Holders of land under the feudal system, for which they have to pay homage and show allegiance.
Fact of the Day
In the late 16th century, the legal age for marriage in Stratford-upon-Avon was 14 for men and 12 for women.
Quote of the Day
"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. "
~ Cardinal Richelieu
On This Day
1707 Four ships of the fleet led by Sir Cloudesley Shovell were shipwrecked on the Isles of Scilly after bad weather and navigational mistakes sent them off course. Between 1,400 and 2,000 people were killed, making it one of the worst maritime disasters in British history.
1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first notable parachute jump from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 ft above Paris. He landed shaken but in one piece half a mile away from the take-off site.
1877 Two hundred and seven people died in Scotland's worst mining disaster, when firedamp ignited at Blantyre Colliery. It would not be the last time the mine experienced disaster: further explosions occurred in 1878 and 1879.
1975 The Soviet unmanned space probe Venera 9 landed on Venus. It was the first such probe to return images from the surface of another planet.