On this day in 1735, John Arbuthnot, Scottish mathematician, physicist and author died.
He was a close friend of Johnathan Swift and Alexander Pope. His work, History of John Bull, popularised Bull as the proto-typical Englishman, although he probably did not invent the character. Arbuthnot was also co-founder, along with Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay and Thomas Parnell, of the satirical Scriblerus Club, founded "to ridicule false learning and bad teaching".
Today in 1545 the Battle of Ancrum Moor took place, where the Scots, led by the Earl of Douglas, managed to defeat a much larger English force. A local legend has it that a Lady Lilliard took part in the battle in a bid to avenge the death of her lover, who was killed by English troops. According to the story she fought well until dying of her wounds, and her memory is marked by the Lilliard Stone on the battlefield.
On February 27 1560 the Second Treaty of Berwick was signed. The treaty provided English financial and military aid to the Protestant Lords of Scotland as they fought to rid the country of Mary of Guise and her French forces.
Today's recipe: a quick, economical and low-fat family meal. Turkey mince stir fry with basil.