Events -1215 - King John of England put his seal on the charter of liberties drawn up by his barons at Runnymeade. Four days later, the barons swore oaths of fealty to King John, at which time the Magna Carta was created. The charter, which put limits on the power of the king and protected those of the barons, was declared null and void by Pope Innocent III, a ruling which was ignored by the barons. The charter, which was modified several times over the years, is considered the foundation of constitutional law in the English-speaking world.
1580 - Willem I, Prince of Orange, who led a revolt against Spain which resulted in the Eighty Years' War, was declared an outlaw by King Philip II of Spain. The war eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands. Philip promised a reward for William's assassination, an offer which was taken up by Balthasar Gérard four years later.
1905 - Princess Margaret of Connaught, daughter of Arthur, Duke of Connaught (son of Queen Victoria), married the Crown Prince of Sweden, Prince Gustaf. The couple had five surviving children, including the father of a future King of Sweden and a Queen Consort of Denmark. Eight-months-pregnant with her sixth child, Margaret died in 1920 due to a post-op infection. Gustaf married Margaret's cousin Louise Mountbatten (granddaughter of Queen Victoria's daughter Alice) in 1923 and became King of Sweden in 1950.
1978 - American Lisa Najeeb Halaby became the fourth wife of King Hussein of Jordan, taking the name Noor al Hussein on her conversion to Islam. She became friends with the King while he was mourning the death of his third wife due to a helicopter crash, and they became engaged the following year. Noor and Hussein had four children, two sons and two daughters, before Hussein's death in 1999.
Born on this date -1330 - Edward of Woodstock, son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Edward was invested as the third English Prince of Wales in 1343 and became the first Knight of the Garter in 1348. In 1361, he married his cousin Joan of Kent, by whom he had two sons. A renowned military commander, Edward was responsible for the English victories at Crécy and Poitiers during the Hundred Years' War. He became the first English Prince of Wales not to succeed his father as King of England, as he died on June 8, 1376 at the age of 45 (a week before his 46th birthday), a year before his father. His oldest son having died in 1372, his younger son succeeded Edward III in 1377 as King Richard II of England.
1519 - Henry FitzRoy, illegitimate but oldest surviving son of King Henry VIII of England and Elizabeth Blount. He was six when he was created Duke of Richmond and Somerset in 1525. After Henry's second daughter Princess Elizabeth was declared a bastard, there were rumors that Henry was planning to name his illegitimate son as his heir, but the duke died before an act which would have permitted this was passed by Parliament. Henry FitzRoy died July 23, 1536 at the age of 17, probably of tuberculosis. He had no children, as his marriage to Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, was unconsummated.
Died on this date -923 - King Robert I of France, aged 56. He was born on August 15, 866, the younger son of Robert IV of Neustria and Adelaide of Tours. The younger brother of Odo, King of the West Franks, he did not claim the kingdom after his brother's death, but remained a vassal under the rule of Charles III of France until 922, when he rebelled and had himself proclaimed King of France. Charles led an army against Robert and defeated him in battle at Soissons, where Robert was killed. His only son, born of his second wife Béatrice of Vermandois, was the father of Hugh Capet.
991 - Holy Roman Empress Theophano Skleraina, aged 30-31. She was born in 960 in Constantinople, the Constantine Skleros and Sophia Phokaina. Holy Roman Emperor Otto I wanted to marry his son to a Byzantine princess as part of a treaty between the Eastern and Western Empires. Her mother was a cousin of Byzantine Emperor Iōannēs I Tzimiskēs and neice of Emperor Nikēphoros II Phōkas, while her father was the brother of Iōannēs I Tzimiskēs first wife. She married Emperor Otto II on April 14, 972 and was crowned Empress the same day. Otto II died in 983, and Theophano became regent for their only son, who became Otto III. She died eight years later, with her mother-in-law taking over as regent until Otto III came of age.
1073 - Emperor Go-Sanjō (後三条天皇) of Japan, aged 40. He was born on September 3, 1032, the second son of Emperor Go-Suzaku (後朱雀天皇) and Empress Sadako (禎子内親王, daughter of Emperor Sanjō, 三条天皇) with the name of Takahito-shinnō (尊仁親王). He succeeded his older brother Chikahito (Emperor Go-Reizei, 後冷泉天皇) as emperor in 1068 when his brother died with no children. Go-Sanjō abdicated in favor of his son Sadahito (Emperor Shirakawa, 白河天皇) in 1072 and became a Buddist priest.
1246 - Friedrich II, Duke of Austria, aged 35. He was the son of Duke Leopold VI of Austria and Theodora Angelina of Byzantium and was born on April 25, 1211. He became heir to the duchy in 1228 on the death of his older brother Heinrich and succeeded his father in 1230. He died without children at the Battle of the Leitha River, fought against King Béla IV of Hungary. Although a woman could have inherited the duchy, it became a part of Bohemia with the marriage of Friedrich's sister Margaret to Ottokar II of Bohemia.
1341 - Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, aged 44. He was born on March 25, 1297, the son of so-Emperor Mikhaēl IX Palaiologos and Rita of Armenia. A rift developed between Andronikos and his grandfather Andronikos II after he accidentally killed his brother Manuel and his father Mikhaēl died of grief. Andronikos began a civil war against his grandfather and was eventually recognized as co-emperor in 1328, in which year he deposed his grandfather and became sole emperor. During his rule, the Ottoman Turks began encroaching on his territories in Asia Minor, and the Serbians expanded their territory into Macedonia. By his second wife, Anna of Savoy, he had four children, including his heir Iōannēs V Palaiologos and a daughter Maria, future Empress of Bulgaria.
1383 - Iōannēs VI Kantakouzēnos, aged about 91. He was the son of the governor of Morea Mikhaēl Kantakouzēnos and Theodora Palaiologina Angelina, which gave him a relationship to the reigning Palaiologos dynasty. After the death of Andronikos III Palaiologos, Iōannēs became regent for the nine-year-old heir, Iōannēs V Palaiologos. Iōannēs had no desire to become emperor himself, having declined several offers to become co-emperor during the reign of Andronikos III. When Iōannēs left for Morea, enemies who suspected him of wanting the throne for himself overthrew the regency, the army naming Iōannēs emperor when they found out, which started a six-year civil war. The war was ended with an agreement for the two Iōannēs to be co-emperors, and Iōannēs V Palaiologos to marry Iōannēs VI Kantakouzēnos' daughter Helena. After Iōannēs V Palaiologos seized sole power in 1354, Iōannēs VI Kantakouzēnos retired to a monastery. One of his sons, Matthaios, was co-emperor from 1353-1357 and a daughter, Theodora, was wife of Sulta Orhan of the Ottoman Empire.
1389 - Sultan Murad I of the Ottoman Empire, aged 62-63. Murad was born the son of Sultan Orhan I and Nilüfer Hatun in March or June 1326. He became Sultan in 1361 on the death of his father. During his reign, most of the Balkans came under Ottoman rule and the Byzantine Emperor was forced to pay him tribute. Murad was assassinated during the Battle of Kosovo Polje (fought against Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović of Moravian Serbia) and was succeeded by his son Bayezid I.
1389 - Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović of Moravian Serbia, aged 59-60. He was born around 1329, the son of Pribac Hrebeljanović, chancellor of King Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia. Serbia began falling apart during the reign of Stephan Uroš V Dušan, after which Lazar became knez (translated as Prince). When Stephan Uroš V Dušan died childless in 1371, Serbia split into several principalities, of which Moravia was the most powerful. The Turks began raiding into Moravia in 1381 and the threat from the Ottomans against Serbia increased until they met in the Battle of Kosovo Polje. Prince Lazar was killed during the battle and was succeeded by his son Stefan Lazarević under the regency of Stefan's mother Milica. The following year, Serbia submitted to the Ottoman empire. Lazar was later venerated in the Serbian Orthodox Church as a saint and martyr.
1467 - Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, aged 70. He was born on July 31, 1396, the son of Jean II of Burgundy and Margaret of Bavaria. He became Duke of Burgundy on his father's assassination in 1419. Blaming the Dauphin of France for his father's death - his father was killed during a meeting between the two - Philip allied himself with Henry V of England, marrying his sister Anne to Henry's brother John. Although he mostly stayed out of the Hundred Years' War, his troops were responsible for the capture of Jean of Arc. On his death, he was succeeded by his son Charles, who was the last Duke of Burgundy from the Valois family.
1888 - Kaiser Friedrich III of Germany, aged 56. The son of Wilhelm of Prussia (younger son of Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, later Wilhelm I) and Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, he was born on October 18, 1831. As early as 1851, Friedrich was looked at by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a husband for their oldest daughter Victoria, the Princess Royal, in the hopes of bringing liberal ideas to Germany. The couple became engaged in 1856 and were married on January 25, 1858. Their successful marriage produced eight children. However, the couple were at odds with the conservative ideals of Friedrich's father and his chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the two of whom greatly influenced Friedrich and Victoria's oldest son Wilhelm (later Kaiser Wilhelm II) against them. Friedrich was unable to implement any of his liberal ideals, as his father lived to age 90, by which time Friedrich was already dying of throat cancer. Friedrich ascended the throne March 9, 1888, reigning for only 99 days before losing his battle against cancer. He was succeeded by his oldest son, Wilhelm, who became the last Kaiser of Germany.