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Women in History: April 5th


– Two hundred Dutchmen under Hendrick van Brederode hasten into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise protesting against the Spanish Inquisition in the Seventeen Provinces.

1614 – Pocahontas, a Powhatan Native American marries John Rolfe, an English colonist. Together the couple would produce a son, Thomas Rolfe. She converted to Christianity before her marriage to Rolfe.

1710 – The Statute of Anne (named thus for Queen Anne of Great Britain) is given the Royal Assent thus establishing the Copyright Law of the United Kingdom.

Born on this day in…

1170 – Isabelle of Hainault (d. 1190) was the Queen of France and the first wife of King Philip II. The marriage was arranged by her uncle, Philip, Count of Flanders who was advisor to the king. Since her father, Baldwin V, Count of Hainault claimed to be a direct descendant of Charlemagne, their marriage was regarded as a joining of the Capetian and Carolingian dynasties. Unfortunately, the marriage was an unhappy one since Isabelle failed to produce an heir and because her father sided with her husband’s enemies. Her husband called a council at Sens with the purposing of annulling their marriage. In response to this, she appeared barefoot as a penitent in the churches and the common people fought for the queen. They railed against the French King. Isabelle was not only just a stunning woman but she was a well-beloved queen. When she died, she was greatly mourned.

1472 – Bianca Maria Sforza (d. 1510) was an Italian noblewoman who belonged to the Sforza family and was the Holy Roman Empress, second wife to Maximilian I. Even though Bianca was a beauty and she brought 400,000 ducats as her dowry, the marriage proved to be a rather unhappy one. Maximilian, who had loved his first wife, Mary of Burgundy, saw all the flaws in Bianca. It seemed to be nearly impossible for her to win his affections. He said she was unwise, uneducated, wasteful with money, talkative, naive, and careless. After her father was assassinated when she was a child, she was raised by her uncle, Ludovico Il Moro completely neglected her education.

1761 – Sybil Ludington (d. 1839) was daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington and is a lesser-known Revolutionary War heroine. On the night of the 26th of April in 1777, the then 16-year-old rode her horse, Star, to warn the militia forces about approaching British regular forces. It is said that she rode more than twice the distance of Paul Revere.

1863 – Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (d. 1878) was the eldest daughter of Louis IV, Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. Her grandparents were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, respectively. When her mother died young, she took care of her younger siblings and acted as a maternal figure. She married Prince Louis of Battenberg in a love match and the two lived at different naval posts all over Europe during their life. It is said that she was liberal, bright, straightforward, and practical. When World War I broke out, she and her husband changed their surname from Battenberg to something ultimately more British-sounding as Mountbatten. Victoria is the maternal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Died on this day in…

1205 – Isabella I of Jerusalem (b. 1172) was Queen Regnant of Jerusalem from the year 1190 until her death. She was married four times: Humphrey IV of Toron, Conrad of Montferrat, Henry II of Champagne, and Amalric I of Cyprus. After she was crowned Queen of Jerusalem, her husband, Conrad of Montferrat was ambushed by two men and killed. Years later when she passed away, her daughter, Maria of Monteferrat succeeded her as Queen Regnant of Jerusalem.

1258 – Juliana of Liège (b. 1192 or 1193) was a Norbertine Canoness Regular and mystic. She is revered as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. She had long been an advocate for the Feast of Corpus Christi, which was first celebrated in Liège in 1246 and it was later adopted by the whole church. Her patronage is devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

1693 – Anne Marie Louise d’Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier (b. 1627), known as La Grande Mademoiselle was the eldest daughter of Gaston d’Orléans and his first wife, Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier. When she passed away in 1693, since she had no children or heirs, she left the entirety of her fortune to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. She was known to have brought the famous composer, Lully to the French Court.

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