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 1016.
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 VIII.
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 stake.
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 Chateauneuf-sur-Cher.
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 condemned.
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 Philip I.
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 Elizabath.
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 (archdeacon 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 subsequent execution.
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 VIII.
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 chief minister.
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 of.
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 Catholic.
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 daughter of 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.
Paolo Capizzucchi 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 hump-backed.
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 for treason.
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 Protestantism. 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 forced.
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, Christian 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 according to 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 empire.
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:
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 throne.
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 Darnley.
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 soldier.
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 to have 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 Canute.
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 the Scots".
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 Frankish court.
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 supposedly having 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 she built.
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 martyr.
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 of Canterbury.
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 tuberculosis.
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 castle was 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 conspirators.
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 and England.
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 historical figures.
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 English king.
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 Ralegh.
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 intriguer. 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 Cathedral.
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 again.
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 childless Edward 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 mother.. 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 the North.
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 sectarianism.
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 with either.
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 in 1689.
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 Massacre.
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 severely limited 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 top.
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 endured.
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 a heretic.
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 of England, 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 in Padua.
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 Boroughbridge.
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 different times.
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 a nunnery.
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 one.
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 Exeter College.
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, was the 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 to Rome.
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 army.
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 Reformation.
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 Reformation.
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 in 1223.
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 sung.
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 England.
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 Matilda.
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 his life.
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 Parliament.
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 intrigue.
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 1584-1590.
Thomas Merke (?-1409), Bishop of Carlisle, was a close supporter of Richard II. He refused to support the king's deposition and was arrested deprived 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 Ranke.
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 with her.
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 in Milan.
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. Metropolitan bishops 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. He was commissioned papel legate in England by Honorius III in 1218. Pandulph, together with the legate, Nicholas of Tusculum, accepted from 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 life.
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 discipline.
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 county office).. 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-M├╝nzenberg (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 dispatches.
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 (minus 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, whose 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 1301.
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 martyr.
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 named.
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 Queen Mary.
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 Schleswig-Holstein.
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 theatrical producer.
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 important principal 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 sect.
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 death.
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 and state.
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 (Harold Bluetooth). 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 in England.
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 James VI.
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 a Catholic.
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 Gustavus Adolphus.
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 elegant portraits.
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 Richelieu.
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 his death.
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 that confession.
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 advise him.
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 for trial.
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 the conspiracy.
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 Inquisition.