1536 – Christopher Walker is the only survivor of a pirate attack

Christopher Walker was a man of strong will. When he washed ashore on a remote Bangalla beach, he did not just swear vengeance on the pirates, but on all criminals. And he did not merely swear his own life, but those of all his descendents. The Phantom who appears in Phantom comics to this day is the 21st in a unbroken line of mighty crimefighters. Because of this constant succession – and the use of the same costume design for centuries – the Phantom is widely believed to be immortal, and local tribes refer to him as ‘the man who cannot die’ and ‘the ghost who walks’.

Referenced in:

Phantom Shuffle — Austen Tayshus

1536 – Anne Boleyn is beheaded

The second of Henry VIII of England’s six wives, Anne Boleyn is known as ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’ because that’s roughly how long she lasted as Henry’s queen. Henry was desperate for a son and heir, and married Anne hoping she would deliver them. But Anne’s first child was a daughter (future queen Elizabeth I of England), and her three successive pregnancies, although sons, resulted in one miscarriage, one stillbirth and one boy who died within minutes of his birth.

Never a patient man, Henry decided to rid himself of another wife (he had already gotten his first marriage annulled). Anne was not so lucky – her marriage too was annulled, but not before she was tried and convicted of adultery, incest and treason (adultery on the part of a queen was considered treason under law). She was sentenced to death, and beheaded in London. Upon her accession to the throne, Elizabeth took steps to restore her mother’s reputation.

Referenced in:

Talula — Tori Amos
With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm — Stanley Holloway