Joan of Arc
1429 The French warrior maiden, Joan of Arc, led the Dauphin’s troops to victory over the English laying siege to Orleans.
1450 Jack Cade’s rebellion occurred on this day when Kentishmen, led by Jack Cade, revolted against King Henry VI with his ‘Complaint of the Poor Commons of Kent’ manifesto. His army of as many as 5,000 marched on London, causing the King to flee to Warwickshire. After taking and looting London, the rebels were defeated in a battle at London Bridge and scattered. They were promised pardons and reforms, but many of the rebels were instead declared traitors, and Cade was killed in a small skirmish on 12th July 1450.
1559 The Act of Supremacy was passed by which the new Queen Elizabeth I became “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England and a Common Prayer book was introduced.
1660 Charles II was proclaimed King of England. This was the restoration of the monarchy after the English Civil War and the reign of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.
The Trial of Captain Kidd
1701 English pirate Captain Kidd went on trial at the Old Bailey in London. After being found guilty of piracy he was hanged on May 23rd, 1701.
1923 Jack Hobbs, the Surrey and England opening batsman, made his 100th century in first-class cricket.
Happy Birthday, David Attenborough
1926 David Attenborough, English naturalist and broadcaster was born.
1933 Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British ruled India began a 21-day fast in protest against the British rule. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.
1945 VE Day in Europe. After five years, eight months, and five days of massive devastation, the end of the European phase of World War II was celebrated. Victory in Europe was commemorated with celebrations all around the world in recognition of the unconditional surrender of all German forces signed in Reims, France, the previous day.
Our Kind of Traitor
1961 Former British diplomat George Blake, was jailed for 42 years after being found guilty of spying for Russia. In 1966 he successfully escaped from London’s Wormwood Scrubs.
1968 Gangster twins Reginald and Ronnie Kray and their brother Charlie were arrested after dawn raids by police in London.
The Thames Barrier
1984 The official opening of the Thames Barrier in London. The barrier is designed to be raised when exceptionally high tides on the River Thames threaten to flood parts of London.
Look Mum, No Hands
1986 British climber Alison Hargreaves became the first climber to conquer a Himalayan peak by its toughest route when she reached the 11,500 foot summit of Kantega in 5 days without oxygen, porters or a fixed camp.