• 28 December 1510 – Birth of Sir Nicholas Bacon,English politician during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, notable as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was the father of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.

    1522 –Birth of  Margaret of Parma,  illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst. She was a Duchess of Florence and a Duchess of Parma and Piacenza by marriage.

    1531-Henry VIII. to Clement VII.



    Has read his brief, brought by Wm. Benet, who returns on his embassy. Is much surprised that when both of them are anxious for justice, they cannot agree. Books and doctors are unanimous in determining that the King should not plead his cause in Rome either personally or by proctor. This decision is confirmed by the great universities, which the King has consulted. Condemns the judges of the Rota for clinging to their own authority, and neglecting the opinions of others, and insists that they ought to be influenced by the laws, and the interpretation put upon them by learned men. On the mere assertion of the Queen that England is a suspected place, Henry is cited where the Emperor's influence is all powerful. In all England (horrible to think) there is no one worthy to act as judge. Appeals to the Pope's conscience to do his office, and not be influenced by others, as truth and right reason demand. It was never heard that a king of England was cited to Rome. Had it been to Avignon the matter would have been different. Further arguments to induce the Pope to be moderate in the exercise of his jurisdiction. Would be very unwilling to proceed further, but if he must he will have the satisfaction of a good conscience in knowing that the fault is not his. Refers him further to Benet. Greenwich, 28 Dec. 1531.



    29 December 1503 - Battle at Carigliano: Spanish army beats France


    1531-Chapuys to Charles V.

    Today in Tudor History...


    La Pomeraye arrived here on Christmas Eve, and was with John Joachin feasted by the lady. With all their pastimes they were not idle, and have this day sent Winchester to France. Pomeraye is here for the process of the divorce to be decided in this kingdom, and he tells me that it is impossible to conceive how much this King has the said affair at heart, and that his master will refuse him nothing. Bayonne is going to Rome, and Benet will follow. The King has asked that Joachin may be left here ambassador with Pomeraye. He is the man for the time. Pomeraye is lodged in the palace of Bridewell. Considering the coldness and pusillanimity they show at Rome, we may expect that the interposition of the king of France in the divorce will have great effect. The auditor of the Rota is still here, and I must think that those here are anxious to trouble the Pope, or else that neither the place nor the matter for which he has come is agreeable to them. He has not been able to obtain an audience since the 20th, and, instead of receiving an answer to his memorials, he did nothing but quarrel and menace. On the 28th he returned to Court, and, wishing to speak to the King as he was going to mass, could not obtain either his ear or his eye. And as they walked to the chapel, the French ambassadors would not allow him to take precedence, saying that he was only Nuncio in Scotland, and not here; and though he affirmed that he was Nuncio wherever he passed or carried briefs, and had matters to communicate from the Pope, the King's council resolved that he should not have precedence. He has, therefore, declined to accompany the King, and has gone to the Cordeliers, and stayed away from dinner. After dinner he returned to Court to obtain his audience, but without effect; so the good man is in great perplexity, and does not know what to do.

    Parliament has been prorogued, as they do not know exactly what to discuss. You have given them a good example by the Constitutions you have promulgated in Flanders, which have been translated into English. London, 24 Dec.

    P.S.I have received the following letter from the Queen, written to her by some one in authority.


    "To Katharine Of Aragon.

    I have spoken with Dr. Benet, who is very friendly, and he told me how that in Rome they were using much pressure to put an end to your business; and an excusator has appeared on the part of the King, asking that the cause may be remitted to another place, seeing that the Emperor defends this cause for your Highness, and the king of France for the other, who together have the greatest part of Christendom. Nevertheless, they have determined at Rome that the matter is to be concluded there and nowhere else. The said doctor tells me that the proctor of your Highness asked sentence immediately, and that, at the suggestion of the King's ambassadors and other persons, the Pope one day went into the country, and another day pretended to be sick. He told me the cause of his coming was to give notice on the part of the Pope that he could wait no longer without doing justice; and when he told this to the King, the King said he cared nothing for that sentence; but the doctor gave him to understand that the sentence once given would do him irreparable injury. Let your Highness be assured that as law is wanting to the adversaries ("a los contrarios les (?ley) falta"), and they use the help of relations (parientes) and friends, now is the time, and if this thing be lost it will be late in being recovered"


    1539 - St Jacob's Church burns after being hit by lightning


    1541 - Isabella of Poland and King Ferdinand of Austria signed Treaty of Gyalu


    30 December 1460-Battle of Wakefield


    The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield, in West Yorkshire in Northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the captive King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster, his Queen Margaret of Anjou and their seven year-old son Edward, Prince of Wales on one side, and the army of Richard, Duke of York, the rival claimant to the throne, on the other. The Duke of York was killed and his army was destroyed.



    1494-Birth of John Russell.He was an English Bishop of Rochester and bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor.



    1535-Chapuys to Charles V.

    On Monday last, the third day of Christmas, the King sent to ask me to come and visit him some day during these holidays, except the first day of the year, and that I should do him great pleasure. And it being arranged between me and the gentleman who came to call me that this day would be the most convenient, the King on Tuesday following sent to ask me to put it off till Sunday next. Yesterday, Wednesday, I received letters from the Queen's physician, stating that she had relapsed, and was worse than she was a mouth before, and that for the Queen's satisfaction and all her company I must obtain leave to go and visit her. I sent immediately to Court to solicit the said leave, and Cromwell said there would be no difficulty about it, but it was necessary that the King should first speak with me on matters of great importance, and I must not fail to come to Greenwich at 1 p.m., whither the King would come from Heltam. Although Cromwell made this reply several times to my messenger, and begged him particularly to report it to me, yet he this morning sent me his secretary to know my determination about it, that he might give notice to the King to be at Greenwich; Cromwell thus declaring the great desire the King and he had that I should not fail to be there. At the hour appointed I found on the bridge at Greenwich the sieur de Chennay waiting for me, to conduct me to the lists, where the King was waiting for me. He received me most courteously, embraced me still more cordially by the neck, and detained me some time in conversation before all the company on matters which I cannot recount at present, except that, among other things, he said that, hearing from Cromwell how I wished to visit the patient, he had anticipated the day appointed to me, as the matter of which he wished to speak to me was of such importance. It was that, trusting in the cordial expressions Likkerke and I had so long used to his ministers, he had always refused to let them listen to the French, who continually importuned him with great offers; but seeing no great hope for his own part, as your Majesty appeared to be dissembling matters for the time, "et apres donner la figue a tout le monde," and, on the other hand, as the French had redoubled their intrigues since the death of the duke of Milan, and made him such wonderful offers, he should be compelled to listen to them if he had not speedy and assured answer from your Majesty. Yet he doubted, considering the urgency of their suit, whether he could await the answer; nor was he so foolish as not to be on his guard against dissimulations which might be to his great disadvantage, shutting him out from the friendship both of your Majesty and France; but now was the season for him to see to his own interests (quil feit ses affaires), the French being enemies to your Majesty, who were only awaiting an opportunity of declaring themselves so, as the offers they made him were better assured than any made to him hitherto, for they promised him towns and territory; and as he was a plain-spoken prince and man of honor he wished to communicate them to me, both for his own honor and that I might provide a remedy by informing you with all diligence, telling me there could be no doubt of what he had informed me, and that he was not one of those who stirred up jealousies in order to make his own profit, stating one thing instead of another,—for he was an Englishman, and not a Frenchman or a Spaniard, to use such guile.

    On beginning to reply, saying that I hoped to satisfy him fully touching the delay of your Majesty's answer, he wished me to come up with him to his room, from which he shut out everybody, and there I said to him that if there were no other reason, the great business your Majesty had during your expedition to Barbary was sufficient excuse for not having been able to answer him; for neither in this matter nor in any other, however important, had you made answer during that time (which he would not admit, saying he knew the contrary), and further that your Majesty had more cause to complain of the delay and dissimulation he had used in this matter than he, and that it was for him to make answer on the overtures which had been made to him on your behalf, but till now I had not been able to get from him or Cromwell any explicit reply; for every time Cromwell and I had spoken of it, he had been unable to reply to my representations, and said he would take time to consider about them; and at last, after much importunity, when I gave him to understand that his communications with me seemed only intended to put off time and create jealousy in the French, he said he had written to Wallop to make the said reply to your Majesty's ambassador, and, notwithstanding that that looked very much like a subterfuge to create further delay, I had not ceased to speak to Cromwell about it from time to time, who confined himself to general terms; and that I did not believe, whatever he said, that the king of France and he, being such virtuous princes, would treat anything against your Majesty to the ruin of Christendom, especially he who had no cause for it whatever, your Majesty having always been his friend, as he would, besides greatly offending God by breaking his oaths and promises, do great injury to himself and his kingdom, making war upon your Majesty without hope of any advantage; for he knew well that those who promised him the territory of others would like it better for themselves, as well as Guienne and Normandy; moreover he knew well what Cromwell had often told me, that the a French to obtain Milan would renounce (remerceroit qu. renonceroit ?) the friendship of all princes, even father and mother, and, as Cromwell said, even God himself. On this he suddenly said that he did not think your Majesty so ill advised as to grant Milan to the French, for it would be your complete destruction. I said that, even if the French conquered it, they would do all that your Majesty wished, and there would be no such danger of destruction, as had been seen previously, even when things were not so favorable everywhere for your Majesty as they are now, and when those of the French were much more prosperous. He answered that it would be a very different thing if they deceived themselves with the French (quil y auroit trop grosse difference sil se fallioit avec les François), and that the affairs of your Majesty were not so prosperous as it was pretended, for it was no great thing to have given chase to a pirate, especially with the aid of the Moorish king, who, with his men, had effected everything in the encounter with Barbarossa, as his ambassador had written to him. And on my remarking that it must be considered that Barbarossa was captain general of the most powerful prince in the world, and king of two kingdoms, and declaring further the little help the Moorish king got from his subjects, he was sorry for having begun upon the subject; and as to allying himself to the French, [I said], the nations were such as it was impossible to bring together, and in case of war it would be inestimable injury if his subjects could not trade in Flanders; in which case he said they would find means enough to export their goods.

    I asked the King, apropos of some other things, what occasion he had to treat of war against your Majesty. He said, to secure himself and not allow you to grow so powerful, and that the French reproached him, saying his dissimulation was the reason why the Emperor was so haughty; moreover, that you had shown him the greatest ingratitude, procuring so many things against him at the desire of a woman, which had involved him in many troubles; and that your Majesty had by threats and force obtained a sentence against him, as the Pope himself had confessed. I replied that your Majesty, as a set-off to much prosperity, had this misfortune (en recompence de pluseurs bonsheurs avoit cesluy mauvais), that he complained of your Majesty because you recommended the righteous cause of the Queen alike for his own honor and for that of the Queen herself. Whereupon he replied to me as he had done before, that your Majesty had not acted so for the queen of Denmark your sister. To which I made the same reply as formerly, showing him what your Majesty had done for her daughters your nieces. And to all the rest I replied very particularly and, I think, pertinently, taking particular care not to be contentious or irritate him, considering the French intrigues, which I believe are hot, although the King tells me "que les Francois ne monstrent estre trop effrayez;" and the King only makes me such great cheer before the world to arouse the jealousy of the French ambassador, who was in Court yesterday by his desire.

    After much conversation I asked the King what he wished your Majesty to do. He said finally he wished you would not only cease to favor these good ladies, but also get the sentence given in the Queen's favor revoked. I said there was no good reason for this, and even if your Majesty would do so it was not in your power; and since I had no express commission to discuss such matters, I could only inform your Majesty, and assure you that you would do all you could according to honor and conscience. The King, in the course of conversation, admitted that he believed the Pope solicited you to do all you could against him, and also that it was a ridiculous story that your Majesty had offered the king of France to conquer this realm for him. At last he said that he believed the Queen, whom he only called Madame, would not live long (ne la feroit ycy longuement), and that if she died you would have no cause to trouble yourself about the affairs of this kingdom, and might refrain from stirring in this matter (et se pourra tenir par le bec des poursuites faictes en ce negoce). I said the death of the Queen could do no possible good, and that in any event the sentence was necessary.

    After I had taken leave of the King he recalled me by the duke of Suffolk to tell me news had just come that the Queen was in extremis, and that I should hardly find her alive; moreover, that this would take away all the difficulties between your Majesty and him. I think the danger cannot be so great, because the physician did not represent the case to me as so urgent; nevertheless I took horse at once. I asked leave that the Princess might see the Queen her mother,—which he at first refused, and on my making some remonstrance he said he would take advice on the subject. The Princess had advised me to make this request. London, 30 Dec. 1535.


    31 December 1424 –Death of  Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter.He was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four illegitimate children; the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, and he and his siblings were legitimated on two separate occasions, in 1390 and again in 1397. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Horneby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young.



    1460 –Death of  Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician, Lord Chancellor



    1491 – Birth of Jacques Cartier, French navigator and explorer 


    1492 - 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily


    1501 – The First Battle of Cannanore commences.


    1502 - Cesare Borgia occupies Urbino


    1510 – Death of Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor 


    1534- The Wife and Children of Sir Thomas More.


    Petition for the pardon and release of the said Sir Thomas, who has remained more than eight months in the Tower of London, “in great continual sickness of body and heaviness of heart.” The King during that time has allowed his said wife to retain his moveable goods and the revenues of his lands, although forfeited for his refusal of the oath; but lately an act (or two) has been made in the last parliament, not only confirming the former forfeiture, but causing the inheritance of all the lands which the said Sir Thomas had from the King, amounting to the annual value of 60l., to be forfeited. All that his wife brought him is expended in the King's service, and she is likely to come to want, as also her son, who stands charged with the payment of certain great sums due by the said Sir Thomas to the King. But above all this, the said Sir Thomas is likely to die after his long and true service to the King. Beseeching the King to grant this their petition, considering that his offence is not of malice or obstinacy, “but of such a long-continued and deep-rooted scruple as passeth his power to avoid and put away.”



  • 26 December 1458 – Death of Arthur III, Duke of Brittany


    1492 - 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in New World founded, by Columbus


    1526 – Birth of Rose Throckmorton


    1620 - Elizabeth Báthory's crimes are uncovered.


    27 December 1437 - Albrecht II von Habsburg becomes king of Bohemia


    1512 - The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World.


    1539 – Anne of Cleves landed at Deal in Kent 

    Today in Tudor History...

    1603 – Death of Thomas Cartwright, English clergyman and theologian 



  • 25 December 1492 – Carrack Santa María captained by Christopher Columbus runs onto reefs off Haiti due to a proper watch not being kept. Local natives help to save food, armory and ammunition but not the ship.


    1549 – Death of Stephen Vaughan, merchant, merchant adventurer, diplomat and administrator


    1553 – Battle of Tucapel: Mapuche rebels under Lautaro defeat the Spanish conquistadors and executes the governor of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia.


    1584 – Birth of Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain

    Today in Tudor History...

    1596 – Death of Sir Henry Curwen, member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace and sheriff

    Today in Tudor History...

    1634-Death of Lettice Knollys.She was an English noblewoman and mother to the courtiers Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Lady Penelope Rich, although via her marriage to Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, she incurred the Queen's unrelenting displeasure.A grandniece of Anne Boleyn and close to Princess Elizabeth since childhood, Lettice Knollys was introduced early into court life. At 17 she married Walter Devereux, Viscount Hereford, who in 1572 became Earl of Essex. After her husband went to Ireland in 1573 she possibly became involved with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. There was plenty of scandalous talk, not least when Essex died in Ireland of dysentery in 1576. Two years later Lettice Knollys married Robert Dudley in private. When the Queen was told of the marriage she banished the Countess forever from court, effectively curtailing her social life. The couple's child, Robert, Lord Denbigh, died at the age of three, to the great grief of his parents and ending all prospects for the continuance of the House of Dudley. Lettice Knollys' union with Leicester was nevertheless a happy one, as was her third marriage to the much younger Sir Christopher Blount, whom she unexpectedly married in 1589 only six months after the Earl's death. She continued to style herself Lady Leicester.The Countess was richly left under Leicester's will; yet the discharge of his overwhelming debts diminished her wealth. In 1604–1605 she successfully defended her widow's rights in court when her possessions and her good name were threatened by the Earl's illegitimate son, Robert Dudley, who claimed that he was his father's legitimate heir, thus implicitly declaring her marriage bigamous. Lettice Knollys was always close to her large family circle. Helpless at the political eclipse of her eldest son, the second Earl of Essex, she lost both him and her third husband to the executioner in 1601. From the 1590s she lived chiefly in the Staffordshire countryside, where, in reasonably good health until the end, she died at age 91 on Christmas Day 1634.


    Today in Tudor History...



  • 24 December 1500 – A joint Venetian–Spanish fleet captures the Castle of St. George on the island of Cephalonia.


    1515 - Cardinal Thomas Wolsey became Lord Chancellor


    Today in Tudor History....


    1541-At London, December.:—Jane Rattsey, examined of her words to Eliz. Bassett, viz.: “What if God worketh this work to make the lady Anne of Cleves queen again?” says it was an idle saying suggested by Bassett's praising the lady Anne and dispraising the Queen that now is. Never spoke at any other time of the lady Anne, and she thinks the King's divorce from her good. Examined why she said, “What a man is the King! How many wives will he have?” She said it upon the sudden tidings declared to her by Bassett, when she was sorry for the change and knew not so much as she knows now.



    1545 – Henry VIII made his final speech to Parliament

    Today in Tudor History....

    The King's speech in Parliament, 24 Dec. 1545.

    His chancellors have heretofore well answered such orations as have been set forth in this high court of Parliament but could not so plainly express his meaning as he himself can. Answers "your eloquent oration, Master Speaker," that he thanks his "well beloved Commons" for their praises, and for their consideration of his great charges in their defence, and in the conquest of "that fortress which was to this realm most displeasant and noisome," and which, he hopes, will hereafter become to this nation "most profitable and pleasant." As one who sets more by their loving hearts than by their substance, cannot but take well their free grant of "a certain subsidy here in an Act specified"; and rejoice at their trust in him when, without his request, they commit to his order "all chantries, colleges, hospitals and other places specified in a certain Act." They may be sure that he will not suffer the "ministres" of the Church to decay, or learning to be minished, or the poor to be unrelieved.

    There is one thing, however, which they must take pains to amend, and that is their want of charity. Cites St. Paul, Cor. xiii. One calls another heretic and anabaptist, and he replies Papist, hypocrite, Pharisee. This is partly the fault of you, fathers and preachers of the Spiritualty, some too stiff in their old mumpsinius, some too busy and curious in their new sumpsimus, so that few preach truly the Word of God. Amend those crimes, and set forth God's word by true preaching and good example, "or else I, whom God has appointed his Vicar and high minister here, will see these divisions extinct." But you of the temporalty are not clean from malice and envy, for you rail on bishops and preachers, whereas if you know anyone to preach perverse doctrine you should inform our Council or us, whose office it is to reform such behaviour. They are permitted to have the Word of God in their mother tongue, but only to inform themselves and instruct their children, not that they may make Scripture a taunting stock against priests and preachers. I am sorry to hear "how unreverently that most precious jewel, the Word of God, is disputed, rhymed, sung and jangled in every alehouse and tavern," and that the readers of it follow it so faintly and coldly. I am sure there never was less virtuous or godly living, nor God himself ever, amongst Christians, less reverenced. As to the laws now made, exhorts them, the makers, to put them diligently in execution.

    The King then said that such acts as had passed both Houses should be read. "Then they were openly read, and to many his Grace assented, and divers he assented not unto."


    Petre to Paget.

    This morning, being Christmas Even, 24 Dec., Parliament was prorogued until 4 Nov. next, by the King in person. After hearing the proposition of the Speaker, a great piece of which consisted in laud of his Highness, the King required my lord Chancellor, whose office has ever been to make answer for the King, to permit him to answer himself; and did so with a gravity, "so sententiously, so kingly, or rather fatherly, as peradventure to you that hath been used to his daily talks should have been no great wonder (and yet saw I some that hear him often enough largely water their plants), but to us, that have not heard him often, was such a joy and marvellous comfort as I reckon this day one of the happiest of my life." Gives a long summary of the speech in which the King exhorted his people to more charity towards one another. Encloses bill of the Acts passed. "The bill of books, albeit it was at the beginning set earnestly forward, is finally dashed in the Common House, as are divers others, whereat I hear no[t] that his Mate is much miscontented. The book of colleges, &c., escaped narrowly and was driven [over] to the last hour, and yet then passed only by division of the house.

    "The Spaniard who lately was at Callais, who sumt[yme] nameth himself Don Pedro de la Cueva, and sum[tyme] Don Pedro de Pacheco, upon certain suspicions, asw[ell] for that his letters of recommendation from the [duke of] Alberquerq are undoubtedly counterfeit, but speci[ally] for that Berteville hath disclosed that he was a spy for the French king at Landresey, is sequestered to the keeping of Sir Arthur Darcy until word may be had from th'Emperor's Court of what sort [he is].

    "The safeconduct men have most heartily procured me to send to you their letters herein enclosed. If you help them, in mine opinion, you shall do a charitable deed. The men have had great losses, and have, as you know, once compounded besides the first towne, and Emer[son] being yet in France, and now comen to an end of his business, if the safeconduct be not continued, cannot bring his goods from thence. Thus much I was prayed to write to you and to desire you further, in case you mind to do them any good, to remember that New Year's day is the last day."

    A kinsman of my wife's, named Nicholas [Waf]erour, has prayed me to be a suitor for him, as appears by the enclosed bill. I know not the man, but know a factor of his in London who is honest and substantial. London, 24 Dec. 1545.


    1588 – Birth of Constance of Austria



  • 1 December 1420 – Henry V of England enters Paris.

    1541-Thomas Culpepper was arrested

     1577 – Francis Walsingham is knighted.



    5 December 1560 –Death of Francis II of France.He was a monarch of the House of Valois-Angoulême who was King of France from 1559 to 1560. He was also King consort of Scotland as a result of his marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, from 1558 until his death.He ascended the throne of France at the age of fifteen after the accidental death of his father, Henry II, in 1559. His short reign was dominated by the first stirrings of the French Wars of Religion and the loss of French possessions in Corsica, Tuscany, Savoy, and almost all of Piedmont under the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis.

    Although the royal age of majority had been set at fourteen, his mother, Catherine de' Medici, entrusted the reins of government to his wife's uncles from the House of Guise, staunch supporters of the Catholic cause. They were unable to help Catholics in Scotland against Scottish reformers, however, and the Auld Alliance was dissolved.

    Francis was succeeded by two of his brothers in turn, both of whom were also unable to reduce tensions between Protestants and Catholics.


    6 December 1421 – Birth of Henry VI of England


    7 December 1545 – Birth of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley,second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots


    8 December 1542 – Birth of Mary, Queen of Scots.She was Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567 and Queen consort of France from 10 July 1559 to 5 December 1560.Mary, the only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland, was six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne. She spent most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents, and in 1558, she married the Dauphin of France, Francis. He ascended the French throne as King Francis II in 1559, and Mary briefly became queen consort of France, until his death in December 1560. Widowed, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561. Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, but their union was unhappy. In February 1567, his residence was destroyed by an explosion, and Darnley was found murdered in the garden.James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, was generally believed to have orchestrated Darnley's death, but he was acquitted of the charge in April 1567, and the following month he married Mary. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. On 24 July 1567, she was forced to abdicate in favour of James, her one-year-old son by Darnley. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, she fled southwards seeking the protection of her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I of England. Mary had previously claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics, including participants in a rebellion known as the Rising of the North. Perceiving her as a threat, Elizabeth had her confined in various castles and manor houses in the interior of England. After eighteen and a half years in custody, Mary was found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, and was subsequently executed.


    9 December 1541 – Agnes Tilney,step-grandmother of Katherine Howard and dowager duchess of Norfolk was interrogated


    10 December 1520 – Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.

    1541 –Thomas Culpeper, gentleman of the privy chamber, and Francis Dereham, secretary are executed for adultery with Katherine Howard.



    13 December 1553 – Birth of Henry IV of France

    1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage


    14 December 1542 – Death of James V of Scotland.Princess Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots.

    1562 – Death of William Grey, 13th Baron Grey of Wilton and military commander

    1593 – Death of Henry Radcliffe, 4th Earl of Sussex

    1624 – Death of Charles Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham and 1st Earl of Nottingham


    15 December 1558 – Death of James Fleming, 4th Lord Fleming and Lord Chamberlain of Scotland

    1558 – Funeral of Reginald Pole

    1560 – Death of Thomas Parry, comptroller of the household to Elizabeth I and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire


    16 December 1431 – Hundred Years' War: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

    1485 – Birth of Catherine of Aragon.She was Queen of England from 1509 until 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII; she was previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Prince Arthur.The daughter of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was three years old when she was betrothed to Prince Arthur, heir apparent to the English throne. They married in 1501, and Arthur died five months later. In 1507, she held the position of ambassador for the Spanish Court in England, becoming the first female ambassador in European history.Catherine subsequently married Arthur's younger brother, the recently succeeded Henry VIII, in 1509. For six months in 1513, she served as regent of England while Henry VIII was in France. During that time the English won the Battle of Flodden, an event in which Catherine played an important part.By 1525, Henry VIII was infatuated with his mistress, Anne Boleyn, and dissatisfied that his marriage to Catherine had produced no surviving sons, leaving their daughter, the future Mary I of England, as heiress presumptive at a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events that led to England's schism with the Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters. In 1533 their marriage was declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgement of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope. Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and considered herself the King's rightful wife and queen, attracting much popular sympathy.Despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, and died there on 7 January 1536. Catherine's English subjects held her in high esteem, and her death set off tremendous mourning among the English people



    17 December 1550 – Birth of Henry Cavendish, soldier, traveller and son of Bess of Harwick and Sir William Cavendish

    1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici.


    19 December 1490 – Anne, Duchess of Brittany, is married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy.

    1562 – The Battle of Dreux takes place during the French Wars of Religion.

    1576 – Death of Katherine Palmer, Abbess of Syon


    20 December 1541 – Agnes Tilney begged Henry VIII for forgiveness

    1571 – Death of Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret 


    21 December 1495 – Death of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke

    1505 – Birth of Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, Lord Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII

    1536 – Death of Sir John Seymour, father of Queen Jane Seymour

    1539 – Death of Sir John Shelton

    1549 – Death of Marguerite of Navarre


    22 December 1534 – John Fisher,Bishop of Rochester wrote to Thomas Cromwell 


    "Does not wish to displease the King. When last before him and the other commissioners he swore to the part concerning the succession for the reason he then gave, but refused to swear to some other parts, because his conscience would not allow him to do so. “I beseech you to be good master unto me in my necessity, for I have neither shirt nor sheet nor yet other clothes that are necessary for me to wear, but that be ragged and rent too shamefully. Notwithstanding, I might easily suffer that if they would keep my body warm. But my diet also God knows how slender it is at many times. And now in mine age my stomach may not away but with a few kind of meats, which if I want I decay forthwith, and fall into coughs and diseases of my body, and cannot keep myself in health.” His brother provides for him out of his own purse, to his great hindrance. Beseeches him to pity him, and move the King to take him into favor and release him from this cold and painful imprisonment. Desires to have a priest within the Tower to hear his confession “against this holy time;” and some books to stir his devotion more effectually. Wishes him a merry Christmas. At the Tower, 22 Dec"

    1541 – Members of the Howard and Tilney family were indicted for misprision of treason


    23 December 1558 – Queen Elizabeth I moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace

    1588 –Death of  Henry I, Duke of Guise