1902 Encyclopedia > Today in History > Hugh Capet dies, the Normans win the Battle of Hastings, and more

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

Death of King Harold, Battle of Hastings, 1066 (image)

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:

996—Hugh 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.

1066—The 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.

1092—The 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.

1466—The second Peace of Thorn gave Prussia to Poland.

1730—Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, French administrator and explorer, founder of Detroit and Governor of Louisiana, died at his home in Gascony.

1781—American and French troops attacked the British at Yorktown, Virginia.

1793—Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was put on trial by the revolutionaries.

1806—Napoleon's armies were successful at Jena and Averstadt, Prussia.

1809—Peace of Schonbrunn signed by Napoleon and Austria.

1854—First baby show in the U.S. held in Ohio.

1855—Riots over the price of bread occurred in Hyde Park, London.

1939—HMS Royal Oak was sunk by the Germans in the Scapa Flow.

1949—Eleven members of the U.S. Communist Party convicted of a plot to overthrow the U.S. Government.

1954—William Willis completed a solo raft voyage from Peru to Samoa.

Today's birthdays:
-- 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.

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