Baby Bacon

On January 22, 1561, a squalling infant named Francis was born in London to Sir Nicholas Bacon and his wife Anne. The baby, little Francis Bacon, didn’t seem like much in his early years, but he would make his mark as a philosopher, statesman and lawyer and would forever change the face of scientific investigation. Little Bacon was educated at home before heading off to … Continue reading Baby Bacon

National Lottery

Claim your prizes! On January 10, 1569, the first recorded lottery took place in England—and everyone was a winner! The lottery was chartered in 1566 in an effort to raise money for public works (sadly, not to fund a very early production of Downton Abbey). Tickets were sold over a three-year period, and everyone who bought one got a prize in the form of silver … Continue reading National Lottery

Around the World

Bon voyage! On December 13, 1577, Francis Drake set out from Plymouth on a journey that would take him around the earth, making him only the second known person in history to circumnavigate the globe. Drake’s journey was supposed to begin a good month earlier, and his fleet did in fact set out on November 15. Unfortunately, bad weather forced the ships back to Cornwall, … Continue reading Around the World

The Adventure Ends

On October 29, 1618 the adventures officially ended for Sir Walter Raleigh, who was executed for allegedly plotting against King James I. After a murky beginning, Raleigh first started his rise to prominence when he took part in the suppression of the Desmond Rebellions in Ireland. He was awarded with estates that made him one of the principal landowners in Munster, where he made the … Continue reading The Adventure Ends

Elizabeth I

Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth! On September 7, 1533, the new queen, Anne Boleyn, gave birth to a baby girl who would unexpectedly grow up to be one of England’s most celebrated rulers. Despite being born to royalty, Elizabeth’s life wasn’t an easy one. Her mother was executed less than three years after her birth and her father had her declared illegitimate, neglecting her to such … Continue reading Elizabeth I

Robert Dudley

Farewell, Robert. On September 4, 1558, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, favorite and rumored lover of Queen Elizabeth, died near Oxford from a longstanding illness. Robert was born in June 1532, the fifth son of the Duke of Northumberland. He was well educated and spent time at the courts of both Henry VIII and Edward VI. He married an heiress, Amy Robsart, in 1550, … Continue reading Robert Dudley

Opening Night

On June 12, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II re-opened the Globe Theatre in London, following its reconstruction about 230 meters from the original site. The original Globe was owned by Richard Burbage and his brother, Cuthbert, William Shakespeare, John Heminges, Augustine Phillips, and Thomas Pope. The theatre was built in 1599 using timber from an earlier theatre that was built by the Burbages’ father, James. The … Continue reading Opening Night