1501 CE to 1600 CE

Archaeologists search for graves at Flodden

In September 1513, thousands of bodies were buried on or around the battlefield of Flodden in Northumberland, England. Now, 500 years later, excavation has taken place to locate and protect the remains and to declare the burials as war dead.

Rethinking Henry VIII

For 500 years, Henry VIII has had a reputation as a womanizing villain, but TV historian Dr Lucy Worsley has a different view: Henry was a family kind of guy who just wanted to settle down with a good woman.

Introducing Hernán Cortés

Arguably, Hernán Cortés is the most famous - or infamous - of the Spanish explorers. Jessie Szalay, LiveScience Contributor, offers a biographical feature on the conqueror of the Aztec Empire and governor of New Spain.

500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden marked

14,000 individuals -- 10,000 Scots and 4,000 English -- lost their lives in the Battle of Flodden which took place in 1513 in Northumberland, England. Among them was King James IV of Scotland. This year re-enactors and others are marking the 500th anniversary of the history-changing battle. (photo)

Charles Brandon's falconry vervel shows royal connection

Charles Brandon, the first duke of Suffolk, was a great chum of Henry VIII. In fact, he married Henry's sister Mary. Evidence of this royal connection was discovered recently in the form of a silver vervel found in a Norfolk, England field.

Modelling Mary

The team who created the 3D face of Richard III, have now been comissioned to produce a virtual face of Mary, Queen of Scots as she would have looked in her 20s. The image is part of the new exhibition at the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh. (photo)

Marlowe novel sparks hostility

All Ros Barber did was write a novel that theorizes that Shakespeare's plays were written by Christopher Marlowe, but The Marlowe Papers, written entirely in verse, has brought back up the dispute over the authorship of the Bard's plays.

Are you a witch?

If you lived in the 16th or 17th centuries, would you have been accused of witchcraft? HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine, offers a quiz. Check to see if you are in danger by clicking the link below.

The sad life of Elizabethan child actors

Elizabethan theater life may have been booming for playwrights such as Shakespeare, but it was not so rosy for children in theatrical troupes. University of Oxford professor, Dr Bart van Es, discovered evidence of systemic child abuse while researching his book, Shakespeare in Company.

Scientists reconstruct leprosy genome medieval strains

Lepers are a common image in medieval histories, but by the end of the 16th century, the disease appeares to have mostly died out in Europe. Now a team of biologists and archeologists have reconstructed the genomes of medieval strains of the pathogen responsible for the disease to find out why.

English heatwave reveals "X-ray" of Greys Court

Greys Court, near Henley-on-Thames, is an English mansion built in the 1550s. Now a major heatwave has revealed that the mansion was once much larger through "parch," areas of dead grass, outlining structures from the original building.

Renaissance satire takes on Scottish independence

The Satire of the Three Estates by Sir David Lyndsay is considered Scotland's only surviving Renaissance play. Now the six-hour-long political satire is being performed at Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian. (video)

Remains of medieval boat found near Loddon, England

Archaeologist Heather Wallis is excited about the "particularly significant" discovery of a boat dating from between 1400 and 1600 CE during excavations of a drainage dyke near near Loddon, England. (photo)

Machiavelli gets the sack; civilization gets The Prince

Civil servant Niccolo Machiavelli flourished at government work, but his fall from grace came in 1512 when he was fired and imprisoned for his involvement in a conspiracy against the Medicis, leading to the creation of his greatest work, The Prince. Sarah Dunant has the feature for the BBC.

Portrait of Renaissance children with guinea pig is a first

A painting of three Elizabethan children is believed to be the first to show a pet guinea pig. The portrait dates to 1580. Guinea pigs were brought to Europe by Spanish merchants in the late 1500s, but proof they were kept has pets has only been found recently.

Ostrich Egg Globe Is Oldest with New World

The oldest known depiction of the New World has been found carved onto a 500-year-old ostrich egg.

The faces of Mary, Queen of Scots

In conjunction with a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the BBC has created a website which offers a gallery of portraits and artifacts relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, including portraits, her tomb, and the document demanding her death.

Medieval Easter egg discovered in Ukraine

A 500 year old "pysanka" Easter egg was found during an archaeological dig of a cistern in Lviv, Ukraine. The egg is probably a goose egg and is very well preseved.

The fashion of Matthaeus Schwarz

Matthaeus Schwarz was a 16th century accountant - but an accountant with fashion sense. For over 40 years, the Augsburg, Germany resident commissioned watercolor paintings of himself, documenting his wardrobe and accessories, and revealing as much about his personality and ambition as his clothing choices. (photos and video)

Young scholars learn the alphabet in 17th century England

Throughout time, children have struggled to learn to write the alphabet. On its blog Collation, the Folger Library presents examples of not only 16th and 17th century writing manuals, but actual copy books of English children. One can almost see the clenched teeth of concentration in their work.

Lost Cortés letter found

A letter from Charles V to Hernán Cortés, proclaiming him Governor of Mexico, has been found in the State Archive in Naples. The letter is one of the oldest sent to the New World.

The weight of civic duty

Since 1954, John Mattick has carried the 16th century ceremonial sword  before the mayor at civic events in the Welsh city of  Carmarthen. Before that, his father carried it. Now it will be passed to his son. "It is a weighty thing to carry, and that's mainly why I'm having to give it up at my age," Mr Mattick said. (photo)

Rewriting Shakespeare

Many writers have re-interpreted the works of William Shakespeare, and a new project, The Hogarth Shakespeare, is just the latest. Launching in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the series will commission prominent authors to create "cover versions" of the Bard's plays.

Elizabeth I's greatest secret

In what might be the strangest story of the year, author Steve Berry proposes that Queen Elizabeth I might have had an incredible secret: She was a man. The theory is laid out in a new book by Berry, The King’s Deception.

Excavations underway at St. Augustine, Florida

In 1565, St. Augustine was founded and became the first continuously-occupied European settlement in what would later become the continental United States. For the past 37 years, archaeologist Dr. Kathy Deagan of the University of Florida has spent her summers excavating the area of the "Fountain of Youth" and learn more about the early Spanish settlement. (video)

The Mary Rose sails again in her new home

More than 30 years after the Mary Rose was pulled from the Solent, the ship continues to delight and educate both scholars and visitors to her new museum. In her new home, the Mary Rose can be viewed through three-story glass walls which display the interior of the ship, complete with dim lighting and "and groaning sounds of the sea outside." Eleanor Williams of BBC News has a feature story.

Metal detector loot returned to Irish museum

The discovery of historic artifacts using a metal detector has begun a popular pastime in Britain and Ireland, but some enthusiasts are using their equipment to discover and keep, or sell, their objects without permission. One such hobbyist died last year leaving nearly 1000 artifacts to be returned to their rightful owner, the National Museum of Ireland. (photos)

The dark history of Tom Fool

Each year, a jester is chosen to liven up life at Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass in Cumbria, England. The custom goes back centuries to Tom Skelton, believed to be the original Tom Fool, a real-life jester believed to have a murderous past. (photo)

Photos of the Mary Rose

CNN goes inside the new Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth, England. The Mary Rose was a warship that sank in 1545 during a battle with the French.

CW premieres "Reign" in fall 2013

The BBC has announced Reign, a new drama based on the teenage years of Mary, Queen of Scots, which will hit American TV screens autumn 2013. The series will star Adelaide Kane as Mary and will begin with 15-year-old Mary's arrival in France as the bethrothed of the French prince Francis.