On the 26th April 1540 the marriage took place between Katherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and her first husband, William Carey, and Sir Francis Knollys. Katherine was about sixteen, and Francis some thirteen years older.
The couple had fourteen children, the most famous of which was Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and of Leicester. She was married three times first to Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, secondly to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and thirdly Sir Christopher Blount.
Did you know George Canning was only Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for 119 days, the shortest of any Prime Minister.
Seven of the cabinet resigned including Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington, both men King George IV had passed over in favour of Canning.
Along with Sir Francis Drake, who had rather an important job to do this day in 1588, there was another man with an equally important event happening in 1837, this was Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Brunel, like Drake, is associated with the West Country, the sea and ships and as well as bridges, tunnels and railways, he was responsible for the design of several famous sea going crafts and the 19th of July witnessed one of Brunel's greatest achievements.
The iron hulled Great Western, was also the largest vessel in the world, it was launched this day in 1837 and was the first steamship to cross from Bristol to New York.
Another of his ships, The Great Britain, launched six years later on the 19th of July 1843, was the first Atlantic liner built of iron.
On the 24th April 1558, the marriage of sixteen year old Mary, Queen of Scots to fourteen year old Francis, the Dauphin of France, at Notre Dame de Paris.
A secret clause in the marriage contract gave away Scotland to France should Mary die, however the marriage lasted just over two years and ended with Francis's death on the 5th December 1560.
The French crown passed to ten year old Charles, Francis's younger brother. Mary returned to Scotland.
On this day in 1509, the death of the usurping Henry VII of tuberculous.
Like him or loathe him, Henry VII was a fascinating character, a forgotten king, eclipsed by later generations of his Tudor family.
England's crown passed to his second son, the much written about Henry VIII.
The poet meets a knight by a woodland lake, it is autumn, he has been there for a very long time, he looks to be dying. The knight tells the poet he met a beautiful woman in a meadow.
She did not speak, but looked and sighed as if she loved him. He gave her his horse to ride, and he walk along side. He saw nothing but her, he was mesmerised when she leaned over in his face and sang a mysterious song. She spoke a language he could not understand, but he thought said she loved him.
He kissed her and fell asleep and dreams of kings, princes, and warriors, all as death. They shouted a warning to the knight.
On waking the woman was gone.
And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!--
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.
I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’
The above is an extract from the poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci or The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy by John Keats accompanied by a painting Frank Cadogan Cowper.
My husband has been asking what I'd like for my birthday, and after much searching I found this beautiful restored Grade II listed house in my favourite place in the world, the West Country.
The history of the Old House, on Parsonage Lane in the Somerset village of Milverton, dates back to the 13th century and has medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian extensions. It was originally the residence of the Archdeacons of Taunton, and if that is not enough, it has stone mullion windows, a flagstone floor, oak panelling, medieval ceilings, an original Tudor fireplace, and an ornate perpendicular style stone arch.
What more could I ask for? However, it was pointed out to me that this property has a 16th century wall painting of Henry VIII.
Unique and internationally renowned this wall painting maybe but as Yorkist I could never sit toasting my crumpet on a log fire with a Tudor king smirking at me.
Anyway, its too expensive at £1,200,000. That new handbag I spotted in Monsoon the other day and the planned walk around Bosworth Battlefield is far more pleasing to me.
19th April 1775: The American War of Independence.
"I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, I venture to say it, you CANNOT conquer America...As to conquest, therefore, my Lords, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell every expense, and every effort, still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German Prince, that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign country; your efforts are for ever vain and impotent—doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your enemies—to overrun them with the sordid sons of rapine and plunder; devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms, never! never! never! ...I call upon the honour of your Lordships to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country to vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of the constitution. From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble Lord frowns with indignation at THE DISGRACE OF HIS COUNTRY! In vain he led your victorious fleets against the boasted Armada of Spain; in vain he defended and established the honour, the liberties, the religion, the Protestant religion of his country, against the arbitrary cruelties of Popery and the Inquisition."
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
"The War of Independence plays such an important part in American popular ideology that references to it are especially prone to exaggeration and oversimplification. And two uncomfortable truths about it - the fact that it was a civil war (perhaps 100,000 loyalists fled abroad at its end), and that it was also a world war (the Americans could scarcely have won without French help) - are often forgotten."
"In 1775, opposition became armed rebellion. Many of the participants of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, including Benjamin Franklin, assumed that victory over the British would be accomplished with relative ease."
At the start of the War of American Independence and on this day in 1775 Paul Revere began his famous ride to warn people that British troops were advancing.
Revere was arrested but the message was carried to the town of Concord by Samuel Prescott.
Revere's Ride is remembered in Longellow's poem of the same name.
"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Today in 1043 the Coronation of Edward the Confessor.
The Anglo-Saxon king's crown was later worn by Richard II at his coronation and cruelly snatched from his head by his cousin, Henry IV, in 1399. Henry wore it at his coronation in the October of 1399, just a month after he ordered Richard's death.
The crown was melted down at the royal mint following the execution of Charles I, but it has been suggested that it part of it was used to make a crown for Oliver Cromwell in 1656.
History is so interesting isn't it? Do you love the story of King Alfred's unsuccessful afternoon in the kitchen or King Cnut unsuccessful attempt not to get his feet wet? Maybe you're interested in when the Normans landing on our shores or the stories of an era closer to our time?
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