The Start of the Polish Jagiellon Dynasty

By Heather R. Darsie, J. D. The Jagiellon Dynasty saw its start with Jogaila Algirdaitis, Grand Duke of Lithuania. It is unknown exactly when Jogaila was born to his parents, Grand Duke Algirdas of Lithuania and Uliana of Tver. Jogaila was likely born sometime between 1352 and 1362. Algirdas, possibly the fifth of seven sons, was quite successful in expanding his portion of the Lithuanian … Continue reading The Start of the Polish Jagiellon Dynasty

Gerardus Mercator: Cartographer and Geographer

by Heather R. Darsie On 2 December 1594, Gerardus Mercator died from complications related to continues strokes. He was 82 years old. Mercator was born in the small town of Rupelmonde, not far from Antwerp, on 5 March 1512 while his parents were visiting Mercator’s uncle, a priest. He was only a few months older than Sybylla of Juelich-Cleves-Berg; his parents being from Gangelt in … Continue reading Gerardus Mercator: Cartographer and Geographer

The Habsburgs in the Medieval and Early Modern Period

by Heather R Darsie, JD The Habsburg family had inauspicious beginnings in the late 10th century. Count Radbot von Klettau, a count, was born at the very end of the 10th century. He built Habsburg Castle in Habsburg, County Aargau, Switzerland in the early 11th century. The precise source for the name “Habsburg” is unknown, either it seems to have come from the German word … Continue reading The Habsburgs in the Medieval and Early Modern Period

Anne Boleyn’s Coronation

by Heather R. Darsie, J.D. Anne Boleyn’s coronation, like those of her predecessors, took into account aspects of her personality and future ideological role. As the first Renaissance English queen, Anne was not only seen as an intercessor between the public and the king, but also as part of Henry VIII’s body politic. This idea was established in the 15th century, most firmly so with … Continue reading Anne Boleyn’s Coronation

Tudor Currency and the Great Debasement: An Overview

by Heather R. Darsie, JD At the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign in 1509, there were three different coins used as currency. The coins and their value were roughly as follows: silver penny, the lowest; a silver groat (worth four pennies/pence); gold angel (worth 120 pence/10 shillings); and gold half-angel (worth 60 pence/10 shillings). The value of these coins remained the same from 1509 to … Continue reading Tudor Currency and the Great Debasement: An Overview

Why Did the Mary Rose Sink?

In 1509, Henry VIII came to the throne when he was not quite eighteen years old. One of Henry’s earlier acts was to order the building of the war-carracks Mary Rose and Henry Grace a Dieu, or Great Henry, in 1510. Mary Rose served Henry VIII for thirty-five years, fighting in numerous battles. On 19 July 1545, Mary Rose sank into the Solent during a battle with the French. There is no one answer as to why she sank, but there are several theories. Continue reading Why Did the Mary Rose Sink?

Iconoclasm in 16th Century Western Europe

by Heather R. Darsie, J.D. The sixteenth century saw massive changes in the spiritual and visual culture of Western Europe. In the first half the sixteenth century, government-sanctioned iconoclasms during the German and English Reformations changed not only how people worshipped, but also what they saw. In the second half of the sixteenth century, religious revolts in France and the Netherlands violently changed the religious … Continue reading Iconoclasm in 16th Century Western Europe

The 13 Siblings of Mary, Queen of Scots

by Heather R. Darsie, J.D. Mary, Queen of Scots had at least a dozen siblings from both her maternal and paternal sides. Mary’s mother, Marie de Guise, had two children during her marriage with the Duke of Longueville before his untimely passing, then had two more children with James V before Mary was born. Mary’s father, James V of Scotland, had at least nine children … Continue reading The 13 Siblings of Mary, Queen of Scots

1520: A Tudor Year in Review

by Heather R. Darsie, J.D. 19 January — King Christian II of Denmark, Christina and Dorothea of Denmark’s father, defeats the Swedes during the Danish invasion of Sweden. Christina of Denmark c. 1533 by Anon. 30 January — Birth of Sir William More, whom Henry VIII elected to Parliament in 1539. More served Elizabeth I in every single one of her parliaments, as well. More … Continue reading 1520: A Tudor Year in Review