On the 31st October 1517, the foundations of the Protestant Reformation were laid when Martin Luther reputedly nailed his ‘Ninety-five Theses’ to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg – a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
On the 11th October 1521, Pope Leo X granted the title “Defender of the Faith” to King Henry VIII of England.
The 22nd June 1633 saw Galileo Galilei, the famed scientist, was found “vehemently suspect of heresy” by the Papal Inquisition and forced to recant his belief in the heliocentric universe originally put forward by Copernicus ninety years previously.
On the 27th April 1509, Pope Julius II excommunicated the entire republic of Venice.
On the 23rd March 1540, Waltham Abbey in Essex became the last abbey to be dissolved by Henry VIII.
On the 27th November 1095, Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade with an impassioned speech at the Council of Clermont.
Born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, Pius IX’s election by the Papal conclave of 1846 came at a time of significant political unrest across Europe.
On the 18th March 1314 Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was executed on the orders of King Philip IV.