800 – Charlemagne arrived in Rome to mediate a council between Pope Leo III and several men who accused the pope of perjury and adultery. The actual council would being two days later.
1338 – Lionel, Duke of Clarence and Baron of Connaught was born to Edward III of England and Phillippa of Hainault while they were in Antwerp. He served most of his time in Ireland, but the young Geoffrey Chaucer spent time as a page in Lionel’s household. His descendants would claim the throne later as the House of York.
1690 – The minor German Prince, Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst is born. Christian is most well know by his oldest daughter, who was born Sophie Auguste Frederika, but is known to history as Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.
1835 – Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi is born. She would first be an imperial concubine, and gave birth to a future Emperor becoming his regent later, then was also able to install her nephew as Emperor after her son’s death. She is still a controversial figure in China’s Imperial history.
1314 – Phillip IV of France, or Phillip the Fair died at age 46 after a hunting accident. Earlier in the year, Phillip proceeded with the suppression of the Knights Templar, including the seizure of their goods, and the buring of their leader, Jacques DeMolay. DeMolay professed his innocence and cursed both the Pope and Phillip to die before the year was out. They both died before the end of 1314.
1378 – Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor died in Prague at age 62. He was popular for his patronage and gifts to the artisitc communities. He is still regarded as Father of the Country in the Czech Republic.
1780 – Maria Theresa of Austria died of a short illness in Vienna in her early sixties. She had been the Queen Regnant of Austria and all the Hapsburg realms, and then Holy Roman Empress upon marriage to Francis I. She was a formidable woman who continued to rule as co-sovereign with her sons. Among her children, she numbers two Holy Roman Emperors, a Queen of Naples and Sicily, and one ill-fated French Queen named Marie Antionette.
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