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Reformation Timeline


1228 Jul 9: Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton died; he is credited with dividing the Bible into chapters; for division of verses see 1551.
1443 Giuliano della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II, born. He was nicknamed the “Warrior Pope”, and he died in 1513. He was pope when Luther visited Rome in 1505.
1452 Leonardo da Vinci born.
1455 By this year Gutenberg had printed app. 180 copies of the Bible in Mainz: 145 on paper, the rest on vellum.
1463 Prince Frederick III (the Wise) born; he was Luther's protector.
1465 Johann Tetzel probably born in this year; he sold the special indulgence close to Luther's territory that enfuriated Luther so much.
1468 Gutenberg died.
1469 Ferdinand and Isabella, of Spain, wed; their daughter was Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII.
Erasmus born (also possibly in 1466) in Rotterdam. He was the illegitimate son of a priest, Gerardus, and the daughter of a physician.
1475 Michelangelo born.
Giovanni de Medici, the future Leo X, born; he was pope from 1513 to 1521, during the time when Luther wrote the 95 Theses; he also excommunicated Luther.
1478 Giulio de Medici, the future Pope Clement VII, born; he was pope when Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church.
1480 Balthasar Hubmaier born in this year or the next; he was an Anabaptist theologian.
1483 Erasmus' father and mother died within a few months of each other; Erasmus and his brother, Pieter, were put into the care of guardians. Erasmus attended school at Hertogenbosch.
Nov 10: Martin Luther born in Eisleben to Hans and Margaretta Luder; since he was christened on the Feast Day of St. Martin (the next day), Hans named him "Martin."
1484 Ulrich Zwingli born.
The Luther family moved to Mansfeld; Hans, Luther's father, moved to find better working conditions.
1485 Dec 16: Catherine of Aragon, future first wife of Henry VIII, born to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. She was the youngest of one son and four daughters.
1486 Frederick the Wise succeeds his father as elector. When Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door, Frederick had been the elector for 31 years.
1487 Erasmus entered the monastery of the Augustinian Canons Regular at Steyn, outside Gouda.
1488 Tetzel ordained.
1489 The future Leo X was created a cardinal. (Pope when 95 Theses were posted.)
Guillaume Farel born. He convinced Calvin to remain in Geneva.
Mar: An Embassy sent from Henry VII of England signed a treaty in Spain which negotiated an alliance between England and Spain. It was to be sealed with the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales and Catherine of Aragon. Ferdinand and Isabella paid Henry VII 200,000 crowns and Henry VII promised to give Catherine one third of Arthur's lands when he died. Arthur was two years old and Catherine was three.
1490 Thomas Munzer born. He was an early Anabaptist leader; he was one of the few to advocate for violence.
Michael Sattler probably born in this year near Freiburg, Germany. He was one of the authors of the Schleitheim Confession, an early Anabaptist Confession.
Tetzel became a Dominican friar in Leipzig.
1491 George Blaurock probably born in this year. He was the first person in the Anabaptist movement to be baptized as an adult.
Ignatius Loyola born, or in 1495.
June 28: The future Henry VIII born.
1492 Luther attended Latin school in Mansfeld.
Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and discovered the West Indies.
Apr 25: Erasmus ordained by David of Burgundy, Bishop of Utrecht.
1493 Maximilian I became Holy Roman Emperor, to 1519.
Erasmus left the monastery and became secretary to the bishop of Cambrai, Hendrik van Bergen.
1494 William Tyndale probably born in this year.
1495 Leonardo began painting "The Last Supper"; he finished in 1498.
Erasmus enrolled in theology at the University of Paris.
1496 Michelangelo began sculpting "Pieta"; he finished in 1501.
Zwingli moved to Berne to attend school; until 1498.
Menno Simons was born.
1497 Luther attended Latin school in Magdeburg.
John Cabot discovered Newfoundland, Canada.
Philipp Melanchthon born.
Gerard Cauvin married Jeanne Lefranc; they were John Calvin's parents.
Summer: Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon were betrothed.
1498 Luther attended the school of St. George in Eisenach, where he met the Schalbe family.
Feliz Manz probably born in this year in Zurich; he was the illegitimate son of a Roman Catholic priest.
Zwingli moved to Vienna to attend school; until 1502.
Columbus "discovered" Trinidad and South America.
Vasco da Gama of Portugal reached India.
1499 Jan 29: Luther's future wife, Katharina von Bora born in Lippendorf, Germany.
1500 The future Emperor Charles V was born.
Anne Boleyn may have been born in this year.
1501 Luther studied at Erfurt University.
Nov 14: Wedding of Arthur, Prince of Wales (Henry VIII's older brother), to Catherine of Aragon. He was fifteen and she was sixteen. But did they consummate the marriage? A body servant of Arthur's, Sir Anthony Willoughby, noted years later that the following morning Arthur had said, "Willoughby, bring me a cup of ale, for I have been this night in the midst of Spain."
1502 Zwingli moved to Basel to study under Thomas Wyttenbach; until 1506.
Michelangelo began sculpting "David"; he finished in 1504.
Frederick founded the University of Wittenberg.
Mar 27: Arthur, Prince of Wales, became seriously ill.
Apr 2: Arthur, Prince of Wales, died.
Sep: Luther earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Sep: Erasmus moved to the university town of Leuven (Louvain). He was greeted by the town council and the future Hadrian VI (1522-23), who was then professor of philosophy and dean of St. Peter's Church.
1503 Julius II, Pope from 1503-1513.
Hubmaier [future Anabaptist leader] began his studies at the University of Freiburg; one of his teachers was John Eck.
Jun 23: A treaty for Henry and Catherine's wedding was signed.
1504 Katharina von Bora's [Luther's future wife] mother died. She was placed in a convent in Brehna.
Feb 23: Future Henry VIII replaced his brother as "Prince of Wales."
1505 Michelangelo began sculpting "Moses"; he finished in 1508.
Jan: Luther earned his Master of Arts degree in preparation for his law degree.
May: Luther began law studies.
Jun: Luther encountered a thunderstorm, made vow for safety ("Help me, St. Anne: I will become a monk" [St. Anne was the mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus.], and came through without harm. He wrote his father that the thunderstorm and vow were the will of God. Luther was 21 years old
Sep: Luther gave away his possessions and entered the monastery of the Augustinian monks at Erfurt.
1506 Erasmus traveled to Italy to live, until 1509. He first went to Bologna, but had to leave when the papal forces started shelling the city. He was back there to witness Pope Julius' triumphal entry as a conquering "general on 15 Nov 1506 into the newly-conquered city.
Columbus died.
Zwingli ordained as a priest. He was pastor at Glarus from 1506-1516; while there he learned Greek and memorized Paul's epistles.
Apr 18: Pope Julius II laid the cornerstone of the Basilica of St. Peter.
1507 May: Luther is ordained a priest and officiated at his first Mass; the date was rescheduled for this time in order for Hans to be able to attend.
1508 Julius II pressured Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel; he worked on it from 1508-12.
Luther sent to lecture at the newly opened University at Wittenberg to temporarily replace a professor on leave; he lectured on moral philosophy. The town of Wittenberg had app. 2000 inhabitants.
Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife, born. Henry wed Catherine of Aragaon the following year.
1509 Katharina von Bora [Luther's future wife] entered the convent in Nimbschen near Grimma.
Mar: Luther became a Biblical Baccalaureate.
Apr 21: Henry VII died. Henry VIII was 17 years old.
Jun 11: Henry wed Catherine of Aragon. As opposed to his older brother's wedding to Catherine, which had been an elaborate one in 1501, this was a private wedding.
Jun 24: Henry VIII was crowned King of England and Catherine of Aragon was crowned Queen of England.
Jul 10: John Calvin (Jean Cauvin) was born to Gerard Cauvin and Jeanne Le Franc.
Oct: After Luther's temporary teaching position at the University of Wittenberg was over, he left Wittenberg and returned to Erfurt.
Nov 1: Catherine of Aragon's first pregnancy was announced.
1510 Jan 31: Catherine of Aragon miscarried a daughter.
Early Spring: Catherine became pregnant again.
Nov: Luther sent to Rome on behalf of his order; he walked; upon seeing Rome for the first time he fell to the ground and said, "How blessed are you, Holy Rome!"
1511 Luther returned from Rome and was sent to Wittenberg, staying at the Augustinian house. (Frederick gave him this house later.)
Jan 1: Henry VIII and Catherine's son was born; he was named Henry.
Jan 22: Henry VIII and Catherine's son died.
1512 Luther's Tower Experience: While studying Romans 1:17, Luther sudden realized the truth of "justification by faith" only.
Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, born. Henry VIII was 21 years old
William Tyndale received his B.A. at Magdalen Hall in Oxford University.
Sep 29: Hubmaier received his doctorate in theology; already a priest, he became a university preacher and chaplain of the university church.
Oct 4: Luther received his doctorate degree.
Oct 22: Luther formally received into Wittenberg's Senate of the Faculty of Theology.
Oct 25: Luther taught his first lesson on the Bible, starting at 7 in the morning.
1513 Leo X (Giovanni de Medici), Pope from 1513-1521.
The Portuguese reached China.
Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.
Luther taught on Psalms at the University of Wittenberg.
While pastoring at Glarus, Zwingli served as military chaplain to Swiss mercenaries who were in the papal service.
Henry VIII launched a campaign against France. He left Catherine "in charge." While he was away in France, James IV of Scotland invaded England. Catherine was in charge of the military as they successfully defeated the Scots.
Sep: Catherine of Aragon is again pregnant; she miscarried.
1514 Conrad Grebel, one of the first Anabaptists, begins studies at the University of Basel.
John Knox was born.
Oct: Catherine of Aragon was again pregnant; she again miscarried.
1515 Conrad Grebel attended the University of Vienna for the next 3 years; he received a scholarship from Emperor Maximillian I.
Luther was made vicar of his order; this placed him in charge of 11 Augustinian monasteries. In Wittenberg he began lectures on Romans.
Katharina Luther (nee von Bora; Luther's future wife) was ordained a nun. She comes into contact with the writings of Luther for the first time.
Jeanne le Franc, John Calvin's mother, died. John Calvin lived for a time with the Montmors, a prominent Noyon family.
Two years after becoming Pope, Leo X had spent all the money he had inherited from Julius II. This will set the stage for Leo X to create the special indulgence that Luther to write 95 Theses against.
Zwingli again served as a military chaplain (see 1513).
Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, became Lord Chancellor of England and a Cardinal.
Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, born. Henry is 24 years old and married to Catherine of Aragon.
William Tyndale received his Master of Arts degree
Spring: Catherine of Aragon perhaps was pregnant and miscarried.
1516 Luther began lectures at Wittenberg on Galatians.
By this year Blaurock (future Anabaptist leader) had become a priest in Trins (diocese of Chur); he relinquished it in 1518 to become an Anabaptist.
The special indulgence for the rebuilding of St. Peter's, Rome, was issued. THis is the indulgence that Luther wrote against in the 95 Theses. Tetzel was made sub commissary for the collection in the regions of Magdeburg and Halberstadt.
At some point Zwingli traveled to Basel and met with Erasmus.
Feb: Mary was born to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.
Feb 20: Mary was christened. Her canopy was borne by four knights: one was Sir Thomas Parr, father of Catherine Parr, Henry's sixth wife; another was Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife.
Mar: Erasmus' Greek New Testament was published by Froben. The Vulgate rendered Matthew 4:17 as "do penance, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand," whereas Erasmus' version states "repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Erasmus' Greek New Testament will be one of the catalysts for the Reformation ideas.
1517 Luther began lectures at Wittenberg on Hebrews.
Tetzel traveled near Wittenberg and preached on indulgences. Frederick did not allow him to preach on indulgences in his territory. Tetzel's famous advertisement: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs!"
Luther's congregation often bought letters of indulgence in either Brandenberg or Anhalt; sometimes this was in lieu of going to confession.
Apr: In one of the ironies of Church History, Erasmus wrote to Pope Leo X: "If ever there was a golden age, then there is good hope that ours will be one."
Oct 31: Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg.
Nov: The Pope issued a statement suggesting war on the Turks [meaning Muslims] with 80,000 men.
1518 Luther began lectures at Wittenberg on Psalms (until 1521).
Mar: Luther wrote Erasmus for the first time, and he expressed his admiration for Erasmus.
Mar: Erasmus first mentioned Luther in a letter to Thomas More; he also included this: "The Roman curia has abandoned any sense of shame. What could be more shameless than these constant indulgences?"
Apr 25: Beginning of Heidelberg Disputation. This was held by Luther's Order, the Augustinian Order, in order to give him a chance to elaborate on his ideas.
May 30: Erasmus wrote a letter to Luther.
Aug: Luther's "Resolutions Concerning the 95 Theses" appeared; Luther dedicated it to Pope Leo X.
Aug: Carlstadt, Luther's superior at the University of Wittenberg, published a set of theses whereby he maintained that only the Scriptures were authoritative in matters of faith.
Aug 7: Luther called to Rome by Leo X; the location was changed to Augsburg in the presence of Cardinal Cajetan.
Sep: Ferderick ordered Luther to go to Augsburg; Luther later remembered thinking: "Now you must die. . . . Oh, what a shame I have become to my parents!"
Sep 30: Grebel moved to Paris; his studies there lasted less than 3 months although he stayed until 1520.
Oct 7: Luther arrived at Augsburg.
Luther met with Cajetan 3 times over several days but did not recant.
Oct 20: Luther fled from Augsburg; Staupitz [Luther's superior in the Augustinian order] fled just before this after secretly releasing Luther from the Augustinian order so that Luther could flee.
Oct 25: Cajetan wrote Frederick a letter in which Cajetan reminded Frederick of his Christian responsibility; he meant to suggest to Frederick to hand Luther over to Catholics.
Oct 31: Luther returned to Wittenberg. Frederick continued to protect Luther.
Nov 9: A new papal decree on indulgences was drawn up, including a portion which stated the pope's right to issue indulgences.
Nov 10: Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a girl; the infant died soon after.
Nov 28: Luther appealed to a general council of the Church.
Dec 7: Frederick refused to send Luther to Rome, telling Cajetan in a letter that by Luther appearing in Augsburg the request had been met; Luther did not find this out until 20 Dec.
Dec 11: Zwingli elected People's Preacher at the Old Minster in Zurich; he remained in this position for the rest of his life.
Dec 13: The new papal decree on indulgences is published. Luther could no longer argue against indulgences without arguing against the pope's authority.
1519 Tetzel died.
Leonardo da Vinci died.
Thomas Munzer became confessor in Thuringia to a convent of nuns; he may have met Luther in this year.
Zwingli began preaching on the New Testament.
Henry's first son, Henry Fitzroy, was born to his first mistress, Elizabeth Blount. Henry considered making him his heir but changed his mind.
Jan: Emperor Maximilian died. THis is significant because, right as Luther was gaining support, the Emperor died and the new Emperor was distracted.
Jan 4: Luther met with Frederick and Carl von Miltitz in Altenburg; Luther agreed to cease from further action until a German bishop was involved.
Jun 28: Charles I of Spain unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor and became Charles V; Pope Leo fought against his election.
Jul 4: Disputation at Leipzig; Carlstadt was the original target of Eck but Luther accompanied Carlstadt and argued as well.
Aug: Luther received a copy of a letter Eck sent to Frederick, compliments of Frederick, in which Eck called Luther an arch heretic.
1520 In late 1520 or early 1521 Grebel went back to Basel, but returned home within 10 weeks to study with Zwingli.
Munzer became a Protestant preacher at Zwickau.
Erasmus had an audience with Henry VIII.
Frederick was visited by papal nuncio (ambassador) Aleander who urged Frederick to burn Luther's books and seize and transport him to Rome; Frederick sought Erasmus' advice and then decided not to follow Aleander's instructions.
Feb: A commission began in Rome with the purpose of examining Luther's writings for heresy; Cajetan was one of the chairmen.
Jun: Luther received a promise of 100 knights for protection.
Jun: Eck traveled to Rome in order to join the commission examining Luther's writings.
Jun 11: Luther's On the Papacy at Rome appeared.
Jun 15: Leo X issues the bull Exsurge Domine which gave Luther 60 days to recant.
Jul: Grebel moved to his boyhood town of Grueningen, east of Zurich. He, Simon Stumpf, and George Binder begin study with Zwingli.
Aug: Luther's "Address to the Christian Nobility" appeared; 4000 copies sold in 2 weeks; Luther dedicated a summary to the Emperor Charles V at the request of Frederick.
Sep: Erasmus wrote a letter to Pope Leo X concerning Luther.
Oct: Luther's "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church" appeared.
Oct 8: Luther's books are publicly burned at the University of Louvain, where Erasmus was living.
Oct 12: Luther met a final time with von Miltitz, at Lichtenberg, near Wittenberg; Luther agreed to write the pope and give a defense of his actions while stating that he never attacked Leo himself and that the whole affair was Eck's fault.
Nov: Luther's On the Freedom of a Christian appeared; Luther's letter to the pope was attached to a copy of this book.
Nov: Luther received another offer of protection from a knight.
Nov 28: Charles wrote that Luther was to appear at the Diet of Worms.
Dec 10: Luther publicly burned "Exsurge Domine" at Wittenberg.
Dec 17: Aleander met with Charles and further explained the situation with Luther; Charles withdrew his invitation to Luther to appear at Worms.
1521 Cortes conquered Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), the Aztec capital.
Perhaps in this year Munzer left Zwickau for Bohemia in order to start a church but was driven out.
Loyola received a wound in the leg during a battle; during his recuperation he read the Life of Christ and various spiritual biographies.
France and Spain were at war over their differing claims to parts of Italy (until 1529).
Henry VIII was named "Defender of the Faith" by Leo X for his opposition to Luther. Henry wrote a book called Defense of the Seven Sacraments. To read an excerpt, go here.
Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, born.
Jan 5: Frederick arrived in Worms.
Jan 18: Emperor Charles received the formal bull of excommunication, Decet Romanum Pontificem, with instructions to read it at the Diet of Worms, and that any territory, city, or church that protected Luther would also be under the ban.
Jan 27: Diet of Worms officially opened.
Feb: Luther wrote Frederick that he was willing to come to Worms if he was granted safe passage to and returning.
Feb 19: The German princes reported to Charles that condemning Luther with no hearing could lead to revolt; instead, Luther should be called in to recant.
Mar 6: Luther received an invitation to the Diet of Worms.
Early Apr: Luther left for Worms, pausing at Erfurt, Gotha, and Eisenach to preach.
Apr 15: The Faculty of Theology in Paris (Sorbonne) gave final approval to a condemnation of 104 of Luther's propositions; this condemnation is known as the "Determinatio."
Apr 16: Luther arrived at Worms with trumpeters and the imperial herald leading the procession.
Apr 17: Luther came to the Diet at 4 in the afternoon; present were Charles, the seven electors, Spanish troops, princes, bishops, etc.; in their midst was a table piled with books. He was asked if he had written these books and if he would recant. He replied that he had written those books plus more. He wanted time to think about the second question.
Apr 18: Luther was not called into the Diet until night. He stated that he could not recant and then added "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me! Amen." Luther was subsequently given 21 days to travel to Wittenberg and then he would be under the ban; any town or individual helping him after 21 days would also be under the ban. [This meant they would be outside the protection of the law.]
Apr 26: Luther, some traveling companions, and an escort left Worms.
Apr 28: Luther and the others reached Friedberg in Hesse; Luther returned his escort.
Apr 29: Luther and his party reached Hersfeld, where he preached to the monks.
May: Luther heard that one of his Augustinian friends had left the order to marry.
May 1: Luther and his party reached Eisenach, where he preached to the people.
May 3: Luther and his party reached Mohra, the village his father had lived in before he moved to Mansfeld; there he preached in the open because Mohra did not have a church; Luther stayed with his uncle.
May 4: Luther and 2 companions were surprised by 4 or 5 horsemen who kidnapped Luther. [Luther may have known about the plan to kidnap him.] The horsemen took Luther to Wartburg, Frederick's castle. Luther assumed the name "Sir George" and grew a beard.
May 19: Calvin, at age 11, was put in possession of a chaplaincy attached to the altar of La Gesine in the cathedral of Noyon. He received the tonsure, the only sign of membership in a clerical order which Calvin ever attained in the Catholic Church.
Jun 1: Luther's On Confession: Whether the Pope Has the Power to Require It appeared; Luther's response was "no."
Aug: Luther received an essay written by Carlstadt which declared that the vow of celibacy was a sin; Luther announced "[they] will never force a wife on me!"
Aug: Luther advised Melanchthon against Carlstadt's idea that not taking both the bread and wine was a sin.
Sep: Melanchthon and some students participated in the Lord's Supper in which all partook of both the bread and wine.
Oct 20: The professors at Wittenberg announced that the Mass as observed as a sacrifice was idolatry, while withholding the wine from the laity was wrong; Luther advised caution.
Nov 12: 13 Augustinian monks left the order in Wittenberg.
Dec: Pope Leo X died. The newly elected Pope Adrian VI did not arrive in Rome until Aug 1522. This gave Luther's movement room to grow without much hinderance from the Catholic Church.
Dec 2: Luther secretly rode to Wittenberg. Arriving there the next day; he stayed about a week; while there his portrait was painted by Lucas Cranach in the form of a visiting knight. He returned to Wartburg Castle.
Dec 25: The Zwickau Prophets arrived at Wittenberg; they attract much attention and many followers; among their points of contention was that of infant baptism.
Dec 25: Carlstadt led the first "Protestant" Communion Service in which he did not elevate the elements along with giving both elements to the communicants. Later that night mobs interrupted the traditional services at other churches.
1522 Ignatius Loyola, future founder of the Jesuits, after giving up his sword and changing clothes with a beggar, devoted himself to prayer and mortification.
Zwingli offered to give Erasmus Zuric citizenship if he moved there. Erasmus declined and said: "I wish to be a citizen of the world, to belong to everyone, or rather, to be alien to everyone."
One of Magellan's ships completed the first circumnavigation of the earth.
Jan: The German Augustinians met in Wittenberg and announced that all were free to leave if they desired.
Jan 19: Carlstadt, Luther's superior at the University of Wittenberg, married.
Jan 25: The Wittenberg city council, with the direction of Carlstadt, declared that all monies for charitable purposes would be placed in the public chest for the poor and that begging would no longer be allowed, even by those of mendicant orders.
Feb 6: Grebel was married to a woman named Barbara by Heinrich Engelhart, parish priest of the Fraumunster.
Mar 6: Christopher Froschauer served sausages instead of fish during Lent, in violation of Catholic tradition; Zwingli was present but did not eat.
Mar 6: Luther arrived in Wittenberg to stay. While at the Wartburg, Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German.
Mar 9: Luther preached in Wittenberg for the first time since his "kidnapping."
Aug: Adrian (or Hadrian) VI, Pope from 1522-1523 The continued confusion within the papacy allows the the Reformation movement to grow.
1523 Thomas Munzer organized the first church services in German.
Clement VII, Pope from 1523-1534. More confusion within the papacy allows the Reformation movement to grow.
The first of Luther's followers were executed: two Augustinians were burned at the stake in Brussels.
Luther had become so popular that at one point he had to announce from the pulpit: "For the sake of Christ I beg all who are down there committing my sermons to paper or memory not to print them until they have my own draft."
William Tyndale moved to London to seek help in translating the Bible into English. The Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall turned him down.
Jan 29: Zwingli successfully defended "67 Theses" against Johann Faber in front of an audience of 600.
Katherina von Bora contacted Luther to help her and other nuns escape from their convent. Note: by this time, monks and nuns came to Luther for help in finding mates.
Apr 4: Luther sent a merchant with barrels of herring to the convent where Katherina and other nuns stayed. Katharina von Bora and a small group of nuns hid in the barrels and were able to escape and fled to Wittenberg.
Aug 5: Gerard Calvin sent his son, John, away from Noyon on this date or soon after in order to escape a plague affecting the city. Many scholars believe John Calvin went to the University of Paris. John was 14 years old.
Aug 8: Jean Valliere was burned alive in Paris for reading and commenting on Luther's writings.
Oct: Disputation in Zurich. After the Disputation, Grebel, Manz, et al. became increasingly dissatisfied with Zwingli.
Dec 18: Grebel wrote to his brother that he is dissatisfied with Zwingli and the pace of the Reformation in Zurich.
Dec 25: The date Zwingli had planned to abolish the Mass, but he relented.
1524 Blaurock arrived in Zurich
After receiving no help with his English translation while in England, Tyndale moved to Hamburg; he never returned to England.
Peasants' War, to 1526.
Apr 2: Zwingli publicly married Anna Meyer in the cathedral in Zurich.
May: Erasmus received a letter from Luther.
Sep 5: Conrad Grebel wrote a letter to Thomas Munzer; Manz also signed it.
Nov 16: In a letter to Matthaus Alber on this date, Zwingli explained his symbolic understanding of the elements of the Lord's Supper.
Dec 13: Sometime between the 13th and the 28th, Manz penned a defense of believer's baptism for the Small and Large Councils in Zurich.
1525 Grebel wrote to Luther and Munzer.
Disputation in Zurich.
Munzer is captured during the Peasants' War at the Battle of Frankenhausen and executed.
William Tyndale might have traveled to Wittenberg to work on his English translation of the NT. It is not known if he met Luther.
Jan 21: A number of men gather at the home of Manz; Grebel baptized Blaurock. This was the first Believer's Baptism of the Reformation period; the baptism was performed by pouring.
Jan 29: Blaurock, in the village of Zollikon, refused to allow a priest to preach; he gave the sermon himself.
Jan 30: Blaurock, Manz, and 24 people who had been baptized in Zollikon were arrested and placed in a monastery in Zurich; they were soon released.
Feb: Manz and Blaurock traveled door-to-door explaining the new view of the Gospel along with baptizing and performing Communion.
Mar 13: Luther and Katie (Katherine von Bora; see Apr 1523) were betrothed.
Mar 16: Blaurock and 19 others were arrested; Blaurock and his wife were banished from the canton.
Apr: Grebel returned to Zurich at the end of the month and went into hiding until June.
Apr: Hubmaier, after being baptized, baptized over 300 people, using a milk pail.
Apr 9: Grebel baptized a large number of people from St. Gall in the Sitter River.
May 5: Frederick died; he is succeeded by Elector John.
May 28: Zwingli's "On Baptism, Anabaptism, and Infant Baptism" is printed; it attacked the Anabaptist view of baptism.
May 29: Eberli Bolt, the first Anabaptist known to have been martyred, was burned at the stake in Schwyz, Switzerland.
Jun 13: Luther and Katherina von Bora (or Katie) married. While reluctant at first to get married, Luther wrote, "his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, and the devils to weep."
Jul: Hubmaier responded to Zwingli's attack (see 1525 May 28) with "The Christian Baptism of Believers."
Oct 8: Grebel and Blaurock were arrested and held in the Grueningen Castle.
Oct 31: Manz was arrested and joined Grebel and Blaurock.
Nov 5: Zwingli responded to Hubmaier's refutation (see 1525 Jul) with "A True, Thorough Reply to Dr. Baltasar's Little Book of Baptism."
Nov 18: Due to their Anabaptist beliefs, Grebel, Manz, and Blaurock were condemned to a diet of bread and water with no visitors.
Dec: Luther's "On the Bondage of the Will" appeared.
1526 Luther's books were burned in England.
William Tyndale published the New Testament in English in Worms. In October Bishop Tunstall in London condemned the book and ordered copies to be burned in public.
Hubmaier responded to Zwingli (see 1525 Nov 5) with A Dialogue between . . . Hubmaier . . . and . . . Zwingli . . . on Infant Baptism.
Feb: The first part of Erasmus' Hyperaspistes ("shield-bearer" or "defender") appeared, which attacked the first part of Luther's The Bondage of the Will.
Mar: Charles pronounced that all religious innovations would be halted and that the proceedings of the Diet of Worms would be honored.
Mar 5: Second trial for Grebel.
Mar 7: A sentence of life imprisonment was given to all the jailed Anabaptists. A new law was passed giving a sentence of death to any Anabaptist who baptized another.
Apr: Perhaps during this month Grebel died from the plague.
Apr 4: Manz might have baptized a woman at Embrach.
Jun: First Diet of Speyer began; the decision was reached that each prince would decide the ecclesiastical nature and order of his region; Charles' announcements of March 1526 were disregarded.
Jun 7: Luther's first child, Han, was born; Hans became a lawyer and later a government official; Luther sometimes washed the diapers and, noting that his neighbors laughed at him, said, "Let them laugh. God and the angels are smiling in Heaven."
Oct 12: Manz was arrested again in St. Gall, but was soon released.
Dec: Manz and Blaurock arrested; this was to be Manz' last imprisonment.
Dec 5: Hubmaier fled to Zurich were he and his wife are arrested. After being placed in jail, Hubmaier was tortured to the point of making the required recantation. (See 1526 Dec 29)
Dec 29: Hubmaier, who was supposed to give a recantation before the Zurich city council, instead gave a defense; Zwingli silenced him and he returned to prison.
1527 Luther is sick several times.
Luther's first daughter, Elizabeth was born; she died at 8 months of age.
The Spanish and German armies sacked Rome and captured Pope Clement VII.
Probably early in the year, Hubmaier fled to Nikolsburg, Moravia; he resumed preaching and within a year 6000 were baptized.
Zwingli published a refutation of Grebel's tract on baptism (which is not extant) and the Schleitheim Confession, entitled Refutation of the Tricks of the [Ana]Baptists.
Sometime in this year or the next, Calvin's father withdrew him from school in Paris so he could study law at Orleans.
Jan 5: George Blaurock was severely beaten with rods. Manz was sentenced to die and was drowned at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Feb: Sattler penned the "Schleitheim Confession."
Apr 22: Luther became dizzy and fainted.
May: Henry VIII moved on his plans to divorce Catherine by secretly gathering bishops and lawyers so they could sign a declaration that Henry and Catherine's marriage was invalid on the grounds that she was was married to Henry's brother, Arthur. Note: Henry believed that Catherine had failed to give birth to a son because of the condemnation addressed in Leviticus 20:21: "If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless." Henry understood "childless" as "sonless" since Catherine had given birth to a daughter, Mary.
May 20: Sattler, an Anabaptist leader, was executed by burning after being tortured.
May 28: Sattler's wife was drowned in the Neckar. Ferdinand, the Catholic king of Austria, had pronounced that the third baptism (drowning) was the best medicine against the Anabaptists.
Jul 6: Luther is so certain that he was getting ready to die from being sick that he called in Katie and several friends.
Aug: The Plague came to Wittenberg; Luther and Katie stayed and cared for the sick; during this time Luther penned "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," both the words and music.
Aug 28: Hubmaier was arrested and held until Mar 1528.
Sep 27: Calvin was given the ecclesiastical holding of the benefice of the pastorate of Saint-Martin de Martheville. This meant that he received a small stipend from the Catholic Church. Soon afterward his father advised him to switch his concentration from theology to law. Calvin agreed and moved to Orleans at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
1528 In Basel, the city magistrates removed images from the churches and replaced the Eucharist with the Lord's Supper.
Calvin completed the equivalent of undergraduate study under the Faculty of Arts.
Ignatius of Loyola began studies at the College Montaigu. Calvin was also there, but no record exists of any encounter they might have had.
Jan: Zwingli successfully defended 10 theses in Berne ("Berne Theses"); Berne became Protestant
Mar 3: Hubmaier taken to Vienna and tortured again on the rack; this time he did not recant.
Mar 10: Hubmaier burned at the stake; the Catholic authorities burned all of his writings that they could locate.
Mar 13: Hubmaier's wife drowned in the Danube.
Nov 30: Charles calls the Diet of Speyer after receiving a request from the Pope.
1529 Thomas More was appointed Lord Chancellor of England.
Luther's second daughter, Magdalena, was born; she died at age 13.
Calvin's conversion probably occurred sometime between 1529-1531. Calvin only said that it was a sudden experience.
In mid-1529 Blaurock became pastor of an Anabaptist Church in Austria.
Wolsey was dismissed by Henry because he was not able to arrange the pope's approval of Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
The Muslim Turks attempted unsuccessfully to lay siege to Vienna.
Feb: Riots break out in Basel and some Protestants are installed as councilors, forcing out some Catholics.
Feb 21: Second Diet of Speyer began; Melanchthon was present; controlled by Catholics; legislation passed to end toleration of Lutherans in Catholic areas; from this Diet dates the common use of the term "Protestants."
Apr: Luther's "Concerning War against the Turks" is published.
Apr 30: Calvin relinquished his claim to the altar of La Gesine, giving it to his brother, Antoine.
May: Luther's "Small Catechism" published; Luther referred to this work with a term Erasmus had earlier used for one of his own writings, "Enchiridion" or "Small Dagger."
Jun 21: English trial for the validation of the marriage of Henry and Catherine. [Henry sought to invalidate the marriage.] During the trial Catherine bowed at the King's feet and begged him to allow her to appeal to Rome.
Aug 14: Blaurock was arrested by Innsbruck authorities and tortured.
Sep 6: Blaurock was burned at the stake near Klausen.
Oct 1: Colloquy of Marburg began; Luther & Melanchthon represented the Lutheran view while Zwingli, Bucer, and Oecolampadius represented the Swiss view; 14 of the 15 Marburg Articles were mutually agreed upon, but dissent occurred over the issue of communion.
1530 Tyndale published an English language Pentateuch. He also wrote letter opposing Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Henry asked Charles V to have Tyndale arrested and returned to England; Charles V denied the request.
Apr 3: Luther et al. left to meet Elector John and ultimately to travel to the Diet of Augsburg; Luther did not attend the Diet, instead staying at the Coburg for 5 months.
Apr 8: Diet of Augsburg began.
Jun 5: Luther learned that his father had died a week earlier.
Jun 25: The Confession of Augsburg was presented to Charles.
Oct: The Protestant princes agreed to resist the Catholics if they attacked.
Oct: Calvin returned to Orleans.
Nov 19: Charles pronounced opposition to the Confession of Augsburg.
Nov 29: Wolsey died.
Dec: The Protestant forces began meetings at Schmalkalden which would eventually led to an alliance against the Catholic regions and the emperor.
1531 The Confession of Augsburg was published.
As early as 1531, William Barlow, an English student of the continental Anabaptist movement, referred to it as "the thyrd faccyon" of the Reformation.
By this time Luther was surrounded by people during all his waking hours and his idle talk around the meal table was recorded; it was later published as Table Talk.
Luther's second son, Martin was born. He studied theology but never became a pastor. He died at the age of 33.
Feb 27: The Schmalkaldic League was formed.
Mar: Luther wrote, "I am seriously declining in strength, especially in the head. It hinders me from writing, reading, or speaking much, and I am living like a sick man."
Mar: Calvin returned to Paris. He heard his father was sick and so left for Noyons.
May 26: Calvin's father died. He had been excommunicated two years earlier, but Calvin's older brother, Charles, arranged for their father to have a church burial. Afterwards, Calvin returned to Paris.
Oct: The Five Forest Cantons (Lucerne, Zug, Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden) attacked Zurich.
Oct 11: Zwingli, as chaplain and carrying the banner, was killed in battle against the Five Forest Cantons at Cappel. Luther, upon hearing of Zwingli's death, said, "I sorrow for Zwingli, because I have little hope for him."
1532 Muslim Turks invaded Hungary but were defeated.
More resigned over the issue of Henry VIII's divorce.
Lutheran pamphlets and placards began to circulate in Geneva.
Jan: Luther's "On Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers" is published; it warned "true Christians" about the "heresy" of Anabaptism.
Feb 4: Elector John gave Luther the Augustinian Cloister he and his family had been living in in Wittenberg, plus the lands attached to it.
Apr: Luther gave up public preaching for 8 weeks because of dizziness.
Apr: Luther purchased a large garden with fruit trees which he gave to Katie; the garden was called "The Sow Market" and so Luther nicknamed his wife "Madame Sow Marketer."
Apr 4: Calvin's commentary on Seneca's "De Clementia" appeared; Calvin was 22 years old. The work did not sell well and, subsequently, Calvin had to borrow money from friends.
May: Calvin is in Orleans from this month through to the next summer.
May: Charles needed help to fight the Turks and so conditions for religious peace in northern Europe were sought at a meeting in Schweinfurt.
Jul: An open sore developed on Luther's leg, which bothered him the rest of his life (both the sore and the treatment of the doctor).
Jul 23: Protestant rulers agreed to give aid for the purpose of defending against the Turks if they are granted religious toleration.
Aug: Cranmer became Archbishop of Canterbury.
Aug: In return for financial help against the Turks, Charles V gave the princes absolute religious freedom until a church council could address the issue and all lawsuits against the princes in the imperial court were dismissed.
Aug 18: Luther preached the funeral sermon at Elector John's funeral; Elector John's successor was a 29-year old John Frederick who had been raised as follower of Luther.
Oct: As early as this date, Farel, living in Bern, began trying to introduce the Reformation into Geneva.
Nov 14: Henry VIII, married Anne Boleyn, his second wife, in private.
Dec: Anne Boleyn was pregnant.
1533 Pizarro conquered Peru by capturing the Inca capital, Cuzco.
Jan van Leyden and other Anabaptists took over Munster, until 1535.
Feb 26: This day was Ash Wednesday. During Lent in this year, pro-Lutheran Gerard Roussel preached in Paris. Lutherans was still not widely accepted in Paris.
Mar 29: Six professors of the Faculty of Theology in Paris were instructed to preach against Lutherans (probably in reaction to the favorable reaction to Roussel, Feb 26 above.)
Apr 10: Garin Muete first perfomed holy communion guided by Farel's instructions in Geneva. The Catholic city of Fribourg demanded Farel be expelled. The reforming city of Berne sent Viret to Geneva in order to aid Farel.
May 23: Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine of Aragon invalid.
May 28: Henry married Anne Boleyn publicly.
Jun 1: Anne Boleyn crowned Queen of England.
Jul 11: Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry VIII.
Sep 7: Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, born.
Nov 1: Nicolas Cop gave a speech as Rector of the University which was seen as too reforming. He and Calvin were eyed as potential problems.
Nov: Calvin left Paris for Angouleme. Within hours of Calvin's departure, police searched his rooms and took all the writings he left; these have never been recovered. At the end of this year or the beginning of the next, Calvin traveled to Saintonge (in the South of France). He used the pseudonym Charles d'Espeville.
Dec 10: The King of France asked for strict suppression of "the Lutheran sect." Many of Lutherans were thrown in prison. Nicholas Cop fled to Basel.
1534 Luther's third daughter, Margaretha, was born; she eventually married a nobleman.
Luther's complete German Bible was published.
Sometime during this year, Calvin and Servetus agreed to meet; Servetus failed to go.
Farel became a minister in Geneva.
The Act of Supremacy wass passed; everyone must swear allegiance to Henry as head of the Church of England.
Ignatius Loyola laid the foundations of the Society of Jesus when he and 6 others vowed poverty, chastity, and a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Jan 5: Anabaptists peacefully took over the town of Munster (via elections and immigration of Anabaptists) from Lutherans. They were soon attacked.
Jan 27: The Geneva council began a disputation between a Catholic theologian and the reforming party exemplified by Farel. While it did not go on as scheduled and soon was abandoned, it was seen as a victory for the reformers.
Mar 1: Reforming preachers occupied a church in Geneva.
May 4: Calvin resigned the chaplaincy of La Gesine (in effect, he resigned his benefices); this may have been a theological as well as monetary break from the Catholic Church. It was customary at the age of 25 to either enter into service to the church in some capacity or resign the benefices. Also, during this month, Calvin returned briefly to Paris.
May 15: The Catholic city of Fribourg withdrew its alliance with Geneva.
Apr: The leader of the Anabaptists in Munster, Jan Matthys, was killed after a battle.
Oct 13: Paul III became Pope, to 1549. He would have 3 sons and a daughter.
Oct 18: "Affair of the Placards". Placards denouncing the Eucharist were placed in prominent places throughout France, including one on the king's bedchamber at Amboise. The Protestant movement in France became more dangerous.
Oct: Calvin left France and, traveling through Strasbourg, arrived in Basle in Jan 1535. Basle had become a safe haven for "evangelicals."
1535 Thomas More was beheaded because he did not support Henry VIII's actions.
Erasmus was secretly offered the cardinal's hat by Pope Paul III but declined.
Tyndale was arrested.
Coverdale published the first complete English-language Bible (while on the Continent); it was dedicated to the king.
Feb 16: Calvin's friend and fellow Protestant, Etienne de la Forge, was burned alive in France.
Jun 4: A French translation of the Bible by Olivetanus was published. He was a cousin of John Calvin. Calvin wrote the foreword in Latin.
Jul 16: The Edict of Coucy allowed religious fugitives to return to France, provided they renounce their Protestant beliefs within six months. Calvin took advantage of this opportunity to go to France and arranged his affairs the next year.
Aug 10: The Council of Two Hundred in Geneva abolished the Catholic mass.
Aug 22: The bishop of Geneva excommunicated the entire population of Geneva. All Catholic clergy and religious soon left the city. The City Council assumed control of Church lands.
Aug 23: By this date, the "Institutes" was complete (in its first form). Calvin began the work with a letter addressed to French King Francis I, using this date. After correcting the proofs, Calvin left for Ferrara, Italy.
Nov 26: The Geneva City Council opened a public mint. The slogan on the new coins: "post tenebras lux," "after the shadows, light."
1536 The Dissolution of the Smaller Monasteries was passed. Cromwell directed the suppression of monasteries.
Jan 7: Catherine of Aragon died.
Jan 29: Catherine of Aragon buried. In a strange turn of events, Anne Boleyn miscarried on the same day.
Feb: Calvin met Heinrich Bullinger in Basel.
Feb: Calvin, using his old pseudonym of Charles d'Espeville, traveled to Italy. He stayed several weeks in Ferrara.
Mar: Calvin's first edition of "Institutes of the Christian Religion" was published by Basel printers Thomas Platter and Balthasar Lasius. It was printed in Latin.
Spring: Calvin returned to Basel. Once there, he took advantage of a amnesty in France (given to allow heretics to renounce their incorrect beliefs) to travel to Paris. Once he left, his brother Antoine and sister Marie accompanied him.
May 19: Anne Boleyn beheaded. Henry VIII then married Jane Seymour.
May 25: The citizens of Geneva voted to "live henceforth according to the law of the gospel and the word of God, and to abolish all papal abuses."
Jul 12: Erasmus died in Basel.
Jul 15: Calvin left France for Strasbourg. The most direct route would bring Calvin close to troops fighting between Francis I and the Emperor, so he decided to use a more circuitous route through Geneva. His brother Antoine and sister Marie accompanied him. (His siblings eventually settled in Geneva with him.)
Aug: Calvin spent the night in Geneva. He intended to stay only one night, but he was recognized by an old friend, De Tillet, who informed Feral; a meeting with Farel changed his plans. Their meeting is here given in its entirety. "Nobody there knew that I was its [the Institutes] author. Here, as everywhere, I made no mention of the fact, and intended to continue doing the same until finally Guillaume Farel kept me at Geneva, not as much by advice and argument, as by a dreadful curse, as if God had laid his hand upon me from heaven to stop me. I had intended to go on to Strasbourg' the most direct road, however, was closed by the wars. I decided to pass through Geneva briefly, without spending more than one night in the town. A little while previously, popery had been driven out by the good many I have mentioned, and by Pierre Viret. Things, however, were still far from settled, and there were divisions and serious and dangerous factions among the inhabitants of the town. Then someone, who has now wickedly rebelled and returned to the papists, discovered me and made it known to others. Upon this Farel (who burned with a marvelous zeal to advance the gospel) went out of his way to keep me. And after having heard that I had several private studies for which I wished to keep myself free, and finding that he got nowhere with his requests, he gave vent to an imprecation, that it might please God to curse my leisure and the peace for study that I was looking for, if I went away and refused to give them support and help in a situation of such great need. These words so shocked and moved me, that I gave up the journey I had intended to make." Calvin continued to Basel for a short stay and then returned to Geneva.
Sep 5: Calvin began as a lecturer at Saint Pierre Cathedral in Geneva; his text: the Pauline epistles. Soon afterward he began duties as a minister. [A wooden chair he used is still located in the church.]
Oct 6: Tyndale is strangled and burned.
1537 Matthew's Bible was published; it consisted mainly of translations by Tyndale and did have Henry VIII's approval. Note: Tyndale did translate the entire New Testament, but only about half of the Old Testament.
Loyola and 6 others went to Rome.
Eck published a German-dialect version of the Bible for Catholic use.
Schmalkaldic Articles; Melanchthon was one of the signers.
John Calvin's older brother, Charles, died.
Calvin wrote Instruction in the Faith, his first Catechism.
Jan: Luther almost died of a kidneystone.
Jan: Calvin and Farel drew up plans for church organization; it did not contain provision for a Consistory. Calvin apparently developed this idea during his hiatus from Geneva, because it appeared in 1542.
Early: Four new syndics were elected in Geneva, all pro-Farel and Calvin.
Oct 12: The future Edward VI was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
Oct 24: Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife, died. Note: After Henry VIII died, his body was placed beside her in St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
1538 Feb 3: Four new syndics were elected in Geneva, all anti-Farel and Calvin.
Apr 21: Easter Day. Sometime soon after this date Farel and Calvin were expelled from Geneva. Calvin subsequently went to Strasbourg until September 1541.
May: Luther recommended that the Protestant princes yield to Charles V's request for aid in defeating the Turks.
1539 Truce of Frankfurt between Charles V and the Protestant princes.
"The Dissolution of the Greater Monasteries" was passed in England.
Calvin's second edition of the Institutes was published; it had increased from 6 chapters in 1536 to 19 chapters.
May 19: In a letter to Farel, and discussing a possible future wife for himself, Calvin wrote: "Always keep in mind what I seek to find in her; for I am none of these insane levers who embrace also the vices of those they are in love with, where they are smitten at first sight with a fine figure. This only is the beauty which allures me, if she is chaste, if not too nice or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she will not be uninterested bout my health."
Jun: The English "Six Articles" (against Lutheranism) were adopted.
1540 Sometime after this year, Coverdale returned to England.
Cromwell was beheaded after being charged with treason.
Pope Paul III officially recognized the Society of Jesus.
Servetus moved to Vienne in Dauphiny, France, where one of his friends was an archbishop. In later years he tried to draw Calvin into debates, but Calvin refused. Finally he sent Calvin a copy of the "Institutes" with insulting comments in the margins.
Jan 6: Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves married; she was his fourth wife. The marriage was never consummated because Henry was repulsed by her.
Jun: Emperor Charles V brought together opposing Christian parties in an attempt to mediate peace between them. The first was held at Hagenau in this month. Calvin attended; he was living in Strasburg at that time.
Jul 10-11: Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves divorced. She agreed to change her status to Henry's "sister" in return for 4,000 pounds a year plus two residences.
Jul 28: Henry VIII married Catherine Howard.
Aug: Calvin married Idelette de Bure.
Nov: Emperor Charles V brought together opposing Christian parties in an attempt to mediate peace between them. The second was held in Worms in this month. Calvin attended; he was living in Strasburg at that time. While there Calvin received an invitation from Geneva to return. He wrote, "Rather would I submit to death 100 times than to that cross on which I had to perish daily a thousand times over." He also added that he was willing to return if it was God's will.
De Soto "discovered" the Mississippi River.
The Protestant princes agreed to levy a special tax for the purpose of defeating the Muslim Turks; Elector John paid Luther's tax himself.
Muslim Turks conquered Hungary.
A French translation of Calvin's Institutes was published.
Calvin's Short Treatise of the Lord's Supper was published.
Apr 5: Emperor Charles V brought together opposing Christian parties in an attempt to mediate peace between them. The third and final meeting was held in Ratisbon in this month. Calvin attended; he was living in Strasburg at that time.
Aug: Farel desired for Calvin's return to Geneva. Calvin finally agreed, and in a letter to Farel dated this month, wrote: "As to my intended course of proceeding, this is my present feeling; had I the choice at my own disposal, nothing would be less agreeable to me than to follow your advice [and return to Geneva]. But when I remember that I am not my own, I offer up my heart, a slain victim for a sacrifice to the Lord . . . I submit my will and affections subdued and held fast to the obedience of God."
Sep: Luther's An Admonition to Pray against the Turks appeared.
Sep 13: Calvin arrived in Geneva. He was given the status of Habitant. He was not a citizen and could not vote or hold public office. His status was unchanged until 1559 when, on December 25, he was made bourgeois, although not a full citizen. Therefore, Calvin was never a full citizen in the town so closely associated with his name.
Late: Calvin wrote the Ecclesiastical Ordinances. In it, he established the Consistory.
Dec: Elector John gave Luther 1000 gulden: 5% was paid to Luther annually and the remainder was to be given to his heirs at his death.
1542 Luther's daughter, Magdalena, died.
The Consistory in Geneva was instituted. It initially had nine members, but grew to nineteen by 1564.
Pope Paul III reestablished the Inquisition; the future Paul IV was given the task of reorganizing it.
Feb 13: Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, beheaded.
Mar: Luther wrote Elector John: "If I were not too old and weak, I would prefer personally to be part of the army" against the Turks.
Jul 1: The Parliament in Paris declared that all works of heresy should be turned over in three days, including Calvin's Institutes.
1543 Eck died.
A detailed description of Copernicus' theory was published; it was placed on the Index in 1616 and removed in 1757.
Copernicus died.
Calvin's third Latin edition of Institutes was published. It expanded to 21 chapters.
Jul 12: Henry VIII and Catherine Parr married.
1544 Emperor Charles V was able to break up the Schmalkaldic League.
1545 Luther's Against the Papacy at Rome, Founded by the Devil appeared.
A second French edition of Calvin's "Institutes" was published.
Upon hearing that Waldensians were being persecuted in some Swiss cantons, Calvin traveled there and organized relief and shelter for the refugees.
Oct: On the way to Wittenberg from his travels, Luther stopped by Eisleben, where he had been born, in order to investigate a small regional argument which involved his extended family.
Nov: Back in Wittenberg, Luther ended his university teaching career by finishing Genesis; he stated, "Here is the beloved book of Genesis. May God give grace that others after me do better. I can do no more, for I am too weak."
Dec 13: The Council of Trent officially began.
Dec 22: Luther, Melanchthon et al. left for Mansfeld in order to help negotiate the family problem in his birth region; they had to turn back because Melanchthon became ill.
1546 Jan 23: Luther, with his sons, left for Eisleben; they had to pause at Halle because the river flooded. Once they crossed Luther's sons went back to Wittenberg.
Feb 18: Luther died; in his pocket was found a piece of paper which read, in part, "This is true, we are all beggers."
Feb 20: Luther's body began the trip to Wittenberg.
Feb 22: Luther's body was brought into Wittenberg in the morning. Rigor mortis had set in and his right hand had curled into the position of holding a pen while his left hand was flat out as if holding down a book. He was buried in the church in Wittenberg.
1547 A note was found attached to Calvin's pulpit which read: "You and yours shall gain little by your measures; if you do not take yourself away, no one will save you from destruction, you shall curse the hour when you forsook your monkhood. Warning should have been given before that the devil and his legions were come here to ruin everything. But though we have been patient for a time, revenge will be had at last. Defend yourself or you will share the fate of Verle of Freiburg. We do not wish to have so many masters here. Mark well what I say." The author was later discovered to be Jacques Gruet. A letter to the king of France was discovered in his house and he was executed because of treason [not because of his threat to Calvin]. Yet this incident is indicative of the oppostion Calvin faced in Geneva.
The Chambre Ardente was established in France. Its purpose was to hunt down, torture, and kill Protestants.
Jan 28: Henry VIII died and Edward VI became King of England until 1553; the Duke of Somerset acted as Protector. Calvin sent an envoy, along with a copy of his new commentary to Isaiah, which he had dedicated to the new king.
Apr: Charles V was victorious over the Schmalkalden League at the Battle of Muhlberg. He made a trip to the Castle Church in Wittenberg; some around him encouraged him to have Luther's body dug up, burned, and the ashes scattered but Charles replied that he did not make war against dead men. Katie, Luther's wife, was forced to flee and all her property was destroyed.
1548 Charles V annexed the Netherlands.
Sep 5: Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife, died after giving birth to a girl, Mary. The father was Catherine's second husband (after Henry), an uncle of the new king, Edward VI.
1549 The "First Prayer Book of Edward VI" is printed.
John Knox spent five years in England from 1549-1554 during which time he preached sermons in London and had contact with Archbishop Cranmer.
Francis Xavier was in Japan until 1551.
Mar: Calvin's wife, Idelette, died, leaving him with two children from her first marriage. The Calvin family doctor, Benedict Textor, had accepted no payment for any of Idelette's illnesses; Calvin thanked him by dedicating his commentary on Second Thessalonians to him.
1550 Julius III, Pope from 1550-1555
Calvin's fifth Latin edition of the Institutes was published. It divided the twenty-one chapters into paragraphs.
1551 The Second Period of the Council of Trent lasted from 1551-1552
Robert Stephanus published a New Testament in Geneva in which he arranged the chapters into verses; this arrangement is used in all Bibles today.
Calvin's third French edition of the Institutes was published.
1552 The "Second Prayer Book of Edward VI" was printed (Second BCP).
Katie Luther returned to Wittenberg but was forced to flee due to an outbreak of the plague.
Dec 20: Katie Luther was riding in a wagon which tipped over, throwing her into a canal; she died.
1553 Servetus published a "Restitutio" in contradistinction against Calvin's "Intistutes" in Vienne in Dauphiny, France.
Sometime after this date, Coverdale left England.
Edward VI died. Mary became Queen of England. Calvin sent an envoy along with a copy of a new edition of his commentary to Isaiah, which he dedicated to the new queen. In the dedication, Calvin wrote that he hoped she would "restore the doctrine of true godliness . . . to its former privileges," meaning before the reign of Mary. Unfortunately for Calvin, Knox had just published First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women against female rulers. To make matters worse for Calvin, this work was published in Geneva, although Calvin was not aware of it. Therefore, Calvin's volume did not reach the queen.
Mary's "Act of Repeal" restored Catholic services in lieu of the BCP.
Pope Julius III sent Cardinal Pole to England after the death of Edward VI.
May: Five French students, after being trained in Lausanne in Protestant doctrines and returning to France to preach, were executed. Prior to their execution, they wrote a letter to Calvin and the pastors of Geneva; it reads in part: "Very dear brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ, since you have been informed of our captivity and of the fury which drives our enemies to persecute and afflict us, we felt it would be good to let you know of the liberty of our spirit and of the wonderful assistance and consolation which our good Father and Savior gives us in these dark prison cells, so that you may participate not only in our consolation . . . For this reason we want you to know that although our body is confined here between four walls, yet our spirit has never been so free and so comforted."
Jul 24: Calvin's position in Geneva had deteriorated to the point where he submitted his resignation; it was refused.
Aug 12: Servetus arrived in Geneva.
Aug 13: Servetus was arrested.
Oct 25: Servetus was condemned to death. An entry from the registry of the Venerable Company of Pastors in Geneva reads: "Their Lordships, having received the opinion of the churches of Basle, Berne, Zurich and Schaffhausen upon the Servetus affair, condemned the said Servetus to be led to Champey and there to be burned alive." Geneva had requested opinions from other cities, and so they are listed in the official document. Calvin tried to change the sentence to beheading, but was unsuccessful.
Oct 27: Servetus was burned.
1554 Nov 25: In a letter to Bullinger after Luther had attacked Bullinger, Calvin wrote, "I do earnestly desire that you would consider how eminent a man Luther is, and the excellent endowments wherewith he is gifted, with what strength of mind and resolute constancy, with how great skill . . . he has hitherto devoted his whole energy to overthow the reign of Antichrist, and at the same time to diffuse far and near the doctrine of salvation. Often have I been wont to declare, that even though he were to call me a devil, I should still not the less hold him in such honor that I must acknowledge him to be an illustrious servant of God. . . . Flatterers have done him much mischief since he is naturally too prone to be over-indulgent to himself. It is our part, however, so to reprove whatseover bad qualities may beset him as that we may make some allowance for him at the same time. . . . Consider . .. that you have to do with a most distinguished servant of Christ, to whom we are all of us largely indebted."
1555 French Protestant congregations were established after the Geneva pattern, often with pastors sent from Geneva. One congregation was located in Paris.
Marcellus II, Pope for less than one year.
Paul IV, pope until 1559.
1556 Aug: Two pastors were sent from Geneva to accompany a French Protestant group to South America where they could worship in peace and evangelize South American Indians. The Governor of the colony, though, killed some and forced the others to return home.
Aug 20: From the Genevan Register of the Council on this date: "M Calvin being entreated to repair to Frankfort, to try to appease great trouble which as arisen in the Church in the said city, demands leave of absence from the council in order to go there, which is granted to him with a request that he will return as soon as possible."
Loyola died.
1557 The Index was created under the pontificate of Pius IV and under the auspices of the Congregation of the Inquisition.
Jul 16: Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, died.
1558 Charles V died.
May: [An example of Calvin's correspondence.] In a letter to a Protestant awaiting execution in Lyons, Calvin wrote: "My dear and beloved brother, if, free from fear and anxiety, I should animate you and your brethren in office to endure the strife which awaits you, my language would be rightly be considered cold, and even disagreeable. Distressed, however, as I am on account of your danger, and trembling as I do while exhorting you to perseverance and trust, this letter, which is a living image of my heart, and shows all its inward emotions, will speak to you no less clearly than I could myself were I present, and a partaker in your troubles. And certainly, if the worst should happen, it would be my wish to be united with you in death rather than to survive you."
Knox is again in Geneva and consults with Calvin on church matters in Scotland.
Jan: A committee was established in Geneva for the formation of an Academy. Theodore Beza, who would later take on Calvin's mantel of leadership upon Calvin's death, was the first Rector.
Nov 17: Mary I, Queen of England, died. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen, until 1603.
1559 All of Erasmus' works are placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.
By this year, seventy-two Reforming congregations had been established in France. Eighty-eight men were sent out from Geneva between 1555 and 1562. Also in this year occurred a General Synod of the Reformed Church in Paris: results of this Synod included a confession of faith and book of discipline (both influenced by Calvin's thought).
Pope Paul IV died. Pius IV, Pope from 1559-1565.
Calvin's fifth and final edition of the Institutes was published. He reordered the 1551 edition into 4 books with 80 chapters.
Jun 5: Beza gave the inaugural address at the the new Geneva Academy.
1560 Melanchthon died; he was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg. (Luther was also buried there.)
Oct 10: Jacobus Arminius was born at Oudewater in Rotterdam.
1561 Calvin's Institutes was published in English for the first time. It would be eleven more years before it was published in German.
1562 The Third Period of the Council of Trent lasted from 1562-3.
Mar 1: Soldiers under the Duke of Guise (French) massacred a Protestant congregation at Vassey.
1564 Pius IV allowed the laity to partake of the chalice, a move intended to counter the spread of Protestantism; later popes abolished this move.
William Shakespeare born.
Michelangelo died.
Galileo Galilei born.
Jan 26: The decrees of the Council of Trent were confirmed.
Feb 6: Calvin preaches for the last time from the pulpit of Saint-Pierre.
Apr: Calvin found breathing difficult.
Apr 28: Calvin spoke for the last time to the Genevan ministers.
May 27: Calvin died in Geneva at 8 PM; he was buried in an unmarked grave per his instructions. In the minutes from the Genevan Council after his death is the following record: "As for the late M. Calvin . . . God had implanted so many graces in him, and had invested him with such authority towards the people, thereby enabling each one of us the better to discharge the duties of his ministry, that, had we been bound to make a choice every year, we could not have considered any other member of the company."
1566 Pius V, Pope from 1566-1572. He declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church
1568 Coverdale died.
1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I.
1571 Pius V created a Congregation of the Index to revise the Index as needed; the Index was abolished in 1966.
1572 Gregory XIII, Pope from 1572-1585.
Calvin's Institutes were published in German for the first time.
Aug 24: St. Bartholomew's Day, when, over the next couple of days, up to 20,000 Huguenots were killed in France.
Nov 24: Knox died in Scotland
1576 Arminius returned to his home following his father's death, after living with Rudolphus Snellius, a professor in Marburg.
Arminius studied theology for 6 years at Leyden.
1582 Use of Gregorian calendar began.
Feb 24: Gregory XIII issued a bull which stated that the day following Oct 4 would be Oct 15, thus correcting a calendar problem which had existed for centuries. The leap year rule is enforced: every 4th year has an extra day, except when the year ends in "00" when it will not be a leap year, except when a year ending in "00" can be divided by 400, in which case it is a leap year.
Arminius completed his studies at Geneva and Basel; while in Geneva he studied under Beza.
1588 Arminius was called by the government of Amsterdam and appointed preacher of the Reformed congregation.
1599 Calvin's Institutes was published in Spanish for the first time.
1602 Arminius began teaching at the University of Leyden.
Elizabeth I died.
1608 Arminius defeated the Calvinist, Franciscus Gomarus, before the supreme court. The two were asked to bear with one another.
1609 Aug: Arminius and Gomarus were summoned before the States of Holland for negotiations.
Oct: Arminius became violently ill and died in Leyden
1610 The Remonstrants, followers of Arminius, presented their position in a document entitled, The Remonstrance.
1618 Nov 13: The Synod of Dort was called to deal with the controversy surrounding the Remonstrants; their teachings were condemned. The Synod produced a document outlining Calvin's thoughts which would become the source of the acronym TULIP. To learn why there are 5 points, go here.

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