On this day in 1459 Thomas Vaughan, Alice, wife of Richard of Salisbury and William Oldhall, according the the November Parliament heard in Coventry that same year, imagined and compassed the death of Henry VI.
"And forasmoch as Aleyse the wyf of the seid Richard erle of Salesbury, the first day of August, the yere of youre moost noble reigne .xxxvij. th , at Middelham in youre shire of York, and William Oldhall knyght, and Thomas Vaghan late of London squier, at London, in the parissh of Seint Jame at Garlikhithe, in the warde of Quenehithe, the fourth day of Jule, the same yere, falsely and traiterously ymagyned and compassed the deth and fynall destruccion of you, soverayne lord; and in accomplisshment and executyng therof, the seid Aleise, at Middelham aforeseid the seid first day of August, and the seid William Oldhall and Thomas Vaghan, at London, in the seid parissh and warde, the seid fourth day of Jule,[col. b] traiterously labored, abetted, procured, stered and provoked the seid duc of York, and the seid erles of Warrewyk and Salesbury, to doo the seid tresons, rebellions, gaderynges, ridynges and reryng of werre ayenst youre moost roiall persone, at the seid toune of Blore and Ludeford: to ordeyne and establissh, by the seid auctorite, that the same Aleise, William Oldhall and Thomas Vaghan for the same be reputed, taken, demed, adjugged and atteinted of high treson."
Coventry was very badly bombed during the Second World War, many of the city's historic building reduced to rubble. Swanswell Gate and Cook Street Gate are all that are left of the cities walls.
On her journey to Burgundy for her marriage, Margaret of York left Margate on the 23rd of June 1468 and arrived in Amsterdam two days later. Arrangements had been made for Margaret to meet Charles on the 27th and the couple were married in a private ceremony on the 3rd of July, at the home of a wealthy merchant and this was followed by an extravagant wedding feast.
In an account of the feast given by Olivier de la Marche, a courtier, soldier and chronicler and friend of Charles, Marche states that Thomas Vaughan, who would later be Chamberlain to Edward V, was among the English nobles who had attended, along with Lord Scales and John Woodville, brother to Edward’s queen, John Howard, Lord Dacre and William Parr, all who followed the litter of the new bride to the festivities.
All these men received gifts from the Charles in the form of rather large amounts of money for their efforts in promoting his marriage with Margaret of York, Vaughan received a payment to the value of £375, that is the equivalent today of over £187,000, John Woodville received, in today's money, just over £315,000.
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 25th July 1137 Eleanor of Aquitaine married the son of Louis VI of France, and on Christmas Day 1137 she was queen of France. An intelligent and feisty woman, Eleanor is said to have to have arrived at the cathedral town of Vezelay dressed like an Amazon galloping through the crowds on a white horse, urging men to join the crusades. She also had every intention to go herself, accompanied by three hundred of her ladies dressed in armor and carrying lances.
Louis found Eleanor overpowering and demanding, he was exceptionally devout and preferred a evening of prayer in his chapel rather than a night in his wifes bed, on many levels Eleanor was too much like hard work. However, he suffered her for twenty-five years until their marriage was annulled on the 21st March 1152.
Despite being adverse to Eleanor's charms, he managed to father two daughters, however the birth of their second child was a blow for Louis personally and for his dynasty. What Louis needed was a heir and that meant a son, not a daughter.
Louis VII would marry twice after the end of his marriage to Eleanor fathering three more daughters and a son.
Eleanor's vast estates, from River Loire to the Pyrenees came under her control and within three months she would marry Henry, son of Matilda of England and Geoffrey of Anjou and she would later become queen of England.
The 27th July 1586 is the date given for the arrival of tobacco in England, brought, it is said, by Sir Walter Raleigh from Virginia.
Indeed, one legend tells of how Sir Walter’s servant, seeing him smoking a pipe for the first time, threw water over him, fearing him to be on fire.
Following a standoff at Carberry Hill near Edinburgh on the 15th June 1567, Mary Queen of Scot had been imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle.
It was on the 20th July or during the three days up to the 24th the queen miscarried twins. The babies father was undoubtedly James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell.
According to Claude Nau, secretary to the queen,
"Lord Ruthven and Lord Lindsay entered the queen's chamber, where she is lying prostrate from her troubles and a "great flux caused by the miscarriage of twins."
Today is St. Swithin's Day, it is thought that if it rains today, it will be the start of forty days of rain.
Well, you've got to blame someone for our English summer. There are a number of churches named after Swithun, the Anglo Saxon bishop of Winchester, one is in Cornwall in the village of Launcells.
In his Cornish Treasure, David Freeman, writes of this church that it:
"nestles here resting on the shoulder of Cornwall like an old but familiar friend, deep amid an ancient tree endowed valley where silent men walked and pilgrims once prayed. Beneath oak groves and elder, willow and ash, this has always been an enchanted and sacred place. Watered by a small stream they call the Neet, ever growing as it twists & tumbles down the valley towards Stratton & Bude to the ocean beyond. The ancient Launcells Church stands guard as she has done for eons, above the well of St. Swithin the Holy confessor, a sainted man who it is said wandered these lands devoutly serving God in the days when Kenulf was King."
A holy well still lies beneath the granite battlements of this Norman church. As legend has it,
"never to run dry and the healer of all ailments of the eye and of sight,"
This is useful if it didn't happen to rain on St Swithin's Day.
The 12th of July 2012 saw the public launch of the Canal & River Trust.
This new charity took over from British Waterways and was given responsibility for canals and rivers in England and Wales. It was the largest ever single transfer of state assets to the voluntary sector.
Britain's canals play an important part in my family history, enabling my ancestors to move from the iron works in Ruabon in Wales via the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union Canal into the newly industrialised city of Worcester and later to Yorkshire with the construction of the Barnsley Canal.
You can read how important Britain's waterways were for my family personally and also their important role in the Industrial Revolution on my website in the story of my Taylor ancestors.
My grandfather was a coal miner, working in the pits of the West Riding of Yorkshire for twenty two years, he left the Monckton Colliery in 1947 due to ill health. It was on the 12th Jul 1946 that the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act received the Royal Assent, two days later the National Coal Board formally established.
On 1 January the following year a notice was posted at every colliery in the country which read,
"This colliery is now managed by the National Coal Board on behalf of the people".
Margaret Thatcher would hammer the last nail in the coal miners coffins forty years later.
On this day in 1822 and only a month before his 30th birthday, Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned when his boat overturned during a storm. He was returning from visiting his friends Lord Byron and James Leigh Hunt.
Shelley was cremated and his ashes placed in a cemetery in Rome.
Of Shelley's life it has been written:
"The life and works of Percy Bysshe Shelley exemplify Romanticism in both its extremes of joyous ecstasy and brooding despair. The major themes are there in Shelley’s dramatic if short life and in his works, enigmatic, inspiring, and lasting: the restlessness and brooding, the rebellion against authority, the interchange with nature, the power of the visionary imagination and of poetry, the pursuit of ideal love, and the untamed spirit ever in search of freedom—all of these Shelley exemplified in the way he lived his life and on in the substantial body of work that he left the world after his legendary death at age twenty-nine."
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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Thomas Vaughan: An Introduction
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