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1264 – The Battle of Lewes takes place in England between Henry III and Simon de Montfort. Its considered to be part of the Second Barons War. Henry had refused to honor his part of the Provisions of Oxford which he signed in 1258. His son, Prince Edward, the future Edward I, was captured and held for several months.

1316 – The future Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor is born in Prague. He was the son of John, King of Bohemia, who he succeeded in 1346. That same year, he also became King of the Romans. In 1355, the Imperial crown would follow, and in 1365, the crown on Burgundy did as well. He would be married four times, and have eight surviving children. Among them we number another Emperor, King of the Romans, Queen consort of Hungary, Queen consort of England, and an Austrian Duchess. He is credited with organizing the regions of the Empire to maintain the peace.

1553 – Marguerite of Valois was born today in 1553 as a daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici. Three of her brothers would be kings as Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III. In 1572, she married Henry III of Navarre, the future Henry IV of France. Her wedding was followed by the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Her marriage was not a happy one, and after years apart, being kept in confinement, and flaunted lovers, Henry and Marguerite’s marriage was annulled in 1599. Marguerite eventually moved back to Paris and kept close ties with her former husband and his second wife, and was kind to their children.

1666 – Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia is born today in Turin, Italy. He was the son of the Duke and Duchess of Savoy. His father died in 1675, so he ascended to the Duchy, but under his mother’s regency. In the early 1680’s is when he took power for himself, and married Anne Marie of Orleans. In 1713, he became King of Sicily, and in 1720, King of Sardinia. He only ruled Sicily for three years, and was forced to give it up for Sardinia after the War of Spanish Succession. In 1730, he abdicated in favor of his son, Charles Emmanuel and married his mistress. In 1731, he attempted to reclaim his throne from his son, however he was arrested and spent his days under house arrest.

1710 – Swedish King Adolf Frederick was born today in Schleswig. He became king in 1751, after Frederick I. He was descended from Gustav I through his mother, but was an ineffective ruler. The real power laid with the Riksdag, although Adolf would attempt to install an absolutist rule. His son would later stage a coup and hold power.

1470 – Charles VIII and I of Sweden and Norway died at age 60 in Stockholm. He only ruled Norway for one year, before he was forced to relinquish the crown in favor of the Danish King. He had a tumultuous reign in Sweden, being deposed twice, but reinstalled three times. His kingship was spent fighting on several fronts, even with the clergy. Despite this, he was a symbol for Swedish nationality.

1610 – Henry IV of France and Navarre was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic in Paris. Henry had come to the throne of Navarre in 1572 after the death of his mother, Jeanne III, and then became King of France in 1589 after the death of his distant cousin and brother in law, Henry III. He was a Protestant in Navarre, and fought along side the Huguenots in the French Wars of Religion, but converted to Catholicism at his French accession. Henry was also the first Bourbon king of France.

1643 – Louis XIII died of tuberculosis at age 41. He had become King when he was just under 9 years old, following his father’s assassination. His mother, Marie de Medici would serve as his regent until Louis took the reigns of government from her in 1617. Eventually he would come to heavily rely on Cardinal Richelieu as his advisor and minister. France had some military victories against Spain, towards the end of Louis’ reign, which set the stage for the rise of France with his only son, Louis XIV at the helm.

1912 – Frederick VIII of Denmark died while traveling through Hamburg, Germany. He had only been King since 1906, but had been Crown Prince of Denmark for 43 years. He was the brother of Queen Alexandra of Great Britain and Empress Maria of Russia. His two elder sons would become Kings of Denmark and Norway. Had he lived longer, its believed he would have shown himself to be a very able ruler, and he was in favor of many liberal reforms.

1959 – Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal died in Luxembourg. She was the youngest child of the deposed King Manuel I, and was actually born in German exile. She married a Duke of Parma, and her daughter, Zita, became the last Austrian Empress. Her other children married into other continental royal families, including Luxembourg, Denmark, and Savoy. Maria was 96 when she died.

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