On this Day in History ... 18 May

18 May is in May.

1152 Marriage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

1425 Purge of the Albany Stewarts

1452 Battle of Brechin

1464 Battle of Hexham

1517 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

1533 Coronation of Anne Boleyn

1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

1561 Creation of Garter Knights

1568 Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England

1661 Creation of Baronets and Peerages by Charles II Post Coronation

1812 Assassination of Primeminister Spencer Perceval

On 18 May 978 Frederick Ardennes I Duke Lower Lorraine (age 66) died. His son Thierry Ardennes I Duke Lower Lorraine (age 13) succeeded I Duke Lower Lorraine.

Marriage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

On 18 May 1152 Whit Sunday King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 19) and Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 30) were married at Poitiers Cathedral [Map]. They were more closely related than Eleanor and her previous husband Louis VII King Franks (age 32). The marriage would bring the Kingdom of England, and the Duchies of Normandy and Aquitaine under the control of King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 19). She the daughter of William "Saint" Poitiers X Duke Aquitaine and Aenor Chatellerault Duchess Aquitaine. He the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet Duke Normandy and Empress Matilda (age 50). They were half third cousins. He a grandson of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England.

On 18 May 1282 John Strange 2nd Baron Strange Knockin was born to John Strange 1st Baron Strange Knockin (age 29) and Maud Eiville Baroness Strange Knockin at Ellesmere.

On 18 May 1365 Geoffrey Cornwall 3rd Baron Burford (age 29) died at Burford [Map]. His son Bryan Cornwall 4th Baron Burford (age 10) succeeded 4th Baron Burford.


1425 Purge of the Albany Stewarts

Before 18 May 1425 Murdoch Stewart 2nd Duke Albany (age 63) and his younger son Alexander Stewart were arrested and confined in St Andrew's Castle then moved to Caerlaverock Castle. His (age 63) wife was arrested at the family's home of Doune Castle and imprisoned at Tantallon Castle.

Murdoch's (age 63) son James "Fat aka Seamas Mòr" Stewart led the men of Lennox and Argyll in open rebellion against the crown. He attacked and burned the burgh of Dumbarton with much loss of life.

On 18 May 1425 Murdoch Stewart 2nd Duke Albany (age 63), his two sons Walter Stewart (age 25) and Alexander Stewart, and Duncan Lennox 8th Earl Lennox (age 80) were tried at Stirling Castle [Map] in the presence of King James I of Scotland (age 30).

The jury which condemned them was composed of 21 knights and peers, including Albany's (age 63) half-uncle Walter Stewart 1st Earl Atholl 3rd Earl Caithness (age 65), first cousin Alexander Stewart 1st Earl Mar (age 50), first cousins once-removed Archibald Douglas 2nd Duke Touraine (age 35), and Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles.

Before 18 May 1445 William Ferrers 5th Baron Ferrers of Groby (age 73) and Margaret Montagu Baroness Ferrers Groby (age 45) were married. She by marriage Baroness Ferrers of Groby. The difference in their ages was 27 years. She the daughter of John Montagu 3rd Earl Salisbury and Maud Francis Countess of Salisbury. They were half third cousin once removed. He a great x 4 grandson of King Edward "Longshanks" I of England. She a great x 3 granddaughter of King Edward "Longshanks" I of England.

Before 18 May 1450 William Stourton 2nd Baron Stourton (age 24) and Margaret Chideock (age 18) were married.

Battle of Brechin

On 18 May 1452 the Battle of Brechin was fought between supporters of King James II of Scotland (age 21) and his rellious nobility including the Black Douglases. Alexander Gordon 1st Earl Huntley defeated the rebels led by Tiger Earl 4th Earl Crawford (age 29) on behalf on the King. John Lindsay (age 29), and the brothers William Gordon and Henry Gordon, were killed.

Battle of Hexham

1517 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Annales of England by John Stow. 18 May 1517. The 18 of May, Margaret Queene of Scots departed trom London towards Scotland, richly appointed and prepared of all things necessary for her estate through the kings great liberality. She entered into Scotland the 13 of June and wwas received at Berwick by Archibald Douglas Earl of Angus her husband. In the moneth of June there were with the king divers Ambassadors from foreign parts. In honour of whom, and for their their solace, he prepared costly jousts, be himself and twelve other, taking upon them to joust with the Duke of Suffolke (age 33), and twelve of his partakers. There were broken between the parties on both sides five hundred and eight spears.

Aug 1517. About the feast of Lammas began the sweating sicknes, of the which many men died suddenly in the beginning thereof, and this plague continued till Michaelmas [29 September], many died thereof in the court, as the Lord Clinton (age 27), the Lord Grey of Wilton (age 20), and many other knights and gentlemen, by reason of which contagious sickness, Michaelmas terme was adjorned. After this, to wit, in the winter was a greate death of pestilence, almost over all Englande in every town more or less, wherefore the King kept himself with small company about him, willing to have no resort to the court for fear of infection.


Coronation of Anne Boleyn

Letters and Papers 1533. 18 May 1533. 508. The Londoners wish to make all the inhabitants contribute to the costs of the coronation, which will be a charge to them of about 5,000 ducats, of which 3,000 are for a present to the Lady (age 32), and the rest for the ceremonial. Formerly there was no opposition to the said contribution; now they compel even foreigners to contribute; but I hear they will have the decency in this case to exempt the Spaniards. The Easterlings, as being subjects of your Majesty, would like to be excused, but the great privileges they enjoy here prevent them from objecting. London, 18 May 1533.

Hol., Fr., pp. 6. From a modern copy.


Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXIII. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Lord Cromwell (age 51), apparently May 18th 1536.

[MS. COTTON. OTHO c. x. foL 223. Orig.]

Syr thys shalbe to advertyse you I have resayved your Lett' wherin yo ...aa have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre and so thay be by the ... of Richard Gressum, & Will-m Loke, & Wythepoll, bot the umbrb of stra ... not xxx. and not mony; Hothe and the inbassit'of the emperor had a ... ther and honestly put yowt. Sr yf we have not anowrec serten ... d be knowen in London, I thynke hee wilbe bot few and I thynk ...f humburg ware bes: for I suppose she wyll declare hyr self to b ... h woman for all men bot for the Kyng at the or of hyr dei ... mornyngk she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at ... asshe reysayved the gud lord to the in tent I shuld here hy ... towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere & in the writy ... she sent for me, and at my commyng she sayd M. Kyngston I he ... l not dy affore none, & I am very sory ther fore; for I thowth ... be dede ... d past my payne. I told hyr it shuld be now payne it w ... m hard say the executr was very gud and I have a lyt ... rn hand abowt it lawyng hartely.

I have sen also wemen executed and atp they have bene in gre ... ige. Thys Lady hasse meche joy and plesur in dethe ... newaly with hyr and hasse bene syns ij of the co ... the effect of hony thyng that ys here at t ... well.

Your ....

Willm Ky

To Mastr. Secretory.

Note a. f. you would have. b. number. c. an hour. d. as it may be. L. Herb. e. here. f. a reasonable. g. L. Herb. h. be a. L. Herb. i. death. k. for this morning. L. Herb. l. I heard say I shall not. L. Herb. m. was so sotell. Herb. n. a lyttel neck and put her hand. Herb. p. that,

The names of those who were called Anne Boleyn's accusers have occurred in the preceding Letters.

The close of her catastrophe shall be detailed in the words of Burnet :

"A little before noon, being the 19th. of May, she was brought to the Scaffold, where she made a short speech to a great company that came to look on the last scene of this fatal Tragedy : the chief of whom were the Dukes of Suffolk (age 52) and Richmond (age 16), the Lord Chancellor, and Secretary Cromwell (age 51), with the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London. She said she was come to die, as she was judged by the Law ; she would accuse none, nor say any thing of the ground upon which she was judged. She prayed heartily for the King ; and called him a most merciful and gentle Prince, and that he had been always to her a good, gentle, sovereign lord : and if any would meddle with her cause, she required them to judge the best. And so she took her leave of them and of the world ; and heartily desired they would pray for her. After she had been some time in her devotions, being her last words 'to Christ I commend my Soul,' her head was cut off by the hangman of Calais, who was brought over as more expert at beheading than any in England : her eyes and lips were observed to move after her head was cut off, as Spelman writes ; but her body was thrown into a common chest of elm tree, that was made to put arrows in, and was buried in the chapel within the Tower [Map] before twelve o'clock.

"Her brother (deceased) with the other four did also suffer. None of them were quartered, but they were all beheaded, except Smeton, who was hanged. It was generally said, that he was corrupted into that confession, and had his life promised him ; but it was not fit to let him live to tell tales. Norris had been much in the King's favour, and an offer was made him of his life, if he would confess his guilt, and accuse the Queen. But he generously rejected that unhandsome proposition, and said that in his consciiaice he thought her innocent of these things laid to her charge ; but whether she was or not, he would not accuse her of any thing, and he would die a thousand times rather than ruin an innocent person."a

On the day of the execution, Henry the Eighth put on white for mourning, as though he would have said, "I am innocent of this deed:" and the next day was married to Jane Seymour (age 27).

The good Melanchton, whose visit to England was prevented by the afflicting news of the Queen's execution, has elegantly expressed his opinion of her innocence, in a letter to Joachim Camerarius, dated on the fifth of the ides of June 1536:

"Anglicas profectionis cura prorsus liberatus sum. Postquam enim tarn tragic! casus in Anglia acciderunt, magna consiliorum mutatio secuta est. Posterior Regina, Magis Accusata quam Convicta Adulterii, ultimo supplicio affecta est. Quam mirabiles sunt rerum vices, mi Joachime, quantam Dei iram omnibus hominibus denunciant, in quantas calamitates etiam ex summo fastigio potentissimi homines hoc tempore decidunt Haec cum cogito, etiam nobis aerumnas nostras et nostra pericula asquiore animo ferenda esse dispute."b

To some it has been a cause of surprize, that Anne Boleyn should have passed an encomium upon Henry the Eighth at her death. Indeed it is remarkable that at almost every execution hi that sanguinary period, the praise of the Sovereign was pronounced by those who fell upon the scaffold. It seems to have been so directed by the Government. Tyndale, from whose "Practice of Prelates" we have already made an extract respecting the disclosure of Confessions, has another passage upon this point, too important not to be given here:

"When any Great Man is put to death, how his Confessore entreateth him ; and what penance is enjoyned him concerning what he shall say when he cometh unto the place of execution. I coude gesse at a practyse that might make mennes eares glowe."e

In Anne Boleyn's case, however, it may be in part ascribed to anxiety for the safety of her daughter.

Anne Boleyn's execution was a fatal precedent for succeeding times. Henry having beheaded one Queen, proceeded fearlessly to the beheading of another. Elizabeth familiarized the application of the axe to royalty one step farther ; for she beheaded a foreign Queen who had taken shelter in her dominions. Half a Century later, and the people beheaded their Sovereign.

Note a. Burnet, Hist. Reform, vol. i. p. 205.

Note b. Melancht. Epist. 8 Lips. 1569.

Note c. Pract. of Prelates, 12" Marborch, 1530.

Diary of Edward VI. 18 May 1550. The French king (age 31) came to Bolein [Boulogne] to visit the pieces lately delivred to him, and to apoint an ordre and stay in thinges there; wich done, he departid.


1561 Creation of Garter Knights

Henry Machyn's Diary. 18 May 1561. The xviij day of May was sant Gorge fest keptt at Wyndsor [Map], and ther was stallyd ther the yerle of Shrowsbere (age 33) and my lord of Hunsdon (age 35), and the yerle of Arundell (age 49) was the quens deputte, and the way my lord Monteguw (age 32) and my lord Pagett (age 55), and so they came to cherche; and after matens done, they whent a prosessyon rond about the cherche, so done the mydes and so rond a-bowt, and a X almes-knyghtes in red kyrtylles, and a-loft a robe of purpull cloth syd with a crosse of sant Gorge, and after the verger, and then the clarkes and prestes a xxiiij syngyng the Englys prossessyon in chopes [copes] xxxiiij, and sum of them in gray ames [amices] and in calabur, and then cam my lord of Hunsdun (age 35), and after my lord Montyguw (age 32), and after the yerle of Shrowsbere (age 33), and after my lord Pagett (age 55), and after the yerle of Arundell (age 49), all they in their robes, and master Garter (age 51) and master Norres (age 51) and master dene in cremesun saten robes, with red crosses on ther shuldurs, and after rod up to the castylle to dener.

Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England

PAINTINGS/LETTERS/Mary_Queen_of_Scots_1568.jpgThe following day, 18 May 1568 Mary Queen of Scots (age 25) was escorted to Carlisle Castle [Map].

On 18 May 1598 Cardinal Philipp Wilhelm Wittelsbach (age 21) died.

On 18 May 1623 George Villiers 1st Duke of Buckingham (age 30) was created 1st Duke of Buckingham 2C 1623 by King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland (age 56) for being his favourite; what favourite means is open to debate. Katherine Manners Duchess Buckingham (age 21) by marriage Duchess of Buckingham.

After 18 May 1625 Dutton Gerard 3rd Baron Gerard (age 12) and Mary Fane Baroness Gerard (age 19) were married. She by marriage Baroness Gerard of Gerard's Bromley. She the daughter of Francis Fane 1st Earl of Westmoreland (age 45) and Mary Mildmay Countess of Westmoreland (age 43).

1661 Creation of Baronets and Peerages by Charles II Post Coronation

10 May 1661 William Smyth 1st Baronet (age 45) was created 1st Baronet Smyth of Redcliff in Buckinghamshire.

18 May 1661 Robert Jenkinson 1st Baronet (age 40) was created 1st Baronet Jenkinson of Walcot in Oxfordshire and of Hawkesbury in Gloucestershire.

20 May 1661 William Glynne 1st Baronet (age 23) was created 1st Baronet Glynne of Bicester aka Bisseter in Oxfordshire.

23 May 1661 Henry Ingram 1st Viscount Irvine (age 21) was created 1st Viscount Irvine.

On 18 May 1686 Thomas Mansel 1st Baron Mansel (age 18) and Martha Millington Baroness Mansel were married.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 May 1688. King (age 54) enjoining the ministers to read his Declaration for giving liberty of conscience (as it was styled) in all churches of England, this evening, six Bishops, Bath and Wells (age 50), Peterborough (age 60), Ely (age 50), Chichester (age 64), St. Asaph (age 60), and Bristol (age 38), in the name of all the rest of the Bishops, came to his Majesty to petition him, that he would not impose the reading of it to the several congregations within their dioceses; not that they were averse to the publishing it for want of due tenderness toward dissenters, in relation to whom they should be willing to come to such a temper as should be thought fit, when that matter might be considered and settled in Parliament and Convocation; but that, the Declaration being founded on such a dispensing power as might at pleasure set aside all laws ecclesiastical and civil, it appeared to them illegal, as it had done to the Parliament in 1661 and 1672, and that it was a point of such consequence, that they could not so far make themselve parties to it, as the reading of it in church in time of divine service amounted to.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 May 1688. The King (age 54) was so far incensed at this address, that he with threatening expressions commanded them to obey him in reading it at their perils, and so dismissed them.


On 18 May 1692 Bishop Joseph Butler was born in Wantage.

On 18 May 1701 Charles Lennox 2nd Duke Richmond was born to Charles Lennox 1st Duke Richmond (age 28) and Anne Brudenell Duchess Richmond (age 30). He a grandson of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland.

On 18 May 1811 James Grant 5th Earl Seafield (age 72) died.

Assassination of Primeminister Spencer Perceval

On 11 May 1812 Spencer Perceval (age 49) was assassinated at House of Commons. Robert Jenkinson 2nd Earl Liverpool (age 41) was appointed Prime Minister.

At 5:15 pm, on the evening of 11 May 1812, Perceval was on his way to attend the inquiry into the Orders in Council. As he entered the lobby of the House of Commons, a man stepped forward, drew a pistol and shot him in the chest. The assassin, John Bellingham, was a merchant who believed he had been unjustly imprisoned in Russia and was entitled to compensation from the government, but all his petitions had been rejected.

Perceval left a widow and twelve children aged between three and twenty. Parliament voted to settle £50,000 on Perceval's children, with additional annuities for his widow and eldest son.

On 18 May 1812 John Bellingham was hanged at Newgate Prison, London [Map]. René Martin Pillet says ...

This unfortunate man had presented several memorials, and had repeatedly demanded audience, but they had given him no answer. Driven to despair, he presented himself at the door of the house of commons, waited for the prime minister, Mr. Percival, and shot him. He was seized, confessed the crime, was tried, condemned to be hung, and executed a few days after. At the time of execution an immense crowd filled the public square, and these expressions were heard on every side: Farewell poor man, you owe satisfaction to the offended laws of your country, but God bless you! you have rendered an important service to your country, you have tdugllt ministers that they should do justice, and grant audience when it is asked of them.

A subscription was opened for the widow and children, and a handsome sum was raised. Their fortune was ten times greater than they could ever have expected in any other situation.


On 18 May 1812 Edward Littleton 4th Baronet (age 85) died without issue. Baronet Littleton of Pillaton Hall extinct. His estates were inherited by his great-nephew Edward John Walhouse aka Littleton 1st Baron Hatherton (age 21) who took the surname Littleton.


On 09 Nov 1865 Henry George Cavendish (age 29) died. On 18 May 1891 Edward Cavendish (age 53) died. They were buried in the Cavendish Plot, St Peter's Church, Edensor [Map].

Henry George Cavendish: On 24 May 1836 he was born to George Henry Cavendish (age 25) and Louisa Lascelles (age 23).

Edward Cavendish: On 28 Jan 1838 he was born to William Cavendish 7th Duke Devonshire (age 29) and Blanche Georgiana Howard Duchess Devonshire (age 26) at Marylebone. Coefficient of inbreeding 1.65%. NOTEXT On 03 Aug 1865 Edward Cavendish (age 27) and Emma Elizabeth Lascelles were married. He the son of William Cavendish 7th Duke Devonshire (age 57) and Blanche Georgiana Howard Duchess Devonshire. They were first cousins.

On 18 May 1872 Bertrand Russell 3rd Earl Russell was born to John Russell (age 29) and Katherine Louisa Stanley (age 28).

On 18 May 1891 Edward Cavendish (age 53) died. Monument to Edward Cavendish (age 53) in Cartmel Priory [Map].

On 18 May 1912 Richard Grosvenor 1st Baron Stalbridge (age 75) died.

On 18 May 1922 Antony Gibbs 3rd Baron Hunsdon 5th Baron Aldenham was born to Walter Gibbs 2nd Baron Hunsdon 4th Baron Aldenham (age 33) and Beatrix Elinor Paul Baroness Aldenham and Hunsdon (age 31).

Major-General Sir Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend: On 21 Feb 1861 he was born to Charles Thornton Townshend (age 21) at Great Union Street.

Memorials to the Mack family at St Margaret's Church Paston [Map].

On 18 May 1933 Hugh Paston Mack died.

On 23 Dec 1917 Lieutenant Commander Ralph Michael Mack (age 34) was killed in action when his destoyer Tornado was mined.

On 29 Apr 1943 Rear-Admiral Philip John Mack (age 50) died in a plane crash.

Hugh Paston Mack: On 22 Mar 1828 he was born to John Mack of Paston Hall (age 30).

Lieutenant Commander Ralph Michael Mack: On 11 Oct 1883 he was born to Hugh Paston Mack (age 55).

Rear-Admiral Philip John Mack: On 06 Oct 1892 he was born to Major Philip Paston Mack (age 38). On 15 Sep 1905 Rear-Admiral Philip John Mack (age 12) joined the Royal Navy as a naval cadet at the Osborne and Britannia Royal Naval Colleges. On 09 Aug 1910 Rear-Admiral Philip John Mack (age 17) was posted to the battlecruiser Indomitable as a midshipman, transferring to the cruiser Amethyst on 15 Jul 1913 having been promoted to sub-lieutenant on 15 Jun 1913.

On 18 May 1948 David William Anthony Blyth Macpherson 2nd Baron Strathcarron (age 24) and Diana Hawtrey Deane Baroness Strathcarron (age 25) were married. She by marriage Baroness Strathcarron of Banchor in Invernessshire. Both second marriages.

On 18 May 1973 Richard Lumley 13th Earl of Scarbrough was born to Richard Lumley 12th Earl of Scarbrough (age 40) and Elizabeth Anne Ramsay Countess Scarborough (age 31).