On This Day

7th February

Feast Day

St Richard of Wessex and his wife St. Wuna of Wessex

Richard and Wuna were the parents of Willibald, Winnibald, and Walpurga, who also saints. He was taken ill and died whilst on pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his sons and was buried in the Church of San Frediano in Lucca. Richard was venerated by the people of Lucca and reports were made of miracles happening at his tomb. They referred to him as a Prince of England but he wasn’t, neither was he a Duke of Swabia. Miracles were reported at his tomb and he was venerated by the people of Lucca who embellished accounts of his life, calling him a prince of the English. The Church of St Ricarius in Aberford is dedicated to him, and is the only British church so named so.

His daughter Walpurga became a nun in the double monastery founded by Willibald of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm. She became the abbess and superintendent of the Heidenheim monastery. Her education at Wimborne Abbey in Dorset, meant she was able to write, in Latin, Winibald’s vita and also an account of his travels in Palestine. Walpurga is often referred to as the first female author of both England and Germany.  Walpurga’s Night is named after her.

Events

1301 Edward of Caernarvon (later king Edward II of England) becomes the first English Prince of Wales

1783 French and Spanish forces lift the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

General Eliott and his senior officers watching the destruction of the Spanish Battering Ships on 13th September 1782

1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles leaves Singapore after just taking it over, leaving it in the hands of William Farquhar.

1863 HMS Orpheus sinks off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189.

1900 Second Boer WarBritish troops fail in their third attempt to lift the Siege of Ladysmith.

British gun and infantry picket – Ladysmith

Births

1726 Margaret Fownes-Luttrell, English painter

1837 James Murray, Scottish lexicographer and philologist

1873  Thomas Andrews, Irish shipbuilder and businessman, designed the RMS Titanic 

James Murray
Thomas Andrew
Margaret Fownes Luttrell

Deaths

1779 William Boyce, English organist and composer

1823 Ann Radcliffe, English author

1873 Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish author

William Boyce
Sheridan Le Fanu
Ann Radcliffe

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