1215 – Several English barons renounced their loyalty to King John. Just a couple months later, the King would sign the Magna Carta.
1640 – King Charles I of England dissolves the Short Parliament after just three weeks. He called them to give funding for the Bishop’s War. This session of Parliament followed the period known as Charles’s Personal Rule, which had last 11 years, in which Parliament did not convene at all.
1210 – Afonso III of Portugal is born in Coimbra. He was the younger brother of Sancho II and the son of Afonso II and Urraca of Castile. Through his mother, he was actually the great-grandson of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He came to the throne after the death of his brother in 1248. He was ahead of his time as an administrator and began taking steps to represent the commons in government, and reformed the judicial system. He died in 1279, leaving his eldest son, Denis as the 18 year old heir.
1747 – The future Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold II was born in Vienna. He was a younger son of Emperor Francis I, and the indomitable Empress Maria Theresa. He was the younger brother of another Emperor, Joseph II, whom he succeeded. Leopold was also the elder brother of the doomed Marie Antoinette, who her corresponded with in his last years, trying to give her advice. He had spent many years before his Imperial accession as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and installed wide sweeping reforms. He was active in promoting a constitution for the people, made the smallpox vaccine widely available, and began building hospitals and demanding hospitalization for those deemed insane. He was unable to instill many reforms in Austria though, as he only lived two years after becoming Emperor in 1790.
1826 – Eugenie de Montijo is born in 1826 in Granada, Spain, into a noble family. She ended up living in France and caught the eye of Prince Louis Napoleon, President of France and nephew of Napoleon I. They wed in 1853, a year after he became Emperor Napoleon III. She was the counter influences to liberal policies and was blamed for the French interventions in Mexico. Her husband was overthrown in 1871, and she lived the rest of her days first in England, then later her native Spain, outliving both her husband and son.
1309 – Charles II of Naples died at age 55. He was the son of Charles I. He fought during the Wars of Sicilian Vespers, and was captured in 1284. Charles was held until 1288, when he was released in a peace negotiated by English king Edward I. He attempted to keep but lost, more than once, the island of Sicily. He would spend his last years improving the city of Naples until he was succeeded by his son, Robert the Wise.
1705 – Austrian Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I died in Vienna at age 64. A younger son of Ferdinand III, he inherited the imperial throne after his brother, Ferdinand IV died without children in 1658. During his reign, the Empire was embroiled in a war with the Turks, the Dutch War, the Nine Years War, and the War of Spanish Succession, which Leopold did not survive, and was considered a loss for the Austrians. He was a staunch supporter of the counter-reformation and believed in absolutism, and carried the famous Habsburg jaw.
1821 – French Emperor Napoleon I died in exile. He was 51 years old, and the autopsy performed said he died of stomach cancer. He had been living in exile on the island of St. Helena for the last six years after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Before that, he had risen to power through the army and had was declared Emperor in 1804. He invaded most of continental Europe and installed his relatives as their new monarchs. In 1812, things went south for Napoleon and he was defeated, forced to abdicate, and exile to the island of Elba. He escaped the following year, raised an army again, but this leads to his defeat and overthrow again. His son was recognized as Napoleon II by those still loyal to him, but the young man was never installed as Emperor.
1827 – King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony died at age 76 in Dresden. He was the Elector of Saxony at first, but during the Napoleonic Wars he was declared King in 1806. He allied with Napoleon in some battles, and Saxony was almost not recognized during the Congress of Vienna. As part of the peace treaties he gave up his Polish lands, and he returned a hero, spending the remaining years of his reign in peace. However, he did little for reforming the government, which his brother and successor felt the brunt of.
Have a great day!