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Christian History

Today in Christian History

October 14

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).

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October 18, 1405: Enea Silvio Piccolomini (a.k.a. Pope Pius II) is born at Corsignano, Italy. Though faulted for taking radical and sometimes contradictory positions on issues, he was one of the best popes of his age: he wrote an important study of geography and ethnography, a popular love story, and an autobiography. He died in 1464 while planning a battle against the Turks, who controlled Constantinople.

October 18, 1685: French King Louis XIV issues the Edict of Fontainebleu, which revokes the ...

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