Today in History - October 14
Hugh Capet, King of France, dies
The Battle of Hastings
Nizam al-Mulik, Persian vizier, assassinated
-- Compiled by James Finlayson-Bald
The death of King Harold in the Battle of Hastings, 1066, as portrayed in the Bayeux Tapestry. Note the Latin wording: "Harold Rex interfectus est" (King Harold is killed).
On this date:
996Hugh Capet, King of France and founder of the dynasty, died. As kings the Capet lasted nine centuries, their dominion at its greatest extending to Constantinople and to Naples. Hugh was elected King of France so it was a remarkable achievement considering its low-key beginning.
1066The Battle of Hastings. The battle began at 9.30am and lasted some eight hours, the English shield-wall holding firm for that time. Late in the afternoon the Normans launched a cavalry attack, broke the shield-will and killed Harold's brothers, the Earls Leofwine and Gyrth, then Harold himself was killed by the swords of the Norman knights. The King slain, the survivors of the fyrd left the field being pursued by the Normans until nightfall.
1092The great Persian Vizier, Hassan ibn-ali Nizam-al-Mulik, died. He was Vizier to Alp Aslan and Malik Shah, the Seljuk rulers of Persia, and exemplified the chief minister's role of mediator between a despot and his subjects. On Alp Aslan's death Nizam-al-Mulik was left with wide powers, Malik Shah being only a youth. Nizam-al-Mulik antagonized the Sultan's favourite and also his wife, preferring a son by another wife for the succession. The Vizier was assassinated while travelling with the Court between Isfahan and Baghdad. His murderer was disguised as a Sufi but was associated with the Assassins, and the view is held that Malik Shah was privy to the plot.
1466The second Peace of Thorn gave Prussia to Poland.
1730Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, French administrator and explorer, founder of Detroit and Governor of Louisiana, died at his home in Gascony.
1781American and French troops attacked the British at Yorktown, Virginia.
1793Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was put on trial by the revolutionaries.
1806Napoleon's armies were successful at Jena and Averstadt, Prussia.
1809Peace of Schonbrunn signed by Napoleon and Austria.
1854First baby show in the U.S. held in Ohio.
1855Riots over the price of bread occurred in Hyde Park, London.
1939HMS Royal Oak was sunk by the Germans in the Scapa Flow.
1949Eleven members of the U.S. Communist Party convicted of a plot to overthrow the U.S. Government.
1954William Willis completed a solo raft voyage from Peru to Samoa.
-- Masaoka Shiki, poet (1867-1902)
-- e e cummings, poet (1894-1962)
-- Miss Lilian Gish, actress (1896-1987)
Thought for today:
This history of the world is the record of a man in quest of his daily bread and butter.
H. W. van Loon.
The above article was written by James Finlayson-Bald.
Edited and illustrations added by David Paul Wagner.