Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Timeline 1500-1558

Charles V

Born – 24th February 1500
Died – 22nd September 1558
Father – Philip I of Castile (1478 – 1506)
MotherJoanna of Castile (1479 – 1555)
Spouse – m. 1526 – Isabella of Portugal (1503 – 1555)
ChildrenPhilip II of Spain (1527 – 1598), Maria (1528 – 1603), Ferdinand (1529 – 1530), Joanna (1535 – 1573), Juan (1537 – 1538)


1500 (24th February)
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was born to Joanna of Castile and Philip of the Netherlands at Ghent, Flanders. He was the couple’s second child, his sister Eleanor had been born in 1498.
1500 (19th July)
Miguel, heir to the throne of Castile, died. Charles’s mother Joanna was now heir to Castile.
1501 (during)
Philip and Joanna left Charles in the care of Margaret of Burgundy and went to Spain. Philip wanted to make sure that Joanna was recognised as heir to the Spanish throne.
1501 (15th November)
Charles’s sister, Isabella was born to Joanna and Philip at Brussels, Belgium.
1502 (22nd May)
Charles’s parents, Joanna and Philip were formally proclaimed as heirs to Castile. It was agreed that she would be Queen and he would be King consort.
1502 (September)
Joanna and Philip travelled to Zargoza in Aragon to be proclaimed heirs to Aragon.
1502 (27th October)
Joanna was proclaimed the heir to the throne of Aragon. Her husband, Philip would be known as King consort.
1502 (December)
Joanna and Philip had a terrible argument and Philip left Spain and returned to Flanders alone. When Joanna, who was six months pregnant, discovered what had happened she wanted to ride after Philip but her mother refused to let her go and locked her up in Castle La Mota.
1503 (10th March)
Charles’s brother Ferdinand was born to Joanna and Philip at Alcala de Henares, Castile.
1504 (April)
Charles’s mother finally returned to Flanders after agreeing to leave her newborn son Ferdinand in Spain, but when she arrived she discovered Philip had taken a mistress. She confronted the woman and cut off her hair with a pair of scissors.
1504 (26th November)
Charles’s grandmother Isabella of Castile died at Medina del Campo.
1504 (26th November)
Joanna was proclaimed Queen of Castile in Spain. However, because she was not in Spain, her father, Ferdinand of Aragon claimed the regency of Castile.
1504 (early December)
Charles’s father Philip, had himself proclaimed King of Castile. He also contested Ferdinand’s right to the regency of Castile.
1505 (January)
Ferdinand of Spain told the Cortes that he believed his daughter was not fit to rule because her emotional outbursts were a sign of mental instability. Joanna was summoned to Spain to prove she was fit to rule.
1505 (18th September)
Charles’s sister Mary was born to Joanna and Philip at Brussels, Flanders.
1506 (during)
Charles now lived in the town of Mechelin with his sisters. They were cared for by their aunt, Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy. As heir to the Hapsburg Empire Charles was educated for his future rule, studying languages, law and religion as well as military skills.
1506 (26th April)
Charles’s parents went to Spain to claim the succession. However, Joanna was excluded from the negotiations.
1506 (25th September)
Charles’s father, Philip, died at Burgos in Castile. It is likely he died from typhoid but it was rumoured that he had been poisoned by Ferdinand. Joanna was grief-stricken and refused to part with his embalmed body. She travelled with the coffin to Granada where he was buried.
1506 (25th September)
On his father’s death, Charles was proclaimed Lord of the Netherlands and Duke of Burgundy. His aunt, Margaret of Austria ruled as Governor because Charles was still a minor.
1507 (14th January)
Charles’s sister, Catherine was born to Joanna and Philip at Brussels, Belgium.
1507 (30th July)
Charles’s mother was placed under house arrest in the castle at Tordisillas by her father, Ferdinand who declared her mentally unstable and unfit to rule.
1507 (21st December)
Charles was betrothed to Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VII of England.
1513 (17th October)
Treaty of Lille
Ferdinand of Spain and Maximillian, Holy Roman Emperor agreed this treaty with Henry VIII of England to make a new invasion of France the following year. The treaty was to be sealed by the marriage of Charles to Henry’s sister, Mary.
1514 (October)
Charles’s betrothal to Princess Mary of England was broken off when England allied with France and the Princess married King Louis XII.
1516 (23rd January)
Ferdinand of Aragon, Charles’s grandfather, died at Madrigalejo, Extremadura. He was buried in Granada.
1516 (after 23rd January)
Charles’s mother, Joanna, inherited the Spanish throne, but as she was considered mentally unstable, Charles, was proclaimed regent to rule in her stead. However, as Charles was in Flanders, Aragon was governed by Ferdinand’s illegitimate son Alonso of Aragon while Archbishop Cisneros governed Castile.
1517 (October)
Charles and his sister Eleanor travelled to Spain.
1517 (4th November)
Charles and his sister visited their mother at Tordesillas. Joanna gave Charles authorisation to rule as her co-King of Castile, Leon and Aragon.
1518 (February)
Charles secured the loyalty of the Castilian Cortes and they paid homage to him as King.
1518 (28th August)
A charter was issued by Charles allowing African slaves to be transported directly to the Americas rather than being transported from Africa to Spain and then to the Caribbean.
1519 (12th January)
Charles’s grandfather, Ferdinand, Holy Roman Emperor, died. Charles immediately succeeded his grandfather as Archduke of Austria. His grandfather’s other titles were not hereditary but subject to election.
1519 (28th June)
Charles, was elected Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany and King of the Romans. As the fifth Holy Roman Emperor with the name Charles he became known as Charles V.
1519 (28th June)
Charles’s position as Holy Roman Emperor gave him control of a number of states in northern Italy. As King of Aragon he ruled Sicily, Naples and Sardinia. However, Milan was controlled by the French who had defeated Duke Sforza at the Battle of Marignano in 1515.
1520 (early)
Charles paid his mother a visit before leaving for Germany to take up his role as Holy Roman Emperor. He left Cardinal Adrian of Utrecht in charge of the government of Castile.
1520 (16th April)
Revolt of the Comuneros
This was an uprising in Castile by rebels opposed to the rule of Charles V. They wanted Charles’s mother Joanna, who had been brought up in Spain to take over rule.
1520 (27th May)
Charles visited England and had secret talks with King Henry VIII which were followed by a banquet and dancing.
1520 (29th May)
Charles left England after agreeing a further meeting with Henry after Henry had met Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold Summit.
1520 (10th – 14th July)
Henry VIII met Charles V at Gravelines. They agreed a treaty which stated that neither was able to enter into any new alliances with France or other country without each other’s consent for a period of two years.
1520 (September)
Revolt of the Comuneros
The rebels opposed to the rule of Charles, seized Tordesillas and freed Joanna. They wanted to set her as a puppet Queen. However, Joanna refused to agree to their demands.
1520 (23rd October)
Charles was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Germany.
1520 (December)
Charles’s forces retook Tordesillas. Joanna was sent to the Royal Convent of Santa Clara in Tordesillas. Charles was now sole ruler of Spain and Spanish territories in the Americas. Adrian of Utrecht was installed as Governor of Spain.
1521 (during)
Charles’s forces managed to restore Milan to the House of Sforza.
1521 (16th April)
Martin Luther was summoned before the Diet of Worms to be questioned regarding his criticisms of the Catholic Church in his 95 Theses. Charles V was a Catholic and wanted his Empire unified in the Catholic faith. Luther was exiled and given refuge in Wartburg Castle.
1521 (21st April)
Charles created his younger brother, Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria.
1521 (23rd April)
Revolt of the Comuneros
The rebels were defeated at the Battle of Villalar.
1521 (24th April)
The leaders of the Revolt of the Comuneros, Juan Lopez de Padilla, Juan Bravo and Francisco Maldonado were executed.
1521 (during July)
Charles needed troops to fight the French. He called on Henry VIII to send English soldiers to his aid. However, the English king was reluctant to commit troops and insisted that Charles agree to be betrothed to Henry’s daughter, Princess Mary before he would send aid. Charles had no choice but to accept the terms.
1521 (25th August)
Treaty of Bruges
This was a treaty between Charles and Henry VIII of England. It agreed that Henry would keep the Channel clear so that Charles had free passage between Netherlands and Spain. In return Charles agreed to allow a safe crossing of the Channel for English vessels between England and Calais. It was also agreed that Charles and Henry would jointly invade France before 15th May 1523.
1522 (9th January)
Charles’s regent in Spain, Adrian of Utrecht, was elected Pope.
1522 (27th April)
Battle of Bicocca
Charles’s Imperial forces managed to defeat a Franco-Swiss army and take Lombardy.
1522 (19th June)
Treaty of Windsor
This treaty between Spain and England was an extension of the Treaty of Bruges. Charles and Princess Mary were formally betrothed in the presence of the English court.
1522 (July)
Charles arrived in Spain.
1524 (during)
Francis I of France invaded Lombardy and re-took much of the region including Milan. However, Pavia resisted his attack.
1524 (during)
Council of the Indies
This was established by Charles as an administrative body for Spanish overseas territories.
1525 (24th February)
Battle of Pavia
This battle, fought between the forces of Charles V and Frances I, saw the French defeated and the French King captured.
1525 (April)
Charles V demanded that Henry VIII send Princess Mary with part of her dowry in cash to him immediately. Henry refused to contemplate sending her to Spain before her twelfth birthday. Charles replied that if Henry would not send Mary to Spain then he wanted to be released from the betrothal so that he could marry elsewhere.
1525 (7th June)
Charles V decided to marry Isabella of Portugal and began negotiations. He repudiated his betrothal to Princess Mary of England.
1526 (14th January)
Treaty of Madrid
This treaty agreed a peace between Francis I and Charles. Francis renounced his claims in Italy, gave Burgundy to Charles and agreed to send his sons as hostages in return for his release.
1526 (10th March)
Charles, married his cousin, Isabella of Portugal.
1526 (June)
Pope Clement VII was concerned by the extent of Charles’s power and formed an alliance with France. They were joined by Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice and sought to reclaim Italian territory taken by Charles.
1526 (8th August)
Henry VIII of England was angry with Charles and signed a treaty with France that agreed that neither country would deal with Charles on an individual basis.
1527 (during)
Work began on the Palace of Charles V set inside the Alhambra in Granada. Charles wanted it as a permanent residence in Spain but it was not completed until after his death. It then remained without a roof until 1967.
1527 (6th May)
The Sack of Rome
Charles took control of the Papal States and the Pope after his forces took Rome.
1527 (21st May)
A son, Philip was born to Charles and Isabella in Valladolid, Spain.
1527 (October)
Charles V told Pope Clement VII that he should take no steps that would further the annulment of his aunt, Catherine of Aragon’s marriage.
1528 (21st June)
A daughter, Maria was born to Charles and Isabella in Madrid, Spain.
1529 (July)
Charles V made his wife, Isabella of Portugal, regent of Spain.
1529 (3rd August)
Treaty of Cambrai/Ladies’ Peace
This treaty, negotiated by Margaret of Austria and Louise of Savoy agreed a peace between France and the Spanish Empire. Francis agreed to give up his claims in Italy but gained the return of Burgundy. The treaty was sealed with the betrothal of Francis I to Charles’s sister Eleanor.
1529 (22nd November)
A son, Ferdinand was born to Charles and Isabella.
1530 (24th February)
Charles was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Bologna by Pope Clement VII.
1530 (20th June)
The Diet of Augsburg was summoned by Charles. The Lutheran estates presented Charles with the Augsburg Confession which confirmed their conviction to the new religion.
1530 (7th July)
Francis I of France married Charles’s sister Eleanor.
1530 (13th July)
Charles and Isabella’s son Ferdinand died.
1530 (October)
Charles’s aunt, Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands, died. Charles’s sister, Mary, who had married Louis II of Hungary, took over as regent of the Netherlands.
1531 (5th January)
Charles’s brother, Ferdinand, was elected King of the Romans.
1531 (27th February)
The Schmalkaldic League was formed. It was a military alliance of the Lutheran German states.
1532 (during)
Charles agreed to recognise the Schmalkaldic League and issued the Standstill of Nuremberg. The Standstill declared that the Lutheran States should still send Charles military support but that any religious investigation would be postponed.
1534 (29th June)
Isabella of Portugal was delivered of a stillborn son.
1535 (26th June)
A daughter, Joanna, was born to Charles and Isabella in Madrid, Spain.
1535 (2nd November)
Francesco II Sforza of Milan died. He had no heirs so Charles made Milan a part of the Empire.
1536 (March)
Francis I of France invaded Italy aiming to take Milan.
1536 (April)
Francis I took control of Turin in Italy.
1536 (Summer)
Charles V invaded Provence in France and took Aix-en-Provence. He was prevented from taking Marseilles or Avignon by the French who had made an alliance with Turkey and returned to Spain.
1537 (March)
To support his war against France, Charles asked Mary of Austria, governor of the Netherlands, to raise both money and men.
1537 (March)
The city of Ghent refused to contribute money to Charles’s war. Ghent was already in debt and believed that Charles did not have the right to demand taxation without their consent.
1537 (19th October)
A son, Juan was born to Charles and Isabella.
1538 (20th March)
Charles and Isabella’s son, Juan died.
1538 (18th June)
Unable to make further gains against France, Charles agreed the Truce of Nice which ended the war.
1539 (21st April)
Charles’s wife, Isabella of Portugal, fell ill with a fever while three months pregnant and miscarried.
1539 (1st May)
Isabella of Portugal, died at Toledo, Spain. Charles was deeply saddened by her death and went into seclusion in a monastery for two months.
1539 (after 1st May)
Charles’s son, Philip, took over as regent of Spain.
1539 (17th August)
Members of the local guilds in Ghent revolted against the city’s aldermen. The guildsmen believed that the alderman had paid taxes to Mary of Austria without their consent. They armed themselves and took control of the city. Many aldermen fled the city while those that were captured were imprisoned.
1540 (14th February)
Charles V arrived in Ghent. The leaders of the revolt were arrested and 25 men were executed.
1540 (11th October)
Charles V gave the duchy of Milan to his son Philip.
1541 (during)
Talks were held between Catholics and Lutherans in the Hapsburg Empire. Charles presided over the talks but no common ground could be found.
1542 (12th July)
War broke out again between Charles V and Francis I when the Truce of Nice failed.
1543 (February)
Charles V agreed an alliance with Henry VIII of England against France.
1544 (18th September)
The Treaty of Crépy agreed a peace between Charles and Francis.
1545 (13th December)
The Council of Trent met for the first time. It was formed to clarify the Catholic religion and determine what breaches of doctrine constituted heresy. Meetings were held over the next 20 years.
1546 (during)
Charles banned the Schmalkaldic League after it refused to recognise the Council of Trent.
1547 (24th April)
Battle of Muhlberg
This battle saw the defeat of John Frederick I of Saxony and Philip I of Hesse and the capture of both men. This led to the break up of the League and gave Charles control over Southern Germany.
1552 (during)
The Protestant princes of Germany again rose against Charles V. They marched on Innsbruck and Charles was forced to flee. Unable to win, Charles returned to the Netherlands.
1554 (25th July)
Charles formally abdicated Sicily, Naples and Milan in favour of his son, Philip. Charles’s health was beginning to deteriorate and he suffered badly from gout.
1555 (during)
Peace of Augsburg
This recognised the division of Germany into Protestant and Catholic states.
1555 (12th April)
Charles’s mother died in the Convent of Santa Clara at Tordesillas.
1555 (25th October)
Charles V announced his abdication of the Netherlands in favour of his son.
1556 (16th January)
Charles V announced his abdication of Spain and the Spanish territories overseas in favour of his son Philip.
1556 (August)
Charles abdicated as Holy Roman Emperor in favour of his brother Ferdinand. Charles also ceded Ferdinand hereditary rights to Austria.
1556 (September)
Charles left the Netherlands and sailed to Spain where he entered the Monastery of Yuste of Extremadura.
1558 (24th February)
Charles’s brother Ferdinand was officially declared Holy Roman Emperor.
1558 (August)
Charles V became seriously ill with malaria.
1558 (21st September)
Charles V died at the Monastery of Yuste.


Published Mar 22, 2022 @ 3:32 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Charles V Holy Roman Emperor 1500 – 1558.


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