Sunday, June 27, 2004

The Week in Early Modern History: 21-27 June 1604

The first (hopefully) in a regular series. What was happening 400 years ago, according to Google? With some further links to put events in context.

London, England: Parliament has been concerned with, among other things, the removal of benefit of clergy from certain types of manslaughter; ‘popery’ and recusancy; ‘abuses’ in buying and selling fish; poaching of deer; ‘deceits’ in clothing; the plague; swearing and blasphemy.
See also:
The 'Stabbing Act' removed benefit of clergy from cases of manslaughter by stabbing
Anti-catholicism: Parliamentary statutes and religious persecution; Persecution and toleration in Protestant England (book review)
Clothing: status and regulation; morality and fashion

Ostend, Netherlands: The three-year siege of Ostend, during the eighty-years of war for the Netherlands' independence from Spain, is at its height. It began in July 1601; the town did not surrender until September 1604.
See also: Dutch Declaration of Independence, 1581; The Dutch Revolt (multi-lingual)

24 June, Gloucestershire, England: baptism of Thomas Kimberley, son of Abraham and Katherine. Thomas emigrated to New England sometime between 1628 and the mid 1630s, to become one of the original founders of New Haven, Connecticut.
See also: Emigrants and settlers; Original constitution of New Haven, 1639

24 June, London: death of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (possibly of the plague, poor sod). Some argue that this is the man who really wrote the works of 'Shakespeare'. Others use the date of his death as evidence that he did not (since there are works dated after this). Some wonder if it really matters.
And see:
Just one of the many, many web pages discussing the topic
Burial of the plague dead in early modern London

26 June, Scotland: Robert Weir was broken on the wheel for his part in the murder of John Kincaid of Warriston four years earlier (John's wife Lady Jean Kincaid and other accomplices had been executed, variously by beheading and burning, in July 1600).
See also: Execution by breaking on the wheel. Not for the squeamish. Breaking on the wheel was not used in early modern England and Wales, and was probably rare in Scotland; it's associated more with mainland Europe.

27 June, Surrey, south-east England: John Gardner has been completing his task as executor of his brother Raphe’s estate (the will is proved today).
See also: Probate records in England and Wales; Early Modern Death

c. 26-7 June, New France: French explorers found a (short-lived) settlement at St Croix Island (on the US/Canada border today) – the first French, and one of the earliest European, settlements in north America.
See also: There are many Canadian web pages at the moment celebrating these events. Try this one; or this, on the more long-lasting founding of Port Royal the following year.

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