Abbas I — Abbas the Great — (1571-1629) greatly expanded
the area of the Persian Empire (mostly at the expense of the Turks and
Uzbeks) and made it a world power. He also increased the country's trade
with Europe and made alliances with Christian countries against the Turk.
George Abbot (1562-1633), Archbishop of Canterbury, and briefly
First Lord of the Treasury, was a thorn in the side of James I and Charles I.
He regularly took position in opposition to the government and was effectively
deprived by the latter in 1627. Theologically he was opposed to Bishop Laud,
which made him popular with the puritan faction.
Pope Adrian V (?-1276) reigned for only a few weeks. He is best
known for his work as Cardinal Ottobuonno Fieschi in reconciling the rebellious
English Barons to Henry III.
Pope Adrian VI — Adrian Florisz Dedel — (1459-1523)
succeeded Leo X in 1522 as a compromise candidate. A Netherlander,
he was the last non-Italian pope for 5 centuries.
Æthelred Unraed (Aethelred the Ill-Advised, often anglicized as
Ethelred the Unready) (968-1016), a son of Saint Edgar, was a mostly
ineffectual king who tried to pay the Danes not to plunder English shores.
He found, as Rudyard Kipling wrote 1000 years later "Once you've paid the
Danegeld/You'll never be rid of the Dane." Faced with political opposition
and financial bankruptcy, he abandoned his throne to Sven Forkbeard in
1013. Æthelred was recalled after Sven's death in 1014, but died in
Gnaeus Julius Agricola (39-93), Roman general and governor of
Britain. He completed the Roman domination of the island by his defeat of
the Scottish general Calgacus. His achievements are known today mainly
because his son-in-law was Tacitus, who wrote Agricola's biography.
Don Juan del Aguila (1546-1605) was a Spanish general who had some
success in the Netherlands. As the leader of the Spanish expedition to aid
the Irish Catholics in 1600, though, he was a bust. He occupied the town of
Kinsale which the English under Lord Mountjoy surrounded in 1601.
Rather than commit
his 3000 Spaniards to the fight, Aguila surrendered the town, breaking the back
of Irish resistance in the 9 Years' War.
Albert Ernst (1559-1621), Archduke of Austria, was a younger son
of Maximilian II. He was joint ruler of the Netherlands with his wife,
Isabella Clara, daughter of Philip II.
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, (1508-1582), Duke of Alba (Alva),
was the favorite general of Emperor Charles V and served Philip the II as
governor of the Netherlands. His pragmatism, diplomacy and military skill
made him one of the most important men in Europe in the 16rh century.
Pietro Cardinal Aldobrandini (1571-1621) was the Archbishop of
Ravenna. His uncle, Ippolito, became Pope Clement VIII.
Hercule François (1555-1584), Duke of Anjou and Alençon,
was the youngest son of Henri II and Catherine de'Medici. He was Stadtholder
in the United Provinces 1579-1583, and courted Elizabeth I in 1581.
(She referred to him—affectionately— as her "frog".) At his
death he was heir-apparent to the French throne which then reverted to
Henry of Navarre (Henri IV).
Pope Alexander II—Anselm of Lucca—(?-1073) was a
reformist and a friend of Hildebrand. His election was opposed by the
Regent Agnes (the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V was still only a child),
resulting in one of the many schisms of this time.
Pope Alexander III (?-1181) was elected pope by a small number of
bishops in 1159. A few days later, the antipope Victor IV was elected by an
even smaller group of bishops politically allied with the Holy Roman Emperor
Frederic I. Alexander was forced out of Italy but gathered a party of
anti-schismatic (and anti-Frederic) supporters in France
and returned to Rome in 1165.
Pope Alexander IV (?-1261)
was elected on the death of Innocent IV in
1254, probably as a compromise candidate because he was an old man and said
to be easily led. It was part of policy to continue the pressure on the
Hohenstaufens to offer Edmund of Lancaster the throne of the Two Sicilies,
which was the rightful inheritance of the Hohenstaufen heir, Conradin.
King Alfred "the Great" (849-899) was the first King of Wessex to
claim the title "King of England". His sobriquet
comes from his defense of the Saxon English against the Danes. His military
prowess discouraged the westward expansion of the Danes in England. Alfred was
also a scholar and translator, rendering Boethius's "Consolation of
Philosophy", Bede's "Ecclesiastical History," and the "Pastoral Rule" and "Dialogues" of Gregory the Great into Anglo-Saxon.
St Ambrose (340?-397) was Bishop of Milan and one of the Doctors of the
early Church. His writings are considered authoritative on the true meaning
of the Scriptures and on Christian doctrine.
Anne of Cleves (1515-1557) was the fourth wife of Henry VIII
for about 6 months in 1540, after which he divorced here. Cleves was a
small Lutheran duchy on the Rhine. Most of its territory is now part of the
German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Anne of Denmark (1574-1619) was the daughter of the Danish King
Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She married King James VI
of Scotland in 1589. Her conversion to Catholicism after her marriage was
a scandal and a political problem that lasted until her death.
Anne of Lorraine (1522-1568) married Philip Duke of Arschot in 1548.
Saint Anselm (1033-1109) was an Italian scholar and teacher, a
student of Lanfranc at Bec. He gained a wide reputation as a disputant and
an adviser and was raised to the see of Canterbury in 1093. His reign as
archbishop of Canterbury was spent mainly in exile because of disputes with
first William Rufus and then Henry I concerning ecclesiastical as opposed to
state control of the Church. He was canonized in 1494.
Anselm is best known for the "argumentum Anselmi", what Kant called the
"ontological proof" of God's existence. He starts with the definition that
God is "that than which nothing greater can be thought". Even a fool can
grasp this idea: the idea exists in the understanding. But it is a greater
thing to exist in reality than to exist in the understanding, so that
God—than whom nothing greater can be imagined— must by
definition also exist in reality.
Sir Robert Anstruther (1579-1645?) was a diplomat in the reigns of
James I and Charles I. He had long experience dealing with the northern
powers and was the English representative to the conference at Heilbronn
in 1632 that set the Protestant strategy for the late phases of the
Thirty Years' War.
Antoninus Pius born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus
(86-161), Roman emperor. He had an exceptionally long and peaceful reign,
138-161. The sobriquet "pius" refers to his devotion to the memory of his
mentor, the Emeror Hadrian. In Britain, Antoninus built a second wall north
of Hadrian's Wall as protection against the Scots.
Don Antonio was the illegitimate son of a brother of the Cardinal
Henry, who ruled Portugal 1578-80. When Henry died without issue, Don Antonio
claimed the throne and seized Lisbon, but was driven out by an invading
force from Spain. Philip II claimed Portugal and his heirs kept it until about
1640. Don Antonio made several attempts to drive out the Spanish with help
from France and England, but all failed.
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a priest and theologian of the
Dominican order. With Albert Magnus, he modernized the Dominican universities,
encouraging critical religious thought and strict forms of argument
in addition to rote learning. Many
of the elements of scholasticism which Aquinas introduced remain in Catholic
universities even today. Although none deny the piety and learning of St
Thomas, he has long been criticized as the founder of the abuses as well as the
benefits of scholasticism, and Lutherans have never held him in high regard.
Jacobus Arminius — Jakob Harmenszoon — (1560-1609) was
a Dutch theologian. He had a good grounding in Calvinist thought but later,
as a professor of theology at Leyden,
became a leader of a school of Remonstrants which disagreed with
Calvinism in a few fundamental ideas. The Methodism of John Wesley was
philosophically close to Arminianism.
Arthur, Duke of Brittany (1187-1203) was the son of Geoffrey, the
third son of Henry II. As such he had a strong claim to the throne of
England and the Plantagenet possessions in France on the death of Richard I
in 1199. King John claimed the throne,
however, and waged war against Arthur, who died—probably
murdered—in John's custody.
Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486-1502) was the first son of Henry VII
and Elizabeth of York. He was engaged to Catherine of Aragon at age 2 and
married her at age 16. He died the next year. His marriage, and whether or
not it was consummated, was an important issue in the reign of his brother,
Henry Fitz-Alan, Lord Arundel (1511?-1580?), the 18th Earl of Arundel,
was a soldier and statesman. He was out of favor in the reign of Edward VI,
but figured prominently in the administrations of Mary and Elizabeth.
Thomas Fitzalan, Lord Arundel (1353-1414) was the younger son of Richard Fitzalan,
3rd Earl of Arundel. He was the brother of Richard Fitzalan, the 4th Earl, and
like his brother was a partisan of the Gloucester party. Richard II twice
banished him from England, the second time after Arundel had become Archbishop
of Canterbury. Arundel allied himself with Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV),
whom he served as Archbishop and Chancellor. Arundel is probably best known
for his active persecution of the Lollards.
Robert Aske (?-1536) was a Yorkshire-born London lawyer who led an
armed rebellion against the suppression of the monasteries—the Pilgrimage
of Grace. The rebels were initially successful and were promised a pardon and
consideration of their grievances if they would disband. As soon as they
did so, Aske and the other leaders were arrested. Aske was burned at the
Walter Aston (1584-1639), first Lord Aston of Forfar,
was a diplomat in the courts of James I and Charles I. He negotiated for
the Spanish marriage in 1622 and served in other Spanish missions.
Athelstan (895?-939) was the first Anglo-Saxon king of England
to claim tribute
from the entire island of Great Britain. He conquered
Cornwall, Northumbria and York;
subdued the Scots; and forced the kings of Wales to pay fines. It was under
Athelstan that England began to enjoy the fruits of the victories of his
grandfather, Alfred the Great.
James Stewart, Earl of Arron, was a favorite of James VI and, for the
two years after the banishment of the Earl of Lennox he was Lord Chancellor and
the most influential man in the court. He was jailed (at Queen Elizabeth's
insistence) for the murder of Lord Francis Russell and was driven into
banishment by an army of returning Scots Protestant lords.
John Stewart (?-1579), 4th Earl of Atholl, was a leader of the
Catholic party in Scotland and one of Mary's privy councilors. He supported
Mary's overthrow, then supported her attempt to again claim the throne. He
died, probably poisoned, shortly after seizing control of James VI at Stirling.
Guillaume de l'Aubespine was a French councilor of state and ambassador
to England during the reign of Elizabeth I. His father was Claude de
l'Aubespine, a high official in the court of François I and subsequent
governments, from whom Guillaume inherited the title Baron
Pedro de Ayala was the ambassador of Ferdinand and Isabella to the
courts of England and Scotland. He was instrumental in bringing about an
understanding between Henry VII and James IV which resulted in peace between
the countries and the marriage of Henry's daughter to the Scottish king.
Thomas Babington (1561-1586) was an adherent of Mary Stuart who
concocted a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and put Mary on the throne.
Babington was neither bright nor careful and his plot was easily detected.
He and 13 others (including the poet Chidiock Tichbourne) were executed as\
traitors in the plot. Mary, though involved only peripherally, was also
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), 1st Viscount St Albans, was a lawyer.
He rose to Solicitor General, Attorney General and Lord Chancellor in the reign of James I,
before he was accused and convicted of corruption. It is not for his career
in law that Bacon is remembered, though, but for the process of reasoning
he championed that became the scientific method. Creating hypotheses from
observation and testing them by experiment was a known method in Bacon's time,
but he formalized it and showed its power. Bacon is also well known as a moral
philosopher. His essays still provide entertaining and instructive reading.
Nicolas Bacon (1509-1579) was Lord Keeper—in effect, Chancellor—in the reign of Elizabeth
I. He was well-connected, being related by marriage to the Cecils; and
influential: Matthew Parker was made Archbishop of Canterbury through his
help. This Bacon is best known as the father of Francis Bacon.
Baldwin V Count of Flanders (?-1067) was a powerful ruler in Northern
Europe and a descendant of the Saxon King Alfred the Great of England. In
the last 8 years of his life, he was Regent of France for his nephew
James Balfour of Pittendreich (?-1583/4) was a judge and one of Mary's Privy Councilors. He was deeply implicated in Darnley's murder—the house where the murder occurred belonged to Balfour's brother. He was also one of
the sleaziest men of his time, changing allegiances so often that he was deeply distrusted by all sides.
Richard Bancroft (1544-1610), Archbishop of Canterbury, organized
the Hampton Court Conference as Bishop of London (Archbishop Whitgift being
yet alive). Bancroft supervised the "new" translation of the Bible (the
superb KJV). He was raised to Canterbury in November 1604.
William Barlow (?-1568) was successively Bishop of St Asaph's, St
David's, Bath and Chichester. Although he held strong Protestant views
(one of his pamphlets was titled "Burying of the Mass"),
he was a Chaplain of Henry VIII who made him the first appointed English
bishop. Barlow was prominent in the reign of Edward VI and the early hears of
Robert Barnes (1495-1540) was an English Lutheran (formerly an
Austin Friar). After being condemned for (and abjuring) heresy, he spent
five years on the continent where he met and was convinced by the main
Protestant leaders of the time, including Martin Luther. As long as Henry
VIII's policies required accommodation with the German Protestant princes,
Barnes was a valued member of the government. On the fall of Cromwell,
however, he was burnt at the stake for heresy. The execution was condemned
in both Protestant and Catholic Europe and Barnes is considered a martyr.
François de Bassompierre was a French courtier, diplomat and
writer. He was a favorite of Henri IV and served Louis XIII in several
negotiations. Bassompierre was involved in the attempt to remove Richilieu
and was imprisoned by the Cardinal for 13 years.
He is remembered for his memoirs and diplomatic diaries which
are an important source for the politics of his time.
John Bastwick (1593-1654) was an English physician and Presyterian
polemicist. He got his medical training in Europe and returned to England with
a book full of anecdotes prejudicial to the Roman church in particular and
episcopacy in general. Archbishop Laud took offense and had Bastwick
fined, imprisoned and mutilated. Bastwick was an early friend of Lillburne,
but turned against him after the Civil Wars. His best-known work, and the
one that lost him his ears, was The Litany.
David Beaton (1494-1546), archbishop of St Andrews, succeeded his uncle
James in that position. He served James V in political offices and embassies,
but was imprisoned by Arran after James's death. Popular pressure forced
Beaton's release and be became chancellor during the regencies of Arran and
Mary of Guise. He was assassinated in 1546.
Margaret Beaufort (1443-1509) was the wealthy heiress of the Duke of
Somerset. She was given in ward to Edmund and John Tudor (sons of Henry V's
widow, Catherine of Valois) and married Edmund when she was 12 years old.
Margaret's bloodline is what makes her a subject of history. Her grandfather,
John Beaufort, was the oldest son of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford,
putting him in the Lancasterian line of royal descent. Margaret was the
mother of Henry VII.
St Thomas à Becket (1108?-1170) was a lay churchman
of Canterbury) selected by Henry II as his chancellor. Becket proved himself
a strong administrator, judge and general. In 1161 Henry made him Archbishop
of Canterbury, over Becket's own objections. Becket soon opposed the king in
matters of estates, taxes and royal prerogative. He fled England in 1164.
Becket eventually returned in 1170, but his refusal to reverse the
excommunication he had pronounced on bishops who had supported the king again
angered Henry. Becket was murdered by French knights in Canterbury Cathedral
on December 29, 1170. He was canonized four years later.
Saint Bede the Venerable (672?-735), an English monk of the
monastery of Jarrow, completed his "Ecclesiastical History of the English
People" around 731. The book is our primary source of information about
early Christian Britain.
Nicholas de Bellève; was Bishop of Amiens and a brother of
François de Guise. He visited Edinburth in 1559 to try to settle
the religious divisions of the country.
Jean du Bellay (1492-1560) became Bishop of Bayonne at the age of 20,
but he never visited his diocese. He serviced as a church diplomat for
most of his life.
St Robert Francis Romulus Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621) was the
greatest controversialist of his times and the chief propagandist of Pope
Paul V. He was canonized in 1931 after beatification in 1627. The delay
was primarily because of his affiliation with the Jesuits.
Pierre de Bérulle (1575-1629) was a French priest,
chaplain to Henri IV, and
after 1627, Cardinal. He is known for founding the French Congregation
of the Oratory, for his diplomatic work, and for his religious writings
which were very influential in the 17th century.
Charles de Gontaut (1562-1602), Duc de Biron, He was the most
effective general of the royal party against the Catholic League and in
Henri IV's reign. He conspired with Charles de Valois and the Duke of
Savoy against Henri and was executed for treason.
George Blackwell (1545?-1613) was an English Catholic priest. He
was named "archpriest" in charge of all English Catholic clergy in 1597
but was removed for, among other things, not fully supporting Pope Leo XI's
ban on taking the Oath of Allegiance.
Charles Blount (1563-1606),
8th Baron Mountjoy, 1st Earl of Devonshire,
succeeded his friend Essex as Lord Deputy in Ireland. As commander of the
English forces, he finally suppressed the Irish and ended the Nine Years' War.
His great victory was at Kinsale in 1601. On his return to England, Blount
was made Master of the Ordinence and Earl of Devonshire. He was part of a
messy divorce proceeding involving the wife of Lord Rich.
Boadicea (? - 63), queen of the Iceni, a Keltic tribe of East
Anglia. After the death of her husband Prasutagus, who had submitted to
Claudius in the year 43, Boedicea was insulted and her daughters raped by
Roman soldiers. The Iceni rose and for two years did great damage to the
occupiers. They were finally defeated and Boedicea either was killed or
committed suicide. The story is told by Tacitus and Cassius Dio.
C.W. Boase (1828-1895), librarian and college historian of Exeter College,
Oxford. He was one of the editors of the History of England but is
best known as the compiler and editor of the Register of Exeter College,
the story of the school from earliest times.
Anne Boleyn (1501?-1536), queen consort and second wife of
Henry VIII, was of a wealthy family. Her mother was a Howard, daughter of
the Duke of Norfolk. Anne spent most of her early life in the French court,
returning to marry in 1521/22. Her betrothal fell through and Anne joined
the court of Catherine of Aragon. She secretly married Henry in 1532, before
the divorce and bore him their only surviving child, Elizabeth, in 1533. Her
inability to produce a male heir probably contributed to her prosecution for
treasonous adultery and incest (supposedly with her brother George) and
Pope Boniface VIII (1235?-1303) had English connections, having
accompanied the legate Otho to England in 1265. He was near the top of the
Church legal hierarchy when he convinced the hermit-pope, Celestine V, to
resign—an unprecedented event—and was elected in his place.
During Boniface's reign, the temporal fortunes of the church began a decline
from which they have never recovered. Boniface's candidate for the throne
of Sicily was defeated and the pope was forced to recognize a Hohenstaufen
heir. The Genoese rejected his attempts to negotiate a truce in their war with
Venice. Rivalries raged in Rome. Papal states declined to do the Pope's
bidding. The estates of France and England rejected his rulings.
And these were just a few of the troubles of the reign of Boniface
Edmund Bonner (1500?-1569), Bishop of London, was much reviled
by English Protestants because he persecuted sectarians under the
Six Articles. His persecutions under Queen Mary led Foxe to describe him
as "This Cannibal".
Gaspar de Borja y de Velasco (1580-1645), of the Borgias, was
a cardinal and the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See 1616-1619 and 1631
until his death.
William Boston, last Abbot of Westminster. In 1540, when the
abbey was converted to a cathedral church, he became the first Dean of the
chapter. His name is sometimes given as Benson.
James Hepburn (1535?-1578), 4th Earl of Bothwell,, married Mary
Stuart in 1567, shortly after the murder of her husband Darnley. The scandal,
and a wide-spread dislike of Bothwell among the Lords, started a rebellion
which resulted in Mary being taken into custody and Bothwell being banished.
He died in Denmark.
Thomas le Botiller (Butler), (1426-1415), Baron Ormond de Rocheford,
7th Earl of Ormond, rose to prominence on the ascension of Henry VII. An
Irish peer, he was granted an English peerage in 1489 and the manor of Beaulieu
in Essex in 1507. He entertained Henry VIII at least twice. His
great-granddaughter was Anne Boleyn.
Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne (1555-1623), vicomte de Turenne, duc de Bouillon, was Prince of Sedan and Marshal of France. He was a strong support
of Henri IV, who rewarded him lavishly. After the death of the wife from
whom he inherited Bouillon and Sedan,de la Tour married Elizabeth of Nassau, a
daughter of William of Orange,
a match which allied him with the Dutch and German protestants.
John Bradford (1510-1555) was a lawyer and bureaucrat who took
holy orders during the reign of Edward VI and became a popular preacher.
He was one of the Protestant Martyrs under Queen Mary. The observation
"There but for the grace of God go I" is attributed to him by tradition.
Tycho (Tyge Ottesen) Brahe (1546-1601) was a Danish
nobleman and astronomer who applied money and patience to the study of
the stars and planets. His observations allowed his colleague, Kepler, to
describe the mechanics of the heavens. His observatory, the Uraniborg on the
island of Hven, was the center of astronomical thinking in the 16th century.
Johann Brenz (1499-1570) was a reformist theologian who became the
leading Protestant figure in the area of southern Germany called Swabia.
Duke Charles III of Bourbon (1490-1527) was made Constable of
France by François I in 1515. He lost the king's favor, however, and
joined the Austrian-English alliance against France. He commanded the
German army that came relieve the French siege of Pavia in 1524/25, leading
to the crushing defeat and capture of François;
Charles Brandon (1485-1545), Duke of Suffolk, was the second husband
of the French Queen, Henry VIII's sister Mary (she was his third wife).
Brandon's close friendship with
the King enabled him to survive even though the marriage was without the king's
permission. Their daughter, Frances, was the mother of Lady Jane Grey.
Brandon was an able general. After the fall of Wolsey, he was Henry VIII's
George Brooke (1569?-1603), brother of Lord Cobham, entered into a plot
(the "Bye Plot") to kidnap King James I and his privy council. The idea,
if it can be called that, was to force the government to rescind the various
laws against Catholics. The plot was discovered to the government by
Catholic priests who realized what idiots they were working with.
Henry Brooke (1564-1619), 8th Baron Cobham, was a bumbling plotter.
His brother, George, was a radical Catholic also involved in plots (the
Bye Plot). There is a conspiracy theory that George and perhaps Henry as
well were not plotters but spies for their brother-in-law, Robert Cecil.
Anthony-Maria Browne (1574-1629), 2nd Viscount Montague, was a
noble Catholic sympathizer in the reign of James I. His father was a
well-known recusant who served Elizabeth I as a diplomat.
Browne was arrested on suspicion of involvement in
the Gun Power Plot, but was released after about a year. Hee married one of
the daughters of Sir Thomas Sackville.
Robert Bruce (1554?-1631) of Kinnaird, Presbyterian minister,
was one of the most
influential Scots theologians of the so-called Second Reformation. He was
a member of the Regency Council when James VI went to Norway to get his wife,
and he placed the crown on Anne of Denmark's head. His pulpit was in
Ediburgh where he preaching attracted large audiences.
Edward Bruce (1548?-1611, 1st Lord Kinloss, was a favorite of
James I and VI, and served him as a judge in Scotland and parliamentary
Master of the Rolls in England.
Martin Bucer (1491-1551), an Alsacian, was a zealous Protestant who
tried to reconcile the doctrines of Luther and Zwengli. He was the chief
Protestant theologian of Strassbourg, where he also had some temporal
authority. One of the foreign Protestants who found shelter
in England during the reign of Edward IV, he was made Regius Professor of
Divinity at Cambridge in 1549. His bones, along with those of the German\
Paulus Fagius, were disinterred and burned by Cardinal Poole during
the time of Mary.
George Buchanan (1506-1582), humanist author of a
History of Scotland, was one of the most renowned Scots academics of
his time. He was the tutor of James VI.
Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715), Bishop of Salisbury, was an active
participant in many of the events that led up to and followed the Glorious
Revolution. His History of the Reformation and History of My Own
Times are standard references and frustratingly difficult to find copies
Henry Burton (1578-1648) is probably the least well-known of the
three puritan martyrs (Burton, Prynne and Bastwick)imprisoned and maimed
in 1636 for publishing seditious materials. Burton had already been in
prison for opposing episcopacy. When he was released, he wrote For God
and the King condemning Laud's innovations in ceremony: that's what cost
him his ears. Burton was a clergyman. After his release in
1640, he founded an Independent congregation in London.
David Calderwood (1575-1650) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister
and author of a valuable History of the Church of Scotland. Ranke
cites him frequently.
Lorenzo Cardinal Campeggio (1471?-1539) was a church lawyer. He
assumed the priesthood late, after a marriage and five children, but rose
quickly. He was cardinal-protector of the Holy Roman Empire and of England
and was the chief diplomat of Leo X and the next two popes. As legate in
England, he had almost full say in the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine,
and he sided with Catherine against the divorce.
Gaius Julius Caesar (102-44 B.C.), Roman general, consul and
dictator. As a general he was widely successful, extending Roman power in
Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Britain. In politics he was less successful.
His political conflicts with Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey) resulted in a
bloody 5-year civil war. After the defeat of Pompey's faction, Caesar entered
Rome and was named dictator for life by the Senate. Members of that Senate
assassinated him March 15, 44 A.D.
William Camden (1551-1623) was a teacher, antiquarian and historian.
When he was
a master of the Westminster school one of his students was Ben Jonson.
He wrote Brittania and
Annales Rerum Gestarum Angliae et Hiberniae Regnante Elizabetha,
both in Latin. The first dealt with general history and folklore. The second
was a justification of Elizabeth's reign. These works became very popular
when they were translated into English after Camden's death.
Archibald Campbell (1532?-1573), 5th Earl of Argyll, was the most
powerful noble in Scotland and took part in most of the important events
in the reign of Mary Stuart. He was probably behind the assassinations of
David Rizzio and of Darnley. Argyll's religious opinions were Protestant
and he was important in setting of the religious settlement of 1560.
Archibald Campbell (1575-1638), 7th Earl of Argyll, was a
supporter of James VI against the Catholic lords. His army was soundly
defeated by Huntly and Erroll at Glenlivet in 1594. Argyll continued to
be employed by James, but after the accession of Charles I, he became a
Archibald Campbell (1607-1661), 8th Earl of Argyll,
was a prominent Presbyterian general and politician. He succeeded his father,
the 7th earl, in 1638 and was created 1st Marquess of Argyll as part of
Charles I's concessions after the second Bishops' War. He was prominent in
the turbulent history of Scotland in the 1640s and 1650s, but eventually
lost power to the Hamiltons. He was executed as a traitor in the reign
of terror that followed the Restoration.
Jane (Jean) Campbell Countess of Argyll was an illegitimate
James V by Elizabeth Bethune. She married Archibald Campbell.
John Campbell (1598-1663), first Earl of Loudon, is an example of the
extreme concessions offered by Charles I to the supplicating Scots Lords
after 1637. Loudon claimed his title in the right of his wife, the heir of
Baron Loudon; but his opposition to the bishops and the Prayer Book blocked
his patent for 8 years. As a concession to the Covenanters, of whom Loudon
was a leader, Charles allowed the patent and made Loudon Lord Chancellor of
Scotland in 1641. Loudon was also a commissioner of the treasury and a
commissioner for each of the several treaties with the king. He was
ill-treated after the Restoration, but was not arrested.
St Edmund Campion (1540-1582) was an English Jesuit martyr.
A priest in the Church of England, he had Catholic views and eventually had
to escape to Douai where he came under the influence of Cardinal Allen and
taught in the English Seminary there. He entered England with Robert Parsons
in 1580, but was soon arrested because of his public preaching. Though
tortured, he maintained his religion until his death by hanging and quartering.
Campion was beatified in 1886 and canonized in 1970.
Canute (Knud den Store) (994?-1035) was a son of Sven Forkbeard.
He assumed the throne of England after the death of the Saxon heir, Edmund
Ironside, in 1016. His 19-year reign was marked by the codification of Saxon
law and the creation of powerful regional governments.
Dean of the Rota and Vicar of Rome during the reigns
of Popes Clement VII and Paul III. He was sent to England to inquire into
the case of the divorce.
Sir George Carew (1555-1629), nephew of Peter Carew,
served in the Irish wars of Elizabeth and held various court positions in the
reigns of James I and Charles I. He was a privy councilor from 1619 and
became the Queen's Treasurer in 1626. At the time of the Cádiz
expedition, he was an old man.
Sir Peter Carew (1513?-1574) was a Dorset man and a military
adventurer from an early age. Among other things, he was at the Battle of
Pavia in 1525. He was in the court of Henry VIII and was one of the officers
who escorted Anne of Cleves into England. By 1553 he was a powerful man in
the west. Although he refused to declare for Lady Jane Grey, he could not
stomach Mary's proposed marriage to Philip II. He took part in Wyatt's
Rebellion and was forced to flee England when it failed. He was kidnapped
in the Netherlands along with Sir John Cheke, but was released and later
found favor in the court of Elizabeth I.
Don Carlos (1545-1568) was the son of Philip II of Spain and Maria
Maria Manuela, his double first cousin. Consanguinity is blamed for the
physical and mental defects suffered by the son. Carlos was eventually
imprisoned by his father and, it is said, poisoned in his cell.
Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603) was a religious controversialist.
He spent years in prison and lost his academic and ecclesiastic positions
because of his opposition to the Elizabethan Settlement and his Presbyterian
views. Cartwright is called "the father of Puritanism", but his contribution
was mainly in organizing and legitimizing existing ideas. The later part of
his life was spent in some comfort as an officer of the Earl of Leicester's
Hospital in Warwick.
Katherine Carey (1547-1603), Countess of Nottingham, was the
sister of Sir Robert Carey and one of Elizabeth I's ladies in waiting.
Sir Robert Carey (1560?-1639) was the son of a nobleman, brought
up in Queen Elizabeth's court, who proved himself a competent administrator and
soldier in the Marches. He is remembered because he left memoirs which are
rich in detail.
Robert Carr (1590?-1645), Viscount Rochester, Earl of Somerset,
was a Scottish favorite of James I until about 1615 when the Thomas Overbury
affair ruined him.
Johann Kasimir (1543-1592), Pfalzgraf or Count Palatine,
was the son of the Elector Palatine, Frederick III (the Pious). Under the
orders of the Elector, Casimir twice invaded France (1567 and 1576) to aid
the Huguenot cause. Casimir was prince of the small district of Pfalz-Lautern,
which consisted mostly of the city of Kaiserslautern, then a wild and still
a thickly forested area. Casimir was known as "The Hunter". This is
not the later Johann Kasimir, Count of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, who
was the father of Charles X of Sweden.
Michel de Castelnau (1517-1592) was a protege of Mary Stuart's
uncle the Cardinal of Lorraine. He served in several military posts under
Louis XII, Henri II, and François II and was a favorite ambassador
of Charles IX. He went to England in 1572 to try to calm the turmoil
caused by the St Barthoomew's Day Massacre and later returned as Henri III's
resident ambassador to Elizabeth's court.
Robert Catesby (1573-1605) descended from the infamous William
Catesby who served Richard III. Robert was the chief conspirator in
the Gunpowder Plot. He was wealthy, both through his wife and from his own
patrimony. Catesby took part in the Earl of Essex's rebellion but escaped
with a fine. Fleeing after the failure of the plot, he was shot along with
Thomas Percy and the Wrights at Holbech House in Staffordshire.
Catherine (Catalina) of Aragon (1495-1536) was the daughter of Ferdinand and
Isabella and the wife of two sons of Henry VII: Prince Atrhur, who died in
1502; and Henry, who became Henry VIII. She is often referred by the title of
"Infanta" as the
oldest daughter of the Spanish king. Henry's attempts to divorce Catherine
are central to 16th century history.
Catherine de Valois (1401-1437) was the daughter of Charles VI of
France and wife of Henry V of England. During her brief marriage to Henry
(1420 to his death in 1422) she bore the future Henry VI. In her widowhood
she bore several children to a Welsh courtier, Owen Tudor, one of whom,
Edmund Tudor, was the father of Henry VII.
Edward Cecil (1572-1638) was created Baron Wimbledon by Charles I.
He served Queen Elizabeth and James I as a diplomat and soldier.
Robert Cecil (1563-1612), 1st Earl of Salisbury, was the son of the
great minister Lord Burghley. He was a Secretary of State, the youngest
member of the Privy Council, Keeper of the Privy Seal and, under James I,
Lord Treasurer. After the execution of Essex, he was Queen Elizabeth's
closest adviser; she called him her 'elf' because he was short and
William Cecil (1521-1598), Baron Burghley, was the great councilor
and treasurer of Elizabeth I. He was a protege of Edward Seymour, the
Protector, under whom he served as Secretary of State. As Elizabeth's chief
minister he had the reputation of an honest and faithful governor.
William Cecil (1591-1668), second Earl of Salisbury, was the son
of Robert Cecil. Salisbury remained with the Parliament until the murder of
the King. Clarendon describes him as a bully and a toady and something
of a buffoon: "He was a man of no
words, except in hunting and
hawking, in which he only knew how to behave himself."
Cerdic (?-534) according to tradition was the first king of Wessex,
a country he invaded around 495. Cerdic was a Saxon and the people he brought
into the new country are called the West Saxons to distinguish them from those
of Mercia and the Chilterns.
Robert Champort (?-1055), Bishop of London and (1051-1052)
Archbishop of Canterbury, was a Norman monk-priest. His appointment to the
see of Canterbury by Edward the Confessor was bitterly opposed by the Saxon
English, and he was driven into exile in 1052. This mistreatment was one of
Duke William of Normandy's excuses for invading England in 1066.
Charlemagne — Carolus Magnus, Karl der Grosse — (742-814) was the greatest
of the Carolingian line of French kings. He led his Frankish German forces to
victory in 53 campaigns in Spain, Italy and Germany and created a loosely-held
realm that became the Holy Roman Empire.
Charles I (1600-1649), King of England, was the second son of James
I and Anne of Denmark. His reign is the subject of a large part of Ranke's
History. Charles was beheaded by order of a commission set up to try him
Charles II (1540-1590), Archduke of Austria, was the third son of
Emperor Ferdinand I and Anne of Bohemia. He ruled Austria for his brother
Maximilian II. Charles was proposed in marriage to most of the eligible
princesses of Europe, but ended up marrying Maria Anna of Bavaria and
fathering the Emperor Ferdinand II.
Charles V (1500-1558), was the greatest of the later
Holy Roman Emperors. He organized the empire—which at this time extended
from Peru to Hungary and Sicily—in such a way that the central power was
strengthened even as local initiative was encouraged. He concentrated his
attentions on Spain and the Netherlands, but he managed to re-establish the
Empire's position in Italy as well. In his reign the Catholic church faced
its two greatest challenges: the Turks from the south and east; and Lutheranism
in Germany. His forces stopped the Turks outside Vienna and eventually
drove them from the western Mediterranean, but his best efforts
(including the Diets of Worms and Augsburg) could not stem the rise of
At the end of his life, Charles abdicated. His Spanish possessions went to
his son, Philip II, and his eastern lands to his brother, Ferdinand I, who
succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor.
He spent the last 3 years of his life in a monastery. His tomb is
in the Escorial north of Madrid.
Charles VI — Charles the Mad — (1368-1322) was King of France during the Hundred Years War. He suffered periods of insanity so most of the
decisions of state during his reign were made by whichever
faction—Burgundian or Orleanian—that was in power. Charles was the
father of Isabella of Valois, the wife of Henry V.
Charles VII (1403-1461), was King of France, the son of Charles VI. His reign was long
and successful. He saw the English frustrated in their attempt to seat a
Lancaster on the French throne; increased independence of the French church;
peace with his most powerful adversary, Philip Duke of Burgundy; the
end of the Hundred Years War; and the rise
of France as a commercial power.
Charles VIII — Charles l'Affable — (1470-1498), was
the son of Louis XI. He came to the French throne at age 13. He is best known
for his invasion of Italy to sieze the throne of Naples.
Charles the Bold — Charles le Téméraire — (1433-1477), last reigning Duke of Burgandy,
was the son of Philip the Good. He was a central figure in the tumult
involving the French houses of Valois and Orléns and the English
houses of York and Lancaster in the 15th century. He was defeated and
killed by the French at Nancy and the powerful state of Burgandy was soon
dissolved, divided between France and Austria.
Charles Emmanuel I (1562-1630), Duke of Savoy, was a counterweight
between the Catholic and Protestant powers. He supported Spain against
Henry IV, but he also had a good relationship with the Protestant Union.
His country was small, so his main tool in
negotiation was promising marriage to one of his 10 legitimate children. He
had at least 11 children on the left side of the bed as well.
Charles de Valois (1522-1545) was the third son of François I.
His titles included duc d'Angoulême and duc d'Orléans.
Sir John Cheke (1515?-1557) was Regius Professor of Greek at
Cambridge and one of the best-known scholars in England. He was one of the
secretaries of state of Edward VI. A strong Protestant, he was arrested and
exiled by Mary, then kidnapped in Europe and brought back to an English prison.
He returned to the Catholic faith before his death, but the conversion was
Elector Christian I of Saxony (1560-1591) was Elector when his
niece, Anne of Denmark, married James VI of Scotland. He was succeeded by
his sons Christian II and John George I.
Christian of Brunswick (1599-1626), Bishop of Halberstadt, was,
despite his youth, one of the two main Protestant generals in the early years
of the 30 Years' War, known for the savagery of his soldiers.. He inherited the lay bishopric of Halberstadt on the
death of his brother. At the beginning of the second phase of the war,
attacked from Hesse but was stopped by Tilly. He died during the retreat.
Christian IV (1577-1648), King of Denmark and Germany, came to the throne
at the age of 11. He is considered one of the greatest Danish kings. Although
he twice lost Jutland, once to the Empire and once to Sweden, he managed to
retain and even expand the territory of Denmark. His reign was marked by
near-constant war and by betrayal from within his own family, but he also
rebuilt the Danish army and navy, reformed the administration of Danish
law, and greatly expanded Danish revenues and trade.
Civita Vecchia, the Old City, is a port town about 50 miles from
Rome. It has a fine harbor, built by the emperor Trajan.
George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence (1449-1478) was one of two
younger brothers of Edward IV. He supported Warwick, his father-in-law,
against Edward and was eventually convicted of treason. Legend has it
(and Shakespeare repeats the tale in Richard III) that he was
drowned in a "butt of Malmsey"—a barrel of wine.
Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), English Royalist;
Lord Chancellor under Charles II. He was the greatest man in England until
his fall. His writings during exile in France are a primary source of
information about the periods of the Interregnum and the Restoration.
Nicholas Hyde (?-1631) was a Parliamentarian and generally a
supporter of the country party until he was lured into supporting the court
by Buckingham. Hyde directed Buckingham's defence during the impeachment
proceedings and in 1627 was made Chief Justice of the King's Bench, where
he decided several important cases in favor of the prerogative.
Pope Clement IV (?-1268) was elected in 1265. A widower, he took
orders late in life and owed his elevation chiefly to King Louis IX whom
he served as secretary. Before becoming pope, he served the church as an
ambassador, including a term as legate to England (1262-1264).
Pope Clement VII (1478-1534) was the pontiff who refused to divorce
Catherine of Aragon from Henry VIII. Born Giulio de' Medici, he was a
cousin of Pope Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici). Clement was a prisoner of the
Spanish-German armies at the time Wolsey asked for the divorce, and later,
after the final defeat of the League of Cognac, he was allied with Emperor
Charles V, the nephew of Catherine.
Pope Clement VIII — Ippolito Aldobrandini — (1536-1605)
was a meticulous and prudent pope. His greatest success was reconciling
Henri IV to the Church, an accomplish which also allowed the church to achieve
some independence from Spain. His involvement with Britain included founding
the Collegio Scozzese to train missionaries for Scotland.
Cleopatra VII Philopator (68-30 B.C.), Pharoah of Egypt for
21 years from 51 B.C. She was the daughter of Ptomely XII who was under
pressure by, and later signed a disadvantageous treaty with, Rome. Captured
by Octavian after his invasion of Egypt in 30 B.C., Cleopatra committed
suicide. "Philapator" is Greek for "father-loving", a title claimed
by the Pharoahs during the Ptolomaic period.
Walter de Clopton succeeded Tresilian as Chief Justice in 1388. Ranke
says he attended the court that deposed Richard II in 1400. He was no
longer Chief Justice after 1400.
Clovis or Chlodwig, or Chlodowech (466-511) was a son of Clodian who
built a unified Frankish kingdom in Gaul and Belgium. Unlike other barbarian
kingdoms of the time, Clovis's was marked by racial tolerance and cultural
fusion. Born a pagan, Clovis became a Christian around 492.
Sir Edward Coke (1553-1634) was a lawyer and judge and the great
champion of the common law. His Institutes were the standard
documentation of the laws until the 20th century. Coke was the primary
author of the Petition of Right.
Sir John Coke (1563-1644) was one of the Secretaries of State
1625-1639. As a member of Parliament, one of his jobs was to bring in the
tax bills and other royal initiatives. During the personal rule, Coke was
an important adviser to Charles I.
Don Carlos Coloma (1599-1641) was a Spanish general and diplomat
who succeeded Gondomar as Spanish ambassador to James I and later
was in the service of the Archduchess Isabella in the Spanish Netherlands.
St Columban (559?-615) was an Irish missionary
Conan II, Duke of Bretagne (?-1066), was an enemy of William
of Normandy but had little control over his nobles, many of whom threw in their
lot with the Conqueror in the invasion of England.
George Con (d. 1641) was papal representative in England 1636-1638,
following Panzani and preceding Rosetti in that mission. He was a wealthy
Aberdeen Scot. Con was well-liked and respected in the Church and a
cardinal's hat was on its way to him when he died.
Concino Concini (?-1617) was an Italian favorite of Louis XIII and
served as a Marshal and as chief minister. He upheld the royal prerogative
against the pretensions of the nobility, but at the same time he allowed the
finances to deteriorate. Louis tired of Concini and allowed
the nobles to arrest and murder him.
Flavius Valerius Constantinus—Constantine "the Great"—,
(274?-337) the "emperor" of Gaul
the division of the Empire by Diocletian, reconquered all of the Roman lands
and reunified them under his hand around 313 A.D. His headquarters at the
beginning of this progress was Eboracum, modern York. Constantine supposedly
had a vision that he would conquer in the sign of Christ
("in hoc signo vinces") and upon his ascendancy he declared Rome a Christian
Flavius Claudius Constantinus (?-41). Roman emperor who rose from
low origins through the Army in Britain to challenge the emperor Honorius.
Aluise Contarini (1597-1651) served as Venetian ambassador to Holland, England, France, Rome and other European courts.
Edward Conway (1564-1631), Viscount Conway, was a Secretary of State
from 1623 and Lord President of the Council from 1628. Earlier in his
career he was governor of Brill when the English garrisoned that town.
Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was, according to Plutarch, a noble Roman
who, banished from the City, joined forces with the Voscians. It was only
the appeal of his mother, wife and children before the walls that kept him
from sacking Rome. When he retreated, the Voscians were not pleased and
had him killed.
Antonio Cornaro (or Correro) was of a Venetian patrician family and
was sent ambassador to England twice, in 1608 and 1625.
Sir Charles Cornwallis (?-1629) was a diplomat and Parliamentarian.
He served James I as ambassador to Spain. He is remembered for having
mentored and promoted Coddington. He was one of the 4 Parliament men arrested
after the dismissal of the 1614 Parliament. His papers are at, of all places,
the University of Kansas.
Antony Cooke (1505?-1576) was a scholar and the tutor of Edward VI.
His bloodline runs through much of the history of Elizabethan and early
Stuart England because his four daughters all married prominent men:
- Mildred married Lord Burghley
- Anne married Nicholas Bacon and was the mother of Francis Bacon
- Elizabeth married Thomas Hobby and later Lord Russell.
- Katherine married Henry Killegrew
Francis Cottington (1579-1652) was the private secretary of
Prince Charles and went to Spain with the prince and Buckingham. In the
reign of Charles I he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and master of the
Court of Wards which allowed him to accumulate a great fortune. The
Long Parliament declared Cottington delinquent and he spent the rest of his
life in Europe, serving Charles II in exile there.
Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631) was an antiquarian and archivist
whose collection of manuscripts and knowledge of them gained him considerable
influence in the governments of James I and Charles I. He was a chief
influence of Selden and is credited with providing the documentation behind
Parliament's assertions of its traditional rights.
Edward Courtenay (1527?-1556) was the son of Henry Courtenay. He spent
much of his youth in prison after the execution of his father. He had hopes
of marrying first Queen Mary, then, when she preferred Philip II of Spain,
Princess Elizabeth. Courtenay was suspected of complicity in Wyatt's Rebellion
and was exiled to Europe where he died in his wanderings.
Henry Courtenay (1487?-1539), 1st Marquis of Exeter, was a York nobleman and first cousin to
Henry VIII. He was a successful military leader and very powerful in the
west of England, but his opposition to Cromwell and the suppression of the
monasteries led to his attainder for treason. He was beheaded.
Thomas Coventry (1578-1640) was Attorney General in 1621 and
Lord Keeper in 1625 after the fall of Dean Williams. He is generally
considered to have been a good lawyer and a wise councilor, but he had little
influence on political affairs.
Myles Coverdale (1488?-1568) published the first complete English bible.
A rigorous Luterhan, he spent most of his adult life on the Continent, his
returns to England troubled by religious controversy. He was briefly
(1551-1553) Bishop of Norwich under Edward VII.
Lionel Cranfield (1575-1645), first Earl of Middlesex, was a
merchant and man of business. He rose rapidly in the reign of James I to
Master of the Wardrobe and later, after the prosecution of Bacon, to Lord
Treasurer. He was valued for his ability to regulate expenditures and find
revenues, but his pro-Spanish views earned him the enmity of Buckingham and
Prince Charles. He was impeached for corruption in 1624 and,
although pardoned, was never again active in government.
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), Archbishop of Canterbury, granted
Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He is considered the father
of the Church of England. Mary Tudor executed him when she came to the
David Lindsay (?-1573), 10th Earl of Crawford was one of a long line
of David Lindsays who were Earls of Crawford. This one was closely allied with
David Lindasy (?-1640?), Bishop of Edinburgh, was a supporter of
King James and King Charles I in Scotland. He preached in favor of the
Five Articles of Perth and was rewarded with the bishoprics of Brechin and
later Edinburgh. Lindsay was stoned when the Book of Common Prayer was
introduced in Edinburgh and was soon driven out of Scotland.
Mandell Creighton (1843-1901), historian and Bishop of London.
He was one of the translators of the History of England. His specialty
was ecclesiastical history.
Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540) was a lawyer and lay assistant to Wolsey.
He handled most of the Cardinal's business dealings and was therefore important
in the government. Soon after
Wolsey's fall (1529), Cromwell joined the Privy Council and was successively
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Rolls, Lord Privy Seal and
Chamberlain. Shortly before executing Cromwell, Henry VIII raised him to
the peerage as Earl of Essex. Cromwell was the executor of Henry's
reformation, including the suppression of the monasteries, the distribution
of church lands and the rebalancing of the taxes. He was much despised.
Sir George Crooke (?-1641), Chief Justice of King's Bench, was
one of the justices who gave opinion against the Ship-money..
Alexander Cunningham (?-1574), Earl of Glencairn, was an important
Protestant lord and a friend of John Knox. He was one of the strongest and
most faithful supporters of Mary Stuart.
Thomas Darcy (1467?-1538), 1st Baron Temple Hurst, was a soldier, diplomat and parliamentarian.
He served in Scotland and the north of England, and was sent
with a troop of 1000 to aid Ferdinand and Isabella in an African crusade
against the Moors. During the Pilgrimage of Grace he surrendered Pomfret
Castle to the rebels, for which he was attainted and executed.
Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545-1567) was a Catholic
Scots noble raised in
England. Soon after he returned to Scotland he married Mary Queen of Scots,
which led to a series of events that included a revolt of the Protestant earls,
the murder of David Rizzio, the birth of Darnley and Mary's son James I and
VI, Darnley's own murder, Mary's remarriage and her overthrow.
William Davision (1541?-1608) was Secretary of State, the
colleague of Walsingham. He earned the displeasure of Elizabeth I by not
having Mary Stuart killed secretly but instead executing the warrant of
the Privy Council for her public beheading. He was imprisoned for this and
lived privately thereafter.
George Day (1501?-1556), Bishop of Chicester, was deprived of
his bishopric in 1551 for failing to replace altars with communion tables.
He was restored under Mary and served as her almoner.
Hugh Despencer was the name of two English nobles, father (1261?-1326)
and son (?-1349) who became the favorites of Edward II after the execution
of Gaveston. During their ascendancy, Edward enjoyed a brief, final
period of power, during which Thomas of Lancaster was arrested and executed.
The Despencers abused their power and were eventually overthrown, with the
King, in the revolution of 1325-26.
Henry le Despenser (1341-1406), Bishop of Norwich, was more
of a general than a priest. He led the troops which crushed the last
remnants of the Peasants' Revolt in Norfolk in 1381. He is said to
have turned the ancient cathedral at Norwich into a fortified castle.
Robert Devereux (1566-1601), was the ambitious 2nd Earl of Essex,
the favorite of Queen Elizabeth after the fall of Leicester, Sent as Lord
Lieutenant with 17,000 troops to Ireland to suppress the O'Neil,
Essex met with the first major military failures of his career. Worried about
his position in the court, he returned to England in 1599 without permission
of the Queen. He was stripped of office and income, eventually mounted a
small "rebellion" and was executed for treason in 1601.
Robert Devereux (1591-1646), 3rd Earl of Essex, was the son of
Elizabeth's favorite. He is remembered as the first husband of Frances
Howard, the woman in the Overbury affair, and as the first commander of the
Parliamentary armies in the Civil War. Like his father, he was a sunshine
John Digby (1580-1653), 1st Earl of Bristol, was the English ambassador
to Spain for most of the reign of James I. He fell into disgrace after the
failure of the Spanish marriage and was for a time a leader of Parliamentary
resistance. He joined the royalist party in the civil wars and died in
exile in Paris.
Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) was a pirate, a diplomat, a courtier and
a Catholic. Of a wealthy family, he made his name by a piratical attack on
the French merchant fleet at Iskanderun in modern Turkey. He was intimate with
Charles I and served both that king and Cromwell as a diplomat. His religion
almost certainly kept him from a more prominent place in Stuart history.
Christoph von Dohna (1583-1637) was a politician and diplomat serving
Frederick IV and V of the Palatinate. His brother, Achatius, with whom he
is sometimes confused, was also a a diplomat. In the last years of his life,
Christoph was in the service of the house of Orange.
Marcanton de Dominis (1560?-1623), Bishop of Spalato (Split), was
a Croatian churchman and physicist. He wrote and lectured on optics. Caught
up in a political dispute between Venice and the Vatican, he resigned his
see and came to England in late 1616, where he wrote virulently against
the Vatican and supported the English Church. In 1622, however, he abandoned
his anti-papist views and returned to Rome where he renounced all he had
writeen in England. Dominis is best remembered for having coined the
term "puritan" in its modern sense.
James Douglas (?-1581), Earl of Morton, was Mary Stuart's chancellor
but was involved in the murders of Rizzio and Darnley. For a time he
was regent during the minority of James VI, and he was involved in most of
the turmoil of that period. The victorious part of the Protestant party
had him tried and beheaded, rather cynicly, for the murder of Darnley.
William Douglas (?-1606), 6th Earl of Morton, is often confused with
relatives, other Douglas nobles and other Mortons.
William Douglas (1552-1611), 10th Earl of Angus, was a hot-headed
Catholic who was variously allied with and opposed to the other two great
Highlands Catholic lords, Erroll and Huntly. He finally chose exile in
France and died there.
Sir Francis Drake (1540?-1596) was an admiral and privateer in the service
of Elizabeth I. He was a privateer in the Caribbean in the 1570s;
circumnavigated the globe in 1580 as part of an expedition against the
Spanish on the west coast of the Americas; served under Lord Howard in the
battles against the Armada in 1588; and ended his life again fighting the
Spanish in the Caribbean.
Sir Edmund Dudley (1462?-1510) was a tax and debt collector under
Henry VII. He was a colleague of the loathed Richard Empson in the
"Council learned in
law" and was executed along with him on the ascension of Henry VIII.
Guilford Dudley (1536-1554) was the younger son of John Dudley.
Earl of Warwick and later Duke of Northumberland. His father married him
to Lady Jane Grey in 1553, supposedly in the same ceremony where his
8-year old daughter Catherine was wed to Henry Lord Hasting.
Guilford was executed shortly before his wife was.
Henry Dudley (1517-1568) was the son of John Sutton, Baron Dudley
and a relative of the Duke of Northumberland. He served in military positions
under Henry VIII and Edward VI. When Mary came to the throne, he is supposed
smuggled £50000 out of the treasury to France to finance an invasion. The plot was detected, though, and the invasion never came off. Dudley returned
to England in 1563 and enjoyed some preferment from Elizabeth.
John Dudley (1501-1553), Earl of Warwick, Duke of Northumberland, was the son
of Edmund Dudley. He had a successful military career under Henry VIII and
led the suppression of Ket's Rebellion under Edward VI. He was one of the
Lords of the Regency Council who overthrew Hertford in 1449 and soon became
the leading man in England. It was his idea to put Lady Jane Grey, his
daughter-in-law, in the line of succession ahead of Mary and Elizabeth.
Dudley was executed when Mary prevailed.
Robert Dudley (1532-1588), Earl of Leicester, was a favorite of Queen
Elizabeth. There was rumor that they wished to marry. He served the queen
as a court functionary and later as a commander in the Netherlands.
St. Dunstan (?-988), was the architect of the Anglo-Saxon
reconstruction of the English monasteries. As Archbishop of Canterbury he
exercised great control over King Edgar and his son, Edward the Martyr.
Sir Robert Dymoke (?-1546) was King's Champion at the coronations of
Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII. He served Henry VIII at Tournai and
was King's Treasurer afterward.
King Edgar "the Peacemaker" (?-975), was the son of Athelstan and
great-grandson of Alfred the Great. He is best known as a patron of the great
Anglo-Saxon monastic revival led by Saint Dunstan.
Edith of Scotland (1080-1118) was the daughter of King Malcolm III
and St Margaret. St Margaret was the sister of Edgar Æthling, so
Edith carried a good part of Saxon royal blood. Edith married Henry II of
England in 1100, uniting the Norman and Saxon lines. They had two children,
Matilda (Maud) who married the Holy Roman Emperor and later bore Henry II;
and William Adeln, who died when the White Ship sank in 1120.
Sir Thomas Edmonds (1566-1639) was a diplomat and courtier. He
served Elizabeth and James I as ambassador in France and Belgium and held
high offices in the household of James I and Charles I. H was also a
staunchly royalist member of all the Parliaments from 1604.
Edmund Aethling (1060?-1125?) was an English prince, grandson of
Edmund Ironsides. He was probably next in line for the throne at the death
of Edward the Confessor in 1066, but Harold, son of the Eorl Godwin, was
chosen instead. On Harold's death at the Battle of Hastings, Edmund was
chosen King but immediately had to turn over the throne to William I, the
Conqueror. He spent most of his life trying to recover his throne from
William I and later William Rufus, but to no avail.
Edmund de la Pole (1474?-1513) was the 3rd Duke of Suffolk and the son of
one of Edward IV's sisters, Elizabeth Plantagenet. He had some claim to the
English throne in the Yorkist line from Edward III. Suffolk supported
Henry VII's usurpation, but Henry never trusted him. Suffolk fled England
twice, the first time to France and the second to the court of Maximilian I
in Austria. He was returned to England in 1503 as a condition of a proposed marriage
between Henry VII and the widowed Margaret of Austria. De la Pole was
executed in 1509, shortly after the ascendancy of Henry VIII.
Edmund Ironside (?-1016), was the son of the Saxon King
Æthelred the Unraed and inherited the throne from him in 1016 while
Edmund was defending the Home Counties from the invading Danes under Canute
(with some success until his defeat at the Battle of Assandun).
Edmund dies a few months later after having divided England between himself and
Edmund of Lancaster — Edmund Crouchback — (1245-1296),
the younger son of Henry III, was
not very important in history except as the person through whom the House of
Lancaster claimed title to the English throne. His great-granddaughter Blanche
was the wife of John of Gaunt.
King Edward "the Confessor" (1003-1066) — Saint Edward
— was recalled to the English throne in 1043 after spending his entire
adult life (except for a brief, failed invasion of England)
in exile in Normandy. He re-established the Saxon ruling house upon the
extinction of the Danish house of Canute. The Confessor's reign is remembered
in England for its peace,
lowered taxes, and "good King Edward's laws". In Scotland he is remembered for
supporting Malcolm III against the usurper Macbeth.
Edward I — Edward Longshanks — (1239-1307) was the
elder son of Henry III. He participated in the ineffective 8th and 9th
Crusades. Back home, he much more effectively conquered Wales and subdued
Scotland with such vigor that his tombstone refers to him as "the hammer of
Edward II (1284-1327) was a shadow of is father Edward I. There
is a legend that the Welsh refused a prince who spoke English, so Edward I
presented his infant son—who did not yet speak at all—as Prince
of Wales. Although he fathered at least 3 children, Edward II was reputed
a homosexual. He was deposed in 1326 following an invasion by his queen,
Isabella of France in alliance with the Baron Mortimer. Edward was executed
the following year, supposedly by a lance jammed into his anus.
Edward III (1312-1377) came to the thrown at the age of 14 when his
mother, Isabella, and her lover Mortimer led a revolt that resulted in
his father, Edward II, being deposed and (perhaps) murdered.
He reigned for 50 years. Edward's claim to the throne of France (through
his mother, who was the daughter of Philip IV) was a cause of the Hundred
Years War. The quarrels among Edward's family and descendants
(he had 9 surviving
children and his brother, John of Gaunt, had several as well) resulted in
a long period of conflict concerning the succession between the houses of
York, Lancaster and Tudor, which was not settled until the victory of
Henry VII at Bosworth in 1485.
Edward IV (1442-1483), King of England, was the son of Richard
of York. Richard had good claim to the English throne, and his
attempt to unseat Henry VI began the War of the Roses. Richard was killed
in battle, but Edward continued the fight under the tutelage of
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, eventually capturing London
and seizing the throne in 1461. The war continued, and Henry VI actually
returned for a few months in 1470-71, but Edward, with the help of Charles
the Bold, invaded and again assumed control.
Edward VI (1537-1553) was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
He was 9 years old when he came to the throne and died at the age of 15.
First Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and then John Dudley, Duke of
Northumberland, ran the country during Edward's reign, which was considered
a golden age by the Protestants. It was during Edward's reign that the
Book of Common Prayer was first used in Anglican churches.
Prince Edward — The Black Prince — (1330-1376) was
the son of Edward III and the commander of most of the king's victories in
France. He died the year before his father, but the Prince's son by Joan
of Kent ruled as Richard II.
Edward of Westminster (1453-1471) was the only child of Henry VI.
and Margaret of Anjou. He was made Prince of Wales before his father was
overthrown by Edward IV. Westminster was killed at the Battle of
Tewkesbury, fighting against Edward IV.
King Egbert of Wessex (770?-839) ruled the largest and most
powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. Most of the territories which
had submitted to Offa of Mercia in the previous generation became dependencies
of Wessex during his reign. Egbert spent several years in exile at the
Charles of Egmond, Duke of Guelders, (1457-1538), was a dependent of
(though not friendly with) the French king, until his dukedom came under
control of the Spanish in 1505. He had disputes with the Burgundians for the
rest of his life, but at several points found himself fighting for them.
Sir Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), Viscount Brackley, was a Chancery lawyer
who became Elizabeth I's Lord Keeper in 1596 and James I's Chancellor.
Eleanor of Aquitaine — Eleanor of Poitiers — (1122-1204)
was the daughter of Duke William X of Aquitaine and Aenor de
Châtellerault. When her father's holding passed to her in 1137, she
became the wealthiest woman in Europe; in the same year she married Louis VII,
king of France. After 15 years and two children, the marriage was annulled
on grounds of consanguinity (they were cousins). A few weeks later she married
Henry of Anjou (also a cousin), the son of one of her noble. Henry was then
Duke of Normandy and soon would be King of England.
Eleanor of Provence (1223?-1291) was wife of Henry III. She is
remembered as the devoted mother of Edward I and for filling court offices
with "Savoyards" from back home.
Sir John Eliot (1592-1632) was a friend and client of Buckingham who
gradually lost confidence in the favorite, who, it must be admitted, failed to
protect him when it was most needed. In the Parliament of 1626 he was a
leader of the anti-Buckingham party; he carried Buckingham's impeachment to
the House of Lords, for which he was imprisoned along with Sir Dudley Digges.
In the Parliament of 1628 he was a champion of the Petition of Right. Eliot
earned the personal animosity of Chalres I, who kept him in various prisons for
most the last 5 years of his life.
Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was the daughter of Henry VIII and
Anne Bolyn. She became Queen Regnant on the death of Queen Mary in 1558.
Elizabeth of Bohemia (1596-1662) was the daughter of James I and VI
and the wife of the Elector Palatine, Frederic V. It is through her children
that the dynasty of Hanover came to rule England. Her story is romantic and
tragic. She was married at the age of 16 to a Protestant prince who ruled
from the castle that can still be seen in Heidelburg. During a short
Protestant ascendancy in Prague, here husband was elected King of Bohemia, and
for a year she reigned as Queen. Elizabeth and Frederic had
13 children before his death in 1632. They included Charles Frederic who
succeeded as Elector Palatine; Rupert who played such an important part
in the Civil Wars; and Sophie who married the Elector of Hanover
and was the mother of George I.
James Elphinstone (1557-1612), Lord Balmerinoch,
served in various high positions
(including Secretary of State) in Scotland under James VI and in the
English Privy Council. He was attainted as a traitor in 1608 for
forged a letter 10 years earlier from James to Pope Clement VIII;
he king pardoned him.
John Elphinstone (?-1649), 2nd Lord Balmerinoch, was
a staunch Presbyterian and ally of the Earl of Argyll. He was prosecuted
and condemned for lying about his part in the publication of an obnoxious
petition to the Parliament of 1633. Charles I pardoned him, as James VI
had pardoned Balmerino's father.
Sir Richard Empson (1450?-1510) was one of the chief ministers of
Henry VII, and probably the most hated. He was a leading member of the
"Council learned in law" which enforced the increasing demands for money of
Henry VII's later reign. Empson was arrested and executed by Henry VIII
on his ascension.
Elizabeth of York (1466-1503) was the first child of Edward IV and
Elizabeth Woodville, and the wife of Henry VII. Henry and Elizabeth had
9 or 10 children, including Henry VIII. Elizabeth is rumored to have been
engaged to her uncle, Richard III before her betrothal to Henry Tudor.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) was a humanist philosopher whose
ideas, chiefly in opposition to Scholasticism, opened the door for the
arguments of the Protestants. He was world-famous during his life. He was
employed by many of the princes of the time, including Henry VIII and Charles
V. The English translation of his Paraphrase (commentary) on the New
Testament was an important document in the early Anglican Church.
John Scotus Eriugena (dates unknown) was an Irish scholar and poet
who is best known for his translations of Greek controversialists and his
Latin and Greek poems. About all that is known of him is his writings and
that he lived and worked in the court of the French king Charles the Bald in
the mid-9th century.
John Erskine of Dun (1509-1591) was a Scots religious reformer,
a friend of George Wishart and John Knox. Though a strong Protestant, he
served Queen Mary and was a guardian of the infant James VI. He was several
times moderator of the General Assembley of the Scottish Church.
John Erskine (?-1572), depending on the number scheme the 1st, 7th
or 17th Earl of Mar, was a leading figure in
the governments of James V and Mary Stuart. He was keeper of Edinburgh
Castle during the crisis of 1559-60 and later (1571) was regent in partnership
with the Earl Morton.
John Erskine (1558-1634),
2nd Earl of Mar, son of John Erskine the first
Earl in that creation, grew up with James VI. He was ambassador to Elizabeth
I and held very high offices in Scotland under James I and Charles I.
Eustace de Vesci (1165-1216), Baron of Alnwick, was of an old
Norman family and married a daughter of the King of Scotland. He was a leader
among King John's rebellious barons.
Paulus Fagius (1504-1549) was a German Protestant and a friend of
Martin Bucer whom he followed to England in the reign of Edward VI. When
Bucer accepted a professorship at Cambridge, Fagius followed him as a teacher
of Hebrew. He is best known today for preserving and printing Hebrew texts.
Mildmay Fane (1602-1666), second Earl of Westmoreland, was a wealthy
land owner. He served in the Parliaments of 1624/25, but was not very
political. In the civil wars, he initially sided with the king and was one
of the nobles who signed a petition in his support in June, 1642; but he soon
retired to his estates and remained neutral.
Alessandro Farnese (1545-1592), Duke of Parma and Piacenza, was the son of
Margaret of Parma and a nephew of Philip II. He fought at Lepanto and in the
Netherlands, and succeeded Don John as Governor in 1578.
Farnese was the most successful of the Spanish leaders in the Netherlands,
recovering most of Belgium for Philip II. He championed an invasion of
England, but his plan, which had some chance of success,
was overruled in favor of the Armada.
Guy Fawkes (1570-1605) was a mercenary soldier in the service of
Spain when he was recruited as the explosives expert in the Gunpowder Plot.
He purchased and packed the 36 barrels of black powder in the rented basement
below the House of Lords. Fawkes was captured in the basement; he confessed
the plot under torture.
John Felton (1595-1628) assassinated George Villiers, the Duke of
Buckingham, on August 23, 1628. Surprisingly little is known of him.
He was born at Playford, Suffolk; served in the first effort to relieve La
Rochelle in 1626; was denied command in the 1628 expedition; and perhaps was
related to the Earl of Arundel.
Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549-1609) Grand Duke of Tuscany succeeded his
brother Francesco in 1587. He restored the power and independence of his
dukedom which his brother had let slide.
Marie de' Medici (1573-1642),
daughter of Francesci I Grand Duke of Tuscany,
married Henri IV of France in 1600. She became regent for her son (the future
Louis XIII) after Henri's assassination and brought Richilieu into government.
Later Louis exiled her for scheming to resume power. Marie's lasting
achievement (besides a very bad reputation) is the Luxembourg in Paris, which
Ferdinand II of Aragon — Ferdinand the Catholic —
(1452-1516) was the famous husband of Isabella and patron of
Christopher Columbus. By uniting Aragon with Castille through his marriage,
and driving the Moors out of Granada, Ferdinand brought together under one
ruler most of the territory of modern Spain.
Ferdinand II (1578-1637), Archduke of Styria and Holy Roman
Emperor, was a staunch Catholic. His refusal to honor the concessions made
to the Protestants by his imperial predessors Rudolph II and Matthias
was one cause of the
30 Years' War. In 1617 Ferdinand was elected King of Bohemia, but his
heavy-handed treatment of Protestants removed any popular support he may
have had and led to the memorable episode when two of his deputies in
Prague were thrown from the castle windows (the "Defenstration of Prague").
Ferdinand prosecuted the 30 Years' War with vigor and some success.
Ferdinand III (1608-1657), succeeded his father, Ferdinand II,
as Holy Roman Emperor in 1637. In his reign, the French poured into
Bavaria,forcing an end to the Thirty Years' War in 1648. Ferdinand loosened
the already light central control of the Empire over its constituent states
by allowing them to conduct their own foreign policies.
Archbishop Ferdinand of Cologne (1577-1650) was the son of
Wilhelm IV, Duke of Bavaria and younger brother of Duke Maximilian of
Bavaria. He rigorously oppressed Protestantism in his lands and allied with
his brother in the Catholic League during the 30 Years' War.
Gómez Suarez, Count of Feria was a confidant of Philip II and
his ambassador to England at the end of Mary's and the beginning of
Elizabeth's reign.. Philip
raised him to Duke of Feria for his services.
Robert Ferrar (?-1555), Bishop of St Davids, was a Protestant
William Fiennes (1582-1662), Lord Saye and Seale, was a leader
of the Puritan party before and during the Long Parliament. He was known
for his subtlety in remaining just inside the law. He raised and commanded
a regiment in the Civil Wars and was governor of several
central counties. Saye did not participate
in government after the regicide, but he did again become a Privy Councillor
after the Restoration.
John Fisher (1469-1535) was Bishop of Rockester. He was executed
for treason when he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy.
Richard Fitzalan, (1346-1397), 4th Earl of Arundel, was one of the
leading barons of England. As a member of the council that ruled for
Richard II in his minority, and later as one of the Lords Appelant, he
was one of the ruling oligarchy. Though a member of the Gloucester faction,
Arundel managed to escape disgrace until 1397 when he was arrested for
treason and beheaded. Richard's brother was Thomas Arundel, Archbishop
James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald (?-1579), was a chief of the
Geraldines, the ruling family of Munster. He was central in the Desmond
Rebellions of the 1560s and the attempt to reinstate Catholic supremacy in
Ireland in 1578-79.
Flodden Field in Northumbria was the site of a crushing defeat of
the invading Scots under James IV on September 9, 1513. James was killed
leading a cavalry charge.
Sir Heneage Finch (1595?-1631) was Speaker of the House in the
Parliaments of 1625 and 1626; the brother of John Finch, Speaker of the 1628 Parliament;
and father of Lord Chancellor Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham. He was
also Recorder of London from 1621 until his death.
Sir John Finch (1584-1660) was a lawyer and judge. He was Speaker
of the House of Commons in the Parliament of 1628-29 where he was much maligned
by the country party. Finch was later made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
where he tried, among many others, John Hampden and William Prynne. He was
made Lord Keeper in 1640 but had to flee to Holland the next year to
avoid trial by the Parliament.
Henry Fitzroy (1519-1536), 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, was
the natural son of Henry VIII by his mistress Elizabeth Blount. He was a
favorite of the King and seemed to have a bright future, but he contracted
John Lord Fleming was the 5th Lord Fleming. His father and his
aunt Mary Fleming went to France with Mary Stuart.
Sir John Fortescue (1395?-1476?) was a lawyer and
Lord Chief Justice of England under Henry VI. He is best known
for his Latin treatise on English law, De laudibus legum Angliae,
written for Henry VI's son Edward; and an English study,
he Difference between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy which was
not published until the 17th century..
Sir John Fortesque of Salden (1533-1607),
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster,
made his fortune as Elizabeth I's Keeper of the
Wardrobe. He joined the Privy Council around 1588. He is best known for
his participation in the Parliamentary election of 1604 where he stood for
the county of Bucks. He was defeated by his Puritan neighbor,
Sir Francis Goodwin. The King had the election voided and ordered Fortesque
elected, but the Commons refused to seat him.
Fotheringhay is a town and was a castle in Northhamptonshire. The
anciently the seat of the Duke of York and was the last prison of Mary
Stuart. The castle fell into disrepair and was razed in 1627.
Edward Fox (1496?-1538), Bishop of Hereford may have been related
to Richard Fox. He was a friend of Latimer and of Cranmer and was the
most Protestant of Henry VIII's spiritual lords. Fox is assumed to be
primarily responsible for the Ten Articles of 1536.
Richard Fox (1448-1528) was Bishop of Winchester and
Lord Privy Seal in the reign of
Henry VII, second only to Cardinal Morton in influence with the King.
He was also an early adviser of Henry VIII. Among his diplomatic successes
where negotiations for the marriage of James IV of Scotland with Margaret
Tudor and of Prince Arthur with Catherine of Aragon. Fox's influence was
superseded by that of his protegée, Wolsey around 1511.
François I (1494-1544), King of France, was the first French
monarch affected by the Italian humanism of the Renaissance. It was Francis
who brought Leonardo di Vinci (and the Mona Lisa) into France. He also sent
Varrazano and Cartier on voyages of exploration to North America. Militarily,
he had early successes in Italy but was captured by Charles V at Pavia.
François II (1544-1560), King of France, was engaged to
Mary Stuart at the age of 4 and married her at 14. His father, Henri II,
died the next year, and François, always a sickly child, died soon
after. He was succeeded by Charles IX.
Frederic I — Barbarossa — (1123-1190) was King of
Germany and the greatest Holy Roman Emperor after Charlemagne. It was in the
time of Barbarossa that the conflict between the Holy Catholic Church and the
Holy Roman empire came to a head. The Germans conquered all of northern
Italy and, allied with the Normans in Sicily, effectively limited the
temporal power of the Church to the central Italian states, a condition from
which it never fully recovered. Frederic died on Crusade in 1190.
Frederic II (1194-1250), Holy Roman Emperor, was the son of Henry
VI and Constance of Sicily. He continued the Hohenstaufen strategy of
controlling Italy, and his mother's inheritence allowed him to surround the
Papal States as had his namesake, Barbarossa. He forced Pope Innocent IV into
French exile and generally so scourged the church that it would never again
approve a Hohenstaufen emperor.
Frederick II (1534-1588), King of Denmark and Norway, is remembered
as a hot-headed carouser who failed to conquer Sweden but who
maintained the power of the Danish state. He was a patron of Tycho Brahe.
Frederic V (1596-1632), Elector Palatine, was a prominent
Protestant German prince who, during a brief ascendancy of the Protestants
in Prague, was elected King of Bohemia. He was quickly driven not only
from Bohemia but from his own lands on the Rhine. He and his wife, the
daughter of James I and VI, were exiled in the Hague and France
until his death in 1632
Juan de Velasco Frias, (1560?-1613), Constable of Castile and
Duke of Frias, was a Spanish courtier and diplomat. He participated in the
Somerset House conference in 1604 and was consulted by the Gunpowder Plot
Fulk V Count of Anjou (1092?-1143) was a young noble with a good
military reputation when Baldwin II, King of the Crusader state of Jerusalem,
tapped him to marry his daughter Melisende. After long negotiations, Fulk
agreed to the marriage. He resigned Anjou to his son, Geoffrey V, and
went off to become first Regent of Antioch and then on the death of Baldwin,
King of Jerusalem.
Bethlen Gábor (1580-1629) was an Hungarian nobleman and
adventurer who became Prince of Transylvania by promising to help the
Empire against the Turks. He did so, but maintained an aggressive Protestant
policy which made the Hapsburgs regret the bargain.
Uberto Gambara (1489-1549)
was a Cardinal who served several Popes as a diplomat and nuncio in Germany
Stephen Gardiner (1483-1555), the "hammer of heretics", Bishop of
Winchester, was a lieutenant of Wolsey and served Henry VIII in diplomatic
and political roles. He supported the Royal Supremacy but also the Six
Articles under which so many Protestants were persecuted. He was jailed under
Edward VI but restored under Mary, whom he served as Chancellor. He is
considered to have been the main mover in the Marian persecutions. Fox's
Book of Martyrs made Gardiner one of the most vilified English
Henry Garnet (1555-1606), an English Jesuit priest, was one of a
handful of missionaries who slipped into England in 1586. He spent the
rest of his life moving from place to place ministering to the English
Catholics. He was executed for a supposed part in the Gunpowder Plot.
Piers Gaveston (1284-1312), Earl of Cornwall was the favorite of King
Edward II. His close, presumably sexual, relationship with the king excited
the jealousy of the English barons. After the ascension of Edward II he
alternately found himself banished and restored. Edward finally abandoned him
in 1312. Gaveston was seized by the Earl of Warwick and executed.
Gelders was a county on the modern border between Belgium and the
Netherlands. Its territory is now split between the Duth province of
Gelderland and the Belgian province of Limburg.. From 1538 to 1543 it was
ruled by William the Rich, Duke of Cleves, the brother of Anne of Cleves.
Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou and Maine (1113-1151) was the son of
Fulk of Anjou (later King of Jerusalem) and Eremburge of Maine. While still
a minor he married Matilda (Maud), the daughter of Henry I of England and the
widow of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. In Matilda's name, Geoffrey claimed
Normandy assumed the title of Duke in 1144. Their son was Henry II, the great
H.B. George, fellow of New College, Oxford. He is probably
best known for his book The Relations of History and Geography. He
also wrote on military history. I don't know if this is the same Rev. H.B.
George who was the first to make the west ascent of the Jungfrau in 1865,
but it seems likely.
Balthazar Gerbier (1592-1663) was a diplomat and painter of French
Huguenot descent and served both the Dutch and the English governments.
Gerbier accompanied Buckingham and Prince Charles on their expedition to
Spain in the affair of the Infanta.
Gian Matteo Giberti (1495-1543) was a church diplomat and
politician. He rose to prominence under Pope Leo X and was made Datario
by Pope Clement VII. After the sack of Rome by imperial forces in 1527,
he escaped to his bishopric of Verona. He is known for his diplomacy and
his reforms of ecclesiastical government.
George Gledstanes (1562?-1615), Archbishop of St Andrews.
Episcopal government was suspended in Scotland from 1592 to 1610, but the
date of Gledstanes' elevation is sometimes given as 1604 or 1606.
According to Stephen (History of the Scottish Church)
he was "entirely devoid of administrative ability or
tact. He was in every sense a mediocre man...."
Sir John Glanville (1589-1661) was a Parliamentarian and Speaker
of the Short Parliament. He took part in the impeachment of Buckingham but
was a firm loyalist and C of E man in the Civil Wars.
Godfrey of Boulogne (1041-1100) was the commander of the First
Crusade and established himself as Protector of Jerusalem in 1099.
Godwin of Kent (990?-1053), Earl of Wessex, was one of the two great
lords in England at the death of King Hardiknute
(along with Leofric of Mercia and Siward of Northumbria).
He was a leader in the council that invited Edward the Confessor to claim
the vacant English throne. During most of Edward's reign, though, Godwin
fought with him, sometimes politically, sometimes with arms. The Confessor
married a daughter of Godwin (with no issue however -- Edward had taken a
vow of chastity). Godwin's son, Harold, succeeded Edward in 1066.
Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuña (1567-1626), Count of Gondomar,
was a Spanish soldier, courtier and diplomat. He was ambassador to England
for much of the reign of James I and is remembered for his advocacy of marriage
between the Infanta and Prince Charles; and of the execution of Sir Walter
Thomas Goodrich (?-1554) was Bishop of Ely and, at the end of his life,
Lord Chancellor. He held Protestant beliefs and was an enthusiastic
participant in the suppression of the monasteries in his see.
George Gordon (1562-1636), 1st Marquess Huntly, was an ally and a
thorn in the side of James I and VI. He was useful as a counterbalance
to the Kirk in Scotland, but his Catholic leanings and his involvement in
clan politics kept him in trouble.
George Gordon (1592-1649), 2nd Marquess Huntly, was son of the first
Marquess and a cousin, on his mother's side, of Charles I. He was educated
in England and set himself up as a strong supporter of the monarchy in
the north of Scotland. As the highest ranking outstander from the Covenant and
a long-time opponent of the Earl of Argyll, Huntly had a lot of enemies.
They caught up with him in 1649, when he was attainted and beheaded by the
Scots parliament. He is sometimes referred to by the titles he enjoyed
during his father's life: Lord Aboyne and Earl of Enzle.
James Gordon S.J. was the uncle of George Gordon, 1st Marquess
Huntly, which would make him brother of the 5th Earl of Huntly. His return
to Scotland in 1583 is regarded as the beginning of the slow return of
Catholicism to that kingdom.
John Gordon (1609-1663), 14th Earl of Sutherland, was an active
Covanenter and a military leader in many campaigns in the north of Scotland.
He was of the Privy Council and for a time after 1649
was Lord Privy Seal of Scotland.
Cardinal de Granvella, Antoine Perrenot (1517-1586) was a diplomat of
the Holy Roman Empire. He performed many services for Emperor Charles
V, including the negotiation of the marriage between Mary Tudor and
the Emperor's son, Philip II of Spain. After Charles' abdication,
Granvella was the despised prime minister of the regent Margaret of Parma
in the Netherlands.
Patrick, Master of Gray, (?-1615), the 6th Lord Gray, was a teflon
He remained a favorite of James VI while conspiring to keep James's mother
prisoner in England. An ally of the Earl of Arron, he helped ensure his fall.
As the Scottish ambassador to the court of Elizabeth I,
he negotiated the terms of Mary's eventual execution, for which he was banished
a few years.
Pope Saint Gregory I—Gregory the Great—(540?-604) is
considered the father of Catholicism, at least as it developed in Western
Europe. His writings are the basis of the doctrines of the western Church.
Pope Saint Gregory VII—Hildebrand—(1020?-1085) was
one of the great medieval Popes. He was made Archdeacon of the Church in 1059
and was elected Pope in 1072.
Pope Gregory XIII — Ugo Boncampagni — (1502-1585),
the man for whom the Gregorian calendar is named, was elected in 1572. He
is remembered as a reformer.
Sir Thomas Gresham (1519?-1579) was a London merchant. He founded
the Royal Exchange on the model of the Bourse in Antwerp. The principal that
"Bad money drives out good" is known as Gresham's Law. Gresham's most
lasting contributions were making the English pound a stable and trusted
medium of commercial exchange and the endowment of Gresham College in London.
Robert Greville (1608-1643), Lord Brooke, was the adopted son of the
poet and courtier Fulke Greville. He was a puritan and one of the leaders of
the opposition to Charles I in the House of Lords. He furnished a regiment
in the Civil War and was killed by a sniper at the siege of Lichfield
Catherine Grey (1540?-1568) was the younger sister of Lady
Jane Grey. She had little happiness in life. She was married to a son
of the Earl of Pembroke on the same day her sister married Guilford
Dudley. On Mary's assecion, the Pembrokes had the marriage annulled.
Catherine was viewed as a possible rival by Elizabeth and her secret marriage
to Edward Seymour was taken as an affront to the queen's
dignity. The marriage was judged null by the ecclesiastical courts. Catherine
and her two children were kept prisoner either in the Tower or in the houses of
relatives for the rest of her short life.
Henry Grey (1515-1554), Duke of Suffolk, was a noble of the Dorset
family and the father of Lady Jane Grey. He married Francis Brandon,
granddaughter of Henry VII in 1533. An ardent Protestant, Suffolk schemed
with Northumberland to put Lady Jane on the throne instead of Queen Mary.
He escaped execution for this, but soon became involved in Wyatt's plot
to overthrow Mary,
for which he was convicted of treason.
Jane Grey (1537-1554) was the well-educated daughter of the
Marquess of Dorset (later Duke of Suffolk) and Frances Brandon, granddaughter
of Henry VII. Her claim to the throne was preferred by the Protestants to
that of Mary, and Jane was proclaimed queen in July, 1553. Mary proved to
have more popular support, though. Jane was imprisoned and, after Thomas
Wyatt's rebellion in early 1554, executed.
Thomas Grey de Wilton (1575-1614), 15th Baron Grey de Wilton, was a strong
Puritan as was his father, the better-known Arthur Grey of Wilton, who was Lord
Lieutenant in Ireland and Edmund Spenser's employer. Thomas was involved in
the Bye Plot (for reasons not clear) and died after being imprisoned 1603-1614.
Cardinal Gualo was the papal legate in England 1216-1219.
During that time he essentially ruled the country as the deputy of the pope,
Henry III being only a child.
Gustav II Adolf — Gustavus Adolphus — (1594-1632),
"Gustav Adolf the Great", "The Lion of the North", was King of Sweden and the
savior of the German Protestants in the 30 Years War. His army took Munich
in September 1632, but he died at the battle of Lützen one month later.
Guy I (1027?-1100), Count of Pontheiu, was the son
of Hugh II. He was a vassal of Duke William of Normandy but did not always
support him. His brother, Hugh, was with William at Hastings and is said
to have been among those who mutilated the body of King Harold.
John Hambden (1595?-1643) was a large land-owner and sat in most
of the Parliaments from 1621. He is best known for his refusal to pay
the forced load and the
ship-money and for his subsequent trial and imprisonment. He was a leader in
the Short Parliament and one of the managers of Strafford's trial in 1641.
Hambden was one of the Five Members accused of treason. During the civil
wars he continued to be prominent in Parliament while commanding a regiment
of horse. Hambden died of wounds incurred in a skirmish at Chalgrove Field.
James Hamilton (1516?-1575) was the son of the Earl of Arron and
next in blood to the throne after Mary Queen of Scots. He served as regent
for the infant Mary and
helped negotiate her marriage with the Dauphin, for which he was
created Duc d'Châtellerault. Hamilton gave up the regency to Mary of
Guise in 1554 but turned against her and joined the Lords of the Congregation
in 1559. He alternated support betwen the Protestants and Mary until her
death and was imprisoned until he affirmed the right of James VI.
James, Marquess Hamilton (1604-1649) (later Duke of Hamilton) was
the premier lord in the Scottish nobility. He inherited his title at the age
of 21 and within 3 years was a key member of Charles I's inner circle.
In 1631 he commanded a force of 6000 Scots in support of Gustavus Adolphus in
northern Germany. On his return, he became king's chief advisor
concerning Scotland. Hamilton is much derided as a waffler during the
civil wars. He supported first the king, then the parliament, then the king
John Hampden (1594-1643) was a Buckinghamshire magnate and a
parliamentarian. He gained fame for refusing a forced loan in 1626 and
for not paying the Ship Money levy in 1635. Along with Pym he was the
great leader at the first sitting of the Long Parliament. In the Civil
War he furnished and led a regiment and served as Chief of Staff to Essex.
He was killed in a skirmish at Chalgrove, near Oxford.
Hampton Court is a palace and park on the Thames near London.
It has a long
history, but the current building was constructed by
Cardinal Wolsey and "donated" to Henry VIII when he asked for it. Henry
made extensive alterations in 1529. William and Mary rebuilt much of the
the palace 160 years later.
James Hannay, about whom little is known, was Dean of Edinburgh and
minister of the Abbey church at Holyrood. He is remembered mainly for being
in the way of the flying furniture at St. Giles Church on July 23, 1637.
Hannibal (247-182 B.C.), Carthaginian general. Son of the conqueror
of Spain, Hamilcar, and brother-in-law of the general Hasdrubal. He became
commander of the Punic forces in Europe on the death of Hasdrubal. Hannibal
invaded Italy in 218 B.C. by marching his army over the Alps. He was never
defeated in battle, but was forced to surrender after the Romans isolated his
forces in Italy while they conquered Spain and invaded Africa. He returned to
administer the defeated Carthage, but soon fell into conflict with the Romans.
He fled to Syria, Crete and finally Bithynia where he died after his army
was defeated by the Romans.
King Harold (1020?-1066), ruled England for 9 months in 1066. On
his deathbed, the
the Confessor designated Harold his heir; unfortunately he had earlier
promised William of Normandy that he would succeed. This led to
William's famous invasion, Harold's death at the Battle of Hastings, and the
end of the Saxon line of kings in England.
Sir John Harrington (1561-1612)) was an on-and-off favorite of
Queen Elizabeth. He was her godson, having family connections with the Queen's
Harrington is remembered as the first translator into English of
Orlando Furioso and for an ingenious invention — a flush-toilet.
Henry Lord Hastings (1533?-1595), 3rd Earl of Huntington, was of
royal (though Yorkist) blood and was the playmate and fellow-student of
Edward VI. At the age of 18, he was married to the 8-year old Catherine
Dudley, daughter of the Duke of Northumberland.
Although he supported Lady Jane Grey, he was pardoned and served
Queen Mary as a lieutenant to Cardinal Pole. Elizabeth,
after a long period of mistrust, employed him in the north of England, where
he was Lord Lieutenant in several counties and president of the Council of
Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-1591) was Lord Chancellor 1587-1591
and long a favorite of Elizabeth I before that. From 1578 he was Elizabeth's
spokesman in Parliament.
Francis Hay (?-1631), 9th Earl of Erroll, was a Catholic and one of the
Scottish conspirators with Spain against Elizabeth I. He was closely
associated with the Marquess Huntly and the other Catholic lords.
George Hay (1572-1634), 1st Earl of Kinnoul, was an early companion
of James VI. He was made Lord Chancellor of Scotland in 1622 and created
an earl shortly before Charles I's Scottish coronation in 1633.
James Hay (?-1636) was a Scottish favorite of James I and VI.
He served in various diplomatic and court positions. Hay was created
Viscount Doncaster in 1619 and Earl of Carlisle in 1622.
Nicholas Heath (1501?-1578), Archbishop of York, had a long and
varied career in the English Church. Along with Bishop Fox, he was one
of Henry VIII's ambassadors to the Smalkaldic league. He served as almoner
to Henry. As Bishop successively of Herford and Worcester, he was outwardly
Protestant but retained a devotion to Catholic practice. In 1551 the council
deprived him for refusing to sign the new prayer book. He was restored under
Mary, elected Archbishop of York, and appointed Chancellor. Elizabeth
retained him in both capacities, evidence that his abilities went beyond
Sir Robert Heath (1575-1649) became Soliciter General in 1621
and was Attorney General 1625-1629 by the influence of Buckingham. After
Buckingham's murder, he fell out of favor, but he is remembered for being
granted patents to settle Caroline and the Bahamas in 1629. He did nothing
Alexander Henderson (1583?-1646), minister of Leuchars in Fife, was
a prominent Presbyterian churchman. With Archibald Johnston, he updated the
anti-catholic Covenant of 1581 to create the Solemn League and Convenant in
the spring of
1538, and he was moderator of the General Assembley held later that year.
He was one of the commissioners in most of the dealings with England
until his death. Henderson was recognized in his own time as one of the
statesmen of the Kirk.
Anthonie Heinsius (1641-1720), Dutch statesman. He was a confidante of
William of Orange who raised him to the title Grand Pensioner of Holland
Henri III (1551-1589), the last Valois king of France, became king
on the death of his brother, Charles IX. He was driven from Paris in 1588 by
Henri, Duke of Guise for allegedly being soft on Protestants. Henri III
subsequently invited Guise and his brother, the Archbishop of Rheims, to
a conference where he had them killed. The Parliament banned him from Paris
and he fled to the camp of the Protestant Henri of Navarre, the heir
apparent to the French throne. While in camp, he was assassinated by
a Dominican monk, Jacques Clément,
Henri IV (1553-1610), the first Bourbon King of France,
le bon roi Henri, was popular
during his reign and even more so after his assassination by Fran¸ois
Ravaillac. Henri, a Protestant himself before becoming king on the death of
the last Valois king, Henri III, gave some protection to French Protestants
(and effectively ended the Wars of Religion) by the Edict of Nantes in 1598.
His marriage to Marguerite de Valois, sister of Charles IX, in 1572 (when
Henri was merely King of Navarre) was the occasion of the St Bartholomew Day
Henri (1550-1588), 3rd Duke of Guise, was a great champion of the
Catholics during the Wars of Religion. His most notable feat was taking
Paris from Henri III in 1588. He is infamous as a chief organizer of the
St Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572.
Henry II — Henry Curtmantle, Henry Plantagenet —
(1133-1189) was the son of Geoffrey, count of Anjou; and Matilda, daughter of
Henry I and widow of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. He claimed Normandy
and England as his mother's right. Henry became Duke of Normany and Count of
Anjou on the death of his father in 1151. He married Eleanor of Aquitaine
(after her marriage to Lous VII of France was annulled) in 1152,
obtaining with her hand the wealthy province of Aquitaine (Guienne). On the
death of King Stephen in 1054 he accepted the throne of England.
Henry III (1216-1272) came to the throne at the age of 9 on the
death of his father, King John. He was a weak but long-lived king, ruling
for 56 years. He was the first Plantagenet king to find his powers
by the Engliah barons.
Henry IV — Henry Bolingbroke — (1367-1413) was the
son of John of Gaunt and cousin of Richard II. Banished by Richard in
1399, he waited until the King was away in Ireland before he invaded
England with the help of French allies and usurped the throne. The parliament
of 1400 actually pronounced Richard's deposition, but Henry was already on
Henry V (1387-1422), King of England, pushed the fortunes of the
house of Lancaster to their highest point. He reestablished English
authority in Gascony and Aquitaine; strengthened the alliance with
Burgundy; and was promised the throne of France on the death of
Charles VI. Henry died suddenly in 1422, leaving an infant son, Henry VI.
Henry VI (1421-1471) was King of England for all but the first
year of his life. He ruled, badly, until he went into a catatonic state
in 1453; he did not recover until 1454, He was deposed at the end of the
War of the Roses in 1461. The Earl of Warwick restored him for a brief
time in 1470-71, but Edward of York (Edward IV) regained the upper hand.
Henry was imprisoned and murdered in the Tower.
Henry VII — Henry Tudor, Henry of Richmond — (1457-1509)
was the Lancasterian pretender to the English throne held by Edward IV and
Richard III. When Richard's behavior made him unpopular around 1484, Henry
sought the assistance of Charles VIII of France who provided him money.
Henry invaded Wales, defeated Richard at Bosworth Field (1485) and was
crowned Henry VII.
Henry VIII (1491-1547) needs no introduction..
Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln (1249-1311) was the closest
councilor of King Edward I, but he is best known as the
father-in-law of Thomas of Lancaster who was the nemesis of Edward II.
Henry Julius (1564-1613), Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg had a
troubled relationship with his principal city, Brunswick, which refused to
recognize him unless he reaffirmed it corporate privileges.
Francis Stuart Hepburn (1563-1612), Earl of Bothwell,
was a cousin of James VI
and at one time his Lord Admiral. He did not retain James's trust, however,
and at one point took the king prisoner in 1593. He was pardoned but soon
driven into exile in France. He died in Naples.
Heraclitus (535?-475? B.C.) is reputed the first philosopher. None
of his writings have survived, but the idea of "Heraclitean fire" as a
metaphor for understanding truth through the observation of change has
Henry Herbert (1530-1601), Earl of Pembroke, was the son of
William Herbert. He was briefly married to Catherine Grey, sister of
Lady Jane Grey, but put her aside. During the reign of Elizabeth, Pembroke
was a patron of the arts, supporting a theater that produced plays by
Shakespeare, Nashe, Jonson and others.
Philip Herbert (1584-1649), nephew of Philip Sydney and a patrol of
Shakespeare, was a favorite in the courts of James I and Charles I, but
sided with Parliament in the Civil Wars. He succeeded his brother William
as Earl of Pembroke in 1630.
William Herbert (1506?-1570), Earl of Pembroke, is best known for
crushing Wyatt's Rebellion against Queen Mary in 1553.
Herleva (1003?-1050), mother of William I (though not married to his
father). The daughter of a tanner in the town of Falaise, she must have been
quite beautiful. She was the mistress in succession of Count Gilbert of
Brionne (by whom she bore Richard Fitzgilbert), and Robert of Normandy who
fathered William on her. Robert married her off to Viscount Herluin of
Conteville; they had three children together.
Heyduks were Hungarian mercenary soldiers of the middle ages, supposed
to have originated in Turkey. The term was later used to describe the personal
bodyguards of Hungarian nobles.
John Hilsey (?-1538) was Bishop of Rochester. He is best known for
exposing the "Rood of Grace" of Boxley as a hoax, and for a prayer book or
Primer that bears his name.
Sir Thomas Hobby, brother of Sir Philip Hobby, was the guardian
of Elizabeth I during the reign of Queen Mary. He served Elizabeth as an
ambassador to France.
Johann Georg Hohenzollern (1525-1598) was elector of
Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia from 1571.
Georg Wilhelm Hohenzollern (1595-1640), was Elector of Brandenburg
from 1619 and was father of the "Great Elector". Georg Wilhelm's management
of Protestant efforts in the 30 Years War nearly was a disaster.
Alexander Home (?-1575), 5th Lord Home.
George Home (?-1612), Lord Berwick, Earl of Dunbar, was James VI's
right-hand man in Scotland and became Chancellor of the Exchequer in England.
Flavius Honorius (384-423). Roman emperor at the fall of the
Western empire. He was beset with enemies including rival emperors like
Constantine III and the Visigoths. He was a cowardly and ineffective leader
at a time when even the bravest and most powerful could not have saved Rome.
Richard Hooker (1554-1600) was a churchman and lawyer. He is
remembered for his 8-volume work The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity which
upheld the government of the Church of England and is considered a classic
of Elizabethan literature.
John Hooper (1497?-1555) was a Protestant Bishop of Gloucester and
Worcester and a
martyr under Queen Mary. He is known as the 'father of nonconformity'.
During exile in Europe, he became convinced of
the Zwinglian views and refused to subscribe the more moderate and Lutheran
program promoted under Edward VI. He was imprisoned by Mary and executed as
Sir Thomas Hope (?-1645) was a Scots lawyer and Lord Advocate from
1626. He was usually of the king's party, but in 1637-38 advised the
Supplicants and supported the Covenant.
Catherine Howard (1521?-1542) was the fifth wife of Henry VIII.
A cousin of wife number 2, Anne Bolyn, she caught the king's attention as a
lady in the court of Anne of Cleves. She was convicted of adultery after 18
months of marriage and was, like her cousin, executed.
Charles Howard — Lord Howard of Effingham — (1536-1624)
was Elizabeth I's and James I's Lord Admiral and was in charge of the
operations that defeated the Armada in 1588.
He was created Earl of Nottingham in 1596.
Frances Howard (1590-1632) was the daughter of the powerful Earl
of Somerset, Thomas Howard. In 1605 she married Robert Devereux, son of the
recently-executed Earl of Essex, but they lived apart and sometime after
1607 she began an affair with the
King's favorite, Robert Carr. The marriage was annulled in 1613 and Frances
married Carr, now Earl of Somerset. Their marriage was destroyed by the
tawdry Overbury affair.
Henry Howard (1517-1547), Earl of Surrey, was the son of Thomas
Howard. His grandfather, also Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, was also a
grandfather of Anne Boleyn. Henry was raised in court but lacked the political
savvy to out-manouever the Seymour family. He and his father assumed they
would rule as regents for Edward VI; their ostentation gave the Seymours a
chance to accuse them and the two were executed for treason in 1547.
Henry Howard (1540-1614), 1st Earl of Northhampton, spent most of his life in
Elizabeth I's dog house for his and his brother's association with Mary Stuart.
He finally came back in favor in 1600 and served in high positions until the
Somerset scandal which involved his grand-niece, Lady Essex.
Henry Frederic Howard (1608-1652), 22nd Earl of Arundel,
was the son of Thomas Howard and inherited his considerable property.
This Henry Howard secured for his descendents the title
of Duke of Norfolk by his collaboration with the Parliament.
Thomas Howard (1536-1572), 1st Earl of Southampton, 4th Duke of
Norfolk, was a son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He was
imprisoned for plotting to marry Mary Queen of Scots, and was executed when
he was implicated in the Ridolfi plot.
Thomas Howard (1561-1626) was the son of Thomas Howard, Duke of
Norfolk. He served at sea against the Spanish and was Lord Treasurer in
the reign of James I.
Thomas Howard (1443-1524), Earl of Surrey, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, was
a supporter of Richard III who, after 15 years, returned to
prominence under the
Tudor kings. He was Lord Treasurer under Henry VII and Henry VIII. Henry VIII
made him Earl Marshall in 1509 and restored him as Duke of Norfolk in 1514.
Howard was grandfather of Anne Boleyn.
Thomas Howard (1473-1554), Earl of Surrey, 3rd Duke of Norfolk,
succeeded his father as Lord Treasurer in 1522. He supported Henry VIII's
divorce and remarriage to his niece, Anne Boleyn, and was one of the chief
opponents of both Wolsey and Cromwell. Although he profitted greatly from
the suppression of the monasteries, he remained a Catholic.
Thomas Howard (1585-1646) , 21st Earl of Arundel, Earl Marshal
was a diplomat and art collector. He accompanied Charles I's daughter
Mary to Holland for her wedding to William of Orange in 1642 and, seeing
the clear handwriting on the wall, never returned to England. He died
Humphrey de Bohun (1276-1322), 4th Earl of Hereford, was a baron
of some importance in Edward's wars in Wales and Scotland. He was Constable
of England during the war with France. Humphrey died in battle at
André Hurault (1539-1607), Sieur de Maisse, was Henri IV's
ambassador to Queen Elizabeth's court.
George Gordon (1514-1562), 4th Earl Huntley, Lord Chancellor,
was a Catholic lord but found himself in opposition to his cousin and queen,
Mary Stuart. He was killed in battle at Corrichy..
Jan Hus (1369-1415) was a Czech priest greatly influenced by
the doctrines of John Wyclif. He translated the Trialogus into Czech
and preached the Lollard line. He was a very popular preacher and enjoyed
the patronage of King Wenceslas of Bohemia. Hus's excommunication in 1410
increased popular sympathy for him. Wanting to defend his positions, Hus
accepted safe passage from the Emperor Sigismund and travelled to the
Council of Constance in 1414. He was arrested, condemned as a heretic,
and burned in 1415.
Hussites were a sect of Bohemian catholics who held beliefs similar to
those of the Lollards. They took their doctrines from the teachings of
John Wyclif, Jan Hus and others. The term "hussites" was attached to them
when they began organized resistance to the Holy Roman Empire on the death
of King Wenceslas IV around 1420.
Sir Richard Hutton (?-1639), Chief Justice of the Common Pleas,
was a highly respected judge in the reign of Charles I. He was one of the
judges who gave opinion against the ship-money.
Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) is considered one of the great medieval
popes. He recovered for the church much of the land and influence it had lost
in the time of Frederic I; and he exercised the powers of his office in all
corners of Europe. He placed both France and England under interdict at
Pope Innocent IV (?-1254) was elected in 1243. Under pressure from
the Holy Roman Emperor Frederic II, he fled to France in 1245, ordering
a crusade against Frederic in 1249. He returned to Rome in 1253 after the
death of Frederic.
Isabella Capet — Isabella of France — (1292-1358) was
the child bride of Edward II and mother of Edward III. She went to France
on a diplomatic mission in 1325 and managed to bring Edward III across the
channel as well. In Paris she met and became the lover of the Mortimer,
Earl of the Marches, with whom she plotted civil war and the overthrow
of her husband. She and Mortimer were refents for Edward III, but in 1330
he asserted his own right, executing Mortimer and banishing his mother to
Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566-1633)), Infanta of Spain, was the
daughter of Philip II. She ruled the Spanish Netherlands with her husband,
the Archduke Albert. Their reign was a successful ane relatively peaceful
Isabella of Portugal (1503-1539) was the daughter of Manuel I of
Portugal and sister of Juan III. She married the Holy Roman Emperor Charles
V in 1526. Their only surviving son was Philip II of Spain.
W.W. Jackson was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He was one
of the translators of the History of England and later was Rector of
James IV of Scotland (1473-1515) brought the Renaissance to a
backward Scotland. Although he supported the Yorkist pretender, Perkin
Warbeck, against Henry VII, he decided peace with England was a wiser path
and eventually married Henry's daughter Margaret Tudor. The Stuart kings
of England got their title through this connection. James died at Flodden
Field, leaving an infant son, James V.
James V of Scotland (1513-1542),
the father of Mary Stuart and grandfather
of James VI and I, had a troubled reign that saw conflicts with the Scots
nobility (particularly his former stepfather, the Earl of Argus) and with
his uncle, Henry VIII. His wife was Mary of Guise. When the British
decisively defeated the Scotch army at Solway Moss in 1542, James suffered
a nervous attack from which he never recovered. His daughter Mary was born
only days before his death.
James VI of Scotland and I of England (1566-1625) was the
son of Mary Stuart and Lord Darnley (Henry Stuart). His claim to the throne
in England was through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, who was the
daughter of Henry VII and the wife of James IV of Scotland. His 25 years'
rule of Scotland before he inherited the English crown his absolutist
tendencies, so he did not get along well with his Parliaments who refused to
support his financial extravagances. This king's name has long and will
continue to be remembered for the beautiful translation of the Bible he
authorized in 1604, now usually called the King James Version.
Jehangir (1569-1627), the Mogul emperor ruling from Delhi, negotiated
the first cessions of Indian land to Sir Thomas Roe of the East India Company.
Jehangir's reign was troubled by revolt in Kashmir and by internal strife.
Francisco Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517) was
the most influential churchman in Spain after the death of Archbishop Mendoza.
He was Queen Ssabella's confessor and the Pipe's right-hand man in Spain.
Twice he ruled Castile as regent, first in Castile after the death of
Philip I and then for Charles V after the death of Ferdinand.
St Joan of Arc — Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orléans —
(1412-1431) started hearing voices at the age of 13. She came to know them
as St Michael, St Catherine and St Margaret among others. Around 1428 the
voices told her she must fight for King Charles VII against the English and
Burgundian forces which wanted to put Henry VI of England on the French
throne. Here military exploits are well known. Captured by the Burgundians
and sold to the English, she was executed as a witch because of her
uncannily accurate predictions.
Joanna the Mad — Juana La Loca — (1479-1555) was a daughter of Ferdinand
and Isabella and wife of the Hapsburg Archduke Philip of Austria. Their
son was the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Joanna's reason
began to fail early in her marriage and by the time her husband died in 1507,
she was incapacitated. Juana had inherited the throne of Castile from her
mother, but her father and later her son administered it for her while she
was kept locked away.
Johann Georg I (1567-1618), Prince of Anhalt-Dessau,
was one of the great Protestant princes of Germany. His principality was
part of the Evangelical League.
Don John of Austria (1547-1578), the victor of Lepanto, was a
bastard of Emperor Charles V. His military career involved
suppressing the Moriscos in Spain, Berbers in
Africa and Protestants in the Netherlands; and of course defeating the Turks
in the Adriatic. As Governor of the Netherlands, Don John hoped to invade
England, rescue and marry Mary Stuart and rule the country.
King John — John Lackland — (1167-1216) was the youngest
son of Henry II. He was important in public affairs during his brother
Richard I's 5-year absence
and came to the throne in his own right on Richard's death in 1199. John is
known for granting Magna Carta and being the most-hated English king.
Johanna I (1326-1382), Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence,
wife of Andrew of Hungary. She assumed the throne of Naples with him but is
said to have have ordered him murdered in 1345. Her adopted son, Charles
of Durazzo, returned the favor by having her killed after she had disowned
him and adopted Louis if Anjou as her heir.
John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy (1376-1419) was the son of
Duke Philip the Bold. Philip was running France for the insane King Charles
VI and John took over when his father died. The main enemy of his family
was the Duke of Orleans, whom John had assassinated in 1407. John did not
resist Henry V's attempts to recover English territories in western France,
and in fact took advantage of them to seize Paris. John was himself
assassinated in 1419.
Johann Georg I (1585-1656), Elector of Saxony, succeeded his
profligate brother Christian II in 1611 and reigned through the 30 Years'
War in which Saxony was allied with Sweden. John George was a cousin of
James I's wife, Anne of Denmark.
Archibald Johnston (1611-1663), Lord Warriston, was a Scots
jurist and stateman. With Alexander Henderson, he drafted the Solemn League
and Covenant in 1638. From that time forward he was prominent in the
Kirk party, opposing the Engagement and representing Presbyterian interests
in the parliaments of the Protectorate. Warrison was one of the men
singled out for punishment after the Restoration. He was captured in Rouen,
extradicted, and hung in Edinburgh.
Inigo Jones (1573-1652) was an architect and stage designer.
He is best remembered for the Banqueting House in Whitehallm the
Queen's House at Greenwich, and Covent Garden.
Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was a poet and dramatist of great reputation
in the first two Stuart reigns. His personality was crusty, his politics
suspect and his religion Catholic, but he managed to live by his pen in an
era when patronage was the only way to do so. All of his most
popular plays were
written before 1617, but he produced successful masques until a few years
before his death.
Josias (639?-608? B.C.) was a biblical king of Judah. His story is
told in second Kings chapters 22-23, and in Chronicles chapters 34-35. He
ascended the throne at age 8 and ruled for 31 years. His piety and respect
for God's law delayed the destruction of Judah. Josias and Judah fell to the
invading Egyptians late in the 7th century B.C.
Pope Julius II — Giuliano della Rovere — (1443-1513)
was a long-time Church politician. When he was finally elected in 1503 he
concentrated on extending and protecting the temporal powers of the papacy,
chiefly against Venice and France.
Justinian (483-565) was the last great Roman emperor. He surrounded
himself with capable people like his wife, Theodora, the jurist Tribonian, and
the general Belisarius.
William Juxon (1582-1663),
succeeded Laud as Bishop of London in 1633 and as Archbishop of Canterbury
at the Restoration. He was also both Lord Treasurer and First Lord of the
Admiralty in the last five years of Charles' I's personal rule. Juxon gave
last rites to the king on the scaffold and officiated at the coronation of
Charles II 12 years later.
Robert Kerr (1570?-1650), 1st Earl of Roxburgh, was a leading
Scots nobleman and Lord Privy Seal of Scotland 1637-1649. Although he
took the Covenant, Roxburgh was a favorite at court and a strong supporter
of Charles I in the Civil Wars.
Robert Ket (?-1549)
was an East Anglian tanner who led a peasant revolt in 1549.
The uprising came mainly from stress on the agrarian population caused by the
practise of enclosing common ground—that is, limiting access to it.
Hans Khevenhüller was the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire
to the courts of the Spanish kings Philip II and Philip III.
Sir Henry Killigrew (?-1603) served Queen Elizabeth as ambassador in
Germany and Scotland.
Melchior Cardinal Klesl (1552-1630), Bishop of Vienna, was a
councilor to Emperor Rudolph II and was the chief minister in the short
reign of Emperor Matthias. He was a converted Protestant and accordingly
zealous in the work of the Counter-Reformation, but he also understood
policy and worked towards an understanding between Protestant and
Catholic princes of the Empire. His refusal to deal harshly with a
Bohemian uprising in 1618 led to his arrest by the Austrians and banishment
Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) was Vice-Chamberlain
of Queen Elizabeth's
household and a member of her privy council. Prominent in all the Tudor
reigns during his life (except that of Mary),
he exercised an influence beyond his position.
When Mary Stuart fled Scotland, she was put in his charge. He dared and did
give Queen Elizabeth frank advice. Knollys was very zealous in the Protestant
religion. He was a grandfather of Robert Devereux, the unlucky Earl of Essex.
John Knox (1505-1572) was the father of Scottish Protestantism.
A prickly Calvinist, he taught the generation of preachers who converted
Scotland to Protestantism.
Lanfranc (1005?-1089) was a medieval scholar who founded a famous
school in the monastery of Bec in Normandy and who, after the Conquest, became
Archbishop of Canterbury. His name is closely tied to an explanation of the
Real Presence at communion, now widely known as "transubstantiation". His
treatise de corpore et sanguine domini is the definitive text on the
subject. Lanfranc secured papal approval for the Norman invasion of England
in 1066. As Archbishop from 1070, he replaced most Saxon bishops, abbots and
other church officers with Normans, fundamentally changing the nature of the
English church. Lanfranc and his student and successor, St Anselm,
strongly opposed the right of the King to name bishops.
John a Lasco — Johannus Alasco — (1499-1560) was a
Polish Protestant theologian who temporarily found refuge in England during
the reign of Edward VI. He was supervisor of the Strangers' Church in London.
When Mary came to the throne, he returned to Poland where he was an important
influence in the Calvinist movement.
Hugh Latimer (1470?-1555), Bishop of Worcester,
was an English church reformer. Under
the influence of Thomas Bilney he developed Protestant views which twice
led to his arrest under Henry VIII. He was influential in the short reign
of Edward VI, but was executed when Mary came to power.
William Laud (1573-1645), Archbishop of Canterbury, was a central
figure in the religious turbulance of the early 17th century. As Bishop of
St David's, then Bath and Wells, and finally of London, he had great influence
with the highest levels of the government. He was a client of Buckingham, who
had much to do with Laud's advancement, but it was 6 years after Buckingham's
death that he was raised to the see of Canterbury. Laud was impeached at the
same time as Strafford, and watched the Earl go to his execution from his
Tower window; but was himself not executed until after the defeat of the King's
Edward Lee (1482?-1544) was Archbishop of York and an adviser of
Henry VIII. He was against humanitarianism and protestantism, but he supported
Henry's reasoning for the divorce, so he prospered.
Matthew Stewart (1516-1571), Earl of Lennox, was a descendant of
the Scots royal house and father of Lord Darnley. He also affiliated with
the English royal house when he married Margaret Douglass, niece of Hanry VIII.
Lennox served as regent for James VI for a short time, but was killed in
battle with the Protestant lords.
Francisco Goméz de Sandoval y Rojas (1552-1625),
Duke of Lerma, was the chief minister of Philip III of Spain. His tenure
marked the beginning of proxy rule by subjects and relegation of
the Hapsburgs, whose line was clearly fading, to figureheads. Lerma fell
from power in 1618 but was replaced by Olivares under Philip IV.
Leofric of Mercia, Eorl (?-1057), was one of the great lords of
England after the death of Hardiknute. He joined with Godwin of Kent to
bring Edward the Confessor to the throne in 1042. He is best known today
as Lady Godiva's husband.
Alexander Leslie (1580?-1661), 1st Earl of Leven, was a Scots
general of immense reputation. He commanded Protestant forces in
the Dutch and Swedish service for the first 60 years of his life, then
returned home to finance and command Scottish forces against England.
Leslie was ennobled in 1641. He was a major factor in the victory of
Parliament and Cromwell at Marston Moor.
Andrew Leslie (1548?-1611)), 5th Earl of Rothes, succeeded his
father George Leslie in 1558. He was a younger son, but his elder
half-brothers had been implicated in the murder of Cardinal Beaton. Rothes
was one of the most powerful of the Protestant Earls.
John Leslie (1527-1596), Bishop of Ross, escorted Mary Stuart home
from France and was one of her privy councilors. His loyalty to Mary cost
him his bishopric and he died in exile in Europe.
John Leslie (1600?-1641), 6th Earl of Rothes, was one of the
great leaders of the Convanenters. He led a regiment in the second
Bishops War and was one of the Scottish commissioners to negotiate its
settlement in London. He was rising in favor at Charles I's court when
he died. Rothes "Relation of Proceeding Concerning the Kirk..." is one
of the most important primary documents for the religious troubles in
Scotland beginning in 1638.
Walter Leslie (1606-1667) was a soldier of fortune who became
a leading military figure of the Holy Roman Empire. He was a Scot, the
second son of the laird of Balquhain. After fighting for the protestants
in the United Provinces, Leslie joined the Imperial armies fighting
protestants in Germany. He is best known as one of the assassins of
Wallenstein. While serving the Imperial court in military and diplomatic
capacities, Leslie also did some service for Charles I.
William Lord Levingstoun of Callander,
was the 6th of that title. His father Alexander was
the guardian of Mary Stuart in her infancy. William was the brother of Mary
Levingstoun, one of the Queen's ladies in waiting.
Charles de Ligne, (?-1618), Duke of Arenberg, was a Prince of the
Holy Roman empire and son of the Stadtholder John de Ligne.
John Lindsay (1598?-1678), the 10th Lord Lindsay, was created
Earl of Lindsay in 1633.
Edward Littleton (1589-1645), Baron Littleton, was Chief Justice
of the Common Pleas until 1641 when he was unexepectedly made Lord Keeper
on the recommendation of Lord Strafford. In the Parliaments of 1625 and
1628, he was a strong opponent of Buckingham and a strong advocate of the
Petition of Right, but he was one of the parliament men, along with Noy,
Wentworth and Seville, seduced by offers
of perferment. Littleton remained loyal to the court party thereafter.
Llewelyn ap Gruffydd — Llewelyn the Last — (?-1282)
succeeded where no Welsh leader had before in uniting the tribal Welsh into
a single national force. Unfortunately he did it in the time of Edward I of
England who invaded Wales, made it a fiefdom of England, and ultimately
killed Llewelyn in battle.
Lollards was a term first applied to travelling preachers who took up
the more radical teachings of John Wyclif around 1382. The movement gained
support from the upper classes until about 1414 when a "Lollard Knight",
Sir John Oldcastle, raised a rebellion against Henry V. Thereafter
Lollardy was an underground movement, but there is strong evidence that
there were still active pockets of Lollards in Engliand right up to the
Lombards were a German tribe which migrated over a period of 300 years
from the mouth of the Elbe to northern Italy where they established a kingdom
after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Their religion was first pagan,
then Arian and finally Catholic. The Lombards' country and their separate
identity eventually fell to the Franks.
John Longland (?-1547), Prebendary and Bishop of Lincoln, was
Henry VIII's confessor and an anti-protestant force during the English
Charles de Guise (1524-1574), Cardinal of Lorraine and brother
of Mary of Guise who married James V, was at the center of the major
political and religious controversies of France in the 16th century. He
was a major instigator of the Wars of Religion that tormented France until
the end of that century.
Louis VIII — Louis the Lion — (1187-1226) was the son
of Philip Augustus and Isabelle of Hainaut. In 1216, he had so much support
among the English nobility that he was invited to London and proclaimed
King at the cathedral of St. Paul. He was never crowned, however, and lost
his support among the barons after a few months, in part because King John
died and the crown passed to Henry III. Louis assumed the French throne
Louis XI (1423-1483), King of France, was the son of Charles VII.
His reign was one long struggle among his adherents; the French
nobility in general and Charles the Bold in particular; and the English,
in whose affairs Louis meddled freely. Despite the turmoil, Louis XI
established many of the
administrative, political and financial traditions that made the French
monarchy work for the next 300 years.
Louis XII — le Père du Peuple —(1462-1515)
was a popular king who managed to reduce taxes while maintaining huge field
armies in Italy. His Italian adventures eventually yielded nothing, however.
Louis XIII — Louis le Juste — (1601-1643) was the son
of Henri IV and Marie de' Medici. He inherited the throne at the age of 8.
He overthrew the influence of his mother 7 years later and, from 1624, ruled
through Cardinal Richelieu. He was a strong king who increased the power and
influence of France at the expense of Spain and Austria. With his wife, the
Hapsburg Anne of Austria, he was the father of Louis IV.
Louis, Duke of Orleans (1372-1407) was the younger son of Charles V and
brother of the insane Charles VI. Louis was prominent in French politics by
his opposition to the regents appointed to rule for Charles VI. They were
Philip, Duke of Burgundy, and his son John the Fearless.
Louis was assassinated by an agent of John in 1407.
Louise of Savoy (1476-1531) was the widow of Charles de Valois and
mother of François I. She was politically active throughout her life,
serving as Regent during François' absences and as an envoy. She was
a chief negotiator and signer of the Treaty of Cambrais (1529).
Louise Juliana von Orange-Nassau (1576-1644) was the first daughter of the Dutch
hero William of Orange. She married Frederic IV, the Elector Palatine, and
after his death served as regent for their son, Frederic V.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a theologian whose ideas form the
basis of Luteranism and of Protestantism in general. His translation of the
Bible into German is still readable because it was the main factor in
standardizing the language. His works are still read and his hymns are still
John Maitland of Thirlestane (1545?-1595)
was the younger brother of William Maitland. He supported Mary Stuart
and served her son as Secretary of State and Chancellor.
William Maitland of Lethington (1525-1573) was a rich Scottish
courtier and son of the poet Richard Maitland. He served in various position
in the court of Mary Stuart and remained loyal to her even after she fled to
John Mair (1467?-1550) was a Scottish scholar and humanist
philosopher. He was took degrees in France then returned to teach at
Glasgow and St Andrews where John Knox was one of his students. During his
life he was considered the most learned Scottish academic.
Ernst von Mansfeld (1580-1626) was a mercenary general and one of
the best tacticians of his time. Although a Catholic, he sold his services
to the Evangelical Union and had success against both Tilly and the Spanish
in defense of the Palatinate. Mansfeld attempted to take advantage of the
second phase of the 30 Years' War by invading Austria in support of
Christian IV's push into Germany from Denmark. He was far less successful in
this venture and died during an attempt to retreat to Venice.
mantelet. A screen to protect advancing soldiers. For the purpose of
sieges, it was often made of planks. Advancing Roman infantry joined their
shields to form a mantelet.
Margaret Tudor (1489-1541) was the daughter of Henry VII and wife of
James IV of Scotland. It is through her that the Stuart kings of England
gained title. She was grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots and great-grandmother
of James VI and I. By her second marriage to another Stuart, Douglas Earl of
Angus, she was also grandmother of Mary's husband and co-conspirator,
Henry Stuart Lord Darnley.
Margaret of York — aka Margaret of Burgundy — (1446-1503)
was the daughter of Richard of York and the sister of Edward IV. She married
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1468.
Maria Anna (1606-1646), Infanta of Spain, was the daughter of
Philip III and Margaret of Austria. She was proposed as bride of James I's
son and heir, Charles (later Charles I), but she rejected him. She married
instead the King of Hungary who later became Emperor Ferdinand III.
Maria Eleanor of Brandenburg (1599-1655) was the daughter of the
elector Johann Sigismund and the wife of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Their
daughter, Catherine, succeeded Gustav Adolf in 1632. Maria Eleanor conspired
against the government of her daughter and was banished.
William, Earl of Pembroke — William Marshal — (1144-1219) was
the champion of King John, one of the few nobles who remained loyal to him
throughout his reign. He served Henry II, Richard I and King John, and was
regent for Henry III.
Mameluke is a term used to describe the descendants of slave soldiers
brought from Asia into Egypt in the 12th century. They formed the royal
bodyguard and gradually rose in power until
a Mameluke, Qutuz, seized the throne in 1250. The Mameluke dynasty ruled the
Levant until it was replaced by the Ottomans. There was a Mameluke presence
in Northern Egypt until the 19th century.
Sir Griffin Markham (?-1644?) was a soldier and conspirator. After
his conviction in the Bye Plot and the Main Plot, he fled to Europe where he
remained the rest of his life, much of it in the service of the secret service
run by the English Secretaries of State.
Marsilius of Padua (1270?-1342) was a physician and early church
reformer. He took the side of the excommunicated Emperor Louis of Bavaria
against Pope John XXII,
arguing that the church had no business exerting temporal power.
Peter Martyr — Pietro Martire Vermigli —
(1500-1562) was an Italian Protestant theologian (not to be confused with
the Spanish Catholic historian Peter Martyr d'Anghiera) whose writing was
influential among reformers in England and on the Continent. He taught at
Oxford during the reign of Edward VI but fled on the ascendancy of Mary.
Mary of Guise (1515-1560) was the wife of James V of Scotland and the
effective ruler of Scotland during the minority of their daughter, Mary
Stuart. James V died in 1542 and the regency fell to James Hamilton,
Earl of Arran. Mary of Guise managed to gain the regency for herself in
1554 and married her daughter to the Dauphin (later François II).
Mary of Guise's rule in Scotland was even more troubled than her husband's,
and she was overthrown in 1559 by a combination of Scottish Protestants,
whom she had persecuted, and English troops.
Mary Stuart — Mary Queen of Scots — (1542-1587) was
the daughter of James V and Mary of Guise and the mother of James VI.
She was the gret-granddaughter of
Henry VII whose daughter Margaret married James IV. Mary spent most of her
early life in the French court. On the death of François II, when
she was 18, she returned to Scotland
as titular Queen but in a relatively powerless role as he Catholic
monarch of an increasingly Protestant nation. Her marriages to Darnley and
Bothwell, and her subsequent exile in England, are well known stories.
Mary Tudor — "the French Queen" — (1496-1533) was the youngest daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She married Louis XII in 1512, but he died soon after. Her second marriage, to Charles Brandon, Duke of
Suffolk, was opposed by Henry VIII who had in mind another diplomatic marriage.
Through Brandon, Mary was grandmother of Lady Jane Grey.
Mary Tudor — Bloody Mary — (1516-1558) was the only
surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She was second in
line for succession after her brother, Edward IV, and before her sister,
Elizabeth. Several marriages were proposed for Mary, but she did not marry
until after becoming Queen in 1553. Her husband was Philip II of Spain,
son of Charles V and therefore Mary's second cousin. Her short reign saw
a counter-Reformation in England and the persecution of Protestants.
Philip Massinger (1583-1640) was a popular dramatist. He wrote
for all the main patronized companies—The King's Men, the Queen's Men
and the Lady Elizabeth's Men. It was rumored that he, like Jonson and
Shirley, was a Roman Catholic.
Matilda — Maud — (1102-1167), was the daughter of
Henry I and Edith of Scotland. At the age of 7 she was betrothed to the future
Holy Roman Emperor Henry V; she was 12 when they married and 23 when he died.
In 1127 her father arranged a second marriage for her with Geoffrey, Count
of Anjou. It was with Geoffrey that she invaded England in 1139 to claim the
throne from her cousin King Stephen. King Henry II was the son of Geoffrey and
Matthias (1557-1619), Holy Roman Emperor, succeeded his brother
Rudolph II in 1612 although he had effective control of most of the Hapsburg
Austrian lands since
the death of their father, Maximilian II, in 1576. Matthias made
concessions to the Protestants of Bohemia and Hungary the revocation of which
by his successors were a cause of the 30 Years' War.
Maurice of Nassau (1567-1625), Prince of Orange, the son of William
the Silent, succeeded his father as Stadtholder in Holland and Zeeland. He put
the Dutch revolution on a business-like footing and succeeded, with the help
of England, in holding the Spanish to a stand-off. The latter part of his life
was troubled by Spain's renewed attempt to compel the obedience of the United
Provinces, but the establishment and maintenance of the Dutch Republic was
largely the result of his talents and skills.
Maximilian I (1459-1519), Holy Roman Emperor, was a Hapsburg. It
was by his marriage to the daughter of Charles the Bold, Margaret of Burgundy,
that the Hapsburgs gained the Burgundian (later called Spanish
Netherlands and the Franche Comte.
Maximilian I (1573-1661), Duke of Bavaria, was a pivotal force in the 30
Years' War. He stepped aside to allow the election of Ferdinand II as Holy
Roman Emperor, then made deals with both the Empire and the Protestant Union
to strengthen his hand. It was Bavarian troops under General Tilly who
defeated Frederich the Count Palatine at Prague in 1620 and then overran the
Palatinate. (As an aside, this is why the large brewery in Kaiserslautern,
a Palatine town, is BBK, Bayrische Brauerie Kaiserslautern. I've drunk
more than one. I also lived in a Catholic village, Kindsbach, where there
was no Protestant church as late as 1972.)
Charles de Lorraine (1554-1611), Duke of Mayenne, was the brother
of Henri I de Guise. After the assassination of his brother, Mayenne assumed
the military leadership of the Catholic League against Henri III and Henri of
Navarre. When Henri IV declared himself Catholic in 1593, effectively
ending the wars of religion, Mayenne maintained the struggle for a short time
but eventually signed a treaty with the king and lived quietly the rest of
Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes (1578-1621) was a life-long friend
of Louis XIII. After the fall of Concini, in 1617, he had the main control
of affairs. Like Concini, he was a centralist, but he had even less talent.
He died during a compaign against Protestants.
Sir Donald Mackay (?-1649), Baron Reay of Reay,
was a Scots military leader
who raised a Scottish regiment in 1626 to fight in Germany in the Thirty
Years' War. His
regiment served with distinction in the army of General Mansfeld and formed
part of a larger unit commanded by Mackay's relative, Sir Robert Munro.
Mackay raised a new regiment in 1629 and returned to serve during the
Swedish offensive in the early 1630s. Mackay actively supporte Charles I
in the civil wars but was forced to flee Scotland for Denmark in 1645.
Tobias Matthew (1546-1628), Archbishop of York, had a steady but
undramatic career in the Church that ended with his elevation to the second
bishopric of the kingdom in 1606. He was a staunch anti-catholic and for
that reason was not popular in the later court of James I.
James Maxwell was Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to the House
of Commons in 1629.
John Maxwell (1586?-1648), Bishop of Ross and later
Archbishop of Tuam, was a Scots churchman. He got his bishopric as one
of Laud's creatures. When episcopacy was suspended in Scotland, Maxwell
was made Bishop of Killala, but was soon driven out of that country
by the rebellion. While he waited on the King at Oxford he was made
Archbishop of Tuam, the western province of Ireland.
Robert Maxwell (1586-1646), first Earl of Nithsdale, was laird of a
then still troubled area of the Border. He is best known for ending a
long-running feud with the Johnstone family and for holding
Caerlaverock and Thrieve for the King during the first Civil War.
St Cuthbert Mayne (1543-1577) was an English Catholic martyr.
He belonged to a circle of Anglican priests including Edmund Campion,
Martin, Ely, Shaw, Brampton, Holland, Meredith, Russel and Wiggs who tended
to Catholic opinions. Mayne fled England in 1575 and joined the English
Seminary in Douai. He came back to England secretly in 1576 but was quickly
found and arrested. His trial was recognized as a travesty even in those
times, but he was hung and quartered for treason.
Roger Maynwaring (1590-1653), Bishop of St David's, was the
King's Chaplain when in 1627 he preached and published two sermons upholding
the right of the king to create law by himself, without the consent of
Parliament. He was later preferred by the King and condemned by the Long
Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589) was the wife of Henri II and the mother
of three French kings: François II, Charlex IX and Henri III. She was
not an influential figure in her husband's reign but made up for it in the
reigns of her sons. She is equally famous for her love of luxury and for
Medeshamstede was a Benedictine monastery on the site of present-day
Peterborough Cathedral. In the 9th century it was the largest monastic house
north of the Thames. Danes sacked the monastery in 870, killing 84 monks and
their abbot, Hedda.
Alonso Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno (1550-1615), 7th Duke
of Medina Sidonia, was the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada in its
attempt to invade England. Philip II put him in the place of Santa Cruz (who
was near death) despite his inexperience at sea. Astonishingly, even after
the loss of the Armada he was given more naval commands and continued losing
to the English and Dutch.
Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) was a friend and collaborator of
Luther. Melanchthon (born Philip Schwartzerd)
was the greatest scholar of Greek in Germany in his time. He wrote
extensively on many subjects but is best known for the
Augsburg Confession, a religio-political document that tried to
reconcile Protestant thought with the Catholic church.
Sir James Melvil (1535-1617) served Mary Queen of Scots as a page
in France and later as her ambassador to Queen Elizabeth. He is the author of
a valuable memoir of the reigns of Mary, Elizabeth and James VI and I.
Andrew Melville (1545-1622) was a well-educated Scots Presbyterian
churchman who established the philosophical underpinnings of separation of
Church and State powers. His denial of royal supremacy led to his imprisonment
under James I.
Bernardino de Mendoza (1540?-1604) was a Spanish general and
diplomat. He served under the Duke of Alba in the Netherlands. Mendoza served
as ambassador to London from 1578 to 1584 (he was expelled), and to France
Thomas Merke (?-1409), Bishop of Carlisle, was a close supporter
of Richard II. He refused to support the king's deposition and was
by Henry IV. Merke never regained his bishopric, but continued to hold high
church offices after his release from the Tower of London.
Merovingian the dynastic name of the line of Frankish kings
beginning with Merovich (Merowig, Merwich) around 450 and ending with
Childeric III in 751.
Sir Walter Mildmay (?-1589), Elizabeth's Chancellor of the
Exchequer, was a prominent member of the privy council and founded
Emmanuel College, Cambridge, the training ground of many Puritan preachers.
Jean de Monluc or Montluc (?-1579) was Bishop of Valence and Die,
and brother of Blaise de Monluc, Marshal of France. Jean served the French
court as ambassador on several important missions.
Anthony Browne (1528-1592), first Viscount Montague, was a soldier
and diplomat, prominent in the reign of Mary Tudor. He was one of two peers
who opposed in Parliament the restoration of the monarch, in the person of
Elizabeth I, as the head of the English church.
Richard Montague (1577-1641), Bishop of Chichester (1628) and later Bishop
of Norwich, was an Anglican controversialist close to the courts of James I
and Charles I. He is remembered as a middle-roader; he believed he could
easily reconcile the Puritan and Catholic parties. Montague called popery
"tyranny" and Puritanism "anarchy", a opinion that became general after the
Restoration. The Puritan party tarred him with the brush of Arminianism, and
"Montaguist" was a slander in their mouths.
John Mordaunt (1600-1643), first Earl of Peterborough, sided with
the Parliament in the civil wars. His sons, Henry (his successor) and John
were prominent Royalists.
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Chancellor of England,
He refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and was executed for treason.
Sir Charles Morgan (1575-1642) was Colonel-General of the
English forces serving under Christian IV in the 30 Years' War.
Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, (1366-1399) was Earl
of Nottingham and Earl Marshal of England. A member
of the Duke of Gloucester's faction that seized control from Richard II in
1387, Nottingham defected back to the King whom he served faithfully
(to the point of—probably—murdering Gloucester at Calais in 1397)
until Richard banished him in 1398. When Henry Bolingbroke came to the
throne, Nottingham was stripped of his ducal title. He died in Venice.
Sir Robert Naunton (1563-1635), Secretary of State and master of
the Court of Wards, was a strong Protestant and a member of Buckingham's
party. He resigned the Secretaryship when his recommendations with regard
to the BOhemian business were ignored.
Richard Neile (1562-1640)) was successively Bishop of Rochester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Durham and Winchester, then Archbishop of York. He was a
mentor of Archbishop Laud. Neile had great political as well as ecclesiastic
influence. His letters to Windebank and Carleton are frequently cited by
Richard Newport (),a/>, first Baron Newport, was a member of all the
Parliaments from 1614 to 1629. He was ennobled in 1642 in return for a gift
of £6,000 to the king.
Sir Francis Nethersole (1587-1659) was a scholar and diplomat. After
a sterling career at Oxford, he began diplomatic service on the continent,
eventually becoming the main English contact of Elizabeth (sister of
Charles I), Queen of Bohemia. Nethersole served in the Parliament of
1628-9; he is perhaps best known for what Disreali called a "crackpot" speech
in which he decribed a dream about the evils of land enclosure.
Sir Edmund Neville (or Edmund Westmorland) (1555-1630),
pretended the title 7th Earl of Westmorland which he would have inherited
from his uncle, Charles Neville except that Charles was attainted for
his participation with Percy in the Northern Rising and was
deprived of his earldom. Edmund seems to have enjoyed a brief period of
favor at the beginning of James I's reign, but he fled the country in 1612
and died in poverty.
Sir Henry Neville (1564-1615) is one of the many candidates for
"the real Shakespeare". The evidence that he wrote the plays is weak,
but the conspiracy theory persists. He was imprisoned for his prior
knowledge of Essex's revolt, but James I released him. Neville
was considered for
Secretary of State in 1614, but Winwood was made Secretary instead.
Richard Neville (1428-1471) was 16th Earl of Warwick and a supporter
of Richard of York in the War of the Roses. When York was killed, Neville
helped Richard's son Edward continue the war and eventually seize the
throne as Edward IV. Neville broke with Edward around 1468. Exiled, he
led an army from France that defeated Edward and briefly restored Henry VI.
Edward turned the tables with the help of Burgundy. Neville and his brother
John were defeated and killed at the battle of Barnet.
Richard Nix or Nykke (?-1536), Bishop of Rochester was near the
end of his life when the English Reformation began. Although old and blind,
he insisted on maintaining his traditional rights as Bishop and was arrested
and convicted on a praemunire in 1536. Henry VIII pardoned him for a fine,
but he died soon after.
Sir John Norreys (1547-1597)) was Queen Elizabeth's go-to military
commander in the European wars of her reign. Although she might select an
Effingham, a Leicester or an Essex for some post, when she wanted bloody work
done well she went with Norreys. His grandfather, Henry Norreys (1482?-1536)
was Anne Bolyn's Groom of the Stole and was executed on charges of adultery
Richard Norton (1502-1588) was related to the Conyers but was
closely associated with the Neville clan in York. He married Susan Neville,
a daughter of Richard Neville, Lord Latimer..
Norton was an influential man in the north, having served on the Council of
the North in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI.
William Noy (1577-1634) was a lawyer, and after 1631, Attorney
General. A member of most of the Parliaments since 1603, and a supporter
of the country party, he later became
a member of Charles I's inner circle and a principle advisor
of such measures as the Ship Money and the enforcement of the Forest Laws.
Supposedly it was Noy who, researching documents in the Tower, found
records that documented the right of the king to collect Ship Money.
Ochlocratic. Definition: tending to mob rule.
Offa (?-796) was the Anglo-Saxon king of a large territory in
southern England. He was influential in French, Spanish and German affairs
on the continent.
Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel, (1587-1645),
Count-Duke of Olivares, was the chief minister of Philip IV from 1621 to 1643.
He presided over the rapid decline of Spain as a European power. His own fall
came after both Portugal and Catalonia rebelled in 1640.
Íñigo Vélez de Guevara y Tassis,
7th Conde Oñate (1566-1644), was a Spanish soldier and diplomat.
He fought in the Spanish Netherlands and was ambassador to Savoy, Hungary
and Austria. During the 30 Years' War, he was instrumental in transferring
the electoral dignity from the Count Palatine to the Duke of Bavaria.
Lords Ordainers were a committee of the most powerful barons of
Edward II. They essentially took over the government in 1310 and created
ordinances or regulations for the conduct of the royal government.
Edward regained the upper hand in 1312, but after the battle of Bannockburn
(1314), the ordinances were reinstated and Thomas of Lancaster became
chief of the barons.
Oriflamme was the banner raised by French Kings to signal the
beginning of a war. It consisted of a golden (or) staff and a
red banner (flamme).
Matthew de Oviedo ().
Cardinal Otho was a church diplomat in the service of
popes Honorius III and Gregory IX. He visited England as early as 1226 and
was sent as legate by Gregory IX in 1236. He vigorously pursued reforms in
the English church, and his Constitutions were key rules in church government
until the Reformation.
Otto II (955-983), Holy Roman Emperor, was a frail but bold king
of the Germans. His armies struggled to maintain Christianity at the borders
of the Empire and may even have lost ground among the Magyars and the Wends
while he concentrated on extending his power in Italy.
The major question left unresolved at his early death was the relationship of
the German kings and the Pope. It was a question that would trouble Europe
for the next 300 years.
Sir Thomas Overbury (1581-1613)) was a courtier and a college
friend of Robert Carr. He fell out with Carr over the latter's marriage
with Frances Stuart, was imprisoned and eventually was poisoned. Carr and
Stuart were convicted of the murder.
Owen Glen Dwr — Owain ap Gruffydd — (1359?-1416?)
proclaimed himself Prince of Wales in 1400. His rebellion was over mainly
local matters, but by 1405 it had taken on a Welsh national character and
Owain controlled of Wales. With French assistance he briefly held parts of
Shropshire, Worcestershire and the northwest, but when the French withdrew
around 1407 his revolt began to fall apart. Henry V was incomplete control
of Wales by 1412. Owain may have maintained a guerilla force until 1415 or
so, but there is no record of him after 1412.
Axel Oxenstierna af Sodermore (1583-1654) was a Swedish diplomat,
soldier and stateman. He was Gustavus Adolphus's right hand in Germany
during the Thirty Years' War and effectively ruled Sweden during the minority
of Gustaf's daughter, Christina.
Francisco Cardinal Pacheco de Villena (1508?-1579), Bishop of Toledo,
served Philip II several times as ambassador to Rome, and the Pope as legate
Sir William Paget (1506?-1563), Lord Paget of Beaudesert, was a lawyer
well connected with the Tudor court. Although he signed the agreement to sit
Lady Jane Grey on the throne, he quickly switched to Mary and was an
important figure in her administration.
The Palaeologi were the last ruling dynasty of the Eastern Roman
Empire. The founder of the line was Michael VIII Palaeologus, who came to
the thrown in 1259 and recaptured Constantinople in 1261. The family ruled
until Byzantium fell for the last time in 1453.
Pallium is a church vestment worn by the Pope, archbishops,
and patriarchs. It is usually
of wool and worn around the neck. It symbolizes the yoke of Christ.
receive the pallium on their election. The Archbishop of Canterbury
traditionally received his from the hands of the Pope,
but it is not required for
a metropolitan to travel to Rome for the presentation.
Pandulph (?-1226) was an Italian-born churchman, Bishop of Norwich.
commissioned papel legate in England by Honorius
III in 1218. Pandulph, together with the legate, Nicholas of Tusculum,
King John his submission to Pope Innocent III in 1213. He was given custody
of John's young son, Henry III, on John's death and effectively ruled the
country 1219-21. His legatine powers were withdrawn in 1221; Pandulph
accepted the see of Norwich and served as an ambassador for the rest of his
Gregorio Panzani (?-1662) was an Italian priest who was chosen
by Cardinal Barberini, the "Protector" of English Catholics, and
by Pope Urban VIII to find the true state of English Catholics. He
arrived in England in 1634 and, with interruptions, remained until 1636.
Panzani's memoirs, like those of George Con, his successor, are important
documents in the history of English Catholicism under Charles I.
Matthew Parker (1504-1575) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559.
He rose to power and influence under Edward VI, was deprived of all his
offices under Mary, and was made Archbishop as soon as Elizabeth came to power.
As Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, he was one of the most
influential Protestants in the early Church of England.
William Parker (1575-1622), 4th Baron Monteagle, was a close friend of some of
the Gunpowder Plot conspirators and even employed at least one of them.
There is evidence that he had some sympathy for the plot, but he gave it
up to the authorities when he brought to their attention a letter he claimed
to have received. The letter warned him not to attend the opening of
Parliament. If Monteagle did not create the letter itself, it may have been
sent by Francis Tresham or Kit Wright.
Catherine Parr (1512-1548) was the sixth and last wife of Henry
VIII. She is said to have been the most mature and intelligent as well.
Henry was the third of her four husbands. She survived him, finally
marrying Thomas Seymour, the brother of Jane Seymour. The best-known stories
about Parr are that she persuaded Henry to legitimize his daughters by
Catherine of Aragon (Mary) and by Anne Bolyn (Elizabeth); and that she
escaped arrest for her Protestant views by an humble submission to the king.
William Parry (?-1585) was a financially distressed Welsh
gentleman. To escape creditors and earn money, he spied on English Catholics
in Europe. On his last trip to the continent he pretended to have uncovered
a plot to assissanite the Queen, for which discovery he was given a pension.
Out of money again, Parry apparently attempted to foment a plot in England
to assassinate the Queen. The plot was detected before he could disclose it,
and Parry was executed as a traitor.
Robert Parsons (or Persons) (1546-1610) was an English Jesuit,
trained in Rome. He tried to raise support for the Spanish in England
before the attempted invasion in 1588. When the Armada failed, he left England
never to return, although he is sometimes "credited" with the design, or at
least the inspiration, of the Gunpowder Plot.
Pope Paul III (1468-1549) succeeded Clement VII in 1534 at a
a critical time for the Church. He is credited with restoring the
discipline and power of the church in the face of Protestantism. The Council
of Trent and its reforms came about through his efforts.
Pope Paul IV (1476-1559) was elected Pope in 1555, succeeding
Julius III. His short papacy saw him defied by England and ignored by the
Empire. He is mainly remembered for his use of the Inquisition to enforce
Pope Paul V (1550-1621)), Camillo Borghese, was elected May 16,
1605. He is remembered for conflict in his reign between the church
and Venice, England and Moravia.
Sir Amias Paulet (1532-1588) was Elizabeth I's ambassador to France
from 1576 to 1579. He was also the guardian of Francis Bacon.
In 1680 he was installed by Walsingham as Mary Stuart's jailer. She remained
in his custody until her death in 1587.
Henry Francis Pelham (1846-1907), a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and one
of the translators of the History of England. He was later President
of Trinity College and a charter member of the British Academy. His specialty
was Roman history.
Sir John Pennington (1568?-1646) was a naval commanders in most of
the important sea operations in the reign of Charles I. He command the fleet
during the expedition to the Isle of Rhé and the attempt to relieve
Rochelle. Pennington is best known for his part in the destruction of the
Spanish fleet by the Dutch at the Battle of the Downs in 1639, when he
failed to take effective action against Witt.
Thomas Percy (1560?-1605), a distant relative of the Earl of
Northumberland, was one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot.
He had family connections with Jack and Christopher Wright.
Sir Robert Phelips (1586-1638) was a member of Parliament from 1605
(although he did not sit in the Parliament of 1626, having been pricked for
From 1621 on he was a leader of
the strong-Parliament party and a thorn in the side of the government.
Philip II (1527-1598), King of Spain, was the son of Emperor
Charles V. He married Mary Tudor in 1554 and ascended the throne of Spain
in 1556. When Mary died childless in 1558, there was talk that he would
marry the new Queen, Elizabeth, but nothing came of it. It was
this Philip who
sent the Armada against England in 1588.
Philip III (1578-1621), King of Spain, was the son of Philip II
but seems to have inherited little of his character. He was under control
of the Duke of Lerma and his son during most of his reign and showed little
or no initiative.
Philippa of Hainault (1314?-1369) was the wife of Edward III. She
bore 14 children and also accompanied the king in his military expeditions.
She is best known for convincing Edward to spare the Burghers of Calais whom
the king was about to massacre as an example to his French subjects.
Pope Pius V — Michele Ghisleri — (1504-1570) was elected
in 1566. He is considered a pious and austere pontiff. The main issues of
his short reign were Protestantism and the incursions of the Turk.
Reginald Cardinal Pole (1500-1558) was a descendant of Edward IV's
brother George and thus related to the Tudor royal family. His opposition to
Henry VIII's divorce and reformation of the Church of England drove him to
Europe where he became prominent in the church. It is said that he could have
been elected Pope in 1549, but he stepped aside for Julius III. When Mary
came to the throne he returned to England as legate and in 1557 was made
Archbishop of Canterbury. He died on the same day that Queen Mary died.
William de la Pole (1396-1450), first Duke of Suffolk, was the
favorite of Henry VI. He was a general in the Hundred Years' War and
Lord Chamberlain of England. He was the most important figure in the English
government 1447-1450 and therefore took the blame for the disastrous
losses in France during that time. He was arrested and expelled from
England. On his way to France, his ship was stopped and he was killed.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (35?-95) was a Roman rhetorician,
author of the Institutio Oratorio.
Ratisbon, modern Regensburg, is a city on the Danube in Bavaria.
It was the convention place of the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire
from the time of Charlemagne.
Richard of Cornwall (1209-1272) was the younger son of King John and
brother of Henry III. He was a powerful baron and reputedly the richest man
in England. As brother-in-law of Frederic II and the candidate of the Pope,
he was in line to be elected King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor, and
in fact he did bribe enough electors to be selected in 1256, but he was just
one of 4 rivals during the long interregnum after Frederic II. Richard is
known for calling the first Parliament, during the absence of Henry III in
France in 1254.
Richard of York (1411-1460) was a direct descendant of Edward III and
had a good claim (much better than Henry IV's) to the throne. He began to
press it in 1448. Richard was regent in 1453-54 while Henry VI had a nervous
breakdown. On Henry's recovery, Richard was put out of government and began
gathering his forces. The War of the
Roses began in 1455. Richard was killed at the battle of Wakefield in 1460,
but his son came to the throne as Edward IV the next year.
Thomas Richardson (?-1635) was Speaker in the Parliament of 1620 and
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, a post he purchased from Buckingham in 1626
for what was rumored to be %pound;14,000. He succeeded Nicholas Hyde as Chief
Justice of King's Bench in 1631. Richardson ended the use of the rack to
exact confessions in England.
Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) was
prime minister of France during the reign of Louis XIII. He is famous for
establishing the legal institutions that allowed later French kings to
consolidate power; for his support of the arts; and for his vigorious
persecution of the Huguenots.
Peter des Roches (?-1238), Bishop of Winchester, was one of the
English church lords who remained loyal to King John in his struggles with
Rome. He was rewarded with the chancellorship in 1214. In the reign of
Henry III, Peter was one of the most powerful men in England.
Philip II — Philip Augustus — (1165-1223), king of
France, greatly expanded the direct control of his government over northern,
southwest and central France. He warred against the Plantagets and the Pope
through most of his reign, successfully against the former.
Archduke Philip of Austria — Philip the Handsome, Felipe el Hermoso —
(1478-1506) was the
son of a Holy Roman Emperor (Maximilian I) and the father of two (Charles
V and Ferdinand I). He was a Hapsburg and his wife, Joanna "the Mad" inherited most of Spain as
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. The marriage created a Hapsburg empire
that extended from Spain to Hungary and Sicily.
Philip the Good (1396-1467) was Duke of Burgundy and the son of
John the Fearless. He was allied with England to uphold the promised
succession of the house of Lancaster to the throne of France. Around 1435,
however, he made peace with the Valois. Under Philip, Burgundy became one of
the great powers in Europe, ruling territory from the Loire to Friesland.
Philipp Ludwig II von Hanau-Münzenberg (1576-1612)) was Count of
Hanau and a negotiator between England and the Protestant German princes.
John Philpot (1516-1555), Archdeacon of Winchester, was a learned
theologian and linguist. Foxe tells how he resisted attempts by Story and
Gardiner to shake his beliefs. He was burned as a heretic.
Pipin the Short (?-768) was the son of Charles Martel (the hammer
of the Moslems at Poitiers) and succeeded him as the nominal Mayor of the
Palace of the Frankish kings. In 752, with the complicity of Pope Zacharias,
he claimed the crown he already all but wore.
Alfred Plummer (1841-?), fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.
He was one of the translators of the History of England but is best
known for his books on ecclesiastical history including
English Church History from the Death of Henry VII.
to the Death of William III and
The Church of England in the Eighteenth Century.
Endymion Porter (1587-1645) was a dashing Cavalier. His portraits
are often used to illustrate that character. A favorite of the Duke of
Buckingham, he amassed a fortune from government positions and monopolies.
Porter supported Strafford in 1641 and was declared delinquent. He served
the King for a while at Oxford then escaped and died in Belgium.
Marcus Aurelius Probus (232?-282), Roman Emperor. He became
emperor in 276 after a series of civil wars. Probus spent most of his reign
in the field at the head of armies. He was murdered by his own troops in 282.
William Prynne (1600-1669) was a lawyer and Prebyterian politician.
He is best known for his opposition to the use of woman actors in stage plays,
an innovation introduced by Queen Henrietta-Marie. His polemic book against
plays, Histriomastix was read as an attack on the Queen. Despite losing
his ears and being branded in the 1630s, Prynne was prominent in the
Presbyterian party, opposing Cromwell and supporting the Restoration.
John Pym (1584-1643) was a long-time Parliamentary nuisance to the
government. He was a leader of the Puritan party from 1621 and during the
first years of the Long Parliament, and especially after the death of
Hampden, was the leading man.
Pyrenian Peninsula. The territories west of the Pyrenees. Modern
Spain and Portugal.
Sir Walter Ralegh (1554-1618) was an Elizabethan soldier, courtier,
poet and explorer. He sponsored the first colonists in Virginia and conducted
several expeditions to the New World. Ralegh was a loose cannon, though,
and he crossed both Elizabeth and James I. He spend 13 years in the Tower, and
on his release took an expedition to South America where he attacked the
Spanish against the king's orders. He was beheaded on his return.
William Ramsay (?-1672), 2nd Lord Ramsay, 1st Earl of Dalhousie, was
a stout Covanenter who commanded a regiment of foot against Charles I. After
the king's murder, however, he supported Charles II.
Thomas Randolph (1523-1590) was Queen Elizabeth's ambassador to Scotland. Much
of what we know about the court of Mary Stuart comes from Randolph's
Thomas Ratcliffe (1525?-1583), 3rd Earl of Sussex, was a widely
respected soldier and courtier. Although he supported Lady Jane Gray,
Queen Mary did not punish him and indeed created him Baron Fitzwater and
made him lord deputy in Ireland. He was successful in Ireland and
Elizabeth appointed him Lord Lieutenant. He was Lord President of the Council
of the North during the Northern Rebellion. His success against the rebels
gained him the position of Lord Chamberlain.
François Ravaillac (1578-1610) was the assassin of Henri IV.
Convinced that the King's aid to the Dutch Republic represented an intent
to wage war on the Pope, he stabbled him while the king's carriage was
stopped by traffic in the Rue de la Ferronnerie.
Henry Rich (1590-1649), first Earl of Holland, was a favorite of
James I. He was a Royalist for most of the Civil Wars and was executed by
the Parliament shortly after the king was killed.
Penelope Rich née Devereux (1562-1607) was the sister of
Elizabeth's Earl of Essex and the wife of Robert Rich, first Earl of Essex.
Her children include Henry Rich, 1st Earl Holland; Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of
Warwick; and, by a second questionable marriage, Mountjoy Blount,
1st Earl of Newport.
She was the Stella of Sir Philip Sydney's sonnet cycle.
Robert Rich (1587-1658), 2nd Earl of Warwick, and brother of Henry
Rich, Earl of Holland, was a puritan peer
who was deeply involved in colonial planning. He planted colonies at
Providence, in Massachussettes, and in the Bahamas. Warwick was active in
the impeachment of Strafford and took the side of Parliament in the troubles.
He was given command of the fleet in 1642 and again in 1648. Warwick was
a strong supporter of Cromwell; his grandson married Cromwell's daughter.
Richard I — Richard Lion-Heart — (-1199) was the second
son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He grew up in his mother's court at
Poitiers and was at odds with his father for most of his life. Richard came to
the throne in 1189 and departed in 1190 for the Third Crusade. His military
leadership was important in reestablishing a truncated Kingdom of Jerusalem
the city of Jerusalem) and in guaranteeing access for pilgrims to the Holy
Land. On his way home he was captured and held by Duke Leopold V of Austria;
he did not return to England until a ransom was paid in 1194.
Richard spent only 6 months of his reign in England.
Richard II (1367-1400) became Prince of Wales at the age of 9
on the death of his father, the Black Prince, and came to the throne a year
later on the death of his grandfather, Edward III. At the age of 14 he
personally confronted the rebellious peasants under Wat Tyler, promising
them pardon but eventually executing most of their leaders. He was a weak king,
reign began under the regency of his uncle, John of Gaunt, and ended with his
deposition by John's son, Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV).
Richard III (1452-1485) was the infamous Duke of Gloucester,
youngest son of Richard of York.
He assumed the throne after the death of his brother, Edward IV and the
invalidation of Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, usurping
the right of Edward's two sons whom Richard imprisoned and murdered. His
actions and his reign were unpopular and he soon was challenged by
the Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor. Richard's army was defeated and Richard
slain at Bosworth Field in 1485 after a reign of two years.
Henry Tudor became Henry VII.
Nicholas Ridley (1500?-1555), Bishop of Rochester and London,
was considered the most learned Protestant churchman in England. He backed
Lady Jane Grey on the death of Edward VI, though, and was arrested and
executed when the party of Mary Tudor won out.
David di Ridolfi (1531-1612) was an Italian trader in England. A
devout Catholic, he hatched a 1571 plot in which Elizabeth would be deposed,
Mary Stuart set in her place, the Duke of Norfolk married to the new Queen,
and the Protestant faith forever repressed. He escaped punishment and became
a prominent citizen of Florence.
David Rizzio (1533?-1566) w as the private secretary of Mary Queen
of Scots and her favorite in the court. Jealousy of his influence with the
Queen led to his murder, in Mary's presence. Here husband Darnley and many
of the Protestant lords were implicated in the plot.
Sir Thomas Roe (1581?-1644) was an English diplomat in the reigns
of James I and Charles I. He travelled to the West Indies and to India and
India. He was involved in most of the important negotiations of the later
part of the Thirty Years' War. He is considered most knowledgeable and
most influential English ambassador of the period.
Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk (1270-1306) was Earl Marshal of England
in 1297 when he refused to serve Edward I in Flanders. With Humphrey de Bohun
(Earl of Hereford) he convinced the barons to withhold taxes from Edward,
leading to the reconfirmation of Magna Carta in 1297 and further concessions in
John Rogers (1500?-1555) was a Protestant minister who left England
after the death of Thomas More and remained there until Edward VI came to
the throne. While in Europe he assisted Tyndale in the translation of the
bible, and after Tyndale's execution, completed and edited the work which
became known at the "Matthew Bible" after Rogers' pseudonym "Thomas Matthew".
Th Matthew Bible included Tyndale's New Testament, Tyndale and Rogers'
translation of the Old Testament through 2nd Chronicles, and Cloverdale's
translation for the rest of the Old Testament. Rogers was the first
protestant executed for heresy under Mary. He is considered a Protestant
Robert Guiscard (1016?-1085), Norman Duke of Appulia and Calabria,
was the founder of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. By 1080, he ruled all of
southern Italy except Capua and Naples. His claim to fame is that he rose
from a simple Norman soldier of fortune, commanding 30 men, to rule half of
Italy and challenge the Byzantine Empire. "Guiscard" is a sobriquet
translatable as "wiseacre".
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was a Flemish diplomant and painter.
He executed commissions for the royal houses of Spain, France and England, but
his main patron was the Archduke Ferdinand in the Spanish Netherlands.
Rubens represented Spain in negotiating the peace with England in 1629.
Rudolph II (1552-1612), Holy Roman Emperor, was the son of Maximilian
II and succeeded him in 1608. He never exercised much influence over the vast
Hapsburg holdings, though, because of his bouts of depression and dementia.
His brother and successor Matthias handled most business.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard (1572-1658) was a lawyer and poet who was very
influential in the Long Parliament. He was a friend and client of the poet
William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke. It is this family for whom
Rudyard Kipling was
Francis Russell (1527-1585), second Earl of Bedford, was a
Protestant and an important administrator in the reigns of Edward VI and
Elizabeth I. He was godfather to Sir Francis Drake.
William Ruthven (1541-1584), 4th Lord Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie,
was a political intriguer in the Scottish court. He was involved in the
murder of Rizzio and later seized James VI. He is the last known custodian
of the Casket Letters. His plotting led to his execution for treason.
Thomas Sackville (1536-1608), 1st Earl Dorset, succeeded Burghley as
Lord Treasurer in 1599. He was a capable administrator but is remembered
for his poems and the play Gorboduc.
Álvaro de Bazán (1526-1588),
1st Marquis of Santa Cruz, was the architect of the Spanish Armada. He was to
command that force in the attack on England, but he died before the Armada was
ready to sail.
Sardanapalus was, in a Persian legend, the luxurious Assyrian king
who burned his palace and all in it—including himself— rather than
surrender to the Medes besieging Ninevah.
Laurence Saunders (?-1555) was a popular preacher executed for
heresy and sedition under
The Saxons were a Germanic people who when they first came to notice in
history lived on the western coast of the lower Jutland peninsula -- modern
Gaius Mutius Scaevola was a Roman patrician who attempted to
assassinate Lars Porsenna, the Etruscan king, who was camped outside the walls
of Rome. (This was part of the same campaign in which Horatius Coclites
barred the bridge over Tiber until his companions could destroy it.) Mutius
killed the wrong man in the dark and when he was brought before Porsenna he
proved the bravery of Romans by calmly burning his own right hand in the fire
as punishment for its failure.
Scholasticism is the broad term given to the Roman Catholic
intellectual theology of the early second millenium. Its main feature was
the attempt to unite faith and intellectual understanding. One of the earliest
Scholasticists, St Anselm, had as a motto fides quarens intelligentiam,
or "faith seeking understanding". Scholasticism had its scholarly roots in
the Latin church fathers and in Aristotle, replacing theological systems based
on the Greeks and Plato.
Scutage was a tax paid to avoid military service.
John Selden (1584-1654) was a lawyer and scholar.
His name is associated with some of the most important political events
of his time: the Declaration of Right of 1621; the impeachment of
Buckingham; the trail of Hampden; the Petition of Right; and the controversy
of Tunnage and Poundage; After his imprisonment over the customs matters,
Selden deserted the Parliamentary party and became a prominent figure
at court. His Mare Clausum (law of the sea) was essentially a
government white paper. He was a member of the Long Parliament and signed
the Solemn League and Covenant.
Edward Seymour (1500-1552), Earl of Hertford, Duke of Somerset,
was a brother of Jane Seymour
and uncle of Edward VI. From 1547 to 1549, as executor of Henry VIII's
will and Lord Protector, Seymour was the most powerful man in England.
He pursued a Protestant and populist program that led to his imprisonment by
the rest of the Regency Council in 1549 and his eventual execution in 1552.
Edward Seymour (1539-1621), Earl of Hertford,
inherited his father's forfeited earldom
but lost it when he married Catherine Grey, the sister of Lady Jane
Grey. He spent time in prison for that, His grandson suffered the same fate
for marrying Arabella Stuart.
Edward Seymour (1561-1612)), Baron Beauchamp of Hache, was the son
of the Earl of Hertford. His second son, William, married Arabella Stuart.
Sir Francis Seymour (1590?-1664) was a younger brother of the
2nd Duke of Somerset. He was an influential anti-Buckingham member of the
Parliaments of 1625 and 1628. One of his claims to fame is proposing the
Petition of Right.
Henry Seymour was a younger son of the Lord Protector, Somerset.
Jane Seymour (1509-1537) was the third wife of Henry VIII and the
mother of his only surviving son, Edward VI, her only child. She was part of
Queen Anne's court and may have been of Queen Catherine's as well. It isn't
agreed how she caught Henry's eye. Jane died giving birth.
Thomas Seymour (1508-1549) was a brother of Edward and Jane Seymour
and Lord Admiral of England. His ambition was overwhelming: he married
the widow of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr, and after her death tried to win the
hand of Princess Elizabeth. His obvious intention to alter the government
led to his arrest and execution.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a poet, actor, playwright and
Nicholas Shaxton (1485?-1556), Bishop of Salisbury, got his hat when
the Papal Nuncio, Campaggio, was dismissed in 1534. He was Protestant enough
to oppose the 6 Articles and resign his seat in 1539. Faced with the stake
in 1546, he recanted his heretical beliefs and was allowed to live.
Sir Richard Sheldon was Solicitor General 1625-1634,
James Shirley (1596-1666) became a playwright after he lost his
church living by converting to Catholocism around 1623. He taught school
while working on his first play, then moved to London where he was very
popular until the suppression of stage plays in 1642. He was the main
writer for the Queen's Men, a troope under the patronage of Henriette-Marie.
Shirley survived the interregnum and died around the time of the Great Fire.
Sir Robert Shirley (1581?-1628) had two famous brothers.
One was Sir Anthony
Shirley whose arrest during the Parliamentary term in 1603 led to an
of Parliamentary independence—that of freedom from arrest during a
sitting. Sir Robert accompanied his other brother, Sir Thomas,
to the court of the Shah Abbas in 1598. Robert
remained in Persian employ as a military trainer and
ambassador for most of his life, while simultaneously serving James I
in diplomatic tasks. He married a Circassian woman.
Robert Sibthorp (?-1662), Vicar of Brackley, seems to have been a
popular preacher along the lines of Roger Maynwaring. At the Northhampton
Assizes in February 1626/27 he preached on the Maynwaringen theme that
obedience to the King was a religious duty that overrides the citizen's
duty to obey the common law.
Sir Henry Sidney (1529-1586), Lord President of the Council of
Wales and Deputy
of Ireland, was the father of Philip, Robert (later Earl of Leicester)
and Mary Sidney
(later Countess of Pembroke). His wife, Mary Dudley,
was the daughter of the Duke of Northumberland.
Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) was an Elizabethan poet, courtier
and soldier, the son of Henry Sidney. His sonnets and his Arcadia
are still read. Sidney died after being wounded in the siege of Zutphen in
the Netherlands wars. His reputation owes much to the preservation of his
works by his sister, the Countess of Pembroke, and Spenser's elegy on him.
Sigismund (1368-1437) was King of Germany and Bohemia and Holy
Roman Emperor. He was the last of the Counts of Luxumbourg to be emperor.
Sigismund met Henry V while trying to negotiate a peace between England and
France in 1416. (It didn't work.) He is best known for sponsoring the
Coucil of Constance of 1414-18, a church conclave which healed the
great Western Schism
which had continued for 40 years. The council also condemned the Czech
reformer Jan Hus and executed him in 1415, even though Hus was under a
promise of protection from Sigismund. Sigismund paid for his faithlessness
when he tried to occupy the throne of Bohemia: Hussites prevented him from
its peaceful possession for 18 years.
Ludovico Cardinal Simoneta (1500-1568), Bishop of Pesaro, was a
church lawyer. He is known to have participated in the Council of Trent. He
received the red hat in 1561.
Lambert Simnel (1475-1525)) was a poor boy who was manipulated into pretending
to be the Yorkist pretender Edward, the son of Edward IV. Simnel was believed in
Dublin and was crowned "Edward VI" there. A mercenary army invaded
Lancastershire in his name, but it was defeated at Stoke and Simnel was
captured. Henry VII had Simnel sent to the kitchens as a servant and he
remained there for the rest of his life.
Simon (IV) de Montfort (?-1218) was a Norman baron and crusader.
He participated in the ill-starred 4th Crusade which took Constantinople
and was a leader of the crusade against the Albigenses, a French schismatic
Simon (V) de Montfort, Earl of Leicester (1208?-1265), was the son
of Simon the IV and grandson of Robert de Beaumont, third Earl of Leicester.
He was an adviser to Henry III and married
Henry's sister Eleanor. His quarells with the king began in 1252 when
Henry second-guessed Simon concerning his brutal government in Gascony.
Simon was a leader in the baronial revolts of 1258-60 and 1263-65. He
defeated Henry at Lewes in 1264 and was for a time the effective ruler of
England. In 1265 he summoned the first parliament that included Commons
representing both the counties and the boroughs. He was killed in battle
by barons allied with Edward I at Evesham in 1265.
Pope Sixtus V — Felice Peretti — (1521-1590)
was an extremely energetic pope. During his 5-year reign, he cleansed
central Italy of brigands, reformed Church finances and built the
Vatican Library and the Lateran Palace.
John Skene (1543-1617) was a Scots judge and legal historian. He served as Lord Clerk Register 1594-1612.
Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1557-1631) was the wife of Frederick II
of Denmark and the mother of Christian IV and of Anne of Denmark who married
James VI of Scotland.
Benjamin de Rohan (1583-1642), seigneur de Soubise, was the younger brother of Henri,
Duc de Rohan. The Rohan brothers were the main Huguenot military
leaders in the 1620s. Soubise commanded the garrison at La Rochelle until
its fall, after which he spent most of the rest of his life in London.
Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599) spent most of life trying and failing
to make his fortune in Ireland. His poetry, now considered one of the wonders
of the Elizabethan age, was admired in his time but never profitable. He
enjoyed a small pension from the Queen in the last 8 years of his life.
John Spottiswoode (1565-1639), archbishop of St Andrews,
was the author of The History of the Church and State of Scotland
from 203 to the Death of James VI, one of the primary sources of 16th
century history from the Protestant point of view. Ranke cites it in Book III
and discusses its influence in Book IV.
Thomas Stafford (1531-1557) set sail from Dieppe with two ships
in April 1557,
captured Scarborough, and declared himself Protector. He was captured and
executed for treason.
Dr. Henry Standish (?-1535) was Bishop of St Asaph's from 1518 until his
Edward Stanley (1508?-1572), Earl of Derby, was prominent in all
the Tudor reigns from Henry VIII on. He helped suppress the Pilgrimage of
Grace and served in the Privy Councils of Mary and Elizabeth.
Sir William Stanley (?-1495) was a Yorkist land owner in North
Wales, brother of Thomas Lord Stanley who was later Earl of Derby. The
Stanleys grew rich and powerful under Edward IV, especially after the
defeat of Buckingham, but they had reservations about Richard III. When
Richard gathered his forces at Bosworth, the Stanleys withheld their troops,
even though Richard had taken Thomas' son hostage. At the climax of the
battle, when Richard III charged Henry Tudor's body guard, William Stanley
intervened, preserving Henry's life. William was given the honor of placing
the crown on Henry's head at the coronation. But William Stanley's strong
pro-Yorkist history kept him under suspicion. He was arrested for
seditious speech and executed in 1495.
Archbishop Stephen — Stephen Langton — (?-1228)
was an English-born
priest at the center of some of the great conflicts of the early 13th century.
He was Pope Innocent III's compromise candidate for the disputed election of
the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1207. As archbishop, he made interceded
betwen King John and the barons, smoothing the path to Magna Carta. When
John reconciled with the Pope he was suspended from Canterbury. Returning
after the death of the pope and king, he helped settle the relation of church
Lady Henrietta Stewart, Countess of Huntly, was the daughter of
Esmé Stewart, Duke of Lennox and the wife of the first Marquess
Huntly. She was one of the ladies of James VI's wife, Anne of Denmark.
John Stewart (?-1659), 1st Earl of Traquair, rose to the peerage
mainly because he was a successful man of business. He was Lord Treasurer
of Scotland from 1636 to 1641 and was of Charles I's chief agents in Scotland.
Traquair tried to maintain power in the tricky currents of Scots politics
during the next 20 years, but was unsuccessful. He changed sides so many
times that he was despised by all parties.
Stigand (?-1072) was the last Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury.
He was raised to Canterbury when Robert Champort was exiled in 1052. He
received his pallium from Benedict X, but since that bishop was declared
anti-pope, Stigand's position was week. After the Conquest, William had him
tried by an ecclesiastical; Stigand was condemned for having usurped the
bishopric of Canterbury and for retaining the see of Winchester while doing
so(!). He fasted to death in 1072.
Svend Tveskæg (Sven Forkbeard, Sven Otto Haroldsson)
(960?-1014), was a son of the Danish king Harold Blåtand
He was the first Danish King of England, although he died almost immediately
after driving out the Saxon King Æthelred. Svend was father of
King Canute (Knud).
John Stokesley (1475-1539) as Bishop of London was one of the
staunchest supporters of the old religious order allowed to remain after
separation. He is best remembered as an opponent of Cromwell and for his
trial in 1539 when Cromwell was trying to seize the last remaining abbey
Arabella Stuart (1575-1615) was the daughter of the Earl of
Lennox and, after Mary Stuart and James VI, the next in blood to the throne
of Elizabeth I.
Esmé Stuart d'Aubigny (1540-1583), 1st Duke of Lennox, was the favorite,
and possibly a sexual partner, of the young James VI of Scotland. Raised in
France, Stuart was a second cousin of the king.
Henry Stuart (1594-1612), Prince of Wales, was the first son of James I and VI. He was very popular in England and his death, which made his younger
brother Charles the heir apparent, was treated as a national tragedy.
James Stuart (1531?-1570), Earl of Moray (Murray) was an
illegitimate son (there were several) of James V by Margaret Erskine.
He alternately served and opposed his half-sister,
Mary Stuart, during her reign and was regent for James VI after she abdicated.
He was probably involved with Argyll in the assassination of Rizzio and
Darnley, and was himself assassinated by a Hamilton. Murray was a strong
Protestant and important in the establishment of the Scottish Church.
James Stuart (1612-1655), Duke of Richmond and 4th Earl of Lennox,
was the son of Ludovic Stuart. He was a Scots cousin and
favorite of Charles I, who married Lennox to Buckingham's daughter in 1637 and
made him Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1640
(in return for a loan of £20,000). Lennox fought for the King
in the Civil Wars, in which three of his brothers were killed. He was one
of the King's commissioners at Uxbridge and Newport and was given charge of
Charles I's body for burial.
Ludovic Stuart (1574-1624), 2nd Earl of Lennox,
son of Esm%eacute; Stuart,
was favored by James I and VI and gained the English title Duke of Richmond.
Robert Stuart (1533?-1593) was an illegitimate son of James V by Eupheme
Elphinstone. He was known as Lord Creich and was created Earl of Orkney by
Maximilien de Béthune (1560-1641), duc de Sully, was Henri IV's
chief minister. A protestant, he advised Henri to convert to Catholicism.
Sully strengthened the military, financial and commercial infrastructure of
France, growing rich and gaining enemies in the process.
George Talbot (1528-1590), 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, was a wealthy noble.
He was given custody of Mary Stuart during her exile in England, presided at
the trial of the Duke of Norfolk, and was made Earl Marshal in 1572.
Don Juan de Tassis, Conde de Villamediana, was the
father of the famous poet Juan de Tassis (1582-1622). The father was a diplomat.
John Taylor (alias Grimston) (1597-1655) represented
England on missions in Spain and Vienna. He was born in Spain and was
Rowland Taylor (1510-1555) was the third Protestant martyr of
Queen Mary's persecution, after Rogers and Hooper.
He is remembered for his vigorous defense of
priestly marriage (he is said to have been married to William Tyndale's
sister) and his steadfastness in the Protestant religion as recorded in
Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
Johann Baptista de Taxis (1530-1610) was Spanish ambassador to France
and a councilor in the government of the Netherlands.
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (1278-1322) was the leader of the baronial
opposition to King Edward II. He was the grandson of King Henry III.
His inheritances, patrimonial and marital, gave him control of five of the
most important English earldoms, including Lancaster, Leicester, Darby,
Lincoln and Salisbury. Thomas was one of the baronial Ordainers
who convicted the King's favorite, Gaveston, and established what was
essentially an oligarchy in place of Edward's rule. He was unable to
maintain control of the Barons, howeve, and in 1322 he was arrested and
executed as a traitor.
Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, (1355-1397), was the
youngest son of Edward III. He was a supporter of his nephew, Richard II
until about 1385 when he appears at the head of a party of disaffected
barons. He succeeded in forcing out Richard's favorites and, in the
Merciless Parliament of 1388, succeeded in having several of them attainted
and executed. The process of accusing nobles was called "appealing";
Gloucester's adherents are called the "Lords Appellant"; the same process was
used to convict Gloucester himself in 1397, but to no avail: he had been
murdered a few days before in his prison cell in Calais.
Jacques-Auguste de Thou (1553-1617) was a French politician and
historian. He wrote the first comprehensive national history of France.
Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (1516-1571) was Queen Elizabeth's
ambassador to France and her chief go-between with Mary Stuart.
Francis Throckmorton (1554-1584), nephew of Nicholas Throckmorton,
was accused of plotting with Mary Stuart to overthrow the government of
Elizabeth I and establish the Catholic religion. He was detected by Francis
Walsingham, the Secretary of State, and executed as a traitor.
Don Pedro Enríquez de Guzmán y Toledo y Azevedo
was a Spanish nobleman and soldier serving under Philip II, III and IV..
He is not the "Don Pedro of Toledo"
who was Viceroy of Naples in the 16th century.
John Trefor (?-1411), Bishop of St Aseph, was one of the few
Welshmen to reach the upper levels of the medieval English church.
He is known to have been a supporter of Owen Glendwr in the Welsh rebellion
of 1400-1410. Ranke says he was the voice of the parliamentary
commission that deposed Richrd II in 1400.
Robert Tresilian, Chief Justice of England, was a friend and
supporter of Richard II. He was the judge of the "Bloody Assizes" of 1381
during which the ringleaders of the Peasants' Rebellion were tried and
condemned. Tresilian was executed along with several other favorites
attainted by the Merciliess Parliament in 1388.
Johann Tserclaes (1559-1632), Graf von Tilly, was a Belgian who climbed
quickly through the ranks to be come one of the two principal generals of
the Holy Roman Empire. Tilly commanded the Catholic League forces at White
Mountain in Prague, defeated the Union at Wimpfen and Hüchst, and took
Heidelberg. Later in the war he defeated the Danish army. Known as a
great tactician, he combined Spanish formations with a savage determination.
His only significant defeats came at the end of his life, at the hands of
Edmund Tudor (1430-1456), Earl of Richmond, was the son of
Owen Tudor. He is chiefly remembered for mayying Margaret Beaufort and
fathering the future Henry VII. Edmund died of plague two months
before his son was born.
Owen Tudor — Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur — (1400-1461)
was a Welsh commoner—though of an old and wealthy family—in the
service of the English. He served Henry V in France and when that king died
Owen became the lover of and eventually married the widow, Catherine of Valois.
Cuthbert Tunstall (1474-1559), was a churchman and diplomat in the
court of Henry VIII. He was successively Bishop and (twice) Bishop of Durham.
He was honest but prickly in his opinions, and his refusal to compromise
several times got him in trouble. He grudgingly supported Henry VIII as
head of the Church of England but died in prison
rather than take the Oath of Supremacy when Queen Elizabeth came in.
As Bishop of London, he declined to give support to Tynedale, and as Bishop of
Durham tried to have the preaching of Knox suppressed.
Wat or Walter Tyler (?-1381) was the leader of the
Kentish contingent that marched on London in the English Peasants'
Revolt. He was murdered by the Mayor of London.
Aodh Mór Ó Néill — Hugh O'Neill —
(1540-1616), 2nd Earl of Tyrone, was one of the Irish chiefs in the
9 Years' War (1594-1603). As head of the O'Neills he controlled much of
Northern Ireland. When the English once again gained the upper hand in
Ulster after the death of Queen Elizabeth, Tyrone was pardoned. He fled with
the O'Donnel in 1607 and died in Rome.
Ulrich III (1528-1603) Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
ruled Mecklenburg from 1555.
Pope Urban V — Guillaume de Grimoard — (1310-1370)
was a church lawyer and diplomat, but not a Cardinal, when he was elected as
a compromise candidate in 1362. He spent much of his reign trying to
maintain peace in Italy, Spain and France.
Pope Urban VIII — Maffeo Barbarini — (1568-1644) was
elected in 1623, just in time to put in place the conditions that allowed
Charles I to marry Henrietta of France. As pope during most of the 30 Years'
War, Urban has been accused of not sufficiently supporting the Emperor and
the Catholic League.
James Ussher (1580-1655/6), was an historian and Bishop of Armagh.
He led the Anglican Church of Ireland for 30 years until his death. He was
anti-Arminian, but beholden to Laud and Strafford. Ussher lost his lands
and position in Ireland in the Irist rising of 1641. During the Civil Wars,
he was with the King. After the wars, he lived, preached, and wrote in London
until his death. He is best known now for his scholarly works, including
his chronology of the world from the evidence of the Old Testament, which
calculated that the first full day of Creation was October 22, 4004 B.C.
Anthony van Dyke or Vandyke (1599-1641) was a student of Rubens
and, from 1632, court painter to Charles I. Vandyke combined the composition
skills of Rubens with the color sense of Titian to produce startling and
Sir Henry Vane the elder (1589-1655) was a secretary of state
to Charles I and the father of the Henry Vane who was prominent in the
Long Parliament. The senior Vane served as ambassador to the King of Sweden
during the 30 Years' War. His advancement to Secretary of State was by
the influence of Queen Henrietta Maria, and against the wishes of Lord
Strafford. It was Vane's supposed note of Strafford's statement about the
use of an Irish army in England that sealed the fate of the earl.
Lope Félix de Vega Carpio (1562-1635) was the Shakespeare of
Spain. He wrote over 2000 plays, some of which are still produced. He was a
libertine and a priest and a prolific secular poet.
Horace Vere (1565-1635), Baron Vere of Tilbury, was a soldier sent
with a small force to the Palatinate by James I at the beginning of the
30 Years' War. He was considered the most competent English general of
his time. His cousin Henry de Vere, Earl of Oxford,
held a command in this force
under Horace Vere. Vere is best known for his defense of Breda in 1624.
He was the brother of Sir Francis Vere.
Charles, duc de la Vieuville (1583-1653) was the chief minister of
Louis XIII until 1624 when he was charged with corruption and replaced by
George Villiers (1592-1628), first Duke of Buckingham, replaced
Robert Carr (Earl of Somerset) as James I's favorite and chief minister
beginning in 1615. He eventually controlled most government patronage
which made him and his relatives immensely wealthy. Despite an impeachment
and several diplomatic and military failures, he remained the most powerful
man in government under Charles I. Buckingham
was assassinated by John Felton in
Portsmouth while preparing an expedition to avenge his disastrous defeat at
Rochelle in 1627.
Visigoths, a large German tribe which lived near the mouth of the
Danube when they first came into history. Driven west by the Huns, they
became a disruptive force in the Eastern Roman Empire and eventually under
Alaric invaded Italy. After sacking Rome in 410, the Visigoths invaded
southern Gaul and established an Arian kingdom there which at its greatest
extent (around 466) ruled much of southern France and Spain. The Visigoth
kingdom was defeated and absorbed by the Franks in the 6th century.
Konrad von dem Vorst — Vorstius — (1569-1623) was
an Arminian divine. He studied in Germany and Geneva before he was invited
to succeed Arminius in the chair of Theology at Leyden. His views were
strongly opposed by the Gomarists (strict Calvinists) and he was deprived
of his position in 1612. He was hounded about Germany thereafter until
Francis Walsingham (1530-1590) was an ambassador to France and
a Secretary of State under Elizabeth I. He is known for the elaborate network
of informers and spies he employed to keep abreast of foreign and domestic
events fhat affected the kingdom. Walsingham investigated the Ridolfi Plot,
uncovered the Throckmorton Plot and, some say, instigated the Babington
plot in order to entrap Mary Stuart.
Perkin Warbeck (1474?-1499) was a native of Tournai in Flanders.
He pretended to be the Duke of York, younger son of Edward IV, one of the
young princes supposedly murdered in the Tower by Richard III. His imposture was
accepted in Europe and Scotland, mainly for political reasons, but he never
gained support in England or Ireland. He was captured in 1498 after an aborted
invasion of Cornwall and executed later the following year.
Sir William Walworth (?-1385) was a gentleman fish merchant and twice
Lord Mayor of London. His grand moment came in June 1381 when he killed
Wat Tyler during the Peasants' Revolt (for which he was knighted).
Albert Watson (1828-1904), was Principal of Brasenose College,
a classical scholar, and one of the
translators of the History of England.
Thomas Wentworth (1590-1641), Earl of Strafford, was a prominent
politician in the reigns of James I and Charles I. He represented York in the
Parliaments of 1614, 1621 and 1625; and Pontefract in 1624. Originally a strong
proponent of Parliamentary right, he was seduced into support of the royal party
by promotion and preferment. He rose to Lord President of the Council of
the North and eventually privy councilor and Lord Deputy in Ireland. After
the First Bishop's War he was recalled from Ireland and became the chief
minister until his attainder and execution by the Parliament.
Richard Weston (1577-1635), 1st Earl of Portland,
served James I as an ambassador and served
both James and his son in the Treasury. He became Chancellor of the Exchequer
in 1621 and Lord Treasurer in 1628 after being ennobled.
He is given most of the credit (and blame) for settling the finances of
Charles I in such a way that the king could rule without Parliament from
1629 to 1640.
William I—William the Conquerer—(1028?-1087), was
Duke of Burgundy when King Edward the Confessor died in January, 1066. He
was the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, and a tanner's daughter,
Herleva; but his natural talents, and the fact he was his father's only son,
carried him to the lordship of northern France. Promised the throne of
England by Edward and by Harold (then Eorl of Wessex) William invaded
when Harald instead assumed the throne. William was, of course,
victorious at the Battle of Hastings. He and his descendants ruled England
for the next 550 years.
William III—William of Orange—(1650-1702),
Stadtholder of Holland invited to the British throne after the supposed
abdication of James II.
William Longchamp (?-1197) was Bishop of Ely and Richard I's
chancellor. When Richard went to the Crusade, he put the kingdom in William's
hands; at about the same time, Pope Celestine II commissioned him as papal
legate, making him the most powerful man in English church and state. His
power and disdainful manner earned the hatred of the English nobility who
drove him out of the country in 1191.
Sir William Wallace (1270?-1305) is a national hero of Scotland.
He led the first revolt which ultimately resulted in the liberation of Scotland
from the domination of England in the 13th century. Robert Burns has the Bruce
salute his army at Bannockburn with "Scots wha' hae wi' Wallace bled".
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (1583-1634) was Bohemian mercenary who
commanded, on behalf of the Catholic League, one of the largest forces
in the middle period of the Thirty Years' War. Because his was an independent
force, Wallenstein was never fully trusted by any side in the war. He
retired briefly in 1630, then returned to the field after the death of General
Tilly in 1632. Wallenstein was killed by a group of his own officers in 1634
as he tried to flee his army.
John Whitgift (1530?-1604) was Elizabeth I's third Archbishop of
Canterbury (after Parker and Grindal). He is best remembered for his
repression of puritan preachers and the anti-puritan laws passed at his
instigation after the appearance of the Martin Marprelate tracts.
Whitsuntide is the week beginning on Whitsunday. Whitsunday is
the 7th Sunday after Easter -- the 50th day. Whitsunday marks the Pentecost
— the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (see the second chapter
of the Acts of the Apostles).
John Williams (1582-1650) was Dean of Westminster (1620),
Bishop of Lincoln (1621) and Archbishop of York (1641). He was a favorite
of James I but was despised by Charles I. Williams was briefly Lord
Chancellor after the fall of Bacon.
John Willock (1515?-1585) was a Scottish Protestant and a friend of
John Knox. He filled several important positions in the early Scots Church,
including serving as Knox's deputy at St Giles, Edinburgh.
Sir Francis Windebank (1582-1646) was made a secretary of state
by Charles I in 1634. With Weston and Cottington, he was one of the king's
closest advisors and is blamed for several decisions that decreased the
king's popularity. Under threat of impeachment by the Parliament,
Windebank fled to France in 1641. He was a closet Catholic and died in
Robert Wintour (?-1606) was a Gunpowder Plot conspirator.
Thomas Wintour (1572-1606) was a member of the Catholic Wintour family of
Northamptonshire and one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. He was a brother
of Robert Winter and a cousin of Robert Catesby.
William Winter (?-1589) was a seaman who served Edward VI, Mary and
Elizabeth VI in Scotland and against the French and the Spanish. He is
credited with the plan to drive the Armada out of Gravelines in 1588.
Sir Ralph Winwood (1563?-1617) was a virulently anti-Spanish
English diplomat in France, the United Provinces and Germany. On his
return to England after the death of Cecil, he became Secretary of State.
Winwood was one of the zealots who encouraged the recently-freed Walter Ralegh
to attack Spanish possessions in South America. He probably would have
shared Ralegh's fate if he had lived.
Witan or witenagemot was a form of council tranditional in
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It consisted of land-owners, bishops and leading
citizens of towns; it's responsibilities were to confirm a new king and to
Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1474?-1530) began government service under
Henry VII around 1508 and within a few years became an important adviser to
Henry VIII. In 1514 he was Bishop of Lincoln and in 1515 Archbishop of York
and Lord Chancellor. Under his diplomatic leadership, England was the
balance of power in Europe between France and the Hapsburg empire. He was
disgraced and arrested during the controversey over Henry VIII's divorce and
remarriage to Anne Bolyn. Wolsey died while on his way from York to London
Elizabeth Woodville (1437-1492) was a daughter of the first
Earl Rivers and the wife of Edward IV. Their daughter, Elizabeth of York,
married Henry Tudor who became Henry VII..The marriage of Edward and Elizabeth
was annulled after Edward's death on the grounds that he had promised
marriage to another woman first. This paved the way for Richard of Gloucester
to come to the throne as Richard III.
Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) was England's eyes and ears in Venice
for most of the first quarter of the 17th century. He was briefly disgraced
when an academic rival published his bon mot "An ambassador is an honest man send to lie abroad for the good of his country." Financially ruined by his
diplomatic service, Wooton spent the last 10 years of his life as Provost of
Eton. Wotton's correspondence is one of the best sources of European political
information during his time.
Matthew Wren (1585-1667), was the uncle of the architect
Christopher Wren. He was a learned churchman, successively bishop of
Hereford, Norwich and Ely. Besides his scholarly work on the Book of Common
Prayer, Wren is remembered most for being imprisoned in the Tower of london for
19 years beginning in 1641.
Christopher Wright (1570-1605), younger brother of Jack Wright, was a
conspirator in the Gunpower Plot. He may have been the person who betrayed
Jack Wright (1568-1605) was one of the chief conspirators in
the Gunpowder Plot. He also participated in Essex's Rebellion.
Henry Wriothesley (1573-1624), 3rd Earl of Southampton, was a patron
of Shakespeare. Venus and Adonis is dedicated to him. Southampton
was a great friend of Essex and was condemned after Essex's rebellion in which
he took part. James I restored him to the court which he served until his
death as a volunteer in the Netherlands.
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1521-1554), son of the poet Thomas Wyatt,
hated the Spanish, supposedly after seeing the excesses of the Inquisition
while travelling with his father. When Queen Mary proposed to marry
the heir to the Spanish throne, Philip II, Wyatt raised a rebellion in
Kent in 1553. It was quickly suppressed and he was executed the next year.
John Wyclif (1324?-1384) was a priest and the first English
church reformer of note to insist on the supremacy of the Bible as the
"rule of faith" and the absurdity of Transubstantiation.
He also advocated a preaching priesthood. In these points
Wyclif anticipated the Protestant reformers of the next century. He was
valuable to temporal authorities because he preached ecclesiastical poverty
and argued that the church was supreme only in dogma, not in politics.
The bible translated by his followers, called the "Wycliffe Bible" was the
first in Middle English and represents an important event in the development
of the English language..
Antonio Cardinal Zapata Cisneros (1550-1635), Archbishop of Burgos,
was a principal minister of Philip III and Philip IV. He is best known for
his service as Inquisitor General during the worst excesses of the Spanish