1 William Wallace’s watershed case The Scot’s trial proved there was little to prevent kings from using treason laws to pursue vendettas On 23 August 1305, William Wallace was convicted of treason at Westminster Hall in London. He then suffered the gruesome fate of the male traitor: hanging, drawing andContinue Reading

3 August 1460 James II of Scotland was killed when one of his own cannons exploded at the siege of Roxburgh Castle, which had been in English hands since 1346. 3 August 1492: Columbus sets sail on a world-changing voyage The explorer plans to reach Asia, but surprises are inContinue Reading

1 Tycho Brahe’s mural quadrant The brass quarter-arc that helped an unorthodox Danish astronomer compile the world’s most accurate set of star data Tycho Brahe was no ordinary 16th-century astronomer. Following an unfortunate duel he wore an artificial nose, and he supposedly died from a burst bladder at a feast.Continue Reading

Who was Saint Wilfrid? Born in Northumbria , in c634 AD, Saint Wilfrid became a bishop of Northumbria. Described as a “model of eloquence and politeness” by his biographer Stephen of Ripon and presented as rude and abrasive by the Venerable Bede, Wilfrid lived a long life that spanned theContinue Reading

After successive school years disrupted by shutdowns, isolation, and mass experiments in remote teaching, educators returned to school in Fall 2021 to find that our classrooms and students had changed. In the first days of the return, perhaps, we didn’t see the full scope of the changes. Yes, most ofContinue Reading

1 August 1589: Henry III suffers a fatal knife attack A religious fanatic assassinates the last Valois king of France The Wars of Religion raged in France throughout King Henry III’s reign, dividing the people between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants), threatening royal authority – and leading to a brutal attackContinue Reading

Purchased by the British crown from Lord Elgin in 1816, the Parthenon Sculptures were presented by parliament to the British Museum, where they have remained ever since. Greece has disputed the British Museum’s ownership of the sculptures, maintaining that Lord Elgin removed them illegally while the country was under TurkishContinue Reading

31 July 1703  Daniel Defoe spent the last of his three days in the pillory after being convicted of seditious libel. He was surrounded at the pillory by his supporters, thus sparing him the indignities normally suffered by those sentenced to such a punishment. 31 July 1932 In Germany’s federalContinue Reading