A cruel and oppressive ruler unrestrained by law or other people, although the early ancient Greeks used it to refer to anyone with absolute power.
Fact of the Day
James I punished one person who had been unwilling to extend him credit by ordering the offender to attend on him - by walking behind the royal procession as they progressed from London to Carlisle (a distance of about three hundred miles).
Quote of the Day
"I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution. "
~ Jonathan Swift
On This Day
1559 King Henri II of France was injured in a jousting accident when a lance shattered on his shoulder, sending splinters into his eye. He died 10 days later, leaving the throne of France to his son Francis II, husband of Mary Queen of Scots.
1688 The Immortal Seven - a group of seven politicians, religious leaders and nobles who were upset with the rule of James II - sent a letter to William of Orange, stadholder of the Netherlands, inviting him to invade England. The invitation provided William - later William III - with the cover of legitimacy he needed to effect the 'Glorious Revolution'.
1837 Punishment by pillory was finally abolished in Britain.
1882 Charles Guiteau, an American writer and lawyer, was executed by hanging almost exactly a year after he shot President James A. Garfield, who died of his wounds two months later.
1934 Hitler's political opponents and the leadership of the SA were either murdered or imprisoned in the Night of the Long Knives.
1937 The world's first emergency telephone number "999" was introduced in London.
1940 German military forces began their occupation of the Channel Islands, the only British territory to be occupied by the Nazis in Europe. They remained in control of the four islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark - until May 1945.