Monday, 29 May 2017

Facts About King Charles II of England

Fun Facts About King Charles II of England

On This Day In History, May 29th 1630, King Charles II of England was born.

Ten Fun Facts About King Charles II of England

1) He was oft referred to as the Merry Monarch.

Yep, that's completely true. Maybe because of his drunken debauchery, or his fondness to porking every hooker he could find, nobody knows.

2) Charles-Not-A-Spaniel had no legitimate children.

Nope, not a one. When he died in 1685 (February 6th), the crown of England passed to his brother, James, who became King James-Is-Gonna-Screw-it-Up.

Although no legitimate children, Charles II did have at least a dozen illegitimate kiddies by seven mistresses. Bastards. Although not the cool ones from Game of Thrones.

But some of them were actual bastards. At least that's what James II called them. One son of Charles II, the Duke of Monmouth, tried to wrestle the throne from his uncle after Charles II died.

The Duke of Monmouth was defeated on July 6th 1685 at the Battle of Sedgemoor. He was then captured and executed.

Didn't stop James II being overthrown, though. In 1688, James II was de-king'd by William of Orange, or William III, during the Glorious Revolution.

3) Diana, Princess of Wales, was a descendant from two of Charles' illegitimate sons.

Yep, it's true. And you thought she was a commoner made good. Nope, she is born from Royal lineage and brought up on the Althorp estate, home of the Earl Spencer.

Real Fun Fact: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, son of Diana and Prince Charles, will become, when and if he does become, the first King of England directly descended from King Charles II.

4) King Charles II's father, Charles I of England, was executed for treason.

Dark days indeed.

King Charles I of England fought a few civil wars during his reign in the 1640s. He was defeated by the Parliamentarian Army under Oliver Cromwell, the right git, and tried and executed by way of separation of head from neck.

During the Civil War in England, Charles, despite being young, fought alongside his father. He took part in the Battle of Edgehill amongst others. In 1645 he was even made the commander of his father's forces in the West Country.

Things didn't go well for the Royalist cause and seeing they were loosing, Charles I sent his son to France where his mother was living in exile with his cousin, the 8-year-old Louis XIV of France.

After the execution of his father, Charles became King Charles II, exiled king. He wasn't actually crowned until after the monarchy was restored in 1660.

5) The anniversary of King Charles II's birthday, May 29th, which was also the anniversary of the Restoration, became a Royal Holiday known as Oak Apple Day.

This was named after the Oak tree Charles II hid in to escape the forces of Oliver Cromwell's forces.

Traditional festivities included wearing Oak Leaves and diddling a local prostitute. These traditions have since died out. But England still has a public holiday on the last Monday of May.

6) It wasn't all fun and frolicking. Charles II was also a hero of the people.

In 1666 the Great Fire of London ravaged the city destroying over 13,000 houses, 87 churches and St Paul's Cathedral.

Thousands fled the city and were left homeless. The Royal advisers insisted the King leave the city as well. However, King Charles II refused. Instead he got actively involved in fighting the fires, risking his own life.

And it wasn't just on the first day. He returned with his brother and with a bucket and spade, helped throw water on the flames, and ordered and assisted in pulling down houses and buildings to stop the flames spreading.

7) Charles II restored Christmas.

During the puritan period of the 1640s/1650s after Oliver Cromwell took control of England in 1645, because let's blame him as he was a total git, Christmas was banned in England.

The Long Parliament in June 1647 confirmed the abolition of the feasts of Christmas, Whitsun and Easter.

In the 1650s Parliament re-affirmed its position on Christmas and imposed punishments on anyone holding or attending special Christmas church services. It also ordered all shops remain open on December 25th.

When King Charles II was restored to the throne he immediately went about repealing those laws and Christmas returned to England.

Hmm, I'm starting to wonder if Oliver Cromwell was the White Witch and Charles II was Aslan, but with a better night life.

8) There was a specialist Pox Doctor on call 24 hours a day at the Palace

We've covered Charles II's very special friends above, but due to the King's party attitude and lancing of prostitutes, he often needed a little lancing of his own.

And not just the King. His friends also had some issues resulting in their nightly tickles.

In 1674, Charles, much to the surprise of everyone at court -- oh okay, no surprise at all -- became infected with a nether-region disease. Louise de Keroualle, one of many mistresses became so annoyed that he had transferred the puss-goodies to her, that she had a right go at him in front of the French ambassador.

9) King Charles II of England died February 6th 1685 at Whitehall Palace (11:45 in the morning).

Four days before he had suffered with an apoplectic fit.

At the time suspicions went around court that the King had been poisoned. His doctor was one of those accused of the crime. Modern doctors believe he died of a kidney dysfunction.

In the four days prior to him dying, Charles went through many treatments, including bloodletting, and not just the blood in his penis, which he continued to make good use of.

In fact, the night before he died, Charles had quite the night with three of his mistresses.

The Bishop of Salisbury, a close friend, was quoted as saying: "The ruin of his reign was occasioned mainly by his delivering his person to a mad range of pleasure."

10) King Charles II of England was buried at Westminster Abbey on February 14th 1685

It wasn't a proper State Funeral either. He was buried without "pomp nor ceremony."

After having to break his penis to close the lid of the coffin, they basically threw the box in the hole and sealed the tomb shut.

If you're wondering when and how the end of the world will come, it's when, in a few hundred years, they decided out of curiosity to open his tomb and a great plague, never seen before, is let loose eradicating all known life in the galaxy.

Charles, on his deathbed, spoke to his brother, the next King, James II, "be well to Portsmouth, and let not poor Nelly starve.

He was referring to a favourite hooker of his, Nell Gwyn. He went on to tell his courtiers, "I am sorry, Gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying."

Bonus Fact

King Charles II, a protestant King in a protestant country, was rumoured to have converted to Catholicism the night before he died. No one really knows if it actually happened, or was started as a rumour by someone in his court, perhaps by his brother, King James II, who was a Catholic himself.

Click here to check out Fun Facts About Julius Caesar

Saturday, 27 May 2017

History facts May 27th


On This Day in History in 1199 King John of England was crowned King John of England.

Yep, the hated brother of Richard I of England, otherwise known as Richard the Lionheart, you know those two from Robin Hood Price of Thieves, finally became the King.


He was never meant to be King of England. John Lackland, yes that was his name, was the youngest of the five sons of his father, King Henry II of England.

As the youngest, he was way down the line of succession. But after all his older big bros did go kaput, he found himself wearing the big-boy pants.

However, the pull-ups didn't help him in the last few days of his reign. Should have stuck to the diapers.

King John ruled until 1216 when he faced a problem-with-me-poopa and died of dysentery

Sunday, 14 May 2017

History Facts King Henry IV of France assassinated

On This Day In History, May 14th 1610, King Henry IV of France was assassinated.
During his lifetime King Henry IV of France had three assassination attempts made against him. Well, two attempted assassinations and one actual assassination.
King Henry had been raised a protestant. When he became King of France in 1589, he was pretty much forced to convert to Catholicism, due to France being a catholic country, and them placing nipple clamps on him until he agreed.
Everyone was happy about the King's sudden and unexpected change of religion, except for the protestants. They were not. At all.
It also appeared that Spain wasn't happy either. Mainly with Henry, who they didn't like as he didn't share any of his chocolate biscuits with them. Henry IV was the first King of France from the House of Bourbon.
Spain kept pestering Henry to give him those chocolate biscuits. Henry finally had enough. Instead of handing over the biscuits, he just went and declared war.

"My biscuits. My lovely crème biscuits. You not get none of these fabulous Bourbon Crème Biscuits."
King Henry IV had many people try to kill him over the years. And not just the entirety of Spain.
Pierre Barriere tried to assassinate him in August 1593. And then in December 1594 Jean Chatel tried. Both were unsuccessful.
It wasn't until the 14th of May 1610, when another assassin by the name of Francois Ravailla thought he'd have a go, that the King of France died.
The King was stabbed in the Rue de La Ferronnerie. Which, I believe, and I'm not great on anatomy, is the upper portion of the left butt cheek.
On This Day in 1610 King Louis XIII became King of France after his father, Henry IV of France was stabbed in the arse.
Like his father, Louis XIII of France was part of the House of Bourbon Cremes, where all those lovely chocolate crème biscuits come from. He became King of France at the age of eight after his father's assassination.
Louis XIII couldn't rule the kingdom as a kid, because think of the havoc if a kid was in charge. However, as much chaos as a kid could cause as a King, his mother, Marie De' Medici, caused more.
So much so, that the young King wrestled power from his mother in 1617, who was acting as Regent for her son, and exiled her. For good measure and to teach her a lesson, he executed all of her followers.
There were many rumours about Louis XIII during his reign regarding his sexuality.
However, there is no evidence he was playing toad-in-the-hole with his favourite courtier, Carles d'Albert, or in fact Henri Coiffier de Ruze, the Marquis of Cinq-Mars.
And no evidence he was tickling the fancy with Francois de Baradas either. Or any of the others.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Hernan Cortes the Conquistador

On this day in history, April 22nd, in 1519, the Spanish adventurer, explorer, Conquistador, and total git, Hernan Cortes, established a settlement in Mexico called Veracruz.
Cortes had invaded Mexico with his Spanish army in the hope of finding some gold. Or a decent cigar. Or semi-decent massage parlour.
In his efforts to find some treasure, Cortes deposed or killed all the kings in and around Mexico, and anyone he met on his way. Even the bloke selling bananas by the pond.
The guy was a git. It's a fact.
To give an example: Cortes was out walking through the jungle one night, perhaps as part of an expedition, perhaps as part of a mating ritual with the local gorilla population, who knows.
He saw King-Now-A-Hostage Cuauhtémoc having a laugh with two of his fellow former-kingies. It seems the famous Spanish Explorer and Conqueror, Herman Cortes, didn't like laughter.
After asking a bloke to translate what the three were discussing - apparently it was something to do with comparing Breaking Bad with Game of Thrones - Cortes got upset at their conclusion.
He immediately ordered all three to be hanged. To Death. All the way. Cortes then invented a story to tell the locals. It involved a boy wizard, a special school in Scotland, and the ginger kid getting the girl.
When the locals didn't believe that story - no way the ginger kid gets the girl - Cortes made up another.
He informed them that the three kings were plotting his murder. Mwerder. To Death. All the way. And because of this plot, Cortes had no choice but to execute them all.
And anyone else who plots his Mwerder. So just you lot all watch yourself. Mwerderers.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Top 5 Strangest Easter Traditions

Top 5 Strangest Easter Traditions

1)  Scoppio del Carro or Explosion of the Cart
Ever wondered about starting a tradition where you strap a rocket to a dove and shoot it along a wire into a cart that explodes? You have? Psycho!
As it turns out, you don't need to wonder. In Florence, they actually did it. Yep, not kidding.
On Easter Sunday, a herd of oxen sprinkled with flowers and herbs, probably for the barbeque afterwards, pull an antique cart that is three-stories high from Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo. The cart is escorted by soldiers, musicians, a flock of people dressed like they've been ejected from the 15th century, which is where this tradition began, and a chef specialising in oxen barbeques.
A fire -- Fire ... FIRE ... we're all gonna end up on fire -- is started by rubbing some ancient flints together, which is used to light a candle, which is then used to light some coals, which is then placed in the cart for its journey to the cathedral. I can't think of one possible safety reason as to why you shouldn't place the red-hot coals on that cart. Not one.
Speaking of the cart, it comes pre-loaded with fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. And twenty seven combustible hedgehogs. Once the cart arrives at the cathedral, the oxen, which are no longer needed, are stapled to its sides, and sprinkled with some more herbs and a bit of seasoning.
Here comes the favourite part, you sicko. A wire is strung from within the cathedral and tied to the cart outside. Then a rocket is strapped to a dove*, the dove to the wire, and step back and watch that sucker go.
If all goes well, there will be a good harvest. If all doesn't go well ... better be able to GET THE HELL OUT OF ... Oh, nuts, I'm on fire.
2)  Rouketopolemos - The Rocket War
This is one of the more interesting traditions and it thankfully doesn't involve an egg. In the quiet town of Vrontados, on the Greek island of Chios, Easter gets noisy. Very noisy.
At the stroke of midnight, before Easter Sunday begins in earnest, two rival churches, St. Mark's and Panaghia Ereithiani, conduct a Rocket War. They fire thousands, and I mean thousands, of home-made rockets across the town in an attempt to hit the bell tower of the opposition church.
The tradition dates back to the Ottoman era and they originally used real cannons stuffed with hedgehogs, until those were outlawed in 1889.
Each church needs to score a direct hit on the belfry and the hits are counted the following day to see who wins. Every year they both declare themselves the winner, and each vows to get their vengeance the following year. And so it continues.
This has got to be one of the best traditions, ever.
3)  Smigus-Dyngus or Dyngus Day
Basically, boys chuck water over girls and then spank them. Yep, it sounds weird, but it's true.
In Poland their Easter tradition involves boys sneaking into a girl's home at the break of dawn on Easter Monday. Can't see anything dodgy so far. Then up to the girl's bedroom. Nope, still nothing wrong with that. And then they throw buckets of water over the girls whilst she is still in her bed. Pretty sure that's still okay.
But, then it gets perverted.
The boy will say a rhyme.
A Rhyme? What the...? What kind of sick son of a...?
The traditional rhyme goes, "Dyngus, dyngus, po dwa jaja; nie chce chleba tylko jaja." This translates as, "I can see your nipples." Nah, only kidding. It actually means, "Dyngus, dyngus, for two eggs; I don't want bread but eggs." And a nice pair of eggs they are.
Once the boy has emptied his load over the girl (of water-The bucket of water), the screaming girl is carried out of her house and dragged to the local river or lake, usually still in her bed, before both bed and girl are thrown into the water.
Attractive girls can expect this repeated throughout the day.
As if waterboarding girls wasn't enough, the boys would obtain pussy willows from the local dealer, take them to the church to be blessed by priests, and then use them to whip and spank the girls.
Because that's how you show a girl you like them - drenching and spanking.
However, it's all okay, as the following day the girls get to do it to the boys. The Czech Republic or Slovakia, have similar traditions.
4)  The Egg Dance
And again we meet up with the mighty egg. It does seem to be heavily involved with Easter festivities. I blame the Pagans. It's all their fault. Stupid symbolism about Earth's rebirth at spring, and then those early Christians had to go and adopt it, too.

The Egg Dance involves dancing around eggs and trying to damage as few as possible. It can trace its history back a few thousand years to a time of a people in desperate need of a television and the internet.
In 1498, the very first reality dance show happened. I believe Bruce Forsyth was the host. Yes, he's that old.
A hundred eggs were scattered over the sand and each potential bride and groom were forced to take hands and dance. Dance, I say. Dance little monkeys. Dance. Dance like your feet are on fire.
If they completed the dance without breaking the egg, it would go to the judges to make a decision, and when Simon Cowell couldn't decide, it went to a public telephone vote to see if they made it into the next round and be allowed to marry.
The first winners were Margaret of Austria and Philibert of Savoy.
5)  Pace-Egging
There is an Easter tradition in England known as Pace-Egging, where kids would roll decorated hard-boiled eggs down a hill. The kid who rolled it the furthest, or fastest, or highest, or deepest, or something-est, would win a prize - they'd be allowed to eat a hard-boiled egg. Yummy!
Many other countries such as Germany, Egypt, Netherlands, Denmark and Narnia, all have a similar tradition known as the Easter Egg roll.
Pace Egging in England dates back hundreds of years. It could be, or not, perhaps be symbolic of the rolling of the giant chocolate egg away from the tomb of Jesus before his resurrection.
Or, as is more likely, it's to do with the tradition of rolling babies down a hill to symbolise knew life and the struggles a mother goes through in childbirth. If the baby makes it to the bottom of the hill, it's allowed to drink its weight in beer as a prize.
There would be dancing, karaoke, piddling on a garden gnome, usually from the roof of a house, and then the night ended with the babies throwing hedgehogs at stray cats. Followed by a kebab.
In reality, we really have no idea why the heck it started. But baby-rolling is as good an explanation as any other.
About three hundred years ago babies were replaced with an egg because, well, apparently rolling babies down a hill is wrong. Who knew?
The original tradition involved decorating a hardboiled egg and rolling it down a grassy hill. There are some towns in England that still use hard-boiled eggs, but some have since switched to chocolate eggs.
In an unrelated fact, the number of accidents involving children diving after chocolate-eggs-thrown-down-a-hill increased one-hundred-fold.
Honourable Mentions
Easter Egg Push
In America there is an annual tradition of the Easter Egg Push. Every Easter Monday the President gathers hundreds of kids on the White House lawn, who have had to go through an extensive and thorough background check and security screening, and forces them to push an egg across the grass with a long-handled spoon.
The tradition is believed to have been started by the wife of President James Madison, Dolley Madison, in 1814, and was originally held in the grounds of the US Capitol, the seat of the US Congress.
However, it was moved to the White House lawn in 1877 when Congress decided they hated children. Yes, the US Congress hates children (I mean, hated children, past tense. They may like them now).
They also hated Fun.
And they specifically hated children having fun.
Since they couldn't do anything about banning children having fun, and they spent a load of money researching whether they could, they instead made sure children couldn't have fun within sight and earshot of them. So they passed a law making it illegal to use the grounds of the US Capitol as a children's playground.
"Get off our grass, you horrible kids."
On the 13th April, 2009, President Obama and his wife ... (err, she's called, hang on, it'll come to me, it begins with an "M". Oh, yes) ... Mrs Obama, hosted their first White House Easter egg roll.
The theme "Let’s go play" was meant to encourage young people to lead healthy, active lives.
However, most of the kids ignored that and stuffed their faces with chocolate eggs and candy. Because who wants to live a healthy, active life when there's chocolate? Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.
Egg Tapping
The clue to this Easter tradition is in the title. You hard-boil eggs and tap them together until one of them cracks.
In England it is also known as egg knocking, egg pacqueing, egg jarping, or simply as dumping.
Be careful when you suggest dumping though, as it can mean a few different things depending on where you are in England.
On a Saturday night in Bradford, for instance, blokes get hammered, have a kebab, and do a bit of dumping on a random front garden on their way home (When you gotta go, you gotta go).
It's a tradition that can trace its history back to the 15th century. Which is strange, as Egg Tapping can also be traced back to the 15th century (In Poland). An amazing coincidence.
Since 1983, a World Egg-Jarping championship takes place every Easter Sunday at Peterlee Cricket And Social Club, in County Durham. A few years ago, international outrage hit the front pages of literally no newspapers all around the world. Two contestants were banned from competing at any international and Olympic events in Egg Tapping. The unscrupulous scoundrels filled their eggs with cement.
Marksville in Louisiana claims to have the oldest official Egg Tapping event. They started their competition back in 1956. They even have different categories, from the chicken egg category, to guinea hen egg and flamingo.
A new category was introduced in 2015 after scientists discovered a secret cult of seriously grumpy hedgehogs in the Amazon rainforest that squeeze out ostrich-sized eggs instead of live young. Ouch, that'll leave some stretch marks.
We will finish our Easter Traditions on a high
In Bermuda it's traditional to force children into slave labour by getting them to make kites, the more colourful, the better.
And to then fly them.
Up to the highest heights.
And send it souring.
Up through the atmosphere. Up where the air is ... Oh, you get the idea.
It's to commemorate Jesus ascending to heaven - as high as a kite.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

History Facts April 12th

HISTORY Fun Facts - 12th April

On This Day in 1945 the second most famous Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died at the age of 63.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was only 3 months into his 4th term of office as President when he died, He was replaced by the Vice-President, Harry Truman.
Franklin D. Roosevelt has consistently been rated in the top 3 of American Presidents, along with President Martin Sheen, who had a seven year term in the West Wing of the White House, and Morgan Freeman who head butted an asteroid.
David Palmer, friend of Jack Bauer, tends to always come fourth.
On This Day in 1960, Jeremy Clarkson, former presenter of Top Gear, and now presenter of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime, was born.
Jeremy Clarkson, who became future chaos of the BBC car show, Top Gear, sped out of his mother at over 90 miles an hour before performing a handbrake turn and proclaiming his mother's womb the warmest and most comfortable womb ... in the worrrrld.
A few minutes later he found out they weren't going to serve him any hot food and promptly punched the midwife in the face.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Charles Lightoller and Titanic

On this day in history in 1874, Charles Lightoller was born.
Charles Lightoller was the English 2nd officer on board the infamous unsinkable ship that sank, the RMS Titanic.
Lightoller was the most senior officer of the Titanic to survive the ship's sinking. He was the officer in charge of loading the passengers into lifeboats. And enforced the "Women and Children First" policy.
In fact, he went a lot further than that, and enforced his own "Women and Children ONLY" policy. He actually lowered lifeboats into the water with empty seats, even though there were no women or children to board them, and when there were men waiting.
Lightoller only permitted one adult male passenger to board a lifeboat. His name was Arthur Godfrey Peuchen, who had experience sailing and could help the women navigate their craft.
Lightoller himself survived, but almost didn't.
As the Titanic disappeared beneath the waves, Lightoller was sucked against a grate, being held there by the pressure of the water as the ship sank. A rush of water burst through the grate when the boiler exploded. He was catapulted into the ocean where he swam to a capsized collapsible boat. He gripped the boat, along with 30 others, until they were finally rescued.

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.

Monday, 23 January 2017

History Fun Fact January 23rd

On This Day, the 23rd of January 1570, James Stewart, not a very legitimate son of King James V of Scotland, and also Regent to his half-nephew, baby King James VI of Scotland, was assassinated.
What was most interesting about the assassination, was the method.
James Stewart, the Earl of Moray was taking a stroll down the main street in Linlithgow, you know, minding his own business, and planning to usurp the throne from his baby nephew, when James Hamilton killed him by way of bullet from a gun.
This was the first recorded instance of assassination by firearm in history.
Rumours that Lady Mondegreen was also shot and killed at the same time is a myth. It's all down to the mistranslation of a poem.
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.
In the original Scottish, the poem goes:
Ye Hielands an ye Lowlands O,
whaur hae ye been.
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And lain him on the green.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera

On This Day, the 19th of January 1942, Michael Crawford was born.
Most of those as old as Crawford, who is old, but oh boy, does he look good for it, will know him as the hapless Frank Spencer in the television series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Those a bit younger will know him as the star of The Phantom of the Opera.
Those who are even younger than that will be going, "Who the heck is Michael Crawford?" and "Phantom of the what?" and "Opera? I really love watching her television show."
Michael Crawford originally got the role as the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera completely by chance. Although it may have involved some under the table tickling of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Little Lord Fauntleroys. No one is quite sure as to the details. But the tickling got so out of hand at one restaurant, the riot police were called.
Andrew Lloyd Webber originally cast British Rocker, Steve Harley, in the role of the Phantom. However, Lord Webber soon realised that was a huge mistake and released Harley from his basement.
Webber started his search for a more operatic singer. By chance, Sarah Brightman, Lord Lloyd Webber's wife, who would play Christine, the female lead (wonder how she ended up with that role?), was taking singing lessons.
Michael Crawford happened to be taking lessons at the same place as Sarah. When Webber heard him sing, he asked Crawford to audition, and was hired immediately. Well, immediately after the first round of under-table-tickling. Apparently, apart from a magical voice, Crawford also has magical fingers.

Friday, 6 January 2017

History Fun Facts for January 6th


On This Day in History in 1540, King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
So ugly was Anne of Cleves, the King referred to her as The Flanders Mare. A horse by any other name. But, at the end of the day, that's what you get from internet dating.
He had been shown a picture of her before the marriage took place, and hadn't met. Oh, big mistake. Although we've all been there. The picture bore little resemblance to Anne's actual likeness. They did get married though.
Yet, for some reason it didn't last long. Later that year in July, King Henry-The-Eighth-Wife-Will-Be-A-Keeper decided to get the marriage annulled and move onto the next one. He promised the marriage had never been consummated, and everyone believed him this time. Who'd pork a horse?
Anne lived happily ever after, which couldn't be said for most of Henry's wives. She was referred to, after the non-marriage, as Henry's beloved sister. She outlived Henry and the other wives, and even saw the coronation of Queen Mary I, Henry's ugly duckling.
On This Day, the 6th of January, 1066, Edward the Confessor became the first King of England to be buried at Westminster Abbey.
That probably had nothing to do with him commissioning the building of the Abbey. Just a coincidence. Harold-Soon-To-Lose-An-Eye-To-William-The-Conker-Player was proclaimed king and crowned king on the same day, using Edward's dead body as a throne.
About 100 years after Edward 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 soon 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.
Also in the news:
On This Day, the 6th of January, 1066, Harold-Soon-To-Lose-An-Eye-To-William-The-Conker-Player was proclaimed King of England, and also crowned King on the same day, using Edward's dead and still warm body as a throne.
Harold would become the first of three English Kings to die in battle. The other two were Richard-Eats-Hearts-Of-Lions (the 1st) and Richard-Killed-My-Nephews (the 3rd).
Richard-Snacks-On-Large-Kitties suffered a serious case of shot-by-arrow, and Richard-Me-No-Seen-Nephews-I-Promise was hit by a car park.