1613 The original Globe Theatre in London burned down after a cannon was fired during a performance of a Shakespearean play and set fire to the straw roof. The theatre was totally destroyed, but rose again in June 1614, this time with a tiled roof. That theatre closed in 1642 and a modern reconstruction of the Globe opened in 1997, approximately 250 yards (230 m) from the site of the original theatre.
No Smoking or Growing
1620 After denouncing smoking as a health hazard, King James I of England banned the growing of tobacco in Britain.
The Last Victory
1644 Charles I of England defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge (near Banbury, Oxfordshire). It was the last battle won by an English King on English soil.
The First Census
1801 Britain held its first population census – producing a population figure of 8,800,000.
Killed on Duty
1829 The first policeman to be murdered in Britain was Constable William Grantham in Somers Town. He went to the aid of a woman involved in a fight between drunken men and when he fell, all three proceeded to kick him to death.
The First Rage Blog
1855 Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper was first published, a result of the publisher’s anger over the Crimean War and a desire to express it.
The Trade Union Act
1871 The Trade Union Act was passed, giving trade unions legal status for the first time.
1905 The Automobile Association was set up by motorists angered by police harassment and to warn drivers of speed traps.
The Total Eclipse
1927 For the first time in 200 years, a total eclipse of the sun was seen in Britain. Those at Giggleswick in Yorkshire were able to see a perfect, full eclipse which lasted for less than 1/2 minute.
The First Credit Card
1966 Barclays Bank introduced the Barclaycard – the UK’s first credit card.
Around the World in 285 Days
1995 Lisa Clayton, from Birmingham, became the first British woman to sail solo around the world from the northern hemisphere. Her voyage, in a 39 ft sloop, Spirit of Birmingham, took 285 days.
2001 The government announced that a memorial fountain in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales, was to be built in London’s Hyde Park
Bruised and Battered
2010 The England football team returned home after being knocked out of the second round of the World Cup by Germany. The 4-1 defeat was England’s worst in the tournament’s history.