Religious meetings and exercises used to discuss Biblical passages and sermons, which were often considered to threaten the officially-sanctioned understanding the Bible.
Fact of the Day
Before the Normans came along, there was no English word for 'castle'.
Quote of the Day
"A Conservative government is an organised hypocrisy. "
~ Benjamin Disraeli
On This Day
759 King Oswulf of Northumbria was murdered by members of his household, less than a year after coming to power.
1304 Edward I captured Stirling Castle, the last Scottish stronghold against English rule during the First War of Scottish Independence, with the help of Warwolf, the largest trebuchet ever built.
1567 Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son, James VI (the future James I of England).
1851 The window tax, 'a tax on light and air', was finally repealed after a long campaign by those concerned about public health.
1883 Matthew Webb, the first recorded person to swim the English Channel for sports purposes unaided, died while trying to swim through the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls. He was 35 years old.
1936 The first British speaking clock was introduced. It was designed for those who wanted to know the time, but didn't have a watch to hand. Despite it now being unnecessary, it is still popular.
1943 Operation Gomorrah, the Allied plan to obliterate the German city of Hamburg, began. Over 30,000 civilians were killed in the firestorms created by the bombardment.
1969 Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, returned safely to Earth after their trip to the Moon.