Happy Mother’s Day
2012 Mothering Sunday – Traditionally, it was a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family. Today it is a day when children give presents, flowers and home-made cards to their mothers. Mothering Sunday has been on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the 16th century. The fasting rules were relaxed on Mothering Sunday, in memory of the Bible story – ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand’.
Edward the Martyr
978 Edward the Martyr, King of England and the eldest son of King Edgar, was murdered at Corfe Castle. The murder is thought to have been ordered by his stepmother Aelfryth, mother of Ethelred the Unready who was eager to see her son crowned.
The First Minister
1745 Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, died.
1834 Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England were sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union. The annual Tolpuddle Martyrs festival is held in the village of Tolpuddle in the third weekend of July. Each year a wreath is laid at the grave of James Hammett, one of the martyrs.
No Peace in Our Time
1869 Neville Chamberlain, British prime minister was born. In 1938 he returned from Munich with the claim – ‘peace in our time’ but in less than a year Britain was at war with Germany. His appeasement policy towards Hitler led to his downfall in 1940, when he handed over to Churchill.
The Deadly Torrey Canyon
1967 The Torrey Canyon oil tanker, with a cargo of 100,000 gallons of crude oil, ran aground on rocks between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles and its cargo discharged into the sea. The RAF and the Royal Navy were called in to napalm bomb the slick in an attempt to reduce the risk of pollution. In the weeks that followed the accident, oil escaped and spread along the shores of the south coast of England and the Normandy coast of France. Worst hit were the Cornish beaches of Marazion and Prah Sands, where sludge was up to a foot deep.
Remember Mary Whitehouse?
1982 Moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse brought a charge of gross indecency against a National Theatre director under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. The play, Romans in Britain featured male rape scenes. The trial was halted after intervention by the Attorney-General.