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History
People in History
1500s

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People in History: 1500s

Hungarian noblewoman (1560–1614): listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most prolific female serial killer in history; her life was fictionalised in the 1971 Hammer Horror film Countess Dracula, when she was played by Ingrid Pitt Click to show or hide the answer
Illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (1476–1507), an influential condottiere – said to have been a major influence on Machiavelli; Leonardo da Vinci served him as military architect and engineer. Held the notorious 'Ballet (or Banquet) of Chestnuts' in 1501 Click to show or hide the answer
Illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI (1480–1519), frequently cast as a femme fatale in the machinations of her family; married Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), and Alfonso I d'Este (Duke of Ferrara) Click to show or hide the answer
Third husband of Mary Queen of Scots Click to show or hide the answer
Chief advisor to Elizabeth I for most of her reign Click to show or hide the answer
Vice–Admiral and adventurer, the only positively identified casualty of the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 Click to show or hide the answer
Henry VIII's chief minister, 1532–40: a strong supporter of the English Reformation; supported Henry's disposal of Anne Boleyn and his courtship of Jane Seymour, but fell from grace after arranging the marriage to Anne of Cleves; executed on the day that Henry married Catherine Howard; the main antagonist to Thomas More (depicted as such in A Man for All Seasons), and the central character of Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel 2009, Booker prize winner) Click to show or hide the answer
Second husband of Mary Queen of Scots, father of James I of England, murdered 1567 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the first English circumnavigation of the world (1577–80); set fire to the Spanish fleet at Cadiz ("singed the King of Spain's beard"), 1587; second–in–command (to Lord Howard) of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada (1588) Click to show or hide the answer
Husband and consort of Queen Jane, executed one hour before her in February 1554; son of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (who engineered Jane's accession to the throne) Click to show or hide the answer
Chief Minister to Edward VI, in preference to his rival Edward Seymour (Duke of Somerset); conspired with Edward to exclude Mary and Elizabeth and enthrone Lady Jane Grey, who married his youngest son (Guilford Dudley); executed by Mary one month after her accession in 1553 Click to show or hide the answer
Son of John Dudley (Duke of Northumberland), and elder brother of Lord Guildford Dudley: favourite of Elizabeth I; it's said she might have married him if he hadn't already been married (to Amy Robsart); he was suspected of murdering Amy, after she died in a fall down a flight of stairs in 1560; created Earl of Leicester in 1564; in 1576 he secretly married Lettice Knollys, widow of the first Earl of Essex and mother of Robert Devereux; died unexpectly in 1588, shortly after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, having been at Elizabeth's side as she gave her famous speech at Tilbury in defiance of it Click to show or hide the answer
Favourite of Elizabeth I: put under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland 1599, executed for treason in 1601 Click to show or hide the answer
Born at Gawsworth, Cheshire, 1578: daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth (Old) Hall; became Maid of Honour to Elizabeth I, but dismissed after becoming pregnant to the Earl of Pembroke; believed by some to be the 'dark lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets Click to show or hide the answer
Founder of the Royal Exchange, 1565; his law states 'bad money drives out good' Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Derbyshire around 1527, into a relatively minor gentry family, she married four times and rose to the highest levels of English nobility, becoming enormously wealthy; built Chatsworth House (with her second husband) and Hardwick Hall (after the death of her fourth); her second husband was William Cavendish, an officer in the Exchequer who made a fortune in the dissolution of the monasteries; one of their sons, also William, was created Baron Cavendish and later Earl of Devonshire, and the fourth Earl was created Duke of Devonshire; William is also an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; her fourth and last husband (from 1567 until his death in 1590) was George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury; died in 1608 Click to show or hide the answer
Family that ruled Florence from the 15th to the 18th centuries, and produced three Popes: Leo X (1513–21), Clement VII (1523–34), Leo XI (1605) Click to show or hide the answer
First Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) 1535-51; also Viceroy of Peru 1851-2; died in 1552 and was buried in Lima Click to show or hide the answer
Spanish conquistador, c. 1487-1537: sailed up the River Plate in 1535, and founded the city of Buenos Aires in 1536; after battling famine and disease, and fierce resistance from the native people, set sail to return to Spain in 1537, but died on the voyage Click to show or hide the answer
Cartographer, geographer and cosmographer: born in 1512 in what's now the Netherlands, real name Geert de Kremer; created the 1569 world map, based on a new projection, which represented sailing courses of constant bearing (rhumb lines) as straight lines – an innovation that's still employed in nautical charts Click to show or hide the answer
Imprisoned in the Tower of London, and executed, for refusing to recognise Henry VIII as head of the Church of England Click to show or hide the answer
French seer, 1503–66; believed by some to have predicted the Great Fire of London, Pasteur, Franco and Hitler Click to show or hide the answer
Spanish conquistador, c. 1475–1551: conquered the Inca empire, had the Inca king Atahualpa murdered; founded the city of Lima (1535), where he died and was buried Click to show or hide the answer
Mary Queen of Scots' Italian secretary, murdered at Holyrood House in 1566 Click to show or hide the answer
Self–appointed Protector to Edward VI, 1547–9, created 1st Duke of Somerset; executed for treason in 1553 (eldest brother of Jane Seymour and therefore Edward's uncle) Click to show or hide the answer
Ursula Southeil (c1488–1561), soothsayer from Knaresborough, said to have been born in the cave that now bears her name; mentioned in Pepys's diary as having foretold the Fire of London; but her supposed prophecy that the world would end in 1881 was actually invented in 1862; popularly known as Click to show or hide the answer
Pretender to the English throne in opposition to Henry VII (claimed to be the Earl of Warwick, brother of Edward IV, who was in fact imprisoned in the Tower of London); crowned in Dublin on 24 May 1487; eventually pardoned by Henry and became a royal falconer; died c. 1534 (see also Perkin Warbeck, Before 1500) Click to show or hide the answer
Henry VIII's fool Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017