Robert the Bruce Becomes King of Scotland
On this day in 1306, Robert the Bruce became the King of Scotland. He continued as king until his death on the 7th June 1329. He led Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence in which Scotland regained its independence from England. He is probably more remembered outside of Scotland for his role in the life of William Wallace, particularly since the film Braveheart based on the life of William Wallace.
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Download the following books:
King Robert the Bruce, by Alexander Falconer Murison
The Story of King Robert the Bruce, by Robert Laird Mackie
The Bruce, by John Barbour and William Mackay Mackenzie
Robert the Bruce and the Struggle for Scottish Independence, by Sir Herbert Maxwell
England: Edward VI was Crowned
On this day in 1547, King Edward VI was officially crowned King of England and Ireland at the age of 9. Tragically Edward’s reign lasted only 6.5 years, ending with his death on the 6th July 1553 (it had begun on the 28th January 1547 following the death of Henry VIII).
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England: Charles I Beheaded
On this day in 1649, Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was executed by being beheaded in England. His reign had begun on the 27th March 1625.
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England: Ritual Execution of Oliver Cromwell
On this day in 1661, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, was ritually executed two years after his death and on the same day as the king he deposed.
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France: Execution of Louis XVI
Louis XVI began his reign on the 10th May 1774 as King of France and Navarre, before becoming King of the French on the 1st October 1791. His reign ended on the 21st September 1792 and he was executed (beheaded) by guillotine on this day in 1793 at the Place de la Revolution.
Louis XVI supported the Americans in the War of Independence, prior to the French Revolution which ended the monarchy in France and therefore his reign.
Scotland: Abdication of Edward Balliol from the Scottish Throne
The reign of Edward Balliol as Scottish monarch was assisted through the backing of Edward III of England, when he gained the crown in September 1332 through what was essentially a coup with English complicity. The reign was interrupted after just three months by forces loyal to the true King of Scotland (David II) at the end of 1332 and he retreated to England.
In 1333, through the Battle of Halidon Hill, Balliol was restored to the throne. He was dethroned again in 1334 and gained it once again in 1335. However, he essentially lost the throne for all time in 1336. More battles would follow, but he had little true support in Scotland.
On this day in 1356, Balliol surrendered all claims to the Scottish throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension.
George VI Crowned King of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth
Though reigning as king since the 11th December 1936, King George VI was not officially crowned until this day in 1937. His reign lasted until his death on the 6 February 1952, when he was succeeded by the current queen, Elizabeth II.
George VI was crowned King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth. He became king following his brother’s (Edward VIII) abdication in 1936.
Scotland: Independence Gained and Lost
Scotland became a unified kingdom in 843 under King Cináed I, who united the Scots and the Picts. It would grow in size over time, but the Kingdom of Scotland began in 843.
Edward 1 (England) brought the majority of Scotland under his control in 1296, though Scotland regained its independence via the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The wars for regaining Scottish independence was begun by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (King Robert I). The independence of Scotland was recognized by England with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, signed on this day in 1328.
In 1603 the realms of England and Scotland were united by the accession of James VI to the throne of England. However, it wasn’t until this day in 1707, when the Treaty of Union was passed by the Parliament of Scotland which brought into being the United Kingdom. With this act Scotland lost its independence and there remains a movement to regain it.
Christopher Columbus: Receives His Commission of Exploration from Castile (Spain)
Christopher Columbus was born between the 22nd August and the 31st October 1451, in Genoa (now in Italy). Contrary to common belief Columbus did not discover America, but he did greatly increase European awareness of the New World.
The maritime career of Christopher Columbus began when he was 10 years old. In the years that followed he undertook a number of journeys on the open sea in various roles on various ships. In 1485 he began looking for an opportunity to explore and discover a western route to Asia. He presented his ideas to the king of Portugal and was ultimately frustrated after several attempts. He also tried England, Genoa, Venice and then Spain (Castile) in 1486. He was frustrated in all these attempts (England eventually agreed, but by that time Columbus was already in league with Castile), but the king and queen of Castile (Ferdinand II and Isabella I) retained his services and after many attempts he finally gained the support of Ferdinand II and Isabella I on this day in 1492.
In all, Columbus would make four voyages between Castile and America. His life would end in great disappointment, having been jailed and having the terms of his contract with Castile overturned due to various claims and convictions of abuse of power and mismanagement of the domains over which he governed in the New World. Columbus died on the 20th May 1506 in Valladolid, Crown of Castile (now in Spain).
Scotland: David I Becomes King
On this day in 1124, upon the death of his brother Alexander I, David (Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim) made himself king of Scotland with the full backing of Henry I of England. He had been Prince of the Cumbrians (1113-1124) before becoming King of Scotland (1124-1153). Cumbria was in effect a separate kingdom to that of Scotland (known as Alba) to the north and became merged with it upon the ascension of David to King of Scotland.
His reign was one of warfare and expansion, with the first 10 years of his reign involving a struggle for power with his nephew (the son of Alexander I) Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair. With the death of Henry I of England, he came into conflict with King Stephen and expanding the Scottish Kingdom into northern England.
David I is seen as a ‘reformer’ in the Scottish Church, setting out to reorganise the church. The map in this post shows the boundaries of the various dioceses he put in place. He is also seen as a reformer of Scotland as a whole, bringing civility to a barbaric country.
David I was born between 1083 and 1085, and died on the 24th May 1153. He is buried in Dunfermline Abbey. He was succeeded by Malcolm IV.