Welcome to Monday. I am currently sat at home in isolation, with my wife and I having succumbed to the dreaded Covid-19 after managing to avoid it for the last two and a half years! Still, it gives me the chance to indulge my fancy in yet another Spark! to start the week.
Today in History: 3rd October 1283 – Dafydd ap Gruffydd hung drawn and quartered for Treason
Dafydd ap Gruffydd (David son of Griffith) was the last native Prince of Wales before King Edward I imposed English rule over the principality in 1283. David was the third of four brothers (the others being Llywelyn, Owain & Rhodri) and was a grandson of Llywelyn the Great, King of Gwynedd and Prince of Wales.
Having been given as hostage to Henry III of England along with his younger brother, David eventually returned to Wales and joined his brother Owain in a revolt against their big brother Llywelyn.
After much sibling rivalry and changing of sides (these Welsh brothers make soap operas look tame), David eventually took up arms against King Edward I of England over Easter 1283, having previously sided with him against his brother.
King Edward sent a large force to Wales and surrounded David’s base in Snowdonia. The rebel prince was eventually forced out and captured by mostly Welsh troops. He was taken to Shrewsbury where he was tried for “Treason against the kings’ person”. He was dragged through Shrewsbury tied to a horses tail before being hung, revived, his entrails cut out and burned in front of him and then chopped into four parts. Nice. He is said to be the first person to have suffered this cruel punishment that later became standard for offences of treason.
Edward I later had his son, Edward II, proclaimed Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle, starting the tradition whereby the eldest son of the Monarch is appointed Prince of Wales, as when King Charles recently proclaimed Prince William, Duke of Cambridge to be Prince of Wales.
I have long had an interest in Welsh history having gone there on the occasional holiday since I was two years old. I got to know this period not through boring, dry history books but via the “Brothers of Gwynedd quartetOpens a new window” a series of historical novels by the late Edith Pargeter, better known as Ellis Peters, author of the popular Brother Cadfael novels.
Read more here.Opens a new window
Also on this day
52BC – Vercingetorix, chief of the Gauls, surrenders to Julius Caesar. If only Asterix had been there!
1863 – President Abraham Lincoln declares the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day
1942 – A German V2 rocket reaches a record altitude of 85km
1962 – Wally Schirra launched into space atop Mercury 8
1985 – Space Shuttle Atlantic makes maiden flight
1916 – James Heriot, British vet and author (All creatures great and Small)
1941 – Chubby Checker, US singer (Let’s Twist Again)
1949 – Lindsey Buckingham, US singer-songwriter (Buckingham-Nicks, Fleetwood Mac)
1954 – Stevie Ray Vaughan, US guitarist, songwriter & producer
1969 – Gwen Stefani, US singer-songwriter
1226 – Francis of Assisi, Italian Friar and Saint
1867 – Elias Howe, US engineer, inventor of the sewing machine
1967 – Woody Guthrie, US folk singer
1998 – Roddy MacDowell, British actor (Planet of the Apes)
2005 – Ronnie Barker, British comic and writer (The Two Ronnies, Porridge)
Recipe of the day: One-pot bacon, spinach and tomato pasta
As I am not feeling great at the moment, this one-pot recipe from BBC FoodOpens a new window is quick and easy
· 2 tbsp olive oilOpens a new window
· 4 rashers smoked back baconOpens a new window, cut into roughly 1.5cm/⅝in slices
· 1 garlicOpens a new window clove, finely sliced
· ¼ tsp dried chilliOpens a new window flakes (optional)
· 900ml/1½ pint vegetable or chicken stockOpens a new window, made with 1 stock cube
· 250g/9oz dried spaghettiOpens a new window
· 150g/5½oz cherry tomatoesOpens a new window, halved
· 100g/3½oz young spinachOpens a new window leaves
· 50g/1¾oz ParmesanOpens a new window, finely grated
· freshly ground black pepperOpens a new windowMethod
1. Heat half the oil in a wide casserole or frying pan. (You can also cook this in a large saucepan, but you may need to break the spaghetti in half to make it fit later.)
2. Fry the sliced bacon over a medium heat for 1½–2 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining oil, garlic and chilli, if using, and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. When the pasta is tender, but there is still plenty of liquid in the pan, add the tomatoes and spinach leaves. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft, but holding their shape and nearly all the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Stir in the grated parmesan, season with black pepper and serve.
Quote of the Day:
“Seven hundred thousand people who have dementia in this country are not heard. I'm fortunate; I can be heard. Regrettably, it's amazing how people listen if you stand up in public and give away $1 million for research into the disease, as I have done.”
– Sir Terry Pratchett
Comic of the Day:
Mouseover: ‘It's made me way more excited about ferris wheels, subways, car washes, waterslides, and store entrances that have double doors with a divider in the middle.’
Image Credit: https://xkcd.com/2679/Opens a new window
Inspirobot Always Controversial, Occasionally Inspirational Quote of the Day:
Read the latest episode of ’s cereal Spark! from Friday here: