"Of all the misfortunes which all the various fanatical and corrupt opinions, through Satan's help, have brought in our time to Christendom, not the smallest is that which, under the name of 'witchcraft,' is sown as a vicious seed. The people may be divided against themselves through their many disputes about the Scriptures and church customs while the old Snake stirs the blast; still no such great misfortunes result from that as from the thereby inspired opinion that childish old hags, whom one calls 'witches' or 'wizards,' can do any harm to men and animals."
- Dutch physician Johann Weyer, De praestigiis daemonum (1563)
In the year AD 1563...
The Northern Seven Years' War breaks out between Denmark under King Frederick II and Sweden under Eric XIV, due to Frederick's desire to restore the Kalmar Union and Eric's desire to break Danish power. The war drags on for seven years before ending in a stalemate.
The Council of Trent comes to a close, having been in session since 1545. It sets the Catholic Counter-Reformation in motion by condemning the teachings of Martin Luther, reforming Catholic doctrine, and cracking down on abuses within the church, setting the course of the Catholic Church for the next 400 years.
In Japan, warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats the Ikkō Ikki in his home province of Mikawa, eliminating an early threat to his rule.
Dutch physician Johann Weyer publishes De praestigiis daemonum ("On the tricks of demons"), which refutes, point-by-point, the Malleus Maleficarum, and argues that there is no such thing as witchcraft. Sigmund Freud would later call it one of the ten most important books of all time.
Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder paints two famous paintings both entitled The Tower of Babel.
- The First War of Religion rages in France.
- When the Protestant Huguenot and Catholic crown forces reach a truce at Le Havre, 6,000 English troops under Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick refuse to leave unless the French return Calais to England. The French jointly besiege the English, who are forced to surrender and return home once the plague begins to ravage their number.
- In the Siege of Orléans, crown forces led by Francis, Duke of Guise besiege the city of Orléans, which has fallen under the control of Huguenots led by Louis, Prince of Condé.
- In the midst of the siege, a Huguenot nobleman, Jean de Poltrot, pretends to have a change of heart and desert to the crown side, only to wait by the side of the road and shoot Guise with his pistol. Since this happens outside of regular combat, it is considered an assassination (even though Guise might have survived if he had not been bled to death by his doctor). Poltrot is captured, tortured, and drawn and quartered.
- Under torture, Poltrot "confesses" that he had been hired by Guise's enemy Admiral Coligny. Coligny vociferously denies the charges, but the incident leads to a decades-long series of vendettas between Guise's descendants and Coligny and his family that will not only prolong the Wars of Religion, but also contribute to the attempted assassination of Coligny during the celebrations of the marriage of Henri of Navarre with Margaret of Valois, and therefore to the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
- The uproar surrounding the assassination of Guise also prompts Catherine de Medici to mediate a truce, resulting in the Edict of Amboise and bringing an end to the First War of Religion.
These people were born in 1563...
These people died in 1563...
1562 - 1563 - 1564
How they were made