History Bytez

Byte Sized bits of History


15th Century

1499 – Battle of Dornach

22 July

The Old Swiss Confederacy decisively defeat the army of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor on this day in 1499 and establish a de facto independence of Switzerland from the Holy Roman Empire. Continue reading “1499 – Battle of Dornach”

1422 – Battle of Arbedo

30 June

The Battle of Arbedo was fought on this day in 1422 between the Duchy of Milan and the Swiss Confederation. Continue reading “1422 – Battle of Arbedo”

1498 – Girolamo Savonarola dies

23 May

An Italian Dominican friar, preacher and de facto ruler of Florence, Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in Florence on this day in 1498.

Continue reading “1498 – Girolamo Savonarola dies”

1450 – Battle of Formigny

15 April

The Battle of Formigny occurred on this day in 1450 near the end of the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) between the crowns of England and France.

Continue reading “1450 – Battle of Formigny”

1453 – Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople

6 April

Mehmed II or Mohammed II (30 March 1432 – 3 May 1481), best known as Mehmed the Conqueror,  was an Ottoman sultan who ruled first for a short time from August 1444 to September 1446, and later from February 1451 to May 1481. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the Eastern Roman Empire. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. Mehmed is considered a hero in modern-day Turkey and parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul’s Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him.

Continue reading “1453 – Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople”

1461 – Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton

29 March

The Battle of Towton was fought during the English Wars of the Roses on this day in 1461, near the village of Towton in Yorkshire. It brought about a change of monarchs in England, with the victor, the Yorkist Edward, Duke of York—who became King Edward IV (1461–1483) having displaced the Lancastrian King Henry VI (1422–1461) as king, and thus drove the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country. Continue reading “1461 – Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton”

Medieval trading ship raised to surface ‘almost intact’ after 500 years on riverbed in Netherlands 


A medieval ship has been raised after half a millenium of resting on a riverbed in The Netherlands. Continue reading “Medieval trading ship raised to surface ‘almost intact’ after 500 years on riverbed in Netherlands “

1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy

16 January

The House of Medici was an Italian banking family, political dynasty and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de’ Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to fund the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence — though officially they remained citizens rather than monarchs. Continue reading “1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy”

1460 – Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield

30 December

The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield, in West Yorkshire in Northern England, on this day in 1460. Continue reading “1460 – Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield”

Richard III gets a makeover

An updated version of the reconstructed head of King Richard III has been unveiled. Continue reading “Richard III gets a makeover”

What would Richard III have sounded like?

Research at the University of Leicester can even give us a clue as to what Richard III sounded like. Dr Philip Shaw, Lecturer in English Language and Old English in our School of English, has studied two letters written by Richard when he was Duke of Gloucester. In the podcast below, you can hear Dr Shaw read these letters using the approximate pronunciation and accent that we believe Richard would have used. Interestingly, the language and spelling betrays no sign of a northern dialect, being closer to what we now consider a West Midlands accent.

1444 – Battle of Varna: Crusading forces defeated

10 November

The Battle of Varna took place on this day in 1444 near Varna in eastern Bulgaria. The Ottoman Army under Sultan Murad II defeated the Hungarian-Polish and Wallachian armies commanded by Władysław III of Poland (also King of Hungary), John Hunyadi (acting as commander of the combined Christian forces) and Mircea II of Wallachia. It was the final battle of the Crusade of Varna. Continue reading “1444 – Battle of Varna: Crusading forces defeated”

1494 – Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman sultan is born

6 November

Suleiman I (6 Nov, 1494 – 7 Sep, 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West, was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. Continue reading “1494 – Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman sultan is born”

1467 – Battle of Brustem

28 October – On this day

The Battle of Brustem was fought on this day in 1467 in Brustem, near Sint-Truiden (present-day Belgium) between the Duchy of Burgundy and Liège, as part of the Second Liège War. Continue reading “1467 – Battle of Brustem”

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