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English History: Strange But True

Richard Smyth

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William Buckland's ambition was to eat every species of creature on earth. Difficult bc at least 3 million or so, but he had a good stab at it. Highlight of his career was at a dinner at Nuneham House in Oxfordshire. After the dinner, the host brought out his prize exhibit - the embalmed and somewhat shrunken heart of Loius XIV. Buckland was impressed, and apparently, still hungry. "I have eaten many strange things" he remarked, :but have never eaten the heart of a king before." And before the host could stop him, Buckland gulped down the walnut sized royal heart in one.

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A few druids persisted in England and one had a very specific affect. In 1884 a devout druid by name of William Price took his son's body to a Welsh hilltop and cremated it. A court case ensued, and he was acquitted. Cremation became a legal option for first time in nearly two millenia.

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Schoolboy rhyme for remembering the order of English monarchs:

Willy, Willy, Harry, Ste: (William the C, William 2, Henry I, Stephen)
Harry, Rick, John, Harry Three: (Henry 2, Richard 1, John, Henry 3)
One, two, three Neds, Richard Two (Edward 1, 2, 3, Richard 2)
Harries Four, Five, Six, then who? (Henry 4, 5, 6)

Edwards Four Five, Dick the Bad; (Edward 4, 5, Richard 3)
Harries twain, and Ned the lad (Henry 7 and 8, Edward 6)

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Henry VIII wasn't first heir - his elder brother would have been the first King Arthur, but died at 18.

During reign of Eliz I strong anti-Catholic feelings. One way this was expressed was by constructing huge wicker effigies of the Pope, and then burning them. But to add the sound of the Pope's 'screams' as he burned, the effigies would be stuffed with live cats before being set alight.

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