annual
festival that began around 1516.
(ATC, p.73,100)(AP, 1/2/98)(SFEC, 3/22/98,
p.T11)(HN, 1/2/99)(WSJ, 1/2/02, p.A6)(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C20)
1492 Jan 23, "Pentateuch," a
Jewish holy book, was first printed.
1492 Mar 30, King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella signed a decree expelling all Jews from Spain. Jews
numbered about 80,000 and it was estimated that about half chose to
convert. [see Mar 31]
(HN, 3/30/98)(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A20)
1492 Mar 31, King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish
soil, except those willing to convert to Christianity. In 2002
Claudia Roden authored "The Ornament of the World," a collection of
stories of Sephardic Jews in Spain from 750 to 1492. [see Mar 30]
(AP, 3/30/97)(WSJ, 4/26/02, p.W12)
1492 Apr 8, Lorenzo I de'
Medici ("il Magnifico"), ruler of Florence (1469-92), died.
1492 Apr 17, A contract was
signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a
westward ocean passage to find the Indies [to Asia].
(AP, 4/17/97)(HN, 4/17/98)
1492 Apr 30, King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella granted Christopher Columbus specific privileges and
prerogatives regarding the discovery and conquest of islands and a
continent in the (western) ocean.
(DAH, 1946, p.1)
1492 May 15, Cheese and Bread
rebellion: German mercenaries killed 232 Alkmaarse.
1492 Jun 16, Jan Coppenhole,
Flemish rebel leader, was beheaded.
1492 Aug 2, Jews were expelled
from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. [see Mar 31]
1492 Aug 3, Christopher
Columbus, set sail from the port of Palos, in southern Spain and
headed for Cipangu, i.e. Japan. The voyage took him to the
present-day Americas. His squadron consisted of three small ships,
the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. The 2nd ship was owned by
Cristóbal Quintero, and was named Pinta. The 3rd ship was owned by
Juan Niño, and was named the Santa Clara, but became known by its
nickname, the Nina.
p.23)(SFEC, 8/8/99, Z1 p.8)
1492 Aug 11, Cardinal Rodrigo
Borgia Lanzol (61), father of Cesare and Lucretia, became Pope
Alexander VI (d.1503). He siphoned off untold riches from Church
funds. Borgia arrived in Rome from Spain in 1449 and Italianized his
name from Borja to Borgia. His rise in the church was helped a great
deal when his uncle became Pope Calixtus III.
(HN, 8/10/98)(PTA, p.424)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R4)(MC,
1492 Sep 6, Columbus' fleet
sailed from Gomera, Canary islands.
1492 Sep 25, Crew members
aboard one of Christopher Columbus' ships, the Pinta, shouted that
they could see land, but it turned out to be a false sighting.
1492 Oct 7, Columbus changed
course to the southwest. As a result he missed Florida.
1492 Oct 11, Rodrigo de Triana,
a sailor on the Pinta, sighted land (the Bahamas) on the horizon.
1492 Oct 12, (Old Style
calendar; Oct. 21 New Style), Christopher Columbus sited land, an
island of the Bahamas which he named San Salvador, but which was
called Guanahani by the local Taino people. Seeking to establish
profitable Asian trade routes by sailing west, Columbus seriously
underestimated the size of the Earth--never dreaming that two great
continents blocked his path to the east. Even after four voyages to
America, Columbus believed until the end of his life in 1506 that he
had discovered an isolated corner of Asia.
(NH, 10/96, p.22)(AP, 10/12/97)(HNPD,
1492 Oct 12, Pierro della
Francesca (b.1415), Tuscany-born artist, died in Florence. He was
later called the Father of the Renaissance. His work included
“Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels.”
1492 Oct 16, Columbus' fleet
anchored at "Fernandina" (Long Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 17, Columbus sighted
the isle of San Salvador (Watling Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 19, Columbus sighted
"Isabela" (Fortune Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 21, Columbus landed on
San Salvador Island (Bahamas-Watling Island).
1492 Oct 26, Columbus' fleet
anchored on Ragged Island Range, Bahamas.
1492 Oct 26, Lead pencils were
1492 Oct 28, Christopher
Columbus discovered Cuba and claimed it for Spain.
1492 Nov 5, Christopher
Columbus learned of maize (corn) from the Indians of Cuba.
1492 Nov 7, A meteorite landed
in Ensisheim, Germany. Emperor Maximilian visited Ensisheim 15 days
after the fall and ordered that the Ensisheim meteorite be preserved
in the local church. A piece of the stone was put up for auction in
1492 Nov 15, Christopher
Columbus noted the 1st recorded reference to tobacco.
1492 Nov 21, Pinta under Martin
Pinzon separated from Columbus' fleet.
1492 Dec 5, Columbus discovered
Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
1492 Dec 24-1492 Dec 25, The
Santa Maria under Columbus ran aground on a reef off Espanola on
Christmas eve, and sank the next day. With the remains of the Santa
Maria, Columbus built a fort and called it La Navidad. About two
dozen crew members were left behind.
(http://tinyurl.com/dfzzk)(SFC, 10/6/14, p.A2)
1492 Dec 31, 100,000 Jews were
expelled from Sicily.
c1492 Andrea Montegna, Italian painter, created
his "Descent Into Limbo," a depiction of Christ descending into
limbo to liberate the souls of the righteous. In 2003 the work sold
for $28 million.
(SFC, 1/24/03, p.D2)
c1492 Research in 2003 indicated that the
Kuikuro people in the Amazon basin had a "complex and sophisticated"
civilization with a population of many thousands prior to 1492.
1492 Leonardo da Vinci drew a
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1492 Piero della Francesca
(b.1415/1420), Italian artist, died. His work included “The Virgin
and child with Saints, angels and Federigo da Montefeltro”
(WSJ, 2/2/08, p.W14)
1492 Jews began arriving in
Morocco after their expulsion from Spain.
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)
c1492 In Portugal about this time King Manuel I,
bedazzled by the Moorish tiles at the Alhambra in Spain, brought
home enough to decorate his palace in Sintra.
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.T6)
1492 Sephardic Jews were
welcomed by the Ottoman Empire after their expulsion from Spain.
(SFEC, 3/28/99, p.T4)
1492-1870 Some 11 million African people were
brought to the New World as slaves during this period.
(SFEC, 11/16/97, BR p.4)
1493 Jan 2, Columbus departed
La Navidad, Hispaniola, and sailed eastward along the coast.
1493 Jan 4, Ivan III, Grand
Duke of Moscow, announced the 1st war with Lithuania. In fact the
war had begun in 1487.
1493 Jan 6, Columbus
encountered the Pinta along the north coast of Hispaniola.
1493 Jan 9, Christopher
Columbus 1st sighted manatees.
1493 Jan 12, This was the last
day for all Jews to leave Sicily.
1493 Jan 16, Columbus aboard
the Nina departed Hispaniola along with the Pinta to return to
1493 Feb, Christopher Columbus
penned a letter to Spain's monarchs, four months after discovering
the New World, describing what he had found and laying the
groundwork for his request to fund another voyage. A Latin copy was
printed in Rome by Stephan Plannack in 1493, and found its way into
the Vatican Library. This was later stolen by book thief Marino
Massimo De Caro and sold in 2014 to American collector David Parsons
for $875,000. In 2018 it was returned to the Vatican.
1493 Mar 15, Christopher
Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the
(AP, 3/15/97)(HN, 3/15/98)
1493 Apr 15, Columbus met with
King Ferdinand and Isabella in Barcelona.
1493 May 1, Phillippus
Paracelsus (d.1541), physician and alchemist, was born in
Switzerland. He was christened as Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus
Bombastus von Hohenheim.
(HN, 5/1/98)(NH, 6/00, p.30,34)(MC, 5/1/02)
1493 May 3-1493 May 4, Pope
Alexander VI issued 3 papal bulls that divided the discoveries of
Columbus between Spain and Portugal. By the Bulls of May 3 and 4 he
drew an imaginary line one hundred leagues west of the Cape Verde
Islands. The May 4 Bull, “Inter Caetera,” was amended in Sep.
granting Spain the right to hold lands to the “western regions and
(DAH, 1946, p.2)(www.kwabs.com/bull_of_1493.html)
1493 Aug 19, Maximilian
succeeded his father Frederick III as Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick
III of Innsbruck (77), German Emperor (1440-1493), died.
(HN, 8/19/98)(MC, 8/19/02)
1493 Sep 25, Christopher
Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on
his 2nd voyage to the Western Hemisphere. He was accompanied by 13
clerics; Alvarez Chanca, a physician who left valuable accounts of
the voyage; Juan Ponce de Leon; Juan de la Cosa, a cartographer; and
Columbus’s younger brother Bartholomew.
(AP, 9/25/97)(AM, 7/97, p.58)
1493 Oct 13, Christopher
Columbus left the Canary Islands with 16 ships and over 1000 men on
his 2nd voyage to the New World.
1493 Nov 3, Christopher
Columbus discovered the Caribbee Isles (Dominica) during his second
expedition. He and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on
the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned
within 5 years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians.
This area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
1493 Nov 4, Christopher
Columbus discovered Guadeloupe during his second expedition.
1493 Nov 10, Christopher
Columbus discovered Antigua during his second expedition.
1493 Nov 11, The island of St.
Martin was sighted and named by Columbus, though the explorer never
landed there. The Dutch and French agreed to divide control of the
island in 1648, but often clashed over where the border should be
until a final pact in 1817.
1493 Nov 12, Christopher
Columbus discovered the island of Redonda during his second
expedition. It was about 34 miles WSW of Antigua.
1493 Nov 13, Columbus sighted
Saba, North Leeward Islands (Netherland Antilles).
1493 Nov 19, Christopher
Columbus discovered Puerto Rico on his 2nd voyage. Juan Ponce
de Leon was a member of Columbus’ crew.
(HT, 4/97, p.28)(MC, 11/19/01)
1493 Nov 22, Christopher
Columbus arrived at Hispaniola.
1493 Nov 28, Christopher
Columbus arrived La Navidad, Hispaniola. He found the fort burned
and his men from the 1st voyage dead. According to the account of
Guacanagari, the local chief who had befriended Columbus on the
first voyage, the men at Navidad had fallen to arguing among
themselves over women and gold.
1493 Dec 8, Christopher
Columbus and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on the
northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned within 5
years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians. This
area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
1493 The 600-page "World
Chronicle" by physician Hartmann Schedel (1440-1513) was first
published in Nuremburg. One copy is held at the Library of the
Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Anton Koberger, a Nuremberg
publisher, published 2,500 copies of the "Nuremberg Chronicle" by
Hartmann Schedel. It included woodcuts by Michael Wohlgemuth and
April '95, p.49)(SFC, 3/1/02, p.D18)
1493 Columbus landed a small
herd of swine on the island of Cuba.
(ON, 4/01, p.4)
1493 Columbus named Montserrat
after the monastery near Barcelona. He did not bother to land on the
(NH, Jul, p.20)
1493 Columbus sailed into St.
Croix’s Salt River Bay.
(NG, Jan, 1968, C. Mitchell, p. 73)
1493 Columbus discovered a
group of islands, now called the Virgin Islands, that he christened
Las Once Mil Virgenes, in memory of St. Ursula and her 11,000 martyr
virgins who were slaughtered by the Huns at Cologne in the 5th
(SFEC, 2/15/98, p.T8)
1493 Rodrigo de Jerez, a sailor
under Christopher Columbus, became the first person to bring tobacco
to Europe. In November 1492, Jerez and Luis de Torres first observed
natives smoking. The Spanish Inquisition imprisoned him for his
"sinful and infernal" habits.
(Econ, 3/30/13, p.38)(
1493 Pavia’s pawn bank was
founded. It was later absorbed by Italy’s Banca Regionale Europea.
(Econ, 5/27/06, p.73)
1493 In Russia after a major
fire in Moscow, Ivan III forbade the construction of wooden
buildings in the old city.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.33)
1493-1519 Maximilian I (1459-1519), Holy Roman
Emperor over this period.
(WUD, 1994, p.886)
1494 Jan 6, The 1st Roman
Catholic Mass in the New World marked the official establishment of
(AM, 7/97, p.58)
1494 Jan 25, Ferdinand I
(b.1423), cruel king of Naples, died. He was also called Don
Ferrante and was the natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon.
1494 Jan, In the Dominican
Republic there was a failed rebellion against Columbus. The revolt
was organized by Bernal de Pisa, the royal accountant, who was
unhappy with the poor return of gold. Pisa was jailed and several
others were hanged.
(AM, 7/97, p.57,59)
1494 Feb 2, Columbus began the
practice using Indians as slaves.
1494 Feb 20, Johan Friis,
chancellor (Denmark, helped formed Lutheranism), was born.
1494 Apr 20, John Agricola,
[Schneider], German theologian, prime minister, was born.
1494 Apr 24, Columbus departed
Isabela, Hispaniola, with 3 ships in an effort to reach China, which
he believed was nearby.
1494 Apr 30, Christopher
Columbus arrived at Cuba on his 2nd voyage to the Americas.
1494 May 5, During his second
voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus first sighted
Jamaica and commented on the daily rains. Columbus landed on the
island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
(NOHY, 3/90, p.183)(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 5/5/98)
1494 May 13, Columbus found the
natives on Jamaica hostile and left for Cuba.
1494 May 25, Jacopo Pontormo
(d.1557), Italian painter (Sepulture of Christ), was born. He
represented what Vasari called the terza maniera, the third or
modern manner of painting.
(WUD, 1994, p.1118)(WSJ, 10/29/96, p.A21)(SC,
1494 Jun 7, Spain and Portugal
divided the new lands they had discovered between themselves. King
Joao II signed the Treaty of Tordesillas in which he conceded to
Spain a monopoly on Columbus’ western route in exchange for a
Portuguese monopoly on the eastern route.
(HN, 6/7/98)(ON, 11/07,
1494 Aug 11, Hans Memling
(b.1435), German-born master of Flemish painting, died in Brugge.
1494 Aug 20, Columbus returned
to Hispaniola. He had confirmed that Jamaica was an island and
failed to find a mainland.
1494 Sep 12, Francois I of
Valois-Angoulome, king of France (1515-47), was born.
1494 Nov 5, Hans Sachs,
cobbler, poet, composer, was born in Nuremberg. He was also the
prototype for Wagner's "Die Meistersinger."
1494 Nov 6, Suleiman I
(d.1566), the Great, Ottoman sultan (1520-66), was born. Suleiman
the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, was reported to have a
harem of 2,000 women.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(MC, 11/6/01)
1494 Nov 8, Uprising against
Piero de' Medici in Florence, Italy.
1494 Nov 17, Charles VIII
(1470-1498) of France entered Florence, Italy. The First Italian War
pitted Charles VIII of France, who had initial Milanese aid, against
the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and an alliance of Italian powers led
by Pope Alexander VI.
1494 Lodovico il Moro, the duke
of Milan, commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint "The Last Supper"
(WSJ, 6/2/99, p.A24)
1494 Luca Pacioli’s textbook
“Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità,”
was published in Venice and used as a textbook for schools of
Northern Italy. It was notable for including the first published
description of the method of bookkeeping that Venetian merchants
used during the Italian Renaissance, known as the double-entry
c1494 Father Ramon Pane wrote an account of the
Taino religion at the request of Christopher Columbus.
(AM, 7/97, p.61)
1494 Carol Verardi in Basel
published an illustrated report of the first expedition to the new
world by Christopher Columbus.
1494 The earliest report of
Scots making whiskey was made. [see 1495]
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1494 Piero Medici, son of
Lorenzo and head of the Medici family, fled Florence in the face of
a French invasion. Savonarola took the opportunity to lead Florence
in restoring a representative government.
(WSJ, 7/10/98, p.W11)(Econ, 4/23/05, p.82)
1494 In Italy humanist
philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and writer Angelo
Ambrogini, better known as Poliziano, both died. In 2007 their
bodies were exhumed from Florence's St. Mark's Basilica. The men
were thought to be lovers. Both Pico and Poliziano tutored Lorenzo
de Medici's son Giovanni, who as Pope Leo X helped make Rome a
cultural center of Renaissance Europe.
1494-1547 In France the time of King Francois I.
The stench along the Seine drove him from the Hotel des Tournelles.
Cesspools and the guild that emptied them, the Maitres Fy-Fy,
developed at this time.
(Hem., 3/97, p.132)
1494-1553 Francois Rabelais, French satirist: "If
you wish to avoid seeing a fool you must first break your mirror."
[see 1490, 1553]
1494-1576 Hans Sachs, German Meistersinger. He
authored stories, songs, poems and dramatic works. He later became
the central figure in Wagner’s Meistersinger.
(WUD, 1994 p.1258)(WSJ, 10/2/01, p.A17)
1495 Jan 28, Pope Alexander VI
gave his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France.
1495 Feb 5, The 1st Lithuanian
Russian war ended with the signing of a peace treaty in Moscow.
1495 Mar 8, Juan de Dios,
Portuguese-Spanish saint, founder (Brothers of Mercy), was born.
1495 Jun 1, The first
written record of Scotch Whiskey appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of
Scotland. Friar John Cor was the distiller. The later J&B brand
stood for Justerini and Brooks. [see 1494]
(DTnet, 6/1/97)(SFEC, 12/28/97, Z1 p.2)
1495 Oct 25, Portugal’s King
Joao II died without leaving male issue. He was succeeded by his
brother-in-law Manuel I.
1495 Nov 27, Scottish king
James IV received Perkin Warbeck (21), a pretender to the English
throne. James gave Warbeck, a Walloon, Lady Catherine Gordon in
(MC, 11/27/01)(PCh, 1992, p.160)
1495 Leonardo da Vinci sketched
a design of a parachute.
(SFEC, 9/8/96, zone 1 p.6)
1495 Italian artist Andrea Mantegna painted
an “Adoration of the Magi” about this time in which one of the three
kings is seen offering the Christ child a cup filled with gold
coins. The blue and white, Ming-style cup in the painting was the
first time that a Ming work of art appeared in a European painting.
(Econ, 9/13/14, p.92)
1495 The Taino Indians on
Hispaniola staged an organized attack on the Spaniards, but it was
(AM, 7/97, p.59)
1495 In Korea King Yonsan-gun
succeeded King Songjong. His reign was noted for his unscrupulous
suppression of the literati. In 2005 the South Korean film industry
produced “The King and the Clown.” It was based on the 15th century
monarch and a troupe of entertainers invited to his court.
c1495 The 500-year-old body of a young Inca girl
was found frozen near the summit of Mt. Ampato, Peru, by American
archeologist Johan Reinhard in 1995. The girl was killed by a
crushing blow to the head probably in a ritual sacrifice.
(SFC, 5/22/96, p.A8)
1495-1498 Leonardo da Vinci worked on "The Last
Supper" in Milan under commission for Duke Ludovico Sforza. The 15
by 28 foot work was undergoing a 20 year restoration in 1998 by Dr.
Pinin Brambilla Barcilon.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, Par p.4)
1496 Mar 5, English king Henry
VII hired John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore.
1496 Mar 9, Jews were expelled
from Carinthia, Austria.
1496 Mar 10, Christopher
Columbus concluded his 2nd visit to the Western Hemisphere as he
left Isabela, with 2 ships for Spain. He returned to Spain to ask
for more support for his colony on Hispaniola.
1496 Mar 12, Jews were expelled
1496 cApr, Bartolome Columbus
moved the colony to a new settlement on the south coast, named
Isabela La Nueva. It was established on the east bank of the Ozama
River. Columbus established Santo Domingo in what is now the
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(AM, 7/97, p.59)(SFEC,
1496 Oct 20, Spain’s Juana of
Castile (1479-1555) married Philip the Handsome, the Duke of
Burgundy, in Lier (later a part of Belgium). Philip's parents were
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife, Duchess Mary of
Burgundy. Juana had sailed from Spain with 15,000 men to the
Habsburg Netherlands. Between 1498 and 1507, she gave birth to six
children: two emperors and four queens.
1496 Dec 5, Jews were expelled
from Portugal by order of King Manuel I.
1496 The "Treatyse of Fyshynge
wyth an Angle" by Dame Juliana Berner was published. It was the
first book on fishing ever written. [see 1425]
(WSJ, 7/29/96, p.A11)
1496 In Germany a Benedictine
abbey in Altomuenster, a town on the end of the subway line from
Munich, began housing the Bridgettine Order, a female religious
order founded by Saint Bridget in Sweden in the 14th century. It was
ordered closed in 2015 after the number of nuns fell below the three
needed to train novices. In 2018 Catholic authorities in Bavaria
said the Vatican has granted their request to close the abbey.
(AP, 12/24/17)(AP, 4/12/18)
1496 Banca del Monte was
founded in Milan. It was later absorbed by Italy’s Banca Regionale
(Econ, 5/27/06, p.73)
1496 Juan de Flandes painted
“Christ Calming the Storm,” a commission by Spain’s Queen Isabel.
(WSJ, 12/16/04, p.D8)
1496 La Laguna was founded on
the island of Tenerife by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, who conquered
the Canary Islands for Spain. It served as Tenerife’s 1st. capital.
(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.F7)
1496 A Polish edict, pushed by
Krakow’s gentile bakers, banned Jews from selling bagels within the
1496-1497 Michelangelo sculpted "Bacchus,"
considered his first masterpiece.
(WSJ, 2/29/96, p.A-14)
1496-1498 Albrecht Durer made his woodcut "The
Four Avenging Angels" from the Apocalypse.
(LSA, fall/96, p.23)
c1496-1544 Clement Marot, early vernacular French
1497 Jan 6, Jews were expelled
from Graz, Syria. [see Mar 12, 1496]
1497 Feb 7, Followers of the
priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands
of objects in Florence, Italy, on the Shrove Tuesday festival. Tom
Wolfe's 1997 novel, “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” makes reference
to the original event, but is not a retelling of the story.
1497 Feb 16, Philip
Melanchthon, German Protestant reformer (Augsburgse Confessie), was
1497 Mar 9, Nicolaus Copernicus
(1473-1543), Polish astronomer, made the 1st recorded astronomical
(WUD, 1994 p.322)(MC, 3/9/02)
1497 May 2, John Cabot departed
for North America. [see Jun 24]
1497 May 10, Italian navigator
Amerigo Vespucci left for his 1st voyage to New World.
1497 May 13, Pope Alexander VI
excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola for heresy. In Florence the
Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) had led the Feb 7
burning of musical instruments, books and priceless works of art. He
preached against corruption in the Church and civil government.
(Hem., 4/97, p.53)(WUD, 1994,
1497 Jun 24, Italian explorer
John Cabot (1450-1498?), (aka Giovanni Caboto), on a voyage for
England, landed in North America on what is now Newfoundland or the
northern Cape Breton Island in Canada. He claimed the new land for
King Henry VII. He documented the abundance of fish off the Grand
Banks from Cape Cod to Labrador.
(NH, 5/96, p.59)(WUD, 1994, p.206)(AP,
1497 Jul 8, Vasco da Gama,
Portuguese explorer, departed on a trip to India. He sailed from
Lisbon enroute to Calicut, India. His journey took him around South
Africa and opened the Far East to European trade and colonial
1497 Jul 22, Francesco
Botticini (c52), Italian painter, died.
1497 Jul 26, "Edward IV's son"
Perkin Warbeck's army landed in Cork.
1497 Aug 6, John Cabot returned
to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.
1497 Aug 10, John Cabot told
King Henry VII of his trip to "Asia."
1497 Sep 7, Sailor Perkin
Warbeck became [briefly] England’s King Richard I. Warbeck had
invaded Cornwall after failing to find support in Ireland. He was
soon forced to surrender and was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
(MC, 9/7/01)(PCh, 1992, p.161)
1497 Sep, Henry VII defeated
the Cornishmen at Blackheath. An insurrection in Cornwall had
developed over taxes to support English defenses against Scottish
(PCh, 1992, p.161)
1497 Nov 18, Vasco da Gama
reached the Cape of Good Hope.
1497 Nov 22, Portuguese
navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope.
1497 Hans Holbein the Younger
(d.1543), painter, was born in Augsburg, Bavaria.
1497 Sandro Botticelli painted
"The Calumny." It showed King Midas with donkey ears.
(SFC, 10/7/03, p.D8)
1497 Portuguese Jews were
forced to convert to Christianity and were known as "New
Christians," though many continued to practice their original faith
(WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)
1497 In Scotland the
Declaration of Education Act required children to go to school.
(SFEC, 12/27/98, Z1 p.8)
1498 Mar 2, Vasco da Gama's
fleet visited Mozambique Island.
1498 Apr 7, A crowd stormed
Savonarola's convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy.
1498 Apr 7, Vasco da Gama,
Portuguese explorer, arrived at Mombasa, Kenya, where the Arabs
repelled him. He sailed on to Malindi and came to terms with the
local sultan, who supplied a pilot that knew the route to Calicut
(Kozhikode), the most important commercial port in Southwest India
at the time.
1498 Apr 8, Charles VIII (27),
King of France (1483-98), died while preparing a new expedition to
invade Italy. He was succeeded by his Valois cousin the Duc
d’Orleans (36), who reigned until 1515 as Louis XII.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.161)
1498 May 20, Portuguese
explorer Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut (Kozhikkode) in Kerala,
1498 May 23, The body of
Girolamo Savonarola (45), moral scourge of Florence (1494-98), was
burned along with 2 Dominican companions. An enraged crowd burned
the previously hanged body of Savonarola at the same spot where he
had ordered cultural works burned the year before. In 2006 Lauro
Martines authored “Fire in the City,” an account of Savonarola’s
1498 May 30, Columbus departed
Spain with 6 ships for his 3rd trip to America. He took 30 women
along on his third trip to the New World.
1498 May, John Cabot began his
2nd transatlantic voyage. Richard Ameryk (1445-1503), a wealthy
Welsh merchant, was the chief investor in Cabot's second
transatlantic voyage. Five ships set sail for Newfoundland, but en
route one ship was forced to return after being damaged in a storm.
The rest were never heard from again. A theory, not widely held,
suggests the Americas are named after his surname.
1498 May, Vasco da Gama reached
Calicut, the chief Indian trading port, at 11 north latitude. He
was not welcomed by the Muslim traders who saw him as a Christian
and competitor. He returned to Lisbon swearing revenge.
1498 Jun 21, Jews were expelled
from Nuremberg, Bavaria, by Emperor Maximillian.
1498 Jun 26, Toothbrush was
invented. In China the first toothbrushes with hog bristles began to
show up. Hog bristle brushes remained the best until the invention
(SFC, 6/6/98, p.E3)(MC, 6/26/02)
1498 Jul 31, During his third
voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at an
island he named Trinidad because of its 3 hills.
1498 Aug 4-1498 Aug 12,
Christopher Columbus explored the Gulf of Paria (Venezuela) between
Trinidad and South America.
1498 Aug 14, Columbus landed at
the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
1498 Aug 16, Christopher
Columbus reached the island of Margarita (Venezuela).
1498 Aug 17, French King Louis
XII made Cesare Borgia (1475-1507) the Duke of Valentinois. Borgia
resigned his position as cardinal, which had been bestowed on him at
age 18 by his father, Pope Alexander VI.
1498 Sep 16, Tomas de
Torquemada (b.1420) died in Avila, Spain. He was a Spanish Dominican
friar and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain's movement to restore
Christianity among its populace in the late 15th century. He was one
of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree, which expelled the
Jews from Spain in 1492.
1498 Albrecht Durer made his
woodcut titled "The Bath House."
(WSJ, 10/29/99, p.W1)
1498 Emperor Maximilian I
relocated his court from Innsbruck to Vienna and brought along the
court musicians. He also decided to include boy singers which gave
rise to The Vienna Boys School and Choir. In 1918 the Austrian
government took control of the court musicians, but not the boys
choir, which became a private institution. The boys choir began to
give public concerts in 1926. In 2007 the choir accepted its first
African-born member, Jens Ibsen (12) of Daly City, Ca.
(SFC, 12/8/07, p.A8)
1498 The Shore Porters’ Society
was founded as a semi-public body controlled by the town of
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)
1498 Niccolo Machiavelli began
working as a diplomat for the city-state of Florence. His employment
ended in 1512 when he was dismissed by Giuliano de Medici.
(ON, 11/04, p.3)
1498 Columbus sailed by Grenada
and named the island Concepcion.
1498 The first pawnshop
reportedly opened in Nuremberg, Germany.
(SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.8)
1499 Mar 31, Pius IV
(Gianangelo de' Medici), Italian lawyer, pope (1559-65), was born.
1499 Aug 25, Battle at
Sapienza: An Ottoman fleet beat Venetians.
1499 Sep 10, The French marched
(Hem., 12/96, p.19)
1499 Nov 12, Perkin Warbeck,
Flemish sailor, was hanged for conspiring to escape from the tower
of London with the imprisoned earl of Warwick. [see Nov 23]
(PCh, 1992, p.162)
1499 Nov 23, Perkin Warbeck,
Flemish sailor, was hanged. [see Nov 12]
(MC, 11/23/01)(AP, 11/23/02)
1499 Nov 28, Edward
Plantagenet, 18th Count of Warwick, was beheaded.
1499 Michelangelo completed his
"Pieta" for the Vatican. The marble was from Carrara.
(www.abcgallery.com/)(WSJ, 8/1/05, p.D10)
1499 The Spanish play
"Celestine" was published.
(WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A21)
1499 Alonso de Ojeda, a
Columbus Spanish lieutenant, and Amerigo Vespucci landed at Curacao.
1499 Anne of Brittany initiated
the white wedding gown.
(SFEM, 6/28/98, p.7)
1499 Portuguese briefly
explored and claimed Greenland, naming it Terra do Lavrador (later
applied to Labrador in Canada).
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