Leaders of the Renaissance Era

Papacy Italy Spain France Britain Russia Hapsburgs  
Sixtus IV (1471-1484)

Innocent VIII (1484-1492)

Alexander VI (1492-1503)

  • a  hated  pope, a womaniser who tried to create a dynasty and unite Italy.

Pius III (1503)

Julius II (1503-1513)

  House of Aragon & Castile (1474-1516)

Ferdinand II, Isabella 1474-1504

Ferdinand II, Philip I 1504-6

Ferdinand II, Charles I 1506-16

Charles VIII 1483-98
  • 1494, invades Naples but although forced back out by Spain, pope & HRE, disseminated Italian culture throughout Europe

Louis XII (Valois-Orleans) 1498-1515

House of Tudor (1485-1603)

Henry VII 1485-1509


  • James IV 1488-1513
Grand Dukes of Moscow (1328-1610)

Ivan III 1462-1505

Frederick III 1430-93

Maximilian I 1493-1519

Leo X (1513-1521)

Adrian VI (1522-1523)

Clement VII (1523-1534)

Paul III (1534-1549)

  • despite having a mistress, he led the church back to older piety and the counter-reformation, ending the renaissance.
  Spanish Hapsburgs (1516-1700)

Charles I 1516-56

  • also Charles V of HRE
Valois-Angouleme (1515-1589)

Francis I 1515-47


Henry VIII 1509-47
  • to allow him to be divorced from his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon, he broke from Rome and became "Supreme Head" of the English Church & sanctioned the dissolution of monasteries by the Crown, selling the lands to the gentry.


  • James V 1513-42
Vasily III 1505-33

Ivan IV the Terrible 1533-84

Charles V (Spain) 1519-56  
Julius III (1534-1549)     Henry II 1547-59 Edward VI 1547-53
  • saw a Protestant doctrine more fully accepted, relaxed laws against heretics, allowed clergy to marry


  • Mary Stewart, Q.of Scots 1542-67
    • a Catholic & great-granddaughter of Henry VII, considered by many Catholics to be the rightful queen of England
    • sent to France in 1548 to marry the future French king, Francis II
    • her mother, Mary of Guise acted as her regent until she returned to Scotland in 1561 to rule herself, although opposed by Protestant Scots such as John Knox. 
    • fled in 1568 and was kept in protective custody by Elizabeth I for 19yrs to prevent attacks by France or Spain, until she was executed when Spain began war.
  Ferdinand I 1556-64  

Lady Jane Grey 1553 (9 days)

Mary I 1553-8

  • daughter of Catherine of Aragon, introduced a severe, unpopular, Catholic reaction, driving many Protestants to exile & nearly 300 burnt at stake as heretics 
Marcellus II (1555)

Paul IV (1555-1559)

Pius IV (1559-1665)

Pius V (1566-1572)

Gregory XIII (1572-1585)

Sixtus V (1585-1590)

Urban VII (1590)

Gregory XIV (1590-1591)

Innocent IX (1591)

Clement VIII (1592-1605)

House of Savoy (1553-1831)

Emmanuel Philibert 1553-80


Charles Emmanuel I 1580-1630

Phillip II 1556-98
  • dominated European politics in the late 16thC
  • introduced the Inquisition, but defended foremost, the Hapsburgs

Francis II 1559-60

Charles IX 1560-74

Henry III 1574-89

Elizabeth I 1558-1603
  • Mary I's half-sister, daughter of Anne Boleyn, sought a middle way between the policies of Edward VI and Mary I, attempting to bring peace between the Catholics & the Protestants, but a strongly Protestant parliament forced her to a more extreme view than she intended.
  • had to contend with:
    • inflation, increasing beggars
    • rise of the Puritans
    • Catholic plots & threats from Scotland, France & Spain
    • Irish rebellion
  • with help from Drake, Raleigh, etc overcomes the Spanish armada in 1588
  • ends her reign, childless, single but with a much more powerful England hence the "Golden Age"


  • James VI 1567-1625
  Maximilian II 1564-76

Rudolph II 1576-1612

Paul V (1605-1621)

Gregory XV (1621-1623)


    Bourbons (1589-1792)

Henry IV 1589-1610

Louis XIII 1610-43

House of Stuart (1603-1714 intermittently)

James I (and VI of Scotland) 1603-25

  • sought to unite England & Scotland
  • loud-mouthed & uncouth, but always preaching peace
Fyodor Ivanovitch 1584-98

Boris Godunov 1598-1605

Fyodor II 1605

False Dmitry I 1605-6

Vasily Shuisky 1606-10

Interregnum 1610-3

Matthias 1612-9

Ferdinand II 1619-?

Frederick V


Urban VIII (1623-1644) 

Innocent X (1644-1655) 

Victor Amadeus I 1630-7

Charles Emmanuel II 1637-75

    Charles I 1625-49
  • Parliament refused money to finance war against Spain, so Charles sacked Parliament several times
  • when peace with Spain came, parliament sacked, with Charles married to a catholic & wanting harmony rather than a bloody religious war as in Europe, the minority republican Puritans, feared a re-alignment with Catholics
  • his desire to break the Scottish Presbyterians by forcing them to use his prayer book in 1638 resulted in him losing land in wars with Scottish. To get money to regain these lands he had to re-instate Parliament on their terms.
  • Charles forced by Parliament to betray his friend Stafford to had supported the Irish Catholics. Stafford was beheaded. Irish Catholics fearing they would be left undefended, took a pre-emptive strike and massacred Protestants in Ireland.
  • Charles was made to look a blundering despot.
  •  the British civil wars erupted.
  • Penn eventually making an alliance between the Parliamentarians & the Scottish to fight the Royalists.
  • having lost the war, Charles refused to give up being a constitutional king, resulting in Cromwell starting a 2nd civil war in 1648 to remove Charles who was tried & beheaded.
House of Romanov (1613-1917)

Tsar Mikhail 1613-45

Ferdinand III 1637-58  
Alexander VII (1655-1667)     Louis XIV 1643-1715 Commonwealth

Oliver Cromwell 1653-8

  • narrow-minded, arrogant bigot
  • Puritan whose Parliamentary army defeated Crown & executed Charles I
  • massacres Irish & Scots to make them subject to Commonwealth rule

Richard Cromwell 1658-9

Military rule 1659-60

  Leopold I 1658-1705  
Clement IX (1667-1669)

Clement X (1670-1676)

Innocent XI (1676-1689)

      Charles II (Stuart) 1660-85
  • son of Charles I, returned from exile in France
  • hedonistic era but terminated by the apocalypse of the Great Plague & the Great Fire of London


      Restoration (1685-9)

James (Latin: Jacobus) II 1685-8

  • Catholic brother of Charles II who managed to alienate his supporters
  • dethroned & exiled in the Glorious Revolution in 1688
  • his followers were called the "Jacobites"

Interregnum 1688-9

Alexander VIII (1689-1691)

Innocent XII (1691-1700)

      Orange: William III (1689-1702) & Mary II (1689-94)
  • Seven English Lords invite William of Orange to England (the "Glorious Revolution"); William of Orange's main concern was his Dutch interests & the great European fight against the Catholic French King Louis XIV, but his Dutch armada was successful in scaring James II who escaped to France;
  • butchered 38 of a Scottish clan who failed to show support of William III, resulting in further resentment by the Scots
Clement XI (1700-1721)       Anne (Stuart) 1702-14   Joseph I 1705-11