The highest hereditary stratum of the aristocracy, sitting immediately below the monarch in terms of blood and title; or the quality of being noble (virtuous, honourable, etc.) in character.
Fact of the Day
Among the many people who bought coats of arms at the beginning of the seventeenth century was the common hangman of London, Gregory Brandon.
Quote of the Day
"One has not great hopes for Birmingham. I always say there is something direful in the sound. "
~ Jane Austen (Emma)
On This Day
1704 Combined British, German & Dutch forces won the Battle of Blenheim, marking a turning point in the War of the Spanish Succession.
1910 Nurse and statistician Florence Nightingale died peacefully in her bed in Mayfair, London, aged 90.
1946 H.G. Wells, one of the 'fathers of science fiction', died of unspecified causes, aged 79.
1961 In an effort to stop people fleeing to the West, the East German government closed the borders between East and West Berlin, which led to the building of the Berlin Wall.
1964 Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen, who had killed their friend for his money, became the last criminals in the UK to be hanged.