1578 – The first stones of the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris are laid by Henry III. It is the oldest bridge in Paris.
1443 – Lady Margaret Beaufort is born in England. At age 12, she married Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. Tudor was the half brother of Henry VI, through their mother, Catherine of Valois. Margaret had one child who would later become Henry VII of England. She would marry three more times, but at her death, be buried by Edmund. In 1485, her son became king, and she would live at court and be an influential member of his government. She lived two months into the reign of her grandson, Henry VIII.
1469 – Manuel I of Portugal is born. In 1495, he became King after his cousin, John II. Portugal made great strides in exploration during his reign, including the discovery of Brazil and a route to India. He also oversaw an Inquisition towards the Jews. There were many deaths and forced conversions at the time. He was married three times and among his children there are two Kings of Portugal and a Holy Roman Empress.
1557 – Feodor I of Russia is born in Moscow to Ivan IV and Anastasia Romanova. He became Tsar in 1584, but wasn’t supposed to until is elder brother died. He had no children and little, to no interest in politics. His chief minister Boris Godunov would succeed him as Tsar, and lead to a time called “The Troubles” .
1923 – The future Prince Rainier III of Monaco is born. He became Sovereign Prince in 1949, after the death of his grandfather, Louis II. In 1956, he famously married American movie star Grace Kelly, with whom he had three children, including the current ruler of Monaco, Prince Albert. He helped Monaco get a new constitution in 1962, which effectively ended autocratic rule.
1162 – Geza III of Hungary died in his early 30’s. He became King at age 10 after the death of his father, Bela II. He was a successful ruler for his time, both at home and militarily. The only rebellions he would see would come later in his reign from his brother and uncle. However it would be crushed quickly. Two of his sons would become king after him, as Stephen III and Bela III.
1246 – Isabella of Angouleme died at Fontevraud Abbey. She had been the second wife of John I of England, whom she had married when she was about 12, in the year 1200. In 1202, at the death of her father, she became Countess of Angouleme in her own right. Through John she would mother Henry III of England, and her daughters would become a Queen in Scotland and Holy Roman Empress. After John’s death, she went back to France, remarried (causing a scandal), and assisted in an attempt to overthrow French King Louis IX.
1495 – Cecily Neville, Duchess of York died at age 80. She was a great-granddaughter to Edward III and Queen Philippa. She married Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and in time, gave birth to three daughters, who all married into peerage, and four sons, two of whom became Kings of England as Edward IV and Richard III. “Proud Cis” lived until she was 80, and thus watched the whole of the Wars of the Roses, which her family was deeply entrenched in. She outlived all of her sons. But Cecily lived long enough to watch her granddaughter, the once illegitimatized Elizabeth, Edward IV’s daughter, become Queen consort of England. Since Henry VIII, every English monarch is somehow descended from Cecily Neville.
1740 – Frederick William I of Prussia died in Berlin. Called the Soldier King because of his time in the military and his fondness for it, he attempted to instill the same virtue in his son, the future Frederick II. His relationship with son would be difficult for a long time, and would include an exile and court martialing of the young man. As a whole, he did a lot improve the Prussian military and the country as a whole.
Have a great day!