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A Month of: This Day in History

On this day

19th June 1566 – Birth of James VI and I of the United Kingdom. He was James VI of Scotland and became James I King of England after the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603 upon his accession to the throne. He was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, and succeeded to throne after the death of the last Tudor monarch, Queen Elizabeth I who died without an heir. He reigned for 22 years in an era known as the Jacobean era named after him, until his death in 1625, at the age of 58. He faced many problems in England, most notably the Gunpowder Plot in 1605.


19th June 1861 –Field Marshal Douglas Haig is born. He was a British senior officer during the First World War and commanded the British Expeditionary Force from 1915 to the end of the war, commanded during the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres and the Hundred Days Offensive. First applauded for his actions and mourned upon his death in 1928, from the 1960s he became an object of criticism for his leadership during the First World War, and became known as ‘Butcher Haig’ for the two million casualties under his command and became the model of class-based incompetent commanders unable to grasp modern tactics and technologies.


19th June 1896 – Birth of Wallis Simpson, the American socialite and wife of Edward VIII. Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, her third husband, formerly King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry her. After their wedding six months after his abdication she was awarded the title Duchess of Windsor, but without the style ‘Her Royal Highness’ instead being referred to as ‘Her Grace’, normally reserved for non-Royal dukes and duchesses.


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