On This Day – Five Firsts and a Penny Bazaar

28 Sep

The Bastard of Normandy

1066 Claiming his right to the English throne, William, Duke of Normandy (or William the Bastard, as he was often called at the time, due to his illegitimate status ) landed at Pevensey in East Sussex to begin his invasion of England.

William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy by his mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process that was not complete until about 1060. His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders  provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders.  By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointments of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church. His consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, and by 1062 William was able to secure control of the neighbouring county of Maine. 

Normans Are Here to Stay

1106 Henry I of England defeated his brother, Robert Curthose, the Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Tinchebray, in Normandy. It was a decisive victory and the battle lasted just one hour. The Duke was captured and imprisoned in England and then at Cardiff Castle until his death. England and Normandy remained under a single ruler until 1204.

The First God Save the King

1745 At the Drury Lane Theatre, London, God Save the King, the national anthem, was sung for the first time. The score used was prepared by Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778) leader of the orchestra and composer of Rule Britannia.

The First International

1864 ‘The First International’ was founded in London, when Karl Marx proposed the formation of an International Working Men’s Association.

The First Woman Doctor

1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first qualified woman physician in Britain.

The Penny Bazaar

1894 Simon Marks, a Polish immigrant, and Yorkshireman Tom Spencer opened their Penny Bazaar in Leeds, setting the foundations for the Marks and Spencer chain.

The First Radio Times

Radio Times first edition

1923 The Radio Times was first published.

Way Back When

1928 Parliament passed the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis.


1928 The Scottish born pharmacologist Sir Alexander Fleming noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.

Brixton Riots

1981 Brixton Riots.jpg

1985 Riots broke out on the streets of south London after a woman was shot and seriously injured in a house search. Local people had already been very critical of police tactics in Brixton and a mood of tension exploded into violence as night fell.

Black Day for Bookmakers

1996 At Ascot, Frankie Dettori became the first jockey to win all seven races at a meeting. The odds on this happening were 25,095 to 1. Bookmakers lost over £18 million pounds as a result.

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Posted by on 28/09/2012 in Uncategorized


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