Churchill resigned from the Government after the Dardanelles fiasco and joined the army on the Western Front. He later rejoined the Government and was serving as minister of munitions in November 1918, when the Great War came to an end.
By chance, Churchill was in Downing Street again on Armistice night, dining at No 10 with Prime Minister Lloyd George. The sound of Londoners celebrating peace outside was so loud that it seemed ‘like the surf on the shore’ in the dining room, according to Churchill.
King Edward IV died in 1483 and was succeeded by Edward V, the elder of his two young sons. Their uncle Richard promptly imprisoned Edward in the Tower of London with a view to declaring him and his brother illegitimate and having himself crowned as king.
The only man standing in Richard’s way was Lord Hastings. As a member of the ruling council, Hastings would never have allowed Richard to declare his nephews illegitimate. Richard therefore decided to get rid of him.
On 13 June 1483, Hastings arrived at the Tower of London in time for a 9 a.m. meeting to discuss the arrangements for Edward V’s coronation. He suspected nothing as he joined the other council members in the council chamber at the White Tower.
Richard was all smiles at first. ‘My lord,’ he told the Bishop of Ely. ‘You have very good strawberries at your garden in Holborn. I require you, let us have a mess of them.’
Richard left the room while the strawberries were being fetched. He was in a very different frame of mind when he returned, suddenly accusing Hastings of treachery. Banging his fist on the table, he gave the signal for a squad of armed men to come rushing into the room.
‘I arrest thee, traitor!’ Richard told Hastings.
‘What me. my lord?’
‘Yea thee, traitor.’
Hastings was seized. Everyone else scattered while Richard told Hastings to prepare for death and confess to a priest at once. ‘For by Saint Paul, I will not to dinner till I see thy head off.’
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 62. In mounting shock, Lord Hastings gabbled a quick confession. Security then escorted him from the building. What happened next?
‘Riveting’ – Daily Mail
‘Fascinating’ – The Times
‘Outstanding’ – Midwest Book Review
‘Utterly absorbing’ – Macleans