Saturday, February 28, 2015

R.I.P. Mr. Spock - A short tribute to the great Leonard Nimoy

History Trivia - Westminster Abbey opens

February 28

1066 Westminster Abbey opened.

1574 Two Englishmen and an Irishman were burnt for heresy on the orders of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.  

1638 The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh, which denounced the attempts by Charles I to force the Scottish church to conform to English practices, at the same time urging loyalty to the king.

Friday, February 27, 2015

History Trivia - 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

February 27

 380 Roman emperor Theodosius declared the orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed, and made Christianity the sole religion of the empire.

837 The 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1560 The Treaty of Berwick, which expelled the French from Scotland, was signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

'Unique' Roman tombstone found in Cirencester

Archaeologists say the quality of the sculpture is very good

A "unique" Roman headstone is the first of its kind unearthed in the UK, experts believe.

The tombstone was found near skeletal remains thought to belong to the person named on its inscription, making the discovery unique.
Archaeologists behind the dig in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, said they believed it marked the grave of a 27-year-old woman called Bodica.
The bodies of three children were also found in the "family burial plot".
Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology, translated the Roman inscription on the tombstone, which reads: "To the spirit of the departed Bodica [or Bodicaca], wife, lived for 27 years."
Mr Holbrook said: "The unique aspect is that you can put a name to the person who lies beneath the tombstone."
A rare Roman tombstone marking the grave of a 27-year-old woman has been unearthed in Cirencester
"What's weird is that the inscription only fills half of the panel, so there's a space left below it.
"You can see horizontal marking-out lines, so I guess what they were going to do was come back later when her husband died and add his name to the inscription," Mr Holbrook added.
He added that the skeletal remains, including the skull, were being excavated from beneath the headstone.
'Decorative swirls' Mr Holbrook has suggested the name Bodica was of Celtic origin.
Watch the moment archaeologists lifted a Roman tombstone in Cirencester
"Perhaps Bodica is a local Gloucestershire girl who's married an incoming Roman or Gaul from France and has adopted this very Roman way of death," he said.
He said making the "good quality" headstone must have cost "quite a lot of money" at the time.
The headstone's detailed carved pediment - or triangular top section - was particularly interesting, he said.
"Looking at the pediment, those little 'teeth' which we could see from the back are decorative swirls.
"It looks like a draping of a cloth or sheet, so in many ways the decoration is really fine."
Skull thought to be that of Bodica's found near the Roman tombstone (speculation only as tests have not yet been carried out) A skull was found near the Roman tombstone which is believed to belong to the 27-year-old woman
About 300 to 400 Roman tombstones have been discovered in the UK, with the tombstone being the tenth found in Cirencester.
The stone, which is made of Cotswold limestone, was partially cleaned up on-site by the team, but will be taken away for further inspection.
Mr Holbrook said it was "amazing" the tombstone had survived.
"When they built the garage in the 1960s they scraped across the top of the stone to put a beam in.
Tombstone unearthed in Cirencester The tombstone was discovered during a dig at a Roman cemetery in Cirencester
Tombstone unearthed in Cirencester The tombstone was lifted up by archaeologists revealing details of the Roman who was buried there
"If they'd gone a couple of inches lower they'd have smashed it to smithereens."
Roman tombstones were often taken away and smashed up to be re-used in buildings in Cirencester in the Medieval period.
"This stone might have fallen over quite quickly, and was covered over, and that's why it escaped the stone robbers," Mr Holbrook said.
A total of 55 Roman graves have been found during the dig at St James Place.
A further 70 graves were discovered on the same site of the former Bridges Garage on Tetbury Road and a bronze cockerel figurine was found in 2011.
Cirencester, or Corinium as it was known, was the largest town in Roman Britain after London.


British Library to display King John's teeth and thumb bone in Magna Carta celebrations

The Guardian

Exhibition commemorating the 800-year anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta will feature royal relics

Two molars and a thumb bone belonging to King John, the medieval monarch, who granted the charter of Magna Carta. Photograph: Claire Kendall/British Library/PA

King John is coming to the British Library for the exhibition celebrating the most famous event of his reign, the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede 800 years ago.
The king will be represented by two extraordinary loans; two teeth are coming from Worcester city museum, where they have only occasionally been on display, and a thumb bone which was also taken as a souvenir from his tomb but returned to Worcester cathedral 160 years later. The cathedral is also lending its original copy of John’s will.
They will be on display in the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy opening on March 13, the largest exhibition mounted on the charter that inspired centuries of declarations of human rights.
The teeth and bone were taken when John’s splendid tomb at Worcester cathedral was opened in 1797 – supposedly to verify it held the king, but part of a late 18th century antiquarian craze for opening royal tombs. The tomb stayed open for almost two days and the cathedral was heaving with sightseers until the authorities were forced to close it to keep order.
John had a particular affection for Worcester: two of his favourite hunting grounds were nearby, and he visited the shrine of the Anglo-Saxon Saint Wulfstan at the cathedral several times. When the king died in October 1216 at Newark castle, probably of dysentery rather than the poison or “surfeit of peaches” of contemporary sources, he requested to be buried there near the saint.
His splendid tomb was opened at least twice, in the 16th century and in 1797 when only rotting scraps remained of the fabulous embroidered robe of crimson damask recorded 200 years earlier. Various fragments of fabric and bits of bone were taken as souvenirs, including the teeth and the thumb.
A local surgeon, Mr Sandford, was present when the tomb was opened and recorded what hapened. The body was found lying in the same position as the effigy, but the bones had been disturbed, with the jaw lying by the elbow.
All but four of the teeth, and most of both hands, had vanished, presumably to earlier souvenir hunters. A note preserved with the teeth says: “These are two teeth taken from the head of King John by William Wood, a stationer’s apprentice, in 1797.”
The skull was wrapped in a monk’s cowl rather than the crown shown on the effigy, and a sword in a leather scabbard lay by the side of the remains. The bones were measured, and John’s height in life estimated at 5 foot six inches. The textiles were interpreted as parts of socks, some shoe leather, as well as the shreds of the damask shroud – scraps of surviving embroidery, including a lion’s head, showed it had once been a truly regal garment.
The will is the earliest surviving English royal example. It was dictated just before John’s death, and is thought to indicate how weakened he was because, instead of spelling out exactly how his possessions should be distributed, he left the decisions to his group of close advisers.
Worcester cathedral is also mounting an exhibition and events programme about Magna Carta.

Pharaoh Brutally Killed in Battle, Analysis Shows

by Rossella Lorenzi              
Pharaoh Senebkay, one of the earliest kings of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty, was brutally killed in battle more than 3,600 years ago, says a study that has reconstructed, blow by blow, the king’s last moments.
The research identified 18 wounds on the pharaoh’s bones. It also established that Senebkay is the earliest Egyptian pharaoh to have died in battle.
Woseribre Senebkay was unknown to history until last year, when a University of Pennsylvania expedition led by archaeologist Josef Wegner, working with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, found his remains in a four-chambered tomb at South Abydos in Sohag province, about 300 miles south of Cairo.
Video: Why Did We Stop Building Pyramids?
Texts in the burial, which dates to about 1650 B.C., during Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period, identified the pharaoh as the “king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Woseribre, the son of Re, Senebkay.”
Although ancient robbers had ripped apart the pharaoh’s mummy, researchers led by Wegner, associate director of Egyptian archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania, were able to recover and reassemble his skeleton.
The team has now completed a full forensic analysis of the remains.
“The work confirms the earlier estimates of the king’s height at 1.72 to 1.82 m (5’9″ to 6 feet), but indicates that he died at an earlier age, 35-40 years, than initially thought,” Wegner said in a statement.
New Pharaoh Found in Egypt: Photos
Most importantly, it emerged that Senebkay suffered a shocking number of wounds before he died in a vicious assault from multiple assailants.
“The king’s skeleton has 18 wounds that penetrated to the bone. The trauma includes major cuts to his feet, ankles, and lower back. Multiple blows to Senebkay’s skull show the distinctive size and curvature of battle axes used during Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period,” Wegner said.
According to the researchers, the angle and direction of Senebkay’s wounds indicate he was in an elevated position — possibly on horseback or on a chariot — when he was attacked and killed.
“His assailants first cut his lower back, ankles and feet to bring him to the ground and then finished him with axe blows to the skull,” Wegner said.
He noted that, although use of horseback riding in warfare was not common until after the Bronze Age, the Egyptians appear to have been mastering the use of horses during the Second Intermediate Period.
“Horseback riding may have played a growing role in military movements during this era even before the full advent of chariot technology in Egypt,” he said.
Pharaonic Rock Carvings Found in Egypt
Indeed, analysis of Senebkay’s pelvis and leg bones indicate he spent much of his life as a horse rider.
Senebkay, whose name means “my spirit is healthy,” appears to belong to a short-lived kingdom, the Abydos Dynasty dating ca. 1650-1600 BC. At that time central authority collapsed, giving rise to several small kingdoms.
The kings of this dynasty were contemporaries of the Hyksos rulers of the Nile Delta and the Theban 16th Dynasty.
According to the researchers, Senebkay was probably killed a considerable distance from his home as the pharaoh’s body was mummified a long time after his death.
“It remains unclear whether he died in battle against the Hyksos kings who then ruled northern Egypt, or possibly enemies in the south,” Wegner said.
Image: Axe wounds to the front and back of the skull. Credit: Josef Wegner.

History Trivia - Spanish Inquisition delivers an injunction to Galileo

February 26

364 Valentinian I, founder of the Valentinian Dynasty and considered to be the last great Western Emperor, was proclaimed Roman Emperor.

1266 Battle of Benevento was fought between Charles of Anjou and Manfred of Sicily. Charles' victory resulted in the collapse of Hohenstaufen rule in Italy.

1616 Spanish Inquisition delivered an injunction to Galileo.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Henry VIII's evidence to support break with Rome turns up in Cornish Library

The book is a summary of the theories of the medieval philosopher and theologian William of Ockham. Photograph: Steven Haywood

Book of legal and philosophical advice on king’s efforts to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled helped change the course of English history

A book which helped changed the course of English history, part of the evidence Henry VIII and his lawyers gathered in the 1530s to help win an annulment from Catherine of Aragon and ultimately to break with Rome, has turned up on the shelves of the magnificent library at Lanhydrock, a National Trust mansion in Cornwall.

The book, a summary of the theories of the medieval philosopher and theologian William of Ockham, has been newly identified by a US scholar and expert on the history of Henry’s library. The book was damaged but escaped destruction in a disastrous fire at the house in 1881, and crucially the fly-leaf survived. It still carries the number 282, written in black ink in the top right-hand corner, which Prof James Carley identified as corresponding with an inventory taken in 1542 of the most important of Henry’s books, five years before the king’s death.

Paul Holden, the house and collections manager at Lanhydrock, said: “It was an amazing moment. The old long gallery here is about the length of a football pitch, and the professor lapped it about six times when we found the book.”

There is nothing of Henry’s handwriting in the book, but Carley is certain it was consulted during the years when the king was desperately seeking a way, with the aid of Thomas Cromwell, of getting rid of his first wife Catherine, and marrying and conceiving a male heir with Anne Boleyn – the drama chronicled in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.

Henry’s agents were gathering evidence that could support the move, which may be how the collection of the views of the 14th century priest and philosopher, published in 1495, came to the royal library. Ockham wrote in Latin of the limits of the power of the pope, and the independence of the authority of monarchs. Several pages in the book have key passages marked by secretaries for Henry’s attention, including one crucial section with a heading which translates as: “When it is permitted to withdraw from obedience to the pope”.

In 1532 Henry would begin exactly that process of withdrawal from Rome. In 1533, despite its refusal to annul his first marriage, he married the almost certainly pregnant Anne Boleyn. Pope Clement VII declared that Catherine was still the rightful queen of England, and Henry responded with the Act of Supremacy, establishing himself as the head of the Church of England. The breach with Rome was complete.
Carley described the discovery as thrilling.
“The book is important not only for its provenance but for the notes entered in it by Henry VIII’s advisers and no doubt intended for him to see. They draw attention to precisely the sort of issues that were so relevant to the king’s policies in the years leading up to the break with Rome.”
In the 17th century, when many books were disposed of from the royal collection, it was acquired by a Cornish scholar and chaplain, the wonderfully named Hannibal Gamon, who left his signature on the title page. He in turn left the best of his books to his friend and patron John Robartes, first Earl of Radnor, at Lanhydrock. The book has sat on the shelves, rarely opened and its importance unrecognised, shelves ever since.

The library collection at Lanhydrock is famous, the finest among the National Trust’s properties, and far older than the present imposing granite house, which is almost entirely a Victorian replacement for the Jacobean building gutted by fire, when almost all the books were saved. Although the leather covers are original, the book’s spine was replaced after the fire which helped further disguise it.
Early this year Carley was among many scholars who come to use the collection, and Holden asked him to look at two volumes with the arms of Henry and Catherine of Aragon. Carley concluded they showed royal loyalty but not royal origins, but suggested it might be worth checking the collection for books from Henry’s library.

The two men started taking down every book marked in the Lanhydrock catalogue as older than 1542, and checking them against a copy of Henry’s inventory, and within an hour, when they reached Section C of the shelves, opened the book and saw the neat small number 282.
The book will now be displayed for the first time as a star object, rather than one more brown leather book among thousands, in an exhibition, Monarchy and the Book, when the house reopens to the public on 1 March.


New study claims gerbils, not rats, responsible for bringing plague to Europe

Bubonic plague, the most common form, is associated with painful, swollen lymph nodes, called buboes as shown above. After an incubation period of two to six days, symptoms appear, including severe malaise, headache, shaking chills and fever. P (CDC)
For hundreds of years, the arrival of the bubonic plague in Europe in the mid-14th century has been blamed on rats. However, a new study released this week has put a different rodent under suspicion: gerbils.
Scientists at the University of Oslo in Norway have claimed that that the deadly disease was repeatedly brought to Europe from Asia via trade routes such as the Silk Road, and with gerbils, not rats as the carriers.
"If we're right," study co-author Nils Christian Stenseth told the BBC, "we'll have to rewrite that part of history."
The study examined over 7,700 tree ring records that revealed climate information about Europe during that period. They found that outbreaks in Europe occurred approximately 15 years after a spell of wet weather and warmer temperatures in Asia, which would have bolstered the gerbil and flea populations. By contrast, the timing of the outbreaks in Europe did not appear to coincide with any weather pattern on the continent.
Previously, black rats who had stowed away on merchant ships were thought to have enabled the plague to establish itself in Europe, with fleas spreading the bacteria by jumping from infected rat to humans. However, Stenseth told NPR that according to that theory, rats and their fleas should still be spreading plague in European cities today, when in fact, it has been nearly 300 years since a major outbreak.
The study theorizes that fleas carrying the plague bacterium jumped from gerbils to pack animals and humans, some of whom were traders who brought the disease to Europe. The next step is to analyze the DNA of plague bacteria, which can be found in the skeletons of its victims. If the Oslo theory is correct, the bacterial DNA would vary widely across each outbreak, as the disease would have likely changed each time it entered Europe.
Historians have estimated that the first outbreak of plague in medieval Europe, between 1346 and 1353, killed between 75 million and 200 million people, at least a third of the continent's population.
Click for more from the BBC.
Fox News

History Trivia - Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, beheaded for high treason

February 25

777  Saint Walburga (Anglo-Saxon abbess and saint), patroness of sailors because her prayers calmed a stormy sea, and thereby saving a ship caught in its wake, died.

1570 Elizabeth I was declared a heretic by Pope Pius V.

1601 Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex and former favorite of Elizabeth I, was beheaded in the Tower of London for high treason.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Stafford Dog Club Presents "Behold!"; an all dog cast play portraying the story of Birth of Christ as told by Luke.

Ruritan Building
2945 Mountain View Road, Stafford, VA 22556
We are a group of dog lovers that meet to socialize, learn about dog behavior and work with our trainer.  Some of our dogs go on to compete, whilst others enjoy the social life and friendships they have.
Learn more about star Duna on Amazon - "I'm a Rhodesian"
I’m a Rhodesian is a letter from a young Rhodesian Ridgeback to his breeder whom he calls Grandma. He tells her about his life experiences in his first year and how much he and his owner love each other. He grows from a puppy to a brave and handsome Rhodesian protecting his owner.

King’s cortege procession route announced for a ceremonial procession bringing King Richard III’s mortal remains to their final resting place in the heart of Leicester.

King’s cortege procession route announced

 PREPARATIONS are underway for a ceremonial procession bringing King Richard III’s mortal remains to their final resting place in the heart of Leicester.
The king’s mortal remains are due to be taken from the University of Leicester to the place of his death at Bosworth Field and then on to Leicester Cathedral for his reinterment next month, stopping along the way on places both in the city and the county which would have played a role in his life and death.
As part of that, thousands of residents and businesses along the route are being informed of how the spectacular commemorations will unfold and what arrangements are being made for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
Organisers are expecting huge public interest in the procession, meaning a series of rolling road closures and special arrangements to ensure an unobstructed route through the city.
The king’s remains are being brought into the city at around 4.30pm on Sunday, March 22, coming in via the A47 to Bow Bridge – the site of the original bridge from which King Richard is believed to have ridden out to battle at Bosworth Field in 1485.
Following a short welcome to the city, the cortege will then visit the nearby medieval St Nicholas Church for a short service at 4.50pm (ticket only). It will leave there at approximately 5.15pm to travel through the city centre via High Street, the Clock Tower, Gallowtree Gate, Halford Street, Rutland Street, Pocklingtons Walk and Grey Friars.
At around 5.45pm the king’s coffin will be handed over to the care of Leicester Cathedral, where it will lie in repose until his reinterment on Thursday, March 26.
Letters are being sent out today to residents and businesses along the route, telling them of road closures, parking restrictions and other temporary arrangements needed for the procession.
A number of events and services are taking place from March 21 to March 29 across the city as part of the reinterment, which will also have implications for traffic, travel and those living and working in the city centre.
On Thursday, March 26, King Richard III will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in a spectacular ceremony attended by guests and media from across the world.
Finally, on Friday, March 27, the sealed tomb will be revealed to the public for the first time – an event also expected to lead to a huge number of visitors to the city.
Both events will involve temporary road closures, restrictions on waiting and parking, disruption to deliveries and the need to keep key routes around the cathedral free from street furniture and clutter.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The story of King Richard has caught the imagination of people across the world, and the events next month mean Leicester will once again be at the centre of international media attention.
“We also realise that for many people living and working near to the cathedral or the procession route, the sheer scale of such an event is going to mean disruption and changes to their normal working day.
“There will be road closures, additional security and thousands of extra people visiting the city during that time, as well as a huge media presence over that period.
“We’re writing to all residents and businesses in the city likely to be affected by this, so we can explain the arrangements for those few days and give them time to ask questions and make alternative plans if need be.
“I would hope people across the city make the most of this extraordinary occasion and help us to make it go smoothly, to create an event of which we can be justifiably proud.”
People are being asked to note that all timings are approximate.
you can read our FAQ’s about the reinterment route at

King Richard in Leicester

Vikings Were 'Global Investors,' Not Just Pillagers

by Steven Ashby
Live Science

Vikings attack, economics, technology
“Yes it’s a new thing we’re trying out, it’s called ‘international trade’.”
Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

This article was originally published on The Conversation. The publication contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
The connections between technology, urban trading, and international economics which have come to define modern living are nothing new. Back in the first millennium AD, the Vikings were expert at exploring these very issues.
While the Vikings are gone their legacy is remembered, such as at the annual Jorvik Viking Festival in York. The Norsemen’s military prowess and exploration are more often the focus of study, but of course the vikings were more than just bloodthirsty pirates: they were also settlers, landholders, farmers, politicians, and merchants.

Between the 8th and 11th century (the Viking Age), Europe saw significant technological advances, not all of them Scandinavian – the Anglo-Saxons, Frisians and Franks were equal players. To understand these changes, we have to see them in the context of increasing contact between Scandinavia, the British Isles, and continental Europe – in which the Vikings were key players. Technological innovations such as the potter’s wheel and the vertical loom transformed not only the types of products being manufactured in Viking settlements, but also the scale on which they were produced.
Technological developments emerged as people came together in growing coastal trading centres and market towns. The world was rapidly becoming more joined-up during this period than at any time since the heyday of the Roman Empire. Trade fostered international links across the North Sea, Baltic and beyond, and similar developments were happening as far afield as the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This was a period in which people began to live and work in entirely new ways, and technological change was both a cause and an effect of this.
While many Viking artefacts of the period are familiar, the complex methods that lay behind their manufacture are less well-known. Each involved a specialised set of skills, tools and raw materials, which meant craftspeople were reliant not only on a market for sale, but also on a well-organised supply chain. This is why the development of specialist crafts, of growing urbanisation, and of long-distance trade are intimately connected.
The Vikings were expert shipbuilders and navigators, and while evidence for their shipwrights' skills survives to the present day, there is little detail of how they navigated their huge journeys. What is clear is that between the 8th and 11th century, viking shipping underwent significant development, beginning with the appearance of the sail, and leading to the development not only of specialist warships, but also of prototypes for the large cargo vessels that would come to dominate the waters of later medieval Europe. But Viking technology had more to offer than ships and swords.
Viking brooches, viking trade, technology
Viking brooches were ornate, beautiful, and mass-produced.
Credit: British Museum


Among the most recognisable Viking artefacts are their brooches. Long studied by archaeologists, they signified gender, status, and ethnicity. Work is ongoing to reveal the advanced technology used in their manufacture.
Evidence for brooch manufacture in Viking towns includes the remains of moulds and crucibles. The crucibles are often found complete with residues of the metals melted down in them. Brooches were cast by pouring this metal into moulds, which were produced by pressing existing pieces of jewellery or lead models into clay, followed by minor artistic modification. This resulted in a sort of mass-production. As this craft was dependent on high-quality brass ingots from continental Europe, specialist jewellery production centres arose at ports associated with long-distance trade routes.

Glass bead jewellery

Strings of ornate glass beads are another common sight in Viking museum displays. Beads were made in Scandinavian towns by carefully manipulating coloured glass as it melted. Waste deposits prove that the raw glass used in this process came in the form of coloured tesserae: small, square blocks from the Mediterranean, where they were used to produce mosaics. Whether they were bought and sold in south-eastern Europe, before travelling west, or whether they were ripped from Byzantine churches on raids in the region is unclear.


Animal bones were among the most important materials in pre-modern technology: a durable, flexible, readily available raw material used for everything from knife handles to ice skates. Many such objects could be made quickly, with little training – but not the Vikings' hair combs.
These large, ornate, over-engineered objects took days to manufacture and required a trained hand. Specialised tools such as saws, rasps, and polishers were needed, and deer antler particularly was the material of choice.
viking combs, viking trade, technology
Viking combs ranged from the practical to the ornate.
Credit: British Museum
Combs of this type go back to the Late Roman period, but they really came into their own in the Viking Age, where they became a symbol of status and aspiration. Combmakers tended to work in towns, where they had access to periodic markets and a supply network that brought in deer antler from the local countryside, and reindeer antler from the Arctic north. They may also have moved around from town to town, in order to maximise their sales. It’s a great example of the way town, countryside, and long-distance travel were tied together in order to support the technology that was important to the everyday life of Viking-Age people.
These examples of craftmanship and technical tool work – and there are many more – demonstrate that the Vikings should be seen as more than just raiders, and more more than simple traders or merchants too. With their outward-looking society and cutting edge techniques, they were among the earliest investors in global technologies in a post-Roman world that, even then, was increasingly international. And today, as a modern recreation of a Viking vessel embarks for the first ever Viking exhibition in China, it’s clear their appeal is truly global.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.

History Trivia - King Aethelbehrt - first Christian king of England dies

February 24

 616 King Aethelbehrt of Kent died. Aethelbehrt was the first Christian king of England and was converted by St. Augustine of Canterbury.

786 Pepin the Short of Gaul died. His dominions were divided between his sons Charles (Charlemagne) and Carloman.

1303 The Scots defeated the English at the Battle of Roslin, the First War for Scottish Independence


Monday, February 23, 2015

History Trivia - Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book - Bible

February 23

303 Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered a general persecution of the Christians.

1447 Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester and fourth son of Henry IV, brother of Henry V, died. 

1455  Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book, Bible (estimated date).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

History Trivia - Battle of Cassel - Arnulf III killed

February 22

 1071 Battle of Cassel:  Robert I the Frisian defeated Arnulf III who was killed in the battle.  Robert became count of Flanders and ruled until 1093.  1

276 Innocent V was crowned Roman Catholic pope. He is noted for his commentaries on the Pauline epistles (Letters of St. Paul - 13 New Testament books).

1495 King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the city's throne.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

History Trivia - Thomas Becket canonized

February 21

 1173 Thomas Becket was canonized. The Archbishop of Canterbury, one-time friend and opponent to King Henry II of England, had been murdered less than three years earlier, and the swift canonization by Pope Alexander III was a clear message of rebuke to the king.

 1431 Public trial of Joan of Arc began.

1437 King James I of Scotland was murdered in the Dominican Friary at Perth, which sparked a civil war.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mr. Chuckles found Blogger and War of the Roses author Catherine Hokin while stirring the Wizard's Cauldron

The Wizard says:

Last week, on one of Twitter's many Share Days, I noticed a blog called Heroine Chic written by one Catherine Hokin. I know very little about her - as much as you do - but was extremely taken with the blog. It's wit, humour, subtext and clarity of language was notable. Once I discovered she was an author - whose book is due to be released shortly - I contacted her and arranged a natter on the Wizphone. A native of Glasgow (where this week, the iconic Kings Cafe was taken over and turned into a burger joint), I learned loads about her. Here is what she had to say.

Tell us about yourself, Catherine
Delighted to be at the cauldron - given that I once wrote a thesis on witchcraft, it seems a good place to be! I live in Glasgow, have 3 kids of varying sizes but all bigger than me and run my a business with my husband. In previous incarnations I’ve been a teacher, a political speech writer and a marketing drone. 

I’m married to a Chicago boy who understands that creativity depends on regular supplies of chocolate and Honey Jack.

Read more

History Trivia - First recorded wine auction held in London

February 20

 1071 William FitzOsbern, a staunch support of William the Conqueror, died.

1472 Norway gave Orkney and Shetland islands to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.

1673 First recorded wine auction held in London.