On this Day in History ... 24 December

24 Dec is in December.

1165 William "The Lion" Crowned King Scotland

1166 Birth of King John

1543 Creation of Garter Knights

1660 December Creation of Baronets and Peerages

1593 Great Plague

1664 Comet

1688 Glorious Revolution

On 24 Dec 1065 Ferdinand "Great" I King Leon (age 50) died. His son Sancho "Strong" II King Leon II King Castile (age 28) succeeded II King Castile.

On 24 Dec 1120 Welf "Fat" Welf V Duke Bavaria (age 48) died. His brother Henry "Black" Welf IX Duke Bavaria (age 45) succeeded IX Duke Bavaria. Wulfhilde of Saxony Duchess Bavaria (age 48) by marriage Duchess Bavaria.

William "The Lion" Crowned King Scotland

On 24 Dec 1165 William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 22) was crowned I King Scotland.

Birth of King John

On 24 Dec 1166 King John "Lackland" of England was born to King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 33) and Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 44). He was given the nickname "Sans Terre", aka "without land", or in English "Lackland" as a consequence of his being the youngest son.

On 24 Dec 1257 John Hainault I Count Hainault (age 39) died. His son John Hainault II Count Hainault II Count Holland (age 10) succeeded II Count Hainault, II Count Holland.

On 24 Dec 1281 Henry "Great" Luxemburg V Count Luxemburg III Count Namur (age 65) died. His son Henry Luxemburg VI Count Luxemburg (age 41) succeeded VI Count Luxemburg.

Archaeologia Volume 35 1853 XXXIII. On the 24th of December [1357], and on Christmas Day, the Queen (age 62) entertained the Maréchal Arnould D'Audenham, sometimes written D'Andrehen, and Regnaut Sire D'Aubigny, both French prisoners taken at Poitiers. The former, Marshal of France, and a man of great note of the time, is a very frequent visitor with the Queen, and was probably active in concerting terms for a treaty between the crowns of England and France.

On 24 Dec 1407 Frederick "Empty Pockets" Habsburg 4th Duke Austria (age 25) and Elizabeth Wittelsbach Duchess Austria were married at Innsbruck. She by marriage Duchess Austria. She the daughter of Rupert King Germany (age 55). He the son of Leopold "The Just" Habsburg III Duke Austria and Viridis Visconti Duchess Austria (age 55).

1543 Creation of Garter Knights

On 24 Dec 1543 John Wallop (age 53) was appointed 313th Knight of the GarterKing Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 52).[See Chronicle of Calais]

After 1633 and before 24 Dec 1638 Edward Montagu 2nd Baron Montagu (age 22) and Anne Winwood Baroness Montagu (age 18) were married.

On 24 Dec 1638 Ralph Montagu 1st Duke Montagu was born to Edward Montagu 2nd Baron Montagu (age 22) and Anne Winwood Baroness Montagu (age 23).

Before 24 Dec 1641 Henry Neville 9th and 7th Baron Bergavenny (age 62) died. He was buried at Birling [Map]. His son John Neville 10th and 8th Baron Bergavenny (age 27) succeeded 10th Baron Bergavenny 1C 1392, 8th Baron Bergavenny 2C 1450.

Evelyn's Diary. 24 Dec 1643. I went with some company to see some remarkable places without the city: as the Isle, and how it is encompassed by the Rivers Seine and the Ouse. The city is divided into three parts, whereof the town is greatest. The city lies between it and the University in form of an island. Over the Seine is a stately bridge called Pont Neuf, begun by Henry III in 1578, finished by Henry IV his successor. It is all of hewn freestone found under the streets, but more plentifully at Montmartre, and consists of twelve arches, in the midst of which ends the point of an island, on which are built handsome artificers' houses. There is one large passage for coaches, and two for foot passengers three or four feet higher, and of convenient breadth for eight or ten to go abreast. On the middle of this stately bridge, on one side, stands the famous statue of Henry the Great on horseback, exceeding the natural proportion by much; and, on the four faces of a stately pedestal (which is composed of various sorts of polished marbles and rich moldings), inscriptions of his victories and most signal actions are engraven in brass. The statue and horse are of copper, the work of the great John di Bologna, and sent from Florence by Ferdinand the First, and Cosmo the Second, uncle and cousin to Mary de Medicis, the wife of King Henry, whose statue it represents. The place where it is erected is inclosed with a strong and beautiful grate of iron, about which there are always mountebanks showing their feats to the idle passengers. From hence is a rare prospect toward the Louvre and suburbs of St. Germains, the Isle du Palais, and Nôtre Dame. At the foot of this bridge is a water-house, on the front whereof, at a great height, is the story of Our Savior and the woman of Samaria pouring water out of a bucket. Above, is a very rare dial of several motions, with a chime, etc. The water is conveyed by huge wheels, pumps, and other engines, from the river beneath. The confluence of the people and multitude of coaches passing every moment over the bridge, to a new spectator is an agreeable diversion. Other bridges there are, as that of Nôtre Dame and the Pont-au-Change, etc., fairly built, with houses of stone, which are laid over this river; only the Pont St. Anne, landing the suburbs of St. Germains at the Tuileries, is built of wood, having likewise a water house in the midst of it, and a statue of Neptune casting water out of a whale's mouth, of lead, but much inferior to the Samaritan.


Evelyn's Diary. 24 Dec 1643. On Christmas eve, I went to see the Cathedral at Nôtre Dame [Map], erected by Philip Augustus, but begun by King Robert, son of Hugh Capet. It consists of a Gothic fabric, sustained with 120 pillars, which make two aisles in the church round about the choir, without comprehending the chapels, being 174 paces long, 60 wide, and 100 high. The choir is inclosed with stonework graven with the sacred history, and contains forty-five chapels chancelled with iron. At the front of the chief entrance are statues in relievo of the kings, twenty-eight in number, from Childebert to the founder, Philip; and above them are two high square towers, and another of a smaller size, bearing a spire in the middle, where the body of the church forms a cross. The great tower is ascended by 389 steps, having twelve galleries from one to the other. They greatly reverence the crucifix over the screen of the choir, with an image of the Blessed Virgin. There are some good modern paintings hanging on the pillars. The most conspicuous statute is the huge colossal one of St. Christopher; with divers other figures of men, houses, prospects and rocks, about this gigantic piece; being of one stone, and more remarkable for its bulk than any other perfection. This is the prime church of France for dignity, having archdeacons, vicars, canons, priests, and chaplains in good store, to the number of 127. It is also the palace of the archbishop. The young king was there with a great and martial guard, who entered the nave of the church with drums and fifes, at the ceasing of which I was entertained with the church music; and so I left him.

1660 December Creation of Baronets and Peerages

In Dec 1660 King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 30) rewarded of further tranche of those who supported his Restoration by awarding them Baronetcies ...

On 03 Dec 1660 George Winn 1st Baronet (age 53) was created 1st Baronet Winn of Nostel in Yorkshire.

On 22 Dec 1660 John Keyt 1st Baronet (age 44) was created 1st Baronet Keyt of Ebrington in Gloucestershire for having raised a troop of horse to fight in the Royalist cause.

On 24 Dec 1660 William Frankland 1st Baronet (age 20) was created 1st Baronet Frankland of Thirkleby in Yorkshire.

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1593 Great Plague

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1662. This evening Mr. Gauden sent me, against Christmas, a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues. I did give 5s. to the man that brought it, and half-a-crown to the porters. This day also the parish-clerk brought the general bill of mortality, which cost me half-a-crown more1.

Note 1. The Bills of Mortality for London were first compiled by order of Thomas Cromwell about 1538, and the keeping of them was commenced by the Company of Parish Clerks in the great plague year of 1593. The bills were issued weekly from 1603. The charter of the Parish Clerks' Company (1611) directs that "each parish clerk shall bring to the Clerks' Hall weekly a note of all christenings and burials". Charles I in 1636 granted permission to the Parish Clerks to have a printing press and employ a printer in their hall for the purpose of printing their weekly bills.

1664 Comet

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1664. Having sat up all night to past two o'clock this morning, our porter, being appointed, comes and tells us that the bellman tells him that the star is seen upon Tower Hill [Map]; so I, that had been all night setting in order all my old papers in my chamber, did leave off all, and my boy and I to Tower Hill [Map], it being a most fine, bright moonshine night, and a great frost; but no Comet to be seen. So after running once round the Hill, I and Tom, we home and then to bed. Rose about 9 o'clock and then to the office, where sitting all the morning.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1664. So home and to my office, where late. This evening I being informed did look and saw the Comet, which is now, whether worn away or no I know not, but appears not with a tail, but only is larger and duller than any other star, and is come to rise betimes, and to make a great arch, and is gone quite to a new place in the heavens than it was before: but I hope in a clearer night something more will be seen.

Glorious Revolution

Evelyn's Diary. 24 Dec 1688. The King (age 55) passes into France, whither the Queen (age 30) and child were gone a few days before.


On 24 Dec 1714 Philippe V King Spain (age 31) and Elisabeth Farnese Queen Consort Spain (age 22) were married. He the son of Louis "Le Grand Dauphin" Bourbon Duke Burgundy and Maria Anna Victoria Wittelsbach Duchess Burgundy.


Minutes of the Society of Antiquaries. 24 Dec 1718. Mr Vertue (age 34) brought a proof of the Plate of Richard II which had the initial approbation of the Society and their thanks for his Care and Accuracy therein and Mr Treasurer (age 36) was ordered to pay him five Guineas more in part of this Agreement for Engraving.

Mr Vice-President (age 56) by the [?] of the Society ordered Mr Director (age 41) to provide us a Box to lay up the Books in.

Mr Samuel Gale (age 36) brough several Antique Roman Vessels dug up at Port Mahon, and likewise as Treasurer exhibited where it appears he has [?] in Money upon Amount £29:04:06 and has paid £22:4:4. So remains in his hands £07:00:02.

On 24 Dec 1719 William O'Brien 3rd Earl Inchiquin (age 57) died. His son William O'Brien 4th Earl Inchiquin (age 19) succeeded 4th Earl Inchiquin.

On 24 Dec 1721 John Cecil 6th Earl Exeter (age 47) died. His son John Cecil 7th Earl Exeter (age 21) succeeded 7th Earl Exeter, 8th Baron Burghley.

On 24 Dec 1777 George Townshend 2nd Marquess Townshend (age 24) and Charlotte Mainwaring Ellerker Countess of Leicester (age 6) were married. He the son of George Townshend 1st Marquess Townshend (age 53) and Charlotte Compton 16th Baroness Ferrers Chartley 7th Baroness Compton.

On 24 Dec 1803 Georg I Duke of Saxe Meiningen (age 42) died. His son Bernhard II Duke of Saxe Meiningen (age 3) succeeded II Duke Saxe Meiningen.

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On 24 Dec 1845 George I King Greece was born to King Christian IX of Denmark (age 27) and Queen Louise Hesse-Kassel of Denmark (age 28). He a great x 3 grandson of King George II of Great Britain and Ireland. Coefficient of inbreeding 2.84%.

Times Newspaper Funerals. 24 Dec 1861. Yesterday, with little of the pomp and pageantry of a State ceremonial, but with every outward mark of respect, and with all the solemnity which befitted his high station and his public virties, the mortal remains of the husband (deceased) of our Queen (age 42) were interred in the last resting-place of England's Sovereigns-the Chapel Royal of St. George's, Windsor [Map]. By the express desire of his Royal Highness the funeral was of the plainest and most private character; but in the Chapel, to do honour to his obsequies, were assembled all the chiefest men of the State, and throughout England, by every sign of sorrow and imourning, the nation manifested its sense of the loss wlhich it has sustaiined. Windsor itself wore an aspect of the most profound gloom. Every shop was closed and every blind drawn down. The streets were silent and almost deserted, and all wvho appeared abroad were dressed in the deepest mourning. The great bell of Windsor Castle [Map] clanged out: its doleful sound at intervals from an early hour, and minute bells were tolled also at St. John's Church. At the parish church of Cleover and at St. John's there were services in the morning and: aternoon, and the day was observed throughout the Royal borough in the strictest manner. The weather was in character with the occasion, a chill, damp air, with a dull leaden sky above, increased the gloom which hung over all. There were but few visitors in the town, for the procession did not pass beyond the immediate precincts of the Chapel and Castle, and none were admitted except those connected with the Castle andi their friends. At 11 o'clock a strong force of the A division took possession of the avenues leading to the Chapel Royal, and from that time only the guests specially invited and those who were to take part in the ceremonial were allowed to pass. Shortly afterwards a of honour of the Grenadier Guards, of which regiment his Royal Highness was Colonel, with the colonrs of the regiment shrouded in crape, marched in and took up its position before the principal entrance to the Chapel Royal. Another guard of honour from the same regiment was also on duty in the Quadrangle at the entrance to the State apartments. They were speedily followed by a squadron of the 2nd Life Guards dismounted, and by two companies of the Fusileer Guards, who were drawn uip in single file along each side of the road by which the procession was to pass, from the Norman gateway to the Chapel door. The officers wore the deepest military mourning-scarves, sword-knots, and rosettes of crape. In the Rome Park was stationed a troop of Horse Artillery, which commenced firing minute guns at the end of the Long Walk, advancing slowly until it reached the Castle gates just at the close of the ceremony. The Ministers, the officers of the Queen's Household, and other distinguished personages who had been honoured with an invitation to attend the ceremonial, reached Windsor a special train from Paddington. They were met by carriages provided for them at the station, and began to arrive at the Chapel Royal soon after 11 o'clock. The Earl of Derby (age 62), the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 81), Earl Russell (age 69), and the Duke of Buccleuch were among the first to make their appearance, and as they alighted at the door of the Chapel they were received by the proper officials and conducted to the seats appointed for them in the Choir. In the Great Quadrangle were drawn up the hearse and the mourning coaches, and, all the preparations having been completed within the Castle, the procession began to be formed shortly before 12 o'clock. It had been originally intended that it should leave the Castle by the St. George's gate, and, proceeding down Castle-hill, approach the Chapel through Henry VII.'s gateway, but at a late hour this arrangement was changed, and the shorter route by the Norman gatewvay was chosen.

The crowd which had gradually collected at the foot of Castle-hill, owing to this change, saw nothing of the procession but the empty carriages as they returned to the Castle after setting down at the Chapel. The few spectators who were fortunate enough to gain admission to the Lower Ward stood in a narrow fringe along the edge of the flags in front of the houses of the Poor Knights, and their presence was the only exception to the strict privacy of the ceremonial. The Prince of Wales (age 20) and the other Royal mourners assembled in the Oak Room, but did not form part of the procession. They were conveyed to the Chapel in private carriages before the coffin was placed in the hearse, passing through St. George's gatewayinto the Lower Ward. In the first carriage were the Prince of Wales (age 20), Prince Arthur (age 11), and the Duke of Saxe Coburg (age 8). The Crown Prince of Prussia (age 30), the Duke of Brabant (age 26), and the Count of Flanders (age 24) followed in the next; and in the others were the Duke de Nemours (age 47), Prince Louis of Hesse (age 24), Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar (age 38), and the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, with the gentlemen of their respective suites. Scarcely had they alighted at the door of Wolsey's Chapel, from which they were conducted through the Chapter Room to the door of the Chapel Royal to be in readiness to meet the coffin, when the first minute gun fired in tlhe distance, and the rattle of the troops reversing arms announced that the procession had started, and exactly at 12 o'clock the first mourning coach moved from under the Norman gateway. First came nine mourning coaches, each drawn by four horses, conveying the Physicians, Equerries, and other members of the household of the late Prince. In the last were the Lord Steward (age 63) (Earl St. Germans), the Lord Chamberlain (age 56) (Viscount Sidney), and the Master of the Horse (age 57) (the Marquis of Ailesbury). The carriages and trappings were of the plainest description; the horses had black velvet housings and feathers, but on the carriages there, were no feathers or ornaments of any kind. The mourning coaches were followed by one of the Queen's carriages, drawn by six horses, and attended by servants in State liveries, in which was the Groom of the Stole (age 26), Earl Spencer, carrying the crowvn, and a Lord of the Bedchamber, Lord George Lennox, carrying the baton, sword, and hat of his late Royal Highness. Next escorted by a troop of the 2nd Life Guards, came the hearse, drawn by six black horses, which, like the carriages, was quite plain and unornamented. On the housings of the horses and on the sides of theW hearse were emblazoned the scutcheons of Her Majesty and of the Prince, each surmounted by a, crown, the Prince's arms being in black and Her Majesty's in white. The procession was closed by four State carriages.

On 24 Dec 1875 Philip Stanhope 5th Earl Stanhope (age 70) died. His son Arthur Philip Stanhope 6th Earl Stanhope (age 37) succeeded 6th Earl Stanhope. Evelyn Henrietta Pennefather Countess Stanhope by marriage Countess Stanhope.


On 24 Dec 1893 Alexander Peregrine Fuller-Acland-Hood 2nd Baron St Audries was born to Alexander Fuller-Acland-Hood 1st Baron St Audries (age 40) and Mildred Rose Evelyn Eveleigh-de-Moleyns Baroness St Audries.

On 24 Dec 1894 Bishop James Atlay (age 77) died.

On 24 Dec 1894 James Atlay Bishop of Hereford 1817-1894 died. Monument in the North Transept of Hereford Cathedral [Map]. Sculpted by James Forsyth (age 66).


On 24 Dec 1932 Colin Cowdrey 1st Baron Cowdrey was born.

Deborah Vivien Mitford Duchess Devonshire: On 31 Mar 1920 she was born to David Freeman-Mitford 2nd Baron Redesdale (age 42). In 1941 Andrew Cavendish 11th Duke Devonshire (age 20) and Deborah Vivien Mitford Duchess Devonshire (age 20) were married. He the son of Edward William Spencer Cavendish 10th Duke Devonshire (age 45) and Mary Alice Gascoyne-Cecil Duchess Devonshire (age 45). On 24 Sep 2014 Deborah Vivien Mitford Duchess Devonshire (age 94) died.

Mary Alice Gascoyne-Cecil Duchess Devonshire: On 29 Jul 1895 she was born to James Gascoyne-Cecil 4th Marquess Salisbury (age 33) and Cicely Anne Gore Marchioness Salisbury (age 28). In 1917 Edward William Spencer Cavendish 10th Duke Devonshire (age 21) and Mary Alice Gascoyne-Cecil Duchess Devonshire (age 21) were married. She the daughter of James Gascoyne-Cecil 4th Marquess Salisbury (age 55) and Cicely Anne Gore Marchioness Salisbury (age 49). He the son of Victor Christian William Cavendish 9th Duke Devonshire (age 48) and Evelyn Emily Mary Petty-Fitzmaurice Duchess Devonshire (age 46).


On 24 Dec 1989 Charles Moore 11th Earl of Drogheda (age 79) died.