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



This Date in History: November

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?'




1 November 79
The city of Pompeii was buried by eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

1 November 1582

Maurice of Nassau, the son of William of Orange, became the governor of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht.

1 November 1604

William Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello" was first presented at Whitehall Palace in London.

1 November 1611

Shakespeare's romantic comedy "The Tempest" was first presented at Whitehall.

1 November 1765

The Stamp Act went into effect in the British colonies worldwide, prompting great resistance from American colonists.

1 November 1755

An earthquake reduced two-thirds of Lisbon to rubble and resulted in the death of 60,000 people.

1 November 1810

The Manufacturers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Rhode Island was founded. This was the first of many 'factory mutual' insurance companies that sprang up, largely to insure against fire and boiler explosions, which were not uncommon.

1 November 1861

Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, 50 year-veteran and leader of the US Army at the onset of the Civil War, retired. General George McClellan was appointed general-in-chief of the Union armies


2 November 1570

A tidal wave in the North Sea destroyed the sea walls from Holland to Jutland. More than 1,000 people were killed.

2 November 1772

The first Committees of Correspondence were formed in Massachusetts under Samuel Adams.

2 November 1783

General George Washington issued his "Farewell Address to the Army" near Princeton NJ.

2 November 1789

The property of the church in France is taken away by the state.

2 November 1841

The Second Anglo-Afghan War began.


3 November 1778

5000 British troops were transferred from America to the economically more important theatre of the West Indies. The Fifth Regiment was amongst them.


5 November 1605

The Gunpowder Plot, to blow up the House of Lords during James I's state opening of Parliament, was discovered.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

This little rhyme is still popular among English children today. It continues to remind us why, on the night of November 5th, bonfires surmounted by cloth manikins or "Guys" are set alight in every town and village in Britain amongst a blaze of celebratory fireworks.

5 November 1653
The Iroquois League signed a peace treaty with the French, promising not to wage war with other tribes under French protection.

5 November 1757
In the seven years War, Frederick II of Prussia defeated the French at Rosbach.

5 November 1768
William Johnson, the northern Indian Commissioner, signed a treaty with the Iroquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement.

5 November1814

Having decided to abandon the Niagara frontier, the American army blows up Fort Erie

5 November 1840

Afghanistan surrendered to the British army.

5 November 1854

British and French defeat the Russians at Inkerman, Crimea.

War against Russia 1854-1856
Battle of Inkerman
In memory of the officers who died in battle:
Lieutenant Colonel Edward William Pakenham, First Foot or Grenadier Guards
Captain Sir Robert Lydston Newman, First Foot or Grenadier Guards
Captain the Hon. Henry Aldsworth Neville, First Foot or Grenadier Guards


6 November 1429

Henry VI was crowned King of England.

6 November 1911

Maine became a 'dry' state. State liquor laws had been gradually strengthened, and brewing, drinking, and selling were outlawed in the State Constitution in 1885. From 1905 to 1911 Maine created a Liquor Enforcement Commission with deputies empowered to arrest transgressing citizens. This limit on personal freedom proved exceptionally unpopular, yet despite opposition the lawmakers pushed prohibition through the legislature.


7 November 1485

King Henry VII, the first of the Tudors, was crowned.

7 November 1665

The London Gazette was first published.

7 November 1783

The last public hanging in England took place when John Austin was executed at Tyburn.
"Yesterday morning was executed, at Tyburn, John Austin, convicted last Saturday of robbing John Spicer in a field adjoining the highway at Bethnal Green, and cutting and wounding him in a cruel manner. From Newgate to Tyburn the convict behaved with great composure. While the halter was tying the unhappy wretch trembled in a very extraordinary manner, his whole frame appearing to be violently convulsed. The Ordinary having retired from the cart, the convict addressed himself to the surrounding populace in the following words, "Good people, I request your prayers for the salvation of my departing soul; let my example teach you to shun the bad ways I have followed; keep good company, and mind the word of God." The cap being drawn over his face, be raised his hands, and cried, "Lord have mercy on me, Jesus look down with pity on me, Christ have mercy on my poor soul;" and while uttering these exclamations, the cart was driven away. The noose of the halter having slipped to the back part of his neck, it was full ten minutes before he was dead."

7 November 1805

Meriwether Lewis and George Rogers Clark reached the Pacific coast.

7 November 1811

Rebellious Indians in a conspiracy organized in defiance of the United States government by Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief, were defeated in the Battle of the Wabash (or Tippecanoe) by William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory.

7 November 1814

Andrew Jackson attacked and captured Pensacola, defeating the Spanish and driving out a British force.


8 November 1777

The British forces evacuated Fort Ticonderoga.

8 November 1793

The Louvre was opened to the public by the Revolutionary government, although only part of the collection could be viewed.

8 November 1576
The 17 provinces of the Netherlands formed a federation to maintain peace.

8 November 1685
Fredrick William of Brandenburg issued the Edict of Potsdam, offering refuge to the French Huguenots.

8 November 1837

Mount Holyoke Seminary, a college exclusively for women, opened in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

8 November 1861

The Trent Affair. US Navy Captain Charles Wilkes commanded the crew of the USS San Jacinto to stop the British steamer Trent to arrest Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell who were en route to Europe to gain support for the Confederate cause. The men were brought ashore and imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor.

Captain Wilkes became famous, but the seizure of Mason and Slidell sparked an international controversy that brought the US to the brink of war with Great Britain. Claiming violation of international law, Britain demanded release of the diplomats and ordered troops to Canada to prepare for an Anglo-American conflict. To avoid a clash, Secretary of State William H Seward apologized for the incident. The diplomats were released in early January 1862, bringing the Trent Affair to a peaceful close.

Mason and Slidell had gone to England and France to lobby for Confederate recognition. They failed largely due to the efforts of Charles Adams (the Adamses of Quincy), the US ambassador to England.
Despite the challenges of a war with the South, many Americans called for hostilities against Britain. When a cabinet member complained of Lincoln's decision to release Mason and Slidell Lincoln sagely remarked "Let's fight only one war at a time."



9 November 1859

Flogging in the British army was abolished.

9 November 1872

Fire destroyed nearly a thousand buildings in Boston, consuming 65 acres of the city. When it had burned out by the morning of 12 November it left a huge charred crater where much of Boston's financial district had been. "I saw the fire eating its way straight toward my deposits,'' Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote mournfully. Starting on Summer Street, the fire devastated almost all of Franklin Street, Congress Street, and Federal Street. It progressed to the door of the Old South Meeting House. Only the mobilization of citizens spared the rest of Boston's downtown.

Fire Chief John Stanhope Damrell had pleaded with the city every year from 1866 for an improved water distribution system. When Chicago burned in 1871, the Boston city fathers dispatched Damrell to Illinois; his report all but predicted the Boston fire the following year.

9 November 1918

Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II announced he would abdicate. He then fled to the Netherlands.

9 November 1938

Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in what became known as "Kristallnacht", or The Night of Broken Glass.


10 November 1775

The Continental Congress authorized the creation of the 'Continental Marines', now known as the US Marines.

10 November 1776

The Battle of Fort Mifflin NJ. Spurred by the defeat at Fort Mercer, General Howe aimed the guns of numerous warships on nearby Fort Mifflin. For five days the outnumbered and outmatched Americans amazingly held their ground, but were eventually forced to retreat. Soon after, Fort Mercer was abandoned by the Americans as well.


11 November

Martinmas in Britain.

11 November 1620

41 Pilgrims aboard the "Mayflower," anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a "body politick" or governing body.

11 November 1918
Armistice was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.


12 November 1660

English author John Bunyan was arrested for preaching without a license. Refusing to give up preaching, he remained in jail for 12 years.


13 November 1002
The St Brice's Day Massacre. King Aethelred was known as 'The Unready", actually a name referring to the Anglo-Saxon word 'rede' or advice - the king was ill-counseled. Becoming progressively neurotic, the king feared attacks and plots, especially from the Danes in the Danelaw, and he devised a heinous plan without parallel in England's history. He gave the order that all resident Danes should be killed. Thousands were killed including the sister of the king of Denmark, Swegn ( Sweyn ) Forkbeard. This so incensed Swegn, that he planned an invasion of England. Massacres by Danes occurred all over the country, and the country fell into turmoil.

13 November 1474

In the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, Swiss infantry broke the army of Charles the Bold at Hericourt near Belfort.

13 November 1775
General Richard Montgomery led American troops in the capture of Montreal on 13 November 1775. The American presence in Canada proved short-lived. Just weeks later, British victory at Quebec forced a hasty retreat to New York.

After joining Benedict Arnold who had led American troops through the Maine wilderness to Canada, Montgomery attacked the city of Quebec on 31 December. Montgomery was killed in the failed attempt to capture the city, and Arnold retreated to Fort Ticonderoga in northeastern New York.

13 November 1789
Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, ''In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.''

13 November 1835

Texans officially proclaimed independence from Mexico, calling it the Lone Star Republic, until its admission to the Union in 1845.

13 November 1851

The London-to-Paris telegraph began operation.

13 November 1927

The Holland Tunnel opened to the public, linking New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River



14 November 1501
Arthur, Prince of Wales married Catherine of Aragon. Arthur was the oldest son of King Henry VII (as the title Prince of Wales denotes), and his name was chosen purposely to reflect memories of that legendary king. In a rapprochement with Spanish monarchy, Henry VII negotiated in 1488-89 the treaty of Medina del Campo that included the marriage of Arthur to Catherine of Aragon, the young daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. (In a hundred years' time -1588 - the English and Spanish would be at war again). After 16 years of negotiation, the wedding finally took place in old St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Catherine was escorted by the groom's younger brother, Henry. Although Henry VII had a reputation for penny-pinching, this wedding was an occasion on which he spared no expense. After the wedding, Arthur and Catherine went to Ludlow Castle on the border between England and Wales. On 2 April 1502 Arthur died (apparently of 'sweating sickness'), leaving Catherine a young widow in a foreign country.

Catherine was still young enough to be married again, and Henry VII still had a son, this one much more robust and healthy than his dead older brother. The English king was interested in keeping Catherine's dowry, so 14 months after her husband's death, she was betrothed to the future Henry VIII, who was too young to marry at the time.

She was finally crowned Queen of England in a joint coronation ceremony with her husband Henry VIII on 24 June 1509.

Catherine had several miscarriages, and several children also died young. Her only surviving child was Mary (later to become Queen Mary, or "Bloody Mary".) By 1526 Henry had begun to separate from Catherine because he had fallen in love with one of her ladies, Anne Boleyn. Things came to a head in 1533 when Anne Boleyn became pregnant. Henry had to act, and his solution was to reject the power of the Pope in England and to have Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury grant an annulment. Catherine had to renounce the title of Queen became known as the Princess Dowager of Wales: Anne Boleyn became the ill-starred second wife of King Henry VIII.

14 November 1770

Scottish explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile in NE Ethiopia, then considered the main stream of the Nile.

14 November 1832
The first streetcar in America went into operation on the streets of NYC. It was a large horse-drawn vehicle running on rails, and was able to carry 30 passengers.

14 November 1908
Albert Einstein first presented his quantum theory of light.

14 November 1910
Lieutenant Eugene Ely, US Navy, became the first man to take off in an airplane from the deck of a ship, launching his Curtiss from the USS Birmingham at Hampton Roads.


15 November 1777

The Continentals evacuated Fort Mifflin NJ.

15 November 1805

Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their party reached the mouth of the Columbia River, completing their cross-country trek to the Pacific.


15 November 1806

Explorer Zebulon Pike discovered the Colorado mountain that bears his name: Pike's Peak.



16 November 1499
Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the English throne, was executed.

16 November 1776

The Battle of Fort Washington, Manhattan NY
The American defeat at Fort Washington finally cleared the rebels out of New York, and nearly lost Washington the war. The loss of men and munitions was devastating, bringing American morale to an all-time low. Fort Lee on the NJ side of the Hudson fell on the 20th.

16 November 1798

British seamen boarded the US frigate Baltimore and impressed a number of crewmen as alleged deserters, a practice that contributed to the War of 1812.

16 November 1813

The British announced a blockade of Long Island Sound, leaving only the New England coast open to shipping.

16 November 1821

Trader William Becknell reached Santa Fe NM on the route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

16 November 1864
Union General William T. Sherman departed Atlanta and began his "March to the Sea."

16 November 1902
A cartoon appeared in the Washington Star, prompting the Teddy Bear Craze, after President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a captive bear tied up for him to shoot during a hunting trip to Mississippi.


17 November 1558

Queen Elizabeth the First ascended the English throne upon the death of Queen Mary.



18 November 1869

The Suez Canal opened in Egypt



19 November 1620
The Pilgrims reached landfall at Cape Cod, a few days before they sailed to Plymouth.

19 November 1794

The United States and Britain signed the Jay Treaty, which resolved issues left over from the Revolutionary War.

19 November 1806

War against France 1803-1814
Expedition to Sicily, 1806-07
In memory of the officers who died in battle:
Captain Thomas Aubrey, First Foot Guards
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Williams Vaughan Salesbury, First Foot Guards, 1807

19 November 1828

In Vienna, Composer Franz Schubert died of syphilis at age 31.

19 November 1861

Julia Ward Howe wrote her poem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" while visiting Union troops near Washington.

She was married to Samuel Gridley Howe, director of the Perkins school for the Blind, now in Watertown MA.

Julia Ward Howe published poetry, plays and travel books, as well as many articles. A Unitarian, she was part of the larger circle of Transcendentalists. She was active in the women's rights movement, playing a prominent role in several suffrage organizations and in women's clubs.

Their home on Beacon Hill (at 13 Chestnut Street) is a National Historic Landmark (but is not open to the public).

19 November 1863

President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short speech at the close of ceremonies dedicating the battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg PA. A speech by Edward Everett was planned as the main event, to precede Lincoln's brief address. Perhaps the most popular orator of the day, Everett spoke for two hours at the ceremony, but he admitted to Lincoln, "I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."
Everett was born in Dorchester MA. He became a Unitarian minister, professor of Greek literature at Harvard College, editor of the North American Review, and served five terms in Congress. He was Governor of Massachusetts from 1836 to 1840, US minister to Britain from 1841 to 1845, and president of Harvard from 1846 to 1849. In 1852, he became secretary of state in Fillmore's Cabinet, later (as if that were not enough) becoming senator from Massachusetts. Today you can see his statue in busy Edward Everett Square (Columbia and Mass Ave). The town of Everett MA was named for him.


20 November 1620

Peregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay - the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.

20 November 1759

Battle of Quiberon Bay

It appeared that the best way for France to insure the holding of Canada and her possessions in the West Indies would be to invade England. This last French bid for a decisive victory coincided with British General Wolfe's campaign against Quebec. France began extensive preparations for a cross-Channel invasion of England, but was thwarted by their lack of trained sailors, and by British naval counterattacks.

Admiral Sir Edward Hawke chased a French fleet into Quiberon Bay, the approach to the French harbor at Brest in Brittany. The French believed that that Hawke would not dare follow through the narrow, dangerous passage without pilots… but they were wrong.

In a hard-fought battle, the French lost six ships, and the following day four more vessels ran aground, becoming total wrecks. Even more serious was the loss of twenty-five hundred sailors, men who unlike the ships, could not be replaced. Hawke had won a great victory. He had destroyed both the French fleet and the invasion threat, giving the French marine its coup de grace. This battle was fought so near the coast of Brittany, it was said that ten thousand people on the shore had witnessed the disgrace of the white flag (the Bourbon royal flag).

20 November 1778

The first Battle of Savannah GA
A far superior British force arrived outside of Savannah in an attempt to take the city for its own and seize control of Georgia. Savannah fell in 29 December, and the British focus switched largely to the south.


20 November 1947

Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in a ceremony broadcast worldwide from Westminster Abbey.


21 November 1620

Leaders of the Mayflower expedition framed the "Mayflower Compact," designed to bolster unity among the settlers. Plymouth Rock.

21 November 1783

François de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandres made the first human flight when they lifted off from the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, in a hot-air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers.


22 November 1497

Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in his search for a route to India.


24 November 1642

Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovered Van Diemen's Land, which he named after his captain. It was later renamed Tasmania.

24 November 1859

One of the world's most significant books was published: Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.


25 November 1758

Late in 1758, the British countered French expansion along the American hinterland with a grand strategy for reversing the tide. In a three-pronged offensive, they were to attack the French at their stronghold in Louisbourg, NS; drive them from the Champlain–Lake George valley of New York by taking Fort Carillon; and eliminate the small chain of forts extending south from Lake Erie to Fort Duquesne.
To accomplish that third objective, the War Office appointed Brigadier General John Forbes to command a combined provincial and Regular British expeditionary force. A tenacious officer, Forbes decided to build a new road from Fort Cumberland MD to the west, instead of using the old Nemacolin Indian trail as Braddock’s army had done previously in its disastrous campaign. One of Forbes' junior officers was George Washington, who was adamantly opposed to this new road, since it would weaken Virginia's clam to the western lands.

Despite a series of illnesses brought on by the brutal conditions, Forbes struggled on (surviving only until 11 March 1759), and took possession of Fort Duquesne on 25 November 1758. He renamed the burned stronghold after British Prime Minister William Pitt. The town that grew up around it became Pittsburgh.

25 November 1783

The British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.


26 November 1703

England was hit by severe gales, known as the Great Storm, in which 8,000 people died.

26 November 1789

The American holiday of Thanksgiving was celebrated nationally for the first time.

26 November 1832

Public streetcar service began in New York City. The fare was 12 and a half cents.


27 November 1382

The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, crushed the Flemish rebels at Flanders.

27 November 1779

The Pennsylvania state government converted the College of Philadelphia into the University of the State of Pennsylvania, thus creating both America's first state school and America's first official university.

27 November 1826
Jebediah Smith's expedition reached San Diego, becoming the first Americans to cross the southwestern part of the continent.

27 November 1901
The Army War College was authorized by the US Department of War.


28 November 1520

Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sailed through the Straits at the tip of South America and reached an ocean that he named the Pacific.

28 November 1660

The Royal Society was chartered in London.

28 November 1729
Natchez Indians massacred most of the 300 French settlers and soldiers at Fort Rosalie, Louisiana.

28 November 1868

Mt. Etna in Sicily erupted violently.

28 November 1872

The Modoc War of 1872-73 began in northern California when fighting broke out between Modoc Chief Captain Jack and a cavalry detail led by Captain James Jackson.

28 November 1899

The Redcoats beat the Boers at the Battle of Modder River. One of the battle honours borne by the Grenadier Guards.

28 November 1942

Nearly 500 people died in a fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston. The site of the club is just off South Charles Street in the South Cove area.


29 November 1760

Major Robert Rogers took possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain.
Robert Rogers was born in 1727 in Dunbarton NH. He married Elizabeth Browne in Portsmouth NH. His father, James Rogers, was an early settler of Dunbarton from Ireland

In 1755 Rogers was commissioned to form and train a group of rangers that became known as "Rogers' Rangers." Success of this group gained Rogers a promotion to major.

In 1760 General Jeffrey Amherst ordered Rogers to take Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit) which he accomplished on 29 November 1760. Rogers left Detroit on 23 December for Fort Pitt where he joined General Grant's siege against the Cherokees.

Some time between 1760 and 1763, Rogers went to London where he published his journals.

On 29 July 1763 Rogers brought supplies to Fort Ponchartrain to help in their battle against Pontiac. On 10 January Rogers was made commandant of Fort Michilimackinac. While at Michilimackinac, Rogers was involved in several questionable incidents. He was arrested, brought to trial in Montreal, and acquitted of the charge of treason. After his arrest, Rogers' wife divorced him.

In 1775, Rogers wrote a letter to Washington offering his service to the revolutionaries. Many felt he was a British spy, and his offer was never accepted. In 1775 or 1776, Rogers became lieutenant-colonel in the Queen's Rangers. His troop was captured at Mamaroneck, Long Island NY, but Rogers escaped. In 1778, Rogers was banished from New Hampshire colony. He returned to London, where he died in 1800.

29 November 1787

Louis XVI signed an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to Protestants.

29 November 1812

The remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armee retreated across the Beresina River in Russia.

The Russian armies of generals Wittgenstein, Kutusov and Admiral Tshitsagov closed in on the French.

Only some 49,000 French soldiers were capable of putting up a fight and they were followed closely by some 40,000 non-combatants. The Russians had more than 140,000 troops.

Bonaparte's plan was to cross the Beresina River and head for Poland: his enemies wanted to trap him there and destroy him. Arriving at the river, Bonaparte had a shock because the usually frozen waterway had thawed and was now impassable. In a heroic defense the French built a bridge and defended it. 25,000 French troops became casualties, but 10,000 stragglers were massacred by rampaging Cossacks, while another 20,000 died in the near freezing water or were crushed to death in the panic to cross the bridges.

29 November 1900

Oscar Wilde died in a Paris hotel room. Wry to the end, his last words were a remark on the room's wallpaper: "One of us had to go."


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