The exclusive control of a supply or shade. Monopolies used to be granted by the monarch to an individual as a way of rewarding that individual, or for a handsome sum.
Fact of the Day
One of the English ships sent on the disastrous attack on Cadiz in 1625 had sails that had been used during the Armada, almost 40 years earlier.
Quote of the Day
"Foul as it is, hell itself is made more foul by the presence of John. "
~ Matthew Paris (13th century chronicler) on King John
On This Day
1541 The German-Swiss Paracelsus, alchemist and 'herald of toxicology' who made significant contributions to the use of chemistry in medicine, died in Salzburg.
1645 Charles I suffered a personal defeat at the Battle of Rowton Heath when the army he was leading lost to the Parliamentarians and thus failed to relieve the Siege of Chester.
1652 Highwayman Captain James Hind was executed for treason. He had targeted Roundheads and become something of a Cavalier hero.
1869 Two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, caused havoc on the New York Gold Exchange when they used insider information obtained through their friendship with US president Ulysses S. Grant to manipulate the price of gold. 'Black Friday' led to economic destabilisation, the ruin of thousands of businessmen, and questions over Grant's presidency, but Gould and Fisk managed to escape prosecution.