On this day in 1555 the deaths of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, burnt at the stake as seen in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
"Be of good comfort, and play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
20th February 1547: The Coronation of Edward VI at Westminster Abbey, he was just nine years old. Because of his young age Edward's new council made his uncle, Edward Seymour, Lord Protector.
However, waiting in the wings was the Hooded Claw himself - John Dudley.
After a bit of fence sitting in the August of 1485, William Stanley takes Henry Tudor's side at the Battle of Bosworth. However in February 1495, this time, choosing the wrong side cost him his life.
It was in the third week in February 1495, either the 10th or the 16th that William Stanley was executed for siding with pretender Perkin Warbeck.
Here's a statement to stimulate your 'little grey cells' this morning.
"William Stanley served the House of York - as he conceived it to be - all his life. That he may have been wrong in his conception of that House in 1485, and in 1493-95, should not change our awareness of that. The judgment of so many against William, that he was at one with Thomas in treachery, turncoating, and betrayal, is mistaken. He may not be owed much honor, but he does not deserve dishonor."
Do you agree or disagree?
On the 15th February 1382, the Earldom of Suffolk fell into abeyance on the death of William Ufford when he collapsed and died whilst climbing the stairs into Parliament.
Ufford was highly regarded, he carried the royal sceptre at the coronation of ten year old Richard II and was a councilor during the king's minority and was one of Richard's men who put down the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.
Three years after Ufford's death, part of the family estate and the Earldom of Suffolk passed to Michael de la Pole, William's cousin via sisters Catherine and Margaret Norwich, mother's to Pole and Ufford respectively. However, the vast majority of the Suffolk estate passed in accordance to Ufford's will to his sister Cecily, the wife of John Willoughby of Eresby in Lincolnshire.
William's father Robert, was granted the Earldom of Suffolk in its second creation in March 1337 and they take their name from their manor in Ufford in Suffolk, being descended through the family of Peyton. The Ufford name died along with William in 1382, their bloodline however continued through three daughters.
The descendants of the de la Pole and the Willoughby families play important parts in history. Michael de la Pole's grandson William was blamed for the loss of French territories Maine and Anjou, a scapegoat who was exiled and murdered in 1450. The Willoughby's, in the form of Robert Well's, fought against Edward IV at Losecoat field in 1470 and fourteen year old Catherine Willoughbly would marry Charles Brandon.
William Ufford was buried at Campsey Priory, in Campsea Ashe, Suffolk.
David Garrick was born on the 19th February 1717.
Garrick was a playwright, an actor and producer, he was also a theatre manager. The Garrick Theatre in the West End of London is named after him.
David Garrick of course, is famous for his appearance on stage in Shakespeare's play Richard III, it is in this role that he first came to be noticed, such an impression he made that in 1745 artist William Hogarth immortalised him in a painting taken from Act V Scene 3 of Shakespeare's play where Richard says:
"Have mercy, Jesu! Soft! I did but dream. O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me?'
The line refers to the Battle of Bosworth, where according to Shakespeare, the king woke from a dream where he was haunted by the ghosts of Antony Rivers, Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan.
The death of Lady Jane Grey is a tragic one, but often forgotten is the death of her husband, Guildford Dudley, one pawn of many in the machinations of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.
It was on the 12th February in 1554, as Jane Grey watched from her window, that Guildford Dudley stepped up to the execution block on tower hill.
Of his death and Jane Grey's Scottish reformer John Knox wrote of them as
"Innocents, such as by just laws and faithful witnesses can never be proved to have offended by themselves."
11th February 1466 and 1503: The birth and the death of Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.
Elizabeth was also the wife of Henry VII. Sadly, Elizabeth is one of those women who never actually got a chance to shine. She would always be Elizabeth Woodville's daughter, Henry VII's wife and Margaret Beaufort's daughter in law - Margaret making quite sure that both Elizabeth's did not steal the limelight, regardless of the fact Elizabeth was queen.
Elizabeth was a pawn, caught in the slip stream of the battle for the crown of England, her life story only lasted thirty-seven years. She spent time, along with her siblings in sanctuary in Westminster Abbey and her marriage to Henry Tudor was purely for dynastic reasons, she gave Henry seven children, four surviving infancy. The seventh, Katherine, born at the beginning of February, died just days later and who she followed into the grave.
History tells us the Henry VII loved Elizabeth and on her death he is said to have been heart broken.
You can read about Elizabeth's son, Henry VIII's reaction to her death on my blog at
King Henry VIII was only twelve years old when his mother, Elizabeth of York, died in 1503.
In later years Henry was a quick tempered, heartless bully who dispatched his wives as quickly as he was married them and who executed his friends when they did not get for him what he wanted. Henry was a adult, but it seems he grew in stature but not in mind. That said, it is easy to forget that he was once a small boy, who by the time of his beloved mother's death, in childbirth, had lost his older and younger brothers and a baby sister who had died three days after her birth.
Doe's this image of a distressed red headed boy who is lying across a bed show us Henry's reaction to his mothers death?
Find out on my blog on my website.
Clement Attlee was a Labour politician who served as Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951, and also as Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. His government undertook the nationalisation of major industries and public utilities as well as the creation of the National Health Service.
He was born this day in 1883.
10th February 1355: An argument over the quality of the beer in an Oxford tavern would descended into violence resulting in a two day street battle that cost the lives of over one hundred people.
John de Bereford, the landlord of the Swyndlestock Tavern and also Oxford's mayor, complained that three men (two students, Walter Spryngeheuse and Roger de Chesterfield and a priest) used “stubborn and saucy language” when voicing their complaint. The angry student threw a 'quart pot' at the landlord's head resulting in the three being evicted.
This altercation would be known as the St Scholastica’s Day Riot.
Eventually there was quiet on Oxford's streets and following Edward III's investigation the case was settled in favour of the University. The rioters were punished, John de Bereford was made to walk 'bareheaded' through the streets, attend a Mass for the souls of the dead and swear a oath once a year to 'observe the University's privileges' this included an annual fine of 63 pence.
What happened to the student's and the priest there is no mention.
Every mayor of Oxford for the following 470 years was forced to face this humiliating punishment until 1825, when the mayor refused to take part. And quite right too!
A bank now stands on the site of the tavern.
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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