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The First Foot Guards

We are a Revolutionary War reenactment group based in Boston MA,
accurately portraying the royal household regiment that is now known as
The Grenadier Guards

 

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This Date in History: August

Graeme Marsden's collection 
of significant dates in American and European history,
organized by Month and by Day.

Most references are from the 18th century, and there is a preference for military occurrences, especially those of The First Foot guards.

Check out 'What happened on this day?'

September

July


August

August 1
Lammas Day in Britain, Old Style (after 1753, Lammas Day became August 13).

On this day fences were removed from common land which had been cultivated during the summer, and livestock were permitted to graze over it until seed was sown.

1 August 1498

Christopher Columbus reached the American mainland, and named it Santa Isla, believing it to be an island.

1 August 1664

The Turkish army was defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.

1 August 1689

James II's 15-week siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ended in failure. William and Mary triumphed.

1 August 1714

On the death of Queen Anne, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, was proclaimed King George I of Great Britain.

1 August 1740

Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" was performed for the first time. It later became an unofficial British national anthem.

"When Britain first, at Heavn's command, arose from out the azure main…"

1 August 1759

British and Hanoverian armies defeated the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.

1 August 1774

British clergyman and scientist Joseph Priestley identified a gas which he called "dephlogisticated air," later known as

oxygen. Priestley's discovery came about when he obtained a colorless gas by heating red mercuric oxide. Priestley later shared his results with French natural philosopher Antoine Lavoisier, who coined the term "oxygen."

In England, Priestley became unpopular (with some people) and his house was attacked by a mob. He emigrated to America, where he ultimately died. Over time the family name (in America) changed to Presley (A similar change happened to 'Wesley', which was formerly Westley'.)

1 August 1778

The first savings bank was opened, in Hamburg, Germany.

1 August 1790

The first enumeration by the US Census Bureau was completed. It showed a population of 3,939,326 located in 16 states and the Ohio territory. Virginia was the most populous state with 747,610 inhabitants. The census compilation cost $44,377.

1 August 1791

Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, freed all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in US history.

 

1 August 1798

In the Battle of the Nile, Admiral Lord Nelson destroyed Bonaparte's fleet, crippling his invasion of Egypt and removing the threat against British India.

1 August 1801

The American schooner Enterprise captured the Barbary cruiser Tripoli.

1 August 1793

The kilogram was introduced in France as the first metric weight.

1 August 1798

The English under Nelson destroyed the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile, in Aboukir Bay.

1 August 1834

Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.

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2 August 1552

The treaty of Passau gave religious freedom to Protestants living in Germany.

2 August 1589

During France's religious war, a fanatical monk stabbed King Henry II to death.

2 August 1704
War against France 1702-1713
Storming the Heights of Schellenberg
In memory of the officers who died in battle:
Lieutenant Colonel Blount, First Foot Guards
Captain Walter Raleigh, First Foot Guards
Captain John West, First Foot Guards
Quartermaster Bibey, First Foot Guards

2 August 1718

Britain, France, Austria, and Holland concluded the Quadruple Alliance against Spain, in an attempt to prevent Spain from annexing Sardinia and Sicily.

2 August 1776

The Continental Congress, having decided unanimously to make the Declaration of Independence, affixed the signatures of the other delegates to the document.

 

2 August 1784
The first mail coaches in England started running, from Bristol (4pm) to London (8am). These were the coaches that carried the Royal Mail as well as passengers. They were predictable, since they set off on schedule, and arrived more or less on schedule. Such a system was a boon to business and travel. The same transportation pattern in shipping was to be set in the next century by Samuel Cunard, who pioneered ships that set off full or not, and arrived on schedule.
Royal Mail coaches were all painted similarly in black and red. The coachman was an important person, much respected by the population. The Guard carried a blunderbuss and a time clock. He blew road signals through his posthorn (or "yard of tin") to give alarm that the post was arriving or to warn turnpike keepers. He wore a red coat, and was handsomely paid. It was customary to tip him, also. Many former soldiers found employment as Royal Mail Guards.

The Royal Mail was rapidly emulated by other European countries, as well as the USA and Australia.

Link

2 August 1802

Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed "Consul for Life" by the French Senate after a plebiscite from the French people.

2 August 1819

The first parachute jump from a balloon was made by Charles Guille in New York City.

2 August 1858

The rule of the East India Company, which was established throughout India, was transferred to the British government. The company had its own army, and had conquered much of India and made a fortune for itself and its nabobs (such as Elihu Yale). With the nationalization, Britain was to conquer the whole of India and Prime Minister Disraeli offered Queen Victoria the title of Empress of India. This title was to remain on British coinage until the time of King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II).

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3 August 1460

James II 'fiery face' of Scotland (1437-1460) was killed by a cannon's explosion. The Queen who was had been staying at Hume castle, raced to the siege with the young Prince James to encourage the disheartened army. His son, King James III (1460-1488), was crowned at Kelso Abbey. Roxburgh was taken by storm and torn down to ground level. During James II's reign, he defeated the powerful Douglas family from Dumfriesshire, thereby successfully

strengthening the crown. He was fascinated by artillery.

3 August 1492

Navigator Christopher Columbus set sail before sunrise from Palos de la Frontera, Spain, at the head of three ships (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria) and a crew of about 90 men. They were headed to "Cathay" (Asia) but found instead the Caribbean. About two months after the ships' departure, they arrived at Guanahani (also known as San Salvador, an island in the Bahamas).

3 August 1553

Mary Tudor, the new Queen of England, entered London.

3 August 1610

Henry Hudson of England discovered a great bay on the east coast of Canada and named it for himself.

3 August 1692
Battle of Steinkirk or Steenkerke 24 July - 3 August 1692, in which the First foot guards took part.

After unsuccessful attempts to engage the French Marshal Luxembourg throughout June and July, William of Orange attacked the main French force that was in an established entrenched position at Steenkerke. The Allies, after an initial success, were beaten back by French counter-attacks. William ordered a withdrawal under cover provided by the Guards regiments. Each army lost about 3,000 men.

The Battle occurred at the end of the War of the Grand Alliance 1688-1697 (also known as the War of the League of Augsburg). By 1680, France under King Louis XIV threatened to dominate the whole of Europe. France was the largest nation in terms of population and land area, and it also had the most powerful army in Europe. Louis' expansionist aims aroused widespread fears, and an alliance was formed between Austria, the Protestant Princes of Germany, and the Netherlands (from where Prince William of Orange was shortly to launch the Glorious Revolution in Great Britain).

Louis' revocation of the Edict of Nantes (of 1598, which had afforded religious freedom to the Protestants in France) made it easy for William of Orange to establish an anti-French coalition (The League of Augsburg) in July 1686. The war was mainly fought in the Netherlands, and combat on land was mainly in the form of sieges. After nine years of inconclusive warfare, the combination of economic, political and military pressures led the enemies to conclude peace at the Treaty of Ryswick of 30 Oct 1697.

3 August 1778

La Scala opera house opened in Milan, Italy.

3 August 1858

Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile, was discovered by the English explorer John Speke

 

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4 August 1265

The Battle of Evesham took place, in which Simon de Montfort was defeated by Royalist forces led by the future King Edward I, during the English Barons' War. By this time Edward was king in all but name, since his father was growing old and was as self-absorbed as ever, with his projects such as the building of Westminster Abbey in the new Gothic style.

4 August 1693

It is believed that a monk named Dom Perignon invented champagne at the Benedictine Abbey of Hautvillers in the

region of Champagne, northern France. He made the first champagne by re-fermenting a certain wine in the spring and then placing it in strong, sealed bottles so that the wine would become sparkling.

Dom Perignon was Cellar Master for 47 years until his death in 1715

4 August 1735

German-American journalist John Peter Zenger was acquitted of charges of seditious libel. Zenger had been arrested a year earlier for publishing articles in his "New York Weekly Journal" that were critical of the colonial governor of New

York. Zenger's lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, convinced the jury that since the articles were true they could not be considered libelous. The verdict was an important milestone in the history of the freedom of the press in the USA.

4 August 1753

George Washington, a 21 year-old Virginia planter, became a Master Mason in the fraternity of

Freemasonry. Masons in the 18th century espoused liberal democratic principles that included religious tolerance,

loyalty to local government, and the importance of charity and political compromise. Most of the founding fathers were Freemasons.

4 August 1790

The Coast Guard had its beginnings as the Revenue Cutter Service.

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5 August 1583

English soldier and navigator Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for Elizabeth I.

5 August 1858

The first transatlantic cable was opened when Queen Victoria exchanged greetings with US President Buchanan.

5 August 1864

During the Civil War, Union Admiral David G Farragut is said to have ordered, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" as he led his fleet against Mobile Bay, Alabama

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6 August 1497

John Cabot returned to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.

6 August 1777

The Battle of Oriskany, near Fort Stanwix NY
One of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution. American reinforcements on their way to Fort Stanwix, which was being besieged by the British General St. Leger, clashed with a group of loyalist Indians and Tories. Though the battle was indeterminate, it weakened St. Leger's hold on Fort Stanwix just enough to convince him to call off the siege and abandon his potentially destructive plan of meeting Burgoyne in Albany.

6 August 1787

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began to debate the articles contained in a draft of the United States Constitution.

6 August 1806

German emperor Francis II officially dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. The Empire was a medieval state that embraced most of central Europe and Italy under the rule of German kings. Although it intended to be a continuation of the ancient Roman Empire, long before its dissolution it had ceased to be a major political power.

6 August 1888

Martha Turner was murdered in London by an unknown assailant, believed to be Jack the Ripper.

6 August 1890

Convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in the electric chair as he was put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.

6 August 1914

Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia, and Serbia declared war against Germany.

6 August 1927

A Massachusetts high court heard the final plea from Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists convicted of murder. Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted and hanged, and later pardoned by Governor Michael Dukakis. The court case is now seen as highly biased and unfair.

 

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7 August 1409

The Council of Pisa officially ended. The Council attempted unsuccessfully to put an end to the "Great Schism," the three decade long period in Roman Catholic history when two rival papacies--one in Rome and the other in Avignon competed to be the sole legitimate papal state.

7 August 1711

The first horse race meeting was held at Ascot, outside London, established by Queen Anne. It is now 'Royal Ascot', and the meeting is 'the place to be seen' socially.

7 August 1742

Revolutionary war hero Nathanael Greene was born in Potowomut RI. Appointed to the rank of major general in 1776, Greene is best known for his astuteness as commander in chief of the southern army, a position he assumed in 1778.

Prior to the Revolution, Greene managed his father's iron foundry and served in Rhode Island's colonial legislature. He was elected commander in chief of the Rhode Island army in 1775 and served with George Washington during the siege of Boston in 1775 and 1776.

In January of 1781, Greene contributed to the defeat of General Lord Cornwallis at Cowpens SC. Greene forced Cornwallis, whose forces far outnumbered the Americans, to divide his troops and defend his territory on two fronts. The British subsequently retreated to Charleston, where they remained until Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown VA on 19 October 1781.

Greene and Washington remained close friends after the Revolutionary War. Upon Greene's death in 1786, Washington expressed his deep admiration and affection for Greene by offering to raise his son, George Washington Greene.

7 August 1782

George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.

7 August 1830

Louis Philippe was proclaimed 'Citizen King' (Philippe Egalité), for his support of the 1792 Revolution in France.

7 August 1840

The employment of climbing boys as chimney sweeps was prohibited by an act of Parliament. Such abuses had been the target of social reformers, and writers such as Charles Dickens and Charles Kingsley (in 'The Water Babies').

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9 August 1483

Pope Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which was named in his honor.

9 August 1549

England declared war on France

9 August 1756

On 9th August, General Montcalm at the head of over fifteen hundred regular soldiers and horse-drawn artillery, fifteen hundred Canadian militiamen and two hundred and fifty Indians reached the Oswego River, near the site of the British stronghold of Fort Ontario. This was a wooden fortress, the stone bastion of Chouaguen and a small wooden stockade. The stronghold was manned by a force of 1134 men, including regular soldiers and American militiamen under the command of Colonel James Mercer. Fort Ontario was attacked and taken on 12th August and two days later Montcalm ordered the shelling of the British positions, to which the redcoats responded vigorously. During the battle, Colonel Mercer was blown apart by an artillery shell and Colonel Littlehales took command. After fierce fighting on 14 August, the Anglo-Americans were overcome and forced to surrender to the Franco-Canadian forces led by Rigaud de Vaudreuil, whom Montcalm had sent to ford the river and surround the enemy position.

9 August 1757

On instructions from Governor Vaudreuil, Montcalm gathered an army of about eight thousand composed of regular soldiers (equipped with artillery), militiamen and about fifteen hundred Indians and marched on Fort William Henry. On 3 August 1757, the French general launched a massive attack on the English stronghold, which was defended by numerous cannon and 2400 soldiers under the command of Colonel George Munro. On 9 August, after six days of artillery fire from both sides, the British were finally forced to surrender. During the fighting, they had lost eighty men and a further one hundred and twenty men were wounded. The French lost seventeen men and forty more were wounded. Montcalm captured forty cannon and 25,000 pounds of gunpowder, along with a quantity of provisions. Montcalm accorded the honors of war to Munro, guaranteeing him the freedom to return to Fort Edward in possession of his own weapons, whereas the sick and injured would remain under his protection.

9 August 1805

Austria joined Britain, Russia, Sweden and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in the third coalition against France

9 August 1842

The signing of the Webster-Ashburn Treaty fixed the border between Maine and New Brunswick

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10 August 1500

Portuguese navigator Diego Diaz became the first European to arrive to the island of Madagascar. Situated in the Indian Ocean, over 250 miles (400 km) from the coast of Mozambique, Madagascar had had more influence from Asia than from Africa: Japanese, Hindus, and Arabs colonized Madagascar prior to the 16th century.

10 August 1675

The foundation stone of the Royal Observatory was laid at Greenwich in London. By order of King Charles II, the establishment was created to improve knowledge of the positions of stars, and thus aid navigation. Since 1884, the world has set its clocks according to the time of day on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, an imaginary line joining the North and South Poles that passes through the observatory. A brass line set in the sidewalk separates east from west, and is the place where many tourists like to have themselves photographed, astride the two hemispheres.
Greenwich Mean Time is the world's time datum.

Still one of the best places to visit near London. Take a leisurely boat ride down the Thames. See the Queen's House, The Maritime Museum (Nelson's coat with the bullet hole in it) The Royal Naval Hospital, The Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory, Wolfe's statue… then have a pint at The Trafalgar, a wonderful Georgian hostelry right on the water. www.rog.nmm.ac.uk

10 August 1757
The Fort William Henry Massacre

Following his victory over the British at Fort William Henry the previous day, Montcalm gave orders to Lieutenant Bougainville, to ensure that the British disposed of their supply of brandy so that it would not fall into the hands of the Indians. At dawn on 10th August all of the English prisoners (about 2240 men) set off towards Fort Edward with an escort of two hundred French soldiers. But just a few hours later a party of Abenaki Indians, who had managed to get their hands on a stock of brandy that had not been disposed of, ambushed the and killed several British soldiers. The French put their own lives at risk trying to defend their prisoners. When they heard what was happening, Montcalm, Bougainville and Lévis rushed to the spot and managed to stop the massacre, though not before about thirty redcoats had fallen victim to the drunken savages. Following this massacre some Catholic missionaries took the wounded into their care. The Fort William Henry massacre was not ordered by Montcalm, although the British later accused him of having incited the Indians. This bloody episode shocked and enraged the British settlers and fueled their hatred of the French. It also may have had the effect of restoring a sense of unity to the Anglo-American army, which had frequently shown signs of weakening.

10 August 1787

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music).

10 August 1846

The Smithsonian Institution was chartered in Washington DC. It was named after British scientist James Smithson, whose bequest gave half a million dollars for the founding of the Institution.

10 August 1889

The screw bottle top was patented by Dan Rylands of Hope Glass Works, Yorkshire, England.

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11 August 1576

English navigator Martin Frobisher, on his search for the Northwest Passage, entered the bay in Canada now named after him.

 

11 August 1587
Sir Walter Raleigh's second expedition to New World landed in North Carolina.

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12 August 1676

The end of King Philip's War

A renegade of the Wampanoag tribe killed Indian leader Metacom (known to English settlers as "King Philip"), chief of the Wampanoag tribe of southern New England. Metacom's death ended the first and bloodiest war between Native Americans and English settlers in New England.

12 August 1687

The Austro-Hungarians defeated the Turks at the Battle of Mohács, in Hungary, effectively ending Turkish expansion into Europe.

12 August 1812

In the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington's troops entered Madrid.

12 August 1851

Actor and inventor Isaac Singer patented the double-treadle sewing machine. Although the sewing machine had already been patented, Singer improved the original versions by adding a double treadle. With his patent, Singer set up shop in Boston and began to manufacture his invention.

 

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13 August 1521

After a three-month siege, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) was conquered by Hernando Cortes and Spanish troops. With a population between 150,000 and 300,000, Tenochtitlan was set up so it would sustain its inhabitants while still protecting the local ecosystem. The Spanish conquest caused a human and ecological disaster of epic proportions.

13 August 1624

Cardinal Armand DuPlessis Richelieu was appointed Chief Minister of France by Louis XIII.

13 August 1704

French and Bavarian forces were routed by a combined British, German and Dutch army under Marlborough at Blenheim, Germany. The victors lost 6,000 soldiers compared with 21,000 French and Bavarian troops.

War against France 1702-1713 
Battle of Blenheim
In memory of the Colonel, who died in battle:
Colonel Philip Dormer, Commanding First Foot Guards

The services of the First Foot Guards in the great campaigns of Marlborough, from 1702 to 1711.
While a detachment took part in the expeditions to Cadiz and Vigo, the regiment itself fought in the splendid operation in the Low Countries in 1702 and 1703. Marlborough himself became its Colonel in 1704. The fine strategic march on the Danube, that most brilliant conception of the great captain's genius, brought the First Guards with the forces, to Donauwerth and to the foot of the lofty fortified heights of Schellenberg, where the French and Bavarians, under D'Arco, were posted in a position of colossal strength. Fifty grenadiers of the First Guards under Captain Mordaunt, an impetuous son of a famous father, the great Earl of Peterborough celebrated in our military annals, led the way as a forlorn hope, and in the terrific fire of grape, 40 of them fell dead or wounded. A withering hail met the advancing Guards, with Orkney's and Ingoldsby's regiments, and D'Arco, perceiving that the line wavered ordered a sally. The First Guards stood like a rock to receive the downward charge for a few moments almost alone, but help coming, a furious onslaught was made, and the enemy fled to his lines. Happily some Baden troops made a diversion, and very soon the Englishmen, with an impetuous rush, poured over the entrenchments and drove the enemy in panic from his works.

At the decisive victory at Blenheim 6 weeks later (August 13th) the Guards again fought with the greatest intrepidity in the attack on the village palisades. Dormer, in command was killed; Mordaunt lost an arm; others were seriously wounded.

Excerpt from the Navy and Army Gazette, 20 November 1896

 

13 August 1784

It was the last meeting in Annapolis, Maryland for The United States Legislature. It would relocate a few more times, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to New York City, before finally going to its permanent seat in Washington, DC.

13 August 1788

Prussia joined the Anglo-Dutch alliance to form the Triple Alliance to prevent the spread of the Russo-Swedish War of 1788-90.

13 August 1792

French revolutionaries imprisoned the French royal family.

13 August 1814

The Cape of Good Hope was formally ceded to the British by the Dutch.

13 August 1898

US troops occupied Manila, bringing the United States closer to an ultimate victory in the Spanish-American War. The conflict had started in earnest on the morning of 1 May 1898, when Commodore George Dewey commenced the Battle of Manila Bay. In the space of six hours Dewey's squadron of six ships sank every ship in the Spanish fleet. Commodore Dewey became a national hero, and his triumphant homecoming in 1899 was celebrated with wild enthusiasm.

 

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14 August 1678

The French repulsed William of Orange at the Battle of Mons, in Belgium.

14 August 1756
The French and Indians under Montcalm captured Fort Oswego and destroyed it.

14 August 1777

The Battle of Bennington VT

Burgoyne's army, abandoned by General St. Leger from the west and Howe from the South, were running short on supplies during their harrowing tramp across the forests of New York. Burgoyne sent a detachment of men to commandeer supplies in Bennington, but a defending rebel force routed them, severely weakening the British general's left flank

14 August 1880

In Germany, Cologne Cathedral was completed; it had been started in the 13th century.

14 August 1882

Cetewayo, King of Zululand, South Africa, was received by Queen Victoria. He was later to be defeated and killed.

14 August 1893

France became the first country to introduce vehicle registration plates.

14 August 1900

The Boxer Rebellion was ended and Beijing captured by an international punitive force.

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15 August 1456

The earliest known copy of The Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed from a movable type, was dated by hand on this day. Printed by the German Johann Gutenberg, its exact date of publication is unknown. Gutenberg probably printed about 180 copies, of which 20 complete copies are in existence.

15 August 1543

The Jesuit order (Society of Jesus) was founded by Ignatius de Loyola in Paris, with the aims of protecting Catholicism against the Reformation and carrying out missionary work.

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16 August 1513

King Henry VIII of England and his troops defeated the French in the Battle of the Spurs, at Guinigatte, NW France.

16 August 1743

The earliest prize-ring code of boxing rules was formulated in England by the champion pugilist Jack Broughton.

16 August 1777

RevWar: Americans won at the Battle of Bennington VT.

16 August 1780

The Battle of Camden SC
A new patriot army was raised in the south, led by the hero of Saratoga, General Horatio Gates. His position was short-lived. His lack of military leadership brought about a crushing American defeat, and he was soon after replaced with Nathaniel Greene.

16 August 1812

Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

16 August 1819

An open-air meeting of about 50,000 people in Manchester, England, was brutally ended when cavalry militia charged the unarmed protesters with sabers. The demonstrators were protesting against the rise in unemployment and the high cost of living in England. Several protesters were killed and hundreds injured. It was called the "Peterloo Massacre" because it took place in St. Peter's Fields.

A distinct low point in the history of civil rights, as were the denials and official justifications that followed it.

 

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17 August 1648

English Civil War: English Parliamentary forces defeated the Scots at the Battle of Preston.

17 August 1807

Robert Fulton's "North River Steam Boat" began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.

17 August 1863

Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War.

17 August 1820
The Trial of Queen Caroline began. The wife of King George IV was fat and frivolous: perhaps too close to the characteristics of the monarch himself. Long before the Prince Regent had become king, he could not stand Caroline, and had banished her to Germany. She traveled Europe, shocking many by her lack of poise, her affairs, her diaphanous gowns - often cut short (to the knee), or with an extreme decolletage. Perhaps they were shocked because she was heavily built! On George's accession she returned to England to claim her rights. She enjoyed popular support, possibly because George was unpopular. George unwisely brought the case to prove her infidelities so that he could divorce her. Following a stupendous defense by the canny Lord Brougham, Caroline was effectively acquitted, but barred from the Coronation ceremony.

 

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18 August 1587

Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil, on what is now Roanoke Island NC.

18 August 1759

The British, under Admiral ('Old Dreadnought') Boscawen, defeated the French fleet at the Battle of Lagos Bay.

18 August 1793
War against France
1793-1802
Battle of Lincelles
In memory of the officers who died in battle:
Colonel Kingsmill Evans, First Foot Guards
Colonel Colin Campbell, First Foot Guards, died October

18 August 1812

Napoleon's forces defeated the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk.

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19 August 1274

The coronation of Edward I, King of England, took place. Edward built many castles to contain the Welsh insurrection, and fought many battles with the Scots. His tombstone is simply inscribed "Edwardus, Malleus Scotorum" (Hammer of the Scots).

19 August 1745

The start of the '45 Rebellion. 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' raised his flag at Glenfinnan, Scotland on this day. The rebels quickly took Edinburgh and by September had defeated the King's army at Prestonpans. Several victories followed and his support grew to about 6000. Spurred by their victories, they marched south to England. The support they expected did not materialize, and they stopped at Derby, well north of London. The Battle of Culloden, near Inverness, followed on 16th April 1746, where the Scots suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland: 'Bloody Cumberland'. This bloody annihilation of the Scots lasted only about an hour, put an end to Jacobite hopes, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was forced to flee. A ransom of 30, 000 pounds was placed on his head (about $1M in today's money), but he ultimately escaped back to his home in Rome, where he was born.

19 August 1796

France and Spain formed an alliance against Britain.

19 August 1812

The USS "Constitution" defeated the British frigate "Guerriere" east of Nova Scotia during the War of 1812

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20 August 1741

Danish explorer Vitus Bering and his crew were the first Europeans to reach Alaska. This was Bering's second attempt

to reach Alaska from the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia. The Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska was named after him.

20 August 1710

The French were defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Saragossa

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21 August 1794

France surrendered the island of Corsica to the British.

21 August 1808

Napoleon Bonaparte's General Junot was defeated by Wellington at the first Battle of the Peninsular War at Vimiero, Portugal.

21 August 1813

Campaign in America, 1813
In memoriam. First Foot Guards Officer who died in battle:

Captain Henry B. Milnes, 1st Guards.

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22 August 1485

King Richard III of England was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, ending the War of the Roses, and the dynasty of the Yorkists (white rose). He was succeeded by Henry VII, the first of the Tudors, who adopted as his royal badge the hawthorn, because (it is said) Richard's crown was found in a hawthorn on the battle site. Henry also combined the red Lancastrian rose with Yorkist rose, creating the Tudor rose, which is today used by the monarch as a royal badge.

 

22 August 1642
In the English Civil War (1642-1649) Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham, and war was declared between the Royalists (Cavaliers) and Parliamentarians (Roundheads). In the first engagement at Edgehill (23 October 1642) Scottish Covenanters sided with the English rebels. The Scottish Earl of Montrose sided with King Charles, and strife spilled into Scotland.

22 August 1717

The Austrian army forced the Turkish army out of Belgrade, ending the Turkish revival in the Balkans.

22 August 1762

Ann Franklin became the first female editor of an American newspaper, the Newport RI "Mercury."

22 August 1775

King George III of England proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of open rebellion.

22 August 1776 - 27 August 1776

The Battle of Long Island NY.

The first of many battles which comprised the British invasion of New York. Washington's futile attempts to defend the city led to severe American losses and almost lost him the war.

22 August 1777

With the approach of General Benedict Arnold's army, British Colonel Barry St. Ledger abandoned Fort Stanwix and returned to Canada.

22 August 1787

John Fitch showed his steamboat on the Delaware River to delegates of the Continental Congress.

22 August 1788

The British settlement in Sierra Leone was founded, to secure a home in Africa for freed slaves from England. Liberia was later established as a home for freed American slaves.

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23 August 1305

Scottish patriot William Wallace was hanged, beheaded, and quartered in London, and his body parts were later displayed in different cities. His barbaric execution (the usual punishment for treason) came as a result of Wallace's efforts to free Scotland from the occupying English forces. Wallace was the catalyst that nine years later led to Scotland's independence.

The 1995 movie "Braveheart" was loosely based on Wallace's life and times, although history was manipulated to make a swashbuckling movie. The idea that Wallace fathered a child with the Queen is engaging, but King Edward had not even met his wife-to-be by 1305.

23 August 1541

Jacques Cartier landed near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.

23 August 1711

A British attempt to invade Canada by sea failed.

23 August 1775

King George III of England refused the American colonies' offer of peace and declared them in open rebellion.

23 August 1813

The French were driven back by the Prussians under General von Bülow at the Battle of Grossbeeren.

23 August 1839

Hong Kong was taken by the British.

23 August 1927

It is impossible to imagine this having happened in any fully civilized country - in any country, that is to say, in which civilization is more than skin deep. - The London 'New Statesman' on the execution by electric chair on 23 Aug 1927 of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian-American anarchist sympathizers wrongly accused of robbery and murder. They were later exonerated and pardoned by Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

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24 August AD 79

Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in hot volcanic ash.

24 August 1572

In what became known as "St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre," Roman Catholic King Charles IX, persuaded by his mother Catherine de Medici, ordered the mass murder of Huguenots (French Protestants) throughout France. An estimated 50,000 Huguenots were killed.

24 August 1704

The French were defeated by the English and Dutch fleets at the Battle of Malaga.

24 August 1780

King Louis XVI abolished torture as a means to get suspects to confess.

24 August 1814

British troops under General Robert Ross captured Washington, DC which they set on fire in retaliation for the American burning of the parliament building in York (Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada.

 

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25 August 1814

Not a great day for book learning.

British forces destroyed the United States Library of Congress along with the 3,000 books it contained. This was in retaliation for the Americans' burning of York (now Toronto).

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26 August 55 BC

Julius Caesar landed in Britain.

26 August 1346

King Edward III of England, aided by the Black Prince, his son, defeated the French at the Battle of Crécy.

26 August 1789

The French Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

26 August 1883

Krakatoa, the Indonesian island volcano, began erupting, killing thousands around the world with its tsunami.

 

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27 August 1626

The Danes were defeated by the Catholic League in Germany, marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.

27 August 1664
Nieuw Amsterdam became New York as 300 English soldiers under Col. Mathias Nicolls took the town from the Dutch under orders from Charles II. The town was renamed after the King's brother James, Duke of York.

27 August 1758

As part of a concerted British campaign to crush the French in North America, Nova Scotian Lt. Col. John Bradstreet of the Royal Americans demonstrated the vulnerability of the French chain of forts that extended from Canada to Fort Duquesne in present-day Pennsylvania. In 1758 he captured the principal French supply depot at Fort Frontenac (Kingston ON) on Lake Ontario and destroyed large amounts of provisions destined for Forts Niagara, Detroit and Duquesne, together with the boats that were to deliver them.

Cut off completely from Québec and Montréal, Commandant Lignery at Fort Duquesne had to abandon the fortification to Brigadier General John Forbes in November of that year. The fort was renamed Fort Pitt in honor of the British Prime Minister; the town became Pittsburgh.

 

27 August 1776

The Continentals were defeated at Long Island.

27 August 1784

The first balloon ascent was made in Britain by James Tytler at Edinburgh.

27 August 1793

Maximilien Robespierre was elected to the Committee of Public Safety in Paris.

27 August 1799
War against France 1793-1802
Landing at the Helder
In memory of the officer who died in battle:
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Smollett, First Foot Guards

27 August 1813

Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Dresden.

27 August 1816

Algiers, then a refuge for Barbary pirates, was bombarded by Lord Exmouth.

27 August 1859

Edwin Drake was the first in the USA to strike oil at Titusville, Pennsylvania

27 August 1883

The island volcano Krakatoa blew up. The resulting tidal waves claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

 

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28 August 1609

Henry Hudson discovered Delaware Bay.

28 August 1640

King Philip's War in New England ended with the death of Metacom (King Philip) and the surrender of the Indians.

28 August 1849

Venice was taken by the Austrians after a siege.

28 August1879

Cetewayo, the last great ruler of the Zulus, was captured by Redcoats. Cetewayo and his troops had defeated the

British in the famous Battle of Isandhlwana, but later Zulu forces were thoroughly defeated at the Battle of Ulundi. With Cetewayo's capture, Zululand was divided.

 

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29 August 1533

The last Incan King of Peru, Atahualpa, was murdered on orders from Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.

29 August 1756

Frederick II of Prussia, who felt surrounded by the hostile forces of Austria and France, decided to attack, and on 29 August 1756 he invaded Saxony and Bohemia, then defeated the Austrians at Lobositz in October. In 1757 he celebrated two magnificent victories against the French and Austrians at Rossbach (5 November) and Leuthen (25 December). King George II of England, who had met with disapproval for his lack of support of Frederick, brought the brilliant and capable Pitt back as Prime Minister. Pitt signed a new treaty with Prussia on 11 April 1758 and promised Frederick massive military aid and a firmer British commitment in North America and India.

29 August 1782

The loss of "The Royal George". In harbor for repairs, this first-rate warship of 100 guns, was being heeled over to scrape the bottom, when it heeled too far, took on water, and rapidly sank with the loss of 1400 lives, including Admiral Sir Richard Kempenfelt.

29 August 1778

Crown forces defeat the Americans at the Battle of Rhode Island.

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30 August 30 BC

Cleopatra, the seventh and most famous queen of ancient Egypt committed suicide.

30 August 1146

A conference of European leaders outlawed the crossbow. It was hoped that by banning the weapon, wars would eventually end. Despite the prohibition, crossbows continued to be used until the 16th century, when they were replaced by firearms.

30 August 1762

The French defeated Frederick II, King of Prussia, at Johannesburg.

30 August 1781

The French fleet arrived in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution. The fleet had first come in support of the Americans in 1778.

30 August 1860

The first British tramway, operated by the Birkenhead Street Railway, was inaugurated by an American, George Francis Train.

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31 August 1422

King Henry VI, aged nine months, acceded as King of England.

31 August 1813
War against France 1803-1814 
Assault and Capture of San Sebastian
In memory of the officer who died in battle:
Ensign William Burrard, First Foot Guards

31 August 1888

The body of Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols, the first victim of Jack the Ripper, was found mutilated in Buck's Row, London.


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