DATES TO REMEMBER
55BC: The arrival of Julius Caesar to these shores is a good start. An easy one to remember. Old baldy's visit was short but just about unforgettable for all concerned.
787: The Vikings make their first raids and Wantage man Alfred would soon be well on his way to greatness.
1066: The Battle of Stamford Bridge between Harold II and Harold Hardrada, King of Norway - if you want to show off. Otherwise the Battle of Hastings.
1215: King John signs the Magna Carta. Where? - on the bottom!
1314: Big home win for Scotland at Bannockburn. Regularly recalled after embarrassing football defeats.
1485: King Richard III killed at the Battle of Bosworth, conveniently bringing the Middle Ages to a close.
1649: King Charles I loses his head after over-staying his welcome in Oxford. 1688: The Glorious Revolution. A good date, less easy to recall what actually happened.
1745: Bonnie Prince Charlie invades England. But he only got as far as Derby.
1805: Battle of Trafalgar. So big it could yet be the date of an autumn Bank Holiday.
1832: The Reform Bill. Well, Dr Maddicott has it on his list of MUSTS...
I, of course, would add
And, of course, my favorite mnemonic for the holders of the English orb and scepter:
Willie, Willie, Harry, Steve,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry Three,
Edward One, Two, Three, Dick Two,
Henry Four, Five, Six, then who?
Edward Four, Five, Dick the Bad,
Harrys twain and Ned, the lad.
Mary, Lizzie, James the Vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again.
William and Mary, Anne o'Gloria,
Four Georges, William and Victoria.
Edward Seven, Georgie Five,
Edward, George and Liz (alive).