Murder in High Places
1306 In front of the high altar of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn, his leading political rival, sparking revolution in the Scottish Wars of Independence
1355 The St. Scholastica’s Day Riots began in Oxford when University students clashed with townspeople in a three-day street battle, following a dispute about beer in The Swindlestock Tavern. 64 students were killed and 30 locals. The dispute was settled in favour of the university with a special charter. Annually thereafter, on 10th February, the town mayor and councillors had to march bareheaded through the streets and pay to the university a fine of one penny for every scholar killed. The penance ended in 1825 when the mayor refused to take part.
The Plimsoll Line
1824 The birth of Samuel Plimsoll, British politician and social reformer. He devised the Plimsoll Line, to thwart unscrupulous ship owners who regularly overloaded their ‘coffin ships’. His safe loading line painted on the ships acted as a regulation for the weight that ships could safely carry. Rope sandals for sailors were also named after him.
The Royal Wedding
1840 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, both aged 20, were married in St James’ Palace, London.
A Briton in Space
1995 The first Briton to walk in space was Cambridge educated Dr. Michael Foale.
… and a Royal Engagement
2005 Clarence House announced the engagement of the Prince of Wales and his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles.