"We write to you as friends, neighbours and Englishmen, concerning Queen Mary’s declared intention to marry a foreigner, and request you to join us to prevent this. We swear to you before God that we seek no harm to the Queen, but merely wish her better advice. Our wealth and health depend on it. A hundred armed Spaniards have already arrived at Dover and travelled through Kent on their way to London. We require you to assemble with as much support as possible, to help us protect liberty and the commonwealth "

- Proclamation published by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger,
January 25, 1554, thereby launching Wyatt's Rebellion.

"Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same. The fact, indeed, against the Queen's highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my behalf, I do wash my hands thereof in innocency, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day."

- Speech by Lady Jane Grey to the gathered crowd,
upon ascending the gallows to be executed for treason,
February 12, 1554.

Much suspected by me
Nothing proved can be
Quoth Elizabeth, prisoner

- Poem scratched into a window pane at Woodstock Palace
with a diamond ring by future queen of England Elizabeth I,
who had been placed under house arrest due to
suspicions she had secretly aided Wyatt's Rebellion.

In the year AD 1554...

  • Having witnessed the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition in his youth, English nobelman Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger launches Wyatt's Rebellion in opposition to Catholic Queen of England Mary I's plans to marry Prince Philip of Spain, which he feared would turn England into a mere province of the Spanish-Hapsburg Empire.
    • After proclaiming his rebellion on January 25, Wyatt quickly gathers a force of 15,000 men, mostly anti-Catholic Protestants, to march on London, but other co-conspirators are unable to join forces with him before being intercepted and defeated piecemeal by troops loyal to Mary.
    • Facing an army of 25,000 loyalists assembled to protect the capital, Wyatt is beaten back to Westminster, where he surrenders, bringing an end to the rebellion.
    • Princess Elizabeth is briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London on suspicions of aiding and abetting the rebellion and narrowly escapes execution. She is later released, but suspicions remain so she is kept under indefinite house arrest.
    • One of the co-conspirators had been the father of Lady Jane Grey, who had briefly claimed the throne the year before. Although Grey had been largely forgiven by Mary, now that her father had become involved in a rebellion against the crown, she is quickly beheaded for treason, along with her father and husband.
  • The last of the numerous Italian Wars continues between France and Spain for control of Italy.
  • Twelve Jesuit priests establish a mission called "Colégio de São Paulo de Piratininga" on top of a steep hill between the Anhangabaú and Tamanduateí rivers in what is now Brazil. This site will eventually grow to become what is now the city of São Paulo.
  • The Spanish-language satirical novella The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities is anonymously published simultaneously in three different European cities, and becomes famous as the first picaresque novel.
  • The words castrate, drizzle, gibberish, and makeshift appear in the English language for the first time.

These people were born in 1554:

These people died in 1554:

1553 - 1554 - 1555

16th century

How they were made