Three stories from April 15th in days gone by

The first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site was finished it in 1092. In 1141 the timber roofing was destroyed in a fire.  It was rebuilt and expanded but in Monday 15th April 1185 the cathedral was mostly destroyed by an earthquake – one of the largest felt in the UK. The damage to the cathedral is thought to have been very extensive: the Cathedral is described as having “split from top to bottom”. All that was left standing was the lower part of the west end and two attached towers.  Seven years later the rebuilding began.  It started with the choir and the east transepts; then came the main transepts, the chapter house, the central tower and nave.  The cloisters, presbytery and retro-choir were completed in the late 13th century.

Nearly 300 years later – on Saturday 15th April 1452 – saw the birth of an illegitimate son to a Florentine notary and a peasant woman. They named him Leonardo and he studied art in Florence before settling in Milan. There, in 1498, he painted one of his most famous works – The Last Supper – on the wall of a convent refectory.   Around 1504 he completed the Mona Lisa.  His given name was Leonardo, his family name da Vinci.

It was much later, on Wednesday 15th April 1942, that King George VI, in a letter to Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie the Governor of Malta awarded the George Cross so as to “bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people” during the great siege they underwent in the early part of World War II. Italy and Germany had besieged Malta, then a British colony, from 1940 to 1942. When the conflict was over the George Cross was incorporated into the Flag of Malta and remains on the current design of the flag.

 

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