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1567 – The Casket Letters were found on Mary, Queen of Scots. The letters would implicate Mary and the Earl of Bothwell in the murder of Mary’s second husband, Lord Darnley. The Earl of Bothwell would be Mary’s 3rd husband.

1685 – James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, starts a rebellion in England against his uncle, new King James II and VII. Monmouth was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and as a Protestant, he was bent on the deposition of his uncle, and having himself installed as King. The younger James was apprehended and later executed for treason.

1389 – John of Lancaster is born in England to the future Henry IV and Mary de Bohun. He would serve in the military under his brother, Henry V, then later acted as regent for his infant nephew, Henry VI. He continued the Hundred Years War with France, even having their symbolic leader, Joan of Arc, executed. And he would also arrange his nephew’s coronation as King of France. He would pass away at age 46 while in Rouen, France.

1632 – The future Sigismund III Vasa is born. Swedish by birth, he was elected to be King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1587, which sparked the War of Polish Succession, where Sigismund was the victor. From 1592 until 1599, he was also the King of Sweden, but could not hold both territories. He ruled Poland until his death. His reign is looked on positively, and with his death, ended the Golden Age of the Commonwealth.

1605 – Sixteen year old Feodor II of Russia is found dead in his apartments. He was the son of Boris Godunov, and he and his father both ruled Russia during the “Time of Troubles” when the succession was in dispute. While the autopsy stated he died from poisoning, there were reports that he was murdered by agents of another claimant to the throne.

1837 – King William IV of the United Kingdom died at age 71. He had only been king since 1830, after the death of his elder brother, George IV. Like the other British Hanoverian kings, he was also ruler of the German province of Hanover, which he never visited as King. He had spent time in his youth in the Royal Navy, and later was active in the House of Lords. He enacted several reforms during his short reign, including restrictions on child labor, the abolition of slavery in the majority of the colonies, and gave Hanover a constitution. Although he had several illegitimate children, he had none with his wife, Queen Adelaide, when he passed. So the Crown of Britain went to his niece, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, now Queen Victoria. Hanover observed Salic law, so his brother, Ernest Augustus, became King there.

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