1413 The death of King Henry IV of England. It partly fulfilled a prophecy saying that he would die in Jerusalem. He died in Westminster Abbey’s Jerusalem Chamber.
An Admiral Suitor
1549 Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England who had planned to marry Princess Elizabeth after his wife, Catherine Parr died, was tried and executed for treason.
1616 Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment to conduct a second expedition to Venezuela in search of El Dorado. On Raleigh’s return to England, the outraged Spanish ambassador successfully demanded that King James reinstate Raleigh’s death sentence.
An Apple and a Scientist
1727 Isaac Newton, English scientist and discoverer of the ‘Laws of Gravity’, died, aged 84. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
1780 James Watt began manufacturing the first duplicator, which he had invented to help with the burden of office work generated by his steam engine business.
1806 The foundation stone of Dartmoor prison in Devon was laid. It opened three years later to house French prisoners of war, but by 1850 the first convicts were being imprisoned.
The Start of a Dynasty
1908 The birth of Sir Michael Redgrave, English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.
White Cliffs of Dover
1917 Dame Vera Lynn (known during the Second World War Vera as the “Forces Sweetheart” was born. Her songs included “We’ll Meet Again” and “White Cliffs of Dover”.
A Kidnap Attempt
1974 An attempt was made to kidnap Princess Anne in the Mall by a gunman who fired six shots, then tried to drag her out of the car. He fled as passers-by joined her bodyguard and police to foil the attempt, and was later caught. Ian Ball, who was charged with attempted murder, claimed he did it to highlight the lack of mental care facilities.
1980 Mi Amigo, the ship from which the pirate radio station Radio Caroline broadcast its music programmes, sank during a severe storm. Radio Caroline was unlicensed by any government for most of its early life and was launched to circumvent the record companies’ control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC’s radio broadcasting monopoly. The station is still on the air today and currently broadcasts 24 hours a day via the Eurobird 1 satellite and the Internet.
Two Little Boys
1993 Two young boys (Johnathan Ball, aged 3 and Tim Parry aged 12) died and at least 50 people were injured in two bomb blasts close to Warrington’s shopping centre.
1999 British balloonist Brian Jones and Swiss physicist Bertrand Piccard became the first to fly a hot-air balloon non-stop around the world.
Ninth Anniversary of Slaughter
2003 Prime Minister Tony Blair made a live televised address and confirmed that British troops were in action in Iraq. American missiles hit Baghdad at 5:35 a.m. signalling the start of the US led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.