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"Thou shalt be delivered from sins, and be freed from the acrimony and fury of theologians."

- Last words of German Protestant reformer Philip Melanchthon, apparently welcoming death
after decades of fierce doctrinal debates with other reformers


In the year AD 1560...

  • The ongoing Scottish Reformation pits Presbyterian theologian John Knox and the Protestant Lords of the Congregation, who hope to turn Scotland Protestant and move it closer to England, against the forces of Scottish queen regent Mary of Guise, who hopes to keep Scotland Catholic, independent of England, and closely allied to France.
    • Mary's forces, having been reinforced by 1,800 French troops the year before, are advancing and threatening the Lords' stronghold in St. Andrews, when an English fleet shows up in the Firth of Forth in January 1560, dramatically shifting the odds in favor of the Lords and forcing Mary and the French to retreat to Leith near Edinburgh.
    • In the Treaty of Berwick, the Lords authorize English troops to enter Scottish soil to evict the French. English Queen Elizabeth I promptly dispatches an army to besiege Mary at Leith.
    • When Mary dies suddenly in June, and no further French reinforcements are forthcoming, the French open negotiations with the Lords and the English, leading to the Treaty of Edinburgh, in which both the French and the English agree to remove all troops from Scotland, leaving the Protestand Lords in charge of the country. The Lords accept Mary of Guise's daughter Mary Queen of Scots as the legitimate queen of Scotland, but are granted the right to convene a Parliament. The Church of Scotland thus dates to 1560.
  • In the Amboise Conspiracy, Protestant Hugenots led by Jean du Barry, seigneur de La Renaudie unsuccessfully attempt to storm the Château d'Amboise and kidnap the young French king Francis II. La Renaudie is captured and drawn and quartered, and 1,500 of his followers are also executed, with their corpses hung on iron hooks on the façade of the Château and from nearby trees, while others were drowned in the River Loire or tossed to the mob of enraged townspeople of Amboise.
  • Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga begins his rise to power in Japan by winning an improbable victory over the much larger army of Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama.
  • The Ottoman Empire is at the height of its naval power, totally dominating the entirety of the Mediterranean Sea. After several disastrous failed attempts to defeat the Ottoman navy, the Christian nations bordering the Mediterranean - including Spain, Malta, Genoa, Naples, and the Papal States - launch their biggest attack on the Ottomans yet, assembling a massive fleet of 60 galleys, 12,000 men, and dozens of smaller support vessels to attempt to capture Tripoli. The Ottomans counter with an even larger fleet of 86 galleys and galliots and numerous smaller vessels. At the Battle of Djerba, the Ottomans crush the Christian alliance, sinking 27 galleys, capturing more than 30 others, and killing more than 10,000 men. The victorious Ottomans erected a massive Pyramid of Skulls on the island of Djerba near Tripoli, made out of the skulls of killed Spanish defenders, which lasted until the 19th century.
  • At the age of 17, Mughal emperor Akbar summarily dismisses his regent, Bairam Khan, and begins to rule in his own name.
  • The oldest surviving violin, known as the "Charles IX," is manufactured in Cremona, Italy.


These people were born in 1560:


These people died in 1560:


1559 - 1560 - 1561

16th century

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