Saturday, 20 June 2015

On This Day In History - 20th June

Image result for university of oxfordOn This Day In History - 20th June
20th June, 1248, the University of Oxford received its Royal Charter. The University of Oxford is a really old university that is really old, although not the really oldest. Although it is the oldest in the English speaking world.
But not the oldest of the oldest.
That one goes to another university. The one in Italy. What's it called?
Also not the best university in the world. That is obviously Cambridge.
Image result for pirates20th June, 1631, The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian Pirates. Because, yep, that's where Algerian pirates go when they want to do pirate things.
They captured over a hundred of the settlers, who, at the time, were busy working on a pilchard farm. After washing them to get the stink of pilchards out, they were taken as slaves to work on the galleys. Or back in the Harem. Hmm, wonder which was worse?
Image result for duke of monmouth20th June, 1685, James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself to be King of England. Wait a minute, are we allowed to just do that? If we are, then I'm King of England. Oh. Don't think it worked.
It didn't work for Monmouth, either. And the actual king of England, James II, wasn't too happy about it.
Monmouth was the illegitimate child of James' brother, the previous king, Charles II. And Charles had more than a few of them.
But Monmouth thought he should be king, rather than James, and started a rebellion, cleverly called the Monmouth Rebellion.
Disaster struck. As did the King's army. Monmouth's rebellion was crushed and he was captured.
The following month, on 15th July 1685, Monmouth was tried and executed for treason. Off with his head.
Image result for black hole of calcutta20th June, 1756, A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta. And nope, that isn't a real black hole created by the collapse of a star, or my grandmother sucking the jam out of a donut, it was a dungeon.
The conditions were so cramped inside the dungeon, that overnight, 123 of the 145 prisoners died of suffocation, heat exhaustion, and crushing.
Image result for SS Savannah20th June, 1819, the United States vessel SS Savannah arrived at Liverpool, United Kingdom. It was the first steam-powered vessel to cross the Atlantic.
Now, that is impressive. A steam-powered ship steaming all the way across the Atlantic ocean.
However, in reality, the vessel may have been steam-powered, but it made most of the journey under sail. The only parts it made under steam were the start, getting out of the harbour, and the end, getting into dock. But, yeah, still impressive.
Image result for william iv of england20th June, 1837, William IV, King of the United Kingdom, kicked the bucket.
Some interesting facts about William IV: He was the last monarch to appoint a Prime Minister against the will of Parliament. Even the current Queen, Elizabeth II, can appoint who she likes as Prime Minister, even if the British Public voted for someone else. But it's a power the Queen doesn't use.
When William died, he had no surviving direct heirs. He did, however, have 8 illegitimate kids from shacking up with an actress by the name of Dorothea Jordan.
What's interesting about that? Well, glad you asked. He was succeeded by his niece, Victoria. But the current British Prime Minister, David Cameron, is a descendant of the liaison between King William IV and the actress.
Image result for queen victoria
20th June, 1837, Queen Victoria becomes queen after her uncle, William IV died.
Victoria's reign as monarch of 63 years and 7 months is the longest of any other British monarch, even the current Queen, Elizabeth II.
Although Elizabeth is fast approaching that record. Much to the annoyance of Elizabeth's son, Charles, who really wants to be king.
Why can't I be King.?
Mommy, just die all ready.
Me wantz be kingy.

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