FYI March 26, 2018


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On This Day

1351 – Combat of the Thirty: Thirty Breton knights call out and defeat thirty English knights.

The Combat of the Thirty (26 March 1351[1]) (French: Combat des Trente) was an episode in the Breton War of Succession, a war fought to determine who would rule the Duchy of Brittany. It was an arranged fight between picked combatants from both sides of the conflict.

It was fought at a site midway between the Breton castles of Josselin and Ploërmel between thirty champions, knights and squires on each side, in a challenge issued by Jean de Beaumanoir, a captain of Charles of Blois supported by the King of France, to Robert Bemborough, a captain of Jean de Montfort supported by the King of England.

After a hard-fought battle, the Franco-Breton Blois faction emerged victorious. The combat was later celebrated by medieval chroniclers and balladeers as a noble display of the ideals of chivalry. In the words of Jean Froissart, the warriors “held themselves as valiantly on both sides as if they had been all Rolands and Olivers.”[2] This idealised account conflicts with a version according to which the combat arose from the mistreatment of the local population by Bemborough.


Born On This Day

1698 – Prokop Diviš, Czech priest, scientist and inventor (d. 1765)
Dom Prokop Diviš, O.Praem. (Czech pronunciation: [ˈprokop ˈɟɪvɪʃ][1]) (26 March 1698 – 21 December 1765) was a Czech canon regular, theologian and natural scientist. In an attempt to prevent thunderstorms from occurring, he inadvertently constructed one of the first grounded lightning rods.

Early life
He was born Václav Divíšek[2] on 26 March 1698 in Helvíkovice, Bohemia (now Ústí nad Orlicí District, Czech Republic). As a child, he began his studies at the Jesuit gymnasium in the town. In 1716, at the age of 18, he entered a gymnasium run at the Premonstratensian abbey located in the village of Louka, where he completed his basic studies in 1719.

Divíšek then entered the novitiate of the abbey, taking the name Prokop (or Procopius). He completed this period of probation the following year and professed his religious vows in the Order. He then proceeded to study philosophy and theology in preparation for ordination to the Catholic priesthood, which occurred in 1726. From 1729-1735 he taught philosophy at the abbey gymnasium.[3] During this period, he was sent by his abbot to the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg (now the University of Salzburg) to pursue advanced studies in theology. In 1733 he completed his doctoral dissertation, and was granted the degree of Doctor of Theology.[4]

Diviš then returned to his abbey and resumed the monastic life of a canon regular, serving as sub-prior of the abbey. In 1736 he was appointed as pastor of a parish in Přímětice (now part of Znojmo) which was served by the abbey. He served in that capacity for five years, before being recalled to the abbey in April 1741, where he served as its prior. During the spring of the following year, in the course of the First Silesian War, the abbot, Antonin Nolbek, was arrested by the forces of the Kingdom of Prussia and taken to a prison in Prussia. The payment of a large ransom by Diviš for the abbot’s release incurred his displeasure, leading him to return Diviš to the parish in Přímětice.[4]




By Hannah Summers: Philip Kerr, author of Bernie Gunther novels, dies aged 62
By Danuta Kean: Philip Kerr obituary
Philip Ballantyne Kerr (22 February 1956 – 23 March 2018) was a British author.[1][2][3] He was probably best known for his Bernie Gunther series of 13 historical thrillers. Read more ->

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