[Daily article] January 7: William of Wrotham

William of Wrotham (died c. 1217) was a medieval English royal
administrator and clergyman. Hubert Walter, who was the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the king’s chief minister, gave William responsibility
for the royal tin mines in 1197, and the following year he was placed in
charge of tin production, an office later known as the Lord Warden of
the Stannaries. William also held ecclesiastical office, eventually
becoming Archdeacon of Taunton, and served King John of England as an
administrator of ecclesiastical lands and a collector of taxes. He was
in charge of the royal fleet in the south of England from 1206 until
1215, and was one of those responsible for the development of Portsmouth
as a naval dockyard. He is usually given the title of “keeper of ports”
or “keeper of galleys”, probably a forerunner of the office of First
Lord of the Admiralty. By 1215 William had joined the First Barons’ War
against John, but returned to the royalist cause after John’s death in
1216. The medieval chronicler Roger of Wendover called him one of John’s
“evil advisers”, but modern historians say Roger’s account was

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei made his first observation
of the four Galilean moons through his telescope: Ganymede, Callisto,
Io, and Europa, although he was not able to distinguish the latter two
until the following day.


The first official Italian tricolour was adopted by the
government of the Cispadane Republic.


Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell fatally crashed his
P-51 Mustang while in pursuit of a UFO near Fort Knox, Kentucky.


An article titled “Iran and Red and Black Colonization” was
published in the newspaper Ettela’at to attack Ruhollah Khomeini,
described as an Indian Sayyed.


A hot air balloon flight from Carterton, New Zealand, collided
with a power line while landing, causing it to catch fire, disintegrate
and crash, killing all eleven people on board.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

wide of the mark:
1. Of a projectile: missing the target.
2. (idiomatic) (Very) inaccurate.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Let us remember that revolutions do not always establish freedom.
Our own free institutions were not the offspring of our Revolution. They
existed before.  
–Millard Fillmore

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