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Weird History

Quiz: strange events and unusual questions

  1. What was signed in the same year Beijing was burned and captured by Genghis Khan?
  2. In 1884 the founder of which detective agency, tripped on the pavement and died from an infection after severely biting his tongue?
  3. Which war, fought between 1739 and 1748, was given its unusual name by Thomas Carlyle 110 years later?
  4. Who did Henry VIII marry just 11 days after Anne Boleyn's execution?
  5. Who was the last British sovereign to fight alongside his soldiers in battle?
  6. Who is quoted as saying: "Treat every Frenchman as if he was the devil himself"?
  7. Who in 1914 bombed and burned down Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth?

  8. Which king did not spend more than six months of his ten year reign in England?
  9. Despite being married to Elisabeth de St. Michel, who had affairs with dozens of mistresses including Mrs Lane, Mrs Burrows, Mrs Pennington, Betty Mitchell and the actress Elizabeth Knepp?
  10. The word 'gladiator' comes from the Latin word 'gladius', which means what?
  11. English priest Titus Oates invented which fictitious plot to kill King Charles II?
  12. Which sort of animals were awarded the first three Dickin Medals for animal gallantry during the Second World War?
  13. Abraham Lincoln was a champion in which sport?
  14. What is the name of the rock band, formed in 1994, that takes its name from a term used by the Allies in the Second World War to describe various UFOs?
  15. Which country has the world’s oldest parliament?
  16. Albert Einstein turned down the presidency of which country in 1952?
  17. In 1917, two young cousins claimed to have photographed what in their garden in Cottingley, near Bradford?
  18. Which war lasted for 116 years?
  19. Idi Amin lived in which country until his death in 2003?
  20. Queen Victoria was buried with a plaster cast of what part of her husband's body?
  21. The longer specimens of longbow found in the wreck of the 16th century Mary Rose were nearly how many feet in length?
  22. As he awaited to be hung, drawn and quartered on the gallows, who leapt to his death and died from a broken neck?
  23. In which country was Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, born?
  24. William Shakespeare in his will, left his wife his "second best what"?
  25. Which king of England was rumoured to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus?
  26. In 1660, Scottish aristocrat Thomas Urquhart is said to have died laughing upon hearing that which king had taken to the throne?
  27. A vital part of the UK air defences during World War Two, barrage balloons were filled with what gas?
  28. In which country's mountains did World War II Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda hide for 29 years before surrendering in 1974?
  29. Which Roman emperor tried to make his favourite horse a senator of Rome?
  30. Originally called fuchsine, what colour was renamed after a battle of 1859 to celebrate an Italian-French victory?
  31. Between 1838 and 1839, which country had its ports blockaded by France for a year during a conflcit known as the "Pastry War"?
  32. Helen Viola Jackson, who died in December 2020, was the last surviving widow of which war?


  1. Magna Carta (signed in 1215)
  2. The Pinkerton Detective Agency
  3. War of Jenkins’ Ear
  4. Jane Seymour
  5. George II (at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743)
  6. Horatio Nelson
  7. The suffragettes
  8. Richard I (King Richard the Lionheart)
  9. Samuel Pepys
  10. Sword
  11. Popish Plot
  12. Pigeons
  13. Wrestling
  14. Foo Fighters
  15. Iceland (called the Althing)
  16. Israel
  17. Fairies
  18. Hundred Years' War
  19. Saudi Arabia
  20. Hand
  21. 7 feet (up to 6 ft 11 inches)
  22. Guy Fawkes
  23. Austria
  24. Bed
  25. Edward II
  26. Charles II
  27. Hydrogen
  28. Philippines
  29. Caligula
  30. Magenta
  31. Mexico
  32. American Civil War