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February 8, 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded


After 19 years of imprisonment, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I. In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother sent her to be raised in … Continue reading

January 7, 1785 – Two explorers become first to cross the English Channel in a balloon


Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air. The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way, however, as their balloon was weighed down by extraneous supplies such as anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated … Continue reading

December 19, 1843 – Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” was published


On December 19, 1843, Charles Dickens’ classic story “A Christmas Carol” was published. Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. The miserable treatment of children and the … Continue reading

December 6, 1784 – Transportation of convicts from England to Australia is first authorised


Conditions in England in the 18th century were tough: the industrial revolution had removed many people’s opportunities to earn an honest wage as simpler tasks were replaced by machine labour. As unemployment rose, so did crime, especially the theft of basic necessities such as food and clothing. The British prison system was soon full to … Continue reading

November 30, 1874 – Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during WWII, is born


Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on 30 November 1874, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. He served with the British Army in India and Sudan, and became nationally known through his writings when, as a journalist, he was captured in South Africa during the Boer War. Churchill became a member of Parliament in 1900, … Continue reading

November 17, 1558 – Elizabethan Age begins


Queen Mary I, the monarch of England and Ireland since 1553, dies and is succeeded by her 25-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth. The two half-sisters, both daughters of King Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary’s five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy … Continue reading

December 16 1775 Jane Austen born


On December 16th 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born, the seventh of eight children of a clergyman in a country village in Hampshire, England. Jane was very close to her older sister, Cassandra, who remained her faithful editor and critic throughout her life. The girls had five years of formal schooling, then studied with … Continue reading

November 5 1605 King James learns of gunpowder plot (Guy Fawkes)


On November 6th 1605, early in the morning, King James I of England learned that a plot to explode the Parliament building had been foiled, hours before he was scheduled to sit with the rest of the British government in a general parliamentary session. At about midnight on the night of November 4-5, Sir Thomas … Continue reading

October 21 1805 Battle of Trafalgar


On October 21st 1825, in one of the most decisive naval battles in history, a British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Spain. At sea, Lord Nelson and the Royal Navy consistently thwarted Napoleon Bonaparte, who led France to … Continue reading

September 28 1066 William the Conqueror invades England


On September 28th 1066, claiming his right to the English throne, William, duke of Normandy, invaded England at Pevensey on Britain’s southeast coast. His subsequent defeat of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings marked the beginning of a new era in British history. William was the illegitimate son of Robert I, duke of … Continue reading

September 8 1664 New Amsterdam becomes New York


On September 8th 1664, Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Richard Nicolls. Stuyvesant had hoped to resist the English, but he was an unpopular ruler, and his Dutch subjects refused to rally around him. Following its capture, New Amsterdam’s name was changed … Continue reading

August 25 1875 Captain Webb swims the English Channel


Matthew Webb, a 27-year-old merchant navy captain, becomes the first known person to successfully swim the English Channel. Captain Webb accomplished the gruelling 21-mile crossing, which really entailed 39 miles of swimming because of tidal currents, in 21 hours and 45 minutes. During the overnight crossing from Dover, England, to Calais, France, Captain Webb drank … Continue reading

June 17 1579 Drake claims California for England


On June 17th 1579, during his circumnavigation of the world, English seaman Francis Drake anchored in a harbour just north of present-day San Francisco, California, and claimed the territory for Queen Elizabeth I. Calling the land “Nova Albion,” Drake remained on the California coast for a month to make repairs to his ship, the Golden … Continue reading

June 15 1215 Magna Carta sealed


On June 15th 1215, following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John put his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and … Continue reading

June 13 1381 peasant army marches into London


On June 13th 1381, during the Peasants’ Revolt, a large mob of English peasants led by Wat Tyler marched into London and began burning and looting the city. Several government buildings were destroyed, prisoners were released, and a judge was beheaded along with several dozen other leading citizens. The Peasants’ Revolt had its origins in … Continue reading

May 19 1588 Spanish Armada sets sail


On May 19 1588, a massive Spanish fleet, known as the “Invincible Armada,” set sail from Lisbon on a mission to secure control of the English Channel and transport a Spanish invasion army to Britain from the Netherlands. In the late 1580s, Queen Elizabeth’s support of the Dutch rebels in the Spanish Netherlands led King … Continue reading

May 15 1756 The Seven Years War begins


On May 15th 1756, the Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially began when England declared war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years. In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River … Continue reading

May 13 1568 Mary Queen of Scots defeated at Battle of Langeside


On May 13th 1568, at the Battle of Langside, the forces of Mary Queen of Scots were defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, the regent of her son, King James VI of Scotland. During the battle, which was fought out in the southern suburbs of Glasgow, a cavalry charge routed Mary’s … Continue reading

April 29 1429 Joan of Arc relieves Orleans


On April 29th 1429, during the Hundred Years’ War, the 17-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc lead a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October. Joan was born around 1412 in the village of Domremy, on the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, in the current … Continue reading

April 19 1824 Death of Lord Byron in Greece


On April 19th 1824, George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, died in what is now Greece, where he had travelled to support the Greek struggle for independence from Turkey. Even today, he is considered a Greek national hero. Byron’s scandalous history, exotic travels, and flamboyant life made such an impression on the world that the … Continue reading

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Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China decides to engage with Afghanistan’s Taliban to further persecute Uyghurs

China decides to engage with Afghanistan’s Taliban to further persecute Uyghurs

With the United States withdrawing and the Taliban having swept to control of about half of Afghanistan, few observers give the Afghan government much chance of survival. September may be a decisive month, when the withdrawal is complete and American air operations against Taliban positions end. That is the background to Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s […]

Cadence Column: Asia, August 2, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, August 2, 2021

British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is trudging through China’s backyard. Chinese government news “Global Times” describes Britain as trying to relive its old days. China was never happy about getting its ass whipped twice in the Opium Wars, which China provoked with its economic philosophy that “sliver-in, tealeaves-out” was sustainable trade. China, now with […]

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Beijing’s confrontation with Australia should have been an unequal contest. That’s not how it worked out in practice. “Chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes.” That’s how Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese Communist Party–run Global Times, described Australia last year. The disparaging description is typical of the disdain that China’s diplomats […]

China looking at expropriating foreign-held tech shares

Those foreigners who hold shares in Chinese tech companies are being warned that all is not well. It is China expert Gordon Chang who explained at Gatestone Institute, where he is a distinguished senior fellow and a member of the advisory board, that the nation controlled by a repressive Communist regime is “on the road […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

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