On the 18th March in 1554, Elizabeth I, then a princess was imprisoned at the Tower accused of involvement in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion, which aimed to dethrone her half-sister Mary I and place Elizabeth on the throne. At this time many of Mary's councillors were in favour of having Elizabeth executed however, Mary overruled them and had her moved to Woodstock in Oxfordshire where she lived under house arrest for nearly a year.
Elizabeth would find herself within the Tower of London 1559 Elizabeth but this time it was the eve of her coronation!
After spending the 13th and 14th of March 1484 in the Lincolnshire town of Stamford, Richard III moved onto Grantham where he spent two days before setting off to Nottingham.
Just five months previously, on the 19th October, Richard had taken possession of the Great Seal which had been delivered to him at noon in the Kings Chamber of the Angel Inn in the town.
In March of 1300, Articuli Super Cartas or the Articles in addition to Magna Carta was confirmed by King Edward I. In this document Edward agreed to abide by a new set of reforms that had been presented to him by the rebel barons.
Two of the important clauses of the document were the first and seventeenth items.
1 - Let there be chosen in each county by the community of the county, three men of standing, to be sworn as justices, to hear and determine the complaints that shall be made of all those who contravene or offend in any of the said points of the aforesaid charters in the counties to which they are assigned.
17 - And because many more evildoers are in the land than ever there were before, and innumerable robberies, arsons and homicides are committed, and the peace is less well kept, because the statute which the king caused to be made but lately at Winchester has not been kept, the king wills that this statute be sent again into each county and read and published four times a year, like the two great charters, and firmly kept in every point, on pain of the penalties that are therein laid down; and let the three knights be charged to keep and maintain this statute who are assigned in the counties to correct infringements of the great charters.
King Richard I was fatally injured in the March of 1199 wounded while fighting in France.
Richard had arrived at Chalus Chabrol Castle, it was while he was walking the castle's perimeter that he was struck by a crossbow bolt in the left shoulder just below his neck. The bolt was fired by an archer named Pierre Basile.
An attempt was made to remove the bolt but
"extracted the wood only, while the iron remained in the flesh... but after this butcher had carelessly mangled the King's arm in every part, he at last extracted the arrow."
He would die seventeen days later in the arms of his mother.
On the 16th and 17th of May in 1915 Britain saw one of its earliest German air raids. These raids were conducted by the LZ38 - a Zepplin.
This Zepplin attacked Dover and Ramsgate. As a result of this anti-aircraft guns were installed at Dover castle, these guns successfully shot down several Zeppelins and planes during the war.
As a very little girl, (not during any of the wars I might add) my father was stationed at an RAF base in Yorkshire, from our back garden I could watch as large black blimps filled the sky above me. What these blimps were used for was to carry trainee parachutists, about five or six of them, so they practice. They would all jump in one go and the sky would be filled with tiny black dots floating to the ground.
I just watched for a while and then carried on playing. It was quite a sight, you could hear a very faint buzz, I cannot imagine what the people in Britain felt like when the loud buzz of the Zepplin engine could be heard overhead.
In 1356, under a scorched earth policy, Edward the Black Prince headed a raiding party that made its way across France, the point of which was to undermine the French King John II by attacking the population rather than the king himself. It was at Poitiers, that John eventually caught up with the marauding English prince. Following a clash of arms, the French army soon found themselves surrounded and many of the frightened French soldiers fled the field. The king, despite being dressed in the same clothing as his personal guard, was captured.
At first, he was taken to Bordeaux and then to England where he was held in various castles up and down the country. Although John was a prisoner he was afforded the privileges of a royal monarch. He purchased horses, he kept pets, he paid for his own astrologer and was able to listen to music played to him by his own band of minstrels.
One of the castles in which the French king stayed was Somerton in Lincolnshire, a large sandstone building built towards the end of the 13th century by the Bishop of Durham.
While staying at Somerton he was under the watchful eye of a member of the Deincourt family whose main residence was Blankney just a few miles away. While in 'captivity' John ordered wine from Bordeaux that came into Lincolnshire via the inland port of Boston. Also, Lincoln saw large amounts of sugar, spice and fabrics arrive at Brayford Pool that no doubt was shipped along the River Witham and transported by land to the castle.
However, all good things come to an end and it was on this day that the French king waved goodbye to the Daincourts at Somerton and left to begin his seven-day journey to the Tower of London in order to discuss the subject of his ransom.
Born on the 28th March in 1819 was English civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette.
Bazelgette was responsible for building London's new sewer system in response to the Great Stink of 1858.
In the image below you can see the engraving "The Silent Highwayman" featuring death as he rows on the Thames, taking the lives of those who made no effort towards the clean up of river.
By 1866, Bazalgette designs were implemented and most of London was connected to a sewer system where the filthy water, that caused cholera epidemics in the city, were diverted along new low level sewers. These sewers were built behind embankments on the riverfront taking the water to new treatment works. By 1870 both the Albert and the Victoria Embankments had been opened.
Born today in 1430 Margaret of Anjou, a pawn in her father's grand scheme, married at the age of fifteen to the ineffectual Henry VI, added fuel to the fire that was the Wars of the Roses. She was one scary lady
"In the year 1666 he retired again from Cambridge to his mother in Lincolnshire and while he was musing in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from earth, but that this power must extend much further than was usually thought. Why not as high as the Moon thought he to himself & that if so, that must influence her motion & perhaps retain her in her orbit, whereupon he fell a-calculating what would be the effect of that superposition..."
( Keesing, R.G., The History of Newton's apple tree, Contemporary Physics, 39, 377-91, 1998)
Today in 1727, Lincolnshire born Sir Isaac Newton, most famous for his theories on gravitation, died in London.
On 20th March 1549, Thomas Seymour was executed on Tower Hill. Seymour did not clear his way to heaven by confessing to his sins - a power grab and the unlawful entry into the young kings chambers, with, it was thought, malice aforethought.
Bishop Hugh Latimer stated at Seymour's execution:
"Whether he be saved or no, I leave it to God, but surely he was a wicked man, and the realm is well rid of him."
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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