On This Day – Velazquez and the Meat Cleaver, the French Connection, and the Dog Biscuit
Off With His Head
1536 The birth of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. He was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I for scheming to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Following his release, he participated in the Ridolfi plot with King Philip II of Spain to put Mary on the English throne and restore Catholicism in England. He was executed for treason in 1572 and is buried at St Peter ad Vincula within the walls of the Tower of London
Up Close and Personal
1629 Charles I dissolved the Parliament, beginning an eleven year period known as the Personal Rule. He had been harshly criticized by Parliament and realized that, as long as he could avoid war, he could rule without them. It caused discontent among those who provided the ruling classes, although the effects were more popular with the common people.
1801 Britain’s first National Census. A census has taken place every ten years since 1801, with the exception of the 1941 census, cancelled because of World War II.
It Takes the Biscuit
1886 Cruft’s Dog Show was held in London for the first time. Previously it had been held in Newcastle. The organizer was Charles Cruft, general manager of a dog biscuit firm.
When Velazquez Met the Meat Cleaver
1914 Suffragette Mary Richardson slashed Velazquez’s painting – “Rokeby Venus” at London’s National Gallery with a meat cleaver as a protest against the Government’s treatment of Emmeline Pankhurst.
The French Connection
1919 The British Government decided in favour of building a tunnel linking England to France.
1964 Prince Edward, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II was born.
Puppet on a String
1967 Singer Sandy Shaw released her record ‘Puppet on a String’ which won the Eurovision Song Contest for Britain.
Prince Charles and Friends
1988 Prince Charles narrowly escaped death in an avalanche at Kloisters (Switzerland). His friend Hugh Lindsay was killed.
1997 The Spice Girls made pop music history by becoming the first group to top the charts with every one of their first four singles.
2003 MP Clare Short threatened to resign from the Cabinet if Tony Blair led the country to war against Iraq without approval from the UN ….. and she did, on 12th May.