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5 things that happened On This Day: 12 May

What happened on this day in history? We round up five famous events, births, battles and deaths...

Published: May 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

12 May

1191: Berengaria of Navarre married King Richard I of England in the Chapel of St George in Limassol, Cyprus, and was crowned queen on the same day. She is the only queen of England never to have set foot on English soil.


1763: Surgeon, anatomist, art lover and teacher, John Bell, was born in Edinburgh. In 1790 he opened his own lecture theatre, and this may have led to his exclusion from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Nevertheless, Bell remained the city’s premier surgeon for more than 20 years.

1942: Start of the second battle of Kharkov, in which a major Soviet attempt to recapture the city from the Germans was encircled and smashed by a German counter-attack.

1310: In Paris, 54 Templars were burned at the stake outside the Porte St Antoine. Two years later their order was formally dissolved by Pope Clement V.

1809: Helped by the local Portuguese, British troops under Sir Arthur Wellesley crossed the river Douro at Oporto and catch Marshal Soult’s French army by surprise. The French were forced into a hasty retreat.


Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules


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