Someone who uses cunning and scheming to get what they want, with no regard for morality or other people. The term 'Machiavellian' is inspired by the Italian Renaissance writer Machiavelli's book 'The Prince' which was dedicated to Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, on the Medici family's return to Florence. In writing the book, Machiavelli's aim was to flatter the returning ruler, and perhaps seek some new role for himself (so in this respect, the book itself could be said to be Machiavellian).
Fact of the Day
In 1252 Henry III was given a polar bear by King Haakon of Norway. He kept it in the Tower of London on a long chain so it could swim in the Thames.
Quote of the Day
"I remain just one thing, and one thing only - and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. "
~ Charlie Chaplin
On This Day
1265 England's first Parliament met at Westminster Hall in London, convened by the Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort.
1356 Edward Balliol, King of Scotland, surrendered his claim to the throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension.
1649 Charles I went on trial for treason against England. He refused to enter a plea, not recognising the authority of the court.
1783 Britain signed preliminary peace treaties with France and Spain, ending hostilities in the American Revolutionary War.
1841 British forces occupied Hong Kong, after the Qing authorities refused to support British opium imports.
1936 George V, the last British monarch to have been murdered (technically), died of a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine.
1936 Edward VIII succeeded his father, George V, to the British throne. Something of a PR disaster, he abdicated the same year.
1942 Nazi officials met to discuss the 'final solution' of the 'Jewish question' at the Wannsee Conference.
1981 The Iranian Hostage Crisis ended. More than 60 people had been held hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran for 444 days.
1987 Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut whilst attempting to win freedom for hostages. He was held for 1,763 days.