29 October 1390

The first trial for witchcraft in Paris leads to the death of three people.

The witch trials in France provide a particularly interesting and unique case study of witch-hunting in Europe during the early modern period. Although the region had an early history of witch accusations and executions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, during the pinnacle of the trials in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, France had a relatively low involvement compared to many other regions.[i] In fact, aside from isolated trials and cases of demonic possession, there was only one large-scale witch-hunt in France during the early modern period. Unlike in countries such as Scotland[ii] and Sweden where widespread, nearly ubiquitous hysteria and collective action prompted large numbers of prosecutions and executions in various towns and villages, the theories and actions of individual men were primarily responsible for promoting and executing the trials in France. The strong tradition of widely disseminated French demonological theory, which had a significant effect on trials both domestically and in other areas of Europe, was largely a product of a small group of powerful, elite demonologists such as Pierre de Lancre and Nicolas Remy. These same men also had a key role in perpetuating witch belief and even presiding over trials in the regions under their jurisdiction.

29 October 1591

Pope Innocent IX is elected.


Pope Innocent IX born Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti,was Pope from 29 October to 30 December 1591.

Prior to his short papacy, he had been a canon lawyer, diplomat, and chief administrator during the reign of Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591).

Even before Pope Gregory XIV died, Spanish and anti-Spanish factions were electioneering for the next pope. Philip II of Spain’s (1556–1598) high-handed interference at the previous conclave was not forgotten: he had barred all but seven cardinals. This time the Spanish party in the College of Cardinals did not go so far, but they still controlled a majority, and after a quick conclave they raised Facchinetti to the papal chair as Pope Innocent IX. It took three ballots to elect him as pope.

The cardinal protdeacon Andreas von Austria crowned Innocent IX as pontiff on 3 November 1591. He elevated two cardinals to the cardinalate in the only papal consistory of his papacy on 18 December 1591.

Mindful of the origin of his success, Innocent IX supported, during his two months’ pontificate, the cause of Philip II and the Catholic League against Henry IV of France (1589–1610) in the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598), where a papal army was in the field. Death, however, did not permit the realisation of Innocent IX’s schemes.

His great-nephew Giovanni Antonio Cardinal Facchinetti de Nuce, juniore, was one of two cardinals appointed during the weeks of Innocent IX’s pontificate. A later member of the Cardinalate was his great-grandnephew Cesare Facchinetti (made a Cardinal in 1643).

29 October 1888

The Convention of Constantinople is signed. It guarantees free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.


The Convention of Constantinople was a treaty signed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire on 29 October 1888.

In the 1880s, Britain had recently acquired physical control over the Suez Canal and Egypt. France, which had dominated the Canal and still controlled the majority of shares of Suez Canal Company, hoped to weaken British control and attempted to sway European opinion for internationalizing the Canal.

The two powers compromised by neutralizing the canal through the treaty. Article I, guaranteeing passage to all ships during war and peace, was in tension with Article X, which allowed the Khedive to take measures for “the defense of Egypt and the maintenance of public order.” The latter clause was used to defend their actions by the British in the Second World War and by Egypt against Israeli shipping after 1948.However, Britain accepted the treaty reluctantly and only with serious reservations.