Category: Jan 4

Charles I Attempts to Arrest the Five Members – 4 January 1642

The last time a monarch entered the House of Commons was on this day in British History, 4 January 1642. King Charles I had competed against Parliament for much of his reign, but tensions escalated during the Long Parliament. Essentially, Charles believed that Puritans, encouraged by five MPs (infamous as the Five Members) had encouraged the Scots to invade England in the recent Bishops’ Wars and that they were intent on turning the London mob against him. The Five Members, by name, were John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Arthur Haselrig and William Strode. In response, Charles entered Parliament and took the speaker’s chair, intent on arresting...

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The Saxons are Repulsed at The Battle of Reading – 4 January 871

England in 871 was still a fractured land of kingdoms often in conflict with one another. Wessex had emerged as the most powerful kingdom and its location in the island’s southwest had protected it from the brunt of the Danish invasions. The Danes had repeatedly assaulted Britain’s eastern coast since 789, but had intensified their invasion forces by 865 and expanded into western Britain by 870. In 871 the Great Summer Army of the Danes, led by a Viking king known as Bagsec, landed in Britain. They joined forces with the Great Heathen Army, a Viking army that had overrun...

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