Sunday, 5 April 2015

This Week in History: 28th March - 3rd April

Saturday 28th March - 1584
It is with a sad heart that we must report the death of Ivan the Terrible. He passed away in the arms of his long-term minion, Bogdan Belsky, shortly after they had started a game of chase-me-around-the-bedroom-in-a-mankini. Or as it was known back in the day, Chess.

Ivan the Terrible had a fearsome reputation and transformed Russia into an Empire. He was the first person to be titled Tsar of all of Russia. He conquered, he butchered, he tortured, he killed, he played "Chess" with his minion. However, his name was given to him by his wife on their wedding night. And not in a playful, seductive way: "Oh, Ivan, you bad boy. We shouldn't try that. Oh, you're so terrible." but rather in a... "You haven't done this before have you? You're terrible." sort of way.

After Ivan's terrible death, by the hand of his minion, we mean in the hands of his minion -- there's no proof of anything, it was just a heart attack -- the title Tsar, and the Russian throne, went to his incompetent and childless middle son, Feodor, because Ivan had killed his eldest son and heir during a temper tantrum.

Sunday 29th March - 1943
Mr and Mrs Major would like to announce the birth of their son, John Major. When interviewed, they declared their son was special as he was not being fed milk, like most babies, but was having Curry instead. This diet of Curry was to prepare him for becoming Prime Minister one day. When pushed for details, baby John Major's mother said he would overthrow Britain's first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in 1990, in a well-orchestrated coup. His downfall would come, though, in the form of a well-tanned weirdo called Tony Blair, about 7 years later.

Monday 30th March - 1296
Edward Longshanks, our gentle and kind king, the one with the really long shanks, has won a great victory today. In the first great battle of the 1st Scottish War of Independence, the town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed has been captured from the barbaric Scottish army under the command of William the Hardy, Lord of Douglas.

The English army under the command of that most noble of gentlemen, Baron Robert De Clifford, took the town with ease, killing over 10,000 men, women and children. Yes, even the children. That's how noble and gentle and kind they were. You couldn't leave the women and children alive after killing their husbands and fathers. That would be cruel and barbaric.

The castle soon fell, and the Lord of Douglas surrendered his life in the promise that his garrison was spared. They were, of course. But the English soldiers almost completely destroyed the town and ended the day by killing a woman giving birth, hacking her to pieces during her labour. Childbirth is indeed a painful and gory experience, and totally barbaric.

Tuesday 31st March - 1671
Anne Hyde, the Duchess of York, died today at the age of 34 years. She was the wife of James, Duke of York, who is rumoured to become the next king of England when his brother, Charles II pops his clogs. It's kind of surprising he hasn't all ready, considering the number of hookers he goes through.

If only Anne had waited another fourteen years before she kicked the bucket, her husband would have been king James II, and ... in place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night. Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain. Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning. Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and ... Okay, yeah, she has some issues. Perhaps it was best she didn't live. That ring is nothing but trouble. Where are the eagles when you need them?

As luck would have it, the eagles weren't needed. Mary, her eldest daughter will marry an Orange and together they'll overthrow the Dark Lord, James II, in a virtually bloodless Glorious Revolution. Oops, spoilers.

Wednesday 1st April
No-one would have believed in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of cyber-space. No-one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

Few men even considered that whilst they download all that nekkid-ness, sat in their chairs, one hand clicking a mouse, the other is busy doing other things, that from across the gulf of cyber-space, minds immeasurably nastier than ours regarded their bank details with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their malware against us.

Thursday 2nd April - 1982
Argentina invaded the Falkland islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands, British Overseas Territories, in an attempt to claim sovereignty over them. Three days later a Royal Navy taskforce was sent to engage the Argentinian navy and air force. After 74 days and over 900 casualties, 649 Argentinians and 255 British, the Argentinian forces surrendered.

Friday 3rd April - 1043
Edward the Confessor, son of Ethelred the constantly Unready, was crowed King of England. He was called the Confessor due to his ability to extract a confession from hedgehog using nothing but a toothbrush, some mouthwash, and a Simply Red album. Or, because he lived a saintly life. But mainly because of his hedgehog-torturing techniques.

In fact, about 100 years after he died, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III in an ancient ceremony of digging up his rotting corpse and shooting him out of a cannon. Yep, pretty sure that's how they made someone a saint back then. He was adopted as the Patron Saint of England, until a total git came along and killed a dragon. Sheesh, I hate that George bloke. Killing dragons should never be rewarded.

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