1348 – The Order of the Garter is founded today in England by Edward III. It is the oldest and most prestigious order of chivalry in the United Kingdom and is very limited in membership. In addition to the Monarch and Prince of Wales, there are only an additional 24 members. The motto is Middle French, “Honi soit qui mal y pense”, or “Shame upon him who thinks evil upon it.
1661 – Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland is crowned King at Westminster Abbey. He had been declared King a few months prior, following the execution of his father, Charles I and overthrow of the monarchy in 1649, and the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, and the subsequent breakdown of Richard Cromwell’s government. Charles would be the last sovereign to make the traditional procession through London, from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey.
1141 – The future Malcolm IV is born in Scotland. He became king in 1153 after the death of his grandfather David I. Malcolm would maintain a good relationship with Henry II of England, even going to fight in France with him. Sadly he died early at age 24, before he could solidify his legacy.
1170 – Isabella of Hainault is born to the Count and Countess of Hainault. In 1179 she married the future Phillip II of France, becoming Queen consort the following year. In 1187 she gave birth to the future Louis VIII, but in 1190, when pregnant for the second time with twins, she died just shy of her 20th birthday.
1185 – Afonso II of Portugal is born in Coimbra, Portugal. He was the son of Sancho I and father to the future Sancho II and Afonso III. He was able to maintain peace with neighboring Castile, and spent his reign centralizing power and improving infrastructure within his lands. However a long standing dispute with the Pope would see him excommunicated at the time of his death in 1223.
1016 – Aethelred the Unready died in England. He had been king since he was between 10 or 13 years old. He was between 47 and 50 years old. He had ongoing disputes with the invading Danes, which would carry over into the reigns of his sons, Edmund Ironside, and Edward the Confessor.
1124 – Alexander I of Scotland died at age 44, having been king since 1107. Alexander had succeeded his elder brother Edgar, but Edgar had left a provision for their other brother, David, to hold lands in Southern Scotland. This provided for strife between the brothers, but Alexander was still ultimately in control. He would even help Henry I fight in Wales, and married Henry’s illegitimate daughter, Sybilla. He was said to be incredibly pious and religious, but also intensely fierce in battle. His younger brother David succeeded him, as he had no children.
1151 – Adeliza of Louvain died at the Affligem Abbey in Brabant. She was the second wife of Henry I of England and was Queen consort from 1121-1135. She married again after Henry’s death and her husband was made Earl of Lincoln by King Stephen. They had seven children, and through them, she is the ancestress of Henry V, VI, and VII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard. She was known for her kind nature, and her patronage of hospitals and the sick.
1307 – Joan of Acre died in Suffolk, England at age 35. She was the daughter of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile and was born while they were on Crusade. She was married first to the Earl of Hertford, who died after just 5 years of marriage, but they managed to have 4 children. Her second marriage was scandalous, as he was a minor knight in her father’s household. Joan actually convinced her father to knight him, and then married him in secret. This caused strife with her father, but they were able to reconcile. Its believed, though not proved that she died in childbirth.
1625 – Maurice, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands died while fighting the Spanish in Breda. He had been a principle leader in the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule. Maurice is still renowned as a great military commander for his time, and the successes of the Dutch revolt are attributed to him. The island nation of Mauritius was named in his honour, after being colonized by the Dutch.
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