The Book of Days



  Today's Page

  Calendar of Days


  Search Site


  Contact Us

  Site Map


  The Book of Days is proudly brought to
you by the members of


July 20 th

Born: Petrarch, Italian poet, 1304 (0. S.), Arezzo, in Tuscany; Eusebius Renaudot, oriental scholar, 1646, Paris; James Harris, author of Hermes, 1709, Salisbury; Auguste de Marmont, Duke of Ragusa, Bonapartist general, 1774, Chatillon-sur-Seine; Sultan Mahmoud II, 1785; Sir James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth, noted for his exertions in promoting education, 1804; John Sterling, poet and essayist, 1806, Kames Castle, Bute.

Died: Robert the Wise, king of France, 1031, Melun; Peter Lombard, bishop of Paris, 1164; Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, 1332, Musselburgh; Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, distinguished warrior, 1452; John Prideaux, bishop of Worcester, scholar and author, 1650, Bredon, Worcestershire; William Scrope, author of Days and Nights of Salmon Fishing, 1852, London; Caroline Anne Southey (nee Bowles), poetess and novelist, 1854, Buckland, near Lymington.

Feast Day: St. Joseph Barsabas, confessor, 1st century. Saints Justa and Rufina, martyrs, 304. St. Margaret, virgin and martyr, beginning of 4th century. St. Aurelius, archbishop of Carthage, confessor, 423. St. Ulmar, or Wulmar, abbot of Samer, 710. St. Ceslas, confessor, of the order of St. Dominic, 1242. St. Jerom Aemiliani, confessor, 1537.


The intolerable tyranny of the feudal system, aggravated by the enclosure of common lands by those who obtained grants of ecclesiastical estates, at the suppression of monasteries, drove the people of several of the English counties into open, though unconnected insurrection. The most formidable of these risings taking place in the county of Norfolk, local historians and ancient chroniclers have given it the distinctive appellation of 'the Norfolk Commotion!'

THE NORFOLK COMMOTIONThe first outbreak, early in the summer of 1549, was merely a village riot, in which some fences were destroyed; but one Robert Kett, a tanner, an energetic man of rude and ready eloquence, taking the leadership, the number of insurgents increased so rapidly, that, in a few days, he encamped on Mousehold Heath, about a mile from the city of Norwich, with a following of some twenty thousand men. Kett's first duty in this position being to feed his forces, he, styling himself the king's friend and deputy, issued warrants licensing 'all men to provide and bring into the camp at Mousehold, all manner of cattle and provision of victuals in what place so ever they may find the same, so that no violence or injury be done to any honest or poor man.'

Such was the effects of these warrants, that a fat sheep was sold in the camp for four pence; and bullocks, deer, and other provisions at proportionate prices. Having thus provided for his commissariat, Kett drew up, in form of a petition to the king, a list of the grievances under which the populace laboured, praying for their immediate redress. This petition is remarkably suggestive of its period, when a great part of the agricultural population was in a state of serfdom, one item praying 'that all bondmen may be made free, for God made all free, with his precious blood-shedding.' Strange to say, two of the grievances have been cause of complaint in our own day; namely, the great number of rabbits kept by large landed proprietors, and the differences in the size of the bushel measure in various localities.

While waiting the result of the petition, Kett maintained good order among his followers, daily holding a court and administering justice under the wide-spreading branches of a tree, named in consequence the Oak of Reformation. The reformed liturgy was read at the same place night and morning, by one of the vicars of Norwich, whom the insurgents had pressed into their service as chaplain; and other clergymen were not only invited to address them, but permitted to rebuke their rebellious conduct in the boldest manner.

The 20th of July 1549 was, for good or evil, the turning-point of the rebellion. On that day, the king's reply to the petition was delivered to Kett, with all due formality, by the York herald. It was to the effect that a parliament would be called in the following October, to consider and redress the petitioners' grievances; and that a general pardon would be granted to all, who should at once lay down their arms, and return to their respective homes. When York herald read the proclamation of pardon at the Oak of Reformation, some of the insurgents cried out, 'God save the king!' But Kett said, 'Kings are want to pardon wicked persons, not just and innocent men!' The herald then called Kett a traitor, and ordered his sword-hearer to arrest 'that captain of mischief;' but, the crowd beginning a great stir on every side, he was glad to depart in safety.

The departure of the herald being considered tantamount to a declaration of war, the people of Norwich attempted to fortify and defend their city. But Kett, attacking it with cannon, soon gained possession of it, leading the mayor and some of the principal inhabitants prisoners to the camp at Mousehold. And, with a grim kind of humour, the insurgents issued a mock-proclamation, stating such was their store of provisions, especially of fish, that a cod's head could be sold, at the Oak of Reformation, for one half-penny�the name of the unfortunate mayor being Codd. But his imprisonment was of the lightest kind, and, indeed, it does not appear that the rebels put any one to death in cold blood. There was one person, however, a lawyer, who had the reputation of being able to raise spirits, with fearful signs and wonders. It is not clear what they would have done to him, on his hiding place among thorns and briers being made known to them by a woman; but as they were hauling him with all reproach, he caused a tempest to arise, 'mighty showers fell mixed with hail,' and thus he made his escape.

It is uncertain how long this lawless state of affairs had lasted, before government made a serious attempt to restore order. The dates given of the events connected with Kett's rebellion, are exceedingly contradictory and confused. Early in August, the Marquis of Northampton, with Lord Sheffield, many knights, and 1,500 men, arrived at Norwich, sent by the council to put down the rebellion. Kett did not dispute the entrance of the royal troops into the city, but attacked them the same night, when the wearied soldiers were reposing after their long march. He again attacked them in the following morning, when Lord Sheffield and a great number being killed, the remainder fled back to London, 'hiding themselves in caves, groves, and woods by the way.'

The unexpected defeat of Northampton rendered the strongest measures necessary. An army, that had been prepared to march against Scotland, was sent, under the Earl of Warwick, to subdue the rebels in Norfolk. Warwick, entering Norwich, encamped his troops in the market-place; but Kett succeeded in capturing the royal ammunition and artillery. This loss compelled the earl to shut himself up in the city, and act on the defensive, while the rebels played upon him with his own artillery. At this juncture, Warwick's officers, considering the city to be untenable, urged upon him the immediate necessity of his leaving it. To this the stout earl 'valiantly answered, by God's grace not to depart the city, but would deliver it or leave his life. With these words he drew his sword, as did also the rest of the nobles, who were all there gathered together, and commanded after a warlike manner�and, as is usually done in greatest danger�that they should kiss one another's swords, making the sign of the holy cross, and by an oath, and solemn promise by word of mouth, every man to bind himself to the other, not to depart from the city, before they had utterly banished the enemy, or else fighting manfully, had bestowed their lives cheerfully for the king's majesty.'

A welcome reinforcement of 1,400 German mercenaries, determined Warwick to attack the rebels in their strong position on Mousehold Heath. But the infatuated men did not wait for the attack. Relying on an ancient prophecy, which foretold that:

'The country gnoffes, Hob, Dick, and Hick,
With clubs and clouted shoon,
Shall fill the vale,
Of Dussinsdale,
With slaughtered bodies soon;
The heedless men, within the dale,
Shall there be slain both great and small'

Kett left his vantage-ground upon the hill, and with twenty ensigns of war displayed, marched down into the vale. Warwick at once saw and embraced the opportunity offered by his enemy's folly. In the battle which ensued, the insurgents were defeated with great slaughter. Two thousand of the insurgents were killed in Dussinsdale, and 1,500 more were destroyed by Warwick's cavalry, in the wild flight that followed. A few, barricading themselves among their carts and wagons, fought desperately; and Warwick, wishing to spare their lives, sent a herald to summon them to surrender. But they, drinking to one another, in sign of good-luck, vowed to spend their lives fighting manfully, rather than trust to false promises of pardon. The earl, grieved, however, at the thought of so many brave men perishing, went to them himself, and pledged his honour that their lives would be spared. 'then every man laid down his weapons, and, as with one mouth cried: "God save King Edward!"'

A great number were hanged on the Oak of Reformation. Kett was made prisoner, and conveyed to London, but was subsequently sent back to Norwich, and hanged alive in chains on the top of the castle. His brother William, a butcher, who had also taken a leading part in the insurrection, was hanged in the same barbarous manner on the steeple of Wymondham church. Yet the rebellion, thus fiercely trampled out, led to important results, which it is not our province but that of the historian to enumerate and explain.


It was in the reign of Charles II that the public journals first began to be, to any considerable extent, the vehicles of advertisements. In that era many announcements of an extremely curious kind were made, as willfully appear from the following examples, freshly selected by a correspondent:

�Whereas John Pippin, whose grandfather, father, and himself have been for above 190 years past famous throughout all England for curing the rupture, making the most easy trusses of all sorts, both for men, women, and children, being lately deceased; This is to certify to all persons that Eleanor Pippin, the widow, who in his lifetime made all the trusses which he sold, lives still at "The Three Naked Boys," near the Strand Bridge, where she makes all manner of trusses. She also hath a gentleman to assist in the fitting of them upon men, he being entrusted by the said John Pippin in his lifetime.'�1679-80.

'At the sign of the "Golden Pall and Coffin," a coffin-maker's shop, at the upper end of the Old Change, near Cheapside, there are ready, made to be sold, very fashionable laced and plain dressings for the dead of all sizes, with very fashionable coffins, that will secure any corps above ground without any ill scent or other annoyance as long as shall be required.'�1679-80.

'The much approved necklaces of Joynts, of the great traveler J. C., which absolutely eases children in breeding teeth, by cutting them, and thereby preventing fevers, convulsions, &c., are sold by P. Barrel, at the "Golden Ball," under St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street.'�1679.

'One Robert Taylor, a dancing master, being in company of several neighbours in Covent Garden on Monday night last, about 10 of the clock, upon occasion of some words, killed one Mr. Price, of the same place, at the "Three Tuns' " Tavern, in Shandois Street. The said R. Taylor is a person of middle stature, hath a cut across his chin, a scar in his left cheek, having two fingers and a thumb of one hand burnt at the ends shorter than the other, round visaged, thick lipt, his own hair being of a light brown under a periwig; he lived in James Street, in Covent Garden. Whoever apprehends him, and gives notice thereof to Mr. Reynolds, bookseller, in gives Street, Covent Garden, shall have 10 pounds reward. And whereas it was printed in last week's Intelligence that he was taken, you are to take notice that it is most notoriously false.'�1679.

'The certain cure of agues of all sorts is performed by a physician of known integrity; they who desire his assistance may repair to his house, which is the first door on the right hand in Gun Yard, in Houndsditch. His hours are from 8 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon.'�1680.

'William Deval, at the sign of the "Angel and Stilliards," in St. Ann's Lane, near Aldersgate, London, maketh Castile, marble, and white soap, as good as any man sells; tried and proved, and sold at very reasonable rates.'�1680.

'Whereas one John Stuart, of a tall stature, black brows, a wart upon his cheek, in a black periwig, and a tawny or black suit, and campaign coat, has been lately entrusted to sell several pieces of black worsted, crapes, hair chamblets, black philemot, and sky-coloured mohairs, watered and unwatered; with which goods he is run away, and cannot yet be heard of. Whoever gives notice of the man and goods (who, it is thought, is gone towards Ireland) to Mr. Howard, in Milk Street Market, shall have 40s. reward.'�1680.

'A book in quarto, bound in parchment, about a quire of paper, near all writ out, being several accompts for work done, being missing out of a shop near Cheapside Conduit: supposed to fall off the stall, or other wayes, by some accident, lost about the middle of September last. If any will bring the said book to Mr. Hifftell's Coffee-house, in Cheapside, near the Nagg's Head Tavern, shall have 10s. reward.'-1680.

'October the 29th.�There was dropt out of a balcony, in Cheapside, a very large watch-case, studded with gold; if any person hath taken it up, and will bring it to Mr. Fells, a goldsmith, at the sign of the "Bunch of Grapes," in the Strand; or to Mr. Benj. Harris, at the sign of the "Stationers' Arenas," in the Piaza, under Royal Exchange, in Cornhill, shall have a guinney reward.'�1680.

'This is to give notice to all the Marshals, both in the city and countrey, that may be desirous to come to their namesake's feast, which will be the 13th of November 1679, at Mr. Edward Marshal's house, at the sign of the "Cock," in Fleet Street, where the tickets are delivered, and at Mr. Marshal's, bookseller, at the "Bible," in Newgate Street.' -1680.

'There is a side of a shop, ready furnished with all sorts of millinery goods, to be sold, and the said side of a shop to be let, all at reasonable rates; at the "Naked Boy," near Strand Bridge. Inquire at the said shop, or at the house of Mr. Van Auker, merchant, in Lime Street.'�1680.

'At Tobias' Coffee-house, in Pye Corner, is sold the right drink, called Dr. Butler's Ale, it being the same that was sold by Mr. Lansdale in Newgate Market. It is an excellent stomach drink, it helps digestion, expels wind, and dissolves congealed phlegm upon the lungs, and is therefore good against colds, coughs, physical and consumptive distempers; and being drunk in the evening, it moderately fortifies nature, causeth good rest, and hugely corroborates the brain and memory.'�1680.

'At the "Miter," near the west end of St. Paul's, is to be seen a rare collection of curiosityes, much resorted to, and admired by persons of great learning and quality; amongst which a choice Egyptian Mummy, with hieroglyphics; the Ant-Beare of Brazil; a Femora; a Torpedo; the huge Thigh-bone of a Gyant; a Moon-Fish; a Tropick-bird, &c.'�1664.

'Without Bishopsgate, near Hog Lane, over against the Watch-house, liveth one Jacob Summers, a weaver; who maketh and selleth town-velvets at reasonable rates.'�1664.

'Lost upon the 13th inst., a little blackamoor boy in a blew livery, about 10 years old, his hair not much curled, with a silver collar about his neck, inscribed "Mrs. Manby's blackamoor, in Warwick Lane." Whoever shall give notice of him to Mrs. Manby, living in the said lane, or to the "Three Cranes," in Pater-Noster Row, shall be well rewarded for his pains.'�1664.

'Whereas his sacred majesty (Charles II) has been pleased, after the example of his royal ancestors, to incorporate the musicians in England, for the encouragement of that excellent quality, and the said corporation to empower all that profess the said science, and to allow and make free such as they shall think fit. This is to give notice to persons concern'd, that the said corporation sits once a week in "Durham Yard," in pursuance of the trust and authority to them committed by his most gracious majesty.'�1664.

'At the "Angel and Sun," in the Strand, near Strand Bridge, is to be sold every day, fresh Epsum-water, Barnet-water, and Tunbridge-water; Epsumale, and Spruce-beer'�1664.

'These are to give notice to the heirs and trustees of William, Hinton, some time one of the servants of the late king; and to the heirs or trustees of the estate of one Christopher King, and Mr. Francis Braddock, sometimes of London, gent.; that there is a discovery of a concealment of some estate belonging to them or some of them, or to some persons claiming from them; whereof they may be informed if they repair to Mr. John Bellinger at his house in Clifford's Inn Lane, in Fleet Street'�1663.

'Stolen on Friday night, the 10th instant, from Peter Bennier, his majesty's sculptor, between Whitehall and Charing Cross, one blackmore cast from the life, and three or four other heads. If any person can bring notice of the blackmore to the said Peter Bennier, at his house over against the sign of the "Golden Balle," they shall be very well paid for their pains.'�1663.

'Fortescutus Illustratus: or, a commentary on that nervous treatise�De Laudibus Legum Anglice. Written by Sir John Fortescue, knight; first, Lord Chief justice; after, Lord Chancellor to King Henry Sixth. Which treatise was dedicated to Prince Edward, that king's son and heir; whom he attended in his retirement into France, and to whom he legally and affectionately imparted himself in the vertue and variety of his excellent discourse. He purposely wrote to consolidate his princely minde in the love and approbation of the good laws of England, and of the laudible customes of this his native country. The heroicke design of whose excellent judgment and loyal addiction to his prince, is humbly endeavoured to be revived, admired, and advanced. By Edward Waterhouse, Esq. Sold by Thomas Dicas, at the Hen and Chickens, in St. Paul's Church-yard.'�1663.

'A young brindled mastiff, cropped with three notches on the rump, four white feet, and a white streak down the face, was lost on Friday was seven-night, July 31. 'Tis one of the king's dogs, and whoever gives notice of him at the porter's lodge in Whitehall, shall have a very good reward.' -1663.


The 20th of July 1662, was marked in Lancashire and Cheshire by a storm of prodigious violence, accompanied by a fall of heavy hailstones. What, however, chiefly distinguished the day, was a travel-ling vortex or whirlwind, which produced some remarkable effects, and is thus vividly described in a volume, entitled Admirable Curiosities, &c., published in London in 1682.

'In the same day,' says this narration, 'in the after-noon, in the forest of Maxfield [Macclesfield], there arose a great pillar of smoke, in height like a steeple, and judged twenty yards broad, which, making a most hideous noise, went along the ground six or seven miles, levelling all the way; it threw down fences and stone walls, and carried the stones a great distance from their places, but happening upon moorish ground [moor-land] not inhabited, it did the less hurt. The terrible noise it made so frightened the cattle, that they ran away, and were thereby pre-served; it passed over a cornfield, and laid it as low with the ground as if it had been trodden down by feet; it went through a wood, and turned up above an hundred trees by the roots; coming into a field full of cocks of hay ready to be carried in, it swept all away, so that scarce a handful of it could after-wards be found, only it left a great tree in the middle of the field, which it had brought from some other place. From the forest of Maxfield, it went up by a town called Taxal, and thence to Wailey Bridge [Whaley Bridge], where, and nowhere else, it over-threw an house or two, yet the people that were in them received not much hurt, but the timber was carried away nobody knew whither. From thence it went up the hills into Derbyshire, and so vanished. This account was given by Mr. Hurst, minister of Taxal, who had it from an eye-witness.'


Huber, Bevan, and other naturalists who have studied the extraordinary habits and instincts of bees, have not yet succeeded in discovering the various circumstances which lead those insects to attack man in a hostile spirit. How far revenge, or retaliation for injuries received, influences them, is but imperfectly known. There is proof that, when the queen-bee dies, the hive is thrown into confusion and agitation; and it has been supposed by many persons that the insects, at such a time, would seek to attack any one who may have been concerned in the death of the great mother.

This, whether right or wrong, was the suggested explanation of an extraordinary attack by bees in Prussia, in 1820. As narrated in the Berliner Zeitung, the incident was as follows: On the 20th of July, M. Eulert, a merchant of Berlin, was traveling with his wife from Wittenberg to that city; they were in a private carriage, and a coachman was driving. While passing along the high-road, between Kroppstadt and Schmogelsdorf, the coachman observed the horses to rub uneasily against each other, as if stung by a horse-fly. Suddenly a swarm of bees appeared, or a collection of swarms, numerous beyond all reckoning.

They covered the carriage, horses, travelers, and coachman, but especially the living beings. They attacked the mouth, nose, eyes, and ears of each horse, until the poor animals, quite overcome, lay down unresisting. The coachman lost his hat while endeavouring to aid the horses, and the bees then fastened upon his head with such avidity, that his poor skull became covered with a matted mass of bees, hair, and blood; he threw himself on the ground in desperation, and became for a time insensible. Madame Eulert, as soon as the attack began, covered her face with her hood, got out of the carriage, hastened to a neighbouring field, and threw herself, face downwards, on the grass. M. Eulert then alighted, and shouted for help; but while his mouth was open, some of the bees entered it, and increased his troubles. He then covered his face and neck with a handkerchief, and ran to a place where he saw three peasants looking on; but they were too much alarmed to help him, and so he ran on further. He then met a woodman, a carrier with a cart, and three horses, and some labourers. After much entreaty, the carrier agreed to put his horses into a neighbouring stable, and to accompany M. Eulert, as did the others, all carrying dry hay and straw to burn. Arrived at the spot, they found Madame Eulert still lying, face downward, on the grass, very little injured. The poor coachman was lying nearly insensible, and for forty-eight hours his case was precarious. After burning much hay and straw to drive away the bees, M. Eulert and his helpers were able to examine the suffering horses; one was so maddened by the stinging it had received, that it died the same day; the other was taken to Schmogelsdorf, and placed under the care of a veterinary surgeon, but the poor animal died on the following day. M. Eulert, in attempting afterwards to assign a probable reason for this fierce attack, supposed that when the horses had been seen to rub against each other, a queen-bee was annoying one of them; that the rubbing crushed her; and that the attack by the swarm was an expression of the bees' resentment for the murder of their queen. Others sought no further than this for an explanation �that there were, at that time, no less than 2000 hives of bees in the commune of Schmogelsdorf; and that this number (greatly beyond the usual limit) increased the probability of attacks on men and animals.

July 21st