1576 The Fifth War of Religion in France ended with the Peace of Monsieur. The Huguenots were granted freedom of worship in all places except Paris.
1577 The Sixth War of Religion erupts in France. After five months it ends with the Peace of Bergerac. The Huguenots gain more concessions.
1579 Jan 25, The Union of Utrecht brought together seven northern, Protestant provinces of the Netherlands against the Catholics. Known as the United Provinces, they become the foundation of the Dutch Republic. The Treaty of Utrecht was signed, marking the beginning of the Dutch Republic.
1579 Jun 17, Sir Francis Drake sailed into San Francisco Bay and proclaimed English sovereignty over New Albion (California). Some claim that Sir Francis Drake sailed into the SF Bay. Sir Francis Drake claimed San Francisco Bay for England. It may have been Drake's Bay or Bolinas Lagoon. In 1999 there were 17 proposed locations for his landing with the latest set in Oregon and described by Bob Ward in the book "Lost Harbor Found."
1580 France's Seventh War of Religion broke out and ended with the Peace of Felix.
1581 Converts to Roman Catholicism in England were subject by law to penalties of high treason.
1581 The seven northern provinces of the Netherlands renounced their allegiance to Philip II of Spain.
1580-1589 Cocoa becomes a popular Spanish drink.
1582 Feb 24, The Julian calendar was corrected. The old Julian Calendar had an error rate of one day in every 128 years. This was corrected in the Gregorian Calendar of Pope Gregory XIII, but Protestant countries did not accept the change till 1700 and later
1582 Mapmakers labeled New England in the New World as Norumbega
1583 Aug 5, Humphrey Gilbert, English explorer, annexed Newfoundland in the name of Queen Elizabeth and founded the first English settlement in the New World. His colony disappeared. He drowned this same year at sea in a storm off the Azores.
1580-1589 Scotland's University of Edinburgh begins to operate.
1584 Walter Raleigh, English explorer, courtier, and writer, settled the Virginia colony on Roanoke Island, naming it after Elizabeth, the 'virgin' queen.
1580-1589 England's naval efforts against the Spanish Armada have so depleted timber supplies that wood must be imported from Norway.
1585 Jul 13, A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reached Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Roanoke Island near North Carolina became England's first foothold in the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh sent a detachment of 108 men to build a fort on the island. The detachment included two scientists, Thomas Hariot, a surveyor, mathematician, astronomer and oceanographer, and Joachim Gans, a metallurgist.
1585 The War of the Three Henries [Henry III, Henry of Guise, and Henry of Navarre] began when Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot, became heir to the French throne.
1580-1589 The first noted life-insurance policy is sold in England.
1587 Jul 22, A second English colony of  120 people under Sir Walter Raleigh, also fated to vanish under mysterious circumstances, was established on Roanoke Island off North Carolina. A three-year draught, the worst in 800 years, peaked during this time
1580-1589 The first knitting machine is invented by England's William Lee
1587 Aug 18, In the Roanoke Island colony, Ellinor and Ananias Dare became parents of a baby girl whom they name Virginia Dare, the first English child born on what is now Roanoke Island, N.C., then considered Walter Raleigh's second settlement in Roanoke, Virginia. Virginia Dare, daughter of John White, became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil.
1580-1589 Imprisoned by the English, Mary Queen of Scots is found guilty of conspiring to murder England's Queen Elizabeth, and she is beheaded
1588 Jul 29, The English soundly defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines. The Spanish Armada was sighted off the coast of England.
1580-1589 The first black slaves land in North America when Phillip II of Spain sends them to St. Augustine
1588 An eye-witness account of the New World was provided by "A Briefe and True Account of the New Found Land of Virginia," written by Thomas Harriot. It encouraged further settlement and investment.
1589 Sir John Harington, Elizabethan poet, designed the first water closet and installed it at his country house near Bath. In 1596 he installed one at the palace of his godmother Queen Elizabeth I.
1590-1599 The compound microscope is invented by Zacharias Janssen of Denmark, which pioneers the study of microorganisms.
1593 Jul 25, France's King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism
1590-1599 A traveling German notes the blackness of England's Queen Elizabeth's teeth, which leads to the first recorded connection between tooth decay and sugar
1595 John Smith on a whaling expedition mapped the eastern seaboard and named the area new England. The area had earlier been called Norumbega. On his return he gave the map to heir apparent Charles Stuart (16) and instructed him to rename the "barbarous" place names. Thus Cape Elizabeth, Cape Anne, the Charles River and Plymouth.
1596-1597 Shakespeare wrote his tragedy "King John."
1598 Apr 13, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted political rights to French Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)
1590-1599 The tomato arrives in England
1598 May 2, Henry IV signed the Treaty of Vervins, ending Spain's interference in France
1590-1599 The English colony on Roanoke Island is found to have mysteriously disappeared, with only the word Croatan left as a clue.
1599 The Dutch East India Company dates to this time
1590-1599 Henry IV issues the Edict of Nantes, which permits the Huguenots to practice Protestantism and attempts to mitigate religious intolerance
1600 Dec 31, The British East India Company was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I in London to carry on trade in the East Indies in competition with the Dutch, who controlled nutmeg from the Banda Islands
1601 A British measure, funded by taxes, provided jobs for the able-bodied poor and apprentice programs for children.
1602 May 15, Cape Cod was discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold
1603-1625 King James I (1566-1625) ruled over England and Scotland
1605 The American Indian Tisquantum, aka Squanto, was picked up by seafarer George Weymouth and taken to England. He spent 9 years there and returned to the New World as the interpreter for John Smith.
1600-1609 Still undiscovered by European powers, Australia possesses an aborigine population of about 300,000
1607 Apr 26, Ships under the command of Capt. Christopher Newport sought shelter in Chesapeake Bay. The forced landing led to the founding of Jamestown on the James River, the first English settlement. An expedition of English colonists, including Capt. John Smith, went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
1609-1610 A dry spell that began in 1606 was responsible for "the starving time" at the Jamestown colony. Nearly half of the 350 colonists alive in June, 1610, were dead by the end of the summer
1607 Aug 14, The Popham expedition reached the Sagadahoc River in the northeastern North America and settled there
1609 Sep 12, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name. He disappears forever after his crew mutinies and strands him at James Bay
1610 In Ireland the settlement at Derry was colonized by the English, who built a fortress surrounded by stone walls and renamed it Londonderry.
1613 The American Indian Tisquantum, aka Squanto, returned to the New World from England as the interpreter for John Smith. He was freed by Smith but then kidnapped with 19 fellow Indians by an Englishman and carried off to Milaga, Spain. He managed to escape to England.
1610-1619 Protestantism is established in Transylvania when Gabriel Bethlen von Iktar overthrows Gabriel Bathory and becomes prince; he jails the former leader's cousin, who was reputed to have killed upward of 600 virgins to bathe in their blood.
1616 Galileo was forbidden from continuing his scientific work by the Roman Catholic Church
1617 The Pilgrims decided to leave the Netherlands. They formed a partnership in a joint-stock company with a group of London merchants in a company called John Pierce & Assoc. They received a grant for a plantation in the Virginia colony but ended up landing in Massachusetts. Each adult was to receive a share in the company but earnings would not be divided for 7 years
1619 Aug 20, The first group of twenty Africans was brought to Jamestown, Virginia as indentured servants
1619 In England Tisquantum joined a new exploratory mission to the New England coast and returned to find that his tribe had been wiped out by the plague. It was he who later communicated with the first Pilgrims at Plymouth.
1620 Sep 16, The Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower, finally settling at Plymouth, Mass. The Pilgrims were actually Separatists because they had left the Church of England
1620 Nov 11, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a "body politick." 102 Pilgrims stepped ashore. They called themselves Saints and others Strangers
1620 Dec 21, The Mayflower reached Plymouth, Mass. Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass. The crew of the ship did not have enough beer to get to Virginia and back to England so they dropped the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock to preserve their beer stock
1621 Jun 3, The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands, now known as New York. The Dutch West India Co. was formed to trade with America and West Africa.
1621 Spices bought in the West Indies for $227 sold for $2 million in Europe
1622 Mar 22, The Powhattan Confederacy massacred 350 colonists in Virginia, a quarter of the population. On Good Friday more than 300 colonists in and around Jamestown, Virginia, were massacred by the Powhatan Indians. The massacre was led by the Powhatan chief Opechancanough and began a costly 22-year war against the English. Opechancanough hoped that killing one quarter of Virginia's colonists would put an end to the European threat. The result of the massacre was just the opposite, however, as English survivors regrouped and pushed the Powhatans far into the interior. Opechancanough launched his final campaign in 1644, when he was nearly 100 years old and almost totally blind. He was then captured and executed
1620-1629 Sir Francis Bacon of England catches pneumonia and dies while attempting to freeze chickens by stuffing them with snow
1625 The first apple orchard in the United States was planted on Boston's Beacon Hill
1625 Mar 27, Charles I ascended the English throne upon the death of James I
1620 - 1629 English colonists begin to populate Barbados when the Dutch ship the William and John docks in the West Indies
1625 St. Croix island in the West Indies was settled by the Dutch and English
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