For Christmas Printables and other free printable items, visit any of the links shown below.
Or read on to see Chapter Two of a unique and colorful approach to Christmas past.
Additional chapters are linked at the bottom of the text.
Let these Christmas Printables put you in the mood for holiday cheer, any time of year!
by Judee Shipman
1400 – An English nobleman named Sir John IV Sutton, Lord Dudley is born in Dudley Castle, Staffordshire, England. Despite fighting many battles in the Hundred Years War, he lives to the age of 86.
1401 – Sir Henry Fenwick is born at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. He becomes a warden of the castle, and also a knight. He dies at age 58. 1405 – Bartholomeus (Barthold II) van Eck, born in 1320, dies in Eck at the age of 85.
1406 – Spanish King of Castille Enrique III dies at age 27. The details of his death are unknown, but such an early demise of such a powerful man on so important a date raises suspicion, to say the least.
1412 – Czech religious reformer Jan Hus (1372-1415) writes letters from exile to the people of Prague in celebration of Christmas.
1414 – The Emperor of Prague abandons Jan Hus (a.k.a. John Huss). Six months later, Jan Hus is burned at the stake for heresy.
1416 – In Greece, news arrives that Mustafa (an Ottoman prince) is in Thessaloniki, and is being attacked by his older brother, Mehmed. Blood may be thicker than water, but some thirst only for power.
1418 – Sejon the Great becomes King of Joseon, a Korean state that existed until the late 19 th century.
1419 – Bohemian Emperor Sigismund claims sovereignty at a meeting held in Beraun, provoking mixed reactions from the crowd.
1421 – Emperor Sigismund appears on the Bohemian frontier, where a great number of forces have gathered to resist him.
1423 – Portugal enters a Royal Marriage with Sweden.
1424 – Margaret of Scotland is born to King James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort. Margaret eventually marries the King of France.
1429 – The French army, led by Joan of Arc, raises the siege of La Charitésur-Loire.
1430 – Joan of Arc is imprisoned at Rouen, where she will be burned alive at the age of 19.
Above: A depiction of Joan of Arc being burned alive at the stake, painted by Hermann Stilke in 1843.
1431 – A priest delivers a sermon in Koblenz. It begins, “The world was made flesh and dwelt among us...”
1442 – Queen Elisabeth of Hungary dies.
1443 – The Italian city of Mantua is liberated from Venetian oppression.
1447 – Beatrice de Pinto of Portugal dies at the age of sixty.
1449 – Arwic IV inherits the title of Grand Duke of Reichstadt, but Emperor Sashen Valgord refuses to acknowledge the claim, instead bestowing the title on his own cousin.
1450 – Birth of Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias, who later sails the western coast of Africa.
1452 – Birth of Sir Thomas Leighton, who will someday become Sheriff of Shropshire.
1455 – Death of Sir Phillip Dymoke, an English nobleman.
1458 – Birth of Amago Tsunehisa, a powerful Japanese warlord.
1460 – A famous process in absentia is held against Sigismondo in Rome, where Pope Pius II excommunicates him, declares him a heretic, and openly accuses him of incest, sodomy, and other sins.
1461 – Christina of Saxony, future Queen of Scandinavia, is born.
1462 – The fifth Baron Zouche of Haryngworth dies.
1463 – Johann of Schwarzenberg is born. He eventually becomes a famous German reformer. He is credited for the notion of impartial hearings for the accused.
1471 – A comet (not Halley's) appears on Christmas day this year, with a magnitude of -4, which is about as bright as Venus. The comet remains visible to the naked eye for nearly two months.
1472 – Italian artist Carlo Crivelli adds the finishing touches to a masterpiece known as Madonna and Child Enthroned.
ABOVE: Madonna and Child Enthroned, by Carlo Crivelli.
1475 – Elizabeth Howard, a nun born in 1410, dies at the Stratford Nunnery in Suffolk, England.
1476 – Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, is assassinated.
1477 – A Mascate Regiment arrives in Al Kharam.
1480 – Francesco Sassetti, a rich banker, commissions Domenico Ghirlandaio, a renowned artist, to create frescoes for the Gothic style Sassetti Chapel in Florence, Italy.
ABOVE: A wall Fresco of Jesus at The Last Supper, by Domenico Ghirlandaio.
1483 – A dictionary is published in Venice.
Meanwhile, over in England, King Henry VII promises to marry Elizabeth of York.
1485 – A noblewoman by the name of Elizabeth from Puttenham, Hertfordshire, England writes a will in which she states her desire to be buried in the Chapel of Saint Mary the Virgin.
1486 – Irish nobleman John Lord Barry dies at age 51.
1488 – Death of Antoine de Chabbanes, a French soldier in the Hundred Years War.
1489 – Princess Mary Paston dies at age 20 in Westminster, Middlesex, England.
1490 – An Italian priest named John Marinoni is born in Venice. He is later baptized with the name of Francis.
1491 – Prince Johan van Savoye Graff van Faucigny en Geneve dies at the age of 51.
1492 – A ship called Santa Maria, manned by Christopher Columbus, runs aground and sinks on a Caribbean island, which he named Hispaniola.
ABOVE: A depiction of Christopher Columbus following the shipwreck of the Santa Maria.
1493 – Antoinette de Bourbon is born. She later becomes a French noblewoman and marries Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise. She lives to the age of 90.
1494 – Juan de Borja delivers terms of peace from Alexander VI to Charles VIII in Bracciano.
1495 – A book by Theodore Gaza is printed by Aldus Minutius on a new, high tech invention called the printing press.
1496 – Death of Pilton Raleigh, Sheriff of Devon.
On the same day, a French noblewoman named Louise van Husson Vrouwe van Saint Aignan en La Salle marries a man named Emich van Beauvilliers Heer van La Ferte-Hubert en Thoury Gouverneur van Blois. This must have led to some awkward introductions at social gatherings.
1497 – Vasco da Gama discovers an African coastal village and names it Natal.
1498 – Sheriff Richard Chichester dies in Devon, England.
1499 – Death of Count Johann VI von Dhaun.
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Here are some Classic Short Stories from the public domain:
Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London
The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Go here for selected Moral Stories.
See this page for Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.
Click this link to learn Why Reading Is Important.