Back on 16 March I noticed that my number of twitter followers had reached 1066 and was growing steadily. I started a series of daily tweets, which reached 1592 this morning, with the occasional Humphrey Lyttleton-ish silly comment thrown in. Here, for the Record, is the March of Time thusfar (or at any rate the passage of historic Time in March), in multiples of 140 Character tweets:
16 March: Weekend followers count up from 1066 (Battle of Hastings) to dark age of 1110 (First Crusade). Heading for the anarchy of 1135... ooer.
17 March 1138, therefore time to recall the election of Cardinal Gregory as Anti-Pope Victor IV. Anti-Popes had such butch names...
18 March: 1165 — when King Henry II had a major affair with the Rosamund Clifford. A right old Royal Story for ye Sunne...
19 March: 1189 — 3 Sepember 1189 was fixed as “Time immemorial” in English Law from 1263-1832. Significant milestone, surely.
20 March: 1220 — completion Chartres & start of Salisbury Cathedrals, and papal approval of (Dominican) Order of Preachers
21 March: 1230 — ye Teutonic Knights were invited into Prussia to forcibly Convert the Yatvags to "Christianity." Creepy Stuff.
22 March: 1258 — Provisions of Oxford (Henry III forced to recognise parliament) and, of course, siege & fall of Baghdad.
23 March: 1271 — Baibars captures Krak des Chevaliers and the 5th Crusade flops. Also in 1271 (in spirit of the late Humphrey Lyttleton) Emperor Ottakar II fails to invade Hungary [and starts a chain of bookshops instead] also in 1271 (Humph would say) Emperor Bing of Song is born: Emperor Bing waited until 1942 to record White Christmas at the age of 671
24 March: 1284 — year Wales was joined to England (Statute of Rhuddlan) & the foundation of Peterhouse, oldest college of Cambridge University. 1284 also yr legend says pied piper visited Hamelin. Massive bail-out of City rats resourced by ye city's children. They ended up with him in their own toyshop in Regent Street.
25 March: 1292 — the year Edward I appointed John Balliol as (puppet) King of Scotland over Robert the Bruce, much provoking the Tartan Army
26 March: 1299 — Time for the Mexica to settle in Chapultepec: Schlocky sacrifices and one flower ceremonies in today's Mexico city...
27 March: 1315, & plucky Swiss Confederates defeat Leopold Habsburg @ ye battle of Morgarten securing future independence of Switzerland. At Morgarten Confederates hold up knights in a pass between two bulbous mountains: Early Confederacy/ Dolly Parton thang?
28 March: 1335 — Otto the Merry becomes Duke of Carinthia around the time slavery is abolished in Sweden - everything looking up! People wonder why they called him Otto the Merry:
29 March: 1345 — pray silence for "Miracle of the Host": Amsterdam 12.3.1345: dying man vomited host, flamed it; didn't burn: http://is.gd/puzx
30 March: 1369 — As England reels under its third dose of Black Death, Tamerlane the Great makes Samarkand capital of his empire
31 March: 1395 — William of Waynflete weighs in: Bishop of Winchester, Head of Winchester College, Eton, & New College Oxford: Lord Chancellor
1 April: 1418 — Council of Constance 1414-18. Western schism over. 3 Popes into 1. Wyclif & Hus condemned. Early international law formulated.
2 April: 1429 — Joan of Arc busts siege of Orleans, & drives Sir John Falstaff’s English army from the Loire valley: JF retires to ye pub
3 April: 1449 — Last Emperor of Byzantium is crowned Constantine XI, & last Antipope (Felix V) bows out (founds Catfood dynasty instead)
4 April: 1451, and Nicholas of Cusa invents Concave Spectacles for myopic people.
5 April: 1465 — Henry VI, pious but completely round ye twist, is imprisoned by Edward IV in the Tower, & Margaret of Anjou legs it to France
6 April: 1469 — Ferdinand acquires Isabella (Aragon+Castile = Spain), Scots acquire Orkney & Shetland, Lorenzo Medici acquires Florence. Busy Bunnies!
7 April: 1477 — William Caxton prints first English book on English printing press (Dictes or sayengis of the Philosophres)
8 April: 1485 — a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse! it could be arranged... Bosworth. Henry VII wins crown off wicked uncle Richard III. Tudor dynasty begins: & with it, some say, Modern England. Meanwhile in France, the Peace of Bourges temporarily halts the Mad War.
now off for a run, dodging brickbats from Richard III supporters... Richard used to do a good chocolate advert too...
9 April: 1495 — As we leave the middle ages Brother Jon Cor, a Franciscan Friar, records world’s first Scotch Whisky. March of time speeds up...
10 April: 1504 — Michaelangelo’s David in Florence; & naughty old Leonardo dV & Machiavelli divert Arno river against Pisa. Also in 1504 Matthias Grünewald paints Crucifixion....
Karl Barth kept a copy on his desk
11 April: 1510 — Catherine of Aragon produces stillborn daughter, Thomas More becomes Under-Sherriff of London Henry VIII wins a joust without cheating (they say)
12 April: Happy Easter! 1530 — the year of the Augsburg Confession, prepared for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
13 April: 1537 — Monasteries dissolved in England, foundation of Recife by Portuguese in Brazil; first mention of Bangalore in India
14 April: 1545 — The Mary Rose sinks near Portsmouth, and the Council of Trent starts up: eyes down for a full house...
15 April: 1563 — English lose LeHavre; Council of Trent closes, Northern seven years war breaks out... (Big Danes/Swedes punchup) Council of Trent organises RC Church as modern denomination, but fails to organise Brewery, Nottingham University, or Boots the Chemist.
16 April: 1570 — Ivan the Great's Massacre of Novgorod, & Pius V Papal Bull excommunicates Elizabeth I
17 April: 1581 — Union of Utrecht proclaims independence from Philip of Spain & becomes republic. Francis Drake, Circumnavigator, knighted... As Elizabteh I knights old pirate she askes him "But where are your buccaneers?" & he replies, “Why, Ma'am, stuck to both sides of me buccan... (at this point 140 character limit cut in)
18 April: 1592 — Henry IV of France converts to Roman Catholicism, divorcing Queen Marguerite of Navarre. Mistress Gabrielle d’Estes bore him four kids, though... Punters down 1591 betting shop might have put serious money on France ending up Protestant! Henry's conversion to Roman Catholicism involved divorcing his wife... Minus Henry VIII = Henry IV. The tale also shows how pre-Louis XIV/ Napoleon France was loose conglomeration of landes, not modern nation.