Previously on Game of Thrones: Dany decided she wanted to free all the slaves in the next city in her path, Tyrion was forced into an engagement with Sansa, Gendry was handed over to Melisandre, and Arya found herself a hostage of the Hound.
Arya wakes, gets her bearings, and picks up a giant rock lying nearby before sneaking up on the sleeping Hound. She raises the rock above her head, ready to strike, but he wakes and tells her to go ahead and kill him, but if she fails to do so, he’ll break both her hands. She doesn’t kill him, and he doesn’t break her hands, by the look of it.
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Posted in Based on the Book, Game of Thrones, Recap, Series | Tagged fantasy, George R.R. Martin, politics, war, wedding, Westros | Leave a Comment »
Spencer Perceval is not one of Britain’s better known prime ministers. In fact, he’s really only notable for one reason: the poor man holds the dubious distinction of being the only British prime minister to have been assassinated. He was shot by John Belingham, a failed businessman who was found guilty of the crime and hanged on May 18, 1812.
Bellingham, as you might imagine, was a sketchy figure at best. He tried a few professions, including the navy and factory ownership, and seems to have failed at all of them. In 1803 he was accused of insurance fraud and imprisoned in Russia (which, if you have a choice, is definitely not a country you want to be imprisoned in). He was released at some point, and promptly managed to piss off the wrong person and was thrown in prison again, where he remained until 1808. He was finally able to get back to England in 1809.
Once he was home, Bellingham petitioned the UK government for compensation for his imprisonment. The government ignored him, and although his wife warned him to drop the matter, he ignored her and kept pressing. Failing to get any satisfaction, he decided the best course of action would be to shoot the prime minister. He purchased a couple of guns and had his tailors sew some nifty gun-toting pockets into his coat.
On 11 May, Bellingham went with some family friends to a watercolor exhibition, then excused himself and headed to Parliament. He hung around the lobby until Perceval appeared, then shot the PM and sat down and calmly waited for capture.
Since he was clearly crazy, they wasted no time getting him to trial. The trial began on 15 May, with Bellingham arguing that he was entitled, as a wronged man, to kill the representative of his oppressors. He did add, though, that he would have preferred to kill the Russian Ambassador, as if that would somehow make things better.
A number of people came forward to claim that Bellingham was insane (as if that wasn’t already clear), but the trial judge discounted this evidence and quickly handed down his sentence. Bellingham was duly hanged; his widow swiftly remarried, probably happy to put that particular name behind her forever.
Posted in English History, Historical Facts, Idiot Brigade, Regency Period | Tagged death, execution, John Bellingham, prime minister, Spencer Perceval, trial | Leave a Comment »
This Week’s Question:
Sir Thomas More is credited with coining what idealistic word?
What was the name of the man who printed and published the first authorised edition of the King James Bible on 2 May 1611?
Answer: Robert Barker, printer to James I, printed the first authorised King James Bible in 1611. 20 years later, he published the infamous ‘wicked bible’, which accidentally omitted the word ‘not’ in the sentence ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ For this misprint, he was fined £300 (more than £30,000 today) and deprived of his printers’ license. Most copies of the bible were recalled and burned; it’s estimated only 11 survive today.
Posted in Trivia Thursday, Tudor Period | Tagged Bible, freudian slip, King James Bible, printing, Thomas More, Wicked Bible | 1 Comment »
Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia was forced to screw her new husband in front of his cousin and her brother, who shortly after departed for France to find a wife. Giulia got on Alexander’s bad side for helping her brother attempt to balance the books, and in order to get back on his good side, she came up with a brilliant (and effective) plan to keep all the cardinals loyal. Bianca Gonzaga found her way back into Alexander’s bed, prompting her husband to publicly call Alexander out for sleeping with her.
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Posted in Based on a True Story, European History, History, Italian History, Recap, Renaissance, Series, The Borgias | Tagged Italy, Jeremy Irons, papacy, pope, Rome | Leave a Comment »
Previously on Game of Thrones: Robb agreed to have his uncle Edmure marry one of the Frey girls, the Brotherhood without Banners handed Gendry over to Melisandre and let the Hound go, Sansa was forcibly engaged to Tyrion, and Jon Snow scaled the Wall.
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Posted in Based on the Book, Game of Thrones, Recap, Royalty, Series | Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, dragons, fantasy, George R.R. Martin | Leave a Comment »
On May 13, 1515, Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor, Queen of France, were officially married at Greenwich Palace, more than two months after marrying in secret in France following the death of Mary’s first husband, the French King Louis XII.
Mary, who was extremely close to her elder brother, Henry VIII, was reputed to be one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. Her marriage to 52-year-old Louis was brokered by Cardinal Wolsey, Henry’s right-hand man, and she was not happy about it at all. Nonetheless, she married the king in October 1514, when she was 18 years old. One of her maids of honor was Anne Boleyn, her future sister-in-law. The marriage lasted all of three months; Louis died on January 1, 1515, allegedly worn out from his exertions in the bedchamber.
Mary had been in love with Charles Brandon, the first Duke of Suffolk, since before her marriage to Louis took place. Henry allegedly knew of her true feelings but wanted her marriage to be politically advantageous to her. He nevertheless sent Brandon to France to fetch Mary home in late January 1515, making the duke promise not to propose to her. Charles ignored his promise and married Mary on March 3, technically committing treason by marrying a royal princess without the king’s consent. Henry was outraged when he received the news, and only Wolsey’s interference saved Brandon’s head. Instead of being arrested or executed, Brandon was made to pay a hefty fine.
The Brandons had four children, and she spent most of her time in the country, especially after she and Henry fell out in the 1520s over his decision to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. She died in 1533 at the age of 37, and her husband went on to marry 14-year-old Catherine Willoughby. Her two sons died young as well, but one of her daughters, Frances, married Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, and was mother to the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey.
Posted in English History, European History, Henry VIII, Historical Facts, History, Renaissance, Royalty, Tudor Period, Tudors | Tagged Charles Brandon, Henry VIII, historical facts, history, Lady Jane Grey, royalty, this day in history | Leave a Comment »
Image: Colin Campbell for the Guardian
While out on my foraging expedition at the end of April (which netted me enough wild garlic that we’re still eating the same batch now), my husband happened to point out the stinging nettles growing nearby. Most people give nettles a good wide berth–and for good reason: those itty bitty stingers hurt like hell and they sting for hours–but the thing is, nettles are incredibly good for you. They’re super high in iron–think spinach on steroids–as well as protein, calcium, and vitamins and they’re said to help with skin conditions such as eczema and can allegedly make your hair brighter, thicker, and shinier. The leaves, which are best in the early spring, can be brewed into a tea or tossed into quiches or frittatas or sauteed up like other leafy greens.
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Posted in Recipes | Tagged celeriac, comfort food, foraging, nettle soup, nettles, soup, spring, Waters of Leith, wild food | Leave a Comment »