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Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles IV, born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side, he was the eldest son and heir of King John of Bohemia, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was the sister of King Wenceslas III, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia. On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles IV was born to King John of the Luxembourg dynasty and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia of the Czech Premyslid Dynasty in Prague.

He was named Wenceslaus, the name of his maternal grandfather, King Wenceslaus II. He chose the name Charles at his confirmation in honor of his uncle, King Charles IV of France, at whose court he was resident for seven years, he received French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, German and Italian. In 1331, he gained some experience of warfare in Italy with his father. At the beginning of 1333, Charles went to Lucca to consolidate his rule there. In an effort to defend the city, Charles founded the town of Montecarlo. From 1333, he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence and deteriorating eyesight. In 1334, Charles was named Margrave of the traditional title for heirs to the throne. Two years he assumed the government of Tyrol on behalf of his brother, John Henry, was soon involved in a struggle for the possession of this county. On 11 July 1346, in consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen as Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the prince-electors at Rhens.

As he had promised to be subservient to Clement, he made extensive concessions to the pope in 1347. Confirming the papacy in the possession of vast territories, he promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, to defend and protect the church. Charles IV was in a weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to as a "Priests' King". Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Worse still, Charles backed the wrong side in the Hundred Years' War, losing his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, with Charles himself escaping from the field wounded. Civil war in Germany was prevented, when Louis IV died on 11 October 1347, after suffering a stroke during a bear hunt. In January 1349, House of Wittelsbach partisans attempted to secure the election of Günther von Schwarzburg as king, but he attracted few supporters and died unnoticed and unmourned after a few months.

Thereafter, Charles faced no direct threat to his claim to the Imperial throne. Charles worked to secure his power base. Bohemia had remained untouched by the plague. Prague became his capital, he rebuilt the city on the model of Paris, establishing the New Town. In 1348, he founded the Charles University in Prague, named after him and was the first university in Central Europe; this served as a training ground for lawyers. Soon Prague emerged as the cultural center of Central Europe. Having made good use of the difficulties of his opponents, Charles was again elected in Frankfurt on 17 June 1349 and re-crowned at Aachen on 25 July 1349, he was soon the undisputed ruler of the Empire. Gifts or promises had won the support of the Swabian towns. In 1350, the king was visited at Prague by the Roman tribune Cola di Rienzo, who urged him to go to Italy, where the poet Petrarch and the citizens of Florence implored his presence. Turning a deaf ear to these entreaties, Charles kept Cola in prison for a year, handed him as a prisoner to Clement at Avignon.

Outside Prague, Charles attempted to expand the Bohemian crown lands, using his imperial authority to acquire fiefs in Silesia, the Upper Palatinate, Franconia. The latter regions comprised "New Bohemia," a string of possessions intended to link Bohemia with the Luxemburg territories in the Rhineland; the Bohemian estates, were not willing to support Charles in these ventures. When Charles sought to codify Bohemian law in the Maiestas Carolina of 1355, he met with sharp resistance. After that point, Charles found. In 1354, Charles crossed the Alps without an army, received the Lombard crown in St. Ambrose Basilica, Milan, on 5 January 1355, was crowned emperor at Rome by a cardinal in April of the same year, his sole object appears to have

Catherine Hayes (murderer)

Catherine Hayes, sometimes spelled Catharine Hayes, was an English woman, burned at the stake for committing petty treason by killing her husband. Catherine Hall was born near Birmingham in the daughter of poor parents. At the age of 16, she obtained employment as a servant within the household of a Warwickshire farmer named Hayes; the son of this household was 21-year-old John Hayes, who worked as a carpenter, who soon fell in love with her. Within a year of their acquaintance, the two were married. Several years into their marriage, the couple moved to London and set up a small shop in Oxford Road, while renting lodgings. Hayes became a successful pawnbroker, his wife would bear 12 children. Towards the end of 1725, two men named Thomas Thomas Billings lodged with the couple. Having been promiscuous since her mid-teens, Hayes began conducting affairs with both men, the trio soon decided to kill John Hayes. On 1 March 1726, they persuaded him to partake in a drinking contest killed him once he was intoxicated.

The trio dismembered Hayes's body, subsequently discarding many of his of body parts in a pond at Marylebone. The head was found the next day, it was displayed in the churchyard of St Margaret's, for several days, which resulted in John Hayes being identified. On 24 March, the trunk and limbs were discovered. Catherine Hayes and Billings had meanwhile been arrested on a warrant. Wood was captured shortly afterwards, confessed. Billings admitted his complicity, but Hayes denied all knowledge of the murder. At the trial, Hayes pleaded'not guilty', but was convicted of petty treason, sentenced to be burned at the stake. Wood and Billings were sentenced to be hanged; the case excited much popular attention, many noblemen and gentlemen attended the trial. Before 9 May, the day fixed for Wood died in Newgate Prison. Hayes unsuccessfully tried to poison herself. On 9 May, she was tied to a stake at Tyburn with a halter affixed round her neck. One early report stated that "the executioner was foiled in an endeavour to strangle her by the burning of the rope, the woman was killed by a piece of wood, thrown at her head and dashed out her brains".

It was stated that Hayes was "the last woman in England to be burnt alive for petty treason". Billings was hanged in chains in Marylebone Fields. Ballads were written about Hayes' crime, a correspondent of the London Journal compared the murder of John Hayes to the play Arden of Feversham. William Makepeace Thackeray based his story of Catherine, which first appeared in Fraser's Magazine 1839–40, on the career of Catherine Hayes; the story of John and Catherine Hayes was told in the 28 October 1953 episode of the CBS radio series Crime Classics entitled "John Hayes, His Head, How They Were Parted." Catherine Hayes was portrayed by Betty Harford. Wilson, Colin. World Famous Murders. London: Parragon. Pp. 135–145. ISBN 978-0-752-50122-2. Early Online website featuring contemporary newspaper reports regarding the case of Catherine Hayes The proceedings of the Old Bailey: London's Central Criminal Court: 1674: 1913 online account of the murder of John Hayes

Balmer Lawn

Balmer Lawn is the name of a large New Forest Lawn located in an amphitheatre of woodland in the New Forest National Park in Hampshire, England. It is just north of the village of Brockenhurst; the lawn comprises about 500 acre of open low land grazing frequented by Forest stock. The name of the area comes from a distortion of the historical name Palmers Water - reference “Comyn’s New Forest” of 1817. Palmers Water was in fact a small settlement which has long since disappeared but was located to east of the ford on the Brockenhurst to Beaulieu road; the water being the Lymington River which separates Brockenhurst and the small settlement of Balmerlawn on the south side of the grazing lawn. The lawn of course remained and over time Palmers became Balmer aided by the local dialect; the river crossing on the south west corner of the lawn area is thought to have been recorded as a ford in Roman Times and mentioned in the Domesday Book. Along with St Nicolas Church a mile further south on the hill overlooking the area.

The most significant man made landmark is the Balmer Lawn Hotel built as a private house/hunting lodge around in the early 19th century and transformed into the current building around in the part of that century. It was known as ‘The Holt’ around that time. A major fire in the early 1970s changed the aspect of the hotel causing the original roof to be replaced with one in the mansard style; the hotel has been subject of modern “re-branding” assuming the name of the lawn itself. Tradition however lives on as in front of the hotel is the informal village cricket pitch, home of Brockenhurst Cricket Club, in use since around 1797; the hotel has hosted many famous guests throughout history including King George V, Russian Royalty, J. J. Sainsbury, Winston Churchill and U. S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. More the Top Gear team filmed at the hotel, countless Autumn Watch episodes are filmed around the hotel with the TV personalities staying at the hotel. During the First World War the hotel was commandeered as a field hospital.

Some people still remember injured soldiers being wheeled on luggage trolleys from Brockenhurst railway station to the hotel. In the Second World War the hotel was transformed into an Army Staff College; some of the "Orders for the Day" were issued from the hotel for the D-Day invasion. During the extensive refurbishment of the hotel, spent ammunition was found under the floorboards; the early years of the hotel's history were spent in private ownership. After the Second World War it was part of Myddleton Hotels and was a sister hotel to the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth. In 1973 the hotel latterly became an Associate Hilton Hotel. In October 1997 the hotel once again returned to private ownership; the Wilson family are continuously refurbishing the property. "Balmer Lawn Hotel website"