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#otd in Royal History 14 - 22 August

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

Cover for On This Day in Royal history blog 14 - 22 August

14 August

Duncan I, king of Scots

14 August 1040 - King Duncan I of Scotland died

Duncan I , king of Scots


14 August 1479 – Catherine of York was born at Eltham Palace.

The five daughters of King Edward IV (1461–1483) & Elizabeth Woodville, (left to right): Elizabeth, Cecily, Anne, Catherine, & Mary. Royal Window, Northwest Transept, Canterbury Cathedral

Catherine or Katherine of York (14 August 1479 – 15 November 1527) was the ninth child & sixth daughter of King Edward IV by his wife Elizabeth Woodville. She was the daughter of Edward IV, sister to Edward V, niece to Richard III, sister-in-law to Henry VII & aunt to Henry VIII.

In October 1495, Henry VII arranged a marriage between Catherine & William Courtenay. They were parents to three children:

  • Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter (c. 1496 – 9 January 1539)

  • Edward Courtenay (c. 1497 – 12/13 July 1502);

  • Margaret Courtenay (c. 1499 – bef. 1526) married Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester

In 1500, Catherine & William Courtenay moved to their home on Warwick Lane. Catherine was the chief mourner at the funeral of her sister, Elizabeth of York, in 1503. In 1504, William Courtenay was charged with treason in relation to his dealings with Edmund de la Pole. Catherine remained at court. William Courtenay was pardoned in 1509 & restored by Henry VIII in 1511. After William Courtenay's death in 1511, Henry VIII gave Catherine control of the earldom. The title went to the couple's son Henry. On 13 July 1511, Catherine took a vow of celibacy in the presence of Richard FitzJames, Bishop of London. For the rest of her life, Catherine remained in the favour of her nephew Henry VIII. She was godmother to his daughter Mary. Catherine outlived all of her siblings by over a decade, dying in 1527. She died at Tiverton Castle & was buried next door at St Peter's Church following an elaborate funeral.

External view of the Tiverton Castle gatehouse
Tiverton Castle


15 August

15 August 1057 – Macbeth, King of Scotland killed in battle

Macbeth (c. 1005 – 15 August 1057) was King of Scots from 1040 until his death. He ruled over a portion of present-day Scotland. Little is known about Macbeth's early life, although he was the son of Findláech of Moray & may have been a grandson of Malcolm II. He became Mormaer of Moray – a semi-autonomous lordship – in 1032, & was probably responsible for the death of the previous mormaer, Gille Coemgáin. He subsequently married Gille Coemgáin's widow, Gruoch, although they had no children together.

In 1040, Duncan I launched an attack into Moray & was killed in action by Macbeth's troops. Macbeth succeeded him as King of Alba, apparently with little opposition. His 17-year reign was mostly peaceful, although in 1054 he was faced with an English invasion, led by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, on behalf of Edward the Confessor. Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in 1057 by forces loyal to the future Malcolm III. He was buried on Iona, the traditional resting place of Scottish kings.


15 August 1369 - Philippa of Hainault, wife of king Edward III died

Philippa of Hainault

Philippa of Hainault


15 August 1950 - Princess Anne was born

Anne is the second child & only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She is 16th in the line of succession to the British throne & has been Princess Royal since 1987.

For more about the Princess Royal visit my Princess Royal blog.


16 August

16 August 946 - Coronation of Eadred, king of the English at Kingston-Upon-Thames.

Eadred was King of the English from 946 until his death in 955.

Eadred, king of the English


16 August 1513 - Battle of the Spurs (Battle of Guinegate): King Henry VIII of England & his Imperial allies defeat French Forces who are then forced to retreat.

Battle of the Spurs (Battle of Guinegate)

Battle of the Spurs (Battle of Guinegate)


Prince Frederick, Duke of York & Albany
Prince Frederick, Duke of York & Albany

16 August 1763 - Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was born

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (16 August 1763 – 5 January 1827) was the second son of George III, King of the United Kingdom & Hanover, & his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A soldier by profession, from 1764 to 1803 he was Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück in the Holy Roman Empire. From the death of his father in 1820 until his own death in 1827 he was the heir presumptive to his elder brother, George IV, in both the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland & the Kingdom of Hanover.

Frederick joined the British Army at a very early age & was appointed to high command at the age of thirty, when he was given command of a notoriously ineffectual campaign during the War of the First Coalition, a continental war following the French Revolution. Later, as Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars, he oversaw the reorganisation of the British Army, establishing vital structural, administrative & recruiting reforms for which he is credited with having done "more for the army than any one man has done for it in the whole of its history.

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in 1822
The Duke of York in 1822.


17 August

17 August 1473 - Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York was born

Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York


17 August 1549 – Battle of Sampford Courtenay: The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England.

17 August 1549 – Battle of Sampford Courtenay: The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England.

17 August 1549 – Battle of Sampford Courtenay: The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England.

17 August 1549 – Battle of Sampford Courtenay: The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England.


Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

17 August 1786 - Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was born (d.1861)

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Princess of Leiningen & subsequently Duchess of Kent and Strathearn, was a German princess and the mother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. As the widow of Charles, Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), from 1814 she served as regent of the Principality during the minority of her son from her first marriage, Carl, until her second wedding in 1818 to Prince Edward, son of King George III of the United Kingdom.

Victoria was born in Coburg on 17 August 1786 in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation & was named Marie Louise Victoire. She was the fourth daughter & seventh child of Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, & Countess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf.

On 21 December 1803 at Coburg, a young Victoria married (as his second wife) Charles, Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), whose first wife, Countess Henrietta of Reuss-Ebersdorf, had been her aunt. The couple had two children, Prince Carl, born on 12 September 1804, & Princess Feodora of Leiningen, born on 7 December 1807. Through her first marriage, she is a direct matrilineal ancestor to various members of royalty in Europe, including Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Felipe VI of Spain, & Constantine II of Greece. After the death of her first spouse, she served as regent of the Principality of Leiningen during the minority of their son, Carl.

Victoria, Duchess of Kent (1786-1861) with Princess Victoria (after Beechey) c.1824

Victoria, Duchess of Kent (1786-1861) with Princess Victoria (after Beechey) c.1824.

In 1817 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820), son of George III proposed to Victoria & she accepted. The couple were married on 29 May 1818 at Amorbach & on 11 July 1818 at Kew, a joint ceremony at which Edward's brother, the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. Shortly after their marriage, the Kents moved to Germany. Soon after, Victoria became pregnant, & the Duke & Duchess, determined to have their child born in England, raced back. Arriving at Dover on 23 April 1819, they moved into Kensington Palace, where Victoria gave birth to a daughter on 24 May 1819, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, later Queen Victoria. An efficient organiser, Sir John Conroy, ensured the Kents' speedy return to England in time for the birth of their first child. The Duke of Kent died suddenly of pneumonia in January 1820, six days before his father, King George III.

The Duchess of Kent by Sir George Hayter in 1835
The Duchess of Kent by Sir George Hayter in 1835

The Duchess died at 09:30 on 16 March 1861, aged 74 years, with her daughter Victoria at her side. The Queen was much affected by her mother's death.


19 August

Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany
Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany

19 August 1186 – Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany (b. 1158) died

He was Duke of Brittany & 3rd Earl of Richmond between 1181 & 1186, through his marriage with the heiress Constance. Geoffrey was the 4th of 5 sons of Henry II, King of England & Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine.


King Edward I of England

19 August 1274 - Edward I coronation at Westminster Abbey

Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks & the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Edward was taking part in the Ninth Crusade when his father died. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274.


19 August 1284 – Alphonso, Earl of Chester died

Alphonso or Alfonso (24 November 1273 – 19 August 1284), styled Earl of Chester, was an heir apparent to the English throne who never became king.

Alphonso was the ninth child of King Edward I of England & his Castilian wife Eleanor. He was born in Bayonne, Gascony, a duchy claimed by his maternal uncle King Alphonso X of Castile until his parents' marriage in 1254.

At the age of ten, Alphonso was engaged to Margaret, daughter of Floris V, Count of Holland. An opulent psalter was being prepared for the marriage when he fell ill & died a few months before the wedding was to take place. The king & queen greeted the death of their son with deep sadness.

NEW - Queen & Corgi Air Freshener


19 August 1596 - Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia was born

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

For more about Elizabeth Stuart visit my Winter Queen blog


19 August 1745 – Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raises his standard in Glenfinnan: The start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as "the 45".

19 August 1745 – Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raises his standard in Glenfinnan: The start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as "the 45".

19 August 1745 – Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raises his standard in Glenfinnan: The start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as "the 45".


20 August

20 August 651 – Oswine of Deira died

Oswine of Deira


20 August 768 – Eadberht of Northumbria died

 Eadberht of Northumbria


Prince Alfred of Great Britain

20 August 1782 - Prince Alfred of Great Britain died

Alfred was the fourteenth child & ninth son of King George III & Queen Charlotte.

He became seriously ill after his inoculation against smallpox, it was a major shock for his parents, especially as only six months later Alfred's young brother Prince Octavius died too. It is said that during his later bouts of madness the King would have imaginary conversations with both of his youngest sons.

Prince Alfred: Queen Charlotte gave birth to her fourteenth child & ninth son on 22 September 1780, at Windsor Castle. He was baptised by The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace on 21 October 1780. Among his godparents were his eldest brother (the Prince of Wales, later George IV); his second oldest brother (Prince Frederick) & his eldest sister the Princess Royal.

His birth brought great joy to his family & he was adored by his parents, he was also a favourite of his older sister Sophia, who, along with their sister Elizabeth reportedly, called the new baby her "grandson".

In 1782, Prince Alfred's life was cut short after he was inoculated against smallpox. The sickness proved too much for the child & in June he was taken to Deal on the south east coast with his governess Lady Charlotte Finch to recover. The family hoped that the sea air, & bathing in the water, would improve his condition.

He returned to Windsor in August 1782, once there his doctors inspected him & realized that he had only weeks to live. After suffering from bouts of fever & continuing problems with his chest, the young Prince died on 20 August 1782, at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, not even two years old.

Although the household did not go into mourning (it was not prescribed for royal children younger than fourteen, *a very odd rule I must add!), his parents took the loss severely. According to Lady Charlotte Finch, the Queen "cried vastly" & was "very much hurt by her loss & the King also."

Later in August 1782 the Queen sent Finch a lock of Alfred's hair stating "Receive This ... as an Acknowledgement for Your very affectionate attendance upon my dear little Angel Alfred, & wear the inclosed Hair, not only in remembrance of that dear Object, but also as a mark of esteem from Your Affectionate Queen". He was buried at Westminster Abbey, though his remains were later moved to the Royal Vault in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 11 February 1820.  His youngest sister Princess Amelia was conceived in the months after Alfred's death, born almost exactly a year after he died. The first of George III & Queen Charlotte's children to die, Alfred died nearly seventy five years before his older sister Mary, who was the last survivor of George III & Queen Charlotte's fifteen children.

21 August

21 August 1765 - William IV was born

William IV

William IV


21 August 1930 - Princess Margaret was born

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger daughter of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, & the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II.


22 August

David I king of Scots
David I, King of Scots (c. 1084 – 24 May 1153)

22 August 1138 – Battle of the Standard between Scotland & England.

The Battle of the Standard, took place on 22 August 1138 on Cowton Moor near Northallerton in Yorkshire. English forces under William of Aumale repelled a Scottish army led by King David I of Scotland. King Stephen of England, fighting rebel barons in the south, had sent a small force (mostly mercenaries), but the English army was mainly local militia & baronial retinues from Yorkshire & the north Midlands. Archbishop Thurstan of York had exerted himself greatly to raise the army, preaching that to withstand the Scots was to do God's work. The centre of the English position was therefore marked by a mast (mounted upon a cart) bearing a pyx carrying the consecrated host & from which were flown the consecrated banners of the minsters of Durham, York, Beverley & Ripon: hence the name of the battle. This cart-mounted standard was a very northerly example of a type of standard common in contemporary Italy, where it was known as a carroccio.

King David had entered England for two declared reasons: To support his niece Matilda's claim to the English throne against that of King Stephen (married to another niece) & to enlarge his kingdom beyond his previous gains.

David's forces had already taken much of Northumberland apart from castles at Wark & Bamburgh. Advancing beyond the Tees towards York, early on 22 August the Scots found the English army drawn up on open fields 2 miles north of Northallerton; they formed up in four 'lines' to attack it. The first attack, by unarmoured spearmen against armoured men (including dismounted knights) supported by telling fire from archers failed. Within three hours, the Scots army disintegrated, apart from small bodies of knights & men-at-arms around David & his son Henry. At this point, Henry led a spirited attack with mounted knights; he & David then withdrew separately with their immediate companions in relatively good order. Heavy Scots losses are claimed, in battle & in flight. The English did not pursue far; David fell back to Carlisle & reassembled an army. Within a month, a truce was negotiated which left the Scots free to continue the siege of Wark castle, which eventually fell.


Isabella of France, Queen of England

22 August 1358 - Isabella of France died

Isabella of France (c. 1295 – 22 August 1358), sometimes described as the She-Wolf of France, was Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II, & regent of England from 1327 until 1330.

She was the youngest surviving child & only surviving daughter of Philip IV, king of France & Joan I of Navarre. Isabella was notable in her lifetime for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, & beauty. She became a "femme fatale" figure in plays & literature over the years, usually portrayed as a beautiful but cruel & manipulative figure. Isabella arrived in England at the age of 12 during a period of growing conflict between the king & the powerful baronial factions. Her new husband was notorious for the patronage he lavished on his favourite, Piers Gaveston, but the queen supported Edward during these early years, forming a working relationship with Piers & using her relationship with the French monarchy to bolster her own authority & power. After the death of Gaveston at the hands of the barons in 1312, however, Edward later turned to a new favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, & attempted to take revenge on the barons, resulting in the Despenser War & a period of internal repression across England. Isabella could not tolerate Hugh Despenser & by 1325 her marriage to Edward was at a breaking point.

Isabella of France landing in England with her son, the future Edward III in 1326
Isabella landing in England with her son, the future Edward III in 1326

Travelling to France on a diplomatic mission, Isabella may have begun an affair with Roger Mortimer, & the two may possibly have agreed at this point to depose Edward & oust the Despenser family. The Queen returned to England with a small mercenary army in 1326, moving rapidly across England. The King's forces deserted him. Isabella deposed Edward, becoming regent on behalf of her son, Edward III. Some believe that Isabella then arranged the murder of Edward II. Isabella & Mortimer's regime began to crumble, partly because of her lavish spending, but also because the Queen successfully, but unpopularly, resolved long-running problems such as the wars with Scotland. In 1330, aged 18, Edward III forcibly asserted his authority, & Mortimer was executed. Isabella lost her regency & was put under arrest for two years, but afterwards she lived for many years in considerable style; though she did not reside at court, she often visited to see her grandchildren.

Hugh Despenser the Younger & Edmund Fitzalan brought before Isabella for trial in 1326; the pair were gruesomely executed.


Battle of Bosworth depiction

22 August 1485 - The Battle of Bosworth

For more about The Battle of Bosworth tap here


Richard III, king of England

22 August 1485 - Richard III was killed during the Battle of Bosworth.

For more about Richard III tap here


Henry VII, king of England

22 August 1485 - Henry Tudor becomes Henry VII

Henry VII (28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was the King of England & Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown after The Battle of Bosworth on 22 August 1485 until his death in 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor.

He attained the throne when his forces, supported by France, Scotland, & Wales, defeated Edward IV's brother Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses. He was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward.


King Charles I of England

22 August 1642 – Charles I raises his standard in Nottingham, which marks the beginning of the English Civil War.

At the outset of the conflict, much of the country remained neutral, though the Royal Navy & most English cities favoured Parliament, while the King found marked support in rural communities. Historians estimate that both sides had only about 15,000 men between them, but the war quickly spread & eventually involved every level of society. Many areas attempted to remain neutral. Some formed bands of Clubmen to protect their localities from the worst excesses of the armies of both sides, but most found it impossible to withstand both King & Parliament. On one side, the King & his supporters fought for traditional government in church & state, while on the other, most Parliamentarians initially took up arms to defend what they saw as a traditional balance of government in church & state, which the bad advice the King received from his advisers had undermined before & during the "Eleven Years' Tyranny". The views of the members of Parliament ranged from unquestioning support of the King – at one point during the First Civil War, more members of the Commons & Lords gathered in the King's Oxford Parliament than at Westminster — through to radicals who sought major reforms in religious independence & redistribution of power at a national level. However, even the most radical Parliamentarian supporters still favoured keeping Charles on the throne.

Charles moved on to Nottingham, raising the royal standard there on 22 August 1642. At the time, Charles had with him about 2,000 cavalry & a small number of Yorkshire infantrymen, & using the archaic system of a Commission of Array, his supporters started to build a larger army around the standard. Charles moved in a westerly direction, first to Stafford, then on to Shrewsbury, as support for his cause seemed particularly strong in the Severn valley area & in North Wales. While passing through Wellington, he declared in what became known as the "Wellington Declaration" that he would uphold the "Protestant religion, the laws of England, & the liberty of Parliament

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars & political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") & Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance & issues of religious freedom. It was part of the wider Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The first (1642–1646) & second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II & supporters of the Rump Parliament. The wars also involved the Scottish Covenanters & Irish Confederates. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

Unlike other civil wars in England, which were mainly fought over who should rule, these conflicts were also concerned with how the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland & Ireland should be governed. The outcome was threefold: the trial & the execution of Charles I (1649); the exile of his son, Charles II (1651); & the replacement of English monarchy with the Commonwealth of England, which from 1653 (as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, & Ireland) unified the British Isles under the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell (1653–1658) & briefly his son Richard (1658–1659). In England, the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship was ended, & in Ireland, the victors consolidated the established Protestant Ascendancy. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, but the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty was legally established only as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

The Battle of Marston Moor, by James Barker
The Battle of Marston Moor, by James Barker


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