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28 April: On this day in history

What events happened on 28 April in history? We round up the events, births and deaths…

Published: April 28, 2022 at 5:05 am

28 April 1192: Members of Assassins cult kill Conrad I of Jerusalem

In spite of his renowned vigour and intelligence, Conrad was murdered just four days after becoming king


Conrad of Montferrat, who became king of Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, was widely regarded as one of the most impressive men of his generation. “Conrad was vigorous in arms, extremely clever both in natural mental ability and by learning, amiable in character and deed, endowed with all the human virtues, supreme in every council, the fair hope of his own side and a blazing lightning-bolt to the foe,” wrote one chronicler. But by that point, Conrad was also dead.

For Conrad, the spring of 1192 was dominated by a bitter feud with Richard I of England over the throne of Jerusalem. On 24 April, secure in his fortress at Tyre, Conrad heard the news that he had been elected king. Only four days later, however, the Assassins struck.

It was lunchtime, and Conrad was returning home from the house of his friend Philip, Bishop of Beauvais when he was accosted by two men, who plunged their daggers into his body. Death almost certainly came very swiftly. One of the murderers was killed on the spot; the other, wounded, was put to torture. It turned out that he was a member of the infamous Assassins, a Nizari Shia sect led by the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’, who supposedly encouraged them to gear themselves up for murder with copious amounts of hashish.

In reality, many of the lurid stories associated with the Assassins were probably invented. The real author of the plot to kill Conrad was almost certainly somebody much closer to home: Richard the Lionheart. Indeed, when Richard was later imprisoned by Leopold of Austria, Conrad’s murder featured heavily on the charge sheet.

28 April 1442

Edward of March, the second son of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville, was born in Rouen. In 1461 he was proclaimed King Edward IV, securing his throne at the battle of Towton and marrying Elizabeth Woodville three years later.

28 April 1503

The Spanish under de Cordoba defeated a French army under the Duke of Nemours at Cerignola in Apulia. It is considered to be the first major battle to have been largely won through the use of gunpowder small arms.

28 April 1611

The University of Santo Tomas was founded in Intramuros, Manila, on the Philippines. The driving force behind its foundation was Miguel de Benavides, the third Archbishop of Manila who had died six years earlier.

28 April 1859

Nearly 400 lives are lost as the Pomona, an American clipper carrying emigrants from Liverpool to New York, runs aground in the early hours of the morning off the coast of Wexford, Ireland.

28 April 1908

German industrialist Oskar Schindler is born in Moravia. In the Second World War he will save hundreds of Jews from being murdered by the Nazis by employing them in his factories.

28 April 1910

Pilot Claude Grahame-White made the first night flight in Europe, flying from Roade in Northamptonshire to Lichfield in Staffordshire while competing in the Daily Mail London to Manchester race.


28 April 1937

Saddam Hussein is born near Tikrit, Iraq.

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