Mr. Burbage’s Last Act
1619 The death of Richard Burbage, English actor and theatre owner. Richard and his brother Cuthbert had family interests in two London theatres, and ended up tied up in lawsuits. The Blackfriars Theatre they kept, the other, called simply The Theatre, was dismantled when they could not resolve terms for a new lease with the landowner. The beams, posts, and other remnants of The Theatre were moved to a new location on the south side of the Thames River and reassembled into a new playhouse called the Globe, famous as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
What Did We Breathe Before Him?
1733 Dr Joseph Priestley, scientist (and discoverer of oxygen) was born. He was also a theologian, clergyman and natural philosopher.
More Tea, Prime Minister?
1764 The birth, in Falloden, Northumberland, of Charles Earl Grey, British Prime Minister. He is linked with Earl Grey tea, after a blended tea was supplied to him as a gift and the sample was copied. He is commemorated by Grey’s Monument – a 135 ft high column in the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Cobham’s Flying Circus
1926 Alan Cobham landed at Croydon Aerodrome, near London, after a 16,000-mile flight to Cape Town and back to establish a commercial air route across Africa. Formerly a member of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I, he became a test pilot for the de Havilland aircraft company, and was the first pilot for the newly formed de Havilland Aeroplane Hire Service. In 1932 he started National Aviation Day displays which toured the country and was generally known as ‘Cobham’s Flying Circus’.
Those Were The Days
1935 Voluntary driving tests were introduced in Britain and became compulsory in June of the same year.
My Old China
1972 Britain and China resumed full diplomatic relations after a break of 22 years.
1996 Thomas Hamilton, a lone gunman carrying 4 handguns killed 16 children and their teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland. The killer fired randomly around the school gym in an attack that lasted just three minutes, but caused carnage in the class of five and six year olds. He then turned the gun on himself. Hamilton had been a scout master briefly before being sacked by the Scout Association. The event became a rallying point for anti-gun legislation.