Happy Valantine’s Day
The Feast Day of St. Valentine, patron saint of lovers. In fact there were fourteen Saint Valentine’s of ancient Rome. Of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on 14th February nothing is known, except his name and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome ‘on this day’. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
The First Card
1477 Margery Brews sent a letter to John Paston in Norfolk, addressed – Be my olde Valentine. It is the oldest known Valentine’s Day message in the English language and was uncovered by the British Library.
Unto my ryght welebelovyd Voluntyn, John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delyvered, &c.Ryght reverent and wurschypfull, and my ryght welebeloved Volutyne, I recomande me unto yowe, ffull hertely desyring to here of yowr welefare, whech I beseche Almyghty God long for to preserve un to Hys plesur, and yowr herts desyre. And yf it please yowe to here of my welefar, I am not in good heele of body, nor of herte, nor schall be tyll I her ffrom yowe;
For there wottys no creature what peyn that I endure,
And for to be deede, I dare it not dyscure [discover].
And my lady my moder hath labored the mater to my ffadur full delygently, but sche can no mor gete than ye knowe of, for the whech God knowyth I am full sory. But yf that ye loffe me, as I tryste verely that ye do, ye will not leffe me therefor; for if that ye hade not halfe the lyvelode that ye hafe, for to do the grettest labur that any woman on lyve myght, I wold not forsake yowe.
And yf ye commande me to kepe me true wherever I go,
I wyse I will do all my myght yowe to love and never no mo.
And yf my freends say, that I do amys,
Thei schal not me let so for to do,
Myne herte me bydds ever more to love yowe Truly over all erthely thing,
And yf thei be never so wroth,
I tryst it schall be better in tyme commying.
No more to yowe at this tyme, but the Holy Trinite hafe yowe in kepyng. And I besech yowe that this bill be not seyn of none erthely creatur safe only your selffe, &c.
And thys letter was indyte at Topcroft, with full hevy herte, &c.
By your own,
Great Ormond Street Hospital
1852 London’s famous children’s hospital in Great Ormond Street accepted its first patient, three year-old Eliza Armstrong. It was the first hospital in the English-speaking world providing in-patient beds specifically for children.
Good Morning, Britain
1922 Marconi began regular broadcasting transmissions from Essex.
Jeeves and Wooster
1975 The death of the writer, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, generally known as P.G. Wodehouse. His career lasted more than 70 years and included novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He wrote 15 plays and 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies but is perhaps best remembered for his stories of the butler Jeeves and his master Bertie Wooster.
Sarajevo Gold for Torvill & Dean
1984 British ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the ice dance gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, gaining maximum points for artistic expression.
1989 The spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, condemned Salman Rushdie’s award-winning novel, The Satanic Verses, as an insult to Islam and issued a fatwa (edict) calling on Muslims to kill the author for committing blasphemy. Rushdie and his family went into hiding
Hello Dolly, Good Bye Dolly
2003 Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, was put down after being diagnosed with a severe lung infection.
Pin that Chip
2006 Chip and PIN – UK cardholders had to use their PIN (Personal Identification Number) to be sure that they could pay for goods.