On this Day in History ... 29 December

29 Dec is in December.

1170 Murder of Thomas a Becket

1680 Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

1694 Death and Funeral of Queen Mary II

1800 Act of Union Peerages

1808 Battle of Benavente

1886 Margaret Pole Beatified

On 29 Dec 1158 Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 36) travelled from Normandy [Map] on board the Esnecca (Snake) with her children Henry the Young King (age 3) and Matilda Plantagenet Duchess Saxony (age 2) to Southampton [Map]. She then went to Winchester [Map] where she collected funds from the Royal Treasury and returned to Normandy.

Murder of Thomas a Becket

On 29 Dec 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 51) was murdered at Canterbury Cathedral [Map] by four knights on behalf of King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 37). Whether the ordered the murder, or whether the four knights were acting without orders, is a matter of conjecture.

On 29 Dec 1299 William Morley 1st Baron Morley was created 1st Baron Morley by writ of summons to King Edward I's (age 60) 47th Parliament. Isabel Mohaut Baroness Morley by marriage Baroness Morley.

On 29 Dec 1540 Hugh Hastings 14th Baron Hastings (age 35) died. His son John Hastings 15th Baron Hastings (age 9) de jure 15th Baron Hastings 1C 1290.

On 29 Dec 1552 Henri Bourbon Condé Prince Condé was born to Louis Bourbon Prince Condé (age 22) and Eléanor de Roucy de Roye Princess Condé (age 17).

On 29 Dec 1558 Gómez Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba 1st Duke of Feria (age 38) and Jane Dormer Duchess Feria (age 20) were married.

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On 29 Dec 1574 George Carey 2nd Baron Hunsdon (age 27) and Elizabeth Spencer Baroness Hunsdon Baroness Eure (age 22) were married.

On 29 Dec 1595 Frances Berkeley (age 31) died. She was buried at Church of St Mary and St Hardulph Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire [Map]. Monument to Frances Berkeley (age 31) and George Shirley 1st Baronet (age 36). The armorial shows Shirley Arms and Berkeley Arms impaled. Cadaver Underneath. Attributed to Jasper Hollemans.

Frances Berkeley: Around 1564 she was born to Henry Berkeley 7th Baron Berkeley (age 29) and Katherine Howard Baroness Berkeley (age 26). After 21 Feb 1587 George Shirley 1st Baronet (age 27) and Frances Berkeley (age 23) were married.

George Shirley 1st Baronet: On 23 Apr 1559 he was born to John Shirley (age 26). After 1596 George Shirley 1st Baronet (age 36) and Dorothy Wroughton Lady Shirley (age 26) were married. On 27 Apr 1622 George Shirley 1st Baronet (age 63) died. He was buried at Church of St Mary and St Hardulph Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire. His son Henry Shirley 2nd Baronet (age 34) succeeded 2nd Baronet Shirley of Staunton Harold in Leicestershire. Dorothy Devereux Lady Shirley (age 22) by marriage Lady Shirley of Staunton Harold in Leicestershire.

On 29 Dec 1624 Dermod McMurrough O'Brien 5th Baron Inchiquin (age 30) died.

On 29 Dec 1630 Oliver St John 1st Viscount Grandison (age 71) died. His great nephew William Villiers 2nd Viscount Grandison (age 16) succeeded 2nd Viscount Grandison 1C 1620. Mary Bayning Countess Anglesey (age 7) by marriage Viscountess Grandison.


Before 29 Dec 1640 George Feilding 1st Earl Desmond (age 26) and Bridget Stanhope Countess Desmond (age 25) were married. He the son of William Feilding 1st Earl Denbigh (age 53).

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

On 29 Dec 1680 William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford (age 66) was beheaded at Tower Hill [Map]. He was attainted; Viscount Stafford extinct. His son Henry Stafford-Howard 1st Earl Stafford (age 32) de jure 2nd Baron Stafford 5C 1640.NOTEXT

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Dec 1680. The Viscount Stafford (age 66) was beheaded on Towerhill [Map].NOTEXT

On 29 Dec 1685 Daniel Finch 2nd Earl Nottingham 7th Earl Winchilsea (age 38) and Anne Hatton Countess Nottingham and Winchelsea were married. She by marriage Countess Nottingham. He the son of Heneage Finch 1st Earl Nottingham and Elizabeth Harvey Baroness Finch.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Dec 1686. I went to hear the music of the Italians in the new chapel, now first opened publicly at Whitehall [Map] for the Popish Service. Nothing can be finer than the magnificent marble work and architecture at the end, where are four statues, representing St. John, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Church, in white marble, the work of Mr. Gibbons (age 38), with all the carving and Pillars of exquisite art and great cost. The altar piece is the Salutation; the volto in fresco, the Assumption of the blessed Virgin, according to their tradition, with our blessed Savior, and a world of figures painted by Verrio. The throne where the King (age 53) and Queen (age 28) sit is very glorious, in a closet above, just opposite to the altar. Here we saw the Bishop in his mitre and rich copes, with six or seven Jesuits and others in rich copes, sumptuously habited, often taking off and Putting on the Bishop's mitre, who sat in a chair with arms pontifically, was adored and censed by three Jesuits in their copes; then he went to the altar and made divers cringes, then censing the images and glorious tabernacle placed on the altar, and now and then changing place: the crosier, which was of silver, was put into his hand with a world of mysterious ceremony, the music playing, with singing. I could not have believed I should ever have seen such things in the King of England's palace, after it had pleased God to enlighten this nation; but our great sin has, for the present, eclipsed the blessing, which I hope he will in mercy and his good time restore to its purity.


PAINTINGS/CRADOCK/Thomas_Sydenham2.jpgBefore 29 Dec 1689 Mary Beale aka Cradock (age 56). Portrait of Thomas Sydenham "Father of English Medicine" (age 65).

Thomas Sydenham "Father of English Medicine": On 10 Sep 1624 he was born to William Sydenham of Wynford Eagle in Dorset in Wynford Eagle. On 29 Dec 1689 Thomas Sydenham "Father of English Medicine" (age 65) died at his house in Pall Mall. He was buried in St James' Church, Piccadilly.

John Ashton Edmund Elliot Richard Graham 1691. On Fryday, the 2d day of this Sessions, my Lord Preston (age 41), John Ashton and Edmund Elliot, were all Arrained for High Treason, my Lord Preston (age 41) was Tryed on Saturday by the name of Sir Richard Graham, Mr. Ashton on Monday. The Indictments against them consisted of Two Parts, the First of which set forth, That they had a Treasonable Design carrying on to Depose the King and Queen, and to Subvert and Alter the Government of the Kingdom of England, and to raise War and Rebellion in the same; which said Traiterous and Wicked Designs and Purposes to bring to pass, they did, on the 29th of December last, Meet and Conspire together, with several other Traitors not yet discovered, and did Compose several Treasonable Letters, Notes and Memorandums in writing, which set forth the most effectual way and means how they might Dethrone and Depose our Most Gracious Sovereign Lord and Lady the King (age 40) and Queen (age 28), and further describing therein how the Affairs of this Kingdom stood, and of what Strength and Force our Shipping was; as also the Fortifications of several Sea-Port-Towns within this Kingdom. The Second Part was their adhering to the Kings's Enemies: And to that end, that they might Acquaint Lewis the French King of the same, they did hire a Boat and Embarque themselves in order to Transport themselves and Pacquet of Treasonable Letters into France, agreeing to pay for their said Passages the Sum of One hundred Pound; and, in order to their Treasonable Voyage, they had made their Passage as far as below Gravesend [Map], but were then Taken by Captain Billop, who Cruised abroad to search for them.

After this the Evidence for the King (age 40) being called, gave an Account particularly from Step to Step, how cunningly and subtilly they managed this horrid Conspiracy, by hiring the Smack called the Thomas and Elizabeth, to convey them secretly into France; in order to which they took Water in a Skuller at Surrey-Stairs, and went on Board the aforesaid Vessel, which lay in the River of Thames over against the Tower [Map]: From thence they set Sail down the River, till coming within the View of the George Frigate, lying in Long-reach, they desired the Master of the Smack to hide them under the Quarter-Hatches; which was done, they having some Fear of being discovered: There they remained till past that Danger, and then came up; but when they were within Sight of Gravesend [Map] they hid again, and a little below it Captain Billop came aboard them, under Pretence of Pressing the Masters two Men, who were assistants to him; but indeed his Design and real Intention was to find out those Traytors, which, upon Search, he found lying along under the Hatches; and after their being haled up he search'd them, and found a Pacquet of Treasonable Papers in Mr. Ashton's Bosom: which he with the Prisoners carried before my Lord Nottingham; who examined the Papers, and after being examined by the Cabinet Council they were committed to the Tower. The Evidence was very full and plain against them both, much to the same effect and purport: The Letters being also Read against them in Court, were adjudged to be of no less Import than High-Treason. Upon the whole they had nothing material to offer in their Defence; so after a very long hearing, they were both found Guilty of High Treason. Edmond Elliot was ordered to remain till further order.

Death and Funeral of Queen Mary II

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Dec 1694. The smallpox increased exceedingly, and was very mortal. The Queen (deceased) died of it on the 28th.


On 29 Dec 1740 Edward Seymour 5th Baronet (age 79) died. His son Edward Seymour 8th Duke Somerset (age 45) succeeded 6th Baronet Seymour of Berry Pomeroy. Mary Webb Duchess Somerset (age 43) by marriage Lady Seymour of Berry Pomeroy.

On 29 Dec 1757 William Lowther 1st Earl Lonsdale was born to William Lowther 1st Baronet (age 50).

Before 29 Dec 1798 Frederick William Hervey 1st Marquess Bristol (age 29) and Elizabeth Albana Upton (age 23) were married. He the son of Frederick Augustus Hervey 4th Earl Bristol (age 68) and Elizabeth Davers Countess Bristol (age 65).


On 29 Dec 1798 Charles Hanbury-Tracy 1st Baron Sudeley (age 20) and Henrietta Susanna Tracy were married.

Act of Union Peerages

In Dec 1800 King George III of Great Britain and Ireland (age 62) created a number of peers who supported the Act of Union ....

On 21 Dec 1800 Charles Stanley Monck 1st Viscount Monck (age 46) was created 1st Viscount Monck.

On 29 Dec 1800 ....

Murrough O'Brien 1st Marquess Thomond (age 74) was created 1st Marquess Thomond. Mary Palmer Marchioness Thomond (age 50) by marriage Marchioness Thomond.

Charles Tottenham aka Loftus 1st Marquess Ely (age 62) was created 1st Marquess Ely in County Wexford. Jane Myhill Marchioness Ely by marriage Marchioness Ely in County Wexford.

James Alexander 1st Earl Caledon (age 70) was created 1st Earl Caledon in County Tyrone.

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Battle of Benavente

On 29 Dec 1808 Henry William Paget 1st Marquess Anglesey (age 40) commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Benavente whe defeated the elite Chasseurs à cheval of the French Imperial Guard.

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On 29 Dec 1820 Dudley Marjoribanks 1st Baron Tweedmouth was born.

On 29 Dec 1828 Priscilla Barbara Elizabeth Bertie 21st Baroness Willoughby Eresby (age 67) died. Her son Peter Drummond Burrell 2nd Baron Gwydyr 22nd Baron Willoughby (age 46) succeeded 22nd Baron Willoughby de Eresby. Clementina Sarah Drummond Baroness Gwydyr Baroness Willoughby Eresby (age 42) by marriage Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.


After 29 Dec 1828. Monument in St Mary's Church Swinstead [Map] to Priscilla Barbara Elizabeth Bertie 21st Baroness Willoughby Eresby (deceased) sculpted by James Forsyth in 1883. An elaborate Gothic Aedicule of limestone. Above the Recessed inscription an achievement of arms of the Bertie's.

On 29 Dec 1858 Horatio Walpole 3rd Earl Orford (age 75) died. His son Horatio Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 45) succeeded 4th Earl Orford 3C 1806.


On 29 Dec 1878 Arthur Hay 9th Marquess Tweedale (age 54) died without issue.

Margaret Pole Beatified

On 29 Dec 1886 Margaret York Countess of Salisbury was beatified as a martyr by Pope Leo XIII.


On 29 Dec 1893 William King Noel 1st Earl Lovelace (age 88) died. His son Ralph King-Milbanke 2nd Earl of Lovelace (age 54) succeeded 2nd Earl Lovelace.