Fifteenth Century History
1400 First golf balls made. The spinet, a small piano, invented.
1410 The earliest known English carol written by Ritson in 1410.
1412 Joan of Arc born in France.
1415 Execution of Jan Hus, Czech religious reformer, who lectured on the philosophy of Aristotle and John Wycliffe and believed that there was “but little of God’s truth at the papal court.” He denounced the sale of indulgences, the same issue that would move Martin Luther to criticize the church in 1517.
1420 Brunelleschi begins work on the duomo in Florence.
1421 Hoisting gear invented in Florence.
1428 Joan of Arc leads French against English.
1429 Henry VI becomes King of England – he is younger than a year old.
1430 Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians and turned over to the English.
1431 Joan of Arc burned at the stake after ecclesiastical trial.
1450 Johannes Gutenberg prints the Bible.
1452 Leonardo da Vinci born in Vinci, near Florence.
1453 Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks, ending the Byzantine empire.
1455 Wars of the Roses plunges England into a series of internal wars that were to last for 30 years: conflicting claims to the throne of England by the houses of York (insignia represented by a white rose) and Lancaster (red rose).
1462 Ivan the Great becomes first czar of Russia – he would rule until 1505.
1473 Copernicus born in Poland.
1475 Michelangelo Buonarroti born.
1478 The Spanish Inquisition initiated by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile to flush out the secret Jews from among the Christian population. After negotiations with the Pope, the first inquisitorial tribunal opened in Seville in 1481, leading to a national system of inquisitorial courts under an Inquisitor-General, Thomas Torquemada.
1470 Peter Schoeffer publishes a bookseller’s advertisement. (It is thought to be to the first printed poster on paper in Europe.)
1480 Founding of independent Russia by Ivan Vasilyevich, also known as Ivan III or Ivan the Great, who became the first czar in 1462.
1485 Leonardo da Vinci, a pupil of Verrocchio, makes detailed sketches of parachutes.
1486 The first known copyright granted in Venice.
1487 Bell chimes invented.
1488 Bartolomeu Dias sails around Africa and names the Cape of Good Hope.
1492 Christopher Columbus leaves Spain in search of the Indies. Jews expelled from Spain. The monetary unit, the peso, is put in circulation.
1493 Christopher Columbus leaves on his second voyage.
1494 Scots make whiskey.
1495 Leonardo da Vinci designs a pyramid-shaped parachute, and begins painting The Last Supper.
1497 Cabot sails from England to North America. Vasco da Gama sails around Africa to discover sea route to India in the next year. Michelangelo completes Bacchus sculpture. Jews expelled from Portugal.
1498 Christopher Columbus leaves on his third journey. First toothbrush made from hog bristles.
1499 Anne of Brittany begins custom of wearing a white wedding dress.
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