s basement flat; James Hewitt from his regiment's barracks and Stringfellows nightclub after his revelations about the Princess of Wales; the M11 protesters in Wanstead from their rooftops; eight Tory MPs from the party whip; the Duchess of York from herrented house in Sunningdale, with a month's notice.
TODAY is the feast day of Saint Damasus, 4th-century Pope, who was elected and kept in office by a civil regime of considerable cruelty and "barbarous proceedings", though Christian historians exonerated Damasus of involvement, and of charges of "incontinence", believed to be concocted by his enemies. A pagan historian of the time notes that the prelates of Rome lived a luxurious life. True or not, Damasus's claim on sainthood is hard to discover. His most memorable act was to employ as secretary the great scholar Saint Jerome, whose studies led to the Vulgate version of the Bible.
11 December, 1282: Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, last native Prince of Wales, was killed in battle.
1747: Edmund Curll, English bookseller and scurrilous pamphleteer, died. He was twice called before the House of Lords for lampooning its members and was tried and imprisoned for publishing pornographic stories, such as Venus in the Cloister: or A Nun inher Smock. He is satirised by Pope in The Dunciad. His mischievous biographical sketches of the recently deceased led the writer John Arbuthnot to say in a letter to Jonathan Swift that Curll was "one of the new terrors of death".