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1450 – The Battle of Formigny takes place in France as part of the Hundred Years War. It was late in the war and the French would rally to defeat the scattered English forces decisively. This would effectively push the English out of most of France, with the exception of Calais.

1632 – The Battle of Rain occurs between the Holy Roman Empire and Swedish forces led by King Gustavus Adolphus under the Thirty Years War. Both sides would take heavy losses, but the Swedish would emerge victorious because of the tactical abilities of Gustavus Adolphus.

1366 – King Henry IV of England is born as the son of John of Gaunt, and a grandson of Edward III. He became King in 1399, after the overthrow of his first cousin, Richard II. Henry was the first king of the House of Lancaster, and he would be succeeded by his son, Henry V.

1646 – Christian V of Denmark is born today in Flensburg. He was the son of Frederick III and Queen Sophie Amalie and the father of the future Frederick IV. He was quite popular with the common people for allowing them into state service. Christian is considered to be one of the more poorly educated Danish kings, a title which he seemed to be okay with. He lists his primary interests in his memoirs as “hunting, love-making, war and maritime affairs”.

1684 – The future Catherine I of Russia is born today. She was born of very low origins to a Polish/Lithuanian family. She eventually came to work in the household of a Russian general who was close with Peter the Great. Catherine married the Russian Emperor in secret in 1707 and the marriage was said to be happy. In 1724, Peter raised her to be his co-ruler, before his passing the following year. Catherine would rule in her own right, albeit dependent on advisors, until her death 1727. She was the first woman to rule Imperial Russia.

1721 – A boy is born to King George II and Queen Caroline, named William. He was made Duke of Cumberland when he was only 4 years old. He became known for his skills as a general during the Wars of Austrian Succession, the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and the Seven Years War. During the “45” he became unpopular in London for his harshness, and was called “Butcher Cumberland”. He lived a few years into his nephew, George III’s reign.

1960 – In not-so-dead royalty, King Philippe, Duke of Brabant is born in Belgium. He ascended to the throne of Belgium, after his father, Albert II, abdicated in Philippe’s favor on July 21st 2013.

1764 – Madame de Pompadour dies of tuberculosis at age 42. She had been the primary mistress of king Louis XV from 1745 until her death. She was of common origins, but quickly rose through court. She wielded power behind the scenes with the King, and acted as a companion to him, trying to boost his moods, even maintaining a cordial relationship with his wife.

1969 – Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen consort of Spain, died at age 81 in Swiss exile. She was the wife of the deposed Alfonso XIII. However by birth, she was of the British Royal family, as a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She was also first cousins to George V of Great Britain, Queen Maud of Norway, Empress Alexandra of Russia, Queen Marie of Romania, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Queen Louise of Sweden, and Queen Sophia of the Hellenes. The current Spanish King, Felipe VI, is her great-grandson.

Have an awesome day!