Updated: Aug 14, 2022
5 August 642 – Battle of Maserfield: Penda of Mercia defeats & kills Oswald of Northumbria.
A twelfth-century painting of St Oswald, killed at Maserfield, in Durham Cathedral.
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5 August 910 - The Battle of Tettenhall
5 August 1063 – Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd died
5 August 1100 - Henry I of England coronation at Westminster Abbey
Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. He was the fourth son of William the Conqueror & Matilda of Flanders.
5 August 1301 – Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, English politician, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports was born (d. 1330)
Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, whose seat was Arundel Castle in Sussex, was the sixth son of King Edward I of England, & the second by his second wife Margaret of France, & was a younger half-brother of King Edward II.
5 August 1901 - Victoria, Princess royal, German Empress & Queen of Prussia died
Victoria, Princess Royal (born. 21 November 1840) was German Empress & Queen of Prussia as the wife of German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom & Albert, Prince Consort, & was created Princess Royal in 1841. She was the mother of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.
Educated by her father in a politically liberal environment, Victoria was married at age 17 to Prince Frederick of Prussia, with whom she had eight children.
Victoria was empress for only a few months, during which she had opportunity to influence the policy of the German Empire. Frederick III died in 1888 – 99 days after his accession – from laryngeal cancer & was succeeded by their son William II, who had much more conservative views than his parents. After her husband's death, she became widely known as Empress Frederick (German: Kaiserin Friedrich). The empress dowager then settled in Kronberg im Taunus, where she built Friedrichshof, a castle, named in honour of her late husband. Increasingly isolated after the weddings of her younger daughters, Victoria died of breast cancer on 5 August 1901, not long after her mother's death on 22 January 1901.
The correspondence between Victoria & her parents has been preserved almost completely: 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter, & about 4,000 letters from the empress to her mother are preserved & catalogued. These give a detailed insight into life at the Prussian court between 1858 & 1900.
6 August 1844 - Prince Alfred was born.
7 August 1282 – Elizabeth of Rhuddlan was born (d. 1316)
Elizabeth of Rhuddlan was the eighth & youngest daughter of King Edward I & Eleanor of Castile.
Elizabeth married twice, On 8 January 1297 Elizabeth was married to John I, Count of Holland at Ipswich. In attendance at the marriage were Elizabeth's sister Margaret, her father, Edward I of England, her brother Edward, & Humphrey de Bohun (her second husband). After the wedding Elizabeth was expected to go to Holland with her husband, but did not wish to go, leaving her husband to go alone. After some time travelling England, it was decided Elizabeth should follow her husband. Her father accompanied her, travelling through the Southern Netherlands between Antwerp, Mechelen, Leuven & Brussels, before ending up in Ghent. There they remained for a few months, spending Christmas with her two sisters Eleanor and Margaret. On 10 November 1299, John died of dysentery, though there were rumours of his murder.
On her return trip to England, Elizabeth went through Brabant to see her sister Margaret. When she arrived in England, she met her stepmother Margaret, who Edward had married while she was in Holland. On 14 November 1302 Elizabeth was married to Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford, 3rd of Essex, also Constable of England, at Westminster Abbey. They had ten children. During Christmas 1315, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with her eleventh child, was visited by her sister-in-law, Queen Isabella of France. On 5 May 1316 she went into labour, giving birth to her daughter Isabella. Both Elizabeth & her daughter Isabella died shortly after the birth. Elizabeth was interred at Waltham Abbey, Essex, together with her infant daughter & other members of the de Bohun family.
7 August 1385 - Joan of Kent, died. She was the mother of Richard II
7 August 1783 - Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom was born
Princess Amelia was born on 7 August 1783, at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, the youngest of George III & Queen Charlotte's 15 children as well as the only of her siblings born at Windsor Castle. It is often said that she was her father's favourite; he affectionately called her "Emily". As the daughter of the monarch, she was styled Her Royal Highness the Princess Amelia from birth. Amelia & her sisters, Charlotte, Augusta Sophia, Elizabeth, Mary & Sophia were over-protected & isolated, which restricted meeting eligible suitors of their own age. Amelia never married. Throughout her life, Amelia was often in poor health; at the age of fifteen, she started to suffer the early symptoms of what turned out to be tuberculosis.
In 1801, the princess was sent for a seaside cure at Weymouth to improve her health. Among those staying with her was the Hon. Charles FitzRoy, an equerry 21 years older than she, & the son of Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton. Amelia fell in love with the equerry, desiring to marry him. The Queen was told of the affair by a servant, but turned a blind eye. Amelia knew she could not legally marry FitzRoy due to the provisions of the Royal Marriages Act passed by her father's Parliament (at least until she reached the age of 25, after which she could receive permission by assent of the Privy Council). She would later tell her brother Frederick that she considered herself to be married, taking the initials A. F. R. (Amelia FitzRoy).
In 1808, Amelia had a severe attack of measles. The anxious King George decided to send Amelia to Weymouth, accompanied by her sister Mary. Her health was improved only a little, but she found comfort in quietly resting. In 1809, she could occasionally take short walks in the garden. This improvement was temporary, & in August 1810 her sufferings grew sharper, whilst in October of that year she was seized with St. Anthony's fire (erysipelas), which cut off all hope & confined her to her bed on the 25th. The king summoned his daughter's physicians to him at seven o'clock every morning & three or four other times during the day, questioning them minutely as to her condition. She lingered a few days more, waited upon to the last by her favourite & devoted sister, Mary. She died on 2 November 1810, aged 27. The dying princess had a mourning ring made for the King, composed of a lock of her hair under crystal set round with diamonds. He purportedly burst into tears upon receiving it. Otherwise, her will dictated all her possessions be given to Charles FitzRoy.
7 August 1821 - Caroline of Brunswick died
Caroline of Brunswick (Caroline Amelia Elizabeth; 17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen of the United Kingdom & Hanover as the wife of King George IV from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821. She was Princess of Wales from 1795 to 1820.
The daughter of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, & Princess Augusta of Great Britain, Caroline was engaged to her cousin George in 1794, despite their never having met. He was already illegally married to Maria Fitzherbert. George & Caroline married the following year but separated shortly after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte of Wales, in 1796. By 1806, rumours that Caroline had taken lovers & had an illegitimate child led to an investigation into her private life. The dignitaries who led the investigation concluded that there was "no foundation" to the rumours, but Caroline's access to her daughter was nonetheless restricted. In 1814, Caroline moved to Italy, where she employed Bartolomeo Pergami as a servant. Pergami soon became Caroline's closest companion, & it was widely assumed that they were lovers. In 1817, Caroline was devastated when Charlotte died in childbirth. She heard the news from a passing courier as George had refused to write & tell her. He was determined to divorce Caroline, & set up a second investigation to collect evidence of her adultery.
In January 1820, George became King of the United Kingdom & Hanover. He insisted on a divorce from Caroline, which she refused. A legal divorce was possible but difficult to obtain. Caroline returned to Britain to assert her position as queen. She was wildly popular with the British people, who sympathised with her & despised the new king for his immoral behaviour. On the basis of the loose evidence collected against her, George attempted to divorce Caroline by introducing the Pains & Penalties Bill 1820 to Parliament, but he & the bill were so unpopular, & Caroline so popular with the masses, that it was withdrawn by the Liverpool ministry. The King barred Caroline from his coronation in July 1821. She fell ill in London & died three weeks later. Her funeral procession passed through London on its way to her native Braunschweig, where she was buried.
8 August 1503 – King James IV of Scotland marries Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In a ceremony at the altar of Glasgow Cathedral on 10 December 1502, James confirmed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII of England. By this treaty James married Henry VII's daughter Margaret Tudor. After a wedding by proxy in London, the marriage was confirmed in person on 8 August 1503 at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh. Their wedding was commemorated by the gift of a Book of Hours.
The union produced four children plus two stillbirths:
James, Duke of Rothesay (21 February 1507, Holyrood Palace – 27 February 1508, Stirling Castle).
A stillborn daughter at Holyrood Palace on 15 July 1508.
Arthur, Duke of Rothesay (20 October 1509, Holyrood Palace – Edinburgh Castle, 14 July 1510).
James V (Linlithgow Palace, 10 April 1512 – Falkland Palace, Fife, 14 December 1542), the only one to reach adulthood, and the successor of his father. James V was the father of Mary, Queen of Scots.
A second stillborn daughter at Holyrood Palace in November 1512.
Alexander, Duke of Ross (Stirling Castle, 30 April 1514 – Stirling Castle, 18 December 1515), born after James's death.
8 August 1588 - Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines: The naval engagement ends, ending the Spanish Armada's attempt to invade England.
8 August 1588 - Queen Elizabeth I delivers her Tilbury speech to her troops.
Because of the threat of invasion from the Netherlands, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester assembled a force of 4,000 militia at West Tilbury, Essex, to defend the Thames Estuary against any incursion up-river toward London. Because the result of the English fire ship attack & the sea battle of Gravelines had not yet reached England, on 8 August, Elizabeth went to Tilbury to review her forces, arriving on horseback in ceremonial armour to imply to the militia she was prepared to lead them in the ensuing battle. She gave to them her royal address, which survives in at least six slightly different versions.
"My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but, I do assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful & loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself, that under God I have placed my chiefest strength & safeguard in the loyal hearts & goodwill of my subjects; &, therefore, I am come amongst you as you see at this time, not for my recreation & disport, but being resolved, in the midst & heat of battle, to live or die amongst you all – to lay down for my God, & for my kingdoms, & for my people, my honour & my blood even in the dust.
I know I have the body of a weak & feeble woman; but I have the heart & stomach of a king – & of a King of England too,
& think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms – I myself will be your general, judge, & rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your forwardness, you have deserved rewards & crowns, &, we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, & your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, & of my people."
8 August 1988 - Princess Beatrice of York was born.
Beatrice was born on 8 August 1988, at 8:18 pm at the Portland Hospital, the first child of the Duke & Duchess of York, & fifth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She is currently tenth in line of succession to the British throne, followed by her sister, Princess Eugenie.
Born in Portland Hospital, London, Beatrice attended St George's School, Ascot before studying at Goldsmiths College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in history. She was briefly employed at the Foreign Office & Sony Pictures before joining software company Afiniti as a Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Beatrice also works privately with a number of charitable organisations, including the Teenage Cancer Trust & Outward Bound. She married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a property developer, in 2020. The couple are expecting their first child in late 2021.
Did You Know? Beatrice was the first member of the family to appear in a non-documentary film when she had a small, non-speaking role as an extra in The Young Victoria (2009), based on the accession and early reign of her ancestor Queen Victoria.
9 August 1386 - Henry V was born
Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, & for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth. He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke (later Henry IV of England) & Mary de Bohun. His father's cousin was the reigning English monarch, King Richard II. Henry's paternal grandfather was the influential John of Gaunt, a son of King Edward III.
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in Shakespeare's "Henriad" plays, Henry is known & celebrated as one of the greatest warrior kings of medieval England.
9 August 1902 - Edward VII coronation
Edward VII & Alexandra of Denmark are crowned King & Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland at Westminster Abbey.
Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland & the British Dominions, & Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, & nicknamed "Bertie", Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years.
Edward was related to nearly every other European monarch, & came to be known as the "uncle of Europe". German Emperor Wilhelm II & Emperor Nicholas II of Russia were his nephews; Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Crown Princess Marie of Romania, Crown Princess Sophia of Greece, & Empress Alexandra of Russia were his nieces; King Haakon VII of Norway was both his nephew & his son-in-law; kings Frederick VIII of Denmark & George I of Greece were his brothers-in-law; kings Albert I of Belgium, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, & Charles I & Manuel II of Portugal were his second cousins. Edward doted on his grandchildren, & indulged them, to the consternation of their governesses. However, there was one relation whom Edward did not like: Wilhelm II. His difficult relationship with his nephew exacerbated the tensions between Germany & Britain.
10 August 1439 – Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, Duchess of York was born (d. 1476)
10 August 1520 – Madeleine of Valois was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.
Madeleine of Valois was a French princess who became Queen of Scotland as the first spouse of King James V.
Madeleine was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, the fifth child & third daughter of King Francis I of France & Claude, Duchess of Brittany (daughter of King Louis XII of France & Anne, Duchess of Brittany).
She married James V of Scotland on 1 January 1537 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. There was a banquet that night in the Louvre Palace. Francis I also provided Madeleine with a very generous dowry, which considerably boosted the Scottish treasury. According to the marriage contract made at Blois, Madeleine renounced her & any of her heirs' claims to the French throne. If James died first, Madeleine would retain for her lifetime assets including the Earldoms of Fife, Strathearn, Ross, & Orkney with Falkland Palace, Stirling Castle, & Dingwall Castle, with the Lordship of Galloway & Threave Castle. After months of festivities & celebrations, the couple left France for Scotland in May 1537. Madeleine's health deteriorated even further, & she was very sick when the royal pair landed in Scotland.
Madeleine wrote to her father from Edinburgh on 8 June 1537 saying that she was better & her symptoms had diminished. James V had written to Francis I asking him to send the physician Master Francisco, & Madeleine wrote that he was now needed only to perfect her cure. She signed this letter "Magdalene de France". However, a month later, on 7 July 1537, (a month before her 17th birthday), Madeleine, the so-called "Summer Queen" of Scots, died in her husband's arms at Holyrood Palace. James V wrote to Francis I informing him of his daughter's death.
Queen Madeleine was interred in Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, next to King James II of Scotland. The grave was desecrated by a mob in 1776 & her allegedly still beautiful head was stolen.
10 August 1675 - The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, England is laid.
10/11 August 1315 – The Great Famine of Europe becomes so dire that even the king of England has difficulties buying bread for himself & his entourage.
11 August 991 – Battle of Maldon: The English, led by Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, are defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings near Maldon, Essex.
12 August 1762 – King George IV was born (d.1830)
13 August 1792 - Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was born at Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany.
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was Queen of the United Kingdom & Hanover as the wife of King William IV. Adelaide was the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, & Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Did You Know? Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her.
Saxe-Meiningen was a small state, covering about 423 square miles (1,100 km2). It was the most liberal German state &, unlike its neighbours, permitted a free press & criticism of the ruler.
Did You Know? Adelaide had twenty-one Godparents, including her mother, the Holy Roman Empress, the Queen of Naples & Sicily, the Crown Princess of Saxony, the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, & the Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
Adelaide married William, The Duke of Clarence & St Andrews (later William IV) in a double wedding with William's brother, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent & Strathearn, & his bride Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen, on 11 July 1818, at Kew Palace in Surrey, England. They had only met for the first time a week earlier on 4 July at Grillon's Hotel in Bond Street. Neither William nor Adelaide had been married before, & William was 27 years her senior. Although William from 1791 had lived with an Irish actress, Dorothea Bland, better known by her stage name, Mrs. Jordan. The couple had ten illegitimate children—five sons & five daughters—nine of whom were named after William's siblings; each was given the surname "FitzClarence". Their affair lasted for twenty years before ending in 1811.
The couple settled amicably in Hanover & by all accounts were devoted to each other throughout their marriage. Adelaide improved William's behaviour; he drank less, swore less, & became more tactful!
On the Continent, Adelaide became pregnant, but in her seventh month of pregnancy, she caught pleurisy & gave birth prematurely on 27 March 1819 at the Fürstenhof Palace in Hanover. Her daughter, Charlotte Augusta Louise, lived only a few hours. Another pregnancy in the same year caused William to move the household to England so his future heir would be born on British soil; however, Adelaide miscarried at Calais or Dunkirk during the journey on 5 September 1819. Back in London, they moved into Clarence House, but preferred to stay at Bushy House near Hampton Court, where William had already lived with Dorothea. She became pregnant again, & a second daughter, Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide, was born on 10 December 1820 at St James's Palace. Elizabeth seemed strong but died less than three months old on 4 March 1821 of "inflammation in the Bowels". Ultimately, William & Adelaide had no surviving children. Twin boys were stillborn on 8 April 1822 at Bushy Park & a possible brief pregnancy may have occurred within the same year. Princess Victoria of Kent came to be acknowledged as William's heir presumptive, as Adelaide had no further pregnancies.
In 1830, on the death of his elder brother, George IV, William acceded to the throne. One of King William's first acts was to confer the Rangership of Bushy Park (for 33 years held by himself) on Queen Adelaide. This act allowed Adelaide to remain at Bushy House for her lifetime. William & Adelaide were crowned on 8 September 1831 at Westminster Abbey. Adelaide was deeply religious & took the service very seriously. William despised the ceremony & acted throughout, it is presumed deliberately, as if he was "a character in a comic opera", making a mockery of what he thought to be a ridiculous charade. Adelaide, alone among those attending received praise for her "dignity, repose & characteristic grace".
Adelaide was beloved by the British people for her piety, modesty, charity, & her tragic childbirth history. A large portion of her household income was given to charitable causes. She also treated the young Princess Victoria of Kent (William's heir presumptive & later Queen Victoria) with kindness, despite her inability to produce an heir & the open hostility between William & Victoria's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Kent.
By June 1837, it became evident that the King was fatally ill. Adelaide stayed beside William's deathbed devotedly, not going to bed herself for more than ten days. William IV died from heart failure in the early hours of the morning of 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle. Victoria was proclaimed as queen, but subject to the rights of any issue that might be born to Adelaide on the remotely possible chance that she was pregnant.
Did You Know? Adelaide was the first queen dowager in over a century (Charles II's widow, Catherine of Braganza, had died in 1705, & Mary of Modena, wife of the deposed James II, died in 1718), Adelaide survived her husband by twelve years.
She died on 2 December 1849 of natural causes at Bentley Priory in Middlesex. She was buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. She wrote instructions for her funeral during an illness in 1841 at Sudbury Hall: I die in all humility … we are alike before the throne of God, & I request therefore that my mortal remains be conveyed to the grave without pomp or state … to have as private & quiet a funeral as possible. I particularly desire not to be laid out in state … I die in peace & wish to be carried to the fount in peace, & free from the vanities & pomp of this world.
Princess Charlotte of Clarence (27 March 1819). Died a few hours after being baptised, in Hanover.
Stillborn child (5 September 1819). Born dead at Calais or Dunkirk.
Princess Elizabeth of Clarence (10 December 1820 - 4 March 1821). Born & died at St James's Palace.
Stillborn twin boys (8 April 1822). Born dead at Bushy Park.