Literally, 'nobles of the sword'. Noblemen of the oldest class of nobility in France dating from the Middle Ages and the Early Modern periods.
Fact of the Day
Bishop Meinward of Paderborn was apparently in the habit of having women dragged on their bottoms across his garden to clear it of weeds.
Quote of the Day
"I have no words to describe Bonaparte's merit: much technical skill, an equal degree of intelligence, and too much gallantry "
~ General Jacques François Dugommier, at the Siege of Toulon
On This Day
1483 The proposed date of the coronation of the 12-year-old son of Edward IV, Edward V. The coronation never happened because his uncle, Richard, declared him illegitimate and became king himself.
1611 Navigator Henry Hudson was cast adrift after a mutiny in Hudson Bay. It was the last time he was seen alive.
1861 A huge blaze started on Tooley Street's Cotton Wharf, which was later compared to the Great Fire of London, caused £2 million worth of damage, and killed James Braidwood, superintendent of the London Fire Engine Establishment.
1941 The Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, with the largest invasion force in the history of warfare.