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1 January 1484 - Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, was born 1 January 1484.

1 January 1519 - On his 36th birthday, Zwingli shocked his new congregation at Grossmünster, in Zürich, by breaking with tradition, abandoning the Latin liturgy and beginning the first expository preaching, verse by verse through the New Testament, beginning with Matthew 1. History was made, the Swiss Reformation was launched and lives were changed.

2 January 1492 - The Liberation of Spain from 8 Centuries of Islamic occupation and oppression was concluded when Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile conquered the last Muslim fortress in Granada.

3 January 1521 - Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X.

4 January 1577 - Hans Bret, a baker and lay preacher in the Netherlands was tortured and burned at the stake for his Protestant Faith. Despite having his tongue clamped and cauterised by a red-hot tongue screw, he boldly proclaimed the Gospel until the flames consumed his body. He was one of many thousands of martyrs who gave their lives for the Gospel of Christ in Holland during the great persecution of 1531-1578.

12 January 1519 - Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire, died.

14 January 1529 - Spanish Reformer, Juan de Valdés, published Dialogue on Christian Doctrine, which emphasised Reformation teachings on justification by Faith, in Spanish. Juan de Valdés translated into Spanish and wrote commentaries on the books of Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians and the Psalms. He had to flee Spain to escape from the Inquisition.

15 January 1559 - Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England, after the death of her half-sister, "Bloody Mary". The Protestant Faith, which had been so fiercely persecuted under Mary, was restored in England.

16 January 1547 - Ivan the Terrible was crowned the first Tsar of Russia.

24 January 1527 - Felix Manz was executed for sedition, for attempting to undermine the authority of the City Council in Zürich.

25 January 1579 - The Dutch provinces signed the Union of Utrecht and declared independence from Spain, forming the new country of the Netherlands.

26 January 1564 - Pope Pius IV accepted and confirmed the decrees of the Council of Trent, including upholding the doctrines of the Mass, the seven sacraments, Purgatory, the celibacy of the priesthood and indulgences. The Council of Trent also asserted that the Bible should not be translated into the language of the people and that only the Roman Church could interpret Scripture.

28 January 1547 - England's King Henry VIII died after a 38-year reign. He was succeeded by his son, Edward VI.

29 January 1523 – Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli presents his 67 Theses at The First Zürich Disputation.

4 February 1555 - Bible translator, John Rogers was burned at the stake in the centre of London under the reign of "Bloody Mary." Rogers was a friend of Reformer, William Tyndale and ensured that his work was published under the pseudonym, Thomas Matthews. To this day, his translation is known as the Matthews Bible. Rogers was one of the first of many victims of "Bloody Mary's" reign of terror in England.

12 February 1554 – Lady Jane Grey, the brave 16-year-old Protestant, who was Queen of England for only 9 days, was beheaded at the Tower of London.

16 February 1497 - German Reformer, Philipp Melanchthon was born in Bretten, Saxony. When Philipp Melanchthon delivered his first lecture at the University of Wittenberg in 1518, Dr. Martin Luther was impressed. Melanchthon was the new Professor of Greek, and although he stuttered during his presentation, his call for theologians to go "back to the sources, back to the Holy Scriptures" echoed the convictions of Luther's heart.

Melanchthon became an invaluable support to Luther's Reformation work. He accompanied Luther to the Leipzig debate in 1519. In 1521, Melanchthon published Loci Communes. This was the first structured presentation of Reformation doctrine and it became a standard textbook for Lutheran theology for over a century. Melanchthon was the leading theological figure at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530. Melanchthon wrote and read out the Augsburg Confession before the Emperor Charles V. Luther stated that without Melanchthon's methodological skills, much of his own work would have been lost. Melanchthon's extensive efforts to reform, establish and develop schools and colleges earned him the title: "The Teacher of Germany".

16 February 1519 - Gaspard de Coligny was born in France. He became a great French soldier and prominent Protestant leader. He was one of the first Huguenot victims of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. His daughter Louise, married Prince William of Orange, the Father of Dutch liberties.

18 February 1546 - Dr. Martin Luther, the great Protestant Reformer, died in Eisleben, on this day.

25 February 1570 - Pope Pius V excommunicated England's Queen Elizabeth I for refusing to return to Catholicism.

29 February 1528 - Scottish Reformer Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake in St. Andrews, for "heresy."

1 March 1546Scottish Reformer, George Wishart was burned at the stake. He exhorted the crowds: "Love the Word of God and suffer patiently. I know surely that my soul shall sit with my Saviour this night."

4 March 1554"Bloody Mary" outlaws Protestantism in England.

15 March 1517 - Pope Leo X authorised a plenary indulgence, in order to finance the building of St. Peters Basilica in Rome. It was the brazen hawking of this indulgence that outraged Dr. Martin Luther and inspired The 95 Theses, which sparked the Reformation.

21 March 1556 - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was burned at the stake in Oxford.

28 March 1592 - Pioneering educator, John Comenius, was born in Prague.

13 April 1598 – King Henry IV of France signed The Edict of Nantes providing for religious toleration and ending the persecution of Protestants in France.


18 April 1521 - Professor Martin Luther stands firm before the Emperor Charles V declaring: "My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen." This speech shook the world.

19 April 1526 - The citizens of Strasbourg, Nuremberg, Ulm and 9 other cities, along with numerous electors and princes, protested a decree of the Diet and petitioned the Emperor to allow religious freedom in Germany. From this point on, the Reformers were given the name of "Protestants."

21 April 1538 – On Easter Sunday, both John Calvin and William Farel, in different churches in Geneva, refused to serve communion because of the prevalent immorality in the city. Swords were drawn, tempers flared, but the Reformers remained steadfast. The next day the City Council fired both ministers and ordered them to leave Geneva within 3 days.

24 April 1558 - The first two Protestant candidates for the ministry were ordained at St. Giles Kirk, in Edinburgh, by John Knox: Robert Campbell Sproul and James Grant. They advanced the Reformation message with distinction.

25 April 1599 - Oliver Cromwell, who later became Lord Protector of England, was born in Huntingdon, Oxfordshire.

2 May 1559John Knox returned from exile to launch the Reformation in Scotland.

6 May 1527 – Rome fell to an army of Charles V and was plundered by the looting troops.

12 May 1587 – Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was executed for treason.

15 May 1556 - John Knox appeared at the Church of Blackfriars in Edinburgh to face charges of heresy. Knox succeeded in turning the tables on the Catholic Bishops and went on to preach to large crowds in Edinburgh.

19 May 1588 - The Spanish Armada set sail to invade England.

20 May 1536 - English King Henry VIII married his third wife, Jane Seymour, the day after his second wife, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded in the Tower of London.

21 May 1471 - Albrecht Dürer, the great Reformed artist of Germany, was born in Nuremberg.

21 May 1536The General Assembly of Citizens of Geneva voted in favour of the Reformation and adopted the Protestant Faith.

23 May 1498 - The Italian Reformer, Jerome Savonarola, was executed in Florence after enduring cruel tortures. He was resolute to the end.

27 May 1564 - The great French Reformer, John Calvin, died in Geneva. His ministry had succeeded in turning Geneva into one of the freest and most productive cities in Europe.

29 May 1453 - Turkish soldiers stormed the greatest city in the world at that time, Constantinople. This was the culmination of a 53-day siege which had begun on 6 April 1453. The Turkish invaders massacred Christians celebrating the Lord's Supper in the largest church in the world, at that time, the Hagia Sophia. The last Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, Constantine XI, bravely fought to the end and attacked the attackers in a bold cavalry charge. This was the end of the 1,000-year-old Byzantium Empire. 

24 June 1509 - Henry VIII was crowned King of England. Henry was a Renaissance man, he was fluent in Latin, French and Spanish, an accomplished musician, theologian and Humanist scholar. Yet, despite Henry’s strong loyalties to the Pope, expressed in both blood and ink, Henry did much to open England to the Reformation. It was not so much that Henry embraced the Protestant Faith, as much as he came to reject the authority of the Roman pope over English affairs.


2 July 1553 – Protestant King Edward VI of England, died at age 16, probably of poison.

6 July 1415 - The Council of Constance condemned Reformer Professor Jan Hus as a "heretic." On the same day he was burned at the stake. Hus died singing: “Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me.” He was 43 years old.

10 July 1509 - French Reformer, John Calvin, was born in Noyon, Picardy, France.

To see Calvin 500 video, click here and John Calvin and the Huguenots video, click here.

11 July 1533 - Pope Clement VIII excommunicated King Henry VIII of England.

13 July 1536 - The brilliant Renaissance academic Desiderius Erasmus died in Basel.

18 July 1504 – The Swiss Reformer, Heinrich Bullinger, was born.

19 July 1553 - 15-year-old Protestant Queen, Lady Jane Grey, was deposed as Queen of England after a reign of merely 9 days, by forces of the Catholic daughter of King Henry VIII, "Bloody Mary."

24 July 1567 – After her defeat by the Protestants at Carberry Hill, Mary Queen of Scots abdicated.

25 July 1593 - In an effort to consolidate support for his claim to the French throne, Henry IV of Navarre, converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.


28 July 1540 - King Henry had his chief minister, the Reformer Thomas Cromwell, executed.

29 July 1588 - The English decisively defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.

15 August 1557 - Agnes Prest was martyred under the reign of "Bloody Mary." Agnes had memorised much of the New Testament. When she refused to return to Catholicism, she was condemned to die. Her last words were: "I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith Christ. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."


24 August 1572 – The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre cripples the advance of the Reformation in France.

25 August 1531 - Protestant Reformer, Thomas Bilney, was martyred by order of Cardinal Wolsey. He cheerfully went to his death urging the large crowd to turn to Christ in Faith.

25 August 1560 - The Protestant Faith was formally adopted in Scotland.

21 September 1558 – Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire died in agony.

25 September 1555 – The Peace of Augsburg was signed recognising freedom of religion for Protestants in territories where the Prince was Protestant (Cuius regio, eius religio, Latin phrase meaning: "Whose realm, his religion").

29 September 1565 - Hundreds of Huguenot settlers in Florida, having fled persecution in France, were slaughtered by Spanish soldiers.

1 October 1529 - The Colloquy of Marburg, first Council of Protestant Christians, was hosted by Prince Philip of Hesse, to resolve differences between the two great Reformers, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli.

6 October 1536 - The English Reformer and Bible translator, William Tyndale, was martyred at Vilvoorde. He was strangled and burnt at the stake.

7 October 1555 - At the Diet of Augsburg, Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, was compelled to recognise religious freedom for the Lutherans.

7 October 1571 – The Spanish and Austrian Navy defeated the much larger Turkish fleet at The Battle of Lepanto.

10 October 1533 – Nicolas Cop was elected Rector of the University of Paris. In his inaugural address he attacked the Catholic theologians who "teach nothing of faith, nothing of the love of God, nothing of the remission of sins, nothing of grace, nothing of justification." Cop and Calvin, who wrote his speech, had to flee Paris for their lives.


11 October 1531 - The great Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli died in the Battle of Kappel.

16 October 1555 - Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake in Oxford.

31 October 1517 - Martin Luther nailed The 95 Theses to the door of the Schlösskirche (Castle Church) in Wittenberg.

2 November 1533 - John Calvin escaped arrest in Paris and under hot pursuit, assumed a disguise and fled for his life.

10 November 1483 – German Reformer, Martin Luther, was born in Eisleben, Saxony.

17 November 1558 – The persecutor of the Church, "Bloody Mary", Queen of England, died of fever.

24 November 1514 – Scottish Reformer, John Knox, was born in Haddington, Scotland.

10 December 1520 - Martin Luther publicly burned the Papal Edict demanding that he recant, or face, excommunication. Surrounded by a large crowd of students and faculty of the University of Wittenberg, Luther declared: "I stand fast on the truth and no other. Fear of power shall never sway me, for God is God and man is naught."

13 December 1545 – Pope Paul III convened The Council of Trent, in Northern Italy, to determine a comprehensive response to the Reformation. This Counter Reformation attempted to clean up abuses within the Roman Catholic churches, as well as reassert traditional doctrines (such as transubstantiation, purgatory, the seven sacraments, etc.), which had been discredited.

15 December 1417 - Sir John Oldcastle was executed for protecting and advancing the Lollard Movement. He praised God from the flames as long as his life lasted.


23 December 1531Heinrich Bullinger took the place of slain Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, as pastor of Grossmünster, in Zürich. Bullinger continued Zwingli's practice of preaching verse by verse through the books of the Bible.

27 December 1571 - Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy, was born in Germany.

30 December 1384 - English Reformer, Professor John Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation, died.


Dr. Peter Hammond

Reformation Society
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
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