TODAY is the feast day of Saint Finbar, founder of Cork in the seventh century and its first bishop. His life and death were marked by surprising wonders. On returning from a visit to Rome he passed through Wales to see St David, who, since Finbar had no boat, lent him a horse to return across the sea to Ireland. On a later visit to Rome, Pope Gregory was about to make Finbar a bishop, but had a vision that God wished to do it himself. So Finbar returned to Ireland where in full view of onlookers he was temporarily flown up into heaven to be anointed while oil poured forth from the ground. Once, sitting under a hazel bush talking about God, the catkins turned to hazel nuts before his very eyes. When Finbar died the sun didn't set for a fortnight.
25 September 1066: Harold II of England defeated Harald of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, 19 days before being killed at the Battle of Hastings.
1660: First recorded mention of a cup of tea being drunk in England. Samuel Pepys records in his diary: 'To the office where Sir W Batten, Collonel Slingsby, and I sat a while; and Sir R Ford coming to us about some business, we talked together of the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland - where Sir R Ford talked like a man of great reason and experience. And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink of which I never had drank before) and went away.'
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