This week in history saw the birth of one of our great Poet Laureates and the release of the first feature-length colour film, amongst many other royal proceedings…
William Wordsworth was born on this day in 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumbria. He was considered one of the great English poets from the Romantic period along with his peer Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was the Poet Laureate in Britain from 1843 until his death in 1850.
The present Winchester Cathedral was consecrated on 8 April in 1093. The Norman cathedral was the biggest north of the Alps at the time and was set on the location of the former Old Minster, which had stood in its place for 450 years.
The first feature-length drama film was released in Britain on this day in 1914. The World, the Flesh and the Devil, produced by Anglo-American producer Charles Urban, was released by the World Film Company.
King James V of Scotland was born on 10 April 1512 as heir to the Scottish throne. He became king aged one after his own father was killed at the Battle of Flodden. He had a dramatic upbringing as the Scots did not want his mother to reign and he was then kidnapped by his mother’s second husband – Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. James escaped his stepfather’s reign in 1528 and took the reigns of rule himself. James was succeeded after his death in 1542 by his only legitimate child, Mary Queen of Scots.
In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned on this day as joint rulers of Britain. They were offered the throne by Parliament after Mary’s father and William’s uncle fled the country. They reigned together as spouses and cousins until Mary died in 1694. William died several years later in 1702.
In 1606, the Stuart King, James I legislated the convergence of the English and Scottish flag. The new flag, the Union Jack, was adopted as the maritime flag for England and Scotland.
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