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1577 – Francis Drake, sailor and privateer, sailed off from Plymouth with 5 ships on the beginning of what would be become his circumnavigation of the world. After his return, Elizabeth I would knight him on the deck of the only ship he returned with.

1533- The future Eric XIV of Sweden is born in Stockholm. He became king when he was 27 but started showing signs of Schizophrenia. He would be deposed in 1568 and died of probabe arsenic poisoning in 1577, at age 43. He was succeeded by his brother, John III.

1553 – King Henry IV of France and Navarre is born. He became King of Navarre in 1572, and King of France in 1589. He was Protestant until his accession in France, when he converted to Catholicism, stating that “Paris was worth it.” He also issued the Edict of Nantes which guaranteed religous liberties to the French Protestants, and ended the religious civil wars.

1906 – Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark is born in Greece to Prince Nicholas, and his Russian Grand Duchess wife, Elena. She married into the British Royal Family in 1934 to Prince George, Duke of Kent. The current Queen Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at her wedding. She had three children before the Duke’s death in 1942 while serving in the RAF during World War II. She continued to be an active member of the Royal Family.

1250 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, died of dysentery while on military campaign in Italy. He spoke six languages, and had a great influence on the arts in his realms, especially poetry.

1521 – Manuel I of Portugal passed away in Lisbon at age 52. Under his reign, the Portugese saw a rise in their Imperial land holdings, overseas trade and commerce, and Manuel was a great patron of the arts.

1621 – The 85 year old Queen Dowager of Sweden, Christina Stenbock died. She was the third and last consort of Gustav I and stepmother to the above mentioned Eric XIV. She never remarried, and spent the rest of her life and influence helping the poor, mainly orphans.

Have an awesome day!