Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Fun Fact for March 21st


On this day in history in 1413, Henry V became King of England.
King Henry V became King of England after his father, Henry IV, died suddenly of not-alive-no-more.
The new King of England was crowned in a magnificent ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the 9th of April. Nothing can compare to the coronation of a medieval king.
Apart from the king's eyes. "They flashed from the mildness of a dove's to the brilliance of a lion's."
True story.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

History Fun Facts for February 5th

On this day 5th February 1788, Sir Robert Peel was born.
Although he served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 67% of British people who recognised his name, didn't realise. Most will know his as the guy who set up the Metropolitan Police Force in London.
Police officers in Britain are often called "Bobbies" or "Peelers"
as a throw back to Robert Peel, the Met's creator.

Robert Peel actually served as Prime Minister twice. The first term between 1934-1835, and the second between 1841-1846.
But, as stated above, he is better known for the creation, in 1829, of the Metropolitan Police Force based at Scotland Yard, London.
When Peel set out the principals of policing a democracy, he said,
"The police are the public and the public are the police."
Before adding:
"Which one of you thieving scumbags stole my sandwich?"
It was the first permanent police force of its kind and not at all popular with the criminals. However, it soon became popular amongst their victims. It cut crime in London by a half.
In 1857, all cities in the UK were required to establish their own police forces. Nowadays, they're pretty much everywhere.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

History Fun Facts February 4th

On This Day, the 4th of February 211, Septimus Severus, the Roman Emperor, died in York (called Eboracum back in the day).
It wasn't a great death. Lord Voldermort cursed him with a Caracalla Geta spell for his inability to kill Harry Potter.

By Grabthar's Hammer,
I will cut your heart out with a spoon.
On This Day, the 4th of February 1703, forty six of the Forty-Seven Ronin committed seppuku, or ritual suicide, after avenging their master's death. The only one left standing was Keanu Reeves, ironically the only one everyone actually wanted to disembowel.
On This Day in 2004, the evil Empire known as Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day in 1915, Sir Norman Wisdom was born.
Norman Wisdom was an English actor who starred in comedy films back in the 1950s and 1960s, most playing the character Norman Pitkin. He died on the 4th of October 2010.
Not just popular in Britain, Norman Wisdom was known the world over. In Albania, he is very famous. This is thanks to his films being some of only a handful of films starring Western actors that were allowed by the dictator, Enver Hoxha.
On This Day in 1972, Dara O Briain, Britiain's favourite Irishman, was born. Dara is an Irish comedian, as most of them are, and also a television presenter in the United Kingdom. And, Ireland. Yep, he's been on television over there, too. But they couldn't stand him, so sent him to Britain.
He was always a fan of denigrating the less strong, and decided that'd be a great idea for a television show. He also thought hosting the UK version of The Apprentice: You're Fired would be a good thing. Until he realised he couldn't stand either Sir-Alan-Lord-Sugar or the bunch of morons who were on the show to impress the grumpy gnome.
Dara O Briain's three states of legality in Irish Law.
There is all this stuff which comes under "That's grand."
Then it moves into "Ah now don't push it."
And finally it comes under "Right now, you're takin te piss."
And that's when the police come in.

On This Day in 1975, Natalie Imbruglia was born. She started out her life in the television soap opera Neighbours. When she realised that Everybody Needs Good Friends, and that even on that show, she didn't have any, she left to forge a singing career.
Torn about Tom, who was a Big Mistake, she started to Smoke. It was just One More Addiction, along with the Pigeons and Crumbs she had to deal with. And she really had to deal with it, so asked people to "Leave Me Alone."
Natalie Imbruglia was named 6th most
naturally beautiful woman of all time in 2004

Those people were quite generous, and did. Her album sales took a nosedive. Oops. If only she'd had some Intuition, That Day wouldn't have ended with a Wrong Impression, or her Beauty on Fire. That's what happens when you Smoke when you're getting your pubes waxed.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Execution of Guy Fawkes


On This Day, 31st January 1606, the infamous Guy Fawkes was executed for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.
During his torture, I mean interrogation, there's a difference apparently, Guy Fawkes was asked the question, "What were you doing in possession of so much gunpowder?"
On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes was found in the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of Gunpowder. Trying to explain your way out of that one and claim innocence would not be easy.
Guy Fawkes asked for the mildly hot poker to be removed from his bottom, a popular interrogation technique still used by the United States, and not torture, as there is a difference. He then said, "to blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
"To blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
- a popular English drinking game in the early 1600s.

King James, who would have been blown to teeny-tiny bits along with the Palace of Westminster, had Guy Fawkes been able to carry out his plan, had a mild admiration for Fawkes and his steadfastness, resolution, and ability to hold a poker face like no other before him.
The admiration didn't stop the King ordering Fawkes be tortured. I mean interrogated. Although he did indicate the torture, sheesh, interrogation, be light at first.
"Don't use the hedgehogs unless they are completely necessary,"
- the King was heard to say.

Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty of high treason.
The Attorney General, Sir Edward Coke, took a sip of Pepsi and told the court the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot should be, "...put to death halfway between heaven and earth as unworthy of both."
And continued, "Their genitals would be cut off and burned before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed. After lunch, they would then be decapitated and their dismembered parts displayed so as to become 'prey for the fowls of the air'."
Yep. Sir Edward Coke was a pretty serious guy. Perhaps he should have switched to decaf.
On the 31st January 1606, Guy Fawkes and three of his fellow conspirators, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were dragged from the Tower of London by a horse to the Old Palace Yard in Westminster.
The other three had their punishments first. Guy Fawkes was to watch as they were hanged, some longer than others, but all were cut down before they died. Whilst conscious, they had their dangly bits sliced off, before they were disembowelled, and finally quartered.
Finally it was the turn of Guy Fawkes. But, it would seem, after being forced to watch the others go through a nasty ending, he didn't much like to suffer it himself.
As he climbed the ladder to the noose, he decided to jump and broke his neck. He was killed instantly. Some say he merely fell, but either way he avoided the eye-watering part of having is little Guy lopped off.
The rest of the procedure was still carried out. His body parts were then distributed to the four corners of the kingdom to be displayed as warning to others that would consider traitorous thoughts.
Fun Fact:
The penis of Guy Fawkes found its way to the Scottish Highlands,
where it was impaled on a twig and set alight using gunpowder from one of the barrels
he had smuggled into the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament.

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Execution of Charles I of England


On This Day, the 30th of January 1649, King Charles-The-First-King-Of-England-To-Be-Tried-And-Executed, had his head separated from his shoulders by way of a really sharp axe.
After losing the English Civil war, King Charles-Not-A-Spaniel was imprisoned and tried for treason, and kicking a sick puppy that one time when he was a kid. But, little did the King know, that his days were numbered.
In fact, the king always believed he would be found innocent of all crimes, including puppy-kicking. He couldn't imagine, along with most of the country, that Parliament would not only find him guilty, but they'd also give him the death sentence.
The sentencing was driven by Oliver Cromwell, who hated the king and the monarchy. And puppies. He kicked more than a few in his time. But he had to be seen as a man of the people. So he switched to kicking kittens instead.
Most people break down before they are executed. They cry, they scream, they beg for their life.
Not the Charles-Needed-A-Different-Lawyer. The King asked to wear two shirts. The weather was biting cold, and he didn't want it to cause him to shiver. If the crowds observed him shivering, they might mistake it for fear.
An eyewitness to the execution was interviewed for the BBC News channel afterwards. "We all gasped, we did. They keel'd te king. T'was terrible. An awful thing. But fun."
The eyewitness continued: "They showed his head. Lifted it right up, they did. Dripped blood all over. So we dipped our handkerchiefs in it."
The spectators wanted a souvenir of the day. And those who were close enough dipped their handkerchiefs into the pools of blood dripping on the floor as the King's head was raised and shown to the crowds.
The eyewitness concluded: "That Oliver Cromwell, the one who beat the king, and killed him proper, he did. He watched and smiled. Real pleased with himself, he was. Right proud to kill a king. Watta-git."

Saturday, 28 January 2017

History Facts The Burning Ball

On This Day In History in 1393, Charles VI of France is almost killed, accidentally on purpose, by several masked dancers, who happened to be on fire.
The King of France was attending a masquerade ball, The Bal des Ardents, which translates as "The Ball of the Burning Men", which we hope was name after the event. If it was actually called that before it happened, then suspicions would have been aroused.
Charles VI was known for his awesome dance moves. That king could move. Think John Travolta on ice having an epileptic fit whilst holding seven octopi (or octopuses, or octopuddies) who are also having epileptic fits. Strobe lighting was very popular six hundred years ago. It was an issue.
The King of France, never wanting to miss an opportunity, decided to get up and dance. When shouts were heard from the spectators, "Yo, Kingy, You're On Fire!", Charles VI just assumed they were paying him compliments.
Little did he realise, he was actually on fire.
A torch had been brought into the event by his brother, Louis, Duke of Orleans. Now, we're not saying the King's brother had it in for him, but he really did. The two didn't get along. But, boys will be boys. What can you do?
Well, for starters, you can bring a torch into a packed area and set a few dancers on fire, hoping that fire would spread like, well, fire, and hope the king goes up like a roman candle. Pwoooof.
Although four of the dancers were killed, King Charles VI survived the ordeal.