On this Day in History ... 20 February

20 Feb is in February.

1304 Battle of Happrew

1447 Death of Humphrey of Lancaster

1462 Vere Plot to Murder Edward IV

1536 Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

1547 Coronation of Edward VI

1613 Marriage of Elizabeth Stewart and Frederick V Elector Palatine

1640 Short Parliament

1653 Three Days' Battle aka Battle of Portland

1667 Poll Bill

Battle of Happrew

Around 20 Feb 1304 a chevauchée of English knights including Robert Clifford 1st Baron Clifford (age 29), William Latimer 2nd Baron Latimer of Corby (age 28), John Mohun 1st Baron Dunster (age 35), John Segrave 2nd Baron Segrave (age 48) and the future Robert "The Bruce" I King Scotland (age 29) attempted, unsuccessfully, to capture Simon Fraser and William Wallace at Happrew, Peebles during the Battle of Happrew.

On 20 Feb 1364 King David II of Scotland (age 39) and Margaret Drummond Queen Consort Scotland (age 24) were married. She by marriage Queen Consort Scotland. He the son of Robert "The Bruce" I King Scotland and Elizabeth Burgh Queen Consort Scotland.

On 20 Feb 1374 Hugh Courtenay (age 29) died. His first cousin Edward "Blind Earl" Courtenay 11th Earl Devon (age 17) succeeded 4th Baron Courtenay.

On 20 Feb 1383 Thomas Mowbray 1st Duke of Norfolk (age 14) and Elizabeth Strange Countess Nottingham (age 21) were married. She by marriage Countess Nottingham. They were second cousin once removed. He a great x 2 grandson of King Edward "Longshanks" I of England. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King John "Lackland" of England.

Before 20 Feb 1389 William Botreaux 2nd Baron Botreaux (age 22) and Elizabeth St Lo Baroness Botreaux (age 25) were married. She by marriage Baroness Botreaux 1368.

On 20 Feb 1389 William Botreaux 3rd Baron Botreaux was born to William Botreaux 2nd Baron Botreaux (age 22) and Elizabeth St Lo Baroness Botreaux (age 25) at Walton Kilmersdon.

Death of Humphrey of Lancaster

On 20 Feb 1447 Humphrey Lancaster 1st Duke Gloucester (age 56) was arrested on a charge of treason by John Beaumont 1st Viscount Beaumont (age 37), Humphrey Stafford 1st Duke of Buckingham (age 44), Edmund Beaufort 1st or 2nd Duke Somerset (age 41), Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury (age 47) and Ralph Boteler 6th and 1st Baron Sudeley (age 58).

On 23 Feb 1447 Humphrey Lancaster 1st Duke Gloucester (age 56) died at Bury St Edmunds [Map]. He was possibly poisoned although more likely he died from a stroke. He was buried at St Alban's Cathedral [Map]. Duke Gloucester 2C 1414, Earl Pembroke 5C 1414 extinct. His death left England with no heir to the throne in a direct line. Richard Plantagenet 3rd Duke York (age 35) became heir presumptive until the birth of Edward of Westinster Prince of Wales six years later.

On 20 Feb 1459 Thomas Stanley 1st Baron Stanley (age 54) died at Knowsley. He was buried at Burscough Priory [Map]. His son Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby (age 24) succeeded King Mann, 2nd Baron Stanley 1C 1456. Eleanor Neville Baroness Stanley (age 12) by marriage Baroness Stanley.

Vere Plot to Murder Edward IV

Before 20 Feb 1462 John de Vere 12th Earl of Oxford (age 53), his son Aubrey de Vere and Thomas Tuddenham (age 60) were arrested for treason against King Edward IV (age 19). They were subsequently tried by John "Butcher of England" Tiptoft 1st Earl of Worcester (age 34).

On 20 Feb 1462 Aubrey de Vere was executed at Tower Hill [Map].

On 20 Feb 1473 Ralph Neville 3rd Earl of Westmoreland (age 17) and Isabel Booth (age 16) were married. She by marriage Baroness Neville Raby. He a great x 3 grandson of King Edward III of England.

On 20 Feb 1496 Bishop Richard Hill died.

On 20 Feb 1513 John King Denmark Norway and Sweden (age 58) died. His son Christian II King Denmark II King Norway (age 31) succeeded II King Denmark, II King Norway.

Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

Wriothesley's Chronicle. 20 Feb 1536. The Sondaie of Sexagesima preached at St. Poules Crosse [Map] the Bishopp of Lincolne (age 63).b

Note b. John Longland, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and late Canon of Windsor.

Coronation of Edward VI

On 20 Feb 1547 King Edward VI of England and Ireland (age 9) was crowned VI King England at Westminster Abbey [Map].

John Russell 1st Earl Bedford (age 62) was appointed Lord High Steward. Henry Fitzalan 19th Earl Arundel (age 34) was appointed Constable of England.

Anthony Browne 1st Viscount Montague (age 18), George Vernon "King of the Peak" (age 39), Richard Devereux (age 34) and William Sharington (age 52) were created Knight of the Bath.

Francis Hastings 2nd Earl Huntingdon (age 33), Edward Courtenay, William Sharington (age 52), John Shelton (age 44) and Walter Buckler were knighted.

Edward Dymoke (age 39) attended as the King's Champion.

Alexander Unton (age 53) and Edward Rogers (age 49) were knighted.

Wriothesley's Chronicle. The twentith daie of Februarie, being the Soundaie Quinquagesima, the Kinges Majestie Edward the Sixth (age 9), of the age of nyne yeares and three monthes, was crowned King (age 9) of this realme of Englande, France, and Irelande, within the church of Westminster [Map], with great honor and solemnitie, and a great feast keept that daie in Westminster Hall which was rychlie hanged, his Majestic sitting all dynner with his crowne on his head; and, after the second course served, Sir Edward Dymmocke (age 39), knight, came ridinge into the hall in clene white complete harneis, rychlie gilded, and his horse rychlie trapped, and cast his gauntlett to wage battell against all men that wold not take him for right King (age 9) of this realme, and then the King (age 9) dranke to him and gave him a cupp of golde; and after dynner the King (age 9) made many knightes, and then he changed his apparell, and so rode from thence to Westminster Place.

After 20 Feb 1552 William Herbert 1st Earl Pembroke (age 51) and Anne Talbot Countess Pembroke (age 28) were married. Anne Talbot Countess Pembroke by marriage Countess Pembroke. The difference in their ages was 22 years. She the daughter of George Talbot 4th Earl of Shrewsbury and Elizabeth Walden (age 61). She a great x 4 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.


Marriage of Elizabeth Stewart and Frederick V Elector Palatine

On 20 Feb 1613 The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn was performed at the Banqueting House [Map] as part of the wedding festivities. The masque was sponsored by the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn both of whom spent around £1200.

After 20 Feb 1613 Frederick Palatinate Simmern V Elector Palatine Rhine (age 16) and Princess Elizabeth Stewart Queen Bohemia (age 16) commenced their journey to his home at Heidelburg. They visited Prince Maurice I of Orange (age 45). They arrived in Heidelburg on 12 Jun 1613 amidst widespread celebration.

John Harington 1st Baron Harington (age 73) and Anne Keilway Baroness Harington (age 59)

Sisters Elizabeth Apsley and Alice Apsley travelled as Maids of Honour to Princess Elizabeth Stewart Queen Bohemia (age 16).

After 20 Feb 1616 George Tuchet 1st Earl Castlehaven (age 65) and Elizabeth Noel Countess Castlehaven were married at Mary le Strand. She by marriage Baroness Audley of Heighley in Staffordshire, Baroness Tuchet.

On 20 Feb 1631 Ferdinand King Bohemia III Holy Roman Emperor (age 22) and Maria Anna of Spain Holy Roman Empress (age 24) were married. She by marriage Queen Consort Bohemia. She the daughter of Philip III King Spain and Margaret of Austria Queen Consort Spain. He the son of Ferdinand of Spain II Holy Roman Emperor (age 52) and Maria Anna Wittelsbach Holy Roman Empress. They were first cousins.


On 20 Feb 1632 Thomas Osborne 1st Duke Leeds was born to Edward Osborne 1st Baronet (age 35) and Anne Walmesley Lady Osborne (age 32).


Short Parliament

On 20 Feb 1640 Henry Berkeley of Bruton (age 61) was elected MP Ilchester

John Glanville (age 54) was elected Speaker of the House of Commons.

Three Days' Battle aka Battle of Portland

The Three Days' Battle aka Battle of Portland took place between 18 and 20 Feb 1653. The English fleet was attacked by the Dutch fleet.

Vice-Admiral William Goodson captained the Entrance.

Poll Bill

Pepy's Diary. 20 Feb 1667. Thence to the Exchequer, and there find the people in readiness to dispatch my tallies to-day, though Ash Wednesday. So I back by coach to London to Sir Robt. Viner's (age 36) and there got £100, and come away with it and pay my fees round, and so away with the 'Chequer men to the Leg in King Street, and there had wine for them; and here was one in company with them, that was the man that got the vessel to carry over the King (age 36) from Bredhemson, who hath a pension of 200 per annum, but ill paid, and the man is looking after getting of a prizeship to live by; but the trouble is, that this poor man, who hath received no part of his money these four years, and is ready to starve almost, must yet pay to the Poll Bill for this pension. He told me several particulars of the King's coming thither, which was mighty pleasant, and shews how mean a thing a king is, how subject to fall, and how like other men he is in his afflictions.


On 20 Feb 1743 Robert Fitzgerald 19th Earl of Kildare (age 67) died. His son James Fitzgerald 1st Duke Leinster (age 21) succeeded 20th Earl Kildare.

On 20 Feb 1745 Stephen Fox 2nd Baron Holland was born to Henry Fox 1st Baron Holland (age 39) and Caroline Lennox 1st Baroness Holland (age 21). He a great x 2 grandson of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland.

On 20 Feb 1768 James Lindsay 5th Earl Balcarres (age 76) died. His son Alexander Lindsay 6th Earl Balcarres (age 16) succeeded 6th Earl Balcarres.

Before 20 Feb 1772 John Hobart 2nd Earl Buckinghamshire (age 48) and Caroline Conolly Countess Buckinghamshire were married. She by marriage Countess Buckinghamshire. He the son of John Hobart 1st Earl Buckinghamshire and Judith Britiffe Lady Hotham.

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On 20 Feb 1773 Charles Emmanuel III King Sardinia (age 71) died at Turin.

On 20 Feb 1774 Thomas Reynolds 2nd Baron Ducie (age 40) and Margaret Ramsden Baroness Ducie were married. She by marriage Baroness Ducie.

On 20 Feb 1829 Odo Russell 1st Baron Ampthill was born to George Russell (age 38) and Elizabeth Anne Rawdon.

Thomas Bateman 1846. On February 20th 1847 was opened a barrow [Map] [Brundcliffe Barrow [Map]] near Bruncliff in Hartington parish which was raised to a height of upwards of three feet above a grave or cist cut in the rock and descending about two feet below the natural surface thus giving a depth of rather more than five feet of factitious earth from the summit to the floor of the tumulus. About eighteen inches beneath the turf was a deposit of calcined animal bones accompanied by a great quantity of charred wood. From the discovery of a perfect tooth amongst these remains it appears that the victim in this instance had been a young horse. About the same level occurred a small piece of pottery and a point or tine of a stag's horn. Upon the floor of the grave lay a human skeleton which appeared to have been extended at full lengthy and to have been laid upon its back with the arms straight down the sides; this however is not quite certain, as the decayed and mouldering state of the bones rendered any very accurate observations impossible. To the left of the pelvis lay a narrow-necked vessel of red clay having a lip for the convenience of pouring out liquid; this was placed in a horizontal position with the mouth towards the upper part of the skeleton; in contact with it lay a curved iron knife, six inches in length, with a wooden haft much decayed. Close to the tibia or leg-bone was placed an article principally composed of iron and wood, the use of which is by no means obvious, upon one part of it is a small silver cell or settings which had retained a stone or gem of some description.

From the very evident traces of decayed planks around the bones, it is highly probable that the body had been protected by them, if not inclosed in a coffin of more regular construction. The vessel appears to have had a handle, which was broken off and smoothed down previous to its interment; it bears marks of being a copy firom a classical model, and has been turned upon a potter's wheel, an invention probably unknown to the Celtic tribes previous to the Roman conquest.


On 20 Feb 1928 Victor Hay 21st Earl of Erroll (age 51) died. His son Josslyn Victor Hay 22nd Earl of Erroll (age 26) succeeded 22nd Earl Erroll. Myra Idina Sackville Countess of Erroll (age 34) by marriage Countess Erroll.


On 20 Feb 1929 Henry Bruce 2nd Baron Aberdare (age 77) died. His son Clarence Bruce 3rd Baron Aberdare (age 43) succeeded 3rd Baron Aberdare of Duffryn in Glamorganshire.

On 20 Feb 1930 Hugh Richard Arthur "Bendor" Grosvenor 2nd Duke Westminster (age 50) and Loelia Mary Ponsonby Duchess Westminster (age 28) were married. She by marriage Duchess Westminster. His third marriage; her first. Winston Churchill (age 55) was best man. They were married until 1947 when the marriage was dissolved. No issue. The difference in their ages was 22 years.

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On 20 Feb 1930 Richard Bethell 3rd Baron Westbury (age 77) committed suicide. He jumped out of the bedroom window of his seventh floor St James's apartment after a long period of illness. He left a note that read: "I really cannot stand any more horrors and hardly see what good I am going to do here, so I am making my exit." His death was ruled "suicide while of unsound mind." His grandson Richard Morland Tollemache Bethell 4th Baron Westbury (age 15) succeeded 4th Baron Westbury of Westbury in Wiltshire.

On 20 Feb 1934 Ziki Robertson 11th Baroness Wharton was born to David George Arbuthnot (age 28) and Elisabeth Kemeys-Tynte 10th Baroness Wharton 19067 (age 27).

On 20 Feb 1992 Vera Ruby Tyrwhitt 15th Baroness Berners (age 90) died. Baron Berners abeyant between her two daughters Pamela Vivian Williams 16th Baron Berners (age 62) and Rosemary Tyrwhit Williams (age 60).