"Before suffering the slightest damage to religion and the service of God, I would rather lose all my states and an hundred lives if I had them, because I do not propose to be the ruler of heretics."

- Spanish king Philip II, in a letter to Rome, not backing down in the face
of rising calls in the Spanish Netherlands for greater religious toleration



"I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything....But as soon as there may be a convenient time and that it may be done with least peril unto you, although never without great danger unto me, I will deal therein for your safety and offer it unto you as your prince and head without requests. For it is monstrous that the feet should direct the head."

- Queen Elizabeth I of England, furiously excoriating members
of Parliament for attempting to force her to marry


In the year AD 1566...

  • Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent leads a massive army of 90,000 troops deep into Hungary in a drive to capture the Hapsburg capital at Vienna. However, at the Siege of Szigetvár, a tiny garrison of 2,300 Hungarian and Croation troops delay the Ottomans for twp months and inflict a devastating 20,000 Ottoman casualties. Although the Ottomans eventually capture the town and wipe out the garrison to the last man, Suleiman has died in the meantime, and the Ottomans have taken too many casualties to continue on to Vienna.
  • The Iconoclastic Fury, or Beeldenstorm ("Statue Storm") in Dutch, strikes in the Low Countries as Calvinist iconoclasts rampage across the countryside destroying Catholic religious icons.
  • The Compromise of Nobles is presented to Margaret of Parma, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, but succeeds in delaying the beginning of the Dutch Revolt by just a few years.
  • The Mughal ruler of Afghanistan, Mirza Muhammad Hakim, invades Punjab at the head of a large army in an attempt to seize control of India from his older brother, Emperor Akbar. However, when Akbar meets him in the field with an even larger army, Hakim thinks better of it and heads back to Kabul.
  • David Rizzio, an Italian musician who first entered the court of Mary, Queen of Scots as a bass singer, has ingratiated himself to the queen and may be having an affair with her. Certainly, it is odd that she has now elevated a musician to a position as her private secretary. Enraged with jealously, Mary's husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley conspires with other nobles to have Rizzio murdered. Darnley and the noblemen burst in on Mary and Rizzio while they dine, hold the Queen at gunpoint, and slay Rizzio by stabbing him 56 times before hurling him down a stairwell. The incident leads to a final break in relations between Mary and Darnley, setting the stage for Darnley's own murder the following year.
  • Spanish bishop of the Yucatán Diego de Landa returns to Spain where he pens his book Relación de las cosas de Yucatán, which remains to this day our leading source on the history of the ancient Maya civilization.


These people were born in 1566...


These people died in 1566...


1565 - 1566 - 1567

16th century

How they were made