[Daily article] December 28: Pain fitzJohn

Pain fitzJohn (died 1137) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman and
administrator, one of King Henry I of England’s “new men”, the ones who
owed their positions and wealth to the king. Pain’s family originated in
Normandy, but there is little to suggest that he had many ties there,
and he appears to have spent most of his career in England and the Welsh
Marches. A son of a minor nobleman, he rose to become an important royal
official during Henry’s reign. In 1115 he was rewarded with marriage to
an heiress, thereby gaining control of the town of Ludlow and its
castle, which he augmented with further acquisitions. He became the
sheriff in two counties near the border between England and Wales, and
heard legal cases as a royal justice in much of western England. He was
generous in his gifts of land to monastic houses. After Henry’s death in
1135 Pain supported Henry’s nephew, King Stephen. In July 1137 Pain was
ambushed by the Welsh and killed as he was leading a relief expedition
to the garrison at Carmarthen.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


An earthquake destroyed the city of Dvin, Armenia, causing about
30,000 casualties.


Taksin the Great was crowned king of the newly established
Thonburi Kingdom in the new capital at Thonburi, present-day Thailand.


The last confirmed sighting of the extinct huia took place in
the Tararua Ranges, North Island, New Zealand.


U.S. President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act
into law, a wide-ranging environmental law designed to protect
critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of
economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and


A suicide bomber attacked a Shi’ite commemoration in Karachi,
Pakistan, during a procession on the Day of Ashura, the holiest of days
for followers of Shia Islam.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

(chiefly law) The condition, or an act, of doing wrong; the act of
committing a tort.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.  
–Carrie Fisher

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