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Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.
1475 .. 1499
1475 .. 1499
Please note that the TimeRef website is currently being redesigned.
Edward invades France
The plans of King Edward IV to unseat the King of France led to his invasion of France with a force of 10,000 men. He had been promised assistance from the Dukes of Brittany and Burgundy, and the King of Aragon. Unfortunately the Burgundian army did not turn up due to another conflict and Edward was left without sufficient men to proceed.
Peace treaty signed
Louis and Edward agreed to a peace treaty to last seven years. The agreement signed at the Treaty of Picquigny meant Louis was to pay Edward an initial sum to leave France and a smaller yearly sum there-after. The French also paid a ransom to free Margaret of Anjou who had been held by the English since the Battle of Tewkesbury.
William Caxton rented rooms near Westminster Abbey and set up the first printing press in England.
Columbus and the pirates
Columbus was sailing on a small fleet of merchant ships from Genoa when they were attacked by pirates led by the pirate Coullon the Elder. The Genoese were able to protect themselves by trying to set fire to the pirates' ships. The ship the Columbus was on became attached to a pirate ship and both were set alight. Rather than being burnt to death many of the sailors jumped into the sea. Many died as they were weighed down with armour or simply because they could not swim. Columbus was able to swim and he found an oar onto which he clung. He was able to swim the six miles back to the Portugese shore.
Edward prevents marriage
Isabel, the wife of George, Duke of Clarence died a few months after giving birth to her second child. Clarence chose Mary of Burgundy as his next wife. Mary was the heir to the Duchy of Burgundy and had a good claim to the English throne. Edward saw the danger of his brother marrying Mary and claiming the throne and prevented the marriage going ahead.
The construction of the massive church of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle was begun by Edward IV. The church was not completed until 1528 in the reign of Henry VIII some fifty years later.
Edward buys Beaudesert Castle
King Edward IV bought Beaudesert Castle.
Caxton prints the first book in England
William Caxton set up a printing press near Westminster and printed the first book in England. It was called 'The Dictes and Sayenges of the Phylosophers' and was a translation by Earl Rivers, the Queens brother.
George Duke of Clarence was accused of being involved in a plot to kill Edward and the Prince of Wales by means of 'black magic'. He was taken to the Tower of London.
Bishopsgate, one of the gates of the city walls of London, was rebuilt in this year at the expense of the Hanse merchants. The Hanse merchants were steel workers. The road that started at Bishopsgate was Ermine Street, an old Roman road.
Birth of Ferdinand Magellan
Magellan, the explorer, was born in northern Portugal in this year. The exact location is known. His father was Ruy de Magalhaes, and his mother was Alda de Mezquita. His parents may have held some position of importance and so Ferdinard attended the Court at Lisbon as a page.
The Treaty of Arras of 1482 is not to be confused with a treaty of the same name in 1435. This treaty was signed by King Louis XI of France and Maximillian of Austria. It was agreed that Charles, the son of Louis, would marry Margaret, the daughter of Maximillian. Margaret's intended dowry, the gift to her husband was to include the counties of Artios and Burgundy. The marriage though would not take place.
Death of Margaret of Anjou
After being freed from captivity in 1475 Margaret of Anjou had lived in France in some poverty. She died in 1482 and was buried in Angers Cathedral. Her tomb was destroyed in the French Revolution of 1789.
King Edward IV declared that Richard, Earl of Gloucester should be made Protector of England as the Prince of Wales was only twelve and too young to rule. Edward did not want the Queen and the Woodville family to have complete control of the country and by making Richard Protector of England, the King hoped to prevent a civil war.
Edward IV dies, Edward V becomes king
Upon the death of the King Edward IV, his son Edward V became King of England. The nature of Edward IV's death is not known, but could have been caused by catching malaria in France or more likely due to excessive eating which he was known to often do according to a chronicler of the time. He died on April the 9th at the age of 41. Edward was buried at Windsor Castle in the new chapel of St. George.
Woodvilles escort Edward V
The 4th of May had been set as the coronation date for Edward V, the new king. The Woodvilles wanted Edward crowned as soon as possible and they wanted The Duke of Gloucester's role as Protector changed so that he didn't command so much power. The Woodvilles were concerned that with the death of Edward IV who had been their protector, old rivalries would resurface and their grip on power may fail. The King was at Ludlow and the Woodvilles escorted him to London via Northampton where it was agreed that they should meet Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. When Richard reached Northampton, he discovered that the Woodvilles had already left and were at Stony Stratford.
Richard captures the King
Richard, assisted by the Duke of Buckingham rode to Stony Stratford where they met with the King under the pretence of offering their condolences for the death of his father. Instead, they captured King Edward and took him directly to London and safe keeping in the Tower. Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers was arrested and imprisoned at Sherriff Hutton Castle, near York.
Lord Hastings had supported Richard against the Woodvilles and had hoped to gain some reward for his loyalty, but the Duke of Buckingham seemed more likely to be rewarded at his expense. Hastings' loyalties swayed towards the Woodvilles and when Richard found out, Hastings was arrested and executed.
Edward V declared illegitimate
To become king Richard Earl of Gloucester had to remove the young Edward V. Richard declared that his father Edward IV was already married when he married Elizabeth Woodville which meant that the marriage to Elizabeth was invalid. This also meant that Edward V was born out of wedlock and not able to become king. At this time Richard also arranged that the King's brother was moved to the Tower of London from Westminster Abbey where he had been looked after by his mother Elizabeth.
Duke of Gloucester nominated as King of England
After the children of Edward IV were declared illegitimate, Richard, the Duke of Gloucester was nominated as the next King of England. He became King Richard III.
Earl Rivers is executed
Anthony Woodville was executed at Pontefract Castle.
Murder of Princes in the Tower
At some point the young King Edward V and his brother Richard disappeared. Whether they were murdered in the Tower of London and by whom is not known, but they were not seen of again. Later, in 1491, a man called Perkin Warbeck appeared in Ireland and claims were made that he was really Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, one of the princes in the Tower.
Richard III is crowned King
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was declared the true heir to the English throne after the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville was deemed unlawful and their sons illegitimate. Richard III and Anne Neville, his wife, were crowned at Westminster Abbey.
Richard goes on tour
By the end of July, Richard was travelling around the country meeting his new subjects.
Death of Louis XI
King Louis XI of France had suffered from a series of strokes that had left him partially paralysed since 1480 and a further stroke in August of 1483 was the final one. He died a few days later. Louis had two daughters and a son. Before his death, Louis had declared that Charles, his son, should be the next King of France but because Charles was in poor health and had been given a poor education Louis specified that Anne, his eldest daughter, should act a regent until Charles was able to rule unaided.
Richard's son becomes Prince of Wales
A week of festivities preceded the investiture of Richard's son Edward.
Henry, the second Duke of Buckingham, took part in a rebellion called Buckingham's rebellion against King Richard III. Involved also in the plot was John Morton, the Bishop of Ely at the time. Morton was an enemy of the King and was held captive in Buckingham's castle at Brecknock. The plan was to remove Richard and place Henry Tudor on the throne. An army was raised in Wales but due to bad weather the plot ended in failure. Buckingham was captured and executed on November 2nd. Many of the other rebels were later pardoned.
Richard's only son died at Middleham Castle aged only eight. Anne was unable to have any more children and she would die in the following year. This left Richard with the problem of who should succeed him after his death.
Innocent VIII becomes Pope
Truce signed with the Scots
A three year truce was signed at Nottingham Castle by Richard and the Scottish king James III.
Richard returns to London
Richard was welcomed into London by the Mayor and a procession led him to Blackfriars. Christmas was spent celebrating.
Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven in Wales avoiding the south coast which was more heavily defended and made his way north. He was given money by Charles VIII of France to pay for soldiers and ships for the invasion.
Henry Tudor at Shrewsbury
By August 15th, Henry Tudor had reached the town of Shrewsbury. He had gained the support of some Welsh as he marched north.
Battle of Bosworth
King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor was proclaimed King of England.
Earl of Warwick arrested
The 10 year old Earl of Warwick was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. His claim to the English throne was strong and Henry VII wanted him out of the way.
Henry Tudor is crowned.
Henry Tudor is crowned as Henry VII at Westminster Abbey.
Birth of Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon is born at Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain. Her father and mother were Ferdinand and Isabella of Aragon.
Bartholomew Dias, a Portuguese explorer was the first European to navigate around the southern tip of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope.
Death of James III of Scotland
James III king of Scotland was killed at or shortly after the battle of Sauchieburn. Several of his nobles had risen up against the king and James was forced to fight. The king's army was defeated. James fled the battle field but was killed or even murdered shortly afterwards.
James IV crowned King of Scotland
Shortly after the death of his father, James IV was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Abbey.
Battle of St. Aubin
The battle of St. Aubin was fought between the French and an army commanded by Sir Edward Woodville, consisting of a group of Bretons who had joined his company. The Bretons apparently abandoned the fight and the French soldiers killed Sir Edward and all his men, apart from one.
Christopher Columbus signed an agreement with Ferdinand and Isabella, the King and Queen of Spain, He specified that he should be given ten percent of any materials that he found on his explorations, for example spices, gems, gold and silver. He also specified that he would fund one eighth of the expedition if in return he received an eighth of the profits. He also wanted to be made Viceroy of all lands that he discovered.
Death of Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth Woodville had retired to Bermondsey Abbey and it was here that she died at the age of round 55.
Columbus sets sail
It was not easy to recruit men to sail with Columbus into the unknown so the King of Spain appealed to criminals by assuring them that their property and possessions would be safe even though they may have committed a crime in the past. This also applied to any crimes they committed during the voyage and for two months after their return. Three ships were prepared in the port of Palos in southern Spain. The three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria set sail west across the Atlantic in search of a route to the Far East. Columbus hoped to find the island of Chipangu in the Far East that Marco Polo had written about. Marco Polo had commented that the island of Chipangu had unlimited supplies of gold.
Columbus reaches the Canary Islands
The first port of call were the Canary Islands where Columbus took on more supplies. The Pinta's rudder was damaged on this early section of the voyage so the expedition waited several weeks while repairs were made. In early September the ships were ready to leave.
Sep (to Oct)
Columbus sails across the Atlantic
For several weeks the three ships sailed across the Atlantic. At times Columbus sailed north west and others south west but most of the time it was due west. The crews became restless and threatened to turn back but finally small branches and what looked like a carved piece of wood were seen in the water. More signs of land were spotted and so the ships carried on.
Henry VII lands at Calais
The Tudor king Henry VII landed in Calais leading a large army against the French King Charles VIII. They captured the town of Boulogne.
Land is spotted
The first person to see land was Rodrigo de Triana. His reward should have been a pension for life promised by the King of Spain. But on their return Columbus claimed the pension for himself and gave the money to his mistress.
Christopher Columbus 'discovers' America
Christopher Columbus landed on what he thought was the east coast of Asia believing that there was no land between it and Europe but he had landed in the Caribbean and had discovered the 'Americas'. They named this first island that they had landed on San Salvador and declared it to be the property of the King of Spain.
Treaty of Etaples
Treaty of Etaples was the peace treaty signed by Charles VIII of France and Henry VII of England. Charles agreed not to support Perkin Warbeck and Henry agreed not pursue his claim to the French throne. Charles also had to pay Henry a large sum of money to be paid over several years.
Columbus lands at Santo Domingo
Christopher Columbus landed at Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola, now known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Santa Maria runs aground
In the middle of the night Columbus' flag ship was being steered by one of the ship's boys, something that Columbus had tried to prevent from happening. All alone at the wheel the boy steered the ship onto a sand bank or a reef on the north shore of the present day Haiti. In the panic many of the sailors chose to abandon the ship and get to the Pinta or the Nina rather than stay aboard and rescue the ship. By the morning the Santa Maria was stuck and Columbus gave orders for everything on board to be removed. One of the local chiefs sent his people to help and put a guard on the items removed so they were not stolen.
At Canterbury Cathedral building work was undertaken on the central tower including strainer arches in the crossing.
Henry becomes Constable of Dover Castle
Prince Henry, the future King of England, received his first official title before he was 2 years old. It was the Constable of Dover Castle.
The first Spanish New World settlement
With only two ships it was not possible to get all his crew back to Spain so Columbus decided to build a fort using the timber from the grounded Santa Maria in La Navidad, now north Haiti. Several sailors were chosen to stay on the island.
The Nina and Pinta returned from the exploration of the New World. Because they came back with the help of the trade winds they found themselves to the north and on a line with Portugal. The nearest port they found was Lisbon.
Henry becomes Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Although less than two years old Prince Henry was given the title of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Cinque ports are five south coast ports (Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, New Romney and Hythe) that were to provide ships to assist keep the English Channel safe from enemy vessels. The last Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports was H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Columbus embarks on his second voyage
The second voyage undertaken by Columbus was much better organised than the first. This time seventeen ships were involved and the thousand sailors did not have the bribed out of the local prisons. The ships also transported craftsmen and animals of all types. The plan was to set up a colony and everything that was needed to do this was placed on board. Even cats and dogs were taken. The fleet was assembled and prepared in the Spanish port of Cadiz.
Columbus leaves the Canary Islands
After increasing his supplies on board ship from the island of El Heirro or Ferro in the Canary Islands Columbus set sail.
Christopher Columbus discovers Dominica
The first island Christopher Columbus discovered on his second voyage he called Dominica. It was a Sunday. and the name is Latin for Sunday. The island should not be confused with the Dominican Republic which is a separate part of the Caribbean. Just to the north was a smaller island and he named it Maria Galante which was the name of his flagship.
Columbus finds cannibals
Unable to land at Dominica Columbus sailed north and found an island he named Guadeloupe. On his first voyage Columbus had heard stories of natives called Caribs that captured and ate other natives. On Guadeloupe he found evidence including human bones that had been gnawed. He also found many captives which they freed. The Caribs had fled when they saw the Spanish ships approaching.
More new islands named by Columbus
Columbus sailed past the islands now known as Nevis, St. Kitts and St. Eustatius after leaving Guadeloupe. The names originally given to the islands by Columbus to these islands have changed.
Columbus discovers Santa Cruz
The island now called Saint Croix was visited and named Santa Cruz by Columbus. The original native name for the island was Ay Ay but Columbus renamed it anyway. When Columbus sent some men ashore to investigate and capture some natives they came under attack and one of the crew were killed.
Columbus discovers Puerto Rico
Columbus sailed along the southern coast of the island known as Borinquen to the natives. On the western side of the island is Boqueron Bay where Columbus anchored his fleet for a couple of days.
Back to Navidad
When the fleet reached Navidad they did not get the welcome that they expected. Columbus was given the bad news that all of the Spanish sailors that had been left behind during the first voyage were all dead. They had been killed because of their greed for gold and the fort had been burnt down.
Aberdeen University was found in 1495 by William Elphinstone, the bishop of Aberdeen.
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas, arranged by Pope Alexander VI and signed by Spain and Portugal, agreed what areas of the World they could claim when they discovered them. The line, known as the Line of Demarcation, was 370 leagues to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. This was the Portuguese's western limit but it was far enough west to include Brazil.
Columbus creates a new settlement
Columbus left Navidad and sailed along the north coast of Hispaniola (now Haiti) looking for a suitable location to found a Spanish settlement, The location he found he called Ysabella after the Spanish Queen. From this location he sent expeditions into the heart of the island looking for gold mines.
Partial return to Spain
Columbus decided to send the larger part of his fleet back to Spain. Several men were ill and he wanted supplies for his new settlement., Five ships remained behind. Columbus began an exploration of the island for the gold he was desperate to find.
Search for gold
Columbus set off with a small army to search for gold. They headed for the region of Cibao in the north of what is now the Dominican Republic. Here Columbus built a fort as a base from where the search for a gold mine was conducted.
Columbus heads for Cuba
The native guides had told Columbus of a large landmass to the west of Hispniola and so with three ships the Spaniards set sail to explore what they thought was the mainland. In fact it was the island of Cuba. It was still believed that the coast of China was not far away as the size of the Earth was not known.
Columbus did a detour to the northern coast of Jamaica in the first couple of weeks in May again searching for any signs of gold.
Jun (to Aug)
Southern coast of Cuba explored
Columbus sailed along the southern coast of Cuba. He did not reach its western end so was unaware that it was an island. He turned back and headed back to Jamaica exploring the Jamaican southern coast.
Henry becomes Lieutenant of Ireland
Henry was given the title of Lieutenant of Ireland, but his duties were carried out by (Sir Edward Poynings ?)
Henry enters the Order of the Bath
Henry was also entered as a knight into the Order of the Bath and the Duke of York.
Henry enters the Order of the Garter
Henry (VIII) was given the title of Warden of the Scottish Marches and entered into the Order of the Garter.
In 1494 Charles VIII of France had taken an army into Italy to claim the throne of Naples which he believed was his right to have. As his army met no resistance he entered Naples and had himself crowned King.
Holy League (League of Venice)
At Venice it was decided to put a force together to remove King Charles of France from Italy. It was signed by the Pope, Ferdinand of Aragon, Maximilian the Holy Roman Emperor, the Ruler of Milan and also had the backing of Venice itself.
Perkin Warbeck's attempted invasion
Perkin Warbeck and an invasion force of around 200 to 300 men approached England at Deal on the south coast. Warbeck did not get off his ship but his small army did. The local people did not accept Warbeck's claims to the English throne and turned on his army killing many and taking the rest prisoner. The invasion had been financed by Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emporer. Warbeck then turned his attention to Ireland.
Perkin Warbeck in Scotland
Warbeck arrived in Scotland near the end of November and was greeted by the Scottish king James IV. The king gave the pretender money and arranged a marriage to Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the earl of Huntley.
Before he left for Spain Columbus told his brother Bartholomew to build a new Spanish colony on the southern shore of Hispaniola. This city is now the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Columbus returns to Spain
After three years exploring the New World and slaughtering its native inhabitants Columbus set sail for Spain to face an inquest by the King and Queen.
Henry VII and John Cabot
Henry VII granted John Cabot, his sons and heirs the power to explore unknown areas under the English flag. They were allowed to conquer these new lands. Although the Cabots had to fund the explorations themselves, they only had to pay the Crown one fifth of the money they made by selling the goods they found.
Columbus lands at Cadiz
Columbus arrived back in Spain at the port of Cadiz.
Perkin Warbeck was hiding in Beaulieu Abbey where he was found by Henry VII's army and captured.
John Cabot sets sail for Asia
Under the English flag, John Cabot left Bristol on his voyage of exploration across the Atlantic to find a route to Asia and to open new trade routes.
Cabot discovers Newfoundland
Expecting to find the east coast of Asia Cabot and his fleet of explorers landed on what we now know as Newfoundland or Nova Scotia.
Cabot returns from voyage
John Cabot returned to Bristol after his voyage of discovery.
Sheen Palace burns down
Henry VII had plans to spend Christmas at his royal palace of Sheen but it was destroyed by fire. Henry had the palace rebuilt and renamed the building Richmond Palace in honour of the Earl of Richmond title that he held.
Vasco de Gama rounds Cape of Good Hope
Vasco de Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope to reach East Asia.
Charles VIII of France died due to complications that occurred after banging his head on a low doorway as he walked through a dimly lit Amboise Castle. He was succeeded by Louis XII.
Cabot disappears on voyage
Cabot and a fleet of five ships sailed for America but were not heard from again.
Columbus begins his third voyage
This time with six ships Christopher Columbus left the harbour at Sanlucar de Barrameda in southern Spain and headed for the New World.
Columbus sailed to Madeira and then to the Canary Islands. Here he divided his fleet into two. Three ships were to sail directly westward, while he took the other three ships further south to the Cape Verde islands and then in a south westerly direction to explore new areas. His ships were caught in the doldrums, an area with no winds, for several days until strong winds took him westwards again.
The island of Trinidad is discovered
Christopher Columbus found and named the island of Trinidad.
The Gulf of Paria
For the first two of weeks of August Columbus sailed around the coastline of the Gulf of Paria, the body of sea between the island of Trinidad and the coast of Venezuela. Columbus originally called the area the Golfo de la Ballena or the Gulf of the Whale after seeing a whale break the surface, Within the gulf the currents are very strong and the ships were at risk of slipping their anchors. Columbus managed to navigate his way between the rocks at the northern entrance to the gulf and into the open sea.
Columbus finds a continent
While sailing in the Gulf of Paria Columbus had found a lot of fresh water. This led him to believe that the coastline belonged to a continent rather than an island as a large river would be needed to produce such amounts of fresh water. After leaving the gulf the fleet sailed along the northern coast of the continent, now the coast of Venezuela. He passed the island of Margarita and then turned north west and headed for Haiti to see his brother.
Rebellion of Roldan
When the Columbus brothers returned to Santo Domingo they had to face a rebellion lead by Francisco Roldan. Roldan was a man of some importance, possibly a mayor. He was opposed to the way that Christopher and Bartholomew Columbus were using their position to fill their own pockets as he saw it. Roldan led several hundred Spaniards out of Santo Domingo into the heart of the island. Roldan also had the support of the local people as he had promised them that they could stop making offerings of gold.
Columbus lands at Santo Domingo
Columbus met his brother Bartholomew at the small island called Beata on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. From there they sailed along the coast to Santo Domingo.
Agreement with Roldan
Rather than put down the rebellion by force Columbus met with Roldan and began negotiations. It was agreed that Roldan and his supporters would be cleared of all charges and given free passage back to Spain with their native wives and slaves if they wanted to return or land if they wanted to stay. Roldan would also be given the position of Chief Justice.
Building work of a new church in the Perpendicular style began at Bath Abbey.
Alonso de Ojeda names Venezuela
The Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda sailed along the north coast of Southern America and finds the Gulf of Maracaibo. He names the country Venezuela after Venice because the natives built their huts on stilts in the water.