October 14, 1066: William the Conqueror leads the Normans to victory over the English Saxons in the Battle of Hastings. William’s also had great religious impact. He spent significant effort combatting paganism and bringing English Christianity into stricter conformity with Rome (in part by outlawing English Bibles and liturgy), which lasted through the English Reformation. He spent his last days in intense Christian devotion.
October 14, 1633: James II of England, whose conversion to Catholicism in 1670 created a constitutional crisis in Anglican Britain, is born.
October 14, 1644: William Penn, the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania and one of the most engaging religious figures of his age, is born in London.
October 14, 1656: Massachusetts enacts a law prohibiting "Quakerism" or harboring Quakers.
October 14, 1735: John and Charles Wesley, cofounders of Methodism, set sail for ministry in America (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 69: Charles and John Wesley).
May 31, 1578: Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio discovers the Christian catacombs in Rome. Some have mistaken them for places of refuge or worship, but Christians used them mainly as burial chambers.
May 31, 1638: Puritan pastor Thomas Hooker arrives in what is now Connecticut, after leaving Massachusetts because of a rivalry with Roger Williams. The minister also helped organize America's first federal government, the United Colonies of New England (see issue 41: The American Puritans).