Today in History, May 28, 1503:
King James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor of England marry, fulfilling an international agreement which had been sanctioned by the Pope, The Treaty of Perpetual Peace between England and Scotland.
As it turns out, “perpetual” peace is good for about 10 years. In 1513 James declares war on England in support of France, who Scotland had a previous treaty with…and England had declared war on France.
The Pope would excommunicate James IV for going back on his word, and he would soon die during the Battle of Flodden Field, becoming the very last Monarch of the British Empire to die in battle.
Today in History, January 13, 1128:
The Knights Templar are named an “Army of God” and given a papal sanction by Pope Honorius II. The Templars protected pilgrims traveling to and from the Holy Land during the Crusades. They called themselves the Templars after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where they were headquartered.
By the 14th century the wealthy and powerful had become jealous of the wealth and status of the Templars. The Templars were arrested, accused of heresy, tortured, and burned at the stake. Pope Clement V dissolved the Templars and their extensive property and wealth was turned over to the French and English monarchies. Today’s Catholic church has acknowledged the unfounded persecution of the order.
Today in History, June 11: 1509 – Unbeknownst to her, Catherine of Aragon takes her life in her own hands when she marries Henry the VIII, King of England, becoming his first wife. When Catherine failed to produce a male heir for the King, he divorced her, which was much more mild that the fate of two other wives (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) who he had executed for adultery when he grew bored of them. Henry’s first divorce set off the Protestant Reformation in England as the Catholic church would not sanction the divorce. 3 of his (all from different mothers) heirs would take turns on the throne, Edward VI, Mary, and finally Elizabeth I.