16th Century

Evil May-day Riots

On May Day in 1517 a riot was carried out by apprentices, journeymen and other workers. While this was an uprising of laborers, this incident, called the Evil May-day or Ill May-day, was also rooted in immigration and xenophobia in Tudor London.

A Brief History of Ballet, Pt. 1

For a long time, there was no formalized dance in western culture. Eventually, court performers in Europe were asked to also teach their audiences how to dance, blending the worlds of performance and social dancing, and creating a new art form.

The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Stuart is one of history’s most memorable figures, with myriad compelling chapters in her life. The Babington Plot was a convoluted bit of intrigue that she’s tied to, and it ultimately led to her execution.




The Beheading of Sir Walter Raleigh

Among other things, Sir Walter Raleigh was a courtier, an explorer, a historian, a Member of Parliament and a soldier. He was part of England’s defense against the Spanish armada, as well the Tudor conquest of Ireland, some of which was truly horrifying. According to some people, he is now a ghost. 

Cajamarca and the End of the Inka Empire

The Battle of Cajamarca, also known as the Massacre of Cajamarca, ultimately led to the end of the Inka Empire. But it might have gone much differently had the Inka not just been through a massive epidemic and a civil war. 

Giorgio Vasari

Vasari was an artist and architect in 16th-century Italy. But what really made him famous was his writing. He penned biographies of famous artists, but he wasn't exactly exacting about the details.

3 Reformation Women: Katharina, Marguerite & Jeanne

Katharina von Bora, Marguerite d’Angoulême and Jeanne d’Albret all left their mark on the Reformation, but all in different ways. Each of them has a unique part in the battle over religious affiliation in 16th-century Europe.

Catalina de Erauso, the Lieutenant Nun

Despite growing up in a convent and coming very close to taking religious vows as a nun, Catalina de Erauso wound up living a life of danger and adventure. A lot of today's episode falls into the general category of "exploits."

Copernicus

While he's known primarily as the astronomer who promoted the idea of a heliocentric solar system, Copernicus was also a master mathematician and a doctor. He worked for the church his entire life, and wrote a manuscript on devaluation of currency.

Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-day Queen

For a very short time between Edward VI and Mary I, Lady Jane was, at least nominally, Queen of England and Ireland, but whether she had any right to the title is still the subject of dispute.