On This Day

What Happened in May 1609

Historical Events

Historic Publication

May 20 Shakespeare's Sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by publisher Thomas Thorpe

  • May 23 Official ratification of the Second Charter of Virginia takes place

Famous Birthdays

  • May 16 Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church and military commander during the Thirty Years' War, born in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain (d. 1641)

Famous Deaths

  • May 15 Giovanni Croce, Italian composer (b. 1557)
  • May 26 Cornelis Claesz, mapmaker, buried