1314 Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II at Bannockburn and so completed his expulsion of the English from Scotland, although England did not recognize Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh – Northampton.
1509 Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen Consort of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury at a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The coronation was followed by a banquet in Westminster Hall.
The Prayer Book
1559 The Elizabethan Prayer Book was first used.
The Grand Lodge
1717 The Grand Lodge of the English Freemasons was founded in London.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Smith
1825 W.H. Smith, English news agent and bookseller, was born.
Your Country Needs You
1850 The birth of Horatio Herbert, Earl Kitchener, British field marshal, born in County Kerry. He achieved notable victories in foreign parts fighting for the Empire, and was Secretary of State for War at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. He mounted a major recruitment campaign and appeared on posters to exhort, ‘Your country needs you!’
St John’s Ambulance
1878 Formation of the St. John Ambulance – originally called the St. John Ambulance Association.
1921 The world’s largest airship, the R-38, built in the U.K. for the U.S. Navy, made its maiden flight at Bedford.
Work to Rule
1968 The country’s rail network was thrown into disarray as the National Union of Railwaymen began its work-to-rule and ban on overtime.
1968 Start of the first Open Wimbledon lawn tennis championships – open to both professional and amateur players.
The Arms Race
1974 The Labour Government admitted that Britain had exploded a nuclear device in the United States a few weeks previously. The announcement sparked a row amongst senior ministers about Britain’s involvement in the arms race.
1981 The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic. It connected Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and would be the world’s longest single-span suspension bridge for the next 17 years.
The Trouble at Glastonbury
2005 The Glastonbury Festival eventually got under way after suffering serious disruption when storms tore across its site at Pilton, Somerset. Heavy rain flooded parts of the site, with dozens of tents lost under water, while lightning strikes affected the stages and knocked out power lines.