The Arrow and the Lionheart
1199 King Richard I was wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting in France, leading to his death on 6th April. Richard spent very little time in England and lived in his Duchy of Aquitaine in the southwest of France, preferring to use his kingdom as a source of revenue to support his armies. He produced no legitimate heirs and acknowledged only one illegitimate son, Philip of Cognac. As a result, he was succeeded by his brother John as King of England.
1609 English navigator Henry Hudson (Hudson Bay in Canada was named after him) set off on his third voyage in an attempt to find the north west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
On the Road to Abolition
1807 The Slave Trade Act received the royal assent, eventually bringing an end to the slave trade. British merchants transported nearly three million black Africans across the Atlantic between 1700 and the early 19th century. The 1833 Slavery Abolition Act outlawed slavery itself throughout the British Empire but slaves did not gain their final freedom until 1838.
1876 The first football international between Wales and Scotland took place in Glasgow. Scotland won 4 0.
To Be or Not to Be
1949 The film Hamlet, starring Laurence Olivier, won five Oscars. It was the first British film to win an academy award.
The Treaty of Rome
1957 Six European nations signed the Treaty of Rome thus establishing the Common Market. They were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Holland and Luxembourg.
Beds in Peace
1969 John Lennon and new wife Yoko Ono staged their ‘Beds in Peace’ at the Amsterdam Hilton. It lasted until 31st March and each day they invited the world’s press into their hotel room, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. It was Yoko’s idea to get over their peace message while on honeymoon. Although the press were expecting them to be having sex, the couple were sitting in bed, in John’s words ‘like angels’, talking about peace, with signs over their bed reading ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Bed Peace’.
Archbishop No. 102
1980 Robert Runcie was enthroned as the 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury.
Voice of an Angel
1999 The 13 year old singer Charlotte Church became the youngest artist to enter the American top 30 album chart.
They Think It’s All Over
2002 The death of Kenneth Wolstenholme, football commentator for BBC television in the 1950s and 1960s. He is perhaps most noted for his commentary during the 1966 FIFA World Cup which included the famous phrase ‘Some people are on the pitch…they think it’s all over….it is now!’, as Geoff Hurst scored England’s fourth goal.