1066 The coronation of Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, succeeding Edward the Confessor. He reigned for ten months before he died at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror. Harold was the first of only three Kings of England to have died in battle; the other two being Richard I and Richard III.
1367 Birth in Bordeaux of King Richard II, the last of the Plantagenet kings of England. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince.
1412 The birth of St Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans. She was a great heroine of French history and believed that she had a divine mission to drive the British from France. She died at the stake after being captured by the Burgundians and sold to the British.
1540 King Henry VIII married ‘the Flanders Mare’, Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife. The King found her so different from her picture that he swore they had brought him a Flanders mare. She was Queen of England from 6th January 1540 to 9th July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and, following the annulment of their marriage, Anne was given a generous settlement by the King and was referred to thereafter as the King’s Beloved Sister. She lived to see the coronation of Henry’s daughter, (Mary I) and outlasted all of Henry’s wives.
1839 The most damaging storm in 300 years swept across Ireland, damaging or destroying more than 20% of the houses in Dublin.
1916 World War I – The British Government introduced conscription, to replace the many thousands killed in the trenches in France.
1928 Four people were drowned, and many paintings in the basement of the Tate Gallery were severely damaged, when the Thames flooded. The water was deep enough to fill the moat of the Tower of London.