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[Prevous page - Timelines From 1350 to 1450] [You are now on Merchants Networks Project Timelines page filed as: From 1450 to 1500 - timelinesb.htm] [Next page Timelines 1500-1600]

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From 1450 to 1500

Merchant Networks Timelines
From 1450 to 1500 There are now 21++ files in this series
Many files are filled with data for ten-year periods (decadally) These data have been years in compilation. Their trend is to follow the changing shapes of the British Empire.
This file is devoted to presenting basic Timeline information for website readers. The items are often sketchy, and some have been extracted from other websites managed by Dan Byrnes. These Timelines will be added-to intermittently, as new data and new e-mail arrives. Book titles will be entered according to the timeframes they treat. -EdThis is file Timelines a - first in the series. To find the second file (for 1500++) in this Merchant Networks Timelines series of files, click to Timelines0

1450AD: (From a website on climate change): The Little Ice Age: Beginning about 1450AD is a marked return to colder conditions, often called The Little Ice Age, a term used to describe an epoch of renewed glacial advance. Although many regions of the world experience cooling during the period 1450 to 1890 A.D., its use has been criticised because it could not conclusively be considered an event of global significance (Bradley & Jones, 1992). But some scientific evidence arises with use of "proxy reconstructions", evidence from tree rings, ice cores, periglacial features. (There is considerable evidence that the Little Ice Age consisted of two main cold stages of about a century's length (Bradley & Jones, 1992). These occurred in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, with relative warmth arising in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Glaciers advanced in Europe, Asia and North America, whilst sea ice in the North Atlantic expanded with detrimental effects for the colonies of Greenland and Iceland (Lamb, 1982).)

1450: To 1870: Period of "Little Ice Age": Climate conditions change in Northern Hemisphere, leading to widespread misery, say some, but also inspired famous literature. Villagers saw glaciers crush their houses. Fisheries collapsed as oceans iced over. Severe land winters brought famine and conflict. Snowy hard winters in London may have inspired some of Charles Dickens' presentations of Christmas scenes? Clime conditions changed abruptly in 1860-1870.
(Little is known of reactions here in the Southern Hemisphere except for some recent research on Eastern Australia's Great Barrier Reef corals - See an issue of Science recent by 23 February, 2002, on work by Australian National University Researcher Erica Hendy, associated with workers from Australian Institute of Marine Science).

C15th, London has a population of merely 40,000. European cities rarely had a population above 100,000 until the C17th.

1452 and earlier: In Prince Henry's time the Portuguese discovered and settled Azores Islands and reached the islands of Flores and Corvo; plus also use various fishing banks (cod) up to Newfoundland by 1452. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, p. 27). 1452: De Teive for the Portuguese discovers Corvo and the Fishing Banks.

1452: Papal Bulls of 1452, 1455 and 1456 , re Portugal's "Charter of Imperialism", to convert heathens from Cape Bojador to India, so when Spain and Portugal conflicted in America, Pope Alexander VI arbitrates, with Portugal territory in east and Spain's in the west. Portugal may already have discovered Brazil but according to its policy of secrecy does not mention it in negotiations with Spain and Pope. The Pope cannot see why Portugal is interested in land to west, so he draws a line down the middle of the Atlantic one hundred leagues west of the Azores or Cape Verde Islands, and all non-Christian lands east for Portugal, and west for Spain, and implicitly, the line existed on the other side of the world; and also went through Australia, roughly at the present eastern border of Western Australia, so that eastern Australia would be Spanish, meaning when Britain took Australia, she took Spanish territory (that is, "a Spanish Lake") according to the much-earlier Papal division of the Earth. The Portuguese King Joao II is dissatisfied with the division as it left out fishing grounds Portugal desired. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, p. 30).

1453: Forced westward by Mongols, the Ottomans take Constantinople, then fight with Venice. In France, end of the Hundred Years War in 1453, Charles VII regains the whole of Gascony.

1454: Peace of Lodi among Italian states.

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1459: Ceylon is now united after warfare, under Vijaya Bahu VI. Ceylon now refuses to pay tribute to emperor of China. (See Gavin Menzies, 1421)

Contra to Gavin Menzies' 1421 is Phil Rivers, (Capt.), 1421 Voyages: Fact and Fantasy. [monograph No 11.] 2004. Malaysia, first edition. ISBN 9834 055641. (Rebutting Menzies on three fronts: documents, nautical and geographical aspects, and general lacks of evidence). (For a non-detailed debunking of Menzies' 1421 by an Australian, see article, '1421: The Year China Didn't Discover Terribly Much', by Peter Barrett, (vice-president of Canberra Skeptics), The Skeptic, Vol. 25, No. 3, Spring 2005., pp. 48-51.)

1458: Papal Bull of Inter Caetera. (Re impact on maritime history)

1463-1479AD: War between Ottoman Turks and Venetians; Turks eventually triumphant.

On the Order of Christ in Portugal.
An early master (1420) of the Order of Christ was Henry the Navigator (died 1460). Later, the heir of the King of Portugal, John II Capet, The Perfect (died 1495) was his wife's brother, also his cousin, Manuel Duke Beja, who was Master of the Order of Christ at the time. The (otherwise unexplained ) revenues of the Order of Christ at this time funded the Portuguese explorations of Africa. The Portuguese from 1505 via the Order of Christ explored the western coasts of Africa. At the same time, Almeida went to Cochin (South India) to invade Moslem trading areas, after earlier Portuguese voyages to the east of 1500.

1472: World exploration: Voyage of Joao Vaz Cortereal.

1471: World exploration: Portuguese ships cautiously cross the Equator.
(Giles Milton, Nathaniel's Nutmeg. Penguin Books, 1999/2000.)

1470: Italy, Venice, Negroponte is lost to Turks.

1477: A Ming dynasty government official expunges the archives on China's treasure fleets under Cheng Ho.
See Dennis De Witt, 'Cheng Ho and the Ming Treasure Fleets', Dutch Courier, February 2003., pages 20 and 29. (The author is from Malacca, of Dutch descent, and maintains interest in the Dutch influence in Malaysia. Check a Dutch Descendants website: http://www.geocities.com/dutchdescendants/)

1477: Due to use of the printing press, some 500 copies of Ptolemy's Geographia are printed in Bologna. Other editions of it are published in Italy and Germany.
(Estensen, Discovery: The Quest for the Great South Land)

1477: Columbus voyages to Iceland.

1482: Slavery, Portugal sets up a fort on the West African coast to seek gold, then slaves. Later there were 60 European forts on the African slave coasts. (During the Crusades periods, steps were taken during times of conflict to keep open a slave route bringing slaves from southern Russia bound for Egypt. Venice trafficked in slaves)

1484: (possibly): Cristavao Colom (Columbus) a young Genoese mariner approaches King Joao II of Portugal with a plan to sail to Cipangu (Japan) and other eastern areas by sailing west from Western Europe. His proposal is based on readings of Marco Polo's books, the biblical Apocrypha, Imago Mundi by Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, maps by Ptolemy and works by the Florentine geographer Paolo Toscanelli.
(Estensen, Discovery: The Quest for the Great South Land)

1485AD: Venice introduces the idea of ship quarantine, a forty-day detention of ships suspected of carrying plague, the Black Death. (This measure had no useful effect on plagues carried by fleas on rats).

1487: Explorer Bartolomeu Diaz sails from Lisbon and reaches Cape of Good Hope with a noted cartographer aboard, and rounded Cape. Gets to Kwaaihoek, east of Cape Padrone. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, pp. 215-216.)

1487: India: See James Burgess, The Chronology of Indian History. Delhi, Cosmo Pubs., 1972. From 1487 as Diaz opens a sea route to India.

1487: Explorer Diogo Cao reached the Congo, Africa, and beyond, now Namibia, south-western Africa. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, p. 26.)

1490: As Portugal has ambitions of moving deeper into West Africa from the coast, its explorers find their way barred by the Congo River. They tried nearby Angola, to create plantations, but could still exercise inadequate control. The Portuguese did succeed by 1506 when they established a sugar plantation two hundred miles off the West African coast at Sao Tome island. For the Sao Tome project, in 1493, two thousand Jewish chldren, taken from their parents, baptized as Christians, and sent as workers. Two-thirds of them had died within 13 years. (Cited in Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Vol. 1, Racial Oppression and Social Control. New York, Verso, 2002., p. 206 and Vol. 2, p. 5)

1492: Sailing for the Spanish monarchs, Christopher Columbus discovers the West Indies while actually seeking India/China.
1492: Columbus founds the first European settlement in the New World, on Hispaniola.

1493: There developed intense rivalry for maritime supremacy between Portugal and Spain. The referee for two Catholic powers was the Vatican, so in a Bull issued in 1493, the Pope confirmed the existing rights of Portugal and established those of Spain by running an imaginary line from north to south, one hundred leagues west of the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands. East of this line was for Portugal, west for the Spanish.

1493: To place British imperialism in one kind of perspective, Williams, pp. 70ff says, even with the "discoveries" of Columbus, there was intense rivalry for maritime supremacy between Portugal and Spain. The referee for two Catholic powers was the Vatican, so in a Bull issued in 1493, the Pope confirmed the existing rights of Portugal and established those of Spain by running an imaginary line from north to south, one hundred leagues west of the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands. East of this line was for Portugal, west for the Spanish. (The Eurocentric arrogance of the manoeuvre is quite breathtaking). Spain was dissatisfied as there had been no mention of India, and a second Bull later in 1493 took this complaint into account, and in theory allowed for any of Columbus' ambitions concerning Spanish influence in India. This adjustment in turn annoyed Portugal, and so by the Treaty of Tordesillas, on 7 June 1494. Further adjustment was made, and the line of demarcation was fixed at 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. (Brazil then became Portuguese).
In 1493 a Papal Bull had divided the world into two for the use of Catholic powers, the west for Spain, the East for Portugal. (Morrell, pp. 12-14.) As those two nations continued exploration, their areas overlapped. (Under the Tordesillas Capitulacion of 1494, the Moluccas (Spice Islands) were said to have been in Portuguese limits, and Spain abandoned its claim - Magellan failed to clear this matter up).

Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), the first European to voyage by Cape of Good Hope and journey by sea to India. His voyage 1497-1499, at order of Manuel I, with four vessels round Cape of Good Hope, the easternmost point earlier sailed by Bartholomew Diaz in 1488, Gama went up the east coast of Africa to Malindi, and across India Ocean to Calicut. Possibly most significant event for Portuguese history, and Gama later drafted instructions for Cabral's voyage to India 1500-1502. In 1502 Gama went again to India with 20 ships, when he also tried to gain the submission of some African chiefs. Harsh methods were used. In 1524 he went back to India as a Viceroy but soon died. (See Edgar Prestage, The Portuguese Pioneers. 1933. On men with Vasco de Gama going from Portugal to India in 1497-1498, extending the discovery of Bartholomew Diaz in 1487 that a large ocean lay beyond the Cape of Good Hope, to the east. (Why are these dates discrepant?(

1493: Spain was dissatisfied as there had been no mention of India, and a second Bull later in 1493 took this complaint into account, and in theory allowed for any of Columbus' ambitions concerning Spanish influence in India. This adjustment in turn annoyed Portugal, and so by the Treaty of Tordesillas, on 7 June 1494, further adjustment was made, and the line of demarcation was fixed at 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands.
(Brazil then became Portuguese). (We here deliberately ignore English maritime history, which cared little for Papal announcements.)

So in 1493 a Papal Bull had divided the world into two, the west for Spain, the East for Portugal. As those two nations continued exploration, their areas overlapped. (Under the Tordesillas Capitulacion of 1494, the Moluccas (Spice Islands) were said to have been in Portuguese limits, and Spain abandoned its claim. (Magellan failed to clear this matter up.)

1493: Vilar is certain that Columbus was looking for gold, between October 1492 and January 1493 his diary mentions gold at least 65 times. (Pierre Vilar, A History of Gold and Money, 1450-1920. London, Verso, 1991., p. 63)

1494: After earlier dissatisfaction, the "Pope's line" is fixed further west of earlier line for Portugal, Treaty of Tordesillas, and is only meant to be binding on Spain and Portugal, and later amended by the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529, and actually repealed in 1750 by the Treaty of Madrid. But its terms continued to have legal significance internationally, even as late as 1898 when Britain and Venezuela argued over the boundary of British Guiana and the Pope's line did not embrace seas, only lands, although states later interpreted it as having done this; so that Portugal later claimed the Indian Ocean and Spain the Pacific Ocean - none of which ever impressed British Imperialists, who did what they could. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, pp 26, 30-31, 215-216.)

1494: Santo Domingo becomes known for gold. (Pierre Vilar, A History of Gold and Money, 1450-1920. London, Verso, 1991., pp. 65ff.)

1495 India: John Cabot seeks a north-west passage to India, while in India itself, a city is founded in the Deccan.

1496: Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) became the first European to voyage by the Cape of Good Hope and to journey by sea to India. His voyage 1497-1499, at the order of Manuel I, followed up an earlier voyage sailed by Bartholomew Diaz in 1488. Gama went up the east coast of Africa to Malindi, and across India Ocean to Calicut. (It is judged "possibly the most significant event for Portuguese history".) Gama later drafted instructions for Cabral's voyage to India 1500-1502.

1496: All this unimaginable Vatican/Hispanic arrogance (Treaty of Tordisellas) forgot one factor - England. Meanwhile in England. On 5 March 1496, Henry VII issued orders for a sailor, John Cabot, to make a voyage of discovery. (Eric Williams observes, p. 71, "The date has been called the birthday of the British Empire.")

1496: India: Revolts, King of Kashmir is imprisoned by his cousin. Portuguese have proposal to go to India.

(From G. R. Elton on Tudors, pp. 331ff): In March 1496, Henry VII gave John Cabot (he is a Genoese living in Bristol from 1490), wanted to go to Japan (Cipango), then s/w to Cathay/China, and his sons, one son Sebastien and a syndicate of Bristol merchants a charter to sail east, north or west to discover lands unknown to Christians. the Tordesillas line went through the Azores. Cabot looking for Cathay sailed in May 1497, discovered or got to probably Nova Scotia. see story on Sinclairs from Scotland also. Some evidence Cabot's work alarmed the Spanish. Jn Cabot's son Sebastien sailed from Bristol again in 1509, failed, and later worked for the Spanish. In 1521, Henry tried to form a company for exploration, lethargy and opposition of London's businessmen stymied the project. Some involved in 1521 incl John Rastell, a brother-in-law of Thomas More. one Rastell-assisted voyage for America came to grief in Ireland. By 1525 one of the few English propagandists for exploration was Robert Thorne died 1532, a Spanish merchant in Spain. Thorne seemed to seem aware of the Pacific. (G. R. Elton on Tudors, p. 334), In the 1530s, William Hawkins of Plymouth initiated a profitable trade in dyestuffs with the coast of Brazil. a trade slump in the 1550s. In 1548 Sebastien Cabot returned to England after 35 years serving the Spanish crown. John Dee's career in Elton p. 334 can be traced from 1551, an astrologer, necromancer, mathematician, geographer, "a genuine scientist and credulous charlatain", he "became a prophet" of the north-west passage and later the fabled southern continent, the great Terra Australis Incognita supposed to lie to south of Pacific Ocean and stretching from Cape Horn to East Indian islands, existing to counterbalance the weight of lands in northern hemisphere.

1497 India: A kingdom succeeded but is held only 100 days, Vasco da Gama sails from Belem, trouble in Bijapur.

1497: Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon in search of a sea route to India and reaches India.

1497: John Cabot in organizing his second expedition to the New World was allowed by Henry VII to take as part of his crew some criminals.

1497: Cabot and his friends sought to push to Asia, so Cabot sailed from Bristol, to reach Cape Breton Island, which Cabot thought the north-eastern coast of Asia, a source of gems and silks he had seen at Mecca, and in 1498, Cabot tried for Japan, but Cabot could not find a route to India, but from his voyages stemmed the English claim to North America, by right of discovery, and in 1501, Bristol merchants obtained a patent from English crown to settle colonies in newly discovered areas. (From Mukherjee, p. 41).

8-9 July 1497: Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon, ships Sao Rafael, Sao Gabriel and Berrio, rounded CGH, sailed right across Indian Ocean, Vasco da Gama reaches India, later Portuguese settlement at Goa and an eastern boundary of that ocean of course is Australia, or India Meridional, colonial capital of the Orient, the Treaty of Tordesillas had just granted Portugal hemisphere from Atlantic to China Sea, and as emporium was Malacca where came the Chinese, the Cochin-Chinese and Malays for trade, [note p. 82, the Dutch always came to Java from the South, the Portuguese from the west]. (McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, p. 26, p. 41, pp. 215-216).

1498 India: Partition treaty for the Deccan; Kandesh is not paying up; trouble in Bengal.

1498: When Vasco Da Gama reached the Indian port of Calicut, he found the Indians appalled at the shoddiness of the goods he had on offer. He went home only with cloves and peppercorns.

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