In the Middle Ages, land could be held from the monarch in return for a service, such as holding the king's head as he crossed the Channel by boat.
Fact of the Day
Quote of the Day
"A French bastard arriving with armed banditti and establishing himself the King of England against the consent of the natives is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original and certainly has no divinity in it. "
~ Thomas Paine, 1776
On This Day
534 BCE According to legend, Greek performer Thespis of Icaria (now Dionysos) became the first person to recite lines as a character other than himself onstage, making him the world's first known actor.
1499 Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the throne, was executed following several escape attempts. It is possible he was the younger of the Princes in the Tower.
1541 Kathryn Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, was stripped of her title as queen
1585 (Or possibly 20 November) Thomas Tallis, considered one of England's greatest composers, died. Despite his importance to English music, both his bones and his original memorial have been lost.
1940 Romania signed the Tripartite Pact, officially becoming one of the Axis powers during the Second World War.
1963 The first episode of Dr Who, with William Hartnell in the title role, was broadcast on BBC 1
1990 Beloved children's writer Roald Dahl died of a blood disease, aged 74.