This Week’s Question: Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England during the Commonwealth, was beheaded on this day in 1661. What was unusual about this execution? Last Week’s Question: The union of Scotland and England, which was ratified by Scotland on 16 January 1707, may have been partly prompted by which financial disaster? Answer: That would be the Darien Scheme, or the Darien Disaster, as it … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: Off With His Head!
On 18 July 1290, King Edward I of England issued the Edict of Expulsion, a despicable bit of legislation that expelled all Jews from England. It would be over 350 years before it was overturned by Oliver Cromwell. Not long after William the Conqueror came to England in 1066, Jewish communities started cropping up around the country, and Jews, along with merchants, were granted special … Continue reading The Shameful Edict
This was not a particularly good day for the Stuarts. On September 3, 1651 King Charles II got his ass handed to him by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the English Civil War. Charles was determined to make one last attempt to regain his throne, and he was backed by the Scots. Charles was counseled to fight in Scotland, where … Continue reading The Battle of Worcester
Trees, turkey, wrapped presents, and crackers—most of today’s holiday traditions actually stem from the Victorian period (Prince Albert brought the tradition of a decorated Christmas tree over from Germany when he married Victoria, and together they made it popular). Curious about how Christmas was celebrated at the court of Henry VIII? There’s some great info to be found here and here. Amongst the tidbits:
Those lucky Tudors got to party for 12 days (hence the 12 Days of Christmas). Their celebrations went on straight through to January 5, the day before the Feast of the Epiphany. During those 12 days, commoners and nobles alike would take some time off, visit friends, and share minced pies, which typically included 13 ingredients to represent Christ and his apostles. A little chopped mutton would be thrown in to remember the shepherds.