The Aneurin Great War Project: Timeline

Part 3 - Royal Wars (With Gunpowder), 1273 to 1602

 

Copyright Notice: This material was written and published in Wales by Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). It forms part of a multifile e-learning resource, and subject only to acknowledging Derek J. Smith's rights under international copyright law to be identified as author may be freely downloaded and printed off in single complete copies solely for the purposes of private study and/or review. Commercial exploitation rights are reserved. The remote hyperlinks have been selected for the academic appropriacy of their contents; they were free of offensive and litigious content when selected, and will be periodically checked to have remained so. Copyright © 2018, Derek J. Smith.

 

 

 

 

First published 09:00 BST 9th October 2013. This version [2.0 Copyright] 09:00 BST 5th April 2018 [BUT UNDER CONSTANT EXTENSION AND CORRECTION, SO CHECK AGAIN SOON].

 

This timeline supports the Aneurin series of interdisciplinary scientific reflections on why the Great War failed so singularly in its bid to be The War to End all Wars. It presents actual or best-guess historical event and introduces theoretical issues of cognitive science as they become relevant.

 

UPWARD

Author's Home Page

Project Aneurin, Scope and Aims

Master References List

 

BACKWARD IN TIME

Part 1 - (Ape)men at War, Prehistory to 730

Part 2 - Royal Wars (Without Gunpowder), 731 to 1272

 

FORWARD IN TIME

Part 4 - The Religious Civil Wars, 1603-1661

Part 5 - Imperial Wars, 1662-1763

Part 6 - The Georgian Wars, 1764-1815

Part 7 - Economic Wars, 1816-1869

Part 8 - The War Machines, 1870-1894

Part 9 - Insults at the Weigh-In, 1895-1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1915

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1916

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1917

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1918

Part 11 - The Poetry and the Science, 1919 to date

 

 

**********  THE HABSBURGS ARE BORN  **********

1273 [24th October] Having intrigued wisely for 30 years, Rudolph I, Count of Habsburg [<=1255] is now elected and crowned "King of the Romans". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1274  The Siege of Sijilmasa: This siege is fought out as part of the Marinid-Almohad struggle for the control of Morocco between a besieging Marinid army under Sultan Abu Yusuf Yakub [Wikipedia biography] and the Almohad garrison at Sijilmasa. The outcome is a victory for the besiegers. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for a reported early use of gunpowder. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

ASIDE: It is not easy to establish precisely what sort of weapon was used on this occasion because the only available report is from the chronicler Ibn Khaldun [Wikipedia biography], a hundred years later, who describes it rather vaguely. It is therefore unclear whether the new weapon was an explosive missile launched by a conventional siege catapult, or a solid shot fired from a rudimentary cannon, or grapeshot, or shrapnel, or even an explosive shell fired from a rudimentary mortar. See Partington (1960 online, p191) for the fuller story.

 

1275  The Trioedd Ynys Prydain [in English as "Triads of the Island of Britain"] are a collection of three-line stanzas of the form ...

 

"Three men who received the wisdom of Adam:

Cato the Old, Bede, and Siblo the Wise.

They were, all three, as wise as Adam himself."

 

Different source manuscripts contain different sets of stanzas, and the received collection is that by Rachel Bromwich [<=1961]. Triad 52 is noteworthy for its mention of Oeth and Anoeth [cf. 1250 (Llyfr Du)] ...

 

"Three Exalted Prisoners of the Island of Britain: Llyr Half-Speech, who was imprisoned by Euroswydd, and the second, Mabon son of Modron, and third, Gwair son of Geirioedd. And one (Prisoner), who was more exalted than the three of them, was three nights in prison in Caer Oeth and Anoeth, and three nights imprisoned by Gwen Pendragon, and three nights in an enchanted prison under the Stone of Echymeint. This Exalted Prisoner was Arthur. And it was the same lad who released him from each of these three prisons- Goreu, son of Custennin, his cousin" (The Hergest Triads online).

 

Considered as a whole, the Triads provide valuable insight into who was who (and why) in Dark Age Britain. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

**********  HABSBURG AUSTRIA IS BORN  **********

1278 [26th August] The Battle of Marchfeld: This battle is fought between (the House of Habsburg) Rudolph I of Germany [<=1273] and (the House of Přemysl) Ottakar II of Bohemia [<=1247]. The outcome is a victory for the Habsburgs and their Hungarian allies, and the death of Ottakar on the battlefield. The battle is noteworthy for establishing the House of Habsburg as the force to be reckoned with within the Holy Roman Empire. [=>1282] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1279  The Royal Accounts for England for 1278-1279 will be studied as a primary source by 21st century industrial historians, and will give valuable insight into the 13th century iron trade. Hayman (2005) notes that home-produced iron was used for nails, horseshoes, and tools, whilst iron for weapons was imported from France, Spain, and Sweden. Swedish iron bars - known as "Osmunds" - were highly prized for working into cutting edges, and Spanish iron for armour. Hayman also documents the use of iron in church architecture [=>1294]. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1282 [11th December] Llewellyn ap Gruffydd [Wikipedia biography], the last of the Welsh princes, dies. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1282  The Diet of Augsburg: After four years of careful politicking Rudolph I of Germany [<=1278] has won over the peoples of Austria and Styria and is able to install his two sons, Albert I of Habsburg [<=1255] and Rudolph II of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography] as joint dukes of Austria and Styria. [=>1298] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1286  The Neath Abbey version of Annales Cambriae [<=975] extends the earlier history by some 300 years. Other versions are prepared around this time at St. Davids and Whitland. Three Arthurian battles are now mentioned, namely Badon Hill [«516], Camlann [<=544], and Arderydd [<=573]. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1289 [4th October] A son is born to Philip IV (the Fair) of France [Wikipedia biography] and Joan I of Navarre [Wikipedia biography], and named Louis [Wikipedia biography]. Three further sons will follow, namely Philip V (the Tall) [b. 1293? - Wikipedia biography], Charles IV (the Fair) [b. 19th June 1294 - Wikipedia biography], and Robert [b. 1297; d. 1308]. [=>1314 (Louis); 1322 (Philip and Charles)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1294  A British blacksmith named Thomas of Leighton Buzzard [local biography] is paid £12 for installing an iron screen in Westminster Abbey (Hayman, 2005). [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1294 [5th July] The Hermits of Saint Damiano (2): [See firstly 1244/1272] After more than two years unable to agree on a successor to Pope Nicholas IV [Wikipedia biography] the influential ascetic Pietro da Morrone [<=1244] takes it upon himself to write to the College of Cardinals warning them of the damage they are doing to the administrative fabric of the church, whereupon ... they give him the job, crowning him Pope Celestine V. He accepts the post, but only on a temporary basis, and resigns after only five months to be replaced by Cardinal Benedetto Caetani as Pope Boniface VIII [Wikipedia biography]. He will die, possibly as the result of foul play, on 19th May 1296. Having taken the name Celestine, the Hermits of Saint Damiano are henceforth commonly known as "the Celestines" [=>1352]. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1295  The Franco-Scottish Treaty: This mutual assistance treaty is signed by John Balliol, King of Scots [Wikipedia biography=>1296] and Philip IV (the Fair) of France [<=1289], to strengthen the "Auld Alliance" of France and Scotland against England. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1296  The First War of Scottish Independence, 1296-1328: This war is fought between the English under Edward I (Longshanks) of England [Wikipedia biography=>1298], incensed by the Franco-Scottish Treaty [<=1295], and the Scottish under John Balliol, King of Scots [1295<=>next]. Here are some of the main events ...

 

·         The Franco-Scottish Treaty, 1295 [casus belli ante]

·         The Battle of Dunbar, 1296

·         The Battle of Stirling Bridge, 1297

·         The Battle of Falkirk, 1298

·         The Battle of Bannockburn, 1314

·         The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

·         The Treaty of Edinburgh/Northampton, 1328

 

The overall outcome is a Scottish victory, that is to say, independence from the English crown. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1296 [27th April] The Battle of Dunbar: This battle is fought as part of the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] between a small Scottish revolutionary army under John Balliol, King of Scots [<=preceding] and a small English army under John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey [Wikipedia biography=>1297]. The outcome is a decisive English victory, with a number of important Scottish commanders being taken as prisoners-of-war. Balliol abdicates and is imprisoned in the Tower of London, leaving Scotland without a king until 1306. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1297 [11th September] The Battle of Stirling Bridge: This battle is fought as part of the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] between a Scottish revolutionary army under William Wallace [Wikipedia biography=>1298] and an English army perhaps four times the size under John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey [<=1296]. Surrey is attempting to get his army north across the River Forth at Stirling, which means passing through the natural bottleneck of a bridge crossing and defending the resulting bridgehead as it gradually expands. Wallace, on the other hand, must choose his moment very carefully, for if he attacks too soon he will do little damage and if he attacks too late he will lose by sheer weight of numbers. In the event, he times his attack perfectly, after some 4000-5000 English have crossed into the bridgehead, but before they have properly "dug in". He quickly cuts this vanguard off from the bridge, denying it both escape and reinforcement, and the main column can only watch from the south as their trapped comrades are wiped out. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1298 [22nd July] The Battle of Falkirk: This battle is fought as part of the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] between a Scottish counter-invading army under William Wallace [1297<=>1305] and a defending English army around two-and-a-half times larger under Edward I (Longshanks) of England [1296<=>1307]. The outcome is a decisive English victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for the Scottish use of the circular schiltron formation against Edward's longbowmen when their greatest value of this formation is against infantry or cavalry. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - THE SCHILTRON FORMATION: A schiltron - or "shield troop" - was the mediaeval equivalent of the Greek phalanx [see previous discussion 490BCE (Battle of Marathon)]. The tactic seems to have been devised by the Vikings to create a body of spearmen-axemen packed together so tightly that enemy cavalry could not break their cohesion. Against heavy archers, however, the formation presents an almost unmissable target. Edward won at Falkirk because he had his cavalry threaten both Scottish flanks, only to hold off committing them until his longbowmen had sufficiently weakened the schiltrons. [Compare also the Battles of Bannockburn [=>1314] and Homildon Hill [=>1402].]

 

1298 [27th July] Upon the death of Adolf of Germany [Wikipedia biography], (the House of Habsburg) Albert I of Austria and Styria [1282<=>1308], is elected to replace him. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1305 [5th August] Possibly following a period abroad secretly organising French aid, William Wallace [<=1298] is captured, taken to London, tried for treason, and then publicly executed. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR LITERATURE: William Wallace will be elevated to a romantic hero by Jane Porter's (1810) novel "The Scottish Chiefs" [buy on Amazon] (note that five centuries will have elapsed between his deeds and their glorification). This romanticisation of nationalism is commonplace in the 19th century and will be discussed in detail as a cause of WW1 in due course. WAR MOVIE: Check out also Mel Gibson's (1995) movie "Braveheart" [Icon Entertainment], in which Gibson himself plays Wallace.

 

1306 [25th March] The Scottish nobleman Robert Bruce [Wikipedia biography] is crowned Robert I (the Bruce) of Scotland [=>1314]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1306 [19th June] The Battle of Methven: This battle is fought as part of the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] between a Scottish army under Robert I (the Bruce) of Scotland [preceding<=>1314] and an English army under Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the Scottish following a surprise pre-dawn attack [cf. 1371 (Battle of Maritsa)], with Robert escaping into hiding. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1307 [7th July] Upon the death of Edward I (Longshanks) of England [<=1298] the throne passes to his 23-year-old son Edward II of England [Wikipedia biography=>1312]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1308  The Teutonic Order [<=1190] conquers Polish Pomerelia and Danzig/Gdansk, creating a source of discontent which will flare up now and then until resolved more permanently by the Thirteen Years War [=>1454]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1308 [1st May] Upon the death of Albert I of Germany, Austria, and Styria [<=1298], the thrones of Austria and Styria pass without contest to his son Frederick (the Fair) [Wikipedia biography=>1313]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1312 [13th November] A son is born to (the House of Plantagenet) Edward II of England [1307<=>1314] and his queen, Isabella of France [Wikipedia biography=>1327], and named Edward (III of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1327]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1313 [24th August] Upon the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII of Germany [Wikipedia biography] the throne of Germany is divided between (the House of Wittelsbach) Louis IV (the Bavarian) [Wikipedia biography] and (the House of Habsburg) Frederick (the Fair) of Austria and Styria [1308<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1313 [9th November] The Battle of Gammelsdorf: This battle is fought between Frederick (the Fair) of Austria and Styria [<=preceding] and Louis IV (the Bavarian) [<=preceding]. The outcome is a victory for the Bavarians. [=>1314] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  HISTORICALLY PIVOTAL BATTLE  **********

1314 [23rd-24th June] The Battle of Bannockburn: This battle is fought as part of the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] between a Scottish army under Robert 1 (the Bruce) of Scotland [1306<=>1328] and an English army some twice as large under Edward II of England [1312<=>1316]. Again the Scottish deploy their spearmen in schiltron formation [1298<=>1402], moving like "a thick set hedge". The tactic works well on this occasion, because the English divisions become disorganised crossing the Bannock Burn, and Bruce then uses his cavalry to prevent their longbowmen deploying as they had at Falkirk [<=1298]. The outcome is a humiliating and costly defeat for the English. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for strengthening Robert's case for an independent Scotland [=>1328]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1314 [29th November] Upon the death of Philip IV (the Fair) of France [<=1289] the throne passes to his oldest son Louis X [1289<=>1316]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1316 [14th May] A son is born to John (the Blind) of Bohemia [Wikipedia biography] and his queen Elisabeth of Bohemia [Wikipedia biography] and named Charles (IV of Bohemia) [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1316 [20th November] Upon the death without male heir of Louis X of France [<=1314] the throne passes to his younger brother Philip V (the Tall) [<=1289]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1316 [23rd November] Edward II of England [1314<=>1327] appoints Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March [Wikipedia biography=>1327] as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1320 [6th April] The Declaration of Arbroath: This letter to Avignon Pope John XXII [Wikipedia biography] is signed by some 50 Scottish noblemen and asserts Scotland's moral position as an historically independent nation in constantly resorting to war with England. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1322 [28th September] The Battle of Mühldorf: This battle is fought between Frederick (the Fair) of Austria and Styria [<=1313] and Louis IV (the Bavarian) [<=1313]. The outcome is a victory for the Bavarians, and the capture of Frederick. [=>1327] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1322 [3rd January] Upon the death from "dysentery" of Philip V (the Tall) of France [<=1289], and there being no male heir, the throne passes to his younger brother Charles IV (the Fair) [<=1289]. [=>1328] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1324  The Siege of Metz: This historically minor engagement is fought as part of the "Four Lords War" and is noteworthy in the present context for its early use of "bombards" - siege artillery. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1327  The British encyclopaedist Walter de Milamete [Wikipedia biography] prepares a treatise on "Kingship" for the edification of the future Edward III of England [1312<=>next], in which he includes diagrams of early artillery pieces such as the "pot-de-fer", a primitive cannon [image]. Edward will in due course field such weapons at the Battle of Crécy [<=1346]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1327 [25th January] Edward II of England [<=1314] is impeached for incompetence in a coup and his throne passes to his 14-year-old son Edward III of England [preceding<=>1328] under the regency of the most senior conspirators, namely his mother, Queen Isabella [<=1312] and her advisor-paramour Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March [1316<=>1330]. The deposed king is then reportedly murdered with an aggressively placed red-hot poker [see full rumour at http://allkindsofhistory.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/they-dont-like-it-up-em-revisiting-the-sordid-deaths-of-edmund-ironside-edward-ii-and-james-i-of-scotland/]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1327 [31st May] As a precondition of his being appointed Holy Roman Emperor the following year, Louis IV (the Bavarian) of Germany [Disputed] [1313<=>next] is crowned King of Italy in Milan. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1328 [17th January] Louis IV (the Bavarian) of Germany [Disputed] and Italy [<=preceding] is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1328 [24th January] The marriage takes place of Edward III of England [1327<=>1330] and Philippa of Hainaut [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1330] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1328 [1st February] Upon the death without male heir of Charles IV (the Fair) of France [<=1322] the throne of France is claimed both by Edward III of England [1327<=>1330] and Charles' cousin, Prince Philip of Valois [Wikipedia biography]. Edward's is technically the stronger case under English law, as he is the son of the sister of the deceased king, and inheritance through the female side of the family is allowed. Under French law, however, inheritance rights cannot be traced through mothers, sisters, and aunts, and this makes Philip the heir. As the geographically closer of the rival claimants he has himself crowned 29th May as Philip VI of France [Disputed] [=>1337]. The Hundred Years War [<=1337] will be fought, and immeasurable human suffering caused, in order to sort out this legal nicety. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1328 [17th March] The Treaty of Edinburgh/Northampton: This treaty is signed in Edinburgh for Scotland by Robert I (the Bruce) of Scotland [1314<=>1329] and will be ratified by the English parliament at Northampton on 3rd May. It brings the First War of Scottish Independence [<=1296] to an end with an English recognition of Scotland as a fully independent nation. The agreement will last only five years [=>1333 (Second War of Scottish Independence)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1329 [7th June] Upon the death of Robert I of Scotland [<=1328] the throne passes to his five-year-old son David II of Scotland [Wikipedia biography=>1333] under guardianship. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1330 [15th June] A son is born to Edward III of England [<=1328] and his consort Philippa of Hainaut [<=1328], and named Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) [Wikipedia biography=>1340 (6th March)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1330 [29th November] Edward III of England [<=>] has Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March [<=1327] executed for the murder of his father, Edward II of England [<=1327]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT BATTLE  **********

1332 [10th-11th August] The Battle of Dupplin Moor: This battle is fought between rival claimants to the Scottish throne and, insofar as one of these claimants is more or less explicitly supported by Edward III of England [<=>], is conventionally taken as declaring the Second War of Scottish Independence [=>next]. The sitting king is (the House of Bruce) David II of Scotland [1329<=>next], in the person of his Guardians. The claimant king is (the House of Balliol) Edward Balliol [Wikipedia biography=>next]. Balliol's army - popularly known as "the Disinherited" - numbers perhaps 2000 men, the bulk whom are longbowmen with full quivers, and is under the tactical command of the highly experienced Henry of Beaumont, 1st Baron Beaumont [Wikipedia biography]. King David's army numbers perhaps 12,000, the bulk of whom will deploy in schiltrons [<=1298] as spearmen/axemen, and is under the tactical command of the less experienced Regent Donald II of Mar [Wikipedia biography]. The battle begins with a successful surprise night attack led by Sir Alexander Mowbray [no convenient biography], one of Beaumont's captains. As day dawns the Scottish see that they have been outmanoeuvred, bicker amongst themselves for a while over whose fault this might have been, and then respond with an angry and disorganised rush. The first rows of their schiltrons go down under carefully aimed volleys of arrows, and those behind are then crushed between the bodies of their dead comrades in front and the weight of their own numbers. Losses by suffocation or enemy fire are possibly as high as 50 to 60 per cent, and include Regent Donald. The outcome is accordingly an overwhelming victory for Balliol. The battle is noteworthy in the present context not just as yet another demonstration of the tactical effectiveness of the properly deployed and properly resourced longbow [cf. 1298 (Battle of Falkirk], nor for demonstrating the value of the night attack [cf. 1371 (Battle of Maritsa)], but for organising it all at the planning stage1; for demonstrating, in short, that a crowd is not an army. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: In modern terminology, Beaumont's army was "fit for purpose" because its commander had seen to it that it was. We shall be dealing in due course with the relationship between WW1 tactics and WW1 logistics, and with the role of staff officers in easing that relationship.

 

1332 [10th-11th August] The Second War of Scottish Independence, 1332-1357: This war is fought between the English under Edward III of England [1330<=next] and the Scottish under the Guardians from time to time of David II of Scotland [1329<=>next], with assistance from the French under Philip VI of France [Disputed] [1328<=1337]. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Dupplin Moor, 1332 [casus belli]

·         The Battle of Halidon Hill, 1333

·         The Battle of Nevill's Cross, 1346

·         The Treaty of Berwick, 1357

 

The overall outcome is an English re-acceptance of Scottish independence. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1333 [19th July] The Battle of Halidon Hill: This battle is fought as part of the Second War of Scottish Independence [<=preceding] between a Scottish army under Sir Archibald Douglas [Wikipedia biography] and an English army under Edward III of England [preceding<=>1337] (centre division), Edward Balliol, Claimant King of Scots [1332] (left division), and Thomas Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk [Wikipedia biography] (right division). The outcome is a decisive English victory, with the death of Douglas on the battlefield. David II of Scotland [preceding<=>1346] takes refuge in France, where he will be sheltered by Philip VI of France [Disputed] [preceding<=>1337] until reinstated on his throne by the Treaty of Berwick [=>1357]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1334?? Around this time a certain Llewylyn ap Ifor [Tredegar House biography] is farming the Tri-deg-erw [= "thirty-acre estate"] east of Newport, South Wales, near to where the River Ebbw flows out into the Usk Estuary [immediately south of Junction 28 of the modern M4]. He and his wife Angharad ferch Morgan ap Maredudd are blessed with a son, Morgan ap Llywelyn [Tredegar House biography]. The estate will become the home to the Morgan family - including the various Lords Tredegar - for much of the ensuing six centuries. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1335  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [VI - Early Work (Clockwork)]: [Continued from 1248 (Albertus Magnus)] At around this time clock technology has advanced sufficiently to fit a striking clock in Milan's San Gottardo Church [sub-thread continues at 1482 (Da Vinci) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1337 [30th April] The Hundred Years War, 1337-1475: Angry that Edward III of England [1328<=>next] is offering generous sanctuary to the renegade French nobleman Robert III of Artois [Wikipedia biography], Philip VI of France [Disputed] [1328<=>1346] calls up his reservists and summons his nobles to a council of war.

 

KEY MILITARY TROPE - CALLING UP RESERVISTS: Not even the richest of nations can afford to keep all its trained soldiers on the payroll in times of peace. Instead they maintain a list of "reservists", who will rejoin the ranks in times of emergency. The act of "calling up reservists" can therefore deliberately be emphasised as part of the "sabre-rattling" phase of a dispute, and will often bring the quarrelling parties to an agreement without a shot being fired in anger.

 

The resulting war will last on-and-off until the Treaty of Picquigny in 1475. Here are the key events ...

 

THE KICK OFF

·         The Great Council, 1337

·         The Battle of Sluys, 1340

·         The Battle of Crécy, 1346

·         The Battle of Poitiers, 1356

·         The Treaty of Brétigny, 1360

·         The First Peace, 1360-1369

·         The First Castilian Civil War, 1366-1369

·         The Second Peace, 1389-1415

·         The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403

THE ENGLISH GO ONE UP

·         The Siege of Harfleur, 1415

·         The Battle of Baugé, 1421

·         The Battle of Cravant, 1423

·         The Battle of Agincourt, 1415

·         The Battle of Verneuil, 1424

·         The Siege of Montargis, 1427

·         The Relief of Montargis, 1427

·         The Siege of Orléans, 1428-1429

THE FRENCH EQUALISE

·         The Relief of Orléans, 1429

·         The Battle of Compiègne, 1430

THE FRENCH SCORE A LAST-MINUTE WINNER

·         The Battle of Formigny, 1450

·         The Battle of Castillon, 1453

·         The Treaty of Picquigny, 1475

·         (The Treaty of Étaples, 1492 [reaffirms])

SQUABBLES IN THE ENGLISH BOARDROOOM

·         The Wars of the Roses, 1455-1485 [see own header entry at 1455 (22nd May)]

 

The overall outcome is that the English fail in their attempt to create a unified kingdom out of the British Isles and the French mainland. The Hundred Years War is most noteworthy in the present context for confirming Britain and France as two countries, rather than one, and this is how they will remain until WW1. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1337 [??th May] The Great Council: Philip VI of France [preceding<=>1346] consults in Paris with his noblemen to plan their campaign. They resolve to strip Edward III of England [preceding<=>1340] of his lands in Aquitaine. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1338 [21st January] A son is born to John (II (the Good) of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1350] and his consort Bonne of Bohemia [Wikipedia biography], and named Charles (V of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1352]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1340  A collection of 57 Welsh language manuscripts, many believed to be the work of the bard Taliesin [<=590] are collated in what is now known as Llyfr Taliesin [in English as "The Book of Taliesin"]. It includes seven eulogies dedicated to Urien of Rheged [«550] and others praising such diverse subjects as horses, ale, and Tenby. It also includes the poem Cad Goddeu [already discussed - see 590], the Marwnad [= death song] of Uther Pendragon [«460] and both greater and lesser armes [= prophecies] for the future of Britain. The Great Prophecy, the Armes Prydain Fawr, predicts an alliance of Irish, Scots, and Old British kingdoms - referred to as the "armies of Cadwaladyr" - against the invading Saxons. Although set in the second half of the seventh century [«655 (Cadwaladyr)], it will be a natural metaphor for any future Celtic struggle against Anglo-Saxon neighbours in England. The shorter prophecy, the Armes Prydain Bychan [full text online] is more obscure, but again predicts a final triumph for the Britons. The Preiddeu Annwn [in English as "The Spoils of Annwn"] is a 60-line poem [full text online] telling the story of an expedition by Arthur and three boatloads of men into Annwn, an otherworldly stronghold, to rescue a certain Gweir. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1340 [6th March] A fourth son (sixth child) is born to Edward III of England [1337<=>1340] and his consort Philippa of Hainaut [<=1327], and named John of Gaunt [Wikipedia biography=>1359]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1340 [24th June] The Battle of Sluys: This battle is fought at part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between a British fleet under Edward III of England [preceding<=>1346] personally and a French invasion fleet under Admiral Hugues Quiéret [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive British victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for leaving the French temporarily without a navy, thereby restricting its military options for a decade or so. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1342 [21st July] Upon the death of (the House of Capet-Anjou) Charles I of Hungary [Wikipedia biography] the throne passes to his 16-year-old son as Louis I (the Great) of Hungary [Wikipedia biography], who, despite his youth, will soon establish an exceptional reputation on the battlefield. [=>1370] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  MAJOR CASE STUDY IN SIEGE WARFARE  **********

1342 [3rd August - 26th March 1344] The Siege of Algeciras: This exceptionally finely balanced 20-month siege is fought out as part of the Christian Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsular between a besieging Castilian army under Alfonso XI of Castile [Wikipedia biography] and the Marinid Muslim garrison at Algeciras. The outcome is a Castilian victory (although the city will be recaptured by the Moroccans in 1369). The battle is noteworthy in the present context (a) for demonstrating the importance of maintaining ports of supply when fighting overseas wars, (b) for combined naval blockade and dry-land siege, and (c) for the sheer range of siege and count-siege techniques used, including gunpowder artillery such as bombards in both attack and defence. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1345  Upon the forced abdication of the "incapable" Grand Duke Jaunutis of Lithuania [Wikipedia biography] the title passes to his brother Algirdas [Wikipedia biography], who, along with a third brother Kestutis [Wikipedia biography], sets about expanding Lithuanian interests from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and into the lands of Muscovy and Kievan Rus. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1346 [11th July] As part of a political intrigue against an ailing Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV (the Bavarian) [<=1328], the up-and-coming (House of Luxemburg) Charles IV (of Bohemia) [Wikipedia biography] is elected King of the Romans in his stead. One of his first acts will be to lead an ill-fated Bohemian contingent to the assistance of Philip VI of France [<=1337] at the Battle of Crécy [=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1346 [26th August] The Battle of Crécy: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an invading English army under Edward III of England [<=1345] and a defending French army under Philip VI of France [preceding<=>1350], aided by a contingent of Bohemian knights led by Charles IV of Germany [<=preceding]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the British. Both Philip and Charles are wounded in action, and Charles' father, John (the Blind) of Bohemia [<=1316], is killed.

 

ASIDE: The story goes that John ("No Bohemian king runs from battle") of Bohemia had his aides tie their horses to his, place his sword in his hand, and lead him to the forefront of the battle where he struck out manfully for who knows how long. Their bodies are recovered the following day.

 

The battle is noteworthy in the present context for an early use of artillery. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1346 [26th August] Upon the death of John (the Blind) of Bohemia [<=1316] at the Battle of Crécy [<=preceding], his throne passes to his son Charles IV of Germany [<=preceding]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1346 [17th October] The Battle of Nevill's Cross: With Edward III of England [<=>1373] pursuing the war in France, Philip VI of France [<=>1350] asks David II of Scotland [1333<=>1357] to mount a diversionary campaign into northern England. The Scottish oblige by sending an army of some 12,000 men southwards across the border on 7th October. They make good progress towards Durham, only to run into a smaller but nevertheless well-prepared English army under William Zouche, Archbishop of York [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive English victory, with King David taken as prisoner-of-war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1347 [11th October] Louis IV (the Bavarian) of Germany (deposed) [<=1346] dies of a stroke while out hunting, leaving Charles IV of Germany and Bohemia [<=1346] now largely unchallenged. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1350  The son of a minor Welsh nobleman, Ieuan ap Rhydderch ap Ieuan Llwyd [Wikipedia biography] commissions the monks at Strata Florida Abbey to compile the available Welsh texts as Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch [in English as "The White Book of Rhydderch"]. The work includes the oldest known copy of the Mabinogion tales [=>1382]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1350 [22nd August] Upon the death of Philip VI of France [<=1346] the throne passes to his oldest son, John II (the Good) [1338<=>1356]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1352  Charles (V of France) [1338<=>1364] establishes a Celestine Order [<=1294] convent in Paris (Johnson, 2005). [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1355 [5th April] Charles IV of Germany and Bohemia [<=1346] is formally crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1356  The Hanseatic League: Traders and merchants from across the Baltic States gather in Lübeck and formally establish the "Hanseatic League", the better to promote free trade across northern Europe. Their common language is German. At the same time the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV of Germany and Bohemia [<=preceding], gives special privileges to the Prince-Archbishoprics of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier. He also issues an imperial proclamation setting the standards for imperial elections. There will be seven "Prince-Electors", namely the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, along with the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony, and the Margrave of Brandenburg, and kings shall not be promoted to emperor unless and until approved by the Pope. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1356 [19th September] The Battle of Poitiers: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between a British army under Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) [<=1330 (15th June)] moving northwards out of Aquitaine, and a French army under John II (the Good) of France [1350<=>1360] trying to push them back across the Loire. The outcome is a heavy French defeat, with disproportionately high casualties, a captured king, and many captured noblemen. The battle is noteworthy in the present context as a case study in how to execute a surprise flanking attack [Wikipedia battle map]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1357  The Treaty of Berwick: This treaty brings the Second War of Scottish Independence [<=1333] to an official end and reinstates David II of Scotland [1333<=>1371] as king. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  JOHN OF GAUNT MARRIES WELL  **********

1359 [19th May] The marriage takes place between John of Gaunt [1340<=>1361)] and Blanche of Lancaster [Wikipedia biography], 14-year-old daughter of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster [Wikipedia biography]. The couple will have seven children in the next nine years, but only three of these will survive infancy. [=>1361 (23rd March)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1360 [8th May] The Treaty of Brétigny: This treaty sets the ransom terms for the release of John II (the Good) of France [1356<=>1364], captured at Poitiers four years before. The terms cannot be fully met, however, and Jean will die in London in 1364. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1361 [23rd March] Upon the death of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster [<=1359 (19th May)], his estates pass to his son-in-law, John of Gaunt [1359<=>1367)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1361 [10th October] The state marriage takes place between Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) [<=1330] and Joan of Kent [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1364 [8th April] Upon the death of (the House of Valois) John II (the Good) of France [<=1360] the throne passes to his son Charles V [1352<=>1380]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1366  The First Castilian Civil War: This war is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [=>1337] between Pedro (the Cruel) of Castile [Wikipedia biography] and his illegitimate brother Henry of Trastámera [Wikipedia biography] for the crown of Castile. The eventual outcome is a victory for Henry thanks to French and Papal support, whereupon Pedro is deposed and he takes the throne as Henry II of Castile. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1366 [11th May] A daughter is born to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV [<=1356] and named Anne (of Bohemia) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1382 (20th January)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1366 [20th May] A son is born to Henry Percy [Wikipedia biography=>1377] and his wife Margaret Neville, and named Henry (Harry Hotspur) [Wikipedia biography=>1388]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1367 [6th January] A son is born to (House of Plantagenet) Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) [<=1356] and Joan, 4th Countess of Kent [Wikipedia biography], and named Richard (II of England) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1377] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1367 [3rd April] A son is born to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster [<=1359 (19th May)] and Blanche of Lancaster [Ibid.], and named Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1386] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1368 [14th February] A son is born to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV [<=1356] and named Sigismund [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1371] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1370 [17th November] After the death without male heir of Casimir III (the Great) [Wikipedia biography] the Polish Piast dynasty [«960] comes to an end and the throne passes to his sister Elizabeth's son, already Louis I (the Great) of Hungary [<=1342]. [=>1384] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1371 [uncertain] A daughter is born to Louis I (the Great) of Hungary and Poland [<=1370] and his queen Elisabeth of Bosnia and named Mary (of Hungary) [Wikipedia biography]. A second daughter will follow some two years later and named Hedwig (of Poland) [Polish = Jadwiga] [Wikipedia biography]. Mary will be promised in marriage when still only one year old to the four-year-old Sigismund of Luxemburg [<=1368], second son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV [<=1356]. [=>1382 (10th September)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOUSE OF STEWART IS FOUNDED  **********

1371 [22nd February] Upon the death of David II of Scotland [<=1357] the throne passes to Robert Stewart [Wikipedia biography] as Robert II of Scotland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1371 [26th September] The Battle of Maritsa: This battle is fought near modern Ormenio, Greece, as part of the Ottoman Invasion of the Balkans. Although heavily outnumbered the Ottomans gain an significant victory by staging a surprise night attack. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Similar surprise night attacks had been successful at the Battles of Methven [<=1306] and Dupplin Moor [<=1332], and were staged to good effect in WW1, as, for example, by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux [=>1918 (24th-25th April)].

 

**********  PORTUGAL IS BORN  **********

1373 [16th June] The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty: This treaty of "perpetual friendships" is signed by Edward III of England [1346<=>1377] and Ferdinand and Eleanor of Portugal. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1377 [??th May] Upon the death of Grand Duke Algirdas of Lithuania [<=1345] the title passes to his son Jogaila [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1386] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1377 [21st June] Upon the death of Edward III of England [<=1373] his throne passes to his ten-year-old grandson Richard II of England [<=1367], assisted in matters of state by a "Continual Council" of noblemen, including Richard's uncle John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster [<=1340]. One of their most pressing tasks over the next four years is to raise money for the war against France, which they do with three successive "poll taxes". In the meantime they entrust the defence of the English-Scottish borderlands - the "marches" - to Henry Percy as 1st Earl of Northumberland [1366<=>1402]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1378 [20th September] The Western Schism: Dissatisfied with their selection of Pope Urban VI [Wikipedia biography] less than six months previously, a faction of the College of Cardinals now elects the Archbishop of Cambrai, Robert of Geneva, as Schismatic Pope Clement VII [Wikipedia biography]. He duly sets up court at Avignon. This means that there are now two popes to choose from, delivering politically convenient judgements in favour of their supporters and politically inconvenient ones against their opponents. The French, not surprisingly, decide to follow the Avignon pope, as do Scotland, Wales, Aragon and Castile, and Burgundy and Savoy. The British, on the other hand, prefer to follow the Rome pope, along with Ireland, Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire, Portugal, Poland, and the Republic of Venice.  [THREADS = CHURCH HISTORY and THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1378 [29th November] Upon the death of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV [<=1368] his ten year old son Sigismund of Luxemburg [<=1371] becomes Margrave of Brandenburg. [=>1387] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1380  An unknown author composes "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" [Wikipedia synopsis], the tale of an Arthurian knight's struggle with a succession of challenges and setbacks. [=>1839 (Sir Frederick Madden)] [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1380 [16th September] Upon the death of Charles V of France [<=1364], the throne passes to his 11-year-old son Charles VI [Wikipedia biography], but under the regency of his four uncles until crowned in his own right in 1387. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1381 [30th May] The Peasants' Revolt: This workers' uprising seeks an end to Richard II of England's poll taxes [<=1377] and the dismantling of serfdom in Britain. It is fomented intellectually by a radical cleric named John Ball [Wikipedia biography] and led by the militants Wat Tyler [Wikipedia biography] and Jack Straw [Wikipedia biography] It begins with a protest rally at Blackheath, and then moves north across the Thames into the City of London. Here many lynchings and lootings take place, not least at John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster's [<=1340] Savoy Palace [detail] and the nearby Law Courts. There follows a month of skirmishing in London and the Southeast between the rebels and the authorities during which some 1500 rebels will be killed, including Wat Tyler on 15th June when a meeting with Richard and his advisors gets out of hand. Preacher Ball will be hanged, drawn, and quartered on 15th July. The overall outcome is that little changes, other than the king becomes unwilling to raise further taxes and decides to cut down on military expenditure instead. [=>1382 (22nd January)] [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS]

 

1382  The minor British nobleman Hopcyn ap Tomas ap Einion [biography] commissions Llyfr Coch Hergest [in English as "The Red Book of Hergest"], a collection of court and elegiac poetry, historical accounts, and folk tales. The best example of the former genre is the Gogynfeirdd [= "The Poems of the Princes"], and the best example of the latter is the Mabinogion [= (possibly) "Tales of Youth], a collection of four core tales (usually referred to as "branches"), four independent tales, and three romances. This latter work will be translated into English and published by Lady Charlotte Guest in the mid-19th century [=>1838]. The four branches, all featuring a character called Pryderi, are ...

 

1.       Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed [in English as "Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed"]

2.       Branwen ferch Llyr [in English as "Branwen, Daughter of Llyr"]

3.       Manawydan fab Llyr [in English as "Manawydan, Son of Llyr"]

4.       Math fab Mathonwy [in English as "Math, son of Mathonwy"]

 

The four independent tales are ...

 

1.       Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig [in English as "The Dream of Macsen Wledig"]

2.       Lludd a Llefelys [in English as "Lludd and Llefelys"]

3.       Culhwch ac Olwen [in English as "Culhwch and Olwen"]

4.       Breuddwyd Rhonabwy [in English as "The Dream of Rhonabwy"]: This work is noteworthy in the present context for including the confession of one Iddawg to having maliciously engineered an unnecessary hatred between Arthur [«480] and Mawdred [«480], and thereby of having indirectly been responsible for Arthur's death [«537]. Here is the passage in question ...

 

"I was one of the envoys at the battle of Camlann, between Arthur and Mawdred his nephew. And a spirited young man was I then! And I so craved for battle that I kindled strife between them. This was the kind of strife I kindled: when the emperor Arthur would send me to remind Medrawd that he was his foster-father and uncle, and ask for peace lest the king's sons of the island of Britain and their noblemen should be slain, and when Arthur would speak to me the fairest words he could, I would speak those words the ugliest way I knew how to Medrawd. [...] And because of that was woven the Battle of Camlann" (p140).

 

The three romances are ...

 

1.       Peredur fab Efrog [in English as "Peredur, Son of Efrawg"]

2.       Chwedl Iarlles Ffynawn [in English as "The Lady of the Fountain"]

3.       Chwedl Geraint ab Erbin [in English as "Gereint, Son of Erbin"]

 

Llyfr Coch will remain a major sourcework on Dark Age British history, as seen from Mediaeval times. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1382  The British court official Ralph de Halton [no convenient biography], Keeper of the Privy Wardrobe Accounts to Richard II of England [1377<=>next], purchases a cannon from a gun-founder named William Woodward [no convenient biography]. He will buy 72 more in the next six years. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1382 [5th January] Richard II of England [<=>] awards the title Earl of Ulster [roughly modern Northern Ireland] to the seven-year-old Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March [Wikipedia biography=>1392»]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1382 [22nd January] In an attempt to resolve the factionalism between the two Papacies in his own favour, Pope Urban VI [<=1378] approves the marriage of (the House of Plantagent) Richard II of England [<=>1386] and (the House of Luxemburg) Anne of Bohemia [<=1366]. It duly takes place in Westminster Abbey, but is destined to remain childless. [=>1399] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1382 [uncertain] The Siege of Sofia: This siege is fought out as part of the Ottoman Invasion of the Balkans between an Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad I [Wikipedia biography] and the Bulgarian garrison at Sofia. The result is a clear Ottoman victory, leaving the way open for them to annex the remainder of the country. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1382 [10th September] Upon the death of (the House of Anjou) Louis I (the Great) of Hungary and Poland [<=1370] both thrones pass to his 11-year-old daughter Mary [<=1371], with her mother, Elisabeth of Hungary [<=1371], as Regent. However this arrangement does not go down well with the Polish nobility, who would prefer separate queens for Hungary (Mary) and Poland (Hedwig = Jadwiga). [=>1384] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1383  A young Welsh prince named Owain Glyndŵr [Wikipedia biography] marries and establishes strongholds at Sycharth [image] and Glyndyfrdwy [image], near modern Corwen, North Wales. [=>1400] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1384 [16th October] Two years after the death of her father, Mary of Hungary and Poland [<=1382] abdicates her Polish title in favour of her younger sister Hedwig = Jadwiga [<=1373]. [=>1386] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1385 [??th April] The arranged marriage of Sigismund of Luxemburg [<=1368] and Mary of Hungary [<=1371] duly takes place. [=>1387] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1385 [16th July] The marriage takes place of Charles VI of France [<=1380] and Isabeau of Bavaria [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1398] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1386  Richard II of England [1377<=>1392] appoints Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford [Wikipedia biography] to be Duke of Ireland, but he will only last a year in the job. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  POLAND AND LITHUANIA DRAW CLOSE  **********

1386 [4th March] Wladyslaw II (Jogaila), Grand Duke of Lithuania [<=1377] is crowned King of Poland in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, and married to Jadwiga of Poland [<=1384]. [=>1410] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1386 [16th September] A son is born to Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [<=1367<=>1393»], and named Henry (V) of Lancaster [Wikipedia biography]. Two further sons will follow in quick succession, namely Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (b. ??th November 1387) [Wikipedia biography] and John of Lancaster (b. 20th June 1389) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1414] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1387 [2nd July] The 18-year-old French churchman Cardinal Pierre de Luxemburg [Wikipedia biography] dies while in the service of Schismatic Pope Clement VII [<=1378] at Avignon, and in accordance with his Will is buried in a local pauper's grave. However, it is not long before miracles start to happen by the grave, and one of the resulting stream of pilgrim-worshippers is a young Frenchwoman named Marie Robine [a.k.a. Marie la Gasque, and later Marie d'Avignon] [Wikipedia biography], who suffers from a paralysed arm and leg. She prays at the Cardinal's tomb and is duly cured. News of this latest miracle soon reaches Clement, who has the girl interviewed before declaring hers to have been a genuine miracle. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RULE #4 APPLIES: There are a number of more physically grounded explanations, the most charitable of which being that Luxemburg's death and Robine's miraculous healing "just happened", but were hi-jacked and spun by a schismatic regime eager to justify their own existence.

 

1387 [ 31st March] Mary of Hungary [<=1385] and her husband Sigismund of Luxemburg [<=1385] now share the throne of Hungary (but the real power lies with him). [=>1410] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1388 [5th August] The Battle of Otterburn: This battle is fought as part of the Anglo-Scottish Border Wars between an English army under Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1366<=>1393] and a Scottish raiding army under James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas [Wikipedia biography] and George of Dunbar, 10th Earl of Dunbar and March [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a clear and convincing victory for the Scots. Hotspur is captured and ransomed back. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1389  Some time this year a temporary wooden chapel is erected over the grave of Cardinal Luxemburg [1387<=>1395]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1389 [15th June] The Battle of Kosovo: This battle is fought as part of the Ottoman Invasion of the Balkans between an Ottoman army under Sultan Murad I [<=1382] and a defending Serbian army under Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović [Wikipedia biography]. Both generals, together with a high proportion of their respective armies, are killed. The Kosovan army cannot be replaced, however, and so the Ottomans simply wait for reinforcements before moving against the remainder of Serbian provinces. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out Adam Stefanović's (1870) "Battle of Kosovo", noting that five centuries have elapsed between the battle and its glorification. This romanticisation of nationalism is commonplace in the 19th century and will be discussed in detail as a cause of WW1 in due course.

 

WAR MOVIE: Check out Zdravko Sotra's (1989) movie "Battle of Kosovo" (Centar Films) - there are lots of YouTube extracts, but all in Serbian.

 

1392  Richard II of England [1386<=>1394] appoints Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March [1382<=>1394] Royal Lieutenant of Ireland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1392 [??th July] About this time Charles VI of France [<=1380] suffers the first in a series of psychotic episodes [Wikipedia details]. Those who acted for him during his regency are now called upon again, but soon descend into factionalism of their own. [=>1395] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1393  On behalf of Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [1386<=>1398] Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1388<=>1399] undertakes a diplomatic mission to James I of Cyprus [Wikipedia biography], in company with Sir Peter Buckton [Wikipedia biography] and Otto de Grandson [no convenient biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1393 [23rd July] Upon the death of Grand Master Konrad von Wallenrode [Wikipedia biography] of the Teutonic Order, Konrad von Jungingen [Wikipedia biography] is chosen to succeed him, and sets about extending the order's influence in the eastern Baltic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1394 [28th September] Upon the death of Schismatic Pope Clement VII [<=1378/1387] the Aragonese Cardinal Pedro de Luna [<=1387] is elected Schismatic Pope Benedict XIII [Wikipedia biography] by the electoral college at Avignon. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1394 [2nd October] Richard II's First Irish Campaign: This brief campaign is fought by an English expeditionary army under Richard II of England [1382<=>1398] in order to re-assert English rule in Ireland. His 7000-strong army disembarks at Waterford and reaches a military peace with the recently troublesome Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, King of Leinster [Wikipedia biography]. Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March [<=1392] is installed to administer the territory, but will be killed in a skirmish on 20th July 1398. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1395 [23rd June] On behalf of Charles VI (the Mad) of France [<=1380], the Dukes of Orléans, Burgundy, and Berry make their way to Avignon to lay the foundation stone on a new stone church - the Église des Célestines [modern image] - to replace the earlier wooden structure [<=1389]. Formally dedicated to Pope Saint Celestine V [<=1294], the remains of Cardinal Luxemburg [<=1387] will be cherished therein as holy relics; indeed will start performing important new miracles very shortly [=>1398 (22nd February)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1397  The Polish Prussian nobleman Nicholas von Renys [Wikipedia biography] establishes the Eidechsenbund [= "lizard union/league"] to help organise opposition to the Teutonic Order, to which he himself is allied. His half-hearted and treasonous support is possibly responsible for the Teutonic Order's defeat at the Battle of Grunwald [=>1410]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  HOHENZOLLERN BRANDENBURG IS CONCEIVED  **********

1398 [21st January] Upon the death of Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremburg [Wikipedia biography], the principality of Brandenburg-Ansbach is formed within the Holy Roman Empire. The principality is divided between Frederick's oldest son, John [Wikipedia biography], who is made John III, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, and his youngest son, also Frederick, who is made Frederick I, Burgrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach [Wikipedia biography], the first member of the House of Hohenzollern to hold this post. [=>1415] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1398 [22nd February] Marie Robine [<=1387] has the latest in a series of ecstatic visions while praying at Cardinal Luxemburg's tomb [<=1395], and this time it has an overtly political message. She sees angels bearing arms and armour and promising that "a maid" will come soon "to kick the English out of France". The voices then instruct her urgently to seek an audience with Charles VI (the Mad) of France [1380<=>1403], which is duly organised by the queen, Isabeau of Bavaria [1385<=>1403]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - ROBINE'S VISIONS: For a full account of Robine's visions see Tobin (1986 online).

 

RULE #4 APPLIES AGAIN: As previously [<=1387 (2nd July)] there are a number of more physically grounded explanations, the most charitable of which being that someone rich and powerful is "pulling Robine's strings" because what she has to say fits a secret agendum.

 

1398 [22nd May] L'Assemblée Générale de l'Église de France: This assembly of the French Church discusses how best to manage relationships with the Avignon Papacy [<=1378 (20th September)]. It refuses to allow Marie Robine [<=preceding] to speak, and after careful debate decides to realign itself with the Rome Papacy, presently Pope Boniface IX [Wikipedia biography]. Robine retires to her refuge and - her political usefulness exhausted - will die in obscurity on 16th November 1399. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1398 [??th September] Richard II of England [1394<=>next] banishes Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk [Wikipedia biography] and Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [1393<=>1399]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1399 [3rd February] Upon the death of John of Gaunt [<=1377] (and with his heir Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [<=1398] presently in exile), Richard II of England [<=preceding] seizes the Lancastrian estates. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1399 [1st June] Richard II's Second Irish Campaign: As a follow-up to his first Irish campaign [<=1394], Richard II of England lands a second English expeditionary army at Waterford, possibly to support the coronation of an English king of Ireland later in the year. While he is out of the country, however ... [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1399 [4th July] ... Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [<=>] returns from exile along with another of Richard II of England's sworn enemies, the ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel [Wikipedia biography]. They disembark at Ravenspur, Yorkshire, with a small force of followers and march to Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire. Amongst those who then quickly gather under his standard is Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1393<=>1400]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1399 [10th August] Having returned from Ireland to confront the threat from Henry of Bolingbroke (IV of England) [<=>], Richard II of England [<=>] now finds himself heavily outnumbered and allows himself to be taken prisoner at Conwy Castle, North Wales. Bolingbroke seizes the initiative and prepares his own detailed claim to the throne for consideration by Parliament. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE LANCASTRIANS TAKE THE THRONE  **********

1399 [29th September] Parliament approves the deposal of Richard II of England [<=] and pass the throne to Henry Bolingbroke [<=>]. Richard is imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he will die shortly afterwards. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1400 [2nd February] The Scottish Rebellion, 1400-1401: This flare-up in the English-Scottish borderlands is fought between an English army of enforcement under the disaffected Scottish nobleman George of Dunbar, 10th Earl of Dunbar and March [1388<=>1402] and Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1399<=>next], and a Scottish resistance army under Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas [Wikipedia biography=>1402]. The outcome is a victory for the Scottish, who proceed to drive the English southwards to their strongholds at Berwick and Alnwick. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1400 [16th September] The Welsh Rebellion, 1400-1415: Following deep personal friction between Owain Glyndŵr [<=1383] and a neighbouring Norman landowner named Reginald Grey, 3rd Baron de Ruthyn [Wikipedia biography], Glyndwr is popularly proclaimed Prince of Wales and most of northern Wales rises in his support. Henry (Bolingbroke) IV of England [1399<=>1403] responds by appointing Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [preceding<=>1401] to put the rebellion down. Here are some of the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Conwy, 1401

·         The Battle of Bryn Glas, 1402

 

The fighting will ebb and flow with few set-piece engagements, but all the time Glyndŵr's strength is being slowly eroded and in the end the rebellion collapses and he goes into hiding. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - THE "YOUNG WALES" MOVEMENT: Owain Glyndŵr will be resurrected as a Welsh national hero in the nineteenth century - see 1866 (Cymru Fydd).

 

1401 [1st April] The Battle of Conwy: This battle is fought as part of the Welsh Rebellion [<=1400] between a 75-man commando of Welsh rebels led by two cousins of Owain Glyndŵr [1400<=>1402], named Gwilym ap Tudor [no convenient biography] and Rhys ap Tudor [Wikipedia biography] and the English garrison at Conwy Castle, North Wales. The Welshmen easily gain control of the castle and hold out for several weeks, until Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1400<=>1402] arrives to negotiate acceptable terms. The battle is noteworthy in the present context as a source of great ill will between Henry (Bolingbroke) IV of England [1400<=>1403] and Hotspur over the bill. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1402 [22nd June] The Battle of Nesbit Moor: This battle is fought as part of the Scottish Rebellion [<=1400] between a 200-man English army under George of Dunbar, 10th Earl of Dunbar and March [1400<=>14th September] and a 400-man army of Scottish insurgents. The outcome is an against-the-odds English victory, to the extent, even, of being a massacre. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1402 [22nd June] The Battle of Bryn Glas: This battle is fought as part of the Welsh Rebellion [<=1400] between a Welsh revolutionary army under Owain Glyndŵr [<=1401] and an English pacification army. The outcome is a victory for the Welsh. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1402 [14th September] The Battle of Homildon Hill: This battle is fought between a Scottish army of revenge - for the massacre at Nesbit Moor, above - led by Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas [1400<=>next] and an English army under Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland [1377<=>next], his son, Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [1401<=>1403], and George of Dunbar, 10th Earl of Dunbar and March [<=22nd June]. The outcome is a decisive English victory and the capture of the Earl of Douglas. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: The secret of the English success on this occasion is reportedly that (as at Falkirk [<=1298]) they had been able to use their heavy archers against the Scottish schiltron formation.

 

1402 [late] The Percy Rebellion, 1402-1408: This family-led rebellion is fought between the Percy family - that is to say, Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [preceding<=>1403], his father Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland [1377<=], and his uncle Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester [Wikipedia biography] - and Henry IV (Bolingbroke) of England [1401<=>1403]. What seems to have happened is that the Percies have been closeted somewhat too closely with their prisoners-of-war from Homildon Hill [<=preceding], not least Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas [preceding<=>1403], for these men have now become their allies in their feud with the crown. Hotspur is also reported to be liaising closely with Owain Glyndŵr [1402<=>1404] with a view to combining their forces. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1403 [22nd February] A fifth son (third to survive) is born to Charles VI (the Mad) of France [1398<=>1420] and Isabeau of Bavaria [<=1398], and named Charles (the Dauphin) Valois (VII of France)) [Wikipedia biography=>1420]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: It will be rumoured that the young child was not Charles VI's own, although the issue will not come to a head until Charles VI dies [=>1422].

 

1403 [21st July] The Battle of Shrewsbury: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an English crown army under Henry (Bolingbroke) IV of England [1401<=>1413] and a breakaway army under Henry (Harry Hotspur) Percy [<=1402], Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester [<=1402], and Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas [1402<=>1424]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the crown. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for everyone deciding to go home once the first of the leaders - Hotspur - has been killed. Worcester is executed shortly after the battle, and Douglas is captured. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE: The 17-year-old Prince of Wales, Henry (V) of Lancaster [<=1386], was seriously wounded in this battle with an arrow in the face. The royal physician, John Bradmore, managed to remove the arrow head and treated the wound with honey and alcohol as antiseptics. Cummins (2006 online) reproduces sections of Bradmore's notes for modern maxillo-facial surgeons, and gives a delightfully detailed insight into the care pathways for this class of injury in the Middle Ages. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE]

 

1404 [27th April] Upon the death of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy [Wikipedia biography] the dukedom passes to his son John (the Fearless) [Wikipedia biography=>1418]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1404 [21st June] The First Welsh Parliament: As part of the Welsh Rebellion [<=1400] Owain Glyndŵr [<=1383] convenes Wales' first independent parliament at Machynlleth, and is rewarded by being crowned Tywysog Cymru [= "Prince of Wales"], complete with crown and ceremonial sword. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1404 [14th September] Upon the death of Albert IV, Duke of Austria, his seven-year-old son Albert [Wikipedia biography] becomes king-to-be with his uncle, Duke William, as Prince Regent. Albert will come of age in 1411 as Archduke Albert V of Austria. [=>1421] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1406  After a century or so in construction, the Teutonic Order [<=1237] completes Marienburg/Malbork Castle [Castle tourist website]. It will remain the Order's main stronghold until captured by the Poles at the end of the Siege of Marienburg [<=1457]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1407 [26th June] Upon the death of Grand Master Konrad von Jungingen of the Teutonic Order [Wikipedia biography], his brother Ulrich von Jungingen [Wikipedia biography=>1409] is chosen to succeed him.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1408  In preparation for the forthcoming war with Poland-Lithuania [=>1409 (6th August)] the gun-founders at Marienburg/Malbork spend three months casting a 14-tonne brass bombard - the Grose Bochse [= "big bucket"] - for the Teutonic Order. It is reportedly built in two sections, namely a thick-walled closed breech section fitted at the open end with a male thread, and a thinner-walled barrel section fitted with a matching female thread. A similar, but somewhat smaller, weapon is cast the following year and eventually becomes known as the Faule Grete [= "Lazy Greta"]. [=>1411] [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

ASIDE: For further details of these weapons we recommend the paper by Zabinski (2012) at http://academia.edu/3557136/The_Grose_Bochse_-_A_Teutonic_Supergun_From_1408_2012.

 

1409 [6th August] The Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War: Undeterred by the possibility of waging war on two fronts (with the Poles to the south and west and the Lithuanians to the east) Ulrich von Jungingen [1407<=>1410] declares war on Poland-Lithuania. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Grunwald, 1410

·         The First Siege of Marienburg, 1410

·         The First Treaty of Thorn, 1411

 

The outcome is more or less a draw, and the dispute will be duly revisited in the Thirteen Years War [<=1454]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1410 [15th July] The Battle of Grunwald: This battle is fought as part of the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War [<=1409] between a Polish-Lithuanian army under the King-Generals Wladislaw II (Jogaila) [<=1386] and Vytautas [Wikipedia biography], respectively, and the Teutonic Knights under Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen [<=1409] with grudging assistance from Nicholas von Renys' Lizard League troops [<=1397]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the Poles and Lithuanians, thanks possibly to less than enthusiastic participation of the Prussians. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for the arrangements hammered out at the peace treaty the following year [=>1411]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1410 [18th July] The First Siege of Marienburg/Malbork: This siege is fought out between a besieging Polish-Lithuanian army, fresh from its victory at Grunwald, and a force of 3000 Teutonic Knights under their latest Grand Master, Heinrich von Plauen (the Elder) [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the defending Teutonic Order, following which the Prussians are forced to renounce their temporary alliance with the Poles and realign themselves with the Teutonic Order. [=>1411] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1410 [10th September] Upon the death of Rupert of Germany [Wikipedia biography] Sigismund of Hungary [1387<=>1415], is elected King of the Germans. The election is far from unanimous, however, and there follows a ten-month period of internecine squabbling before Sigismund is finally confirmed in the post on 21st July 1411. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1411  The German gun-founder Henning Bussenschutte [no convenient biography] succeeds in casting a brass bombard of supergun proportions [image]. Known commonly as Faule Metze [= "Lazy Metzer" (perhaps alluding (a) to the use of bombards at the Siege of Metz in 1324, and (b) to the fact that this particular one had only been fired 12 times in the 376 years before it was finally melted down for scrap in 1787)], this weapon could deliver a 750-pound projectile a mile and a half. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1411 [1st February] The First Treaty of Thorn: This treaty brings the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War [<=1409] to an end. It is noteworthy in the present context for levying such massive reparations against the Prussians that they will resort to force a second time in the Thirteen Years War [<=1454]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: A similar situation will arise at the end of WW1 when the Treaty of Versailles [=>1919 (28th June)] forces such harsh reparations on the Germans that by collapsing their economy it helps the rise of the Nazi Party in the 1930s.

 

1413 [21st March] Upon the death of Henry IV (Bolingbroke) of England [<=1403] the throne passes to his oldest son Henry of Lancaster as Henry V of England [Wikipedia biography=>1414]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1414  Henry V of England [<=1413] appoints his brother John of Lancaster [<=1389] 1st Duke of Bedford. [=>1424] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1415  The British politician Nicholas Merbury [Wikipedia biography] is appointed Master of Ordnance. [=>1544] [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1415 [30th April] The Council of Constance: One of the minor provisions of this ongoing church council is that the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund of Germany and Hungary [<=1410] is given permission to reward Frederick I, Burgrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach [<=1398] for his loyalty and assistance by promoting him Elector of Brandenburg. [=>1429] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1415 [18th August] The Siege of Harfleur: This battle is fought as part of the "Lancastrian Offensive" phase of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an invading British army under Henry V of England [1413<=>next] personally and the small French garrison at Harfleur. The outcome is a victory for the besiegers, once either the artillery or a mine has created a breach in the town rampart. The battle is noteworthy in the present context not just as an example of siege theory at work but for making famous the phrase "once more into the breach" [=>1599]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR VIDEO: The assault on the breach in the Harfleur defences was made famous by William Shakespeare's play "Henry V". The play has been filmed several times, with this particular YouTube clip - click here - coming from the 1989 Kenneth Branagh version (Renaissance Films).

 

1415 [25th October] The Battle of Agincourt: This battle is fought as part of the "Lancastrian Offensive" phase of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an invading British army under Henry V of England [preceding<=>1420] personally and a defending French army under Constable of France, Charles d'Albret [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive British victory, with Charles, Duke of Orléans [Wikipedia biography=>1422] amongst the many French noblemen taken as prisoner-of-war. The battle is noteworthy in the present context (a) for regimental emblems [specifically, the leek in the Welshman Fluellen's cap], and (b) for demonstrating the French difficulty moving in mud, especially when heavily armoured and crowded from behind. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR MUSIC: Check out "The Agincourt Carol" [full text online] as a good example of 15th century "jingoism". [Hear the Maddy Prior and June Tabor version on YouTube]

 

1418 [30th May] The Burgundian Capture of Paris: Paris is occupied by John (the Fearless), Duke of Burgundy [1404<=>1419]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1419 [10th September] John (the Fearless), Duke of Burgundy [<=1418] is assassinated under the white flag of parley by French troops. His dukedom passes to his son Philip III (the Good) [Wikipedia biography]. The resulting antagonism between Burgundy and France will help shape English and French history for the rest of the century. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1420 [??th December] The Siege of Bonifacio: This month-long siege takes place as part of a territorial dispute between a besieging Aragonese column under Alfonso V of Aragon [Wikipedia biography] and the Genoese garrison at Bonifacio, Corsica. The outcome is that the town holds out until the siege is lifted. The siege is noteworthy in the present context as one of the earliest recorded instances of the use of fuses. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1420 [21st May] The Treaty of Troyes: This agreement between Henry V of England [1415<=>1421] and Charles VI (the Mad) of France [1403<=>1422] provides for Henry to marry Charles' daughter Catherine of Valois [Wikipedia biography=>1421] and to be named heir to the French throne. The marriage goes ahead at Troyes Cathedral on 2nd June 1420, and the coronation will take place in Westminster Abbey on 23rd February 1421. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: This action automatically disinherits Charles' 17-year-old natural son Charles (the Dauphin) Valois (VII of France (Disputed [Illegitimate])) [1403<=>1422]. The treaty is therefore only recognised in those parts of France controlled by the English, that is to say, Bordeaux, Brittany, Normandy [still the homeland of the Norman English aristocracy, of course], and France north of the River Loire. Burgundy is a duchy in its own right, and ferociously independent of the French crown. It therefore tends to support whoever France is at odds with at the time. For an explanatory map, click here. Unfortunately for the English the coming half-century will see their French possessions retaken one by one by the French crown, their king driven mad, and their aristocracy plunged into internecine feuding.

 

1421 [21st March] The Battle of Baugé: This battle is fought as part of the "Lancastrian Offensive" phase of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an English army under Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence [Wikipedia biography] and a Franco-Scottish army under John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a convincing Franco-Scottish victory and the death of the Duke of Clarence. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY GET CLOSER  **********

1421 [28th September] Archduke Albert V of Austria [<=1404] marries Elizabeth of Luxembourg [Wikipedia biography], a descendent of the old Arpád kings of Hungary and of the Piast kings of Poland. [=>1437] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1421 [6th December] A son is born to Henry V of England [1415<=>1422] and his queen consort Catherine of Valois [1420<=>1429], and named Henry (VI of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1422]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1422 [31st August] Upon the death of Henry V of England [<=1421] the English crown passes to his nine-months-old son Henry VI of England [1421<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  ENGLAND AND FRANCE GET CLOSER ...  **********

1422 [21st October] Upon the death of Charles VI (the Mad) of France [<=1420] (his grandfather on his mother's side), and under the terms of the Treaty of Troyes [<=1420], the infant Henry VI of England [preceding<=>1429] acquires the French crown as well as well as the English, and all before his first birthday! [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  ... BUT NOT FOR LONG  **********

1422 [21st October] The French Court now repudiates the Treaty of Troyes [<=1420] on the grounds that it was signed under duress. It remains split, however, over whether to accept Charles (the Dauphin) Valois (VII of France) [1403<=>1423], the House of Valois candidate, or to reject him as illegitimate and to go instead for the "Armagnac" candidate, his cousin Charles, Duke of Orléans [<=1415], presently still a prisoner-of-war from the Battle of Agincourt. They make no final decision for the time being, but in Orléans' absence start to refer to Charles Valois as "the Dauphin", the traditional title for the heir to the French throne. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

SUMMARY OF THE STATE OF PLAY: To summarise, England and much of northern and western France is ruled by a Regency Council for the half-French (House of Lancaster on his father's side, House of Valois on his mother's) one-year-old Henry VI. Charles VII rules southern France from Chinon and Bourges, but is at odds internally with his cousin Charles, Duke of Orléans, and externally with the Burgundians in north east France, the Low Countries, and Flanders. The Scottish are cultivated by whoever happens to be most at odds with England at the time.

 

1423 [3rd July] A son is born to Charles (the Dauphin) Valois (VII of France [Disputed x2]) [preceding<=>1428] and Marie of Anjou [Wikipedia biography] and named Louis (XI (the Prudent) of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1461]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1423 [31st July] The Battle of Cravant: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an English-Burgundian alliance army under Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury [Wikipedia biography] and a Franco-Scottish alliance army under John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan [<=1421]. The outcome is a heavy Franco-Scottish defeat. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1424 [17th August] The Battle of Verneuil: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between an English-Burgundian army under John, 1st Duke of Bedford [1414<=>1431] and Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury [<=1423], and a Franco-Scottish army under John II, Duke of Alençon [Wikipedia biography], John VIII, Count of Aumale [Wikipedia biography], and the then Constable of France, John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan [<=1423]. The Scottish army has recently been reinforced by several thousand troops under Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas [<=1403], veteran of the Scottish Rebellions [<=1400-1403]. Douglas, indeed, has just been created Duke of Touraine by a grateful French Court, the first foreigner ever to receive such an honour. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the Franco-Scottish, with the deaths of d'Aumale, Buchan, and Douglas/Touraine, and the functional annihilation of the "Army of Scotland". Strategically the battle is noteworthy in the present context for temporarily strengthening the English position in France. Tactically it is an object lesson in how not to manage an army composed of different nationalities. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1424  A young French peasant girl named Jeanne d'Arc [Wikipedia biography=>1428] will later testify that at about this time she has a vision while out in the fields [Rule #4 applies]. In this vision she is told by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret that she has a holy mission to drive the English out of France and bring the Dauphin - that is to say, Charles (the Dauphin) Valois (VII of France [Disputed x2]) [1423<=>1428] - to Reims for coronation. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RULE #4 APPLIES: The least metaphysical explanation here is that Charles Valois' supporters had been impressed by how effective the political visions of Marie Robine had been a generation earlier [<=1398], and simply staged a re-run.

 

1425  Around this time one David Gaunt [no convenient biography] erects an iron bloomery-forge beside the River Llwyd at Pontymoel [now the southeastern suburb of Pontypool], South Wales, there to practise the trade of ironsmith. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1427 [15th July-5th September] The Siege of Montargis: This two-month siege takes place as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between a 3000-strong besieging English army under Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick [Wikipedia biography] and William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk [Wikipedia biography=>1428], and the French garrison at Montargis under Bouzon de la Faille [no convenient biography]. The siege proceeds rather conventionally until on 5th September a French relief column under John of Orléans, Count of Dunois [Wikipedia biography=>1428] and Étienne de Vignolles [Wikipedia biography=>1429] launches a surprise counter-attack to drive the English off in disarray. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for demonstrating the ineffectiveness of light artillery against robust fortifications; also for the tactical flooding of low-lying land to render it temporarily impassable. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: After 1914, the WW1 Western Front effectively ended at the British salient at Ypres, still some 30 miles from the coast, because the valley of the Yser River had been tactically flooded as part of the Belgian Army's successful stabilisation of the sector in the Battle of the Yser [=>1914 (21st October)] - Wikipedia map.

 

1428 [13th May] Four years after her original vision, Jeanne d'Arc [1424<=>1429] is taken by her uncle Durand Lassois [no convenient biography] to the nearest large town, Vaucouleurs, where they get to see Robert de Baudricourt [Wikipedia biography], captain of the Vaucouleurs garrison. She claims to recognise his voice from her visions as the one who is to convey her to the court of Charles (the Dauphin) Valois, VII of France [Disputed x2] [1424<=>1429] at Chinon. De Baudricourt slowly becomes convinced of Jeanne's authenticity and send her to Chinon in the care of two of his most trusted officers, Jean de Metz [Wikipedia biography] and Bertrand de Poulengy [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1428 [12th October - 29th April 1429] The Siege of Orléans: This seven-month siege is fought out as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between a besieging English army under Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury [<=1424] and the French garrison at Orléans under John of Orléans, Count of Dunois [<=1427]. The walled city of Orléans lies on the northern bank of the River Loire and the focus of the fighting is the bridge across to a fortified gatehouse - Les Tourelles - on the southern bank, which Dunois had further protected with a well-manned earthwork known as the Boulevart. After a fortnight the English manage to take these southern defences, only to have the bridge itself blown in their faces and Salisbury killed. There is then a delay while his replacement - William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk [<=1427] - is sent for, and the French defenders use this breathing space to good effect consolidating their positions. Then, on 29th April, the French relief column arrives ... [continues =>29th April]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429  The Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund of Germany and Hungary [<=1415] approves Vitautas [<=1410] as King of Lithuania. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429 [23rd February-10th March] Jeanne d'Arc [<=1428] arrives at Chinon where her credentials are further examined by court and church officials before presenting her to Charles (the Dauphin) Valois, VII of France [Disputed x2] [1428<=>17th July]. A clever stratagem is adopted at this point, with Charles addressing Jeanne as though he were a minor courtier. He is then doubly impressed when she sees through his disguise and claims to recognise his voice from her visions1. When, however, she asks for a military command the Court decides to seek approval from the Church ... [continues =>??th March]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1RULE #4 APPLIES: The least metaphysical explanation here is that someone in Jeanne's party had been tipped off as to this ruse in advance.

 

**********  THE TUDOR DYNASTY IS CONCEIVED  **********

1429 [early 1429] Around this time the [possibly common law] marriage takes place of the Welsh courtier-bodyguard Owen Tudor [Wikipedia biography=>1461] and the 28-year-old dowager Catherine of Valois [1421<=>1430]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Owen's Welsh name was Owain ap Maredudd ap Tewdwr [= Owen, son of Maredudd, son of Tewdwr]. This naming standard has already been explained [<=655] and emphasises ancestral individuals - father, grandfather, etc. - rather than family name. However by the time Owen's grandson takes the English throne as Henry VII [=>1486], the Owen Tudor, Edmund Tudor, Henry Tudor format has overtaken the earlier Welsh format.

 

1429 [??th March-??th April] Jeanne d'Arc [<=1428] is taken to Poitiers where her authenticity as a saintly seer (rather than lunatic or witch) is assessed by a King's Council of archbishops, churchmen, and academics. They interview her for three weeks and, in the end, come to the judgement that there is "nothing found in her which was not Catholic and reasonable". The Council therefore advises the Dauphin [<=>] that there is no reason why Jeanne's request to be placed at the head of a company of soldiers and sent to Orléans should not be met. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429 [??th April] Boot Camp: Now officially a captain of men, Jeanne d'Arc [<=>] is sent to Tours to be kitted out. She is provided with two specially made banners, decorated with religious images, and a full set of made-to-measure armour [details and reconstruction]. She is then armed with the sword reputedly once carried by Charles (the Hammer) Martel at the Battle of Tours/Poitiers [<=732], one of France's most symbolically priceless historical relics. She is then taken to Blois, where a supply column will be setting off shortly. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429 [29th April - 8th May] The Relief of Orléans: Having taken a suitably unguarded approach route the supply column duly makes it through the English lines to Orléans and Jeanne d'Arc [preceding<=>1430] is received in the city with some fanfare. Further reinforcement columns arrive over the next few days and the renewed morale of the defenders convinces the English that they do not have sufficient troops to continue the siege. They form line of march on 8th May and move off in reasonable order ... [continues =>18th June]  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429 [18th June] The Battle of Patay: This battle brings the Loire Campaign of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] to an end. It is fought between a mounted French army under Étienne de Vignolles [<=1427] and an English infantry army under Sir John Fastolf [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a devastating English defeat thanks to the speed of the French deployment, which puts their cavalry in amongst the unarmoured English longbowmen before the latter can exploit their long-distance firepower. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1429 [17th July] The coronation takes place at Reims Cathedral of Charles (the Dauphin) Valois as Charles VII of France [Disputed1] [<=23rd February]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: Although the French have now agreed amongst themselves who should be their king, his claim is, of course, still disputed by the English under the Treaty of Troyes [<=1420].

 

1429 [6th November] The seven-year-old Henry VI of England [1422<=>1431] is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE TUDOR DYNASTY TAKES SHAPE  **********

1430 [early] Around this time, and without official record, a son is born to Owen Tudor [1429<=>1461] and Catherine of Valois [<=1429], and named Edmund Tudor (1st Earl of Richmond) [Wikipedia biography] (who, a generation later, will father Henry Tudor (VII of England) [=>1457]). Two further sons will follow, namely Jasper Tudor (1st Duke of Bedford) [Wikipedia biography] in 1431 and Owen Tudor (Junior) [no convenient biography] in 143?. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1430 [14th May] The Siege of Compiègne: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337] between a Burgundian army under Philip (the Good), Duke of Burgundy [Wikipedia biography] and the French garrison at Compiègne under Jeanne d'Arc [1429<=>1431]. The outcome is a successful French defence, but at the cost of Jeanne being captured by the Burgundians while leading a patrol outside the city walls. [=>1431] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1431 [30th May] The Trial of Jeanne d'Arc: Having ransomed Jeanne d'Arc from her Burgundian captors [<=1428] John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford [<=1414] has her tried and executed. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1431 [1st July] The Battle of La Higueruela: This battle is fought as part of the Reconquista between a Castilian army under Álvara de Luna [Wikipedia biography] and a Muslim army under Muhammed IX, Nasrid Sultan of Granada [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a marginal victory for the Castilians. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for the Castilian use of light cavalry. [THREAD = WW1 CAVALRY]

 

1431 [16th December] The ten-year-old Henry VI of England [1429<=>1444] is crowned King [Disputed] of France at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1435  The Warmian1 knight Johannes von Baysen [Wikipedia biography] joins the Lizard Union [<=1397] in its lobbying for Prussia to be incorporated into the kingdom of Poland. [=>1397] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1 Warmia is a region of northeastern Poland.

 

1437 [18th December] Upon the death of Sigismund of Hungary [<=1415] the hereditary titles pass to Archduke Albert V of Austria [<=1421]. The slower process of being elected King of Germany takes until the following spring [18th March 1438]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1439 [27th October] Upon the death of Albert II of Germany [<=1404], his three-year-old daughter Princess Elisabeth of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography] is brought up in Vienna in the care of Frederick III (the Peaceful) of Germany [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1452] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1440 [14th March] The Prussian Confederation: Johannes von Baysen [<=1435] organises a confederation of noblemen, bishops, and city councillors from across Prussia [including modern Danzig (Gdansk), Culm (Chelmno), Thorn (Torun), and Königsberg (Kaliningrad)] the more effectively to lobby for those territories to be incorporated into the kingdom of Poland. [=>1454] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1440 [29th June] Casimir IV (Jagiellon) [Wikipedia biography] becomes Grand Duke of Lithuania, but keeps Poland and Lithuania close, as they have been since before the Battle of Grunwald [<=1410]. [=>1447] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1440 [21st September] Upon the death of Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg [<=1415] the title bypasses his "incapable" first son in favour of his second son Frederick II [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1441  The Invasion of Corsica: This Genoese invasion of Aragonese Corsica is led by Tomaso di Campofregoso [Wikipedia biography] and is noteworthy in the present context for the effectiveness of its close support artillery in a rapid land advance. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1442 [28th April] A first son (second child) is born to Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [Wikipedia biography=>1446] and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York [Wikipedia biography=>1446], and named Edward (IV of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1461]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1444 [22nd May] The Treaty of Tours: As part of a political agreement with Charles Valois, VII of France [Disputed] [1429<=>1461], Henry VI of England [1431<=>1453] betrothes himself to Charles' 15-year-old niece Margaret of Anjou [Wikipedia biography=>1453]. The wedding will take place 23rd April 1445. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1446 [3rd May] A third daughter (fifth child) is born to Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [1442<=>1452] and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York [1442<=>1452], and named Margaret of York (Duchess of Burgundy) [Wikipedia biography=>1468]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  LITHUANIA COMES OF AGE  **********

1447 [25th June] Casimir IV (Jagiellon) of Lithuania [<=1440] becomes King of the Poles after his brother, Wladislaw III, is killed in battle. [=>1454] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1450  The Danish artillery officer Johannes Bengedans [no convenient biography] publishes a treatise entitled Krigskunst og Kanoner [in English as "Artillery and the Art of War"], in which he explains how best to manage this new arm. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

**********  THE BOURBONS  **********

1450 [15th April] The Battle of Formigny: This battle is fought as part of the Hundred Years War [<=1337 (30th April)] between a small British invading army under Sir Thomas Kyriell [no convenient biography] and a defending French army under Charles I of Bourbon, Comte de Clermont [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a serious British defeat. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  BERLIN BECOMES AN IMPERIAL HUB  **********

1451  Berlin is officially adopted as the capital city of the Hohenzollerns. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  GUN RUNNING IS BORN  **********

1451 [3rd February] Byzantine-Ottoman War: Upon the death of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II [Wikipedia biography] his son ascends the Sultanate as Mehmet II [Wikipedia biography], and sets about a 30-year programme of conquest into the Balkans. The following engagements are typical ...

 

·         The Siege of Constantinople, 1453

·         The Siege of Belgrade, 1456

·         The Siege of Otlukbeli, 1473

·         The Siege of Otranto, 1481

 

The overall outcome is that the Ottoman Empire expands westward into the Balkan states, where it will remain Austria-Hungary's southern neighbour until well into the 19th century. The war is noteworthy in the present context (a) because when the Ottomans are finally forced back towards their power base in Asia Minor they will leave behind them a power vacuum - the "Balkan powder-keg" - which will eventually trigger WW1 [=>1914 (28th June)], and (b) for the development of heavy siege artillery [=>1453 (Siege of Constantinople [inset])]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - THE ARMS TRADE WITH THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: We recommend Ayduz (2006 online [but not printable]) on this subject.

 

1452 [19th March] Pope Nicholas V [Wikipedia biography] crowns Frederick III of Germany [<=1439], as Holy Roman Emperor. One of the new emperor's first major decisions [5th December 1453] is to advise the Prussian Confederation [<=1440] to respect the Teutonic Order's occupation of Pomerelia-Gdansk [<=1308]. The appeal falls on deaf ears. [=>1454] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1452 [2nd October] A fourth son (seventh child) is born to Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [1446<=>1455] and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York [<=1446], and named Richard of Gloucester (III of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1471 (4th May)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1453 [6th April] The Siege of Constantinople: This seven-week siege is fought out as part of the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars [<=1451] between a besieging Ottoman army under Sultan Mehmed II [<=1451] and the Byzantine garrison at Constantinople under the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the Ottomans and the death of Constantine. Pope Nicholas V [<=1452] tries to organise a Crusade to free the city but the states of Western Europe are presently too preoccupied fighting amongst themselves to comply. The siege is noteworthy for allowing a mercenary Hungarian gun-founder named Orban [Wikipedia biography] to provide the Ottomans with cannons of greater range and hitting power than had hitherto been seen. The largest of these - his Basilica [image] - is 27 feet long and can reputedly loft a 1500-pound projectile a mile or so! The besiegers also deploy a company of mercenary Serbian miners to try to undermine the city walls. Their efforts are soon detected, however, and the defenders engage in some effective cat-and-mouse countermining to neutralise the threat. [=>1456 (Siege of Belgrade)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: See Crowley (2007 online) for the fuller story of Orban's artillery in action against the walls of Constantinople.

 

**********  HISTORICALLY PIVOTAL BATTLE  **********

1453 [17th July] The Battle of Castillon: This battle is the last major military encounter in the Hundred Years War [<=1337]. It is fought between an English army under John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury [Wikipedia biography] and a French army under Jean Bureau [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive French victory and the death of Shrewbury (reputedly while leading a head-on attack against Bureau's artillery). The battle is noteworthy in the present context for Bureau's highly effective deployment of well-sited and well-directed artillery. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Jean Bureau worked in partnership with his brother Gaspard, from 1444 Master of the King's Artillery. Together they introduced iron shot and reliable cast iron gun barrels. The work of the Bureau brothers has been assessed by later commentators as a significant factor in the French victory over the English in the Hundred Years War [<=1337]. Hayman (2005) notes that at around this time iron railings were becoming popular status symbols as tomb surrounds, so weapons were not the only economic stimulus to iron production.

 

1453 [13th October] A (possibly illegitimate) son is born to Henry VI of England and [Disputed] France [1444<=>1455] and Margaret of Anjou [1444<=>1460] and named Edward (of Lancaster, Prince of Wales) [Wikipedia biography=>1470]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Around this time Henry starts to suffer periods of mental breakdown. The resulting absence of a firm hand at the top encourages bitter factionalism at Court, with the various noble families searching out sons and nephews with obscure claims to the throne, and detecting/inventing past infidelities to discredit stronger claims. This infighting sows the seeds of the Wars of the Roses two years later. Margaret of Anjou fights her corner as skilfully as any.

 

1454 [6th February] The Thirteen Years War: Having failed to do so at the First Siege of Marienburg [<=1410], this war is fought to establish the independence of the Prussian Confederation [<=1440] from the Teutonic Order [<=1190]. The war includes the following noteworthy engagements ...

 

·         The Prussian Uprising, 1454

·         The Prussian-Polish Incorporation, 1454

·         The Second Siege of Marienburg/Malbork, 1454

·         The Battle of Könitz, 1454

·         The Second Treaty of Thorn, 1466

 

The overall outcome is a victory for the Prussian Confederation. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

CAUTION: The above entry is factually true, although the notion that the Teutons should be fighting the Prussians may confuse those who began their browsing in 1914-1918, for by that time the words were largely interchangeable. In fact the 1466 Treaty of Thorn [=>1466] effectively dismantled the Teutonic Order as a state once and for all, and so all future references to that geographical entry should use the term "Prussian" instead. The adjective "Teutonic" will henceforth simply describe a state of mind; a harking back to the sort of militaristic chivalry practised by the Teutonic Knights in their heyday.

 

1454 [6th February] The Prussian Uprising: Ignoring Frederick III of Germany's advice [<=1452], the Prussian Confederation [<=1440] begins the Thirteen Years War by taking up arms against the Teutonic Order, who abandon the countryside and fall back into their fortresses at Marienburg/Malbork and Könitz. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1454 [6th March] The Prussian-Polish Incorporation: Casimir IV accepts the Prussian Confederation as formal allies of Poland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1454 [10th March] Casimir IV [<=1447] marries Elizabeth of Habsburg [<=1439], thereby positioning Poland closer to Hungary and Bohemia, but only at the cost of increasing tensions within the Habsburg states, specifically with Frederick III of Germany. [=>1456] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1454 [??th April] The Second Siege of Marienburg/Malbork: This five-month siege is fought out during the Thirteen Years War [«6th February] between a Prussian Confederation army under Johannes von Baysen [<=1435] and Scibor von Baysen and the Teutonic Order garrison at Marienburg Castle under Grand Master Ludwig von Erlichshausen [Wikipedia biography].  The siege will be lifted after the Prussian-Polish defeat at the Battle of Könitz [=>18th September]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1454 [18th September] The Battle of Könitz [Polish = Chojnice]: This battle is fought as part of the Thirteen Years War [«6th February] between a Teutonic Order army under Bernard von Zinnenberg [Wikipedia biography] and a Polish army under Casimir IV [<=1447]. The outcome is a heavy defeat for the (numerically stronger) Poles, and is noteworthy in the present context for demonstrating the "Teutonic values" of tight formational discipline, a cool head, and technical skill in the heat of battle. Casimir's army, on the other hand, includes many recently levied for-the-duration conscripts, of dubious value on the battlefield. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: There follows a 12-year period of relatively insignificant bickering during which the Teutonic Order recovers its lost cities and the Prussian Confederation tries to outmanoeuvre its adversaries politically and economically.

 

1455 [22nd May] The Wars of the Roses, 1455 - 1485: This 30-year-long inter-dynastic struggle for the crown of England takes place between rival Yorkist and Lancastrian branches of the House of Plantagenet, led presently by Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [1452<=>next] and the reigning monarch Henry VI of England [1453<=>1460], respectively. Here are the skeletal events ...

 

HENRY VI DEFENDS HIS THRONE

·         The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455 [casus belli]

·         The Battle of Ludford Bridge, 1459

·         The Battle of Northampton, 1460

·         The Act of Accord, 1460

·         The Battle of Wakefield, 1460

·         The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1460

·         The Second Battle of St. Albans, 1461

THE KINGMAKER MAKES HIS FIRST KING

·         The London Acclaim, 1461

HENRY VI AND EDWARD IV SLUG IT OUT

·         The Battle of Towton, 1461

·         The Battle of Hexham, 1464

·         The Battle of Edgecote Moor, 1469

·         The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470

THE KINGMAKER MAKES HIS SECOND KING

·         The Deadly Alliance, 1470

·         The Dartmouth Invasion, 1470

·         Henry VI Recrowned, 1470

IT ALL GOES WRONG FOR LANCASTER

·         The Battle of Barnet, 1471

·         The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471

RICHARD III ON THE THRONE

·         The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485

HENRY TUDOR ON THE THRONE

·         The Coronation of Henry VII, 1485

 

The overall outcome is a heavy loss of life amongst the squabbling nobility, and the founding of the Tudor Dynasty of English kings and queens. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1455 [22nd May] The First Battle of St. Albans: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=preceding] between a 3000-strong Yorkist army led by Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [<=preceding] and a 2000-strong Lancastrian army led by Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the Yorkists and the death of Somerset. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1456 [1st March] A son is born to Casimir IV (Jagiellon) and Elizabeth of Habsburg [<=1454], and named Wladislaw. The boy will eventually become the House of Habsburg's Wladislaw (II) of Bohemia [<=1471] and Hungary [<=1490] [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1456 [4th July] The Siege of Belgrade: This three-week siege takes place as part of the Ottoman Expansion into the Balkans [<=1451] between an invading Ottoman army under Sultan Mehmet II [<=1451] and the Hungarian garrison in Belgrade under John Hunyadi [Wikipedia biography]. It is noteworthy in the present context for setting miners against counter-miners, as at Constantinople three years previously. [THREADS = THE MAKING OF WW1 MILITARY ENGINEERING and THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1456 [7th July] The Rehabilitation of Jeanne d'Arc: After eight months hearing evidence a specially convened French Court posthumously pardons Jeanne d'Arc [<=1431] on the charge of Heresy for which she had been executed. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FIRST WELSH KING OF ENGLAND BORN  **********

1457 [28th January] A son is born to (recently deceased) Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond [<=1430] and 13-year-old Margaret Beaufort [Wikipedia biography=>1462], and named Henry Tudor (VII of England) [Wikipedia biography<=>1483]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1457 [13th February] A daughter is born to Charles (the Bold) (Duke of Burgundy) [Wikipedia biography=>1467] and his second wife Isabella of Bourbon [Wikipedia biography], and named Mary of Burgundy (Duchess of Brabant) [Wikipedia biography=>1457]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1459 [12th October] The Battle of Ludford Bridge: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [1455<=>1460] and a Lancastrian army under Margaret of Anjou [1453<=>1460]. The outcome is a victory for the Lancastrians. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1460  The Siege of Roxburgh: This siege takes place during the Anglo-Scottish Wars, and is noteworthy in the present context for causing the death of James II of Scotland [Wikipedia biography], caught in the blast of an exploding breech mechanism on one of his own guns. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1460 [10th July] The Battle of Northampton: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a 10,000-strong Yorkist army under Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [Wikipedia biography=>1461] and a 5000-strong Lancastrian army under Henry VI of England [1455<=>next] and Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham [Wikipedia biography=>1461]. The outcome is a major Yorkist victory, the death of Lord Buckingham, and the capture of King Henry. THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1460 [10th October] The Deathly Silence: Having become convinced that the nation and its nobles are ready for a change, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [1459<=>next] attends a packed Westminster (but in the absence of Henry VI of England [preceding<=>next]), and places his foot on the steps to the throne, thereby ritually claiming it. A chorus of approval from the gathered nobility could have made him king in an instant. He is greeted, however, with a silent chorus of non-approval. Over the coming days he will instead have to present his genealogical claim in detail and await solemn judgement on its value [=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1460 [31st October] The Act of Accord: After considering the genealogical case submitted by Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [<=>] Parliament judges that the proper course of action is for Henry VI of England [preceding<=>1461] to retain the crown for as long as he lives, but for it then to pass to the House of York. Until then, York will act as Protector by virtue of Henry's chronic insanity. However, since this plan automatically disinherits Henry's queen, Margaret of Anjou [1459<=>1461], and leaves the Lancastrian nobility at risk of Yorkist reprisals, it has little chance of long-term support. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1460 [30th December] The Battle of Wakefield: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between an 18,000-strong Lancastrian army under Henry of Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset [Wikipedia biography], Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland [Wikipedia biography], and John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford [Wikipedia biography], and a Yorkist army half its size under Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York [<=preceding] and Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive Lancastrian victory, with York, Salisbury, and several other Yorkist noblemen either killed in action or hunted down and executed after it. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1461 [2nd February] The Battle of Mortimer's Cross: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under Edward (IV of England) Plantagenet [Wikipedia biography=>4th March], now 4th Duke of York following his father's death at the Battle of Wakefield [<=preceding], and a Lancastrian army under Owen Tudor [<=1430] and Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke [<=1430]. The outcome is a decisive Yorkist victory, and the death of Owen Tudor on the battlefield. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1461 [17th February] The Second Battle of St. Albans: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a 15,000-strong Lancastrian army under Margaret of Anjou [1460<=>1470] and a 10,000-strong Yorkist army under Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [1460<=>1470]. The outcome is a Lancastrian victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1461 [4th March] The London Acclaim: With the Lancastrian army threatening London, Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [preceding<=>1470] and Edward, 4th Duke of York [<=preceding] combine their forces to bolster its defences. They surge in the local opinion polls, and atop a wave of popular acclaim Edward assumes the throne as Edward IV of England [Disputed] [1442<=>1466].  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1461 [29th March] The Battle of Towton: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a 30,000-strong Yorkist army led by Edward IV of England [preceding<=>1470] and a 35,000-strong Lancastrian army under Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset [1460<=>1464]. The outcome is a decisive Yorkist victory, with Henry VI of England [1460<=>1470] and his family fleeing to Scotland and thence to the continent. This leaves Edward's grip on the crown disputed but for the time being not actively challenged. The battle is noteworthy in the present context as the largest and bloodiest ever fought on English soil, with roughly the same number killed as on the first day of the Battle of the Somme [=>1916(1st July)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1461 [22nd July] Upon the death of Charles VII of France [<=1444] the throne passes to his son Louis XI (the Prudent) [1423<=>1470]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1462 [3rd January] The widowed Margaret Beaufort [1457<=>1483] marries Sir Henry Stafford [no convenient biography=>1471], second son of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham [<=1460], and together they raise the five-year-old Henry Tudor (VII of England) as their own. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1463  The Sieges of Jajce and Ključ: These sieges takes place as part of the Ottoman Expansion into the Balkans [<=1451] between an invading Ottoman army under Sultan Mehmet II [<=1451] and the Bosnian Royal Household under Stjepan Tomašević [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is the death of Tomašević, and the incorporation of his lands into the Ottoman Empire. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1464  Around this time the Ottomans, still consolidating their newly won empire in the Balkans [<=1453/1456/1463], commission a new supergun to replace Orban's Basilica (fired literally until it fell apart at the Siege of Constantinople [<=1453]). This gun is somewhat smaller than Orban's at a mere 17 feet in length, and fires a 500-pound stone projectile. It is now a museum piece known as the "Dardanelles Gun" [image and museum description]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1464 [15th May] The Battle of Hexham: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under John Neville [Wikipedia biography] and a Lancastrian army under Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset [<=1461]. The outcome is a decisive Yorkist victory. Somerset and many Lancastrian nobles are captured and executed, and Henry VI of England [Disputed] [1461<=>1470] goes into hiding in a safe-house somewhere in the north of England [probably Waddington Hall, near Clitheroe]. He will be recaptured a year or so later [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

STUDENT EXERCISE - MIDDLE AND SENIOR: A "safe house" is somewhere you can hide from people who are after you. Imagine that it has become essential for you to disappear from the face of the earth, or be captured. Where would your safe house be, who would pay the running costs, and what few personal possessions would you take with you?

 

1466 [11th February] A daughter is born to Edward IV of England [Disputed] [1461<=>1470] and Elizabeth Woodville [Wikipedia biography=>1470], and named Elizabeth (of York) [Wikipedia biography=>1483]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE NEW EAST PRUSSIA BECOMES GERMAN  **********

1466 [19th October] The Second Treaty of Thorn [= modern Torun, Poland]: This is the treaty which brings the Thirteen Years War [<=1454] to an end. It is noteworthy in the present context (a) for secularising the Teutonic Order, (b) for stripping it of several of its lands, and (c) for dividing what is left into three separate Prussian territories, arranged east-to-west. The central territories [roughly modern Poland] become Royal Prussia within the Polish Kingdom, with a capital at Poznań, the easternmost territory becomes the Duchy of the Prussia, a fiefdom of the Polish kingdom with a capital at Königsberg, and the westernmost territory - including Danzig and Pomerelia - becomes West, or "Polish", Prussia, with a capital at Marienberg/Malbork. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1467 [15th June] Upon the death of (the pro-Bourbon French) Philip (the Good), Duke of Burgundy [Wikipedia biography] the dukedom passes to his son Charles (the Bold) [Wikipedia biography=>1468]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1468 [3rd July] Much to the concern of the French Court (who do not want to see an alliance of their two greatest enemies), the marriage takes place of Charles (the Bold), Duke of Burgundy [1467<=1470] and Margaret of York [1446<=1477]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1469 [26th July] The Battle of Edgecote Moor: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke [Wikipedia biography] and a Lancastrian army under Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [1461<=>1470]. The outcome is a Lancastrian victory, with the execution of Pembroke and a number of other important Yorkist noblemen. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1469 [19th October] The marriage takes place of (the House of Trastámara) Ferdinand II (of Aragon) [Wikipedia biography] and Isabella I (of Castile) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1474] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1470 [12th March] The Battle of Losecoat Field: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under Edward IV of England [1466<=>3rd October] and a pro-Lancastrian army of rebellion under Robert Welles, 8th Baron Willoughby de Eresby [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a Yorkist victory. Secret correspondence then comes to light implicating Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [1469<=>next] and George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence [Wikipedia biography=>next] in fomenting the rebellion, whereupon both men flee to seek sanctuary in France. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1470 [?? April] The Deadly Alliance1: Margaret of Anjou [1461<=>1471] and Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [1461<=>1471] decide to join forces to have Henry VI of England [Disputed] [1461<=>1471] re-crowned, initially with Warwick and George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence [<=preceding] as the powers behind the throne, but with Margaret's son, Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales [1453<=>1471] taking over when of age. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1 This phrase from Episode IV of Amy Licence's (2013) screenplay, "The White Queen".

 

1470 [3rd June] A son is born to Louis XI of France [1470<=>1483] and his second wife Charlotte of Savoy [Wikipedia biography], and named Charles (VIII (the Affable) of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1492]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1470 [13th September] The Dartmouth Invasion: Assisted by his cousin Thomas Neville, Bastard of Fauconberg [Wikipedia biography], Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [preceding<=>1471] lands an army at Dartmouth, Devon, and moves eastwards to threaten London. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1470 [3rd October] Henry VI Recrowned: As part of their unfolding power play [<=April], Margaret of Anjou [1461<=>1471] and Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [1461<=>1471] have Henry VI of England [Disputed] [1461<=>1471] re-crowned. Edward IV of England [Disputed] [12th March<=>2nd November] seeks sanctuary with his new brother-in-law Charles (the Bold), Duke of Burgundy [1468<=>1477]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1470 [2nd November] A son is born to Edward IV of England [Disputed] [preceding<=>next] and his queen consort Elizabeth Woodville [1466<=>1483], and named Edward (V of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1483]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1471 [14th March] Edward IV of England [Disputed] [1470<=>next] and his 18-year-old brother Richard of Gloucester (III of England) [1452<=>4th May] return from France with Burgundian support and land at Ravenspur, Yorkshire, to reclaim the throne from Henry VI of England [Disputed] [1470<=>4th May]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1471 [14th April] The Battle of Barnet: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Burgundian-backed Yorkist army under Edward IV of England [Disputed] [<=>] and a markedly larger French-backed Lancastrian army under Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [<=1470]. The battle starts around 4am in heavy valley mist, and both right divisions make progress against their respective opposing left divisions, rotating the axis of battle counter-clockwise by some 30 to 40 degrees. This realignment of the axis of battle confuses the Lancastrian centre enough to cause them to fire on their own right division reappearing through the mist, resulting in a sustained exchange of friendly fire. The outcome is an against-the-odds Yorkist victory and the death in action of Warwick. Sir Henry Stafford [<=1462] is wounded on the battlefield and will die of his injuries shortly afterwards. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY WW1 TERMINOLOGY - FRIENDLY FIRE: We shall be dealing in due course with the subject of friendly fire in WW1. See, for example, the Battle of Loos [=>1915 (25th September)] and the Battle of the Somme [=>1916 (1st July); 1916 (17th September)].

 

1471 [4th May] The Battle of Tewkesbury: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a Yorkist army under Edward IV of England [preceding<=>1483] and a Lancastrian army almost twice the size under Margaret of Anjou [<=1470] and Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset [Wikipedia biography]. One of Edward's divisions is adeptly commanded by his younger brother Richard of Gloucester (III of England) [1452<=>1472]. The outcome is a decisive Yorkist victory, with the deaths of Somerset and Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales [1470<=>1472]. Following the battle Henry VI of England [<=14th March] will be imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he will die 21st May 1471, some say of grief, others of foul play. Queen Margaret is captured and imprisoned. She will be ransomed back to France in 1475 and will die in 1482, aged 52. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1471 [22nd August] The 15-year-old Prince Wladislaw of Poland-Lithuania [<=1456] is crowned King of Bohemia. [=>1490] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1472 [12th July] The marriage takes place of Richard of Gloucester (III of England) [1471<=>1483] and Anne Neville [Wikipedia biography], the younger daughter of the Richard (the Kingmaker) Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [<=1471] and widow of Edward of Lancaster, killed at the Battles of Barnet [<=1471] and Tewkesbury [<=1471], respectively. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1474  The Italian churchman Giuliano Della Rovere [Wikipedia biography=>1492] is appointed Archbishop of Avignon, and sets out on a thirty year programme acquiring bishoprics here and there across France and Italy. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1474 [29th June-27th June 1475] The Siege of Neuss: This siege is fought out between a Burgundian army under Charles (the Bold), Duke of Burgundy [1470<=>1477] and the defenders of Neuss, then in the Electorate of Cologne, under Hermann IV of Hesse [Wikipedia biography]. The defenders hold out successfully and the siege is abandoned after a year. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1474 [11th December] Upon the death of Henry IV of Castile [Wikipedia biography] the Castilian throne passes to his half-sister Isabella I of Castile [1469<=>1478] and therefore, jure uxuris, to her husband Ferdinand II (of Aragon) [1469<=>1478] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1475 [29th August] The Treaty of Picquigny: This treaty between Edward IV of England [1471<=>1483] and Louis XI (the Prudent) of France [Wikipedia biography] resolves long-standing differences between the two nations and brings the Hundred Years War [<=1337] formally to a close. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1476  The Psychologies of War [XXI - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (The Printing Press)]: [Continued from 1209] The British businessman William Caxton [Wikipedia biography] sets up a printing house in Westminster. This technology has already been growing in popularity on mainland Europe for some years, and will now do likewise in Britain [sub-thread continues at 1480 (27th September) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1477 [5th January] Upon the death of Charles (the Bold), Duke of Burgundy [<=1470] the dukedom passes to his daughter as Mary, Duchess of Burgundy [1457<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1477 [18th August] Conceived and organised by the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy, Margaret of York [<=1468] and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III [Wikipedia biography], the marriage takes place of Mary, Duchess of Burgundy [<=>] and Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) (Joint Holy Roman Emperor) [Wikipedia biography=>1478]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1478 [30th June] A son is born to Ferdinand II of Aragon [1474<=>1479] and his queen Isabella I of Castile [1474<=>1479] and named John (of Asturias) [Wikipedia biography=>1491]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1478 [22nd July] A son is born to Mary, Duchess of Burgundy [preceding<=>1480] and Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) (Joint Holy Roman Emperor) [preceding<=>1480], and named Philip (the Handsome) (I of Castile) [Wikipedia biography=>1482]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  SPAIN IS BORN  **********

1479 [20th January] Upon the death of John II of Aragon [Wikipedia biography] the Aragonese throne passes to Ferdinand II of Aragon [<=1474]. Ferdinand, it will be remembered, is already, jure uxoris, King of Castile, and so effectively, but not yet constitutionally, becomes king of a united Spain. He uses his new position to pursue the Reconquista, a programme of ethnic cleansing of Spain's Moorish population. He also funds an explorer named Christopher Columbus [=>1492], who is wondering what riches might be discovered beyond the Azores. [=>1487/1491] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1479 [6th November] A second daughter (third child) is born to Ferdinand II of Spain [1478<=>1480] and his queen Isabella of Castile [1478<=>1480] and named Joanna (the Mad) (of Castile (and Aragon)) [Wikipedia biography=>1496]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1480 [10th January] A daughter is born to Mary, Duchess of Burgundy [1478<=>1482] and Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) (Joint Holy Roman Emperor) [1478<=>1482], and named Margaret of Austria (Duchess of Savoy) [Wikipedia biography=>1482]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS  **********

1480 [27th September]         The Psychologies of War [XXII - Purity of Thought (The Inquisition)]: [Continued from 1209] In accordance with a Papal Bull calling for religious orthodoxy issued 1st November 1478 Ferdinand II of Aragon [1479<=>1485] and Isabella I of Castile [1479<=>1485] establish the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, popularly known nowadays as the Spanish Inquisition. The new office is charged with maintaining Roman Catholic orthodoxy in an era when many converts are being obtained from the Jewish and Muslim populations. The first six executions will be held 6th February 1481. The Inquisition will maintain its activity for the ensuing 50 years, and many perhaps as many as 6000 adjudged heretics will be burned at the stake or otherwise disposed of [sub-thread continues at 1511 ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1482  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [VII - Early Work (Da Vinci)]: [Continued from 1335] Leonardo da Vinci [Wikipedia biography=>1502] becomes artist to the court of the Dukes of Milan, where over the ensuring two decades he undertakes diverse projects including the paintings "Virgin of the Rocks" (1486) [image] and "The Last Supper" (1498) [image]. He also sketches "The Knight", a mechanical man (1495), one of many sketches discovered in the Madrid Manuscripts in 1965 (now referred to as the "Book of Mechanics"). For details of this prototypical robot, see Rosheim (2006) [buy] [sub-thread continues at 1560 (Torriani) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

**********  FRANCE STARTS TO INCORPORATE BURGUNDY  **********

1482 [23rd December] The Treaty of Arras: Following the death on 27th March this year of Mary, Duchess of Burgundy [1480<=>1482], the Burgundian Netherlands pass to her three-year-old son Philip (the Handsome) (I of Castile) [1478<=>1493], with her husband, Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) (Joint Holy Roman Emperor) [1480<=>1493] as Regent. To foster better relations with France, Maximilian proposes to Louis XI (the Prudent) of France [1475<=>1483] that his three-year-old daughter, Margaret of Austria (Duchess of Savoy) [1480<=>1491], should marry Louis' 12-year-old son Charles (VIII (the Affable) of France) [1470<=>1483], bringing with her as dowry her Burgundian lands, including the "Seventeen Provinces" of the Burgundian Netherlands [= modern Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, French Flanders, and Friesian Germany]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1483 [9th April] Upon the death of Edward IV of England [1475<=>next] the crown passes to his 12-year-old son Edward V of England [1470<=>next], with Richard of Gloucester (III of England) [1472<=>next] as Lord Protector. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1483 [22nd June] Following allegations that Edward V of England [preceding<=>next] is not the legitimate heir by virtue of an invalid marriage, the throne is passed to Richard of Gloucester as Richard III of England [<=>]. The deposed Edward is consigned to the Tower of London, never to be seen again. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1483 [??th June] Buckingham's Rebellion, 1483: Before it becomes apparent that Edward (V of England (Deposed)) [<=preceding] is never going to be seen again, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham [Wikipedia biography] leads a brief and unsuccessful rebellion of disaffected Yorkist noblemen against Richard III of England [preceding<=>1485]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1483 [30th August] Upon the death of Louis XI of France [<=1482] the throne passes to his son as Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [1470<=>1491]. The first eight years of his reign will be fronted by a regency of Anne ("the least foolish woman in France") of Beaujolais, Duchess of Bourbon [Wikipedia biography] and her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  A WISE AND FAR-REACHING PLAN  **********

1483 [25th December] In an attempt to reconcile the Houses of Lancaster and York, Margaret Beaufort [<=1462] and Elizabeth Woodville [<=1470] agree to have their respective son and daughter Henry Tudor (VII of England) [1457<=>1485] and Elizabeth of York [1466<=>1486] betrothed at Rennes Cathedral. The marriage will take place two years later [=>1486 (18th January)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1484 [5th December] Pope Innocent VIII [Wikipedia biography=>1492 (25th July)] issues a Papal Bull recognising the existence of witchcraft and instructing his Inquisitors [<=1480 (27th September)] to include witches in their program of purification along with Jews and heretics. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1485  Drawing on diverse earlier Arthuriana, but with no little embellishment of his own, Sir Thomas Malory [Wikipedia biography] compiles Le Morte d'Arthur, the definitive fictional account of Arthur and his Court. His intention is to present Dark Age British legends to a new marketplace, that of Post-Conquest Norman England in the just-dawned age of the printing press. The main narrative threads are ...

 

·         Arthur as son of Uther Pendragon

·         Arthur's dealings with Rome

·         Sir Lancelot of the Lake

·         Sir Gareth of Orkney

·         Sir Tristram of Lyons

·         The Quest for the Holy Grail

·         Lancelot's affair with Guinevere

·         Arthur's final battle

 

The accumulated drama is long and complex, and based only very loosely on historical fact. Nevertheless the tales have woven themselves without critical analysis into subsequent British folklore, not least the prophetic inscription on Arthur's coffin, namely Hic Iacet Arthurus, Rex Quondam, Rex Futurus [Latin = "here lies Arthur, past king; future king"]. Le Morte d'Arthur is regularly alluded to by such writers as Tennyson, and its scenes grace the walls of art galleries the world over. It will be especially heavily drawn on as a source of inspiration (a) by the Romantic movement, and (b) by the WW1 poets, many of whom were facing their own "last battle".  [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

ASIDE: The WW1 poet David Jones [=>1937] makes repeated allusions to Le Morte d'Arthur in his memoirs of his experiences on the Somme [=>1916 (10th July [Battle of Mametz Wood])].

 

1485 [1st August] Henry Tudor (VII of England) [1483<=>next] sets sail from Harfleur en route for Wales, where he gathers a Lancastrian army. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  HISTORICALLY PIVOTAL BATTLE  **********

1485 [22nd August] The Battle of Bosworth Field: This battle is the final military encounter in the Wars of the Roses [<=1455] between a 10,000-strong Yorkist army under Richard III of England [<=1472], a 5000-strong Lancastrian army under Henry Tudor (VII of England) [preceding<=>1486], and an as-yet-undecided 6000-strong army raised by Thomas Stanley (1st Earl of Derby) [Wikipedia biography]. Henry's army is commanded by John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford [Wikipedia biography], a veteran of the Battle of Barnet [<=1471], and includes large contingents of French and Welsh troops. When Stanley finally decides that Henry is the man to back, the day is theirs. Richard lies dead on the battlefield. The battle is politically noteworthy in the present context in that Henry Tudor is effectively king from this moment, although he will not be formally crowned until 30th October. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - STUDENT RESOURCES: Check out the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre [website] and the Richard III Society [website].

 

ASIDE: The story goes that Richard's bannerman, one Sir Percival Thirlwall [no convenient biography] lost both his legs to enemy battle-axes, but continued to hold the colours high from where he fell until put out of his misery.

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - PROPAGANDA AND TRUTH: After the battle Henry Tudor directed his court chroniclers to write up the official history of his wars. The resulting papers duly portray the Yorkists as inveterate usurpers and murderers. Hence the generally pro-Lancastrian stance in Shakespeare's plays Henry VI and Richard III. We shall be monitoring similar self-justificatory scholarship in WW1.

 

1485 [16th December] A fourth daughter (fifth child) is born to Ferdinand II of Spain [<=1479] and his queen Isabella I of Castile [1474<=>1504] and named Catherine (of Aragon) [Wikipedia biography=>1488] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1486 In the spirit of the recent Papal Bull [<=1484 (5th December)], the German Dominican priest Heinrich Kramer [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Malleus Maleficarum" [in English as "The Hammer of Witches"; Wikipedia factsheet], a guide on the detection, interrogation, trial, and punishment of witches. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

**********  YORK AND LANCASTER RECONCILED  **********

1486 [18th January] As previously agreed [<=1483 (25th December)], the political marriage takes place between Henry (Tudor) VII of England [1485<=>1489] and Elizabeth of York [1483<=>1491]. Their first son will be born later in the year (20th September), and named Arthur Tudor [Wikipedia biography<=>1489]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: The name Arthur was chosen because Henry Tudor claimed the King Arthur [<=480] as an ancestor.

 

1486 [9th April] Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor [<=1477] has his son Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) [1482<=1490] crowned Joint Holy Roman Emperor at Aachen Cathedral.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1487  Malaga and Alméria fall to the Reconquista [<=1479]. [=>1491] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1489 [26th March] The Treaty of Medina del Campo: Eager to forge good relationships with Spain [<=1479], Henry (Tudor) VII of England [1486<=>1491] proposes a common emnity of Spain and England against France. The two parties seal their agreement with the betrothal of Henry's three-year-old son Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales [1486<=>1501] to the three-year-old Catherine of Aragon [1485<=>1501]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1490 [18th September] Wladislaw of Bohemia [<=1471] is crowned Wladislaw II of Hungary. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1490 [19th December] The proxy marriage takes place of Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria), Joint Holy Roman Emperor [1486<=>1491] and Anne of Brittany [Wikipedia biography=>1491]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1491  The Fall of Granada: Granada - the last Muslim city in Iberia - falls to Ferdinand II of Aragon's Reconquista [<=1479]. Ferdinand sweetens the pill somewhat by approving the Alhambra Decree, a guarantee of freedom of worship for the defeated Muslims. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCE STARTS TO INCORPORATE BRITTANY  **********

1491 [6th December] Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [1483<=>1493] renounces his betrothal to Margaret of Austria (Duchess of Savoy) [1482<=>1497] and proceeds instead with a political marriage to Anna, Duchess of Brittany [1490<=>1498], declaring her proxy marriage to Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria), Joint Holy Roman Emperor [1490<=>1493] to have been unlawful. Margaret will now be betrothed instead to the 13-year-old heir apparent to the principal Spanish thrones, John of Asturias [1478<=>1497]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1491 [28th June] A second son (third child) is born to (the House of Tudor) Henry (Tudor) VII of England [1489<=>1492] and his queen, Elizabeth of York [<=1486], and named Henry (VIII of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1509]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1492 [7th June] Casimir IV [<=1440] dies and his widow, Elisabeth of Habsburg, commissions a special tomb [image] in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, from the sculptor Veit Stoss [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1492 [9th July] The Spanish churchman and Bishop of Valencia, Rodrigo Borgia [Wikipedia biography=>next] is elevated to Archbishop. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1492 [25th July] Upon the death of Pope Innocent VIII [<=1484 (5th December)] the Archbishop of Valencia, Rodrigo Borgia [preceding<=>1494], is elected as Pope Alexander VI. This appointment does not go down at all well with (the pro-French and French-funded) Archbishop Guiliano Della Rovere [1474<=>1494] who now uses his influence at the French court to persuade his patron Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [1483<=>3rd November] to go to war with the Papacy on his behalf. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1492 [3rd August] Funded in part by Ferdinand II of Aragon [1479<=>1499], the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus [Wikipedia biography=>next] sets sail on the first of four voyages of discovery and colonisation of the Americas [Wikipedia full story]. He ends up in the Caribbean, where he notes some rich sources of gold before returning to Spain to organise a bigger fleet. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1492 [3rd November] The Treaty of Étaples: This treaty is signed by Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [25th July<=>1494] and Henry (Tudor) VII of England [1491<=>1509], and does a lot to establish more cordial relationships between France and England. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCE GAINS BURGUNDY  **********

**********  HABSBURG NETHERLANDS BORN  **********

1493 [23rd May] The Treaty of Senlis: This new agreement between Maximilian I of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria), Joint Holy Roman Emperor [1491<=>next]] and Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [1492<=>1494] separates off the Burgundian Netherlands from the southern Burgundian heartland, allocating the former territories to Philip (the Handsome) (I of Castile) [1482<=>1496] and the latter to Charles. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1493 [19th August] Upon the death of Frederick III [<=1477] his son, Maximilian I of Habsburg [preceding<=>1508], becomes Archduke of Austria and sole Holy Roman Emperor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1493 [24th September] The Caribbean Goldrush: With gold in the offing Christopher Columbus [<=1492] now sets off on his second Caribbean voyage, this time with 17 ships full of stores and hopeful colonists. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1494 [??th October] The First Italian War: This four-year war is fought between France under Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [1492<=1495] and a flexible-over-time series of "Holy Leagues", each a complex line-up of Spanish, German, and Italian kingdoms brought together by (the House of Borgia) Pope Alexander VI [1492<=>1503]. The Pope's sworn enemy, Guiliano Della Rovere [1492<=>1503], intrigues against him at every opportunity. The main set-piece event is ...

 

·         The Battle of Fornovo, 1495

 

The eventual outcome is a forced French retreat. The war is noteworthy in the present context for Charles' inclusion of both siege and field artillery in his army's order of battle. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1495 [8th July] The Battle of Fornovo: This battle is fought as part of the First Italian War [<=1494] between a French army under Charles VIII of France [<=1494] and a Holy League army under Francisco II of Mantua [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory on the day for the Holy League. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for its "really effective use of artillery in the field" (Rogers, 1975, p24). [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

**********  CASTILE AND ARAGON BECOMES HABSBURG  **********

1496 [20th October] The marriage takes place of Philip (the Handsome) (I of Castile) [1493<=>1500] and the (House of Trastámera) Joanna (the Mad) (of Castile (and Aragon)) [1479<=>1500], thereby creating a Habsburg heir to the Castilian and Aragonese thrones. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1497 [3rd April] The planned marriage of John of Asturias [<=1491] and Margaret of Austria (Duchess of Savoy) [<=1491] takes place at Burgos Cathedral. Sadly John will die 4th October 1497, some will say of "sexual over-exertion". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1498 [7th April] Upon the death without direct heir of Charles VIII (the Affable) of France [<=1494] the throne passes to his cousin Louis of Orléans [Wikipedia biography] as Louis XII of France [=>1499]. Charles' widow, Anna, Duchess of Brittany [1491<=>1514] is treaty-bound in these circumstances to marry her late husband's successor, and this marriage duly takes place 8th January 1499. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1499  The Second Italian War, 1499-1504: This war is fought between Louis XII of France [1498<=>1504], in alliance with the Venetian Republic, and the Duchy of Milan. It will degenerate in 1501 into a short war between Louis and Ferdinand II of Aragon [1492<=>1503]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1500 [24th February] A son is born to Philip (the Handsome) (I of Castile) [1496<=>1504] and Joanna (the Mad) (of Castile (and Aragon) [1496<=>1504] and named Charles (I of Spain) (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) [Wikipedia biography=>1516]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1501 [14th November] The previously arranged [<=1489] marriage takes place between Arthur Tudor [1486<=1503] and Catherine of Aragon [1485<=>1503], both 15 years old. Sadly the young prince will die suddenly on 2nd April 1502, seemingly of genuinely natural causes. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - WAS THE MARRIAGE PHYSICALLY CONSUMMATED?: For reasons which will shortly become apparent, there will be a lot of discussion 30 years later [=>1533] concerning whether Arthur managed to take Catherine's virginity during their short period together.

 

1502 Drawing upon earlier Greek and Arabic sources the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci [<=1482] publishes Codex Atlanticus [Wikipedia factsheet], an encyclopaedia complete with a diagram of a camera obscura. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

**********  TECHNICALLY SIGNIFICANT BATTLE  **********

1503 [28th April] The Battle of Cerignola: This battle is fought as part of the Second Italian War [<=1499] between a Spanish army under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba [Wikipedia biography] and a somewhat larger French army under Louis d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours [Wikipedia biography]. Having been charged by Ferdinand II of Aragon [1499<=>1504] with modernising his army, de Córdoba tries out a number of recent developments, including (1) a division of jinetes (light cavalry ), (2) a new infantry formation known as a coronelías, (3) the use of entrenched musketeers, and (4) the use of wire entanglements. The outcome is a decisive Spanish victory, with the death of Nemours on the battlefield. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - THE JINETAS: These Spanish cavalry units were highly trained at rapid advance and withdrawal without loss of unit cohesion. This allowed them to harass enemy infantry units from their flanks, thereby distracting them from whatever their primary task happened to be at the time.

 

ASIDE - THE CORONELÍAS: These Spanish infantry formations numbered 300-400 mixed pikemen, and could deploy either as one unit or as four component companies as circumstances required. An even larger formation still - the tercios - will be used with success at the Battle of Mühlberg [=>1547].

 

ASIDE - THE TOQUE DE ORACION: De Córdoba insisted that after the battle his troops should halt and observe a moment's prayer before the bodies of the fallen.

 

ASIDE: De Córdoba's new command structures, organisational principles, and tactics have since earned him the accolade "father of trench warfare".

 

1503 [18th August] Upon the death of the (House of Borgia) Pope Alexander VI [<=1494], the Papal throne passes after the usual election delays to the Italian cardinal Francesco Piccolomini [Wikipedia biography], who is elected Pope Pius III on 22nd September. He will die, some say of poisoning, on 18th October. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1503 [1st November] Upon the death of Pope Pius III [<=preceding], and having bought off Alexander VI's son, Cesare Borgia [Wikipedia biography], the Archbishop of Avignon, Giuliano Della Rovere [<=1474] is elected as Pope Julius II (the Fearsome) [=>next], and sets about "imperialising" the Papacy. Amongst his world heritage projects are the Basilica of St. Peter's Church and the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1503 [26th December] Following the death of Arthur Tudor [<=1501] and in order to keep the benefits of the Treaty of Medina del Campo [<=1489], the betrothal takes place of Arthur's younger brother, the 12-year-old Henry (VIII of England) [1491<=>1509] to the recently widowed but still only 17 years old Catherine of Aragon [1502<=>1509]. The newly elected Pope Julius II [preceding<=>next] rules that the new marriage will only be valid if Catherine has remained a virgin, and she confirms that this is indeed the case [but see 1529]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1504 [31st January] The Treaty of Lyon: This treaty brings to an end the Second Italian War [<=1499] by having Louis XII of France [1499<=>1508] cede the Kingdom of Naples to Ferdinand II of Aragon [1503<=>1508]. France retains Lombardy and northern Italy; Spain's influence in Sicily and southern Italy is recognised. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1504 [26th November] Upon the death of Isabella I of Castile [<=1485] the Castilian throne passes jointly to her daughter as Joanna (the Mad) of Castile (and Aragon) [1500<=>1506] and her daughter's husband Philip I (the Handsome) of Castile [1500<=>1506]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1506 [22nd May] Louis XII of France [1504<=>1508] arranges the political betrothal of his seven-year-old daughter Claude (Duchess of Brittany) [Wikipedia biography=>1514] to the son of Francis, Duke of Angouleme, the 14-year-old Francis (I of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1514]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1506 [25th September] Upon the death from typhoid (some say poison) of Philip I of Castile [<=1504] his widow, Joanna (the Mad) of Castile (and Aragon) [1504<=>1516] attempts to rule Castile in her own name. By mid-1507, however, the real power lies across the border in Aragon, with her father Ferdinand II of Aragon [1504<=>1508]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1508 [4th February] War of the Holy League, 1508-1510: This war is fought between a confederation of states loyal to the Papacy and the Republic of Venice, whom Pope Julius II [1503<=>1511] has adjudged to have grown too big for its boots. The Holy League in question - a.k.a. the League of Cambrai - includes Louis XII of France [1499<=>1509], the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [1482<=>next], and Ferdinand II of Aragon [1504<=>1511]. Each faction, needless to say, has its eyes on lands presently ruled by Venetia. The war starts with Maximilian's troops entering Venetia from the northeast, and includes the following main engagements ...

 

·         The Battle of Vicenza, 1508

·         The Battle of Agnadello, 1509

·         The Siege of Padua, 1509

 

With the Venetians dealt with, a second Holy League will be established in 1511. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Strictly speaking, the first Holy League was not formally drawn up until 10th December 1508, but it was there on the ground before that date.

 

1508 [8th February] The Battle of Vicenza: This battle is fought at part of the War of the Holy League of 1508-1510 [<=1508] between the Holy Leaguers led by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [preceding<=>1516] and a Venetian army under Bartolomeao d'Alviano [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the Venetians. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1509 [21st April] Upon the death of Henry (Tudor) VII of England [<=1491] the throne passes to 18-year-old Henry VIII of England [1491<=>11th June]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1509 [14th May] The Battle of Agnadello: This battle is fought as part of the War of the Holy League of 1508-1510 [<=1508] between a French army under Louis XII of France [1508<=>1511] and a Venetian army under Bartolomeo d'Alviano [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive French victory with d'Alviano taken as prisoner-of-war. The French proceed to occupy Lombardy, and the Venetian Republic will never be as powerful again. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1509 [11th June] The previously promised marriage takes place of Henry (VIII of England) [21st April<=>1511] and Catherine of Aragon [1485<=>1516]. The couple will achieve five pregnancies during their lifetime together but only one of the babies will survive. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1510 [14th December] Frederick of Saxony, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order [<=1190] dies and, after due process, is succeeded by Albert, 1st Duke of Prussia [Wikipedia biography=>1525]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1511 The Psychologies of War [XXIII - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (Erasmus)]: [Continued from 1480 (27th September)] The Dutch priest-scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam [Wikipedia biography] publishes an essay entitled "In Praise of Folly" [Wikipedia factsheet], in which (amongst other things) he demonstrates how adoxography - the praising of worthless subjects - can have a distinct rhetorical effect, especially if directed allegorically [sub-thread continues at 1512 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1511 [5th October] The War of the Holy League, 1511-1516: Having dealt with the Venetian Republic in the War of the Holy League of 1508-1510 [<=1508], Pope Julius II [<=1508] now establishes a new Holy League, this time allying himself with Ferdinand II of Aragon [preceding<=>1515], Henry VIII of England [1509<=>1511], and the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [1508<=>1515], against Louis XII of France [1509<=>1514]. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Ravenna, 1512

·         The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513

·         The Treaties of Noyon and Brussels, 1516

 

The overall outcome is that the French are replaced in Lombardy by the Habsburgs. The war will be brought formally to an end by the Treaties of Noyon and Brussels in 1516. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1511 [17th November] The Treaty of Westminster: This treaty is signed between Ferdinand II of Aragon [1508<=>1516] and his son-in-law Henry VIII of England [1509<=>1513], pledging mutual aid in their respective struggles against France. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1512 The Psychologies of War [XXIV - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (Erasmus Again)]: [Continued from 1480 (27th September)] Erasmus of Rotterdam [<=1511] now publishes "De Duplici Copia" [Wikipedia factsheet], a full-scale textbook of rhetoric. His core thesis is that variety, both of expression and subject matter, is the key to persuasive discourse [sub-thread continues at 1517 (31st October) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]]

 

1512 [10th April] A son is born to James IV of Scotland [Wikipedia biography=>1513] and Margaret Tudor [Wikipedia biography], the older sister of Henry VIII of England [1511<=>1514], and named James (V of Scotland) [Wikipedia biography=>1513]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1512 [11th April] The Battle of Ravenna: This battle is fought as part of the War of the Holy League of 1511-1516 [<=1511] between a French-Ferrarese army under Gaston de Foix, Duke of Nemours [Wikipedia biography], and a Spanish/Holy League army under Ramón de Cardona [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the Franco-Ferrarese. The decisive moment in the battle comes when de Foix sends two of his cannon to fire into the rear of the Spanish position while he himself leads a frontal cavalry charge. Although de Foix is mortally wounded the Spanish flee the field in disarray. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for being the first major encounter to be decided by artillery (Rogers, 1975). [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY].

 

1513 [9th September] The Battle of Flodden Field: This battle is fought as part of the War of the Holy League of 1511-1516 [<=1511] between an invading Scottish army under James IV of Scotland [1512<=>next] and a defending English army under Catherine of Aragon [1509<=>1516] (because the king is presently abroad fighting the French). The outcome is an English victory, with the death of James and many senior Scottish noblemen on the battlefield, and generally disproportionate Scottish casualties. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1513 [9th September] Upon the death of James IV of Scotland [<=preceding] his throne passes to his one-year-old son James V of Scotland [1512<=>1528], subject to a Council of Regents. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1514 [18th May] Betrothed as children in 1506, but now of age, the marriage takes place of Francis (I of France) [1506<=>1515] and Claude, Duchess of Brittany [1506<=>1519]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1514 [8th September] The Battle of Orsha: This battle is fought between an invading Muscovite army under Ivan Chelyadnin [no convenient biography] and Mikhail Golitsin [no convenient biography] and a defending army from the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, both presently ruled by Sigismund I (the Old) of Poland [Wikipedia biography=>1520]. The outcome is a heavy Muscovite defeat, with disproportionate Russian casualties and the capture of their entire artillery train. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1514 [9th October] After the death of Anna, Duchess of Brittany [<=1498], and hoping still to father a male heir, Louis XII of France [1511<=>next] marries Mary Tudor [Wikipedia biography], younger sister of Henry VIII of England [1512<=>1516]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1515 [1st January] Upon the death without male heir of Louis XII of France [<=preceding] his throne passes to his cousin Francis I of France [1514<=>1519]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  BOHEMIA AND HUNGARY EYED BY HABSBURGS  **********

1515 [22nd July] The First Congress of Vienna: Having already organized the Habsburg inheritance in Spain [<=1496] and the Netherlands [<=1493], this Central European planning conference is led by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [1511<=>1516] to sort out issues on the eastern side of his empire. His intention is to incorporate into his Empire the kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary, presently ruled by Wladislaw II [1490<=>1516], and he achieves this by the arranged marriage in St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, of Wladislaw's nine-year-old son and heir apparent, Louis (II of Hungary) [Wikipedia biography=>1516], to Maximilian's ten-year-old grand-daughter Mary of Austria (and Queen Consort of Hungary and Bohemia) [Wikipedia biography=>1516]. A further political marriage will take place six years later [... continued =>1521 (25th May)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1515 [22nd November] A daughter is born to Claude, Duke of Guise [Wikipedia biography] and his wife Antoinette de Bourbon [Wikipedia biography] and named Mary [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1534] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE SPANISH EMPIRE IS BORN  **********

1516 [23rd January] Upon the death of Ferdinand II of Spain [<=1479] the thrones of Aragon and Castile pass to his grandson Charles (I of Spain) (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor)) [1500<=>1519], jointly with his mentally infirm mother, Joanna (the Mad) of Spain [<=1506],  and together they continue Ferdinand's drive to convert Muslims to Christianity. Moreover, because Joanna is herself heir to the Habsburg Empire by marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [1511<=>1519], and because Spanish discoveries in the New World are beginning to come on stream economically, the Spanish suddenly find themselves a world-class power. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1516 [18th February] A daughter is born to Henry VIII of England [1514<=>1520] and his queen, Catherine of Aragon [1509<=>1533], and named Mary (I of England) [Wikipedia biography]. Mary is the fourth of Catherine's five pregnancies, and the only child to survive to adulthood. [=>1553 (19th July)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1516  [13th March] Upon the death of Wladislaw II [<=1515] his titles pass to his ten-year-old son Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia [1515<=>1526], under the regency of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [23rd January<=>1519]. Louis widow, Mary of Austria [1515<=>1516] duly becomes queen consort of both Hungary and Bohemia. Maximilian also arranges that Wladislaw's 13-year-old daughter Anne of Bohemia [2] [Wikipedia biography=>1521] should be betrothed to Ferdinand (I of Austria (Holy Roman Emperor)) [Wikipedia biography=>1521], although the marriage will not take place until 25th May 1521 [see continuation ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1517  The German military surgeon Hans von Gersdorff [Wikipedia biography] publishes Feldbuch der Wundarznei [in English as "Fieldbook of Emergency Surgery"], a manual of battlefield medical procedures such as they then were. [THREAD = THE MAKING OF WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE]

 

**********  POLITICAL PAMPHLETING CHANGES THE WORLD  **********

1517 [1st November] The Psychologies of War [XXV - Purity of Thought (The Protestant Reformation)]: [Continued from 1512] Having lost faith in the Catholic church due to its practice of selling forgiveness for cash, the German priest Martin Luther [Wikipedia biography] famously publicises a protest manifesto now known as "The Ninety-Five Theses" [Wikipedia factsheet]. There follows a life-long running fight with Rome in which Luther makes frequent use of political pamphlets to promote his case, thus ...

 

"The development of the printing press was a quantum leap in the speed of communication [and] an important step toward the evolution of true mass media. Luther's works were widely circulated by printers using aggressive sales tactics, but then their appeal [...] was enhanced by his vigorous entertaining style as well as the use of woodcut illustrations by leading artists of the time [...]. These early cartoons were able to convey in a simplified manner Luther's attack on the papacy and Catholicism, and greatly increased the effectiveness of his message. As a study in propaganda, the Reformation, particularly the role played by Martin Luther and his followers, is a perfect example of how the channeling of the message, couched in an empathetic emotional context and provided with an effective means of delivery can bring about mass changes in attitudes. [...] Basing his operations in the small town of Wittenberg, he distributed his stirring pamphlets all over northern Europe" (Jowett and O'Donnell, 1992, pp48-49).

 

Some of the most forceful of these pamphlets were illustrated by the artist Lucas Cranach (The Elder) [Wikipedia biography=>1523] [sub-thread continues at 1519 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1519 The Psychologies of War [XXVI - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (Melanchthon)]: [Continued from 1517 (1st November)] The German Lutheran theologian Philip Melanchthon [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Institutiones Rhetorices" [Brigham Young University factsheet] and puts his teachings into practice in person in his sermons [sub-thread continues at 1523 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1519 [12th January] Upon the death of Maximilian I of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria [<=1516], his imperial throne passes to Charles I of Spain as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor [1516<=>1527], and his archducal title passes to Charles' younger brother, Ferdinand I [1516<=>1521] (who has already been pencilled to become Holy Roman Emperor in the fullness of time). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1519 [17th February] Having already been blessed with a daughter [<=1515], a son is born to Claude, Duke of Guise [Wikipedia biography] and his wife Antoinette de Bourbon [Wikipedia biography] and named Francis [Wikipedia biography » 1550 (31st December)]. Two more daughters will follow, and then a second son - Charles (Cardinal of Lorraine) [Wikipedia biography=>1547] - on 17th February 1524. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1519 [31st Mar] A second son is born to Francis I of France [1515<=>1520] and Claude of Brittany [<=1514], and named Henry, Duke of Orléans (II of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1533]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  "THE INCARNATION OF EVIL" IS BORN  **********

1519 [13th April] A daughter is born to Lorenzo II of Medici [Wikipedia biography] and his (House of Valois) wife Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne [Wikipedia biography] and named Catherine [Wikipedia biography=>1533]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1520 [7th-24th June] The Field of the Cloth of Gold: This two-week-long "summit meeting" between Francis I of France [1519<=>1525] and Henry VIII of England [1516<=>1533] seeks to establish a bond of friendship between England and France, the better to counterbalance the ambitions of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (Charles I of Spain) [1519<=>1521]. Held in a gigantic marqee, little of substance will be achieved, and relationships between the two countries will go sour again when Henry sides with Charles in the Italian War of 1521-1526. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1520 [1st August] A son is born to Sigismund I (the Old) of Poland and Lithuania [1514<=>1523] and his queen consort Bona Sforza [Wikipedia biography=>1523], and named Sigismund (II Augustus) [Wikipedia biography=>1548]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1521 [??th June] The Italian War, 1521-1526: This war is fought between Francis I of France [1520<=>1525], allied with the Republic of Venice, and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1520<=>1522], allied with the Papal States. Here are the main events ...

 

THE NAVARRE CAMPAIGN

·         The French Navarre Expedition, 1521

·         The Battle of Noain, 1521

·         The Battle of Esquiroz, 1521

THE NORTHERN CAMPAIGN

·         The French Flanders Raids, 1521

·         The Siege of Mézières, 1521

·         The Battle of Valenciennes, 1521

·         The Treaty of Windsor, 1522

·         The Picardy Expedition, 1523

THE SOUTHERN AND ITALIAN CAMPAIGNS

·         The Siege of Genoa, 1522

·         The Battle of Milan, 1525

·         The Battle of Bicocca,

·         The Battle of Pavia, 1525

THE MADRID NEGOTIATIONS

·         The Treaty of Madrid, 1526

 

The overall outcome is a Spanish victory in all important respects. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1521 [25th May] [... continued from 1515 (22nd July) and 1516 (13th March)] The political marriage takes place of Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria (Holy Roman Emperor) [1519<=>1526], grandson of Maximilian I [<=1519], and the daughter of the late Wladislaw II [<=1516], Anne of Bohemia [2] [<=1516]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1521 [20th August for six weeks] The Siege of Mézières: This siege is fought out as part of the Northern Campaign of the Italian War of 1521-1526 [<=1521] between an invading Holy Roman Empire army under Henry III of Nassau-Breda [Wikipedia biography] and the defending garrison at Mézières under the highly experienced soldier Pierre Terrail, Lord of Bayard [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a tactical draw but a major strategic victory for the French in that Bayard and his men have gained six weeks for the French defences further south to be better prepared. The siege is noteworthy for its use of SIGINT [= that subset of military intelligence which relies on SIGnals INTelligence]. The story here is that Bayard - suspecting that his communications are being spied upon - consistently misreports to his king how well-resourced he is for a long siege. When this false intelligence gets back to Nassau-Breda it leads him to abandon the offensive. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1522 [16th June] The Treaty of Windsor: This treaty between Henry VIII of England [1520<=>1533] and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1521<=>1526] commits both parties to providing 40,000 men for a two-front campaign against France. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1523 The Psychologies of War [XXVII - Purity of Thought (The Protestant Reformation)]: [Continued from 1519] For the latest Lutheran pamphlet Lucas Cranach the Elder [<=1517 (31st October)] produces an editorial cartoon under the title "The Donkey-Pope of Rome" [see it now], in which Catholicism is lampooned as half-ass, half devil [sub-thread continues at 1524  ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1523 [18th October] A daughter is born to Sigismund I (the Old) of Poland and Lithuania [1520<=>1548] and his queen consort Bona Sforza [<=1520], and named Anna Jagiellon (of Poland and Lithuania) [Wikipedia biography=>1575]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

******  FIRST TEXTBOOK OF RHETORIC IN ENGLISH  ******

1524 The Psychologies of War [XXVIII - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (Cox)]: [Continued from 1523] The English scholar Leonard Cox [Wikipedia biography] publishes "The Art or Crafte of Rhetoryke" [full text online], in which he develops Erasmus' Copia [<=1512] and Melanchthon's Institutiones [<=1519] for an English-speaking audience [sub-thread continues at 1534 (??th November)  ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

**********  HISTORICALLY PIVOTAL BATTLE  **********

1525 [24th February] The Battle of Pavia: This battle is fought as part of the Italian War of 1521-1526 [<=1521] between a French army under Francis I of France [1520<=>1526] and a Spanish-Imperial army under Charles de Lannoy [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive Spanish-Imperial victory, with Francis being taken as prisoner-of-war and massively disproportionate French casualties. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for prompting a vengeful politico-military alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire which does much to shape the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Balkans in the run-up to WW1 [=>1526 (6th February)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  "PRUSSIA PROPER" IS BORN  **********

1525 [8th April] The Treaty of Krakow: By this treaty the Duchy of Prussia is established under Albert, 1st Duke of Prussia [1510<=>1568], of the Brandenburg cadet branch of the Hohenzollerns [<=1510], previously merely Grand Master of the Teutonic Order [<=1237]. The 10-generation dynasty thereby created will continue to rule until the dukedom is eventually elevated to a kingship, and will lead to Albert I being acclaimed "father of the Prussians". [=>1701 (Prussia is Reborn)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: The Duchy of Prussia may be located by finding the Rivers Vistula and Niemann on the map [check this out]. "Proper", or "East", Prussia lies between these two rivers, and extends for about 100 miles from the Baltic Sea.

 

1526 [14th January] The Treaty of Madrid: This treaty buys the release of Francis I of France [1525<=>next], taken as prisoner-of-war at the Battle of Pavia [<=1525]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1526 [6th February] The Franco-Ottoman Understanding: A highly secret embassy from Francis I of France [preceding<=>1536] persuades Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [Wikipedia biography=>next] of the potential benefits of covertly coordinated action by the French and Ottomans against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1522<=>1527]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1526 [29th August] The Ottoman-Habsburg War, 1526-1544: This pre-arranged war [<=6th February] is fought between the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [preceding<=>next] and the Hungarian element of the Habsburg Empire under Louis II of Hungary [1516<=>next]. Here are the central events ...

 

·         The Franco-Ottoman Understanding, 1526 [casus belli ante]

·         Battle of Mohacs, 1526

·         The Siege of Vienna, 1529

·         The Siege of Güns/Köszeg, 1532

 

The overall outcome is the loss of Hungary's central and eastern provinces to the Ottomans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  A RUDE AWAKENING  **********

**********  MUSKETRY DEFEATS KNIGHTS IN ARMOUR  **********

1526 [29th August] The Battle of Mohács: This battle is fought as part of the Ottoman-Habsburg War, 1526 [<=preceding] between an Ottoman invasion army under Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [preceding<=>1529] and a Hungarian army half its size under Louis II of Hungary [preceding<=>next]. The outcome is a devastating Hungarian defeat, with the death of Louis during the ensuing retreat. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Hungary now becomes the front line in a prolonged European confrontation between the Muslim east and the Christian west, a line which will still be visible down through the Balkans at the beginning of WW1.

 

ASIDE - THE AGE OF MUSKETEERS: At Mohács the Ottomans made good use of musketry against closely packed mediaeval knights fielded by the Hungarians. It was a victory for new technology over old.

 

ASIDE - THE OTTOMAN JANISSARY: The Janissaries were originally a professional warrior caste recruited at age 10-12 years by the Ottomans from amongst their Christian subjects. They were exceptionally well trained in the latest weapons and tactics, and had their own uniform, career pathway, and retirement scheme.

 

ASIDE - BATTLEFIELD COMRADESHIP: The Janissaries' ornate turban-like head-dress includes a pocket called the kaşiklik in which to pack away a spoon. Originally as a functional piece of kit, this soon became a symbolic part of the uniform, signifying that to be part of the "brotherhood of the spoon" was to share all things with your comrades-in-arms. The same line of reasoning can be seen in the everyday WW1 French word Copains [= "those with whom you share your bread"] for your comrades in the trenches. We mention this because without the psychological bond between soldiers there would be far fewer wars.

 

**********  BOHEMIA BECOMES HABSBURG  **********

1526  [29th August] Upon the death of Louis II of Hungary [<=preceding], and as provided for by the First Congress of Vienna [<=1515], the Kingdom of Bohemia [<=1198] is formally incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. Louis' widowed queen-consort Mary of Austria (Etc.) [1516<=>1531] throws her political weight behind Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria (Holy Roman Empire) [1521<=>1558] and he is elected King of Bohemia on 24th October with his wife Anne of Bohemia [2] [<=1521] as queen consort. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: This event is noteworthy in the present context for bulging the Habsburg Empire northwards against Brandenburg-Prussia, thereby helping to separate it from "proper" Prussia, that is to say, Königsberg-Prussia [<=1466; 1525].

 

1527  The German painter-philosopher Albrecht Dürer [Wikipedia biography] publishes an illustrated treatise on fortification entitled Etliche Underricht zu Befestigung der Stett, Schloss, und Flecken [in English as "Several instructions for fortifying towns, castles, and small cities]. It is noteworthy in the present context for its detailed recommendations for heights of walls and spacing of bastions. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1527 [31st May] A son is born to the (House of Habsburg) Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1522<=>1531] and his queen, Isabella of Portugal [Wikipedia biography], and named Philip (II of Spain) [Wikipedia biography=>1549]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1528  Now of age, James V of Scotland [1513<=>1538] takes nominal control of his kingdom. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1529 [27th September - 15th October] The Siege of Vienna: This siege is fought out as part of the Ottoman-Habsburg War [<=1526] between a besieging Ottoman army under Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [1526<=>1532] and the defending garrison at Vienna under Nicholas, Count of Salm [Wikipedia biography] and Wilhelm von Roggendorff [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a Habsburg victory and a temporary Ottoman withdrawal. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1531 Belief Systems [I - Superstition, Witchcraft, and Magic (Agrippa on White Magic)]: [New sub-thread1] The German alchemist-academic Heinrich Agrippa von Nettesheim [Wikipedia biography] starts to release the three volumes of a treatise on magic entitled "De Occulta Philosophia" [in English as "Occult Philosophy", but not until 1651] [Wikipedia factsheet; specimen full text at http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agrippa1.htm]. The position is taken that magic is not necessarily the bamboozling of an audience by sleight of hand, but rather demonstrating this or that rare, but entirely natural, phenomenon to them. The magician, in other words, is not a trickster but a natural philosopher, the 16th century's approximation to the scientists of today [sub-thread continues at 1564 (John Dee) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1531 [3rd January] The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1527<=>1544] asks his younger sister Mary of Austria (Etc.) [<=1526] to become his Governor for the Spanish Netherlands. She accepts, and will do a difficult job passably well for the  ensuing 24 years . [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1532 [5th-30th August] The Siege of Güns/Köszeg: This siege is fought out as part of the Ottoman-Habsburg War [<=1526] between a besieging Ottoman army under Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [1529<=>next] and the defending garrison at Güns/Köszeg under the Croatian general Nikola Jurišić [Wikipedia biography]. The defenders are outnumbered by perhaps 200:1 but manage to hold out for four weeks nonetheless, during which time the defenders of Vienna further down the line of advance have time to strengthen their defences. Suleiman therefore decides that the moment has passed and abandons the offensive for the time being. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  ENGLAND REJECTS PAPAL AUTHORITY  **********

********** THE ENGLISH REFORMATION BEGINS  **********

1533 [7th April] The Act in Restraint of Appeals: This act of parliament is the first in a series of five inter-related acts by which Henry VIII of England [1522<=>next] breaks all constitutional ties between England and the Papacy, and redefines the church as subject to the Crown, and not the other way around. Church takings are redirected to the Crown. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1533 [1st June] The marriage of Henry VIII of England [1516<=>next] and Catherine of Aragon [<=1516] is annulled because it is now suspected that Catherine was not a virgin on her wedding day [<=1501]. Henry's (presently six-months pregnant) paramour Anne Boleyn [Wikipedia biography=>next] is officially named Queen Consort. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1533 [7th September] A daughter is born to Henry VIII of England [preceding<=>1534 (??th November)] and Anne Boleyn [preceding<=>1536], and named Elizabeth (I of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1558]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  "THE INCARNATION OF EVIL" MARRIES  **********

**********  INTO THE HOUSE OF VALOIS  **********

1533 [28th October] Currently second in line to the French throne (the House of Valois) Henry, Duke of Orléans (II of France) [1519<=>1544] marries 14-year-old Catherine de Medici [1519<=>1544]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1534 [4th August] The marriage takes place of Mary of Guise [1515<=>1537] and Louis II of Orléans, Duke of Longueville [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1534 [??th November] The Psychologies of War [XXIX - Purity of Thought (The British Act of Supremacy)]: [Continued from 1524] At Henry VIII of England's [1533<=>1535] behest the English Parliament passes an Act of Supremacy [Wikipedia factsheet], by which Henry is declared head of the Church of England, breaking free of the Catholic church in Rome [sub-thread continues at 1535 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1535 The Psychologies of War [XXX - Purity of Thought (The Protestant Reformation)]: [Continued from 1534 (??th November)] The latest example of the Lutheran propaganda pamphlets, and a propaganda classic in its own right, is by the artist Erhard Schön [no convenient biography]. The banner caption is "The Devil with Bagpipes" [no convenient graphic, but readily browsable], in which the Devil is shown playing the clergy like a musical instrument [sub-thread continues at 1536 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1535  The Laws in Wales Acts, 1535 and 1542: Henry VIII of England [1534 (??th November)<=>next] approves the first of two Laws in Wales Acts [full text online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Hen8/27/26/contents], by which Wales is to become merged into, and become subject to the laws (and language) of, England. It is, however, an enforced arrangement, there being no Welsh parliament to vote on it, nor Welsh representation in the English parliament. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1535  The Dissolution of the Monasteries: Henry VIII of England [preceding<=>1536] initiates a three-year programme of confiscation of church property. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1536  The Psychologies of War [XXXI - Purity of Thought (The Protestant Reformation)]: [Continued from 1535] The French theologian Jean Calvin [Wikipedia biography] publishes "The Institutes of the Christian Religion" [full text online] in which he sets out the tenets of "Calvinism". This new form of Protestantism will spread rapidly through western Europe over the coming decades, just as Lutheranism had already done in Germany [sub-thread continues at 1541 (19th April) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1536 The Italian War, 1536-1538: This war is fought in the Mediterranean and the Balkans between an alliance of the French and Ottoman Empires on the one hand and the Habsburg Empire on the other. Here are the main events ...

 

THE SAVOY CAMPAIGN, 1536

·         The Battle of Milan, 1536 [=>next entry]

THE 1537 CAMPAIGN

·         The Siege of Corfu, 1537

THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS, 1538

·         The Treaty of Nice, 1538

 

The overall outcome is that Turin falls to the French. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1536 [??th April] The Battle of Milan: This battle is fought as part of the Davoy Campaign of the Italian War of 1536-1538 [<=1536] between an invading French army under Francis I of France [1526<=>1547] and the defending garrison on the Lombardy plain. The outcome is a successful defence. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for an incident in which the French barber-surgeon Ambroise Paré [Wikipedia biography=>1564] is plying his trade amongst the injured after the battle when he chances upon two seriously burned men. He is asked by a comrade of theirs whether there is anything he [the surgeon] can do for them. Paré shakes his head, whereupon said comrade cuts the wounded men's throats. Paré is appalled, but, when he confronts the perpetrator, is told that this is the way of things on the battlefield and that he himself would expect no less a rough kindness of a comrade. [THREAD = THE MAKING OF WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE]

 

ASIDE - PUTTING INJURED COMRADES OUT OF THEIR MISERY: Paré is far from the first to reflect as to the rights and wrongs of battlefield euthanasia [<=1007BCE (Battle of Gilboa)]. Instead the clear implication in the surviving soldier's tone is that the battlefield is no place for men of sensitivity and conscience such as surgeons. Very different rules apply. For a recent discussion of the morality of battlefield euthanasia see Perry (2011 online).

 

1536 [19th May] Henry VIII of England [1535<=>1537] has his second wife Anne Boleyn [<=1533] executed for adultery and incest and, within the month (30th May), will have married Jane Seymour [Wikipedia biography=>1537]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1537  The Honourable Artillery Company receives a Charter of Incorporation from King Henry VIII, to develop the skills of archery and gunnery. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1537  The Italian mathematician Niccolo Tartaglia [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Novum Scientia", a treatise on the craft of aiming guns in which are included some quick and easy field procedures  ...

 

Key BALLISTICS - THE ARTILLERY Quadrant: In an attempt to introduce some discipline into the setting of an elevation, Tartaglia invented the gunner's quadrant. This consisted of a short plumbline suspended across a graduated 90-degree quadrant. The quadrant itself was fixed to the gun in question by a muzzle plug, so that as the barrel was raised and lowered the plumbline crossed the quadrant at a different point [for a helpful picture of the quadrant in use click here]. The elevation could then be read off as the number of degrees marked at this intersection point, "point blank" being the true horizontal. In the meantime, the gun commander had estimated the range to the target and could set the corresponding required elevation from a look-up table or pre-drawn graph supplied with the gun.

 

ASIDE: Quadrants were most effective when helping siege artillery destroy fortifications, because they allowed a reasonably precise re-setting of a particular elevation after each shot. With a moving target, however, you have to aim ahead of your enemy by a carefully calculated amount, a cunning little trick which goes by the names "deflection shooting" or "leading the target". Unfortunately, this trick takes a lot of learning, and needs moreover to be done in the forwards-backwards and leftwards-rightwards dimensions simultaneously. The forwards-backwards deflection is known as the "elevation lead", and the leftwards-rightwards deflection is known as the "azimuth lead". For fast-moving targets such as cavalry at a gallop, ships at sea, or aeroplanes, the mathematics simply cannot be done quickly enough, whereupon you no longer need a gunsight, but a "fire control system", complete with your own computer. We shall be returning to these topics many times, not least with the naval fire control systems of the Dreadnought era [=>1901 (Pollen) and follow the pointers].

 

We shall refer to these graphical and tabular aids henceforth as "ready reckoners", and the point about ready reckoners is that the gun captain does not have to do any calculations as such, for these have already been done for him. All he has to do is line a few things up and read off the required answer. To see the "table of fire" ready reckoner for an American Civil War 20-pounder cannon, click here. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1537 [9th June] Louis II of Orléans, Duke of Longueville [<=1534] dies, leaving Mary of Guise [1534<=>1538] a young widow. [=>1538] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1537 [12th October] A son is born to Henry VIII of England [<=1511] and his third wife Jane Seymour [<=1536], and named Edward (VI of England) [Wikipedia biography=>1543]. Jane will die of a post-puerperal infection 12 days later. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE GUISES MARRY WISELY  **********

1538 [18th May] The proxy marriage takes place at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, of James V of Scotland [1528<=>1542] and the widowed Mary of Guise [1534<=>1542]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1541 [19th April] The Psychologies of War [XXXII - Purity of Thought (The Catholic Counter Reformation)]: [Continued from 1536] The Spanish priest Ignatius of Loyola [Wikipedia biography] is appointed inaugural "Father-General" of the Society of Jesus [Wikipedia factsheet], charged by the Vatican with protecting the Catholic church against further inroads from the Reformation movement [sub-thread continues at 1603 (24th March) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1542 [8th December] Following the loss of their first two children (sons) to epidemic, a daughter is born to James V of Scotland [1538<=>next] and Mary of Guise [<=1538], and named Mary (Queen of Scots) [Wikipedia biography=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1542 [14th December] Upon the death of James V of Scotland [<=preceding] to epidemic, his throne passes to his six-day-old daughter Mary, Queen of Scots [preceding<=>1543] under the regency of James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran [Wikipedia biography=>1543]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1543  Henry VIII of England and Ireland [1541<=>1st July] employs two continental gunsmiths, Peter Bawde [no convenient biography] and Peter van Collen [no convenient biography] at the Royal Foundry. One of their innovations is the first explosive mortar shell. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1543 [1st July] The Treaty of Greenwich: This treaty is an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Henry VIII of England and Ireland [1541<=>20th December] to achieve a union of the English and Scottish crowns. Part of the proposed deal is the state betrothal of Henry's five-year-old son Edward (VI of England and Ireland) [<=1537] to seven-months-old Mary, Queen of Scots [1542<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1543 [9th September] Mary, Queen of Scots [preceding<=>next] is crowned. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1543 [11th December] The Scottish parliament refuses to endorse the Treaty of Greenwich [<=1st July]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1543 [20th December] The Anglo-Scottish War, 1543-1550: This seven-year-long war is fought between Henry VIII of England and Ireland [1st July<=>1544] and Regent Arran of Scotland [1542<=>1548] the regent of the widowed (but still only one year old) Mary, Queen of Scots [preceding<=>1548]. Scotland will be materially assisted by Francis I of France [1519<=>1547] under the terms of the Auld Alliance [<=1295]. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Edinburgh, 1544

·         The Battle of Ancrum Moor, 1545

·         The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, 1547 [=>1547 (10th September)]

·         The Siege of Haddington, 1548-1549 [=>1548 (23rd February)]

·         The Treaty of Boulogne, 1550 [England and France] [=>1550 (24th March)]

·         The Treaty of Norham, 1551 [England and Scotland] [=>1551 (10th June)]

 

The overall outcome is pretty much a return to the tactical status quo ante, and this, given England's initial war aims, has to be counted as a strategic victory for Scotland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1544  Henry VIII of England and Ireland [1543<=>1547] places his Master of Ordnance in charge of a larger administrative body known as the "Office of Ordnance", and charged with the supply of guns and ammunition to the Royal Navy. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1544  The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (I of Spain) [1531<=>1547] standardises his imperial artillery as follows ...

 

·         40-pounder cannon

·         24-pounder cannon "moyane" [= "lesser", "half"]

·         12-pounder culverin, short-barrelled

·         12-pounder culverin, long-barrelled

·         6-pounder culverin, short-barrelled

·         6-pounder culverin, long-barrelled

·         3-pounder falcon

 

The standards will change from time to time as technology improves and needs change, but similar portfolios will still exist in 1914. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1544 [19th January] A first son is born to Henry, Duke of Orléans (II of France) [1533<=>1547] and his queen Catherine of Medici [1533<=>1553], and named Francis (II of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1548]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1547 [28th January] Upon the death of Henry VIII of England and Ireland [<=1544] the thrones pass to his nine-year-old son Edward VI of England and Ireland [<=1537], to be assisted by a 12-man Regency Council until he reaches age 18 years. [=>1553] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1547 [31st March] Upon the death of Francis I of France [<=1536] the throne passes to Henry, Duke of Orléans as Henry II of France [1544<=>1548]. He will be crowned 25th July at Reims Cathedral. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  HISTORICALLY PIVOTAL BATTLE  **********

1547 [24th April] The Battle of Mühlberg: This battle is fought between the Holy Roman Empire under Charles V (I of Spain) [1544<=>1549] and a league of Lutheran German states led by Saxony and Brandenburg-Lüneburg. The Imperial army is led by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [Wikipedia biography=>1552] and the Lutherans by John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the Lutherans and a major weakening of the Protestant position in central Europe. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY MILITARY VOCABULARY - TERCIOS: [See firstly the notes concerning the Scottish schiltron formation <=1298; 1314; 1402; also the earlier Spanish coronelías formation <=1503.] The Tercios were Spain's solution to the problems faced by infantry units on the 16th century battlefield. They included pikemen to defend against cavalry, swordsmen for hand-to-hand engagement, and musketeers to provide killing power at range. They are of no use, of course, in siege operations against fixed fortifications.

 

1547 [27th July] The 23-year-old (House of Guise) Charles of Guise [<=1524] is made a cardinal, and spends the rest of his life [d. 26th December 1574] ardently promoting (a) France, (b) the Guises, and (c) the Roman Catholic Church. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1547 [10th September] The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh: This battle is fought as part of the Anglo-Scottish War of 1543-1550 [<=1543] between an anti-Reformation Scottish army under Regent Arran of Scotland [1543<=>next] and an English army under Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive English victory, with highly disproportionate Scottish casualties. The Scottish Court immediately puts out a call for French help under the Auld Alliance [<=1295].  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1548 [27th January] The Treaty of Châtillon: This royal agreement between Regent Arran of Scotland [preceding<=>next but one] and Henry II of France [1547<=>1551] has Henry's four-year-old son Francis (II of France) [1544<=>1558] betrothed to Mary, Queen of Scots [1543<=>1558]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1548 [1st April] Upon the death of Sigismund I (the Old) of Poland and Lithuania [<=1523] both crowns pass to his son Sigismund II Augustus [1520<=>1568]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1548 [23rd February-19th September 1549] The Siege of Haddington: This 19-month siege is fought out as part of the Anglo-Scottish War of 1543-1550 [<=1543] between a besieging Scottish-French army under Regent Arran of Scotland [<=1543] and a defending English army under Sir James Wilford [Wikipedia biography]. The first three months see the English improving their fortifications, and the next three months see the Scottish artillery under Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven [Wikipedia biography] doing its best to breach them. The English are then reinforced in August, but bring the plague with them. The Scottish therefore content themselves with night raids and ambushes, and let disease and shortage of supplies force a withdrawal the following year. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1549 [4th November] The Pragmatic Sanction: The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (I of Spain) [1547<=>1551] decrees that the various provinces of the Low Countries [= the triangle Flanders-Luxembourg-Friesia] will henceforth be the Spanish Netherlands, and are to be be inherited as such by his heir Philip (II of Spain) [1527<=>1554] upon his death. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1550 [24th March] The Treaty of Boulogne: This treaty between France and England brings their contribution to the Anglo-Scottish War [<=1543] to a close. The Scottish and English are still working on their own peace [=>1551]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1550 [27th June] A third son (fifth child) is born to (the House of Valois) Henry II of France [1548<=>1551] and Catherine de Medici [1544<=>1551], and named Charles (IX of France) [Wikipedia biography=>1560]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1550 [31st December] A son is born to Francis of Guise [<=1519] and named Henry (I of Guise) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1563] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1551 [10th June] The Treaty of Norham: This treaty between Scotland and England brings the Anglo-Scottish War [<=1543] to a close. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1551 [9th August] The Italian War, 1551-1559: This war is fought between two major alliances. The first is led by France under Henry II of France [1548<=>1553] and includes the Republic of Siena and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) I [<=1532]. The second is led by Spain under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (I of Spain) [1549<=>1552] and includes England, Florence, and Savoy. Here are the key events by date and campaign ...

 

THE MEDITERRANEAN CAMPAIGN, 1551

·         The Siege of Tripoli, 1551 [=>1551 (9th August)]

LORRAINE CAMPAIGN, 1551-1552

·         The Siege of Metz, 1552 [=>1552 (19th October]

·         The Treaty of Chambord, 1552

THE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN, 1554

·         The Battle of Marciano, 1554 [=>1554 (2nd August)]

·         The Treaty of Vaucelles, 1556 [=>1556 (5th February)]

·         The Entry into Rome, 1557 [=>1557 (??th September)]

THE FLANDERS CAMPAIGN, 1556-1559

·         The Battle of St. Quentin, 1557 [=>1557 (10th August)]

·         The Capture of Calais, 1558 [=>1558 (1st January)]

·         The Battle of Gravelines, 1558 [=>1558 (13th July)]

·         The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, 1559 [=>1559 (2nd April)]

 

The overall outcome, set out in the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, 1559, is that France renounces all its territorial claims in northern Italy, but is awarded Metz, Toul, and Verdun in Lorraine. It also receives Calais from England. Spain retains the Franche-Comté [Wikipedia factsheet and map], and becomes the dominant power in Europe. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1551 [9th August] The Siege of Tripoli: This siege is fought out as part of the Mediterranean campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=preceding] between the Knights of Malta under Gaspard de Vallier [Wikipedia biography] and a much larger besieging Ottoman army. The outcome is an Ottoman victory after a week of fighting. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1551 [19th September] A fourth son (sixth child) is born to (the House of Valois) Henry II of France [1550<=>1556] and Catherine de Medici [1550<=>1572], and named Henry (of Poland and Lithuania (III of France)) [Wikipedia biography=>1574]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  CASE STUDY IN GENERALSHIP  **********

1552 [19th October] The Siege of Metz: This ten-week siege is fought out as part of the Lorraine campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551] between a besieging army of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (I of Spain) [1551<=>1556] commanded by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [1547<=>1557] and the dissident garrison at the Imperial Free City of Metz commanded by Francis of Guise [1550<=>1558]. The outcome is a very much against-the-odds victory for the defenders, thanks to Guise's skill as commander and military engineer. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Guise had 6000 troops at his disposal, against some 60,000 available to the besiegers. He had also had plenty of time to organise the city's defences. Nevertheless by 17th November the Imperial siege batteries had managed to hammer a breach in the city wall. Guise however had foreseen exactly this eventuality and had accumulated building materials to erect secondary defences behind any such breach. The attackers were then doubly demoralised by the onset of winter and eventually called the assault off.

 

1553 [14th May] A third daughter (seventh child) is born to (the House of Valois) Henry II of France [1551<=>1555] and Catherine de Medici [1544<=>1555] and named Margaret of Valois [Wikipedia biography=>1554]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1553 [19th July] Upon the death of Edward VI of England and Ireland [<=1547] the throne passes after a short period of dispute to the oldest of his sisters as Mary I of England and Ireland [<=1516 (18th February)]. [=>1554] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1553 [13th December] A son is born to Antoine de Bourbon [Wikipedia biography] and his queen Jeanne III of Navarre [Wikipedia biography], and named Henry (III of Navarre (IV of France)) [Wikipedia biography=>1554]. He will be betrothed with a year to Margaret of Valois [14th May<=>1572]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1554 [25th July] The marriage takes place at Winchester Cathedral of Mary I of England and Ireland [<=1553] and Philip (II of Spain) [1549<=>1556]. Finding her Catholic faith more acceptable than hitherto, Mary initiates a mini-Inquisition of her own, in which 283 Protestants are executed, typically by burning at the stake, and many more forced to flee the country. This polarises the nation on both ethnic [pro- and anti-Spanish] and religious [pro- and anti-Catholic] grounds and earns her the historical epithet "Bloody Mary". Mary and Philip try hard for a son, but without success. Philip will be jure uxoris King of England until Mary's death [=>1558 (17th November]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1554 [2nd August] The Battle of Marciano: This battle is fought as part of the Italian campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551] between a Florentine-Spanish-Holy Roman Empire army under Gian Giacomo Medici [Wikipedia biography] and a Senese-French army under Piero Strozzi [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the Florentines. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1555 The Italian scholar Girolamo Ruscelli [Wikipedia biography] publishes "De Secreti del R. D. Alessio Piemontese" [in English as "The Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont"; full text online], being the principal findings of an "Academy of Secrets" he and a number of like-minded co-workers had established in Naples a decade earlier. The work will remain popular for some time within the genre of popular science, and - in that it encouraged people to think about the underlying mechanisms of naturally occurring phenomena - has been credited with helping to prepare the world for the scientific breakthroughs of the 17th Century. [THREAD = HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY]

 

1555 [18th March] A fifth son (eighth child) is born to (the House of Valois) Henry II of France [1553<=>1556] and Catherine de Medici [1553<=>1560] and named Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alençon [Wikipedia biography=>1576]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1556 [16th January] Upon the abdication of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (I of Spain) [<=1552] the Spanish throne passes to his son Philip II of Spain [1554<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1556 [5th February] The Treaty of Vaucelles: This treaty between Philip II of Spain [preceding<=>1558] and Henry II of France [1553<=>1559] requires that the province of Franche-Comté [<=1551] be ceded to Spain. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1557 [15th January] The (House of Bourbon) French nobleman and leader of the French Protestant community, Louis de Bourbon [Wikipedia biography], assumes the title Prince of Condé [modern Condé-en-Brie, France]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1557 [10th August] The Battle of St. Quentin: This battle is fought as part of the Flanders campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551]  between a Spanish-Savoyard army under Lamoral, Count of Egmont [Wikipedia biography=>1558] and Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy [Wikipedia biography=>], and a French army under Constable Anne de Montmorency [Wikipedia biography=>1567]. The outcome is a decisive Spanish victory with highly disproportionate French losses which require that troops be withdrawn from France's Italian Campaign, thereby leaving the Spanish expeditionary army in Italy with an open road to Rome. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1557 [??th September] The Entry into Rome: With his French allies dealing with problems back home, Pope Pius IV [Wikipedia biography=>1558] is left facing the Spanish army on his own. The Spanish Commander-in-Chief, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [1552<=>1567] therefore commits his main army southwards in a drive on Rome, sweeping aside any remaining opposition. This event brings to an end the Italian campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE BRITISH EMPIRE IS CONCEIVED  **********

1558  Born in London of Welsh parents, the alchemist-astrologer John Dee [Wikipedia biography=>1564] becomes advisor on science to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. He is noteworthy in the present context for helping to popularise the term "British Empire". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1558 [1st-8th January] The Siege of Calais: This siege is fought out as part of the Flanders campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551] between a besieging French army under Francis of Guise [1552<==>1563] and the defending garrison at Calais under Thomas Wentworth, 2nd Baron Wentworth [Wikipedia biography]. The French have achieved complete tactical surprise and the town surrenders after just a week. Given his earlier victory against top-class opposition at the Siege of Metz [<=1552] the capture of Calais raises Guise's reputation as a commander to new heights. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1558 [24th April] Betrothed for the past ten years by the Treaty of Châtillon [<=1548] the marriage now takes place of 14-year-old Francis (II of France) [1548<=>1559] and 16-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots [1548<=>17th November]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1558 [3rd May] Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria [<=1526] is elected Holy Roman Emperor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1558 [13th July] The Battle of Gravelines: This battle is fought as part of the Flanders campaign of the Italian War of 1551-1559 [<=1551] between a French army under Marshal Paul de Thermes [Wikipedia biography] and a Spanish army under Lamoral, Count of Egmont [1557<=>1568]. The outcome is a major victory for the Spanish, with French casualties running at around 90% killed, wounded, or missing. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1558 [17th November] Upon the death without issue of Mary I of England and Ireland [<=1553] her husband, Philip II of Spain [1556<=>1560], ceases to be jure uxoris King of England and the throne passes to the deceased's younger half-sister Elizabeth I of England and Ireland [1533<=>1574]. Pope Paul IV [<=1557] immediately issues a papal bull declaring the avowedly Protestant Elizabeth "the servant of crime" and adjudging Philip to be the rightful heir. Other authorities promote the case of Mary, Queen of Scots [24th April<=>1560]. There follows a prolonged, profound, and bloody stand-off as the two positions resort to military action. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1559 [2nd/3rd April] The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis: Already summarised [<=1551]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1559 [10th July] Two weeks after being injured in a joust, Henry II of France [<=1556] dies, and the French crown passes to his son Francis II of France [1548<=>1560], with Mary, Queen of Scots [1558<=>1560] as his queen consort. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1560?? Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [VIII - Early Work (Torriani)]: [Continued from 1482 (Da Vinci)] Around this time the Italian clockmaker-engineer Giovanni Torriani [Wikipedia biography] is showcasing an 18"-high clockwork automaton named the "Lute Player" [History of Computers factsheet] [sub-thread continues at 1589 (Heron) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE: The Juanelo Turriano Foundation [museum website] maintains the memory of this pioneering worker, including some (much larger scale) engineering projects [YouTube tribute].

 

1560  Philip II of Spain [1558<=>1567] organises a Holy League between Spain, Venice, Genoa, the Papal States, Savoy, and Malta. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1560 [5th December] Upon the death of 16-year-old Francis II of France [<=1558] the throne passes to the ten-year-old Charles IX of France [1550<=>1570] with his mother, Catherine de Medici [1553<=>1572] as regent. The death also makes a widow of Mary, Queen of Scots [1559<=>1565], who returns to Scotland in August 1561. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1562 [1st March] The Wars of Religion, 1562-1598: This series of individually lesser confrontations is fought between the French Catholics and the French Protestants (a.k.a. "Huguenots") over their relative rights and freedoms. The following events indicate the general sequence of the war ...

 

·         The Massacre at Vassy, 1562 [casus belli]

·         The Battle of Saint-Denis, 1567

·         The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, 1572

·         The Catholic League, 1576

·         The Treaty of Joinville, 1584

·         The Paris Barricades, 1588

·         The Edict of Nantes, 1598

·         The Peace of Vervins, 1599

 

By the time the wars are brought to a (temporary) close by the Edict of Nantes [=>1598 (13th April)], the Huguenots will have established a reasonably secure Protestant enclave centred on La Rochelle, south-west France. [THREAD = RELIGION AND WAR]

 

1562 [1st March] The Massacre at Vassy: This is the triggering event for the Wars of Religion [«=preceding]. It begins as an exchange of abuse between a troop of Catholic men-at-arms and a church-full of Huguenots at worship. It ends, minutes later, with a burned-out church, 63 martyred Protestants, and a war of vengeance to be fought. [THREAD = RELIGION AND WAR]

 

1563  Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester [Wikipedia biography] invests in a blast furnace at Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1563 [24th February] Upon the assassination of Francis of Guise [<=1558] the ducal throne passes to his 13-year-old son Henry I of Guise [<=1550]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1564 Drawing on his thirty years as a military surgeon Ambroise Paré [<=1536 (??th April)] publishes "Dix Livres de la Chirurgie" [in English as "Ten Books of Surgery"], in one section of which he describes his practice with mechanically articulated prosthetic limbs.  [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

RECOMMENDED READING: For a recent appraisal of Paré's pioneering work with prosthetics see Hernigou (2013 online). His technology also gets an honourable mention in Riskin (2003 online).

 

1564 Belief Systems [II - Superstition, Witchcraft, and Magic (John Dee's Contribution)]:  [Continued from 1531; readers are reminded that the often-obscure relationship between reality and belief is at the heart of the processes of political propaganda and war-mongering] John Dee [<=1558], scientific advisor to the court of Queen Elizabeth, publishes "Monas Hieroglyphica" [ Wikipedia factsheet; full text online at http://www.esotericarchives.com/dee/monad.htm], in which he sets out a number of mystical theorems in the arcane language of 16th century science [sub-thread continues at 1584 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1565 [29th July] The marriage takes place of Mary, Queen of Scots [1560<=>1566] and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley [Wikipedia biography=>1566]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1566  The Beeldenstorm [Dutch = "storm of images"]: In a spontaneous display of discontent with Spanish rule in the Netherlands, a spate of desecrations takes place in Catholic churches across the land. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1566 [19th June] A son is born to Mary, Queen of Scots [1565<=>1567] and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley [1565<=>1567], and named James (VI of Scotland (I of England)) [Wikipedia biography=>1567]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1567 [10th February] Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley [<=1566] is murdered. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1567 [15th May] Mary, Queen of Scots [1566<=>next] remarries, to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE MAN-OF-WAR IS BORN  **********

1567  The English navy takes possession of a 47-gun galleon [Wikipedia shipography] named [HMS1] Bonaventure [Wikipedia shipography=>1587]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE FLEETS]

1 The prefix "H.M.S." has not yet been introduced, so we use it here retrospectively.

 

1567 [24th July] Mary, Queen of Scots [preceding<=>1587] is forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son James VI of Scotland (I of England) [1566<=>1603 (24th March)], under the regency of James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray [Wikipedia biography]. Mary will spend most of the next 20 years under house arrest, and will be executed for treasonous rebellion on 8th February 1587. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1567 [22nd August] To deal with unrest in the Spanish Netherlands [<=preceding] Philip II of Spain [1560<=>1568] installs Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [1557<=>next] as the region's Governor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1567 [5th September] The Court of Blood: The new Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [preceding<=>1572] sets up a punitive tribunal to bring the rebellious Dutch to heel. Amongst those executed for the impurity of their beliefs is Lamoral, Count of Egmont [<=1558], the Netherlands-born general who won the Battles of St. Quentin [<=1557] and Gravelines [<=1558] for the Spanish. Significantly, however, William (the Silent), Prince of Orange [Wikipedia biography=>1579] escapes Alba's dragnet and, although initially a devout Catholic himself, sets about a 17-year campaign of Protestant hit-and-run resistance. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1567 [10th November] The Battle of Saint-Denis: This battle is fought as part of the Wars of Religion [<=1562] between a Catholic army under Marshall Anne de Montmorency [<=1557] and a much smaller Huguenot army. The outcome is a victory for the Catholics, but with Montmorency dead on the battlefield. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1568  The Eighty Years War, 1568-1648: This war is fought between the Spanish Empire under Philip II of Spain [1567<=>next] and the rebellious provinces of the Netherlands. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Beeldenstorm, 1566 [casus belli ante]

·         The Court of Blood, 1567 [casus belli ante]

·         The Union of Arras, 1579

·         The Treaty of Utrecht, 1579

·         The Siege of Kortrijk, 1580

·         The Act of Abjuration, 1581

·         The Treaty of Joinville, 1584

·         The Treaty of Nonsuch, 1585

·         The Treaty of Munster, 1648

 

The overall outcome is a victory for the secessionist Dutch and the House of Orange. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1568  The Alpujarra Rebellion, 1568-1571: This three-year insurrection is fought as a Muslim protest against the religious cleansing of Spain in the wake of the Reconquista [<=1516]. It is systematically suppressed by Don Juan of Austria [Wikipedia biography], half-brother of Philip II of Spain [1560<=>1579]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1568  The English entrepreneurs Richard Hanbury [local biography], William Homfray [no convenient biography], and Christopher Shutz [no convenient biography] set up an ironworks at Tintern, Monmouthshire. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1568 [20th March] Upon the death of Albert, Duke of [East] Prussia [<=1525] his son and heir presumptive, Albert Frederick [Wikipedia biography<=>1569], seeks approval from Sigismund II Augustus of Poland and Lithuania [1548<=>1569] to replace him on the ducal throne (Prussia being a fiefdom of Poland). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1569 [18th July] Sigismund II Augustus of Poland and Lithuania [<=1568] approves (the House of Hohenzollern) Albert Frederick [1568<=>1594], great-grandson of Casimir IV (Jagiellon) [<=1456], as Duke of Prussia. Albert Frederick soon becomes mentally unstable, however, and between 1572 and his death in 1618 will rule though a succession of ducal regents. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1570 [26th November] The political marriage takes place of Charles IX of France [1560<=>1572] and Elizabeth of Austria [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE OTTOMANS LOSE THEIR FLEET  **********

1571 [7th October] The Battle of Lepanto: This major naval engagement is fought in the Gulf of Corinth between a Holy League fleet under Don Juan of Austria [<=1568] and an Ottoman Empire fleet. Although the Christians are marginally outnumbered [212 ships against 251] their ships are significantly better equipped with artillery and musketeers. The Christian fleet also deploys nine of its new Venetian galleasses [Wikipedia shipography], far sturdier than galleys and with a broadside gun-deck. Uncertain how to deal tactically with such vessels the Muslim galleys engage them too closely and are methodically swatted away in great numbers. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the Ottomans. The battle is noteworthy in the present context because even when they have rebuilt their fleet the Ottomans are content to restrict their zone of operations to the eastern Mediterranean. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1572 [9th June] Upon the death of Jeanne III of Navarre [<=1553] the throne passes to her (House of Bourbon on his father's side) son Henry III of Navarre (IV of France) [<=1553], who, it will be remembered, is already betrothed to Margaret of Valois [1553 (14th May)<=> next entry»]. Rumours will circulate that Jeanne had been poisoned by gloves impregnated with arsenic [=>24th August (ASIDE)], a gift from Catherine de Medici [1560<=>next]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1572 [21st August] The marriage takes place in Paris between Henry III of Navarre (IV of France) [preceding<=>1584] and Margaret of Valois [<=preceding]. Unknown to the celebrants and their guests, however, dirty deeds are afoot, and on 22nd August the Huguenot nobleman Gaspard II de Coligny [Wikipedia biography] is wounded in an assassination attempt. The fingers of suspicion point at the Catholic establishment in general (conceded) and in particular (all unproven) at (a) 22-year-old Henry I of Guise [1563<=>next], (b) Catherine de Medici [preceding<=>next] and (c) the Albista faction at the Spanish Court, led by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [1567<=>1580. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1572 [24th August] The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre: Fearing Protestant reprisals for the attempt on Coligny's life, the conspirators, whoever they are, decide to settle the matter once and for all. Henry I of Guise [preceding<=>1576] then personally leads a lynching party to Coligny's lodgings where they butcher all within. They then work their way around the other Huguenot parties in turn, hunting them down. The conspirators are now joined by a popular rabble which engages in a nation-wide campaign of anti-Protestant violence lasting several weeks. In all perhaps 30,000 Protestants will die. The outcome is a good year for conversions to Catholicism. The young Charles IX of France [1570<=>1574], in whose name this is all happening, is reportedly distraught at this unfolding of events, which he reportedly blames on his mother Catherine de Medici [preceding<=>1574]. [THREAD = RELIGION AND WAR]

 

ASIDE: As with most massacres there will be a wild discrepancy between estimates of casualties deriving from the killers and those derived from the survivors.

 

WAR MOVIE: Patrice Chéreau's (1994) movie "La Reine Margot" is a cinema rendition of Alexander Dumas' (1845) novel             of the same name, and covers both the massacre and the events leading up to it [see the massacre on YouTube (in French)]. The movie also shows how arsenic-laced gifts [<=9th June] could be every bit as reliable as bullets or blades.

 

1572 [8th November] A son is born to (the House of Hohenzollern) Joachim Frederick [Wikipedia biography] and his wife Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin [Wikipedia biography], and named John Sigismund [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1594 (30th October)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE MAN-OF-WAR IS BORN  **********

1573  The English navy takes possession of a 41-gun galleon [Wikipedia shipography] named [HMS1] Dreadnought [Wikipedia shipography=1573]. She is of a brand-new "race-built" design, that is to say, she has a low fore-castle and aft-castle, even by galleon standards. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE FLEETS]

1 The prefix "H.M.S." has not yet been introduced, so we use it here retrospectively.

 

1574  The British alchemist-inventor Ralph Rabbards [no convenient biography] takes it upon himself to inform Elizabeth I of England [1558<=>1584] of his ability to supply diverse new lines in perfumery, gunpowder, and weaponry. His letter will be discovered by the historian James Halliwell in 1861 and reproduced in his book "A Collection of Letters" [Google full text online], from which the following indicative snippets are taken ...

 

"... a shotte for greate ordnance to pierce deeper then any other shotte, and sett on fire whatsoever it strike throughe or sticketh in. A moste noble ingen, specially for sea service."

 

"A firy chariott without horses to runne upon the battaile and disorder it, that no man shal be able to abide or come nigh the same ..."

 

"Mynes of fire and fireworke, bothe for sea and lande, to overthrowe or make havocke of all whatsoever a man will destroye."

 

STUDENT EXERCISE [MIDDLE AND UPPER]: Rabbards was keen not to give any of his secrets away until they had been paid for, so it is often far from clear what he has in mind. Check out the three modern weapons shown below, and describe them in the Elizabethan style of Rabbards ...

 

(1) click for image #1

(2) click for image #2

(3) click for image #3

 

1574 [30th May] Upon the death of Charles IX of France [<=1572] the throne passes to his younger brother Henry III of France [1551<=>], with his mother, Catherine de Medici [<=1572] as regent. The new king's stance on the Catholic-Protestant issue will be shaped for the next 14 years by lobbying from the Catholic League [=>1576]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1575 [15th December]         Anna Jagiellon [<=1523] is elected to the vacant thrones of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as co-ruler with Stephen Báthory, Prince of Transylvania [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1576  The Catholic League: Henry I of Guise [1572 (21st August)<=>1588] founds the "Catholic League", a politico-religious pressure group for lobbying at high level and pamphleteering at low level for Catholic supremacy over Calvinism in France. The issue of religious freedom will now go relatively quiet until the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alençon [1555<=>1584]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1577  The English navy takes possession of a 46-gun galleon named [HMS1] Revenge [Wikipedia shipography=>1587]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE FLEETS]

1 The prefix "H.M.S." has not yet been introduced, so we use it here retrospectively.

 

1579 [6th January] The Union of Arras: [«firstly 1482] This treaty brings together the Catholic (mainly southern) members of the 17 Provinces [<=1482], including Hainaut, Artois, Lilloise Flanders, and Cambrai, to express their support for Philip II of Spain [1568<=>1580]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1579 [23rd January] The Treaty of Utrecht: [«firstly 1482] This treaty brings together the Protestant (mainly northern) members of the 17 Provinces [<=1482], including Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, and Brabant, to express their opposition to the Union of Arras [<=preceding]. William (the Silent), Prince of Orange [1567<=>1584] will add his name to the proposal on 3rd May 1579. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1580 [24th July] The War of the Portuguese Succession, 1580-1583: This war is fought between Philip II of Spain [1579<=>1581] and his rival for the Portuguese throne, Dom António, Prior of Crato [Wikipedia biography=>next]. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Battle of Álcantara, 1580

·         The Battle of Ponta Delgada, 1582

 

The overall outcome is a victory for the Spanish crown, who incorporate the Portuguese title in what is known as the "Iberian Union" until 1640.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1580 [25th August] The Battle of Álcantara: This battle is fought as part of the War of the Portuguese Succession [<=preceding] between a Spanish invasion army under Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba [<=1572] and a significantly smaller Portuguese army under Dom António, Prior of Crato [<=preceding]. The battle is a crushing defeat for the Portuguese and the loss of sovereignty to Spain until 1640. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE MODERN NETHERLANDS IS BORN  **********

1581 [26th July] The Act of Abjuration: This declaration by the States-General of the Netherlands formally relieves all Dutch magistrates of their oath of allegiance to Philip II of Spain [1580<=>1584], and amounts thereby to a declaration of independence from Spain, initially as a collection of duchies/provinces with a Governor-General, but from 1587 as a Dutch Republic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1582 [24th February] Pope Gregory XII [Wikipedia biography] introduces the modern Gregorian Calendar, and drops ten days to allow for the accumulated astronomical error. The change is effected when people who go to bed on 4th October 1582 wake up on 15th October. Catholic countries follow the new system immediately, but Protestants, suspecting black artistry of some sort, drag their feet. The British Empire, for example, will not go Gregorian until 1752! [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1582 [26th July] The Battle of Porta Delgada/Terceira: This naval battle is fought as part of the War of the Portuguese Succession [<=1580] between a 60-ship Anglo-French fleet under Filippo di Piero Strozzi [Wikipedia biography] and a 28-ship Spanish fleet under Alvaro de Bazán [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive Spanish victory, with heavily disproportionate Anglo-French losses. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  WITCHCRAFT SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAINED  **********

**********  WITCHCRAFT SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAINED  **********

**********  WITCHCRAFT SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAINED  **********

**********  WITCHCRAFT SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAINED  **********

**********  WITCHCRAFT SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAINED  **********

1584 Belief Systems [III - Superstition, Witchcraft, and Magic (Scot on)]: [Continued from 1564] The British politician Reginald Scot [Wikipedia biography] publishes "The Discoverie of Witchcraft" [Wikipedia factsheet; full text online], in which entirely mundane explanations are proposed for phenomena popularly understood to be the result of witchery of some sort. Where such acts are deliberately intended to deceive the public at large, Scot explains the nature of the deception, and as a result the work will later come to be regarded as the first "textbook" of conjuring.  The work also popularises the words "legerdemaine" [French = "light+hand"] for the "fine and nimble performance" of the hands by which an audience is deceived, and "juggling" for the practice of performance conjuring as a whole.

 

ETYMOLOGY: The word "juggler" derives from the Latin joculator, meaning "jester/joker", and it is important to note that in 1584 the word meant more than tossing things in the air and catching them, signifying instead the performance as a whole.

 

ASIDE - JUNG ON "THE TRICKSTER": Lest we dismiss 16th century jesters out of hand as of little consequence for our understanding of 20th century world war we should note that the psychodynamic theorist Carl Jung [=>1900 et seq.] saw the Trickster as one of the four basic "archetypes" [Companion Resource, 1921 (Jung [ASIDES])] of humankind's "collective unconscious" [ditto] (Jung, 1956, 1972). It therefore (a) helps to determine how we perceive and interpret the actions of others (doubly so if those others are actually acting as Tricksters at the time), and (b) modulates how we ourselves might behave in certain circumstances, thus (a long passage, heavily abridged) ...

 

"Since all mythical figures correspond to inner psychic experiences and originally sprang from them, it is not surprising to find certain phenomena in the field of parapsychology which remind us of the trickster. [...] In picaresque tales, in carnivals and revels, in sacred and magical rites, in man's religious fears and exaltations, this phantom of the trickster haunts the mythology of all ages, sometimes in strangely modulated guise. He is obviously a 'psychologem', an archetypal psychic structure of extreme antiquity. In his clearest manifestations he is a faithful copy of an absolutely undifferentiated human consciousness, corresponding to a psyche that has hardly left the animal level. [...] The so-called civilised man has forgotten the trickster [... however a]s soon as people get together in masses and submerge the individual, the shadow is mobilised, and, as history shows, may even be personified and incarnated" (Jung, 1956, pp195-206).

 

Here is a modern summary of Scot's position ...

 

"Secular Enchantments

For Scot, natural magicians were learned men, thought by some to be practitioners of 'the verie absolute perfection of naturall philosophie'. Moreover, since it involved the investigation of the nature, effects, and causes of things, it was not in itself evil [and] Scot saw no harm in 'juggling' as he called it, intended for fun. [...] As his exemplars of natural magicians with deceit, illusion, and impiety added, Scot looked to the magicians of Pharaoh in their contest with Moses. These were for Scot the precursors of the contemporary art of juggling, 'consisting in fine and nimble conveiance, called legerdemaine.' They were not to be compared with witches or conjurors who pretend to do with words and charms that which Pharaoh's Hartumin [= the Egyptian court sorcerers] did with their skills and their art [and] were devoted to the discovering or uncovering of legerdemain and illusion, and to the demonstrating that the jugglers of Scot's time, like those of the Pharaoh's, depended 'upon manual dexterity to deceive onlookers' eyes; verbal dexterity to confuse their minds; and the preparation of special effects to baffle their understanding.' In so doing, Scot produced the first English work to expose 'secular enchantments'[1]. [...] He was certainly familiar with the tricks of a number of the main jugglers of his day [names given] [and a]s one of his core contemporary examples of 'juggling', Scot looked to 'Brandon's pigeon'. Brandon was one of the early sixteenth century's most well-known conjurors [and] held the position of 'King's juggler' until at least 1536/7 [...]. According to Scot, Brandon painted on a wall a picture of a dove. And seeing a dove on top of a nearby house said to the King, 'Lo, now your Grace shall see what a juggler can doo, if he be his craftes maister.' He then pricked the picture with a knife with accompanying words with the result that the pigeon fell from the top of the house stone dead. The pigeon [had in fact been administered a slow-acting poison beforehand ... and i]n the meantime, 'the juggler useth words of art, partlie to protract the time, and partlie to gaine credit and admiration of the beholders.' As Scot rather aptly concluded, 'If this or the like feate should be done by an old woman, everie bodie would crie out for fier and faggot to burne the witch'" (Almond, 2011, pp168-170).

 

As for the specific skills ...

 

"Conveyance was for Scot of the essence of juggling: 'Such are the miracles wrought by jugglers,' he wrote, 'consisting in fine and nimble conveiance, called legerdemaine: as when they seem to cast awaie, or to deliver to another that which they reteine still in their own hands; or conveie otherwise.' It consisted in the hiding and conveying of balls, the alteration of  money, and in the shuffling of cards, the purpose of all of which was to 'abuse mens eies and judgements'" (ibid., p171).

 

We shall in due course be seeing plenty of examples of "verbal conveyance" [our term for the black art of hiding one truth behind another so as to abuse mens eies and judgements in a different way] in WW1 propaganda2 [sub-thread continues at 1589 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

Almond, P. C. (2011). England's First Demonologist: Reginald Scot and 'The Discoverie of Witchcraft'. London: Tauris.

Jung, C. G. (1956). On the Psychology of the Trickster Figure. In Radin, P.  The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology. New York: Schocken.

Jung, C. G. (1972). Four Archetypes: Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

 

1,2ASIDE: Having seen how "secular enchantments" can convince a gullible public that black is white, we now remind readers that magical enchantment may well share some psychology with the sort of allurement produced by political rhetoric - see 370BCE (Plato's Phaedrus [ASIDE]). As for "verbal conveyance" start at 1914 (5th August) and follow the onward pointers.

 

1584 [19th June] Upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alençon [<=1576] the French line of succession falls under Salian Law to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (IV of France) [1572<=>1588]. This spurs the Catholic League to seek supporters abroad with the Treaty of Joinville [=>next but one], and to redouble their anti-Protestant plotting at home. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1584 [10th July] Upon the assassination of William (the Silent), Prince of Orange [<=1579] his title passes to his son Philip William [Wikipedia biography=>1618]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1584 [31st December] The Treaty of Joinville: This secret agreement between Philip II of Spain [1581<=>1585] and the Catholic League [<=1576] aligns the Catholics in France and Spain against the Protestants in England and the Netherlands. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1585  The German alchemist Sebald Schwaertzer [no convenient biography] reports how to synthesise gold fulminate [Steinhauser et al (2008 online) on the chemistry]. This invention is noteworthy in the present context because gold fulminate will in due course be recognised as the first "primary" explosive known to science. [=>1659] [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

ASIDE: Alchemist or not, Schwaertzer is doing some clever chemistry here, and anyone trying it today is likely to blow their hand off.

 

KEY TERMINOLOGY - "FULMINATION" IN CHEMISTRY: To "fulminate" is to crackle, spit, and spark angrily [Latin fulminare = "to storm, seethe, strike with lightning"]. Accordingly whenever primitive chemists chanced upon a substance which behaved in this fashion (and lived to tell the tale) they called it a "fulminate of [whatever]".

 

KEY TERMINOLOGY - "PRIMARY" VERSUS "SECONDARY" EXPLOSIVES: "Primary" explosives are chemical compounds which are relatively easy to set off. This is a very bad thing for commercial and military applications, where stores are regularly dropped, jolted, left out in the sun, and/or otherwise mishandled. Secondary explosives, on the other hand, are harder to set off and generally cheaper to produce into the bargain. The practice therefore emerged of filling the body of an explosive charge with a secondary explosive (e.g., cordite) and then providing it with a separately fitted fusing device containing a primary explosive (e.g., fulminate of mercury).

 

1585 [10th August] The Anglo-Spanish War, 1585-1604: This war is fought between the Spanish Empire under [until his death] Philip II of Spain [1584<=>next] and the kingdoms of England and Ireland under Elizabeth I of England and Ireland [1584<=>next]. The Spanish are allied with the French Catholic establishment, while the English are allied with the French Huguenot opposition, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and the Portuguese. Here are the main events ...

 

·         The Treaty of Nonsuch, 1585 [casus belli]

·         The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, 1587

·         The Bay of Cadiz Expedition, 1587

THE ARMADA CAMPAIGN, 1588 [see separate index entry 1588]

THE IRISH NINE YEARS WAR, 1594-1603 [see separate index entry 1594]

·         The Treaty of London, 1604

 

The overall outcome is pretty much to re-establish the status quo ante. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1585 [10th August] The Treaty of Nonsuch: This treaty is signed by Elizabeth I of England and Ireland [preceding<=>1594] and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. It is expressly designed to be unacceptable to Philip II of Spain [preceding<=>1588], in that it offers direct military aid to one of his enemies, and is therefore in effect a declaration of war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1586  Christian I of Saxony [Wikipedia biography] experiments with the use of paper "cartridges" to contain precisely measured out quantities of gunpowder, thereby both speeding up the loading process and standardising the charge. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1587 [8th February] Upon the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots [<=1567] after 20 years of house arrest, Philip II of Spain [1585<=>1588] prepares to pursue his claim on the English crown by military action. The resources available to him are his Atlantic fleet and his 30,000-man occupation army in the Netherlands under the Italian nobleman Alessandro Farnesi, Duke of Parma [Wikipedia biography=>1588]. He therefore decides to send the former eastwards along the English channel to escort the latter, suitably barged up as an invasion fleet, across the Straights of Dover [=>1588 (28th May)]. His plans are set back by a year when word of the build-up of ships and supplies gets back to England, prompting a pre-emptive strike [=>next] ... [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1587 [12th April-6th July] The Bay of Cadiz Expedition: This three-month naval campaign takes place as part of the Anglo-Spanish War [<=1585] between a blockading English fleet under Sir Francis Drake [Wikipedia biography=>1588] and the build-up of Spanish warships and merchantmen at and around Cadiz in preparation for the invasion of England. Drake's fleet includes four of the Navy's latest fast galleons, the Bonaventure [<=1567], the Golden Lion [Wikipedia shipography], the Rainbow [Wikipedia shipography], and the Dreadnought [<=1573]. The main attack begins at dusk on 29th April when the English force their way into Cadiz harbour for a three-day spree of boarding and seizing for profit such ships as could be taken as prizes ...

 

ASIDE - PRIZE MONEY: Most sailors at this time only got paid when they captured enemy ships. The great skill was therefore to kill as many of the enemy crew as possible from a distance and then force the survivors to surrender with a boarding party.

 

... and engaging in combat with those willing and able to make a fight of it. When the English eventually withdraw they take their prizes with them and leave a trail of smoking devastation - a large merchantman called an "argosy", a galleon, and a couple of dozen smaller vessels - in their wake. Amongst the prizes is a merchantman loaded with barrel staves. The engagement is noteworthy in the present context for ensuring that there will be no Spanish invasion of England in 1587. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1588 Writing in French, the Italian military engineer Agostino Ramelli [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Le Diverse et Artificiose Machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli", a compendium of useful everyday mechanical devices such as water pumps, milling machines, etc. [THREAD = HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY]

 

1588 [9th May] The Paris Blockades: Henry I of Guise [1576<=>23rd December] enters Paris to promote the Catholic League, and is received by the citizens of Paris with an enthusiastic welcome1. This popular enthusiasm soon gets out of hand, and spills over into direct action as barricades go up in areas loyal to Henry III of France [1574<=>15th June]. Seeing the extent of his unpopularity Henry III flees the city leaving Guise in possession of the machinery of government. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1RULE #4 APPLIES: In politics the most impressive "spontaneous" displays of public affection are often not spontaneous in the slightest. Rather they are (a) covertly organised in advance, and (b) carefully "rabble-roused" from the sidelines on the day.

 

1588 [28th May] The Armada Campaign: This two-month-long naval expedition is fought as part of the Anglo-Spanish War [<=1585] between a 151-ship fleet manned by 8000 seamen and transporting 18,000 soldiers under Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia [Wikipedia biography=>all three battle phases] and a 200-ship English fleet under Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham [Wikipedia biography=>all three battle phases], supported by a handful of high-reputation squadron commanders like Sir Francis Drake [1587<=>all three battle phases] and (Sir) Martin Frobisher [Wikipedia biography]. We shall deal with the succession of individual engagements in three phases, as follows ...

 

·         The Run Up the Channel, 28th May - 27th July

·         The Battle of Gravelines, 28th July - 29th July

·         The Long Way Home, 30th July - mid-September

 

The overall outcome is a historically famous defeat for Philip II of Spain [1587<=>1591]. The campaign is noteworthy in the present context (a) for demonstrating the power of bad weather to disrupt even the best-laid military plans, (b) for demonstrating the tactical value of patient skirmishing against a well-manned but largely immobile defensive line, and (c) for the pensions and gratuities provided by the Spanish state to their wounded servicemen or their dependents. [THREADS = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE and MILITARY SIGNALLING]

 

1588 [28th May - 27th July] The Run up the Channel: This is the first phase of the broader Armada Campaign [preceding<=>next]. It begins when the Armada is sighted off the Lizard on 19th July. News of the sighting soon travels the 300 miles to London along a chain of hilltop fire beacons, and the English fleet leaves Plymouth on 20th July and manoeuvres upwind of the Spanish, thereby blocking their line of retreat [Wikipedia map]. Drake is in Revenge [1577<=>1591] and Howard in Ark Royal [Wikipedia shipography]. The first action is with the Spanish rear-guard on 21st July, and lasts all day because the English are careful not to get within grappling distance. The only losses are two Spanish ships which collide.

 

ASIDE - A FATAL SPANISH MISCALCULATION: Because they were an invasion fleet, the Spanish ships were heavily loaded with campaign stores, even on their warships, where the clutter made it difficult to reload their heavy cannon after firing. They were accordingly keen to avoid a gunnery battle. They also had lots of extra troops on board, giving them the edge in any grapple-and-board encounter. But to force these issues to their advantage they first had to out-sail the English ships, and, because they were running heavy, failed to do so.

 

The 22nd July is spent regrouping. The 23rd July then sees a similar engagement off Portland, Dorset, followed by a slow chase eastwards towards the Straights of Dover. The continued action prevents Medina Sidonia [28th May<=>30th July] receiving status reports from Alexandro Farnese, Duke of Parma [<=1587], and it is only on 27th July, with his fleet already at anchor in a tightly packed defensive formation off Calais, that he learns - to his consternation - that Parma's land army is still a week away from embarkation! [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1588 [15th June] The Edict of Union: This royal undertaking is signed by Henry III of France [12th May<=>23rd December] under pressure from the Catholic League. It recognises Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon [Wikipedia biography=>1589] as having a claim on the throne, and promotes Henry I of Guise [9th May<=>23rd December] to be Lord-Lieutenant of France. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1588 [28th-29th July] The Battle of Gravelines: This battle is the pivotal moment in the broader Armada Campaign. It begins on 28th July as Lord Howard's fleet takes position upwind of the anchored Armada, followed that night by a fire-ship attack and the following day by continuous skirmishing. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR MOVIE: Shekhar Kapur's (1998) movie "Elizabeth" [Polygram Filmed Entertainment] includes scenes recreating aspects of this battle.

 

1588 [30th July - mid-September] The Long Way Home: This is the third phase of the broader Armada Campaign. It begins in the early hours of 30th July as the severity of his losses the previous day dawns on Medina Sidonia [<=28th May]. Five heavy warships have been sunk or driven aground, and all the survivors have suffered serious damage. Ammunition stocks are good, but this merely indicates how successful the English have been at engaging at a distance. The English, for their part, are exhausted and out of ammunition. They have "run rings around" the Spanish but still cannot afford to grapple with them. It is therefore something of a relief when Medina Sidonia decides to take the long route home (sailing in an enormous counter-clockwise circle up the east coast of England, around the north of Scotland, and then back down the west coast of Ireland) rather than fight his way back up the English Channel [Wikipedia map]. The most damaged ships are lost on the way north, and many more in gales off the Irish coast. The English track them northwards for a couple of days and then, satisfied that they are no longer a serious threat, return to port. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1588 [23rd December] Henry I of Guise [15th June<=>1589] is murdered at the Chateau of Blois by the royal bodyguard, having been tricked into attending by Henry III of France [15th June<=>1589]. This act earns Henry III no friends, however, and he flees to the Court of Henry III of Navarre (IV of France) [1584<=>1589], where they start to assemble an army for a showdown with the Catholic League the following year. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1589 Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [IX - Early Work (Heron Rediscovered)]: [Continued from 1560 (Torriani)] Around this time a start is made toward collating, cataloguing, and translating the ancient manuscripts of the 1st Century Greek engineer Heron of Alexandria [Wikipedia biography] [sub-thread continues at next entry ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE: Heron's works remain fragmented and incomplete. Pearse (2011 online) identifies Nix and Schmidt's (1900) translation (Greek into German) as the critical edition and provides valuable pointers to such online resources as are available.

 

1589 Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [X - Exploring the Possibilities (The Brazen Head)]: [Continued from preceding entry] The British playwright Robert Greene [Wikipedia biography] publishes "The Honourable Historie of Frier Bacon and Frier Bongay" [Wikipedia factsheet; University of Oregon full text online], a comedic dramatisation of an earlier as-yet-unpublished romance. The play revolves around the 13th century priest-alchemists Roger Bacon [<=1268] and Thomas Bungay [no convenient biography], and also features a "brazen head" automaton (it has a speaking part, albeit only seven words), for which reason it is destined to feature boldly in future histories of cyberscience [sub-thread continues at 1725 (Bouchon) ...] [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE: The character of the Brazen Head is itself a pun on Brasenose College, Oxford, where some of the action is set. The play makes much of Bacon's alchemical prowess (crystal balls, teleportation, and the like). In modern times the idea of the intelligent automaton - fore-runner of the computer avatar - was woven into John Cowper Powys' (1956) novel "The Brazen Head".

 

1589 [1st August] Henry III of France [<=1588] is attacked in reprisal for the murder of Henry I of Guise [<=1588]. He dies the next day, whereupon the throne passes by rights to Henry III of Navarre [<=1572]. Paris, however, is still firmly in the hands of the Catholic League, but their position is weakened when their candidate for the throne, Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon [<=1588] suddenly renounces his claim. All will be resolved in Navarre's favour in due course, but in the meantime we show him as Henry IV of France [Disputed] [=>1593]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1589 Belief Systems [IV - Superstition, Witchcraft, and Magic (della Porta on)]: [Continued from 1584] The latest edition of the Italian gentleman-scientist Giambattista della Porta's [Wikipedia biography] "Magiae Naturalis" [in English as "Natural Magick", but not until 1658; Wikipedia factsheet; full text online] runs to 20 volumes (Beck, 1974; recommended reading [link below]), and may be seen as an attempt "to take natural magic entirely away from the devil". One of the natural curiosities explained is the use of a room-sized camera obscura [Wikipedia factsheet and reference] as performance space, thus allowing the covert projection of external images/scenes into the audience's eye-line, much to the consternation of the uninitiated. Indeed one such demonstration apparently got him arrested for sorcery (Finnberg, 2012 online) [sub-thread continues at 1612 ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

Beck, L. N. (1974). THINGS MAGICAL in the collections of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division [of the U.S. Library of Congress]. Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, 31:208-234 [full text online]. [The work makes especial reference to the personal collection of Harry Houdini, acquired in 1927, and the McManus-Young Collection acquired in 1955 [Library of Congress factsheet]]

 

1589  The British engineer Paul Ive [no convenient biography] publishes a treatise entitled "The Practice of Fortification". [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1589 [23rd November] The marriage takes place at the Bishop's Palace in Oslo of James VI of Scotland (I of England) [1567<=>1600] and Anne of Denmark [Wikipedia biography=>1600]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1590 [4th March] The Siege of Breda: This siege is fought out as part of the Eighty Years War [<=1568] between a Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau (Prince of Orange) [Wikipedia biography=>1596] and the Spanish garrison at Breda. The outcome is an easy Dutch victory after they smuggle a 70-strong company of commandos into the city hidden in a peat barge. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1591  Spanish Aid to Ireland: In an attempt to sour relations between England and Ireland, Philip II of Spain [1588<=>1598] starts to provide arms and battlefield advisors to the indigenous Irish clans, especially those in the northern province of Ulster under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [Wikipedia biography=>1594] and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [Wikipedia biography=>1594]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1591 [31st August-1st September] The Battle of Flores: This naval battle is fought as part of the Anglo-Spanish War [<=1585] between a 53-ship Spanish fleet under Alonso de Bazán [Wikipedia biography] and a 22-ship English fleet under Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk [<=1588] and Sir Richard Grenville [Wikipedia biography]. Being outnumbered the body of the English fleet decides that discretion is the better part of valour and escapes after a short rear-guard skirmish. Grenville, however, aboard [HMS] Revenge [<=1588] gets separated from the main body of Howard's fleet and continues to engage despite odds of 53:1 against1. The Spanish commit the San Felipe, the San Bernabé, and the San Cristóbal to close with Revenge, and use a succession of boarding parties to wear down Grenville's defenders until they have no choice but to surrender. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: It is actually quite misleading to state combat odds in this way because in practice only two or three Spanish ships can close with Grenville at any one time.

 

1593 [25th July] Henry (IV of France [Disputed]) [1589<=>1598] is received into the Roman Catholic faith, paving the way to his finally being approved as king of France on 27th February 1594. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1594  The Irish Nine Years War, 1594-1603: This war of forced pacification is fought in Ireland as part of the broader Anglo-Spanish War [<=1585], between the English crown in the person of Elizabeth I of England and Ireland [1585<=>1603] and Spanish-armed Irish clans led by Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [1591<=>1595], and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [1591<=>1595]. Here is the event skeleton ...

 

·         Spanish Aid to Ireland, 1591

·         The Battle of Clontibret, 1595

·         The Battle of the Yellow Ford, 1598

·         Lord Essex's Campaign, 1599

·         Lord Mountjoy's Campaign, 1600-1603

·         The Kinsale Armada, 1601

·         The Treaty of Mellifont, 1603

 

The war is noteworthy in the present context for sowing the seeds of the forced settlement of Ulster with Scottish Protestants during the first quarter of the 17th century [=>1609]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  IMPORTANT MARRIAGE FOR PRUSSIA  **********

1594 [30th October] The political marriage takes place of John Sigismund [1572<=>1608] and the daughter and heir apparent of Albert Frederick, Duke of [East] Prussia [1569<=>1618], Anna of [East] Prussia [Wikipedia biography=>1608]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1595 [25th-27th March] The Battle of Clontibret: This battle is fought as part of the Irish Nine Years War [<=1594] between an Irish Rebel army under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [1594<=>1598], and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [1594<=>1598] and an English crown army under Sir Henry Bagenal [Wikipedia biography=>1598]. The outcome is an Irish victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1596  The Dutch engraver Jacob de Gheyn II [Wikipedia biography] starts a ten-year programme of work on the illustrations for the 1607 publication Wapenhandelinghe [In English as "Exercise of Arms"], a musketry drill manual devised by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange [1590<=>1597]. [THREAD = THE WW1 ARMIES]

 

KEY MILITARY CONCEPT - "DUTCH DRILL": YouTube includes the following online demonstration of the De Gheyn drill for a matchlock musket - click here. Maurice of Nassau recognised that this sort of automatised technical efficiency needed months of practice to achieve, and his training regimes became known elsewhere in Europe as "Dutch drill".

 

1596  The British artillery officer Sebastian Halle [no convenient biography] develops a device for automatically lighting the timing fuse of an explosive shell using an ignition device built into the shell itself. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

ASIDE: Although the practice of using igniferous timefuses for the timed detonation of explosive projectiles was already long-established [<=1376], it is actually extremely dangerous to light the fuse prior to the moment of firing because, once lit, it cannot be put out again - if the gun chances to misfire then the projectile can explode in the barrel!

 

KEY TECHNOLOGY - "IGNIFEROUS" TIME FUSES: Everyday English routinely uses the phrase "light the blue touch-paper". The phrase comes from the instructions printed on fireworks. When a match is applied the touch-paper fuse then fizzes slowly along its length until it reaches the main charge. If the firework is damp or physically distorted the main ignition may be delayed ("hang fire") or fail altogether. The length of the delay obtained by an igniferous fuse of this sort can be controlled by cutting it to a desired length, given prior knowledge of its typical burn speed. Here are some videos of igniferous fuses of  different sorts in action ...

 

YouTube - Mythbusters and the gunpowder trail

YouTube - "The Horse Soldiers" gunpowder trail [go to minutes 110-112]

YouTube - Igniferous fuses in "Tom and Jerry"

YouTube - "Birdsong", the escape [go to minutes 5-7]

 

KEY TECHNICALITY - TIME VERSUS PERCUSSION FUSING: Apart from the technical difficulty timing a shell in flight, there are actually only two operational circumstances in which a timed explosion is going to be more effective than an explosion on impact. The first of these is when shooting at aircraft or balloons, where there is little chance of achieving a direct hit but considerable value in a near miss. The second is when shooting at entrenched targets, where a timed explosion in the air close over the trench will strike directly downwards onto those sheltering within.

 

1597  The Office of Ordnance [<=1544] is renamed the Board of Ordnance. The Royal Artillery and (from 1717) the Royal Engineers will answer to this new office until its disbandment for incompetence in 1855. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1597 [24th January] The Battle of Turnhout: This battle is fought as part of the Eighty Years War [<=1568] between a Spanish army under Count Varax [no convenient biography] and a Dutch-English army under Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange [1596<=>1600] and Sir Francis Vere [Wikipedia biography=>1600]. The outcome is a decisive Dutch-English victory, with disproportionate Spanish casualties. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1598  About this time an illegitimate son is born to Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley [Wikipedia biography] and Elizabeth Tomlinson, and named Dudd Dudley [Wikipedia biography=>1622]. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION]

 

1598 [13th April] The Edict of Nantes: This treaty brings the Wars of Religion [<=1562] to a provisional conclusion. It proclaims France to be a Catholic nation, but it also provides limited freedom of worship to Protestants. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1598 [2nd May] The Peace of Vervins: This treaty brings the Wars of Religion [<=preceding] to a substantive conclusion in that Philip II of Spain [1588<=>next] recognises Henry IV of France [1593<=>1601] as the legitimate French monarch and stops supporting the Catholic League. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1598 [14th August] The Battle of the Yellow Ford: This battle is fought as part of the Irish Nine Years War [<=1594] between an Irish Rebel army under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [1595<=>1599], and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [1595<=>1599] and an English crown army under Sir Henry Bagenal [<=1595]. The outcome is an Irish victory and the death on the battlefield of Bagenal. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1598 [13th September] Upon the death of Philip II of Spain [<=preceding] his titles pass to his son Philip III of Spain [Wikipedia biography=>1605]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1599  Lord Essex's Campaign in Ireland: This campaign is fought as part of the Irish Nine Years War [<=1594] between the Irish rebels under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [1598<=>1600], and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [1598<=>1600] and an English crown army under Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex [Wikipedia biography], newly installed as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The outcome is a humiliating stalemate for the English, resulting in Essex's arrest and imprisonment. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1600  Lord Mountjoy's Campaign in Ireland: This campaign is fought as part of the Irish Nine Years War [<=1594] between the Irish rebels under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [1599<=>1601], and Hugh Roe O'Donnell [1599<=>1601] and an English crown army under Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy [Wikipedia biography=>1601], newly installed as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The outcome is that the clans are gradually outmanoeuvred and worn down. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1600 [2nd July] The Battle of Nieuwpoort: This battle is fought as part of the Eighty Years War [<=1568] between a Spanish army under Albert VII, Archduke of Austria [Wikipedia biography] and a Dutch-English army under Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange [1597<=>1618] and Sir Francis Vere [<=1597]. The outcome is a Dutch-English victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for successfully field testing Maurice's new theories of the "rolling volley". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY MILITARY CONCEPT - THE "ROLLING VOLLEY": This is a system of field manoeuvre capable of reducing the interval between musketry volleys by having the available troops organised into ranks, with each rank taking it in turns to fire. With n ranks each volley will use 1/nth of the total available guns and the time between volleys will reduce to 1/nth of the usual reloading time. The psychological effect is often magnified by having the ranks advance or withdraw through each other after each volley. The rolling volley manoeuvre features in many movies and battle re-enactments, but the most famous for British audiences is probably the one in Cy Endfield's (1964) movie "Zulu" [Diamond Films] [check it out (the scene in question begins at 1 hr 33 mins into the movie, and lasts for about a minute)].

 

1600 [14th August] The British playwright William Shakespeare [Wikipedia biography] begins circulating his new play "Henry the Fifth", the story of that king's military expedition to France and the ensuing Battle of Agincourt [<=1415]. The work is noteworthy in the present context for a number of insights into the problems of command and the nature of common soldiery.