Birth of William I "The Silent," known as "the father of his Country," the Netherlands, where he, as governor (Stadtholder) of Holland, led the army which freed his people from the tyranny of Spanish rule. Although raised a Roman Catholic, he opposed King Philip's policy of persecution of Protestants by means of the Inquisition. In 1572, at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he called on the Calvinists of Holland and Zealand to unite, and led them forth to victory (although he was assassinated), His son Maurice gained the independence of the Netherlands, recognized in 1609. William the Silent had embraced Calvinism when he became governor.
Jacob Boehme was born at Altseidenberg, near Goerlitz, Germany. This influential German mystic was a Lutheran theologian, thinker, and writer. Converted at 25, he began serious study, and entered his experiences in writing, which had a tremendous influence in the thinking of Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike. Despite much opposition (his work was not always orthodox), he produced The Aurora (1612); The Three Principles (1619); The Forty Questions of the Soul (1620); The Incarnation of The Son of God (1621), and, most widely read, and still in print, The Way to Christ (1623). For these writings, he had to answer before the church council.