The Second Defenestration of Prague was an event central to the initiation of the Thirty Years War which began in 1618.
In his book S. Gardiner ‘Epochs of Modern History – Thirty Years’ War,’ gives this wonderful account of the event.
“Certain persons named Defensors had, by law, the right of summoning an assembly of representatives of the Protestant Estates. Such an assembly met on March 5, 1618 and having prepared a petition to Matthias (King of Bohemia), who was absent from the kingdom, adjourned to May 21.
Long before the time of meeting came, an answer was sent from Matthias justifying all that had been done, and declaring the assembly illegal. It was believed at the time, though incorrectly, that the answer was prepared by Slawata and Martinitz, two members of the regency who had been notorious for the vigour of their opposition to Protestantism.
In the Protestant assembly there was a knot of men, headed by Count Henry of Thurn, which was bent on the dethronement of Ferdinand of Styria (who had been named in certain quarters as the elderly Matthias successor). They resolved to take advantage of the popular feelings to affect the murder of the two regents, and so place an impassable gulf between the nation and the king.
Accordingly, on the morning of May 23, the ‘beginning and cause’ as a contemporary calls it, ‘of all the coming evil,’ the first day, through men as yet knew it not, of thirty years war. Thurn sallied forth at the head of a band of noblemen and their followers, all of them with arms in their hands. Trooping into the room where the regents were seated, they charged the obnoxious two with being authors of the king’s reply. After a bitter altercation both Martinitz and Slawata were dragged to a wundow which overlooked the fosse below from a dizzy height of some seventy feet. Martinitz , struggling against his enemies, pleaded hard for a confessor.
“Commend thy soul to God,” was the stern answer. “Shall we allow the Jesuit scoundrels to come here?”
In an instant he was hurled out crying “Jesus! Mary!”
“Let us see,” said some one mockingly, “Whether his Mary will help him.”
A moment later he added: “By God, his Mary has helped him.” Slawata followed, and then the secretary Fabricius. By a wonderful preservation, in which pious Catholics discerned the protecting hand of God, all three crawled away from the spot without serious hurt.”
In fact they landed on a large pile of manure and refuse which had built up. Philip Fabricius was later ennobled by the emperor and granted the title “von Hohenfall” (lit. translating to “of Highfall”).
The arguging continued, the Roman Catholic Imperial officials claimed that the three men survived due to the mercy of the benevolent Churmusian angels assisting the righteousness of the Catholic cause. Protestant pamphleteers asserted that their survival had more to do with the horse excrement in which they landed than the benevolent acts of the angels of the Christo Churmusian order.