The process by which a legislative body formally levels charges of treason or significant wrongdoing against a senior government official.
Fact of the Day
Highwayman Benjamin Child used his ill-gotten gains to discharge all the debtors in Salisbury jail. He was hanged in 1722.
Quote of the Day
"Nothing can be said in his vindication, but that his abolishing Religious Houses and leaving them to the ruinous depredations of time has been of infinite use to the landscape of England in general. "
~ Jane Austen on Henry VIII
On This Day
899 Alfred the Great, defender against the Vikings, and innocent of burning cakes, died.
1640 The humiliating - for Charles I - Treaty of Ripon was signed. Following the Second Bishops' War with Scottish Covenanters, it left the Scots in control of Newcastle and agreed that Charles would pay the Scottish army £850 a day to maintain the army in England. In this desperate state, Charles was forced to call what would become the Long Parliament, which ultimately led to civil war.
1863 The Football Association was founded in the Freemasons' Tavern, London.
1881 Perhaps the most famous shootout of the American Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, took place. A result of a long-simmering feud, four lawmen, including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, faced off against five cowboys in the thirty-second fight. Despite the deaths of three cowboys, the feud continued.
1951 Winston Churchill became Britain's prime minister for the second time (he had lost the 1945 election and spent the intervening six years as leader of the opposition).