1415 Jan Hus, a Bohemian reformer, was condemned and burned at the stake for heresy (b. ca. 1370).
1439 An agreement on various teachings by the Eastern and Western churches was signed and promulgated. The Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics signed the Decree of Union at the Council of Florence (Basel), creating an official union between the two churches. Popular sentiment in Constantinople was against the decree, and when the city was captured by the Turks, the union ceased. However, the council’s definition of doctrine and its principles of church union (unity of faith, diversity of rite) have been used in subsequent church talks.
1535 Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, was executed for treason (b. 7 February 1478).
1553 King Edward VI of England died (b. 12 October 1537). His reign saw the transformation of the Anglican Church into a recognizably Protestant body with, among other things, the development of the first Book of Common Prayer.
1601 Justus Gesenius, theologian, hymnist and hymnal editor, was born in Essbeck, Hanover (d. 1673).
1657 Johann Ernestus Gutwasser, Lutheran pastor, arrived in New Amsterdam.
1757 William McKendree, colonial American Methodist bishop, was born in King William County, Virginia (d. 5 March 1835).
1758 Johann Andreas Rothe, hymnist, died in Thommendorf, near Bunzlau (b. 12 May 1688).
1774 William Cowper (1731–1800) published “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” written perhaps in response to an attack of “suicidal mania,” which affected Cowper throughout his life.
1813 Granville Sharp (b. 10 September 1735), English abolitionist, died.
1846 John H. Sammis, American Presbyterian clergyman and hymnist, was born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 12 June 1919).
1861 James Stewart (1831–1905) sailed from Southampton to South Africa on the Celt. In South Africa, he founded an important training center for African Christians.
1879 Henry Thomas Smart, composer, died in London (b. 26 October 1813).
1888 George Duffield Jr., hymnist, died at Bloomfield, New Jersey (b. 12 September 1818).
1893 J. Andreas Saupert, Loehe missionary to the U.S. who founded many congregations in the Evansville, Indiana, area, died in Evansville, Indiana (b. 1822).
1929 Oluf Hanson Smeby, hymn translator, died in Albert Lea, Minnesota (b. 31 January 1851, Rock County, Wisconsin).
1988 Adolf F. Meyer died (b. 1899). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). From 1923 to 1967 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau of New York City. Also, from 1926 to 1948 he served as chairman of the LCMS’s “press committee.”